Weight loss products are everywhere and every supplement company, health food company and celebrity wants to sell you one. In rare cases, these products can live up to expectations, helping to shed pounds. But most of them are ineffective and the general public is simply not aware of what they are putting in their bodies and what risks they are taking.
The weight loss industry is , so it’s easy to see why so much time and money is spent on trying to create the next big thing. But if these products were as effective and as safe as they claim, then they wouldn’t see a constant stream of repeat custom and the internet wouldn’t be awash with horror stories.
Before we tell you the truth about the weight loss pill industry, be sure to bookmark the following related articles:
Dangerous Weight Loss Pills and their Healthy Alternatives
What follows is a list of common “weight loss” pills that should be cause for concern, as well as alternatives that are safer and often just as effective, if not more so.
1. The Weight Loss Pill: Senna
Senna leaf is natural and it’s effective, so much so that we actually recommend it.
So what’s the issue? Well, it’s a laxative and we would only recommend it as a laxative. One of the biggest issues we have with the weight loss pills industry is that they are pretty liberal with their use of senna, and this is not an accident.
They know that many to a degree and they know that this issue is more common in people who are obese, the same people looking for weight loss products. When those customers take something with senna in it, they experience a quicker bowel movement and they get rid of some waste that may have otherwise taken a day or two to be expelled.
To the consumer, it feels like they have lost weight. They are lighter on the scales after all and they may also have a flatter stomach. But there is no fat loss, and if you take something like this every day then you run the risk of developing many horrible symptoms associated with laxative abuse.
The Alternative: Aloe Vera
If you are constipated then occasional doses of senna are okay, but never on a regular basis and never for weight loss purposes.
You can also try aloe vera. Like senna, it works as a natural laxative, stimulating the bowel. Unlike senna, it is rich in vitamin E and other key nutrients and is said to play a role in improving digestive health and skin health. In small doses, it is also safer to consume on a regular basis than senna is.
2. The Weight Loss Pill: Caffeine
Providing you are not sensitive to caffeine then there is nothing wrong with using it as a weight loss aid. In fact, studies have shown that caffeine may be effective when used in this manner () () ().
The problem is that many Americans consume coffee, tea, energy drinks, pre workout drinks, soft drinks and chocolate over the course of the day, all of which contain caffeine. If you add another boost of caffeine to this via a weight loss pill then you could be , which can lead to heart attack and death.
The Alternative: Green Tea
There is a small amount of caffeine in green tea, roughly 35mg per cup (for comparison, there is around 60mg in black tea and 95mg in coffee). But there is much more to green tea that it’s caffeine content.
Green tea also contains a unique antioxidant known as EGCG, as well as a host of other nutrients and stimulating compounds. It is the combination of these unique ingredients that make green tea , as well as something that can boost your overall wellbeing without increasing the risk of caffeine overdose or other unpleasant side effects.
3. The Weight Loss Pill: Synephrine
Synephrine comes from the bitter orange plant and this “natural” status, along with its use as a topical oil for the treatment of fungal skin infections, has led many consumers to assume it is safe. It is often sold as a weight loss product based on its similarity to the banned substance ephedrine, but like ephedrine it could trigger a number of side effects and has yet to be proven safe following long-term use.
The Alternative: Ginseng
What’s more, it is produced in abundance in the United States. The US grow huge quantities of ginseng in the state of Wisconsin, and this can be purchased cheaply with the knowledge that you’re getting a high-quality product grown and harvested under strict regulations.
4. The Weight Loss Pill: Raspberry Ketones
Raspberry ketones aren’t dangerous, but they are not effective either. They were launched on the back of the keto diet fad and they have actually given this diet a bad name, as many dieters associated the ineffectiveness of these overpriced pills with the ketogenic diet, assuming that they are two and the same.
The Alternative: Proper Dieting
Many dieters feel like they need to be taking a pill in order to lose weight, so they rush to try something like raspberry ketones thinking that it will support their diet in some way. But there are no convulsive human studies that suggest this is the case and even the animal studies aren’t very promising, so don’t waste your money.
Do Your Research
Look, we get it. We know why you take these new, untested and unproven substances, and we know why you are tempted by them even when there is research suggesting they could be dangerous. It’s the “quick fix” syndrome that we all have, one that is ever present where weight loss is concerned.
We’re tricked by the marketing that tells us about an athlete that took it and noticed amazing results, or an obese person who dropped 50 pounds in as many days. We suspect we’re being lied to, but we cling to the little hope we have that they are telling the truth, and this is what ultimately convinces us to use these products.
But as mentioned above, there are healthy and proven alternatives to all of them. So stop being a victim of the weight loss industry and start looking after your body. Rather than capitulating to the first half-naked, super-fit celebrity who showcases a brand new product and all of its supposed health benefits, stick with the tried and tested methods.
That’s really all it takes to get the results you seek. It’s probably not the quick fix you were looking for, but at least it’s an effective fix.