Weight loss is something many have struggled with, and a miraculous one pill to solve this common problem is something that is not yet in existence.
There are many supplements that can help with losing weight, but not all of them are effective or only have very limited studies to support their efficacy. Below are some of the supplements that have been found to work quite effectively, but only when coupled with proper diet and regular exercise. Simply taking these supplements or eating their food sources without physical activity will not get the job done, and the effects vary from person to person, so what might work on someone may not work when you try it yourself.
As always, do not take these supplements without first consulting an expert. This article is written only for informational purposes, and should never be substituted for actual medical advice.
Best known for boosting bone strength, calcium is also found to have a major role in weight loss. A study published in March 2005 at the International Journal of Obesity found an increase in energy excretion and fecal fat upon higher consumption of calcium coupled with a normal intake of protein. Aside from that, calcium can trigger changes in the cells that prevent them from storing too much body fat. Low-fat foods that are high in calcium are ideal in terms of weight loss, and vitamin D can help regulate the levels of calcium in the body so you do not have an excess (which can lead to kidney stones). Low-fat cheese and yogurt are good choices to start with, along with broccoli, dark leafy green vegetables, and canned sardines.
Green Tea Extract
Green tea is packed with many health benefits. It protects the body from free radicals with its antioxidant content of catechins, promotes better cardiovascular health, and yes it also helps with weight loss. Green tea’s caffeine amount also helps with weight loss, although on a not so significant level. It also has epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, a polyphenol that helps in boosting metabolism. Healthy as it is, not all people are actually attracted to its bitter taste, hence the availability of extracts as an alternate way of deriving green tea’s benefits. Also, since it takes more than one cup a day to render its weight loss benefits, taking supplements is the best way to get the right dosage. However, there are studies that link excessive EGCG intake to liver damage, especially when taking it on an empty stomach, that is why it is important to coordinate with a medical expert regarding how much green tea extract is safe for weight loss.
When it comes to losing weight, you always see the advice of avoiding fats. But there are certain fats that may prove to be useful in this endeavor, namely omega-3 fatty acids. It is a polyunsaturated fat that is hailed for providing many cardiovascular benefits. It is important in maintaining proper heart health, and for protection against heart disease and other related conditions. For weight loss, omega-3 foods like herring, mackerel, tuna, sardines, walnut, and flaxseed impart greater feelings of fullness. It also helps in fat burning by increasing metabolism, aids in the use of fat for energy, and encourages better muscle blood flow during exercise. Omega-3 supplements are commonly sold as fish oil supplements, and it is an ideal choice for people who do not like eating seafood.
Used by the body to develop muscles, organs, hormones, enzymes, and the skin, protein has a lot of benefits for those who are trying to lose weight. It is even believed to be the king of all nutrients when it comes to weight loss. Protein boosts metabolic rate, which helps in the elimination of calories. Foods rich in protein are also more satiating, and it leads to lesser calorie intake, hinders feelings of hunger, cravings for midnight snacking, and even obsessive thinking of food. It also builds and maintains muscle mass, and greatly reduces the regain of fat after losing it. Eggs, dairy products, chicken, pork, beef, lamb, salmon, shrimp, lobster, and trout are among protein’s best food sources, while protein supplements are of course available in many health stores. Low carb and low sugar protein shake recipes are also delicious and creative alternatives that can also double as your midday snack.
Also known as pantothenic acid. Not only it helps fight off stress and improve regeneration from injuries, high dosages of this vitamin encourages weight loss through the boosting of metabolism, leading to the breakdown of carbohydrates and fats. Coenzyme-A, a chemical that aids in releasing energy from carbs and maintains healthy cholesterol levels, is also processed by vitamin B5. Shiitake mushrooms, Gjetost cheese, trout, salmon, eggs, and avocados are rich in B5. However, food sources are not enough to meet the required dosage for weight loss, hence only supplements of vitamin B5 will be sufficient for this purpose.
An important vitamin that helps maintain proper health and immunity, vitamin C also helps in weight loss by aiding the body in using fat for energy, preventing buildup in the abdominal region. Deficiency in vitamin C impairs the use of fat even in exercise, which is why some people who actively engage in physical activity do not seem to lose weight as they may be lacking in the vitamin. Aside from taking supplements, dark leafy greens, peppers, oranges, broccoli, and berries are rich sources of vitamin C.
The so-called “sunshine vitamin” provides a handful of benefits to the body, and serious problems such as bone loss and cardiovascular disease may arise upon deficiency of the vitamin. These is a growing number of studies regarding the link of weight gain and vitamin D deficiency, and it is believed that a lack of the vitamin can negatively affect the proper function and levels of leptin, a hormone that tells your brain to stop eating. Abnormal leptin levels can trigger feelings of hunger, and dissatisfaction after eating a meal. Aside from that, people with obesity are noted to have lower vitamin D levels. Perhaps the best way to fight weight gain while accumulating vitamin D is to engage in exercise under the sun, as exposure to sunlight can provide generous amounts of the vitamin with no side effects.
The length of exposure under the sun for vitamin D depends on many factors. People who are fair skinned need only ten minutes of midday sun exposure is enough for 10,000 vitamin D international units. Darker skin requires longer exposure time due to its difficulty of absorbing UV-B rays. Direct exposure is the only way to obtain the vitamin, as sunlight penetrating through glass does not provide the same benefits, therefore driving under the midday sun does not give you vitamin D. Aside from sunlight and supplements, food sources like fortified milk, beef liver, canned tuna, and egg yolk are among the best food sources of vitamin D.
Do you have other weight loss supplements to recommend? Have you tried any of the ones mentioned above? Let us know in the comments.