Dietary Supplements for Weight Loss

November 18, 2022

Healthy weight loss is all about eating a well-balanced diet, reducing calories, and regular exercise, and there's no way around it. 

However, this lifestyle change is not always easy, and sometimes we wonder if taking a dietary supplement will help us lose weight.

Some supplements can help us lose weight because they block the absorption of fats or carbohydrates, while others reduce appetite or accelerate metabolism. 

Nevertheless, you must understand that although some dietary supplements work wonders with your extra pounds, regular physical activity and eliminating processed and sugary foods are still your number one weight loss ally, but, of course, supplements can help speed up the fat-melting process. 

The ingredients contained in dietary supplements for weight loss can be herbs, fibers, minerals, and vitamins in different combinations and amounts. You can find them in capsules, powders, and liquids.

Here are some dietary supplements to help you lose weight and improve your overall health at the same time:

  • Caffeine

It is a central nervous system stimulant, so it increases wakefulness, i.e., it can make you more alert. It also increases energy levels, helps burn calories, and accelerates fat metabolism.

Due to its anti-fatigue effect, it can be useful to cope with the feeling of tiredness that comes along with strict low-calorie diets.

Caffeine is found naturally in tea, guarana, yerba mate, and other herbs.

Dietary supplements containing caffeine may help to lose a little weight or not gain too much weight in the long term. 

However, if you already consume caffeine regularly, you may develop some tolerance to it, therefore, the effect would not be the same.

Caffeine in adults is safe in doses up to 400-500 milligrams per day. But too much can make you feel jittery, agitated, and even shaky. 

In turn, it can affect your sleep, so taking caffeinated dietary supplements at night is not recommended, but it is excellent before hitting the gym. 

  • Glucomannan

Glucomannan is a soluble dietary fiber that forms a very thick gel that produces a feeling of satiety and decreased appetite due to its high water absorption capacity. 

Due to its satiating effect, it can be very useful in overweight treatments since the decrease in appetite produces a lower food intake.

Glucomannan is made from the root of the konjac plant and can be used to regulate intestinal transit in cases of constipation or diarrhea.

A possible side effect of this supplement is the production of flatulence and abdominal pain.

Take this supplement with a large amount of water to avoid the formation of a hard mass capable of producing an obstruction.

People taking any type of medication should be vigilant with this dietary supplement as the absorption of the medications may be 

reduced. Because of this factor, glucomannan should be administered at least half an hour before or one hour after taking the medicine.

  • Green tea

Green tea consists of the leaves of Camellia sinensis.

It is believed to help control and reduce weight because it possesses stimulant, diuretic, and lipolytic properties. 

Moreover, it is considered to stimulate thermogenic activity, i.e., it helps increase the number of calories burned by the body.

Traditionally, green tea has been used as a stimulant to relieve fatigue and feelings of weakness, to facilitate urinary excretion, and as a detoxifier. This diuretic and central nervous stimulant effect are due to its caffeine content.

Also, due to its polyphenolic components, this tea has an antioxidant and free radical scavenger capacity.

As for its efficacy on the lipid profile, animal studies have shown efficacy in reducing cholesterolemia, triglyceridemia, and the LDL/HDL ratio.

Green tea has high caffeine content, so make sure you don't use any supplementation before going to bed as it might affect your sleep pattern. 

  • Garcinia Cambogia

Garcinia cambogia, also known as Malabar tamarind, is a species abundant in the forests of southern India.

The fruit contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which has regulatory effects on fatty acid synthesis, lipogenesis, appetite, and weight loss.

This compound decreases lipogenesis and the formation of lipids because it can inhibit the enzyme necessary for fatty acid synthesis.

The decrease in appetite can help reduce the amount of food intake and limit weight gain.

The use of this supplement is not recommended in pregnant or lactating women or people with type 2 diabetes.

No serious side effects have been reported, but this supplement may cause headache, nausea, or gastrointestinal symptoms.

Final Word

These are some of the dietary supplements that can be useful for body weight reduction, as long as they are complemented by a healthy diet and a daily physical activity plan since these plants are not miracle products.

There are cases in which the use of these products is a psychological component that contributes to increasing people's confidence and motivation and, therefore, helps them to lose weight in a healthy way.

If you are considering taking any weight loss supplement, consult with a health professional, your doctor, nutritionist, or pharmacist, so that they can guide you correctly, especially if you have any medical problem or take any type of drug.