Diet Patches Review: Are They a Scam?

Diet patches, according to the heaps of spam flooding into my mailbox, are a dieter’s dream. Whether you’re a man or a women, throw on a diet patch—on your tummy, arm, or thigh—and watch the weight melt away, no matter what you eat.

Best of all, you don’t even need to worry about remembering to take your pills on a regular basis. That’s right… your one-a-day patch eliminates this worry. Easy, convenient, and effective.

Sound familiar?

It should. But it should not come as a surprise that it’s just not that easy.

So let’s talk about diet patches.

Let’s forget about whether the various diet patches actually deliver the ingredients they claim to, and whether those ingredients are effectively delivered through the skin transdermally (delivering ingredients through the skin effectively is more complex than it seems).

It’s also a valid question as to whether ANY of the various ingredients included in diet patch products can be delivered in a dosage strong enough to elicit any effect.

Let’s also forget that the US Federal Trade Commission (the regulatory body charged with protecting the consumer from “less-than-scrupulous” retailers) has recently charged several companies using spam to sell bogus diet patches; click here for complete details!).

Let’s instead ask the question you are most interested in…

Are the ingredients these patches provide actually all that effective at promoting weight loss?

Although there are many different types of patches on the market, most contain a blend of five main ingredients…

i. Guarana:often standardized for caffeine, a stimulant which has mild fat burning or thermogenic properties.

It’s also an antioxidant and a diuretic.

ii. Chromium: useful to help regulate insulin function and balance blood sugar levels.

In other words, it is useful for the treatment of many of the characteristics of the disorder that is often called “metabolic syndrome.”

As such, ingredients that have a positive effect on insulin regulation can lead to more stable blood sugar levels, which in turn, may reduce snacking on sweets and carbohydrate-rich snacks.

It’s benefit as a “fat burner” however, is in question. Studies are conflicting as to whether chromium can help with weight loss.

iii. Garcinia cambogia (standardized for HCA or hydroxycitric acid): touted to prevent the conversion of carbohydrates into fat by inhibiting the action of the enzyme citrate lyase.

Although there has been some promising results shown with HCA, a study published Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA. 1998 Nov 11;280(18):1596-600), showed that HCA supplementation failed to produce any measurable weight loss. The study focused on 135 overweight individuals for a 3 month period.

Other studies (Physiol Behav. 2000 Oct 1-15;71(1-2):87-94) failed to prove HCA had any effect on satiety. A newer more potent form of HCA, called “Super Citrimax” has been demonstrated to be the more effective version—more on this in the full review.

iv. Fucus vesiculosus (or bladderwrack or brown seaweed): touted by the diet patch makers to burn fat, bladderwrack contains a high concentration of iodine. Iodine is used by the thyroid gland to make the various thyroid hormones necessary for optimal performance.

Low or sluggish thyroid performance can lead to low energy levels or overweight. Of course, iodine supplementation is only helpful if you actually have low levels of thyroid hormone, and are not overweight for other more common reasons — like the over consumption of calories and a sedentary lifestyle (incidentally, overconsumption of iodine can actually pose a health risk).

Despite this, research showing bladderwrack to be an effective weight loss supplement is “dodgy” at best. More research needs to be done to verify its effectiveness. Nonetheless, bladderwrack does seem to be effective for reducing blood sugar levels — helpful for reducing cravings caused by insulin resistance and simple carbohydrate overconsumption.

Unfortunately, there really isn’t anything revolutionary in the average diet patch. Some ingredients, like chromium and guarana, although moderately helpful, have subtle effects and will not lead to much in the way of weight loss without accompanying changes to diet and lifestyle. Ingredients like HCA and bladderwrack don’t have much going for them in the way of proven results.

v. Hoodia: Today, it should come as no surprise that many of the most popular patches are Hoodia-based ones. There are several popular brands, but the claim is always the same…

Put on a Hoodia patch, and watch both your appetite and your waistline melt away.

Riiiight. Two things you should know about hoodia…

First, Hoodia is an endangered species that is very difficult for retailers to obtain. ConsumerLab.com, an online company that tests product label claims, has said this about hoodia…

“It has been speculated that there is more hoodia being sold today than could possibly be made from all the Hoodia gordonii plants in existence.”

Second, at this time there is very little real evidence hoodia is good for appetite suppression or anything else. If you’re interested, you can read the full review of hoodia here, and the rather underwhelming visitor feedback on hoodia here!

So…

Are diet patches worth experimenting with?

I don’t think so, and neither does the US Federal Trade Commission.

They recently forced the makers of the As Seen on T.V. “Peel Away the Pounds” diet patch to pay $1,000,000 in consumer redress (for making false and unsubstantiated claims about the weight loss effectiveness their diet patch).

In other words, the makers of “Peel Away the Pounds” were unable to provide the FTC with any scientifically viable evidence that their diet product actually did anything at all.

And while it was the makers of “Peel Away the Pounds” who were under the gun this time, I’d be very surprised if other diet patches fared any better. So yes, you can expect the FTC to take further action against other companies selling diet patches in the future.

So yes… I’d say that qualifies diet patches as a scam.

Bottom line?

Unless you feel like wasting your money and making someone else rich, give all diet patches—even the hoodia-based ones—a miss!

There’s really nothing here that justifies experimentation.

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Comments

  1. Tina says

    I’ve used a patch for a while. And it did make me eat less, so i guess it does work in some way. Maybe it is pyschological, but it is a fact that I ate less.

    If you exercise on regular basis it just helps you loose weight. You can’t just expect it to do all the work for you.

  2. bracha shafir says

    I just started using the Jen Fe weight loss patch for a few days now. I can’t yet tell if I’m losing, but it is clear to me that my metabolism has improved. I can feel that there is a difference after eating. Instead of feeling slow and sluggish and fat, I feel regular.

    I hope I will lose weight, but in general I wouldn’t say that a patch works less than a pill. The patch actually gives me a much steadier metabolism boost and appetite suppressant sensation than the pill I took previously.

  3. Lisa Gullotto says

    I tried different diet patches and the only thing I got from them was thinking I was losing weight while I had them on. I only lost weight when I watched what i ate and exercised, without the patch.

  4. Michael says

    After being on a weight loss plateau for 1 1/2 yrs of only losing 10lbs while exercising 6-7 days a week, weight training, interval training, and strict dieting-I lost 25lbs and 4 inches off my waistline in seven weeks with the Jen Fe Power Patch. Do weight loss patches work?

    Well, they worked for me. I now use the patch for muscle building. I have also added an inch to my chest measurement. And thats for a man that is 51 yrs old!

    This patch contains forslean which increases metabolism without the jitters and mobilizes fat so that it may be utilized for energy.

    I have not tired any other type of patch but this one works!!

  5. Tracy Cadman says

    I have tried the ‘DermaSlim’Patches – did a 3 month course. What a waste of money! They don’t work, its all about how you feel at the time of putting the patch on.

    I wanted them to surpress my appetite – so they did! Not the patch working – but my state of mind. Would not recommend them at all. The only diet that works is cutting out all the sugary fatty foods.

  6. Tammy says

    I have recently tried the Apple Patch Diet and got NO results and of course I bought into their affiliate program and “became my first customer” and like many out there have seen no revenue or people buying this patch from my ‘website’. So I do believe I got scammed so buyers beware of anything that says you can make money doing nothing. If it is too good to be true it almost always is! Thanks for letting me vent my views.

  7. azrael says

    In summer of 1995, I was 28 pounds overweight and I ordered some diet patches that I read about in an ad in a magazine. I ordered a month’s supply from an address in Mass.

    I was a construction worker working straight nite shifts, so I slept all day, until right before leaving for work.

    My patches came and I thought “What can it hurt?” I put one on as soon as the mailman put them in my mailbox. I went to work, took my usual junk food and finished that morning. I had my scrambled eggs, toast and dark beer and went to bed.

    Whenever I woke later that morning, I got my self on the scales and to my wonderful surprise, I was down 1 pound!

    I proceeded to put a new patch on. Each week I went down a whole Levi size and at the end of twenty eight days, I had lost all of my 28 pounds!

    Ta Dah!

    I went from a size 10 Levi to a size 5! I continued to keep the patches to maintain and then a few years later, there were no more patches that worked. My weight stayed off for 10 years. I had gotten injured and could not walk much, so I have been sedentary.

    I have tried numerous other patches, but no results and only money wasted. One of the patch distributors told me that the ingredients were changed.

  8. Christine says

    I tryed the patch and i broke out with a rash.
    when i tryed to get my money back they told me that they could not return my money i think that is wrong and a scam!!!!

  9. ann says

    this is a scam- buyer beware = false advertising – product does not work and company mislead with deceptive advertising. Buyer beware = if you want to lose weight; eat less and exercise a minimum of 30 minutes per day.

  10. john says

    it’s a scam’- does not work, period. i’m not terribly overweight @6’/225#’s. but i have a problem over eating so i tried diet patch in hope of curbing my appetite. it made me eat more…………

  11. kimberly says

    I was contacted by a phone solicitor and convinced to try a trial of their diet patch. The telemarketer said the patch was not to replace healthy eating and exercise but to give me the boost needed to help me along the way. My biggest problem was my evening eating that other dier aids did not address. I didnt get silly promises, just that my appetite would decrease and my energy level would go up some and as I lost weight would go up more. For the first time in 30 years I am the size I always wanted to be. I didnt lose tons overnight but a steady, healthy amount weekly until 65 lbs were shed. Nothing else ever worked. I say dont buy into silly hype but dont disregard possible effective options

    I used a patch years ago to quit smoking. Used a patch two years ago to lose weight and now use a patch for hormone replacement therapy. They ARE 3ffective

  12. mildred rowland says

    I recently ordered Diet Patch for a FREE 14 day trial. I called before the 14 days were up to return the patches, and they gave me an extension to use the patch until June 12. Articles I have read said the patches may make you sluggish, and I realized that I had been sleeping excessively; I would fall asleep at any time during the day, no matter what I was doing, reading, ironing, etc. I called on June 12 to cancel, and was told that I was supposed to call by June 11 and they had already charged my debit card $89.95 for the one month supply of diet patch. I told them I wanted a refund and they refused. This is just another scam, so everybody beware!

      • elissa says

        Please accept our apologies, Mildred… but due to the major volume of weight-loss product spam we receive, all comments are held in moderation until they can be reviewed.

        Thank you for letting us know about your experience!

  13. Ekwuluira Obii-Obioha says

    I have used Diet-patch and it is very good but I cannot continue using it because I can’t afford it any more. I returned the last pack that was sent to me and I will like the $89.97 drawn from my account in TD bank on the 16th of july to be paid back into my account.

    • nojewel says

      Hello Obil-Obioha from your name I know you are a nigerian, so I am asking you as a sister if the product worked truly. I intend to bring the product into nigeria and want to be sure of its effectiveness.
      Please advise
      Thanks

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