Can drinking three cups of diet coffee a day help you lose weight?
Ever since I've lost weight by livin' la vida low-carb, my acute awareness of anything and everything that has to do with health, diet, and weight loss has become highly sensitized. I mean even the most miniscule claim by a company about how "healthy" or what a "medical breakthrough" for weight management their product is, my radar just goes on full alert!
So, you can imagine when my wife says "check this out" regarding a television commercial she saw this week for yet another weight loss product called Slim Café. Apparently it is a fortified "diet" coffee that supposedly helps you shed the pounds to the tune of "a pound a week."
Let me first give some kudos to the makers of Slim Café. Unlike other gimmicks and fads that we see promising weight loss of "35 pounds in six weeks" (that's exactly what the diet pill company Britney Spears supports is claiming!), Slim Café makes it very clear up front that you will lose a pound a week on their program. This is a much more realistic weight loss approach than the 5-6 pounds a week that other companies pushing products are marketing to consumers (although my average weight loss on the low-carb program was about 4-5 pounds a week).
Of course, losing "a pound a week" doesn't sound very appealing to somebody who, like me in January 2004, had a lot more than a 100 pounds to lose. But if you only have 20 pounds to lose, that one pound a week starts to look pretty good since it will help you reach your weight loss goal by July. Just in time for swimsuit weather, baby!
But before you get too excited, let's take a closer look at this Slim Café product. Their slogan claims that Slim Café "tastes great" and will help you "lose weight." Okay, but how? What's in this stuff that makes people lose weight? Does it REALLY taste good? What's the deal?
According to the Slim Café web site, this Las Vegas, NV-based company actually "guarantees you will lose weight" by drinking their product three times a day (okay, now it's starting to look like the weight loss scams I'm accustomed to!). But they do offer a "money back guarantee" if you don't lose 4-8 pounds drinking their coffee and they will even pay people $1 for every pound they lose while using Slim Café for weight loss. GIMMICK!!!
“What we are doing is turning losers into winners," exclaims Slim Café spokesman Herb Rossin.
Actually, what you are doing, Mr. Rossin, is turning desperate people into suckers for your overpriced product. At an incredible $40 for just 28 oz of this product (no wonder they can affort to pay people a buck for every pound they lose!), Slim Café is just the latest in a long line of products that are promising consumers weight loss without making them adjust their lifestyle.
Allow me to illustrate my point.
Okay, let's just play along at home and pretend we're gonna get suckered...er, I mean try the Slim Café products for ourselves. Let's imagine I'm a man who weighs 350 pounds and I need to lose 125 pounds. Obviously I've got some bad eating habits which have led me to reach the weight I am.
I see this infomercial for Slim Café weight loss coffee on TV and think, "Hey, I can do that!" So I pull out my credit card and break the bank stocking up on this stuff thinking it alone is gonna help me lose weight.
I start drinking my Slim Café coffee for breakast with my normal half-dozen doughnuts and even dip them in my coffee, then I wash down my Big Mac with large French fries meal at lunch with another glass of Slim Café, and finally at dinner I down my third cup of Slim Café after a hearty meat and potatoes meal topped off with hot fudge cake a la mode!
Am I REALLY gonna lose weight doing this, Slim Café? Isn't that EXACTLY what they are claiming?
The truth of the matter is that it doesn't matter what products you are eating or drinking to lose weight unless you make the necessary changes in your current lifestyle to facilitate weight loss. Drinking a product like Slim Café as part of a lifestyle filled with overeating carbs and calories is NOT going to make ANY difference whatsoever in that person's weight. NONE whatsoever!
What the makers of Slim Café don't want you to know is that, like diet pills and other weight loss schemes, IN ADDITION to drinking their product, you will also need to eat a vastly different diet and exercise to see the pounds come off of your body. Whether you choose a low-fat, low-calorie, or low-carb dietary approach, changing your current eating habits immediately will help you lose weight whether you start drinking Slim Café or not.
While I am sure those of you who like coffee (I DON'T!) might enjoy the taste and added health benefits of drinking Slim Café, I defintely would not recommend it for people to begin using solely for weight loss. You are only setting yourself up for failure before you even get started.
Is Slim Café a bad product? Probably not. You have to admire a company that tries to make a popular beverage product even better and healthier than it currently is. But I believe they are misleading people into thinking the only change they need to make is in the coffee they drink. That, to me, is JUST PLAIN SILLY and WRONG! Don't get people's hopes up like that! It's not gonna happen and you know it!
They do offer some "Diet Tips" to help people "speed up your weight loss" (oh, this oughta be good!):
1. The first bite is the best. So, if you must eat dessert, go ahead and take a bite and then give it away or throw it away. Relish the taste of that first bite.
Um, how does this help you "speed up your weight loss?" While getting rid of that nasty, sugar-filled dessert is certainly a good idea, why don't you just have a delicious bowl of berries or low-carb ice cream for dessert instead? And you can eat that at the end of your meal like normal people do. Hmmmm?
2. When you watch TV at night, keep a water bottle with you and drink as much as you want - water has no calories or carbohydrates.
If you drink "as much as you want" of water while "you watch TV at night," then you had better clear a trail between your bed and the bathroom buddy! They'll be putting you in those commercials about "gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now!" Drink lots of water throughout the DAYTIME and then allow your body to flush out those nasty toxins that seek to stall your weight loss. Stop drinking water by 7:00pm and you should be fine (I get up 1-2 times during the night).
3. Always eat breakfast. Your body will not start to burn fat until you eat. Get your metabolism going with breakfast and always include a cup of delicious Slim Café coffee.
No arguments from me about this one. A recent study found that eating breakfast is very important to weight loss success. Don't make excuses for missing breakfast -- JUST DO IT!
Slim Café, I've only got one thing to say to you regarding your weight loss claims -- JUST GO AWAY!
You can e-mail Herb Rossin at Slim Café to let him know what you think about his product and the unreasonable weight loss claims he is making at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ask him if he is SERIOUSLY claiming his product ALONE will help people lose weight or if they need to supplement it with a good diet and exercise program.
What's he gonna say? Let me know if you hear from him and I'll let you know if he responds to me.