We all want to lose a little fat or flab here and there, we’d prefer certain areas a bit more defined and certain areas a little less curvy. It’s a human dilemma I doubt will ever go away. And the society we live in doesn’t make things easier one bit. You go outside and you see billboards with ‘perfect’ models. You decide to avoid the outside completely and stay indoors but again you see those ‘perfect’ models on your phone and you can’t help envying them. Even though the ‘perfect’ is achieved through unhealthy eating habits and a truckload of editing (but who cares these days).
The big problem now is not everyone is keen on the idea of a gym membership or all that dieting, which is the truest, safest but longest way to achieve that ‘perfect’ body. I mean, imagine not being allowed to eat carbs (God forbid!). Almost every good food falls on under that class.
As a result of this, we seek other less stressful routes. We have the option of Surgery and Slimming products. And of course, for those not willing to splash out on a good doctor just yet, we go for the Slimming products.
In my previous diary entry, I addressed the issue of body enhancement (or enlargement) products. I made clear how it works and broke down if it actually does work as it claims.
On this entry, I’m going to be focusing on slimming products. Breaking down the science behind them as well. Do they really remove an extra inch as they claim? And if yes, how do they do that? What’s the science behind it? Is it credible? Or another expertly disguised bull?!
What are slimming products
These usually come in the form of pills, teas and weird concoctions for oral intake or creams and lotions to be applied topically.
Weight-loss/ slimming creams
These are creams designed with the aim of burning body fat. It is a rather simple alternative to rigorous sweaty workouts. All you need to do is apply the cream thoroughly on the area you’d like trimmed down and it absorbs into the skin burning fat and also removing cellulite in the process. The big question is it really that simple, surely no one should have an issue with weight loss anymore.
Weight loss pills/concoctions
These are supplements or liquids consumed with the aim of aiding weight loss. They contain certain ingredients that work to increase fat burning while reducing its absorption and also suppressing appetite. These products could be prescription or over the counter. Weight loss pills could come in the form of appetite suppressants, anorexiant drugs, etc. Diet pills vary largely depending on its components and because of that the side effects may differ for each.
Science Behind them…
Weight-loss/ slimming creams
Weight- loss creams (also referred to as transdermal creams) work through a process called Lipolysis. Yeah, you probably heard it before in biology class. Lipolysis is simply the breakdown of fats in our body through hydrolysis. When we apply these creams, they work to loosen fat-storing tissues which are then released into the bloodstreams and used as energy. Doing this, vasodilation (movement of fatty acids) is enhanced, this generally improves the appearance of skin and removes cellulite. As these creams target fat just under the surface of the skin.
Unlike transdermal creams, pills have an extremely broad variety with different types of dietary pills have their own unique method of dealing with fat. Despite this, I’m going to try outlining a few of the common weight-loss pills and how they work.
Garcinia gummi-gutta according to Wikipedia is a tropical species of Garcinia native to Indonesia. Also known as Garcinia Cambogia. It contains hydro citric acid, which supposedly aids weight- loss. This was the first dietary pill I came across through the Forever Living Products dietary range many years back. Although it received a lot of recognition for its impact on weight-loss, evidence behind such claims are still unclear.
We are all well acquainted with this one. Some love it, some hate it. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant, the world’s most consumed psychoactive drug. It is commonly found in coffee, teas, sodas, and sometimes chocolate. Due to claims of it improving our metabolism process, and also having a little effect as an appetite suppressant, it is widely used in diet pills/drinks to aid the reduction of fat. Although all these effects are anything but permanent.
Green tea which originated in China, is a type of tea that is made from Camellia sinensis leaves and buds that have not undergone the same withering and oxidation process used to make oolong teas and black teas. A lot of diet pills and drinks contain green tea extract. It is known to increase fat burning, improve metabolic rate and in some cases suppress appetite.
Do they really Work?
Weight-loss/ slimming creams
The big question. After all the long science talk, does it actually do all it claims? Well, here’s the thing. Although these creams might help you to some extent on your weight-loss journey, it cannot be solely dependent on. Like I aforementioned, these creams work almost only on the fat the near surface of the skin. This leads us to believe that, they most likely just give you the illusion of weight loss. What on earth am I trying to say? Using just the creams without exercising, will work as far as temporarily -for as long as you use it- getting rid of cellulite, smooth out uneven/ bumpy areas and the likes. This certainly gives the skin a trimmed down and better appearance but hit the scales and there’s little to no change. You get my drift now? Good.
Once again, my answer is ‘not really’. It would be a big NO if you aren’t adding something extra with that pill or drink. These products can help you lose at most around 8 pounds which is 3—4kg in a few months’ time. Not much if you’re looking to actually see a difference. I’d recommend good weight- loss pills for those with BMI (body mass index) at 30 and above or a medical condition, such as Hypertension, diabetes, etc. and you need to lose some clinical pounds. By ‘clinical pounds’, I mean pounds that can considerably make a difference to one’s health condition but makes no difference physically or for those looking to trim down.
Side Effects (Long term?)
Although no long-term effect has been noticed, some side effects can still be experienced with inappropriate use. Some of which Include:
- Excessive Sweating
- Loss of Appetite
- Rash/ Itching
- Addiction (usually for pills)
- Insomnia (pills)
- Swelling of legs and ankles (pills)
- High Blood Pressure (pills with caffeine)
Should you really buy them? (Verdict)
From what we know thus far, these slimming products do work to a modest extent. Slimming creams have more of a temporal beautifying/firming effect. If you follow it up with proper exercise and diet, it might just quicken the process of fat burning in areas applied.
Pills and drinks, although a bit more effective in actually burning fat as it works from the inside, you see little to no difference physically besides a slight drop in the scale figures.
Basically, there’s no magic with these things. They can never work if you just sit back rub/swallow then relax. You need to put in the effort too. It seems we really can’t escape it, a proper diet and exercise. That’s the only way besides surgery of course, and even with surgery you’ll still come back to diet and exercise to maintain it.
As for the pills, in some cases, it can be prescribed by doctors to their patients. There are also notable non-prescription pills out there. Transdermal creams on the other hand, although not usually prescribed, don’t leave you with any life-threatening side effects. If you purchase a good brand, you should be good.
But here’s a little list to help you avoid the bad ones that might actually cause life-threatening effects or waste your money.
- Steer clear of products promising rapid weight- loss in so and so number of days.
- Steer clear of products that are not transparent about the product contents.
- Avoid buying these kinds of things from a random store online
- If it’s ridiculously cheap, you should be suspicious
- Ensure you trust the product brand and manufacturers. Make sure it’s a veritable brand anyone can attest to and not some ‘miracle brand’ with some wonder cream or pill.
- Ensure you check the product label to ensure you don’t react to anything in there.
- Ensure you follow these slimming products up with proper exercise and diet (Ha! And we thought we were free)
- If you have a present medical condition or are on any medication, make sure to check with your doctor if it’s safe to use both