A year ago I was taking a multitude of supplements and vitamins; supplements that would help me with my mood, energy levels, fitness levels, hormones, and whatever else was ailing me. I carried pills around with me everywhere I went, making sure I got the supplements I was missing or not getting on my own. I began to find it stressful, remembering when, where, and how to take all these vitamins and was overwhelmed by the amount that I had on my shelves. I wondered why, as someone who ate healthy, I had to take so many supplements. With a healthy diet and exercise many of these supplements are not vital. It is important to identify your specific needs in taking supplements and understand if you will benefit from them and how. Some however, are a complete waste and to save you the money, here are five supplements that I believe are entirely unnecessary:
Raspberry Keytones: A pill that is basically raspberry concentrate. It is supposed to work as an appetite suppressant and help burn fat. Instead eat foods that are meant for your body, work out, and drop the pills.
Garcia Cambogia: Known to block the conversion of carbohydrates into fatty acids. This is also used as an appetite suppressant. Remember that all carbohydrates are not bad! Furthermore, why would you want to suppress your appetite? Hunger is your body’s way of letting you know you need something; if you are always hungry then you are most likely missing nutrients in your current daily diet (possibly fats, carbs, proteins, fruits and veggies). In my opinion, these act more as a placebo.
Green Coffee bean: This one was a product of marketing and its popularity, like most other quick fixes, is dwindling within the health and fitness industry. The recently controversial Dr. Oz promoted this, making it seem like it was a miracle drug. Known to increase your metabolism due to caffeine levels, green coffee beans are no better or different than your regular cup of coffee; their colour in no way enhances their potency or effects.
Ashwaganda: Said to help relieve stress. Instead of taking a useless pill, try finding out what is stressful in your life (work, jobs, and weight loss) and deal with it through things like exercise or talking. These are not only free but will result in real permanent change rather than a temporary fix.
When people take these pills they also typically clean up their diet as well; this results in weight loss and the belief that it’s due to the pills rather than lifestyle change. These supplements work as a placebo, making you believe that they are aiding you when it is your own hard work and good choices that create results. Just like food, we can become addicted to things that we think help us in our fitness/weight loss journey. The truth of the matter is, time, patience, consistency, and proper nutrition are all you need to get you where you need to be. As quick as it is to buy supplements, invest your time, energy, and money on whole foods and educate yourself on which foods will benefit you and help you in your journey. Drop the dirty diet and trade it in for a clean one.