The start of a new year often sparks people to focus on losing weight and getting in shape!
Below are some tips to help you get started with a healthy approach and warnings to consider if you are adding a weight loss supplement.
Healthy Weight Loss Tips
Set specific and realistic goals when making any lifestyle change.
Root your goals in time: amount of time spent doing activity, time of day or amount of times per week. Make sure the goal is something you can incorporate into your day and coupling it with an activity you already do may make it easier to stay consistent.
Keep in mind that losing 5 to 10% of your body weight can have significant health benefits for those who are overweight or obese. The CDC states that those who aim for gradual weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week have been shown to be more successful at keeping the weight off.
Eat nutrient-rich foods.
Many nutrient-rich foods can be found on the outer edges of the grocery store. To aim for balanced meals, start shopping with produce, lean meats, seafood, low and non-fat dairy and add in whole grains, legumes and nuts.
It is important to stay hydrated to help your bodily functions and keep your energy up. Your daily water intake is composed of what you eat and drink. Foods such as spinach and watermelon are almost 100% water by weight, and about 20% of your water intake comes from the food you eat. The amount of water needed daily may differ depending on many physical factors. Talk to your doctor or dietitian to help determine how much you should be drinking.
It is recommended to do at least 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity to maintain weight loss. A mix of aerobic and anaerobic activity spread throughout the week is best, but walking is an easy and free way to start. Remember that any movement is better than none.
Not getting enough sleep may be putting you at an increased risk for obesity and other health complications. Adults typically need at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Consistent sleep and wake times can insure you are getting enough sleep, help improve your sleep quality, and improve your energy during the day. Sleep in a dark, comfortable room and avoid electronic devices in bed. Physical activity during the day can also improve your sleep.
If you need help getting started and want more information, please visits the sites linked below.
Managing Weight: https://www.bigy.com/LivingWell/WeightManagement
Eat Nutrient-Rich Foods: https://www.bigy.com/LivingWell/WeightManagement/Nutrition101
Improving Your Eating Habits: https://www.myplate.gov
The Dangers of Weight Loss Supplements
A quick internet search will bring up many over the counter dietary supplements claiming to help you instantly shed pounds, boost your metabolism, suppress your appetite, reduce cravings or increase energy. However, they won’t tell you the possible dangers of taking these products.
The FDA does not classify dietary supplements as drugs, so the manufacturers are responsible for their own safety data. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist to evaluate if a supplement is safe prior to starting.
Below is a summary of side effects and drug interactions of some of the popular weight loss supplements:
|Product Name||Health Claims||Side Effects||Drug Interactions*|
|Orlistat (Alli**)||Prevent the breakdown of some of the fat absorbed from diet||Diarrhea, stomach pain, difficulty controlling bowel movements, fatty stool, liver toxicity||Warfarin, amiodarone, cyclosporine, some seizure medications, levothyroxine|
|Glucomannan||Increase feelings of fullness||Bloating, belching/flatulence, loose stools/ diarrhea, constipation and abdominal discomfortTablets may cause esophageal obstruction||May decrease absorption of blood pressure medications, cholesterol medications, diabetic medications, thyroid medications, some vitamins and anti-obesity agents|
|Garcinia Cambrogia Extract||Decrease fat synthesis, reduce food intake||Increase liver enzymes, liver toxicity, headache, nausea, upper respiratory tract symptoms, GI symptoms||Diabetes medication,some chemotherapeutic agents, antiviral medications, some pain medications, seizure medications, cholesterol medications|
|Pyruvate||Increase metabolism||Bloating, diarrhea, change in lipid profile, May worsen IBS symptoms||Unknown|
|Green Tea Extract||Increase fat loss around stomach||Stomach pain, constipation, nausea||Statin medications, stimulant medications, blood thinners, heart and blood pressure medications, seizure medications|
|Caffeine||nausea, vomiting, fast heart rate, At toxic levels of 15mg/kg – seizures, brain swelling, Side effects may be increased when used in combination with other stimulants||Depression and anxiety medications, asthma medications, some antibiotics, estrogen containing medications|
|Conjugated Linoleic Acid||Reduction of body fat||GI upset, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, loose stools, nausea, vomiting, indigestion||Blood thinners|
|Hydroxycut products||“Fat burner”||Liver toxicity or failure, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, increased liver enzymesIncreased heart rate, nervousness, heart attack, seizures, rhabdomyolysis||Statin drugs, stimulant drugs, anticoagulant drugs, antidiabetic drugs, several antibiotic classes, antiviral medications, birth control, most heart medications, seizure medications, levothyroxine|
* Drug Interactions are NOT all inclusive
**Alli is an FDA approved drug
There is no quick fix for weight loss. Gradual weight loss through nutrition and exercise can lead to lasting lifestyle changes, making it easier for you to maintain a healthy weight. This year let the new you make lasting healthy changes and set yourself up for success!
CDC. Losing Weight. Accessed from: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/index.html
American Heart Association. How can I eat more nutrient dense foods. Accessed from:
Mayo Clinic. Water: How much should you drink every day? Accessed from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256
American Heart Association. American Heart Association Recommendations for Physical Activity in Adults and Kids. Accessed from: https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/aha-recs-for-physical-activity-in-adults
CDC. Are you getting enough sleep? Accessed from: https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/features/getting-enough-sleep.html
Barrea L, Altieri B, Polese B, et al. Nutritionist and obesity: brief overview on efficacy, safety, and drug interactions of the main weight-loss dietary supplements. Int J Obes Suppl. 2019;9(1):32-49. doi:10.1038/s41367-019-0007-3
Bersoux, S., Byun, T. H., Chaliki, S. S., & Poole, K. G. (2017). Pharmacotherapy for obesity: What you need to know. Cleveland Clinic journal of medicine, 84(12), 951–958. https://doi.org/10.3949/ccjm.84a.16094
Wierzejska,R.E.Dietary Supplements—For Whom? The Current State of Knowledge about the Health Effects of Selected Supplement Use. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021,18,8897. https://doi.org/ 10.3390/ijerph18178897
Therapeutic Research Center. Natural Medicines. (2021).Pyruvate https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/databases/food,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=34#interactionsWithDrugs
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Dara, L., Hewett, J., & Lim, J. K. (2008). Hydroxycut hepatotoxicity: a case series and review of liver toxicity from herbal weight loss supplements. World journal of gastroenterology, 14(45), 6999–7004. https://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.14.6999
Katz, L. (2009,April 28). FDA Health Hazard Evaluation Board. https://www.fda.gov/media/76365/download
Therapeutic Research Center. Natural Medicines. (2021) Hyrdroxcut by Hydroxycut.https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/databases/commercial-products/commercial-product.aspx?cpid=3296