Do We Rely Too Heavily on Supplements?

by Matt Weik

If you’ve followed my work for any amount of time, you’d already know that most of my career was spent in the supplement industry. And to be totally honest with you, it’s been a love/hate relationship. Supplements themselves are just that – supplements. However, too many times I see individuals using supplements to replace just about everything and to aid them in reaching goals by taking the easy way out. Let me explain…

I want results yesterday

We live in a world where we don’t want to wait for anything. We like fast food because it’s quick and basically instantaneous when we are hungry and on the go. We use smartphones to give us up-to-date information at our fingertips. And we use supplements to take the easy way out when it comes to achieving our health and fitness goals rather than putting in the work at the gym and in the kitchen.

But, supplements don’t truly teach most people anything. The reason they are using products such as fat burners to lose weight is that they don’t understand nutrition and what macros they should be consuming daily to achieve their goals. They live a lifestyle that isn’t conducive to where they want to be. You can’t be eating ice cream at every meal with a side of donuts and wash it down with a Coke and think you’re going to lose weight – it doesn’t work that way. Yet, people want fat burners to work miracles and transform their keg into a six-pack.

These individuals need to get their arms around solving the problem first before they want to start spending their money on supplements. There are even individuals who are blowing money on fat burners (which are really just diuretics) who see some results and as soon as the bottle is empty they regain all of their weight back (and maybe even more). Why? Because they haven’t changed their lifestyle.

Becoming healthy and fit is a lifestyle more than anything. That’s why fad diets never work. You follow someone’s guidance aimlessly until you reach the end, then you have nowhere to go afterward because you don’t know how to manage your food intake and specifically the foods you should be consuming.

It’s not all bad

While there are plenty of scumbag supplement owners out in the industry, there are just as many good leaders out there who want to make a difference and help people achieve their health and fitness goals. They educate their consumers not only on their products but how to make subtle changes in their nutrition and workouts to give them a better chance of reaching their end goal.

I’m personally not into all of the super-hyped products. You know the ones I’m talking about. The gain “1,000% more strength, lose 10 pounds in 10 days, add 10 pounds of muscle in 30 days.” It’s nonsense. They prey off of consumers who are uneducated. These are the cancerous brands of the industry who give everyone else a bad name and can’t be trusted.

Then you have the brands who come out with legit products to SUPPLEMENT gaps in nutrition. Products such as protein powder, multivitamins, fish oil, BCAAs, greens and reds powders, as well as many of the natural herbs and products out there with studies backing their use.

I’m all for these kinds of products and use them myself. I see huge value in something like a multivitamin. Not many Americans are consuming enough variety in their diet to give them all of their micronutrients for the day. That’s where a multivitamin can come in and fill the gap as mentioned earlier.

The same with protein powder. There are some individuals who simply can’t stomach eating/chewing their protein requirements so they drink a protein shake to supplement their nutritional needs. But, you need to know where you are deficient and look to work supplements into your plan by using that strategy.

Don’t simply go out and buy everything all of your friends are buying just because you think it will help. Know what you need and why – and then start from there. You need patience. If you are overweight, you didn’t get that way overnight. You didn’t go to bed weighing 135 and wake up 260. In the same fashion, you need to allow for the proper amount of time to slowly and in a healthy manner lose weight.

Same goes with putting on quality size. While there are products on the market that will increase testosterone and everything else, it’s a quick fix that unfortunately won’t last. Slow and steady wins the race. So, while we tend to rely heavily on supplements, there are many benefits that come along with their use. Stop using them as a crutch and start using them to fill in gaps to help you progress towards your goals.

If you aren’t sure where to start or what supplements you should even consider (or maybe you want to know my thoughts on if you’re wasting your money on the things you’re buying), feel free to reach out to me and I can provide you with some guidance.