This article is inspired by the content from the National Institute of Health – https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/WeightLoss-Consumer/
The basic formula for weight loss is “calories in < calories out = weight loss”.
Working out, being mindful of foods you eat and keeping a balanced wellness regime including minimising stress, are the most effective ways of losing weight.
However, simple doesn’t always mean easy or possible. There may be health issues that prevent you from working out, or dietary conditions that mean you can’t eat certain foods while trying a keto diet (for instance, an allergy to nuts), or work/personal life issues cause stress that can’t be avoided.
In these instances, a dietary supplement that promotes fat burning and weight loss could be ideal for you.
However, you need to know what you’re buying and importantly, putting into your body. The sports nutrition industry isn’t as tightly regulated as you may think, and often brands load up multiple ingredients into a “magic-pill” that are promoted as helping you “cut, shred and get ripped in no time at all”.The problem is, some of these ingredients can have adverse side effects, aren’t disclosed properly because of “proprietary blends” and may interfere with health conditions you already have.
Weight Loss Supplements and Ingredients
African Mango (seed extract)
What is it
African Mango is a tree found in West Africa, with the fruits of this tree producing a protein rich type mango – hence the name African Mango.
The seeds of this fruit are consumed as supplements.
How does African Mango help me lose weight
African Mango seeds contain soluble fibres, which help promote bulk in your stool. In a study, it was shown that supplementation with African Mango helped reduce blood sugar and fat levels.
That is because this type of fibre helps clear empty your stomach slowly, which controls the rate of sugar entering your blood – therefore controlling blood sugar levels and insulin.
There is insufficient clinical evidence for African Mango in being a great supplement for weight loss, however the studies do suggest that it does help reduce weight, body fat and waist circumference
There is a small amount of independent research on this supplement, so it is not conclusive of helping one lose weight.
However, some studies have indicated that consuming African Mango, with Green Tea and other fat burning supplements, may have a positive effect in losing weight.
Adding this into your weight-loss supplement stable as one of the supplements is a wise choice due to the health benefits that African Mango contains. It doesn’t hurt to try, but be mindful that this is not a magic pill and is not guaranteed to help achieve results.
What is it
Beta Glucans are a type of fibre found in certain foods such as oats, barley and plants.
How do beta glucans help with weight loss
Research suggests beta glucans may slow down the time it takes for food to travel through your digestive system, helping you to feel fuller for longer
This results in you consuming less calories and losing weight as a result of managing your diet.
Beta Glucans can be found in natural food sources such as oats and mushrooms. It is best to consume this supplement through normal meals, as this fibre may have benefits such as lowering cholesterol and maybe helpful to people with AIDS
Don’t be fooled into thinking beta glucans are weight loss supplements. This supplement can help promote the feeling of fullness and help you consume fewer calories, which may help you to portion control
It’s worth incorporating (or being conscious) of this into your diet as it can help you control calorie intake.
What is it
Bitter orange is a natural herb made from the bitter orange tree, which is often used in weight loss supplements.
Does bitter orange really help with weight loss
Bitter orange can help with weight loss and is used in all sorts of fat burner and weight loss supplements. Bitter orange contains synephrine which has risks such as speeding up your heart rate and increasing your blood pressure.
Its these risks where bitter orange extract may have benefits for weight loss through its thermogenic properties and assisting in raising your basal metabolic rate. By increasing caloric expenditure, your body burns more energy.
Bitter orange extract may have weight loss benefits by increasing your metabolic base rate and increase calorie burn.
While bitter orange extract can help with increasing weight loss, the danger is this supplement is similar to the banned substance Ephedra, which had similar effects and dire consequences.
Due to this, it is not advised to use bitter orange peel extract as a weight loss supplement due to the heart and temperature raising impact a relatively small amount can have.
What is it
Caffeine is a stimulant that makes you more alert, gives you a mental boost, more energy and help burn fat. Caffeine is primarily found in tea and coffee but can also be consumed as a supplement or tablet.
How does caffeine help me lose weight
Coffee itself can help you lose weight by stimulating brown fat, which burns calories to generate heat and therefore results in weight loss and there is evidence to suggest caffeine itself can achieve the same effect, however results are mixed.
Some research suggests caffeine itself helped burn up to 100 calories extra per day, which isn’t a lot depending on your lifestyle.
Caffeine has been shown to be most effective when combined with other supplements.
Where caffeine does help with is focus and physical energy. Caffeine helps reduce the perceived exertion during exercise, helping you work out harder and longer.
And, caffeine may actually help increase fat burn after exercise instead of carbohydrates essentially mimicking a keto diet.
Caffeine may help raise your metabolism and help you focus, but the idea of consuming caffeine to burn fat is by and large not effective. Drinking black coffee has been shown to help lose weight and adding caffeine to your pre-workout regime is beneficial for the extra focus it gives you during workouts.
Caffeine is recommended in small, manageable amounts. You can quickly build a tolerance toward caffeine and require more and more each time to get the same effect, which can be detrimental to your health.
If you are a coffee drinker – try having black coffee. Or, if you’re working out after a long day at work, incorporate caffeine as a supplement after work as a pre-workout for the added focus and stamina while at the gym.
What is it
CLA is Conjugated Linoleic Acid, is a fatty acid developed by grazing animals in meat and dairy which is used to help with weight loss.
How does CLA help with weight loss
Studies suggest CLA may help with weight loss by helping to reduce food intake, increase fat burning and inhibit future fat production.
However the research indicates the effects are insignificant, and after 6 months the initial benefits dwindle down.
CLA may only have a limited effect on weight loss.
There are plenty of other supplements that are beneficial in helping you lose weight. CLA has limited benefits, the effects largely dwindle after an initial period of 6 months and an overdosage may actually be more harmful to your health. Plus, we disagree with animal based product, which CLA is.
So, CLA is a no.
What is it
Fat Burners are used to describe sports nutrition supplements that are designed to increase fat burning and give you mental focus to “go hard in your workouts”.
A Fat Burner usually contains a number of ingredients, including caffeine and bitter orange, which are designed to enhance your performance, raise your body temperature to burn more calories and lose weight.
How do fat burners help in losing fat
Fat Burners work on the principles of Thermogenesis and Lipolysis.
Thermogenesis is a metabolic process where your body raises its core body temperature and beings to burn calories.
Lipolysis essentially releases free fatty acids into your blood stream to circulate throughout the body. This allows the fat to be used as fuel.
The key element here is – fat burners induce body heat and breakdown of fat. However, to maximise the benefit of the fat burner, you really need to be seriously active and supporting your body with a proper diet/nutrition plan, and regimented workout plan, with fat burners being used as supplementary to assist in the weight loss.
Taking a fat burner can help you lose weight, and this is brought upon by two core functions. Fat burners will often contain a myriad of different ingredients, which promise to give you focus, make you more alert and trimmer away the fat – but this is marketing tactic, and these should be used with a proper workout and diet plan for maximum benefit.
There is no harm in incorporating a fat burner into your diet, as long as you do not rely on this supplement to help you achieve your weight loss goals.
The guys over at PhD suggest using a fat burner as one of your many changes in losing weight. Your diet is the first, followed by exercising. Only then should you incorporate a fat burner for the added kick and edge.
What is it
Garcinia Cambogia is a weight loss supplement linked with blocking your body’s ability to produce fat and control your appetite.
How does it work
HCA – hydroxycitric acid, is the primary active ingredient in the peel of the fruit which blocks fat producing enzymes in your body and helps reduce belly fat.
Studies suggest that garcinia cambogia often helps you eat less by reducing your appetite, and making you feel full.
Studies indicate that garcinia cambogia can inhibit the production of an enzyme called citrate lyase, which is responsible in the production of fat. By inhibiting this enzyme, garcinia can reduce fat and lower your chance of gaining weight.
Garcinia cambogia can help you feel fuller for longer and inhibit fat producing enzymes in your body.
You should look to incorporate this supplement into your diet. While the studies surrounding its weight loss benefits by inhibiting the fat producing enzyme citrate lyase are still debatable, the evidence suggests that garcinia cambogia does work for weight loss and can help you manage your calorie intake.
What is it
Glucomannan is a natural water-soluble dietary fibre found in the roots of elephant yam. It is highly water absorbent and produces a gel like substance when mixed with water.
How does Glucomannan help with weight loss
Glucomannan is low calorie, high fibre supplement and can help with weight loss by making you feel fuller, which makes you less likely to over-eat. As glucomannan absorbs the water in your stomach, it forms a gel like substance that promotes the feeling of fullness and helps you lose weight. Studies have revealed glucomannan has helped in weight reduction in those who were overweight.
Glucomannan is an effective and natural weight loss supplement. It works by forming a gel like substance by absorbing water to form a bulky fibre which can help create more push for bowel movements, but also keep you feeling fuller for longer, lessening the temptation to eat.
As glucomannan helps create bulk and limits your appetite, it is recommended to use glucomannan as part of your health and weight loss diet.
Green coffee bean extract
What is it
Green coffee bean extract is from coffee beans that have not been roasted.
The roasting process of coffee reduces the natural chlorogenic acid found in unroasted coffee beans, and it is this compound that is thought to have health benefits including lowering blood pressure and assisting weight loss.
Green Coffee Bean Extract rose to prominence when featured by Dr Oz, who called this supplement one that burns fat fast without the need for exercise or diet.
Does green coffee bean extract really help with weight loss
Chlorogenic Acid is thought to have the health benefits which assist with weight loss by controlling your blood sugar and metabolism.
Some studies suggest that green coffee extract can limit the rate of absorption of carbohydrates, which lowers your blood sugar and therefore – insulin spikes.
Green Coffee bean extract is the extract from the unroasted coffee bean, which can help with weight loss by limiting carbohydrate and sugars.
Integrating unroasted coffee extract into your diet can help your weight loss, but there is not enough study on the long-term benefits of this supplement. Most of the studies have been short term and incomplete.