Many weight loss supplements make fantastic claims, promising to melt fat or pack on muscle at an amazing rate. However, if you actually try these supplements, you could see a far different result ranging from nothing happening to gaining weight to actually damaging your health. In a day and age when so much is regulated by governmental agencies, how is this possible?
In America, weight loss supplements, along with many other herbal and homeopathic remedies, do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This means that, unlike foods and medications, weight loss supplements are not subjected to the FDA’s rigorous standards of safety and effectiveness. As long as they don’t directly claim to have a therapeutic effect, supplements can make wild promises with little to no scientific proof to back up their statements.
This doesn’t mean that all weight loss supplements are useless or worse – far from it! However, it does place the burden of research on the shoulders of the consumer. Before buying into the claims of any supplement, do some research on your own to determine if it’s right for you.
• Define your goals before buying any supplements. Are you trying to supplement your nutrition, boost your metabolism, or build muscle more effectively?
• Find out how the supplements are supposed to work. This will help you to decide whether there are any risks (i.e., boosting your metabolism can also lead to increased blood pressure and risk of heart disease.)
• Read the manufacturer’s warnings carefully.
• Look online and in newspapers to find out whether other people have had success with the product.
• Talk with your doctor to find out whether there are any known health risks.
• Stick to brands with solid, trustworthy reputations in the industry.
By following these simple recommendations, you can use supplements to increase the effectiveness of your weight loss program while safeguarding your health and your pocketbook.