Why before and after weight loss photographs have little or no value.
We have all seen plenty of before and after weight loss pictures
Mostly on advertising for a diet, club or commercial product. My first impression when I see before and after pictures is that of skepticism. The first things that go through my mind are:
- Is this the same person?
- Is the second image a photo shopped version of the first?
- Why is the lighting different?
- The before picture seems to show the person breathing out fully, and the second one seems to show them sucking their belly in.
- Maybe this is an after / before picture (The person recently put ON weight)
Why am I so cynical about it? I have been pondering this question, as I do not know the people involved, how could I accuse them of anything? The fact that the pictures are used to sell a product doesn’t mean that they are a fraud? Right? I mean there are laws and advertising standards aren’t there?
I’m not talking about the before and after body sculpting photographs…
…When I see body transformation photos, where someone has clearly honed and sculpted a new body with dedicated physical training. These people are highly dedicated and deserve respect and recognition for their achievements. In an advertisement, I would still question whether the product had a major influence. I believe that most products sold for body sculpting and weight loss are either a complete waste of time, or add an extra edge or boost to the progress. The real progress comes from within the heart, soul and mind of the achiever. Commercial products can be a tool, but the user is the creator.
So, back to the usual fat / thin before and after weight loss pictures…
The advertising factor, the commercial money-making side of weight loss / fat loss products
Then I started wondering, did the person in the before and after picture actually use the product? Or are they just promoting it? Hmm.
How do I know whether the person in the before / after pics has recently developed a crystal meth habit, and these photo shoots are funding the habit?
O.K, I know I am getting (a little) carried away….
And then it hit me!
The main reason why before and after pictures should be ignored…
No one is disputing that there are many ways to temporarily lose weight. I mean the phrase “yo yo dieting” didn’t make itself up…
The problem with the before and after weight loss pictures is that we don’t know if the problem has been solved or not. What problem do you want to solve? Do you want to get thin for a few months and then put it all back on again, plus a few pounds? Or do you want to completely change your life and never be overweight ever again?
I know which choice I have made.