Belly Fat or Baby?
I once saw an ad for a weight loss product that used one of those suspicious before-and-after photos. The "before" shot showed the upper body of a pretty girl with a stomach bulge. The "after" shot showed her in a bikini – tanned and incredibly fit, no belly fat in sight – ready to compete in a figure contest.
The trouble is, I KNEW the woman in the photo. She was an accomplished fitness competitor, and the "unsightly" bulge in her before-shot was her gestating baby. Of course she lost 9 pounds (and 4 ounces)! She named it Corey.
I wrote an article pointing out how wrong it was that this company had portrayed a pregnant woman's baby bump and pregnancy-pounds as "fatness" and then claimed their product had transformed her into a fitness model.
A few weeks later, the supplement company sued me for 10 million dollars. I ended up avoiding a costly legal defense by promising never to hurt their feelings again.
That's one reason I generally have contempt for the fat loss market. The other reasons? Many companies habitually use scurrilous advertising. They usually make unrealistic promises and unsubstantiated claims. They often employ psychology to prey on desperate overweight people.
Look, a fat-loss product shouldn't be marketed to obese people who aren't even dieting or exercising. It won't help them. Fat-loss supplements, if they're truly legit, should be marketed towards people who already eat well and exercise and just want to fine-tune their physiques.
That's who Hot-Rox® Extreme – our fat loss product – was designed for: physique competitors and regular people who want to hone their bodies. That, and people with a stubborn pocket of residual fat around the belly or love handles that need a bit of extra help.
Hot-Rox® Extreme is comprised of several ingredients, all contained in a novel self-microemulsifying delivery system (gelucire) that's used in the pharmaceutical industry to increase absorption.
These active ingredients are:
- Forskolin 1,19 Carbonate
- Yohimbine HCL
- Raspberry Ketone
- Natural Caffeine
Individually and in some cases, together, the first three compounds have the following effects:
- Increased thyroid secretion of T4 (through elevated levels of cAMP), which leads to increased burning of fat.
- Increased production of protein kinase (again, by elevating cAMP), which leads to increased levels of hormone-sensitive lipases, which helps break down triglycerides.
- Increased activation (by cAMP) of brown adipose tissue, which leads to more burning of fat.
- The blocking of andrenergic receptors that predominate in certain fat-deposition "trouble areas" like the abdominal area, love handles, and lower back.
- Stimulation of mitochondrial uncoupling, an extremely thermogenic (heat-generating) process that burns calories.
- Increased testosterone levels, leading to not only additional burning of fat but increased muscle and sex drive (through elevated levels of cAMP).
- Decreased appetite, thus making it a bit easier to maintain a diet.
- Suppressed adipocyte differentiation and fat accumulation.
Here's a quick rundown of each ingredient:
Forskolin 1,19 Carbonate – The Anabolic Thermogenic
This plant-derived substance is the workhorse behind Hot-Rox® Extreme, and it has a body of solid research to back its use in not only burning fat but building muscle too.
It's often regarded as the closest thing science has to "exercise in a pill" for its body-comp altering effects, even in people who don't exercise.
It does all this primarily by stimulating the production of an enzyme named adenylate cyclase, which in turn increases levels of a cellular messenger called cyclic AMP, or cAMP for short.
Here are the highlights of a few studies involving forskolin:
- Female subjects in an 8-week study lost a mean of 9.17 pounds of weight while experiencing gains in lean body mass (without weight training).
- The total body weight of a mixed group of men and women in a 12-week study decreased from 74.7 kilograms to 73.5 kilograms while experiencing increases in lean body mass (without weight training).
- The forskolin users in a mixed-sex group of 50 test subjects experienced a 1.78 percent increase in lean body mass (compared with a 0.20 decrease in the placebo group) and a decrease in mean body fat from 35.8 to 34.0 percent (while the placebo group showed an increase in body fat from 38.8 to 39.0 percent).
Even by itself, forskolin (sold as Carbolin 19®) is a potent fine-tuner of bodies, but especially so when combined with the other components of Hot-Rox® Extreme.
Yohimbine HCL – The Stubborn Fat-Lump Remover
Long ago, before the advent of drugs like Viagra and its erection-friendly cousins, yohimbine was the go-to treatment for erectile dysfunction. Nowadays, we appreciate it more for its ability to increase thermogenesis and selectively target stubborn areas of body fat.
Here's a short explanation of how it works: Fat cells have two catecholamine receptors: epinephrine and norepinephrine (more commonly known as adrenaline and noradrenaline). These receptors are known as alpha-receptors and beta-receptors.
The alpha-receptor acts like a negative feedback loop for norepinephrine, which causes it to put the kibosh on fat burning. That's why it's harder to get rid of fat that contains more alpha-receptors.
For some reason, there are lots more of these alpha-receptors in the lower abs of men and thighs of women. That's where yohimbine comes in. It blocks the alpha-receptor, thus making the fat easier to burn off.
Yohimbine hasn't been the subject of many fat loss studies (mostly because of its rep as an erectile dysfunction drug), but the one most often cited involved its effects on body comp and exercise performance in soccer players:
After 21 days, soccer players who took yohimbine saw a marked decrease in percentage of body fat compared to those who were given placebo (9.3 +\-1.1 vs. 7.1 +\-2.2%). Likewise, post-supplementation fat mass was significantly lower in the yohimbine vs. placebo group (7.1 +\- 2.2% vs. 9.2+\- 1.9%).
Raspberry Ketones – The Fat Slicer
Studies show raspberry ketone uniquely stimulates lipolysis in white fat and the activity of fat-burning brown adipose tissue.
It enables fat loss by causing hormone-sensitive lipase to translocate within the fat cell. Once in the fat cell, hormone-sensitive lipase (an enzyme) slices apart fat molecules into various fatty acids in preparation for fat metabolism.
This fat-slicing activity is the limiting factor in lipolysis within the cell, meaning you can't lose fat without this enzyme, and raspberry ketone delivers it.
Natural Caffeine – The Potentiator
The formula includes caffeine, from Coffea arabica beans, for its well-known research-backed effects boosting energy and potentiating cyclic AMP and the other active compounds in the formula.
Piperine – The Fat Blocker
The formula includes piperine for its ability to enhance nutrient bioavailability and block white fat-cell formation. (Park UH, 2012)
When you've got stubborn love handles, uncooperative pockets of fat around the belly or thighs, or if you're a physique athlete trying to hone your physique into diamond-hard shape, take one or two capsules of Hot-Rox® Extreme two times a day, each time on an empty stomach. Allow at least six hours between doses.
Be careful, though, as this product provides an energy kick that might make first-time users a bit fidgety. Start with one capsule, taken twice a day, and build on that as tolerated. Don't exceed four capsules in a 24-hour period, though.
- Godard MP et al., Body composition and hormonal adaptations associated with forskolin consumption in overweight and obese males. Obesity Research. 2005 Aug;13(8):1335-43.
- Kamath MS. Efficacy and Safety of Forslean in Increasing Lean Body Mass. Department of Ayurvedic Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, India, 2005.
- Lopez HL et al. Eight weeks of supplementation with a multi-ingredient weight loss product enhances body composition, reduces hip and waist girth, and increases energy levels in overweight men and women. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013 Apr 19;10(1):22.
- Badmaev V et al. Diterpene forskolin: A possible new compound for reduction of body weight by increasing lean body mass. Nutraceuticals. March/April 2002:6-7.
- Ostojic SM. Yohimbine: The effects on body composition and exercise performance in soccer players. Res Sports Med. Oct-Dec 2006;14(4):289-99.
- Park KS. Raspberry ketone, a naturally occurring phenolic compound, inhibits adipogenic and lipogenic gene expression in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Pharm Biol. 2015 Jun;53(6):870-5.
- Scarpace PJ et al. Thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue with age: post-receptor activation by forskolin. Pflugers Arch. 1996 Jan;431(3):388-94.
- Tsuguyoshi A. Clinical report on root extract of Perilla Plant (coleus forskholii) in reducing body fat. Asanto Institute, Tokyo, Japan, 2001.
- Park UH et al. Piperine, a component of black pepper, inhibits adipogenesis by antagonizing PPARγ activity in 3T3-L1 cells. J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Apr 18;60(15):3853-60.