SENSA is an American product marketed as an aid to slimming. Unlike other weight loss supplements, it is a powered shake on product, which claims to help you suppress your appetite.
In this review, we will be looking to see how true these claims are and how exactly this product works.
- It includes no diuretics
- No “traditional” salt, i.e. sodium salt, which may benefit people with heart problems
- Meal plan on their “My SENSA” website if you sign up
- Tools and calculators on their “My SENSA” website
- There is no clinical data relating directly to SENSA published in peer review articles
- Clinical data cannot be located on the active ingredients away from SENSA
SENSA is a powdered “shake on” product marketed as an aid to slimming. It is an American product, and as such very few places sell it in the UK, but it can be imported if you contact the manufacturer, or you can purchase it from a handful of online UK based retailers. This review will provide an unbiased report on the suitability of SENSA as a weight loss tool, looking at if any hard scientific evidence is provided to provide you with the information to decide if the product is worth your money.
Claimed weight loss benefits
SENSA claims to be the “number one weight loss system in America” according to their website. It states that it can “help you lose weight, regardless of the amount” according to its website’s FAQ section. It does not claim to be a fat binder/burner, a metabolism booster or a carbohydrate blocker. It does however state that it teaches you ”portion control”, similar to appetite suppression, and the scheme also has meal plans on their My SENSA website. It states that SENSA will work only as part of a portion controlled diet and regular exercise.
- Fat Burning / Binder
- Appetite SuppressantWe Disagree
- Metabolism Booster
- Carbohydrate Blocking
- Diet PlanWe Agree
How SENSA Works
SENSA claims to work on a monthly cycle running for 6 months, where every month you change the shake you use. SENSA is said to contain a blend of “tastants” which “teach you to be satisfied whilst eating less” with the set program. It essentially claims that it will teach the user portion control with the different taste each month, resulting in weight loss. The FAQ section of the website states that everyone is different and so there is no set timeline for how long a set weight loss will take, but it does quote the National Institutes of Health figure of 1-2 pounds a month for a safe rate of weight loss.
There are meal plans on the “My SENSA” website, but these are not strictly speaking “diet plans”, so the only section of weight loss that SENSA potentially targets is appetite suppression resulting in teaching portion control. There are many other products on the market that target more than just this one area, that have been proven to work, and they are sometimes at similar prices, therefore SENSA is at a disadvantage in this respect.
The promotional “free trial” section on the SENSA website, states that SENSA speeds up the signals to your body that you are full so that you eat less. This is a very vague and unscientific description. There are only two ways it could possibly do this, if you look at the chain of events in your body objectively. The first would be that it speeds up the rate of digestion, thus increasing blood sugar levels and therefore triggering the receptors more quickly, or it speeds up the rate at which the impulse to the brain is transmitted. There is no mechanism given for the increase of digestion rate because no peer reviewed clinical trials have been carried out by the researchers behind SENSA – more on this can be found in our SENSA clinical studies article. The latter is impossible, because this impulse will reach the brain in a matter of seconds anyway. We can work this out quite simply. Think of how fast you can move a part of your body after thinking that you need to move it. This is the rate at which all impulses are transmitted around your body, with at the most possibly one or two seconds difference. Nerve impulses are electrical, and so there is very little you can do to increase their already high speed.
For more information, we recommend you read our How does SENSA work article.
Key SENSA Ingredients
SENSA has very few ingredients, and next to no nutritional value, i.e. it is calorie free. The website for SENSA states that a number of “Tastants” – a blend of safe artificial flavourings – are claimed to be the “active ingredients”. The definition of a tastant is simply a chemical that produces a taste response. It is uncertain whether because they capitalise the word “Tastant” that they are referring to something different to this, that is unique to SENSA. However, with this being the only real definition of this word that is obvious, this gives the user very little information on how exactly SENSA is supposed to work in terms of its mechanism. The website only tells us “SENSA enhances the smell and taste of your food to help trigger the ‘I feel full’ feeling that tells your body when it’s time to stop eating”. This is not sufficiently explained using hard science, and so they have a hard time getting other scientific bodies to agree that their product works.
Other ingredients include silica, tricalcium phosphate is a type of salt, maltodextrin, soy and milk ingredients. The FAQ section on the SENSA website states that SENSA is sodium-free and sugar-free, however in the same paragraph it states about the content of both maltodextrin, which is a sugar, and milk ingredients, which contain lactose, which is another sugar.
For more information on the science behind this product, we recommend you read our SENSA Clinical Studies article.
|Weight Loss Power:||30/100|
The website of SENSA states in its FAQ that any resultant weight loss is “different for everyone”, and that SENSA should be combined with diet and exercise. There have also been no peer reviewed clinical trials released relating to SENSA, making it very difficult to know an exact mechanism by which it would work, or know if it even works at all. Due to this and that, the product only works as an appetite suppressant we cannot rate it high regarding weight loss power.
|Speed of results:||30/100|
The SENSA scheme cycles back to start every 6 months, so it would be reasonable to think that if results were going to be seen then they would be seen within this timeframe. However, SENSA do state that results are different for each individual, and that a rate of 1-2 lbs per week is sustainable and healthy according to the National Institutes of Health (an American body who is seen as the authority on biomedical journal findings and releasing their results to the public in a more accessible way).
SENSA claims to teach you portion control, stating that you will become more aware of when you are and when you are not hungry. It does not specifically state that it will suppress your appetite, but it hints at this strongly in multiple parts of its advertisement campaigns. There is a severe lack of clinical data, meaning that we cannot be sure if this is true or not, however it can be noted that Dr. Alan Hirsch, the founder of the SENSA system, has published papers in the field of smell and taste, just not relating specifically to SENSA and its weight loss abilities. More information can be found in our SENSA Clinical Studies.
|Long Term Results:||25/100|
In the first few weeks of SENSA, the website states that you may actually gain weight, stating that this is because you are not yet in tune with your bodies’ signals to hunger. However, the website also states that there is an average weight loss of 10 lbs in 3+ months, so if this figure is correct then this equals a weight loss of less than 1 lb a week. This is much less than a typical healthy weight loss of up to 2 lbs a week, suggesting that big long term results will only come if you include diet and exercise as stated on the SENSA website. There are also no samples shown on the website that this figure could have possibly come from, and considering there have been no clinical studies carried out on SENSA that have been published in peer reviewed journals, this figure is unreliable. See our top rated diet pills.
All ingredients included in SENSA have been listed as safe according to the American Food and Drug Administration, however, there may be some substances that people are allergic to in the mix, for example soy and lactose. If you are intolerant to anything in particular check the ingredients thoroughly first, though they have all been listed in this review under the ‘Key Ingredients’ subheading. SENSA is therefore considered safe to use, with it obviously being the responsibility of any allergy sufferers to check for themselves before taking SENSA.
|Value for money:||40/100|
SENSA offers a free trial in the USA, but this is unfortunately not available in the UK. There have been numerous reports of SENSA free-trials causing bills equal to the full price of the product being taken from people’s accounts. This is because the company uses a no-return instant bill policy. If you fail to return the product within 30 days of signing up for the free trial you will automatically be assumed to be carrying on with the subscription, a bill payment will be taken and a new batch of SENSA shipped to you. This has caused a lot of controversy, and the ethics of it are questionable, leaving many people sceptical of the company’s intentions.
SENSA Side Effects
The SENSA FAQ does not state directly that certain side effects will occur; it does state what to do if you are using SENSA and specific side effects do occur. This can likely be interpreted as there having been reports of these side effects, without proof that they definitely occur. Examples include nausea, headaches and increased blood pressure. All three side effects are answered with, “All of the ingredients found in SENSA are published on the FDA’s GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) list and can be found in foods you already consume on a daily basis. If you have any medical concerns whatsoever we recommend you consult your physician”. There is one further side effect mentioned, and this is a tingling Sensation on your tongue. This can be avoided by spreading SENSA evenly over your food, and by not shaking SENSA directly on to your tongue. There are no known side effects with SENSA. There are therefore no serious concerns about major harmful side effects with use of SENSA without a direct known allergy.
For more information, we recommend you read our SENSA Side Effects article.
Where to Buy SENSA
The SENSA manufacturers will not ship directly to the UK, so the only way to purchase this product would be to find one of the very few UK retailers (all online, for example amazon.co.uk), or to purchase it from a US vendor and have it imported by them rather than imported directly from the SENSA manufacturer.
The SENSA plan seems well structured and professional at first glance, but the lack of clinical data and the fact that misleading information about what clinical trials have actually been carried out mean that there are a significant amount of better documented products available. There are however some advantages, such as the lack of sodium salt if you suffer from heart conditions, or the easiness of not having to swallow pills or cope with unpleasant side effects, but these are really outweighed by the lack of evidence that there is for SENSA effectively aiding weight loss.
If you are interested in who makes SENSA, we recommend you read our The Company behind SENSA article.
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