Health And Wellness

This Image Proves "Before" And "After" Weight Loss Photos Are A Scam

Photo: sangriana / Shutterstock
before and after weight loss

We see before and after photos of weight loss every day. They're on the cover of magazines, in commercials, and they even appear on our social media feeds. These amazing transformations are showing up literally everywhere, in an attempt to remind us what we, too, can achieve our personal fitness goals.

But, are these "life-changing" before and after photos the real deal, or could they be faked? Are they all just a lie pushed on us from the diet industry?

Well, according to one personal trainer, the answer is yes, they are.

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In 2015, Sophie Kay, a personal trainer and fitness blogger, posted a side-by-side photo on her Tumblr to prove how easy it can be to fake a before and after picture.


A post shared by Sophie Kay (@fitology_uk) on Jun 11, 2015 at 6:25am PDT

"All I did in the 3 minutes between the two photos was to turn off the overhead light, put on underwear that fit better, twist my body slightly to the side to show off my best angle, flex and, of course, add a filter. So, don't pay much attention to those before and after shots!" she wrote in a post on Tumblr.

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She also wrote, "As a personal trainer and a fitness blogger, I can see a lot of pressure in the industry to look and act a certain way which can be rather stressful and damaging for some people. The world of perfect abs, long legs and sweat-free faces on Instagram portrays an image of fitness that is fun, easy, and full of happiness. It can be all of these things but it can also be tiring, tough, demoralizing, and grump-inducing when you're getting up and it's still dark outside. Plus, no one actually looks perfect if they're working out properly!" 

Kay explained that having a six-pack doesn't automatically make you healthy or fit. 

"Having a six-pack just means that your body fat percentage is low enough to be able to see your abs. Also, the shape of your abs is totally dependent on your genetics, some people can get a six-pack, some can't. For the majority of people, the lifestyle you have to live to achieve and maintain them would stop them from living a normal life free from counting every single calorie. Also, ladies, having such a low body fat percentage might stop your periods. Surely that can't be good for you. I prefer a bit of definition and that's about it for me!"

The post quickly became popular, gaining 376 notes. And it had debunked five myths: before and after photos are real, being healthy means having a six-pack, people in fitness are perfect, exercise is easy, and you should be able to run fast.

"Have you seen me run? It's not pretty, it's not fast but I get the job done. If you run you are a runner, if you lift you are a lifter, if you spin you are a spinner, it doesn't matter how fast, how heavy or how much you do it. Just get out there and give it a go, you'll amaze yourself," she wrote.

A lot of the myths are slashed away by her own experiences, like her love of junk food:

"I love to eat anything and everything. Pizza is probably my favorite food and although I don't really have a sweet tooth, I can eat sweet n' salt popcorn or ice cream for days. It's all about living a balanced lifestyle. Indulge when you want to, but get to know your body and understand what it wants and when."

In an interview, Kay revealed why she wanted to do something like this. She explained, "I wrote the post because as a personal trainer and a fitness blogger I've felt a lot of pressure to look a certain way and I'd just had enough! I'm only ever going to look like me so once I embraced that then I started to love my body and I want other people to love their bodies, too."

We pretty much all knew that those before and after pictures we see in magazines and on TV were far from legit. Sometimes, the people in the before and after pictures don't even look alike.

We just wish that more people were as honest and open about losing weight as this personal trainer was.

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Nicole Weaver is a love and entertainment writer. 

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