Friday, September 14, 2012

Green Coffee Bean Extract Rant

While on a hike up the mountain with my sister, I somehow ended up on a giant rant about Green Coffee Bean Extract. I figured that if the topic was worthy enough of a random rant on a random hike then it might be worthy of a blog post.

Alright. Green coffee bean extract is a supplement created from unroasted coffee beans and it has become the newest weight loss craze supplement. The supplement works in a couple of ways. 1) It contains caffeine which is a stimulant and linked to weight loss (but there is a small amount in the supplement so I can't imagine how this could factor in), 2) It contains a polyphenol antioxidant that is supposed to reduce fat and glucose absorption in the gut. Apparently Dr. Oz started talking about it on his show back in the spring and he got a lot of grief about it cause everyone figured that he was getting paid by the green coffee bean extract people to rave about its weight loss qualities. So then Dr. Oz came back with a rebuttal saying that he was not paid by anyone and that this was his own actual opinion on the product. To prove that he was not a sellout, over the course of the summer he conducted his own experiment with green coffee bean extract to see if it did actually truly work.

I shall refer to green coffee bean extract as GCBE because I am too lazy to keep typing it out.

He conducted an experiment with 100 women in which 1/2 took the GCBE while the other 1/2 took a placebo. None of the participants knew if she was taking the real pill or just a sugar pill. All women were told to not change their diet and to record everything that they ate during the 2 weeks. The results were that the women who took the GCBE lost twice as much weight as the ones taking the placebo! Interesting. Sure the results didn't include an outstandingly enormous weight loss stories, but the women who lost weight lost about 1-2 pounds each week.

Some may think that this is a petty amount of weight and that taking the GCBE is not worth the expense and discipline of remembering to take them before every meal. But really, the best and healthiest way to lose weight is to lose it slowly, at about a rate of 1-2 pounds per week. Those who lose weight much more quickly then that tend to gain it back because it shocks the body. When the body sheds the weight more slowly then it can adjust to the changes accordingly which will help to keep the weight off long-term. What is also impressive about this GCBE is that the women in the study made no changes to their every day eating and were still able to lose weight. 

So I know what you're all thinking. Finally, a pill that will end obesity! "Sweet! A miracle weight loss pill that will make me burn fat and lose weight without having to change my diet!" I should be happy right? Taking this pill will help people to lose weight and improve their health and reduce the risk of developing horrible diseases...right?

.................................

In my opinion...not so much. Reducing obesity and increasing the health of the population would be amazingly amazing, but doing it with a supplement is not the right way to do it. No at all. What a pill like GCBE is teaching the world is that it is alright to eat all of the crap that you want cause you can still lose weight doing it. It isn't teaching people to eat more green vegetables, less saturated fats and increase your daily exercise. It's just another cop-out pill that will work as a bandaid for all of the disease and sickness in the world. Just because a person is thin on the outside does not make them healthy on the inside.

Here is what I would suggest regarding GCBE. If you're going to take it, take it as part of a complete nutrition and lifestyle makeover. Change your diet to include more fresh vegetables, fruits, lean meats and low fat dairy products. Change your lifestyle by riding your bike to work, taking the stairs more often or walk an extra 20 minutes with the dog in the morning. Make the GCBE the last priority of your weight loss goal and make changes that will improve your health for the rest of your life.












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