Best Supplements for Weight Loss
Let’s start by clarifying a very stingy subject: Spot-reduction (losing fat in one specific part of the body) is simply not possible. Our bodies distribute fat all over the body and burn them in the same fashion.
A common saying in the health and fitness industry is that “abs are made in the kitchen”, meaning that 80% of our weight loss endeavors are achieved through proper weight loss diet meal planning and lifestyle changes. And one tool we have to promote these efforts is the proper use of science-backed supplements. And with so much information easily available, and most of it being published by people or companies with big monetary bias this guide comes much more useful to review some of the most famous weight loss supplements.
SOME POPULAR AND NOT-SO-EFFECTIVE SUPPLEMENTS FOR WEIGHT LOSS
COCONUT OIL: associated with an increased metabolic rate, but these effects are short-lived (not being present after 2 weeks) and are unlikely to contribute to long-term fat loss.
CAPSAICIN: it has some minor effects on lowering blood glucose with high doses. However, there is no proven effect on fat oxidation.
GREEN TEA: The lipid oxidation and related fat-burning effects are dose-dependent. Significant effects are only achieved at high doses of 400-500mg. Regular doses don’t have a strong weight loss effect.
SOME POPULAR SUPPLEMENTS THAT MIGHT BE EFFECTIVE BUT NOT TOTALLY SAFE
YOHIMBINE: it has a notable effect on the reduction of fat mass in both obese and lean individuals. However, there are some not-so-pleasant side effects like anxiety, high blood pressure and heart rate, and elevated cortisol levels.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR: it has some mild effects in regulating appetite, reducing blood glucose, and stimulating fat loss. However if taken on an empty stomach or in high quantities can lead to tooth enamel erosion, esophageal damage, nausea, and other gastric symptoms, even a small relationship with a higher risk of gastric cancer has been found in people with increased pickled food consumption
SOME COMMON SUPPLEMENTS THAT HAVE PROMISING RESULTS AND ARE QUITE SAFE
GREEN COFFEE EXTRACT: there’s more evidence needed, but there are a few studies that show some mild effects in fat loss and weight reduction. Helping as well with the reduction of high blood pressure and heart rate.
COFEE: it helps raise levels of adiponectin and HDL which help prevent conditions like obesity and diabetes. It also has shown some effect in reducing inflammation and increasing fat oxidation, thermogenesis, and metabolic rate It is considered safe in a dose of under 400mg/day, which is about four cups.
L-CARNITINE: There are plenty of studies suggesting a mild effect on weight management as well as for diminishing the waist-hip ratio, a notable effect to lower and control appetite, and an increment in lean mass
WHEY PROTEIN: As seen in previous articles a high protein diet has a thermogenic effect and helps to develop lean mass and stimulate fat loss, as well as regulate appetite
FISH OIL: There’s a lot of research on fish oil supplements to reduce triglycerides, increase HDL (good cholesterol), decrease liver fat, and increased fat oxidation. And it’s even been shown to improve mood and motivation.
NOT-SO-COMMON “SUPPLEMENTS” THAT SHOW GOOD RESULTS
Not exactly supplements but some practices and lifestyle changes that can be helpful and safe tools for fat loss and improving overall health
COLD EXPOSURE: not exactly a supplement you can take, but a daily practice that can help boost your body’s capacity to burn fat or energy expenditure.
BREATHING EXERCISES: Some specific breathing exercises like Bhramari pranayama and OM chanting have a positive effect on pulmonary function and in losing weight, the same is true for diaphragmatic breathing exercises that have been shown to have an effect on resting metabolic rate
Not everything that shines is gold. And no matter how popular a supplement may be, or how promoted and recommended it is, the effects might not be what they claim to be. Or even more importantly, they might not be safe to take and make more harm than help. So here are our main takeaways when choosing your weight loss supplements:
CHOOSE THE RIGHT SUPPLEMENT: you can use this guide or look online for scientific evidence of the efficacy and safety of a supplement you’re interested in trying
CHOOSE THE RIGHT PRODUCT: always look into the ingredients and look for the purest supplement with fewer added ingredients, again a quick internet search on reputation and reviews of products can help find the best and safest ones for you. Always look for reputable brands that have been tested and that disclose the preparation and distribution practices, hopefully, pharmacy-graded procedures for making their supplements.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT DOSE: Use this guide or do an online search for safe and recommended doses. Stay away from supplements that don’t mention the dose or that require doses that are too high to be effective.
EXPERIMENT AND BE CRITICAL: if after doing your homework you’re ready to try a supplement, keep a journal, or some form of tracking your results. After a few weeks take a clinical look at the results and symptoms you experience. If it works for you, do another round of safety checks on the product and continue using it, if it doesn’t work or causes you some side effects suspend immediately and move on.