Never was there a more productive group of product selection that has produced a group of rich retailers than diet aides. They are everywhere and range from the usual foods that are reduced in sugar or fat, to supplements and pills, to the software. All of them say they work and, even if the active ingredients have no value whatsoever, if a diet aide gives a person the right blend of moral support and hope, it may well be worth its cost.
Weight loss involves the basics of nutrition and exercise, and will not be accomplished without some program involving one or both of these. But here, we are discussing aids to weights loss, things that just might make the sensible regimen go a little faster and easier. Diet aids can be categorized as the good, the fad, and the ugly.
Right diet aids are reduced fat and sugar items with fewer calories that let us have that little treat while dieting without significantly altering the caloric intake. Diet aides, whether they be foods with increased fiber or supplements that contain soluble fiber, are useful because they add much-needed fiber to our diets and trick us into feeling full.
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Diet aides include herbal teas such as chamomile, sage, burdock, and other herbs, that calm an upset stomach, which can easily be mistaken for hunger pangs.
Meal replacement bars and shakes can be a handy aide to weight loss since they give the dieter a preset number of calories and supply vitamins and minerals. They keep the dieter out of the kitchen and supermarket, thus preventing temptation. They give the dieter an alternative to meal planning and take his or her mind off food.
Appetite suppressants, like hoodia, have no supporting scientific evidence that they work but may give a psychological edge to dieters, a placebo-like an effect that makes their dieting successful. One substance that does seem to suppress appetite is caffeine, which is the active ingredient in things like Dexatrim.
Some of the most popular diet aid fads are pills that claim to trap fat, juice diets, and lose weight while you sleep formulas. The only thing you lose is money. Fat trapping pills, which are supposed to attract fat like a magnet and carry it out of the body, actually cause very little to happen. The tiny fine print disclaimer recommends that the product be taken in combination with a program of diet and exercise.
Juice diets that proclaim rapid fat loss cause a temporary loss of water, probably through dehydration. When the fluids are restored, so is the weight. Body Solutions lose weight while you sleep aid is a powder that is mixed with water and taken before bedtime. It comes with a low-calorie diet and exercise program that is recommended for weight loss.
The ugly aspect of diet aides is seen when products or practices are offered that can due to actual and significant harm to the user. It is unknown how safe many diet pills and supplements are. The FDA, which is responsible for verifying the safety of foods and medicines, does not check on the safety of dietary supplements before they reach the market and must wait until it receives a complaint before investigating a product.
This has resulted in the subsequent banning of ephedra or fen-phen, but after it was implicated in heart problems and deaths in users. Many other diet aides, such as carbohydrate blockers and amino acids, fall into this untested, except by the consumer, category. Another ugly diet aide is the abuse of laxatives and diuretics in the hope of losing weight.
These practices can result in permanent harm to the kidney and other organs, or the development of severe conditions such as hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, and chronic diarrhea. They should be avoided by all means. If you have this kind of habit, talk to your health care professional.