One of the most difficult things about losing weight can be deciding whether a particular product, diet plan or food is really any good for weight loss. We all want to meet our weight loss goals, but we’d prefer to do it in rapid fashion and with as little work and self-denial as possible. Weight loss products are one way to try to make that happen, but you need to be careful about what kinds of products you look at. In some cases, you’re really just deciding whether or not to buy snake oil, or in some cases a product that can actually be harmful to your health and that can prevent weight loss.
Here are some things you should keep in mind when you’re evaluating the weight loss claims of any given product:
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There are no proven miracle cures when it comes to weight loss. The fact of the matter is that weight loss takes work. If a product promises a weight loss shortcut and does so in a way that claims you can eat anything you want whenever you want, it’s probably false.
- Weight loss products aren’t regulated by the FDA. Unless a medication has gone through clinical trials and had the approval of the Food and Drug Administration, you can’t be sure that it will do what it says it will do, or what side effects it might have. If products are proven to be harmful, of course, they will be taken off the market, but a manufacturer can claim that a product helps with weight loss without having to prove it in any way, shape or form.
- That doesn’t mean they don’t work. Having said all of that, the fact that a product doesn’t have federal oversight doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. It just means it hasn’t been proven to do so in a clinical way under the watchful eye of the FDA. If a product seems to have a decent reputation, it might be worth a shot, but without FDA oversight it’s always “buyer beware.”