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SENSA Weight Loss System: Pros and Cons

Can You Lose Weight with the SENSA "Sprinkle" Diet?

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Updated January 11, 2014

SENSA Weight Loss System: Pros and Cons

SENSA Weight Loss System

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If you believe advertising claims, the SENSA weight loss system could easily win an award as the simplest way to lose weight. According to the SENSA website, to lose weight just sprinkle crystals on your food and voila! the weight comes off. But is it really that simple?

Using SENSA might help you lose weight. The "sprinkle diet," as it is often called, has worked for celebrities like Octavia Spencer and for countless other regular folks. But before you invest your time and money into the program, learn more about the pros and cons of SENSA.

SENSA Pros: Benefits of Using the Sprinkle Diet

If you've tried a number of diets without success, you might enjoy some of the advertised benefits of SENSA. People who have used the product with success say that these factors helped them lose weight.

  • Simplicity. In order to use the system, you simply carry a shaker of SENSA sweet and savory crystals and sprinkle the substance onto any food that you eat. According to the company's founder, Dr. Alan Hirsch, the ingredients in the crystals change the way your brain detects fullness and you ultimately eat less food.

  • Relatively Safe. SENSA ingredients include maltodextrin, tricalcium phosphate, silica, natural and artificial flavors, soy and milk ingredients. According to company sources, each substance in the product is on the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) list of foods that are generally recognized as safe (GRAS). In fact, it's very possible that you already consume these ingredients in the foods you currently eat.

    It might be helpful to know, however, that the product is not a weight loss medication, so the company does not have to establish safety and effectiveness in the same way that weight loss drugs like Alli or Qsymia do. On the flip side, however, many of those medically prescribed weight loss medications carry significant side effects.

  • No Diet Restrictions. The SENSA weight loss plan allows you to eat the foods that you typically eat. According to the company, weight loss occurs because you eat less food overall as a result of feeling fuller faster.

SENSA Cons: Drawbacks of Using the Sprinkle Diet

Sometimes, things that seem too good to be true are too good to be true. SENSA might be one of those things. These are some of the drawbacks to investing in SENSA.

  • No Dietary Change. Ultimately, you may want your weight loss to improve your health. The SENSA weight loss system does not require you to change your diet so even if it does help you to slim down, you may not see improvement in your risk for certain diseases like high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

  • Hazy Science. One of the most substantial criticisms of SENSA has been the lack of scientific evidence. While a scientific research study is cited on the company's website, the study details are unclear. The research was conducted by the company's founder and is not published in any well-respected medical journals.  (see update below)

  • May Be Unnecessary. Because there is no clear data to support a direct causal relationship between SENSA and weight loss, it is unclear whether or not the product itself is really creating any benefit. People lose weight because they eat less, not necessarily because the food contains SENSA crystals. Dieters who don't want to spend money on SENSA could easily learn portion control techniques for free.

  • Cost. The SENSA weight loss system recommends that you use the product for 6 months to see results. The product is available online and in stores, so you can compare prices, but as a general rule SENSA costs about $60 per month. Since the specific benefit of the product is unclear, you may be wasting your money on sprinkles that have no clear affect.

Should I Try SENSA Weight Loss System?

If you've tried other weight loss plans without success, the only thing you have to lose by trying SENSA is about $60 per month. Of course, as with all diet and exercise programs, you should talk to your doctor before trying the product to be sure that it is safe for you.

But if you have not tried other weight loss plans, you may want to try those first. Make simple changes to your food choices, modify your food portions and and start an exercise routine. The scientific evidence supporting those methods of weight loss is much more significant.

Update: On January 8, 2014 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ordered marketers of Sensa to pay $26.5 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they deceived consumers with unfounded weight-loss claims and misleading endorsements.  The FTC will make these funds available for refunds to consumers who bought Sensa.

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