Published on May 25, 2016

If it sounds too good to be true...

Three reasons weight loss supplements might not be as great as they sound.

There are many supplements out there that claim to help you lose a lot of weight fast. When swim-suit season is just around the corner, it can be easy to fall victim to these claims. However, these supplements are a waste of money at best and may even be harmful to your health.

Why they just aren't worth it:

  1. There is no guarantee that the product is safe or effective. Supplements are not evaluated by the FDA before they go out on the market. This means that supplement companies don't have to prove that the product does what they claim it does, or that it's safe for consumption. Even more shocking is that no one is making sure that these products even contain the ingredients that are on the label. The only time serious inquiries are made into supplements is when they have already caused harm.
  2. You still have to make lifestyle changes. If you search the label or package of most weight loss supplements, you will find the following disclaimer: effective when combined with a healthy diet and exercise. If you have to put in the work to improve your habits anyway, why would you spend money on a pill that may not be safe or effective?
  3. You may be losing the wrong kind of weight. If you are losing more than 2 pounds per week you may be losing water weight and muscle mass along with fat mass. Water weight will return quickly after you stop using the supplement and when you lose muscle you actually slow down your metabolism. When you stop using the product that is causing rapid weight loss and return to your old lifestyle, it is possible that you will end up weighing more than when you started the diet.

Stick to tried and true strategies:

  • Keep your metabolism active by eating balanced meals and snacks when you are physically hungry
  • Keep a food record
  • Increase your physical activity
  • Set small and measurable goals to improve your nutrition and physical activity
  • See a dietitian. A dietitian will assess your current habits and help you choose the goals that will be most effective for you!
Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System delivers great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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