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bananafish's avatar

Have you tried using Acai supplements for weight loss?

Asked by bananafish (1112 points ) March 27th, 2009

If so, in what form? And what were your results? Would you recommend it? Did you lose weight? What were the side effects (if any)? Is there good place to get it from?

Or do you know of anyone firsthand who’s tried it? I’d like to hear about their results too.

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27 Answers

3or4monsters's avatar

I’m wary of trying it, to be honest. Too much snake oil and magic potion salesmen in the fitness and wellness industry, and acai berry is on every health related spam email I’ve been receiving, every screaming-blinking sidebar add, and on the fitness forums I go to, that’s what the spam-bots are flooding the users with. So I’m still waiting to see if it’s just the latest fad, and fades into obscurity. That may take some time.

Most people who take them are probably also doing other things to improve their health, like a low calorie diet as well as exercise, so it’s hard to say if their results are because of their efforts or because of the supplements? I suspect it’s more their efforts, and that they are getting some minimal benefit from it. In that case, is it worth the cost?

It wasn’t all that long ago that hoodia, another miracle diet supp, was the rage among spammers and fitness salespeople. I’ve tried that. It killed my appetite for about 2 weeks before I grew accustomed to it and it stopped working. I wonder if this natural aid is the same?

dynamicduo's avatar

Huge warning here. Most if not all online Acai berry offers are scams designed to lock you into a renewing subscription of pills.

Until I see scientific data that supports their claims, I continue to believe that the best weight loss strategy is proper eating combined with exercise you love.

bananafish's avatar

@dynamicduo, I 100% agree with you about the best weight loss strategy. I’m NEVER they type of person to go in for fads. But diet and exercise just leave me on a weight plateau and cranky…and hungry…and tired.

And I agree that I’m wary of this, much like other fads.

But that’s why I’m hoping to hear some firsthand (or secondhand) accounts here.

berocky1's avatar

WHATEVER OPRAH SAYS GOES

dynamicduo's avatar

Glad to hear you’re a level headed fad-avoiding person :)
I hope someone else can chime in with information for you.

Ugh, don’t say that diet word. I loathe it for all it stand for!

berocky1's avatar

@dynamicduo I hate the d word also. I feel like it limits a persons choice of food

SpatzieLover's avatar

This lifestyle will work faster than any fad. If that’s too restrictive for you then you could try this one for life. Not only get you to your goal weight, but also great health.

3or4monsters's avatar

@berocky1 I blame the snakes in the fitness industry for taking a perfectly good word, and changing it to mean, “food torture” or some other such nonsense. I like the dictionary.com 1st def:

–noun
1. food and drink considered in terms of its qualities, composition, and its effects on health.

Same with the word, “tone”. It’s been used so hard and long to mean “reducing bodyfat and increasing muscular definition” or sometimes even “muscle growth” (except when used by women who don’t want to get “bulky”), by the industry that it’s lost it’s original meaning. Tone, when used to describe muscle, is “the normal state of tension or responsiveness of the organs or tissues of the body.”

dynamicduo's avatar

I hate the word so much because of its modern day usage. It implies that one can simply go on a diet when they are fat, lose the weight, then go back to eating normally and expect the fat to stay off! This is why I greatly prefer the term “healthy eating”, and support the use of the word “diet” to represent “the food you eat on a day to day basis” and not “a program you go on temporarily to lose weight”.

Not to mention, if one demonizes that chocolate cake or cheesecake or whatever, one will only want it more and more until they cave and do something ridiculous like eating the entire cake. Instead, I support the logical approach of “everything in moderation” – if you want some cheesecake, eat a small piece of cheesecake, then continue eating healthily.

Now about the topic at hand, I actually was a bit interested in looking at the scientific claims behind the marketing. This page does a great job at just that. And here’s this page where an actual nutritionist weighs in on the benefits of the berry. As far as I can tell, there is nothing in the Acai berry that demonstrates its weight loss potential, in fact there’s not a lot to distinguish it from all other berries.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Mostly I’ve heard it is a scam. The Consumerist talks about it every so often, but mostly in the form of a particular pyramid scheme associated with Acai.

RedPowerLady's avatar

My husband works at an organic herb suppler. They have a description about each herb they sell. If you do use it I would buy from an herb supplier and not a weight loss supplier. Here is the herbal shop’s blurb on the Acai berry:

Because the acai berry is relatively new to the western world, very little research has been done on it and its effects, especially in the area of rapid weight loss, which may be exaggerated. What is known is that the acai berry is extremely high in antioxidants and anthocyanins, rich in protein fiber, vitamin E and iron. It is reported that it helps promote cardiovascular and digestive functions. It is naturally low in sugar and the flavor is described as a mixture of red wine and chocolate.
Mountain Rose Herbs

So it won’t actually hurt to try it because it is good for you!!!!!

Snoopy's avatar

@RedPowerLady ”....very little research has been done on it and its effects….”

So….it is not appropriate to say ”...it won’t actually hurt to try it because it is good for you….”, IMO.

Weight loss isn’t rocket science. You must burn off more than you consume in calories. There aren’t long lasting quick fixes or short cuts. It is hard work, takes effort and it sucks. I know of what I speak…..

RedPowerLady's avatar

@Snoopy
But apparently it is good for you in the areas of antioxidants, fiber, Vitamin E, and Iron. Because they say that is known. I think the previous sentence about little research was intended to mean regarding weight loss. But you are right it is misleading. Do we know of any bad side effects for the acai berry? Typically this company will state if there are any warnings.

Snoopy's avatar

@RedPowerLady Could be….I suppose it is a matter of interpretation….

RedPowerLady's avatar

@Snoopy

I just edited my response to be a little more clear. I think you are right in that it is a bit misleading. It is important to do research before trying anything new.

SherlockPoems's avatar

@berocky1 well now let’s look at Oprah… she has done the yoyo thing for as long as she has been on TV… first the liquid diet, then the personal trainer, then a myriad of others she ‘swore for’ and now it is Acai… Like so many she is looking for an easy way out of a hard problem. Fresh fruits and vegetables are stockpiled with antioxidants… watching what you eat (and reducing calories), exercise, lots of water and rest… yeah, hard but that’s the hard truth.

mamabeverley's avatar

@RedPowerLady I have not tried it, but wine and chocolate?? yum yum, I may have to get some just for that reason!!!!

RedPowerLady's avatar

@mamabeverley I was thinking the same thing. LOL

bananafish's avatar

Well like I said above, I’m not looking for any long-term fixes. I never thought that Acai could work in place of healthy eating and exercise.

Again, I just need a jumpstart to get me off this weight plateau – whether that means giving me more energy, decreasing my metabolism, or decreasing my appetite.

Snoopy's avatar

@bananafish Well….I can tell you that my cravings significantly decreased….but it took a few weeks. The first few weeks were the worst. I just gritted my teeth and got through it….
Good luck :)

EmpressPixie's avatar

@bananafish: You know I’d never tell you, or anyone, to go back to Askville, but if Sharon is still doing FaNoMo over there, or one of the other ladies is, I would highly recommend joining in. It’s, as silly as this sounds, a support group for losing weight. When I was trying to drop ten pounds, I found it was really helpful to talk to them about it. They had good advice for staying on track and delicious meals to eat on the low-calorie, low-fat sly. It was immensely helpful and probably the reason I was far more successful the first time I tried losing weight than the second.

Snoopy's avatar

@bananafish and EmpressPixie Have you seen this question…?

Judi's avatar

So has no one really tried it?

SherlockPoems's avatar

I think anything works – at least in the short term (placebo effect) because you become focused on loosing weight and so you exercise more and watch what you eat as well as ‘where’ you eat. Antioxidants are in so many fresh fruits and vegetables… AND we all know it is healthier to eat them then say a ‘hot pocket’. Although ‘focus’ is the key ingredient… probably having someone dieting with you is the fun way to get to your goal. So choose someone who will not undermine but really support your efforts. Good luck.

bananafish's avatar

Still waiting to hear from anyone with personal experience who has tried Acai.

EmpressPixie's avatar

No experience to offer, PS BF, but I ran across this while looking for something on cheese and thought it might help you out.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@EmpressPixie lurve good points made by a nutritionist!

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