Signs of a weight loss rip-off:
- Injections: Beware any weight loss program that offer injections, particularly injections of vitamin B12 or hCG. The only injections known to cause weight loss are Byetta and Victoza and they only work on a small subset of people.
- hCG: hCG stands for "Human Chorionic Gonadotropin" and it is a hormone that is associated with pregnancy, is useful for some forms of female infertility, but it is absolutely NOT efficacious (it doesn't work) for weight loss. 12 major double-blind and placebo controlled studies over the past 50 years have proven that hCG for weight loss is a scam.
- Pills or capsules containing "amino acids". This is just another scam. You'll get more amino acids of every kind (there are 21 total) by eating a piece of meat or some legumes than from any expensive "weight loss" product.
- Over-the-counter pills or capsules with names that sound suspiciously similar to the names of FDA-approved medications. There are too many to name, but when it comes to weight loss, the only FDA-approved medications are Orlsitat, phentermine, phendimetrazine and diethylpropion. If the spelling of the product is altered by even one letter, then you can bet that it's a scam.
- Anything homeopathic: Homeopathy is a fraudulent practice based on the absurd principle of "infinite dilution". Basically the idea is that if one dilutes a toxic substance into an infinite amount of water (or whatever), a curative energy field persists that endows the water (or the tablet) with "healing" properties. My retort is that since everything in the universe is basically infinitely diluted (the oceans for example), then everything should be curative and we should all be healthy. The whole idea is too silly to say anything more about.
So there you have it. Self-serving? Sure. I want you to read this and realize that maybe your weight is too important to trust to some charlatan. I want you to to consider seeing a doctor for your weight. I admit it.
This is not to suggest that all over-the counter weight loss supplements have no merit. Green tea, cinnamon, chromium and a number of other supplements have some pretty solid science behind then to suggest efficacy.