You know, I can't even come close to counting how many times I have been asked that question in one form or another over the years.
And, it hasn't been just about weight loss products, diet pills, or exercise routines, either.
In fact, it's a little symptomatic of a prominent point of view in our society.
Everything is supposed to "work", i.e. do the work for us.
But, it's not just about laziness or even our sometimes "get something for nothing" mentality. And it's nothing to point a finger at today's world about either.
I remember over 40 years ago when I told my father, a hard-working man who insisted on quality, that I wanted to buy a piece of exercise equipment. His reply was something to the effect that I didn't really want that because I would have to "work yourself to death" to get any value out of it.
Well, since those days of my youth and ignorance, I have become a little bit of an "expert" on exercise and fitness. I can now testify that indeed, you have to work very hard with that type of fitness product. However, the same is true of any other fitness product as well. In the world of exercise, and the health and fitness benefits derived from exercise, you basically get back a reward based pretty much on what you put into the project.
so, what does all this have to do with whether or not a certain weight loss product "works"?
Well, leaving aside those things which are just plain useless, all that almost any weight loss or diet product can do is enhance what is already being done. Like exercise, you get back weight loss for the effort you expend in actually attempting to lose weight. Products such as "Alli", for example, do "work", despite my resistance to them. They can help people lose weight. However, even the most effective weight loss products, diet pills, and other substitutes for plain old exercise and proper nutrition are, for most people, very limited in their effects.
It is not surprising that even a weight loss product which I personally consider to be one of the most effective on the market, and one of the healthiest, put a statement on almost every claim and/or testimonial, that "results are not typical". That's not to say that only a few people actually lost any real weight with the product. In fact, I knew a great many people who were quite successful with it.
On the other hand, for every success story, there were hundreds, if not thousands, of others who tried the product and were dissatisfied with the results. Many felt they had been ripped off by the company's claims, which were quite reasonable and down-to-earth, because when they used the product, they either did not lose weight or did not lose it fast enough or did not lose enough.
Even that company included the message in its advertising that their product should be used "with" a regular program of exercise and eating habits which encouraged health, fitness, and weight loss. Actually, many diet pills and other weight loss products include the same caveat.
The fact is that the only weight loss product that works, consistently and in a healthy manner is a combination of regular exercise and proper nutrition. Additionally, this "product" produces healthy changes in the body and the mind which can have extremely positive and lifelong effects on the individual in addition to simple weight loss. Most other diets, diet pills, water pills, weight loss products can simply enhance the effects of such a lifestyle or provide a small measure of the permanent success enjoyed by those who choose to "work themselves to death", or to life, through a sensible change of lifestyle to one which includes the two known ingredients of the best weight loss program around...a life of activity and rational eating habits.