Hi everyone! Its been a while since my last post, and that is because I was on vacation away from internet and phone service for a week and it was great! Its so nice to unplug. But now that I have returned, I’ll treat you to some good ol’ fashion, calling out of Shape Magazine.
Recently, Shape featured actress/comedian/anti-vaccination nut Jenny McCarthy, and focused on her hot bod and how she manages to stay thin. She claims its not hours at the gym (or photoshop), but instead her secret is a diet supplement, Zantrex SkinnyStix. Here is an excerpt of the article below:
Mmmmm nothing like diet supplements and vodka! But anyway, I find a lot of these types of product placements in magazines and on social media. Keep in mind that Jenny McCarthy is getting paid to tell you that this little drink mix works and she doesn’t have to exercise or think about her diet. Sounds a little too miraculous to me. I think its important to really point out the nutrition information and proven facts behind these supplements before you spend time, energy, and money on a product that may or may not give you the results you are looking for. Lets start by looking at just the directions for using Skinnystix:
So there are a few red flags to point out that you can get just from the directions, and I have underlined them in red for you. The first one being that they tell you to work out and diet to get the best results, and individual results will vary. This is a buffer. If it isn’t working for you, you must not be exercising or dieting enough in conjunction with this supplement, and individual results vary, so its not unexpected that you didn’t get the same results. The second thing they throw at you is this ingredient: xanthine. I’ll come back to that, first, lets look at the ingredients list.
If you notice, this ingredient, xanthine, is nowhere to be found. This is because the form of xanthine they are referring to is caffeine. Caffeine is a derivative of xanthine. In addition, notice that there are no percent daily values listed because none are established. How can they know that this supplement is going to do what its going to do, when there is no minimum value established for each of these extracts? And further, in my experience actually working in a biochem lab in which we test various antioxidant supplements on the human body, its takes a lot of the supplement to illicit changes in the blood. In fact, in just a blueberry study my university is conducting, our subjects are consuming the equivalent of 2 cups of blueberries a day. And who knows if those changes in the blood will translate into other physical changes. In a watermelon study conducted by my university that I was also involved in, watermelon supplementation showed increased blood values, but did not translate in terms of blood vessel health (If you are interested in learning more about this, and happen to be in San Diego around May 28, I’ll be presenting this study at the ACSM National Conference!).
So lets talk about how these SkinnyStix actually work, and how you can get the same benefits without buying into these supplements.
- They fill you up: the directions tell you to consume 16 fluid ounces before each meal. Thats two cups. You fill up your stomach, which causes the stretch receptors to tell your brain that you are full. You can easily get the same effect by drinking a glass of water before each meal.
- They get you amped: these supplements contain caffeine, which is what is really making Jenny more energized and putting her in a good mood. Just have a cup of coffee, or instead of paying 40 (YES, FORTY) dollars for a pack of 12, pick up some Crystal Light On The Go energy for 3 dollars. Same thing.
- finally, They dazzle you: they like to throw fancy terms and specific instructions to make this product sound more research and medically based than it actually is. Don’t be dazzled, in this case, its best to be a skeptic.
I hope you find this helpful, and can better analyze or at least have the forethought to do some research before buying into weight loss supplements. And BOO Shape magazine, for giving this supplement a platform, and giving women everywhere false hope in a miracle supplement. Its nothing fancy everyone, just diet and exercise!