Do Diet Patches Work?

Diet patches claim to help boost your metabolism and improve weight loss. But do they work? Get-Fit Guy looks beyond the claims.

Ben Greenfield,
March 7, 2014

What’s a diet patch?  

Diet patches stick on your skin like a Band-Aid, and are marketed to do things like reduce appetite cravings and boost metabolism and fat loss. The ingredients are typically a mix of plant extracts and other natural ingredients, such as garcinia, hoodia gordonii, a seaweed called fucusvesiculosus, and the popular stimulant guarana. The idea is that by absorbing the ingredients through your skin, you bypass digestion and get better results.

Sounds good right? But do these slimming patches work?

The fact is that there is some weak clinical evidence and a smattering of studies that suggest some (rather unimpressive) results from ingredients such as garcinia and guarana. But even if these ingredients do indeed affect appetite and weight, there is zero proof that they are getting into the body effectively via the patches. This is because to pass effectively through the skin, a substance must have a low molecular weight (which means it is very small) and must also be fat soluble, or oily, which many of these substances are not. In addition, since 2004, the FTC has filed multiple legal actions in federal courts alleging violation of federal truth-in-advertising laws by companies who market diet patches.

The bottom line is this: Until clinical trials emerge proving the patches themselves effective (and not just the ingredients in the patches), I’m not buying.

If you enjoyed this information and want more information on which fat loss supplements work and which don’t, as well as how you can choose wisely, you should also check out the episodes: Do Weight Loss Supplements Work? and Top 5 Fat Loss Lies.

Do you have questions about diet patches? Post your thoughts at Facebook.com/GetFitGuy.

Skin patch image courtesy of Shutterstock.