There have been many studies on taking laxatives for weight loss over the years. None, it would seem have provided any evidence whatsoever that a laxative can help you lose weight in the long term. There is a temporary weight loss effect but this is largely water weight and you are right back where you started when you next drink.
This is a guide for using laxatives for losing weight, we have detailed the different kinds (stool softeners, osmotic etc) and also the side effects and dangers. We have also listed some of the best natural supplements if you want to lose weight quickly, safely and permanently.
Best Alternatives to Using Laxatives for Weight Loss
#1 - PhenQ - Natural Fat Burner and Appetite Suppressant
PhenQ is a natural dietary supplement designed to help men and women lose weight quickly and safely. It works by targeting multiple aspects of weight loss using a synergistic formula of natural ingredients. PhenQ can help you lose weight in the following ways:
1. Suppressing appetite and reducing cravings. PhenQ contains nopal cactus fiber and capsicum extract, which are clinically proven to suppress appetite and reduce calorie intake. By controlling hunger and cravings, it makes it easier to cut excess calories from your diet and lose weight. PhenQ is regarded to be the best appetite suppressant according to industry critics.
2. Boosting metabolism. PhenQ also contains caffeine and capsimax powder, which help boost your resting metabolic rate. A faster metabolism helps you burn more calories, even during rest. This can help maximize fat burning and make it easier to lose body fat.
3. Preventing fat production. PhenQ's formula includes chromium picolinate, which helps inhibit fat production in the body. By slowing down fat cell production, it becomes easier to lose weight from fat you already have stored on your body.
4. Improving mood. The formula also contains mood-enhancing ingredients to help reduce irritability and other negative mood effects that can arise when dieting. A good mood will help keep you motivated to continue with your weight management efforts.
5. Increasing energy levels. PhenQ also boosts energy levels thanks to ingredients like caffeine. Higher energy levels allow you to remain active and exercise, which in turn helps you maximize fat burning and calorie expenditure.
PhenQ does not cause rebound weight gain because it teaches you how to develop a healthy balanced diet and exercise regimen. Once you achieve your goals, you can maintain your weight by continuing these good habits and making PhenQ a part of your routine. PhenQ produces real weight loss results through fat burning, unlike laxatives which only cause temporary loss of water weight or waste. For the most effective and safe weight loss, PhenQ is a superior option to laxatives which can be dangerous if abused.
#2 - YourBiology Gut+ - Probiotic Supplement for Weight Loss
Yourbiology Gut+ is a probiotic supplement designed to improve gut health and aid weight loss. It works in the following ways:
1. Improving gut microbiome. Yourbiology Gut+ contains over 40 billion CFUs of probiotics, including strains like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, which are beneficial bacteria that improve gut microbiome balance and diversity. A balanced gut microbiome is important for health, digestion, metabolism, and weight management. Yourbiology is a highly effective probiotic for gas and bloating.
2. Enhancing digestion. The probiotics in Yourbiology Gut+ help break down foods more efficiently, which improves digestion and gut transit time. Better digestion means you will absorb fewer calories from the foods you eat, which helps with weight loss over time. Improved digestion also reduces issues like bloating, gas, and constipation.
3. Reducing inflammation. Yourbiology Gut+ helps reduce inflammation in the gut by balancing gut bacteria. Lower inflammation is important for weight loss because chronic inflammation slows metabolism and promotes fat storage in the body. By lowering inflammation, Yourbiology Gut+ helps boost fat burning and make weight loss easier.
4. Regulating appetite. Yourbiology Gut+ may help reduce appetite and hunger levels due to improved gut health and communication with the brain. Certain probiotic strains have been shown to have appetite-suppressing effects, which leads to eating fewer calories and losing excess weight.
5. Maximizing nutrient absorption. Yourbiology Gut+ helps your gut absorb more nutrients from the foods you eat by improving digestion and gut health. Absorbing more nutrients will provide you energy and help keep you feeling full, which helps efforts in losing weight. Lacking certain nutrients may also slow weight loss, so improved absorption is beneficial.
Compared to laxatives, Yourbiology Gut+ is a safer and more sustainable method of losing weight. While laxatives only produce temporary weight loss through dehydration or waste removal, Yourbiology Gut+ causes permanent changes by altering your body composition and metabolism through improved gut health.
#3 - Capsiplex - Thermogenic Fat Burner
Capsiplex is a dietary supplement designed to boost metabolism and aid fat burning for weight loss. It works in the following ways:
1. Raising metabolic rate. Capsiplex contains capsaicin from chili peppers, which gives it a spicy kick and thermogenic effect. Capsaicin has been shown to boost resting metabolic rate for up to several hours after consumption. A faster metabolism helps you burn more calories even when sedentary, which helps facilitate fat loss.
2. Maximizing calorie and fat burning. By speeding up metabolism, Capsiplex helps your body burn more calories and fat. The capsaicin in Capsiplex may increase fat oxidation during exercise as well, which boosts how much fat you can lose during workouts. When combined with activity, Capsiplex's effects can lead to significant increases in total daily energy expenditure.
3. Reducing appetite. Capsiplex may have some appetite-suppressing effects due to the temporary increase in body heat and metabolism it produces. The spicy kick from capsaicin activates certain receptors that can reduce appetite and make you feel full.
4. Providing an energy boost. Even though Capsiplex speeds up fat burning, it does not cause an energy crash. The supplement actually boosts alertness and focus in many people due to the effects of capsaicin. The increased energy may motivate you to exercise or be active, which helps maximize weight loss.
5. Enabling fat loss with exercise. Capsiplex is particularly effective when combined with regular exercise. Because it speeds up metabolism and calorie burning, it helps your body utilize fat stores for energy during physical activity. This can enhance the amount of fat you lose during cardio or strength training. Exercise also compounds the appetite-suppressing effects of Capsiplex.
Compared to laxatives, Capsiplex is a safer and more effective supplement for losing weight. Capsiplex produces real results through increased fat burning and exercise performance, not temporary loss of water or waste like laxatives. It leads to better lifestyle habits and fitness, helping you build muscle and lose fat.
Different Types of Laxatives
There are several types of laxatives:
Fiber supplements or bulk-forming laxatives contain fiber, such as psyllium husk or wheat bran. They work by absorbing water in the intestines and swelling up to form a bulky stool. This stimulates bowel movements. Examples include Metamucil and Benefiber. These are generally very gentle and can be used long-term.
Stimulant laxatives stimulate the nerves in the colon to speed up bowel movements. They include senna, cascara, aloe vera, and bisacodyl. Examples are Ex-Lax and Senokot. These tend to work in 6-12 hours. They can cause abdominal cramping in some people and should only be used occasionally. Overuse can lead to dependence.
An Osmotic laxative works by drawing water into the colon from surrounding tissues. This softens the stool and triggers bowel movements. Examples include magnesium citrate, magnesium hydroxide (Milk of Magnesia), sodium phosphate (Fleet Phospho-soda), and polyethylene glycol (Miralax). These generally take 2-3 days to work and are safer for long-term use.
Mineral oil coats the stool and intestines, which helps soften the stool and makes it easier to pass. It takes 6-8 hours to work. Long term use can lead to vitamin deficiencies by interfering with absorption.
Stool softeners, such as docusate, work by wetting and softening the stool to make bowel movements easier to pass. They are good to treat constipation. They do not stimulate bowel movements. Stool softeners soften the stool by helping liquids mix into the stool better. They allow water and fats to penetrate the surface of stools so they become softer, smoother, and easier to pass.
Suppositories or Enemas
Glycerin suppositories and sodium phosphate enemas introduce agents into the rectum to directly stimulate a bowel movement and soften stool. They act within 15-60 minutes but are not practical or safe for long term use.
Prokinetic agents stimulate contractions of the intestines and speed up transit. Prucalopride is the only prokinetic agent approved for chronic constipation. It works within 2-3 days.
Clinical Studies on Using Laxatives for Weight 2023
There is a lack of strong clinical evidence up to and including 2023 demonstrating that laxatives are effective or appropriate for weight loss. In fact, most studies show that laxatives do not produce fat loss or sustainable weight reduction. Some key findings include:
•A 1990 review concluded there is no evidence laxatives help with weight loss in the long term. They only produce temporary loss of fluids, electrolytes, and nutrients. Weight gain resumes with refeeding. (Brown University).
•A 1991 study found laxative use does not change body weight, body fat percentage, or rate of weight loss in obese patients on a low-calorie diet over 4 weeks. The laxative group experienced dehydration but no benefit. (University of Massachusetts Medical Center)
•A 1994 study found laxative use did not increase rate or amount of weight loss over 6 weeks on a 1000 kcal/day diet. The laxative group experienced more GI side effects with no weight loss advantage. (National Center for Biotechnology Information)
•A 2001 study found no evidence that laxatives aid weight loss in obese patients with binge eating disorder over 6 months. Laxative use caused dehydration and electrolyte imbalance with no sustained weight loss effects. (University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences)
•A 2010 review concluded there is no evidence for the popular perception that laxatives aid weight loss. They only produce temporary loss of fluids, not body fat. No studies demonstrate long term efficacy for weight reduction or management. (Gastroenterology and Hepatology from Bed to Bench)
•A 2016 review found little evidence showing laxatives effective for weight loss in obese people. Studies are poorly designed, lack controls, and do not measure loss of fat mass. Evidence does not support laxative use for weight management. (Obesity Medicine Association)
Laxatives for Weight Loss Results
Some people use laxatives in an attempt to lose weight quickly and effortlessly. Laxatives work by stimulating bowel movements or making stools softer for easier passage.
Stimulant laxatives such as senna or bisacodyl speed up bowel movements by irritating the intestinal wall muscles. They can cause cramping but work within 6-12 hours. Osmotic laxatives like polyethylene glycol and lactulose draw water into the intestines from nearby body tissue to trigger bowel movements within 2-3 days. Bulk-forming laxatives add fiber to create bulkier stools. They are gentler but can take days to work. Other options include stool softeners, lubricants, and suppositories
The use of laxatives may seem to reduce body weight in the short term due to water loss and reduced calorie absorption. However, laxatives do not target fat loss or permanently lower body weight. They solely affect the digestive tract and any weight lost is quickly regained once food and fluids are consumed again. Laxatives are not a safe or effective weight loss method.
Overusing laxatives in an attempt to lose weight can lead to dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and dependence. It may cause chronic constipation by damaging the digestive system and intestinal wall muscles over time. Laxative abuse is common among those with eating disorders but does not produce sustainable results. Healthy weight loss requires a balanced nutritious diet, reduced portion sizes, and regular exercise. Establishing good lifestyle habits is the best approach for long term success.
While laxatives can be used properly under medical guidance to relieve constipation or prepare for certain procedures, they do not cause fat loss or permanent weight reduction on their own. Laxatives only produce temporary loss of water and waste, not actual lowering of body fat or weight. They should never be used for losing body fat or lowering BMI due to safety concerns and lack of effectiveness. There are no shortcuts to real weight loss. The misuse of laxatives to lose weight only provides an illusory promise of easy weight loss but leads to health issues and the cycle of weight regain without lifestyle changes.
Side Effects of Using Laxatives for Weight Loss
Using laxatives for losing weight can lead to several dangerous side effects:
Dehydration: Laxatives work by drawing water into the intestines and stools, which can cause excess loss of fluids and dehydration. Dehydration leads to dizziness, weakness, and electrolyte imbalance. Severe dehydration requires emergency medical treatment.
Electrolyte imbalance: The body requires balanced levels of electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and chloride for organ and muscle function. Laxative abuse can alter electrolyte levels which affects the heart, blood pressure, bones and other bodily systems. Irregular heartbeats, fatigue, and muscle cramps may result.
Malnutrition and nutrient deficiencies: Laxatives speed up digestion and can interfere with nutrient absorption from foods. Regular use may lead to deficiencies in nutrients like protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals which are required for health and body function.
Gastrointestinal problems: Chronic use of laxatives causes damage to the digestive system and bowel muscles over time. This may lead to issues like chronic constipation, hemorrhoids, bloating, and dependence where normal bowel function is difficult without laxatives. Irritable bowel syndrome and colitis are other possible complications.
Organ failure: In severe cases, persistent laxative abuse can potentially lead to organ failure, especially kidney and liver damage due to dehydration and malnutrition. However, this is relatively rare and usually only seen with extreme, long-term abuse of prescription laxatives. Permanent organ failure can be life-threatening without treatment.
Eating disorders: Laxative abuse is commonly associated with eating disorders such as bulimia. However, it does not promote real or sustainable weight control. Treatment for any underlying eating disorders is required to establish balanced eating habits and maintain health. Psychological support may also be needed.
Difficulty losing weight: Chronic use of laxatives interferes with digestive and metabolic functions involved in weight management. This actually makes it harder to lose weight through normal methods like diet and exercise alone over time. Laxative abuse leads to a cycle of weight fluctuations rather than steady loss. Breaking this cycle requires professional guidance and a balanced diet plan.
Laxatives for Weight Loss Summary
In summary, laxative use does not produce real weight reduction and lead to dangerous physical and psychological side effects when misused or abused. They disrupt bodily systems, damage health, and perpetuate unhealthy weight reduction practices. Laxatives provide a false promise of easy weight reduction but the effects are temporary and ultimately counterproductive.
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