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Fast Cleanse. This is billed as a "48-hour Super Diet Detox" designed to "help you drop a dress size for a special occasion." Wedding, perhaps? In essence, this is a fiber-rich drink that you ingest four times a day between meals consisting of clear soups, gelatin, fruits, and vegetables. Certainly, you'll drop a few pounds on this plan, which is fine, says Fugh-Berman, as long as you don't mind putting them right back on after taking the dress to the cleaners.
Sugar & Carb Cheater. The company says this is designed for dieters who are concerned their sugar and carbohydrate intake is keeping them heavy. Popping two pills ahead of your largest meal of the day supposedly keeps carbs from turning into fat by blocking the enzyme that causes the conversion. Ingredients include chromium, fenugreek seed, bilberry fruit, and vanadyl sulfate. However, Gans stresses that unless you consume too many calories, carbs break down into glucose, not fat. "Scientifically, it doesn't make sense," she says. "It's offering people false hope."
In a nutshell, QuickTrim elixirs have some pretty powerful stimulants, laxatives, and diuretics. "I don't think anyone should take these products," Fugh-Berman says, when asked if there are any health conditions that should preclude someone from using QuickTrim. The package material advises checking with a doctor before using the products, although it's unclear whether many people do. "Dietary supplements like these aren't regulated by the [Food and Drug Administration], and many of the ingredients haven't been shown to be effective," says registered dietitian Heather Mangieri, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. "The good news is that these products are absolutely not necessary for weight loss. My suggestion is to leave them on the shelf."
Updated on 03/05/2012: This story was originally published on Jan. 19, 2010.