Do You Need Nutritional Supplements To Lose Weight?

By: David T.

Can nutritional supplements help you lose weight? Possibly. Here are some factors to consider.

Many companies offer nutritional supplements that supposedly help you lose weight by burning fat and/or decreasing your appetite. They may or they may not provide vitamins or minerals your body needs for good health. So how do you know which of them are right for you, if any?

1. Read the label carefully. If the supplement contains familiar nutrients, then it's probably okay for you to take. The label will list how much of the nutrient is included along how it compares to the daily nutritional requirement for that nutrient. A good nutritional supplement will give you the nutrients you may not be able to get from diet alone.

On the other hand, if the label only lists exotic berries or unfamiliar chemical names, check them out online so you know what each one is supposed to do for you.

2. Read the claims carefully. If the product says that you will lose 50 lbs in a week, run the other way. Of course, it is unsafe to lose weight that quickly, even if it were possible. Secondly, if a product works that quickly, there would already be no fat people in the world.

A good product will explain how each component works. For example, does it contain B-vitamins that help you manage stress? Does it contain fiber to help you feel full and less inclined to overeat?

3. Read the instructions carefully. Many nutritional supplements also include a diet and exercise plan. In reality, it is often the plan that helps you lose weight rather than the supplement.

4. Beware of stimulants. Many nutritional supplements contain caffeine and other stimulants to "rev up your metabolism". These stimulants can make you jittery and irritable as well as prevent you from getting a good night's sleep.

5. Consider whether you will actually take the supplement. Many people have a stockpile of nutritional supplements sitting in their medicine cabinets or on the kitchen counter but never get around to taking them. If you buy a supplement, include it in your daily routine. That's the only way it will work.

6. Read product reviews. There are many websites that compare nutritional supplements and will tell you whether they work as claimed. Look for unbiased websites that are not hawking a particular product. The best sites are those that allow users to submit their own reviews, both positive and negative.

7. Consider the price. Some nutritional supplements are quite expensive. Can you really afford spending $30 or more for a supplement of unknown nutritional value?

When taking a nutritional supplement, make sure you follow the label's directions carefully. Resist the temptation to take more than directed. It won't help you lose weight faster and you may end up hurting yourself with an overdose. Store the supplement in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Pay attention to the expiration date and throw away any unused supplements at that time.

Nutritional supplements can help you lose weight by providing the vitamins and minerals you need. However, it pays to be cautious. Only use supplements that can back up their weight-loss claims.

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