Thursday, March 11, 2010

"Magic Pills"

Some people have asked me about taking weight loss supplements and here's my take. Firstly, I want to make the distinction between weight loss supplements and diet pills. As someone who's tried both, this is my opinion.

Diet pills are crap. Diet pills are those things that say you take two of them a day and don't diet or exercise ever and you'll lose weight. They say they make you feel fuller or expand in you stomach or some crazy crap like that. These kinds of things work for 2% of the population and those are the people that will basically starve themselves with or without the pills - so it's not the pills making them lose weight, it's them deciding not to eat. I would never take a diet pill that "made me feel fuller" because I know the key to long lasting weight loss isn't simply eating less. It's eating the right amount of the right things.

Weight loss supplements are those classified as ones that help you lose weight by boosting metabolism - so you burn more and increasing energy - so you can do more. Two popular supplements are Hydroxycut and Xenadrine. I have taken both of these in different generations of their conception. I'm pretty sure the kind I used to take have since been re-called, but hey - I'm still here. Do I think these pills help you lose weight? For me personally - no. I do not. What these pills have done for me is boosted my energy level enabling me to have killer workouts. I have never been someone who was drastically affected by sugar. Aside from too much of it hurting my teeth, it doesn't make me hyper or keep me awake. But nothing else in my body works the same as it does for everyone else, so I'm not surprised. I'm not really sure of caffeine's affect on me because I don't drink coffee or dark sodas. However, taking hydroxycut before a workout definitely gives me a huge boost of energy. Their new formula has done away with all the harmful, sketchy stuff that got it pulled from shelves.

Now - I'm not saying these supplements are for everyone. Some people can feel very jittery and on edge with these pills. I used to feel that way when I would first start taking them, but now I avoid that by starting with one pill at a time and working my way up. They can also make you feel nauseous or give you the runs. The latter is not a problem for me and I only feel sick if I take them without working out - which is why I ONLY take them before a workout. I pretty much have to work out once I've taken them because I have all this energy which will build up in my stomach if I don't get it out on a treadmill.

So am I saying you should take these? No, I said it's not for everyone. Am I saying that I've lost 20 pounds in 10 weeks using Hydroxycut? Absolutely not. It doesn't work that way for most people. What I am saying is that I use it as one of the many tools in my fitness journey. I drink protein to help maintain my muscles, I take a multi-vitamin to aid in overall health, and I use hydroxycut to help me have energy to do a really awesome workout. I don't like to use them for too long a period of time. A)I don't want to become dependent and B)I think they stop working after a certain period of time. Then I'll stop taking them, forget they exist and re-discover them a couple years later when I need them.

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