T Nation

Are Supplements Worth It?

I’ve just started getting to the gym recently and I’m trying to lose weight. The day I started I weighed in at 265 pounds with a height of 5’9", obviously the worst shape I’ve ever been in. I’m going in heavy enough, 5 times a week and I’ve been at it just about 3 weeks now. I’m book smart enough on some of this stuff but I’ve been debating over the suppliment angle for a while now.

Thus far into my routine (Primarily consisting of a cardio warmup, followed by a 20-30 minute weight set on arms, chest and back, and ending with another 30-45 minutes of cardio) I’ve seen some good results in endurance and weight lifting capability. And I definately feel a ton better than I did 3 weeks ago.

My goal is to lose body fat (26.7% when I started) and over time lose the gut, big thighs and man boobs. I’m sure you can tell I’m not good with subtlety in describing my condition. Essentially I want to work extremely hard towards a body I don’t have to feel that I need to hide behind cloth all the time, and I’m willing to do whatever it takes.

I’m far enough into my routine that it is time for me to start changing it up and refining what I’m doing as my joints and muscles don’t burn like they did days after the fact when I first started.

So first off, does anyone have any advice given my weight and direction. And secondly, are suppliments worth the cost investment for the results they will produce, or am I just too new to this to even consider them yet?

I’ve been recommended several things by friends and one of the local suppliment shops. Specifically to start off with a protein shake base, multivitamin and a thermogenic.

More specifically IsoFlex for the protein, Optimum Nutrition Opti-Men for the multivitamin and a thermogenic (HOT-ROX aren’t common in Canada).

Ringing in at around 150 bucks for what appears to be about a month worth is a hefty price to pay (The IsoFlex was a 3 week supply I believe). I just don’t want to get into that side of things unless when combined with what I’m doing that I’m actually going to see some results.

Additionally I’ve dropped my food intake from way too much, down to 4-6 small meals averaging between 1700 and 1900 cals a day.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

You need a higher calorie day 1 time a week or your metabolism will just readjust and become more efficent. I lost 57 in 12 weeks…I would workout fullbody 3 times a week, cardio 6-7 and eat 100% right. Still eat my steak and potatoes on Friday nights…Research zig zag dieting

personally i couldn’t progress at a reasonable pace anymore without a quality whey isolate and an extra strength fish oil

both of these seriously enhance recovery with the latter eliminating joint soreness

i would throw in a cheap zinc supplement in there like zinc citrate

beyond that i value a good diet and intense disciplined training more

I take carlsons liquid fish oil, optimum whey protein(good quality and cheap too), and uni-liver tablets for extra b vitamins and protein.

Those three have been my staple for awhile and allow my body to recover qucikly.

In all honesty, you have to eat a well balanced diet to get all your essential nutrients. Supplements are what they are: supplementing what you don’t get enough of in your normal diet.

Know why you are taking a supplement and make sure its the right dose and a quality brand. And they must be taking consistently to see results.

Thanks for the quick replies. Everywhere I’ve read keeps on the benefits of the right diet. I’m moving in the right direction. I used to be a 2 big meal a day guy with a 2 litre or more of cola a day on top. I went cold turkey (mmm, cold turkey) on all of that and now am onto water, non-concentrate orange juice, skim milk, etc. I believe that at least half of my progress thus far is likely due to the diet change.

I’m definately going to be changing the diet up again here in a week or so, working with some people who know more than I do to help me set up a plan because I’m a little ad hoc atm as far as portion control and meal timing.

The thermogenic’s were the really interesting ones to me. I know there’s no easy way to lose weight so I’m not deluding myself into believing they are magic, but the logic behind them is sound. They tend to get a bit of a bad rap though from some areas which is why I’ve not taken the plunge yet. My other issue healthwise is high blood pressure, and anything that is going to increase body temp, metabolism and such, I guess I’m concerned there may be other complications.