I've been working in the supplement industry for a while now and over the few years there has been a little irritating the that comes up every now and then. I saw Dr. Oz and Garcinia Cambogia spring to the forefront of everyones mind and the curious little question that creeps in to a consumers mind, "Is this it? Is this what is finally going to give me a kick start to being happy?" I've seen raspberry ketones, African Mango, Green Tea Extract.. all of these silver bullets, secret weapon if you will to weight loss that people hear that will help them achieve their goals.
The supplement industry is a muddy one. There are so many products that I sell on a daily basis that I whole heartedly believe in. Then there are others that similar to what I describe above, which are misleading, ineffective or just simply not used properly. This is what makes my day in store sometimes quite painful, particularly when I have someone that I know I can help but refuses to listen.
So what exactly would be the new next best thing?
Consistency is the key when trying to accomplish anything that is worth doing. When it comes to diet and exercise, if you are not consistent, you will not achieve your results. It's that simple. Supplements can help you along the way but they will not do the work for you. They will not wake up early every morning for a quick job before breakfast. They will not prepare your meals for the following week on a Sunday. They will not make sure that you are balancing your home life, work and practice. What they will do - when used properly - is enhance what you're already doing. Think of it as basic maths. If what you are currently doing is nothing, lets consider that as 0 and say for arguments sake, Acetyl L- Carnitine is 2 and this by no means is a reflection of my thoughts on L- Carnitine.
Chances are, if you're reading this you probably are already active or following a plan or attempting to change something. But for anyone who is just taking supplements hoping they are going to change your world. You need to realise that they are limited by the user.
A willingness to learn
If I was to tell you that fat does not in itself make you fat, would you believe me? Many people would not. Many people are closed minded and believe that what they consume is fine. Many people feel that there is nothing wrong with two to three glasses of red wine with dinner every night. Many people feel that the afternoon Snickers isn't killing them.
A lot of our food these days is hyper palatable and it throws off our innate idea of what is satiating and what we actually need to fuel our bodies.
To be successful, you need to learn what is going to fuel you best. What works for me, may not work for you, or the person you're sitting next to on the bus. Learning is a sign of growing and when we grow, we get better. This is one side of the supplement industry that drives me mad! Why is it that people want these quick fix solutions? Why would you not want to learn the skills how to improve.
Actively learning what you need to achieve your results is going to give you a greater feeling of accomplishment and better long term results, which leads into..
Have you ever met one of those people who will sit down at the dinner table with a plate full of various foods, some plain, some decadent and on that plate, the one food that that person would describe as their absolute favourite... and they'd eat it last? I've known a number of people like this and it boggles my mind how they do that. This however is a great analogy to patience.
The supplement industry is constantly innovating and developing its tool kit so it can provide to its customers a solution. The unfortunate thing is that majority of the time the company will over sell the product guaranteeing big results - in little time. Like I said at the top, I sell plenty of supplements that I believe in. There's one or two companies that I would actually really love to work for - but i digress. Peoples expectations vs their results are usually two wildly different things and it usually is a time factor that had its expectations blown out of proportion.
If it's taken 20 years to put the weight on, unless if theres some surgery going on, there's a good chance it's not going to take on capsule twice a day for the next month to solve all the problems. It's going to take time and patience and an understanding that all of the work will show its results eventually.
I still get tricked by this. Sometimes I would argue it's worse for me because I'm surrounded by the stuff. "Maybe this will help me get stronger faster" or "Maybe this will get me leaner". I still fall for it. It's what drives a large part of the industry.
Don't be suckered in by expectations sold in a bottle. Understand that if it's worth doing, its going to take dedication, real interest in learning about it and time.