Most good resolutions are made at the turn of the year. Often a big goal: lose weight. Easy ways to achieve your desired weight sound very tempting, for example with powders and pills that boost fat burning. But you can’t lose weight permanently with it alone. “Some funds are even harmful,” says Angela Clausen from the consumer advice center in North Rhine-Westphalia.
BILD lists the five weight loss mistakes.
Misconception 1: The funds offered have been well tested
Not correct! Most of the advertised powders or pills are dietary supplements. They are not medicines or medicines, and they are registered with only a few details, not approved. Even a designation as “natural” or “purely plant-based” is not a seal of quality.
Because the term is not legally protected for vitamins and minerals. In addition, natural products can also have undesirable effects. Illegal medicinal substances are often found in supposedly completely natural slimming products from online shops, and sometimes even banned carcinogenic substances.
Misconception 2: It’s easy to lose weight with powders and pills
In fact, dehydration can help you lose weight quickly. But that’s not fat loss – and sometimes dangerous to health. Equally problematic are appetite suppressants. For example, preparations with bulking agents and fiber such as glucomannan from the konjac root can lead to an intestinal obstruction if you don’t drink enough.
Such means may fill you up, but after stopping the preparations, there is a risk of hunger for large portions and thus a yo-yo effect due to habituation. It would be important to gradually phase out the medication and replace it with high-fiber vegetables and grains.
Misconception 3: ready-made drinks are good as a complete meal
Diet shakes from powders mixed as a whole meal – that sounds easier than cooking complex vegetable dishes. But the body needs more than what is contained in such mixtures. If all meals are to be replaced by such powders, the warning “Must not be used for more than three weeks without medical advice” is mandatory.
It is better to replace only one main meal with it for a short time. The substitute then provides only 200-400 kcal instead of the normal 700-800 kcal of a main meal. However, this entry into weight loss only works if you eat less calories.
Misconception 4: Fat burners are harmless
So-called fat burners often contain a variety of plant extracts, which in this mixture, even at low doses, can lead to unexpected and undesirable effects, especially on the cardiovascular system. Drug interactions are also possible. The higher the proportion of the relevant substance, the higher the risk of the products.
Above all, products without quantities in the list of ingredients are not recommended. It can lead to high blood pressure and heart palpitations, and even heart attacks. The ephedrine (ephedra herb) often used in fat burners in the past has therefore been banned in Europe and the USA for several years. Instead, the similarly acting synephrine from bitter orange (Citrus aurantium) is often included today. This is also not unproblematic.
Misconception 5: Dietary supplements are low in calories
Dietary supplements in powder form in particular can provide a lot of calories and a lot of sugar. However, since calorie or sugar information is not mandatory for dietary supplements, consumers can have false expectations. A high sugar content is recognizable when terms such as maltodextrin or sugar appear at the beginning of the list of ingredients.
Angela Clausen from the consumer advice center NRW: “If you want to lose weight sustainably, you need a change in diet with fewer calories, more exercise, enough sleep and relaxation.”