If you’ve been trying to lose weight, you may have considered a weight loss supplement. There’s so much information to consider that taking that step may feel overwhelming. Here’s how you can decide what’s right for you.
Do I need a professional to recommend a supplement?
It depends on the supplements you’re considering, as well as any health conditions you have. You should talk to your doctor if you’re on medication or have a serious condition; consult your doctor if a supplement is claiming to cure a disease or contains stimulants.
Reputable supplement manufacturers don’t sell dangerous ingredients over the counter, but if you have concerns, talk to your doctor first.
When should I move from just dieting and exercise to including weight loss supplements?
If you are losing weight at a desired rate through diet and exercise, there’s absolutely no reason to supplement. Be patient; if you follow the “perfect diet,” and are losing 2-3 pounds of fat a week, supplements might be a waste of money. There are, however, two main reasons to start on a weight loss supplement:
1. You are not satisfied with the rate of fat loss.
Certain ingredients, demonstrated in controlled trials, accelerate the results of running a calorie deficit, especially with a carbohydrate-controlled eating plan. These ingredients accomplish different things, so determine your specific issue in order to find the right solution. You can use multiple ingredients to address multiple problems.
2. You are eating a proper diet, but still can’t lose weight – or are even gaining weight.
Many of us find ourselves here as we age, and it’s very frustrating. There are ingredients in supplements that can remove the obstacles in running a calorie deficit, alongside a proper diet.
How do I know which diet supplement is right for me?
You should note that there is currently no safe supplement that will somehow make you lose weight without running a calorie deficit. Don’t believe any claims otherwise.
That being said, you can break down different types of healthy supplements by function and find a good fit.
Satiety: Are you hungry all the time? This is a huge problem. Look for supplements that lower ghrelin, contain soluble fiber, and reduce stress. Do not use stimulants. They’re effective in the short term; in the long run, they can cause you to gain weight.
Insulin Issues: Do you feel sluggish after a high-carbohydrate meal, crave sugar, or feel bloated after eating carbs? Look for ingredients that help reduce glucose absorption, reduce insulin resistance, slow digestion, and are anti-inflammatory. Don’t use a “carb blocker;” these pills claim they prevent carbohydrate absorption. Instead, they cause bloating and constipation, and are not particularly effective.
Hormonal Issues: As we get older, our hormones can get out of whack, and weight loss becomes more difficult. Look for ingredients that raise adiponectin, lower inflammation, lower ghrelin, decrease leptin resistance, and reduce stress. If you think it’s time to take this new step forward in weight loss, find the supplement that’s right for you. Soon, you’ll be on track to dropping weight.