If you look around the weight loss industry today, you’d almost have to have a PHD to put together all the information and weight loss advice out there. It is just so confusing. A lot of it seems to contradict itself. I mean, if you visit some of the diet and weight loss food companies, a lot of them are totally against using supplements. If you visit the supplement companies, they will tell you that it is impossible for you to lose weight with out supplements.
So who do you believe?
To make a logical decision, you’ve got to take a step back and remember how you, or anyone loses weight. There is only one rule: You have to spend more calories per day than you eat.
If you can do that, you lose weight. So before you decide who to trust, you’ve got to filter what they say with that in mind. If you do that, you’ll see that there are points for and against the arguments for using supplements and not using supplements.
The reality is you do not need them. Of course you don’t. If you can prepare your meals in line with your nutrition plan, then you don’t have to worry. The only thing you have to do is to ensure that your plan is going to give your body all the nutrition it needs to stay healthy, and give it the best chance of weight loss.
The problem is that if you are like most people, you are really busy. It is very hard for you to prepare whole food meals for every meal you take. Often you are on the road, or at work, and you need to eat something while you are not at home. This is where supplements, used smartly can really help you out.
Now before I go further, you should understand the difference between supplements and drugs. Drugs are external stimulants that impact your body and its chemistry in a way that can’t be replicated through natural foods. I don’t recommend you taking any drugs (unless prescribed by your doctor for medication). Supplements are products that are designed to replace natural foods. For example, let’s say you have to take an out of town trip for work. You aren’t going to have access to a kitchen and you are worried about eating on the go because your diet will be blown out of the water. You might consider a meal replacement powder to help you negotiate that period so that you still get the quality calories you need without ruining your eating plan.
The point is supplements are not meant to give you anything artificial. They are designed to ensure your body gets the full amount of nutritional calories you need to operate in a healthy way.
So is it useful to consider supplements?
I believe so, because realistically it is very hard, with the lives we lead to follow a strict diet and remain sane.
Does that mean you should use supplements all the time?
Of course not, no matter what, the calories you get form whole foods are always the best quality. So if you can get all of your nutrition from whole foods, make sure you do that.
Now some supplements should be taken more frequently than others. For example, a lot of women are iron-deficient, so their doctor might advise them to take some iron supplements on a regular basis. Compare this to the meal replacement powder I talked about above, and you should be able to see that you shouldn’t be having a meal replacement powder every day. Keep them only for those times when you can’t get access to the foods you need.
So should you use supplements or not?
You should now be able to answer this question yourself. You should consider using supplements if its too difficult to get the same nutrients from whole foods in your self prepared meals. And of course, always see your physician before you decide to go ahead and start regularly taking any sort of supplements.