Ads promoting weight loss supplements for women are all over the place ― in magazines, on TV, your Facebook page, Instagram and Pinterest.
If you find yourself thinking, “I need to lose weight, but I can’t take another diet,” you’re not alone. For many women, dieting is a dead-end, filled with frustration and disappointment.
The temptation to seek a quick-fix to lose weight is hard to resist, especially when you see so many ads for products promising to “melt away fat,” “drop a dress size in 2 weeks,” and “lose weight without diet or exercise.”
Diet pills are nothing new. As far back as the 1950s, doctors were prescribing amphetamines to their women patients as a “modern” approach to weight management.
Today, “health and nutrition” stores make millions by selling weight loss pills, tablets, chews, bars, drinks and shakes to women who are desperate to shed pounds fast.
But are these products safe and effective? Are women wasting our money on weight loss supplements — or worse, harming our health?
This post will attempt to help you separate fact from fiction by answering common questions women ask us about weight loss supplements, beginning with the most basic question …
If you’re watching what you eat, exercising regularly, and still not dropping pounds, a good weight loss supplement may be just what you need to boost your weight loss.
The key is to remember that a supplement by itself won’t make women lose weight ― and it shouldn’t.
There may be products that cause weight reduction on their own, but not in a way that’s safe or sustainable.
Think about what the word supplement means: something that completes or enhances something else when added to it.
Weight loss supplements are designed to support women’s efforts to lose weight when used alongside healthy eating and regular exercise.
The benefits of taking weight loss supplements for women are the same as the benefits for men: a good supplement can make it easier to lose weight.
For example, some weight loss supplements are designed to reduce hunger and cravings, so it’s easier for women to make healthy food choices and take in fewer calories throughout the day.
Generally speaking, no. Weight loss supplements are not made differently “for women” or “for men.”
While some weight loss supplements are marketed as being “formulated for women,” a quick check of the active ingredients will usually show it’s not true.
In one famous case, the makers of a “sprinkle” supplement that became wildly popular a few years ago after it was featured on the Dr. Oz Show took the same product, placed it in a black package and slapped the words “for men” on the label.
There was no difference between the ingredients in the weight loss supplement they were selling to women and the “new” version for men, other than the packaging.
When you see the words “weight loss supplement for women,” see it for what it is: marketing, not science.
Again, generally speaking, the answer is no. Based purely on effectiveness, weight loss supplements are gender neutral. There is no scientific evidence supported by clinical trials showing a weight loss supplement to be more effective for women than for men, or vice versa.
However, there are considerations women must make that men don’t have to make when choosing a supplement. These include:
1 | Will you be breastfeeding while taking a weight loss supplement?
When you are breastfeeding, everything you put into your body has the potential to come out of your body in your breast milk.
Some weight loss supplements, such as fat burners, metabolism boosters, hunger-control supplements and fat blockers, contain ingredients that pose serious dangers for nursing babies. These can include herbs, herbal extracts, laxatives, bitter orange, chitosan, chromium, and stimulants like caffeine, ephedra, green tea extract and hoodia.
Pregnant women should never take weight loss supplements, and nursing women should always consult their doctors or health care providers before taking any medication, including over-the-counter weight loss supplements.
2 | Are you going through menopause or have a medical condition that affects or is related to hormonal changes?
During menopause, women experience a reduction in two key hormones: estrogen and progesterone. Combined with a loss of lean muscle, hormone fluctuations make women prone to gaining weight during menopause. It’s harder for menopausal women to burn calories as our metabolisms tend to decrease, and we store more of what we eat as fat.
Changes in body mass also put women at greater risk of weight-related health issues such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. Many over-the-counter weight loss supplements contain ingredients that also increase these risks, so women who take supplements during menopause are often putting themselves in danger without knowing it.
In addition, many weight loss supplements contain multiple ingredients that can interact with or interfere with other medications women may be taking for hormonal imbalances or other health issues. For this reason, we always recommend women talk with their doctors before beginning a weight loss supplement plan.
Generally speaking, there are a few supplements that are useful for most women in losing weight.
We bet you weren’t expecting protein to be on the short list of best weight loss supplements for women. But if you’re losing weight the natural way, by practicing good nutrition and sensible eating, you’re going to want lots of protein.
Firstly, protein helps women build and maintain lean muscle ― and lean muscle is responsible for more than 95 percent of the body’s fat burning power!
Secondly, weight loss requires women to create a calorie deficit, meaning that you are taking in few calories than you burn during the day. Protein is essential for keeping your body strong when you are running on fewer calories.
Protein shakes, protein powders, protein drinks and protein bars are all good sources of protein. But be careful to check the sugar content of protein weight loss supplements as these can be unexpected calorie bombs.
Vitamins, especially calcium and vitamin D
If you are eating less to create a calorie deficit, you will want to make sure your body is still getting all the vitamins and minerals it needs for energy production and healthy body function.
This is especially true of calcium and vitamin D. According to the Women’s Health Initiative, “Some research suggests that calcium and vitamin D may play a role in weight management. These nutrients may stimulate the breakdown of fat cells and suppress the development of new ones.”
These findings were based on evidence in a seven-year clinical trial of more than 36,000 women who took either a placebo or calcium and vitamin D supplements.
As the makers of Lovidia, we also encourage you to speak with your doctor about our product. Ask her to review our website so you can begin a conversation about how Lovidia works to control hunger and helps you lose weight without caffeine, stimulants or fat blockers.