Anyone tried fitness magazine workouts, infomercial exercise equipment or celebrity diet plans to lose weight?
Who got their money's worth?
I won’t hold my breath.
Maybe you lost a few pounds by starving yourself while you ran backwards up the stairs holding a half-pound dumbbell on your head. Seriously, I’d love to get a video of that for my exercise index. Or perhaps you “toned” your abs by lying on your back lifting your leg up and down 52 times.
Why do we still buy into this crap?
A Quick Lesson in Weight loss Marketing
Did you know that big name magazines actually compose and test hundreds and hundreds of cover headlines a month to see which one gets the best response rate? A good headline can be worth millions of dollars. If that much money was on the line, what would you design first, the headline or the April issue’s workout that is supposedly going to tone you up before summer? I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that magazine editors compose a headline and then fit a silly half-believable workout to match it, and then watch the dollars roll in.
If you find yourself buying a magazine because the headline is too good to be true, chances are it is.
It was tested and re-tested and then tested some more to sound that way. So was headline color, font, and position on the front page. Everything was designed so that when you saw “Lose 12 Pounds by Next Week!” you somehow were duped into shelling out the $4.95 for a crapfest workout wrapped in colorful ads.
Don’t get me wrong, I will kill anyone who touches my Cosmo, but as much as we all want to believe in these phony workouts and quick-fix “solutions”, they truly don’t work. Becoming healthy and in shape is a symptom of how you live year in and year out, not what you did last month. The fitness and health related industries simply play to our emotions giving us exactly what we want - the idea that there is a secret or a quick fix solution to our weight loss problem. I’ve been there. I don’t think we buy the magazine for the workout, I think we buy it for the emotion we get thinking we really can get thin in just 7 short days.
Would you buy a magazine if the headline read, “How to Run and Starve your Way to Weight loss!”
Well then, why do so many people take this route when trying to lose weight?
It turns out that harsh cardio and dieting are very overrated. An entire industry is based around this concept: diet snacks, low calorie foods, expensive super complicated cardio machines, and a bunch of unhealthy “skinny fat” marathon runners struggling to keep control of their weight.
Seriously, what if word got out that all of this was just a bunch of hype played at our super strong desire for a quick fix?
If you had a choice between making millions of dollars selling hype that doesn’t work, or making a measly thousand actually showing people what works, what would you choose to do? Well, I’m here to say that most health related product companies have chosen the former; we have been conned my friends.
Don’t believe me? That’s fine, check out all the people who actually studied this stuff, but didn’t have the 50 billion dollars a year to advertise their findings:
45 Minutes of Aerobic Exercise 5 Days per Week for 3 Months Had no Effect on Weight Without Proper Nutrition Changes
Utter AC, et al. Influence of diet and/or exercise on body composition and cardio respiratory fitness in obese women. Int J Sport Nutr 1998;8:213-222.
4 Hours of Aerobic Exercise Each Week Had no Effect on Weight Loss.
Van Dale D, et al. Does exercise give an additional effect in weight reduction regimens? Int J Obes 1987;11:367-375.
High Intensity Exercise Raised Metabolism for 3 Hours After the Session. The Low Intensity Group Did Not Have the Same Increase
Phelain JF, et al. Postexercise energy expenditure and substrate oxidation in young women resulting from exercise bouts of different intensity. J Am Coll Nutr 1997;16:140-146.
No More Hype - Here are 5 Headlines Every Fitness Magazine Should be Selling You:
- Why Cardio Sucks at Helping You Lose Weight
- How Harsh Dieting Can Actually Shrink Your Muscle
- Why Toning is a Myth and Why We Should All Try to Build Muscle
- How Eating More Food Will Actually Make You Thinner
- Why Not All Weight Loss is Good Weight Loss
If you really want to burn fat and keep if off for good you need to balance good nutrition with a properly cycled cardio and weight lifting plan. Don’t let the magazines fool you anymore. Save your $4.95 and get my free weightlifting and nutrition guide here instead.
Get my hype-free diet and exercise plan below!