a magic pill for weight loss?

It’s not uncommon for a customer to come into my store with a bag of KFC in hand asking if there is a miraculous supplement that works for weight loss.  While I may subtly roll my eyes, please know that no one wishes there were a magic pill that would allow me to feast on fast food and be a size 6 more than I.  For the record, I am a size 12.  So trust me when I tell you, Honey – if there were such a miracle supplement, I would be all over that like Kanye West on himself.

What About That Garcinia Camobogia Everyone is Talking About?

Garcina Cambogia was this quiet little unknown fruit until a few years ago when it got its big break in the land of Oz.  Dr. Oz touted Garcinia as the greatest thing since Fen Phen for weight loss.  Ok just so his people don’t sue me for slander, those may not have been his exact words.  But seriously, once this primitive fruit had a plug from Dr. Oz, word spread like herpes on Spring Break.

So What the Hell is Garcinia Cambogia?

Garcinia Cambogia is a fruit that grows in Southeastern Asia, and in West and Central Africa.  It is known as gambooge and is primarily used in cooking.  In the Indian Ayurvedic medicine, sour flavours are said to activate digestion.  In the areas where it is consumed, Garcinia Cambogia is considered to be effective in making meals more filling, making the eater feel more satiated.  Because of this, it has been used as an herbal appetite suppressant.

Does it Really Work?

The active ingredient in the fruit’s rind, hydroxycitric acid, or HCA, has been shown to boost fat-burning and reduce appetite without stimulating the nervous system. It appears to block an enzyme called citrate lyase, which your body uses to make fat. Garcinia is also thought to raises levels of the brain chemical serotonin, which may make you feel less hungry and reduce cravings.

Type 2 Diabetes and High Cholesterol

In addition, Garcinia Cambogia may make it easier for your body to use glucose, the sugar your cells need for energy. One study showed that mice that were given garcinia cambogia had lower insulin levels than mice that didn’t.  Sounds impressive right?  Just remember when you see references to these studies, that you are probably human (well I assume if you are reading this… but if you’re a really freakin smart, albeit chubby mouse, this is groundbreaking for you).  Anyway the point being that I prefer to see results from human clinical trials.

Apparently there is also some research that has found that Garcinia Cambogia can improve cholesterol levels, lowering triglycerides and LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) and raising HDL (the “good” cholesterol).

Customer Feedback

So from a practical standpoint, the feedback on Garcinia has been, well… meh.  I would say it’s 50/50.  My take on it is that if you are someone who eats healthy and exercises, but you just need a little help controlling your appetite and cravings, you will probably see decent results from Garcinia.  However if you are someone who doesn’t really want to change anything about your lifestyle and are hoping that a pill will make up for a bad diet, you will likely be disappointed.  Also worth mentioning are other categories of people who have high cortisol levels from stress, low functioning thyroids, or other hormonal issues.  Garcinia Cambogia will not do much for them.

Oh but what about the Garcinia + Detox that’s all over the internet?  

Translation: Garcinia + Laxative.  Of course you will lose weight initially because you will poop out your insides.  Ok that may be biologically impossible… I tend to exaggerate.  But basically your guts will be empty so you will weigh a few pounds less.  This is not going to help your arm jiggle.

A Final Note

Since there are no major side effects from Garcinia Cambogia, there’s probably no harm in trying it.  Just remember it is not a magic pill, but rather a tool to help you stay on track with a healthy diet and exercise program. I know… I’m such a buzzkill.  Now go eat some kale.

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