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My life mission is to help people do three things–adopt a healthy lifestyle, find  fun in fitness and become the best version of their RAD self. With that said, when it comes to accomplishing these three things, I have absolutely zero tolerance for shady scams and quick fixes. I strongly believe that the key to a healthy lifestyle and sustainable health is to create a informative base of personal information. Constantly asking yourself, “What is best for me?”

MUST READ: Mind Over Diet: A Positive Attitude Can Help You Lose Weight

There is no one size fits all when it comes to your health beauties. We live on a planet where both information and resources are plentiful therefore there really isn’t any reason why we can’t be our healthiest self by eating real food, choosing to engage in real activity, all while leading a real life.

But truth be told, our country is in a fat loss craze. Millions everywhere are willing to do whatever it takes to not only shed pounds, but to do so in lighting fast time. Media constantly bombards us with misleading messages backed by broken promises and frankly, I’m a bit sick of it. I mean whatever happened to eat less and move more?

In honor of your sanity, your money, your health and your life, I am dispelling the myths behind today’s popular weight loss companies such as Herbalife, ViSalus, and Shakeology (just to name a few).

So if you are reading this as a devotee to these brands, a curious consumer or a disappointed dieter I encourage you to ask yourself these 12 questions before you start whipping up shakes as meals and popping potentially poisonous pills all in exchange for a smaller waistline.

1. Are you desperate to lose weight?

If your answer is yes, then not only are you not alone, but this is actually the perfect place to be in when it comes to transforming your life. However, the main issue I have with today’s weight loss trends is they are taking advantage of people at their lowest point. It is easy to prey on the weak and sell them faulty promises when they are in a state of desperation. Combine this with a lack of knowledge, the opportunity to start their own business and then the chance to help obese children (talking about you ViSalus) – all while having the body of their dreams and you have the shady pitch of these multilevel marketing health schemes. I get it, who wouldn’t want all that. But the issue is what are you wiling to lose in exchange for these seemingly positive gains?

2. Are you a dedicated person?

Yes? Excellent! This too is a great quality to have when it comes to transforming your life. However commitment is only half the battle. The real question is what are you willing to commit to? Two shakes a day that taste like your favorite sweet treat is easy to pass meals up for, I guess. And eating meals that have been outlined for you is a manageable task to complete too, I assume. So cool, you follow the rules and guess what? Today’s weight loss fads are right, you will lose weight. The real question is at what cost?

3. Have you tried a fad diet in the past only to be disappointment in the end?

Uhm yep. I mean who hasn’t? Again, “drop 10lbs in 10 seconds” sounds great when you  have a bridesmaid’s dress to fit in to by the weekend. But see, this too is part of the vicious cycle that comes along with subscribing to these weight loss fads. Like I just said, you will lose the weight, but what happens when you start eating more than the 300 calorie meals that ViSalus recommends or replace actual meals for those Formula 1 Express Meal Bars from Herbalife? The weight not only comes back on, but also brings a few extra pounds with it. And here you are back to square one – “desperate” to lose weight, “dedicated” for the short while required to see results and “disappointed” yet again once you go back to your normal ways. This proven cycle is actually the premise of quick fixes beauties. These companies aren’t dumb they know they got you right were they want you. Keep reading…

4. Would you trust a dentist to give you a Pap smear?

Okay so outside of the shady products that these companies sell, the shadiest part of all is the title that their distributors use to promote the shady products. “Hi I am (fill in distributors name here), your Health Coach.” Health coach?! Hearing these words sounds official and safe, however majority of these brands “dealers” are everyday Joes and Janes without the slightest experience or training in anything health related. Since the premise of these schemes is “own your own business and get rich quick,” these distributors are only worried about one thing when they push their dangerous products on you–money. So don’t let the title confuse you ladies, these health coaches are far from healthy. Unless you would let your dentist give you a Pap smear I wouldn’t be buying health products from drug dealers.

MUST READ: 3 Reasons Why ‘Cheating’ On Your Diet Can Actually Help You Lose Weight

5. Are you comfortable pimping products to your friends and family?

You better be if you plan on being a successful (insert faulty fad brand here) distributor. Unless you are about to get “super” strange by pushing products on strangers, then chances are you are going to hit up your friends and family primarily for that “work from home income” or luxury vehicle that was promised to you (read Body by ViSalus vehicle scheme). So with that said, bring on girls night turned “hey come workout with me and I’ll provide free smoothies after.” This is not a kind gesture from one friend to another, let’s keep it real, it’s a business meeting. The goal is to sell and sell and sell. And the more you sell the more “selling” consumes you. Hello socially awkward. Every moment turns into an opportunity to push your product. Speaking of pushing, if you plan on joining the forces of these multi-level marketing schemes get ready to push away people in your life too. 

6. Do you think the words all natural, organic, gluten free etc. translate to “healthy”?

Then think again. Poison ivy is all natural and cocaine is gluten free, but you wont see me pumping these things into my body in exchange for a smaller waistline. Not much more to say on this girls. Don’t let these loaded words confuse you. Read labels, ask questions, and research ingredients. 

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