Do diet supplements help you lose weight Fat chance!
Study found few 'wonder pills' had randomised clinical trials to back up dietary claims

Weight loss: Impossible without reducing calories and exercising, says Professor Melinda Manore after studying a range of diet pills

Weight loss: Impossible without reducing calories and exercising, says Professor Melinda Manore after studying a range of diet pills

Diet supplements advertised as amazing fat burners or craving quashers, should be treated with extreme skepticism, according to one nutrition expert.

The evidence used to support weight loss pills simply doesn't add up.

Professor Melinda Manore from Oregon State University studied the research used to support hundreds of diet pill claims.

She found nothing
that proved any single product was a 'wonder pill' causing significant
weight loss. In fact some even had detrimental health benefits.

'What people want is to lose weight and
maintain or increase lean tissue mass,' Prof Manore said.

'There is no
evidence that any one supplement does this. And some have side effects
ranging from the unpleasant, such as bloating and gas, to very serious
issues such as strokes and heart problems.'

Prof Manore looked at supplements that fell into
four categories: products such as chitosan (found in shellfish) that block absorption of fat
or carbohydrates, stimulants such as caffeine that increase
metabolism, products like conjugated linoleic acid that claim to
change the body composition and appetite suppressants
such as soluble fibres.

Don't leave the house in
the morning without having a plan for dinner. Spontaneous eating often
results in poorer food choices. If
you eat out, start your meal with a large salad with low-calorie
dressing or a broth-based soup. You are likely to eat less for your main.Find ways to keep
moving, especially if you have a sedentary job, such as putting calls on speaker phone. Put
vegetables into every meal possible. Increase
your fibre – note that 'wet' fibre like cooked oatmeal is more filling than 'dry' fibre like crackers. Eat whole fruits and vegetables instead of drinking juicesEliminate processed foods – they are too easy to digest and absorb
She found that many products had no
randomised clinical trials examining their effectiveness, and most showed less than a two-pound weight loss benefit compared to the placebo

A few products, including green tea and low-fat dairy supplements were found to have a modest weight loss
benefit of 3-4 pounds but most
of these supplements were tested as part of a reduced calorie diet.

'For most people, unless you alter your diet and get daily exercise, no supplement is going to have a big impact', Professor Manore said.

As a dietician and researcher,
the professor said the key to weight loss is to eat whole grains, fruits,
vegetables and lean meats, reduce calorie intake of high-fat foods, and
to keep moving.

fibre, calcium, protein and drinking green tea can help,' she said.

'But none of these will have much effect unless you exercise and eat
fruits and vegetables.'

The study is online in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.