My bro's getting more and more diet-enthusiastic every day and he wants to try something called hydroxy-cut (sp?). My mother insists that whatever weight you lose on suspicious-looking diet pills such as these is simply water weight. So he asked a friend who INSISTS that it actually does burn fat. But, just to get a second opinion, he wanted me to ask you all if anyone has tried it or knows anything about it. Is it a scam? Is it dangerous? Does it even work? :?:
Thanks for your input!!! :D
05-01-2002, 03:40 PM
It's just another ephedrine/ephedra/ma huang ECA stack.
He's probably seen the six page ads with the unbelievable 'before and after' photos that are in all the fitness magazines.
Let's have a 'get real' moment - the people in those pix aren't 'ordinary people' they are PROFESSIONAL FITNESS MODELS. Some of the before photos of the women were taken just after they had a baby. Of course you are going to have a lot of weight to lose after being pregnant! It is their JOB to be fit. They have to lose the pregnancy weight anyway...so why not get PAID to do so...right?
Also, some fitness models (both male and female) get fat intentionally so they can lose weight for these ads. And there are photography tricks they use as well. Note that the 'before pix' inverably show the subject as pale, slouching, not smiling, photographed with bad lighting...in the 'after' pic they are tan, standing straight, big smile, flexing those muscles!
For sure, they lost weight...but I'd chalk it down to their hard work, NOT to any 'fat burner'.
They're all the same-----raise your heart rate, blood pressure and body temp..............make you edgy and *****y..............cause your natural metabolism to adjust downward.........burn about as much calories as taking the dog for a walk.....and generate a ferocious rebound effect, in which the fat flies back on your body as soon as you quit the pill.
Ma huang is dangerous enough to be labeled a restricted substance in 16 states, and is banned by the US Olympic Committee and the NCAA.
Hope that helps...
05-02-2002, 02:59 PM
on the 'before and after' photos that are used in the Hydroxycut ads...
Found this interesting article in one of the more 'hardcore' muscle mags (by hardcore I don't mean porn, I just mean REALLY into the muscle - more of a guy's mag):
We've all been hooked in my sensational before and after pictures in supplement ads...the question that was posed was whether or not these pictures are phony and doctored. Certainly, with today's computer graphics technology, doctoring photos would be a snap for someone with just basic PC skills, but it's not really necessary. There are enough sneaky tricks to employ without even having to resort to messing with the picture.
First of all, notice the things that almost all of the before pictures have in common. Nobody has a tan. The men all have their body hair. Everyone is slouching and looking glum. They might even have a big baggy pair of shorts on that makes their waist look even wider. Yes, life really sucks sweaty a-- in the 'before' picture.
Now for the magical 'after' photo. White, pasty skin that looked like soft dough is now bronze and tight. The hair has been waxed or shaved off. Muscles are flexed or tensed, and look at that Colgate smile! Now they might even have a tight pair of Lycra shorts or posing trunks on to show off their slimmed down waist and hips. What has actually happened to their bodies in this time span? In many cases...all they did was lose fat. They may give credit to some super product, but the truth is that anyone can lose a huge amount of bodyfat just by dieting right and doing cardio.
If they actually added a lot of muscle too, one of three things is happening. Either they're a beginner, they were rebuilding previously existing muscle mass after a layoff, or they were jacked up on some good anabolics. Sorry to say, but nobondy outside of these three categories puts on '20 pounds of solid muscle in 10 weeks' or any other such ridiculous figure.
The best before and afters to entice the bodybuilding market use bodybuilders. This is because any bodybuilder looks 1,000% better when they diet down to contest condition from their off-season weight....Then you could even get into lighting issues, which are more significant than most people realize. The before picture might be taken with a flash or under 'flat' lighting conditions. If the person had any cuts or muscle separations, you wouldn't see them. The after picture is often taken by a professional photographer who knows how to sculpt light with key, fill, and back lighting to make all the details in a physique pop out. Every little vein and straition can now be seen.
So are these before and after pictures "real"? They are indeed, but as I have tried to show you, the perception of reality can be dramatically altered to fit various goals.
Just want to add here that my progress photos (see them at my website or at the www.leanandstrong.com Transformation Gallery) were taken by hubby Jim using a point and shoot cheap digital camera, mostly in the hallway in front of our bedroom door...
But those Hydroxycut ads...those folks are professional bodybuilders and/or fitness models...who use the techniques above...
06-27-2002, 03:52 PM
I have been taking Hydroxycut since March 1, 2002. I have lost 56 pounds.
Being a Caffine / Effedrine / Asperin stack, it has a long list of warnings. The caffine and efferdrine both are stimulants and therefore work to raise your metabolism, which is bad for anyone with heart problems, high blood pressure, asthma, and other health problems. The asperin works to keep your metobalism from slowing down.
I have taken the Hydroxycut just as the lable stipulates...3 pills a dose, 3 times a day; 12 weeks on, 2 weeks off. I lost an average of 4 pounds a week while on the drug and only 1.5 pounds the entire time that I was off of it. Also, during my 2 weeks off of the drug, my appetite cravings were HORRIBLE! I was eating and did not care about the weight.
Eventhough taking so-called 'diet' pills has a stigma, AND even with the health warnings, I decided to try Hydroxycut. I have been fat my whole life. And decided that I had been fat long enough. I had a series of health problems that all stemmed from my being 272 pounds. High blood pressure, heart arrythemias (sp), joint problems, asthma, etc....I used the Hydroxycut anyway. I went to the doctor after loosing 30 pounds to have a physical. My blood pressure was 120/80 (from 150/110 average), my cholestrol was 140 (from 220), my tris were 103. My heart arrythemia is less of a bother, my joints dont hurt anymore, and I no longer use asthma medicine. The doctor was so happy with the improvements that he literally hugged me.
I have educated myself about all of the bad side effects of taking stimulant stackers such as Hydroxycut. I knew starting out that I may not be able to continue taking the drug. I also knew that my taking the drug could possibly do much more hard than good. But I choose to take the chance. I have to say that I am so glad that I did. Apples to apples, I am much healthier now than before.
08-28-2002, 10:36 AM
Well, I was 220 pounds with high blood pressure too. I went on a doctor supervised Very Low Calorie protein-sparing diet (50% protein, 30% carbs, 20% fat) with NO caffeine allowed. I lost 55 pounds (I'm at goal weight - I'm pretty tall and muscular), lost 12 inches off my waist, lowered BP to 112/70, Cholesterol 135 etc. etc. and I did it DRUG free. That's what hydroxy-cut is, a drug! With herbs in it that can be fatal to some people.
If you read the commercial's fine print, they say average weightloss is 8 pounds in 8 weeks. I lost a lot more than that (2-3 pounds a week) without it.
Save your money! You don't need a diet crutch, and like you said, there are withdrawl symptoms. It can backfire too when you believe you can eat more since you are on a miracle pill that will melt the fat away.
08-29-2002, 12:55 AM
Heaven knows we are all looking for the quick magical way to get the fat off! I am so sick of those Hydroxycut ads that I could scream. Mrs Jim hits it right on the nose when she says that they are fitness models in the ads, I've seen them all in Oxygen magazine (which now consists of 50% Hydroxycut ads) talking about their competitions. Notice in the small print that they are all "remunerated" for their appearance. Also, just to be snarky, I want to add that the Dr. they show in the ads never finished her schooling. She got the 4 year diploma but never did clinicals.
09-03-2002, 07:07 PM
Don't take this the wrong way - but I think you're really selling yourself short...
The reason you've lost weight isn't because of the Hydroxycut - it's because YOU'VE taken the bull by the horns and changed your eating habits (and perhaps your exercise - I don't know about that though).
If Hydroxycut really 'worked' there would be no obesity problem in America. Basically it's just legal speed (in fact, the active ingredient - ephedrine - is the main ingredient in crystal meth).
Again, don't take this the wrong way - but apparently you've worked hard, made sacrifices and lifestyle changes. THAT'S why you've lost the weight - don't give the credit that belongs to YOU to some stupid pill!
And one more note about the folks in those ads - did you know that many of those fitness models stipulate in their contracts that they are to be given 12 weeks notice before a shoot - so they can diet the bodyfat off?
09-04-2002, 09:02 PM
My Hydroxycut anecdote for the day:
I walk into the women's lockerroom at my gym today and on one of the benches is this woman lying down with her feet up and with a cold washcloth on her forehead. I didn't really think much of it (I see lots of oddities at my gym) and proceeded to the sink to wash my hands. While drying my hands, this woman leaps up off the bench and rushes into one of the stalls and proceeds to throw up two or three times. So now I'm really trying to hurry because that's the last thing I want to experience at
5:45 in the morning.
The woman comes out of the stall, and her friend comes into the
lockerroom to check on her. Turns out they decided to try Hydroxycut for the first time. They started out with the highest dose, drank a couple cups of coffee, and didn't eat anything. Then they hit the gym, and one of them got sick. Like really sick. And they didn't think anything of it! I heard the not-sick one say, "Oh, the trainer out there just told me that everyone who tries this stuff gets sick the first time. It'll be better tomorrow."
Uh, yeah. Okay. WHY would anyone want to do that to themselves??? And why would you want to do it again tomorrow?
10-04-2002, 06:28 PM
I took Hydroycut for 2 months after using the other version.. xenadrine.. xenadrine worked good for 2 months.. made my workout very good. but after I would get very sick to my stomach. and once I got used to them they did nothing except give me a migraine.. so I switched to hydroycut.. the sales person highly recommended them... all I could do is think about food...lots of it.. even after eating I was still hungry..plus the headaches.. so after a week of withdrawel I got off them completely.. with the xenadrine I lost 25 pounds between thanksgiving and christmas.. never hungry.. i was at goal but the weight came on immediately after I stopped taking them.. so I kept going back on them with no results at all.. and now i have a horrible time losing even 1 pound.. not sure but I think it messed up my metabolism pretty good.. now the 25 pounds is back plus extra??
10-04-2002, 07:11 PM
Hey Lakota - if you go to the Main Board at www.leanandstrong.com, you'll find a lot of folks have had the same experience you just mentioned with ECA stacks - the rebound effect...
10-09-2002, 03:05 PM
I had the exact same experience on metabolife......worked wonders for 5 months, then hit a brick wall, so I switched to xenadrine.....then my concious caught up with me and I stopped taking everything that contained Ephidrine......HORRID headaches to the point where if I moved at all it would bring me to tears...missed a couple of days of work due to these withdrawl headaches. I swore never to take anything with Ephidrine or MaHuang again! Unfortunately I was at my ideal weight of 128lbs!!! I have never been that thin! and now I am at 148-152!! no matter what I try now a days I can't seem to shed even 1 pound and get so discouraged and frustrated! I too feel that I have severely messed my system up and can't lose weight with out drugs..I know what it takes to be thin......sensible diet and lots of exercise, but I work 50+ hours a week, and have a husband and 2 kids, so I have a house hold to manage as well....so hard to find the time and energy!! I wish the weight came off as easily as it goes on. :( I used to walk 3 to 6 miles a day everyday, but now I don't want to walk outdoors for fear that the "skinny" people will see me and judge me. I get so depressed and mad everytime I have to dig through my closet to find close that fit! You name the diet, I have tried it...and will continue I am sure..:(
10-21-2002, 11:53 AM
getoffme! You are one of the *skinny people*. :) 150 is not fat unless you're 4'8". You may feel a bit chunky but nobody will stare at you. Especially now - it's fall - throw on a loose jacket if you're self-conscious and walk, or walk at sunrise or after dark. You'll realize that you're looking healthy and fit when you're out moving - not overweight.
You may be one of the people the rest of us don't want to compare ourselves to - until we lose more weight!
You did it before you can do it again!
12-03-2002, 12:11 PM
Rusty-I just saw that Japanese proverb yesterday on a Japanese language web site . weeeeird. I thought it was good for us weight conscious folk too.
If you regain weight, don't give up -- yo-yoing is now thought to NOT lower your metabolism, although gaining more than you lost does give you more fat cells to deal with.
SO if you tried those dumb pills and lost, then regained, try a natural approach next: healthy food+portion control+exercise (aerobic AND weights)+water. Make it your lifestyle and you WILL keep the weight off and be much healthier.
12-06-2002, 11:24 AM
All products containing Ephedra are now banned from military grocery stores. I was shocked to find out that so far 30 military people have died after using products like Ripped Force or Hydroxycut. I'm glad the military is smart and is taking matters in their own hand doing something that the FDA won't.
Yeah, ECA stacks might be safe for people that sit around or just walk for exercise, but when you are into heavy training it REALLY stresses your heart and cardiovascular system in general. I wouldn't be surprised if the young, fit people who drop over dead while running races (10K to marathon distance) haven't been on ECA supps.
12-06-2002, 11:43 AM
It's not that the FDA WON'T - basically their hands are tied because of the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act.
There's an interesting article about the DSHEA here: