A few minutes ago I was catching up on my google reader cue and I got excited to see a new post from a blogger that I really enjoy reading. Recently she competed and ranked highly in a bikini fitness competition and I’ve gone to her website often for exercise tips. She’s always recommended clean eating and I really respect and look up to her.

So you can imagine my disappointment when I read her most recent post only to discover it was an ad for “starting your own business” by selling meal replacement shakes. For the first few minutes I sat staring at my computer in disbelief. Was her blog hacked somehow? But no, I checked her facebook page and sure enough, she really wrote it.

Disbelief was quickly replaced by sadness and then by a little anger. So much that I thought it warranted a blog post of my own.

First off, I want to make it clear that I fully support bloggers and fitness enthusiasts who charge for their services. If you want clients to hire and pay you for coaching, meal planning, access to your blog posts etc, go for it! You worked hard and you have the knowledge, why not make some money sharing it with the world. Along with that, I fully support a blogger’s choice in writing sponsored blog posts. If a company that you really believe in wants to pay you to write a review of their product, fine.

Second, even though I believe that real whole food is always better, I personally have no problems with using protein powders or even meal replacement shakes. If you need something quick, find one that has low sugar and as few chemicals as possible.

Having said all that, I do not support what I see as taking advantage of your subscribers. Asking them to purchase large quantities of a meal replacement to then resell to their friends and family (aka their sales team) to build their own little business, only for you to make commission off them is taking advantage of them. 

The saying “You plus two, them plus two” is not the road to a legitimate business, it’s the tag-line for a pyramid scheme. 

To be fair, this blogger is not the first person I’ve seen post adverts like this. I’ve had messages from other fitness competitors asking me if I want to “join their team” or “join their challenge.” But in all these messages and blog posts there is never any mention of the product itself. What’s in it? Why do you think I should drink it? Is it full of special vitamins that I can’t get from real food? And more importantly, why should I then sell it to my friends and family?

One of the things I like most about the Paleo movement is it’s about eating real food. You don’t have to pay for a membership to a special website and you don’t have to spend money on frozen meals, protein bars or shakes. It’s about filling your body with the real food that your grandparents/great-grandparents ate. Not highly processed “food-like” substances that so many people eat today.

But what about the support of being “part of a team” or the excitement you get from going to a large “challenge party?” Yes, I completely agree that having a strong support network is key to getting healthy. I have a friend who is doing weight watchers and I know that those weekly support meetings have been a key to her losing weight. However, when I hear about these large “challenge parties” I’m immediately reminded of the McDonalds franchise conventions. “Start your own business by opening your own McDonalds! Then hire managers and open four more!” Sure, you can make money but would you really want your blog readers eating McDonalds? 

Alright, so why am I writing this blog post? I definitely don’t mean to call this blogger out or make her feel awful. I understand that you need to do what is necessary to make a living. Instead my hope is to open the eyes of others out there that have come across advertisements like these and are trying to decide if they should give it a go. Please do your research on the product first. There are no shortcuts or quick fixes when losing weight. It’s not impossible but it does require dedication to taking care of your body. Anyone that tells you otherwise is just trying to sell you something.

2 thoughts on “There Are No Shortcuts to Being Healthy (And Losing Weight)”

  1. You don’t genuinely wish to take in something which you are not sure regarding the true effects. Concentrating on a diet of LOTS of fruits and vegetables (preferably uncooked) and no junk food, should give you an observable improvement within 30 days. It doesn’t cost a lot
    of money and can be used for a wide variety of health and beauty reasons.

    1. So true. I think everyone can agree, no matter what diet you follow, vegetables are just so good for you. And I think a lot of us forget that dieting really is simple. Stop eating junk. I think even I forget that from time to time.
      Just wish I could eat uncooked veggies. I tried the raw diet for two weeks and had horrible reactions. My body just can’t process raw food. Too bad 🙁

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