Would raspberry ketone work for me?
March 30, 2013 4:11 PM   Subscribe

I just need to drop 12-15lbs. Would raspberry ketone work for me?

I'm 38 years old. 6' tall and weigh 182lbs. I have 22% body fat and work out regularly cardio and weights. I've gained quite a bit of muscle over the last few years but my weight is very consistent. If I stop working out and eat like crap my weight still stays the same. At my best a few years ago my % bodyfat was down to about 14%.
I really just need a little help dropping about 12lbs since exercise and diet don't seem to want to fix that.
I just started taking 500mg of RK per day. Should I expect this will help me deal with this last 12lbs?
posted by Thrillhouse to Health & Fitness (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Have you tried lowering your calories? You mention changing your diet for "crap," but bodyweight is very much tied to the number of calories you consume. It may do you better to track your intake and then try reducing your calories by about 500 per day for a few weeks.
posted by xingcat at 4:14 PM on March 30, 2013

Oh. yes. I've reduced my calories significantly for months. By "eat like crap" i don't mean it's all pizza and donuts. it just means I don't eat as many fruits and vegetables and baked chicken. I never pig out on McDonalds and cake. It really surprises me that no matter how much or little I eat my weight pretty much stays the same. I tracked my diet heavily for a long time using myplate.com so I've really overanalyzed this to death...
posted by Thrillhouse at 4:22 PM on March 30, 2013

Most likely hooey. A PubMed search reveals exactly two articles that deal with raspberry ketones and weight, both of which were done on rats. It probably won't hurt you (as an additive the FDA says it is generally recognized as safe) but it probably won't help you either.
posted by calistasm at 4:31 PM on March 30, 2013

Like all legal, non-prescription weight loss supplements, raspberry ketone is a crock. So no, it will not help you.

You say you track your food, but do you weigh it? If you don't weigh it, start weighing it and calculating calories that way. And when I say "weigh it", I mean like when you make spaghetti you're weighing the noodles, sauce, etc everything that you eat individually, not just plug in generic "spaghetti" listing they might have in there.

How many calories are you eating?
posted by schroedinger at 4:32 PM on March 30, 2013 [7 favorites]

WebMD says that the interest in raspberry ketones really comes from a Dr. Oz episode in February of last year. They also say that it doesn't work.

However, are you the type of person who believes Dr. Oz? Obviously a lot of people are. I think this is the episode where he gives the sales pitch for these pills. I think I got a little dumber just watching it, but what do you think? If people could lose weight by taking a cheap pill, what do you think most people would look like right now?
posted by Houstonian at 4:36 PM on March 30, 2013 [2 favorites]

Probably won't kill you, but don't expect it to work, either. If it actually allowed you to lose weight more easily than diet and exercise, Merck would already be selling it and making trillions of dollars. There is literally no chance at all that it will work, sorry. (Except insofar as it might create a placebo effect, but it seems a rather expensive way to do that.)

12 lbs is 6.6% at your weight, which is not trivial weight loss at all. (That's basically the difference between where you currently are, and your stated personal best.) The good thing is that you've likely been there before based on your personal best BF%, so whatever you did to get there ought to work again. But I wouldn't expect any shortcuts to help.

The only thing that will really help, in terms of having any significant evidence behind its effectiveness in weight loss, is Orlistat (brand name "Alli" — available OTC although it's not cheap) which blocks the absorption of fat in the small intestine. Don't stray far from a bathroom if you decide to go give it a try, though. If you've ever had food made with Olestra, imagine all high-fat foods being made with it and that's basically what it does.
posted by Kadin2048 at 4:42 PM on March 30, 2013

It won't work, it's woo.
posted by OmieWise at 4:44 PM on March 30, 2013

Thanks everyone. I have very little expectation that it will make a difference but I figured $15 is worth trying. It's not exactly expensive so I'll give it a few weeks to see if anything happens. If it doesn't then thats fine.
posted by Thrillhouse at 4:47 PM on March 30, 2013

If you decide to stick with them, keep an eye out for high blood pressure.

For $15, I'd throw them out.
posted by kinetic at 4:55 PM on March 30, 2013

Check out actual ketosis-inducing dietary changes, in which ketones actually do cause fat loss. Raspberry ketones as a dietary supplement seem like hooey - in ketosis, the ketones aren't what cause the weight loss, they're a result of the fat-loss process. Anecdata time: I and several people I know have dropped much more significant amounts of fat from simple dietary changes and the food is delicious and filling.
posted by bookdragoness at 5:01 PM on March 30, 2013 [2 favorites]

If you are taking it and it is helping you eat less, then go for it! Placebos can be very useful, and if this one helps you stay on track, then it's $15 well spent.
posted by Wordwoman at 5:04 PM on March 30, 2013

On the Orlistat thing... it absolutely works, but it's a miserable experience. IMO it's best used when you intend to eat no fat anyway, and you're just taking the pill to keep you honest. As soon as you start cheating... well, just don't cheat, k?
posted by Leon at 5:09 PM on March 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you were willing to eat 4 lbs. of raspberry ketone a day, at a daily cost for the natural product of ~$40,000, it might do something for you:
A more recent study demonstrated that when mice were fed very high doses of raspberry ketone, up to 20 g/kg, 2% of body weight or 4761 times greater than estimated human intake, there was a statistically significant prevention of high-fat-diet-induced elevation in body weight.[12] The high dose effect is reported to stem from the alteration of lipid metabolism, increasing norepinephrine-induced lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation in cultured adipocytes.[13]
(I think that should read "47610 times greater than estimated human intake" to be consistent with the other figures in the article.)
posted by jamjam at 6:26 PM on March 30, 2013

Orlistat is kind of weird. It doesn't allow you to absorb fat and if you eat fat while taking it, you will fart oil, you will have oily poop. If you don't eat fat, you won't fart and poop oil because you haven't consumed any. It works "well" only if your diet is very low fat and then that little bit of fat doesn't get absorbed.

It is not a forgiving drug and if you think that small order of french fries doesn't matter, you would be wrong and you really don't want to be wrong on the bus, or in a traffic jam, or anywhere where you don't have immediate access to a toilet.

If you take it, take the advice of Jack Nicholson in the The Bucket List, "never trust a fart."
posted by shoesietart at 6:41 PM on March 30, 2013

Raspberry ketones won't do it at all. You said you can eat like crap and still weigh the same. STOP EATING LIKE CRAP. Seriously, that is what is keeping you from losing a little bit more weight.

You may want to look into starting a ketogenic diet where it's no carbs (so no sugars, wheat, rice, etc) and heavier on the fats. Basically your meals will turn into fresh veggies + meat a thons. Idea is to get your body to use fat as the main fuel source.
posted by astapasta24 at 6:09 AM on March 31, 2013

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