Weight Loss Herbs Reality or Scam?

If you are on Facebook you’ve seen those remarkable ads where someone has gone from overweight to a magically ripped body almost overnight.  I hate to disillusion anyone but these claims are simply not true!  A quick rule of thumb is; do they suddenly have a hardbody?  There is no pill or supplement on the planet that can cause this without exercise. 

There are some herbs that can help to decrease appetite and improve the efficiency of the digestive function.  Here are 3 that range from bad to good.

 canstockphoto20861744 garcinia

Garcinia Cambogia 

This is actually the Malabar tamarind.  People have been eating it for centuries as fruit.  Its rind has even been made into chutneys.  It has also been dried to help with stomach problems.  This leads to the question; if it has been used for that long a period of time why aren’t there amazing stories about weight loss.  This is because the supplement is pretty much a scam.

In all the research I did on this I didn’t see one decent study.  The active ingredient in garcinia is hydroxycitric acid.  In vitro it has been shown to block fat production, however in human trials there was either no difference between garcinia and placebo or a minimal weight reduction.  The side effects of garcinia can include reduced blood glucose, liver problems and shrunken testicles.

Eating the fruit or eating a chutney with garcinia is pretty much safe for most people.  It is the supplements that can cause the harm.  In my opinion there needs to be a lot more convincing evidence before I would ever recommend it to people.

canstockphoto24495113green coffee 

Green Coffee Beans

Green coffee is simply coffee beans that have not been roasted.  Although you may think that it is the caffeine in the beans that causes it’s benefits for weight loss it is actually Chlorogenic acid.  Chlorogenic acid is thought to effect how the body handles blood sugar.  It is also thought to have a metabolic effect.

Over 15 studies have been published showing that people who consume 6 or 7 cups daily are 35% less likely to have type 2 diabetes.  People who consumed 4-6 cups per day were 28% less likely to have type 2 diabetes.  The studies showed that this held true regardless of sex or geographical location.

These Studies were done using roasted coffee beans.  Green coffee beans would likely have a stronger effect since roasting can diminish the health benefits.  

Remember that there is caffeine in green coffee supplements so you would have the same reaction you have to drinking coffee.

 canstockphoto5842517chocolate swirl

Chocolate

I love writing about chocolate.  Perhaps that’s because I’m allergic to processed chocolate.  Unprocessed chocolate, however has many health benefits.  For a fuller story see my blog here 

One of the benefits of eating cacao nibs or cacao beans is that it is an appetite suppressant.  The magnesium in chocolate, in addition for being extremely good for your heart, also acts as an appetite suppressant.  The chromium and vanadium in chocolate help regulate blood sugar levels.  Cacao is also a stimulant so it increases the metabolism as well as giving extra energy. 

By now it is clear that the weight loss benefits of herbs come from their ability to regulate blood sugar, appetite and metabolism.  There is one other aspect that I want to include here. 

As a Hypnotherapist and a junkie about how the mind, brain and subconscious work I need to include another fact here.  If you don’t include changing your thoughts and feelings and deal with issues in your life, you will probably remove weight short term but gain it back plus more.  Body and mind are connected.  Research is proving this more and more every day. 

THIS BLOG IS NOT INTENDED TO REPLACE THE ADVICE OF YOUR DOCTOR.

Reference:

http://www.livescience.com/39243-garcinia-cambogia-supplement-facts.html

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1264-green%20coffee.aspx?activeingredientid=1264&activeingredientname=green%20coffee

http://www.joyhypnotherapy.com/flavonols-and-chocolate/

http://www.joyhypnotherapy.com/antioxidants-and-cacao-health-benefits-of-chocolate/