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Should You Trust Those Before-And-After Weight Loss Photos?

Fitness | Weight Loss

There’s nothing like a set of before and after weight-loss photos to make people feel doughy and weak. Commonly used to sell fitness DVDS, weight-loss supplements, workout equipment, and more, these photos usually show a miraculous transformation from flabby to ripped, promising that you, too, can have the same results if you buy the latest miracle product.

After seeing a series of fake before and after photos on the Huffington Post that were created by trainer Andrew Dixon in just a few hours, Australian personal trainer Mel of MelVFitness was inspired by these falsified photos to create a project of her own—a set of before and after photos taken in only 15 minutes.

The "New" Look

To create her “new” look, which she posted on Instagram, Mel switched her tight-fitting red biking bottoms for a black pair that fit her, stood taller, popped out her hip, sucked in her stomach, stood slightly wider, and added hair extensions and tanning lotion.

These transformations require no change in lifestyle, health, or exercise plan, as Mel pointed out on her blog. “What a before and after shot doesn’t tell you [!is!] how the person achieved it,” she writes. “It doesn’t tell you if they did it a healthy way or if they starved themselves for weeks on end to get there.”

She advises people who want to change their bodies to take small steps and not expect results in a week, or even a month.

“Transformation shots are great, but let it be clear that being thinner doesn’t always mean you’ll be happier,” she says. “Transformations take time, and good lighting can make Buddha have a six-pack.” Inspiring people to get in shape is one thing, but it appears that seeing is not always believing, especially when you don’t even need a computer to doctor a photo!

Image credit: MelVFitness

Featured in New York Magazine, The Guardian, and The Washington Post
Featured in the Huffington Post, USA Today, and VOGUE

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