The Nutritional Supplements and Weight Loss Debate

The relationship between nutritional supplements and weight loss is a hotly-debated issue between skeptics and believers. Which side to take? ...

On one hand, the skeptics believe that nutritional supplements are completely unnecessary in weight loss because a healthy diet and exercise program is sufficient to achieve the purpose.

On the other hand, the believers are all for the addition of nutritional supplements to suppress the appetite such that proper diet and moderate exercise are only secondary to weight loss.

Middle of the Road Approach

For our part, we believe in taking the middle-of-the-road approach for many reasons of which the most notable is that moderation in life is almost always the best path to take. Safe, effective and healthy weight loss is a combination of diet and exercise with the use of nutritional supplements to hasten the process.

Look at it this way. If you take the moderate view of the relationship between nutritional supplements and weight loss, you are more likely to lose weight in a faster manner. This is because many nutritional supplements for weight loss contain appetite suppressants, thus, making it easy to follow the six-small-meals-a-day recommendation over your old habit of three-big-meals-daily-plus-snacks-to-go. You will feel full even when only half of your previous food consumption was, well, consumed.

Also, these nutritional supplements contain essential vitamins and minerals that boost the body's energy levels. You will be able to engage in longer and harder exercise sessions, thus, faster weight loss because of faster burning of calories and fats. It is, indeed, a delightful domino of events.

With such a good relationship between nutritional supplements and weight loss, it is recommended that the right supplements be found. Here is where the tricky part starts.

Common Ingredients and Their Side Effects

In order to identify the most effective weight loss supplements, it is necessary to weed out the undesirable ingredients. Think of it as an elimination method wherein the supplement without the following potentially harmful substances can be included in the shortlist.

Again, read the nutritional supplements information on the product labels to determine the ingredients. However, we must warn readers that manufacturers can choose not to divulge the actual ingredients on the product so reading the reviews still come in handy.

  • Ephedra can lead to high blood pressure, heart abnormalities like palpitations and heart attacks, not to mention reports of death.

  •  St. John's wort has been shown to treat symptoms of mild
    depression but its weight loss effect has yet to be strongly proven. It can also lead to light sensitivity.

  •  Chromium picolinate and pyruvate may be touted by manufacturers as one of the best proofs of the nutritional supplements and weight loss relationship but the studies on this mineral is shaky, to say the least.

  •  Chitosan is supposed to trap fat and, hence, result in weight loss. There are no definitive proofs for this claim so "Buyer, beware" is our advice.

As one goes through the ingredients list, the weight loss supplements can be divided into the diuretics and the stimulants. Both may have benefits but the costs can overshadow them with the latter including hospitalizations for combining one too many weight loss supplements.

In conclusion, the nutritional supplements and weight loss relationship must be taken with a moderate mindset. Ask your doctor for a supplement but make sure to eat right and get plenty of exercise.

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