There is no doubt about it: if all you had to do were put a patch on your skin to attain your weight loss goals, life would be so awesome, and yet, that is exactly what every weight loss patch maker would like you to believe.
However, this is not the only grand promise being made in the ever-expanding weight loss industry. There are dozens of products out there supposed to help you lose weight in record time.
In theory, weight loss patches are supposed to work as well as weight loss pills. The only difference is the mode of delivery.
You are supposed to stick the patch to the skin covering the area of your body where you need to lose weight. From there, the patch should deliver the magical ingredients through the skin and melt those pounds away after getting into your bloodstream.
Weight loss patches are also called transdermal patches.
We already know from history that many things considered to promote weight loss are not that effective. As a matter of fact, some of them are quite harmful.
There is also evidence that receiving anything in patch form does not make it work better. Besides, these products are not usually FDA-approved, which means there is no concrete evidence they actually work.
However, if you are still not convinced that weight loss patches are a good idea, and are on the fence about using them, here are a few things you should know about them.
1. Acai Berry Weight Loss Patch
Although acai berry is full of antioxidants which are great at relieving inflammation, there is no proof that it can help with weight loss.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) has stated that acai berry is not effective against weight loss regardless of whether it is used as a fruit, juice, or even a patch.
On top of that, all sorts of things could be labeled as acai berry. There's even a record of a 20-something-year-old ending up in hospital after taking an alleged acai berry supplement.
2. Flaxseed Oil Weight Loss Patches
Flaxseeds have fiber, which increases satiety and ensures you consume fewer calories. Generally, there is no harm in consuming flaxseeds. However, weight loss patches made of this product are not approved by the FDA.
That means you could be getting a product with plenty of risky ingredients when buying these patches.
In any case, the appetite reduction benefits of consuming flaxseeds are completely absent when they are converted into patches patch.
3. Green Coffee Bean Extract Weight Loss Patches
Some weight loss patches are based on green coffee bean extract. This compound is made using raw, unroasted coffee beans.
The product has chlorogenic acid, which has shown the potential to prevent weight gain in mice. While that might sound promising, the product has the same effects as drinking coffee.
That includes headaches, nausea, upset stomach, and anxiety. Unfortunately, there is also no proof that some green coffee patches work.
However, a 2011 study found that this remedy can enhance your weight loss efforts slightly.
4. Bitter Orange Extract Weight Loss Patches
Bitter orange has a stimulant known as synephrine, which, according to bitter orange extract weight loss patch makers, can lower appetite, burn calories, and burn fat.
However, the only thing studies have confirmed about this product is that it can increase metabolism, blood pressure, heart attacks, and stroke.
That means it's not even worth trying this weight loss remedy. It is far too dangerous, and the purported weight-loss benefits are not supported by any scientific evidence.
5. Guarana And Yerba Mate Weight Loss Patches
Both of these products have caffeine, which is a stimulant that can boost your energy levels. There also claims that the patches can help melt fat and burn calories.
FDA recommends consumption of at most 400 milligrams of caffeine in a day. Otherwise, you can suffer from headaches, nausea, loss of sleep, increased heart rate, anxiety, and in extreme cases, seizures.
Although these patches might help you burn a few calories, they will leave you feeling terrible. Also, your body might get addicted to high caffeine doses, which can be dangerous.
6. Ashwagandha Weight Loss Patches
This herb has been shown to lower stress and anxiety, both of which have been linked to "stress eating." However, while this product can reduce the stress hormone levels in your body, it might not help you drop a few pounds.
7. Hakuto Mint Weight Loss Patches
Hakuto mint is also called as Japanese mint or corn mint. It has menthol, which is why it has a minty smell.
Those who peddle these patches claim that they block the body's ability to absorb sugar. In the end, that stops the sugar from turning into fat.
Usually, Hakuto mint is used as a flavor in things like toothpaste.
The product is also used as an essential oil for the skin. However, in concentrated form, it is not recommended.
Generally speaking, there is no proof that the product works as a way to deal with excess weight, and like other patches, it's not recommended by the FDA.
8. Cannabidiol (CBD) Weight Loss Patches
In the last few years, CBD has been incredibly popular as a natural way to deal with pain and anxiety. Apparently, it can also help suppress appetite, which means it might be useful in weight loss.
While CBD patches are used in muscle pain relief, there is no evidence that they promote weight loss.
9. Green Tea Weight Loss Patches
Green tea has lots of potent antioxidants, and there are claims that green tea can increase the rate at which the body burns up calories. Apparently, it can also prevent your cells from absorbing fat.
The good thing about this product is that it is quite safe, and only a few people experience symptoms such as constipation.
Although green tea can improve metabolism slightly, the resulting weight loss benefits are clinically insignificant.
10. Ephedra/Ma Huang Weight Loss Patches
This herb grew in popularity as a dietary supplement in the 1990s. There is evidence that it boosts metabolism, particularly when used in combination with caffeine.
The only problem is that ephedra was found to increase the risk of stroke. It can also make kidney disease worse, so all supplements containing ephedrine were banned in 2004 by the FDA.
So, although ephedra can cause short-term weight loss, it is far too dangerous. There's also no evidence that ephedra patches work, which means it's better to give it a pass.
11. Fucus Vesiculosus Weight Loss Patches
Fucus vesiculosus is a seaweed that is brown in color. Apparently, it promotes weight loss by enhancing healthier thyroid function.
This product can affect thyroid function, but not in a healthy way. For one, it can worsen hyperthyroidism, and that means your blood would not clot as easily.
By using these patches, you also run the risk of getting heavy metals into your body since they might have toxic amounts of these dangerous substances.
FDA does not approve these patches, and research on their effectiveness is very scanty. The only study on this product showed that it helped prevent rats from gaining weight.
12. L-carnitine Weight Loss Patches
This compound is found in foods with high amounts of protein, such as milk, poultry, beans, and red meat. The compound moves fatty acids to the cells, where they are burned for energy.
For that reason, patch makers swear that it can help burn more fat.
Although L-carnitine is safe, consuming more than 3 grams a day can have negative side effects that include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and nausea.
Unfortunately, a study showed that L-carnitine supplements have no effect on weight. In other words, there is no point in using the patches.
13. The Tongue Patch
Granted, this patch falls in a category of its own as it does not add anything to the body. However, the patch is still supposed to help you lose weight, and there are claims that some people lose about 20 pounds in the first month.
The patch is sewn onto the tongue, and that makes chewing very painful. That leaves users with no option but to consume liquids only.
The procedure is promoted as an alternative to gastric bypass.
This is obviously ridiculous, and hungry weight loss fans using the product might find a way around this chewing hurdle by blending things like pizza to consume them without chewing.
To Sum Up
The first takeaway is that weight loss patches don't have FDA approval, and many have unsafe ingredients or dangerous doses of otherwise safe compounds.
What makes them worse is that there is little or no evidence that any of them are actually effective at lowering excess fat in the body. At best, most patches will help burn off a few calories but at the risk of exposing you to questionable ingredients.
So, even if a patch is made using a seemingly safe ingredient, it's best to avoid it as a weight loss remedy.
You are better off using a diet and exercise to lose the extra pounds. This alternative might not sound as magical and passive as weight loss patches, but at least it works and does not put your health at risk.
In short, weight loss patches are mostly total BS.