The latest news on the most popular ingredients
Diet and exercise are fundamental elements for losing weight. But if you want to bust through a weight loss plateau, supplementation may be the key. This guide will help you identify the best ingredients, products and strategies for you.
While people are continually searching for supplements to help them shed a few pounds, one question always remains: Which ones actually work? Specific supplements offer hope to those who constantly battle a slow metabolism or overeat at meal or snack time. By choosing the right products, you can attack stubborn fat and achieve your weight loss goals.
Eating smaller meals (about 5 per day) has been scientifically shown to speed your metabolism and cause you to lose more weight than eating an equal number of calories in one or two meals.
Women who added 25g of whey protein twice a day to the 55g of protein they were already consuming lost almost twice as much weight over a 6 month period.
Men of normal body weight, who were experienced with resistance training went on a calorie restricted diet for two weeks. A low protein group ate 74g of protein a day and a high protein group ate 180g of protein a day. Both groups lost the same amount of fat, but the low protein group also lost more than three pounds of lean muscle during the two week study. In contrast, the high protein group almost completely preserved their lean mass during weight loss.
Low-Carb Protein Shake or Meal Replacement
Increase protein to preserve muscle
Drink a protein shake between meals when you're feeling hungry to prevent overeating at mealtime. Or, use it as a meal replacement by adding fruit and flaxseed oil, which is rich in omega-3s and slows digestion so you feel full longer.
Whey concentrate and isolate are low in carbs and loaded with BCAAs that help preserve muscle tissue during calorie restriction. These are very popular diet powders.
Protein blends combine whey protein with slower digesting milk proteins that will help you feel full longer, keeping hunger at bay.
Meal replacements typically have some carbs and a little more staying power due to their higher calorie content.
Thermogenic fat burners are formulas that include a blend of ingredients that stimulate the metabolism to burn more fat and calories.
Increase metabolic rate
Take a thermogenic diet formula containing a blend of ingredients 1-3 times a day before meals. It may boost energy levels, speed the fat burning process, and counteract a slow metabolism resulting from dieting. Typical ingredients include green tea extract, caffeine, bitter orange, yerba maté and more.
Be sure to use formulas with the potencies used in studies that showed clinical results. For example, you don't want a product that just has a token amount of green tea.
Green Tea Extract
Green tea has gone from an exotic beverage to one of the most popular weight loss ingredients. A green tea catechin called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), when combined with caffeine, has been shown to boost metabolism beyond that of caffeine alone. Results from about 15 studies showed green tea produced about three pounds of additional weight loss over approximately 12 weeks compared with those taking caffeine alone. One study showed 7.7 pounds of weight loss after taking green tea extract for 12 weeks. Green tea may slow carbohydrate absorption and increase fat burning by improving the function of insulin.
Increase fat oxidation
Caffeine stimulates metabolism and increases the release of body fat for use as energy. By burning more fat, you’ll spare carbohydrates and enhance endurance performance. It can also enhance the effects of other fat-burning compounds like green tea and citrus aurantium. Many people rely on caffeine to increase exercise intensity as it tends to decrease your perception of how hard you’re working.
Citrus Aurantium / Synephrine
Promote fat burning
Also known as bitter orange, this substance contains several alkaloids that stimulate the body’s beta-3 receptors to boost metabolism and increase fat burning. It also promotes the release of epinephrine and nor-epinephrine, which enhances mental energy and focus. Yerba Maté May increase energy expenditure Like green tea, this ingredient contains polyphenols and catechins, which may increase energy expenditure and aid in the loss of body fat by stimulating the body to use fat for energy.
Stimulant-free products also work well and can be taken later in the day. Many people use them in conjunction with fat burners.
Increases muscle to fat ratio
CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is a fatty acid shown in studies to preserve lean body mass while reducing body fat. It appears that CLA affects two enzymes, one that breaks down fat from the cells and one that breaks down fat in the blood. Studies show a superior loss of body fat and increase in lean muscle mass for those taking 2-6g of CLA per day compared to placebo. It appears that CLA helps people lose more fat, prevents fat from being stored, and spares muscle too. It’s known more for its slimming effect where you’ll notice losing inches faster than weight. This is because it increases the proportion of lean muscle to fat. Muscle weighs more than fat, so don’t gauge results strictly by weight loss.
Regulate fat burning
7-Keto is a non-hormonal metabolite of DHEA. It has been patented for its ability to promote thermogenesis without jittery side effects, as well as promote the maintenance of healthy body weight. Two clinical studies support the evidence that it appears to regulate fat burning in your body. A typical dose is 100 mg taken twice daily.
Green Coffee Bean Extract
Minimize after-meal glucose surges
The beans (or seeds) found in the berries of coffee trees contain high levels of chlorogenic acid. Chlorogenic acid works in two ways. First, it reduces the absorption of blood sugar (glucose) by the intestine. Then it inhibits an enzyme in the liver so that less glucose is released into the bloodstream. With less glucose available, the body burns more fat stored in adipose tissues as a source of energy rather than glucose. Clinical studies showed those taking green coffee extract for 60 days experienced 5.7% weight loss and 4% lean mass to fat mass ratio increase. A typical dose is 100 to 400 mg taken before a meal.
May help fat burning
Raspberry ketone, the primary aroma compound of red raspberries, regulates adiponectin—a protein used by the body to regulate metabolism. There have not been any human studies yet, but according to animal studies, raspberry ketone causes the fat within cells to break up more effectively, helping burn fat faster. A typical dose is 100 mg per day.
Helps with blood sugar control
The trace mineral chromium supports healthy insulin function, which helps regulate blood sugar and is necessary for proper metabolism. Keeping blood sugar levels in check may support weight loss. A typical dose is 200 mcg taken once or twice a day.
For stress-induced over-eating
This botanical has been used in Ayurvedic medicine to help treat stress-related health conditions. In one study, participants taking ashwagandha experienced a 69% decrease in an overall measure of stress plus a 24% reduction in a stress hormone, the same one produced during exercise. This helps inhibit stress-induced over-eating and carb cravings.
These ingredients are designed to help you feel more full with less food, satisfying your appetite, thereby reducing your calorie intake.
Produced from the konjac root, this fiber absorbs large amounts of water. This creates a comfortable sense of fullness, suppressing your appetite and reducing caloric intake. Research shows it helps slow the absorption of carbohydrates, which minimizes insulin spiking, and it also balances cholesterol and triglyceride levels. One study showed subjects taking 1,000 mg one hour before meals lost 5.5 pounds over 8 weeks. It’s very inexpensive and you can even pull apart the capsules and sprinkle it over your food or add it to a shake. It thickens liquids after a few minutes so drink it soon after mixing.
Works on serotonin and mood
Satiereal® is a patent-pending satiety ingredient derived from the flowers of saffron, which is cultivated throughout the Mediterranean region. This extract is clinically proven to improve levels of serotonin, one of the body’s most important neurotransmitters. Higher serotonin levels can help increase satiety while decreasing appetite. A typical dose is about 150-200 mg per day.
CARB AND FAT INHIBITORS
You can still occasionally enjoy foods like pizza and ice cream while dieting. How? Take white kidney bean extract and/or chitosan to inhibit your body’s absorption of calories from high carb and high fat foods.
White Kidney Bean
Carb (starch) inhibitor
Eating carbohydrates can send your blood sugar soaring, causing excess blood sugar (glucose) to convert to fat. Carbohydrate inhibitors work by inhibiting alpha-amylase, the enzyme that converts carbs into glucose. This amylase inhibitor is made from white bean extract. It's all-natural and stimulant free. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 60 people showed those who took this amylase inhibitor lost an average of 6.45 pounds in 30 days compared to less than 1 pound for placebo. Take 500-1,500 mg of northern white kidney bean extract before a carb-laden meal. It works on carbs like pasta and bread, but not sugar. As with any weight loss program, avoid sugar.
Dietary fat inhibitor
Chitosan is an indigestible fiber derived from shellfish. When taken before or during a meal, it forms a gel which binds to dietary fats. This prevents the normal breakdown of fat, allowing it to pass through the body unabsorbed. Take 2-3 capsules before a fat-laden meal.
Affects food absorption
This medicinal plant helps reduce the absorption of dietary starch and fat by blocking digestive enzymes that break them down. It may also help control emotional eating by raising serotonin levels. In one 6-week study, participants taking cissus quadrangularis lost 10.6 pounds and reduced fasting blood sugar levels 15%. The clinically efficacious dose is 150 mg twice daily.
Many people achieve weight-loss success by exercising regularly, slightly reducing calorie intake and following a low carb or low glycemic diet plan. Adding supplements may help you burn fat faster, curb appetite and avoid cravings.
Be consistent and before you know it, you’ll be looking and feeling better than ever! Always consult your physician before starting any diet or exercise program.