Are Weight Loss Supplements A Safe Way To Lose Weight?
Weight loss supplements sound like a fantastic idea. I mean, who wouldn’t want to sit around and continue eating junk food but have this pill magically take the weight off? Sign me up for that! However many of these products are untested so we don’t know what effects can come from them. This draws a pretty major problem, since they are untested using some funny ingredients we don’t have much of an idea what – if any – health effects there might be.
This is especially true for over the counter (OTC) fat burning supplements. The prescription ones have actually had some clinical tests done.
Once such test done reviewed 21 long term trials of prescription drugs designed to help treat obesity. What researches found through the study was those people who made appropriate lifestyle changes and took the drugs had a much higher chance in seeing “clinically meaningful” weight loss.
Clinically meaningful is a fancy term for losing enough weight to lower the chance of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, heart disease and other complications from being obese. This is typically about 5% or more of body weight.
Other than prescription drugs there are a few other weight loss pills. They fall into two categories,
- Non-Prescription Drugs
- Dietary Supplements
Non-Prescription drugs are medications designed to treat obesity but you can get there anywhere without a prescription. These are usually less effective than prescription drugs but also have less side effects.
Dietary supplements are a wide range of pretty much anything. Most are probably snake oil but definitely some ingredients out there can and do help with wight loss. However most of these are completely untested and some that say “clinically proven to lose weight” never give any specifics on the nature or outcome of the study. What that means is they are definitely hiding something..
What we do know however are that certain ones can be an effective tool. But they aren’t some magic bullet! In order to lose weight and keep it off you need to make some lifestyle changes. This means eating healthier, a good way to do that is eat less calories (especially empty calories) and eat more fruits and vegetables.
But are they safe?
To be honest most are filled with nothing spectacular, however if some product does allow you to lose weight while not changing anything and without exercising then I would say that is very unhealthy.
Because you shouldn’t lose weight just sitting around eating junk food and not exercising. However like I stated before most weight loss supplements are designed to be a tool to help burn fat – especially when doing fat burning activities such as exercising or strength training.
When properly used weight loss supplements are very safe, I’d also recommend buying a good one that isn’t the cheapest solution. Don’t buy an outrageously expensive option either, however.
To answer the question I would say most weight loss supplements are relatively safe when taken in small dosages to help burn off some fat. However they definitely aren’t a “lazy man’s” fat burning hidden secret. Losing weight still requires consistent effort and a healthy diet.