With a universe of vitamins and supplements at our disposal, it isn't always easy to know which pills and shakes can actually help our weight loss goals and support our health and which are risky or ineffective. If a label promises to help you drop weight fast — or seems to make other claims that are too good to be true, they usually are just that — relying on marketing tactics.
These four supplements have been criticized by nutritionists and health experts for containing ingredients that aren't always the best for our bodies.
Alli is an FDA-approved weight loss supplement that contains the active ingredient Orlistat. This ingredient works by actually attaching itself to fats that you eat and preventing them from being broken down by your body's natural enzymes. Sounds like a dream, doesn't it?
Well, no, not really. Our bodies need healthy fat (such as the fat found in avocados and nuts) in order to burn energy efficiently and burn more fat. By blocking the absorption of fat, you're telling your body to store the fat it has. And that brings up another problem with this pill: it does nothing to address the fat you already have that you may be trying to shed.
Celsius Supplement Drink
There's nothing wrong with drinking Celsius in moderation, and it's comforting to know the beverage relies on natural ingredients like metabolism-boosting green tea extracts and guarana and contains nutrients like calcium and biotin. But nutrition experts are still split on whether its side effects — which include jitteriness, insomnia, heart palpitations, anxiety, and mild dizziness — are actually worth the trouble, especially given the fact that there isn't a lot of proof that this supplement can actually help you lose weight.
Many nutritionists are not on board with popular juice cleanses, which require that you replace meals with raw fruit and vegetable juices. While you'll obviously lose weight in the short term if you restrict yourself to 1,000 calories, throwing your body into starvation mode slows down your metabolism and forces the body to break down muscle tissue in the absence of fat. To boot: many fruits are high in sugar and drinking too many of these juices will only cause your blood sugar levels to spike.
Taking Garcinia Cambogia supplements will likely not cause you to gain or lose weight — but that's the problem with this popular supplement — too many people believe it can help and rely on it despite a lack of scientific evidence. This supplement is derived from the Malabar tamarind fruit. It may help some people by suppressing their appetite, provided they are taking enough of it and combining it with a healthy diet and fitness regimen. With that said, no supplement, including this one, should be treated like the holy grail of weight loss aids.