Having children is hard on your body, children consume unlimited time, and our society pressures women to “have it all” (which most definitely includes looking a certain way). This combination makes women the preferred target for supplement marketers selling pills and powders with promises too good to be true.

1. Fat-burning pills don’t exist.

You’ve seen the ads for fat-burning pills that are “clinically proven” to help you “lose more fat than dieting alone.” Some promise double the fat-loss, and other promise 10x the fat-loss. While it’s true there are some herbs that can increase your metabolism, the boost is only 5% at best. Additionally, these herbs (yohimbe and ephedra) carry the greatest risk to your health and the miniscule results diminish over time.

What do to: Remember common sense. Your grandmother told you, “If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.” And, she was right.

2. Bad supplements can cost more than wasted money.

The FDA recently warned consumers about the supplement Supreme Slim 5.7 “contains hidden drug ingredients.” These drugs (which are not on the label, nor legal to include in dietary supplement) are:

a) Sildenafil – better know as Viagra, which can have negative interactions with common heart medications; and

b) Phenolphthalein –a laxative the FDA banned in the 90’s because of its link to cancer. Why include a laxative? It’s not safe or meaningful weight loss, but being stuck on the toilet makes the scale move fast!

What to do: Check this website before you consider a new supplement. Bookmark it and share. The FDA doesn’t get enough credit for the work they do.

3. Avoid MLM or network marketing products.

Multilevel marketing (MLM) or network marketing are pyramid-shaped marketing/distribution plans that rely on your recruiting 5-10 people to “work” under you, and then getting those 5-10 people to do the same, and so on. Money is only made by bringing people into your “downline.” Putting the pyramid-shaped business model aside, I’d like to focus on what this system means for the end consumer – there isn’t much money left over to spend on the ingredients in the product they sell. It’s likely to be both low quality and high priced.

What to do: If a friend wants to sell you a supplement ask them if they have a “downline.” If so, this is a red flag. Also, check out this video.

4. Less is more.

When it comes to weight-loss, health and fitness, there are a handful of supplements that can make a positive difference in your results.

– Vitamin D: Most of us work indoors, are covered up/covered in sunscreen when outdoors, therefore we should supplement with vitamin-D. Vitamin-D is very important for your immune system, increases strength levels, bone density and insulin sensitivity (important for regulating your weight). For most adults 5,000 iu per day is good.

– Fish oil: If you don’t get 4-5 servings of fatty fish (like salmon or mackerel) per week, then fish oil is probably a good idea. Fish oil helps to reduce inflammation, which is important for preventing most chronic illnesses, and weight loss. For most adults, less is more – 1,000-2,000 mg per day (most capsules are 1,000mg).

– Multi-vitamin: This is your nutritional insurance policy. It’s hard/impossible to be perfect and eat the rainbow every single day. The mutli-vitamin is just to fill in the gaps. Look for a single, food-based pill, not the crazy-expensive-five-pill-per-day versions that cause stomach pain for most. Personally, I like Whole Food’s generic food-based multi-vitamin.

5. Keep them in the fridge.

This increases potency and extends shelf life for all supplements, and is essential for your fish oil. With fish oil for fish oil the beneficial omega-3 fats become rancid when exposed to heat, light or oxygen. Additionally, keeping your supplements together in one place makes it easy to remember what to take vs. having to hunt down or remember multiple bottles in multiple places.

About True 180 Personal Training for Women

JosefJosef Brandenburg is the co-owner of True 180 – a women’s only personal training studio in Ballantyne; and a best-selling author. True 180 Personal Training for women is a safe space where women who don’t necessarily like gyms can get into the best shape of their lives in a safe and sustainable way. Find out more about them here and learn about their January Transformation Program.