Though many people want to lose weight, it’s not always easy. Various factors can impact your weight loss goals from your age, body composition, genetics, hormones, and more. Most people turn to fad diets or rigorous workout routines to lose weight but weight loss supplements may be another method that can help you achieve your goals.
According to Healthline, weight loss supplements tend to work by either reducing your appetite (so you eat fewer calories), reducing absorption (so you take in fewer calories), or increasing fat burning (so you burn more calories). Follow along as we take a look at 5 weight loss supplements that may be worth trying.
Green Coffee Extract
Green coffee extract comes from unroasted coffee beans, which contain a natural antioxidant called chlorogenic acids. According to Insider, it’s believed that this antioxidant can reduce the amount of glucose (sugar) you absorb after a meal. ƒThis may help your weight loss efforts because excess glucose is stored as fat in the body.
While larger studies are needed to determine its effectiveness, three smaller studies found that individuals who took the green coffee extract supplement along with their normal diet lost about an average of 5.4-pounds compared to the individuals who took the placebo. Though green coffee beans have less caffeine than roasted coffee beans, the source says you may still experience caffeine-related side effects, such as jitteriness or headache.
If you enjoy a morning cup of coffee, you may be happy to learn that caffeine may help boost your weight loss efforts. Caffeine is naturally found in green tea, dark chocolate, and of course, coffee. And it’s thought to be a metabolism booster.
According to Healthline, some studies show that caffeine may cause modest weight loss in humans. It may work by “increasing energy expenditure — essentially meaning you burn more calories via increased fat breakdown as well as through a process of body heat production called thermogenesis.” However, it’s also worth noting that high amounts of caffeine can cause adverse effects like insomnia, anxiety, and jitteriness. The source also notes that there is no need to take a supplement containing caffeine because the best sources of caffeine come from good-quality coffee and green tea.
Healthline explains that glucomannan is a type of fiber found in the roots of the elephant yam. This supplement may be effective because it helps create a feeling of fullness, which may help you eat fewer calories. The source says it works by absorbing water and becomes “gel-like.”
Though more research is needed, the source notes one clinical trial found that taking the supplement for 60-days lowered body weight in participants when it was taken consistently. The source also notes that this supplement may offer additional benefits like feeding friendly bacteria in the intestines and lowering blood sugar, blood cholesterol, and triglycerides. It may also help with constipation. To be effective, the source notes it’s important to take glucomannan about half an hour before meals with a glass of water.
Meratrim is a weight loss supplement that contains two plant extracts including Sphaeranthus indicus and Garcinia mangostana. This supplement claims to “make it harder for fat cells to multiply, decrease the amount of fat they pick up from the bloodstream, and help them burn stored fat,” explains Healthline.
Because it’s a new supplement, there are very few studies to verify its effectiveness. That said, the source notes one study did observe 60 people with obesity which offers promising results.
The study put the participants on a strict 2,000-calorie diet and increased their physical activity. Some participants were given the supplement while others were given a placebo. At the end of the study, the group who took the supplement had lost 11-pounds and 4.7-inches off their waistlines.
Raspberry ketone is the natural substance that is responsible for giving raspberries their fragrant smell. Healthline says a synthetic version is sold as a weight loss supplement. Raspberry ketones may help weight loss efforts by breaking down fat and increasing levels of the hormone adiponectin, which the source says is believed to be related to weight loss.
Though more studies are needed to confirm its effectiveness, the source says one study examined raspberry ketones with some other ingredients. The study found a potential 2-percent increase in weight loss over 8-weeks compared to the placebo.
Of course, it should go without saying that you should always consult your doctor before taking a new supplement. Just because a product is considered natural doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe for you to take. In fact, some supplements shouldn’t be taken with other medications because they may change the absorption, metabolism, or excretion of the medication, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Though rare, the Mayo Clinic also warns that some supplements have been linked to serious problems, such as liver damage. And some may cause adverse effects, such as irregular heart rate. This is why it’s vital that you do your research before taking a weight-loss supplement and make sure it’s properly regulated.
Also, read the label and follow the instructions exactly as directed. And finally, always play it safe and talk to your doctor first, especially if you’re currently taking medication or are pregnant or breastfeeding.