The truth about transformation photos

SARAH MACKENZIE
Last updated 05:00 27/07/2013

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A personal trainer has revealed just how easy it is to fake dramatic weight loss with some clever illusions that are tricks of the trade in the billion-dollar diet and fitness industries.

Andrew Dixon, a blogger for The Huffington Post, decided to take his own transformation photos to see what was possible with just a few easy tweaks.

By shaving his head, face and chest, completing a few 'pump up' exercises, tweaking the bedroom lighting, sucking in his stomach and swapping his shorts the trainer created a dramatically different image from his 'pre' photo.

He says he takes issue with transformations used in the fitness industry that are manipulated with Photoshop, professional lighting, postures to degrade or enhance their look, pro tans, sucking in or pushing out a bloated belly or flexing muscles vs. not flexing to obtain an optimal look.

"In my opinion, these photos are selling false or exaggerated promises of what 90 days, etc., of their program can achieve.

"Long-lasting results take years of consistency, hard work and dedication."

In the second set of photos Dixon took and released he attempted to be a little more deceptive.

"I wanted to show a series of progressions that look like a few months of hard work and dieting," he said.

Again, the results took under an hour to produce with some flattering lighting, some tan and an outfit change.

Dixon maintains his belief that there are definitely some very impressive, genuine physical transformations out there, but that people should be inspired, not disappointed if they don't see themselves changing the way the advertising 'models' appear to.

Andrew Dixon has been a personal trainer for more than 11 years.

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