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Supplements for weight loss remain a polarizing topic. Ads for weight loss products commonly promise miracle solutions to lose weight fast, but don’t provide scientific proof for those claims. Some diet pills aren’t FDA-approved or third-party tested and come with a minefield of safety issues. Others simply don’t work.
There’s a lot of fools gold out there, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on dietary supplements altogether. Legitimate, effective weight loss supplements do exist and we’re introducing some of the best available in this article.
If you’re looking for a magic fat-burning pill that will melt away your belly fat without any additional effort on your part, you won’t find it here.
What you will find, however, are science-backed supplements for weight loss that can enhance your weight loss journey when combined with other proven methods for weight loss, like a low-calorie diet and regular exercise.
If you’re looking to kick start your weight loss journey with an evidence-based diet supplement, consider our picks for the best supplements for weight loss. You’ll also learn how to find the best supplement for your weight loss goals, the best supplements to burn fat, the best supplements for women’s weight loss and ways to accelerate weight loss.
This content is meant to be informative, but should not be taken as medical advice. It is not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention or treatment of health problems. Always speak with your doctor before starting any new supplement or exercise regimen.
Our Picks for the Best Weight Loss Supplements:
If it’s important that you maintain a vegan diet throughout your weight loss journey, consider Ritual Essential Protein Powder.
This is a 100 percent plant-based supplement designed to help form lean muscle and support muscle recovery after exercise. Each serving provides eight grams of the nine essential amino acids and four grams of BCAAs. Plus, it’s non-GMO, gluten-free, third-party tested and doesn’t contain any added sugar, artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners.
The protein in this supplement is derived from organic yellow peas grown in the USA using regenerative farming practices. The formula also contains monk fruit – a natural, zero-calorie sweetener that has been linked to weight reduction.
Ritual Essential Protein Powder is a particularly good option for athletes trying to lose weight because it’s Informed Sport Certified. This means it has been rigorously screened for over 250 banned substances in sport, including stimulants, narcotics and diuretics.
If you’re looking for a weight loss supplement that will help you maintain muscle mass while shedding stubborn body fat, Gainful Protein Powder for Weight Loss is an excellent option.
This low calorie protein powder contains 110 calories per serving and 19 to 27 grams of protein. Plus, it has all nine essential amino acids (EAAs), which are the building blocks of protein your body needs, but can’t make on its own.
The notable ingredients included in the formula for weight loss are coconut oil and green tea extract (GTE). Coconut oil is a type of fatty acid that studies suggest may help you lose weight and burn fat. Green tea extract is a well-known thermogenic fat burner that has been shown to boost metabolism and decrease body weight in certain people.
We like Gainful Protein Powder because the formula can be customized to your unique weight loss goals and every purchase comes with unlimited access to a Registered Dietician. Before purchasing, customers take a quiz on Gainful’s official website that results in a personalized protein formula tailored to your body type, fitness goals and dietary restrictions (e.g. vegan, dairy-free, etc.).
Low calorie protein powders are beneficial to weight loss for a number of reasons. In the midst of a low calorie intake, protein helps you maintain the energy levels necessary to sustain fat-burning workouts. Studies also show that a protein-rich meal early in the day is an effective appetite suppressant and may help control food cravings.
Kaged Muscle L-Carnitine is great for people who incorporate high-intensity workouts into their weight loss program. L-Carnitine plays a crucial role in fat metabolism, helping cells to break down fat and get energy from stored fat reserves.
There are lots of L-carnitine supplements out there, but we like Kaged Muscle L-Carnitine the best for a number of reasons. Firstly, the supplement is non-GMO, meaning it doesn’t contain any genetically modified organisms that may be harmful to your health. It’s also vegan-friendly and Informed Sport Certified. Above all, this supplement has been third-party tested, which gives credibility to the manufacturer’s claims about safety and quality.
Athletic Greens packs 75 vitamins, minerals and whole-food nutrients into one convenient daily serving. It contains prebiotics, probiotics and digestive enzymes to promote gut health. Vitamin C, zinc and healing mushrooms to support immunity. Magnesium as a metabolism booster. Plus, superfoods and antioxidants to help with recovery after exercise. (Learn even more about these ingredients in our Athletic Greens review.)
A nutrient-rich supplement like Athletic Greens has an enormous range of health benefits. It’s especially beneficial during a low carb or low calorie diet when your intake of essential nutrients may be sub-optimal.
A standout ingredient in this supplement are the adaptogenic herbs (adaptogens), which research suggests have anti-fatigue properties and help to boost energy levels.
This supplement also boasts a clean formula. It’s non-GMO and contains no herbicides, pesticides, artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or preservatives. Plus, it’s gluten-free, diary-free and nut-free to accommodate a range of dietary restrictions and food allergies.
BCAAs is short for Branch Chain Amino Acids, a subset of the nine essential amino acids found in protein-rich foods like eggs, meat and dairy products. We cover more about this powerful ingredient in our round-up of the best BCAAs.
Kaged Muscle BCAA 2:1:1 is an unflavored powder supplement you can mix into water or your favorite beverage. According to the manufacturer, this supplement uses a scientifically tested 2:1:1 ratio of BCAAs (L-Leucine: L-Isoleucine: L-Valine) to burn fat efficiently and promote muscle protein synthesis.
Multiple studies have associated a higher BCAA intake with a lower prevalence of obesity in adults. Research also suggests that BCAA supplementation combined with vitamin B may have a slimming effect on the legs and waist to hip ratio in overweight and obese women.
We like Kaged Muscle BCAA 2:1:1 because it uses fermented BCAAs, which harness the power of fermentation to break down the product into a simpler, more digestible form. The supplement is also vegan-friendly, non-GMO and doesn’t contain unnecessary fillers. Plus, it’s formulated to dissolve rapidly in water without clumping.
Green Tea Extract (GTE) is one of the most popular natural ingredients found in diet supplements, especially popular weight loss pills.
Green Tea Extract is known to activate thermogenesis in fat cells. Thermogenesis involves an increase in your body’s metabolic rate to burn calories and generate heat. Additionally, green tea is sometimes used to treat high cholesterol, high blood pressure and to prevent heart disease and ovarian cancer.
NOW Foods EGCg Green Tea Extract contains 200 milligrams of EGCg per serving and accommodates a range of nutritional preferences, including vegan, vegetarian and Kosher diets. Plus, it’s non-GMO Project Verified and GMP Quality Assured.
This supplement makes our list because it’s affordable and has great customer reviews, with over 7,500 people rating it five stars. Multiple customers reported positive weight loss results, as well as improvements in their skin, immunity and energy levels. Many also said they didn’t experience any side effects with this supplement.
Nature Made Fish Oil Supplement is chock full of omega 3 – a natural energy source that helps keep your heart, lungs, blood vessels and immune system working the way they should. Research suggests that fish oil may help reduce waist size. Studies have also linked omega-3 to improved weight management and fat loss in overweight and obese individuals.
This supplement is gluten-free and contains no artificial flavors or colors. According to the manufacturer, it has been purified to remove mercury to a level safe for consumption.
Burping is a common side effect of fish oil products, but this supplement is coated to reduce fish burps and indigestion.
Mounting evidence suggests that omega-3 may be one of the best supplements for PCOS weight loss. Studies on omega-3 in women with PCOS found they helped support weight loss, reduce waist circumference and decrease BMI.
However, this supplement may not be the best choice for everyone. If you have cardiovascular disease and high levels of triglycerides, omega-3 supplements may increase your risk of atrial fibrillation. Consult your doctor before using this supplement, especially if you take prescription medications or have health issues.
If you struggle with food cravings and overeating, consider Nature’s Way Glucomannan from Konjac Root.
Glucomannan is a complex carbohydrate and dietary fiber that may help increase your feeling of fullness and has the potential to reduce snacking and the consumption of excess calories. This may be one of the best menopause supplements for weight loss, as menopause often leads to an increased appetite.
Studies show that glucomannan, when combined with a healthy diet, can help people lose weight. It also provides other health benefits, such as lowering blood sugar levels, blood cholesterol and triglycerides.
Nature’s Way is a trusted manufacturer that has been making dietary supplements for over 50 years. The company prides itself on using three distinct levels of scientific testing to ensure the safety and quality of their products.
Vitamin D3 isn’t a very popular supplement for weight loss, but scientific evidence suggests it should be. If you’re looking to prevent weight gain and get your recommended daily intake of vitamin D3 at the same time, Nature Made Vitamin D3 is a great supplement option.
We consider this supplement to be one of the best supplements for women’s weight loss, in particular.
Vitamin D3 plays a role in regulating blood sugar levels and fat metabolism. A clinical trial on the effects of vitamin D3 supplementation in overweight and obese women found that it significantly decreased body weight, lowered BMI and reduced waist circumference compared to control and placebo groups.
There’s also a lot of evidence to suggest that Vitamin D3 may be one of the best supplements for PCOS weight loss. Vitamin D deficiency is extremely common in women with PCOS. One study found that vitamin D supplementation reduced insulin resistance and improved fat metabolism in women with PCOS.
This supplement may also be one of the best menopause supplements for weight loss, as menopausal women tend to have a lower capacity to produce vitamin D3, causing deficiency. Studies have shown an association between vitamin D3 deficiency and weight gain in postmenopausal women.
Besides the numerous health benefits vitamin D3 provides, we like this supplement because it’s USP Verified. This means it has been third-party tested to meet stringent safety and quality requirements. Additionally, it’s gluten-free and contains no artificial flavors or colors. Learn more in our round-up of the best Vitamin D supplements on the market today.
Are Weight Loss Supplements Safe?
Weight loss supplements are generally safe, but it depends on the manufacturer and your medical history. The safest and best weight loss supplements are those that have been third-party tested to meet GMP and other quality assurance standards.
Dietary supplements are not required to be FDA-approved, but if a supplement is found to be unsafe, the FDA can issue a warning and ask that it be removed from the market.
Always consult your doctor before starting a new dietary supplement regimen.
How Weight Loss Supplements Work
Weight loss supplements work in a variety of ways, depending on the type of supplement.
Protein powders for weight loss work by providing the body with essential amino acids (EAAs) it can use to build protein. A protein-rich diet can serve as an appetite suppressant, boost metabolism and increase energy levels, providing endurance for fat-burning workouts. Protein powders may also help your body maintain muscle mass during periods of rapid fat loss.
Some weight loss supplements come in pill form. The most effective weight loss pills contain ingredients that have been scientifically proven to support weight loss and promote a healthy metabolic rate. The best weight loss pills are those that have been tested for safety and shown to provide significant weight loss results.
Other weight loss supplements work by offering a cocktail of essential nutrients the body can use for energy and overall vitality. Nutrient-rich supplements for weight loss are especially beneficial if your diet involves a very low calorie intake, as your essential nutrient intake may be sub-optimal.
Weight loss supplements may also work by:
- Curbing food cravings
- Increasing the feeling of fullness to prevent overeating
- Boosting metabolism
- Slowing down the body’s fat production
- Preventing the body from absorbing the fat in the food you eat (fat blockers)
How to Use Weight Loss Supplements
When using weight loss supplements, always follow the directions on the supplement’s label, unless otherwise directed by your physician.
Combine protein powder weight loss supplements with weight lifting and resistance exercises that promote lean muscle synthesis.
Use fat burning supplements alongside workouts that burn fat. The key to burning belly fat is to reduce your total body fat with moderate to intense physical activity.
Nutrient-rich weight loss supplements are best used with low calorie and low carb diets or fasting.
You might also benefit from using a weight loss app while taking a supplement for weight loss. Weight loss apps are designed to enhance your weight loss journey and improve your weight management in the long-run.
Who Should Avoid Weight Loss Supplements
Weight loss supplements are not for everyone. People who should avoid supplements for weight loss includes, but isn’t limited to:
- Individuals whose doctor advises against their use
- Individuals with a history of diet pill abuse or eating disorders
- Individuals with medical conditions that may be affected by supplement use
Always consult your doctor before using a new supplement for weight loss.
What to Look for in a Weight Loss Supplement
Finding the best weight loss supplement for your needs can take time, as there are hundreds of options to sift through. To find a dietary supplement that aligns with your weight loss goals, look at the supplement’s ingredients, form and side effects.
There are dozens of ingredients associated with weight loss, each affecting the body in different ways. We mentioned many of these ingredients earlier in this article. Other common ingredients associated with weight loss include:
- Garcinia cambogia – a green fruit shown to hinder a fat-producing enzyme in animal studies
- Cayenne pepper (capsaicin) – research suggests it is a thermogenic compound that may help boost metabolism and suppress your appetite
- Chromium picolinate – an essential mineral shown to curb cravings for high-carb, high-sugar foods
- Nopal cactus – a natural dietary fiber shown to help reduce fat accumulation by aiding the digestion of dietary fat
- Caffeine anhydrous – a dehydrated form of caffeine that may activate thermogenesis to help shed excess fat stores as energy
- Lacys reset – a trademarked formula shown to help boost metabolic response
- Piperine – derived from black pepper; has been shown to decrease body weight and promote fat loss in animal studies
- Turmeric (curcumin) – an antioxidant that may play a role in weight loss
- L-theanine – an amino acid primarily found in green and black tea, as well as some mushrooms
Weight loss supplements typically come in the form of swallowable pills or powders you can mix into water or other beverages. The best diet pills are independently tested for safety and may have a coated capsule to prevent unwanted side effects like burping, indigestion and constipation.
Some weight loss ingredients are known to cause unwanted side effects. For example, raspberry ketones may cause raspberry-smelling burps. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) can cause various digestive side effects and may be linked to long-term harmful effects like fatty liver and increased inflammation.
What is the Highest Rated Weight Loss Supplement?
According to Orlando Magazine (2022), the highest rated weight loss supplements are PhenQ, Phen24, Leanbean, Trimtone and Primeshred. However, the criteria used to rate these supplements is debatable. For instance, PhenQ and Phen24 are expensive compared to other brands and not advised for people with comorbidities. On the other hand, Leanbean and Trimtone have been recommended by health professionals and have generally positive customer reviews. Leanbean and Trimtone are also on the magazine’s list of the top five fat burners.
Over The Counter vs. Prescription Weight Loss Drugs
Over the counter (OTC) weight loss supplements are purchased online or in stores without a prescription. Weight loss medications require a doctor’s prescription. Prescription weight loss pills include drugs like orlistat and may have adverse side effects. Weight loss medication is typically only prescribed if you have a BMI over 30 or a medical condition related to your weight, like type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.
How do you speed up weight loss?
There are multiple ways to accelerate weight loss, but they’re not all healthy. Surgery is one option, but it comes with the increased risk of complications during and post-operation. Fasting is another way to lose weight fast, but may cause deficiencies in essential nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.
A healthy diet and regular exercise (caloric energy deficit) are proven methods of weight loss and, generally, the safest. A healthy diet and regular exercise have been shown to be superior methods of long-term weight management. In other words, they help prevent weight gain and maintain fat loss longer compared to rapid weight loss methods. They help get your body into fat burning mode and keep it there.
What are the best supplements to help get rid of belly fat?
Kaged Muscle Clean Burn is rated as the best belly fat burner for women. Its key ingredients are L-carnitine, apple cider vinegar, chromium and capsimax powder. It also includes GTE to boost thermogenesis.
Vitamin D and calcium may help get rid of belly fat. One study found that obese and overweight adults taking calcium and vitamin D supplements got rid of significantly more belly fat than the control group.
What is the best natural weight loss supplement?
Instant Knockout is one of the highest rated natural weight loss supplements. It’s designed to help athletes shed stubborn body fat and may help with appetite suppression.
Trimtone is rated as the best natural fat burner for women. It contains a blend of green tea extract, green coffee bean extract (chlorogenic acid) and caffeine to increase thermogenesis and boost metabolism.
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