Here at Food Matters, we like the idea of promoting health and the benefits of living a life filled with abundance rather than deprivation. We believe that by nourishing your body with real food that is packed with nutrients, you will ultimately have the keys to living the most fulfilling life possible. Our focus is never simply weight loss. However, from time-to-time it is worth addressing the topic, especially if we believe there is something that could affect your health.
(On a side note, if losing weight is your goal, there are many tasty recipes here that will assist you in incorporating more healthy foods into your daily life.)
The world of weight loss supplements is huge, and the marketing budgets are just as big! That’s why we want to inform you of the dangers of this industry and prove that, in this instance, the cons really do outweigh the pros.
The promise of a quick-fix may sound tempting, but we encourage you to steer clear of the products listed below and embrace whole, healthy, live food!
1.Green Tea Extract
Green tea has been hailed as a natural weight loss superhero for some time now. It has a reputation for being a natural fat-burner and for assisting the body with detoxing. More than ever, we are seeing the words “green tea extract” on the ingredients list of common weight loss products. This is particularly true for those products trying to portray themselves in a “natural” light.
As much as green tea can have countless health benefits, using green tea extract for the primary purpose of losing weight is something we should steer clear of.
Believe it or not, something as simple as green tea extract may cause us more harm than good.
Green Tea extract has been associated with many negative side effects due to its high caffeine levels. For people trying to lose weight, caffeine is usually a popular choice due to the thought that “high energy + less calories = weight loss”. The issue may be a little more complex and a little less safe than you think.
The effects from high levels of caffeine may include: anxiety disorders and irritability, pregnancy and breastfeeding complications, as well as increased risk for those with existing heart conditions. Caffeine in green tea may also harm those with diabetes, due to its ability to affect blood sugar levels.
Irritable bowels and diarrhea are also common side effects of too much green tea. Just like drinking a cup of coffee, the caffeine in green tea is a stimulant and can cause you to run to the bathroom more frequently. This can lead to nutrient malabsorption and dehydration.
2. DIM (diindolylmethane)
DIM is often found on the shelves of pharmacies and bodybuilding supplement stores. Your body actually produces DIM on its own from substances found naturally in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and kale.
DIM is commonly marketed as a way to lose weight by controlling hormones. Women struggling to lose weight are often sold DIM as it is marketed as an estrogen metabolizer, forcing the body to burn fat.
Although this product comes with a very “natural” feel, even natural supplements have side effects. By manipulating the body's hormone levels with store-bought supplements, the effects may cause more harm than good.
Some reported effects of DIM include: Hormonal disturbances, irritable bowels, nausea, vomiting and changes to a woman's menstrual cycle.
The appeal of weight loss tea seems straightforward and endlessly promising with the idea of “drink tea - be thin”. You don’t have to look too far to see these products flooding social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest. Unfortunately, celebrities and Instagram models have done a brilliant job at marketing such products, particularly towards women wanting a “bikini body”.
What’s the secret to these weight-loss teas you may ask? Truth be told, these teas contain three ingredients that cause people to have initial weight loss effects. These three ingredients include stimulants, bulk fiber and laxatives.
Stimulants to increase energy and reduce appetite, fiber to increase the feeling of fullness, and laxatives for the obvious - to pass things out as soon as possible.
Yes, you may lose weight initially by drinking such tea, but at what cost? Of course the first side effect and essentially the aim of these products is dehydration. Along with initial dehydration comes dizziness, nausea, vomiting, severe stomach cramps and diarrhea. Interfering with your natural bowel movements with the use of laxatives can also lead to chronic constipation. These teas don’t seem too trendy after all now, do they?
Oxilofrine is a stimulant that acts similarly to an amphetamine. Although this drug is banned in many parts of the world, due to the internet and illegal selling of the product, listing it as a banned substance isn’t enough to stop it popping up in many weight loss supplements.
As well as being noted as a drug to help better athletic performance, oxilofrine is also known for its weight loss effects.
Oxilofrine is incredibly dangerous and has a frightening list of health consequence such as tachycardias (extremely high heart rate), irregular heart beat and hemorrhagic stroke. Oxilofrine may also cause hypertension (high blood pressure) if taken by people with normal blood pressure. Scary, right?
Duromine is a medication prescribed to reduce body weight in obese or overweight patients. Unfortunately, thanks to the internet, people of a healthy weight are also gaining access to this medication as a form of weight loss. Duromine’s job is to directly affect the area of the brain that controls your appetite, making you feel less hungry.
Once again, this style of weight loss may work. However, when we looked into the side effects, we were shocked!
Side effects include clumsiness, dry mouth, loss of libido, confusion, psychosis, blurred vision, irregular heartbeat and much, much more.
As you can see, the side effects from weight loss supplements really aren’t worth the risk.
Here at Food Matters, living a healthy life is something we are extremely passionate about. James and Laurentine saw the need for better alternatives to long-lasting weight loss and improved health years ago, which is why they created the documentary Hungry For Change. It talks all about how you can transform your life via the food that you eat, and take control of your health from every aspect.