Anyone who has spent enough time surfing the internet or checking email has seen ads or websites selling weight-loss products. Pills, food programs, strange diets, teas, hypnosis… The list goes on and on. The truth is there is a huge demand for such products. Our society puts increasing value in having a beautiful, toned body, yet fosters unhealthy behaviors like eating fast food and watching television. The result is that many people want to look thin but keep gaining weight. They might not have time or willpower to undertake realistic weight loss programs, so they become susceptible to fad diets, pills and other commercial weight loss products that don’t work. Many of these products are not only ineffective but dangerous for your health.

Here are some guidelines you should use to steer clear of potentially dangerous bogus weight loss products.

According to the FTC, products likely fake if they claim to:

-keep you from absorbing calories or fat.

-cause you to lose at least two pounds a week without exercise.

-cause you to lose a significant amount of weight no matter what you eat.

-cause weight loss by applying the product to the body externally.

-cause you to lose weight forever, even when you stop using the product.

-cause every person who uses the product to lose a lot of weight.

Here some specific products to watch out for.

Natural Fat Burning Pills. These pills are marketed as “natural” weight loss enhancers, but the truth is they’re not much different than the weight loss pills of the 1970’s that were banned because they contained amphetamines, or speed. Just because a product is naturally derived does not mean that it’s safe or effective. In this case, these type of pills use a natural compound that is very similar to ephedrine, the dangerous and addictive chemical present in the original diet pills.

Magic Ab Exercisers. While it is good for you to exercise your abdominal muscles, it won’t make your belly disappear magically. The truth is that we can’t lose weight in a particular part of our bodies be exercising only that part of the body. Only a comprehensive exercise program will work. Some abdominal exercise machines may work better than others, but none will cause weight loss alone.

Goops, goos, gels, herbs, drinks, powders or anything else sold on TV infomercials. The number one warning sign that a product is a fake is that it isn’t sold through conventional distribution channels. These products make claims that would not stand in a normal commercial environment. But in a half-hour TV infomercial where the sellers control all the information, they can seem effective. Be especially wary of ads that use word like “miracle,” “scientific breakthrough,” and “secret formula.”

Fad diets. People spend millions of dollars on books outlining strange diets that supposedly cause weight loss miracles. There are too many of these diets to possibly discuss here, but one principal applies to all of them. If a fad diet causes you to lose weight, you will put the weight back on when you stop the diet. And many of these diets are ineffective to begin with, because every person’s body reacts differently to them. Consult a doctor or nutritionist before you begin any diet, whether it comes from a book or not.

Hopefully this article helped you sort through the mountain of misinformation out there. Remember, if a product sounds too good to be true, it is. A useful is to lose weight is to control your Basal Metabolic Rate, at this way you will control the intake of calories on your body watch what you eat and control how many calories your body burns. There are many free BMR Calculator on the net that can help with this journey.