dotFIT’s position on use of dietary supplements for fat loss
The goal of incorporating a supplement or drug into a weight loss program is to assist the participant in complying with the necessary eating and moving guidelines that lead to weight reduction.
There are two functions dietary supplements try to accomplish as they relate to weight or fat loss:
1) Increase the caloric deficit by helping the body burn calories. The result is that you don’t have to continually work harder to keep losing weight. For example, to lose 1 LB per week you need to eat 500 fewer calories per day than you burn. Assume when you’re not taking the supplement you burn 2000 calories per day, meaning you can consume 1500 per day to stay on track to your goal. Incorporating a supplement might help you burn 2250 calories per day because of the product’s thermogenic (or calorie wasting) properties, and its ability to compel you to move more. As long as you continue to consume 1500 calories per day, you will now lose 1.5LBS/week.
2) The second function a dietary supplement may accomplish is lessening the participant’s drive to eat or absorb calories, making it easier to comply with a reduced calorie diet (e.g. 1500 calories of food per day in the example above). This allows you to make steady progress. The body prefers to gain weight, not lose it, and the number one reason people fall off diets is that their appetites increase in order to force them to recover the weight lost. Feeling fuller sooner and longer as well as reducing unneeded calorie absorption can give the dieter satisfaction while significantly reducing the body’s calorie intake.
Now what happens when you stop taking a dietary supplement?
dotFIT recommends you use supplements when you need a little help (and most of us do at some point), and that you stop when you reach your goal or you feel you have your lifestyle and appetite under control. Fat loss supplements are not intended to be used for continuously or indefinitely to maintain weight loss.
The main goal of dietary supplements is to assist you while you tackle the real problem, which is making adjustments to your lifestyle that will allow you to achieve and maintain fitness. Discontinuing the use of a supplement should not affect your results because maintaining means consuming as many calories as you burn, which means you get to eat more once you reach your goal. Therefore, staying with the same example above, you can now consume 2000 calories per day instead of 1500 because you do not need to lose more weight. The extra 500 calories is a lot of food and should satisfy your appetite, and your new physique should keep you motivated.