Numerous scientific studies have been conducted on losing body fat. Many of these weight loss studies have discovered that certain supplements can be used to help control appetite. However, a healthy nutrition plan in collaboration with calorie restriction, regular exercise and proper workout supplementation still works best.
Including weight loss supplements in your fitness programme can usually help lose body fat at a faster rate and promote other health-related benefits such as improved appetite control, increased energy and maintenance or increase in lean body mass.
Weight or fat loss supplements are generally categorised as follows:
• Natural appetite suppressants reduce feelings of hunger while promoting satiety
• Lipotropics and fat metabolisers have ingredients that encourage the body to use more fat for energy
• Thermogenics stimulate the body to burn more fatty acids which increases a person’s metabolic rate
Having mentioned these, the top five weight loss supplement ingredients that really add to their potency are:
1. l-carnitine—this is an amino acid found in many food sources such as meat and dairy and is also produced naturally in the body. Its primary function is to help ferry long-chain amino acids (fatty acids) into the portion of the cell called the mitochondria. Once in the mitochondria, fats are oxidised in a process known as beta-oxidation.
Without carnitine, fats cannot enter the cell, and so no fat can be oxidised, or burned. That explains carnitine’s reputation as a fat-burner supplement.
2. HCA—this stands for Hydroxycitric Acid which is salt derived from the rind of dried fruit. It is marketed by supplement manufacturers as HCA, brindleberry or brindal berry and garcinia. Contemporary research backs up its effectiveness at reducing fat absorption, increasing fat metabolism, suppressing appetite and lowering LDL or bad cholesterol.
3. Green tea extract—green tea extract is the concentrated form of green tea isolated from Camellia sinensis, an Asian plant. It is recommended by health experts because of its fat burning prowess. This is due to the catechins in its leaves, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Catechins are water-soluble compounds extracted from the vegetable extract black catechu as a crystalline substance.
Green tea extract helps a person lose weight because:
• Increases metabolism burning more fat in the process
• As a diuretic, it removes excess water weight which gives you a bloated appearance
• Causes carbohydrates to be released slowly, this prevents insulin levels in the blood from rising, resulting in fat loss
• Stops sugar from going into the fat cells
4. CLA—conjugated linoleic acid or CLA, is an unsaturated fatty acid in the milk and meat of cows, sheep and goats. CLA, just like carnitine, is abundant in meat and dairy. Over the years, it has been promoted as a weight loss aid.
A study made by the Journal of Nutrition in 2000 concluded CLA supplementation does reduce body fat by as much as six pounds or 2.67 kilograms. It does this by speeding up the metabolism process and by preventing the storage of excess fat. It also inhibits the lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme found around fat cells.
If you are having any doubts about any of these fat loss ingredients, do not go against your gut. Always seek the advice of your physician before taking any unfamiliar supplement.