Weighing in on Weight Loss Products

Are you looking for a little something to help boost your fat burning? The grocery and health food store shelves are overflowing with weight loss products that promise to do that and oh-so much more. You have probably heard about diet scams in the past, and no smart person is going to be fooled by the airbrushed ads in magazines, so how do you know which (if any) of these products work?

This article will help you to understand each product, how it supposedly works, and how and if it actually does. Don’t waste your time and money on bogus weight loss products ever again!

• Diet patches. The patch is supposed to deliver chemicals into your blood stream through your skin. Those chemicals interact with and absorb harmful substances, flushing them out of the body before they can be converted to fat. The verdict is still out on these weight loss products.

• Diet Teas. These teas talk about their “slimming properties” and how their active ingredients flush fats from your body. That’s really a polite way of saying that they are laxatives. While this may yield a small weight loss, it is all water. Even worse, prolonged use of these products may cause long-term damage to your digestive system.

• Electric Muscle Stimulators. The stimulators are usually worn like a belt, with the fabric flat against your bare torso. Electrical currents are sent through the product and into your muscles. Supposedly this helps your body to form more lean muscle while breaking down cellulite. These claims are unproven, and the device can actually burn your skin.

• Magnetic Earrings. These earrings promote the same concept as copper bracelets. Supposedly the magnetic properties of the jewelry communicate with your body and help you to maintain equilibrium. They make a nice accessory, but are not proven weight loss products.

• Weight Loss Drinks. Unlike diet teas, these drinks are meant to replace entire meals. They are nutrient rich and low in calories. These may work if used consistently, but few people feel satisfied with one serving, and the vast majority gains the weight back as soon as they discontinue use of the product.

• Diet Bars. These may be used in several different ways. Some diet bar weight loss products are advertised as snacks, some are promoted as pre-exercise energy bars, and others are to be used as meal replacements. These bars are usually rich in healthy vitamins and minerals and have far less calories and fat than candy bars, but will not stimulate weight loss when used alone.

• Weight Loss Pills. The effectiveness of these weight loss products varies from one brand to the next. The best weight loss pills require a prescription. A few of these drugs are truly effective, but when used incorrectly some of these pills can have dangerous side effects.

This is just a small sample of the many weight loss products currently on the market. When in doubt, ask your doctor or dietitian.