Today’s post is heading in a more serious direction than mine typically do. I am going to try to tread lightly as to not offend anyone but I also want to be real and if I come off as judgmental or mean, I’m sorry in advance and you are welcome to use my comments section to tell me I suck.
I saw this story on CNN today while I was in the gym. Turns out a popular thermogenic (fat-burning) pill, OxyElite Pro, is being pulled off the shelves because it has been tentatively linked to several cases of liver damage. Yikes.
I have tried less intense exercise supplements from time to time including protein powder for recovery and one of those versions of the Vitamin packs that GNC sells. I have since been happier just to stick with a single daily multi-vitamin and get everything else my body needs from food.
I understand that this type of supplement is intended to accompany exercise, not replace it. So at least it is not intentionally being advertised as an easy route to weight loss without working out (though I am sure some people may try and use it that way too). But it seems to me that if you are willing to put the time and energy into exercise then you should be willing to let your body burn fat at its natural pace.
If a miracle pill claims to make your body shed fat at a rate that is above and beyond what is normal… is it not obvious that… ya’ know… isn’t normal (see also: healthy)? And if someone is really embracing a healthy diet and exercise as part of a lasting lifestyle, what is the rush that necessitates burning fat in a fraction of the time?
What is truly scary about a product like this is that supplements don’t have to be tested and approved by the FDA before being sold to the public. Instead, a harmful product can remain on the shelves until its negative effects surface and get linked back to the supplement. Some of the reported side effects of diet pills and other supplements are equally as scary as the labels of any number of prescription drugs out there but there is no process in place to protect consumers from the former.
So my advice is to be on guard just as much as you are at the pharmacy counter of a CVS when you are browsing the aisles of a GNC – maybe even more. If something seems like it is going to make your body behave exceptionally abnormally, it probably isn’t worth the risk.
I would love to hear others’ opinions. What is your opinion on weight loss supplements? Or on supplements in general?