If you’ve been thinking about taking weight loss supplements but don’t know which are best or even effective, then you want to read this.
There are tons of natural diet supplements and medications on the market, designed to help with weight loss, but it’s hard to know which you can trust.
Weight loss is best achieved through exercise and eating the right kinds of foods, however, sometimes we just don’t get enough of what we need in the foods we eat.
So, here are the best 15 science-based supplements that can increase energy, rev up your metabolism, reduce your appetite, and reduce fat absorption (in no particular order).
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a powerful polyunsaturated fatty acid found primarily in high-quality beef and dairy products and reduces body fat while preserving muscle.
In addition, it helps lower cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure.
However, quality counts. Grass-fed beef has 300-500% higher amounts of CLA than grain-fed beef. The best way to get CLA is through diet. Although not as effective, CLA supplements can provide a decent amount.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that overweight patients taking 3.2 grams of CLA per day lost an average of 0.2 pounds of fat per week while increasing lean body mass. Those taking a placebo did not. Another study found that similar dosages of CLA also led to reduced body fat.
Glucomannan is made from the root of the konjac plant and has been used for centuries in Japan as a food thickener. Its nickname is “broom of the intestines” because it helps absorb water in the gut to create bulky fiber, which then, you know… leads to healthy bowel movements
Because it acts like a sponge, it makes you feel full, which helps decrease your appetite. It also slows absorption of cholesterol and sugars in the gut, which also helps with weight loss. With that being said, you should drink a lot of water when taking glucomannan to avoid an intestingal blockage.
Glucomannan is the main ingredient in shirataki noodles, also known as “miracle noodles.” which have zero calories and are ultra-low carb.
In a study of obese patients taking 1 gram of glucomannan with 8 ounces of water one hour before meals, they lost 5.5 pounds over 8 weeks without changing their exercise or eating patterns.
L-carnitine is an amino acid found naturally in the body that is produced by other amino acids, lysine and methionine. You can also get it by eating meat or fish, or from a supplement.
L-carnitine helps to transport fatty acids into your cells to be used as energy, which boosts metabolism. It has also been found to aid in muscle recovery after exercise by increasing blood flow and red blood cells carrying oxygen to the muscles.
Methylcobalamin is an essential vitamin that plays a key role in cell metabolism, energy production, DNA synthesis, and red blood cell production. It helps convert fats into energy, so it’s no wonder why it is commonly used as a weight loss supplement.
There are many forms of vitamin B12, but methylcobalamin is known as the “bioavailable” form of B12. This means that your body can use it right away.
Methylcobalamin is naturally found in meat and dairy. With that being said, those following a vegan or vegetarian diet have a difficult time getting enough through diet alone. In addition, many people suffer from malabsorption and aren’t able to absorb enough B12 from foods as they pass through the intestines.
Worried about getting too much? Any extra floating around in your body will just be peed out.
Not much research has been done to prove the effects of B12 and weight loss. However, a study in the U.K. found that vitamin B12 insufficiency was associated with obesity. And, it’s been used for many years as a weight loss supplement, so that shows that it’s been working.
Note that although methylocobalamin B12 is available as an injection, research shows that the oral supplement is just as effective and less expensive.
Probiotics are found in supplements and fermented foods that may help you lose weight by restoring the balance of bacteria in your gut, otherwise known as “gut flora”. In fact, research has found that obese people have an imbalance of gut bacteria compared to people of a healthy weight and that gut bacteria taken from the obese are transplanted into the gut of a slim person, causes them to gain weight.
These “healthy bacteria” may also improve digestive health, as they produce nutrients and help break down fiber that your body can’t digest. Taking probiotics may reduce the rate of calorie absorption, and may also affect hormones related to appetite control and fat storage.
A study of women found that taking probiotics for 12 weeks led to significant reductions in weight and body mass index. In addition, blood sugar and triglyceride levels improved. In another study, participants who consumed probiotics through yogurt dropped 3-4% of their body fat.
Vitamin D isn’t just for bones and teeth. It can actually help you lose weight!
We have known for a long time that vitamin D deficiency is associated with obesity, but recent research has found that taking vitamin D supplements can aid in weight loss.
A study of 400 overweight or obese patients found that those who took 25,000-100,000 IUs of vitamin D lost more weight than those taking a placebo.
Chromium is an essential mineral that helps regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels, reduces carb cravings, reduces fat mass, increases lean body mass, and combats insulin resistance. It can also improve brain health.
Although you can usually get enough chromium through diet, there are supplements available. Chromium is stored in soil and rocks, which leak into the foods we eat. However, poor soil due to over-farming may create a chromium deficiency.
A study by the Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University found that taking 1,000 milligrams of chromium supplements per day helped reduce hunger and food cravings, food intake, and body weight.
Green tea has gained a lot of respect for its great health benefits including fighting cancer, lowering cholesterol, boosting immunity, and maintaining healthy skin. And, it’s great as a weight loss supplement!
Green tea extract is an amazing energy and metabolism booster.
When green tea extract is produced, catechins (anti-oxidant compounds) called “ECGC” are isolated from the plant and are used in high concentrations. These have powerful effects and can act as appetite suppressants.
Green tea extract can also help mobilize fat from fat cells for use as energy, by inhibiting fat-burning hormones in the body.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming green tea before exercise has been shown to burn 17% more fat.
Another study found that green tea extract causes calorie burning to increase by 4.6%.
Since the amount of ECGC varies, it’s important to check the label to see how many milligrams of catechins it contains. Most have around 50%. The brand I recommend is Biotrust Leptiburn.
Before going on a trip to Costa Rica, I thought that green coffee beans were a special type of coffee bean. Then, I discovered that they are none other than just coffee beans that haven’t been roasted yet.
Green coffee bean extract is one of the most popular weight loss supplements on the market and rightly so. It has also been used for the treatment of obesity in Central America and the Caribbean for many years.
It contains chlorogenic acid (CGA), which is said to be the powerhouse behind its metabolism-boosting effects. CGA is not found in coffee that has been roasted, and that’s why keeping the beans green is so beneficial.
It also contains caffeine, of course, which gives you a nice spurt of energy that you can use to burn off calories. However, caffeine is not the prize-winner here, as research has shown that decaffeinated green coffee bean extract prevents obesity. So, you can thank CGA mostly.
A study by the Journal of International Medical Research found that consuming 200 mg of green coffee rich in CGA led to an average weight loss of 5.4 kg, versus only 0.6 mg in the group taking the placebo.
The skin of the garcinia cambogia fruit contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which works by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain, which reduces food cravings.
One study found that it significantly reduced visceral, subcutaneous, and total fat, and slightly decreased body weight.
Another study found that consumption of garcinia cambogia extract was associated with approximately 2 pounds of weight loss over an average of 8 weeks.
Whey protein isn’t just for bodybuilders. It’s also a great weight loss supplement!
Consuming higher amounts of protein is great for losing weight because it staves off hunger and helps maintain muscle so your body doesn’t burn that off instead.
Since muscle cells require more energy than fat cells, it makes sense to gain lean muscle and maintain it. And ladies, don’t worry about turning into a beefy gym rat. Getting enormous muscles just isn’t in our DNA, so don’t be afraid of the weights. They are your friend when it comes to slimming down.
A study by the Journal of American College of Nutrition found that consuming whey protein results in an average weight loss of 4.20 kg.
A lot of protein shakes are loaded with artificial sweeteners and basically toxic junk. This company is known for its high-quality protein supplements.
One time, I left one of their chocolate chip protein cookies in my car on a hot day and it was soft and gooey (I recommend doing this!).
Diet supplements on the market that do not have any research to back up their claims for weight loss (in humans) include:
Hoodia gordonii, usually just called “Hoodia,” is a succulent plant found in South Africa and Namibia, and has been marketed in the U.S. as a weight loss supplement.
Hoodia has been used by native African tribes to stave off hunger during long hunting trips. However, there is no actual evidence that it helps people lose weight. Maybe in the future it will be proven as an effective weight loss supplement, but for now, we just don’t have any positive findings.
Not proven effective. In addition, there are plenty of side effects such as vomiting and elevated blood pressure and heart rate. In fact, a study on women treated with Hoodia resulted in 208 cases of side effects in only 49 women.
Raspberry ketones are the substances that give raspberries their aroma and have been thought to help people lose weight.
However, the raspberry ketones you buy on store shelves as a weight loss supplement are not natural at all, and are made synthetically.
It is said that the molecular structure of raspberry ketones causes fat cells to release adiponectin, which plays a role in controlling blood sugar levels and regulating metabolism.
There is no research that has proven raspberry ketones as an effective weight loss supplement.
There are plenty of weight loss supplements out there on the market. Some work, some don’t. Or, at least haven’t been proven to work yet.
Top choices: Probiotics and Green Tea Extract.
Probiotics seem to treat one of the root causes of obesity, which is an imbalance of gut flora. And, green tea extract provides both caffeine and ECGC, which is a big double whammy against fat.
Of course, a healthy diet rich in whole foods packed with protein and fiber and low in carbs, along with exercise , is the best way to lose weight. But everyone could use a little help every now and then.
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