The diet supplement industry has exploded in recent years as the obesity problem in the United States has grown into a full blown epidemic. Desperate consumers have flocked to these products which claim to be safe and to provide a quick, easy way to shed those unwanted pounds. Because supplements do not need to be approved by the food and drug administration and the claims that these products make are not evaluated by the FDA – deceptive marketing practices have become all to common. Maintaining a healthy weight is an absolutely critical component in living a long, healthy life but you should not have to risk your life in pursuit of that goal. A well known example of the dangers of diet supplements involves the use of ephedra (also known as ma huang). Use of ephedra has been linked to sudden heart attacks and strokes and has resulted in an unknown number of fatalities in recent years.
If diet pills are not the answer are diets a better choice? As the diet supplement industry has grown so has the number of diet programs hitting the market. Consumers who are looking for a diet plan have to sift through a sea of options that range from high quality to completely absurd. Could the 3 day tuna diet or the diet cookie plan really be a good long term weight loss solution? Even some of the most mainstream, popular diets are nothing more than vehicles for short term weight loss that will in most cases lead to eventually putting the weight back on. Consider this – if you lose weight by purchasing meals made by others or lose weight by eliminating entire food groups from your diet, you are not doing something that you will be able to sustain for the long term so your weight loss will also be unsustainable for the long term.
So what is the answer? The answer is that we need to unlearn everything that we’ve been told about how to eat and how to go about losing weight. You need to think of making permanent lifestyle and attitude changes in order to achieve your weight loss and overall health goals. The bottom line is that people need to stop searching for answers inside pill bottles and with ridiculous, gimmicky fad diets. Learning what to eat does not have to be a long boring process.
There are weight loss programs on the market now that provide a clear blueprint that, when actually followed, will quickly provide you with the long term results you want. The key is in understanding the science behind weight loss. There are certain foods that will boost your metabolism and help you burn fat. There are also foods that need to be avoided. For example, did you know that cayenne pepper speeds up your metabolism for hours after you eat it? Most people know that fish oil can help you maintain a healthy heart but did you know that it also helps you burn fat? Knowing what to eat and when is the key to permanent weight loss. If you simply eat pre-packaged food that someone is selling you or temporarily restrict your caloric intake, you are not really learning anything.