Deceptive marketing tactics of the diet and fitness industry

So I called Fat Loss Factor out twice already because they piss me off. I wrote a couple articles about those Very Low Calorie Diets, including the meal replacement products and so on. It’s not even enough to say that these scam products are unhealthy and don’t produce lasting weight loss; they actually encourage eating disorders by telling people “food makes you fat, don’t eat”.

Otherwise… ok Very Low Calorie Diet… if the answer was to consume that very low amount of calories to lose weight (which it aint, did I mention that?) why wouldn’t you just do it by consuming actual meals to that level of calories? Rather than by swearing off actual food and drinking their stupid shakes that are mostly sugar anyway?

Simple answer: cos there’s no money in it.

So what are some other common practices that are entirely unethical and deceptive?

Stolen Before & After Pictures.

This happens a lot. I know with absolute certainty that Fat Loss Factor do it, and you may have heard of a certain “Ashy Bines Bikini Body Challenge” program that was recently exposed for doing the same thing (as well as literally thousands of women complaining that the product is a scam).

“Reverse” Before & After Pictures

I wasn’t sure how else to describe this. Reverse will do.
For people like me who’s long term goal is get bigger & heavier, a common strategy is  to have a “bulking” period where you gain weight, accepting that you will put on some fat, with the plan to trim off the fat later but keep the additional muscle mass. So, if I was to take a picture of myself nice and lean at the start of bulking period, and then a photo 10 or more kilos heavier including increased body fat and bloat… if i tell you the first (lean) picture is the result of my brand new, top secret and exclusive weight loss system it looks like quite amazing results.
You could create a similar illusion just by taking one photo early in the morning, and then one later in the evening after a major pizza pig out session. You haven’t actually gained weight, you’ve just bloated out a lot. Reverse the order of the photos and tell people it’s the result of your 5 week weight loss program though, and it looks like great results. I’ve spotted a few trainers using these techniques with a “check out my own amazing progress on this program” type of caption, or even showing “client transformation” photos that I happen to know are actually of one of their colleagues before and after bulking. To me this is a little dodgy, at the least.

Affiliate Marketing

Once AGAIN Fat Loss Factor are a prime example of this one. Google them, and you’ll get literally 8 thousand million (ok maybe not literally, but there’s a LOT) pages that are disguised as reviews, or news reports or whatever else. Have a read though and CLEARLY they are written by people with an interest in promoting sales of the product. You can tell by the URL alone, in most cases. So people are looking for actual reviews from consumers, to see if a product is a scam or not… and they get thousands of false reviews from people who’ve never used the product, but will make a commission if you link to the order form from their site.
This is a big part of why it’s so hard to find any reliable information on the internet these days.
Affiliate marketing also lets the product owners shrug their shoulders like “hey, I can’t control what other people do” when their marketers use these and other unethical practices already discussed.

Multi Level Marketing aka Network Marketing

Man you should see some of the follows I get on Twitter. It’s ironic too given that I write so many articles calling out scam products and dodgy marketers. I get some legit business people as well, but so many “marketers” looking for people in the fitness industry to sell their scam products for them.
Actually… I just checked twitter and I guess most of them have unfollowed me again which is pretty funny but I had people selling visalus, those stupid body wrap things, and even some water filtration thing that cures heart disease, apparently.
It bothers me how a lot of these marketers brand themselves as motivational speakers, life coaches and so on to try and appear to have some credibility, when really all they are is a marketer pushing junk (in many cases actually dangerous) products for a commission. There’s some wonderful people out there helping people through life coaching and motivational speaking, but the legit ones aren’t also on the make for a quick buck through worthless scam products.

So there you go! A little of what to look out for, and how to tell the legit people from the scammers.


Author: davehpt

I'm DaveHPT, Maybe you've heard of me? Musician, rock star and recording artist. Published author. Former security industry professional. Personal Trainer and Weight Management Architect Of Awesomeness. Problem Solver.

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