Green Coffee Bean Weight Loss Claims End in $9 Million Fines

Are you familiar with the green coffee bean supplements for weight loss? If not don’t bother, as the makers of green tea weight loss pills are ordered by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to pay $9 million in false claims (Schiavone 2015).

Dr. Oz Green Coffee Bean Weight Loss

Dr. Oz approves green coffee bean extract for weight loss. Photo by Lucille Roberts

I have personally watched episodes on the Dr. Oz Show where companies would advertise green coffee bean extract that supposed to help you lose weight but I thought nothing of it. I always keep the mindset that weight loss is not possible without diet and exercise. According to the FTC, a guy named Lindsey Duncan “…and his companies, Pure Health LLC and Genesis Today, Inc., deceptively claimed that the supplement could help consumers shed 17 pounds and 16 percent of his or her body fat within 12 weeks without diet or exercise, and that the claim was backed by a clinical study.”

To make matters worse, that study was later discovered to be flawed, and the FTC settled charges with the company that sponsored it in September.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, Lindsey Duncan and his companies made millions by falsely claiming that green coffee bean supplements cause significant and rapid weight loss,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. This case shows that the Federal Trade Commission will continue to fight deceptive marketers’ attempts to prey on consumers trying to improve their health. “This not only makes me feel safer as a consumer, but I know have doubts about other weight loss claims affiliated with the Dr. Oz Show.

In the agreement, “…the defendants are barred from making deceptive claims about the health or efficacy of dietary supplements or drug products, and will pay $9 million for consumer redress,” a news release from the FTC issued Monday states.

I hope that the FTC will continue to protect consumers from future false weight loss claims and ensure that every company goes through the proper procedure to test their products for actual weight loss effectiveness.

Leeman Taylor
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Schiavone, R. “Makers of Green Tea Weight Loss Pills Featured on Dr. Oz Pay $9 Million for False Claims” 27 January 2015

Zach Galifianaki Flaunts Dramatic Weight Loss at SAG Awards

Zach Galifianaki, 45 and cast member of the recent film “Birdman”, has been losing weight for several months now. He made an amazing appearance at the SAG Awards on Jan. 25 with his signature beard shaved and his hair pulled back (Benzilio 2015).

Zach Galifianaki Weight Loss

Zach Galifianaki shows off his amazing weight loss at the SAG Awards on January 25. Getty Images

I believe Galifianaki had a magnificent night at the 2015 SAG Awards because he not only appeared stunning and unrecognizable, but he also won the award for Best Ensemble Cast for his film, “Birdman”. Zach’s weight loss was first spotted in October at the Birdman premiere where he still had his full beard and curly hair.

Since then he has stopped drinking and “having a lot of vodka with sausage” to keep the weight off. Many celebrities who eliminate the sugary drinks and stop eating late nights have always been successful at weight loss. Rick Ross, “Hood Billionaire” rapper, recently lost 85 pounds by eliminating sodas from his diet and doing RossFit for his exercise routine. Zach also added “I was getting into too much trouble with the drinking, so I just kind of stopped,” which was a very positive change in my opinion.

Leeman Taylor
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Benzilio, S. “Zach Galifianaki Unrecognizable At SAG Awards After Huge Weight Loss” January 26, 2015 Hollywood Life

FDA Approves New Weight Loss Device for Obesity

Obese individuals struggling to lose weight now have a new FDA-approved weight loss treatment device, the Maestro Rechargeable System, which pinpoints the nerve passage between the stomach and the brain that controls your appetite (FDA 2015).

Maestro Recharchargeable System Weight Loss Device

The Maestro Rechargeable Device is a new FDA-approved device for weight loss. Photo by HNGN

Just like the recently FDA-approved weight loss drug Saxenda, this obesity device is for individuals 18 and over who have struggled to lose weight with a weight loss program, and who have at least one other obesity-related health condition such as type 2 diabetes. Diet and exercise are the most important factors for fat loss and this new device can make an effective combination in my opinion.

“Obesity and its related medical conditions are major public health problems,” said William Maisel, M.D., M.P.H., deputy director for science and chief scientist in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “Medical devices can help physicians and patients to develop comprehensive obesity treatment plans.”

According to the FDA, the Maestro Rechargeable System consists of a rechargeable electrical pulse generator, wire leads and electrodes surgically implanted into the abdomen. This device is effective by sending intermittent electrical pulses to the trunks in the abdominal vagus nerve, which regulates the stomach in signaling the brain that the stomach feels full or empty. Patients can charge the device with external controllers and I believe it’s very convenient how health care professionals can adjust the settings.

How safe is the Maestro Rechargeable System?

In the clinical study, 233 patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or above received the device but the 157 patients who received the active devices lost 8.5 percent more excess weight after 1 year, compared to the 76 patients who received a non-activated Maestro electrical pulse generator (FDA 2015).

As a part of the approval, the manufacturer must conduct a 5 year post approval study to collect additional safety and effectiveness data. Serious adverse side effects reported were nausea, vomiting and complications from surgery. Other adverse effects included pain, problems swallowing, heartburn, chest pain and mild nausea.

Maestro Weight-Loss Device

EntroMedics, Inc, new weight loss device, the Maestro Rechargeable System, sends signals to the trunks in the abdominal vagus nerve to control appetite. Photo by CBS News

With this new weight-loss device approved by the FDA, obese individuals now have a new option to combine with traditional diet and exercise.

The Maestro Rechargeable System is manufactured by EnteroMedics of St. Paul, Minnesota.

Leeman Taylor
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: “FDA approves first-of-kind device to treat obesity” 14 January 2015 U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Lose Belly Fat With These Fat-Burning Foods

Losing belly fat and maintaining a flat stomach has always been a goal of mine so I took diet and exercise seriously. Consuming the proper fat-burning foods is important and David Zinczenko, best-selling co-author of the popular “Eat This, Not That!” series, has published a new book “Zero Belly Diet” in which I will discuss those belly fat-burning foods in this article today.

Fat-Burning Foods

Lose belly fat with these fat-burning foods and live a longer, healthier life.

Zinczenko created “Zero Belly” which aimed to reduce inflammation, stop bloating and shut down fat-storage genes (Zinczenko 2015). Belly fat is medically defined as “visceral fat”, which surrounds our guts and organs, pushing out our tummies. This type of fat is directly related to major health diseases such as type 2 diabetes, stroke, cancer, heart disease, liver disease and even Alzheimer’s.

According to Zinczenko, Zero Belly is based on the breakthrough science of “nutritional genetics,” which is the study of how specific foods trigger our fat genes to shut off or on. When Zinczenko put together a panel to test out the Zero Belly program, the average person lost 4 inches off their waist in just 6 weeks. This is quite interesting to me because those individuals lost weight fast without calorie counting or deprivation. The key was to develop a scientifically proven eating program that focuses on your fat genes. The Zero Belly program works in these 3 ways:

First, it reduces bloating by helping you slow down on extra salt, artificial sweeteners and dairy products. Next, it heals your gut by feeding the “good” microbes in your stomach. A balanced diet will decrease inflammation and help to shut off your fat genes. Last, it increases your metabolism with health fats, good dietary fiber and lean protein.

Lose belly fat with these 9 fat-burning foods:

Lean meat has been shown to maintain a high metabolism. These meats include lean beef, skinless chicken breast or white turkey.

Lean Meat Fat-Burner

Lean meats contain adequate protein which is essential for maintaining muscle mass. Clipart photo

Eggs contain a nutrient known as choline and researchers believe it shuts off the genes for visceral fat gain.

Beans, rice, oats and other dietary fiber can help the bacteria in your gut shut off genes for diabetes. I love oatmeal for breakfast and it’s a great way to begin your day plus satisfy your sweet tooth if you add sugar to it.

Red fruit such as apples are one of my favorite foods to eat. The darker the color, the more powerful they are at helping shut off obesity genes.

Olive oil and other healthy fats will help stop hunger cravings for up to four hours. I usually eat a high-protein diet in the mornings to keep my feeling full and curb my appetite throughout the evening.

Olive Oil Benefits

Olive oil has been shown to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, high cholesterol and even cancer. Clipart photo

Extra plant protein can be discovered in nuts and seeds like almonds, sunflower seeds or pecans and split peas or soy. I also like to add a plant-based protein powder mix to my fruit smoothies before and during my workouts.

The flavors and spices you like such as cinnamon, dark chocolate and even ginger can decrease inflammation and fight your fat genes.

Zero belly drinks”, drinks that are specifically plant-based smoothies that contain protein, fiber, healthy fat and resveratrol. You will find resveratrol in quantities in peanut butter, dark chocolate and red fruits which are all my daily favorites.

Green tea, bright vegetables, and leafy greens have been shown to decrease inflammation and help shut off fat-storage genes. I personally love bright, colorful vegetables because they add color and crunch to my meal plan.

Green Tea Benefits

Green tea contains catechins, which are antioxidants that fight and may even prevent cell damage. Clipart photo

You can include these 9 fat-burning foods along with daily physical activity help yourself lose belly fat today!

Leeman Taylor
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marker

Source: Zinczenko, D. “Nine foods to help you beat fat” 7 January 2015

New Weight Loss Diet Pill Acts As “Imaginary Meal”

Obese individuals seeking to lose weight have many FDA-approved prescription drugs to choose from including Belviq and newly approved Saxenda. There is still a long journey for better weight loss as scientists develop new fat loss alternatives every day.

Diet Pill Fexaramine - Ronald Evans

Evans and his colleagues develop Fexaramine, a compound that tricks the brain into feeling full, causing your body to burn fat. Salk Institute photo

Researchers at Salk Institute recently developed fexaramine; a pill that tricks the body into thinking it has consumed calories, causing it to burn fat. This new weight loss pill effectively stopped weight gain, controlled blood sugar, lowered cholesterol and decreased inflammation in mice, making it a great candidate for fast transition into human clinical studies (Evans et al. 2015). Many of the prescription drugs that we have currently on the market like caffeine-based drugs or appetite suppressants dissolve in the blood, but fexaramine stays in the intestines causing lesser side effects.

There was a study published earlier this month on how diet pills or weight loss supplements rarely work without diet or exercise but this new pill could really be an effective option for obesity. “This pill is like an imaginary meal” says Ronald Evans, director of Salk’s Gene Expression Laboratory and senior author of the new paper, published January 5, 2014 in Nature Medicine. “It sends out the same signs that normally happen when you eat a lot of food, so the body starts clearing out space to store it. But there are no calories and no change in appetite.”

Evans and his colleagues gave obese mice a daily pill of fexaramine for 5 weeks in which the mice stopped gaining weight, lost fat and had lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels than untreated mice (Evans et al. 2015). Obese patients who have trouble overeating can benefit greatly from fexaramine because they will feel less hungry and the body will burn calories fast with diet and exercise combined.

I agree that fexaramine may be safer in humans because it doesn’t make it to the bloodstream like other FXR targeting drugs. Administered under a physician’s guidance, this drug would work in combination with diet and lifestyle changes, much like weight loss surgeries or other obesity treatments.

Leeman Taylor
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Evans, R. et al. “Imaginary Meal” tricks the body into losing weight” 5 January 2015 Salk Institute

Weight Loss Surgery Can Reduce Death 5-10 Years After Procedure

Weight loss surgery has always been suggested to improve survival among severely obese patients. According to new research published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), bariatric surgery reduced mortality 5 to 10 years after Veterans had surgery (Afterburn et al. 2015).

Gastric Bypass for Weight Loss

Bariatric or weight loss surgery has been shown to help Veterans live longer after 5 to 10 years. Clipart Photo

In the study, 2,500 patients underwent bariatric surgery in Veterans Affairs (VA) bariatric centers from 2000-2011 and matched them to 7,462 control patients using sequential stratification. The average age for the patients was 52 with a body mass index (BMI) of 47. The patients either had gastric bypass (74%), gastric banding (10%), sleeve gastrectomy (1%) or another procedure that included 1 percent of patients (Afterburn et al. 2015).

Gastric bypass is the most common of the three procedures in which the stomach is divided into a small upper section and larger bottom section. The small intestine is then rerouted to the small upper area, assuming the patient will eat less food. Gastric banding deals with the placement of an inflatable band around the top portion of the stomach, creating a much smaller stomach, while sleeve gastrectomy involves the removal of around 80 percent of the stomach (Whiteman 2015).

When the 14-year study ended, there were 263 deaths in the surgical group (average follow-up, 6.9 years) and 1,277 deaths in the matched control group (average follow-up, 6.6 years). The deaths rates estimated by Kaplan-Meier were 2.4% after 1 year, 6.4% at 5 years, and 13.8% after 10 years for patients who underwent surgery; for match control individuals, 1.7% after 1 year, 10.4% for 5 years, and 23.9 percent at 10 years (Afterburn et al. 2015). As you can see, patients who underwent weight loss surgery between 5 to 10 years had significantly lower mortality rates.

I truly understand how difficult it is for morbidly obese individuals to lose weight and having weight loss surgery is an option to consider with you doctor. Diet and exercise is important for any healthy lifestyle change and a recent study shows that diet pills or weight loss supplements rarely work. The results from this study show the beneficial relation between surgery and survival that has been demonstrated in younger, female populations.

Leeman Taylor
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Afterburn DE, Olsen MK, Smith VA, et al. “Association Between Bariatric Surgery and Long-term Survival” 6 January 2015. JAMA 2015

Weight Loss Diet Pills Rarely Work

New weight loss supplements and diet pills are advertised everyday by drug companies claiming to help you lose weight fast. According to a new Consumer Report, diet pills rarely work and they aren’t even FDA approved (Olsen 2014).

Weight Loss Diet Pills

Weight loss supplements and diet pills rarely work, according to Consumer Reports. Clipart Photo

A national survey of about 3,000 Americans, were given supplements they believed to be safe and effective. One-fourth of the participants believed that the products had lesser side effects than over the counter or prescription medications, and about 20 percent thought the supplements were safer than prescription drugs because they’re “natural.” When we are searching for weight loss supplements, we don’t usually think about whether the product is actually FDA approved or even consult our primary care doctors for advice.

Peter Cohen, M.D., a physician at Harvard Medical School and the Cambridge Health Alliance who studies supplements says, “The barrage of advertising leads us to think there’s a magic way to melt away 10 pounds –even when we have no evidence that the supplements work.” Unlike over the counter and prescription drugs, supplements don’t have to be proven safe and effective before they hit stores (Olsen 2014). “Of all dietary supplements, the one for weight loss seems to cause the most harm –sometimes liver failure or even death,” Cohen says.

In the survey, a third of the participants who took the supplements didn’t lose weight. Another third lost a few pounds but only 9 percent lost all the weight they wanted and kept it off. The shocking part is that the supplements had little to do with it because 85 percent of the people followed a diet or exercise program (Olsen 2014).

This Consumer Reports survey basically shows us that there is no way around diet and exercise. Research proves that the key to fat loss is finding a diet that works for you. A recent review of 48 studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that popular programs like Atkins, Jenny Craig, and Weight Watchers, all worked as well as the other. The dieters lost nearly 18 pounds after 6 months on average (Olsen 2014). Find a weight loss program like the Venus Factor for Women, that works for you and live a healthier, happier lifestyle.

Leeman Taylor
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Olsen, D. “Taking diet pills? Don’t waste your money.” 30 December 2014

New Weight Loss Drug Saxenda FDA Approved

The new weight loss drug Saxenda (liraglutide) has been approved by the FDA for weight-management in addition to exercise and a low-calorie diet. This drug is approved for adults who suffer from obesity or who are overweight and have at least one weight-related issue such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, or high cholesterol (FDA 2014). With more than one-third of adults in America overweight (CDC), this new drug can help millions lose weight and focus on a healthy lifestyle.

Saxenda Weight Loss Drug

New weight loss drug Saxenda is approved by FDA. Photo by PR Newswire

According to James Smith, M.D., M.S., acting director of the Division Evaluation of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products in FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, “Obesity is a public health concern and threatens the overall well-being of patients.” He then goes on to say that Saxenda provides an additional treatment option for chronic weight management when combined with physical activity and a low-calorie diet (FDA 2014).

What is Saxenda?

Saxenda is a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist and should not be combined with any other drug in its class, including Victoza, a treatment for type-2 diabetes. On the other hand, the safety and effectiveness for treating type-2 diabetes has not been established for Saxenda.

In the clinical trials, 4,800 obese and overweight individuals with and without weight-related issues were evaluated. Approximately 50 percent of patients with type-2 diabetes, who were treated with Saxenda, lost at least 5 percent of their body weight compared with 16 percent of individuals treated with placebo (FDA 2014). Patients should be evaluated for 16 weeks to determine if the treatment is working or not.

What are the side effects of Saxenda?

Saxenda should not be used in individuals with a personal or family history of MTC or individuals with multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type-2. The most commonly observed side effects were nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, low-blood sugar, constipation, and reduced appetite. As any weight loss drug, there will be side effects but I still believe the benefits of Saxenda outweigh the bad and still should be considered as a weight management alternative.

Novo Nordisk manufactures and distributes the drug in Denmark and it is expected to be released in 2015.

Leeman Taylor
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: “FDA approves weight-management drug Saxenda” 23 December 2014 U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Lose Weight by Self-Weighing Weekly

Have you ever thought that just by using a scale to weight yourself could help you lose weight? According to Elina Helander and co-authors at Tempere University of Technology in Finland, people who weighed themselves daily lost more weight compared to those who waited longer than one month and gained weight (Helander et al. 2014).

Lose Weight by Self-Weighing

Lose weight by weighing yourself at least once a week. ClipArt photo

The study included 2,838 weight observations from 40 people attending a health-promoting program in which consecutive weight measurements and corresponding weight changes were analyzed using a linear mixed effects model (Helander et al. 2014). These observations were analyzed from overweight individuals who intended to lose weight or considered weight to be a health issue and who were involved in a health program that encouraged daily self-monitoring of weight. I can honestly agree that keeping track of your progress is very important as numbers don’t lie and this is how I kept my weight under control. That’s why many health programs and personal trainers stress the importance of counting your calories and using the scale every day.

The primary analysis showed that the theoretical minimum self-weighing interval associated with unchanged weight gain was 5.8 days, indicating self-weighing should be done weekly (Helander et al. 2014). Using the scale for the holidays may be a great idea if weight loss is one of your New Year’s resolutions. Happy Holidays and God bless!

Leeman Taylor
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Helander EE, Vourinen A-L, Wansink B, Korhonen IKJ (2014) Are Breaks in Daily Self-Weighing Associated with Weight Gain? PLoS ONE 9(11):e113164. Doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0113164

Leptin Hormone – Leptin Resistance Facts for Women

Women find it much harder than men to lose weight and this can be because of the leptin hormone, but there are options for weight loss if you face leptin resistance. Leptin is a hormone that plays a major role in weight management and appetite and it’s said to have two critical functions (Dr. Oz 2014). First, it crosses the blood-brain barrier and binds to receptors in the appetite center in the brain, regulating brain cells that let you know when to stop eating. Next, it increases sympathetic nervous system activity, which stimulates fatty tissue to burn energy.


Leptin Hormone Photo by

Women who wish to lose weight but have leptin resistance may find it difficult because their brain is not telling them when to stop eating and they won’t be able to burn calories effectively. Venus Factor is a great fat loss system for women and focuses on controlling the leptin hormone and includes a 12-week program with all the tools you need.

Studies in obese humans have been shown to have high quantities of leptin circulating in the blood, but it doesn’t seem to affect energy or appetite. On the other hand, studies in mice have demonstrated that giving animals leptin decreases overeating and obesity. When your body contains more leptin in it than needed but doesn’t respond correctly, this is known as leptin resistance (Dr. Oz 2014). It’s hypothesized that leptin resistance occurs when the leptin hormone is not reaching the right targets and/or the receptors in the leptin stop functioning to tell the cells to respond.

Individuals with leptin resistance may have constant feelings of hunger or cravings so researchers are still working to fully develop and understand effective treatments for leptin resistance. It seems that controlling cravings is the key to fighting the effects of leptin resistance so protein and fiber are factors for fighting hunger. Here are Dr. Oz’s three key steps to control your appetite and start losing weight today:

Step 1: I love oatmeal for breakfast and you can also begin your day with regular oatmeal and peanut butter. Studies have demonstrated that oatmeal is one of the most satisfying breakfast options and can control your hunger cravings throughout the day. Peanut butter contains a good source of protein, which has shown to help reduce the brain signals that cause food cravings as well.

Step 2: Have you ever heard of Irvingia? This supplement derives from African mango extract and has been demonstrated to improve leptin sensitivity and help improve body weight and waist and hip circumference. Always consult your doctor or physician before starting any new supplement or diet.

Step 3: Take a 9 to 12-hour break from food. A recent study showed that people who ate a high-fat diet within a 9 to 12-hour window still lost a significant amount of weight compared to those who were allowed to eat whenever they wanted. Leave a 12-hour window between your last meal of the day and the first meal of the next day. For example, if you eat dinner at 9 p.m. on one day, wait until 9 a.m. the next morning to eat for breakfast.

Leptin Hormone Chart

Controlling hunger cravings seems to be the key to fighting leptin resistance. Photo by Perfect Body RX

Leptin resistance can be crucial to women who are struggling to lose weight but controlling your cravings is the key to reversing this disease. Venus Factor, a female fat loss system, is another effective tool to help women around the world control the leptin hormone and lose weight to improve their health.

Leeman Taylor
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University
Real Estate Investor & Marketer

Source: The Dr. Oz Show “Leptin Resistance Fact Sheet” 14 March 2014