Supplements…one of the hottest and most misunderstood topics in the fitness industry. Supplements are marketed everywhere, you probably even scrolled past someone selling them in your social media feed today. The global supplement market is projected to hit over $278 billion dollars by 2024. But how necessary are they, and do you need them to succeed if you are looking to lose fat?
For starters, I’m a big fan of knowing and using words with their intended meaning. A quick look at the dictionary reveals this:
Something that completes or enhances something else when added to it.
That’s interesting…it’s almost as if supplements should be renamed “Replacements” based on the way they are sold and marketed as absolutely necessary and your first option for weight loss.
As a fitness professional, however, I have a different perspective. I can tell you that over the last 15 years, every successful weight loss client I have worked with has accepted the 4 necessary steps to long-term success. These are: an open mind, consistency, a willingness to make dietary changes and their desire to succeed was greater than the sum of the excuses to stay the same. You will notice that supplements are not part of the equation. Why is this? Well, if we look back at the definition, it’s clear that supplements complement or enhance something you are already doing correctly.
In terms of fat loss, this would mean you have already accepted that consistency and behavioral change are necessary to reach your goals. You have your workouts, nutrition and training schedule dialed in. You know your limiting factors/weaknesses and have a plan in place to minimize or eliminate them. Then, after all those variables are in check, then we can talk about supplements and how they can enhance the things you are already doing correctly.
You simply can’t replace the variables necessary for success. 30, 60 or 90 days to a “new you” or the promise of offering to “fix” your struggles. These are as empty as the promise of pills claiming to strip off body fat without nutrition or exercise.
Maybe you did something drastic at one time and lost weight, what then? Was the weight you lost fat? How did you keep it off or what happened in the following 2 years?
Consistency and the ability to create a lifestyle modeled around your goals is necessary for lasting results. Do you realistically think you will drink the same shakes, take the same pills, follow some unsustainable dietary restrictions and never go to a restaurant or party again for the next 10 years? Let’s be honest, there are no shortcuts or quick fixes, if you want results and want to lose fat you have to be willing to put in the work. Starting with supplements, or putting the cart before the horse, is not a recipe for long-term, lasting progress.