Pinterest was originally created as a social media platform that lets you visually bookmark (or “pin”) the things you find beautiful or interesting—like yummy recipes or intriguing home renovations. But in recent years, it’s become overrun with gimmicky spam pins promoting alternative remedies and junk science, plus many quick and fast “results” for weight loss. As with nearly anything else, if it looks too good to be true on Pinterest, it probably is. So what can you do to avoid getting fleeced by convincing weight loss posts on social media?
What to Look For
Look out for pins and posts that link back to a store that is selling a product. These types of pins are especially common for products such as “detox teas,” essential oils, and body wraps. Products that make big claims often “support” their posts with before-and-after photos that have been stolen from other areas of the internet. Weight loss tips like eating low-calorie foods and exercising regularly can be very useful, but beware that there’s no 1 product out there that can create surgical-caliber results.
Check Out the Details
When you’re looking at before-and-after photos for weight loss products, pay attention to the details. If the person in the “before” photo has a lot of excess skin, it’s possible that skin has actually been surgically removed in the “after” photo. Loose or hanging skin cannot be removed through weight loss; it can only be removed through surgery.
Do you see a scar? You might be able to determine if the person in the pictures is a tummy tuck patient vs. someone who has simply lost weight if you can see a scar. However, tummy tuck scars are not always readily visible. For example, the scar associated with abdominoplasty is typically quite long, but today’s surgeons make them as low on the abdomen as possible to ensure they stay hidden in most types of clothing and undergarments. While this discretion is good for patients, it can make it difficult for people to separate fact from fiction when evaluating before-and-after photos of a purported weight loss technique.
Tummy Tuck Is Not Weight Loss
Of course, this brings me to my next point, which is essential to understand: a tummy tuck isn’t a weight loss procedure. In fact, people who are good candidates for tummy tuck surgery in my Los Angeles practice are those who are at or near their goal weight but are bothered by localized loose skin and fat deposits—unwanted tissue that is limited to the abdomen.
Although a tummy tuck can strengthen abdominal muscles and trim inches from the waist, it is primarily a skin removal technique. That’s why it’s so important to look closely at products, diet plans, and other nonsurgical techniques that claim to reduce the skin left over after a pregnancy. Getting rid of excess skin is not simply a matter of losing weight or hitting the gym harder, and no cream, tea, or wrap will treat it. Only a tummy tuck can restore a tight, toned midsection once the skin has stretched out.
What do real tummy tuck patients look like? Browse my gallery of before-and-after photos to get a good sense of the outcomes that are possible. When you’re ready to move forward, contact my office to request your consultation.