What is Garcinia Cambogia?
If you spend a bit of time trawling fitness and fat/weight loss websites, as I do, you may have seen ads or articles about Garcinia Cambogia floating about. I tend to pay very little attention to anything that looks/sounds like weight loss sorcery, but curiousity has gotten the better of me on this one, so I decided to finally do some research (i.e, a google search). WTF is Garcinia Cambogia and why is it being marketed as a weight loss wonder?
First, to Wikipedia, who tells me that it’s a tropical fruit, native to Indonesia. It’s hit the market, apparently, because Dr Oz, the TV personality now infamously known for his frequent ‘miracle’ product endorsements began spruking its benefits as a weight loss cure in 2012 (Source: Wikipedia).
Here’s the Youtube clip of Dr Oz explaining Garcinia Cambogia.
The doctor he interviews states that studies have shown it increases seratonin (the ‘feel good’ hormone), decreases cortisol (the stress hormone that can cause your body to retain fat among other harms), suppresses appetite, and prevents fat being ‘made’ and stored in the body. An Australian website set up to promote and sell the product, agrees, stating that “Hydroxycitric Acid(HCA) has been studied by medical professionals and concluded to reduce appetite, stop carbohydrates from converting to fat, and elevate the metabolism- helping people lose weight without dieting or exercise”
(Source: GarciniacambogiaAustralian). It certainly sounds miraculous, however there are no links to the studies or their findings they say exist.
WebMD ) is quite blunt in its summary: “Developing research suggests that garcinia might prevent fat storage and control appetite; however, whether these effects occur in humans is unclear” (Source: WebMD).
The jury is clearly still out on whether Garcinia Cambogia actually does the things that are claimed about it. If it does, great, and there is probably no harm in anyone incorporating this into their daily routine. My biggest concern with this is the claims of miracles occurring ‘without diet and exercise’. So what happens when you stop taking the capsules? What about the other physical side effects of a poor diet and sedentary lifestyle? And if you reach your goal weight, how do you maintain it without having gone through the process of learning good habits?
I’m sorry to harp on this, but it annoys me. Question – why do people want to lose weight in the first place? Answer – to feel good about themselves. To feel healthy, strong, fit, energetic and attractive. Losing weight through taking some pill is not going to bring about those much-desired boosts to your physical health and self esteem. It’s the process of weight loss – when done correctly – as much as the end result, that sees those changes happen. The daily wins, seeing the fruits of your labours, knowing that you can, and are, kicking all that emotional and physical baggage to the curb. That’s what’s life-changing, not just an arbitrary drop on the number on the scale.
So for the time being I think I’ll go back to ignoring Garcinia Cambogia. Even if turns out to be a truly effective and healthy fat loss tool, I don’t think I have the time or the inclination to incorporate yet another ‘superfood’ or what-have-you into my diet. I’ve got my hands/brain/tummy full just making sure I get enough of the basic macro and micronutrients, sticking to my calorie goal and remember to take my existing supplements at the right times!
I would however be very interested in your take on Garcinia Cambogia. Anyone tried it? Have an opinion on it? Think I’m a fool for NOT jumping on this bandwagon already? Would love to hear your views 🙂