Ahmad Chehade, PharmD. Candidate
We’ve all seen the ads on TV or the signs at supplement shops; “Lose weight fast”, “Shed that extra fat”, “Say goodbye to those love handles”. But in the end, are these products as good as they claim to be? Or are we as a society falling victim yet again to the hands of media and marketing. Losing weight can be hard, especially when we are overwhelmed with so much information. Today we’re going to focus on what these products have in common and if it’s worth the financial investment.
What do they have in common?
Now, we know that there’s a lot of products out there, all claiming to do very different things yet all claiming the same result – weight loss. But the truth lies in the ingredients. Have you ever looked at the back of these products and asked yourself, what is that? How do you pronounce that? If so, you’re not alone. Most weight loss products are a blend of herbs coupled with a common ingredient, caffeine.
You might ask, why caffeine? Well, caffeine does wonderful things. Not only is it the staple ingredient in our morning cup of joe, but it is also a key player when it comes to thermogenesis in the human body, aka it elevates the bodies metabolic rate 1 .
Elevated metabolic rate? That sounds great! Who wouldn’t want that? Take it with a grain of salt my friends. Just because something like caffeine increases your metabolic rate doesn’t mean you should be ingesting high amounts of it. Chocolate has caffeine in it, when was the last time someone told you to eat excessive amounts of chocolate, especially for weight loss purposes? Didn’t think so.
The truth is, caffeine may slightly boost your metabolic rate, resulting in weight loss but there is no sound evidence that increased caffeine consumption results in significant or permanent weight loss 2. In addition to its calorie burning effects, caffeine is known to play a hand in appetite suppression, which may play a hand in weight loss 2 .
The bottom line is, caffeine is a key ingredient in many of these weight loss products, especially those that claim to “give you more energy”, with that being said, are these products worth the $40 or $50? Doubt it. In addition, excessive amounts of caffeine can pose a risk to your health, especially in those who already have medical conditions. Too much caffeine can cause an elevation in blood pressure, insomnia, nervousness, and other problems 2 .
A caveat we should mention
Now we know there are other products out there like raspberry ketones or green coffee bean extract that don’t have caffeine. There are certainly other products out there that may be worth considering, but the message we are trying to deliver today is about sustainability.
The goal of this post is to deliver the message of sustainability. Even in the case that weight loss occurs, the significance is not substantial and eventually leads to a plateau with the use of many of these products. Also ask yourself, if supplementing something results in weight loss, what happens when you discontinue supplementing it?
The truth is sustainability results from routine. A routine involving an active and healthy lifestyle. Like our previous post touched on, weight loss is the result of calorie in versus calorie out. If we maintain a balanced diet and integrate an exercise regimen into our lives, this is the best approach to achieving our goals.
The topic of weight loss, supplementation, or anything fitness and nutritional related could be talked about forever and we know that. Stick around for more pieces on this topic. As always feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com for any inquiries or questions.