Jun302016

Posted in Diet Reviews.

I’m getting a lot of hate mail from people who are using products that I review and apparently are very offended by my criticisms of the diets. Here is what I have to say to anyone who is reading my reviews:

My reviews are not ‘try it and review my results’. I have a series I’m doing now called ‘I Tried It So You Don’t Have To’, where I am actually trying diets. My original diet reviews, like this one, are simply to compare the claims that the company makes with the research out there (and basic physiology). So writing me and bitching at me for not trying the diet…that’s not the point of these reviews. If you want testimonials, you can go online and find some. 

Before and after photos, testimonials, your own personal experience…they are easily fabricated, but besides that, they don’t have anything to do with the science. If you like to base your opinion of a product on before and after pictures and your husband’s weight loss while using it, then go ahead. I’m taking a deeper dive into the claims and science behind them. If that’s not your jam, don’t read my review. 

Contrary to what you may believe, I have almost 20 years of experience being a dietitian. This means I’ve taken plenty of university courses in anatomy, physiology, chemistry, and nutrition. I’ve worked with critically ill patients, babies, people who are palliative, and I have done thousands of hours of counselling in my career. I am also open-minded about Eastern AND Western medicine. So yes, I do know what I’m talking about. I just like you to have as much information as possible before you start taking something (and spending your money on it).

I am not writing negative reviews in order to bolster my counselling business. That’s hilarious. I have enough clients, thanks for your concern! 

Stop taking it personally when I write negative things about your diet. If you like a diet, if it works for you, and it’s not dangerous, then go ahead and use it. Every single diet will have its success stories. You’ll also want to think about what you’re going to do in the future once you get tired of drinking diet coffee/having a shake instead of a meal/are broke from buying all sorts of supplements. For long term success, you should be changing your diet and lifestyle as well as taking a supplement. 

 

Valentus Slim Roast Coffee was brought to my attention the other day and I thought I’d check it out. You know, just in case any of you were thinking of trying to lose weight using ‘The healthiest coffee on the planet!’ (their words, not mine)

SlimRoast is a relatively new product, and is sold by – what a shocker – MLM. So soon enough, you’ll probably find your Facebook feed clogged by people trying to sell it to you. Get ready to block a bunch of people!

There hasn’t been any research done on SlimRoast that I can find, but of course there are plenty of testimonials on the Valentus site! YAY!

The best thing about testimonials is all the laughs I get when I read them.

Listen, if you’d like to believe that someone who spells the word ‘tough’ as ‘tuff’ is legit and a good source of information, that’s your choice. Besides the ‘tuff’ testimonial (which was my fave, naturally), there are other ones that describe crazy fast weight loss without making any changes besides adding SlimRoast. Really? Are they sure, because that doesn’t make much sense. You know, like, physiologically. Science? Much?

Predictably, there are also people on there describing how great it is to be a part of the Valentus ‘family’! Because MLM is SO dependable for income, right?

Sigh. Moving on.

 

What is SlimRoast?

 

Slim Roast looks like a packet of instant coffee that you dissolve in hot water. It has 20 calories per serving and not really much else.

Valentus would disagree with me, because according to the company, SlimRoast offers these benefits:

 

Formulated with natural appetite suppressants, feel good ingredients and detox components SlimROAST is a great addition to your weight management program. Not only will you find managing your weight with SlimROAST will produce exciting results, but you will love the taste of this delicious Italian dark roast coffee.

 

Managing my weight with SlimRoast will ‘produce exciting results’? I’m so excited! Can you tell?

Many people believe that coffee is an natural appetite suppressant, which it may be – but some research shows that decaffeinated coffee (surprise!) controls appetite far better than caffeinated coffee does.

So what then are the ‘appetite suppressants’ that Valentus claims to have in SlimRoast? And the detox components? Because you all know how I feel about ‘detoxing’, right?

 

Let’s take a closer look at this product.

 

The recommended ‘dose’ of SlimRoast is 2 packets a day. Sounds easy enough, if you like the taste of instant coffee. No judgement! Compared to some diet programs I’ve reviewed, this one is simple, and doesn’t require the purchase of a million pills and crap like that. And the taste of SlimRoast, compared to say, Shakeology, would probably be incredible. Once you taste Shakeology you’ll know what I mean.

 

Valentus SlimRoast has, of course, coffee, and the following ingredients (along with my assessment of each one for weight management/detox):

 

Chlorogenic Acid: SlimRoast claims that chlorogenic acid is a ‘powerful thermogenic fat burner’. Except no, it’s actually not. Just because most laypeople have no idea what thermogenesis is doesn’t mean that companies should continue to use it to sell supplements. It sounds good, but only until you realize that Valentus is actually is making a claim that doesn’t really hold water.

 

Otherwise known as the active ingredient in green coffee bean extract, chlorogenic acid may have a minor effect on blood glucose control. Minor, people.

For weight control? The studies aren’t so great. And by ‘aren’t so great’ I mean small and poorly done, with inconsistent results – which is pretty much one step up from ‘no studies at all’.

 

Garcinia Cambogia 95%: Okay. Haven’t we talked enough about garcinia? Seriously!

SlimRoast claims that garcinia increases ‘fat burning’. I’m really starting to hate that term, because it’s ubiquitous and it means nothing when you’re referring to dietary supplements. No food and no supplement burns fat. Let’s get that straight once and for all!!

In humans (because a lot of the garcinia studies are done on rats, and you’re not a rat), garcinia’s effect on weight loss isn’t proven. Studies have been short-term, small, and poorly done. Dr. Oz got reamed out in Congress for promoting garcinia and green coffee bean. That happened because they don’t work for weight loss/fat burning/whatever else weight-related like these companies want you to believe they do. In other words, move on.

 

Phaseolamin: Phaseolamin is a ‘proteinaceous inhibitor of alpha-amylase’. In other words, phaseolamin, which is made from white beans, may inhibit the absorption of carbohydrates in your diet. Less carbohydrates (or any nutrient) equals less calories, which theoretically results in weight loss over time.

Studies have shown that white bean extract may play a part in weight control, but it’s certainly not a magic bullet, and potency is unreliable. If you’re interested in this ingredient, I’d check out this Examine.com article about it.

I question whether SlimRoast contains enough phaseolamin to even have a starch-inhibiting effect.

 

Cassiolamine: SlimRoast claims that cassiolamine, ‘a multi-flavonoid compound’, inhibits fat absorption and blocks carbohydrates. That sounds all science-y and stuff, but there is no research about it whatsoever (red flag) and when I search ‘cassiolamine’ on the internet, all that pops up are disreputable sites trying to sell it or promote it. Want to get your information from a site called ‘tight assets’? Go right ahead. But for now, let’s just say there’s a big fat ZERO for this ingredient.

Remember: if it worked, it wouldn’t be marketed by shady websites. If it worked, everyone would be at their ideal weight.

 

Green Tea 100:1 Extract: Green tea contains a compound called ECGC, which has been shown to have health benefits. However, Valentus doesn’t put green tea extract into SlimRoast for the ECGC (which is just as well, since SlimRoast probably wouldn’t contain enough of the compound to make much of a difference in your health). The green tea extract in SlimRoast is there for its caffeine content, which SlimRoast says increases urine output and increases mental alertness. Wow, SlimRoast! You got that right!

But wait – can’t you just have a cheap cup of coffee and get the same effect? You betcha! So that’s that.

 

Ginseng 100:1 Extract: SlimRoast’s super-entertaining description of the benefits of ginseng is this:

Most young people these days are beginning to look and feel older, in some cases even hitting puberty far earlier than was the norm even one generation earlier. Ginseng is known to combat the free radicals that give the human skin mantle that look of premature aging. Valentus’ pure 100:1 extract works extremely well when combined with our other proprietary ingredients. This root is an immune system balancing, super supplement that should be admired by all.

Let’s start by saying that even though I don’t have definitive research to back myself up, I would say that ‘young people’ in this generation actually look and feel younger than generations before them. They have access to better healthcare, more health information, and do less manual labor/have more conveniences than ever before. They hit puberty earlier perhaps due to various reasons, but what does that have to do with anything? Weird.

The science says that ginseng may have a minor effect on alertness. In rats, it enhanced learning. You’re not a rat. And as far as making you look and feel younger? Uh. Better start eating fruits and vegetables, using sunscreen and going to bed earlier! Although there are plenty of short (read: not long enough to determine the actual benefits) and rat (and here among many others) research studies that show ginseng has antioxidant properties, you can also get lots of antioxidants without ginseng. The process is called ‘eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables’. Consume any of those recently? It’s also important to note that normal coffee has beneficial antioxidants, too!

We also have no idea which type (there are a few) of ginseng is even in SlimRoast, because the company doesn’t disclose that.

Just because a company has a ‘proprietary blend’ of ingredients doesn’t mean it’s on to something secret and special. All it means is that you’re not going to ever know how much of each ingredient is in the drug. Anyone can have a proprietary blend of anything. Your gramma’s secret chocolate chip cookies? There’s a proprietary blend worth having.

 

L-Carnitine with Chromium: Valentus says this about carnitine and chromium:

A lack of chromium could cause fluctuating blood-sugar levels which trigger sugar cravings. As a carbohydrate dependent society, increasing the amount of L-Carnitine & Chromium in our diet in our formula’s proportions will assist the body’s ability to manage its carbohydrate cravings and, in turn, assist with a successful weight management protocol.

Do people usually lack chromium? Not really. Chromium deficiency is rare – most of us get enough, and being ‘a carbohydrate-dependent society’ should actually help with chromium intake, since the element is found in GRAINS (as well as egg yolk, meat, nuts, green beans, and broccoli among other foods). If you eat a balanced diet, you should be getting enough chromium already. Helloooo, Valentus! Wake up!

L-carnitine has a lot of very minor effects on health, but reducing carbohydrate cravings doesn’t happen to be one of them. Unless you have a genetic or other issue that affects your carnitine absorption, a balanced diet should give you more than enough carnitine. Vegans may need to supplement simply because carnitine is found mainly in animal products; however, this has nothing to do with the purpose that finds carnitine in SlimRoast.

 

It’s also important to note this: even if any of the above ingredients are efficacious in controlling weight, does SlimRoast contain enough of the ingredient to even have an effect?

Think about the delivery system (and this goes for weight loss drinks, too) – the company is essentially fortifying coffee with these ingredients, but how much of them can be added to the coffee without affecting flavor, texture, solubility, and appearance? Probably not whole a heck of a lot.

Valentus doesn’t provide the actual amounts of any of the above ingredients in their product, so we can only guess how much garcinia, for example, they’ve managed to ram into one packet of instant coffee.

I don’t know about you, but I like to actually know what I’m consuming.

 

In Short:

Valentus SlimRoast has zero research proving it works. Testimonials don’t count.

 

SlimRoast contains mostly unproven ingredients that likely don’t work – together, or separately – to promote weight loss.

 

Healthiest coffee on the planet? Not quite.

 

It’s pretty physiologically impossible to take a supplement and lose weight just from that, without any changes to your diet or activity. So testimonials that make that claim are probably not legit. I promise – when scientists find the magic ingredient that makes people lose weight while they sit on their ass, I’ll let you know. For now though – you’ll need to do the work. Sorry!

 

Don’t be fooled by talk about proprietary blends and/or ingredients. No one is hiding the world’s best-ever weight-loss secret.

 

The Bottom Line:

Want the same effect of SlimRoast? Get a Starbucks and eat a balanced diet. Then, smile because you saved money and didn’t buy SlimRoast.

Comments are closed.