Most people who desire to lose weight know they must increase their metabolism to burn off excess fat. So some have resorted to taking supplements to burn fat. But do these fat-burning supplements work?
An indirect answer to that question is to look at statistics because numbers don’t lie. In America, for instance, more than 60% of adults are overweight and 30% are obese. What does that say for all the weight loss supplements they consume? My personal view is that most of the weight loss supplements in the market are designed just to make a sale.
Although the Food and Drug Administration has successfully banned illegal marketers, some products are still available. Consumers can be deceived by the labels which claim caffeine or ephedra free not knowing that these supplements comprise of other ingredients that may pose the same health risks. These include heart and digestive problems, headaches, insomnia and even psychological side effects.
A few other significant effects of weight loss supplements is that it may contain ingredients that makers claim will prevent the absorption of carbohydrates. One good example is Chitosan, which may appear promising, but in fact shows no positive result in fat absorption. It could even take up to seven months for men to lose just a pound of body fat and for women, there is no fat loss at all. I always advise against any product that reverses the natural functions of the body. Your body does need carbohydrates and that’s why you should not prevent its absorbtion. What you should do is limit your intake instead.
Since the number one reason why people eat is because they feel hungry, there are a number of supplements that increase the feeling of being full and decreases appetite. One example is Guar Gum. However, recent studies show that it has no meaningful benefit at all to weight loss. It is ironic that manufacturers mix Psyllium that has the reputation of reducing appetite and aiding weight loss. But initial studies so far do not support this claim although it helps control blood cholesterol and sugar. Again, I’m not keen on consuming a product that inhibits my natural appetite. Instead, a better weight loss method is to control my eating habits.
To me, it is far safer to recommend the time tested method of weight loss, which is to invest in walking shoes instead of fancy supplements. Go to the park and do brisk walking or go to the gym and have a well balanced diet instead.
Actually, it is but here’s the catch – you do have to be committed. Having a weight loss plan for your success is a good start.
Here are ten items that should go into your weight loss plan.
1. Have breakfast every day. And I’m not talking about just a cup of coffee before you rush off to work. Have a good breakfast of something solid (but not fatty), like eggs, wholemeal bread, tuna, salmond, some fruit like apples and oranges. This keeps you from getting too hungry later and then losing control over what you choose to eat later in the day.
2. Stock your refrigerator and pantry with healthy foods and snacks and limit high-fat, high-salt snacks such as potato chips and cookies.
3. Fill up on Fiber. Eat foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. The fibers in these foods will fill you up. Furthermore, fiber takes a lot of effort to digest and this works your metabolism which in turn burns fat.
4. Don’t fall into bad habits on weekends. Many people will follow a strict diet on week days only to fall back into eating more (unhealthy) food on weekends as a reward for “being good” all week. Unfortunately, this can cause you to regain the weight you may have lost during the week.
5. Watch portion sizes. Your perception of what a serving size should be and a “true” serving size can differ dramatically. Measuare your portions accurately, especially when you first start your healthy eating regime.
Generally, you should eat your main meals until you are not more than 80% full.
6. Set lifestyle goals, not weight loss goals. Commitment to eating healthy foods does lead to healthy weight loss, albeit gradually. Looking at your weight daily can cause discouragement and will make many people give up and go back to unhealthy food choices.
7. Take healthy snacks with you throughout the day. Grab healthy granola bars, apples and other fruit to prevent the tempation of stopping for a cancy bar or milk shake.
8. Don’t deny yourself the foods you love. If you absolutely love chocolate, go ahead and have a small pice – half of a candy bar insteaad of a whole one! And avoid eating your “splurges” every day. After I lost weight, I only take these sweet indulgences for taste not to make me full.
9. Start moving. Exercise is the key to long term weight loss. You’ve heard the saying, “Move it or lose it.” Very true!
10. Keep a journal. Writing down what you eat, when and how much you exercise and your moods will keep you on track and motivated to continue the course.
Weight loss is achieved by both correct diet and exercise. It is also achieved by persistence. If you “fall off the wagon” one day, pick yourself up and continue your healthy lifestyle the next. Don’t give up!
Just about everybody is concerned about their weight. And more than half of the adult population in developed countries are either overweight or obese. So you see tons of advertisements and information on how to lose weight and offline and online stores are full of weight loss books and products.
So if you’re trying to lose weight, here are a few tips to get you going.
Tip #1 – Stop Talking About Weight Loss!
Start doing something about it instead. Take this simple advice – Stop moving your mouth and start moving your body! It won’t take long to begin seeing the results.
Tip #2 – Slow and Steady is Best
Slow and steady weight loss is better (and safer) than riding the dieting roller coaster. If you’re looking for long-lasting weight loss results, aim to lose an average of about two pounds each week. I lost about 24 pounds (11 kg) in about 12 weeks (you can see my Before and After pics).
In order to lose weight you’ve got to consume fewer calories than you burn. As a bonus, when you combine a proper diet with exercise, you’ll be reducing your caloric intake and increasing your caloric burn rate at the same time.
Tip #3 – Save Your Money
Don’t spend your hard-earned money on the latest weight loss gimmicks. Pills, fad diets, hypnosis, and extreme surgical procedures are not the answer! These gimmicks won’t slim you down, but they will fatten the bank accounts of those who promote them! Eating a nutritionally-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, good fats and lean proteins will encourage weight loss faster than any miracle cure you can buy.
Tip #4 – Weight Loss is a Way of Life
Unfortunately, the issue of weight is something that most people will struggle with throughout life. Excess processed foods and a sedentary lifestyle are the two biggest contributors to this constant struggle. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you’ve got to change the way you think about food. It should be thought of as a source of fuel, not a passion.
Successful weight loss really is about making lifestyle changes, including making the right food choices, and then sticking with those choices throughout life.
Tip #5 – Weight Loss is More Than a Number
When you’re dieting, don’t become a victim of the dreaded scale. When the numbers go down, happiness goes up. But when the numbers stay the same or go up, it is easy to give up and give in. Remember that even if your weight isn’t changing as you would like, your body is. You’ll be taking better care of your heart. You’ll be lowering your cholesterol levels. You’ll be sporting a leaner body and your clothes will begin fitting more comfortably. When you learn to find joy in these other benefits, you’ll want to keep on being a ‘loser’!