We’ve all seen them – those ads that make it look SO easy to shed pounds… just join this exercise program! Try this supplement! Follow this diet! The before and after testimonial photos that show how one person’s body changed on the program seem… well, too good to be true.
The truth of the matter is, these before & after pictures are often fake, and mislead the consumer to believe that they will get results that are often unrealistic. Ways in which these pictures are made to represent something other than reality include:
- using poor lighting for the before photo with unflattering poses, vs great light and professional modelling stances afterwards
- having the people posing to breathe out, relax muscles, and even frown for the before photo, with a gleaming smile and all muscles taut for the after photo
- there are reports of bodybuilders being paid to stop working out and gain as much fat as possible to take ‘before’ photos, then resume their regular eating habits and workouts to get buff for the ‘after’ shot
- models being given potentially dangerous fat burners or supplements while they are on a particular diet or exercise program
- models being given diuretics to dehydrate them for the after photo (to make the muscles look more ‘cut’)
And let’s not lose track of the fact that it’s not about getting that perfectly cut body. It’s about obtaining our Best Weight – a realistic weight goal (which is different for everyone) that optimizes metabolic health and overall wellbeing. Remember that for people who struggle with obesity, a 5% to 10% sustained weight loss decreases the risk of a host of complications associated with obesity such as diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, and high blood pressure – now there’s something to be proud of!
www.drsue.ca © 2013