Read these 9 Weight Loss Supplements Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Vitamin tips and hundreds of other topics.
Make sure you know exactly what is in your weight loss supplement and how it will affect your body before you take it. Many weight loss supplements that say they are "ephedra free" have replaced this harmful ingredient with bitter orange, an extract that may be just as dangerous as ephedra. It can lead to high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythms, and stroke.
In addition, bitter orange can block the metabolism of other drugs, which means it will take more of them to have the same effect on your body, and that could lead to very dangerous health conditions. You should always check with your doctor before you begin taking any weight loss supplement, and you should avoid any weight loss supplement that contains bitter orange.
Green tea extract is touted for its antioxidant properties, but it may aid weight loss efforts, too. Evidence suggests that the antioxidants in green tea may promote weight loss by boosting metabolism. The key to green tea's role in weight loss is in the catechins.
Research suggests that the polyphenols in green tea (known as catechins) generate heat in the body that burns additional calories and promotes weight loss. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2005 showed that men who drank green tea with 690 milligrams of catechins daily lost more weight than men who drank oolong tea with only 22 milligrams of catechins. That's an average of 5.3 pounds of weight loss for the green tea group vs. 2.9 pounds for the oolong tea group.
Previous studies suggest that to get the maximum weight loss benefit from green tea you would need to drink about 4 cups daily. That's a lot of tea, even if you like tea. Fortunately, you can enjoy the potential weight loss benefits of green tea with a supplement. When choosing a green tea extract, look for products that list the catechin content on the label to make sure that you are getting enough. The catechin to look for is EGCG (epigallocatechn gallate). And remember that green tea has caffeine, which may play a role in its weight loss properties, so look for capsules that contain caffeine.
Data from another study suggest that green tea might promote weight loss by preventing the body from digesting fat. Green tea's catechins also have been shown to reduce the absorption of carbohydrates in laboratory studies.
Carb and fat blockers work as weight loss aids by blocking some of the calories from fat- or carbohydrate-rich foods, thus allowing you to lose weight while you still enjoy these foods. Most carb blockers contain an extract of white kidney beans that helps keep carbohydrates from being absorbed into the digestive tract, which keeps them from turning into starch and calories.
Fat blockers usually contain a type of fiber than can absorb fat, and thus, it keeps fat from being absorbed by the body. The excess carbs and fat are excreted from the body, and the unwanted calories go right along with them. Carb and fat blockers can help you lose weight if you eat a lot of carbohydrates or fat, and don't want to exercise to burn the calories, and combined with a healthy diet and exercise, they can help you lose more weight.
The health benefits of green tea are many and varied. People believe it can do everything from lower cholesterol to helping eliminate free radicals from the body. Many experts also believe that drinking green tea helps the body burn more fat and raises the metabolism, making it easier to lose weight.
Japanese studies indicate that drinking five to six cups of green tea a day can burn up to 80 extra calories, and others believe that replacing coffee with green tea every day can help you lose weight. While green tea contains about a third of the amount of caffeine than coffee, drinking excessive amounts can create the same symptoms as too much caffeine, including insomnia and nausea.
Thermogenic diet formulas are also called fat burners. They contain a variety of herbs and vitamins which help increase your metabolism and burn fat more efficiently. Often, the active ingredients include green tea, kola nut extract (which is a natural caffeine) and others which help your body burn fat. They also boost energy levels.
Make sure your thermogenic diet formula does not contain ephedrine, a substance that has been banned in most countries because it is thought to cause heart problems and even death in some people. Remember that these thermogenic diet formulas are meant to speed up the metabolism, and they include stimulants, so check with your doctor before taking these formulas, and don't take before bedtime, they can cause insomnia, as well.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) refers to a family of many different molecules of linoleic acid. They are found mostly in the meat and dairy products of cows, sheep, and goats. Studies show that CLA may help reduce body fat, especially that dangerous band of body fat around the abdomen.
Dietary sources for CLA include dairy products, especially from cows and lambs, kangaroo meat, and eggs. Some studies indicate that it may increase insulin resistance in some people, which can lead to diabetes. There are other indications that it could increase certain types of cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, so check with your doctor before you take any CLA supplements.
Certain types of weight loss supplements, known as carb and fat blockers, reduce the amount of carbohydrates and fats that are absorbed by the body. More research is needed about the specifics of how carb and fat blockers work, but the idea is that if carbs and fat are “blocked” and not stored, you will not gain as much weight.
Some advantages to carb blockers and fat blockers:
One of the more common carb blockers is white kidney bean extract which neutralizes a starch-digesting enzyme, allowing carbs to pass through the body without being absorbed. Common fat blockers include chitosan, which binds with dietary fat and eliminates it so it's not absorbed by the body. Chromium picolinate (to help maintain a normal metabolism) and Gymnema Sylvestre, a common ingredient in traditional Indian medicine that may prevent the transformation of excess glycogen into fat, although this effect has not been studied.
Evidence shows that carb blockers and fat blockers may help you lose a modest amount of weight if you take them regularly. You can buy carb blockers and fat blockers separately, or choose a supplement that contains both types of blockers, such as Fitness Labs' Carb and Fat Erase supplement, which combines carb blockers and fat blockers in one capsule. But if you need or want to lose a significant amount of weight, you may want to also consider a supplement that contains a stimulant or an appetite suppressant.
The array of supplements for weight loss can be staggering and if you know how they work, you can choose the supplement that may work best for you. Thermogenic diet formulas are a subset of diet products that contain stimulants, which may help you lose weight by speeding up your metabolism.
But thermogenics work a little differently. The stimulants that thermogenic diet formulas contain are meant to help your body burn more calories by raising your core body temperature.
Some of the ingredients in thermogenic formulas are green tea extract, synephrine from citrus aurantium, and caffeine. Green tea in particular may promote weight loss via the thermogenic method because it may prolong the thermogenesis for a longer period of time.
But whatever weight loss supplement you choose, remember that many dieters find they lose even more weight if they raise their body temperature another way—by breaking a sweat. Adding exercise to the equation helps create a calorie deficit. That lean muscle mass you develop from exercise burns more calories, even when you're at rest.
Conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, is a relatively recent addition to the arsenal of weight loss supplements. In theory, simply taking CLA can help you lose body fat without any other changes to your diet or lifestyle. In one study, overweight adult men women lost an average of 9 percent of body fat over one year with no other change in habits. The CLA takers also lost an average of 4 pounds, which doesn't sound like a lot for one year, but considering that the study participants weren't counting calories, cutting carbs or putting in extra time at the gym, it's worth paying attention.
Meanwhile, here's the lowdown on CLA: It is a fatty acid that occurs naturally in meat and dairy products. You can buy it in softgel pill form and the typically have about 80 percent CLA for maximum weight loss benefits. Typical effective doses of CLA are about 2,000-4,000 mg a day.
No one yet understands how CLA decreases body fat and increases lean muscle mass, but some researchers have suggested that because it metabolizes quickly in tissues in the body, it may speed up metabolism and promote weight loss.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|