It seems not a month goes by without some new supplement splashed across magazine pages and television ads being touted as the answer to rapid weight loss. Today, I’m answering a question from Austin Colcurry about one of such weight loss supplement that’s been getting a lot of attention recently: garcinia cambogia.
Austin wants to know what many of you are probably wondering: does garcinia cambogia work for weight loss?
Let me give you the real deal: garcinia cambogia is part of a tropical fruit, and the active ingredient is called hydroxycitric acid. What it does is block an enzyme called citric liase, which is involved in the production of fat. It’s said to help curb our appetite and elevate serotonin in the brain, which makes us feel a little bit less crazy and anxious and a little bit more calm and relaxed so we don’t feel like scarfing down food all the time.
Is it effective? A big review of the literature in the Journal of Obesity found that those using garcinia cambogia lost an average of no more than two pounds as a whole compared to those who are not using it over the course of the various studies.
Two pounds… that’s it.
In my opinion, that’s not a significant finding when it comes to weight loss, so I’m certainly not recommending you rush out to buy a garcinia cambogia supplement if you’re trying to lose weight.
There’s No Magic Pill
When we start to rely on pills as our magic bullets to lose weight, we tend to give ourselves a little bit more slack in other areas of our lives. For instance, you might wolf down a pizza for dinner thinking the pills will make up for it. Similarly, you might not exercise quite as consistently if you’re taking a weight-loss pill every day. Even if it were to work, your bad habits would make up for any weight you’d lose.
Truthfully, this applies to just about any miracle pill: raspberry ketone supplements, green coffee bean extract, you name it. That also goes for the master cleanse or any other kind of liquid diet that promises rapid weight loss, be it the orange juice cleanse or the Coca-Cola cleanse.
Let me play devil’s advocate for second here: if garcinia cambogia were to work, is it sustainable? Even if it were to help you drop a few pounds, would it help you keep them off?
Sadly, no; chances are you’d go right back to eating and living as you did before, and you certainly can’t rely on this get-fit-quick schemes forever.
A recent study out of the Heart and Stroke Foundation found that 70 percent of men and women who lose five pounds or more put that weight back on, with interest, within a few short months after losing it.
You’re not interested in that kind of yo-yo weight loss, are you?
Losing Weight and Keeping It Off
If you really want to be slim, trim and healthy, you have to seek out sustainable solutions that become a part of your daily life. The problem with these trending supplements is that they do nothing to improve your bad habits that are the real cause of your weight gain. If you want lasting weight loss, you have to do small things consistently, and do them well. That’s it.
There’s a Bruce Lee quote that’s applicable here:
I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.
That’s exactly how you have to approach everything in your life, not just weight loss. What healthy habit can you do 10,000 times, or even for the rest of your life? You have a whole range of options to choose from; pick a habit, any habit:
- Is it drinking water, or moving more?
- How about having a 30-minute walk every single day or doing some type of resistance training several times per week?
- It might be eating more plant-based foods or reducing your sugar intake and sleeping better.
Whatever you choose, you have to pick a healthy habit that you’ll stick with if you want to produce lasting results. The pills won’t cut it.
I know this might be disappointing news to some of you out there, but trust me, it’s what you need to hear. Don’t waste your money on temporary solutions that might not even work to begin with. This isn’t simply about losing a little weight; it’s about taking meaningful steps to a brand new life.
Yuri Elkaim is one of the world’s most trusted health and fitness experts. A former pro soccer player turned NYT bestselling author of The All-Day Energy Diet and The All-Day Fat Burning Diet, his clear, science-backed advice has transformed the lives of more than 500,000 men and women and he’s on a mission to help 100 million people by 2040. Read his inspiring story, “From Soccer to Bed to No Hair on My Head” that started it all.