Perhaps the most difficult things to give up while trying to lose weight are high calorie, high fat foods.
You want to shed some pounds and feel confident but your stash of full fat food, pizza, cake and chips are just staring at you after a hard day at work.
Is there a way you can carry on eating all the foods you know are unhealthy and loaded with calories, yet still lose weight? We look at the best fat binder tablets which may help make this possible.
So, how do fat binder pills work?
Fat binders may contain active ingredients such as the drug Orlistat, while other natural versions are based on Chitosan (made from crab shells) or Litramine (extracted from prickly pear cactus plants).
They typically work by binding to fat molecules in undigested food, which prevents them from being absorbed into the body and broken down. Normally, fats we consume in our diet are absorbed and digested by the body and used for energy or stored as excess fat.
Fat binders interfere with this process, binding fats together into clusters too big to be absorbed by the body, instead they are just transported straight through the gut. They can also be effective at suppressing your appetite as the food stays longer in your stomach, making you feel fuller for longer.
Is there any scientific evidence that they help encourage weight loss?
- There has been scientific research carried out on both the natural fat binders, and the chemical ones. A one year study into the effects of Orlistat (found in Alli) on obese individuals, found that users lost a 1/3 more weight than they would than dieting alone.
- This research has been questioned by some, as the dosage of Orlistat in the research was significantly higher than the dosage in Alli and other fat binder’s available to the public. See the results here – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9683204
- Research into the natural supplement – XLS Medical (containing prickly pear extract), found that during a strictly controlled, clinical trial on 125 people, those who took XLS Medical along with a calorie controlled diet, lost more weight than those who stuck to the controlled diet alone. See the diagram below:
Are there any side effects?
Fat binders containing natural fibres derived from plants such as XLS – Medical, Proactol and Lipobind have very little side effects, but as with Alli, can sometimes cause diarrhoea and flatulence when first used – especially in those who consume a very high fat diet.
Fat binders with doses of the drug Orlistat (such as Alli and Xenical) have more severe side effects and should be taken after consultation with your doctor. If you eat more fat than you should in your diet while taking it, you may experience very unpleasant side effects, such as oily stools and poor bowel control.
Conclusion – do fat binders work, are they worth buying?
There is no doubt that these type of supplements are an effective way of decreasing your calorie intake in a high fat diet.
There is also significant evidence that taking fat binders as part of a healthy, calorie controlled diet achieves greater weight loss than just dieting alone would.
Fat binders are not a quick fix and any weight loss will happen gradually, not quickly. Natural fat binders are generally thought to be gentler and carry less risk of side effects, and should be the first port of call rather than drug varients.
All in all, the feedback and results are generally very positive, making fat binders a good option for those who want a little extra help lowering fat intake.