It’s possible. Depending on what you categorize as supplements, they can be the difference between success and failure for many people. Just look at the success statistics of people using meal replacement bars and shakes to assist in weight loss compared to non-users, especially in long-term weight control (see Figure 1).
Before we start down this road of dietary supplements and weight loss, let’s remember that supplements alone are NOT a weight loss program, whereas diet and exercise alone can be. But properly used and formulated supplements can accelerate progress and make the chore easier, giving users a greater chance of sticking with their chosen method of weight loss. And on that note, let’s look at dotFIT’s position on dietary supplements and weight loss.
dotFIT Worldwide’s position on the use of dietary supplements for assisting weight control
The goal of incorporating a dietary supplement (or drug) into a weight loss program is to assist the user in complying with the daily routine that leads to weight reduction. The supplement ingredients must have safely demonstrated the potential to act in one or more of the following ways:
- Help create and maintain a calorie deficit by increasing daily calorie expenditure when compared to a non-supplemented state
- Raise energy levels that may make one more active throughout the day
- Reduce the drive to consume food
- Decrease calorie absorption
The user would cease supplementation once the weight goal is reached or when they have their daily routines under control to continue making progress without the supplements. Dietary supplements are appropriate for 1) people with aggressive goals such a time limit (e.g. special events on set dates, making a certain weight class for sport or competition, etc.); 2) athletes preparing for competition that may require/demand very low body fat; 3) people who have failed multiple times at reaching or maintaining weight goals.
Translation: weight loss supplements are intended to help you comply with whatever course you chose to pursue weight loss while living your busy, normal life – i.e. create an easier path to your goal. And they can actually do this by
What we know works
- Helping your body create and maintain a calorie deficit by burning more calories without having to add more activity, and giving you an energy boost so you’re more active throughout the day;
- Curbing appetite;
- Helping you feel full sooner;
- Decreasing the calories you absorb so you get the satisfaction of eating without all the calories.
- All in all making it easier to stick to a reduced calorie diet or exercise plan.
Supplements that mimic the actions of successful drugs used for weight loss and meal replacements bars and shakes are the only supplements that actually work.
Drugs and weight loss
All studies show that drug therapy combined with calorie restriction is more effective in both losing weight and maintaining loss when compared to conventional methods. Successful drugs are designed to block calorie absorption and speed metabolism: e.g. Orlistat (Alli), Sibutramine & Phentermine.
In 19 studies, participants using weight loss drugs that prevent dietary fat calorie absorption and speed metabolism, combined with a dietary/lifestyle regimen, significantly increased total weight loss when compared to subjects using the dietary/lifestyle regimen and placebo. The treatment groups on average had a three-times greater chance of losing more than 5% of their total body weight and a four-times greater chance of maintaining the weight loss after two years. The problem with drug therapy is that prescription weight loss drugs should not be used for extended periods of time because they bring along known side effects. Therefore, the goal is to deliver safe, natural alternatives using dietary supplements that have the similar mechanisms of action but without the side effects.
Validated safe and effective alternatives
The following products contain the ingredients that have been shown in human clinical trials to significantly accelerate body fat/weight loss when compared to placebo users following the same routines (see below for summary of results).
(reduces fat calorie absorption and appetite): adds support for the body’s most active fat burning organ, your liver; helps block dietary fat from entering the body and induces fullness faster and longer (click here for all the science
(reduces carbohydrate calorie absorption and appetite): helps block carbohydrates/sugars from entering the body and being stored while also working to keep food in the stomach longer in order to deliver an early and longer feeling of fullness (click here for all the science
(increases calorie burn while reducing appetite): a natural stimulant to help increase your metabolism and induce you to move more by increasing energy levels while sending energy signals to your appetite center to help reduce intake (click here for all the science
Meal replacements and weight loss
In all studies, meal replacements bars and shakes have been shown to be an extremely effective aid to weight reduction and, in almost all cases, more effective than conventional methods of dietary restrictions. Additionally meal replacements have been shown to be just as effective as dietary restriction combined with drug therapy.i Most importantly, continuous use of meal replacements may be the most effective means of all treatments when it comes to maintaining weight loss (see figure 2 below).
Meal replacements are generally used to replace one or two meals a day and allow freedom of choice for the remaining allotted foods/calories.
Meal replacements allow:
- Between meal snack as an energy boost or hunger killer
- Portion control: people generally attempt to consume meals to completion, therefore meal portion size significantly impacts a person’s total calorie intake. Overwhelming evidence validates that the smaller the portions, the fewer daily calories consumed and vice-versa – i.e. people tend to “eat with their eyes not their stomachs”. Use of portion-controlled meals has proven to yield greater weight loss than conventional diet therapy alone.
- Accurate calorie counts of total daily food intake when compared to having to estimate the calories of self-prepared or unmarked meals
Figure 1: In all six studies the groups using meal replacements (PMR) as part of their overall calorie intake lost significantly more weight than subjects using the reduced calorie diet (RCD) alone. Heymsfield SB (2003)
Figure 2: In a 1-year follow-up in the groups that were tracked, the subjects still using meal replacements maintained significantly more weight loss than the RCD group. Heymsfield SB (2003)
What happens when you stop using supplements
Meal replacements: properly formulated meal replacements or meal supplements (as they may be called) are food, just in more convenient forms for specific times. You will always eat traditional foods daily but in today’s hectic world, meal replacements should remain part of everyone’s caloric intake to help satisfy hunger between meals and/or replace at least one large meal daily. This allows freedom of choice for other meals such as lunch and dinners.
Dietary supplements: once a user reaches the weight or body composition goal, there is no longer a need for a caloric deficit. The dieter can now increase their caloric/food intake to a maintenance level, which would relieve the need for supplementation.
So there you have it, effective supplements can make the difference especially when it only takes a little help to make things easier. Use meal replacements regularly to curb hunger, allow greater choices for traditional meals and save on your grocery bill. Use dietary supplements to ease the chore and stay motivated by accelerating weight loss and assisting in appetite control.
Simply use our dotFIT program to find out exactly how to use effective supplements within your daily routine and you are on your way to long-term success. And for those of you using the exerspy, well, that makes it too easy because with the exerspy, you can cheat to win!