Q: What about hoodia gordonii? The ads say, “It’s thenewest phenomenon and most exciting fat loss product available, asseen on 60 Minutes,” and so on. What are your thoughts?

A: I have never seen so much hype as this hoodia thing,but I guess that’s what 60 Minutes and BBC prime time will do.Not to mention millions of spam emails….
If hoodia does anything, it’s a quick fix. At the very best, if itcontains what it says it contains, and does what it claims to do,it could suppress appetite so you might eat less.
That might be of value to some people some of the time, but I don’tbelieve suppressing appetite is the right strategy to begin with.
Suppress your appetite so you can starve yourself and slow down yourmetabolism and lose muscle???? Great logic there.
You need to feed your muscle, not starve it, and burn the fat with exercise.Nutrition plus exercise is the long term answer, pills are quick fixes.
It’s also totally senseless to take pills that you are completelyuneducated about. Many people are taking hoodia because of the hype,but they don’t even have any idea what it is or what it’s supposed to do.
Hoodia is a plant from Africa that has reputedly been used by theKalahari bushmen to suppress appetite while they went on long huntingtrips. In 1997 it was licensed to a British pharmaceutical companycalled Phytopharm.
Phytopharm did one in-house study with a small group of subjects,but so far there is not one single independent study in a peer reviewedjournal that proves hoodia is effective for helping with weight loss.
All this hype is based on anecdotal evidence and a couple of reporter’spersonal testimonials broadcast to millions of people.
There are a lot of educated and respected fitness professionals–who saythat controlling appetite with various compounds–drugs or naturalsupplements–is a completely acceptable and effective way to help peoplelose weight.
That may be true if you’re talking about temporary weightloss and if you’re okay with using drugs, and a lot of people are.
Personally, I think that’s short term thinking, especially when youfigure that you can control appetite just by eating properly. But gofigure… most people don’t want to take the time to educate themselvesby reading something like my Burn The Fat book and they don’t want toexert the effort or discipline to act on things they have learned….
Most people still want the quick fix, with no thought given to longterm consequences…
I believe that if you’re not thinking about long term permanent fat loss,then you’re wasting your time. We don’t have a problem with people losingweight. The problem is the inability to keep weight off.
95% of the people who lose weight gain it back within a year. That’s because95% of the people who lose weight are losing weight the wrong way–with pills,crash diets, and other quick fixes.
One last thing worth mentioning is that this hoodia gordonii plant is apparentlyquite rare, and there is a limited supply and a large demand. As a result therehas been at least one case of a company selling phony hoodia, and I read onestatistic that estimated that two-thirds of the hoodia on the market is phony.That’s just one more reason not to bother.
Until next time, train hard and expect success,
Your friend and coach,
Tom Venuto, NSCA-CPT, CSCS
Certified Personal Trainer
Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist
Fat Loss Coach
PSThis Q & A was an excerpt from my latest ebook, THE FAT BURN FILES. The book is scheduled to be released within the next few weeks and you can now sign up on priority notification list at: www.TheFatBurnFiles.com

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