Think before you take fat burning pills

SUPPLEMENT ISSUE

Think before you take fat burning pills

As fat burning supplements flood the market promising effortless weight-loss, people are more and more going for these pills to lose weight in minimum time with maximum effects. Anyone considering taking supplements, though, needs to take a closer look at what the pills actually do.

Also known as ‘thermogenics’, fat burners or diet pills tend to raise body temperature which in turn burn calories. Fat burners also act as appetite suppressants. No matter how slick the advertisements, you must know that diet pills do not work as advertised. They suppress appetite, block estrogen, increase heart rate, thus increasing the amount of calories burnt during workouts.

According to Sonia Bajaj, a fitness and nutrition coach, says, “There are major side effects of fat burners. They affect normal body temperature, lead to a number of skin allergies, put heart at risk, cause number of stomach problems and behavioural changes and other ailments like headaches and mouth and throat dryness.”

A number of women fall for it as they look for shortcuts and easy ways to weight loss. They expect miracles after taking these fat burners because of the hype created by the advertisements. These pills are taken by women of almost all age groups, from 16 to 60 years.

Eating food is important as body needs fuel to survive and work. Being informed about how many calories are needed everyday, which at the same time does not deprive the body of essential nutrients, helps achieve an ideal body weight.

“A healthy approach to get a fit body is to make small changes in eating patterns, like replacing fizzy drinks with water, swapping whole milk for skimmed milk, having smaller portions of foods, cutting down on unhealthy treats and increasing activity levels,” adds Sonia.

There is no quick formula for losing weight and fat burners are really not the solution. Sandhya Pandey, chief dietician with Columbia Asia Hospital says. “I personally never recommend fat burners for my clients. They don’t have long-term impact on a body. The best way to lose weight is through the natural process,” she says.

Walking is the simplest exercise which should be done for at least 30 minutes a day. Done at good pace it burns around 150 calories. Strength training to strengthen chest, shoulders, back and arms for 30 minutes along with flexibility exercises to stretch and lengthen different muscles for 20 to 30 minutes should also be done.

Dr. Geetika Mittal, Medical Director, International Skin Anti-Ageing Centre (ISAAC), slimming and beauty clinic also doesn’t recommend fat burners either. “Many fat burners hold properties similar to the banned drug, methamphetamine.

Those who take supplements, particularly in high doses, may experience severe anxiety, distress, mood swings and paranoia. When caffeine or other stimulants are added to the equation, either as ingredients within the supplements or from exterior sources such as caffeinated foods or beverages, risk of this side effect increases.”

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