The Truth about Raspberry Ketones and the Most Effective Way to Shed Pounds
Metabolism By The Numbers
By now you’ve probably heard the buzz about raspberry ketones. For the past year (thanks in large part to the praise of Dr. Oz), this mysterious supplement has been a media darling, sitting at the forefront of the diet industry with its bold claims about melting fat away. I spoke to an employee at my local Whole Foods about this recently, and his response said it all: “We just can’t keep the stuff on our shelves.”
You may not be surprised to find that I’m a bit skeptical. Having seen so many fat diet products come and go over the years, I’ve often said that “there’s no such thing as a magic pill.” And there’s never been a shortage of pills promising miraculous fat loss – but it’s been a while since we’ve seen one get this much attention. So is there something to all this rage over raspberry ketones?
Raspberry ketones promise to regulate two hormones: Adiponectin, which is associated with obesity; and norepinephrine, which may lead to a small boost in body temperature. (Sidenote: We’ve seen countless diet supplements over the years that try to increase norepinephrine. But many of those supplements are now off the market, and for good reason: When you raise body temperature, you can also raise heartrate and blood pressure, making these pills dangerous for anyone with a heart condition or high blood pressure.)
The idea is that controlling adiponectin while increasing norpinephrine can raise metabolism, leading to weight loss. And two small studies have shown that raspberry ketones are indeed effective at curbing fat, even when subjects were fed a high-fat diet. The problem is that, in both studies, the only subjects were male mice. There’s no research based on concrete human experience to back up the claims about raspberry ketones.
But here’s the good news: With a little extra planning, you can reap plenty of fat-burning benefits without any of the potential side effects of raspberry ketones. There may not be a magic pill, but there might just be a magic number. It all boils down to an easy little math equation.
One pound of bodyfat contains 3,500 calories. And cutting calories, of course, will lead to weight loss. So with some very simple addition and subtraction, you can start to lose a pound a week. Here’s how:
If you either consume just 250 fewer calories a day – without any additional exercise – OR if you burn off an extra 250 calories a day – you’ll lose one pound in two weeks. Double it up, doing both of those at once (250 fewer calories consumers, 250 extra calories burned), and you’re losing a pound a week.
Where to find those 250 calories? They’re everywhere you look. You don’t have to jump right into a strict, regimented diet. You’ve just got to avoid the food that you probably already know you should be avoiding. So if any of the following items – all of them approximately 250 calories each – are in your daily diet, all you’ve got to do is skip them:
- 1 slice of chocolate cake
- 1 cup of traditional stuffing
- 1 toaster pastry
- 1 medium-sized doughnut
- 2 cups of 2% milk
- 2 cups of plain yogurt
- 2.5 ounces of cheese
- 3 ounces of boiled ham
- 2.5 ounces of fried chicken
Then there’s the exercise aspect. Burning calories can be much easier than we think. An hour spent sitting and reading alone can burn up to 100 calories naturally! So just imagine what happens when you add some movement. All of the following activities are all 250 calorie-burners for a 160-pound woman:
- 45-60 minutes of brisk walking
- 30 minutes of tennis
- 30 minutes of jogging
- 60 minutes of vigorous cleaning
- 30 minutes of racketball
- 60 minutes of ballroom dancing
- 45 minutes of weight training
- 40 minutes of softball
- 40 minutes of gardening
- 50 minutes of horseback riding
- 75 minutes of bowling
As you can see from these lists, this equation isn’t rocket-science. Far from it. We’re not talking about a deprivation diet, and several of the movements mentioned above aren’t even formal exercise (an hour of cleaning?!). Losing a pound a week is actually quite doable – it just requires a little less here, and a little more there. So just imagine the possibilities if you took it even further, with a structured healthy eating plan and a schedule of fun, challenging workouts. Before you know it, your calorie burn is through the roof….and you haven’t spent a dime on any so-called magic pills.