Many people anxious to reach their weight loss goals turn to over the counter supplements and weight loss drugs. It is almost impossible to go into a drug store without seeing a display of some new miracle weight loss pill or vitamin supplement that claims to improve your performance. The fact is though, that despite the millions of dollars spent on advertising these supplements and the endorsement of a fitness “guru” does not equate to actual results and or benefits. Before trying ANY new drug or supplement do your research and consult with your physician.
It is a hard pill to swallow, but the truth is that most fat-burning supplements and diet pills simply DO NOT WORK. The weight loss that these concoctions provide is illusory at best.
What is a SUPPLEMENT? It is a substance that is a part of your body’s normal physiological processes. NO supplement should produce results like a drug. Supplements are like food.
While most weight loss and performance enhancing drugs are just nonsense, there are a few types that most people can benefit from if they are looking to improve their health. These supplements are also worth taking even if you are not a professional body builder.
MULTIVITAMINS- Just about anyone can benefit from a daily multivitamin. Just know that they do not BURN FAT or BUILD MUSCLE. Our modern lifestyle, as fast paced and stressed as it is, means that we do not always have time to ensure that we get all of the nutrients that we need. This is especially true for people who are on very rigid weight loss plans or other restricted diets. Add to this the mineral depletion that has become an issue amongst produce growers, and the effect of rapid cooking (i.e. in the microwave) on nutritional value, finding a good daily multivitamn that contains no fillers or binders (things like cork or sand) can improve your overall well-being. Make sure your vitamins are whole food based and organic and you have won half of the battle.
FISH OIL- If there is a miracle supplement out there, it is probably fish oil! This is not a weight loss supplement, but it does provide numerous benefits for health conscious consumers. Fish oil lowers bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels while increasing good cholesterol. it has also shown to improve hair, skin, and nail quality as well as heart, brain, and joint health. Fish oil SUPPORTS fat loss. The fish that have the most fatty acid component in them are salmon and sardines. Vegans and vegetarians who are opposed to consuming fish products can obtain the same benefits from Flaxseed oil.
MEAL REPLACEMENTS- Sometimes we just do not have time to prepare a healthy meal before work or when we are on the go. In these moments, rather than stopping for fast food, meal replacement shakes or bars are often a better substitute. While no shake or bar will actually cause you to lose weight, they often contain a lot of the nutrition of a meal without all the fat. They tend to be high in protein, and if you are making a shake, you can always add fruits and veggies to it to make it even better. Meal replacements usually do not burn fat or build muscle.
CREATINE (Monohydrate or Hydrochloride)- Usually bought in flavored powder mixes, Creatine is a protein supplement. Creatine helps you to train harder, build muscle, decrease fatigue, increase strength, and decrease recovery time. It is very popular among athletes because it provides energy without fat or carbohydrates, and supports muscle growth, particularly in those who engage in high intensity sports or weight training. Creatine will help to promote the development of fat-burning muscle mass. Unfortunately, it does not work for everyone.
BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids)- They are the building blocks of almost every structure in our body down to our very DNA. Many of these our bodies cannot synthesize, and need to be consumed directly. BCAA products include 3 essential amino acids (Valine, Leucine, and Isoleucine) that are a substrate for energy production, protein synthesis, and support a healthy metabolism. Leucine plays a role in muscle protein synthesis, Isoleucine induces glucose uptake into cells, and Valine helps eliminate excess nitrogen from the liver, regulates blood sugar, and stimulates Central Nervous System (mental functions). BCAA’s slow down catabolism (protein breakdown) of muscles, improve your workout intensity, increase fat loss, improve concentration, decrease fatigue, and stimulates the building of protein in muscle. It is worth noting that these amino acids can be found in our regular diets, particular in protein rich foods such as eggs, as well as whey protein supplements.
PROTEIN POWDER- It is protein in powder form. You can use this to add more protein in your diet. If you are vegetarian or vegan (there are vegan protein powders on the market) this can be an excellent source of additional protein if you need it. They are made up of JUST protein. There are two very popular protein supplements:
1) Whey- Created as a byproduct of the production of cheese, it is a complete protein with all 9 essential amino acids in it. It can possibly help you to lose weight , aid in lowering cholesterol, improve asthma, and lowering blood pressure. It is mainly used when you want to build lean muscle mass. There are 3 different types of whey protein: Concentrate, Isolate, and Hydrolysate. Whey is best when taken in the morning.
2) Casein- It is a protein in milk that has a slower digestion rate which allows it to slowly and steadily release amino acids, which means a reduction in the breakdown of proteins. It is used to keep long periods of an anabolic environment for the growth of muscles. It is best when used before bed. Casein creates more lean muscle mass and decreases body fat when using it in conjunction with a resistance program and proper nutrition program that you will get from me.
You must remember that there is NO supplement that is a substitute for proper EXERCISE and NUTRITION. If you take these supplements WITHOUT proper exercise and nutrition you will continue to FAIL. You should always work with a Certified Personal Trainer who can help you design the perfect exercise program for YOU and help you take your nutrition and your soul to the next level!
Tamara Barbee Savoie
CPT, Nutrition Specialist, Wellness Consultant, Essential Oil Specialist