The weight loss supplement market is as strong as ever. I bet you’ve seen plenty of sponsored Facebook posts on the topic (and in other locations too). Theoretically, we should be fed up (excuse the pun) by these snake oil treatments. If you’re still tempted to believe the claims of these so-called magic pills, here are 5 ways weight loss supplements are lying to you.
In theory, losing weight is simple. Be careful what and how much you eat and do your best to stay active throughout the week and engage in regular workouts. But things can get complicated really fast. How much exactly should you eat, and what type of exercise should you do, and how often and it seems like the questions never end.
5 Ways weight loss supplements are lying to you
For this reason, weight loss supplements will always be tempting. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just take a pill that will “melt the pounds off” while we’re eating ice cream in front of the TV and make us look lean and sexy at the same time? Of course, it would! Except that it never happens.
1. Lose weight but eat as much as you want
So there are supplements that shamelessly promise us we don’t need to change our eating habits (which are almost always wrong hence all that extra weight) in order to lose weight. I’m pretty sure that if something like this existed we’d know about it and it would successfully replace MSG.
It’s hard to believe that all those people working out and watching their diet are complete idiots that just refuse to take those magic pills, right?
2. Guaranteed weight loss, exercise not required
I admit there are people suffering from various illnesses that restrict their mobility and in that case, any kind of weight loss would be better than none. But normally, exercise is an essential part of staying healthy whether you like it or not. However, the marketers know us humans are about as lazy as can get so they tell us exactly what we want to hear. You can starve yourself (with or without supplements) and lose weight without lifting a finger but will you be healthy or look toned? I don’t think so.
3. Feel fuller and get rid of cravings
OK, some supplements might help you curb your appetite to a certain degree, but they will surely not make you feel full when your stomach is empty. And about those cravings……that’s exactly what they are: not real. Hunger is real and when you can’t tell the difference between the two anymore, guess what happens?
Your best bet is to make sure you’re eating enough protein and a balanced diet – that’s what will help you suppress your appetite.
4. Boost your metabolism
This is one of the most common ways weight loss supplements are lying to you. There are some substances (often used in weight loss supplements) such as capsaicin (the “spice” in hot peppers) and caffeine that slightly increase metabolism. But they definitely can’t compensate all those burgers and donuts you’re eating.
Someone from India once told me: “So if capsaicin is supposed to help you lose weight why do we have so many overweight individuals in India? Almost everything we eat is spicy.” I’d say that’s a pretty good question, and the answer is quite simple. It just doesn’t work that well.
5. Change your body composition
So there’s a supplement (or more) that promise you to only lose fat and some of them actually claim to help you build muscle with no exercise? How could that be true? I’ve never heard of anyone being able to maintain or build muscle mass without some physical effort. That’s just not how God made us.
In the end, if you want to lose fat and maintain or build muscle you’d need to perform some kind of strength training on a regular basis.
While some weight loss supplements can have beneficial effects, they’re minor at best and for them to work properly you would still need to watch your diet and workout at least a few times a week. You just can’t end up looking like Jessica Alba while sitting on the couch (she does a ton of cardio and is very strict about her diet, by the way).