[Photo credit: Rodrigo Senna]
The meteoric rise of nutrition supplements for weight management has taken the health and fitness industry by storm. Results demonstrate that they work, but so does healthy eating and exercise. So what is it about nutrition supplements that make them so popular?
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I refer to nutrition supplements from here on in as shakes, tablets and capsules, used as replacement meals and additives to meals. I’m not referring to supplements your doctor prescribes, such as fish oil for someone who needs more omega-3, or magnesium for someone who suffers from cramps, due to a deficiency in magnesium.
There’s no doubt nutrition supplements can help you lose weight … and fast. There are countless examples of people who have lost huge amounts of weight in very short periods of time. This might sound appealing, but losing weight fast is not actually good for you, or sustainable. Most people who lose weight quickly, end up putting it all back on again, and then some.
Losing weight requires a change in your habits. The definition of a habit, according to Wikipedia, is a routine behaviour that is repeated regularly, occurs subconsciously, and is hard to give up. Your brain and body strive to maintain your habits at all costs. Maintaining your habits keep you feeling safe and comfortable.
To lose weight and keep it off, you must change your values, attitudes, beliefs, and habits associated with eating, exercise, and rest. Your brain and nervous system don’t allow permanent change to occur quickly. Because they’re striving to maintain the status quo, you might be able to drop weight fast, but in order to create change permanently, you must change your habits.
Changing your habits takes time, but if you’re like most people, you want results now. The exciting success stories associated with nutrition supplements draws you in. In the first stages of the change process, nutrition supplements provide a framework to work with.
Why Nutritional Supplements are so Popular:
- Adding vs Subtracting.
Subtracting food from your diet, as in traditional weight-loss programs, you feel as though you’re missing out. Because you’re adding to your diet by taking nutrition supplements, you don’t feel as though you’re missing out; more, you feel as though you’re receiving, even though you’re cutting foods out.
- Immediate results.
Each time you take your supplement, you feel a sense of achievement. With these feelings of achievement, your brain fires off a neurotransmitter called dopamine, which is one of the feel good chemicals.
- A Plan.
Any good goal needs a plan with structure. Nutrition supplements provide that plan on the label. The instructions tell you when to take them and how much to take. Following this plan assists you in following the overall program.
It’s not my purpose for this blog to encourage you to use nutrition supplements or sway you to stop. I’ve never used, or recommended, nutrition supplements for weight management. While they’re great at helping you in the short-term, I’ve always held the belief that permanent weight loss can be achieved through eating clean food, exercising regularly, achieving adequate rest and committing to being yourself. I’ve seen that eating wholesome, natural food is the best way to maintaining your ideal weight, enhancing your mental clarity and increasing your energy for the long-term.
What strategies do you like for creating permanent change?
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