So there you are, walking through the health and fitness section of the local grocery store, and there it is. That shelf you’ve looked at so many times but just held off. The weight loss supplements rack. You’ve got the green tea weight loss pills, the Hydroxycut PRO Black Extreme Shred So Hardcore It Can’t Be Called Hardcore supplement, and who knows what else. All of those products are so tantalizing. It would be awesome to drop extra weight by simply popping a (legal) pill.
But do those products actually work?
Or is it just a placebo and you’re flushing money down the drain?
Well, we’ve got the insights for you as to what kind of natural weight loss supplements are out there, what works, and what you should say clear from (no matter how many “extreme” synonyms are used in the product name.
A Look Into Weight Loss Supplements
Alright, so before going over some of the different weight loss supplement options, let’s look at what these supplements actually do.
Generally, it is broken down into three different categories (although some of the supplements do check off several of these boxes).
The three categories include reducing appetite, reduction absorption and increasing calorie burn.
So the first one of reducing appetite only really works if you actually listen to your appetite and not eat just because it’s that time of day. For some people, eating is more habit than anything else. This is where you need to take a hard look at yourself.
Yes, if you eat out of habit than you probably know this and the only way you’ll avoid these habits is if you are mindful about it and put out a conscious effort to only eat when you’re hungry. If you only eat when you’re hungry, appetite suppressants may work for you. If you eat at times when you’re not hungry then this kind of stand-alone weight loss supplement isn’t going to do much for you.
The reduced absorption supplement is something that blocks your body from absorbing calories and fat. There are specific supplements designed just for blocking fat.
Now, it is important to note that some additional items will be blocked, so you will miss out on a handful of healthy nutrients you’re consuming. Also, if you know anyone who has taken specific fat blockers, they may have told you they had to take poops all the time, and when they did it came out in a weird consistency (often oily).
This is common if you consume a large number of fats on a regular basis.
As your body isn’t absorbing the fat any longer it’s just pushing it out. Of course, this is a good thing that your body isn’t absorbing all of this fat. It also is a sign you need to change your diet. None of these weight loss supplements are going to work if you’re not willing to put in the work as well. If you don’t change your diet and workout, you won’t see improvements.
These are not magic pills for weight loss, allowing you to sit on the couch with a bag of Cool Ranch chips and the El Gordo burrito from your local Mexican joint. You get out of it what you put into it.
The third form of weight loss supplements falls under the increase fat burn. Basically, this boosts your metabolic rate, helping you burn more calories. This particular category is something that will help just about anyone. There are a number of ways to increase your metabolism. This includes everything from working out to drinking more water and eating certain foods.
These kinds of supplements are often called “fat burners.” The name is a bit misleading as some people assume all they need to do is take the supplement and they’ll begin burning off weight. Not exactly. You’ll only begin burning more calories if you remain physically active.
“Not FDA Approved”
This is a label you’re going to see on probably every single weight loss supplement.
Don’t freak out.
The supplement may not have been specifically tested by the FDA, but most, especially fat burning metabolism boosters, are proven to work simply based on the ingredients. It’s like trying a new kind of coffee. Yeah, you’ve never had it before, but unless it says decaf you know it’s going to get you caffeinated. So don’t freak out if you see this on the label and assume it’s not going to work.
Now, with that said, there are some chemical based weight loss supplements you may want to look more into. Whenever going through the ingredients label on a compound supplement, it’s always a good idea to do a bit of background research.
Most of the products that have made it to stores are, at the very least, safe to take (nobody wants a massive lawsuit on their hands), although it doesn’t mean it’ll actually work. Do what you can to educate and protect yourself before going adding any new kind of supplement to your diet.
Consult Your Doctor
One last bit of information before we get the supplements. If you’re on any kind of medication or specific dietary instructions from your doctor, make sure to consult with them to make sure you’re able to consume the supplement safely.
This use to be a prescription only drug, but now it’s available over the counter. It is designed to keep your body from absorbing fat. By doing this, your body won’t bring in as many fat calories (calories found in carbs and proteins will mostly all pass through). According to a 2004 study (when Alli becomes more widely available), the pill on average helps people drop six additional pounds.
If you currently suffer from high blood pressure (specifically caused by diet), Alli was found to help lower blood pressure as well. Of course, you may deal with flatulence, oily bowel movements and have to run to the bathroom frequently (better move the office near the bathroom). You’ll also likely see a loss of Vitamin A, D, E, and K retention, so you may need to take additional vitamins to make up for it.
You’ve seen the products. The single popular supplement has grown out into a large number of different options. From getting it in sugar-coated gummy form (FYI, taking a supplement coating in sugar probably isn’t the best idea when your goal is weight loss) and water-flavor packets to different variants made specifically for women, there are all sorts of different kinds of Hydroxycut. With that said, we’re only going to look at the main one for this purpose.
What’s in it and how does it work?
Well, it does come with caffeine. So if you’re putting down the coffee throughout the day, you may want to either look at a different supplement or cut your coffee intake (otherwise you might start to suffer from an elevated heart rate). It is made from a host of different plant extracts designed to boost your metabolism. In fact, it is pretty powerful, and some of the more “Extreme” versions use higher levels of the plant extracts. So it is a good idea to begin using the supplement slowly and work your way up to the dosage.
So yes, it does work. You don’t remain on the top seller list for over a decade without working (well, we can name a few “musicians” who defy the odds).
The surprising thing about Hydroxycut is the lack of research conducted by outside, third-party sources.
Just something to keep in mind.
Yes, this can be considered a weight loss supplement. No, that doesn’t mean you can order that third frap at Starbucks because that comes loaded with sugar, but most of the top combination weight loss supplements include caffeine as the main ingredient as it boosts your metabolic rate. The best natural places to find this are in coffee and green tea, although it’s in dark chocolate and a host of drinks.
It’s why, grudgingly, we’ll give the Red Bull vending machines at the gym a pass. While we don’t support drinking beverages that will actually dehydrate you during a workout, the caffeine can help boost your metabolic rate, which increases your fat burn potential.
It’s important to note that most metabolic boosts and fat burn increases are short term as your body will adapt and become accustomed to having it in its system. This is true for many of the supplements on the list. In fact, it’s often better to use a container of the supplement and then either go off for a few weeks or switch with another weight loss supplement, to keep your body from becoming accustomed to it in the system.
Just remember, you don’t want to overdo it with the caffeine. Not only can it cause elevated heart rate problems but it may increase anxiety, diarrhea (the coffee poops are very, very real) and insomnia.
Also known as konjac, this is a fiber that comes from the elephant yam. When you consume the product it absorbs water and more or less just sits in your stomach. This keeps you feeling full so you don’t consume as many calories. It has been shown to help lose weight, although it is important to note that you may feel a bit bloated with it.
After all, it absorbs water and sits in your stomach.
However, if you’re able to control how you eat and only eat when you feel hungry, this may very well be the best diet supplement for you.
Green Tea Extract
Here’s a supplement that has started to pop up more and more. You know green tea is good for you.
So how about the green tea extract?
It does give a boost of antioxidants, which is good in general. In most research, green tea extract is good for increasing your calorie and fat burn.
It’s also mostly side-effect free and safer on the digestive system. So if you want a fully natural weight loss supplement that doesn’t have the added ingredients you can’t even pronounce (let alone spell), this is likely the way to go. Basically, according to Behavioral Science (2008) with green tea extract, look at all the health benefits of green tea, then increase it as it is in a concentrated form.
Green Coffee Bean Extract
Alright, so what exactly is a green coffee bean?
It’s actually just a normal coffee bean before roasted. While roasting makes it easier to drink as a beverage, it also removes some of the health benefits (this happens in most foods when cooking). Green coffee bean extract has, in addition to caffeine, chlorogenic acid. This slows down carbohydrate breakdowns.
This gives you more time to use the energy and convert it into fuel for workouts instead of fuel for your fat cells. Just remember, it comes with many of the same side effects as most caffeine and coffee.
Additionally, some may be allergic to green coffee beans, so if you start to have allergic reactions, discontinue use.
It is possible to increase your ability to drop weight with the aid of a supplement. It is all about finding not only a supplement that works best but also is safe on your own system (as your body may react differently to different supplements). Each of these supplements has demonstrated the ability to improve weight loss either through improving calorie burn or preventing your body from absorbing fat calories.
With that said, always tread lightly when it comes to fat burners and work yourself up to the recommended dosage so you don’t shock your system. As long as you follow those instructions you may very well be on your way to dropping the weight faster than ever before.