With so many supplements on the market today, how do you know which ones are for you and why? Everyone’s body, tolerance and deficiencies vary and should be treated uniquely. In a world inundated with information, product misrepresentation can be additionally overwhelming. False claims and scams running rampant and with so many desperate for a “quick fix,” in the weight loss department, what is one to do? In all cases, knowledge is your best weapon of defense, so do your research. Lots of information is available to you, so be your own best advocate and educate yourself on the options in addition to discussing with your physician or a nutritionist, should you fall deficient in any specific area.
Food Should Always Come First.
With that said, real food should come first before any sort of supplementation is considered pending you have no serious health issues. A healthy well-balanced diet should be your number one goal and will contain much of what the body needs. Much of the nutrients, vitamins and power phytochemicals found in fruits and veggies help the body fight certain types of cancer and provide anti aging properties among numerous other health advantages. Beyond that, worrying about filling in nutritional gaps should come next and be sought after intentional research and understanding.
What about weight loss supplements?
Specifically in the area of weight loss supplements, there is definitively no shortage of options. What these can do for you is to aid in the process of appetite control, kicking up thermogenesis (fat burning ability) and providing more focus for your workouts. Conversely, they cannot do the work for you if you do not have a plan of attack when it comes to proper nutrition and exercise. Regardless of taking these types of supplements, just know you will be putting in the work or the results will indeed not follow. Protein powders and bars can be a healthier, more convenient alternative in a pinch, but should never replace real food in the long run.
According to data provided by the National Weight Control Registry, Americans spend upwards of 20 billion annually on weight loss products ranging from diet aids, books and surgeries. This is an alarming number considering a healthy diet and regular exercise program will always be your best bet and filling in any missing links with supplements should follow suit. When it doubt, discuss with your doctor and create a strategy that works best for you, your body and your unique needs.
Who should take Supplements?
Those that may consider supplementing their diet:
- Pregnant or nursing women
- Vegans or those that eliminate certain food groups
- Women with excessive bleeding during menstruation
- Specific health conditions that prohibit proper absorption of key vitamins and nutrients
- Those with allergies to certain foods
- Have been tested and are highly deficient in a specific area
As with all things, do your research, speak to your health care provider and always seek to get the majority of what your body needs from a balanced daily diet. Supplementing your dietary needs to fill in nutritional gaps and in areas of concern can be extremely beneficial if you use it as back up and not your primary source.