Cons: The product in reality is just a scam, it has no real benefit.
The Bottom Line: If you are looking for a miracle cure, this isn't the product of choice... but maybe there just isn't a miracle out there.
I have been an active duty Air Force Unit Fitness Program Manager for quite some time now. During that time, I have been through numerous classes on a variety of different aspects of health, from smoking, to weight loss, to fad diets, to circuit/weight training, and virtually every other topic you could imagine.
As a UFPM, I am directly responsible for the management of the health and fitness for upwards of 800 personnel at any given period of time. This means that I administer all fitness testing, I counsel those that are having weight issues, and I aid in training those that desire the added assistance in obtaining muscle mass, losing weight, or whatever their goals are. Essentially, I am a personal trainer for the military.
This job of course is much different in the military however, than it would be in the civilian world. In the military world, we have to have a certain weight, and meet specific standards, whereas civilians are guided by their own desires. This means that in order for personnel to keep their jobs, I have to be on top of all of the best supplements, training guides, equipment, and methods of training that will yield the best results for each individual user's goals.
Throughout my time as a UFPM, I have tried so many different products myself, read about a large number of products, attended classes, and seen the direct results of members that have used these products. I know what works, what doesn't work, and what you have to do to make these products work.
Twinlabs Ripped Fuel Ripped Fuel is one of the best selling weight loss products on the market. I have seen this product used by numerous individuals through my fitness programs that I have run, and it definitely appears to be one of the favorite products around.
The product is essentially based around the concept of Thermogenics. Thermogenics is basically a term used to describe the philosophy that enzymes and extracts can be utilized to enhance metabolism and create active weight loss through internal processes. This of course is a topic that has been highly debated, and there's not a lot of evidence supporting the validity of Thermogenics and it's effect on weight loss. Of course a large number of companies have used this as a major selling point of their products. There are countless products currently on the market that claim to use Thermogenics as a means of EFFECTIVELY burning fat and calories.
Ripped Fuel is no different than any other Thermogenic product. It utilizing four major ingredients, Citrus Auratium, St. John's Wort, Guarana Extract, and L-Phenylalanie. These ingredients when combined together are reported by the company to be the active ingredients that stimulate the body to burn more fat during workouts and while sedentary. Still, there is no real research that supports this evidence.
Performance Ever since I moved to Alaska 3 years ago, I have had issues with weight during the winter months. The constant darkness makes it extremely difficult to stay active and many of those living here gain 15-25 pounds over the winter months and then make a mad rush to lose the weight each summer when they are much more active. It's a vicious cycle that Alaskans know all too well.
Since I had heard of so many people taking Ripped Fuel with varying results, I decided that I should give it a try. I figured that it wouldn't be as popular as it is without some sort of validity to its' claims.
I started taking the product after I had already been working out for 2-3 weeks. I figured if it could help me maximize my workouts by burning more fat during those workouts, then I would achieve my goals substantially faster without having to work any harder.
After taking the pills for several weeks, I started to realize that I wasn't losing any extra weight. I kept my workout standard, but my weight loss slowed somewhat. I knew that my weight loss would slow down, but I figure that with the use of the Ripped Fuel, I would still have a decent impact, but I had nothing. I was really only losing what you should expect to lose on a regular workout. So, I stopped taking the product about a month into the program. After I stopped taking the product, I kept trending exactly the same for the following month. To me, this just goes to show that it's more hype than anything. It obviously didn't have any affect on my overall performance or my ability to burn calories.
The only real noticeable achievement of the product is that it gave me a slight boost of energy, much like that of a caffeine pill. It would give me a shot of about 30 minutes to an hour where I had enhanced energy, but as it wore off, I felt more exhausted than before I took the pills.
My overall evaluation from my own experience is that this product really does not work. I think the people that think it works just aren't believing in what they have accomplished on their own. The daily act of taking a diet pill is going to put the thought of healthy living in your head each day. This means that you are going to be thinking healthier than you normally would anyway. The pill isn't making you lose the weight, the pill is changing your mindset for the day so that you eat somewhat better, so you exercise, and those events are helping you to lose weight. The product itself however, doesn't appear to have any real benefit.
The Science Behind The Size Product: a thermogenic fat metabolizer and metabolic enhancer including Citrus Auratium and St. John's Wort combined with Guarana Extract and L-Phenylalanie.
Result: stimulates fat loss and preservation of lean body mass without ephedra*
Science: research shows this patented formula stimulates fat loss*
Metabolic Fat Loss Blend: St. John's Wort Extract (aerial parts) (standardized for 0.9mg hypericin), Green Tea Leaf Extract, Quercetin, Citrus Bioflavonoid Complex, Ginger Root, Cayenne Fruit
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Supplement Facts Serving Size: 2 Capsules Servings Per Container: 100
Bitter Orange Fruit Extract standardized for 6% synephrine alkaloids 325 mg* L-Phenylalanine 50 mg* Guarana Seed Extract (22% caffeine) 800 mg* Metabolic Fat Loss Blend: see product details for ingredients list 310 mg*
* Daily Value not established.
Directions As a dietary supplement, take 2 capsules before each meal. Do not exceed 6 capsules daily. Taking more than the recommended amount will not improve results and may cause adverse reactions listed in the warning. Begin use with one-half the recommended serving (one capsule three times per day) to assess your tolerance. Improper use may be hazardous to a person's health. For best results, use as part of a low-fat diet and exercise program.
Warnings Not intended for use by persons under the age of 18. Do not use if you are pregnant or nursing or if you are at risk or being treated for high blood pressure, heart, liver, thyroid or psychiatric disease, diabetes, pernicious, anemia, nervousness, anxiety, depression, seizure disorder, stroke or difficulty in urination due to prostate enlargement. Consult your health care professional before use if you are taking an MAO inhibitor or any other prescription drug. Discontinue use and consult your healthy care professional if dizziness, sleeplessness, tremors, nervousness, headache, heart palpitations or tingling sensations occur. People with fair skin should not overexpose themselves to strong sunlight while taking this product due to photosensitizing nature of St. John's Wort. Guarana extract contains caffeine and should not be taken by those wishing to eliminate caffeine from their diet.
Keep out of reach of children.
Helpful Information I have decided that rather than letting all of you read countless reviews of products that just don't work, I would just provide some helpful weightloss information.
FAT BURNING There are so many myths about losing weight, that realistically it would be impossible for me to attack all of them. The major thing that you need to know about weight loss, is that it doesn't mean starving yourself. If you want to control your body weight or lose weight the most important thing to do is control your portions and know what you're eating. Far too often people assume that because a food item doesn't have a lot to it that it's low in calories. This obviously a faulty assumption. For example, if you were to eat a regular sized Italian Quizno's sub combo, you would have consumed 2200 calories. If you are on a diet, you are already over your daily limit off of a single meal. Of course many would just starve themselves to make up for this indulgence, however, when your body is faced with hunger it begins to consume fat AND MUSCLE. Muscle is what determines you metabolism, the more muscle you have, the better your burn calories. So while you may lose weight short term, long term you are going to gain MUCH MORE. This is why so many people gain a substantial amount of weight after breaking their diets. People who starve themselves will end their diets by becoming heavier than they were before their diet. That's the sad reality of it.
Low Carbohydrate Diets These are the worst kinds of diets. While cutting simple carbohydrates such as simple sugars is a great means of losing weight and eliminating calories, eliminating grains could potentially create constipation, which will allows your body to function inefficiently, storing nutrients that it normally wouldn't in an attempt to find a place for them. Another issue with eliminating carbs is that you are eliminating your energy, meaning your body will lose it's ability to burn fat. Again, your body will consume muscle, and thus you'll ultimately lose your ability to lose weight in the long term.
Diet Pills There isn't a single Thermogesic or other diet pill on the market that has been proven to work. In fact several companies were just sued by the federal government for false claims that have not been proven or supported by any research. Save your money, buy a treadmill.
EASY WAYS TO LOSE WEIGHT If you seem to be only gaining a little bit of weight here and there, try removing drinks that contain calories. This basically means to drink only water. Drinking diet beverages actually has a negative effect on your body, by making you feel hungry. If you are trying to lose weight, the feeling of hunger isn't going to benefit you, it will only make things worse unless you are capable of controlling these urges, which most people are not. By removing drinks with calories you could lose a substantial amount of weight by doing that alone, especially if you are relatively active. Each soda contains about 120 calories each. If you were to drink 5 of those per day, as many do, then you would eliminate 600 calories per day just off of drinks alone.
Use fiber! Fiber is capable of making you feel full by expanding in your stomach into a gel. As fiber cannot be absorbed by your body, it basically just helps your body in digestion. Your body will now be able to more efficiently remove waste, while at the same time you'll be able to eliminate your hunger by filling up the large holes in your stomach. This is a much healthier alternative to starving yourself, as it serves healthy purposes. Don't replace meals with fiber, but using fiber as a means of controlling how much you eat at each meal or in place of snacks can be quite useful. Just make sure that you also drink a lot of water with this.
Walking! When people tell me that they hate to run, I tell them to walk. Just walking an extra, 5-10,000 steps per day will help you to lose a substantial amount of weight over time.
FLUSH PLANS HOW THEY WORK With the chemicals that are placed into the foods that we eat, we are constantly taking in a great deal of toxins. These toxins build up within our bodies over time and cause a major backup. This backup causes us to gain weight by allowing our body more time to absorb nutrients that it normally wouldn't as the body has no quick means of removing those toxins due to the backup. Some of those have had backups that have included pounds of hair, nails, insects, worms, etc. Look it up on google if you don't believe me.
The basic idea of a flush is to eat nothing but natural foods for a week. Try to eat only organic, and only eat lean meats. You can eat chicken, fish, and a variety of other things using seasoning, you just can't use oils, butters, or dairy products to flavor them. The diet is high in fiber, which aids in digestion and includes probiotics and prebiotics, which are bacteria that are naturally present in your digestive system that break down food and nutrients. By boosting the levels of the helpful bacteria and boosting fiber, you are able to clear out the blockage, which can be quite a bit at first.
Once you clear the blockage you will have A LOT MORE energy, you won't need as much food to feel full and you'll just feel substantially better in general. When I went on a flush a few weeks ago, I lost 7 pounds, which is a pretty substantial amount of weight to lose for someone that really isn't that overweight and eats fairly healthy in the first place. I have heard of people in the military that I have treated losing upwards of 15-20 pounds in 7 days from a flush. You would be amazed by what's in your body.
BUILDING MUSCLE AND USING IT TO LOSE WEIGHT Muscle is the key component in determining how many calories you burn in a day. Your metabolism is completely dependent upon the muscle in your body. So by starving your body and letting your body canibalize itself, you are essentially slowing your metabolism and helping yourself gain weight.
So, if muscle is necessary for metabolism, obviously the more muscle you have, the faster you will burn calories. In fact, for every pound of muscle that you have, you will burn 120 calories per day standing still. This means if you were to workout on a regular basis, you could easily add 1 pound of muscle every week or two, allowing you to burn a substantial amount of calories everyday by doing nothing. Of course you have to maintain this muscle through diet and activity, but once you gain the muscle, maintaining it is a much easier task, as long as you eat right.
HELPFUL FACTS It takes 3500 calories to gain a pound and 3500 calories to lose a pound. The average amount of weight you can expect to lose in a standard week is 1-2. The only real way to lose more than that is by increasing activity. By decreasing your food intake, you are only going to make it more difficult to lose weight in the future as your body will destroy your muscle, the metabolism source in your body.