Supplements have been a booming industry in the world of fitness for decades. There are numerous substances that enhance performance (ergogenic aids), available in the market today. Whether you’re looking to pack on muscle or shed a few pounds, there’s a supplement to everything.
The supplement market, however, is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), since they are branded as food and not drugs. So there’s no real evaluation of their effectiveness or quality.
That being said, weight loss supplements are not in the same category as FDA-approved prescription medications for obesity control, such as Xenical, Contrave, Saxenda.
While these are definitely no magic pills designed to eat away at fat, they definitely do aid in the process of weight loss in numerous ways, including curbing appetite, spiking metabolism, retaining water, etc.
It’s also important to note that supplements are just that – they are made to help with the process. They are in no way replacements for meals. You are also responsible for getting adequate exercise and nutrition while taking these substances. And they don’t always work for everyone, so be sure to stick to an active, healthy regime if you’re looking to see significant change.
The best supplements for weight loss
Although whey protein is associated with muscle building and weight gain, it is only a means of consuming extra protein in your diet. The body expends more energy digesting protein than it does any other macro. This is due to the complexity of protein molecules. This, in turn, means the body burns more calories throughout the day because of the uptake of protein.
Caffeine is the most widely consumed supplement across the world. We don’t just mean coffee – but even green tea, dark chocolate, and energy drinks. Caffeine isn’t just a psychoactive substance; it is also known to boost metabolism, increasing the potential to burn fat.
Green tea contains an antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate (or EGCG) which is known to speed up metabolism. This is why it is widely marketed as a substance that burns belly fat. Although that may not be the case, it is otherwise rich in detoxifying agents that remove toxins from the body. It also contains traces of caffeine.
When consumed, green tea provides a feeling of fullness, keeping temptations to snack at bay.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
CLA has been a popular fat loss aid for years now. It is extracted from a fatty acid called linoleic acid, found naturally in animal products (cheese, butter, etc.). CLA is known to reduce appetite and boost metabolism, resulting in a faster rate of weight loss.
It is extracted from the roots of the konjac plant (elephant yam). Aside from other benefits linked to lowering blood sugar, cholesterol, and improving bowel movements, it is also said to aid with weight loss.
When consumed before eating, the glucomannan combines with water in the body and forms a gel, which then sits in your gut to promote feelings of satiety and prevent fats from being absorbed too quickly.
Bitter oranges are native to Africa and tropical Asia. It is also grown in California and Florida in the United States of America (USA). The rind of this fruit is rich in synephrine, a stimulant linked to increased calorie burning.
However, synephrine is related to ephedrine, which is extracted from the ephedra plant. Ephedrine was a popular ingredient in diet pills until the FDA banned all weight loss products containing ephedra after research suggested that it might have negative effects on cardiovascular health.
While opting to take weight loss aids seems tempting, remember they only work when you are consciously putting in the work too with regular exercise and watching your diet. They are meant to help with your weight loss, not drive it. The biggest contributing factors to weight loss are diet, exercise, and rest.
So stay safe and choose supplements that have valid reviews and research to back them up. Stay active and healthy!
Q. Do you take supplements regularly?