Doesn’t it seem like today’s technology is built to fail? In the old days, things would last forever. In fact, I’ll bet you have some of your parents’ appliances kicking around, fully functioning.
But today, with technology more robust than ever, your laptop lasts three years. Your iPod? Two. Your brand new iPad and Kindle? I give ‘em a year.
So we can’t squeak more than two years out of our toys. It’s not really that sad, because by the time they quit on us, there’s something bigger and better.
Do the makers of our tech toys just happen to come upon a better design every two years? The masterminds behind billion dollar companies like Apple can’t see more than two years into the future? I don’t think so.
In fact, I’m guessing that right now Apple has the next 10 phases of the iPod mapped out. They could sell you a fully pimped out iPod that’ll last you 10 years for $350. Or they could make $1,750 off you instead, releasing it phase by phase.
If you haven’t guessed where I’m heading, here it is: most diets and weight loss programs are designed the same way.
Your health is not a gadget.
Why Weight Loss Programs are Built to Fail
There’s a reason most “revolutionary” diets and exercise programs fail. It’s not that we’re lazy or can’t change our habits. It’s that they’re designed to fail. Or, at least, they aren’t made to be sustainable.
Sometimes companies are flat out selling you a product designed to quit after a period of time. This is your typical fad diet or “miracle” weight loss pill. They address a piece of the puzzle, so you see some success – maybe even a lot of rapid success–and then you watch it slip away.
Or maybe the program was just so impractical that you had to throw in the towel. Studies  have found that restrictive diets are one of the main causes of yo-yo dieting. Admit it: it’s not practical.
Or maybe your weight loss consultant is giving you orders (maybe even prescriptions) without explaining why or how they work. Are ingredients kept a secret? Does your fitness coach give you exercise and meal plans, without providing the knowledge you need to apply it in the real world (you know, without them)?
Above are just a few of the warning signs of an unsustainable program. Be sure to read IdealShape’s 3 tips  for finding out if your current approach to body shaping is realistic.
Don’t Get Scammed
Some weight loss companies exist just to make a pretty penny off you. Others keep you in the dark to keep you coming back. And many simply don’t know enough to help you find a unique, lasting solution.
When it comes to technology, you don’t have much of a choice about built-to-break gadgets. But when it comes to weight loss, you do. Choose not to waste your time on impossible programs when a real, long-term solution is available.
If your body shaping program doesn’t include a mental component – the most important yet most ignored part – that’s a sure bet that it’s not going to work. Certified Personal Trainer Skyler Meine recently wrote a spot-on article  about why one's mindset is the “real” magic weight loss pill.
If the fads keep catching your interest, you probably just haven’t learned how awesome the journey to lifelong health can be. It’s not just about a slimmer waist, and toned arms and legs. Those are byproducts of the real rewards:
- the endorphins you get from exercise
- the energy and strength you get from nutritious foods
- the ability to prevent chronic disease and simple colds
- the calm confidence that comes from discovering you can master your health and figure
Fleeting fixes rob you of all this. This I’ve had to learn (and relearn) quite a bit on my fitness journey.
There are valid reasons for wanting instant health and fitness. Of course we want to feel great now! We want to look stunning and feel powerful and confident today. Less reputable companies take advantage of this.
The bottom line: when you embark on any health program – be it nutrition, body sculpting, or wellness – look past the hype. Partner with professionals who want you to succeed for life, because they’re ethical, passionate and educated about what they do. They’re in the business because they’re excited to share their success with you!
Go ahead and upgrade your iPod and BlackBerry every year. But take a good hard look at any diet or fitness product before you buy. Yo-yo dieting is not only pointless and frustrating but also very dangerous.
If a solution sounds incomplete or too good to be true, it probably is. And if you hear the words “one-step,” “instant,” “amazing pill” or “just trust me” — run!