If you have been struggling to lose weight, you have probably done your research into the weight loss products that have been on the market to help you shed pounds. One ingredient, in particular, that you likely heard a lot about is ephedra. While no longer available because of safety concerns, ephedra was hugely popular at one point. Today, however, you can find safe ephedra alternatives, which are also discussed below.
What Is Ephedra?
Ephedra is stimulant obtained from the Ephedra Equisetina plant, also called Ma Huang. It is also produced by chemical synthesis, which is marketed in the form of pseudoephedrine or ephedrine HCl.
Ephedra and its ephedrine alkaloids were once popular ingredients used in diet pills. Research indicates that the ephedra herbal supplement increases metabolism slightly and can assist people in losing weight.
When still available for purchase in the U.S., ephedra diet pills were, by far, the most popular weight loss products. Over the past ten years, however, studies have evaluated the safety and potentially harmful side effects of these diet pill ingredients.
The Reason for Safe Ephedra Alternatives: Ephedra Can Be Harmful!
Ephedra has various side effects about which the public is concerned. Following the deaths of a professional baseball player and young basketball star, both who were using ephedra products, the sale of ephedra and ephedrine was banned in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration in 2006.
The symptoms of an adverse reaction to ephedra are similar to the reactions to amphetamines. Overdosing on Ephedra can lead to:
- Adrenal disorders
- Rapid pulse
- Respiratory difficulties
- Infrequent convulsions
The most severe ephedra side effects are:
- Heart attack
- Rapid irregular heartbeat
- Abnormally high blood pressure
A single dose of ephedra two or three times a day could cause a significant rise in high blood pressure. In the case of the elderly, a slight overdose can instantly lead to fatal results.
Note: Another need to find safe ephedra alternatives is that ephedra has a high potential for abuse because of its addictive properties. Sudden discontinued use of ephedra leads to severe withdrawal symptoms, including depression, manic-depressive behavior caused by weight gain, anxiety, and changes in metabolism. These side effects are caused by the damage of a person’s adrenals, which lessens a vital brain communication neurotransmitter known as the noradrenaline, that sources mental liveliness. This can lead to behavioral changes, which are also frequently noticed in people who consume ephedra products.
What Happened After the Ban?
Following the ban of ephedra in the U.S., a number of diet pill manufacturers endeavored to provide safe ephedra alternatives. Some of these ephedra alternatives have proved to be effective for weight loss, while others have not.
Safe Ephedra Alternatives
The bad news is that ephedra had to be banned. The good news is there are plenty of safe ephedra alternatives.
Alternatives like Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), green tea extract, and bitter orange extract can provide some of the weight loss benefits of ephedra, but without the associated risks.
According to NBC News, there are also many other safe ephedra alternatives currently available on the market today. Those include:
- Green tea extract
- Starch-blocking products
On top of all of that, there are also many weight management supplements that you can purchase over the counter in order to support your weight loss efforts without having to turn to harmful ingredients like ephedra.
For example, FENFAST 375, 3G BURN, and TRIMTHIN X700 are just a few diet pills that you might consider if you are in search of products that you can buy over the counter. These can all provide you with increased amounts of energy and focus throughout the day, and you can use those perks to exercise with greater consistency, as well as eat right daily without falling off your diet plan.
Talk to Your Doctor Before Taking Weight Loss Products
No matter what, consider consulting with your physician before you start taking any new supplement to help you lose weight. You might be the right candidate for a prescription diet pill, or your doctor might be able to help you choose the right diet pill that you can purchase over the counter, especially since there are so many products available and it can become confusing as you shop for the best one. Also, regardless of what diet pill you end up using, be sure to follow the dosage instructions closely to avoid side effects and addiction.
Foods That Naturally Support Your Weight Loss Efforts
In addition to all of the supplements and natural products that are discussed above as safe ephedra alternatives, you can also tweak your diet by incorporating more foods that can naturally support your weight loss efforts.
Certain foods may cause you to pack on the pounds more easily, while other foods might help you slim down more easily. Knowing the differences between the foods that help, and those that hurt, your weight loss efforts can make a world of difference.
What are some of the foods that naturally support weight loss? Well, they include:
- Leafy green vegetables
- Cruciferous veggies
- Apple cider vinegar
- Whole grains
- Chili pepper
- Chia seeds
Other Weight Loss Strategies That Anyone Can Implement
So far, we have shared a lot of different tips and tricks that you can use to start losing more weight more easily. But there are still some other tips that are definitely worth covering, especially when you want to stick with safe ephedra alternatives and natural weight loss strategies.
- Make sure you get enough sleep, whether or not you are using safe ephedra alternatives like diet pills to lose weight. Try to figure out how much sleep you need in order to feel refreshed in the morning. Some people might do fine with just seven hours of sleep, while others might need a longer amount of time in bed, such as 10 hours of sleep. The bottom line is that, when you get enough rest, your body is able to heal itself, your muscles are able to repair themselves after a tough workout, and your mind is able to relax. Beyond that, your body can actually shed pounds more easily as well. So, if you are packing on the pounds, or you are finding it hard to lose weight, think about how much sleep you are getting. If you are not getting enough hours of sleep every night, that might be the reason why you can’t get the number on the scale to go down.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day, every day. Many people do not realize that, sometimes, when they are feeling hungry, what they are really feeling is thirsty. So, the next time that you are hungry, rather than reaching for a snack like you normally would, drink some water. You might find that, by quenching your thirst, you are able to also quell your hunger, and that can help you slim down because you will be able to reduce the number of calories that you consume daily. Plus, water is ultra important for maintaining your overall health, so you definitely want to be sure that you are drinking enough of it in order to avoid becoming dehydrated. It’s just another one of the many safe ephedra alternatives!
Avoid Products That Contain Ephedra, and Stick with Safe Ephedra Alternatives
Although ephedra and ephedrine products are banned in the U.S. and Canada, there are still countries where these products are legal, such as the U.K. There are as many people against the use of ephedra as there ones who support its use, and the danger of these products can be disputed. Even still, with the higher risk associated with these weight loss products, the need for safe ephedra alternatives is indisputable.