The role of supplements and losing body fat

There are a lot of supplements around that claim to help with fat loss.

Many of these probably do help, but they must still be used in conjunction with a healthy nutrition plan and training program to achieve fat loss and muscle retention or growth.

This is because there is no safe or magic pill or potion yet that will shred the body fat off while someone continues to eat whatever they want and sit on the couch.

The supplement companies certainly want you to think that their products are the solution you need and don’t get me wrong, protein shakes and meal replacement products are sometimes helpful if included as part of a balanced diet combined with exercise.

I include protein shakes and bars in nutrition programs, but they have no magical fat-reducing properties. Instead I incorporate them into a nutrition program combined with a good training program to help clients get results, they alone don’t get the results.

For example, I might recommend a client has a protein smoothie mid-morning and/or mid-afternoon to boost her protein intake particularly if she is lifting weights and wanting to build muscle.

I would prefer someone has a protein bar rather than a chocolate bar as a snack on the go. Even though they are probably around the same calories, the protein bar should hopefully be more nutrient dense (higher in protein and lower in sugar, trans fats and food additives).

However, I would never recommend a diet where you cut out real food and just drink shakes or replace food with something else for a prolonged period of time.

If it promises fast results with minimal effort BEWARE!

A lot of so-called fat-burning products available are worthless and have no scientific evidence validating their use.

Furthermore, diet pills that rely on stimulants, thermogenics, or appetite suppressants might help a little, but they aren’t as effective as they claim to be and there are potential health dangers if they’re abused.

I do remember an ex-competitor I prepared for stage telling me she wanted to reduce her body fat levels for summer in the off-season to look good in a bikini. She got hold of a well-known diet pill on the internet.

On the second day of using it she had to leave work and go home early as she felt very sick, she was having vision problems, she imagined what she was going through was similar to being on the drug ‘speed’ (many diet pills have similar effects), her heart was racing, her thoughts were all over the place, she was shaky and sweating and she was scared as to what was happening to her. She went home to sleep it off and didn’t take the diet pill again.

Marketing sucks you in

Don’t get sucked into the marketing of products, particularly photos that show dramatic results.

I’ve seen many people in my industry upset because their, or their clients’ before and after photos have been used by a pill, potion or plastic tummy wrap company without their permission as evidence that their products work, when the person did not achieve their results with said pill, potion or plastic tummy wrap.

In some cases, yes these products may help you lose 2kg or 4kg very quickly, but most (or all) of them won’t enable you to keep those results long term once you stop using that product.

If you want to get real results that you maintain long term, the best method is eating real food that is unprocessed, training hard and being consistent.

The sooner you accept and stop reverting to short cuts, quick fixes or the latest fat diet that promises quick results with minimal effort and instead you focus on a balanced, healthy diet and the right type and amount of exercise, the sooner you’ll be the proud owner of a lean body that you can maintain long term.

Thanks for reading

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