Going back as far as radio advertising, there’s always been a market for the dubious. There’s people who are looking to sell us things that were never intended to work, merely to take our money. When someone is desperate enough to want to believe in anything, often a good marketing team is to blame for the inevitable purchase, and the very soon after buyer’s remorse, only to be told that they cannot get their money back. These gimmicks are most often seen late at night on television during infomercial time, where some washed up celebrity or sellout is hawking the latest piece of equipment or pill during an hour long segment that becomes predictable.
The first 50 -55 minutes is spent showing you the capabilities of the machine, touting the results you desperately want, and making this machine something that is capable of achieving dreams. They go on to show you that it’s not just for one thing, it’s for MANY things, and very versatile. They explain how you cannot possibly live without it, and then spend the remaining 5 minutes repeating their phone number to call, and rush through a payment plan that is “ridiculously low” and usually takes 5 payments. This is quickly followed by a statement that if you buy now, you also get another one free, or something that goes with the dubious machinery or pill free of charge.
Save your money, machines you can buy in 5 easy payments of 19.95, or pills that claim to burn away your leptin resistance are just a waste of time and money, for a gadget you’ll later look to get rid of in the “FREE” box at a yard sale. As with most things, you get what you pay for, and weight loss equipment is no different. The only weight loss equipment that has been shown to work are the kinds of things you can get at a gym, by paying thousands of dollars for, or alternate things like yoga mats, resistance bands or balls, and dumbbells. Sporting equipment like tennis rackets or bats are in the same category, as are bicycles, but if you don’t use them, they won’t help much. The key to weight loss isn’t found in ANY pill either, no matter how well it’s marketed. If there was an FDA approved drug for weight loss, people would know about it, there would be extensive testing and the most obese countries anywhere would already be on board reporting all over social media how incredible this new pill is. The only time pills help you lose weight is when you had something wrong to begin with, like gastritis, ulcers, issues like diabetes etc.
Here’s some of the worst offenders we can think of from recent years:
- Air Climber: Claims to be powered by “Air Technology” and “so easy your grandmother could use it” the manufacturer even suggests that it’s one of the most effective weight loss and body shaping programs ever. The truth? In otherwise healthy but overweight men, it is found to give about as much exercise as walking at a very leisurely pace.
- Leptothin: Another pill claiming to “cure” leptin resistance. There’s been zero research that shows that any pill including Leptothin’s active ingredient is capable of performing this minor miracle, and none showing there is a cure for leptin resistance, though there are some diets or nutrition regimens that can help when you become leptin resistant.
- The Shake Weight: We all recall the marketing that made this spring loaded 2.5 pound dumbbell a sensation, but for all the wrong reasons. A popular spoof on Saturday Night Live as well as plenty of other talk shows, this dumbbell has never been proven to have any more benefit than reps with a regular 2.5 lb weight.
- Sauna Suits: Marketed by many names, none of them any better than the last, it’s a rubbery suit that is designed claiming to make peopel sweat out extra pounds during a workout session. The trouble is, by covering up your body and keeping it from releasing heat via your sweat, you welcome in things like heat stroke, fainting, and dehydration. Any lost pounds anyone has reported from using one are quickly put back on just after drinking enough water to rehydrate.
- 8 minute Abs, Buns, etc.: There’s no chance that 8 minutes a day doing the workout on the video will give you anything but lost cash. Getting a toned body requires discipline, strength training, cardio, a healthy lifestyle and plenty of hard work.
- Shape-Ups and other curved soled running/walking shoes: These were EVERYWHERE. Known by plenty of other names depending on the manufacturer, it seems no good shoe company decided not to throw their names in the hat to cash in on this fad. Aimed at toning the body as you walk, they were also said to burn more calories, exercise more intensely, and improve muscle strength and tone. Studies show that one is absolutely false, and proves just how many people are eager for a quick fix.
- Power Balance (and other bracelets): the only thing a bracelet is good for is looks. This bracelet however, and others like it, claim to be able to improve strength, balance and flexibility, as well as plenty of other things through holograms meant to “resonate with and respond to the natural energy field of the body” which again, not surprisingly was debunked easily in a real study.
- Vibration Belts: Though many are marketed under plenty of names, there’s never been any supporting evidence that any vibration in either a belt, or under your behind while seated would do anything but feel potentially pleasant. The Federal Trade Commission is on board with this also, and has actually ruled to give the poor misled consumers their money back.
It’s a sad state when we think that the average person would rather be taken in by obvious gimmicks and fads like these than put in the work necessary to see results the only way that it has ever been possible. Exercising, and dieting.
Not all diets are made to fit every person’s needs either in time spent, or in terms of what it offers at the end. Some people are really only looking to shed pounds for an event, or a trip they’re taking, while others are looking for a long term investment they can use as a lifestyle changer. Whatever the case, be sure you are able to find links to actual studies done on what you’re supposed to be getting, and remember that there’s no cure for obesity that doesn’t require work.