A major health concern of people today is obesity. Two thirds of Americans are overweight and 15% of teenagers are as well. Obesity is a huge risk factor for life-threatening health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney problems, cardiovascular issues, stroke, cancer and gallstones.
People are turning to natural weight loss supplements to help them maintain a weight loss regimen and achieve a normal body mass index. Your body mass index is a number that measures your height in relationship to your weight and gives you a range of numbers in which ‘normal’ falls. Insurance companies and physicians use this number to determine if an individual falls into a range of body weight that places them at higher risk for developing certain diseases.
When starting a new program be sure to consult a doctor and be aware of any side effects as well as interactions with any other medication you may be taking or medical conditions you may have.
Natural weight loss programs can include the use of herbal supplements to raise the body’s metabolism, suppress the appetite and to add to the overall feeling of well-being.
People have been looking for a way to naturally lose weight for hundreds of years. But just because the word natural or herbal is included doesn’t guarantee the safety of the product.
When the media began focusing on healthier lifestyle choices, manufacturers began to add ‘all natural’ and ‘all herbal’ to their packaging. However those terms must meet FDA standards when they are used to label foods and medications. In other words a specific amount of the product must be all natural or herbal.
Some herbal supplements which can be used for weight loss are Aloe Vera which improves digestion by cleaning the digestive tract; Astralgus which provides a boost of energy and satisfies the cravings for sweets; Bee Pollen that stimulates metabolism and satisfies the urges for sweets; kelp that boosts metabolism and licorice that reduces the craving for sweets and regulates blood sugar.
Herbal supplements are usually cost effective and prescription medications are more expensive. There seems to be lower number of side effects to using natural weight loss supplements and they are a healthier alternative to prescription medications. However, natural weight loss supplements have not all undergone intense scientific scrutiny for side effects during long-term use. Do your research on the particular product and ingredients before you chose to take a supplement.
Ephedra is an example of a natural weight loss supplement that was widely used before studies showed that the side effects of using Ephedra included cardiac problems and death. While it is a “natural” substance, it is also dangerous. Arsenic is also a naturally occurring substance, but not one we’d like to take for any reason!
The effectiveness of natural weight loss supplements are usually subjective and can be vastly different from consumer to consumer. These differences can be attributed to genetic differences in people and the variations in the ingredients as well as a placebo effect. The manufacture of natural supplements is not regulated. The plants are harvested under varying conditions, the timing of the harvest can affect the active ingredient, the processing and the exposure to air and light can also affect the efficacy of the natural weight loss supplement.
Like using prescriptions there are drawbacks and strong points to using natural weight loss supplements. These are specific to the product you chose. Remember that there are many ways to lose weight but they all amount to the same thing: burn more calories than you eat; eating less or burning more or a combination of both.
Choices in the weight loss industry are phenomenal. Natural weight loss supplements are only one choice. But, depending upon the product and the manufacturer they can very well be your best choice.