With the obesity epidemic on the rise over several decades, I think it's clear that losing weight isn't as simple as a miracle pill or tool. While everyone wants to make weight loss a simple topic (because they can sell "simple"), there's a lot to it. I'd like to offer the basics as I understand them after several years of research and writing.
I've already reviewed the basics of good dietary choices on the "diet" page. But I want to say something about diet and weight loss here.
The mainstream has told us to avoid eating fat for the last couple of decades, and as a society, many of us followed this advice and we promptly became an obese nation. We've also been given what is, in my opinion, bad advice about natural foods -- eggs, are a good example. We're told to avoid them because of their high cholesterol levels ... despite the fact that there is so much evidence against the war on cholesterol.
The fact is, we've been sold on buying packaged food because there's so much money in it, and I think our main step is to get back to healthy, natural foods, including meats and vegetables along with moderate amounts of fruits and whole grains. And forget any information on entirely avoiding fat. Losing weight actually requires some healthy fats, and food like avocados and nuts and even low-sugar chocolate (with all natural ingredients) can help in the process of losing weight. But DO avoid trans fats.
In total, I think it comes down to moderation. For instance, you only need a handful of nuts a day to promote your health and provide some healthy fats. I wouldn't eat a cup a day or anything. Along with this, eat these natural foods in moderation -- portion control. However, this is a real challenge for many people, and leads us into the next topic.
Your Body's Programming
Yes, I know, you're not a robot. Except for one small detail: part of you is. The you that we all ought to love is whatever you want to call the inner will or consciousness. The part that has a higher purpose and allows you to love and that gives the spark of life to your physical body. That consciousness is the "you" that we ought to especially appreciate.
But there's also the physical, organic body, the "you" that you see in the mirror and that might need to lose weight to optimize its health. That part of you isn't metal, and it's highly sophisticated, but it's very much like a machine that gets programmed. No kidding.
You know that sometimes you do things like drive without even thinking about it, and that's because the body itself has an autopilot awareness. In the case of driving, it's been programmed by the repeated process of driving -- it couldn't have done that when you were first learning to drive.
This is a fantastic system and seems to be built for survival. But sometimes unhealthy processes are programmed in and, when they are, they become habits that are very difficult to break. I won't go into this entire topic here, because it's a whole course in modern psychology. But suffice it to say that, from the moment of conception, we are starting to be programmed. Physical and emotional traumas are especially powerful, but so is repetition (and especially when you combine trauma and repetition). We may have learned even before we could speak that eating (or some other habit) was important to survival, maybe to please someone dangerous or simply to escape.
Just like the instance of driving on autopilot, this programming is subconscious, which is why we can't simply make a conscious decision to change a habit and then voila it's gone. In these cases, you have to make changes to the subconscious routine (possible with therapists who really know what they're doing; I believe this involves working in theta brain wave states) or otherwise working with the body's own powerful programming. In the next section on supplements, I'll mention an example of that.
I say all of this to explain why choosing a healthier diet and lifestyle is easier said than done, and why so many people's weight is like a yo-yo. The will / consciousness can overcome the programming for a time, but only while it's on hyper-vigilance. As soon as the will takes a break, the programming kicks back in. So maybe you're great on that diet for a while, but eventually most people lose steam and settle back into "their old ways." (Programming.)
This is the same reason why early dating is often so positive and electrifying -- because each person is doing his/her best to bring out the best of themselves and to overcome their programming that has them respond automatically with fear, anger, or other negative emotions when life throws something at them. But eventually we fall back into patterns because we can't keep the will running things non-stop, and both partners start to see the whole package in the other person.
Lesson here: don't blame yourself when your patterns get the best of you, and remember that life and all its details are a journey. BUT ... take personal responsibility for the effort to improve in anything, whether it's weight loss or something else. If you're struggling to lose weight, not only can you work with professionals or tools that begin to change the programming, but also ... grab the low-hanging fruit. Choose easy steps toward improvement. Don't try to do it all at once. Adopt one easy change and, when that's a habit, add the next easiest. Over time, you swing the momentum in your favor. This is one trick to changing the programming without much of its resistance.
WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENTS
As you can see, I'm a fan of talking about dietary choices first and acknowledging the psychological challenge of weight loss next. But certain nutritional supplements CAN help with weight loss ... if you understand what they are and how to use them!
The topic of weight loss supplements is complicated by the likes of people like Dr. Oz, who is an honestly sharp fellow and is introducing, to the masses, the value of getting nutrients into the body. In this sense, he's doing great work. But each time he endorses a product, people fail to see the bigger picture that these products are supplements, that they are designed to support weight loss alongside healthy food and lifestyle choices. They help to signal and support certain actions in the body for losing weight.
As a result, I fully expect that his recommended products DO support weight loss for people who use them in the right way, but they will not work miracles on their own.
Here are a few that you can find on Amazon, some (all?) of which include nutrients that Dr. Oz has recommended:
Green Coffee Bean Extract
Just remember that I recommend them only as products that play a supportive role. Take a look at best sellers with high ratings after hundreds or even thousands of reviews to get a good bet.
One more worth mentioning is Spray Thin (sold through my store) because of the body programming I explained in the last section. Although we can overcome our programming for short periods of time using simple will power (why many diets go along fine for a few days), it's difficult to totally reprogram ourselves without working on the subconscious level of the mind. This can mean working with theta waves / hypnotherapy, but also ... supplements trigger certain responses in the body that can help with weight loss regardless of your conscious strength for change.
Spray Thin actually uses the science of smell (olfaction) to tell the brain that you're full long before you would normally feel full. And this helps with portion control if you're having a hard time sticking with smaller meals. This product was developed by the same biochemist who helped to create Sprinkle Thin, which was a forerunner to Sensa™ -- Spray Thin is at least two generations more advanced, and seems to have a stronger impact because of the spray form.
You can purchase Spray Thin here.
I hope this helps with an overview on the role that weight loss supplements can play, and the bigger picture that they take part in.