According to one researcher, there is insufficient evidence backing the efficacy of weight loss supplements. Instead lifestyle and dietary changes are more likely to produce positive results.
The article also names medical intervention as having better results than weight loss supplements, but it would be safe to assume that in the overwhelming majority of instances where somebody needs to lose weight, medical intervention ought to be seen as a very last resort when all else has failed, or perhaps only for consideration in extreme cases of obesity.
Researchers concluded from an 8 week study that there was no statistical difference in weight loss between a range of weight loss supplements and placebo among 179 overweight or obese people.
So why don’t weight loss supplements work?
Well, perhaps the word ‘supplements’ is a clue.
Weight loss supplements are designed to supplement something. They are not a solution in themselves, yet it seems many consider the weight loss supplement, the sole pathway of losing weight.
So what are these supplements? In the study above they included L-carnitine, guarana seed powder, bean extract, konjac extract, polyglucosamine, cabbage powder, fibre pills, sodium alginate formulations and selected plant extracts.
We could deal with each one individually and discuss its merits and drawbacks, but the simple overriding message is that without a balanced natural diet, the human body will malfunction.
Before you head to the local pharmacy and grab a bottle of pills claiming weight loss miracles, do two other things first:
- Empty your fridge and cupboards of processed food. I dare you to be brave enough to do it.
- Go to the supermarket and ONLY buy fresh unprocessed food. Don’t even buy vegetables wrapped in plastic or in containers. Touch the vegetables and fruit with your own hands and pick out the individual ones you are happy to put in your mouth.
Yes, this will be challenging to begin with, but among other things, it will make you realise just how much of what you have been accepting as wholesome food is actually packaged food. This includes (for the time being) some stable foods in plastic bags such as pasta, bread and butter, as well as drinks which come in containers of course. Rice is natural and so I would consider it an unprocessed food even though it comes in a plastic bag (it’s a tad tricky carrying a few hundred loose grains of rice).
If you’ve never done this before, it might sound extreme, but the point is that we so easily accept what we buy from the supermarket as wholesome food, and in fact most of it is processed. To fix a metabolic problem, you need to feed the body the basic building blocks of life in their most elementary and unprocessed form so your body can function as it was intended.
Once you have your weight under control, you can reintroduce some processed in moderation, but treat them in the same way as you would wine. You would not make wine your entire meal on its own, but would enjoy wine in moderation with your meal. So you should enjoy processed foods (such as bread, pasta, tinned tuna, butter, drinks, sausages) in moderation with natural unprocessed whole foods. Do this and you’ll be on your way to a healthier body and mind, and your body will start to take care of its fat problem naturally.
Image credit: Total Shape