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Weight Loss Supplements - Weight Loss Guide

Updated: Apr 23, 2022





Weight loss supplements are generally natural extracts that may supplement your weight loss efforts. However, it is vital to understand that these supplements work better when used to supplement lifestyle interventions like dietary measures and exercise. Perhaps most people living with obesity would consider one or another weight loss supplement. Using these supplements have many other benefits apart from weight loss. For example, some of them may help fight nutritional deficiencies.



Additionally, some weight loss supplements may help counter other issues like boosting energy levels, helping overcome fatigue, and sleeping better. People also use supplements due to their perceived safety profile. Most of the natural supplements are safe for prolonged use. People use supplements due to ease of use. Unlike lifestyle interventions, using supplements need minimum effort. Weight loss supplements work in different ways; they alter appetite and food-seeking behavior, boost basal metabolic rate, influence gut health, exert a thermogenic effect, etc. This article particularly looks at some of the top natural weight loss supplements.



Garcinia cambogia



It is a tree fruit that is native to India and Southeast Asia. Its other common names are Malabar Tamarind, garcinia, and brindle berry. In recent years it has become a popular weight loss supplement. Studies show that its pulp contains an organic compound called hydroxycitric acid (HCA). Many popular weight loss supplements like Hydroxycut contain HCA. Since it is a popular weight-loss supplement, it has been subject to numerous clinical studies. Most studies show that it is suitable for reducing body weight, waist circumference, and visceral fat accumulation.



One of the high-quality studies done in Japan confirms its benefits for weight loss. A study in forty-four subjects found that it could significantly reduce visceral and subcutaneous fat on 12-16 weeks of regular use. These findings are highly encouraging. Furthermore, the study also found that it is suitable for metabolic health and did not cause any reverse effects or rebound obesity on discontinuation of the supplement. However, Garcinia Cambogia should not be abused and only be consumed in recommended dosages, as, in some individuals, it is known to cause hepatotoxicity.



Caffeine


Caffeine is the most commonly consumed mind-altering substance in the world. It is in abundance in coffee energy drinks and is also added to many health supplements, including weight loss supplements. It is highly safe when consumed in recommended dosages and does not cause any side effects. Therefore, US FDA states that 400 mg of caffeine daily is entirely safe for health. Caffeine has many health effects. It is a central nervous system stimulant that increases focus and reduces fatigue. It also boosts metabolism. It is also a mild cardio stimulant. It helps burn fat in multiple ways.



There is strong scientific evidence that caffeine is one of the most effective weight loss supplements. A systemic review combining data of 13 studies with 606 participants found that caffeine intake helps reduce fat mass and BMI. Moreover, it appears that increasing its dosage may also increase its effect considerably. Many pre-workout supplements, energy drinks, and weight loss supplements contain caffeine. However, it is also present in regular coffee, something to keep in mind when using any supplement. At very high dosages, it may cause an increase in blood pressure, headaches, and altered sleep pattern.



Raspberry ketones


As the name suggests, it is an organic compound that is found in raspberries and many other berries. In addition, it is present in fruits like kiwi, peaches, apples, and many more. It belongs to the class of chemicals called ketones. However, one should not confuse it with ketone bodies produced in the human body. Raspberry ketone (RK) is one of the effective weight loss supplements. However, it is worth understanding that most supplements contain synthetic raspberry ketones, as a natural compound is too expensive. Nevertheless, synthetic analogs are as good and safe as natural compounds. Studies suggest that RK helps reduce body weight, increase utilization of fats by liver cells, reduce visceral fat, and improve metabolic rate. In addition, it appears to boost the utilization of fatty acids for energy production. Although there are very few studies using RK for weight loss, clinical trials show that using RK in combination with other health supplements is good for changing body composition, reducing waist circumference, and much more. Most people can expect to experience benefits after eight weeks of regular use.



Green coffee beans


As there is little doubt that caffeine can help lose bodyweight improve focus, thus one of the healthier ways of getting caffeine could be consuming green coffee beans. Green coffee beans are just a raw version of regular roasted coffee beans. However, it has a very different kind of chemical composition. It is because roasting coffee beans at high temperatures results in the degradation of many antioxidants. Thus, green coffee is just a regular coffee with a similar caffeine content but a much higher content of antioxidants, thus being a preferred health supplement for weight loss. Studies show that when combined with other lifestyle interventions like physical training and dietary measures, green coffee can help significantly with weight loss efforts. For example, studies show that combining green coffee beans with other weight loss efforts may help lose 2-3 kg of body weight in four to twelve weeks.



Guar gum


It is a natural weight loss supplement that may be used alone or in combination with other weight loss supplements. Cluster beans, a kind of legume that grows in tropical countries, are a major source of guar gum. Studies show that using guar gum may help lose 2-3 kg of body weight on average. It may also help reduce blood glucose levels, reduce appetite, improve intestinal motility. One of the ways in which it works is by altering the appetite, and another mechanism of action is changing the absorption of glucose from various foods. So Guar gum is quite good for metabolic health.



Psyllium husk

It is a husk derived from the seed of a plant called Plantago ovata. Ispaghula is another common name for this supplement. It is good for treating chronic constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and many other gut issues. It is a dietary fiber containing both soluble and insoluble dietary fibers. Since the western diet is highly deficient in dietary fiber, the supplement may help prevent metabolic disorders. In addition, moderate and regular consumption of psyllium husk may help prevent diabetes, lower bad cholesterol, help improve heart health, and much more. Studies show that it is also a good way of weight loss. It may assist in weight loss by modulating appetite, helping feel fuller, improving gut health, and much more. In addition, studies show that it may be especially good when combined with other weight loss supplements like hydroxy citrate.



Glucomannan


Another source of natural dietary fiber. Using dietary fiber is good in the way that it has no known severe health risks. Moreover, one can use dietary fiber-based supplements regularly for prolonged intervals like months or even years. Glucomannan is a dietary fiber from a plant called konjac. When inside the intestines, it can absorb lots of water and thus act as a bulking agent. Therefore, using eat before consuming food may help reduce food intake. Moreover, it interferes with the absorption of glucose and fats. Thus, it reduces the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular ailments. When using dietary fiber supplements like glucomannan, it is good to use them before food. Additionally, one should consume lots of water with the supplement. Generally, taking the supplement about an hour before eating food is a good idea. A study in 20 obese individuals found that using it and other weight loss interventions may help lose 5-6 pounds of body weight in about two months.



Caralluma Fimbriata


It is a variety of edible cactus that commonly grows in the Indian continent. Indian people have traditionally used it as food during times of famine. Additionally, it appears to be good for managing certain health conditions and improving mood due to its impact on serotoninergic pathways. It has become a popular weight loss supplement in the West in recent years. It means that many clinics and research labs have studied this natural supplement. Studies now show that it has quite a unique mode of action, and it is among the appetite suppressants. This is because it works by influencing specific brain centers and due to its impact on serotonin. An increasing number of studies show that it is a good and safe way of weight loss. Thus, one of the clinical studies done by the College of Health and Biomedicine, Victoria University, Melbourne, in 33 obese individuals found that 12 weeks of its use may help reduce BMI, hip circumference, systolic blood pressure, and even triglycerides. In addition, it appears to be quite good for metabolic health. Similarly, a systemic review that combined the data from seven clinical studies from Australia, India, Cuba, and Spain found that Caralluma Fimbriata is more effective than a placebo for weight loss. However, it found that some of its common side effects are constipation, diarrhea, and nausea.



Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

It is wrong to think that fats cause obesity. In fact, some fatty acids can even promote weight loss by boosting metabolism and helping mobilize accumulated fat in the body. It appears that obesity is rather a result of consuming a high-carb diet or low-quality fats. CLA is one such fatty acid that promotes weight loss. It is present in animal products like dairy products and beef. It is also present in safflower oil. It is one of the healthy sources of energy, and even bodybuilders use CLA to feel energized. New studies show that CLA is quite suitable for many health conditions, including weight loss. In addition, it is ideal for boosting immunity, improving bone mineralization, improving the synthesis of glycogen, and much more. It appears to help in multiple ways, such as impacting glucose metabolism, altering lipid profile, changing energetic metabolism, and thus helping alter the body’s metabolism.



Forskolin


It is an extract of Coleus forskohlii (CF), a plant native to India. People in India have traditionally used its extract to treat a range of health conditions like heart disease, respiratory diseases, gastrointestinal disorders, and even brain disorders. Studies show that forskolin contains diterpenes that directly impact energy metabolism. It increases the production of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) through the breakdown of fat stored in adipose tissues. Thus, it can considerably alter the body’s composition and boost the resting metabolic rate. Hence, it may help in weight loss even in the absence of other measures. There are many clinical studies that prove its efficacy. One of the clinical trials in 23 females for 12 weeks found that it consistently helps lower body weight. Moreover, it did not cause any side effects, alter liver enzymes, did not cause any pathological changes in the blood. It is a highly safe weight loss supplement.



Bitter orange


Biter orange or sour orange is a variety of sour fruit that is native to Southeast Asia. It can be consumed as a fruit. However, its use as a health supplement has gained significant attention in recent years. Studies show that it contains an alkaloid called synephrine that can suppress appetite, boost lipolysis, increase basal metabolic rate and thus promote weight loss. Studies prove that it is quite good for weight loss. However, there are some concerns regarding its safety. Many researchers think that its sympathomimetic action may harm heart health and increase blood pressure. Therefore, some countries have banned the use of synthetic synephrine as a weight loss supplement. Nonetheless, it is worth understanding that natural bitter orange and synephrine are different, and bitter orange is much safer and better. To conclude, fighting obesity is quite challenging, and no single way of weight loss works for all. Thus, it is a good idea to use weight loss supplements and lifestyle interventions like exercise, dietary measures, etc. Weight loss supplements can considerably help in weight loss in multiple ways. Moreover, one can successfully and safely combine numerous natural supplements with different modes of action. For example, one can combine supplements with dietary fiber with those that suppress appetite.

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