Over at the Huffington Post, personal trainer Andrew Dixon has a post warning that many trendy, quick-fix diets and exercise programs are just tricky marketing gimmicks. To prove his point, he showed how he could take the kind of picture that would be considered a “before” picture and then, after a few strategic changes, take another photo that would easily pass as an “after” picture…

Andrew Dixon Transformation - 01

He writes regarding the pictures above…

I was around 185 pounds and about 16 percent body fat…. I asked my girlfriend to take a before shot. I then shaved my head, face and chest…. I did a few push ups and chin ups, tweaked my bedroom lighting, sucked in, tightened my abs and BOOM! We got our after shot.

More recently, he repeated the experiment, this time seeing if he could give the impression of slow improvements over time. These photos were all shot in less than an hour…

Andrew Dixon Transformation - 02

So… Lessons learned:

1. Don’t trust weight loss marketing.

2. Stand under good lighting and flex constantly.