Can Medications and Supplements Really Help With Weight Loss?
In recent years, weight loss medications and supplements have risen in popularity among those looking to shed some weight. As these products suppress the appetite and increase the body’s calorie burn rate, it’s unsurprising that 15% of Americans use them.
In fact, the global market for weight loss drugs is expected to surpass $13 billion by 2029. Nonetheless, experts caution against depending on drugs alone. Combining them with a healthy lifestyle is still necessary, as they are meant to complement and not replace efforts to improve your weight management. That said, let’s look at the science behind these drugs and see how they can help you reach your weight goal safely and sustainably.
Weight loss medication
Also called anti-obesity medication (AOM), weight loss medications are heavily regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure safe and clinically-proven effectivity. At present, six AOMs are approved for prescription use, with each showing promising results.
A recent Obesity Reviews study found that 14% to 58.6% of users dropped 5% of their starting weight upon AOM use. With nearly half the population struggling with obesity, these medical advancements can be considered a blessing.
Since obesity may be caused by genetic, environmental, and even psychological factors, access to medications that address these deeper issues are becoming more widespread among trusted weight loss programs. AOMs, like Orlistat and Naltrexone-Bupropion, are now prescribed as part of medical weight loss interventions because they level the playing field.
In fact, evidence suggests they can lead to 15% weight loss. Because they are paired with a balanced diet and exercise in the referenced programs, AOMs also help eliminate unhealthy patterns, allowing for sustainable weight management.
Indeed, a recent study published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society found that those who introduced AOMs into their well-rounded weight loss programs reached their nadir weight in just under two years.
This medically backed weight loss strategy can lead to meaningful improvements in your overall health, as more than losing extra pounds, maintaining an ideal weight allows for the reduced risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. This will improve your overall quality of life and even add years to it.
Weight loss supplements
While AOMs are carefully and precisely administered injections, capsules, or tablets, supplements come in various other forms, including powders. They are mostly composed of organic substances and are considered thermogenic, which means they raise the body’s temperature and boost the metabolism.
Studies show that stimulant-free supplements are safe for long-term use, such as fat burners. These rapidly suppress your appetite, accelerate your body’s ability to shed calories, and increase blood circulation.
Furthermore, your energy level increases and your mood may improve. This puts you in a better frame of mind and keeps you exercising longer. The Harvard School of Public Health advises that supplements like the Burn-XT Thermogenic Fat Burner be taken 30 minutes before hitting the gym to ensure proper digestion and maximum effectiveness.
On the flip side, be careful not to build a tolerance level, as this can render the supplement ineffective and may result in you gaining back the pounds you lose.
Unlike AOMs, however, diet and weight loss supplements are not monitored by the FDA. Thus, it’s important to do your research and understand the risks of using them. For instance, you should not take them at night as they may cause insomnia.
Pairing them with caffeinated products may also cause palpitations, as most supplements already contain caffeine. As a rule of thumb, start with the lowest dosage and first observe how your body reacts. When in doubt, consult your healthcare provider.
Weight loss medications and supplements each have their own benefits. So long as either is paired with a healthy lifestyle anchored on a balanced diet, regular exercise, and expert guidance, they can lend a hand in improving your chances of successfully losing weight.