Thursday, July 26, 2012

Decoding the Plans: Part four

Wow, part 4 already?! I keep thinking I am done and then someone comes to me with yet another plan that they are considering trying. This week, I will be discussing It Works Body Wraps and ViSalus.

Body wraps have been around for thousands of years, dating all the way back to the ancient Egyptians. Body wraps at that time were utilized in body sculpting practices and primarily worked to stimulate circulation.

It Works sells body wraps and claim that they remove "toxins" from the body, resulting in inches lost. Unfortunately for them, there is no scientific evidence that this works. The toxins they speak of are undefined, making the validity of such this technique questionable.  Toxic accumulation is rare, as the liver and kidneys automatically detoxify and excrete many toxic materials including metabolic wastes. I am all for letting my organs do their job. So, let's say that it *really does* remove toxins in the short time that you are wearing this wrap well. In that case, from everything I have learned, if toxins are too rapidly released without being safely eliminated (such as burning fat that stores toxins) they can damage the body and cause malaise.

"But, Motivational Mom, I have seen it work...", "I just invested a bunch of money into this business...", "I lost 6 inches in an hour..." the distributors of this may cry. (Note that pretty much any good review you see online is by someone who is trying to sell you on this product) Let me tell you that if you understood the way the body works, you wouldn't have bought into such a product. You need to learn about water retention, sodium, glycogen stores, hormones, and a bunch of other things that cause crazy weight fluctuations. While body wraps may temporarily tighten your skin, it's not permanent. You see, it's not really taking off fat. It's simply water weight, and water retention. So, basically, it's not reducing your WEIGHT at all, it's just reducing your inches. Water makes you bloat, feel fat, and slow. Ever see a wrestler drop 10lbs in a day? It happens but when they do, it's not fat or toxins - It's water weight and they feel like crap because it messes with their organs and dehydrates them. A loss like this is not likely to last.  A body wrap is also not going to shrink your fat cells in any permanent fashion. It's just like when you get dents in your ankles after wearing tight socks all day. They go away shortly after you take the socks off. 

All this wrap is doing is pulling water out of you so if you'd like to do them every 2 weeks or so, be my guest but I can tell you right now that it wouldn't be worth the money to me. Diet and exercise are FREE, people....FREE!

ViSalus Sciences sells a series of health pills and products that are supposed to help you live  a healthier and better life. Ranging from weight loss pills to anti aging pills, the system is claimed to be a proven solution to help everyone but yet is not sold in stores? A great solution that would make millions if sold to the public, but it's not available in stores? That’s interesting that even a health store like GNC or Vitamin World wouldn't carry such a miracle cure but let's keep going and see if we can figure out WHY this is the case. (Red flag! Red flag! Red flag!)

ViSalus, like other MLM (Multi Level Marketing) companies, asks you sell, sell, sell. Not only do you have to sell, but if you don't sell for a month, you can't continue. Be prepared to buy extra products just to stay in the game when you have no buyers.  One of my friends got involved in this company because of the promise of a BMW for their top performers.  If you read the small print, you will see that all you get is the right to go lease a BMW yourself and be paid $600 a month towards your lease. The caveat being that you must remain in the program at that level to keep it. Be prepared for this financial trap. Let's go with the scenario that you get to the regional director level and get to pick any BMW up to $600 a month. You are limited to a 3 series as the other ones cost more or require lots more money down, even though they show the 6 Series on the site. (Another red flag anyone?) If the following month you don’t make it in sales, you must pay your own payment. The better part is that if you don’t really qualify for a BMW lease, you can’t even get one, since the lease agreement has nothing to do with ViSalus Sciences but rather is with you and BMW. Visalus Sciences simply pays the $600 monthly allowance as long as you make them a ton of money but what happens if you quit or have to move? Well ViSalus Science has nothing to do with you, and therefore enables you to continue carrying your own payments unless you sell. There is one more element to this and its quite simple, you must sport all types of advertising for them on your car and there are many restrictions as to which car since they want others to believe in the myth. ViSalus Sciences executives do drive BMWs because of YOU selling their products, and are paid by the corporation, not by some product scam.

I think it's safe to assume that you probably learned enough to not want to get involved with the company as a distributor but what about their products - Do they work? Sure, they do. With their products, you will be taking in presumably less calories than you were before and since they ask you to exercise, it's a simple calories in/calories out calculation. Anything in conjunction with diet and exercise is going to help you to lose weight. The thing is, if the products were really any better than other brands, they could sell them retail and make a fortune. Anytime a product has a whole complicated distributorship network, that means the network is the real source of income because the product isn't special enough to make it in regular retail. These products probably aren't bad, but they're not much different from Slim-Fast or other meal replacement shakes that you can buy for half the price at your Wal Mart or Giant Eagle. (Note: For my opinion on Slim Fast, click here)

When you buy it retail, you can quit if you don't like it and no one will know or care, unless that cute stockboy chases you down in the store to see why you aren't buying this week. When there's a distributor involved, you are going to have to deal with phone calls or even visits where they'll make you explain why you don't want it anymore. That is such an embarrassing and unpleasant thought where you are going to have to explain that you lost your job or you're moving or you're trying for a baby, or something personal like that. Sorry but I don't think anyone is going to want to explain their life story to their powdered shake distributor....

My opinion - steer clear. And for the last definitely not the last time, DIET AND EXERCISE = Success!

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