It’s bad enough that Jillian Michaels enjoys humiliating the contestants on “The Biggest Loser,” but now Michaels looks to spread her sphere of humiliation by pimping her Extreme Maximum Fat Burner supplement.

The supplement industry is great at ignoring research, in that they continue to pump out new brands of nonsensical weight-loss products despite the fact that there’s not much in the way of reliable science to justify the existence of such products.  Michael’s Extreme Maximum Fat Burner represents classic supplement sketchiness.


Michaels continues her ill-informed ways, promoting the myth that body fat is harmful and losing body fat somehow makes a person more fit.  In the promotional material for her Extreme Maximum Fat Burner we’re told Michaels’ product, “Contains a unique blend of natural compounds designed specifically to help your body lose fat. Not just weight, but actual body fat.”

This is a bit of a stretch.

Before looking at the “Maximum Strength Fat Burner Proprietary Blend,” let’s talk about the “Proprietary Xanthine Complex (PXC).”  This PXC is nothing but approximately 500 mgs of caffeine, or 5 cups of coffee worth and as much caffeine as you’d get in about 40 ounces of Red Bull.

Nothing screams health and fitness like dosing up caffeine, right? This should be called the “Stimulant Complex.” The primary ingredient in this mix is a substance called Yerba Mate, which has purported weight-loss powers, along with guarana, coffee bean extract and cocoa extract.  However, science rears its ugly head.

According to a review of existing scientific data titled, “Dietary Supplements for Body-Weight Reduction: A Systematic Review,” that was published in the April 2004 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, yerba mate – along with several other dietary supplements – has no weight-loss properties.

Here’s the conclusion of the study, “The evidence for most dietary supplements as aids in reducing body weight is not convincing. None of the reviewed dietary supplements (including yerba mate) can be recommended for over-the-counter use.” The fat burner blend contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which is purported to have fat-loss/weight-loss properties.

Science is the best weapon to combat supplement hucksters.  The March 2006 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the study, “Conjugated Linoleic Acid Supplementation for 1 year Does Not Prevent Weight or Body Fat Regain.” The title says it all, but here’s the conclusion. “Daily CLA supplementation for 1 year does not prevent weight or fat mass regain in a healthy obese population.” It should come as no surprise that a fitness professional that lacks credibility would shill a dietary supplement with a shaky pedigree.

Stay away from Jillian Michaels’ Extreme Maximum Fat Burner.

UPDATE: Check out my post that compiles the top reviews of this product as they appear on the Bing search engine as of November 30, 2009.


  1. Get your info right Sal!
    “This PXC is nothing but approximately 500 mgs of caffeine, or 5 cups of coffee worth and as much caffeine as you’d get in about 40 ounces of Red Bull.”
    First of all Sal, each 2 capsule serving is 200 mgs of caffeine, NOT 500 mgs. If you actually read the box, you’d have known this. NOW, who “lacks credibility”?

  2. Stacy
    Here’s the link that is on the GNC web site as of 11/16/09.
    Each serving of the “PXC,” which consists of 2 caps, contain 493 mgs of yerba, coffee extract, guarana and cocoa seed.
    Since you’re obviously a real stickler for details, perhaps you can share with us how this stimulant supplement is uniquely formulated to burn fat.

  3. The following statement can be found on the “Supplement Facts” tab of the very link you provided.
    “This product contains a significantly potent xanthine (i.e., caffeine and caffeine-like stimulants) mixture of about 200 mg per regular 2-MetaCap serving.”
    Since I’m not a scientist, I cannot tell you anything additional regarding it’s unique formulation other than what’s on the box. I can “share” with YOU (not a whole lot of people on this blog need convincing) that after taking it for over a month, it has definitely worked for me and obviously for one of your other posters… Celia.
    In addition, the scientific data that you site is 4 to 6 years old.
    As far as Jillian “enjoying humiliating the BL contestants”… that couldn’t be further from the truth. Did you know that every single season that she has been a part of the show (which is all but one), HER contestant won? Did you know that? That, which you call humiliation, is her pushing the contestants to a level of activity/achievement they didn’t know they were capable of. These people are so far gone! Do you think they’d reach those heights and accomplish what they have just because someone asked them to?
    As far as her being “ill-informed”, she has access to the TOP doctors from around the world. She has used this information to write 3 best selling books. Do you think that Maria Shriver would ask her to speak at the 2007 & 2009 Women’s Conference because she thought Jillian was “ill-informed”?
    I think YOU Sal, need to do a bit more investigation next time you want to trash a product.

  4. If you want to take the marketers word for it, that’s your choice. The ingredients of the PXC are all stimulants, regardless of the claim of the hucksters regarding the amount of caffeine contained.
    This is typical of the word games vultures like this play with the unsuspecting.
    Certainly the word of anonymous a handful of posters on the Internet is all people need to prove efficacy. You can do a simple Internet search for this scam product and you will find similar reviews.
    It will be a full time job refuting all of this.

  5. I understand and appreciate this article, but I am forced to take it with a little grain of salt. You have no problem trashing this product, and no respect for her body of work yet you still are willing to take her money for advertising purposes? You can’t trash someone AND allow them advertise their product or service on the same page, it’s simply bad form. To the less educated internet users this could seem like she endorses this blog. If you are going to make a stand at least be ethical about it.

  6. Lisa
    I hear ya…But I feel this way about it. If there’s an ad for a product on the same page that I say, “Don’t buy this product, it’s crap,” and someone decides to buy it anyway, that’s the purchaser’s fault. Plus with Google contextual ads, whatever is on the page is going to show up.
    It’s kind of like telling someone, “Hey, don’t touch that flame, it’s hot and it will burn your hand,” and then the person touches the flame and burns their hand anyway.
    On the other hand if I say someone’s product is garbage and they want to pay for an add on the page where I say so, why should I turn it down?
    The problem is when my opinion is based on being paid by the product/service in question.
    I’ll say it again, don’t buy Jillian Michaels fat burning supplement, it’s garbage! Ignore the ads on this page! As a matter of fact, I am going to edit this piece to reflect this very issue.

  7. Respectfully to Jillian, its obvious she is a very hard worker in what she does for her body, but i would have to agree with Sal. Most of the supplements out there are high in caff, but the truth in the whole matter is FDA regulation, there really are none and anyone can put a product out there, slap someone’s face on the box (someone who has worked very hard to accomplish this) and sell it to a unsuspecting population.
    there are natural supplements out there, if people would just read a book, journal or mag, apply it to TRUE workout regiments, they’d lose the weight. Supplements like this…NO supplement is going to really do you great success, its hard work in the gym, or just running around the block and adding on accessories such as more blocks, push ups every 2 or three blocks….sit ups added later and so forth. this is the key.
    are they advertising this supplement on the Biggest loser? I don’t watch the show anymore, but if they are not giving the product to the contestants, thats a big red flag there. what i recall from the show was hard work and a direct plan of nutritional foods that contributed to the weight loss….and again, HARD WORK!
    Jillian Michaels is a beautiful woman, but like those before her, she will fade away, we all get old and there is always someone behind that will take her place. And I gaurantee they will have a face on a box too.
    Reading the article, I think people assume Sal is attacking Jillian, I dont see that. I see him attacking a product he believes is taking advantage of her name and fame, to fool blind consumers. Of course her name is on the product, she is obligated by contract for a certain amount of time (SHE DID NOT MAKE THIS HERSELF) to promote it so its unfortunate when it’s reviewed (and this is not the only site that has given it down reviews) she will take the flame of the torch also…this is understandable in business…she is getting paid and really wont care what SAL or I say about this product or anyother, for she is only under contract to promote it…its just a name.

  8. I just want to clear a couple things up, scientifically.
    The company I work for actually makes the Jillian Michaels’ products and I work in the lab verifying that the product contains what the label specifies. There are only 200 mg of caffeine in the product. There are 493 mg of yerba, coffee extract, guarana and cocoa seed like Sal said, but these substances are not 100% caffeine. For example, the guarana used is only 12% caffeine.
    Second, the dietary supplement industry is mostly under FDA regulation since June 2008 (large companies), June 2009 (mid-sized companies), and June 2010 (small companies). Now, this regulation does not force the companies to verify effectiveness. It does make them verify label claims (amounts of vitamins, minerals, and other substances). It also requires that a consistent product is made, and that there is no harmful microbial contamination (bacteria, mold, etc).
    So, whether the product does what it says it does, I have no idea. If you’re that curious, try it and see. If it works for you, great (ignore the critics). If it doesn’t work for you, then stop taking it (and the critics were right). Either way, it’s your choice. That’s the wonderful part of being an American.


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