Doctors Weight Loss Program or Do-It-Yourself Supplements?

In 2004, researchers Pittler & Ernst published a global literature review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (v79, nr4) to assess the effectiveness of weight loss supplements.

Their research was comprehensive and solid, including only those studies which were both randomized and double-blind. This eliminated skewed manufacturer’s claims or other non-scientifically-acceptable data.

That study showed that the evidence for most dietary supplements as aids in reducing body weight was “not convincing”. In fact, the report went one step further to say that NONE of the supplements included in the review were recommended for use in losing the extra pounds.

In March of 2012, researcher Melinda Manore of the University of Oregon published the results of a similar study – reviewing the hundreds of supplements available in the $2.4-billion-per-year weight loss market in the U.S.

Dr. Manore went one step further than her UK colleagues and investigated claims by type of supplement including appetite suppressants, fat and/or carbohydrate blockers, stimulants to increase metabolism and products that claim to change the body composition

Sadly, Dr. Manore’s conclusion is strikingly similar to that of Pittler & Ernst and confirms our own feedback from patients in a doctors weight loss program as well.

In her report, Dr Manore states that “There is no strong research evidence indicating that one specific supplement will produce significant results, especially long term.” The study then even goes one step further to warn against many supplements due to their adverse health effects.

But what about the $2.4 billion of supplements sold in stores and on websites each year – can the research conclusions really be true? What about those wonderful claims from the manufacturers?

Dr. Manores’ study addressed this as well and found that many products had no randomized clinical trials on which to base their claims – meaning that the results of those “studies” or “clinical trials” by the manufacturer are junk and not at all meaningful.

Isn’t there any good news about these supplements? Doesn’t anything help at all?

In contrast to the earlier 2004 study, the latest report does show that “some supplements…may complement a healthy lifestyle to produce small weight losses and/or prevent weight gain over time.” But not the fat burners, carb blockers or other fancy-sounding supplement. Green tea, extra fiber and low-fat dairy, however, were shown to help produce a modest loss when used in conjunction with a calorie-restricted diet.

Now let’s compare those results to a doctors weight loss program. When working with any doctor, they do not look for a magic bullet to fix the problem, or even a single reason on why you may have gained the weight in the first place (or have trouble losing it now).

A responsible doctors weight loss program will begin with a review of your medical history, perhaps a physical exam and maybe even some lab tests. Then the doctor will review all of this to prescribe a program of care that usually includes eating right, some exercise, nutritional supplements (if needed) and perhaps some one-on-one coaching to help “get your mind right”.

Weight loss is like anything else – you get what you pay for. Pay little for something – even if it sounds great – holds no promise of any result.

Like we doctors often say – “just live normally – that’s already crazy enough” – especially in today’s fast-paced world.

So the next time the packaging on a Fat Burner product or the advertisement for a Carb Blocker screams success in your ear, please ignore it and save your money.

Do Weight Loss Clinics Really Help?

The most effective weight loss methods, and the ones commonly recommended by doctors, are adjustments to your eating habits and increasing the amount of exercise you get. Doctors will normally instruct their overweight patients to reduce their calorific content and increase their physical activity. Other methods of losing weight include use of drugs and supplements that decrease appetite, block fat absorption, or reduce stomach volume. Weight Loss Clinics are rapidly growing in popularity around the world, with the number of available clinics nearly doubling since 2000. Here are some important points to consider before choosing a weight loss clinic.

I. On staff qualified physicians.

On-site qualified physicians can help you through the process if you have side effects from the program or medical conditions that are hindering your weight loss. If the clinic does not have present and qualified physicians then don’t join that clinic.

2. How long to lose the weight?

Clinics that say they can help you lose fifty pounds in two months or ten pounds right away; run from these clinics! A healthy weight loss takes some time without causing dangerous health problems, risky procedures, or drugs.

3. Ask what types of foods they consider healthy.

Some clinics sell their own prepackaged meals but this is not a long-term solution, are you going to keep buying their food in a decade? Not likely. They should be promoting nutrition and smarter ways to shop instead of packaged foods.

4. Exercise.

It is very important to choose a clinic that promotes a good fitness plan with safe exercises. They should instruct exercise a few days a week with cardio and strength training, if not, try another clinic.

You’ve probably read about thousands of ways to lose weight and you’re wondering which way works best. A weight loss clinic is a great way to lose weight as long as it promotes a healthy lifestyle and a safe way to lose weight. Consider an online weight loss clinic and lose your weight from home. Not only can you save hundreds in fees, but time and money can also be saved on travel.