This story goes back many years when I was working with an older client who was sedentary for most of his life, kept a poor diet at best, and constantly struggled with health issues and his weight. So when someone with his profile in his mid-60s comes in one day and tells you he found a new diet pill he’s taking, the alarms immediately go off. After investigation, he tells me that he is taking Grape Seed Extract, a popular antioxidant supplement. I did my homework and could not find any harmful side effects, but also could not find anything, even an ad, that touted any metabolic or weight loss benefits from this product. I still insisted that he should still check with his doctor to make sure it wasn’t something contraindicated with any of the laundry list of medications he was on, but I also shared with him what I was able to find and told him that there is no connection with weight loss.
He wouldn’t hear it. He insisted he was losing weight from it. A few minutes later I told him to take a break and grab a drink of water. He then exclaimed, “I can’t drink any more water. I’m drinking so much water. You have to drink two big glasses of water every time you take these pills!”
Anyone catch on what’s happening here??? Someone with a poor diet who is unfit starts to suddenly drink more water and guess what happens? Appetite goes down, you drop some pounds, you have more energy, etc. The pills were simply a trigger to drink more water.
Never underestimate the power of the placebo.