Estimated reading time: 11 minutes
Now is the time for the Best Weight Loss Supplements.
What a tumultuous journey we've faced these past two years. We've seen lockdowns, quarantines, food shortages, stress, job losses, child care crises, gym closures…even park closures (insert eye roll)...
Many of us struggle to find our footing on our healthy lifestyle journey. States pursue some semblance of normalcy. And we find ourselves staring down the barrel of a new year. If you find yourself searching something, anything to help you gain momentum, we can help.
Don’t misunderstand, you won't find a “miracle cure or pill” for reducing that stubborn quarantine 15…or 25. However, there are quite a few time-tested and clinically proven nutrients you can use to kickstart your weight loss journey this year.
Was Dr. Oz Right?
Dr. Oz and pre-quarantine 15.
So many remedies for weight loss have been pitched over the years. That makes it tough to know which ones are real. A prime example of this phenomenon is none other than the Dr. Oz library of weight reduction remedies. For years it seemed like the good doc had a new remedy every week! He did have quite a few good products, many of which I will mention shortly.
The downside to his endeavor is what I call a washout. Meaning he made so many different options available so rapidly it was and still is difficult to stick to one, or properly combine multiple modalities. Alas, the good doctor shall not have tried in vain! Many of those former featured supplements were and still are fantastic options to help facilitate quality fat loss. To follow are a few of the top nutrients with fantastic research backing up their efficacy, as well as proper usage parameters and more!
Old Dogs - Tried and True Weight Loss Supplements
We’ve all been told that the old fashioned ways are the best ways. Now, obviously this only applies to certain things in life. However, it may very well pertain to fat loss nutrition. Coincidentally, some of the most well studied and storied nutrients still hold reign as the best of the best weight loss supplements when it comes to fat loss and metabolic health. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?
Apple Cider Vinegar w/Mother
The name alone is enough to curl your toes and burn your nose. Don’t be so quick to judge!
ACV just happens to not only be quite possibly the oldest trick in the book, but one of the most effective! ACV is not what you would consider a “direct” fat burning nutrient. However, it is a highly effective blood sugar reducing nutrient with moderate metabolism boosting capabilities. Allow me to explain.
Greater than 80% of US adults have Hyperinsulinemia or are classified as Insulin Resistant. This is the greatest metabolic disease and directly contributes to the majority of chronic diseases. To combat insulin is to lose body fat. Also, to lose body fat curbs insulin! Chicken or the egg, right? Why not both?
ACV has been proven to reduce post prandial (that’s post ingestion) glucose levels by 20-40%!! This in turn reduces the need for insulin which reduces the growth rate of fat cells. Taken long term, moderate losses of fat by 2-3% have been shown. That may not seem like much but at pennies per serving it is an easy add-on to any regimen!
CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid)
That’s a mouth full! CLA has been around for decades. Known for its remarkable ability to seemingly shrink fat cells and reduce overall body fat without much effect anywhere else in the body, CLA is one of the few supplements that may be realistically classified as a “fat burner”. A medium chain triglyceride by nature, CLA helps to mobilize fat and convert it to a metabolically usable source of energy. Used alone or in conjunction with other modalities, this cost effective and long-term studied nutrient deserves a spot in your resolution cabinet!
No, not Creatine. Carnitine! This amino acid is a mean-old-acid when it comes to fat cells. Known for more than a few uses, such as cognitive function, energy production and exercise recovery to name just a few, Carnitine is one of the most potent fat burning nutrients currently available.Not only does it burn fat, but the process with which this happens also yields clean energy! Your heart will thank me later.
No matter the form used, whether it be Tartrate, Acetyl, Fumarate, or others, Carnitine acts as a shuttle for fat cells. Think of Carnitine as a sheep dog herding sheep into a pin. Making the fat (sheep) available for use by the mitochondria, Carnitine is the only other fundamentally true Fat Burner.
Protein - One of the BEST Weight Loss Supplements
No, seriously. Protein is highly underutilized for weight loss! As a Nutritionist seeing hundreds of clients every month, I have to say, Protein is my number one go-to remedy for problematic metabolisms. And we're looking for ideal protein levels. Here’s the why; it is highly satiating. That means it curbs appetite and reduces cravings.
It is readily available as powder in supplement form. Of all of the macronutrients, it has the highest thermic effect. That is to say, it requires more energy to break down and absorb than all the other macronutrients. Ever heard the old saying “meat sweats”? Protein is to blame! In other words, your body works overtime to break down the protein in your meal. And that can cause sweating if you've had excessive amounts of protein in your last meal. (Finally! That Friends episode explained.)
Here’s the what; Whey or animal based protein is preferred. Based on all available data, animal sourced Protein is most beneficial in regards to not only fat loss but also muscle gain. Vegetarian or vegan? No worries! Plant based will work as well! Opt for the highest quality protein no matter the source and 20-40 grams per serving.
New Tricks - the best weight loss supplements you haven't tried yet
Most of us have heard of some if not all of the previously mentioned supplements. And for good reason! They’ve been around for decades and are proven highly effective. That's what makes them the best weight loss supplements we recommend to our clients. But how about the new kids on the block? There are a few good ones that are newer to the scene and, of course, may be used with the old dogs as well. Let’s have a look.
“Fat Burners” - ugh, spare me. Really though, Thermos do have a place in many people’s fat loss strategy. Known mostly for the increase in heart rate due the many stimulants they contain. As a result, Thermogenics are the most popular weight loss product for, athletic and “fit” individuals. Thermogenics might not work well for most folks, considering rapid heartbeat can add to the list of things going wrong.
On the other hand, most athletes looking to get leaner will opt for a higher heart rate as a side effect because it can actually increase output and exercise efficiency. In my practice I take a middle ground. I recommend stimulant free Thermogenics. This option allows for both parties to enjoy a “multi nutrient” of fat loss without the risk of increased heart rate, nervousness and blood pressure. Yet stimulant-free Thermos still offer enough effective results for most athletes to benefit.
What’s wrong with caffeine and stimulants, though?? Check out the next topic to find out!
Sweet, sweet caffeine. Just the word itself is enough to conjure thoughts of our favorite bean based beverage and baristas that absolutely cannot spell your name right. The smell, the feeling, the nostalgia, the…rapid heartbeat and shakes? Yikes.
Caffeine is not only the drug of choice for most Americans and highly effective at that, but it is also a very powerful stimulant, capable of awesome and not-so-awesome effects. No, it is not technically a “new trick." However, the rate of consumption combined with the overuse of the drug in so many supplements equals a new concept.
Caffeine is well known for its increase in energy production and, through many mechanisms, fat loss. It is, however, a drug that is dangerous if not handled properly. I know I sound like your mother, but hear me out! Caffeine is the #1 abused drug in the WORLD. Too much of a good thing equals a bad thing.
Certainly, long-term use of caffeine can actually lead to fat gain. Putting your body in a constant parasympathetic state (fight or flight mode) jacks up your corticosteroids. And we all know that too much cortisol is fat’s best friend. Moderation is key! Use it when you need it. Now put down that energy drink!
We can thank the good Dr Oz for this tongue twister. For nearly a decade now, we've heard about Garcinia Cambogia. Before we move forward, the research associated with this supplement is questionable. I'll tell you shortly why we still include it here.
Garcinia Cambogia, a fruit extract, comes with claims of appetite, weight, and fat reduction. Unfortunately, almost every study done on humans with this supplement, along with almost all done on rats, are inconclusive. We have seen miniscule research showing that the active ingredient from GC called Hydroxycitric Acid or HCA, may reduce Serotonin reuptake. As a result, this might help attenuate appetite and improve mood. Big correlation with those two.
With that kind of shaky research, why do we include it on our list of best weight loss supplements? Real world application! I can tell you that in my practice I see some customers and clients say that it reduces their appetites or cravings. Hey, the real world works good enough for me! I always caution when research is questionable. But for some folks, this product seems to work. And if it can help reduce cravings for a fair price and no risks, I am all for it. It won’t, however, rank high on my list of recommendations.
Ketones/MCT Oil - the best weight loss supplements in a duo
A newbie with a lot to brag about. We've got a two-for-one here. The reason we paired ketones and MCT together requires a quick biology lesson, so bear with me.
MCT Oil & Bio 101
MCT Oil has 3 primary fatty acids - Caprylic (C8), Capric (C10), and Lauric acids (C12). The “C” is the number of carbon backbones given to the fatty acids. Each wields their own benefits. Lauric and Caprylic, for example, are both fairly potent antifungals. We used them for a wide variety of issues like yeast reduction and infections. Capric and Caprylic have numerous benefits for brain aging and inflammation reduction. Together, they have the potential to achieve all of these benefits and more.
MCT Oil consisting primarily of C8 has an extra special power. It can convert around 50% of itself to ketones in the liver. Now ketones are typically produced in a fasting state, when the body has shifted its energy usage from carbohydrate substrates to fatty acids. We see the resulting by-products in the blood - Ketones. This means MCT Oils have the ability to mimic a fasting state, thus speeding up the rate at which our bodies may shift fuel sourcing. Pretty neat, eh?
It doesn’t stop there! Ketones have an uncanny knack to reduce hunger. How? Thanks for asking! Ketones actually contain a caloric load of a little more than 4 calories per gram.
You may have heard that MCT Oil won’t “break” a fast, even though it is a fatty acid containing 9 calories per gram. In other words, it allows the body to mimic a fasting state. Meaning your body primarily uses fat and ketones as fuel. Consequently, fat and ketones burn extremely clean compared to carbohydrates and facilitate much faster fat metabolism. Moreover, because they contain calories, they also help extend your “fasting” state!
So which should you use? Make your decision based on how much money you want to spend. MCTs are fairly cheap. However, the oily content may cause diarrhea if too much is taken at once. Ketones are the downstream metabolite and work faster with less side effects. And yet, they cost more and taste fairly bitter. Either way you choose, it is hard to go wrong!
Check out these other Weight Loss Tips from 2020 in our How to Lose Weight: Quarantine 15 Edition article
So, what are the best weight loss supplements option for you?
The answer: we have several winners. However, it depends on YOU! As you now know, there are many tools to help your body drop unwanted lockdown pounds. Any of the supplements mentioned above will help, and in practically any combination. The trick is learning your body and what it likes.
You didn’t gain weight overnight. As a result, you will not lose it overnight either. It will take time. Moreover, losing fat the right way is not an expedient process. Slow and steady helps maintain your losses and avoid the dreaded rebound. Do yourself a favor, help your body and give these awesome supplements a try!
Hit the gym, the trails, the bike, the pilates or yoga class, or just the sauna or pool a little more frequently. Get a coach if you feel accountability is your biggest hurdle! Hey, it’s what we’re here for! And of course, never feel ashamed or shy to ask questions or get second opinions. Nobody knows it all, and anybody that says they do is lying. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. And that mindset is the secret to becoming a healthier, slimmer you, in 2022!