When the weather turns nice, we frantically look around for the easiest way to lose weight. Our favorite capris are a tad tighter than we remember from last year and the thought of putting on a bikini makes us cringe.
Your girlfriend tells you about this great weight loss pill that she started taking and loves it!
Great energy, decreased appetite, and she’s dropped 5 pounds in 2 weeks! Woot!
Before you run out and buy a bottle, let me tell you a little tale of my brush with death…
Thanks for Your Purchase…Here’s Your Free Sample of Poison
A while ago, I went to GNC to buy some whey protein. The clerk threw in a few free samples of some products she thought I might like.
Most of the time, I destroy them because of the crazy ingredients, but one looked interesting…OxyElite Pro. A fat burner.
I decided to try it out and liked it. I had good energy, mental clarity, and wasn’t jittery. I bought a bottle of it on my next visit to GNC.
One night I was watching the news and saw that the FDA was forcing them to pull a fat burner from the shelves because a woman had died in Hawaii of liver failure.
The label looked familiar, so I dug through my pantry and sure enough, there it was…a half used bottle of OxyElite Pro.
(You can read about the whole history of the product and lawsuit, here. It’s incredibly scary how they keep changing their formula and putting in questionable ingredients.)
I took it for awhile and for whatever reason, I stopped. Why? I don’t know.
…Maybe it got pushed back in the cabinet and I forgot about it.
…Maybe it was Divine Intervention. Either way, I’m thankful!
What is a Supplement?
Some people are anti-supplements. I am open to them, but I also try to understand them.
According to the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, a dietary supplement is defined as
a product (other than tobacco) that functions to supplement the diet and contains one or more of the following ingredients: a vitamin, mineral, herb or other botanical, amino acid, a nutritional substance that increases total dietary intake, metabolite, constituent, or extract, or some combination of these ingredients
The supplements must have a nutritional label, including the name and quantity of the ingredients, and they can not report any health claims, like cure or prevent a disease or ailment. They can only state the effects on the body or well being.
Supplements are not regulated by the FDA, but the FDA and the Department of Health and Human Services may declare that a supplement poses a risk to public safety.
3 Things You Can Do to Protect Yourself
Do Your Homework
|If you’re considering taking a supplement, research the product, the company, and the individual ingredients. Ignore the marketing on their bottle, website, and ads.Thoroughly understand the ingredients and make a decision for yourself. Tweet that!
If something feels confusing or questionable, trust your gut and skip it!
Take the Claims of Results with a Grain of Salt
When the advertising and the hype show someone has had incredible results, remember two things….
1. Money, money, money! They are making money off of you, if you decide to purchase, so it’s in their best interest to tell you what you want to hear.
2. Hype and fear go hand-in-hand! You don’t know the full story of the person who had incredible results. Were they on the couch eating twinkies, pizza, and drinking beer and suddenly did everything right? If they were a mess and now drink water, eat salads, exercise every day, and take this ‘magic pill’, the majority of results could be coming from the other healthy habits they implemented and not the drug itself.
On the flip side of this, when you hear the scare tactics of a particular item…like people having heart attacks…you don’t know if that person was 200 pounds overweight and taking more of the product than they should have. When you do your homework, you can decide for yourself what is best for you.
Regardless of what it is, many things can contribute to results. You see the picture that the company who is going to make money wants you to see…not the BIG picture.
Complete a Self-Assessment
|Ask yourself if you’re really doing what you can to lose weight. Be honest with yourself and decide if you’re doing your best.
If you’re not doing any of those things, why not try them first? Maybe you’ll only lose 1 pound every 2 weeks, but that adds up to 26 pounds weight lost in a year!
Is it the easiest way to lose weight? I think so!
Take Action Now
Tell me how you feel about supplements in the comments below. Have you tried something and regretted it later? What do you wish you knew more about? Or better yet…announce your commitment to the suggestions in the self-assessment!