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Monday, October 29, 2012

Misleading Magazine Headlines

Women's Health Magazine
  • Flat Sexy Abs!
  • Burn Tons of Calories With One Simple Move
  • Shed Two Sizes!
  • Flat Belly Foods – Lose Weight While You Eat
  • Lose Your Belly!
  • Shed 1 Size in Two Weeks

Sound familiar? If you read any health or women’s interest magazine, it’s almost a given that you’ve seen headlines like these. 

I really like reading health and women’s interest magazines, but I have a big problem with these headlines. They’re just clever marketing. The headlines contain buzz words or phrases, like “flat belly,” “lose” and “shed,” designed to excite and stimulate readers enough that they’ll want to buy the magazine. 

I’m not saying that the tips or exercises found in magazines don’t work, but I want to caution you to change your expectations when you read the information found in these magazines. It bothers me that these magazines make losing weight, eating healthy and getting in shape so simple. The truth is—it’s NOT as easy as the magazines make it seem. 

Here are a few buzz words and things to watch out for:

Headlines that talk about exercises to flatten your belly: If you’ve done your research, you know that ab exercises are NOT going to flatten your stomach. In fact, you can’t target the areas on your body that you want to lose weight. We can’t control where we gain or lose weight. If a magazine headline is promising targeted results, just remember that it’s another way to sell and play off common insecurities that women have about their stomachs, arms, hips, thighs—you name it. Flattening your stomach and tightening up your body involves a combination of healthy eating, cardio and weight lifting/exercises.

Headlines that talk about losing weight/toning up in a short amount of time: Magazines might offer some really great advice to lose weight, build muscle or tone your body, but it’s so frustrating when they claim that this can be done in as little as one or two weeks. Anyone who has had tried to reach a health or fitness goal knows that it takes time. Touting that you can drop a dress size in just one week is yet another marketing tactic used by magazines to get you to buy. People want ways to reach their goals quickly and easily. But remember that quick and easy are not always possible—reaching health and fitness goals depend on so many factors.

Headlines that talk about one simple exercise or diet change: This is yet another headline that plays on the desire to quickly and easily accomplish a health or fitness goal. Making one change in your life—whether it’s eliminating an unhealthy food you usually eat or incorporating one more exercise into your routine—can absolutely help you reach your goals, but don’t put all your eggs in one basket. One modification won’t magically change your life. It’s really about discovering the things that work for you and putting them all together.

The bottom line: some magazines really do offer some good advice about working out and eating healthy. Use the techniques that work for you and more importantly have realistic expectations about the information you’re consuming. Do your research and don’t get sucked into all the hype!


  1. Great blog review! I'm also incensed when I read an article in a magazine about Nutrition written by a law person.

  2. Thank you! It didn't hit me until recently that I get excited reading about how quickly you can achieve results according to these magazines--I had to tell myself to just not buy into it all. :)