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Dr_C's avatar

Personal experiences (success, positive, negative, anything) with weight loss products?

Asked by Dr_C (14132points) May 30th, 2009 from IM

This in no way is intended as a means of diagnosis or treating any particular condition. The author of this question is interested in personal experiences with any weight loss product and will use said information as a basis to determine popularity and ease of use before conducting research on each particular product before prescribing or recommending it’s use.

The information gathered here will be used in addition to any and all available clinical suited, peer reviews, clinical trials and or pharmacological studies available on each of the products that the author may deem suitable and/or viable.

THIS INFORMATION WILL NOT BE USED AS A BASIS FOR DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT.

This was not meant to insult or annoy in any way and if that is the sentiment that comes across i apologize in advance.

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37 Answers

RedPowerLady's avatar

well i suppose you know then not to suggest hydroxicut because of all the new evidence it damages your liver

La_chica_gomela's avatar

You’ call yourself a doctor and you’re getting you information from here? Don’t you read peer-reviewed journals or something?

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I took Metabolife when I was around 17, before they changed the ingredients. It definitely worked – I don’t know if the new product would. It made me lose about 40 pounds, without changing any of my eating habits and I didn’t exercise. Looking back, I’m glad I didn’t change my eating habits or exercise because I probably would have been hospitalized. I’m 5’8’’ and weighing 120 was the lowest I could have gone without something seriously bad happening to me. Exercise was a no-no simply because of what it did to my heart rate. I’ve never taken crack, but I imagine the feeling Metabolife gave me is similar.

So, this is one product to steer your clients away from. Probably very dangerous.

hearkat's avatar

I’ve never tried any of those products, nor would I recommend them to anyone.

For me, eating less and moving more has been working, and I’ve lost over 35 pounds of fat and gained over 15 pounds of muscle in my body. Now I haven’t drastically changed my diet, because I know that I would have just been miserable. But I eat breakfast and lunch, I’ll have a pre-workout snack and then a light dinner. When I go out socially, I’ve been eating whatever I want, but trying to reduce the portions by mentally picturing how much I’ll eat and how much I’ll bring home.

I like the Kashi products because they are high in fiber and protein and actually taste pretty good! I sprinkle the GoLean Honey Almond Flax cereal over yogurt (Stonyfield farm fat free) and add fresh fruit. Their frozen entrees are great to bring to work, and they really do taste good! And I eat their protein and fiber bars for pre-workout snacks.

If your parents have issues with portion control when cooking and such, then a program like Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem or Dr. Tabor’s meal replacement systems might work. (I had never heard of Dr. Tabor’s program before, but recently I learned that someone whom I am acquainted with on another site is one of his success stories). The meal replacement systems are the best way to control portions if someone just can’t manage it on their own.

Finding physical activity that they enjoy is another key. Exercise just to lose weight is a chore, but when it’s something that you really like doing, it is fun and motivational. What do they like to do, or are there any activities that they used to love but have stopped due to being out of shape?

And as anyone in healthcare learns sooner or later (whether it’s family or your patients), you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. Making suggestions to you parents is one thing, but please don’t put any expectations on them. Buf they resist, and give the excuse that it’s too expensive, offer to pay for it… then you’ll know if the issue is money or if that’s just a cop-out.

Good luck!

hearkat's avatar

@DrasticDreamer: Yes, the ingredients in many of those unsafe diet pills is what they make methamphetamines from, so the feeling you got is pretty much the same.

Dr_C's avatar

@La_chica_gomela peer reviews come from those prescribing and not those using.. what i want is a pesonal experience and user review. If i want basic clinical data i have tons already and have no issue with using it. I would however like to see things from a patients perspective in order to provide them with a better service and quality of care.

If you read the question thoroughly before making remarks like “you call yourself a doctor” you would have seen the phrase “personal experience” and not “dosage information, aplication, pharmacological activity and/or interactions or anything related to the therapeutic aspect of prescribing or suggesting specific products”.

So next time you go off on someone at least try to read things through before being insulting. In the future… if you can’t be helpful just move on to the next question mkay?

nikipedia's avatar

@Dr_C: Frankly, I’m with @La_chica_gomela on this one. It is extremely irresponsible to prescribe anything based on anecdotal evidence. It’s unscientific at best and dangerous at worst. As I assume you know from your medical training, clinical trials are important because the risk of side effects is a matter of probability. A side effect that only shows up in 5% of patients will almost certainly be missed if you’re only asking a few people, and you would fail to caution your patients about it should you prescribe it based on the anecdotes you’ve heard.

The insult may have been uncalled for but her sentiment seems correct to me. It is really shocking to me that you would even consider prescribing anything, ever based on the recommendations of a couple people on the internet.

Dr_C's avatar

Trying to edit question

nikipedia's avatar

No, it’s not clear. You explicitly said:

“I’m looking for something i can suggest for my patients and would like some personal experiences that any of you may have had with any particular product.”

That directly contradicts your statement:

“I…. IN NO WAY PLAN TO BASE A DIAGNOSIS OR PRESCRIPTION ON SAID INFORMATION.”

So no, that’s not clear, and “yelling” won’t make it any clearer.

Dr_C's avatar

Trying to edit question

nikipedia's avatar

Are you intentionally being obtuse? The unclear part is what you plan to do with that information, considering you have said both:

you would like to use the information you get to make suggestions to patients
you in no way plan to base a diagnosis or prescription on the information you get

Dr_C's avatar

better?

bea2345's avatar

Many years ago – back in the seventies, I think – my doctor prescribed an amphetamine as a weight loss drug. A few days later she took me off it because I became twitchy just before each dose: I had become habituated, she said. After many years of trying, the only weight loss regimen that actually worked was a low carbohydrate, moderate fat, high fibre diet, coupled with regular sessions at a gym. I lost nearly 100 lb. in a year. Everything was as happy as a wedding bell until my chronic depression came roaring back. Notwithstanding the meds, it has been a struggle ever since.

I really do not know the truth of miracle diet claims, because, in my experience, none of them have worked. At the same time, depressants only seem to work for me if accompanied by behaviour modification strategies.

Jack79's avatar

There is a yoghurt drink called “Becel proactive”. They also have butter and milk. I don’t know if it has the same name in the US, since most products have different names in different countries. In any case, it’s meant to lower your cholesterol by burning it or something. I don’t know how it’s supposed to work, but I’ve seen that, if I drink one of those per day, it seems to burn the fat, and I always tend to lose weight pretty fast if I combine that with whatever else I’m doing.

I am not particularly overweight but I’m over my average, so I’m trying to keep it down and maybe lose another 10k or something. I’d be fine with 5k too. The combo that has worked for me so far (following various tips) is:

1. drink something warm in the morning (in my case tea) to kick-start your metabolism.
2. eat, rather than starve. Eat a huge breakfast, various snacks every couple of hours, then slow down as the day progresses. Eat nothing in the evening if possible, or have the last meal as early as possible.
3. Drink that yoghurt I told you about.
4. Make the portions smaller than what I crave for, but have various little things around the house that I could nibble on, preferably carrots and cucumbers and not chocolates and biscuits.
5. NO SUGAR. I’d like to also add “no fat” but unfortunately I can’t survive without meat, or fried stuff and so on. But I can make do without sweets, so that’s fine (I do put some sugar in my tea though, I just try to control it).
6. Obviously, excercise as much as you can. I go hiking whenever I find the time, and take the bicycle to work if I don’t have stuff to carry.

This system works for me everytime. My problem is that I sometimes eat late, like get invited somewhere for dinner and end up overdoing it, and then gain back all the weight I just lost. But whenever I use the above system (and that yoghurt is really a miracle, if you can find something similar where you are), I lose 3–4kg/m (that’s like 7 lb). Which is a good, steady way of losing weight and not getting it back again.

Judi's avatar

I lost weight on a medically supervised program called HMR and have maintained it for 4 years. It emphasises diet and exercise, and the medically supervised plan offers quick results. I love their “More is better” Philosophy, where instead of emphasising what you can’t eat they focus on what you should be eating more of (fruits and vegetables.)
If you are a doctor you could expand your practice by offering the program.

DarkScribe's avatar

The only weight loss products that work are common sense and willpower. Nothing that they can package – surprising considering that it is a multi billion dollar industry. You lose weight by burning more energy than you take in. In my case I eat a low carb diet – NOT Atkins, just no unnecessary processed or simple carbs that don’t come from fresh fruit or vegetables.

Judi's avatar

@DarkScribe ; But calorie controlled meals CAN help with issues like portion size and environmental control.

DarkScribe's avatar

@Judi why the “but”?

Calorie control is what I was advocating, don’t eat more than you burn.

Judi's avatar

The program I did (and still do for maintenance) Provides prepackaged calorie control meals. It sounded like you were saying that it was all about self discipline and any of the tools provided by the diet industry were a scam. Some of the tools are rather helpful to survive a world where 20 oz steaks are the norm and you choose between vegetables and mac and cheese for side dishes. It’s a hard world to navigate for someone with food issues.

DarkScribe's avatar

@Judi I don’t really regard prepackaged meals as a “weight loss product” just a convenience. It is quite simple to manage your own meals with regard to exact calorie control but if you want someone else to do it you still get the same result.

Judi's avatar

It works for me. I got fat on fast food and this is healthy fast food. It keeps my weight down and I know, If left to the world out there, I would under estimate portion size, under estimate calories and flame up like a balloon again. I need quick and easy, and a built in way for me not to deceive myself :-)

essieness's avatar

@nikipedia @La_chica_gomela I think you two are getting a little hung up on semantics. The point is, @Dr_C has already read clinical studies and simply wanted some personal experience stories to enhance, or add to, those studies. It appears as though he is planning to do even more research after getting some ideas from Fluther. I think this is pretty explicit when he said he “will use said information as a basis to determine popularity and ease of use before conducting research on each particular product before prescribing or recommending it’s use”. How much more does he need to spell it out? Of course he doesn’t plan to prescribe anything “based on the recommendations of a couple people on the internet,” as @nikipedia put it. In this instance, it would have been better for the pair of you to either answer original question in a helpful manner, or keep your nasty comments to yourselves.

Rant over.

nikipedia's avatar

@essieness: He has significantly changed the question since my initial criticism, which I am still confident was warranted. I get nasty when people jeopardize other people’s safety or happiness and I make no apologies for that.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

@essieness: You didn’t read his original question. It was really different from this one.

hearkat's avatar

@essieness: As an impartial third party, I will confirm that the details of the question have been changed significantly from how the original post was written; Dr_C even indicted that he edited it in reaction to their concerns within the responses posted.
(and it took me this long to realize that he wrote he wanted to suggest to his patients, not parents! Our office has a form that many people misread in the exact way, so you’d think I know better!)

essieness's avatar

@hearkat @La_chica_gomela @nikipedia I knew he had edited the question, but I didn’t realize it was that significant of an edit or I wouldn’t have gotten all worked up about it ;)

VS's avatar

I have battled the extra 20 pounds most of my adult life. I have tried several different weight loss products, some prescribed, some over the counter. I did the Fen-Phen thing briefly, but found the Pondimin too strong to take before each meal so adapted it to taking just the Phentermine once a day. Good thing since Pondimin was soon taken off the market for the ill effects on the heart.
I have used Phentermine successfully maybe three or four different times. The BEST remedy for weight loss that I have ever found was South Beach diet. Of course, as soon as I added carbs back, the weight came back, too. The only real remedy is to simply eat less, exercise more, and be sensible about what you eat.

mass_pike4's avatar

I’m sorry, but I have not had personal experience with any weight loss products. I can tell you though, that it is a bunch of hooey. Companies make too much off these products bc everyone wants the simple way to lose weight. It takes a consistent healthy diet and moderate exercise everyday to lose weight. Not to mention it is the healthiest way to lose weight.

Losing weight by taking a pill or whatever actually hurts the body, disrupts cellular division, etc. The body is not meant to have so many different chemicals, unnatural, flying around. As far as your dieting, do not go on any “diets.” Diets are proven to not work. All of them are the same…youll lose a certain amount for a certain amt of time, and then youll gain it back after a certain amt of time. I suggest eating 6 small meals spread throughout the day with all the recommended amt of servings from each food group. You should be getting at the very least 30 mins of moderate exercise. 60 mins of exercise a day is actually more recommended.

Losing weight may be your main goal to have the good image, but being healthy is way more important trust me. If you followed a healthy diet constantly and exercise, I can guarentee you you will lose weight and keep it off. But it doesn’t come easy. Keep up the good work always.

mass_pike4's avatar

one more note…try getting 2/3s of your total calories throughout the day before 1 pm. The body’s metabolism begins to slow down around this time and when you consume calories, they tend to digest slower and therefore are harder to lose. Try not to eat at those late hours and stick to the smaller meals instead of stuffing yourself.

Dr_C's avatar

@mass_pike4 great answers but still not what i was looking for. As i mentioned before i’m not looking for specific therapeutic advice and have a great deal of experience in specific caloric-intake meal plan design among other things… my question resides in specific personal and anecdotal experience in the actual use of any given weight loss product.

Thanx.

SeventhSense's avatar

@DarkScribe
You lose weight by burning more energy than you take in
Thats easy for you to say. You look like a natural ectomorph. You probably weigh about 150 or something. Your metabolism is probably naturally high.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Dr_C
Hey fuck em if they can’t take a joke.

Judi's avatar

@Dr_C,
didn’t you already ask this question?

hearkat's avatar

@Judi: This question is 2 months old.

bea2345's avatar

My only experience with weight loss products was a brief stint with Weight Watchers. It did not work for me for two reasons: the moderator was untrained, and her presentations were often misleading and inaccurate. The other was that the diet sheet did not incorporate foods that I was accustomed to, it was mostly American. I did, however, learn about new habits: eating slowly, drinking plenty of water, etc.

Judi's avatar

@hearkat ; How stupid do I feel? sulks

hearkat's avatar

@Judi: It’s happened to us all at one time or another!

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