Can weight loss supplements be used to boost your metabolism?
Your metabolism plays a very important role in eating and weight loss. The thyroid gland is your body’s metabolism meter. Although there are many weight loss supplements and metabolism boosters on the market, the only safe way to speed up your metabolism is through exercise.
Unsafe metabolism boosters and weight loss pills
There are several diet supplements and weight loss products sold in health food shops, through the post, and on the Internet that claim to speed up metabolism. Some of these are just plain useless, others are downright dangerous. The trouble with these preparations is that it’s not always clear who is responsible for regulating them. Some fall under the Medicines Control Agency, others the Food Standards Agency, depending on their contents, the claims they make on the outside of the bottle and even their advertising.
For example, weight loss supplements or products that imply or state that a cure is possible are investigated by the MCA. However, provided a product does not make a claim to cure or prevent a disease, such as obesity, the manufacturers of these products can advertise and sell them to gullible customers. From time to time, enough cases of harm come to the attention of authorities for a product to be taken off the market – but weight loss pills and supplements soon take its place.
In the United States, some over-the-counter weight loss supplements even contain thyroid extract from animals or other substances that act like thyroid hormone, which speed up the metabolism. Reported side effects of these products are nervousness and tremor, diarrhea, bulging eyes, racing heartbeat, excessive sweating, and heat intolerance.
Do not swallow anything – not the claim, not the product – that says it will speed up your metabolism. You are wasting your money or worse jeopardizing your health or both!
A Safe Alternative To Weight Loss Supplements And Potions
The only safe and effective way to increase your metabolic rate is with exercise. The harder you work, the faster your metabolic rate. This is nature’s way of responding to increased energy demand. A vigorous exercise session will raise your BMR for many hours. There are so many health and weight-loss benefits to this approach that it’s hard to understand why anyone would try anything else.
Jackie Hogan, MS, RD is a registered dietitian based in Los Angeles. She is a member of the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (CAND-LAD) and the Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine Practice Group and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Jackie has been featured on Women’s Health, Fitness Magazine, Women’s Fitness, and Men’s Fitness magazine.