Diet Review: Is Plexus Going to Help Me Lose Weight?
Having never heard of any such thing as Plexus, I went over to their website to have a look.
Let’s just get one thing straight. If and when a wonderful, miraculous, scientifically-sound weight loss medication/supplement is ever discovered, it will probably NOT be sold using a multi-level-marketing scheme. And, it will probably NOT be available in conjunction with 5 or 6 other products that you’ll ‘need’ to buy to achieve weight loss. So please remember that, okay?
Let’s chat for a second about the fact that Plexus has never done any clinical trials on their products. So, they’re essentially relying on anecdotal evidence to prove that their products work. Not a deal breaker, but keep that in mind, especially if the company is making the claim that Plexus can help with weight loss. How exactly can they claim that with a straight face if they’ve never officially trialed it?
Plexus is also expensive as hell. It’s $170 a month just for the Plexus Slim ‘pink drink’, if you take it twice a day as the company recommends. If you choose to add anything else to your Plexus supplement roster, the price obviously goes up.
Let’s look at some of the Plexus products for weight loss:
For all those people who want to lose weight using Plexus, the company offers a ‘Slim and Block Combo’, and the description states:
In today’s modern world, it can be tough to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Between fad diets, fast food and limited time, it can seem like losing weight is impossible. Thankfully, Plexus Slim and Block can help.
Sorry Plexus, but Slim and Block – or any diet pill-popping for that matter – have nothing to do with a ‘healthy lifestyle’.
And ‘between fad diets’…like Plexus? Ha ha! Sorry – I couldn’t resist. But losing weight IS hard, so I get why people still look for a quick fix.
What’s in this stuff?
The contents of Plexus Block are simple – white kidney bean extract and seaweed. Looking at the research on white kidney bean extract, I was surprised to see that there is research showing that it does indeed block starches!
Wow Plexus! You got me!
Basically, the kidney beans contain an ingredient that interferes with the body’s ability to break down starches into small, absorbable particles, so they’re not absorbed. It won’t work on sugars, because those are in smaller particles and therefore are easily absorbed, bean extract or not.
Fair enough, there is some research that white bean extract can help with weight loss – at least in the short term. But the potency and consistency of white bean for weight loss is unreliable. In other words, it may or may not work for you. And the studies on white bean extract that exist are small and generally poorly-done.
Let’s move on to the Plexus Slim, about which the company says:
Simply pour into a bottle of water 30 minutes before a meal, drink, and experience the results you’ve been dreaming of.
That sounds amazing!! What could this product possibly contain that could make me look like Pam Anderson during her Baywatch days?! (minus that gross dark lipliner)
Answer: Chromium, garcinia cambogia, and green coffee bean extract.
I hate to sound boring and, well, like a dietitian, but the studies on garcinia cambogia and green coffee bean – and I mean the studies done on HUMANS, not on rats, because even though there have been lots of animal studies done on these and other supplements, we aren’t rats – have been small, poorly done, and mostly show no significant results.
Chlorogenic acid – which is the active ingredient in green coffee beans, has been studied a bit for its role in weight loss. These studies, however, were industry-funded and small.
Plexus says this about chlorogenic acid:
Chlorogenic acids are one of the major classes of phenolic compounds. They are present in a large variety of fruits and vegetables. They largely occur conjugated with quinic acid as in chlorogenic acid.
What the…do any of you without science backgrounds actually understand what this means? I think Plexus is trying to dazzle you with fancy words (and seriously bad grammar) and make you feel all science-y and stuff. But really what they should say is, ‘chlorogenic acid is mostly hype and little proof, and if it’s in eggplant and sunflower seeds (which it is), just eat those’. Period.
Didn’t Dr. Oz get yelled at in Congress precisely because he promoted garcinia cambogia and green coffee bean extract for weight loss? Yes, yes he did. And there was a reason for that butt-kicking..because none of it is proven to work and people were pissed off!
Plexus offers a 96 calorie protein shake to ‘help you avoid fast food cravings’, but I’m not sure how 96 whole calories, no fiber at all, and 15 grams of protein is supposed to do anything except tide you over…for 2 minutes. I’m not even going there.
I have to give an honorable mention to the Plexus Bio Cleanse, a completely useless ‘cleanse’ that ‘oxygenates the entire body’ (except you do this every single minute…by BREATHING) and uses magnesium hydroxide (AKA Milk of Magnesia, heard of it?) to ‘cleanse’ you.
So let’s regroup. We have a multi-level marketing scheme selling herbally-charged, mostly unproven, very expensive supplements. There is some preliminary research showing promise with a few of the ingredients in Plexus, but the research is poorly done and industry-funded (not that that’s necessarily BAD, but you should note it).
1. Multi-level marketing schemes are not going to be the way a miraculous diet pill will be sold if one is ever invented (and don’t hold your breath waiting for that, okay?)
2. A company that doesn’t do clinical trials on their products is relying on anecdotal evidence and that’s unreliable and weirdly non-transparent. I don’t care if your mom’s friend’s sister in law lost tons of weight on Plexus. Are you sure it was from Plexus and not something else she was doing? Don’t you want to see some properly-gathered evidence on the product before you spend your money on it?
3. There’s nothing magical about garcinia cambogia, green coffee beans, or anything else in Plexus. If there was, the diet industry would cease to exist.
4. It’s annoying when people try to sell things online to their friends, so be a good friend and don’t do it.
5. Don’t fall for scientific-sounding mumbo jumbo or crazy claims like ‘oxygenation’ of your body or ‘the results you’ve been dreaming of’. Losing weight takes WORK. It always has, and it likely always will.
No matter how many ‘friends’ badger you on Facebook to buy Plexus, it’s probably because they want to make money and not because Plexus is the most awesome thing ever.
Remember this key fact about all weight loss supplements and plans: IF IT WORKED, EVERYONE WOULD BE AT THEIR IDEAL WEIGHT. But weight loss is hard, people. It takes work. You can’t just swallow fat blockers and turbo charged caffeine BS and think you’re going to wake up like Miss Universe. It has never worked, and right now, it’s looking like it never will.