Beware of "magic" weight loss programs

By Gray Hall - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Losing weight is a struggle for millions of people. It's part of the reason the weight loss industry is a billion dollar business. Medical experts we spoke with say be careful, paying for quick promises to melt away the fat may be throwing money down the drain.

Loretta Lipscomb is working hard to win her weight battle -- she's lost over 135 pounds. She wants to encourage others in the same fight.

"You don't have to be where you are, you can make a choice, you are worth it," she said. Lipscomb signed on with Zacharias Ganey Health Institute in Richmond -- she's proud of her results.

It's been a tough journey -- she says she tired other diets -- some she labels as pure deceptions. "It discouraged me a lot and actually it took me four years to begin something again," she said.

Dr. Madge Zacharias, is founder and CEO at the Zacharias Ganey Health Institute. She says there is no magic pill and those miracle promises of weight lose usually end with the weight returning.

"If you are doing it by a gimmicky way and you are not feeding your body right or learning how to treat it, I don't know one person who hasn't regain it," she said.

Lipscomb agrees, she tried one of those so called "lose it overnight" diets and lost 60 pounds but gained it back. She says, "They would just put too much focus on one thing."

Weight loss may sound easy, just jump on a treadmill land eat less but the experts say it's not as easy as it sounds. Dr. Zacharias says, "If people could stop eating and it was that simple none of us would have weight issues."

If you want to lose weight, Zacharias says exercise and a proper diet have to become your lifestyle. She says some red flags that your diet may be on the wrong footing are unrealistic promises and claims you can eat all you want and not change anything.

"Take this pill take this product, take this shot and you are going to lose weight, we know that is not true," she said.

Lipscomb finally feels she's found the right plan -- she's determined to stick with it. She says, "I need to lose at least 150 more. I am on my way."

Dr. Zacharias says one thing people can do right now to lose weight is start walking daily. Click here to visit her website. The BBB offers tips on common diet scams, to take a look, click here. For a look at the top 10 weight loss myths that can ruin your diet click here.

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