In their weight loss quest and desire to slim down or just control their weight, many people resort to swallowing weight loss supplements.
Most of those who do, take these supplements because they were recommended by a few nutritional experts, friends, colleagues and even ads. The problem with that is many end up spending thousands of dollars a year taking supplements that simply don’t work, and then blame themselves for not losing any weight.
It’s almost as if the weight loss supplement industry has programmed people to think their lack of weight loss or management has nothing to do with the supplements, and everything to do with the users.
In this guide, we’ll be looking at the top ineffective weight loss supplement products that you’re probably taking now –or intend to take- and show you why they don’t work and why you should avoid them, regardless of all the rave reviews and weight loss claims associated with their usage.
This way, you can actually save your money and spend it on more worthwhile and proven weight loss activities, diets and supplements that will actually get you the results you need.
Make no mistake, this guide includes some of those popular weight loss supplements that you have heard of. Chances are you’re even popping one of them as you read this.
Are The Most Popular Weight Loss Supplement Ingredients A Scam Or Not?
Well, the goal is that you’d hopefully stop wondering why you’ve been taking all those pills without any results, and see them for what they are… which is flukes and scams. We’ll be measuring these supplements using one or more of the following three yardsticks during our review:
- Validity and veracity of research backing their effectiveness or the lack of it
- Cooked up or pseudo research backing its effectiveness
- Proof that the claims are actually false and the supplements cannot function in the ways described by their manufacturers and marketers
That said, let’s jump right in and follow as we expose these supplements for the charlatans that they are.
1. Garcinia Cambogia
We’re willing to bet that you immediately recognized the name. That’s because this weight loss supplement has been all over the news, TV, radio and internet. It is everywhere, really.
A quick search for garcinia cambogia on Google for instance, will return millions and millions of search results, with many of these sites being legitimate, authority websites on health and wellness.
That, combined with the endorsements by prominent medical personalities like Dr. Oz, popular daytime TV shows like The Doctors, and celebs makes it seem like it’s actually a “miracle” weight loss supplement.
Yet, many of these folks are only jumping on the bandwagon because, well, it’s the trendy thing to do. Also, they get paid to promote this product. As you know, objectivity goes out the window, once you throw financial incentives in the mix.
Garcinia is popular because the marketers say it has the highest concentration of HCA in any known plant. Unfortunately, there’s no way this is true. First off, there are millions of plant species.
Where’s the study backing that claim? We haven’t seen any –and we have scoured tons of journals and publications. So, where’d they find their data? The one thing you should know is that garcinia isn’t a new player in the weight loss supplement industry. It’s been around for a long, long time.
The HCA in garcinia is said to help with fat loss by simply interrupting the conversion process of carbs into fat, whilst inducing satiety and suppressing your appetite. This way, not only are you not storing fat, but you’re also eating less. Based on that mode of operation, users should experience weight loss.
The only problem with this is, actual scientific studies have proven that it doesn’t work. Go ahead, click the link, read the study, then come on back to continue reading. We’ll wait.
That study involved giving test subjects 1500mg of garcinia cambogia supplements daily for 90 days, plus a low calorie diet for one group. While the other group, got a placebo and were placed on the same low calorie diet.
The result? Little or no difference in weight loss between both groups. If you think 3 months is too short, here’s a thought, do a 21-day dry fast, and see if you won’t lose a minimum of 20 pounds. So, 90 days was more than enough for them to see results if the supplement was truly effective.
Now, there are studies claiming that it actually works, but those studies did not adhere to the strict protocol used in clinical trials. Whatever the claims, we believe that there should be some consistency in the results. And since we can’t find any, we are concerned by the many conflicting conclusions and reports. So, until we find a more consistent trend, we’re limited to being skeptical of garcinia and likely to avoid it as a weight loss supplement.
2. Raspberry Ketones
The darling of TV shows and praised by top medical personalities like Dr. Oz, this another one of those “miracle” supplements. Naturally, after this “knighting”, the supplement shot up into the limelight, making its manufacturers, promoters and marketers hundreds of millions of dollars in the process.
The problem with this claim however, is there have no zero human clinical trials on raspberry ketones. Yes, you heard that right. ZERO! The only studies people often refer to when they talk about it are mice studies.
Now, here’s the problem with that: when did human become mice? Sure, we may share similar anatomy/physiology, but we know that there have been studies that worked on mice, that bombed when it came to clinical trials.
You would think that after making so much money, at least one of these companies would sponsor a weight loss study with raspberry ketones being the key supplement. But no, they’re just riding on the media hype and publicity, plus the endorsements of these media personalities, and cashing in big time.
As far as we’re concerned, you’d only be paying over a thousand dollars a year for expensive urine. If that’s what you’re going for, you might as well hit the club and buy some premium shots.
At least, that way, you’ll get some “value” for your money ;). On a more serious note though, that money is probably better spent on some gym membership and hiring a personal trainer.
Anther wildly popular weight loss supplement, chromium is hyped for its ability to “torch” your fat, and leaving you with lean muscles. If only that was true! Yet, this supplement is still going strong, even though it’s one of the oldest supplements in the market and most tested.
Widespread studies involving the use of chromium have shown that it has little or no effects on weight loss or muscle building. This lack of evidence and proof hasn’t stopped people from buying chromium supplements.
Unfortunately, this hasn’t stopped the weight loss industry and the supplement manufacturers which count on people’s unwillingness to do their due diligence, and sell these supplements to them.
In fact, there’s hardly any weight loss supplement without chromium in it as a major ingredient. Yet, every year, chromium based weight loss supplements sell tens of millions of dollars.
If you want to lose weight, surely, popping chromium supplements isn’t the way to go about it as it’s been proven to be ineffective.
4. HCG Drops and Diet
Imagine just eating 500 calories a day while taking a few drops of a substance, and losing 1-2 pounds a day. Sounds like weight loss nirvana, doesn’t it? Only, we think this might be a sham.
There’s no doubt that the HCG diet is popular –as are all the other programs/supplements in this guide- and deemed effective by many people. The thing is, it’s not the HCG drops or injections that make you lose weight –if you do lose weight- it’s the restriction to 500 calories a day.
Listen, we all know that weight loss is a calorie input-output issue. If you ingest less calorie than you need, your body goes into the fat reserves and converts that stored fats into energy so you can keep functioning.
Otherwise, your energy levels would just deplete abruptly, resulting in sudden unconsciousness and fainting spells. Anyway, studies involving the use of HCG drops or injections didn’t show any significant proof of it working.
Yet, there are participants of these programs who swear by its effectiveness and ability to help them lose weight.
Well, as stated earlier, if you do restrict your calorie intake to 500 calories a day, and put in some mild physical activity –the regular non-exercise thermogenic activities like walking, cleaning, moving around and regular house chores would do just fine- you will burn some of that fat and lose weight in the process.
Whether it’ll come to 1-2 pounds however, is what we can’t ascertain.
So, while there’s some merit to the calorie part of the program, we don’t think the HCG drops or injections contribute anything to your weight loss. None of the weight loss studies involving the use of HCG drops or injections showed any effectiveness.
5. Bee Pollen Weight Loss Supplements
Next in line for the award of the most ludicrous weight loss supplements is bee pollen weight loss supplements. If you believe that you can simply take bee pollen and lose weight, well, you may need to check your deductive abilities again –no offence intended.
This preposterous idea originated somewhere in Asia as a practical joke –we think. Unfortunately, people have become so gullible that they think of anything not made in our US of A as exotic –as if the word “exotic” is always associated with good.
Here’s the truth folks: whenever you see bee pollen as an ingredient or a supplement, walk –no, run- in the opposite direction because it and everything around it is likely to be a scam product.
There has been no known clinical trial or even mouse study to back up the claims that bee pollen alone can help you lose weight. In fact, it’s interesting to note that the Asians are not in the best position to be making eight loss supplements.
Why? Because they don’t have an obesity problem. The average Asian is slim and has low body fat, so what would they know about obesity.
So, how are people losing weight after taking these bee pollen supplements? Well, it turns out that these supplements contain hidden and unlisted, illegal weight loss drugs. You see, some of the bee pollen supplements tested contain harmful drugs that have been linked to cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Examples include Sibutramine and Phenolphthalein respectively. Mild side effects of Sibutramine for instance include stomach upset, dry mouth, depression, dizziness, and loss of appetite –see why it’s used as a weight loss drug?- sore throat and stomach ache among others. If you’re comfortable taking something with this many side effects into your body, by all means, help yourself.
The terrible thing about these Chinese weight loss supplements is that these dangerous ingredients/drugs are unlisted on the label. So, you’ll think you’re just getting the bee pollen, when in reality you’re getting something that’s potentially damaging to your health.
Please understand that this is not a campaign against bee pollen. It is a warning against bee pollen as a weight loss drug. Alone, as a decent source of minerals and vitamins, bee pollen is great. It’s just not effective for weight loss.
Used as a common ingredient in many weight loss and dieting supplements, Hordenine aka N,N-dimethyltyramine has no proven efficacy in triggering weight loss. The supplement is thought to aid weight loss by acting as a stimulant which revs your metabolism, causing your body to utilize and burn up a lot of energy and fat in the process.
The thing with this though, is there hasn’t been any proof that it actually helps that process. Stimulants as a whole get your heart rate up, this making you feel anywhere from slightly-very restless.
Naturally, this encourages you to get up, and get involved in some physical activity to burn off some of that energy and normalize your body’s equilibrium. This is why stimulants are often included in workout supplements.
Hordenine however, hasn’t been linked to any of these benefits. So, you might want to steer clear of this one until there’s actual proof that it works.
Weight Loss Supplement Scam Conclusion
At the end of the day, losing weight and keeping it off is not just about popping some weight loss pills and supplements. It’s about adopting a healthier lifestyle and getting in the right frame of mind.
You can swallow 100 pills a day, but if you’re sedentary and eating tons of junk food, those pills will not work. So, what do we recommend? There are quite a few weight loss supplements that work.
But more importantly, you need to become more active, eat healthy, drink lots of water and burn off more calories than you ingest. If you do these things, combined with the proven weight loss supplements, you will get astounding results. It is that simple.
Do let us know if we missed out a few other popular weight loss supplements that are ineffective, and we’ll be sure to update the guide.