Natural weight loss products fill the market, but just because a weight loss aid is “natural”, it does not mean that it is completely safe, nor is it a sure thing that it will help your efforts in the long run. The truth is, some very popular natural weight loss products pose some health risks, and even though they might stimulate quick weight loss at the beginning, in the long run they can actually cause you to gain weight.
The main products that can create problems are those that act as stimulants. Natural stimulants act much the same way that stimulant drugs work, and carry the same potential risks.
The main ingredients that act as stimulants that are found in natural weight loss products are ma huang (ephedra), guarana, caffeine, yerba mate’, and kola nut. These are all extremely strong stimulants. Their effects are quite similar to those of drugs such as amphetamines. While many people recognize that taking amphetamines can be risky, some may mistakenly assume that a natural product is safe.
I strongly recommend that you avoid using any stimulant, natural or otherwise, to promote weight loss for two very good reasons. First, all of these products carry the risks of elevated heart rate, sleep disorders, high blood pressure, and stroke. The other reason is that even though stimulants can temporarily promote weight loss, in the long run they produce a hormonal imbalance that will actually cause weight gain.
As you first start using stimulants, the adrenal glands produce large quantities of the hormone adrenaline. Adrenaline speeds up the metabolism and causes and weight loss. This may sound great if you are trying to , but the problem is that the adrenals cannot keep up with high adrenaline production for more than a few weeks. When the adrenal glands can no longer produce large quantities of adrenaline, the metabolism slows down and weight loss typically ceases.
But the problem goes beyond just a fall in adrenaline levels. Stimulants don’t just cause the adrenal glands to produce high levels of adrenaline (for as long as they can), they also cause the adrenals to produce another hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is a potent stimulator of fat storage and will promote weight gain. The adrenal glands can produce cortisol in large quantities for a much longer time than they can produce high amounts of adrenaline. In the short-term, the high adrenaline levels will overcome the effects of the elevated cortisol levels, so there usually is fast weight loss at first. But over time, the adrenaline levels will fall, the cortisol levels will stay high, and weight gain will be the result in the long run.
If you were to discontinue using stimulants while high adrenaline levels were still being produced, the effects of cortisol would quickly take over and so fast weight gain is common after suddenly discontinuing stimulants. In any case, when using stimulants to facillitate weight loss, eventually the cortisol effects will predominate and weight gain will occur.
Even though the idea of fast weight loss through using natural weight loss aids that contain stimulants may be appealing, these products can only complicate your weight issues in the long term and may cause potentially serious damage to your overall health. Natural or not, weight loss aids that contain stimulants should be avoided.
Dr. George Best has been assisting people with weight loss since 1992. For more information, please visit his website for ways to have a safe and effective natural weight loss plan.