Lipofuze Review: A Case Study
This is a somewhat unusual review, as I’ve broken it into three parts, vs. the usual one-review-per-page.
Why for? Because Lipofuze is an object lesson in why you shouldn’t take weight loss supplement claims at face value. Thus, I’m drilling down deeper than I normally do, to highlight issues that are hiding in plain view.
In a sense, this review represents a sort of “case study.” I picked Lipofuze – not because I consider it unique – but because I don’t. The marketing and formulation are pretty typical for weight loss products sold on the internet.
So let’s begin at the top…
The marketers of Lipofuze claim their formula contains “4 ingredients clinically proven to…”
- “eliminate binge eating,”
- “burn your fat weight,”
- “boost your energy”
- “build sexy, slim, lean muscles.”
That’s a pretty tall order for a bottle of herbs/nutrients… even heavily-researched prescription weight loss drugs aren’t that powerful. Thus, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that the definition of “clinically proven” used above is a bit… loose. As Part II will soon make clear, there’s a lot less to this description than meets the eye.
It doesn’t mean, for example, that Lipofuze is proven to yield impressive fat burning results.
Nor does it mean that Lipofuze has undergone clinical trials.
All it means is that some of the ingredients have been trialed in a clinical setting, under conditions that may – or may not – be as well-controlled.
Although the manufacturers have dropped their silly claim that it’s possible to lose up to “10 pounds in 7 days” by using Lipofuze, the “promise” of fast, effortless weight loss subtly lingers on in two places. The first is in the FAQs:
Q: Because Lipofuze is one of the top fat burners, can I lose weight too quickly with LipoFuze?
A: If you find yourself losing more than 1 pound per day decrease the dosage. Many customers in the past have had issues with losing too much weight with LipoFuze and we do not recommend trying to lose weight too fast. It’s not healthy to lose weight too fast and we suggest careful attention to how much weight you lose with LipoFuze.
This is a “question” (and answer) contrived to make Lipofuze look more powerful than it really is. “Many” customers have had this problem? Really? In all the years I’ve been collecting feedback from weight loss supplement users, this is one “complaint” that I don’t recall seeing. Ever.
If people lose weight too quickly, it’s usually because they’re starving themselves or have a serious, undiagnosed health problem.
The second way the Lipofuze ad promotes this fallacy is by putting carefully selected testimonials front and center. As I’ve pointed out before, testimonials can’t be trusted over objective evidence. Ironically, the testimonial that got “top billing” illustrates this to a “T.”
In the first testimonial, “Erin Warwick” strongly implies that she lost 70 pounds using Lipofuze. Although she doesn’t state it directly, there’s really no other way to interpret the language she uses to describe her situation:
“I first ordered lipofuze after I had tried to shed the 70 pounds I gained from my pregnancy on my own with no success.”
No success? At all? Apparently not…
“I had tried several over the counter diet pills as well as spending the majority of my time exercising.”
While it could be doubted that a new mother (or any mother, really) has a “majority” of time to spend exercising, we’ll be charitable and assume this means that Erin did, in fact, work out regularly. The point is that she tried hard to lose the baby weight, but saw no results, pre-Lipofuze.
“I started taking lipofuze in October 2009 when I was a size 12 and within 2 months I was back to my size 8 that I was before pregnancy.”
Let’s back up and take a closer look at that statement, shall we?
For the record, I see nothing amiss in Erin’s claim that she dropped from a (dress? pants?) size 12 to a size 8 in 2 months. Based on Dr. Pamela Peake’s assessment of the average American woman, that’s a difference of 20 – 30 pounds. Certainly the low end of that range (20 pounds) is do-able within a couple of months. So far, so good.
But this simply doesn’t gibe with what Erin wrote in her first two sentences. She clearly identifies “size 8” with her pre-pregnancy size/weight and claims she was more-or-less back at her normal weight within two months of starting Lipofuze. Yet, she stated at the top that she had gained “70 pounds,” and had “no success” in losing it, despite trying other diet supps and “spending the majority” of her time exercising.
Nuh-uh. For this to be true, Erin would have had to lose 35 pounds each month! That’s more than a pound a day, every day, for two straight months – an astonishing rate of weight loss that the makers of Lipofuze clearly ID as unhealthy.
Even worse, Erin goes on to state that – after 7 months on Lipofuze (October 2009 to May 2010) – she reduced to a “size 5.”
“I didn’t expect to lose anymore, but now in May 2010, I am wearing a size 5 and I am in the best shape I’ve been in since I was 12!”
Since she was a size 8 before she got pregnant; then gained 70 pounds during pregnancy; this implies that Lipofuze helped her lose even more total weight than she gained during her pregnancy… and puberty, to boot.
Ummm, no… I don’t think so. Especially since this assessment is belied by Erin’s own 17 second YouTube ad, which is embedded next to her testimonial. In the YouTube clip, she claims to have lost a grand total of 40 – not 70 – pounds using Lipofuze, and is now a size 3.
For what it’s worth, I think it’s quite plausible that Erin lost 40 pounds, and went from a size 12 to a size 3 in 7 months. And that’s a good result… but not one that’s out-of-the-ordinary for most successful dieters, with or without Lipofuze. Thus, it appears that Erin’s written account was “dramatized” a bit, in order to make her accomplishment seem more extraordinary than it was.
This is not an accusation of lying, by the way. Human memory is faulty, and – in the eagerness to convince others – recollections can be unconsciously embellished. Erin may well have gained 70 pounds during her pregnancy; nonetheless I doubt that she was still packing the same amount of weight around by the time she started taking Lipofuze.
So that’s one reason why it’s important to take testimonials with a grain of salt.
And here’s another… according to her (written) account, Erin started taking Lipofuze in October, 2009 – a month before I wrote my first review of the product (yes, this is an update). What the manufacturers of Lipofuze do not reveal is that the formula has changed since then – quite radically, in fact. Thus, the Lipofuze that Erin started taking in October 2009 is not the same product as the one being advertised today (Sept. 2012, to be precise).
As we will see, there’s nothing in Lipofuze that could possibly cause dramatic weight loss. There wasn’t in 2009, and certainly isn’t now. But that’s par for the course: dieters shouldn’t expect remarkable results from any weight loss supplement.
Fat is a stored energy source – each pound of fat represents approximately 3,500 calories. It does not flush off, melt away, or anything like that. There is no effortless way to get rid of it. An hour of intense exercise on the treadmill can require approximately 600 calories. To burn the caloric equivalent of 10 pounds of fat, the average person would need to spend nearly 60 hours on the treadmill.*
While there’s a lot to cover, still, I don’t mind saying this up front: any product —including Lipofuze— that offers (even by implication) effortless weight loss must be viewed with some suspicion. It is, after all, the major thing the FTC warned against with their own bogus, eggplant-based weight loss product, Fat Foe. Featured testimonials – even honest ones – are from outliers. They rarely, if ever, reflect the results experienced by the majority of users. At best, a good supplement can provide a boost; and help users stay the course; but they don’t defne the difference between weight loss success and failure.
With that said, let’s take a look at the ingredient profile…
*This also helps explain Erin’s lack of earlier success – she does not mention diet – just pills and exercise. And exercise alone is not an effective way to lose weight.