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When Is a Fitness Gadget a Gimmick?

When you see those get-fit-quick fitness products advertised on TV, what's your first reaction? The irresistible temptation is hard to resist when big results, like a "six-pack in 30 days!" are promised. When the ads are just so believable - and when famous faces hawk them - it's tough not to grab your wallet.

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But to separate the scams from the legit claims, ask yourself a few questions and be sure you're not wasting your money. The old adage about something that sounds too good to be true applies. If it does, then it probably is. Many companies use smoke and mirrors to make their product look more effective than it is. These tactics include hiring buff models and actors, who may have never even used the product, to sell it. They also may inflate the number of calories burned, pounds lost, etc. by testing the product on a large, muscular man, which skews the counts for "normal" people. If a product targets and produces results in only one area of the body, like the abs, then it's probably a scam.
Losing fat in one area only - also known as spot reducing -- simply isn't possible. Are the results the only thing that interests you about the product? If so, then don't buy. Consider your interests and goals first. If you hate to dance and are considering a set of salsa-dancing DVDs, then you probably won't use it. Finally, do a little research online. {relatedarticles}Google the product and get reviews from people who have already bought and used it. Steer clear of the manufacturer's Web site - after all, they're not going to be objective about their own product. Most everything will have a negative review, but if you see many more negative reviews than positive ones, then you're probably better off without the product.