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I wish I could tell you there is a magic pill that will melt your pounds away. I am sorry there aren't any, and Suprasvelte or Supra svelte (marketed in Europe as Trimbia) is not an exception to that rule.

Suprasvelte is sometimes advertised with headlines such as "Lose 38 pounds in four weeks!" (I wonder why not 39 pounds.) Or sometimes the ad will say that it can cure heart attacks, chronic fatigue syndrome, or diabetes while it helps you lose weight without "any surgeries, pills, or butt busting workouts whatsoever."

What wondrous ingredients does Suprasvelte contain to work its weight loss magic?

One ingredient is Garcinia cambogia, a tropical fruit. This fruit is a natural source of hydroxycitric acid, also known as HCA. This compound does have some usefulness in weight control. It slows down the rate of new fat production when you overeat carbohydrates. I'll repeat that. Garcinia cambogia keeps you from getting fatter faster. That's not the same thing as helping you lose weight.

HCA can also stimulate the production of glycogen in your muscles after you exercise. Glycogen is a stored fuel your muscles can make from glucose and water. It "pumps up" your muscle mass as they recover. However, to get this effect, you have to exercise. Also, because the process of producing glycogen adds water to glucose, you actually gain weight rather than losing it.

In other words, this weight loss miracle can either help you gain weight more slowly or put on water weight that you would not gain without it. These don't sound like really good reasons to take it to lose weight, if the best it can do is "not gaining as fast."

Suprasvelte also contains an herb named Orthosiphon aristatus, or cat's whiskers. It's marketed as kumis kusing or misai kusing in Indonesia and on Borneo. Taking the herb is a little like taking aspirin. It can prevent swollen joints. It might relieve a headache. It slightly stimulates urination. It may help fight urinary tract infections and there are some preliminary studies that suggest it helps memory. However, the most weight you will lose as a result of taking any product that contains this herb is the weight of the urine in your bladder. It won't help you burn fat. It just gets you a little boost in weight loss the first day or two you use it, in addition to the weight loss you experience as your liver and muscles turn glycogen back into glucose (to be burned) and water (to be urinated away).

Together, these two herbs could help you lose about a kilogram (two pounds). That's not two pounds a day or two pounds a week or two pounds a month. That's two pounds ever, that will come back just as soon as you stop dieting.

Alarmingly, there is a growing number of reports of acute liver failure associated with Garcinia cambogia use. It's OK to use hydroxycitric acid, just not very helpful for your weight loss. You need to stay away from the Garcinia cambogia from which it is extracted.

If you can't lose weight with pills, how can you lose weight. It's easy to understand but hard to do: Eat less.

Exercising more won't usually work, because exercise stimulates appetite. If you burn 500 calories in your workout but you eat 800 more calories when you stop, you are going to gain weight, not lose it. Some exercise helps you with blood sugar regulation and cardiovascular fitness. It's just not very helpful for weight control.

Various herbal supplements are modestly helpful in burning carbohydrates or losing water weight. If you don't eat the carbohydrates, however, your body does not need help in burning them. And if you stick to your diet each and every day forever (who does that?) you will never gain your water weight back.

For lasting results, however, simply eat less. It's easy to understand and hard to do, but that's the way to lose weight and keep it off.

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