Because I’m interested in how people seek fitness information online, I regularly check Google’s keyword tool, which shows how many times per month people search Google for words, or phrases. By searching for fitness related phrases, we can peek into the American psyche that reveals interesting insights into how Americans approach their health.
I was searching for the keyword phrase “lose weight” and came up with the top 15 results ranked by the average number of searches per month for the trailing 12 months (U.S. search volume):
Notice anything unusual? Besides the 6,600 people who are searching for “laxatives to lose weight” each month (that’s news to me), more than half of these keywords refer to “fast” or “quick” weight loss. These search results highlight one of the insidious problems with public perception and searching for the quick fix.
Likewise many companies that sell fitness products cater to the “quick fix” mentality by promoting unrealistic results. It’s no surprise that the top selling fitness products online are supplement scams that show bogus before/after photos and promise easy, fast weight loss.
Let’s search for another phrase “weight loss”. Here are the top 10:
This keyword is better, but I think I’m getting the point across. While it’s encouraging that 18,100 people are searching for “healthy” weight loss, it’s sad that 33,100 people every month are looking for that magic pill. It’s difficult for consumers to understand the basic principles of healthy eating and exercise when they are deluded with false information and grand promises from get-thin-quick schemes.
In my mind, this is partly a reflection on American culture in which we seek immediate gratification. I love convenience and immediate gratification as much as anyone, but unfortunately, that’s not how body change works. Real, lasting change requires patience and a plan.
If you’ve been following my articles and read my free Get Lean Guide, by now I trust you are convinced that programs that guarantee quick results are not desirable. You are built lean and you can look great and feel amazing following a sensible approach to improving your health.
So the question becomes, what can we do about this? Can we change public perception that feeds on sensationalistic media stories and the search for the quick fix?