Plexus slim is all the rage right now. There are so many people who have used it and make convincing arguments on its validity. As a matter of fact there are tons of before and after pictures on the internet with hundreds of testimonials. For anyone who has gained a few pounds and are feeling lethargic in their day to day life, Plexus slim presents itself as a magic bullet, the miracle cure.
What is plexus slim?
Also known as the Pink Drink, plexus slim is a dietary supplement that helps to lose weight. You can purchase it directly from a multi-level marketing seller or online. It costs a hefty $100+ for a 30 day supply.
Similar alternatives to plexus slim
With plexus slims price tag hovering around $100, that is a lot of money for a month’s supply especially if you are a college student working the weekends trying to make ends meet. Also, the ingredients in the supplement are not all that healthy given it is meant to give you an overall healthy body.
For whatever reason, if you are looking for an alternative to plexus slim, here are some natural and affordable options that will give you the same if not better weight loss results.
- Slimquick Pure Extra Strength Mixed Berry Drink Mix
- IdealBoost Weight Loss Drink Mix
- Hydroxycut Drink Mix Weight Loss Supplement
- Zantrex Berry Fusion Fat Burning Powder
- GNC Probiotic Fast Stix
What Ingredients are in Dietary Supplements?
5- HTP stands for 5-Hydroxytryptophan and is derived from the seed of a green shrub that grows in Africa called Griffonia simplicfolia. The extract works directly on the appetite. 5-HTP empowers the brain’s serotonin output allowing users to eat an average of 1,341 fewer calories a day and cut their carbohydrates by 50% without effort. Doctors.
Oz and Harry Preuss suggest taking 50 mg twenty minutes before your meals, three times a day. Results will become apparent within one week. Not only will you find your appetite reduced, you should find your health and mood improving. 300 mg of 5-HTP is suppose to be as effective as antidepressants like Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil. If, you don’t see results within a week you can increase your dose to 100 mg three times a day.
5-HTP also has additional benefits. It is reported to promote sleep, reduce the number of tension headaches by 70% and migraines by 55%. It also eases joint pain by 67%, menopausal hot flashes and stomach discomfort by 63%.
In my research I found no mention of bad side effects.
7 Keyto – DHEA
7 Keyto is also known as 7-ketodehydroepiandrosterone and is a hormone produced in the adrenals. The supplement is a synthetic version and is promoted as a way of speeding up the metabolism and heat production in order to lose weight, improve the activity of the thyroid gland, build muscle, increase thyroid gland activity and improve lean body mass.
Some studies indicate the supplement has been shown to increase the resting metabolic rate in participants who already were on weight-loss diets and exercising regularly. One study had participants take 100 mg. of 7-keyto DHEA twice a day. The participants lost about 6.3 pounds compared to the participants on the placebo (they lost 2 pounds).
All of the studies I found were small (thirty participants or less) and of short duration (eight weeks). There are some claims that it boosts the immune system, improves memory and reduces the signs of aging, but there little evidence to support those claims.
None of the studies found any significant side effects but there was some suggestion that it poses an increased risk of heart attack and breast and prostate cancer. It is not recommended that you use this supplement without medical supervision.
The acia berry is the fruit of a palm tree that grows in Brazil. It is a purplish red berry and is suppose to taste like a blend of berries and chocolate. It is also suppose to be full of antioxidants, amino acids and essential fatty acids, and combats premature aging, and muscle regeneration.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health reports that “No independent studies have been published in peer-reviewed journals that substantiate claims that acai supplements alone promote rapid weight loss.” In fact they say there is no evidence of any health benefits.
Dr. Porter says “There is no literature in the scientific journals about weight loss and the acai berry.”
African Mango Seed Extract
The African Mango seed has been ground up and used by Africans for years to combat hunger. Dr. Oz reported on a ten week double blind study with 102 participants. They took 150 mg of African mango with IGOB131 extract. Half of the participants took the African mango and half were given a placebo.
They took their supplements two times a day before their meals. The group that took the actual African mango lost an average of 28 pounds and 6.7 inches from their waist. Over all Cholesterol was decreased by 26%, the LDL by 27%. Dr. Julie Chen uses this supplement for her patients.
She has her patients take 350 mg of African mango seed extract three times daily thirty minutes before meals with a glass of warm water. The mango’s soluble fiber helps to slow digestion and absorption of dietary sugar. Her patients were found to have decreased LDL and triglycerides (bad cholesterols) and increased HDL (good cholesterol).
Although these studies were small, this supplement seems to be worth trying out.
Apple-Cider-Vinegar is a home remedy for losing weight. Proponents recommend you take it before meals. It is suggested that the pectin in the vinegar and make you feel fuller and more satisfied and can suppress your appetite. A study with 14 people showed that those who drank a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with 8 ounces of water before a meal had lower blood glucose levels. This may be because vinegar interfered with the body’s digestion of starch.
If you have acid reflux you should choose a different dietary aid. I have a friend that uses a variation of this with walking exercise. Both she and her husband rave about the increase in their energy and sense of well being. There was some weight loss as well.
It is well known that avocados contain the “good” polyunsaturated fats that are reported to move fat into mitochondria where it more easily burned for fuel. This is suppose to increase fat burn by 5%. The oleic acid in the avocado triggers the release of a satiety hormone that curbs hunger for three hours.
I found little statistical information about using the avocado for weight loss. There is one study (no data as to the numbers of participants were provided) reported in the Nutrition Magazine in January 2005. That study indicated there was no difference in the weight loss between participants who used avocado and those who used other food sources for their fat.
Blackberries and raspberries are included in many weight loss plans. They are high in nutrients and antioxidants. They also have high water content, high fiber content, few calories and no fat. Their anthocyanins and compounds are reputed to help cut weight gain by fighting inflammation and enzymes that are suppose to block fat storage.
Berries are the ideal fruit for dieters because of all the benefits mentioned above and they are a wonderful addition to otherwise boring meal plans. However, there are no statistics about them actually being responsible for weight loss in any study that I could find.
Black Bean Extract – C3G
Black Beans contain an antioxidant called Cyanidin 3-Gllucosides (C3G) which is suppose to turn on a “gene expression” that helps the body metabolize fat which allows it to discard it more easily.
The compound is suppose to work even for those who eat a high –fat diet. Black Bean extract is all natural and does not appear to have any significant side effects. The recommended dosage is one capsule per day and about thirty minutes before meals with ten ounces of water.
This supplement is one with very mixed reviews. Over fifty percent of those using it indicate no noticeable weight loss.
Bone Broth sounds like the closest thing to Manna. This substance has so many qualities for health it is not surprising people rave about it. Here are some of the things it contains:
- Collagen to help your body burn fat and form lean muscle mass
- Contains the amino acids, glycine and proline which removes toxins from your body
- Contains essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus
- Helps heal your joints through supplying glucosamine, chondroitin, and other glycosaminoglycans
- Contains proline, glycine and arginine which are anti-inflammatory agents
- Contains no carbohydrates and few calories filling you up without adding weight
- Helps heal leaky gut and aids in curing digestive problems
- Helps eliminate constipation, diarrhea and gas
- Contains slimming minerals and amino acids
I could only find one study that looked at bone broth for weight loss. The study found that participants who drank two cups of bone broth daily lost 50% more weight than those who did not. A Dr. Kellyann has been a vocal spokesperson for bone broth on television and her website.
Casein powder is a complex protein found in dairy products. It is one of the primary food substances used by body builders because it contains both phosphorus and calcium that aids in muscle recovery. It is also the only protein to have been proven to be anti-catabolic. (Anti-catabolic supplements prevent or minimize the breakdown of hard-earned muscle.) A major benefit to those interested in losing weight is the fact that it takes up to seven hours to fully digest which means your stomach feels full longer.
Another important benefit is the fact that it helps build muscle. Most dieters that lose weight actually lose muscle, instead of fat. We also lose muscle as we age. Casein powder is usually combined with whey protein which digests quicker (up to four hours of satiety).
Casein powder added to a weight loss plan will help you not only lose weight but to create a better “look” as the bulkiness of fat is eliminated. There is one caveat. Adding casein power to your diet without reducing calorie will result in a weight gain.
Chia Seeds have burst upon the weight loss world recently. These tiny seeds are one of the most nutritious foods available. They contain protein, fiber, Omega-3 fatty acids and micronutrients like amino acids. Chia seeds are 40% fiber, by weight. When they are added to liquid they absorb up to ten to twelve times their weight, become gel-like and continue to expand in your stomach.
Although chia seeds have twelve grams of carbohydrates per ounce, eleven of the grams are fiber which isn’t digested by the body. The seeds also contain 14% protein, which is more than most plants. The plus for dieters is that the high protein it provides in your diet reduces your appetite and desire for snacking.
If you decide to use chia seeds in your diet make sure you add them to liquid first, otherwise choking can occur. Chia seeds are high in calories. One ounce (about two tablespoons) has 138 calories.
Dr. Michael Roizen in WebMD suggests “use chia seeds in foods, not as a supplement, but as an alternative to processed grains like white bread because it is a much healthier whole grain that is great-tasting in foods like muffins.” He continues to say “Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet (or seed) for weight loss. If you want to lose weight you’ll need to follow a healthy, calorie-controlled diet and get more physical activity.”
Chitosan is an enzyme that binds to the fat in the food you eat. This process prevents absorption in your digestive track. The supplement burns belly fat fast and lowers cholesterol and helps with detoxing your body. Fourteen studies indicate that an average weight loss was obtained of 3.7 pounds in four weeks.
The enzyme is made from shellfish; and those with a shellfish allergy should use caution in taking chitosan supplements. Many manufacturers of weight loss compounds add Chitosan as one of their ingredients. The dose recommended is between 1,000 and 1200 mg twice daily.
Side effects include nausea, diarrhea and constipation.
Chlorella is a freshwater green microalga. Antioxidants grabs onto toxins and moves them into the colon where they aren’t absorbed. This is a super food full of beneficial nutrients. Chlorella contains protein, good fats, and antioxidants. Here is a list of additional compounds and benefits:
- Every B vitamin, vitamin C and E, Amino acids, peptides, polysaccharides and nucleic acids RNA and DNA
- Growth factors (CGF) which enhances repair of damaged genetic material
- Enhances immunity, due to its rich store of acid polysaccharides
- Improves digestion
- Helps nerve regeneration
- Improves “good” intestinal bacteria
- Provides defense against cancer and many other degenerative diseases
- Increases your satiety by 48%
- Cuts stress hormone surges by 51%
- Helps detox heavy metals like lead and mercury from your body.
- Good for cardiovascular health
- Helps negate the effects of chemotherapy and radiation
- Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol
- Increase in energy levels
- Shuts down inflammation, eliminates mental irritability and reduces stress
- Contains the growth factor (CGF) which enhances repair of damaged genetic material
Most of the research has been done in the East. Gram per gram, Chlorella is more nutrient dense than other greens including kale, spinach and broccoli. The recommended dose is 500 mg each morning. It is also recommended that you pick a brand with broken cell wall chlorella.
Chlorella comes as a powder or tablets that must be chewed up thoroughly or they will not digest fully.
Spirulina and chlorella are two different types of micro-algae and are often taken together. They both have good results in weight reduction trials because of their high concentration of gamma linolenic acid (GLA), the important fatty acid that is often deficient due to modern dietary imbalances. The GLA effects the endocrine system helping to restore hormone health and normalize insulin activity, so blood sugar levels stabilize and cravings reduce. In addition, their high iodine content makes them valuable in treating thyroid imbalances, often an issue in weight problems.
Choline is a nutrient rich algae that aids in weight loss by pushing fat out of the liver. 90% of women don’t get enough B vitamins (Choline) so fat in the liver builds up and slows down the body’s metabolism. Once fat is cleared from the liver, metabolism goes into high gear. Trials done by Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge showed that women who consumed a choline-rich breakfast for eight weeks had 83% greater reduction in belly fat compared with those who consumed choline-deficient breakfast with the same number of calories.
The recommended dose is 500 mg for ten days then increasing to 500 mg twice a day. Dr. Tasneem Bhatia (“The 21-Day Belly Fix”) recommends taking a probiotic daily to “help muscle out the choline-eting bad microbes in the gut while increasing levels of beneficial bacteria shown to boost the production of liver-supporting B vitamins.”
Side effects include diarrhea or unexplained abdominal pain.
Chromium Polynicotinate is not the same as Chromium Picolinate. Many people get these two mixed up.
Chromium Polynicotinate is a supplement made up of chromium and niacin. It’s believed that niacin can help to increase chromium’s absorption. This version of chromium, the polynicotinate, was the one used in the study Dr.Oz presented on his show. Women taking chromium polynicotinate supplements were able to lose weight combined with an exercise program.
Chromium Picolinate is made of chromium and picolinic acid and is the most popular supplement form of this mineral. Chromium picolinate, also known as Chromium (III), is an efficient supplement against diabetes types 1 and 2, hypoglycemia and high cholesterol.
Chromium is a mineral that when combined with 5-HTP is effective in shutting down cravings and helps prevent fat storage. Not only does it result in major fat loss but muscle gains were recorded comparable to what you would get by working out at a gym. The chromium balances the blood sugar and prevents high and low spikes in blood sugar. Studies done by Duke University found that half of the participants reported cravings disappeared completely and the other half reported a 50% drop in cravings after two weeks.
Dr. Julie Chen, an integrative medicine specialist says that Chromium Polynicotinate is the one supplement she prescribes for her patients because it helps them to control their blood sugar and causes “significant weight loss” too.
No adverse effects were reported in any of the materials I researched.
This is another type of food that has mixed reviews. Everyone knows the basic logic of eating fresh fruit and the Grapefruit Diet was very popular years ago. The vitamin C in citrus inhibits the production of cortisol, a hormone that essentially tells your body to store fat.
Dr. Oz has said that there is a compound in citrus that jump starts the stomach’s production of the digestive enzymes that break down food, and as a result there are fewer undigested nutrients in the intestines for bad bacterial to feast on. They also promote bowel movement which also promotes detoxification. Citrus fruits and berries cleanse the blood and reinforce cardiovascular systems.
I have some friends who start each day by drinking 8 ounces of warm water with the juice of a half lemon then take a walk. They have found themselves losing weight and their energy and sense of well being has noticeably improved.
Citrimax with Chromate Mare
Citrimax is a dietary supplement containing a mixture of hydroxycitric acid (HCA), chromium, potassium and gymnema sylvestre. The supplements Carcinia Cambogia, chromium and gymnema sylvestre have some research supporting their benefits in a weight loss compound, but potassium has no record of aiding in either weight loss or helping with craving.
There is some clinical research pointing to success of Citrimax but the product as a whole hasn’t been clinically tested. It is recommended that you take six capsules per day to lose weight, however “many users claim that the pills don’t do anything for them.”
CLA L conjugate
CLA is the name of a group of fats. Most supplements contain a mixture of the different types of CLA. There have been eighteen studies about the effect of CLA in weight loss. The research show better results in the labs then with humans. WebMD concludes: “CLA produces a modest loss in body fat in humans.” The dosage used with human ranged from 0.7 grams to 6.8 grams per day. Some participants lost nearly 7.5 pounds while others gained weight.
Coleus forskohlii and forskolin are often used interchangeably. This supplement was originally utilized in Ayurvedic medicine to treat asthma and other ailments. It is reputed to stimulate fat-burning enzymes and hormones which causes weight loss. One study, using a double blind process looked at 30 overweight and obese men. They were given 250 mg of “Called ForsLean” that contained 10% Coleus forskohlii twice a day.
Those taking the forskolin showed a reduction in body fat as well as an increase in testosterone at the end of the twelve week study. There are mixed report about forskohlii’s ability to increase participant’s metabolic rate.
I have been using forskohlii for over a year to reduce my appetite. I have not noticed weight loss, but when I went off the supplement while out of town found my hunger increased dramatically.
Coffee-Keytone, Mango combination
Commercial combo dietary supplements are supposedly a synergistic blend of three of nature’s most powerful weight loss supplements. Let’s take a look at this combination. Green Coffee Bean Extract provides 50% chlorogenic acids (the substance that produces the weight loss effects), Raspberry Ketones provide 99% ellagic acid and freeze-dried extract of African mango seed in a four to one ratio.
As we have already seen African mango seed extract does have a good track record for weight loss. Raspberry Ketone are synthetically made because you would have to eat about ninety pounds of raspberries for one 100 mg dose of raspberry ketone. Raspberry ketone is suppose to eliminate fat storage in the body and enhance the metabolism.
Catherine Ulbricht, senior pharmacist at Boston General Hospital says “Reliable research on the use of raspberry ketone for any health condition in humans is currently lacking. Further high-quality research is needed,” Green Coffee Bean Extract, contains a substance called Chlorogenic acid which is supposed to help prevent the body from forming new fat.
Dr. Oz recruited 100 women in a double blind test who received either a 400 mg green coffee bean supplement or a placebo for two weeks. Those who took the green coffee bean extract lost an average of two pounds. Other studies done on this supplement used very few participants (16) and were funded by a green coffee bean extract manufacturer.
Some side effects of one of the above include headaches, GI upset, nervousness, insomnia, anxiety, ringing in the ears, and irregular heart beat.
Coconut oil is suppose to increase metabolism by 56% for 24 hours. It’s fatty acids improves the thyroid gland’s ability to convert fat into fuel. Coconut oil is “thermogenic” which means that when you eat it, it tends to increase the amount of fat burning going on in your body more than any other oil you might consume. If you ingest one or two tablespoons (an ounce) of coconut oil you will burn an extra 120 calories a day.
The best time to take coconut oil is twenty minutes before mealtime so it can reduce your appetite and help you feel full more quickly and satisfied with smaller portions. The amount of coconut oil you take depends on your weight.
Don’t Forget The Diet
Here is a friendly reminder that supplements alone will never replace the results that healthy eating and exercise offers. Studies conducted by Plexus shows that both the groups that consumed the ingredient and the one that consumed the placebo pill both were on a Mediterranean diet which means lean meat, whole grains and vegetables.