How much time, money, energy, hopes and fantasies have you spent on weight loss supplements? When you don't lose weight or when you regain the weight you lost do you look for different products to help you lose weight?
No magic pill for weight loss or weight loss maintenance was found in products touted as weight loss
Yet, with obesity on the rise and no evidence or personal experience of weight loss through these products, these supplements are a 2.4 billion dollar a year industry in the United states alone.
One way to think about this is to look at the weight loss supplement industry as an industry dedicated to making the illusion of impossible dreams come true. You buy the illusion based on your deep desire for wish fulfillment, not on the reality of the product.
Researcher Melinda Manore, a professor of nutrition and exercise sciences who is on the science board for the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, said in a release, ""For most people, unless you alter your diet and get daily exercise, no supplement is going to have a big impact."
This sounds like a simple solution we're heard many times before. Eat healthful balanced meals of moderate size, exercises daily, get adequate rest and stay hydrated. Then your body will find its natural and healthy weight. Plus, you will be more healthy overall.
But this doesn't get played out in our obesity epidemic. Logic says the best way to expose and confront a lie is to expose and broadcast the truth. Yet the truth, told many times in many ways about effective weight loss does little to stem desperate hopeful wishes. People continue to spend their portion of the 2.4 billion dollars to get their weight loss fantasy honored for a little while.
Your challenge is to recognize the lies in the weight loss supplement industry. When you play into those dream makers lies you pour your hopes, energy and money into a bottomless pit. And it's not simply a lose weight or not situation. The days of your life move on as you follow a false trail. You can experience negative health consequences. You can feel guilty, ashamed, unworthy or a failure because you believe your failure to lose weight is based on you and not that you trusted a product to do what it cannot do.
Your greater challenge is to sit with yourself bringing mindfulness to your fantasies. First will come grief at the loss of illusion. Then will come clarity about what you need to resolve and heal which made those illusions necessary in order for you function. This may be the greatest challenge any of us ever face.
Living day to day in the truth of our reality, recognizing our strengths and weaknesses, building from within and braving whatever storms we need to face is the gift of being mindful. Then you can reach for what is helpful to you and not be dependent on weight gaining eating habits or false promises of weight loss supplements.
The supplements examined in Manore's study fell into these categories:
- Chitosan, which blocks absorption of fat or carbohydrates.
- Stimulants such as caffeine or ephedra that increase metabolism.
- Products such as conjugated linoleic acid that claim to change the body composition by decreasing fat.
- Appetite suppressants such as soluble fibres.
The study warns supplements containing metabolic stimulants, such as caffeine, ephedra or synephrine are most likely to produce adverse side-effects and should be avoided.
Are you taking a weight loss supplement now?
Have you taken them in the past?
Please share your experience.
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