Archive for January, 2009

Losing Weight or Keeping It Off

Posted by 31 January, 2009 As diet,health,healthy diet,maintain weight loss,quick weight loss,weight loss (0) Comment

What is most important? Losing weight or keeping it off? The answer seems to be losing. Fast.

Every dieter is looking for the formula that will provide the quickest weight loss possible. Of course, time is critical as we know by experience that we will not be able to stick to the diet for any longer period of time. Sooner or later there will be off plan eating. Sooner or later, the deprivation will lead to a binge. We just hope that it will never happen. Still, it always does.

A “successful” diet is one where the on-plan eating produces a larger pound loss than what is regained during off-plan incidents. We might even reach goal. Yay! And then what?

There is no glory in maintenance. No rewards. Not seeing a lower scale number every day. Nobody telling you: “Wow, you are just as thin now as six months ago!”

Media is not helpful. Programs like the Biggest Loser reinforce the idea that it’s all about losing weight. Quickly. At all costs. Diet sites feature weight loss success stories like “Cindy lost 100 pounds in 8 months.”

Or, the ridiculous Kimkins newsletters that try to sell that diet by saying that someone lost 10 pounds in a week. And that will tell me just what? If you have a substantial amount of weight to lose, it is not difficult to drop 10 pounds in a week by not eating. But how long can you continue to do that? Will those 10 pounds stay off even a month? A year? 10 years?

What’s the point in losing weight if it doesn’t stay off?

Restrictive diets don’t work. Find a way of eating that you can do for life. With healthy choices (and you know what those are) you might not end up model thin, but there is a good chance that you will reach a healthy weight range. That you can maintain.

Beware of “Natural” Weight Loss Supplements

Posted by 10 January, 2009 As diet,diet pills,diet supplements,health,healthy diet,quick weight loss,weight loss (0) Comment

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that there is a range of diet pills being sold nationwide, as well as over the internet, that are now considered unsafe.

FDA suggests to consult with your health care professional before taking dietary supplements to treat obesity or other diseases. All consumers should be familiar with the following signs of health fraud:

  • Promises of an “easy” fix for problems like excess weight, hair loss, or impotency.
  • Claims such as “scientific breakthrough,” “miraculous cure,” “secret ingredient,” and “ancient remedy.”
  • Impressive-sounding terms, such as “hunger stimulation point” and “thermogenesis” for a weight loss product.
  • Claims that the product is safe because it is “natural.”
  • Undocumented case histories or personal testimonials by consumers or doctors claiming amazing results.
  • Promises of no-risk, money-back guarantees.

I would like to add “studies suggest” or “extensive research indicates” or “patented.” None of these statements really say that what was studied, researched or patented actually did anything.

But when I first saw this announcement a couple of weeks back, I was under the impression that while these pills / supplements were completely useless, they might not really pose much danger. Not so. Reading closer, I find that these “natural supplements” may “contain prescription drugs in amounts that greatly exceed their maximum recommended dose.”

The updated (01/08/2009) list includes the following products:

Contains Sibutramine

  • 2 Day Diet
  • 2 Day Diet Slim Advance
  • 2x Powerful Slimming
  • 3 Day Diet
  • 3 Days Fit
  • 3x Slimming Power
  • 5x Imelda Perfect Slimming
  • 7 Day Herbal Slim
  • 7 Days Diet
  • 7 Diet
  • 7 Diet Day/Night Formula
  • 8 Factor Diet
  • Eight Factor Diet
  • 21 Double Slim
  • 24 Hours Diet
  • 999 Fitness Essence
  • BioEmagrecim
  • Body Creator
  • Body Shaping
  • Body Slimming
  • Cosmo Slim
  • Extrim Plus
  • Extrim Plus 24 Hour Reburn
  • Fasting Diet
  • Fatloss Slimming
  • GMP
  • Imelda Fat Reducer
  • Imelda Perfect Slim
  • JM Fat Reducer
  • Lida DaiDaihua
  • Meili
  • Meizitang
  • Miaozi MeiMiaoQianZiJiaoNang
  • Miaozi Slim Capsules
  • Natural Model
  • Perfect Slim
  • Perfect Slim 5x
  • Perfect Slim Up
  • Powerful Slim
  • ProSlim Plus
  • Reduce Weight
  • Royal Slimming Formula
  • Sana Plus
  • Slim 3 in 1
  • Slim 3 in 1 Extra Slim Formula
  • Slim 3 in 1 Extra Slim Waist Formula
  • Slim 3 in 1 M18 Royal Diet
  • Slim 3 in 1 Slim Formula
  • Slim Burn
  • Slim Express 4 in 1
  • Slim Express 360
  • Slim Fast
  • Slim Tech
  • Slim Up
  • Slim Waist Formula
  • Slim Waistline
  • Sliminate
  • Slimming Formula
  • Somotrim
  • Super Fat Burner
  • Superslim
  • Super Slimming
  • Trim 2 Plus
  • Triple Slim
  • Venom Hyperdrive 3.0
  • Waist Strength Formula
  • Zhen de Shou

Contains Rimonabant

  • Phyto Shape

Contains Phenytoin

  • 3x Slimming Power
  • Extrim Plus

Contains Phenolphthalein

  • 8 Factor Diet
  • 24 Hours Diet
  • Fatloss Slimming
  • Imelda Perfect Slim
  • Perfect Slim 5x
  • Royal Slimming Formula
  • Superslim
  • Zhen de Shou

Contains Bumetanide

  • Starcaps

FDA details what these ingredients do:

Sibutramine is a Schedule IV controlled substance and the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Meridia, an approved prescription drug to treat obesity. Some of the identified products recommend taking more than 3 times the recommended daily dosage of sibutramine. Because of this, even consumers without a history of health problems that take these high doses of sibutramine may suffer serious adverse effects if they take these products, such as increased blood pressure, tachycardia, palpitations, and seizure.

Rimonabant is the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Zimulti which has not been approved in the United States. In Europe the drug is known as Acomplia. In June 2007, the FDA Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee unanimously voted not to recommend approval of the drug because of increased risk of neurological and psychiatric side effects—seizures, depression, anxiety, insomnia, aggressiveness, and suicidal thoughts among patients. In June of 2008, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency of the United Kingdom linked rimonabant to 5 deaths and 720 adverse reactions over the past two years. In October, the European Medicines Agency recommended that marketing and sales of Accomplia be suspended due to safety concerns.

Phenolphthalein was an ingredient in some Over-the-Counter laxative products until 1999 when the FDA reclassified the drug as “not generally recognized as safe and effective” after studies indicated that phenolphthalein presented a potential carcinogenic risk. Phenolphthalein has also been found to be genotoxic in that it can damage or cause mutations to DNA.

Phenytoin is the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Dilantin, an approved anti-seizure medication.

Bumetanide is a the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Bumex, a prescription diuretic. Potential risks associated with the use of Bumetanide include serious and significant fluid and electrolyte loss and an elevation in uric acid concentrations.

The Worst Diet Promotions Of 2008

Posted by 5 January, 2009 As diet (1) Comment

The Slim Chance Awards have been announced, awarding the worst diet promotions of 2008. The Slim Chance Awards are a part of the upcoming Healthy Weight Week which encourages people to live actively, eat nutritionally and normally, and to respect and feel good about themselves and others. “It’s a time to celebrate the diversity of real women, as well as men, and to help them shift focus from failed and risky weight loss efforts to being healthy at their natural sizes. Healthy Weight Week is a time for people to move ahead with a new approach and build confident, diet-free lives for themselves and those they love.

“The 20th Annual Slim Chance Awards are announced at year’s end as a lead up to Rid the World of Fad Diets & Gimmicks Day, Jan 20, 2009, Tuesday of Healthy Weight Week (the third full week in January). They expose the widespread fraud and quackery in the weight loss field, and are aimed at helping consumers move on from chronic dieting to improving their lives in more positive and lasting ways.

They are truly the “worst” of the worst of the many weight-loss products and programs that flood the internet, the airwaves, and the pages of print materials in seemingly increasing numbers. Diet quackery defrauds, disables and kills.”


And Here They Are:

MOST OUTRAGEOUS CLAIM: Kevin Trudeau infomercials. It’s rare that regulatory agencies look at books, given our free speech laws, but the infomercials for Kevin Trudeau’s weight loss book and his repeated violations were just too much for the Federal Trade Commission, and this past August he was fined over $5 million and banned from infomercials for three years. In “willful efforts” to deceive, Trudeau told listeners they could easily follow the diet protocol at home, even though his book calls for human growth hormone injections and colonics that must be done by a licensed practitioner. The tortured case began in 1998 when FTC charged Trudeau with false and misleading diet infomercials. In 2003 he was charged with false claims; in 2004 he was fined $2 million and banned from infomercials. Again in 2007 a contempt action said he misled thousands with false claims for his weight loss book “in flagrant violation” of court orders.

WORST GIMMICK: Skineez jeans ($139). A new item in the fight against cellulite, Skineez jeans are impregnated with a so-called “medication” of retinol and chitosan, a shellfish product once claimed to cut fat absorption in the stomach (see 1999 Slim Chance Awards). Friction between the jeans and skin supposedly triggers release of the substance, which goes to work on fat when absorbed through the skin. Reportedly a big hit in Europe, the “smart fabric” is also used in lingerie. Ironically, the creators of Skineez, Clothes for a Cause, profess to raise funds for breast cancer and “a wide range of other socially conscious charities.” So while the company hoodwinks women into buying an expensive pair of jeans, it promises they can “do good with every purchase … As our sales grow, so will our ability to help others.” FTC, however, is clear about such gimmicks, emphasizing that products worn or rubbed on the skin do not cause weight loss or fat loss.

WORST CLAIM: AbGONE. Throughout 2008 full page ads assaulted the eye in daily newspapers across the country touting AbGONE as “proven to promote pot belly loss.” Claims are that AbGONE increases “fat metabolism” and calorie burn, promotes appetite suppression and inhibits future abdominal fat deposits. These are drug claims that, if true, would alter the body’s regulation, but unlike drugs, the pills are sold as food supplements not requiring FDA approval. The bold ads feature the obligatory before and after shots of models, cut-away sketches of the abdomen with and without belly fat, and a white-coated researcher with chart purportedly confirming success of 5 times reduction in fat mass, 4 times lower BMI, 4 times greater weight loss than placebo. No added diet and exercise needed – well, except, you may want to heed the fine print disclaimer at the bottom that reminds us “diet and exercise are essential.”

WORST PRODUCT: Kimkins diet. It must have seemed an easy way to get rich quick. Founder Heidi “Kimmer” Diaz set up a website and charged members a fee to access the Kimkins diet, boasting they could lose up to 5 percent of their body weight in 10 days. “Better than gastric bypass,” there was “no faster diet,” and in fact she herself had lost 198# in 11 months. Stunning “after” photos were displayed. In June 2007 Women’s World ran it as a cover story, and that month alone PayPal records show the Kimkins site took in over $1.2 million. Then users began complaining of chest pains, hair loss, heart palpitations, irritability and menstrual irregularities. This was not surprising since Kimkins is essentially a starvation diet, down to 500 calories per day and deficient in many nutrients (appallingly, laxatives are advised to replace missing fiber). In a lawsuit, 11 former members are uncovering a vast record of Diez’s alleged fraud. They found that the stunning “after” photos, including one of Kimmer herself, had been lifted from a Russian mail order bride site. According to a deposition reported by Los Angeles TV station KTLA, Diaz admitted using fake pictures, fake stories and fake IDs, and a judge has allowed the litigants to freeze some of her assets.

20 years worth of Slim Chance Awards