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Most Ridiculous Infomercial Claim Yet

I just saw this on TV.

Another exercise device by a well known TV exercise guru that is basically a flexible bike/chair where you push or pull some increment of your body weight. Mind you it is not a cardio device but more focused on muscle toning. The Claim - Lose 20% body fat in 30 days or your money back! (Yes that's 20% body fat not 20 pounds of fat.)

Tell me that they're not betting you don't bother sending the thing back and that they will get to keep your money. (sorry for the double-negative there, grammar police)

Do the math. If you are 200 pounds and 35% body fat (70 pounds of fat) you would have to burn 245,00 calories or 8,167 calories each day for 30 days. Of course this assumes that you can burn nothing but fat which science says is not possible.

Now lets look at the exercise. A good standard number is that you can burn about 100 calories every ten minutes jogging at a decent pace. So you would only need to jog for 817 minutes or 13 hours, 37 minutes to burn these calories. Now you ask, how long do I have to work out on this miracle device to achieve this body fat loss? 21 minutes per day. This would mean by pushing around your own body weight you can burn an amazing 389 calories per minute.

Bottom line, if you eat fewer calories than you take in you lose weight. Everything else is just marketing. If you want to lose weight in your wallet faster than ever buy another informerical short-cut device.


Sun. Nov 5, 9:06am

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I am the grammar police and there's nothing wrong with the sentence you wrote. It is not a double negative, sorry! :-)

Sunday, November 05, 2006, 9:27 AM

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Oh, how I hope people read this. Obviously if something gets you to exercise when you weren't, it's a good thing, but such spurrilous claims do make me cringe. Slow and steady wins the race. You can't cheat physiology!

Sunday, November 05, 2006, 9:41 AM

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Great post! I may have to make my parents read it. They have an attic full of exercise gizmos that make claims a lot like the one you have noted above. Oh yes, they are all collecting dust but heaven forbid they get sent back because my parents are sure that one day they will start working out with those things and then the pounds will melt away....

Sunday, November 05, 2006, 12:10 PM

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To the 9:27 AM Poster - Thanks, Mrs. McFarland, my freshman H.S. English teacher would be proud. I got it right... even if I remembered it wrong :-)

Sunday, November 05, 2006, 12:25 PM

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I don't know what exercise machine/infomercial you are talking about but the way i read it: if someone says you can drop 20% of your body fat in 30 days . . .and your current body fat percentage is 35%-i see losing 20% of your body fat as 7% total reduction in body fat (3.5% + 3.5%) rather than expecting to see the body fat percentage go from 35% to 15% total.

i guess i'm confused by the op's math (not doubting that the infomercial misleads people-i'm sure there is some fine print that flashed on the screen for two seconds that said "results not typical". haha! but i guess i'm not reading it the same way she/he is.)

Sunday, November 05, 2006, 10:07 PM

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...and I'll bet those infomercials rejoice in the confusion between loosing 20% of your body's fat v. 20 percentage points off your body fat reading. Of course, in the OP's example of a 350 lb person (who's probably more like 65% fat, but we'll stick with 35% for the sake of this argument), 7 percentage points still works out to be 24 lbs, which would require burning 3000 calories in 30 minutes every day for a month...yup, 100 calories a minute.

Sunday, November 05, 2006, 10:24 PM

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the op's example was a 200lb person w/ 35% body fat.

Sunday, November 05, 2006, 11:17 PM

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Oops, I guess I was briefly in touch with my inner dyslexic. That would make it 14 lbs in 30 days, and 1700 calories in 30 minutes (57 cals/minute). See? So much more achievable than the original 389 cals/minute, lol!

Sunday, November 05, 2006, 11:20 PM

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The way this works so easily is most people who buy something from an infomercial never use it the 30 days to see results. Then they store it away (like the one people's parents) because it's not the machine's fault it's theirs for not taking the time.

Everyone wants the secret... and when the find out the secret they want to here something else. The secret is hard work, determination, diet and excercise.

Monday, November 06, 2006, 10:32 AM

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it should be labeled abuse-by-media and be punishable. maybe if we all bought one, used it once and returned it with a letter of intent to sue for false claims the message would be clear?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006, 11:39 AM

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