This post is an honest, unbiased, educated review of the supplements currently popular with women. At the minute it seems every time you look at Facebook someone is selling, promoting or slating products such as Herbalife, Forever Living, Protein supplements and Fat Burners. These products are marketed very well and have obviously become very popular promising quick and easy weight loss, body detox and an all round healthier life. However do they work? How do they work? And are they Safe?
I’m not selling, promoting or slating anything for personal gain. My interest is purely based on the health of everyone who follows this page. If I say something is bad for you, I will back it up with a reason and if I say I believe in a product, I will support my argument with evidence. I’m just trying to clear up a lot of confusion.
First of all notice that I refer to these products as ‘supplements’. Supplements supplement a well balanced diet to meet nutritional demands. They should take up no more than 15-20% of your daily calories (and that’s being generous!). A manufactured powder cannot be considered the same as real food. It doesn’t contain the same vitamins and minerals as real food and it causes the body to react in a different way. Therefore, ‘Meal Replacement shakes’ do not exist! A man made powder cannot provide the nutrients and vitality that a growing organism can (animals, plants). ‘Meal Replacement Shake’ is simply a marketing buzzword to supply our society’s demand for convenience. These shakes should only be used on top of consistent meals, to meet nutritional demands. I advise 3-4 organism-based meals a day (meat & vegetables), with the use of shakes as snacks in between.
I realize the conveniences of these types of products are attractive, however it needs to be understood that these products are being falsely marketed. They do have their place. They are a fantastic way of supplying our bodies with extra nutrients, however they can never replace real food.
The biggest argument I hear in favor of these shakes is that you do not have time to prepare and eat real meals, especially at breakfast. I understand this and sympathize, although there is an alternative to manufactured shakes. Blend home made smoothies using real ingredients. Around 25% of my daily meals are liquid based, but all consisting of natural ingredients which I have blended myself. You can even buy blenders that double up as drinks bottles for consuming on the go.
Most women believe protein shakes can be used as a meal. As I previously said this is simply not the case. Protein powder is a supplement, used to increase protein intake on top of food sources, such as meats, fish, nuts, eggs etc. It should only be used as a snack between meals and as an exercise recovery strategy to increase protein synthesis. A direct quote from the Herbalife website directs women with the goal of weight management, “When used for weight control: Replace two meals per day with this delicious shake and eat one nutritionally balanced meal”. I can’t stress enough how bad for your health this is. Each shake contains 220kcal, so two thirds of your suggested daily allowance amounts to only 440kcal. Women should be consuming at the very least 2000kcal a day, most above 2500kcal. No wonder people lose so much rapid weight on these plans; their body is starving and malnourished.
Taking Herbalife advice, within a week you will have lost half a stone, however at what cost. Hormone levels will be over the place, energy is low, your lethargic, and malnourished, metabolism is non-existent and to top it all off your body is smarter than you and it will fight back! When females do not consume an adequate amount of food your body will signal the storage of fat around the reproductive organs as a means of protection. So your bum, thighs and belly are going to get fatter! This kind of treatment can cause long-term damage to your health. Many women who have used these types of diets may struggle to get pregnant in later life.
Finally I want to mention Fat Burners. A very popular supplement that gives the impression you will melt fat at an enhanced rate, simply by swallowing a few pills. These pills are based on scientific research. Most of the ingredients included have all shown enhanced fat burning properties in some kind of way. BUT do not get your hopes up. They are not magic beans. The effects of these pills are minimal. If you have taken these kind of supplements before and you have lost a good amount of weight at the same time you are probably slagging me off in your head right now so let me share my thoughts on why fat burning supplements seem to work for a select few. When purchasing your bright bottle of pills with a ripped set of abs on the front do you sit at home every day eating rubbish? No. You are now motivated to exercise more and eat more healthily because you do not want to waste your money. The thought of spending hard earned cash on a supplement motivates you to lead a healthier lifestyle. That caffeine buzz will also help push up intensity during your workouts. I believe the direct effect of fat burning supplements to be absolute minimal, however I actually quite like them because of the effect they have on peoples lifestyles. If you can motivate yourself without then I see no need to invest in these supplements, however if the risk of wasting cash motivates a more active lifestyle then go for it.
I hope this has helped you out if you are considering investing in these products. I think supplements are a great way of improving health, however they need to be used correctly. Remember weight loss
is not a fast track; there are no shortcuts or secrets. A healthy loss is around 1-2lbs per week. Lead a healthy, active lifestyle. Incorporate supplements when needed, but don’t get sucked into the hype.