Weight-loss companies charged with false advertising, not living up to hype

Saw this and wanted to pass it on……
When will this kind of action happen in the UK?

Weight-loss companies charged with false advertising, not living up to hype
Posted on: 1:38 pm, January 8, 2014,

That “miracle” weight-loss product you’ve seen on (US) TV may not live up to the hype.
The Federal Trade Commission has charged four companies with deceptive advertising related to their weight loss products. “Operation Failed Resolution,” as the FTC calls it, is an effort by the federal agency to crack down on companies’ misleading claims about products that allegedly help consumers slim down.
“Resolutions to lose weight are easy to make but hard to keep,” Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. “And the chances of being successful just by sprinkling something on your food, rubbing cream on your thighs or using a supplement are slim to none. The science just isn’t there.”
Only three weight-loss drugs are currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for long-term use by certain adults: Belviq, Qsymia and Orlistat (sold over-the-counter as Alli).
The FTC has reached a settlement with Sensa, Inc. and a partial settlement with LeanSpa, LLC., according to an FTC press release. The release also announced the charges filed against L’Occitane and HCG Diet Direct.
Users sprinkle Sensa on their food to allegedly reduce hunger. It contains maltodextrin, tricalcium phosphate and silica, as well as natural and artificial flavors.
Sensa’s advertising claimed the product is clinically proven to help people lose an average of 30 pounds in six months without dieting or exercise.
“Simply sprinkle Sensa on, eat all the foods you love and watch the pounds come off,” one commercial promised. “It’s that easy.”
A one-month supply of Sensa is $59.00 (plus shipping and handling). Profit from the sales of Sensa in the United States between 2008 and 2012 totaled nearly $364 million, according to court documents.
The FTC complaint named Sensa Products LLC, Sensa Inc., Sensa CEO Adam Goldberg and Sensa creator Dr. Alan Hirsch. All were charged with making unsubstantiated claims.
“SENSA® made a business decision to settle with the FTC so it could focus on the core of its business: its customers,” the company said in response on its website. “The settlement includes no admission of wrongful conduct by the company… The company has agreed to make changes to its advertising claims but otherwise will continue business as usual.”
The FTC shut down LeanSpa leader Boris Mizhen’s weight-loss companies in December 2011, claiming they were using fake news websites to promote acai berry and colon cleansing products. The FTC said consumers were being ripped off by paying up to $79.99 in shipping and handling charges for a “free trial.”
In a statement reported by USA Today, LeanSpa said that it “regrets that it was forced by heavy-handed government tactics and financial circumstances, including an unwarranted freeze of the personal assets of LeanSpa principal Boris Mizhen and his wife (who wasn’t even involved in the business and has been accused of no wrongdoing), to enter into this settlement. LeanSpa never should have been named in this lawsuit and has been ruined by it.”
The company’s website, LeanSpa.com, appeared to be down Wednesday.
L’Occitane sells beauty products and fragrances that are “inspired by the Mediterranean lifestyle,” according to the company’s website.
L’Occitane launched an advertising campaign in 2012 that claimed its Almond Beautiful Shape and Almond Shaping Delight skin creams could help consumers slim down. Commercials said Almond Beautiful Shape could “trim 1.3 inches in just 4 weeks” while Almond Shaping Delight would “visibly refine and reshape the silhouette.”
Seven ounces of the products sold for $48 and $44, respectively.
HCG Diet Direct sells a liquid form of the hormone chorionic gonadotropin, which is produced by the human placenta and has long been said to promote weight loss. HGC products are sold online and in stores as pellets, sprays or oral drops, and are supposed to be taken with a very-low calorie diet of less than 800 calories per day.
In November 2011, HCG Diet Direct and six other companies received warning letters from the FTC and the FDA.

“These HCG products marketed over-the-counter are unproven to help with weight loss and are potentially dangerous even if taken as directed,” said Ilisa Bernstein, acting director of the Office of Compliance in FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, at the time. “A very low-calorie diet should only be used under proper medical supervision.”

The company falsely claimed the drops were approved by the FDA and charged approximately $35 for a seven-day supply, according to the FTC. It had sales totaling $3 million between 2009 and 2012.
Executives from L’Occitane and HCG Diet Direct did not respond to CNN’s requests for comment.
Three of the four companies charged owe money to reimburse customers, according to the FTC: Sensa will pay $26.5 million; L’Occitane, Inc. will pay $450,000; and LeanSpa will surrender “cash, real estate and personal property” totaling $7.3 million. HCG Diet Direct has submitted financial statements to the FTC saying it is unable to pay the $3.2 million judgment; the fee has been suspended.
The companies and defendants named in the legal charges are barred from making any other weight-loss claims about dietary supplements, food or drugs unless they have reliable scientific evidence, according to the FTC.
Americans spend billions of dollars every year on supplements. The industry reported an estimated $25 billion in sales in 2009.
“Market analysts suggest that the downturn in the economy has led to increased spending on these products, as consumers attempt to manage their own health care and avoid expensive doctor visits and prescription medications,” the FTC said on its website.

By Jacque Wilson

Vinegar, Cinnamon & Lemon Juice – Do They Burn Fat?

2 Pre-Meal Tricks to Control Your Blood Sugar Response and Stay in Fat-Burning Mode

Here’s a really cool experiment that Tim Ferriss has done in his new book – The 4-Hour Body – and I wanted to show you this one today, because it’s pretty cool, and also a simple thing to do…

You may have heard different websites or anecdotes in the past about these 3 substances and their possible effects on reducing the blood sugar response of a meal (taken either before or during a meal), which can, essentially help to keep insulin levels lower post-meal and keep the body from depositing extra body fat. Maintaining lower and more stable blood sugar levels also helps to prevent cravings and slow the aging process by reducing formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in your body.

These 3 substances that he tested pre-meal are:

lemon juice
But do they actually work in controlling blood sugar response from a meal?

Well, that’s what Tim decided to test out on himself as one of his experiments that he did in The 4-Hour Body. Tim actually used a blood sugar meter (normally for diabetics) that attached probes into his abdomen to get constant measurements and graphs of his blood sugar and response to different foods and meals.

In his tests, he tested ingesting all 3 of these “substances” before meals in separate tests.

The results?

The pre-meal vinegar


The vinegar failed!

Tim tested both white vinegar and balsamic vinegar and neither showed any lowering effect on his blood sugar in his tests. He even drank 3 Tbsp+ of vinegar before meals as a last attempt to see if vinegar could have any blood sugar controlling effects. But he found no effect.

Tim includes some theories in his book on why the vinegar didn’t have any effect.

The pre-meal lemon juice


Better news with the lemon juice!

In Tim’s personal tests, he used 3 Tbsp of fresh-squeezed lemon juice (not store-bought stuff with preservatives and artificial additives) prior to his meals and this lowered his blood sugar response to meals (compared to his controls) by approximately 10%.

Remember that lowering the blood sugar response to a meal can help to control insulin levels and therefore keep your body in fat-burning mode for longer…and prevent cravings too!

The pre-meal cinnamon


Yet another score!

If you’ve read my articles in the past, it’s no secret that cinnamon can be powerful in terms of helping to blunt blood sugar response to a meal. In fact, I regularly take 2 cinnamon capsules (approx 1 gram) if I know I’m going to eat a meal that contains moderate or high levels of carbohydrates. Some studies show that cinnamon can reduce the glycemic response of a meal up to 29%!

But there are different types of cinnamon…so which is best?

Tim actually tested 3 types of cinnamon in how they affected his blood sugar response to meals.

Saigon cinnamon (aka Vietnamese cinnamon) was found in Tim’s tests to be the most effective at controlling blood sugar.

Cassia cinnamon came in 2nd place in effectiveness

Ceylon cinnamon came in 3rd place in Tim’s tests in effectiveness in controlling blood sugar response to a meal.

Tim did note however that all 3 types of cinnamon helped control blood sugar to some extent. I personally like to use cinnamon in smoothies, in yogurt or oatmeal, with apples and almond butter, or in capsule form before any meals that are going to have more than 35 grams of carbohydrates.

Keep in mind that if you take medications, you need to consult with your doctor to make sure that cinnamon use does not interfere with the medications (especially with blood thinners). Tim also warns that 4 grams per day (about 1.5 teaspoons) is probably the max amount of cinnamon that anyone should take.

So there you go! Lemon juice and cinnamon are the 2 tricks that Tim revealed through his own blood sugar testing that helped to control blood sugar response, fight cravings, and therefore can help you to maintain lower blood sugar and insulin levels and stay in fat-burning mode longer!

And remember that yet another benefit of maintaining lower blood sugar levels is that you help to SLOW the aging process, since high blood sugar levels over time increase glycation in your body, which ages you faster.

Eat Clean, Plan Smart, Train Smarter!

Jax xx

Big Breakfast Study Notes

BB Diet  Study Notes

Yes You CAN eat proper food and LOSE FAT
Yes You CAN eat proper food and LOSE FAT

Okay, your head is probably full of do’s and don’ts and should’s and shouldn’ts. So just to recap, here are the basic rules to follow:

• Avoid microwave use‐‐whenever you can!

• Eat chemical free & free range as much as possible, especially meat and other animal products but including as much organic produce as you can.

• Eliminate toxins from your diet and from your environment as much as


• By increasing the proportion of protein you eat with less calories from carbohydrates and a reasonable but modest amount of fat, you can achieve the best combination of fat‐burning thermic effect and healthy diet.

• To make the most of the EPOC effect (that’s the post workout afterburn you get with right kind of exercise that’s included in my SMART training system) it’s important to include resistance

training  (MRT) and high intensity interval cardio training (MCT) in your exercise routine.  This will build muscle tissue while burning fat at an ideally efficient rate.

• Keep an eye on the glycemic values of your foods and take measures to keep

them low and your blood sugar stable. Remember GL (Glycemic Load) not GI.

• Stick to the plan – no exceptions. Absolutely no caffeine, dairy, wheat, alcohol, or processed foods. You’ll get directions for your cheat meals as we go through together.

• After your 21day period, switch to a 90/10 diet with at least 90% of your diet following the rules and no more than 10% of your diet consisting of “no‐no’s”.

With these principles in mind, a healthier, happier, trimmer you won’t be far behind. If you have any questions or concerns, please stay with me in our Facebook  group – enjoy your new life like I know you can!


Follow my blog  www.jaxallenfitness.com

If you want a workshop on the BB diet and how to eat clean and still enjoy life!? Let me know, good luck xx

What’s For Dinner Tonight?


Cook bone in pork chops just a minute a side until golden brown.

Mix Cider vinegar, lemon juice and honey to form a vinaigrette used to de-glaze the pan becomes a tasty, quick sauce.

Thinly slice sprouts, apple, carrot and anything else you fancy as a crunchy salad ( warm if you like) to serve alongside your juicy chops.

Little plug for our home grown, free range, Gloucester Old Spot chops here – £3 for 2… Just right for dinner.

I like to serve mine with root vegetable mash, yum.

Eat Clean, Stay Lean, Feel Great!

Jax x

What’s For Dinner Tonight?


How did you get on with hitting your rainbow food target yesterday?


A recent survey stated that in the UK most of us have about 7 meals that we rotate, no wonder we get bored and turn to sweet, fatty treats!

Think about the proteins you usually buy, could you change things up a bit? I think you could.
I promised that today we’d look at a different way to select your ingredients….. Well, how about their nutritional value?

Proteins can be ranked by their value – for example Aquatic protein trumps terrestrial!

I hinted earlier that you can choose your proteins to ensure you get the best nutritional value and variety from them, so here’s a simple rule of thumb.

Swimming beats flying, Flying beats running, Running beats growing out of the ground.

So, go for shellfish, then fish, then poultry, then free range pork, lamb or beef, then vegetable sources, you won’t go far wrong.


So, think prawns and pear stir fry with some vegetables,


maybe a few gluten free noodles and you have fantastic, quick meal. Eat with chop sticks and if you’re like me that will slow you down a bit, a stop you eating too much!

Enjoy, Jax

Eat Clean, Stay Lean, Feel Great!

9 Pilates Myths


When I tell people that I’m a Pilates teacher, I get a lot of interesting reactions. People who practice and love Pilates are quick to ask their burning questions or express their envy at my “dream” job. But many people who are less familiar with this form of exercise ask a lot of questions—and make a lot of assumptions. They say things like, “Oh, I could never do Pilates,” (and then allude to an injury, health issue, or the fact that they don’t think it’d be challenging enough. Some show confusion, thinking Pilates is the same as yoga. And still others mention having tried Pilates once or twice, but never really “getting” it.

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about this form of exercise. If you could relate to the examples above—or you’re just interested in learning more about what Pilates can do for you, read on as we crack the top nine myths about Pilates—together.

1. Pilates is just for women.
Pilates was originally designed by a man (Joseph Pilates) and for men. Pilates himself was a boxer and circus performer, and he trained both Scotland Yard and the Hamburg Military Police in self-defense and physical training before coming to New York. His studio was near the New York City Ballet so many dancers went to him for both physical rehabilitation and injury prevention. These days, more women participate in Pilates programs than men, but many male sports teams are incorporating Pilates exercises into their cross training programs.

2. Pilates is like yoga.
While the goal of uniting body, mind and spirit may be the same in both techniques, getting there is quite a different path depending on which mat-based routine you practice. Yoga and Pilates approach movement differently; have different breathing styles; and utilize very different exercises—although there are some overlaps in these movements. In contrast to yoga, Pilates offers more than just mat-based exercise and easily includes work with both large and small pieces of equipment.


3. Pilates is too easy.
Pilates is only easy if you aren’t doing the exercises properly. If you are going through the motions without applying the principles of control, centering, concentration and precision, it may feel easy—but you are not really doing Pilates. Properly performed, the exercises should be challenging and rejuvenating for all fitness levels. Because the exercises engage the deepest core muscles, you need to understand how to get the most benefit. That’s why it’s best to take a class with a qualified and experienced instructor who can watch and correct your form as needed.

4. Pilates is too hard.
Pilates can be very humbling, even for people who are in good shape. Many other forms of exercise do not engage the deep core muscles in the same way that Pilates does. A good Pilates class will include instruction for every level of fitness and a breakdown of how to properly perform the movements for your body.

5. You need equipment to do Pilates.
Joseph Pilates invented several pieces of exercise equipment to enhance the mat-based program, but you don’t need any equipment to do Pilates. Mat Pilates classes are available at most exercise facilities and are a great way to get a Pilates workout for your whole body.

6. Pilates only works your core.
While Pilates does build core strength, Mr. Pilates always emphasized that his exercises were for the whole body. He believed the more muscles you use to perform a movement, the more efficient the movement would be. This creates a system of functional strength that applies to all movements. The Pilates system teaches a balance of strength and flexibility, or, “the uniform development of our bodies as a whole,” Pilates often said.

7. Pilates is only for flexible people.
Flexibility is an inherent part of Pilates training, so you will gain flexibility by doing Pilates regularly. The exercises are geared to improving mobility for a more limber body with greater ranges of motion. For those people who are hyper mobile, the core focus creates torso stability so the goal is a balance of strength and flexibility. All exercises can be modified or adapted to suit each individual’s ability level. You don’t have to be bendy to benefit from Pilates.


8. Pilates is too expensive.
The area you live in will make a difference on the price of Pilates classes, but you can find affordable Pilates classes almost anywhere these days. Mat Classes can cost as little as £5 and private training from £20. These fees are comparable with most individual exercise classes, whether you take yoga, Jazzercise, Zumba or some other fitness class. But Pilates instructors and believers will often say that the investment is more than worth it, as Pilates almost acts as “daily rehab” in the prevention of mobility issues and injury.
After just a few classes my clients often report being able to sleep through the night without their usual pain!

9. Pilates is only for young, fit people.
There are many approaches to Pilates and the method can have a wide range of applications. Many instructors choose specific populations to target children athletes, seniors, or mums to be. There are also classes and private sessions for the rehabilitation of knee injuries, back problems, hip replacements and more, often taught by physical therapists. Pilates programs support sports programs for equestrians, runners and golfers.
I teach a chair Pilates based class for a Multiple Sclerosis group in Gloucester which is very popular. Simply put, there is a style or modification available for all levels, almost all injuries and most health issues. Pilates can truly be enjoyed by just about everyone.

To try a session in Cheltenham contact me for your FREE Trial session.

You’ll find my current class schedule page in the menu options above.

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Thanks Jax

What’s for Dinner Tonight?

If you’re like me you sometimes struggle to think of a different healthy, clean eating meal.

Here’s an meal idea that you might like to try….


A juicy, simple steak with steamed veggies will make a good hi protein, low carb meal. Unlike the photo I’d add a lot more veggies.

Remember the meat – beef, pork or lamb, perhaps should be the size of your hand and the thickness of your palm. Anything deeper than that must be green.
Consider the range of vegetables, you’re aiming for a rainbow of foods – so consider what colours you’ve had so far today and add the missing colours to your plate.


Tomorrow I’ll have a different suggestion and another way to select your vegetables.

Eat Clean, Lose Fat, Feel Great!


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