Weight loss supplements – How they really work
The many weight loss supplements available on market vary a lot, from their ingredients to their effectiveness, but all these products, if used incorrectly, could cause more problems rather than help.
The safest and healthiest way to lose weight is slow, following a diet plan and with a daily routine of workout. In addition, some diet supplements could assist the consumers, giving them more energy for the exercises, enhancing the metabolism, assisting the fat burn and controlling the appetite. But there is no “miracle pill” that could work on their own to assist the weight loss process – in a healthy, secure way and for a long term – without some eating restrictions as well as without making physical exercises.
Numerous companies and suppliers provide weight loss products. After many researches and studies, it was concluded that these diet supplements could be divided in five categories, due to their actions, ingredients or effects. Therefore, there are fat burners, nutrient blockers, appetite suppressants, insulin regulators and body composition changers.
Each category has its advantages and disadvantages. They will be briefly described in the next lines, to put some light on how weight loss pills really work.
The fat burners – or thermogenics – are proven to assist moderate weight loss and are usually secure, when administered at low dosages and for short periods of time. But they don’t actually burn the fat, more likely they increase the energy rate, raise the heart rate and the blood pressure, they act by stimulating the sympathetic nervous system and could produce some dangerous side effects, if more ingredients are combined. Anxiety, heart attacks or even strokes could produce if overdosing supplements with fat burners (caffeine, guarana, green tea).
The fat blockers (chitosan from shells of crustaceans, alginate from brown algae) have minimal side effects, but they don’t have enough proofs to assist weight loss, they could interfere with medications and they are not recommended for users allergic to shellfish. Claimed to block the absorption of fat in the intestines, they are not scientifically proved to help the weight loss. Further study is required.
The carbohydrate blockers (white kidney bean extract) ensure minimal side effects and the few researches on how they work seem encouraging. But these studies are insufficient and the carb blockers could produce gastrointestinal upset. The users don’t absorb the calories from carbs intake, thus assisting the weight loss. The products with carb blockers are efficient only with calorie and carb monitored diets and are more effective for weight loss maintenance rather than weight loss.
The appetite suppressants (hoodia, caralluma, garcinia, hibiscus, yerba mate, chromium, caffeine) have been used for hundreds of years, but they also don’t have enough scientific evidences to assist weight loss. They could produce dangerous side effects, such as liver damage, intestinal obstructions, higher heartbeat reate and blood pressure, extreme weakness and fatigue.
The insulin regulators (chromium, cinnamon) are safe in low doses and for short periods, they can assist the weight loss and also diabetes, but further research is needed. They could lower too much the blood sugar, and, if taken in large quantities, they could damage the liver. Increasing the effects of insulin, boosting the metabolism and helping the weight loss, they require consulting a doctor before using them.
The body composition changers (conjugated linoleic acid –CLA, usnic acid, L-carnitine) have minimal side effects when used for short periods and are considered to be muscle builders. Decreasing the body fat and increasing the lean body mass, they could produce liver damage and they don’t have enough scientific proofs to promote weight loss.
Always consult your doctor if you desire to take diet supplements and keep in mind that without better eating habits and workouts, you cannot lose weight in a safe and healthy way.