Losing weight involves a lot of change in your body – and not just in your eating and exercise habits. Internally, changing how your body goes about burning energy as well as how much energy it burns can be a time-consuming process. In this day and age of instant results, it’s no surprise there are weight loss supplements to speed up the process of shedding weight, whether you are just starting your diet or have hit a plateau in your weight loss journey.
How do you know when you need a weight loss supplement? This can vary from person to person, but a general rule of thumb is when you have stalled at a particular weight for more than a month and have both increased your exercise as well as been true to your calorie goals, then you may want to think about a weight loss supplement. The most important thing in deciding to use a supplement is talk to your doctor first. Why? There may be other reasons why you are not losing weight and your doctor may pick up on a change in your health that needs addressed.
Weight loss supplements can range from fiber supplements to meal replacements to herbs to man-made chemicals that increase the metabolism. Generally speaking, only a handful of supplements have any official track record of increasing weight loss. They most proven and reliable supplements are fiber and meal replacements.
Dietary fiber, sometimes called roughage, is the part of food from plants that is indigestible by our gastric systems. Fiber – either through powder, capsule, or food – slows the digestive process down and makes you feel fuller. Fiber also acts as a type of broom as it moves through your intestines, collecting leftover debris and sweeping it out of the body, aiding in weight loss that normally isn’t addressed through exercise or calorie reduction. Be careful not to increase fiber too rapidly as it will cause bloating and gas as your intestines are cleaned out. Also be sure to drink two to three more glasses of water each day as you gradually increase your fiber intake so you do not become constipated.
Meal replacements – whether in the form of a bar, a shake, or a pre-made meal – really do work if you follow along with the plan. Usually, you substitute breakfast and lunch with the meal replacements and have a snack of fruit or other low calorie item and then around a 500 calorie dinner. When combined with consistency of maintaining caloric goals and exercising regularly, it really does help you lose weight.