Money & Policy

Quick Weight Loss Products Are Usually Just Gimmicks

Good nutrition and exercise, not a magic product, are the keys to losing weight

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could lose weight simply by taking a pill, wearing a patch or rubbing on a cream?

Too bad claims like that are almost always false.

The Bait

Some messages promise a revolutionary pill, patch, cream or other product that will result in weight loss without the need for diet or exercise. Some products claim to block the absorption of fat, carbs or calories; others guarantee permanent weight loss; still others suggest you'll lose dramatic amounts of weight at lightening speed.

The Catch

These ads are gimmicks, playing on your sense of hopefulness. There's nothing available online you can wear or apply to your skin that can cause permanent – or even significant weight loss – without significant changes to your behavior.

What You Can Do

Experts agree that the best way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories and increase your physical activity so you burn more energy. A reasonable goal is to lose about a pound a week. For most people, that means cutting about 500 calories a day from your diet, eating a variety of nutritious foods, and exercising regularly. Permanent weight loss happens with permanent lifestyle changes. Talk to your health care provider about a nutrition and exercise program suited to your lifestyle and metabolism.

Report Online Scams

If you believe you’ve responded to an online scam, file a complaint with:

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