How Does Weight Loss Supplements Help You Lose Weight?

If you are planning on losing a few pounds, you might be considering one of those over the counter weight loss supplements or weight loss aids.

However, if you take a look at your local health food store, pharmacy, drug store, or even the supermarket, you will find dozens of brands and types of weight loss helpers. Which ones actually work? Are they safe? Which are the best ones?

We are going to narrow things down for you so that you can make a safe, logical choice and not throw your money down the drain.

What Are Weight Loss Supplements?

Weight loss supplements, sometimes called weight loss aids, are supposed to help you lose weight by one or more of the following:

  • Reduce the Appetite - By making you feel full, you should eat fewer calories and want fewer snacks.
  • Increase Fat Burning - By increasing the metabolism, your body will burn more calories.
  • Reduce the Absorption of Fat or Carbs - This will result in the body absorbing fewer calories.

What Kinds of Supplements Are There?

Weight loss supplements take all types of forms and shapes. You will find them in pills, tablets, capsules, powders, bars that look something like candy, and canned drinks.

Which Work Best?

Let's take a look at the top 5 supplements and how they work.

Green Tea

Weight loss supplements - Green tea

Green tea extract is a very popular weight loss supplement. You will find some supplements are strictly green tea, while others include it as part of an overall formula.

Numerous studies have found that green tea contains a super antioxidant called EGCG, which has been found to burn fat by increasing the activity of a natural hormone in the body called norepinephrine. Green tea extract is popular because it not only has scientific proof showing that it works, but it seems to encourage weight loss in the belly area. Most people have no problem consuming it; it has no side effects, although it does contain some caffeine.

Chitosan

Weight loss supplements - Chitosan

Chitosan is a natural compound that is extracted from the shells of crustaceans, such as shrimp. This supplement is supposed to help limit the amount of fat that the body is able to absorb from your foods. Chitosan is supposed to bind to fat, therefore making it unavailable to the body. There have not been many studies showing that this supplement actually works, but as long as you don’t have an allergy to shellfish, it appears to have no other side effects. Some people claim they have lost a pound each day using this supplement, but this has yet to be proven.

Glucomannan

Weight loss supplements - Glucomannan

This is a natural, water soluble dietary fiber that is extracted from the roots of a particular type of yam. You can buy this in a powder form to mix with water or you can buy it in capsule form. Glucomannan is one of the most powerful dietary fibers known to man, as it absorbs water like crazy. By filling the stomach with fiber, but next to no calories, this supplement has been proven to make a person feel full. It also reduces the body's ability to absorb fat and protein, which means your body takes in fewer calories.

Meal Replacements

Weight loss supplements - Meal Replacements

There are more meal replacements available for sale than you can count! Whether they are powders you mix with water, canned "shakes", or bars that you can pack in your pocket, the basic idea is the same. By eating (or drinking) a set number of calories, you won't overeat. You eat or drink this one thing, rather than eat a meal, ensuring you limit calories, fat, and carb intake. These can work remarkably well, if people stick to the plan. Most people find meal replacements extremely boring after a short time and they return to their regular eating plan.

Garcinia Cambogia

This supplement, featured on many online weight loss programs, is made from an extract of a fruit from the Malabar Tamarind tree, native to Southeast Asia. This extract is high in a compound called hydroxycitric acid, or HCA, which helps fight food cravings, so you eat fewer calories. It also appears to stop the body from absorbing fat, which will also lead to weight loss. Garcinia Cambogia supplement is extremely popular due to it's numerous testimonials from people who swear by it.

As you can see, weight loss supplements can help considerably, if you choose the right one! Speak to your doctor if you have any doubts about using one of these supplements.