Gotta love the plyos. Maybe Hydroxycut and other supplements work for some people, but I don't believe in them at all. I used to be my own supplement guinea pig, and I've tried many different supplements such as various protein supps, creatine, fat loss supps (including the original Hydroxycut), and others. When I turned 18 and moved out of my parents' house, I could no longer afford to buy any sort of supplements. I mooched multivitamins from my work. I found out in the next year or so that I saw the same muscle gains and fat loss that I'd see every year, except I was no longer dumping money into supplements.
Here's my story...
Living in Alaska, I tend to take winters pretty easy. I hibernate. I eat during the holidays, and the only exercise I really get is hauling logs, chainsaw and chopping, and more hauling. So I typically gain a good 15-20 pounds in a good winter. In February, I begin a muscle building phase which lasts four weeks. I continue to eat a lot, but it's better food than the rest of the winter. I eat lots of fish, vegetables, chicken, fruit, nuts, all the good stuff, and keep the calories pretty high. Then I start my fat loss phase, which goes from March through mid May. I keep my daily calories between 1800 and 2500, eating several small meals from roughly 200-300 calories. Here are my results this year to date:
On Feb 1st, I weighed 218 (I'm 5'11") **begin Muscle Gain Phase**
On March 1st, I weighed 210. **begin Fat Loss Phase**
--So, I lost 8 pounds without trying to lose weight, and I definitely gained some muscle back too.
Today, April 6th, I weigh 193, and I'm only 8 pounds from my goal weight.
I still have a month to lose the 8 pounds, so I am a little ahead of schedule, which is cool. I have never tried to get as low as 180, but I'm thinking about going for it so I could cut a few pounds and fight at 170. I haven't taken anything more than a multivitamin, glutamine, and BCAAs, and I haven't hit any plateaus. Honestly, I used to have a hell of a time losing my winter fat, and the first thing I did was splurge on fat loss pills (this was about 5 years ago). My thought was, if I wanted to lose the weight, I NEEDED the pills. I mean, who loses weight naturally anymore, right? Well, I found out I was just eating and training completely wrong. Now it's no problem, and I don't feel so guilty about splurging when the holidays come around.
Feel free to do what you think is right for you. These are merely my thoughts and opinions based on my personal experience. My own rule of thumb is that Food is #1. I take supplements to supplement my diet. They fill in the possible gaps in my diet, and that is all.
Well, I wish I could have been more concise. Sorry about the long story.