Why You Shouldn't Always Trust Weight Loss Success Stories


You shouldn’t take weight loss success stories at face value. I’m not talking about those “I dropped 54 pounds by using this magical thing!” Those are obviously a load of crock. I’m talking about the “I tried for years, but I finally realized I just had to work hard and it paid off!” The idea of hard work sounds very nice, but let’s not forget a little thing known as survivorship bias.

Survivorship bias, essentially, is fixating on the winners and the successful. It might make sense to copy what they do to also find success yourself, but therein lies the salty plum: you don’t see or hear about the majority that have crashed and burned. This is significant because it fosters false expectations, distorts the so-called recipe for success, and makes you believe success is more common than it truly is.

The inspiration for this post comes from the latest article by Sol Orwell, co-founder of independent nutrition research site Examine.com. Although he talks about the success and promises of gurus like Tony Robbins in his article, survivorship bias can be extrapolated to the fitness world. Heaven knows we see plenty of “successful” weight loss stories.


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