Dietary supplement for weight loss
Too little exercise, an unbalanced diet, processed foods, a stressful everyday life ... Obesity can have many causes. Many people want to lose weight in order to be fitter and more vital or to emulate beauty ideals. The more desperate, the more drastic measures are taken, such as crash diets or “miracle drugs”. In addition to medicines and home remedies, nutritional supplements are also sold in the weight loss world. But can you really lose weight with dietary supplements?
Which supplements can you use to lose weight?
It is generally not possible to permanently lose fat and lose weight just by taking nutritional supplements.
Weight loss results from a negative calorie balance: the body receives less energy from food than it needs to maintain its substance and metabolic processes. Only now are fat reserves tapped to generate energy. Weight loss can only happen if you consume less energy from food than you use during the day.
Nonetheless, certain dietary supplements can complement a calorie-restricted diet. However, they are not a substitute for a balanced diet and should be used with caution. Dietary supplements can supply the body with valuable building blocks and essential nutrients that are not supplied in sufficient quantities in a reduced-calorie diet in order to save calories.
However, they are essential for the body's natural metabolic processes. These include, for example, the essential fatty acids that the body cannot produce itself. If they are not adequately supplied as part of a low-fat diet, serious side effects can occur, as they are essential for hormone metabolism, cell structure and other processes.
In addition, proteins are the most important building block for the muscles. Those who do not get enough protein through their diet can use protein shakes here. In addition, a large number of micronutrients can be taken in the form of dietary supplements. These include vitamin supplements and antioxidants. However, studies have not proven its effectiveness. Even a moderately reduced-calorie diet can be designed in such a way that dietary supplements can and should be dispensed with in full health.
Shakes food supplements
Shakes are a popular and supposedly easy way to lose weight. Various manufacturers offer mixtures which, in addition to high protein and low carbohydrate content, have a reduced amount of calories. Meals should be replaced and weight loss achieved without hunger.
Here, too, you should make sure that in addition to the protein requirement, all other macro and micronutrients are supplied in sufficient quantities
Taking shakes can be successful in the short term, but it is up to the individual to be able to maintain his or her weight in the long term even with a "normal" diet.
Course of the diet
If possible, food supplements should only be used in exceptional cases.
A balanced diet and water supply usually provide all the necessary nutrients. Taking protein shakes with a low carbohydrate content (such as whey supplements) can be useful for extensive weight training. They protect the muscles from excessive degradation with low calorie intake. A calorie deficit is still required.
Anyone who has a strictly low-fat diet and only uses lean meat should consume omega fatty acids to cover their fat balance. A varied meal plan that includes vegetable oils, nuts and fatty fish is preferable. However, recommendations from a medical professional based on blood test results should be followed. An iron deficiency, for example, which cannot be eliminated through diet, is not uncommon in women in particular. Diet supplements or medication can help here.
Read more on this topic at: Iron deficiency test
How Much Can I Lose Weight With Diet Supplements?
Diet shakes in particular promise a loss of several kilos per week. They are greatly reduced in calories and still claim to contain all the necessary nutrients. If dietary supplements are only taken to supplement a moderately reduced-calorie diet, such as fatty acid supplements in a low-fat diet, slow but stable weight loss can be expected. A weight loss of around half a kilo per week is realistic, depending on the initial weight and exercise profile.
How high are the costs?
Dietary supplements are superfluous with a balanced, varied diet. Companies are taking advantage of the desperation of consumers to generate huge profits. Diet shakes can devour large sums of money, especially since they (according to the manufacturer) have to be taken over a long period of time to be successful. Of course, savings can be made by foregoing certain meals in favor of drinks.
Other dietary supplements, such as fatty acids or vitamin supplements, can also drive up expenses, especially if taken on a daily basis. Instead of buying questionable nutritional supplements, one should instead invest in a healthy, balanced diet.
Read more on this topic at: Diet shake from Doppelherz® - what is the real benefit?
How can I avoid the yo-yo effect?
The yo-yo effect always occurs when the body is supplied with more energy than it needs after a short-term change in diet. This is partly due to the reduced energy expenditure due to fat and, above all, muscle breakdown, but also to the relaxed mentality of the person concerned, who wants to "treat themselves" again after a strict phase.
Who wants to keep his weight permanently; should change their diet in the long term and maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise.
Read more on this topic at: Jojo effect
The positive effects of dietary supplements have so far not been convincingly proven in studies. Nevertheless, these are preparations that can be associated with side effects. Protein shakes in particular can cause digestive problems. Fish oil capsules, CLA and other fatty acid supplements can cause diarrhea. In addition, it can even lead to overdosing, for example of vitamin D. So-called hypervitaminosis can lead to gastrointestinal complaints, increased blood pressure, kidney stones or organ calcification. Symptoms of poisoning can also occur in the event of an acute or chronic overdose of vitamin A and other vitamins. Food supplements should under no circumstances be taken in excess of the recommendation given on the package insert and should not replace a balanced diet.
How do I recognize hypervitaminosis? What are the causes and consequences? You can read all about this and much more in our next article: Hypervitaminosis
What are the risks of dietary supplements for weight loss?
An undesirable effect after a diet is the so-called yo-yo effect, i.e. an increase in some cases even beyond the initial weight.
Those who do not permanently change their way of life and reduce their calorie intake will sooner or later fall victim to this phenomenon.
Food supplements can even be harmful. Many lead to indigestion. Hypervitaminosis, i.e. an overdose of vitamins, can even lead to symptoms of intoxication. Dietary supplements should only be used as recommended by the manufacturer and under dietary supervision.
Criticism of losing weight with dietary supplements
A decrease through the intake of dietary supplements is not to be expected. In order to lose weight, less energy is required from food than the body needs. Dietary supplements can only serve as a supplement to a calorie-restricted diet.
By taking shakes, especially those that replace a complete meal, healthy eating behavior is not learned. If the learning effect does not take place, weight gain can occur again after the diet has ended. A permanent change to a healthy, balanced diet and behavior is preferable to a diet with nutritional supplements. This focuses on unprocessed foods, a varied menu that adequately covers all nutrient needs, and an active lifestyle.
Dietary supplements are expensive to buy, their effectiveness has not been proven and, if used incorrectly, can even pose health risks.
Medical evaluation of the diet by
From a medical point of view, the intake of nutritional supplements is superfluous and can even harm if you have a healthy, balanced diet. Instead of resorting to expensive miracle cures, those who want to lose weight should deal with the topic of "healthy eating and living" if they want to embark on a long-term, successful and healthy path to weight loss.
In the case of extremely overweight, the strategy is sometimes used to reduce the calorie intake to an absolute minimum. Since no supply of all essential nutrients is guaranteed here, it can make sense to take food supplements. Basically, if you are overweight, you should seek advice from experienced nutritionists and doctors.
Read more on this topic at: Lose weight by changing your diet and Lose Weight With Exercise These sports are particularly effective
What are the alternatives to losing weight with dietary supplements?
There are numerous ways to lose weight. In addition to food supplements or diet drinks, so-called crash diets are repeatedly advertised. These are associated with severe weight loss, mainly water, especially in the early stages. However, they are not very successful in the long term and are so extreme that they can even pose a health risk.
A decrease results from a negative calorie balance, so if you want to lose weight you should eat less than you consume. A moderate calorie deficit is easier to sustain and leads to steady, albeit slower, weight loss. Since the intake of protein leads to unwanted muscle breakdown and primarily fat loss, many people prefer a low-carb diet. Here the intake of carbohydrates is severely restricted in favor of proteins. But it is also possible to lose weight with mixed diets. No food is prohibited here. Either calories are counted, or you follow a traffic light or points system, as is the case with Weight Watchers. Ultimately, each participant has to find their own individual path, which they can and would like to follow permanently. A balanced diet combined with an active lifestyle ultimately leads to well-being and a healthy body.
Read more on this topic at: Crash Diet - How Effective is it? and Points Diet - How Effective Can It Be?