Diet Pills Do Fat a Lot of Good

Diet Pills Do Fat a Lot of Good
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Common slimming supplements are found to be ineffective, whereas a diet centered on whole plant foods is described as perhaps the safest approach to weight control.

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A billion people in the world are now overweight. And, that’s great news for the $13 billion weight loss supplement industry. Reported at the International Congress on Obesity in Stockholm recently—a review of common “slimming supplements” versus placebo, and not one worked better than the sugar pills.

No evidence that any of these food supplements provide adequate treatment for weight loss, so looks like we’ll just have to stick with food.

That was the conclusion reached in a similar review out of the Weight Management Center at Johns Hopkins recently, which ended with this: “[I]t is fitting to highlight that perhaps the most general and safest alternative/herbal approach to weight control is to substitute low-energy density foods for high-energy density and processed foods, thereby reducing total energy intake. [In other words, more whole plant foods and fewer animals and junk.] By taking advantage of the low-energy density and health-promoting effects of plant-based foods, one may be able to achieve weight loss, or at least assist weight maintenance without cutting down on the volume of food consumed or compromising its nutrient value.”

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Kerry Skinner.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

A billion people in the world are now overweight. And, that’s great news for the $13 billion weight loss supplement industry. Reported at the International Congress on Obesity in Stockholm recently—a review of common “slimming supplements” versus placebo, and not one worked better than the sugar pills.

No evidence that any of these food supplements provide adequate treatment for weight loss, so looks like we’ll just have to stick with food.

That was the conclusion reached in a similar review out of the Weight Management Center at Johns Hopkins recently, which ended with this: “[I]t is fitting to highlight that perhaps the most general and safest alternative/herbal approach to weight control is to substitute low-energy density foods for high-energy density and processed foods, thereby reducing total energy intake. [In other words, more whole plant foods and fewer animals and junk.] By taking advantage of the low-energy density and health-promoting effects of plant-based foods, one may be able to achieve weight loss, or at least assist weight maintenance without cutting down on the volume of food consumed or compromising its nutrient value.”

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Kerry Skinner.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to actoslawsuithelp.org

Doctor's Note

So many supplements are useless (see my videos Dietary Supplement Snake Oil, and Some Dietary Supplements May Be More Than a Waste Of Money)—regardless of what one might be told in a natural food store (see my video series Health Food Store Supplement AdviceBad Advice From Health Food Store EmployeesDangerous Advice From Health Food Store Employees; and Pharmacists Versus Health Food Store Employees: Who Gives Better Advice?). You can also search for other videos on diet supplements, like Milk Protein vs. Soy Protein, and thousands of other topics!

For further context, check out my associated blog post, Plant-Based Workplace Intervention.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

17 responses to “Diet Pills Do Fat a Lot of Good

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  1. So many supplements are useless (see my video Dietary Supplement Snake Oil and Some Dietary Supplements May Be More Than a Waste Of Money), regardless of what one might be told in a natural food store (see my video series Health Food Store Supplement Advice, Bad Advice From Health Food Store Employees, Dangerous Advice From Health Food Store Employees, and Pharmacists Versus Health Food Store Employees: Who Gives Better Advice?). I think I only have one other video on diet supplements. But have hundreds on videos on a thousand other topics.

    If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.




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  2. I always thought that people who take slimming supplements do it so they can take a short cut to weight loss, yet continue their unhealthy diets and maybe even intensify it. Looks like another “more plants, less inferior food” moment.




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  3. Since beginning my plant-based journey 6 months ago, I have lost 30 lbs., and I have lowered all of those life-threatening numbers to more healthful levels. That is wonderful, yes; but the best part is: I am enjoying food like never before. I eat more and more variety. Win-Win!




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  4. Sure, some of these supps are a bit over the top, but personally I’d think twice before dismissing the potential of things like tea polyphenols, b-vitamins, chromium, etc. for weight management. It’s not going to counteract baconators, but it can be a positive addition to a decent diet.




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  5. Unfortunately, there are two things going on here that hinder weight loss.
    The first is many people want results NOW, results that they think they’ll get with pills and other nostrums.
    The second is that a plant-strong low-density high-nutrient diet isn’t “sexy”, it doesn’t have the razzle-dazzle attraction of exotic- or scientific-sounding weight loss products.
    Until this segment of the population realizes that food, what type and how much, is the answer these weight loss supplement companies will continue to rake in the big bucks.




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  6. I agree that a whole food vegan diet is the key to weight control. The review cited from the Nutrition Bulletin makes many mistakes, the most egregious is…
    “protein-rich foods (meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein)
    are the fundamental principles of a healthy balanced diet and should be part of a sensible weight-loss programme…” The author’s contraindications for caffeine, green tea, and other supplements are overly dramatic and inaccurate.




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  7. Some of these diets even advertise that you can take this pill and you don’t even have to change you way of eating, just take the pill. Never took diet anything, my way of keeping slim is portion control and veggie fruit menu as I’m vegetarian




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  8. Hi Dr. Greger,
    I so enjoy your nutrition facts. I very, very much want to know is how does the body absorb fat/ release fat. I can’t believe it is entirely calories in/out. Or is it? I am wondering about glycogenesis. I understand that when glycogenesis takes place, 25% or so of the calories is used in the conversion (vs 3% of fat absorption) of glucose to lipid. What are the conditions for this to take place? Also, under what conditions does lipolysis take place? What is the role of insulin? Iin other words how do we get fat and how do we get skinny? Wondering if anyone knows. Why, if you are running and you run out of glucose, why doesn’t the body just automatically click over to burning fat? It doesn’t seem to do that. I just get tired. Please let me know if there is another resource other than google which doesn’t really answer all my questions.

    Thanks so much.




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    1. It is about calories in/out since you can’t violate the laws of thermodynamics. That said there are other factors such as the hormone leptin which goes up with exercise and low fat diets… the effect is suppression of appetite and increase in peripheral metabolism. It is also true that the body converts certain fuels to energy or storage more efficiently than others depending on which metabolic pathway you are talking about. Once your body runs out of glucose which it gets from stored glycogen in liver and muscle it does automatically cut over to burning fat and protein actually about 50/50 unless you are eating food as you exercise. This is common in endurance athletes such as cyclists. Scott Jurek discusses this in his book Eat & Run. Unfortunately getting in condition for aerobic events takes awhile time as the body learns to store glycogen, more efficiently burn fat, improve cardiac output and increase the mitochondria in the muscles. By eating plant based diet your colon’s bacteria will be able to modify the fiber in your diet to two carbon fragments which can be absorbed and utilized by muscles… aka carbohydrate loading. Your colon can contribute up to 10% of your calories this way. It’s too bad that it takes so long to get in shape and so little time to get out of shape :-( ! Good luck.




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  9. Please could you tell me whether there is any real evidence that Garcinia Cambogia helps with weight loss? Dr. OZ is promoting heavily but when I looked up the evidence on line I found none. So is it useful or just the latest money maker targeting folk who want to be slimmer?

    Thanks again for all your great information about diet.




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  10. Would about caffeine (No more than 5-6 mg/kg per day) , green
    tea extract (500-900 mg), and
    yohimbine (2.5 mg/kg) for fat loss? Are they safe and effective?




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  11. Plexus, “Le-Vel Thrive”and other accelerators/supplements/diet drinks.. you don’t have a topic for these yet. I have several friends that are really into Plexus and some others that are really into Le-Vel. I don’t know much about the products and am not interested in taking them. They’re having tons of success and that’s great but I’d just like to see what you guys think about it / if you have followed any of them yet. Additionally, wouldn’t you have to always buy these in order to keep the weight off? Isn’t it easier and much healthier to just change to a mostly plant based diet and deal with the palate change adjustment? http://pinkdrinkamerica.blogspot.com/2013/10/plexus-slim-cost-vs-its-competitors.html This thread has a bunch of diet systems from a few years ago and cost analysis, plexus being one of them.




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