Commercials. Whether you've junked your TV, ignore the radio, or avidly consume both, you probably can't avoid them. And at least on the media I consume, there are tons of (scammy-sounding) commercials for weight loss products...mostly unproven supplements that work to remove weight from your wallet.

Let's take a look at weight loss myths and legends today.

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1. Weight Loss Supplement (X) Will Have You Lose Weight, Pounds in Days!

Would that this were true. Sadly, as most reputable weight-loss plans state, the only time you really lose "pounds in days" is when you're losing water weight gain, not the fat you want to get rid of. So it may be a diuretic, and if you have problems with bloating it may help you ... if you're lucky. As most of us in the reality-based community know, supplements in general are unregulated and largely untested, so even if the supplement actually is what it says it is, it is likely to do nothing but take your money and give you nothing in return.

2. Losing Weight Solved All My Problems!

Ha. Ha. Ha. Again, it'd be nice. Losing weight will solve your problems due to being overweight, sure. I find now that I've lost the weight and exercise a lot, I stand up much more easily. I also tend to have better emotional control. But it hasn't made me rich or even middle-class (is there a middle class any more?), nor will it. Also, it doesn't necessarily take care of any body-image issues you may already have. Let's face it: if you spent years stretching your body out with fat, when you start losing it, there will be loose skin. It happens.

3. You can eat anything you want on this diet!

Check the fine print on this one. As we know by now, you can't just eat anything you want in any amount you want and also successfully lose weight. What this really means, often, is either "You will want to eat more low-calorie good for you foods, which will help you lose weight" or "You may have a treat occasionally." Personally, when I worked to lose weight, I didn't restrict any category of food. I did, however, restrict portions and calories. So I couldn't "eat anything I wanted."

4. Don't eat after 5 p.m. It's the only way to lose weight!

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. And a real turn-off to those of us who occasionally work third-shift, by the way. Sorry, I have to eat after 5 p.m., and take a look at the pictures. Did I lose weight or not?

Signs of Spring by Windthin on deviantART

A Lady at the Library 38b by Windthin on deviantART

I don't get the time restrictions. Really. They seem thoroughly out of touch and naive about how many Americans actually live today. Do these authors think most of us can make this stuff work? It's hard enough trying to get in some kind of shape other than round without setting yourself up for failure in this way.

And of course to round things out, one I believed for a while:

5. Exercise Alone Is Enough

Nope. I worked out for years before I actually lost weight. No, really, I did. I lifted weights for years. Didn't do anything for weight loss. It probably helped mitigate some of the problems people often have who are obese, sure. And it made things easier when I finally cut calories and increased the amount I exercised. But exercise alone isn't enough. Even now, when I exercise more than most average Americans, I still have to keep an eye on my calories. I'm up a little more than I like this week, but I'm going to cut back a bit and continue increasing what I do with my weights.

How about you? How's your week in weight loss going? How can we help? Feel free to vent, ask questions, or just relax. It's Friday, which means some of you have the weekend to look forward to...any plans to walk, hop, skip, or dance?

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