Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just take a pill and lose all the weight you wanted? In today’s blog post, we’ll take a few moments to investigate a popular supplement that claims to do just that: Skinny Fiber.
According to the makers of Skinny Fiber, you’ll see the following benefits: 1) it provides numerous benefits which will help you to shed excess fat and pounds in record time without calorie counting, 2) you will do it without breaking a sweat, and 3) without making any lifestyle changes besides taking two capsules thirty minutes before lunch and two more capsules thirty minutes before dinner.
That’s right. According to the folks at Skinny Fiber, we’re all only four pills a day away from the fittest, trimmest bodies of our dreams. Consider me skeptical.
As you may have surmised, Skinny Fiber comes in capsule form. It contains no caffeine, gluten or HCG; for the uninformed, HCG stands for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, a hormone which has fallen out of favor for weight loss supplementation due to its numerous and dangerous side effects.
Skinny Fiber comes in a fun, trendy hot pink bottle and, although it can be taken by members of either sex, the majority of its marketing efforts appear to be toward women.
In addition to the company’s website, these efforts include an array of websites by independent distributors. All of these sites are run by women who have had success using Skinny Fiber and are now independent distributors. Throughout these sites, they urge others to do the same. Someone is definitely benefiting from the promotion, so I took everything I read with a grain of salt.
As for the official company website, the focus is more on active ingredients and the product itself. According to the company website, Skinny Fiber addresses the root cause of your weight problem, poor health: “…your body needs to be healthy enough to not need that extra fat to protect it!” Shocking, isn’t it?
This is a direct quote from the source itself. You’ve got to give Ben Glinsky, CEO of Skinny Fiber, some credit for originality. As anyone with a weight problem for any length of time can tell you, excess fat is often labeled as social or emotional protection against previous abuse, trauma or hurt feelings, not as a physical mechanism of protecting the physical body.
While Glinsky does make some valid points regarding protection from starvation and the physical cushioning fat provides to the body, few of us in the “first world” are underweight enough to develop problems with these mechanisms.
In fact, if you’ve read much of this blog, you know that in our industrialized society, excess weight is pretty much the exact opposite of protective of your health, leading to a whole host of complications such as diabetes, cancer and other chronic health conditions.
We could stop our discussion right here, but we are confronted by the fact that people are still buying this supplement. While there are some critical reviews out there, too many people swear by Skinny Fiber to not take a closer look.
Skinny Fiber Key Features
On the Skinny Fiber website, Ben Glinsky makes five broad claims regarding his product. They are that Skinny Fiber:
- is a “proprietary blend.”
- “may help promote weight management.”
- “helps support detoxification.”
- “provides antioxidant properties.”
- “supports healthy digestion.”
Even after a quick glance, we can see that these claims are all worded extremely cautiously for a diet supplement. “May help promote weight management”? May??? It doesn’t sound like my chances are very good. You MAY want to join Weight Watchers again…
Either Ben Glinsky is an extremely modest genius-type who sees no need to toot his own horn or his lawyers worked overtime to draft a website that would cover him no matter how much weight his customers lost. If the case is the former, then he’s got one heck of a marketing team working for him.
Key Skinny Fiber Ingredients
Since we’re considering a weight loss supplement, let’s take a few moments to look at the ingredients Skinny Fiber contains which, “may help promote weight management.”
The fiber in Skinny Fiber is glucomannan. This is a sugar derived from the root of the konjac plant and has been traditionally used to thicken or gel foods in Japanese cuisine. This food is low in calories and forms a bulky fiber in the body which helps you feel full and enhances digestion. Research has shown that glucomannan can increase the amount of weight lost.
One study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that individuals taking a combined glucomannan and psyllium husk supplement lost 10 pounds over 16 weeks rather than the 1.7 pounds lost by the
A different study showed that individuals who took glucomannan lost an average of 5.5 pounds over eight weeks without making any other lifestyle changes, such as eating fewer calories or exercising.
Caralluma fimbriata is a type of edible cactus which is cooked, pickled or eaten raw in India. Historically, it had a key role in defeating hunger pangs during times of famine or on long hunting trips.
According to the researchers of the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine, individuals who took Caralluma fimbriata supplements were able to lose two and one-half inches from their waists compared to the one inch that was lost among those who skipped supplementation. This was in addition to its legendary appetite suppression ability.
Unlike glucomannan and Caralluma Fimbriata, the enzymes found in this product have not held up as well to such scrutiny. According to the package, Skinny Fiber contains a blend of enzymes such as amylase, protease, and lipase. With the exception of amylase, which is found in the saliva, all of these enzymes are manufactured in the pancreas.
The only people who actually need to take enzyme pills to digest food are those with pancreatic issues, such as individuals with cystic fibrosis. While adding extra enzymes to your diet probably won’t cause you any harm, there’s no scientific evidence to support their use unless you have a pancreatic issue.
The final active ingredient in Skinny Fiber, Chá de Bugre is a popular natural appetite suppressant and weight loss aid in Brazil. While it enjoys an extensive reputation as a weight loss supplement, very little research exists to support its use for anything other than cold sore prevention. Evidence does, however, exist that combining Chá de Bugre with lithium can lead to heart, kidney and brain damage.
As with any supplement, please consult with your primary healthcare provider for customized support.
So, as you can see, the active ingredients in Skinny Fiber range from helpful to harmless to harmful. Glucomannan and Caralluma fimbriata in Skinny Fiber can help support appetite suppression and weight control. All other Skinny Fiber ingredients are either useless or harmful.
In terms of the other four claims made on the company’s website, due to its high fiber content Skinny Fiber does deliver in terms of supporting healthy digestion and, therefore, detoxification. The detoxifying benefits are particularly evident if you increase your water intake, which you should always do if you are adding more fiber to your diet.
Sadly, Skinny Fiber does not provide antioxidant properties. After carefully scrutinizing the ingredients, one may come to the conclusion that, since it contains papain and bromelain, which are found in papaya and pineapple, respectively, it must also contain antioxidants. There’s only one problem with this thinking: Papain and bromelain are separate components of their respective fruits.
While papaya and pineapple may be antioxidant rich, primarily due to their high vitamin C content, papain and bromelain, which are other components of fruit, do not contain antioxidants in and of themselves.
Perhaps the most distressing claim made by the Skinny Fiber company is that all you need to do is take four pills per day and all of your excess weight will rapidly melt away.
While some research does exist to indicate that glucomannan and Caralluma fimbriata help individuals lose pounds and inches, respectively, independently of other lifestyle change, promoting any pill as a panacea for weight loss woes is, at the least, irresponsible.
If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you know that, ideally, weight loss is only one component of living a healthier life. If weight loss is relentlessly pursued for its own sake without lifestyle change, you are really setting yourself up for a lifetime of failure and failing health.
Moreover, if you neglect healthful behaviors such as eating a better diet and exercising, you miss out on all of the numerous short and long-term benefits they confer.
Skinny Fiber Costs – What Can You Expect to Pay?
If you decide to try Skinny Fiber, be advised that a 120 capsule supply is available for $39.95 on Amazon.com or $59.95 through the company’s website; in other words, it costs about $1 per day when purchased through Amazon.com or $2 per day when you pay retail.
If you would like to purchase 6 months of Skinny Fiber directly from the company, you can get it at a steep discount, which brings the cost down to near the Amazon.com price. Any way you slice it, Skinny Fiber is not an inexpensive long-term venture.
Glucomannan: If, however, you would like to try Skinny Fiber’s most research-proven ingredient, glucomannan, it can be purchased as a stand-alone supplement for as low as 29 CENTS per day including the shipping costs through Amazon.If you want more fiber and less fluff, this may be a viable option for you.
Caralluma Fimbriata: Similarly, Caralluma fimbriata is available through Amazon.com for $17.94 for a 30 day supply, which is about 60 CENTS per day, also including shipping. If you want to use both of the more researched active ingredients in Skinny Fiber, you can get both of them for $26.38 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here) including shipping, or 88 CENTS per day.
If you add some exercise and healthier food to your life, you may just be able to create a total health and weight management program which works for you.
As the focus here is on your total well-being, you need to always inform your Primary Healthcare Provider, Registered Dietician, and/or another appropriately qualified member (s) of your healthcare team of any supplement use. Ideally, you should ask him, her or them for direction before beginning to take any new supplement or making any other lifestyle change.
I hope you have enjoyed getting the skinny on Skinny Fiber. Please comment below if you have questions or want to share your experience with Skinny Fiber.
Health enthusiast, runner, protein nut. Owen likes to write about protein, particularly alternatve supplementation and supplement comparisons.