I spend a lot of my time ranting about the constant wave of ridiculous claims, broken promises and bogus products that we get thrown at us by the weight loss and diet industry, including expensive and hyped-up dieting programmes, unproven but trendy diet supplements and the endless array of so-called "healthy" food options that are full of unhealthy ingredients.
But I when I hear about the wonders of weight loss patches, I find myself wanting to scream! Not only can you now use a patch to stop smoking, or to replace much-need hormones as your body starts going through some inevitable changes, but did you know you can also now stick on a patch and lose weight?
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According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the United States, some of the most common and fraudulent weight loss advertising around at the moment focuses on weight loss patches and their ability to help you lose weight. According to the adverts, they will help you burn fat, control your appetite and increase your energy levels. Almost sounds too good to be true doesn't it? Maybe that's because it is!
What exactly are weight loss patches?
These devices are much like nicotine replacement patches - small round or square shaped adhesive bandages that you stick on your skin. The theory is that each patch releases chemicals and herbs directly into your bloodstream, that are designed to encourage "fast fat burn" without the need for dieting or extra exercise. Which sounds great - except that they don't actually work!
Well ok, there are some effective weight loss patches. These are clinical patches sometimes prescribed by medical professionals in very rare cases when dealing with high risk patients suffering from serious medical problems due to obesity. These patches are prescribed in rare situations under strict medical conditions.
But the various varieties of hyped-up commercial patches are a total waste of time. The manufacturers of these patches claim that they contain so-called effective weight loss ingredients such as ephedra, caffeine and green tea extract. But there are 2 problems here:
1. Some of these ingredients are not proven as being effective for weight loss and some are only effective in particular situations, e.g. in particular doses and combined with other substances.
2. Even if these substance have some degree of effectiveness, there is no indication that they are effective in minute amounts absorbed through the dermal layers of the skin.
Let's be absolutely clear, there are no clinically proven studies supporting the effectiveness of the combination of these ingredients or their delivery system via weight loss patches. In fact they have not been proven safe or effective by the Food and Drug Administration in the USA and the FTC has actually seized millions of these so-called weight loss aids from promoters and has even brought lawsuits against certain patch manufacturers.
Despite this they are still selling like hotcakes, which means (a) people are wasting a heck of a lot of money and (b) people are actually believing the amazing claims such as the possibility of losing 45 pounds in 1 month. Even if the latter were true, it would be an extremely unhealthy amount of weight to lose in such a short time.
But hey, why let the truth get in the way of decent hype and the ability to make a fast buck from desperate, gullible people. If you were even thinking of trying out weight loss patches, do me a big favour - please, please give them a wide birth. The reality is that these ridiculous products are not a patch (excuse the pun) on the proper, safe, effective permanent strategies for losing weight and getting healthy.
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