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Types of Weight Loss Supplements

When it comes to choosing a weight loss supplement, you have countless options available to you.  Almost all of these supplements make fantastic claims like that you can “eat whatever you want and not gain weight”, or “watch calories shed from your body without exercising.” Obviously, these weight loss supplements do not live up to their full promises or we wouldn’t have an obesity epidemic spreading across the world.  However, there are many weight loss supplements which can give your diet and exercise efforts a major boost.  The difficulty is sorting through all your options and deciding which weight loss supplements actually work and which are best suited for your lifestyle.  With the right choice, you can lose weight much easier.  With the wrong choice, you could end up causing harm to your body or even gaining more weight in the long run.

Here is an overview of your options when it comes to weight loss supplements.

Stimulant Fat Burners

Stimulants are basically any chemical (either natural or not) which speeds up your bodily functions.  There are numerous ways which a stimulant can increase metabolism but, most commonly, they will act on the central nervous system. The most widely used stimulant is caffeine, whether from coffee, tea, chocolate, in colas, or other products. Stimulants are very effective for helping weight loss because they increase metabolism speed, cause fat to be broken down into energy, increase performance, and also suppress appetite.  However, there is a very dark side to stimulant fat burners – especially if they are not used with caution.  Over time, your body will develop a tolerance to stimulants and you could also become addicted. There are risks associated with long-term use of stimulants, like heart disease and high blood pressure. Stimulants are also associated with some withdrawal effects that counter weight loss, such as increased appetite and a reduced metabolism in the long term.  For this reason, stimulants may not be the best solution for long-term weight loss for many people. You can read more about stimulant weight loss supplements here (stimulant weight loss supplements are they really going to melt fat from your body).

Appetite Suppressants for Weight Loss

Also called anorectics, appetite suppressant supplements help weight loss by blocking your hunger cravings and/or making you feel full longer after eating a meal. There is a massive array of appetite suppressant supplements available for weight loss and they work in many different ways.  Some appetite suppressants will block hunger signals in the brain so you don’t feel an urge to eat.  Most of these types of appetite suppressants are prescription only because of the possible risks that come with altering the nervous system. Non-prescription appetite suppressants often contain fiber which naturally makes you feel full longer.  While appetite suppressants can be very effective in helping diet efforts, it should be noted that they can hinder weight loss in the long run.  Eating less can slow the metabolism and some appetite suppressants cause hunger as a withdrawal effect. You can read more about appetite suppressant supplements here (Still Hungry?  Appetite Suppressants and How they Can Help Weight Loss).

Thermogenic Weight Loss Supplements

“Thermogenics” are one of the newest types of weight loss supplements to hit the market.  These products help support weight loss through thermogenesis, the process in which your body uses energy to produce heat.  A thermogenic weight loss supplement will cause a slight increase in body temperature, thus causing the metabolism to work faster to turn calories into heat. Natural thermogenics are becoming very popular amongst dieters and bodybuilders, especially ones which contain chili pepper extracts.  One should be careful when choosing a thermogenic weight loss supplement though because they usually will also contain a type of stimulant such as caffeine. You can read more about thermogenic weight loss supplements here (Thermogenic Supplements: The Hottest New Weight Loss Pills).

Fat Blockers for Weight Loss

Ever since the prescription fat-blocking drug Xenical came out, fat blockers have become increasingly popular amongst dieters.  The basic idea of a fat blocker is that it prevents your body from absorbing fats. Instead of the fat getting turned into energy by the body, it gets expelled with bowel movements. For people who are overweight from eating too many fatty foods, a fat blocker can be a very effective tool in promoting weight loss.  There are now many non-prescription fat blockers available, most of which contain some type of plant fiber such as from cacti.  Unfortunately, there are some very nasty side effects associated with fat blockers – or at least the fat blockers which actually work.  People using fat blockers can expect diarrhea, flatulence, and even troubles holding their bowels. You can read more about fat blockers for weight loss here (Fat Blockers: Can You Really Eat All the Fatty Foods You Want and Still Lose Weight?).

Carb Blockers for Weight Loss

Also called starch blockers, carbohydrate blockers will supposedly prevent your body from absorbing dietary carbohydrates. They purport to do this by blocking enzymes which break down carbohydrates into glucose.  Instead of getting absorbed, the starches will be passed from your body with bowel movements.  There are a few prescription carb blockers available but these are primarily prescribed for treating diabetes and not for weight loss.  There are however numerous non-prescription carb blockers available, most of which contain an extract from white kidney bean.  There is little evidence about the efficacy of these natural carb blockers for weight loss though they still are popular. You can read more about carb blockers for weight loss here (Breads and Pasta Making You Fat?  Maybe You Need a Starch Blocker).

Thyroid Supplements for Weight Loss

The thyroid gland is incredibly important for weight control because it regulates how the body uses energy.  If the thyroid is not functioning well, such as people who suffer from hypothyroidism, then weight gain is likely. Instead of using energy from calories, the energy gets stored as fat.  Thyroid supplements help weight loss by supporting thyroid function so more calories get burned instead of getting stored. Most thyroid supplements will contain guggulsterones or forskolin. Thyroid supplements, even the ones backed by clinical research, may not be effective for everyone.  Some also have potential risky side effects like elevating heart rate or causing gastrointestinal disturbances. You can read more about thyroid supplements for weight loss here (Thyroid Weight Loss Supplements: Is Your Thyroid To Blame?). 

Vitamins for Weight Loss

Vitamins are substances which our bodies need in order to sustain ourselves.  Certain vitamins play specific roles in bodily functions, like promoting muscle growth, supporting the nervous system, or maintaining healthy cholesterol levels.  Getting enough vitamins is important for your daily functioning as well as maintaining a healthy weight.  The basic idea about vitamins for weight loss is that, if your body has all the nutrients it needs, it will be able to use energy better and your metabolism will go faster.  You can read more about vitamins for weight loss here (www.weightloss.us/exercising-your-vitamins-for-weight-loss/)

References:

Egger, Garry, David Cameron-Smith, and Rosemary Stanton. “The effectiveness of popular, non-prescription weight loss supplements.” The Medical Journal of Australia 171 (1999): 604-608. Web.

Gibson-Moore, H. “Do slimming supplements work?” Nutrition Bulletin 35.4 (Dec 2010): 300-303. Web.

Adronicou, Anna-Maria, Professor Janet Krska, Allan Hackett, and Jacqueline Richards. “Supply of over-the-counter weight-loss products from community pharmacies.” International Journal of Pharmacy Practice 17.6 (2009): 333-337.

DISCLAIMER

The content provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Our content is not medical advice and you should seek a licensed physician or health professional regarding all health issues. WEIGHTLOSS.US takes no responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, or application of medication which results from reading this site.