What to Look for in a Weight Loss Supplement

Dec 16, 2020

Weight loss supplements contain a mix of herbs and vitamins, and often stimulants such as caffeine. They come in a variety of forms including capsules, powders, tablets, as well as drinks, and energy bars.
It is important to emphasize that supplements “supplement” a diet or workout. Supplement is defined as “something added to complete a whole or to make up for something that is missing.” Supplements can never and should never be a substitute for proper diet and exercise.
With so many options in the market, particularly in weight loss clinics in DFW, here are a few things to consider when looking for the best supplements for a safe and effective weight loss journey:


Not all weight loss supplements are created equal. There is a reason why people think supplements don’t work and it’s simply because a lot of them really don’t.
Make sure to thoroughly check the active ingredients and understand the correct dosage. Check the drug interactions and percent daily value (% DV) as well. A supplement that seemed to help a person you know might not work for you.
Some ingredients can help burn body fat while others obstruct fat absorption. Some can lessen hunger and suppress appetite while others can counter the effects of eating carbohydrate-rich foods.
It’s possible to overdose on certain vitamins if you’re not careful. Keep in mind that taking extra doses of supplement won’t help you. Don’t assume that more is better. Or else, you might end up wasting money on unneeded supplements. And in most weight loss supplements, ingredients are only individually tested for safety, despite the fact that a combination of these ingredients with one another may be less safe.
Weight-loss pills tend to contain a mix of herbs and vitamins, and often stimulants such as caffeine, which can result in high blood pressure and heart palpitations.
Below are the most popular weight loss ingredients commonly seen in supplements:

  • Caffeine
  • L-Carnitine
  • Green Tea Extract
  • Green Coffee Extract
  • Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA)
  • Bitter Orange
  • Capsaicin
  • Chromium Picolinate

Risks and benefits

Scientific evidence has shown that weight loss supplements are beneficial for overall health. However, there are many claims about weight loss products which may seem sketchy. Before you take any sort of supplement, make sure that you are aware of its risks and benefits.
The main advantage of taking weight loss supplements is its ability to speed up metabolism. Losing weight is more effective when the body can quickly digest the food through metabolism. When you add supplements in your daily diet plan, it can help burn excessive fat quickly.With weight loss supplements, you can also keep your food cravings under control. Most weight loss supplements have been designed to suppress the appetite which can help reduce your calorie intake.
Aside from increasing metabolic rate and bringing down the appetite level, weight loss supplements can also increase energy levels. This helps improve your workout performance which can help you burn more calories. It’s also easier to stay motivated and focused on achieving your body goals when you feel energized.
It ought to be noted that weight loss supplements might have side effects on your bodies. Therefore, you have to be careful using the supplements to get the true value you spent on them.
Keep in mind that if something claims as a quick solution, then it might have risks associated with it. Some supplements contain unsafe ingredients. There are ingredients that ought to be taken carefully because considerable amounts can result in toxicity in your body.
These supplements can slow down the functions of your liver and cause damage to your pancreas. Such supplements have side effects which include constipation, dry mouth, difficulty sleeping, dizziness, headaches, increased blood pressure, diarrhea, nausea, faster pulse, restlessness, nervousness and vomiting.

Seals of approval

Look for independent organizations’ seals of approval on the label. Their seals simply ensure that the product contains the amount of the ingredient advertised on the label and that it isn’t contaminated with harmful substances and impurities. A few third-party organizations such as ConsumerLab.com, Natural Products Association, NSF International, USDA Organic and US Pharmacopeia have their own seals of approval to educate consumers about the reliability of the supplements. The seals are only awarded once the supplement company has passed the stringent review and extensive testing on the products.

Clinical studies

Weight loss supplements normally have one or more ingredients in clinically-tested amounts, which allows them to make claims like “lose weight,” “build muscle” or “recover faster.” Often times, this information will be referenced on the product packaging, fact sheet or on the website. If not, you can find it on sites like Google Scholar, ScienceDirect.com or PubMed.com. The amount of the active ingredients (in micrograms, milligrams, or grams) listed in the clinical studies should be specified in the product. Find out as much as you can especially since the ingredients have a range of different dosages and source types, so ensure that you look for the specific ingredient when searching.

Ratings and reviews

This is self-explanatory. You can find consumer ratings on the manufacturer website or third-party retailers. Examine carefully to see common questions and comments. Keep an eye out for common threads as some consumers share their experiences. Another great source of information is the sampling program participated by highly ethical reviewers and conducted by retailers and brands. At the end of the day, you’re just doing your homework so you can buy only trustworthy products.
There is no simple solution to weight loss as some of us may think. The good news is that effective weight loss supplements are now available so that those who want to take charge of their health have a more practical option.
Before starting any weight loss program, consult your doctor. The doctor can confirm the safety of the ingredients and can provide a safe dosage program for you. Do not self-diagnose without first checking with your doctor.The doctor will check if your current medications will interfere with the supplements. He or she will also determine if the supplements are safe for your pre-existing medical conditions.
The key is to carefully assess your diet, consider your lifestyle and long-term health goals and know what supplements to look out for. Remember that weight loss supplements are not meant to replace a healthy diet. Talk to any weight loss clinics in DFW and they all will say the same thing – it takes hard work, dedication, consistent effort and focused plan for you to lose weight.


Dr. Mustafa H. Alibhai

Dr. Alibhai, a board-certified general surgeon, passionately leads Nova Bariatrics and General Surgery. Formerly an Assistant Professor at McGovern Medical School, he’s a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons. His academic journey includes a Bachelor’s from Southern Methodist University, Medical School at UT Southwestern, and residencies at UT Southwestern. Specializing further, he completed Bariatric and Robotic Fellowships, advancing surgical techniques with a focus on patient well-being.



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