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Can You Spot A Fake Weight Loss Transformation?

A while ago the Health On The Net Foundation raised the issues of weight loss / fitness before and after images and asked publishers what they felt about them. Our response was that so long as they were proved to be of the same person, not edited / Photoshopped and with proven timings, then no problem. However, Melanie Ventura, an Australian personal trainer, has shown how easy it is to fake a transformation.

Here is her transformation:

Transformations similar to this have been used to sell fitness products for many years. At first glance, you may think she has discovered a magical way to lose fat. But, the reality is, it is all a trick!


If you read that 8 weeks on her fitness and diet plan was all that was needed to lose weight and tone up, you might well believe her. However, the truth is more shocking – these photos were taken 15 minutes apart!

15 Minute Weight Loss?

Of course, Melanie Ventura did not shed weight or get fitter in just 15 minutes. All she did was change her clothes and pose differently. The transformation is instant and impressive.

Melanie explained on her blog how she made her transformation. Here are the main tricks:

As simple as that. These tricks are certainly not unknown to the likes of Gok Wan who specialises in making women look better simply by changing their clothes and coaching them on how to carry themselves better. Melanie really did make a great transformation – however, it took her a couple of years of hard work and dedication to fitness and healthy eating. You can see her real transformation on her blog.

“Photoshop can make a pig look hotter then Beyonce” – Melanie Ventura

Of course – an exaggerated or fake transformation photo does not mean that a particular product or service will not get you in shape or help to lose fat. In a way they are just like all other forms of advertising – designed to impress and attract your attention so that you are more likely to make a purchase. While the fitness and weight loss transformation photos may be a little misleading, photos of hamburgers, cars, mobile phones, perfume and clothes are all equally misleading. Products are only as good as the person who is using them.

Related: Preliminary Results of the Before/After Pictures Survey – Health on the Net Foundation.