Losing weight is a common goal for both men and women, especially right after the new year. One of the most popular new year resolutions every year is to lose weight. However, sometimes losing weight is easier said than done, which is why some people turn to weight loss supplements to help them lose weight. Before you start to take a weight loss supplement, it's important to understand what they are, how they work, and what the best supplements are for weight loss. Keep reading to find out!
What is a Weight Loss Supplement?
Weight loss supplements are manufactured products that people take to aid in their weight loss. There are 4 main forms of weight loss supplements: pills, powders, capsules, and liquid form. Each is meant to be added to your diet to aid in weight loss. It's important to note that over-the-counter weight loss supplements are not the same as weight loss prescriptionss, also known as anti-obesity medications. Weight loss prescriptions are prescribed by a doctor and are usually part of a dietary plan to help obese people lose weight.
Different Types of Weight Loss Supplements & How They Work
There are a wide variety of weight loss supplements available on the market and each one works in a different way depending on its ingredients. Some examples include:
- Appetite Suppressants - These supplements contain ingredients that reduce hunger and cravings, making it easier to stick to a calorie-controlled diet.
- Fat Burners - These supplements contain ingredients that increase metabolism and promote the burning of fat for energy.
- Carb Blockers - These supplements contain ingredients that inhibit to absorption of carbohydrates, which can help reduce calorie intake and promote weight loss.
- Thyroid Hormone Boosters - These supplements contain ingredients that stimulate the thyroid gland, which can help increase metabolism and promote weight loss.
- Diuretics - These supplements contain ingredients that help remove excess water from the body, which can help reduce bloating and promote weight loss.
- Fiber Supplements - These supplements contain ingredients that increase the feeling of fullness, which can help reduce calorie intake and promote weight loss.
- Protein Supplements - These supplements contain high-quality protein that can help preserve muscle mass while promoting weight loss.
- Green Coffee Bean Extract - It contains chlorogenic acid which may help reduce the absorption of carbohydrates from the diet, which lowers blood sugar and insulin spikes.
Best Over-the-Counter Weight Loss Supplements
Some over-the-counter weight loss pills and powders that have shown to be effective include:
- Orlistat (Alli) - A medication that blocks absorption of fat in the gut that's meant to be used as part of a weight-loss plan, along with a low-calorie, low-fat diet and regular physical activity.
- Green Tea Extract - Contains caffeine and catechins, which have been shown to increase metabolism and promote fat loss.
- Glucomannan - A type of fiber that can help reduce appetite and increase weight loss.
- Garcinia Cambogia - A tropical fruit that contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which may help reduce appetite and increase weight loss.
- Raspberry Ketones - A naturally occurring compound found in raspberries, which is believed to increase the release of a hormone called adiponectin, which helps regulate metabolism.
- Chromium - A mineral that is believed to help regulate blood sugar levels, which may make it easier to lose weight.
- Forskolin - A natural compound found in the root of the Indian coleus plant that is believed to help increase the release of stored fat from fat cells and increase metabolism.
- Vitamin D - Low levels of Vitamin D have been linked to obesity, and supplementing with vitamin D may help with weight loss.
- B Vitamins - B vitamins, such as B6 and B12, play a role in metabolism and energy production, which helps with weight loss.
- Iron - Iron is important for energy production and metabolism, and low iron levels can lead to fatigue and make it more difficult to lose weight.
- Fish Oil - Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids which can lead to reduced inflammation in the body and also may help with weight loss by reducing appetite and increasing energy levels.
When You Should Take Your Weight Loss Supplement
The timing of when to take weight loss supplements may vary depending on the specific supplement and its intended use. Some supplements, such as those that contain caffeine, may be best taken in the morning to help boost energy levels for the day ahead. Others, such as those that contain fiber or glucomannan, may be best taken before meals to help cub appetite.
It's important that you read the label and follow the manufacturer's recommended dosage and usage instructions. It's also important to check with your healthcare provider before taking any supplements, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking any medications.
As a general rule, it's best to take weight loss supplements early in the day, as some can cause insomnia or restlessness if taken too close to bedtime.
Also, it's recommended to take the supplements with a meal to reduce the chances of an upset stomach or other side effects.
So, Are Weight Loss Supplements Safe?
While not all over-the-counter weight loss supplements are not tested by the FDA, they are generally safe when taken in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise. Remember, weight loss supplements are not a magic solution for weight loss, and you should always consult with your healthcare provider before you start incorporating them into your diet.