Monday, April 27, 2015

The Truth About Fat Burners

A commercial pops up on your TV screen. It's a middle aged woman dressed in a bikini with a big smile. Next, a small before photo pops up in the bottom corner of the screen. She states, "I dropped 50lbs. due to *insert diet pill name here*) and have never felt better! Then, she may even show you her old blue jeans that clearly do not fit her anymore. 

You start to wonder... can this happen for me, too?

I am no stranger to diet pills. When I worked at GNC during nursing school, we sold countless brands of fat burners-any and every one that you can think of. I knew a lot about them, but it wasn't until I decided to shed my unwanted pounds that I decided to give them a try.

I settled on one brand, which has now been recalled (great!), called OxyElite Pro. It was one of the key ingredients (or so I thought) to my almost 50lb. weightloss. I was young and didn't do my research. If I would've know what I do today, I would've steered clear.

Do I think this magic fat burner pill did the work all by itself? No way.
Did it help? Maybe.
But, was it worth the potential danger? Not in the slightest.

Before we get into the dangers, let's get into how a "diet pill" works anyway.

If you look on the back of any given fat burner, you are likely to see a whole bunch of crazy herbs you've never heard of and then the main factored ingredient: CAFFEINE.

So, why caffeine? 

Simply put, it's a stimulant. It increases your body's metabolic rate and speeds things up, which burns stored fat for energy.

Did you know that fat burners are not FDA approved? So these companies can put whatever they want into this tiny magic pill and sell it to you on false hopes that this pill can and will make you skinny.

FDA has received numerous reports of harm associated with the use of weight loss products, including:

  • increased blood pressure
  • heart palpitations
  • stroke
  • seizure
  • organ failure
  • death.

But are all fat burners bad? No. Some are more on the natural side and are proven to help you in a positive way with your weightloss, when combined with a healthy diet and training well. However, safe ones are pretty rare to come by and it is always best to speak with your doctor first.

Your best bet is a clean diet and frequent exercise. There is no magic pill that is going to shed that weight for you or give you abs.

I don't think I will ever use a diet pill again. I managed to get into the best shape of my life after having my son without the use of any fat burners. But, I always joke that coffee is my "fat burner"-with a better taste!

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