Popular Slimming Tablets A to Z
By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD
this herbal supplement combines butternut, dandelion root, boldo and fucus in a tablet that claims to speed up your metabolism and burn fat more efficiently so that you lose weight.
Fucus (a type of seaweed) supposedly works as a mild thyroid stimulant to boost your metabolism while the other ingredients stimulate the liver to increase this effect.
Adios tablets do come with a sensible slimming plan – but if you really want to boost your metabolism and burn fat faster, you’d be better off taking more exercise.
Bional Apple Slim Xtra
with apple vinegar extract, vitamins, chromium nicotinate and selenium, this slimming pill claims to support the metabolism of body fat and encourage the movement of food through the small intestine.
It also provides vitamins important for the release of energy from food. Frankly, there’s insufficient evidence to support these claims. We recommend you crunch on a fresh apple for just 50 calories!
is a slimming supplement pill that contains a naturally occurring compound found in chilli peppers (capsicums) that gives them their heat. It also contains three other ingredients: caffeine, niacin (a B vitamin) and piperine (found in black pepper).
Capsiplex claims to be 100 percent natural and helps you lose weight whilst doing nothing more than sitting at your desk, thanks to its ability to burn up to 278 calories – the same amount as in a hamburger, slice of pizza or two large chocolate chip cookies.
However, there’s insufficient evidence to suggest this product works to burn more calories. One small study involving just 25 subjects doesn’t stand up to medical scrutiny. The best way to shift those pounds safely and sensibly is to stick to a healthy, balanced diet that’s lower in calories, plus get more active.
this is a supplement on it’s own, but chromium is also an ingredient in many slimming tablets.
Research shows that chromium may help to control blood sugar levels and reduce insulin levels, which in turn increases our ability to burn fat. The evidence isn’t conclusive, however.
The easy way to keep blood sugar levels steady to prevent carb cravings, is to go for foods with a low glycaemic index.
also known as hydroxycitric acid or HCA, this popular supplement has become a standard ingredient in many slimming tablets, as well as being sold on its own. It comes from the dried rind of an Asian fruit whose Latin name is Garcinia cambogia.
The claim is that HCA helps to regulate appetite, stops cravings for sweet foods, stimulates metabolism and uses the body’s fat stores to provide energy. However, there’s no scientific evidence to back this up.
The best way to control cravings is to eat regularly, avoid skipping meals and opt for foods with a low glycaemic index.
Figure Trim CLA Formula
this tablet combines a type of fat called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) with chromium and lecithin and claims to help maintain an optimum balance between lean muscle and body fat.
Some animal studies have shown that CLA may lower body fat and increase muscle but the evidence for an effect in humans is still weak.
Our advice to lose fat and build muscle is to combine fat-burning aerobic exercise with resistance exercises to tone and strengthen muscles!
HCG is an abbreviation of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, a hormone found in the human body. Found in the urine during pregnancy, the hCG hormone is also produced by the pituitary gland as well as certain tumours.
You take the hormone either by injection or by placing hCG drops under the tongue. The drops are a homeopathic imitation and may, depending on the supplier, contain very little, if any, of the hormone. This is one to give a wide berth to!
Holland & Barratt 7 Day Souper Cabbage Diet System (No longer available)
the main ingredients in these pills are onion, green pepper, celery, tomato, carrot, courgette and cabbage! You’ll lose weight but it won’t have anything to do with the tablets and everything to do with the bizarre, extremely low-calorie diet plan that comes with it.
On day one, you may only eat fruit (except bananas!); on day two, it’s a jacket potato with butter and vegetables (except beans, peas and sweetcorn); on day three, it’s fruit and vegetables; and so on.
If you really fancy the idea of cabbage soup, we suggest you make up your own recipe using the fresh ingredients listed above.
Holland & Barrett Fibre Diet
this combines a blend of fibre from vegetables, grains and citrus fruits that supposedly help to fill you up. The tablets also come with a recommended 1,000-calorie diet.
Of course, fibre is an important part of a healthy diet and keeps you feeling fuller for longer, but in our opinion it’s better to eat more fibre-rich foods rather than relying on supplements.
the active ingredient in this tablet is chitosan, a fibre extract that comes from the shells of shrimp.
The theory is that chitosan binds with fat from food and stops it from being absorbed so that it passes through the digestive tract and is excreted in the stools. A small scale trial has shown this product to result in weight loss but there’s still insufficient evidence to suggest that chitosan is effective in aiding weight loss.
Cutting your intake of fatty foods is an easier and more effective way to lose weight.
Phase 2 Starch Neutraliser
this is a relatively new product that’s promoted as being ‘The Atkins Diet in a pill’! It contains a concentrated extract of white kidney bean that supposedly neutralises the starch-digesting enzyme, alpha amylase. This prevents starchy carbohydrates from being broken down into glucose so that starch simply passes through the digestive tract as extra fibre.
Our advice would be to make sure the starchy foods you eat are also packed with fibre in the first place – we’re talking wholegrain cereals and breads, wholewheat pasta and brown rice.
Powerhealth Slim Nite
this tablet contains three amino acids (building blocks for protein), ornithine, arginine and carnitine. Carnitine supposedly plays a vital role in converting stored fat into energy while ornithine and arginine are important for metabolism.
Strangely no reference is made as to why you should take these pills before you go to bed. Instead we recommend you get a good night’s sleep and wake up revitalised the next day so that you can burn calories and tone your muscles through exercise.
this well-known slimming tablet contains a mixture of green tea extract, yerba mate and bitter orange to burn fat fast. Preliminary studies have shown that green tea extract may help with slimming by speeding up fat oxidation, but further research is needed before any firm conclusions can be drawn. Yerba mate contains caffeine, which may boost metabolism slightly and an extract from bitter oranges may affect metabolism.
Of course, an inexpensive way that’s guaranteed to burn fat is to follow a reduced-calorie diet and take more exercise!
another herbal tablet that contains extracts of three South American herbs, yerba mate, guarana and damiana. Zotrim claims this combination slows the rate at which your stomach empties, which in turn fills you up more quickly and keeps you feeling that way for longer. There is a clinical study showing some positive results amongst slimmers, but it’s the only one of its kind.
However, eating more foods with a low glycaemic index will also help to keep you feeling fuller for longer, so you might want to try this first!
Using the food diary and tools in WLR can help you lose weight without pills, and can provide the low calorie, low fat diet that most slimming pill manufacturers recommend. We'd advise keeping a food diary for a couple of weeks before making a decision about pills - many people find that just making a few, relatively minor, changes to their eating habits sets them on the path to sustainable weight loss. You can use the WLR food diary Free for 24 hours.