In drugstores and pharmacies, a huge variety of preparations attracts you with the promise of quick and easy weight loss. However, depending on the mode of action and duration of use, these slimming products can also lead to health problems.
Calorie Blockers and Fat Binders Work Physically
Calorie blockers and fat binders primarily have a physical effect on the body. They are usually pressed into tablets and, after ingestion, attract calories and fat from food like a magnet. These are then excreted from the body without being used. Nutritionist Dr. Matthias Riedl thinks little about this dietary approach.
Fat binders can cause deficiency symptoms
The “fat makes you fat” hypothesis is wrong, because it is not the consumption of fat that is the problem, but the quality of the fat. However, according to Riedl, these could not tell the difference between fat binders and calorie blockers. As a result, the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins is hampered, which can lead to deficiency symptoms if these dietary supplements are taken for a long time.
Roughage and bulking agents: drink enough!
Dietary fibers and bulking agents can consist of plant products such as plant fibers or highly cross-linked cellulose, but also animal products such as shellfish shells or collagen from bovine connective tissue. They swell in the stomach and are said to lead to rapid saturation. Drinking plenty of fluids is essential to prevent constipation and bowel obstructions. But money for the bulking agent can be saved, says nutritionist Riedl: “The effect is so weak that you could just drink a glass of water before eating. This has a similar saturation effect.”
Drink and formula diets only if you are very overweight
Diet formulas are industrially produced shakes that are mixed with water or milk or offered ready to drink. They have a constant energy and nutrient content and must meet the requirements of the Corresponds to § 14a of the Diet Ordinance. They are recommendable with restrictions: drink-based diets may only make sense as a “starter” for long-term weight loss if you are very overweight and under medical supervision. At the same time, a support program aimed at modifying unfavorable eating habits should be completed.
Appetite suppressants interfere with metabolism
Nutrition experts do not recommend chemical-based appetite suppressants. These products contain active ingredients that affect metabolism or brain metabolism and thus affect the regulation of appetite and satiety. Depending on the composition, there are health risks if swallowed. For example, the banned ingredient sibutramine increases the risk of stroke and heart attack, and the active ingredient phenolphthalein is considered carcinogenic. Consumer Centers have compiled a checklist of these and other ingredients.
Weight Loss Coaches: Partial Violations of Health Claims Regulations
Some slimming coaches also sell slimming products. With free crash courses and free weight loss recipes, some of them are trying to win customers who want to lose weight. Relaxed talk, stories from the coach’s life and other people’s success stories should build trust. However, some of the promises – such as “30 days and 10.4 kilos less” or “lose two kilos a week” – clearly violate the guidelines of the Health Claims Regulations. Free coaching helps according to Verbraucherzentrale Hamburg rarely goes further, but aims above all to boost the sale of slimming products.
Diet plan: How to recognize reputable online coaching?
A well-founded and reputable diet program costs money. Participants are generally supervised by real experts. A look at the imprint reveals: Who is the supplier? Trainers with a professional background in nutritional science, dietary assistance or medicine are recommended.
Good weight loss concepts focus on diet and exercise, not diet product advertising. Basically, you would need to save around 7,000 calories to lose one kilogram of body weight in a week. Anyone who promises otherwise is not credible. A fairly reliable sign of seriousness is also that the cost of coaching is covered by the mutual insurance company.