The Dirty Secrets Behind Fad Diet Before and After Photos

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Weight loss ads… we see before and after photos all over the internet selling some sort of pill, book, or packaged meal. We’ve probably even clicked on a few because quite frankly, a lot of us would love a dramatic before and after photo.  But did you know that some of those before and after photos aren’t what they seem to be? There are four tricks (that I know of) for getting great before and after photos without much actual hard work.

Trick #1 Using Two Different People

The picture below is from an event in which an Estonian beauty clinic hired two models who look alike to represent before and after images. While no one would mistake this marketing trick as actually representing a before and after of the same person, some shady companies have pulled photos off the internet of women who looked very similar to each other and used those photos to try and sell diet pills, shakes etc.

weight loss before and after

Trick #2 Oil, Fake Tan, and Sucking in the Gut

This photo below is of a guy known as Furious Pete. He wanted to show how easy it is to get a before and after photo. All it takes is a little fake tan, oil, flexing, and good lighting to get the after picture. For the before picture, all you need is a bunch of junk food that will cause you to bloat and poor posture. The two photos were taken 5 hours apart. Pete took the after photo, then spend the next few hours gorging himself on junk food before taking the before photo.

weight loss before and after

#3 Pay a Fit Person to Get Fat

This one is a doozie! Weight loss supplement companies have been known to find a fit person, take an “after” photo, pay them thousands of dollars to gain weight, and then take a “before” photo. You may be asking yourself why a fit person would agree to gain a bunch of weight, but the answer is simple… the money is good, and if you’re already fit, it’s not as hard to gain weight and then take it off again. It’s easier going from fit to fat and back to fit again than it is to go from fat to fit.

Model|Athlete IFBB Pro Alexis Paige

Photo by Cedward Brice licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

#4 Good Old Fashioned Photoshop

This is the trick that most of us are aware of. The Photoshopped weight loss is easy to spot (though not always), usually the model is in the exact same pose, has the exact same hair, any may be wearing the exact same outfit (perhaps Photoshopped to be a different color).

photoshop before and after

So, the next time you see a weight loss ad sporting a dramatic before and after photo, take a minute before clicking on it and see if you can tell if it’s a fake or not.

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Pamela Bruesehoff

Hi! I'm Pamela and I run Gym Free Fitness. Your one stop for real information. No bro science and no faux science. Just real healthy information.

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Comments

  1. says

    I’ve noticed in some of the before and after pictures the person seemed to look like a different person but they were similar enough that I wasn’t sure. Thanks for helping me to figure this out.

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