The Worst Diet Scams

9SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
12/1/2011 2:00 PM   :  130 comments   :  174,604 Views

See More: weight loss, health, diet,
More than 2/3 of Americans are overweight or obese (source), and we spend more than $40 billion a year on weight loss, much of it on pills, gadgets, and creams that don't live up to their lofty claims.

When you're desperate to change your life, and you're just starting out, it's hard to know what's truth and what's hype. Everything sounds like the secret to losing weight, finding happiness, and becoming your best you!

Late-night infomercials boast major fat burning with stunning before-and-after photos.

Magazine ads claim that a pricey cream is key to flat abs.

Celebrities tout shoes that promise a tighter, more toned posterior just by walking!

Sounds too good to be true, right?

That's because it usually is. You already know 12 Ways to Spot a Fad Diet, but the latest scams go beyond mere dieting. We asked our experts to weigh in on the year's worst diet rip-offs. Find out how to avoid falling for slick marketing ploys--before you spend any money.

When it comes to weight loss, the #1 rule is: If it sounds too good to be true, it is! 

Rip-Off #1: Toning shoes and clothes


Toning shoes claim to have an uneven, unstable sole that mimics balancing on a wobbleboard. Each brand and style is different, and many major shoe companies offer at least one style of the shoes, from sandals and sneakers to clogs.

The shoes' unique soles and extra cushioning purport to force the muscles to work harder as you walk. The wearer's abs, glutes and legs "tone up" as they compensate for the unsteady sole, thus leading to an increased calorie burn, advocates say. Several reputable shoe companies have sponsored studies of their products (most of the studies are not peer-reviewed, it should be pointed out) that claim that these shoes led to increased weight loss and greater toning. 

Toning clothes
have tiny resistance bands sewn into them, which force the body to work harder with every step. The clothing restricts movement slightly, and the slim fit is intended to make the wearer appear thinner.

One study did find that wearing resistance tights while walking on a treadmill burned more calories-- but only when walking uphill. Research on this clothing (which can range from $50 to upwards of $200 per piece) is limited, but much of what we read about this clothing warned that such clothing could do more harm than good--either by restricting circulation or interfering with natural movement—and that the supposed benefits are probably very small.

Our expert says: "These products are marketed as if they are able to help women tone their legs and butt, but we know that losing weight from a specific area of the body (known as “spot training”) is NOT possible. The only studies that cited the shoes' benefits were about muscle activation—not long-term safety, actual increases in strength or actual increased muscle tone or weight loss—and the studies were very small, short-lived and conducted and/or funded by the companies selling the products. My expert opinion is that the advertisements for these shoes were very misleading to consumers, and that they were never proven either safe or effective at doing anything more than changing the way you walk mildly, which may change the way your muscles activate in the short term.

"That is not the same thing as weight loss or toning the legs, and it’s unlikely that the 'novelty' of a minimal increase in muscle activation will provide any tangible results in one’s body. That the FTC is now after these manufacturers for deceptive advertising should tell you for sure that they do not do what they claim." – Coach Nicole Nichols, certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor and health educator
 
Money saved: $50-$200


Rip-off #2: Slim-down creams and lotions


Orange peel thighs. Cottage cheese legs. Flabby bellies. Long after you've lost the weight, the cellulite and loose skin sticks around for many. Rather than consider them badges of honor, memories of where we've been, we try everything we can to get rid of them--including rubbing on pricey creams and lotions that boast the ability to smooth and tighten skin--and reduce the appearance of cellulite, which is simply subcutaneous (below the skin) fat that is pushed to the surface.

Many of these creams, which can be found at drug stores, in fancy department stores and online, boast caffeine or one of its derivatives as its miracle ingredient. There is no magic fat-burning ingredient, caffeine included, but the same chemical that gives your coffee its jolt can have a temporary diuretic effect on your skin and increase blood flow to the area where it was applied, thus making it appear smoother and tighter--but only for a short time and not enough to suddenly cause you to lose inches or unwanted pounds. The cellulite is still there, and when the diuretic effect wears off, your skin will return to "normal"--cellulite and all.  

The FTC has singled out one manufacturer for false advertising
, and others have been under scrutiny by the media as well.  (Test your knowledge about cellulite.)

Our expert says: "Because cellulite is fat, losing weight (if you are overweight) may help diminish the appearance of cellulite as the size of your fat cells decrease. There is no way to 'spot train' any area of the body. Cardio exercise helps burn fat from all over the body and enhances fat loss. Strength training is important for both weight loss and overall health as well, but simply targeting the areas of your cellulite (hamstrings, buttocks, or abs for example) will not make it go away.

"Many people can lose weight and notice an improved appearance in cellulite, but it's no guarantee. Because it's so closely linked to factors that you can't control (genetics, gender, hormones), losing weight may not completely get rid of cellulite.

"Creams, treatments, massage techniques, and other cellulite therapies do NOT get rid of cellulite. While some products may help diminish the appearance of it through hydration or firming of the outer layers of the skin, these results are temporary won't result in actual fat loss." -- Coach Nicole Nichols, certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor and health educator

Money saved: $15-$100+


Rip-off #3: Body wraps

Lose inches overnight--no exercise needed! Slim down by the weekend, without lifting a finger!

Body wraps are all the rage these days, and when you read those lofty claims, you can understand why. They sound more like a spa treatment than a part of a healthy weight-loss plan.

Made of natural or synthetic cloths that are applied to various body areas for hours (or even days), these body wraps claim to reduce the size of the body parts to which they are applied.

One company claims: "Expect 'ultimate' results with this amazing 45-minute body wrap! The wrap is infused with a powerful, botanically-based formula to deliver maximum tightening, toning, and firming results where applied to the skin."
Experts discredit the claims that the wraps can result in fat loss. Sure, you can moisturize your skin with these wraps, and you might lose some water weight from sweating, but that's only temporary. Those claims of losing pounds are likely a result of dehydration, experts say.

Our expert says: "Did you know that the human body can hold five to six pounds of water? We've all struggled with annoying 'water weight' gain from time to time, for various reasons: menstruation or hormonal changes, too much salty food, medications, or edema chief among them. While these pounds certainly count when you hop on the scale, they are temporary--and they're the weight that you lose when you suddenly shed large amounts of weight. When you use a body wrap, the lost inches are either a result of sweating or the redistribution of fluids to other parts of the body.

"And remember that just as you can't 'spot-tone' one particular body part, you also can't shed weight from one part of the body at a time." -- Tanya Jolliffe, nutrition expert

Money saved: $20-$450 per wrap


Rip-off #4: Acai berry, hoodia and other exotic supplements or food additives
 

Lose 20 pounds in 2 days with hoodia!
Açaí flush is the secret to weight loss.
"Ginseng helped me shed unwanted pounds and keep my energy up!"
 
Every year, there is a new exotic ingredient on the market that's being touted as the next best weight-loss supplement. Hoodia and acai are still popping up all over the Internet, but they're not alone on store shelves and in Google searches for "diet supplements."
 
While manufacturers would like you to believe that these plants are harmless and will spur massive weight loss, there is no one food or supplement that is the key to losing pounds and keeping them off.
 
We could list any number of bogus supplements and their purported benefits here, but acai and hoodia are two of the biggest culprits this year.
 
Know this: Not only has the FTC cracked down on fake news sites boasting diet and weight loss secrets related to acai, but the hoodia industry has also been the target of legal action.
 
Our experts say: "Berries are a rich source of vitamins and minerals; however, the health and weight loss claims being made by some companies that sell acai berry juice are not supported by scientific evidence.  When you combine an overpriced product with health claims that are not research based, it equals nutrition scam.

"For years the South African San bush people have used the succulent plant, Hoodia gordonii, to stave off hunger during long hunts.  A few preliminary and unpublished research studies indicate that there may be some type of appetite-suppressing mechanism from a molecule in Hoodia called P57. This molecule supposedly affects the hypothalamus of the brain to reduce appetite. Now this plant from the Kalahari Desert is being imported and made into Hoodia pills, tablets and capsules to supposedly help with hunger control for those trying to lose weight. However, there is no conclusive evidence to support these claims regarding appetite control and weight loss. For now, more evidence is needed to determine if Hoodia is effective for any clinical condition.   Beyond that, there is plenty of fake Hoodia on the market.   News reports suggest that some Hoodia products don't even contain any actual Hoodia." -- Becky Hand, R.D., L.D., SparkPeople Head Dietitian

"The supplement industry is not regulated the same way that prescription medications are because they are classifed as food products.  There are not enough independent clinical trials (or in most cases no clinical trials at all) to substantiate many of the incredible claims that these products make.  Unfortunately, there is a tendency for some of these products to be laced with actual prescription drugs that can have dangerous side effects.  The substance that you believe to be suppressing your appetite is actually an unlisted banned medication. If you buy any of these products, you must accept the risk that you may getting something in addition to what you think you are taking. Buyer beware." -- Dr. Birdie Varnedore, M.D.


Money saved: $20-$100/month

Rip-off #5: Protein-pushing pros

Let's start by saying that your body needs protein, which has the unique ability to build, repair, and maintain body cells and tissues like your skin, muscles, organs, blood, and even bones; form enzymes and hormones that enable your body to function normally; control your body’s acid-base balance; as antibodies, protect you from disease-carrying bacteria and viruses; maintain your fluid balance; and control your body’s acid-base balance. Protein helps you stay fuller longer and gives your meals and snacks staying power.

We also want to say that there is nothing inherently wrong with protein powders, supplements, and shakes; it's the way they are marketed that classifies them as a rip-off. Though trainers and manufacturers tell us we'll never lose weight, bulk up or slim down without them, most of us have no need for protein supplementation. For the average American, getting enough protein is not a concern.

Health organizations recommend limiting your protein intake to 10-35% of your total calorie needs. SparkPeople.com is programmed to calculate your protein baseline to be 20% of your total calorie intake. For someone who is consuming 2,000 calories, this would equal 100 grams of protein (at 4 calories per gram, equals 400 calories). In most cases, this example protein intake could still be considered healthy if it ranged from 50 grams (10% of intake) to 175 grams (35%).

Because most of our members are striving to meet weight loss goals, we also recommend a minimum level of protein—at least 60 grams daily for females and 75 grams daily for males. This requirement will help prevent muscle loss and promote feelings of fullness among dieters.
If you're an athlete or a bodybuilder, chances are you'll need more protein than the average person. But the rest of us, even those of us who are active, don't really need the added protein.

Our expert says: "Protein powders and supplements are probably the biggest scam of the year. Very few people need them when eating a healthy diet.  If you are within your SparkPeople protein range, then protein shakes are a complete waste of your money (they are pricey) and just a source of extra calories.  There are a few folks who are not getting in adequate protein from their food selections, so a protein shake can help. 
"The big scam comes in when trainers and others who try to sell these products to consumers--with no knowledge of their eating habits. For example, fitness trainers who look at a person and say, 'Hey, you need to use a protein shake after your workout.' Then the trainer says, 'And you can buy the protein shake from me personally.'---This SCREAMS of unethical and irresponsible practice!

"If you enjoy these products or need them, there's nothing to worry about. But if you feel at all pressured to buy fancy protein supplements from anyone--be it a trainer, a clerk at a vitamin store or a friend who's using the same product--just say no." -- Becky Hand, R.D., L.D., SparkPeople Head Dietitian

Money saved: $20-$50 per month

Rip-Off #6: HCG injections

Coach Nicole warned us about this wacky diet--which involves eating a strict diet of no more than 500 calories a day, plus injections (gulp!)--a couple of years ago. Yet now, just as then, hCG is a hot diet trend, heavily marketed in print and radio ads. It's so widely used that you probably even know someone who has tried it.
She said: "If you're completely changing your diet and eating a third of the calories you should be eating to stay healthy, it's hard to know what's really causing weight loss: the diet, the hCG injection/pill or both. Research shows that the restrictive diet is responsible—that hCG injections aren't really doing anything to promote weight loss. What's more, the FDA has never approved of hCG as a weight loss aid."

Our expert says: "Numerous double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical studies conducted between the 1970s and 1990s (see a list of selected sources below) have shown that hCG injections provide NO weight-loss advantage. In study after study, researchers compared two groups: a control group who followed the diet only and another group who followed the same diet AND received hCG injections. Time after time, the weight loss between the two groups was identical, demonstrating that hCG injections offer no weight-loss advantage over dieting alone. Or in layman's terms, "hCG injections have nothing to do with the weight loss. SAVE YOUR MONEY!" -- Becky Hand, R.D., L.D., SparkPeople Head Dietitian

Money saved: hundreds of dollars a year

At SparkPeople, we firmly believe that weight loss needs to be slow, safe, and gradual to be lasting--no exceptions. Our Success Stories speak for themselves.
Want to learn more about spotting fads and scams?

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Comments

  • CMCCROWELL
    130
    I know three people that have done the HcG diet (they've done the drops, not the shots) and have lost a ton of weight (35 pounds in 45 days) and have kept it off. She didn't end up all weird and flabby from quick weight loss. I also know two people who have used the wraps and I have seen their very visible results. The wraps however, are more for tightening, not losing weight.

    From my experience, HcG does help. When my fiance's mom finished her HcG diet, she gave me what was left of her bottle just to try. Being skeptical of the 500 calorie diet (anyone would lose weight on that little) I decided to eat normally (1200 calories or so of lean protein, greens, fruit and grains with a lil bit of chocolate to keep me sane) and take it. I lost ten pounds in one week (that's the amount that was leftover).

    The only reason why I'm not taking the drops is because it advises you against exercising. I love exercising and honestly need it on a daily basis in some form to stay happy. I also reaaally love food and do not like limited diets and I never last on them.

    - 9/4/2013   6:44:26 PM
  • 129
    I don't eat a lot of meat, so I use protein shakes/bars to help get enough in. It's VERY easy to fall into that trap, as some of them are honestly better than candy! But if you make your shakes yourself you can pack them with fruit and natural ingredients and keep them very healthy and low-calorie. And of course, track them all. - 7/2/2013   3:01:08 PM
  • 128
    I would not order ANY of the myriad of diet "aids". The latest that I have encountered are emails from friends/family (phony) under the auspices of Dr. Oz. He is speaking on each and every one. I no longer feel that he is authentic. - 6/20/2013   10:30:42 PM
  • DELLMEL
    127
    They just want your money. It's best to do it on your own. Help from SP. - 5/5/2013   3:30:20 PM
  • VUNNIEEEE
    126
    It's cheaper and healthier just to loose weight naturally. - 1/30/2012   9:00:01 PM
  • 125
    I am so glad that some of you noted your experience with SENSA. I thought it was too good to be true! Despite the bad rap FitFlops have received as weight-loss gimmicks, I have two pairs of them because they are the most comfortable shoes I own.

    I also am one of the few who does not get enough protein in my typical diet, so I supplement it with protein bars and protein shakes. Each is a great way to get the recommended amounts of protein daily without going over my calorie allotment. - 1/28/2012   10:47:50 PM
  • MARIEBRESEMAN
    124
    I really enjoyed the article. It was a real eye opener on a few of the items mentioned. I tried the Hcg diet and lost 17 pounds in a few weeks, but when in the 3rd week you are to increase your caleries to 700 I started to gain the weight back. I'm currently working with my DR. on a sensible diet. - 1/23/2012   9:17:09 PM
  • CMILLS440
    123
    I understand that HCG will not help you lose more weight than simply eating 500 calories a day. However, if I just ate 500 calories a day, I'd be ravenous all the time. With the HCG, I am on week 2 of the Simeon's protocol and down 13 pounds. I have never experienced hunger pangs! I have tried appetite suppressants, and these ARE different. They are doing something to my hunger and making my food seem more than enough with 2 100 g. of proteins, 2 veggies, 2 fruits, and 2 melba toasts per day.

    And, those who gain it back don't follow all the way through to the stabilization phase which is weeks of slowly adding foods back and testing yourself daily for weight gain and sensitivity.

    - 1/10/2012   9:04:47 AM
  • 122
    I'm actually a fan of acai supplements NOT because they hepl me lose weight but because of nutritional value to them. They do give me more energy and as a busy full time mum I REALLY appreciate that. I also use a product in the UK called colon cleanse with aloe vera. I came across this in the same advertisement for the acai and "apparently" together they were a miracle diet. I didn't fall for the speil that these products would magically make me lose weight fast, I actually reserched the benefits and decided that they would be good for me. I have ALWAYS suffered from severe bloating due to irritable bowel syndrome but the colon cleanse pills have helped in a way that its a miracle within itself. Haha I sound like I'm endorsing them but I'm soooo not....you gotta do whats right for you personally! - 1/3/2012   4:36:39 PM
  • 121
    I'm actually a fan of acai supplements NOT because they hepl me lose weight but because of nutritional value to them. They do give me more energy and as a busy full time mum I REALLY appreciate that. I also use a product in the UK called colon cleanse with aloe vera. I came across this in the same advertisement for the acai and "apparently" together they were a miracle diet. I didn't fall for the speil that these products would magically make me lose weight fast, I actually reserched the benefits and decided that they would be good for me. I have ALWAYS suffered from severe bloating due to irritable bowel syndrome but the colon cleanse pills have helped in a way that its a miracle within itself. Haha I sound like I'm endorsing them but I'm soooo not....you gotta do whats right for you personally! - 1/3/2012   4:31:27 PM
  • 120
    Sensa gave me diarrhea and Acai Max does nothing for me. Well, actually it did lower my bank account... :( - 1/2/2012   5:17:13 AM
  • NCPAULSEN
    119
    Regarding homeopathy: if water can "remember" how on earth is it so smart that it remembers only the desired traits of what it has been in contact with? All water has been in contact with various noxious substances at some point in its lifecycle--even distilled water. So how come water used in homeopathic substances doesn't take on the negative traits of bacteria, poisonous plant material, animal feces, etc?? - 12/30/2011   1:25:13 PM
  • 118
    I was expecting there would be some mention of Zerona treatments in this article. Does this mean it is not a scam or that it was not one of the worst scams?! - 12/15/2011   11:46:37 PM
  • KAYSE220
    117
    How about this SENSA nonsense? What a scam THAT is!!! - 12/15/2011   7:54:58 AM
  • 116
    FDA is currently forcing several companies selling HCG to PROVE their claims, not sure the time frame but I'm sure we will hear more soon
    As for food sensitivities, you can get tested (MRT) and follow a LEAP diet (physician or dietitian guided). This way you aren't eliminating certain food groups (like all grains) that maybe providing essential nutrients which are important for both health and weightloss - 12/9/2011   10:02:17 PM
  • 115
    ROMISI I was just going to comment on the FitFlops, too! I also have Plantar Fasciitis and have not been able to wear flip-flops or any kind of sandals in years... until I found the FitFlops. I also like protein powders in smoothies, and smoothies are the only way I like to eat fruit. So that's good, right? But it is hard to find powders without artificial sweeteners, which trigger migraines for me. - 12/9/2011   7:51:47 PM
  • 114
    I personally know two people who followed the HCG protocols and have lost weight and kept it off. The article is misconstrued in that there is more to the diet than just popping a pill and eating 500 calories. Initially you are restricted so you become aware of the food that you eat and it helps in identifying the foods that trigger weight gain (wheat, gluten, dairy etc). Many many of us have food sensitivities that trigger weight gain (not only chips and pizza!). You gradually increase your caloric intake over the course of a few weeks and by the end you should know the triggers that cause your weight to increase. True HCG diets should be done under a Dr's guidance. Yes, only 500 cal a day will make you lose weight, BUT I believe the HCG is what supresses your hunger. You can survive on the 500 cal without headaches, dizziness, nausea etc.

    Why don't I try it? Something about adding synthetic hormones to my body is a little alarming. I'd rather track, work out and make it a healthy lifestyle change. As for all you homeopathic naysayers???? Check your research -- Homeopathy has been FDA regulated since the 1930s. - 12/9/2011   4:38:59 PM
  • 113
    Of all these listed, I've bought only a few of the products, but not because I thought they were magically going to help me lose weight or tone up.
    I have FitFlops -- the sandals and clogs. I never bought them because I was sure they were going to tone and strengthen anything, but because they are the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. I used to have horrible plantar fasciitis. I tried a pair of FitFlops, loved how cushy and comfortable they were, bought them and started to slip them on every morning as soon as I got out of bed (the most painful time for the fasciitis). This was a few years ago and I no longer have fasciitis nor do I need to wear them all the time. I've also worn them on vacation where we've spent hours walking and have had no pain at all.

    I've also tried creams, again not because I thought they were going to help me lose weight, but because of how nice they make my skin feel. And only when someone who's opinion I trust has recommended them for my skin (again not for toning or weight loss purchases). I've been happy with what they've done for the feel and appearance of my skin.

    And finally, protein shakes/supplements. Not because anyone has pushed them on me, but because I do have difficulty reaching my daily protein goals. I am certainly not expecting them to increase my weight loss. And I do factor the calories into my eating plan so I'm not exceeding my daily totals.

    Sure, there are scams out there, but I also recognize that there is a placebo affect that can happen. You want to believe that the pills or whatever are helping, that puts you in the right mindset to make things happen and then you do see positive results. I think sometimes that if that's what it takes to get someone started with living healthier, it's not necessarily a bad thing. - 12/8/2011   11:39:15 AM
  • 112
    The majority of the stuff listed here is a no brainer... the word "fast" and "easily" or "no exercise" should throw up a red flag.

    A word about protein powders... I really like the fact that this was brought up. While they have there legitimate place in the fitness industry, I have a real problem with how they are pushed by "trainers" ie.. salesmen... I cannot tell you the number of times that I have read and heard of people complaining about not losing weight while consuming these products after lifting / strength training. Wearing a reliable HRM during the average strength training session will reveal that you dont burn enough calories to justify slamming down a 400-600 calorie shake. For me, I dont take anything for recovery with the exception of real food in the 300 calorie range with a proper 4:1 ration of carbs to protein unless I have really gone on an endurance run of 10 miles or more, then I will take something extra. For anything less, I have found I am just consuming alot of un-needed calories - 12/8/2011   11:33:37 AM
  • 111
    WOW, I am absolutely amazed at many of these comments..OK, I am not gonna stand here and agree or disagree whether these products actually work..What I will say is that every single person has had different results with different products..It is all about the mind frame..Stron mind, strong body..If you want to take supplements ot products..GO FOR IT!!! that is your right..I also take a great product and I do it for health benefits..NOT the overall weight loss..But it does help..haha..I am not going to say what it is as I don't feel the need to sit here and advertise my products on a company line through a comment blog. All I want to say is whatever your doing to lose weight..Good for you..At least your trying to find a way and you will find what is best for you..Don't get discourgaed and do what it is that makes YOU feel good:0) After all no one can do this journey for us right?? - 12/8/2011   8:31:43 AM
  • 110
    I am so glad you showed us these scams. Every once in a while I believe what they are saying about their products. When will I learn?! - 12/7/2011   11:57:16 PM
  • 109
    Follow the SP plan, discover how you can eat healthy, and still make food taste good. Great combination. Exercise is a must. Most important is all mental. Make up your mind to do it, and it can be done. I have managed to lose 100 pounds since I started. SP works for me. - 12/7/2011   10:12:30 PM
  • 108
    I have to say that I will argue with the shoes. In my opinion, anything that gets you off of your bootie and gets you walking can't be all that bad and ANY good walking/running shoes cost some money :) - 12/7/2011   7:10:19 PM
  • 107
    I looked at all of these, and I feel that each one has it pro's and cons. It is not a one fix for anyone. If it works for you and your not harming yourself in the long term, I wish you the best. I have one of the first pair of toning shoes that Kmart sold, they are ok, I can't wear them all the time. I use protein powder because I have a hpersentivity to eggs and need the protein and recently, develop a rash and welts from eating soy products. So, protein powder is a great substitute, just be aware of what you buy and do your research. I use acai berry and products containing acai--well because it taste good. I don't know enough about HCG to really comment on it. I prefer the good ol standby, try to watch what I eat, how much I eat, get some exercise, and plenty of water and sleep. What works for one does not always work for another. Every body and it's response is different. - 12/7/2011   6:12:22 PM
  • MELLIL
    106
    I don't care WHAT the Shape-Up shoes advertise they do... all I know is that they are the most comfortable shoes on the planet and GREAT for my fallen arches!!! - 12/7/2011   5:39:25 PM
  • HOTREDS
    105
    TGI Fridays has some tasty wraps! And how could you not lose weight eating 500 clories per day- you certainly don't need HGH as well! To say nothing of the dubious validity of "homeopathic" anything. Only way to lose weight is to consume less calories than you burn- very simple yet very hard. - 12/7/2011   5:21:38 PM
  • 104
    Intersting: Most of the people/comments in support of hcg don't actually have a Spark page. Just proves they are not following SP's advice about tracking your food, eating at least 1200 calories and consistent workouts. - 12/7/2011   3:20:37 PM
  • 103
    " hCG injections provide NO weight-loss advantage." Um, SP should think about closing down the groups on here that praise hCG.

    It's unhealthy and shouldn't be allowed on a health and wellness site like this one. - 12/7/2011   3:15:45 PM
  • RENEEWE1
    102
    Forget Sensa. Absolutely useless. I am on the 400 Calorie Diet that has been put out by Prevention and it seems to be working for me. - 12/7/2011   1:32:23 PM
  • 101
    I used Sensa, bought the whole deal and followed it, it is very expensive and a waste of money. - 12/7/2011   12:02:32 PM
  • LORAINSATX
    100
    I just felt I had to respond to the negative slant on the HCG diet. I have been on the diet rollercoaster for the past 10 years after having my thyroid ablated and gaining 50 lbs. I am an RN and well versed on every diet plan out there. I have tried them all from Atkins to Jenny Craig to Nutrisystem. None of them worked long term for me. I would lose a few pounds and immediately start to gain the minute I went off their plans. I recently met a physician who had completed the HCG protocols and lost a total of 70 lbs over a period of 6 months and 2- 6 week cycles. I listened to her story, saw myself many times as she narrated her struggles with weight loss. I started the protocol with injections on Nov 7th. I have lost 20 lbs in 30 days. I feel great and have lots of energy. I do not think this plan is for everyone but I do think it is a valid alternative for some of us who have been unable to lose/sustain under the more conservative diet and excercise plans - 12/7/2011   10:48:35 AM
  • PIXIESTIX6669
    99
    I'm no expert, but I'd stay away from anything made in a lab for weight loss...you don' t need it...cut out all processed sugars and you'll lose the weight... - 12/7/2011   10:37:06 AM
  • 98
    Does anyone know about Sensa? It is a white granular substance that you sprinkle on your food and it is suppose to diminish your appetite. - 12/7/2011   10:13:12 AM
  • 97
    For 10 years I've been stuggling to loose weight. I have been able to loose a few pounds here and there, but then my weight would just get stuck with no weight loss. Most of these diets or eating plans came from dieticians. They would accuse me of cheating when my weight would not come off. I have been through many tests for thyroid, hormons even my blood sugar was tested numerous times but nothing helped. I started studing everything I could about being over weight and not being able to loose the pounds. I came across the insulin resistance article, which bought me to study more about that and what causes it and how to get around it. Then I came across a book called "Good calories, Bad calories" I started reading and was amazed about what I read. That day I started reading the book I was on a low carb diet and I'm shocked at the weight loss that has happend without execise or the nagging hunger and craving I have lost almost 30 pound in 5 months and have lost almost 8 inches around my waist, without any of these weight loss products. I have tried various product with no sucsess and for the first time I feel like I have found something that works.

    My mother who is also over weight as started a low carb eating plan and she to has lost 10 pounds in a month. I think that this is the only real way to loose weight. - 12/7/2011   2:21:24 AM
  • BARNBABE58
    96
    I wear my FitFlops quite often and I rarely have back pain anymore. No, I haven't lost enough weight yet for that to be a factor. I also wore them when I was #50 lighter so I think they are easing the pain somehow. - 12/7/2011   1:55:26 AM
  • MJUSTICEROB
    95
    except for the clothes, my dad has fallen for all of these. He claims to have lost 40lbs with the HCG but everytime he quits it he gains weight. He's been on it since August. I think he is wasting money on the spray when he is eating only 500 calories. Of course your going to lose weight. I did that before. The problem occurs when you start eating again. - 12/7/2011   1:21:26 AM
  • RIVERSONGMELODY
    94
    I drink protein drinks because I have a lot of allergies to things such as eggs, can not have dairy and barely eat meat, and nuts tend to cause problems. even with one shake a day I am still usually below what I in in protein daily. many times I have between 10 and 20 a day and if I have a shake that gives me about 24 to 29 grams plus I use soy or almond milk. right now because of Arthritis affecting my jaw and having trouble eating I may do the protein shake with frozen wild berries and flax seed 3 times a day until I can eat solid food again. - 12/6/2011   11:52:18 PM
  • 1AURORA
    93
    Wraps? Whatever. Never tried it never will. I can't believe the TOTALLY ignorant comments about the HCG diet. Its pretty obvious that most people have NOT bothered to do research of any kind. Folks ATTENTION~your body is consuming far more than 500 calories with the HCG in your system. IT EATS FAT! Don't believe the critics. Frankly I am surprised it has the health/diet/nutrition world in an uproar. The successful dieters that have HCG to thank for it...know just exactly what I mean. Please do yourself a favor & don't dismiss HCG diet. The drops are BOGUS but HCG isn't. The shots are the ONLY way to do it! - 12/6/2011   10:25:05 PM
  • BEVSCHULTZ
    92
    I am not obese, but have always had to watch what I eat and have been on many diets in my life. As is reported, I always gained the weight back. At age 60 now and hysterectomy in the last decade, I put on another 20 pounds. I have done the HCG diet and my blood pressure is back to normal and I feel great to have lost that extra 20 pounds. Doctors disagree on this diet. Of course anyone would lose on a 500calorie diet, but how many do it without it? Never heard of anyone. As a registered nurse I understand the theory and it does make sense to me. When the body secretes this hormone when you are pregnant, I believe it is to release fat calories for the purpose of extra energy for the progress of the pregnancy. I look so much better after this diet and it is the first time I have ever been able to lose my belly fat. Without the HCG drops I would just be losing some muscle and my body would go into the starvation mode. This is what makes this diet different for me. Of course any will gain weight if they eat carelessly after they have lost the weight. I have found I can eat anything as long as I use sensible portion control and strive for a balanced and nutritional diet. It is important to take vitamins and eat healthy with your 500 calories and not one will starve to death in that short time. No one should be bashing a diet that has made a difference to so many. I have known many who have used it and all have lost weight with no negative side effects. Speaking of unhealthy? that is what obesity is, not HCG - 12/6/2011   10:22:47 PM
  • 1AURORA
    91
    HCG has been around a long time & is proven to effective. I am almost at the end of my 1st round & am extremely pleased. I am not starving myself quite to the contrary. I lost fat ALL over. !0+ lbs & 10+ inches lost! It is extremely motivating. I believe if you still pay attention to your protein portions & eat healthy just like while you are on HCG you can stay slim. That is no big surprise. I think some folks go right back to old eating habits & then say it doesn't work. It does but you do have to put effort into it just like anything else. I am not saying to still try to still only consume 500 calories...that would be dumb!!! Of course do what you can to be as active as possible. Yes I believe in blood sweat & tears but some excess fat is very difficult to lose. I had developed fat in my armpits towards the end of my weight gaining days~Its GONE! Of course I did exercises...my fav was lifting my weighted yoga ball over my head...things like that. I truly believe HCG can work for anyone. Please don't call this a bogus fad diet because it isn't. If you have time read some blogs from folks that have done it & have been successful with this diet. I think it is easy as pie. I got a little bored with my cooking so I jazzed it up with lots of healthy seasoning. I know it may not be for you but don't knock it til you try it. I have MS & even though I walk well & like to take my treadmill for a whirl, it would be far too hard to keep up the intensity that I think I would need to lose any weight. Some meds are very unkind & add weight gain. It works so if you are even the slightest bit interested & you have the time do some reading. Dr Simeon was a genius! Hollywood & top athletes do this diet & have for years. I myself am late in even hearing about it. Amazing results. It makes me want to eat well so I can feel good like I do now. I am a believer. God bless y'all. - 12/6/2011   9:49:11 PM
  • LATINA10025
    90
    Everyone is so stuck on FDA approval. Just because our corrupt government says something is or isn't safe doesn't mean its true. Start thinking for yourselves people. Do some independent research. The FDA has been actively suppressing natural medicine and substances that actually do heal and cure. They're only interested in backing big pharmaceutical companies and what is going to give them big continuous profits.

    Many FDA directors have had important decision-making positions in pharmaceutical companies. These pharmaceutical companies mainly sell medicine that treats illnesses, but causes a whole new list of side effects that you need new medicine for, so that they can sell you more medicine. That is their business. They are never going to profit from a perfectly healthy society. So they make sure that they approve vaccines and medicines that will give us life-long chronic illnesses so they can keep on selling us more medicine.

    HCG has been legal and used in Europe and many other countries for decades. How many medicines are FDA approved that end up causing so many illnesses and even death from the side effects. How many pharmaceutical companies are being sued because their FDA approved medicine has caused patients more harm than good. Lets see, there the Zoloft lawsuit, Propecia lawsuit, Yasmin and Yaz Lawsuits, Actos Bladder Cancer Lawsuits. And the list goes on and on.

    Here's another example. Sweeteners: Aspartame was approved by the FDA as an artificial sweetener in 1974. Now it is in almost every sugar-free product out there. Aspartame is actually a neuro-toxin that has over 92 nasty side effects that are not mentioned on the news. But Stevia, which is a natural sweetener with absolutely no side effects has not gotten official FDA approval, just permission to be used as a food additive only recently in 2008 and they only did that because of so many people demanding it.

    All I'm saying is don't believe everything the FDA and the government says. Always do your own research.
    - 12/6/2011   8:36:43 PM
  • 89
    After reading the comment regarding the fact that some people did not have pages you could go to on Spark and went back and looked, and almost all of the HCG lovers and the Wrap people who are complaining that those things are great, do not have a Spark page available. Interesting........ - 12/6/2011   4:49:57 PM
  • 88
    Back in the 1970s I fell for the HCG "diet". I did lose the weight, but I remember that I didn't eat much. And the all apple day was interesting. One day you had to eat 8 apples and nothing else but water. But once I was off the diet, it didn't take long to get back to close to my previous weight. Not a good option for losing weight. I bet I've lost 200 lbs. or more through my lifetime, but it was the same 200 lbs. Now I'm holding steady, but it comes with good eating and LOTS of exercise. - 12/6/2011   3:54:42 PM
  • HNICKLESS
    87
    I definitely have to disagree on the wraps part. While a lot are dehydrating wraps, not all are. I have watched for over a year my friends and family lose inches with the It Works wraps. No where do they say you will lose weight from them. They say tighten, tone, and firm. I started selling it, used a wrap and lost about 5 inches from it. Still waiting for it to come back. But I also eat organic/all natural and do not take many medications so I get the toxins mostly just from our air. I took the wraps to my doctor and she's even using them now. You can't clump all the wraps together. I won't even post my website because, I don't need to. The products and results speak for themselves. To lose weight, you need to eat healthy and exercise but to lose the left over skin without doing a surgery, it's nearly impossible. I spent $4200 on laser assisted lipo to get rid of excess skin since I didn't have enough for a tummy tuck. I could of just spent $60 and had it done already and save thousands of dollars. - 12/6/2011   3:26:45 PM
  • EWOKKISSES
    86
    I never comment on articles but felt the discussion and some of the comments spurred me to make an exception here. First to the two individuals who were using this discussion to push their wraps...you could at least rewrite the companies standard sales pitch if more than one of you post to the same article. Having posts that become verbatim after the intro line is almost a insult to the customer you are trying to get because we can tell that we have read the statements 5 posts earlier.

    On the HCG.... Another individual posted the link on the FDA and FTC recent stance on HCG but some people may not have had time to check it out so below is the first part of the news alert.

    "The FDA and the Federal Trade Commission said over-the-counter weight loss products containing human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) are fraudulent and illegal, and the agencies have told seven manufacturers to stop selling them.

    Noting that the product labels call for the pellets, liquids, and sprays to be taken in conjunction with a very low-calorie diet, an FDA official said it did not appear that oral HCG offers any extra benefit.

    "There is no substantial evidence HCG increases weight loss beyond that resulting from the recommended caloric restriction," said Elizabeth Miller, acting director of the FDA's fraud unit for OTC products, during a conference call with reporters.

    The recommended diets call for daily calorie intake as low as 500 calories, low enough to create a risk of malnutrition, electrolyte imbalance, cardiac arrhythmias, and gallstone formation, Miller said.

    The warning letters sent to manufacturers of the products note that HCG has not received FDA approval for any weight loss indication. The substance is approved as an injectable drug for certain forms of female infertility and is therefore clearly subject to FDA regulation.

    HCG weight-loss products are typically sold over the Internet, often promoted with unsolicited "spam" emails, with such claims as "Lose 26 pounds in 26 days" and "Resets your metabolism."

    According to one of the letters, sent to HCG Diet Direct LLC of Tucson, Ariz., "The claims made on your product labeling and website ... clearly demonstrate that this product is a drug as defined" by federal law."

    You can read the entire press release at the site mentioned on the original comment earlier...



    - 12/6/2011   3:07:33 PM
  • NICHOLEA13
    85
    I need some help bc most of this "scam" stuff is true. I have been a personal trainer / body builder & elite athlete all my life & hard work with healthy eating is where it's at. However, since 2008 I have not been able to find a Dr or eating plan that can get me back on track. I went on bedrest with my daughter in '08 & over 2 years I was on 17 mo of bedrest & had 3 major surgeries. I am on full hormone replacement. I have been unable to physically recover & food seems to be my enemy. I have developed so many food allergies it seems I can't eat much of anything. Almost everything I eat (minus my one protein shake I found) makes me sick on some level. I am unable to workout anymore. I used to run 6 miles a day, now I can barely walk 6 minutes on my treadmill 2-3 days a week. I cannot express how angry & frustrated that I am...no one has answers. Constant inflammation, fatigue, malaise, & digestive issues plague me daily. I will turn 40 in January & I'm so sick of being sick & told it's just part of getting older - bc that is a bunch of malarky. I have clothes I have put in storage almost 4 years now. I'm still waiting for my body to recover & snap out of whatever the heck is wrong. There isn't a book, website or Dr. in sight that seems to be able to help me. As a trainer, I know how to workout & eat correctly for my body type, but nothing, & I mean nothing, is working. I am not a fan of poppin pills, even ibuprofen & avoid it at all costs. I am dedicated & committed to whatever I do. I am true testament that diet & excercise are not the only factors in weight loss. I am the anomaly of the medical field - on more than one occasion. If someone has a direction or idea, please advise. - 12/6/2011   3:03:21 PM
  • WHITELILLY4
    84
    I am also a supporter of the HCG diet as well as many of my family members and friends. I am down to my "pre-menopause" weight and have kept it off for over one year. Atkins, South Beach, etc. did not work for me. A little more research should have been done before posting this as a "fad" money scam diet. - 12/6/2011   2:44:18 PM
  • 83
    Everything I have ever read about health (I read a lot) says to never go below 750 calories per day and for many people you should not go below 1,200 calories. It's just not healthy. You are not getting the nutrition your body needs. For myself if I go below 1,500 calories per day for more than 3-4 days I stop losing weight. - 12/6/2011   2:20:44 PM
  • 82
    Many of the posts about this article show why the scams work. People just want to believe so bad. I have also fallen prey to some of them in the past. When you buy these scams you are just buying hope. I understand that. The more you learn about nutrition and exercise the more you will understand there are no shortcuts. You have to burn more calories than you eat and stay within a healthy calorie range. You also have to eat healthy unprocessed foods in the right proportions as much as possible. - 12/6/2011   2:10:19 PM
  • 81

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