The Metamucil Diet

By David Cameron Google+

There was a very poorly researched article on Yahoo Voices (it was recently removed) that has been telling readers that it is possible to lose weight just by "chugging" Metamucil every day. This is a great example of someone misunderstanding how something works and then they overstate the truth about a product. Just because you read it somewhere, it doesn't mean that it's true! Consuming large quantities of Metamucil will not help you to lose weight!

Metamucil is dietary supplement. It comes in a powder (it also comes in pill form) that is a source of natural soluble and insoluble fibre. It is intended to be used to reduce cholesterol and for some people it sometimes acts as a mild laxative. Metamucil helps reduce cholesterol by clumping-up and trapping bile that is produced by your liver. Your body then senses that it needs more bile so your liver uses cholesterol in your blood to make more. This is basically how fibre works. All the studies that support these claims use the word "may" to describe the effect so even the basic claim is not a sure thing.

What is Psyllium fibre?

Metamucil contains Psyllium fibre. This gelling fibre is made from the outer husks of the plantago ovata plant.

(Even though they show pictures of wheat on the packaging) This plant is grown mostly in India and Pakistan. It works by clumping up and capturing bile and other stuff in your digestive tract and "mechanically" pushing it all out. As a result, there is a mild laxative effect.

If you have an accumulation of fecal matter in your system, the extra fiber may help push it out and this will result in you losing a little weight. It's like a mini colon-cleanse. (Very mini, only a few pounds max) This is where the weight loss stops. The fiber in Metamucil does not bind with fat and stop it from entering your body!

What are the side-effects?

Metamucil does have some downsides. It contains Aspartame (sugar-free version) and other chemicals and artificial colours that would not be present if you were getting your fiber from natural sources like fruits and vegetables. There is also the problem that nutrients from the foods that you are eating will not have time be absorbed by your body because it is being clumped-up and moved quickly out of your body. Also, you must be sure to drink the recommended amounts of water or you risk drying out your colon.

What to do?

We all need fibre to keep us regular and help keep our cholesterol in balance. The accepted recommended amount of fibre that we should be eating is between 20 to 35 grams per day. You can easily get this amount of fibre by eating fruits and vegetables. So why would you go out and pay extra just to get what is naturally present in good, healthy food?

A good natural alternative to Metamucil is flax fibre. It is readily available, tastes better and it is high in other nutrients like omega-3 and antioxidants.

Long story short, you need fibre in your diet, just go and buy fruits and vegetables instead of buying a processed product like Metamucil!

Here are a couple of great pages on the Metamucil webpage. Notice they make no claims relating to weight loss.

Canadian Weight Loss Programs
Canadian Weight Loss Programs:
Canadians have many diet systems and programs to choose from but don't believe everything you read. Many advertisements that you read are for American programs that do not serve Canada.
Diet and Nutrition
Diet and Nutrition:
Eating right can still be tasty and enjoyable. Depending on which weight loss program you follow, you would be surprised what you are allowed to eat. Sticking to a diet may be easier than you think!
Exercise and Fitness
Exercise and Fitness:
You may never look like one of those ripped guys who spend all their time at the gym but with a little work you can look and feel better. Plus, you can do most of that work at home without a gym membership.
Bad Diet Ideas
Bad Diet Ideas:
We have all heard about crazy ways to lose weight. Some of us have even considered trying them! Do not risk your health for some kooky weight loss fad. You could end up doing yourself real long-term harm.