Some people are uncomfortable with their own appearance – especially when it comes to their weight. This could be for many reasons (like societal pressure or low self-esteem), but some companies use this fact to make a profit. You’ve probably seen advertisements, or have read about a “miracle solution” for weight loss in a magazine. At some point, you may have even considered buying diet supplements that claim they can cause you to lose weight in a short amount of time. The question is: do these supplements actually work?
The Effectiveness of Dietary Supplements
Let’s start by discussing the actual regulation and effectiveness of dietary supplements. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not consider supplements to be actual medication. For that reason, there is no regulation on the testing or availability of supplements that claim they can help you lose weight. In fact, the FDA usually doesn’t enforce a recall of harmful supplements until after there have been reported cases of hospitalization or death. Such was the case in Hawaii, when a dietary supplement called “OxyELITE Pro Super Thermogenic” caused severe liver damage in many people.
Another case in New York found that many marketed supplement companies made false claims about what was actually in their products. The New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman sent a letter to different retailers including GNC, Walgreens, and Walmart to stop the sale of certain supplements after a study showed that several of their supplements did not contain any of the contents that they had claimed to have.
The bottom line, is that many over-the-counter dietary weight-loss supplements are scams. The number one phrase used by any scam artist is “fast and easy”, but any credible doctor can tell you that losing fat is not supposed to be fast or easy.
So What is Something Easy that Will Help Me Lose Weight?
A common misconception about weight loss is that there is a solution hidden somewhere that will “cure” someone’s weight problem. There is no hidden secret. Weight loss is not a “one size fits all” kind of solution, your body may need certain requirements to lose weight that someone else may not need.
There are a few medications that have been proven to actually help you lose weight. However, these medications have known side effects like loss of bowel control, flatulence, and bloating or worse. Other medications referred to as “water pills” will only absorb the water in your body (in other words, it just dehydrates you), which will give you an immediate weight reduction, but won’t keep the weight off for long.
There are some practices that can help you lose weight that are not as complicated, such as:
- Caffeine intake. Studies have shown that caffeine can help you burn fat and increase metabolic rate. So, having about one-to-three cups of black coffee per day can help you lose weight. Although, the effectiveness of caffeine might be impaired if you dilute your coffee with a large amount of creamer (which is why black coffee is most effective). Green tea will also provide adequate caffeine if you don’t like coffee.
- Cold temperatures. When your body is exposed to the cold, it ramps up its calorie expenditure to make up for lost thermal energy. A study showed that people exposed to cold temperatures did have a spike in metabolism. Although, it is important to note that the study only consisted of six full grown men, a test recreation with a larger test group would make the results more conclusive. Either way, it couldn’t hurt to have a cold glass of water every day.
Weight loss is something you have to earn, not buy. Don’t trust any over-the-counter supplements that claim to help you lose weight. If you really want to make a difference in with how much weight you can lose then you should consider visiting a certified nutritionist. This will inform you on what food you should eat, and how much. As mentioned earlier, this will vary from person to person.
You may also want to consider hiring a personal trainer at a gym. Weight loss is literally a personal trainer’s profession, and can tell you the best exercises to lose weight. The traditional method of diet and exercise is really the only sure-fire way to lose weight. Although, the main goal of weight loss is to be healthy. If your doctor tells you that you are healthy at your current weight, then there is no need for you to change for anyone else’s sake.