Here’s a fact. Two thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese. Not that the rest of the world is fairing much better, for the obesity epidemic is global. Natural weight loss supplements are becoming popular as a safer, drug-free way to shed fat. But do they work? How do you find the best supplements for you?
(In a hurry? Scroll down for top natural weight loss supplements)
Frankly, weight loss supplements by themselves cannot help you lose weight. Nor are they a quick fix. However, combined with a healthy diet and/or exercise, they can help speed up the process of fat loss.
For a weight loss supplement to work, it must address the root-cause of the problem. Let’s look at some causes of weight gain, shall we?
Causes of Weight Gain
Understanding some basic causes of weight gain can help in picking the right weight loss product. The causes of weight (read fat) gain, presuming no other medical issues, include:
- Bad eating habits: This include both excessive eating and bad choices of food. Appetite suppressants may help with excessive eating but not with food choices.
- Natural aging: Our metabolism slows down with age, and our bodies produce less hormones such as testosterone and DHEA. Loss of muscle tissue can also cause metabolism to slow down as we age.
- Hormone imbalance: Having less of certain hormones can cause weight gain, as can having more of others.
- Genetics: Science shows that genetics can play a role in weight gain and obesity.
- Slow metabolic rate: Your basal metabolic rate (BMR), is the amount of energy expended while at rest. It is also called resting metabolism. The higher your BMR, the easier it is to lose weight.
Usually, an individual may have more than one cause for gaining weight. For example, genetics (or heredity) may cause an eating disorder, which can cause obesity.
Now, weight loss supplements cannot influence your food choices. The ball is squarely in your court on this. Nor can they influence genetics (which we have no control over), although they can help minimize or reign the effects of unfavorable genes.
Types of Weight Loss Supplements
It is important too, to understand the different types of weight loss supplements in order to find one that fits your needs. Here are some categories:
- Fat burners: These can be stimulant or non-stimulant. Thermogenics, which are stimulants, fall in this category.
- Hormonal: May help boost hormones that aid weight loss, reduce hormones that cause weight gain, or restore hormonal balance. (See: Hormonal Weight Loss Supplements).
- Appetite Suppressants: These may help curb appetite, so you eat less and possibly lose weight. They often also contain stimulants to give you energy so you don’t feel down from eating less. Thermogenics fall in this category as well.
- Nutrient blockers or partitioning supplements: These may “partition” nutrients to be used as energy instead of being stored as fat, or facilitate the passing out of the nutrients so little of none is absorbed in the body. Carb blockers, for example, fall in this category.
Now, weight loss supplement types are not clear cut. There is a great deal of overlapping, as in the case of thermogenics which can be fat burners and appetite suppressants.
Top Over the Counter Natural Weight Loss Supplements
By “weight loss”, we actually mean “fat loss” (the two are not exactly the same). Most people want to lose body fat and/or improve body composition.
Below are some natural weight loss supplements that may help you safely shed the pounds and flatten your belly. We’ve included “Type” for each supplement so you have an idea of what it does, or how it’s supposed to work.
Claims: BioTrust® IC-5 claims to promote increased insulin sensitivity, support healthy blood sugar levels, and partition carbs to muscle so you can eat carbs and not gain weight.
Carbohydrates, or carbs, are the main reason for weight gain for most people. BioTrust IC-5 is what may be referred to as a natural carb blocker. This supplement that may help in carbohydrate management and perhaps give your body “an edge” when it comes to carbs. IC-5 may help store more carbs in muscle tissue as energy thus preventing them from being stored as fat. This may help you lose weight.
- Cinnamonium Cassia 100mg: May help metabolize carbohydrates and reduce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that can contribute to weight gain as well as making it hard to burn fat.
- Berberin 500mg: May help manage blood sugar levels and promote use of carbs for energy instead of being stored as fat.
- Naringin 50mg: May help improve absorption of berberin (above) thus make it more effective.
- Chromium 200mcg: May aid in metabolism of carbohydrates. Many people who overeat have been found to have low levels of chromium, an essential mineral.
- Benfotiamine 80mg: May aid in carbohydrate regulation.
This is not a miracle pill all the same. Please do not expect to gorge on pizza and then take IC-5 and still lose weight. A healthy diet is still recommended.
2. BellyTrim XP™
Claims: Certain healthy fats can help you burn fat. BellyTrim XP is supposed to give you fat-burning fats, based on clinical research.
As the name suggests, BioTrust BellyTrim XP is a supplement designed to target belly fat. Many health experts say this is the most dangerous fat to have as it increases risk of cardiovascular disease. It may sound counter-intuitive, but this supplement supplies certain healthy “super fats” to fight fat, especially around your waistline.
BellyTrim Xp Ingredients
- CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) from safflower oil1500mg: CLA is linked to fat loss.
- Pomegranate seed oil 400mg: For additional CLA and improved insulin sensitivity.
- Piper nigrum (fruit) extract 5mg: Enhances absorption.
BellyTrim may be helpful in reducing trouble spots such as belly fat and love handles, but may not be helpful for those seeking “significant” weight loss or are obese.
LeptiBurn™ (Product Discontinued)
Type: Hormone management, namely “obesity hormone” leptin.
Claims: BioTrust LeptiBurn claims to help you gain control of the hormone that influences every hormone related to weight loss. Also claims to help you blast through weight loss plateaus.
Ever wonder why it becomes increasingly difficult to lose weight when following a diet and/or exercise regimen?
Often it is because your body is fighting against you. When you eat get less calories your body may sense starvation. Your levels of the hormone leptin can drop, causing your body to hold on to stored fat. This can cause frustrating weight loss plateaus.
LeptiBurn is designed to counter this by optimizing hormone leptin levels as well as improving leptin sensitivity, which may potentially increase fat burning.
- Green tea extract (leaf) 500mg: May increase metabolic rate.
- Irvingia gabonensis extract 150mg: May support leptin sensitivity.
- 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) 100mg: May enhance “feel good” hormone serotonin levels
Comes with 1-year guarantee
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* None of the statements on this page have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult a healthcare professional before starting a new supplement especially if you are pregnant, nursing, have known health condition or on medications.