As obesity rates rise in America, the availability of diet and weight loss supplements increases as well. Although you can burn fat and lose weight without these supplements, diet pills offer a number of potential benefits when compared to dietary changes or exercise alone. This is because diet pills contain stimulants and other ingredients that may encourage an increase in your metabolic rate, among other effects. You should carefully review the ingredients in diet pills to ensure that the benefits outweigh the side effects and consult a doctor before using any supplements.
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Although eating foods that contain fiber and protein may help keep you feeling full, these foods contain calories, and weight loss requires caloric restriction. However, diet pills can offer appetite suppression ingredients that will keep your cravings at bay without involving caloric intake. Stimulants such as caffeine may reduce your appetite, and research suggests that the South African herbal extract Hoodia may have appetite-suppressing qualities. A study by F.R. van Heerden et al published in the October 2007 issue of the journal Phytochemistry, found that hoodia-containing compounds did trigger a small decrease in food intake, suggesting an appetite-suppressing effect.
In addition to helping reduce body weight by burning fat, diet pills may reduce the amount of water your body is holding, which also reduces weight. Compounds that flush water out of your body are called diuretics. According to the study "The Diuretic Effect in Human Subjects of an Extract of Taraxacum Officinale Folium Over a Single Day" published in the August 2009 issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, dandelion extract, also known as Taraxacum officinale, may cause a loss of water weight through increased urination. However, water weight is easy to gain back once you drink fluids.
Although many supplements concentrate on promoting fat-burning effects, the prevention of the development of new fat, a process called lipogenesis, is important as well. Although many supplements claim to have this effect, there are few ingredients that have earned scientific backing. However, one ingredient that does appear to reduce the likelihood of lipogenesis is betaine. Betaine may reduce the activity of genes that promote lipogenesis, according to the study "Effect of Dietary Betaine Supplementation on Lipogenesis Gene Expression and CpG Methylation of Lipoprotein Lipase Gene in Broilers" published in the September 2010 issue of the journal Molecular Biology Reports.
Increased Resting Energy Expenditure
Although many supplements can encourage increased energy levels, which helps you burn more calories during exercise, you may also want to increase your resting energy expenditure. This means that you will be burning more calories while you are resting rather than exercising. As documented in the study "Effects of Multivitamin and Mineral Supplementation on Adiposity, Energy Expenditure and Lipid Profiles in Obese Chinese Women" performed by Y. Li et al and published in the June 2010 issue of the International Journal of Obesity, taking something as simple as a multivitamin and mineral supplement may be enough to promote increased energy expenditure.
- "Phytochemistry"; An Appetite Suppressant from Hoodia Species; FR van Heerden et al; October 2007
- "Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine"; The Diuretic Effect in Human Subjects of an Extract of Taraxacum Officinale Folium Over a Single Day; B.A. Clare, R.S. Conroy, K. Spelman; August 2009
- "Molecular Biology Reports"; Effect of Dietary Betaine Supplementation on Lipogenesis Gene Expression and CpG Methylation of Lipoprotein Lipase Gene in Broilers; J. Xing, L. Kang, Y. Jiang; September 2010
- "International Journal of Obesity"; Effects of Multivitamin and Mineral Supplementation on Adiposity, Energy Expenditure and Lipid Profiles in Obese Chinese Women; Y. Li et al; June 2010