Looking Trim is a fat loss supplement that brings together ephedra leaf extract, synephrine, and real hoodia gordonii in a high potency formula called Advantra-Z®. According to the makers of this product, Looking Trim with ephedra will increase your metabolism by 500 calories per day. This is no doubt a significant metabolic boost, amounting to one pound of weight loss per week. But questions have recently been raised about whether this product can actually deliver the results it says it can. Many user reviews have been posted to the contrary and it was recently discovered that Looking Trim uses a type of ephedra extract with the ephedrine alkaloids removed.
The strength of Looking Trim as a diet pill is derived from its high volume of appetite-suppressing herbal compounds. Ephedra is recognized on its own for greatly diminishing hunger cravings, but with Hoodia Gordonii added to the mix this effect will be even stronger. Part of how ephedra works is by blocking neurons that transmit signals to the hypothalamus telling you to eat even when you don’t need to. If you have every found yourself snacking unhealthily between meals or craving that extra serving at dinnertime, ephedra can greatly curb those diet destroyers.
Hoodia supposedly amplifies this benefit by limiting the availability of ATP in the brain – one of the key chemicals that regulates the appetite. Looking Trim manufacturers stress that they use real Hoodia which has been certified by the South African government. This claim is in response to the number of supplements which use a version of the Hoodia plant that may not contain as much of the active ingredient of p57 which gives Hoodia its appetite suppressive powers. Unlike ephedra, there has never been a clinical trial proving that Hoodia does in fact inhibit hunger, but there is anecdotal evidence of this fact.
Looking Trim also uses synephrine which stimulated beta adregernic receptors just like ephedrine does. Synephrine is an alkaloid that comes from Bitter Orange or Citrus Aurantium. After the media controversy around ephedra in the late 1990’s, synephrine was marketed as a possible replacement for ephedrine in diet pills. While it does act in a somewhat similar manner on the body, more recent studies have found it to be 1/3rd as effective as ephedrine in the same quantities. According to the Looking Trim marketing, this supplement has “no negative side effects” and is guaranteed to help you lose weight, increase your lean muscle mass, and burn more calories. Specifically, they say that the Thermic Response of their Advantra-Z® synephrine formula causes you to burn calories 4% faster.
Looking Trim also contains Chromium, Paullinia Sorbilis, Ginger Root, Eleutherococcus Senticosus, Bee Pollen, Green Tea Extract, Lotus Root, Garcinia Canbogia Extract , White Willow Bark , Citrus Bigardia , Konjac Root , Uva Usi , Pyruvate , Piper Longum and a variety of over seventy other minerals. And of course, Looing Trim claims to contain Ma Huang.
Ma Huang is a Chinese name for ephedra sinica and it is universally accepted as the “real ephedra” plant that became so famous at first. This is important since there are over three dozen other species of ephedra herbs and some of them don’t contain any ephedrine alkaloids – the compound essential for promoting weight loss. However, despite the fact that this product uses legitimate Ma Huang, it actually has removed all ephedrine from the plant stems and leaves to form what is called an ephedra extract. That’s why it is somewhat dubious that this diet product markets itself as an “Ephedra Leaf” supplement when it has removed the most important part of ephedrine for promoting weight loss!
So how about the claim that Looking Trim will power up your metabolism so you burn off 500 more calories per day? It is true that ephedrine can seriously ramp up your metabolic rate through something called thermogenesis, but without this compound there is no scientific basis to the 500 calorie a day claim. Looking Trim very well might suppress your appetite so much that you consume 500 calories less per day, but this is a very different thing than raising your metabolism by that amount.
In fact, reducing your caloric intake by that much at once can actually slow down your metabolism by making your body think it’s in starvation mode. When this happens, your body tries to preserve calories and fat stores and you use up less energy throughout the day. Taking real ephedra with ephedrine alkaloids can prevent this reaction by triggering the ‘fight or flight” reflex of the body through the imitation of adrenalin (epinephrine). As a result, pure ephedrine alkaloids allow you to eat fewer calories and burn more at the same time through thermogenesis. So if you really do want to lose 500 calories per day, you are better off buying an Ephedrine HCL supplement instead of the Looking Trim diet pills.
- Does ephedrine promote weight-loss in low-calorie adapted obese women?
- Toubro S, et al. Safety and efficacy of long-term treatment with ephedrine, caffeine and an ephedrine/caffeine mixture. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. (1993)