Shelly and I have a 12 week weight management program that we routinely host both on-site and off-site several times per year, and there’s always one week (week 8 actually), dedicated to discussing the use of supplements as a weight-loss aid. You may ask yourself, why dedicate only 1 week to weight loss supplements? Well the answer is simple: there’s not much to talk about.

Before each 12 week program, Shelly and I spend several hours reviewing the latest research to see if a new, innovative weight loss product has been developed to which we are simply unaware. With the odd exception, the answer is typically “no”. Products continue to come and go using all sorts of new ingredients, but once the public catches on that they’re rather un-useful, they hide away for awhile until a certain daytime TV doctor revives them from the depths of the weight loss archives. Forget all you’ve heard about supplements causing you to lose 10 pounds in 30 days – they simply don’t exist; regardless of the advertising. Our personal recent favourite was homeopathic human gonadotrophic hormone drops that can be purchased online and claimed to shred pounds like Christian Bale in “The Machinist”. We thought to ourselves “there’s no way that can possibly work”. Turns out that the product comes with a diet plan consisting of 500 calories per day. 500 CALORIES PER DAY! Eating 500 calories per day (regardless of what product you’re taking) is a sure way to starve off fat at a rate of 3lbs per week….until your body adapts to the changes, slows your metabolism, induces muscle wasting, and then puts on all the weight you lost after reverting back to your normal diet.

Cayenne, l-carnitine, DHEA, chitosan, pyruvate, 5-HTP, borage oil, calcium, CLA, glucomannan, green tea, HMB, hoodia, yohimbe, white bean extract, hydroxycitric acid, bitter orange, blue green algae, chromium, 7-Keto, coleus, guarana, ephedra, nopal cactus, fucoxanthin, caffeine and white willow bark (among others) have been on the weight loss hit-list for over 10 years; some slightly more, some less. Right off the bat, half of them are currently not permitted for sale in Canada, which leaves the other half as the topic(s) of discussion. The products that are left for legal sale in Canada do occasionally work, sometimes with side-effects and sometimes without. Others are impractical; requiring several grams per day in order to be effective, or just downright impossibly expensive. Some work fantastically in theory, or in a test tube and then fail miserably in the human body. The devil is always in the details too – for example, green tea extracts can work for weight-loss according to several high quality studies, the problem is that not all green tea products satisfy the therapeutic dose requirements or are standardized to meet the minimum specifications.

We’re not going to sugar coat it; long-term, healthy and sustained weight-loss is the product of lifestyle change. Eating healthier, more balanced meals (an entirely different and lengthy discussion), and strategic, enjoyable exercise are going to get you weight management results. People have been looking for the magic weight-loss cure for nearly as long as the Fountain of Youth, and it seems that neither are likely to be found in our near future.

We carry some of the most proven weight loss products available – based on both clinical research and over 12 years of experience, but they are going to act as tools / accessories to help you reach your goal; giving you that nudge in the form of burning extra calories, improving blood sugar and cortisol control, reducing carbohydrate cravings, satisfying your hunger or putting a dent in your caloric intake. We can safely tell you this – the marketing of grossly over-stated weight loss claims far exceeds the amount of actual clinical research performed in controlled tests. We’ve seen about half-a-dozen products consistently work well, and we’re keeping our eyes out for whatever the future may hold.

High quality weight management supplements can help, but the solution is learning the ins and outs of healthy living, and making it a life-long enjoyable experience.