I wanted to post a little tidbit about weight loss products and how they’re marketed.
I’m an actor and long-time loser! 3 years about 60-some lbs off, a good bunch of inches too. I owe all of my progress to the learning that happened on this subreddit, and the support and accountability that let me feel successful even when I was eating over my calorie goal or down and out with injury.
Recently I accepted the role as a weight loser for a commercial advertising a fancy scale. If you’re a new loser or are looking around for some great tools (water bottles, new scale, meal replacements/plans, measuring devices like calipers and tape) here’s some advertising red flags; some more obvious than others:
Being told it will help you lose weight AND keep it off: There is no tool in existence that can force you to have discipline (that I know of), you find that within yourself, motivated by the tools, community, and individuals you keep around you.
The person on screen has never used that object before, even if they take a selfie style video saying they did: It is extremely common practice for people who are influencers or actors to be paid just to say that they “…used this thing, and it works amazing!” It is catered to look that way, and it’s a total lie every time. They may have been shipped the product days before and take a bunch of quick shots of using it, trying to make it look as good as possible. I have taken these kind of jobs for dating apps (I have a spouse), scales (use a normal scale and measuring tape), VPNs (I had never even heard of that VPN until the day I shot the video). If your clips aren’t good enough and they don’t use it, you might not get paid.
Weight loss on screen is all clothing, photoshop, filters, lighting, angles, and facial expression: I had a string of radiohead songs playing as motivation while I sat pretending to be depressed and afraid for my health in the baggiest things I owned, just to get shots that showed the how fat and sad. But then, I changed into a tight dress and smiled and they turned up the light and BAM apparently I lost weight! I even had my REAL weight loss progress pics used in the commercial with my permission. Yes, even those photos are likely not taken for that product. My before and after photo was all me using CICO, not some fancy scale (for the record my scale is $15 from a walmart). I bet you even weight watchers and gyms do this.
Products have a bunch of unique, fancy features shown off: Personally I don’t want or need my bone density every morning along with my weight, though some do I suppose. The product I used was incredibly inaccurate on my actual weight, TDEE, BMI, and estimated required weight loss by varying percentages. I was baffled. It is telling if a product does a lot of fancy or different things, it could be garbage at even its most basic function. How the heck does it know my bone density from my weight? The product just used my stats to run averages I suppose.
So why did I do the commercial? The easy answer is I didn’t know I was selling a scale until I got there, I just knew they needed an ambiguous body shape (not quite fat, not quite thin, chubby as a good descriptor). The less honourable answer is I’m an actor, it’s my only job, this is how I survive.
TL;DR: If you see an ad for a product that does lots of fancy stuff, and says it will make you lose and maintain weight loss, it isn’t necessarily true, even if it’s a video testimonial with before and after photos.
Anyone else acted or modeled for weight loss? I had a friend’s photo stolen and shopped into before and after photos once. Any products you have that ARE worth the money or a total pass? I think the best way to find a good tool, app, or community is to search on r/loseit , r/fitness , and similar subs.