Fat Loss Products: Do They Work?

$64 BILLION. That’s how much money was made in the “weight loss” market in 2014 and now 5 years later we are no longer the most obese country in the world! Yayy thats so—wait… we actually are still one of the most overweight country’s in the world.

In 1990 we spent $30 BILLION on weight loss. So, to put that in perspective, we’ve more than doubled (almost tripled by 2018) the amount of money spent on weight loss, yet we have continued to have greater rates of obesity year over year. Which begs the question, if the weight loss pills, and wraps, and detoxes, and cleanses, and fad diets, really worked, wouldn’t we have a better health outlook by now?

When we sit down and think about it, most of us would rationalize that lifestyle and nutritional choices are what makes us unhealthy and gain unwanted weight and that making changes in those areas would be the key to seeing the difference we want to see in our bodies and in our lives, however, that is much more difficult than what is marketed to us every day.

I know what you may be thinking, “I’ve tried product X before and it worked for a few weeks!”, which is exactly the problem. Many products find a cheap way to trick us into thinking we are losing “weight” or make us “feel” the product working, and thus reinforces our blind belief in them, regardless of efficacy or long term change.

Here are a few products that promise weight loss, how/if they work, and where they rank on my BS meter:

1.  Fat Loss Pills and anything that says “thermo” or “burn” on it:

Do they work? Negative. Nope. Not a chance. Never have, never will. Get the point? These products contain “thermogenics” that cause your body to produce heat. When you feel hot you think, “oh, HOT = burning. I must be burning fat.” When, in reality, you’re just burning off muscle and liver glycogen and are going to be tired later. Being hot has absolutely zero correlation with fat burning.

But, but, but, Chase.. it says right on the bottle that it is clinically tested to increase fat loss by 100%! Yeah, I bet it does. First off, anything can be clinically tested; that doesn’t mean it works. Second, almost every single percentage increase in fat loss, muscle gain, or what have you listed on a fitness product is what’s called a relative percentage. Basically, if a test subject loses 2 oz of fat mass from a placebo and loses 4 oz from the actual product over a 6 week period, they lost 100% more fat!

So instead of saying hey, this product will make you lose 2 oz of fat every 6 weeks, they slap a big sticker on it that says “Lose 100% more body fat in 6 weeks! Clinically Proven!”.
                Is your BS meter going off? Mine sure is.

2. Detoxes and Cleanses:
                Do they work? If you want to poop and slow down your metabolism then yes. If you want to lose body fat, however, hard no.

If you or someone you know “lost weight” on a detox or cleanse they most likely lost water weight or weight from food mass as many of these products often advise the user to fast while using their product. Expect this weight to come back. Also, the circumference lost around your waist was likely from chronic bloat, expect it to return as well. Do not expect however, your money to return to your wallet.

Now, by the off chance that you did lose some weight and kept it off, indicating that you lost actual body fat, you did so by fasting, not cleansing and detoxing. That said, this isn’t a good way to lose body fat, especially for women who can experience poor hormone function after prolonged fasted.

Fasting should only be done under the supervision of an accredited fitness or medical professional.

The worst part about these products is the damage they do to your metabolism. Over-restriction (aka fasting) especially done often or for a long period of time, slows your metabolism and makes you much more likely to gain body fat.

                My BS meter is ringing!

3. Body/Wraps & Fat Loss Creams:

                Just... ugh. These companies should be put in jail. They make you sweat and lose water, which means pounds down on the scale, but it also dehydrates you and isn’t resulting in fat loss. Not to mention blocking your body’s thermoregulatory system with pselaphine will suppress any fat loss you would have had.

                Also, here’s a quite hilarious tid-bit of information; look on the back of a “fat loss” cream such a sweet sweat and you’ll likely “white snow petroleum” and “Brazilian carnauba wax”. Also known as, petroleum jelly and carnauba wax. Go to Wal-Mart, buy some wax and Vaseline, rub it on your leg, and boom, sweet sweat. It creates a layer on your skin that makes thermoregulation very difficult and thus, you feel hot and you sweat. Again, feeling hot is not an indicator of burning fat.

                Complete and total BS.

4. Meal Replacement Shakes & Bars:

                Do they work? Actually, in some cases yes. How do they work? By reducing the number of calories you eat and increasing protein intake. But guess what? You can very easily do that without buying a shake or bar. Now, if you would rather spend your money on these products, go for it, though we don’t recommend them. What we do recommend is having a balanced macronutrient profile and reverse dieting to increase metabolic activity, allowing you to eat more and lose weight. Wow, isn’t science wonderful?

                The biggest downfall of these products is their digestibility compared to whole foods and their use of artificial sweeteners. Gut health is extremely important not only for fat loss but overall physical and mental health, and these products often have negative effects on our gut health, even when they include pro-biotics and digestive enzymes (a band-aid on a bullet wound).


5. Slow, systematic, science based lifestyle changes:

                Do they work? Absolutely, 100%, every single time. Results guaranteed. Here’s the thing; you can’t buy them, they aren’t sexy or easy to market, and they takes knowledge. As you can tell, there’s a lot of misinformation and twisted statistics in the health and fitness space, which means good, true information is hard to come by. But that’s why we are here. The staff at Uplift Fitness is selected based on their knowledge of these topics so that no matter when you stop in, you will have a great resource in us. Also, you can always message us with any of your health and fitness questions or better yet, click here to sign-up for a membership at Uplift Fitnes and get started on your fat loss journey.

                On your next visit, ask about our workout programs, personal training, or one of our informational pamphlets on toning, cardio, or fat loss. We have everything a beginner needs, to get you results the right way.