November 25, 2014
3 Supplements that work
Comments are off for this post.
In the media lately, there has been a lot of hype surrounding this potential weight loss miracle supplement. It is known as Garcinia cambogia, with the main ingredient being hydroxycitric acid (HCA). Garcinia cambogia is a fruit, found in Indonesia, India, Southeast Asia and parts of Africa.
For a good brief description of what Garcinia cambogia is, I redirect you to here.
Thanks to Dr. Oz, the hopes of easy weight loss without diet or exercise have been installed in many Americans, who are looking to lose a few pounds. Dr Oz, other health experts and the many companies who now sell Garcinia cambogia products even dare to say you can lose up to 4 lbs a week without changing anything (1).
Let me start here. 4 lbs of fat equals 14,000 excess calories burned per week(1 lb=3,500 calories). Now let me tell you to burn 4 lbs a week is practically impossible. If you eat around 1,500-2,000 calories a day, you consume 10,500-14,000 calories per week. Now to create a deficiency of 14,000 calories per week you would either have to
According to my calculations, a 190 lb individual like myself would have to do the following to burn an extra 14,000 calories per week:
Its easy to see that 4 lbs per week is very difficult to achieve. This is why most weight loss experts recommend a loss of 1-2 lbs per week.
Now here is the claim to fame for Garcinia cambogia.
I did a brief literature search on Garcinia cambogia just to see if there is any validity to what is portrayed in the media. I focused in on 1 paper which I would like to share. You can read it for yourself here.
The paper was a Randomized Controlled Trial (the gold standard for research) and looked at 135 overweight individuals aged 18-65, with a BMI of 32 kg/m2 (overweight is 25-29 and 30+ is considered obese). They gave the control group a G. cambogia supplement containing 50% HCA. The total dose of HCA is 1500 mg per day or 3x 500mg capsules 30 minutes before meals for 12 weeks.
Here is what made the paper interesting. They regulated calorie intake to 5040 kJ per day in both groups, which equals 1500 kcal/day. Surprise! Both groups lost weight, and the placebo group actually lost more than the control group (4.1 vs 3.2 kg in 12 weeks). Now there are other papers I stumbled upon which showed that the supplement does help lose a little weight. However, the results were not statistically significant from a placebo though.
I picked this article to share because with a calorie deficit you should lose weight. The easiest way is see how many calories you consume is to use a tracker. I like and use the iPhone app MyfitnessPal, because it is user friendly and has many foods already with the macronutrients already.
All in all, the basics of Garcinia cambogia:
Recommendations if you do chose to try HCA
I am not here to discourage you, but I am being real. There are no miracle weight loss supplements. These companies sell pseudo-science and prey on false hope. If you want to lose weight you have to eat right and exercise. Sadly, our bodies are more efficient at storing energy than burning it.
You do not gain weight over night and you can not lose it overnight. It takes time to gain weight, and it takes even longer to lose it. Take charge of your health!