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5 Signs Your Fad Fitness Program Is Really a Money-Waster

Credit.com logo Credit.com 6/15/2017 Teddy Drimonis

fitness-fads © Credit.com Blog fitness-fads There's nothing wrong with paying for a fitness regime. If the program works, isn't driving you into debt or causing any health problems, its costs could be negligible.

Unfortunately, fitness fads are a dime a dozen and many programs, plans or products don't work as advertised. In fact, plenty are downright bogus. Do a quick search for "weight loss scams" on the Federal Trade Commission website, and you'll see what I mean.

To help you avoid falling prey to a useless or predatory pitch, here are five signs a fitness fad will have you losing dollars, not pounds.

1. It Claims You'll 'Lose Weight … Effortlessly!'

Exercise, by definition, requires effort. To lose weight, you need to burn calories, which are units of energy, so expect a fitness regime to be accompanied by sweat, deep breaths and discomfort. If a workout involves little time, zero effort and minimal movement, it's probably not worth the cost. Yes, doing a few minutes of crunches is better than nothing — but it's still very close to nothing.

2. It Claims You'll 'Burn X Number of Calories!'

A popular — and effective — sales tactic in the fitness industry involves advertising the exact number of calories a client can burn over the length of a particular exercise program. But there's more than one reason to disregard that promise.

For starters, the number of calories you burn during exercise can vary enormously. Second, it's hard to tell what that number means in relation to actual weight loss. You'd have to be tracking your calorie consumption and keeping a regular log of your weight to have a frame of reference. Plus, even if you lost the exact number of calories promoted by a program, it might not matter. Remember, diet is a critical factor. What happens if you're consuming twice as many calories as you need to burn to lose weight?

Don't let starvation diets trick you.: Don't let these fad diets fool you. There's a reason people feel so accomplished when they lose weight: for most of them, it's hard work, and for some, it can take a lifetime to find a plan they can stick to successfully.While we've heard the "calories in, calories out" approach a million times, for many people, seeing those numbers on the scale go down takes more than just knowing how to lose weight; they also need to apply that knowledge day in and day out, no matter how many times a double cheeseburger or ice cream sundae seems to be calling their name.The problem in with the notion that eating less and moving more is all it takes to get to your goal weight is that it's painting weight loss as a one-size-fits-all issue, when there are so many components that go into a successful weight loss plan. It's why so many people give up on healthy eating when they don't see immediate results, and why so many turn to the false promises of fad diets to help them.What they don't realize, while they're popping diet pills, fasting, or injecting themselves with supposed weight loss hormones, is that all these fad diets do in the end is slow their metabolisms, make them more likely to binge, and create a vicious cycle of crash dieting that can feel nearly impossible to break free from. To improve your chances of long-term weight loss, add some of the 100 Superfoods That Double Weight Loss to your menu and make sure to steer clear of the 40 Wildest Ways People Try to Lose Weight! The 40 Wildest Fad Diets

Slideshow: The 40 Wildest Fad Diets (Provided by Zero Belly)

3. It Claims You're 'Guaranteed to Lose X Pounds in a Week!'

As in life, there are no guarantees in fitness. No one can know how you will respond to a given exercise. Educated health professionals and medical practitioners can't make guarantees regarding your health, so be skeptical when some voice on the TV claims it can. Often the burden of success lies exclusively with the customer.

4. It Has an Asterisk Anywhere … or Everywhere

Qualifications abound in the fitness industry and a little star or cross can signify a number of things. "Only $29.99*!" Expect hidden fees. "Free Trial*!" Be prepared to enter credit card information that'll get auto-charged if you don't cancel the program before the promotional period ends. See "testimonials*"? Those claims may be unsubstantiated or only accurate under a narrow set of conditions.

Bottom line: If you come across an asterisk, read the fine print and ask plenty of questions before shelling out money.

5. It Uses a 'Secret Proprietary Blend'

There are plenty of fitness companies out there, particularly those hawking supplements, that do their best to make you believe they hold some super-secret, space-age, chemical formula developed by a team of sleep-deprived engineers in a lab 5 miles below the earth's crust that's totally essential to losing weight. But there are no secrets in fitness, just the truths you may refuse to accept, so there's reason to be extra discerning when a company drops the "p" word.

Food and Drug Administration regulations don't require manufacturers to include how much of each ingredient in a "proprietary blend" is actually in their product, just the weight of the mix itself. In other words, the term is often code for caffeine pills, plus some unpronounceable, inert filler chemicals that do nothing to advance your fitness goals.

While getting in shape can take hard work, the formula is basic: diet and exercise. Plus, you can get fit without breaking your budget. Here are a few ways to get started.

Video: Cash Rewards Programs Encourage Weight Loss (Provided by Wochit News)

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