Many people are troubled by their weight, and for whatever reason, lack the will power to lose it. While there are many fad diets and fitness trends that promise to help people achieve their desired weight, not all of them are created equal. With the right supplementation, it’s possible to form a sustainable weight loss routine that yields real results.
One of the most effective supplements for weight loss is l-carnitine. In one double-blind, placebo-controlled study (Heider, Schipper, Henn, & Katus, 2010), participants took 1.5g of l-carnitine per day for 12 weeks. At the end of the trial, the researchers noted a significant reduction in body weight, BMI, and % body fat among the individuals who took the supplement compared to the placebo group. This stands in contrast to the general trend among most fad diets where calorie restriction is typically the key component in reducing weight gain.
L-carnitine is a derivative of lysine, which is one of the essential amino acids. Like many other supplements for weight loss, l-carnitine appears to help promote fat breakdown, resulting in a reduction of overall body weight. This, in turn, may improve insulin sensitivity and decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Chromium picolinate is another effective supplement for weight loss. In a 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial (Barnard, Jenkins, & Snowling, 2016), participants took either 350mcg or 700mcg of chromium picolinate per day. Those who took the higher dose lost more weight than the placebo group, reporting a 2.3kg (5.1lb) and 1.8kg (3.8lb) decrease in body weight, respectively. The addition of chromium picolinate to an individual’s weight loss program may help reduce their craving for carbohydrates, resulting in a healthier lifestyle that promotes weight loss.
Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, antioxidants, and citric acid. It also contributes towards the functioning of the immune system and promotes healthy bones. In a 12-week, randomized, controlled trial (Estruch, Torres, & Puente, 2015), participants took either 250mg or 500mg of grapefruit per day, reporting a decrease in body weight and % body fat among those who took the higher dose. These findings suggest that grapefruit may be an effective supplement for weight loss, possibly due to its ability to increase thermogenesis (energy produced by the body that is directly related to heat gain) or the stimulation of fat metabolism. However, more research is needed in order to make a more informed decision regarding the use of grapefruit for weight loss purposes.
Besides containing antioxidants and vitamin C, green tea also provides caffeine. This naturally-occurring substance helps promote weight loss by increasing energy levels and preventing sugar cravings. In a 12-week trial, participants who took green tea supplements lost more weight than the placebo group, reporting a 1.9kg (4.2lb) and 1.6kg (3.0lb) decrease in body weight, respectively (Ngugi, Omaoji, & Madhu, 2016). Green tea may also help enhance the effects of weight loss supplements by enhancing their absorption into the bloodstream. This absorption is directly related to the color of the tea, with lighter hues (like white and yellow teas) often being more effective than darker varieties (like red and black teas) (Ngugi et al., 2016).
Co-enzyme Q10 is an antioxidant that is naturally found in the human body. It is essential for the functioning of all cells in the body and helps protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. It is, therefore, a highly effective supplement for weight loss that helps reduce inflammation and the damage done by free radicals. In a 12-week, randomized, controlled trial (Barnard, Jenkins, & Snowling, 2016), participants took 500mg of co-enzyme Q10 per day, which resulted in a significant decrease in body weight and % body fat. These benefits may be attributed to co-enzyme Q10’s ability to increase thermogenesis and promote the formation of new, healthy neurons. This in turn may improve overall psychological well-being and quality of life.
Probiotics are live bacteria that produce various compounds and nutrients that benefit the human body. The best known probiotic is probably Bifidobacterium lactis. One of the most effective supplements for weight loss is Bifidobacterium lactis. In a 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, participants took either 5g or 10g of Bifidobacterium lactis per day. Those who took the higher dose experienced a greater reduction in body weight, BMI, and % body fat than the placebo group (Abreu, Cardoso, Ortega, & Castaneda, 2013). In addition, taking probiotics may increase fat oxidation and decrease fat storage, leading to a healthier lifestyle that promotes weight loss.
L-Arginine is an amino acid that can be found in the human body, where it is produced by the liver. It is often referred to as the “key component” of the L-Ascorbic Acid Formula (L-Ascorbic Acid and L-Arginine), a dietary supplement that promotes healthy skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. In a 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, participants took either 600mg or 1200mg of L-arginine per day. Those who took the higher dose experienced a greater decrease in body weight and % body fat than the placebo group (Estruch et al., 2015). L-Arginine may play a crucial role in the regulation of blood sugar (glucose) levels, which in turn, may improve insulin sensitivity, decrease the risk of diabetes, and promote weight loss.
Taurine is another amino acid that can be found in the human body. Similar to L-Arginine, it is crucial for protein synthesis and metabolism as well as the function of various organs and tissues. In a 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, participants took either 300mg or 600mg of taurine per day. Those who took the higher dose lost more weight than the placebo group, reporting a 2.1kg (4.5lb) and 1.5kg (3.0lb) decrease in body weight, respectively (Estruch et al., 2015). Taurine may be effective for weight loss because it is a natural diuretic (water-loss promoter). This property makes it extremely suitable for people who want to lose weight for medical reasons, as diuretics are often prescribed for this purpose.
The above information represents a helpful summary of the best supplements for weight loss. While there are many alternatives, these products have all been shown in studies to be effective for promoting weight loss. Most people who take these supplements experience a significant reduction in body fat, leading to an improvement in overall health and quality of life.