Avoid the Web of False Fat-Fighting Information

What you can do to keep your distance from misleading or false weight-loss information on the Internet.

With the overabundance of information so readily available on the Internet, it is no wonder so many people fall prey to phony weight loss. After all, anyone in the world has the power to create a website advertising their own opinions on the matter. Since a quick Google search on “weight loss advice” yields more than 65 million results, getting quality information can be a daunting task.

One of the effects of living with electric information is that we live habitually in a state of information overload. There’s always more than you can cope with. – Marshall McLuhan

How do you know what site to trust? How do you weed through the plethora of advice found at your fingertips? Is the Internet’s counsel helpful at all or should you rely solely on your physician? These are good questions to ask as you consider the best plan for your weight loss goal.

Finding the Goods

When determining whether you can trust a website, look for the following:

  • health information based on valid medical research
  • a site that identifies its sources of information such as medical journals and medical experts
  • an “About” or “Contact” page that makes it possible to learn about the organization and allows you to contact them if needed
  • a copyright at the bottom of the page so you know who is responsible for the information
  • the date of when the material was last updated, since outdated material may not reflect the latest research on weight loss

Come across a site requesting personal information? You better know what they are planning to do with the information and who they might give it to before handing it over.

When reading a site, seek information that is as objective and unbiased as possible? Does it seem believable and reasonable, or does a site make promises of weight loss that seem unlikely? Are there stories of miraculous weight loss in little time? Then you may need to steer clear. And any time a website’s main purpose is to sell you something, keep moving. Websites trying to sell their products or services rarely give a completely objective perspective.

Want a quick way to find accurate information about weight loss? Avoid the .coms. Instead, seek out sites run by medical organizations, government agencies, or nonprofit education institutions. These websites end with .org, .gov, or .edu, and have the highest level of accountability when it comes to providing accurate health information.

Go with the Doc

No online site can replace your physician or another health professional, so be sure to talk to yours about any information you find online before taking action. Even if the information you find is accurate, it may not be appropriate to heed its advice. Your health professional of choice knows your medical history and the current medical advice for your particular weight loss situation and can therefore give you trustworthy and personalized instructions for achieving your goal.

However, since health professionals often don’t have time to elaborate beyond a basic plan, the Internet is a helpful tool for finding details related to the doctor’s orders. These details could include healthy, low-fat recipes and specific exercise routines to meet your goal. You can also use the abundance of weight loss success stories as ongoing motivation. Or you can become a part of an online support group for weight loss to find the encouragement and advice you need along the way. A third tool available on many sites is a program that allows you to track your weight loss and set goals to work toward your weight goals.

So the next time you’re surfing the web for the latest diet plans, check your sources, the first of which should be your own health pro.

Don’t Believe It?

It’s hard to believe that snacking after dinnertime is safe to do. If you can’t bring yourself to accept that it’s okay to snack late, no problem. Keep your snacking to the daytime hours. Make sure your snacks are healthy, and your body will thank you, no matter what time you eat!

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