What supplements should I take to lose weight? This is a common question among those wanting to achieve a normal body weight.
While people talk about all these popular supplements, how many can really help you shed those excess pounds?
Over half of the American adult population take supplements, and around 15 percent have taken a weight loss supplement at some point in their lives.
Looking at these staggering numbers, does that mean weight loss supplements are effective? Let’s find out the real score.
- On Supplements and Weight Loss
- What Supplements Should I Take to Lose Weight?
- Supplements That Don’t Help With Weight Loss
- What To Be Worried About When Taking Weight Loss Supplements
- It Should Never Just Be About Weight Loss
On Supplements and Weight Loss
To burn fat quicker and more effectively, your five main goals should be to:
- Enhance thermogenesis, which results in a greater energy deficit
- Boost fat mobilization, so it becomes easier for you to expend stored fat as energy
- Boost insulin resistance so that you can use energy more easily
- Fight catabolism to avoid loss of lean muscle mass, which boosts your metabolism in return
- Aim for enhanced performance that allows you to train more intensely and burn more energy as a result
Any fat loss supplement should tick all these boxes and be used in the right context (alongside a healthy diet) to be effective.
That said, even thousands of five-star reviews have no bearing when you ignore other crucial factors like diet, sleep, or training.
In other words, not putting the work in other important areas could lead to wasted money and effort regardless of the reputation attached to the supplement.
No product out there will do all the work for you, whether it’s short-term weight loss or long-term weight loss.
So, before bringing home a product, you must ask yourself if you are willing to do what it takes to optimize its effects.
Because ultimately, vitamins and supplements are only as effective as your diet, calorie deficit, and training consistency.
Without these three things working in tandem with each other, you might never get the results you want.
Another important factor to keep in mind when it comes to weight loss is cardio (to be incorporated into your training).
You will want to get enough of it but not too much.
Only after addressing these things can you expect the right supplements to burn excess fat effectively.
What Supplements Should I Take to Lose Weight?
Now that we’ve given you proper context on the matter, let’s move on to the top active compounds for targeting excess fat.
Here are 12 of the best vitamins and supplements to consider incorporating into your diet or training:
Gut health, which is what probiotics mainly address, has a direct correlation to weight loss. That’s why probiotics have become even more popular in recent years.
They not only address bloating and other digestive issues, but they can also help you shed those excess pounds and keep them off on top of that.
Evidence in some weight loss studies has shown the effects of probiotics on body weight, specifically body fat reduction in obese adults.
Aside from being a digestive aid, fiber has also been known to aid in fat loss through a variety of mechanisms.
Incorporated properly into your diet, it creates a feeling of “light” fullness without bloating, reduces macronutrient absorption, and alters gut hormone secretion.
The fiber from food sources like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables is the ideal addition to your weight-loss diet.
However, fiber supplements are an acceptable replacement if you cannot meet your daily requirements from natural food sources alone.
3. Vitamin D Supplements
For obese adults, a healthy diet should have no shortage of vitamin D.
Science has discovered a link between obesity and vitamin D deficiency, the main reasons for such being the following:
- Obese people tend to spend most of their time indoors, which may prevent them from acquiring their much-needed daily dose of vitamin D
- Vitamin D is stored in fat or adipose tissue
Effective supplementation on body weight that leads to weight loss for both adults and children may call on the addition of vitamin D supplements.
Not only was this proven to be true in some studies, but there was also evidence suggesting how it helped in the weight management of postmenopausal women.
4. Green Tea Extracts
Levels of vitamin D aside, the amount of caffeine (in combination with catechins) in your system may also play a role in weight loss.
Green tea catechins and cafeeine have been touted as effective calorie busters on account of their stimulatory effect.
In theory, stimulants are known to boost metabolism.
In clinical trials looking at the impact of green tea extracts on weight loss, preparations of the said tea did, in fact, result in weight loss for certain individuals.
That said, the possibility of adverse effects, especially in too much consumption of catechins, makes this an alternative that one should only opt for under the guidance of their doctor.
5. Vitamin C Supplements
There is an inverse relation between body mass and vitamin C levels.
Studies have shown how those with adequate levels of vitamin C in their system burn more body fat during physical activity compared to those who lack it.
Furthermore, these studies suggest that low vitamin C levels make a person more resistant to fat loss when working out.
Vitamin C supplementation is a must if your normal diet (diet from natural food sources) cannot meet your daily required levels of vitamin C.
This shouldn’t just be because you want to lose weight, either. It should be because it is essential for your overall health.
6. Fish Oil
There is not enough scientific evidence to show the efficacy of fish oil supplementation for weight loss.
Still, there is sufficient proof to suggest its effectiveness in abdominal fat reduction.
Fish oil has also been scientifically proven to boost muscle recovery and preserve lean muscle mass when combined with an active lifestyle.
7. B-Group of Vitamins
The B-group of vitamins is especially ideal for those with healthy exercise habits.
They help improve athletic performance and fat burning by boosting nervous system function and metabolism of fat, carbs, and protein.
That said, this group of vitamins can potentially lead to weight gain when taken in excess amounts, so make sure to keep it to the required daily amounts.
8. Caffeine (in Coffee)
We previously established the anti-obesity effects of caffeine on weight loss in green tea preparations.
This time, we will prove its worth in fat-burning with one of our favorite drinks—coffee.
Black coffee, in particular, contains adequate amounts of caffeine to stimulate fat burning for many people.
Some even use it as a pre-exercise drink because it revs up the system and gets the body primed for intense physical activity.
That said, caffeine addiction is also very much prevalent in society and can result in weight gain and cardiovascular effects.
So, while it is vital not to miss your daily dose of caffeine, going overboard with the beverage could have the opposite of the intended effect.
Amino acids like L-carnitine are essential for gaining lean body mass and reducing body fat percentage.
It also has the ability to boost energy levels outside of its effects on body weight.
The chemical compounds in L-carnitine supplements transport fatty acids to the powerhouse of the cell or the mitochondria, where they are used as energy.
So, by taking L-carnitine supplements, a person can use stored fat as energy even when in an energy deficit.
Omega-3 is an active ingredient in some weight-loss dietary supplements.
The reason for that lies in its ability to influence the permeability of the walls surrounding the cell, maximizing its insulin sensitivity.
The more fluid those cell walls are, the faster your metabolism becomes, which we know aids in fat loss.
11. Green Powders
Green powders can also help with the reduction in body weight, particularly through the following:
- Reduces cravings thanks to improved sugar management
- Boosts insulin sensitivity
- Helps the body better metabolize estrogen
These key benefits aside, green powders can also improve digestive tract function, making you less prone to abdominal pain, bloating, and other gut issues.
Along with these key benefits, they help improve digestion, which reduces bloating within the gut.
Lastly, they also boost the body’s nutrient levels, which hastens recovery and increases overall energy levels.
BCAAs help with body weight control, not necessarily by burning fat.
More accurately, they do so by providing you with more energy to work out, optimizing fat loss as a result.
When used accordingly, it may also help with body weight gain by building muscle and preventing catabolism during long and intense workouts.
You may use it before, during, or after training sessions, depending on your specific goal. That said, it should help with muscle recovery, regardless.
Supplements That Don’t Help With Weight Loss
There is a dizzying number of supplements that many claim to aid in weight loss.
As such, we understand how the following common ingredients may be thrown into the mix and add to the confusion of it all.
For once and for all, we are here to clear the air. The following supplements and ingredients either don’t or do very little to aid in weight loss:
- Bitter orange extract
- Guar gum
What To Be Worried About When Taking Weight Loss Supplements
It is important to consult your health care provider before incorporating weight loss supplements into your diet.
That’s because adverse events could take place, particularly if you have medical conditions or are taking vitamins that could react negatively to the vitamin or supplement.
Outside of that, here are a few crucial points to consider, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH):
- Supplements that claim to be “all-natural” aren’t necessarily that
- Supplements tested in clinical studies or trials aren’t necessarily the same as their commercially sold versions
- Upcoming surgery, existing health issues, current medication, and current dietary supplements are crucial considerations on whether or not you should introduce a new supplement into your usual diet
- Children, breastfeeding mothers, and pregnant women should consult their doctor before trying out a new dietary supplement
- Regulations governing dietary supplements are not as strict as those that are for over-the-counter medication and prescription medication
- A supplement’s listed ingredients may be different from its actual content
For instance, the product’s active compounds may claim to be for building muscle and keeping bones strong, boosting energy, and/or weight loss, but they may actually contain unlisted ingredients that could be bad for you.
Basically, if you are unsure about your case in any way, it is best to always consult a doctor before you start taking any supplements.
This is even more crucial if you take diabetes medications and other maintenance meds.
It Should Never Just Be About Weight Loss
What supplements should I take to lose weight?
We understand that the root of the problem stems from one’s insecurity about their weight, but the ideal course of action should not merely address weight.
While you can employ the use of weight loss dietary supplements to help shed those pounds, they should be but a part of the solution.
The main objective must be to alter your lifestyle by factoring a healthy, balanced diet (with calorie deficit) and regular exercise (aerobic exercise and weight lifting) into the equation.
With these three working in tandem, you will lose all that weight weighing you down physically and emotionally, and you’d be on your way to a better, healthier you.