There are several questions: do you need them? Do they work? Are they safe for you? Etc. etc. Weight loss pills, weight loss supplements, weight loss lotions, weight loss foods, weight loss drinks, body wraps, belts and even rings and earrings!
According to this Reuters article, between $33 billion and $55 billion is spent annually on weight loss products and services, including medical procedures and pharmaceuticals, with weight loss centers garnering between six percent and 12 percent of total annual expenditure in the United States alone.
The fact is that only an actual change in lifestyle will give you results if you are trying for weight loss. There is no substitute for healthy eating and exercise in your daily life; that is a fact. If working out regularly has been your problem, this iPod workout audio might help you train at home without spending on a gym membership. However the weight loss industry flourishes on promoting the idea of quick fat loss, of weight loss without effort; of easy methods of losing the inches. These short cut methods are never permanent, no matter what the infomercials tell you. They may give you some results to begin with, before the body builds up resistance to it, and then you are back to square one. How stuff works explains it if you want to have a look.
That ‘Sauna’ belt or ‘Vibrating’ belt which promises to make you lose the inches without effort; by ‘melting away the inches’, as you go about your daily activities; pretty much useless unless you supplement that with other exercise and a low calorie diet. They even say so in the disclaimer in the tiny print for just a second at the end of the infomercial!
According to the FDA, many of the weight loss pills in the market actually contain undeclared, active pharmaceutical ingredients that may put consumers’ health at risk. The undeclared active pharmaceutical ingredients in some of these products include sibutramine (a controlled substance), rimonabant (a drug not approved for marketing in the United States), phenytoin (an anti-seizure medication) and phenolphthalein (a solution used in chemical experiments and a suspected cancer causing agent). For more information, look here.
And what of the ‘super foods’ such as the Acai Berry (Acai Berry Juice, diet etc.) and Bromelain or Pineapple extract that are supposed to be super fat burners? Supposedly the pineapple extract supplement, when taken with a meal of 1000 calories is like consuming only 100 calories. So when an extravagant claim like that is made, I am immediately skeptical. From what I read around the net written by those who have used these foods, I have come to the conclusion that these are probably good for health and well being: they have antioxidants and other health giving properties; but to label them miracle foods for weight loss would be a stretch; even a misleading claim.
So the next time you decide to buy a diet or weight loss supplement, pill or food, read the fine print, do your research, read a few reviews and save yourself a bunch of money!