Every day, millions of people spend millions of dollars on weight loss supplements. Most of these claim to grab fat, speed up metabolism, or prevent the body from gaining weight in some other manner. It seems like every day, we see new products coming on the market that promise to do these things for people.
With well over 60% of the adult population of the U. S. overweight, there is a vast market for these products as well.
Most people are concentrating on three points: ease, speed, and personal attractiveness. They want to be able to take a pill or tonic that will lose the weight for them. They also feel that, as one lady put it to me, "If I could just lose the weight, I would look better and feel so much better about myself."
So how do these products stack up? What can they really do for the dieter? That adds a fourth dimension - effectiveness.
Okay, I can't find much fault there. Most are pills or liquids that need to be taken once or twice a day. That should satisfy most people's desire for ease.
Now, it starts to get a little sticky. First of all, there are so many products making so many claims about what they will do for so many different people, it is difficult to say if any weight loss supplement really is as fast as it claims it CAN be. Take the most effective weight loss program in the universe, and have several thousand people follow it, and you will get several thousand results. Additionally, what works for one person might not work, or work as well, for her sister or brother.
To make matters worse, how well any weight loss product works will depend to some extent on how it is combined with exercise, nutrition, rest, genetics, and so on.
Second, speed in weight loss just MIGHT NOT be a good thing! As a matter of fact, weight lost TOO QUICKLY can actually endanger health. Just as a point, most weight loss supplements claim to do their work by altering or interfering with the normal processes of the body.
I may be a bit biased, but when I find someone attractive, it often has as much to do with their outlook on life, and their personal enjoyment of life, as it does with how much their body weighs or how it is shaped. I am personally aware of people who lost large amounts of weight and yet did not improve their "attractiveness" at all. I also know people who are not what society would consider to be physically attractive, and yet they are attractive to those around them.
I know from personal experience that many overweight people feel that if they could just lose the weight their lives would change for the better. On some levels, that sometimes happens, but, if the weight loss comes about through artificial intervention, such as with a pill or through surgical intervention, they often find that their lives have not changed as much as they thought. In some cases, life can be even harder as a direct or indirect result of the method they used to lose weight.
When someone decides to lose weight for health reasons, they are, or should be, making a commitment to change the lifestyle choices they have been making that have gotten them to where they are. If instead, they take a pill to disrupt the normal processes of the body in hopes that the pill will change their lives, they will most certainly be disappointed. Even if the pill does do what it says, they cannot continue depending on it to do this for them for the rest of their lives. Only a permanent change in lifestyle choices will result in permanent, healthy weight loss, and this involves nutrition, exercise, hydration, and rest and does not require weight loss supplements.
Even those with drastic genetic predispositions towards obesity can take control of a portion of their weight and their health. I have a close personal friend who weighs over 400 lbs. She is young (mid 20's), beautiful, and vivacious, but her weight is gradually wearing her down. Her health is slowly becoming impacted by her weight, and she continually expresses a desire to lose weight.
However, she continues to drink several sodas sweetened with sugar daily. She sweetens her tea and coffee with sugar. She cooks and consumes huge meals with a high fat content when she is not ordering the most fat-laden offerings of the fast food palaces. She makes no adjustment in her lifestyle, and the closest she comes to exercise is when she becomes excited during a video game. Except for work, her life is lived almost entirely in front of a TV or a computer. She is genetically predisposed towards being overweight, but she could lose 100 or even 200 lbs simply by making different lifestyle choices. Instead, she opts to try each new diet fad or pill that hits the market only to be disappointed in the end.
A FINAL NOTE ON WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENTS:
Are there truly chemicals and compounds, natural and synthetic that can enhance a weight loss program? Certainly there are, but not those that achieve the goal simply because someone swallows them. Almost every weight loss supplement on the market includes a phrase to the effect that the product will work "...best when used in conjunction with good nutrition and a regular exercise program..." or words similar. Nutrition and exercise are the keys. Even the best weight loss supplement can only enhance the effects of a healthy lifestyle based on these.