Assessing the Pros & Cons of Weight Loss Supplements With a Nutritionist

I want an attractive model-like figure, but I don’t like going to the gym. Dieting is hard, too, so what else should I do? 

You are lost in your own such thoughts and suddenly see an ad: 

“Lose weight faster without following a diet or doing rigorous exercise. Just sprinkle this supplement over your food, consume it daily and get your dream body.” 

Now you will feel tempted to buy it, but wait, do you know what weight loss supplements are? Whether they actually work or not? 

We have already done this guesswork for you, and here’s a detailed guide about the pros and cons of weight loss supplements. Read it carefully to figure out whether they are worth buying!

What Are Weight Loss Supplements?

Dietary supplements have variety of forms like capsules, pills, gummies, and teas. These help to cleanse your body and lose inches without following a strict diet or exercising regularly. 

Most weight loss supplements fall into the following two categories: 

  • Colon Cleaners: As their name suggests, they help to cleanse the colon 
  • Laxative: These improve bowel movements1 

While some claim to promote your overall health and fight off fatigue and other potential nutrient deficiencies. 

Do Weight Loss Supplements Actually Work?

To get the proper answer to this question, we first need to look at their ingredients. These contain various herbs, minerals, fibers, vitamins, and plant extracts. 

The ingredients used in dietary supplements include the following: 

i: Green Tea Extract 

A bioactive compound EGCG is present in green tea, which helps to break down fat cells and improve metabolism. 2

ii: Soluble Fiber 

These are present in some weight loss products and help to decrease fat absorption from food and suppress appetite. 

iii: Herbs 

Various herbs kike aloe, buckthorn bark, and rhubarb roots are used in these supplements, which help to detoxify the body. 

iv: Caffeine

Another important ingredient is caffeine, which promotes calorie burning and positively impacts weight management3

However, weight loss supplements contain some such ingredients on which research is limited, and they have unknown combined effects


Benefits of Weight Loss Supplements 

  • Easy to Start 

Let’s be honest; changing your diet is challenging, and that’s why most of us procrastinate to lose the extra inches. 

In contrast, how much effort do you need to swallow a pill or take tea? Minimum, right? 

That’s the biggest advantage of weight loss supplements that they require minimum effort to get started. However, you should never start taking these supplements without consulting your doctor. 

  • Helps to Lose Weight 

These contain various ingredients like caffeine, green tea, and certain herbs, which help to burn calories quickly. This ultimately helps to lose weight faster.  

  • Improve Health 

What’s more? Obesity is the prominent cause of many chronic diseases like hypertension, diabetes, stroke, etc. 4

By helping you to maintain a healthy body weight; these supplements improve your overall health. 

  • Suppress Appetite

While you are on a diet or have an active lifestyle, your appetite increases which is often not easy to control. 

Weight loss supplements contain appetite-suppressing ingredients that help control hunger and make it easy to lose unwanted pounds. 

  • Other Benefits

Besides, these help to boost your energy levels and cleanse toxins from the body. Some people may get other benefits like healthy skin and improved hair health.

 Yet, no proper evidence back this claim that these supplements are good for skin and hair. 

What Are the Negative Effects of Weight Loss Supplements?

Research on the effectiveness of fat burners is limited. In fact, a study found that these supplements have harmful effects on adolescents and young adults. 5

The negative side effects associated with these diet supplements include the following: 

  • Headache 
  • May be addictive 
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Damage to the kidney or liver 
  • Some supplements may contain harmful ingredients 
  • Patients become more prone to gaining weight if they stop using these supplements 

Are Weight Loss Pills Safe? 

FDA does not approve these supplements, raising questions about their safety. 

Firstly, some products are labeled ‘natural,’ but who knows whether the ingredients are completely organic? 

Some weight loss supplements are linked to increased heart rate and blood pressure and negatively impact mood. 

That’s why you should never take these supplements without consulting your doctor.

Plus, you should be careful about their source and buy from reputable sellers supported by the U.S. Office of Dietary Supplements. 


While it may feel tempting to use them to speed up your weight loss journey, you should be mindful of the pros and cons of weight loss supplements. Also, they are not an alternative to a healthy diet and exercise. 

Weight loss supplements may help to shed unwanted pounds, but research on their effectiveness is limited. No proper evidence is available on the interaction of their ingredients with each other. Besides, FDA does not approve them. 


  • Who can not take fat burners?

Fat burners may not be ideal for people with certain medical conditions like thyroid problems, hypertension, diabetes, and heart diseases. Their ingredients can disrupt the patient’s blood sugar level and other body processes, which may be dangerous. 

  • How long is it safe to take fat burners? 

Take them for 4-6 weeks so your body gets used to them, and you can see whether they are causing any problems. Remember, you should give your body a break from these products so you don’t get addicted. 

  • What are the cons of fat-burning pills? 

Allergic reactions and digestive issues are common health problems caused by fat burners. Besides, they can lead to insomnia, behavioral changes, liver damage, and a higher risk of heart disease. 


  1. Hsieh, C. (2005). Treatment of constipation in older adults. American family physician72(11), 2277-2284.
  2. Lu, H., Meng, X., & Yang, C. S. (2003). Enzymology of methylation of tea catechins and inhibition of catechol-O-methyltransferase by (−)-epigallocatechin gallate. Drug metabolism and disposition31(5), 572-579.
  3. Westerterp-Plantenga, M. S. (2010). Green tea catechins, caffeine and body-weight regulation. Physiology & Behavior100(1), 42-46.
  4. Hruby, A., & Hu, F. B. (2015). The epidemiology of obesity: a big picture. Pharmacoeconomics33, 673-689.
  5. Or, F., Kim, Y., Simms, J., & Austin, S. B. (2019). Taking stock of dietary supplements’ harmful effects on children, adolescents, and young adults. Journal of Adolescent Health65(4), 455-461.
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