Let’s face it. Weight loss is hard. That’s why so many of us  have turned to products that promise us how easy it’s going to be. Grand enticements of eating all you want without exercise are just that–false promises.  You won’t wake up skinnier in the morning, and you’ll feel used–again–because you wasted money on them–again.

According to the research firm Marketdata, in 2015, food and weight loss products accounted for half of the $65 billion weight loss industry. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 50% of Americans are classified as overweight. Obviously, there’s a market out there for false promises.

The companies that distribute these products claim that the ingredients in their supplements can help you achieve results like these:

  • Curb your cravings for food (chickweed, bee pollen, fennel)
  • Make you feel full before you’ve had too much to eat (guar gum, psyllium)
  • Speed up your metabolism (caffeine, guarana, synephrine)
  • Slow down your body’s fat production (green tea, hydrocitric acid, flax seed)
  • Keep your body from absorbing the fat in the foods you eat (chondritin)

Not only do these products often NOT deliver on their false promises, but they can also cause physical harm. A consumer reports survey found that most people believe that dietary supplements are overseen by the FDA for their described use, but they often are not. Therefore, any product making such broad claims that isn’t used with a doctor’s care is probably an illusion, a waste of money, and worse, could be dangerous for your health. 

Before your order one of these modern equivalents of snake oil that you might see advertised–repeatedly–when you can’t sleep at night, STOP!

Here are three commonly sold products and their possible side effects. Diuretics: Commonly called water pills, excessive use of diuretics can have serious consequences for your kidneys. Avoid them. Caffeine: Weight loss supplements containing caffeine put you at higher your risk for bad side effects such as anxiety, rapid heart beat, and sleep problems. In fact, it’s even possible to overdose on caffeine, which can lead to dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, hallucinations, and an irregular heartbeat. Pregnancy Hormone HCG: Using these drops while eating the 500 daily calorie diet recommended on the package with these supplements is a RUSE. You’re losing weight because you’re only eating 500 calories per day. They can even alter your hormonal balance and stimulate your ovaries and thyroid gland. Some researchers worry that they may cause ovarian cancer. 

The list of side effects associated with the representative sample of common weight loss supplements above is a reminder that a secret cure to almost anything is never a cure. 
A well balanced approach to weight loss IS the secret natural weight loss cure you seek. Comprehensive clinics staffed by trained and caring medical professionals such as those at the Chicago Weight Loss and Wellness Clinic can help you create a program that considers the “whole you.”  A good weight loss program will also address your mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical needs and how these affect your weight and health. Exercise will be an important part of any weight loss program, and the choices are diverse and fun!

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