Many products are marketed as weight loss supplements, but do they really work? The answer to this question depends on many different factors. First, we need to examine how these medications help people lose weight.
1. Suppressing appetite
One of the most popular types of weight loss supplements are appetite suppressants. As you can tell from the name, these medications are meant to make you feel full so that you don’t overeat. That way, you will not need to actively try and reduce the amount of food you eat. These pills trigger hormonal responses which send signals to the brain telling it that you are already full. Some appetite suppressants can help you lose weight, but in the UK, you will need a private prescription to obtain them. You should avoid buying them over the counter as some of them have very dangerous side effects. For example, some have been noted to increase the risk of non-fatal heart attacks and strokes. Others have even been seen to lead to the development of suicidal thoughts.
2. Blocking the absorption of carbs
Carb blockers are different from appetite suppressants. Instead of reducing your appetite, they prevent the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates from the food you have consumed. They work by preventing the production of the enzymes needed to digest carbs. Carb blockers may be developed to treat conditions like diabetes, but others are specifically meant to help with weight loss. Research on carb blockers has not produced reliable results. It is highly likely that the inhibition of the digestive enzyme only slows down the digestive process instead of stopping it entirely. If you go around eating as many carbs as you want, just because you are on the supplement, you will end up gaining even more weight.
3. Metabolism Boosters
Metabolism boosters are meant to work by increasing your BMI. This is simply the rate at which your body burns energy. If you are able to burn more energy, your body will need to keep producing more energy from the food you eat. In theory, this should help you lose weight without even working out. The unfortunate truth is that these metabolism boosters only increase the energy available for use- they have a very small direct effect on your weight. If combined with a regular workout routine, these metabolism boosters can help you lose a lot of weight in a short period of time. In fact, many gym enthusiasts use these boosters to increase their energy in their workouts. Some of the best-known metabolism boosters include green tea, chromium picolinate, L-carnitine, and Capsaicin.
Can Medication for Weight Loss Supplements Help You Lose Weight?
As noted above, the mechanism by which the supplement works will determine how effective it is. Appetite suppressants are highly effective, but they have to be purchased with prescriptions. Otherwise, you may be endangering your health and mental state. Carb blockers are usually highly ineffective. In fact, most of the scam products on the market are classified as carb blockers. Any weight loss you experience with carb blockers will be because of your efforts in dieting and working out. Finally, metabolism boosters can help you lose some weight, albeit very little. They should always be combined with a strict workout regime.
Do Weight Loss Supplements Have any Negative Side Effects?
Different weight loss supplements have different side effects. Most metabolism boosters are perfectly safe. In a few cases, they will lead to these side effects:
- Increased heart rate
Carb blockers are not just ineffective- they are also dangerous. Here are some of their side effects:
- Oily spotting
- Soft stools
Appetite suppressants also have their own serious side effects. These include:
- Dryness in the mouth
- Heart attacks
One supplement, ephedrine, even led to the death of a prominent athlete. You should never purchase your weight loss pills without consulting your doctor. Also, take note of any changes in your mental health as some people have been noted to develop depressive behaviour after taking the pills.
People around the world have embraced weight loss supplements, but many of these products will not help you lose any weight. The only sure way to get rid of excess fat is to exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet.