In the last post, we mentioned the appeal of the “quick fix,” especially when you are at your wit’s end with weight loss. For a number of years now, pyramid marketing, or as it’s commonly referred to now as multi-level marketing (MLM), has been used with many weight loss products. Companies marketing these products tend to coerce, intimidate and pray upon those who are looking for the “quick fix” to lose weight. To make it even more appealing, some companies offer incentives to sell the product as well.
We can't tell you how many times over the last 4-5 years we've been approached by “associates” of these different products. We refuse to use our influence to make money off of the same people we are trying to help live a healthy lifestyle.
Recently, we have noticed one company in particular that has become very aggressive in their marketing and recruiting efforts and we feel it needs to be addressed.
We will not mention this particular MLM, but their claims of success, like many MLMs, is based on a few select people who currently have lost weight, not science.
Here's what we have issues with:
1. These supplements are not FDA regulated or approved!
When MLM leaders/associates talk about what's in their products, they may tell you what is in it based on what the label says, or what company leaders have instructed them to say. However, most of these formulas have a proprietary blend of ingredients, which means they are not disclosed. And often times, we can hardly pronounce the ingredients listed let alone know what they are. We have found that most of these shakes and pills are loaded with caffeine and fillers in order to help you feel energized and full.
2. “Lose weight and never have to exercise!”
You've heard it time and time again. It's a huge selling point for so many of these products. Ask yourself this, “Do I want to spend the rest of my life consuming this product?” If the answer is no, fitness and nutrition are your ONLY option to sustained weight loss. Not just one. Not just the other. Both! There is no way around it unless you want to live on a product. If the answer is yes, then ask yourself what happens when you can no longer afford the product and you balloon past the weight you were at when you started the product? This is our biggest problem with these products because people like Jen and I are the ones who are left to pick up the pieces. We get emails, texts and people stopping us on the street asking for help and advice. Many of these people have gained back all of their weight (if not more) after stopping the use of one or more of these products. To top it off, many have destroyed their metabolism due to starvation and malnutrition which makes losing weight even more difficult.
3. People make money off of your vulnerability.
If someone approaches you and tells you that you can lose weight and make money in the process...RUN! Unless you are looking to alienate yourself from all of your family and friends, we suggest not getting involved in these companies. Remember how this works: the person who gets you in gets paid; if you bring in someone, then you get paid and as does the person who brought you in. And if the person you brought in brings someone in, s/he gets paid, you get paid, and so on.
The problem with these products and models for success is that they are unsustainable. They don't last! Once the fad is over and new product comes out, all the time, effort and money you've put in will be more than likely lost.
What are MLM success and dropout rates? (Source: The Likelihood of MLM Success by Mindy Lilyquist, Home Business Expert)
Here is our advice for anyone who desire to lose weight.
There is NO magic pill or shake that will help you keep the weight off once you lose it. There are so many different products and plans out there that will help you lose weight but none of them help you change your behaviors and lifestyle.
LOSING WEIGHT IS EASY!
Yes, we said it...losing the weight is the easy part. Keeping the weight off will be the hardest job you'll ever have!
If you lose a lot of weight very quickly by using a weight loss plan, it is likely that you have either starved yourself (consuming fewer calories than your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)) or taken enough caffeine, ephedrine or some other stimulant to burn fat. Some may even incorporate excessive amounts of cardio while in a deficit or consuming one of these products which can cause even more weight to be lost.
As we have seen, over 90% of people who have lost larger amounts of weight in short period of time will gain all of their weight back, if not more.
In order to maintain your weight loss, you must maintain your current weight for at least 2 years. Studies have shown that if you maintain your weight loss for 1 year, you have a 20% chance of keeping the weight off. If you keep the weight off for more 2 years, you have a 50% chance of keeping the weight off. That means you're still as likely to gain all of your weight back as opposed to keeping it off. After 3 years, your odds go up by 10% a year.
What does this mean?
This means, there is NO quick fix!
This means you need to change your behaviors and lifestyle in order to prevent yourself from gaining all of your weight back.
This means you better incorporate exercise into your lifestyle—both cardio and strength training.
This means you need to learn about food as fuel! Eat clean and lean. Be sure to get rid of the processed foods or trigger foods in your house.
This means you need to drink more water! Water will help to flush your system, keep you hydrated and give you the natural feeling of being full without using chemicals to trick your body.
So, if you decide to start a diet or consume shakes or pills, please remember that these are only temporary. Before you ever start, you need to plan how you are going to change the way you are living. You need to plan how you are going to keep the weight off. Get rid of all the junk food and trigger foods in your house! Join a gym or at least start using your membership. Inform those around you of your intentions. If you have a partner that is not going to be supportive, address the issue immediately! Get rid of the enablers in your life—those who feed your unhealthy habits. Take the time to seek out people who actually know what they're talking about. Please be cautious around those offering a quick fix.
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