Best Supplements for Weight Loss

Sports nutrition is a constantly evolving field with hundreds, if not thousands of research papers published every year. Whether you’re new to fitness and supplements that support you in your goals, or, if you’ve been taking supplements for years, my aim is to provide some information to help simplify your decisions within your budget.

I’ll be addressing ergogenic supplements for weight loss. “Ergogenic” supplements are intended to enhance physical performance, stamina or recovery. I will not be addressing steroids in this post.

It’s important to note that, “…there is considerable debate regarding the ergogenic value of various nutritional supplements.”[1] I’m not a scientist. I’m just a guy who has enjoyed pursuing fitness over the years. Part of that is I read up on some science and opinions. I’ve testedshelves-of-supplements many things myself. And so, I humbly bring my findings to help you make more informed decisions for your benefit.

“People who participate in a general fitness program (e.g., exercising 30 – 40 minutes per day, 3 times per week) can typically meet nutritional needs following a normal diet (e.g., 1,800 – 2,400 kcals/day or about 25 – 35 kcals/kg/day for a 50 – 80 kg individual) because their caloric demands from exercise are not too great (e.g., 200 – 400 kcals/session)”.[2] It’s important to make the point that supplements are not intended to replace a good diet.

Below I address several of the most popular weight loss supplements. I hope this can serve as a resource for you, if and when you want to include weight loss supplements as part of your overall fitness program. This can help you decide which weight loss supplement is best for you.

The Best Weight Loss Supplement is Personal

Finding the best weight loss supplement for you, is personal. This is not a ‘one size fits all’ kind of thing. What works well for one person might cause another to have anxiety and excess perspiration. You know yourself and how your body responds. If you are sensitive to Supplement-bottlecaffeine you’ll know to start at a low dosage for any supplement that has stimulants. As you read the explanations in the next section, you may be more attracted to a fibrous product that absorbs water while in the stomach causing you to feel full. By doing so, you would tend to eat less. Or, you may be more interested in a product that revs up your metabolism, reducing your appetite and burning fat. As you read about some most popular weight loss supplements below, be mindful to find what you think is best for you.

Popular Weight Loss Supplements Explained

Although exercise and proper diet remain the best way to promote weight loss and/or manage body composition, a number of nutritional approaches have been investigated as possible weight loss methods (with or without exercise).

Weight loss supplements reduce appetite, reduce absorption and make you burn more fat. Before taking any you should know every ingredient in them and what, if any, health risks could be associated. It would be most wise to consult with your doctor before taking any.

Garcinia Cambogia Extract: A study published in the Journal of Obesity in 2010 concluded that, “Garcinia extracts/HCA generate weight loss on the short term. However, the magnitude of this effect is small, is no longer statistically significant…”. In other words, ‘Don’t waste your time and money.’

Hydroxycut: This is one of the most popular weight loss supplements. WebMD sites two small studies. “One states that when people older-man-and-weight-loss-protein-bartook C. canephora robusta for 60 days they lost about 10.95 pounds as opposed to the placebo group, which lost an average of 5.40 pounds. Both groups were on a low-calorie diet. The other small 8-week study showing that those taking C. canephora robusta lost about 3.7 pounds versus the placebo group members, who lost 1.25 pounds.”[3]

Caffeine: This is, of course the most popular and well-known metabolic booster. It is included in many weight loss supplements. It’s effective and inexpensive, unless, of course, unless you drink it in some commercially made frappe-hoo-hoo-something-or other. Healthline sites studies that have found caffeine can “… boost metabolism by 3-11%, and increase fat burning by up to 29%.”[4]

Orlistat: You might know this pharmaceutical by the manufacturer’s name, Alli. According to a big review of 11 studies, orlistat can increase weight loss by 6 pounds (2.7 kg) compared to a dummy pill.[5]

It works by inhibiting the breakdown of fat in the gut. However, there are many digestive side effects including loose, oily stools, flatulence, frequent bowel movements that are hard to control and others. Of course, if you’re good with all that, this could be just the weight loss supplement for you! (I’m kidding of course)

raspberriesRaspberry Ketones: I’m only including this because it seems to have risen in popularity. The only research study to find out if they are an effective supplement from weight loss was on rats. The keytones are what give raspberries their distinctive smell. Apparently, a side effect is burps that smells like raspberries.

Green Coffee Bean Extract: They are just coffee beans that haven’t been roasted. A review of 3 studies found that the supplement made people lose 5.4 more pounds than a placebo.[6] It can cause the same side effects as caffeine. Chlorogenic acid, in the beans can help slow the breakdown of carbohydrates but can also cause diarrhea.

Glucomannan: is a type of fiber found in the roots of the elephant yam. Three different research studies were conducted concluding that Glucomannan, combined with a healthy diet can help people lose 8 to 10 pounds of body weight in 5 weeks.[7] The way it works is it becomes gel-like. It absorbs water and as it sits in the gut it makes one feel full. At the time of this writing I have not yet tried Glucomannan. I will and report back in a later post.

Meratrim: It’s a blend of two herbs, Sphaeranthus Indicus and Garcinia mangostana. (WOW! That’s a mouthful!). The manufacturers claim these herbs combined have positive effects on the metabolism of fat cells. There hasn’t been any published research yet. If you’re looking for the best weight loss supplement for you, I would recommend passing on this until some reliable studies are done and published, unless you just like trying new stuff.

Green Tea Extract: Green tea extract is believed to increase the activity of norepinephrine, a hormone that helps you burn fat.[8] Many green-tea-extracthuman studies have shown that green tea extract can increase fat burning and cause fat loss, especially in the belly area.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA): It has shown to reduce appetite, boost metabolism and stimulate the breakdown of body fat. In a review of 18 different studies CLA caused weight loss of about 0.2 pounds per week for as long as 6 months.[9] There are some concerning side effects with CLA. Over time, it can induce various digestive problems, fatty liver, insulin resistance and increased inflammation. I don’t think the risk of those are worth using CLA.

Forskolin: It is believed to raise levels of a compound inside cells called cAMP which may
stimulate fat burning.[10] There has been very little research on this, and nothing is known about potential side effects. I would stay away until more research has been done and published.

Bitter Orange / Synephrine: A type of orange called Bitter Orange contains the compound Synephrine. It can reduce appetite and significantly increase fat burning.[11]

Synephrine has similar qualities to ephedrine but is less expensive. Ephedrine has shown to cause substantial weight loss but has been banned because of its serious side effects. There have been very few studies on synephrine. It’s possible that it could have serious side effects like ephedrine related to the heart.

Final Thoughts

For anyone looking for the best weight loss supplements for them, I hope you’ll find the explanations above as a helpful resource in weight-loss-for-older-guysmaking your decision. In my next post I’ll be addressing supplements for gaining muscle size and strength. Please leave any comments or questions below.

[1] Kreider, R.B., Wilborn, C.D., Taylor, L. et al. ISSN exercise & sport nutrition review: research & recommendations. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 7, 7 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-7-7

[2] Ibid

[3] https://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/hydroxycitric-acid-hydroxycut

[4] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-weight-loss-pills-reviewed#section3

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15266516

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2943088/

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15614200

[8] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031938410000703

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17490954

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24520882

[11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21537493

16 thoughts on “Best Supplements for Weight Loss

  1. C.N. says:

    Thank you so much for this highly informative article! Although I’m actually trying to gain weight, several of my close friends and family members are looking to lose weight, and they would definitely benefit from reading this article (I have saved your site and will share it with my friends and family). I appreciate how thorough you were in your analysis of the different weight loss supplements, and I completely agree that the best supplement is personal. Great read! God bless you!

  2. Joonas says:

    Weight loss is a very important topic and you have a very comprehensive list of useful products here.

    I think you’re right when you say that finding the right product(s) is personal. Just have to try as many as possible and pick the ones that you like the most.

    Thanks for a great post!

    Best Regards,
    Joonas

  3. Tom says:

    Hey,

    I am not over 60 but I definitely need to lose weight and I need all the help I can get. I’m really pleased that I came across your article. I know using supplements isn’t the best way to lose weight, real exercise is. But, maybe I can start by using the supplements and then get into the exercise. I need better motivation than that 🙂

    I will let you know how I get on with the weight loss and if I use your recommended supplements I will give you my opinion.

    Thank you for sharing such an informative article. Keep up the great work on your site.

    All the best,

    Tom

  4. Dan says:

    Great post Glenn! I definitely agree with you on most of the supplements you listed for weight loss. Some of these are new to me so I’ll definitely have to look into them. Green tea extract has always been one of my favorites since it’s natural and not overstimulating. I’m going to share this with a few friends who are looking to lose some weight. Thanks for the great post!

  5. Ivan says:

    I’ve been searching for supplements for weight loss and your article has been very helpful. I like your recommendations and explanations of each. I personally recommend a lot of gree tea plus cardio. Thanks again for sharing this info!

  6. Ivan says:

    I agree that green tea extract is a powerful supplement for weight loss. When combined with cardio exercise, the effects are fantastic. Thanks for sharing this post!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *