What Weight Loss Supplements Aren’t Saying

Weight Loss PillsI’m amazed to see that weight loss supplements with caffeine, and now hoodia, are still gaining nationwide popularity. I shouldn’t be. It only makes sense that as Americans become more sedentary and dependent on pharmaceuticals that we would naturally look for another low effort solution to solve our obesity problem. Instead of spending a few minutes each day exercising, we pay big money to take a pill that we’re told will do the job for us.

This article will give you the other side of the “amazing weight loss breakthrough” hype. I’ll discuss why the advertisements for weight loss supplements are misleading, how they are intended to be used, and the hidden dangers associated with them.

“Before” and “After” Pictures

You’ve seen the ads, before and after pictures of “real people” who have lost pounds and inches with the latest in weight loss supplements. Then, in tiny print, you’ll read the words, “Results not typical”. Here’s why…

Professional body builders have two (2) distinct types of workout routines; bulk and cut. The goals for each are very different and they perform one or the other depending on the date of their next competition (or commercial).

  • Bulk Phase

    During this phase, a body builder will focus on gaining muscle mass. Their workouts are entirely devoted to weight training. They exclude any aerobic exercise and do not include a weight loss supplement of any kind. They also begin consuming a significant number of excess calories by eating more frequently and/or using weight gain supplements emphasizing on protein. The reason for this is, if their body doesn’t have enough energy (calories) to feed new muscle growth, it will begin using existing muscle to grow. This is obviously counterproductive.

    The result? The before pictures you see of these “real people”.

    Next time you see a before picture, take a closer look. Notice the pre-existing muscle tone. Sure, they don’t have rock hard abs, but look at their arms, legs, and chest. You can tell that these people workout, they just aren’t at their competitive weight.

  • Cut Phase

    A cutting routine involves much more aerobic exercise with less emphasis on weight training. Diet is transformed from an all-you-can-eat, to a “clean” or proper diet. The goal is to lose all the fat that inevitably comes from the bulking routine and uncover the larger muscles under it. Professionals use weight loss supplements to help them “cut up” or reach this goal faster. It is by no means a replacement for exercise.

    After completing the cutting phase, people look great. Just like the people in the “after” pictures shown in ads. And yes, they took a weight loss supplement to help them get there. But always keep this in mind… these “real people” are not like you and me. They are professionals, or at the very least extreme fitness enthusiasts.

    We shouldn’t expect to see the same results… didn’t you read the ad? “Results not typical”

Dramatic Weight Loss Statistics

Each one of these supplements touts some percentage or statistic to illustrate just how effective their product is. “People that use our product lose an average of 22 pounds in their first 2 months,” or whatever else might sound appealing. But just like any statistic, you need to look at the survey sample before you can give them any credibility.

Imagine if you were commissioned to do a study on how American schools ranked worldwide. Now imagine that instead of taking a random sample of performance from a variety of schools, you only focused on highly acclaimed private schools. Your sample would be a bit biased, wouldn’t you say? Now take this a step further and imagine you only used samples from the poorest international schools. Not surprisingly, your study would show that American schools are the best in the world. But are they really?

It’s this bias that allows weight loss supplements to make the same “non-typical” claims and it ties into the “bulk” and “cut” concept I just covered.

Remember, during the bulk phase, these weight loss supplements are not taken. Also remember that during this phase a person will gain a substantial amount of weight. So to get the best statistics, all weight calculations are made right before the cutting phase begins; when a person is at their heaviest. Then, once the cutting phase is complete, they perform the same weight calculations again and voila! Unquestionable “proof” that a weight loss supplement helped “real people” lose an extraordinary “non-typical” amount of weight!

I would be curious to know the statistics that measure how much really “real people” lost after using one of these supplements.

Not a Permanent Solution

Weight loss supplements are not meant to be taken for extended periods of time. Just pick up a bottle and read the directions. They can only “safely” be used for an 8 to 12 week cycle. This is because when you strip away all the marketing and promises, all weight loss supplements are just legalized amphetamines, or “uppers”. And, as with any drug, your body chemistry will change and become used to the drug’s presence.

This is called “tolerance”. The more tolerance you have for a drug (aka supplement) the less effective it becomes. So over time, the benefits of a weight loss supplement fade. Not only do the benefits fade, but your body becomes dependent on it. Just like nicotine or caffeine, you will experience withdraw symptoms such as headache and fatigue when you stop taking the supplement.

Just because weight loss supplements are “legal” doesn’t mean they’re “safe”.

Pushing the Heart’s Red Line

My last point is the most important. Weight loss supplements are not meant to be taken by people who are extremely overweight! Here’s why…

By taking a weight loss supplement you artificially raise your resting heart rate. This is the rate your heart beats when you’re at rest. The idea is that by raising your resting heart rate, you’ll burn more calories. This is true… but what if your heart is already overworked?

The more weight you carry, the harder it is for your heart to pump. When extremely overweight people use these supplements to lose weight, they are opening inviting a heart attack or even death.

No matter how much you want to lose weight, it’s not worth dying for.

Make a Healthy Choice

We’ve become a society that believes anything can be fixed with technology and that it can solve our obesity problem. These weight loss supplement companies know this and have fashioned lies to cash in on our laziness to take care of the problem with diet and exercise. It’s time to stop looking for shortcuts to wellness and commit to a healthier lifestyle today!

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