Can Taking Supplements Really Help You Lose Weight?
Diet supplements can seem like a quick and easy solution if you’re struggling to lose weight and get back into shape.
Even though we all know that the best way to achieve weight loss is to eat a healthier, nutrient-dense diet, reduce our portion size and get more physically active, the reality can be much more challenging.
We often don’t see weight loss results as quickly as we’d like to.
Our initial motivation to get slimmer and fitter wanes after a week or two and we find it hard to stick to our new exercise regimes. We feel tired and stressed. We struggle with food cravings and hunger.
Even though we felt determined to finally lose those extra pounds, we often find ourselves wanting to give up on the whole idea and going back to our unhealthy lifestyle habits.
That’s when it can feel especially tempting to try those weight loss supplements we’ve heard so much about.
These supplements promise to speed up the process in a healthy and holistic way, help you lose weight more quickly, keep your energy levels high, avoid stress and feel great as you make this incredible physical transformation.
So, what is the truth about these natural slimming pills?
Do they really help you lose weight? If so, which are the most effective weight-loss supplements on the market?
In this article, we’ll provide you with the answers to all these questions and more. You’ll find out the truth about weight loss supplements as well as the science behind the claims so you can decide whether these supplements are right for you.
Do weight loss supplements work?
You’ve no doubt seen many products on the shelves of your local supermarket or pharmacy that promise to ‘melt away’ fat without you needing to change your diet, exercise or make any effort whatsoever.
However, we all know that this is simply not true. There’s no such thing as a magical pill that will help those excess pounds to vanish overnight, despite what those manufacturers would have us believe.
You can’t lose weight simply by taking a pill. You can’t keep eating junk foods, snacking on sugary foods, overeating and avoiding exercise if you want to lose weight and become healthy.
It’s only through making healthy lifestyle changes such as eating more nutrient-dense wholefoods, switching to a diet higher in plants and taking time to exercise that you can shift excess pounds and feel great about your body again.
Having said that, there are numerous scientifically proven natural supplements which can support your body through this process.
When taken alongside a healthy diet and exercise plan, they can help you lose weight more quickly, beat food cravings, keep your energy and motivation high so you can stick to your health resolution and get into shape.
How do natural weight loss supplements work?
There are many effective natural supplements which can help support healthy weight loss, including pills, powders and extracts.
They usually work by:
- Burning more fat so you lose weight.
- Increasing your metabolism so your body burns fat faster.
- Preventing additional fat storage so you don’t gain weight.
- Reducing your appetite so you eat less.
- Helping you to feel full so your appetite is satisfied with less food.
What follows is a list of 12 of the most effective weight-loss supplements currently available in the UK.
1. Garcinia Cambogia extract
Also known as brindleberry, garcinia cambogia is a small green fruit which grows on a tree native to Asia, Africa and the Polynesian Islands.
Its active ingredient hydroxycitric acid can help decrease the production of new fat cells and prevent weight gain by inhibiting a fat-producing enzyme called citrate cleavage enzyme. According to a review in the Journal of Obesity (2011), those who supplemented with garcinia cambogia experienced an average of 2 lb/0.88kg weight loss after a few weeks.
There is also a growing body of evidence that this natural acid can also help increase serotonin levels in your body. This will help suppress your appetite so you can eat less and can also lift your mood and relieve stress.
Several studies also suggest that it could also have a stabilising effect on your insulin levels and blood sugar levels, helping you to resist cravings and prevent the storage of belly fat. This means that those already taking medication for diabetes or blood sugar issues should first contact their diabetes care team or GP before taking.
2. Green Coffee Bean extract
As the name suggests, Green Coffee Bean extract comes from raw unroasted green coffee beans, just like the ones you enjoy in your morning brew.
Containing a powerful combination of caffeine (see more below) which increases your fat burning potential, and chlorogenic acid which slows the digestion of carbs, this natural supplement will help convert those carbs to energy more efficiently and helps keep your blood sugar levels in check.
According to a study carried out at University of Scranton, USA those taking green coffee bean extract lost an average weight loss of 5.5lb/2.5kg without making any changes to their diet.
This makes green coffee bean extract an excellent choice for those who want to stick to their weight loss plan, burn fat, avoid fatigue and boost recovery.
3. Green tea
Green tea (camellia sinensis) is a popular ingredient in natural weight loss supplements because of its proven ability to burn fat and boost the metabolism.
It contains an active ingredient called polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which boosts the body’s metabolism and helps burn fat. It also increases the activity of a neurotransmitter called norepinephrine which further increases the rate of fat-burning in the body, especially the belly area.
This makes it an excellent choice for those who are struggling with stubborn belly fat, ‘love handles’ or those who are perimenopausal or menopausal.
Boasting similar effects to green coffee bean extract, caffeine and green tea (see above), it contains 2-3 times more caffeine than coffee and, according the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, can boost your metabolism up to 11%.
As you’d expect from a weight-loss supplement of this strength, it can also help boost your energy levels and improve your focus- useful to have when you’re trying hard to stick to a new exercise regime.
You should be aware that guarana can interact with antidepressants, lithium, sedatives, and blood thinners so do contact your GP before taking.
Caffeine is a stimulant which can help boost your energy, burn fat and ramp up your metabolism to help you get your weight under control on your terms. It can be found in green tea, green coffee bean extract, guarana and black tea in varying amounts.
Several studies indicate that it works via thermogenesis which can boost metabolism by up to 11%and fat burning by 29% when taken properly.
However, it’s important to note that it’s best taken in conjunction with other weight-loss supplements for best results.
Glucomannan is a dietary fibre extracted from the elephant yam (konjac) which can help you feel full so you eat fewer calories and lose weight. When combined with a healthy diet, it can help you lose 8-10 lb. (3.6-4.5kg) of weight in just a few weeks.
It works by absorbing water and turning it into a gel-like substance- an effect which has led to its traditional use in Southeast Asian cuisine and herbal medicine.
Its benefits aren’t limited to your weight either- it can also help feed the healthy bacteria in your gut, lower cholesterol and help ease constipation.
7. Raspberry ketones
Raspberry ketones are derived from raspberries and are another popular natural slimming aid which can break down fat and reduce fat storage, helping you lose weight faster.
Studies showed that this happens thanks to the increase of a hormone called adiponectin which helps us to burn fat without increasing hunger.
Studies so far have shown that when combined with caffeine, garlic, capsaicin, ginger and synephrine, raspberry ketones promote a total fat loss of around 7.8% in just a few weeks. That’s why we suggest that it’s best used with other ingredients.
L-tyrosine is a naturally occurring amino acid which helps regulate the production of thyroid hormones. This helps to rebalance your body, boost your metabolism and control the stress which can often lead to overeating.
Found naturally in foods such as cheese, it can also help the body produce a wide range of hormones including dopamine and adrenaline.
This means it can help you overcome many of the challenges that slimmers face when trying to lose weight and improve appetite control, food cravings and comfort eating.
It can also help boost your energy levels, so it’s a great choice for those who exercise regularly.
9. African Mango
African mango (irvingia gabonensis) has been used in traditional medicine for centuries thanks to its potent medicinal properties and lack of side effects.
Extracted from the seed of the mango fruit, it prevents the formation of fat tissue, increases fat metabolism and helps reduce your appetite so it’s easier to lose weight.
According to one study, this might be partly due to its high soluble fibre content which slows down the digestion of sugars and helps increase the feeling of fullness.
Capsicum is an extract which comes from the same family that includes cayenne pepper, red bell peppers and paprika.
It’s a clinically proven weight loss supplement which helps your body to burn fat, normalise blood glucose levels and reduce cravings for sweet foods. This helps you get back into shape without feeling like you’re depriving yourself too much.
It can also reduce your blood pressure, improve your circulation, fight off illness, delay fatigue, and potentially even prevent cancer so it’s worth taking for the overall health benefits too.
11. Siberian Ginseng
If stress is a huge issue for you and comfort eating is your nemesis, Siberian ginseng would be an excellent natural supplement to consider.
It’s categorised as an ‘adaptogen’- a substance which help your body naturally adjust to stress so you can stick to your new healthier lifestyle, feel less tired and push on through those tricky workouts.
An excellent all-rounder, we highly recommend you take it in conjunction with other herbal weight loss supplements.
12. Chromium Picolinate
Chromium is a mineral which is used to regulate blood sugar levels and help support natural weight loss.
Unlike many other weight loss supplements, it can also help you keep your lean muscle mass whilst you lose fat, decrease your sugar cravings and reduce your appetite.
Whilst it does this, it also helps your body digest carbs, proteins and fats efficiently so you can lose weight and feel great!
Why are there vitamins and minerals in my weight-loss supplement?
As you can see, there isn’t one miracle herb, supplement or active ingredient which can help melt off excess fat overnight. (If anyone suggests that there is, you should take their advice with a pinch of salt and ask a trusted expert instead!)
That’s why we design powerful advanced blends of natural supplements which can work together to promote optimal weight loss and health together.
This includes both herbal weight loss solutions such as green tea, Siberian ginseng and African mango, and a selection of vitamins and minerals such as B-complex vitamins, zinc and so on.
This is because nutritional deficiencies, however slight, can have a significant knock-on effect on our entire bodies, so by addressing these we can further support healthy and lasting weight-loss.
Can weight-loss dietary supplements be harmful?
It’s important to do your research before you buy a weight loss supplement so you can purchase the right product for your body and your needs.
As with all types of medication, you should also check with your doctor before taking any form of supplement, especially if you are taking prescription medication. Should you notice
side effects from any of the weight loss supplements mentioned here, please stop taking immediately.
Beware of fraudulent products which look cheap or suspicious, especially if they have hyped-up claims which seem too good to be true. They usually are! Always buy from a reputable supplier who supplies high quality supplements you can trust.
Whilst there isn’t a magic pill for weight loss, you can still take a range of medically proven natural health supplements which can support your body’s natural weight-loss process, help you burn fat faster, boost your metabolism and increase your energy.