The “Magic” of Weight Loss

There are almost as many weight loss products at this point as there are stars in the heavens. But is that fast weight loss that they promise really guaranteed? Can these products live up to the promise of a healthy, fit body?

In the US today, an estimated 50 million people try to lose weight annually, but unfortunately only about 5% are successful. The promise of a “magical way” to lose weight is too enticing for some and the result is plenty of money spent on products with little result. Some of the more bizzare methods have included magnetic diet pills, guar gum, electrical muscle stimulators and eyeglasses that suppress appetite by projecting images on the retina!

Here are some of the examples of weight loss products on the market today:

– Herbalife Program. Dieters rely on shakes with two meals per day and herbal supplements. The diet is not sustainable as normal healthly eating patterns are not incorporated into the diet.
– Nestle’s Sweet Success. Recommended to take three times per day. The inital quick weight loss is difficult to maintain once the product is stopped.
– Ultra Slim Fast. A diet drink or powder to mix with beverages that is a meal substitute. Once again, good eating habits are not taught nor maintained. Weight loss is usually regained after stopping the drinks.
– Diet pills containing Ephedra and/or PPA (phenylproanolamine hydrochloride). These products have been proven to raise blood pressure and heart rate with even one dose. Many body builders have made the mistake of taking these products just before working out and the results have ranged from heart palpitations to hypertensive crisis (dangerous blood pressure levels).
– Chitosan products. These contain fibers from shellfish and can cause diarrhea and gas. Once again if a healthy diet is not in place, with exercise, these pills have little effect.
– Chromium supplements. Claims have ranged from lowering blood sugar levels and body fat but in reality the doses that could cause this are too high to be tolerated. Those doses have the potential for anemia and most studies have shown minimal or no beneficial effects.
– Green Tea Extract. This is a well known anti-oxidant which in sufficient quantities could benefit the immune system, but there is no evidence that it could cause significant weight loss.
– St. John’s Wort. A mild anti-depressant that has known interactions with many medications and several foods such as preserved cheeses and tyramine. Therefore, it is difficult to work into a healthy diet regimen.
– Xenical. Proven in clinical trials and FDA approved for weight loss. This product binds to fat in the gastrointestinal system but may result in bloating and gas. It tends to work best when worked into a sensible diet and exercise program.

Well, that covers some of the more popular products. The final verdict is that no matter how much “magic” you are looking for, there just isn’t any. It took awhile to gain the weight after all, and it will take some time to lose it. You will still have to heat fewer calories than you burn on a daily basis. If you do decide to choose a particular weight loss product or program, be sure to research it thoroughly first.