There are generic weight loss supplements and then there are weight loss supplements for women. There are men, and then there are women with their specific needs. Find out what is best for you.
Have you gone through some restrictive fad diet plan only to give up after a few weeks? If you have, don’t be too hard on yourself because you couldn’t stick to it for longer. Let’s face it, juggling life and work is already draining enough, and when you have to stick to some stringent diet, you might not find the energy to try it for more than a few days.
Besides, those quick weight loss gimmicks don’t work well most of the time. While you might be able to shed a few pounds real quick, they are not going to last; the minute you cut some slack with your diet, you are going to gain those pounds right back.
And that leads us to another option for weight loss: using supplements. With many weight loss supplements for women out there claiming to be “Diet on a pill” or “exercise on a pill,” you are right to wonder- how effective are those? With supplementary pills or drugs that have little to no scientific research to back their claim, you might be at a loss for choosing the right one.
Besides, the weight loss supplement industry’s huge scale makes it hard for even the FDA to track every source and validate those claims. We are here to help you sort out through the facts and fictions of weight loss supplements. This article will explore some of the ways you can find the right supplement for you. Let’s read on.
Two Different Weight Loss Supplements For Women
All of our physiological phenomenons are regulated by chemical reactions, and if you can control those chemical activities, you can control physiology. The supplement used to control our hunger and digestive process and ultimately control our weight is known as weight loss supplements. Weight loss supplements usually come in two categories:
- Appetite Suppressants – They block your body’s ability to reabsorb the chemical signals (serotonin and norepinephrine) that your brain uses to regulate hunger. As the appetite signal gets blocked by those supplements, you feel less hunger.
- Fat Blockers – Fat blockers help by blocking the disintegration of fats in our body. Fat molecules are large, and they need to be thoroughly broken down before our body can absorb them. Fat blockers bond with lipase, the enzyme that breaks fat and inhibits the fat disintegration; thus, your body eliminates the fat without giving it a chance to be stored in your body.
Things To Consider When Choosing A Weight Loss Supplement
Choosing a weight loss supplement depends on several factors. For one, each supplement comes with its unique potential and side effects. And they might interact differently in each individual depending on their age, gender, and body type.
As weight loss supplements are meant for long-term use, you need to choose them wisely. Here are some things you need to consider to find the right weight loss supplement for you.
Seek Doctor’s Advice
When you follow a diet, you might have to put up some restrictions regarding what you eat and how much you eat. This dietary restriction usually causes nutritional deficiency; for women, this deficiency is more evident than men. Besides, women’s nutritional needs vastly differ from men’s.
Weight loss supplements for women may have various side effects on your health- and not all of them are going to be good. So you need to assess the potential risk before you commit to one.
For these reasons, you need expert advice on incorporating a weight loss supplement into your diet without being deficient or affecting other nutrients’ metabolism. And only a licensed dietician or a doctor can help you out in this regard.
Natural or Synthetic Supplements
Like all other health supplements, weight loss supplements for women also come in two categories – natural and synthetic. Between these two, natural supplements are mild and safer to use. They have fewer side effects than synthetic ones.
It’s because when a supplement comes from a natural source, it doesn’t come as a single element. It gets into our intestine accompanied by other minerals and vitamins, making it easier for our body to absorb and ensure its optimal use.
On the other hand, synthetic supplements can sometimes be difficult to absorb by our body. Besides, despite being made in labs artificially, synthetic supplements can be expensive.
Research What Ingredients Are Used In Them
Most weight loss supplements for women come in combinations of several weight loss agents – be it natural or synthetic. While some of these ingredients are clinically approved, some might have a track record of controversy regarding their use. And that’s where you need to be cautious.
Besides, even if all the ingredients are legally safe to use, they still might have some side effects. Despite being labeled as 100% natural or organic, some supplements might contain small doses of artificial chemical substances.
Your body might react unfavorably to them because you are allergic or even intolerant of these chemicals. So check the ingredient labels and make sure the product is clinically approved.
Are Weight Loss Supplement Foir Women Safe For Use?
Safety should be your prime concern when starting with a new weight loss supplement. Check reviews of the product to find out if it has any significant side effects.
After starting with the product, track your symptoms to look for even the slightest discomfort. If you face nausea, rapid heartbeat, or shortness of breath, you should immediately stop using it and consult with a doctor.
Set a Budget
The global weight loss supplement industry is worth billions, and the products usually don’t come cheap. As is the case with most health and fitness products, the more you spend, the more effective products you will get.
However, there is no shortage of products that offer you a low price and incredible benefits. Be aware of those gimmicks and cheap supplements that promise unrealistic weight loss benefits within a few weeks. Besides, most supplements are required to be used for the long term for greater effect, and you need to be sure you can afford it for the long haul.
Common Ingredients Used In Natural Weight Loss Supplements For Women
Most weight loss supplements for women use some common elements used either as appetite suppressants, fat blockers, or both. While conceptually, some of these ingredients and their chemical effect align with some weight loss processes, the extent of their efficacy is yet to be discovered. Here we have discussed some of the most prevalent ingredients used in weight loss supplements.
Green Tea Extract
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), among all the over-the-counter diet supplements, the only one that came up to the mark with reputable trials is – green tea. Green tea contains caffeine and another organic component named catechin. When used individually, they don’t have much effect on weight loss, but when combined, their synergy helps in weight loss. For this reason, most prescription weight loss supplements have green tea extract as a key element.
Caffeine usually stimulates the nervous system with a thermogenic effect in your body, and it tells your body to heat things to run everything faster. Catechin inhibits the action of lipase, mimicking a minor fat blocking effect. Catechin also controls hunger by affecting the action of norepinephrine. When you combine these two elements, you get weight loss effects, albeit mild.
Glucomannan is the fiber of the Konjac plant. It has been used as a food additive as a thickening element for many years and recently as a weight loss agent. This water-soluble fiber is called super fiber because it can absorb water up to 50% of its dry weight.
When you consume glucomannan, it absorbs water and forms a mass effect in your stomach, giving you a sense of fullness and suppressing your hunger. Besides, it can also delay the process of emptying your gut and act as a fat blocker.
However, glucomannan can have some adverse health effects. If it somehow forms a mass before it reaches your intestine, it can block your throat or esophagus. Some might also experience diarrhea, bloating, and constipation with glucomannan.
Garcinia Cambogia Extract
Garcinia cambogia is a sour-tasting fruit native to Indonesia. For its fat blocking and appetite suppressing nature, it is widely used in natural weight loss supplements. The fruit’s skin possesses Hydroxicitric acid (HCA), which helps raise your serotonin level, making you feel less hungry. HCA also blocks the activities of fat producing enzyme citrate Lyase.
The researches on whether Garcinia Cambogia is effective on weight loss came up with controversial results. Above all, the gist of those results is not that impressive. Besides, Garcinia Cambogia can have unfavorable consequences when combined with preexisting conditions such as diabetes and various psychiatric medicines.
Bitter orange is a Mediterranean fruit that contains synephrine. While it was widely used for medicinal and flavoring purposes, its use in weight loss supplements is very recent. After the FDA banned ephedra use in 2004 for its harmful effect on blood pressure and heart, the industry started using synephrine to replace it.
However, it still poses similar heart risks as ephedra. It acts as a stimulant and causes your heart to beat faster. This is also a reason it is used as a performance booster for athletes.
Besides, bitter oranges can reduce the metabolism of various medicines, which can negatively affect your body. While Bitter Orange is not outright banned from use, you should proceed with caution if you want to use it for weight loss.
Chitosan is a natural polymer from shellfish- crabs, shrimps, or lobster. Chitosan acts as a fat blocker weight loss supplement. Its molecules combine with fat and toxin and get them carried out of your body before they get absorbed. However, the scientific evidence on Chitosan’s efficacy in losing weight is still insufficient.
Besides, Chitosan has an extreme fat binding ability that can sometimes bind essential minerals, fat-soluble vitamins and remove them from your body. And it can create a mineral deficiency in the body.
As Chitosan is made from crustaceans, it poses a shellfish allergic risk for some people. Although the FDA has declared it as “generally recognized as safe,” you should still be careful about its use.
Raspberry Ketone may sound too appealing for a weight loss supplement. However, it is not really extracted from a raspberry; it will be too expensive that way. Most raspberry ketones are synthetic, produced artificially.
If the “ketone” sounds familiar to you from the ketogenic diet, you might have already guessed how it affects weight loss. Ketone helps you burn fat and elevate your blood ketone level. Ketones are naturally produced in your liver. When your body falls short on glucose to convert to energy, it uses an alternative source- fat. The liver converts fats to ketone and releases them out to your bloodstream as a source of energy.
The effect of raspberry ketone is slightly different from the impact of a ketogenic diet. It boosts fat breakdown and the body’s metabolism. However, most of the studies on raspberry ketone’s weight loss effect are still based on animal studies. So it will be quite ambitious to say it has any actual benefits on weight loss.
Forskolin is a plant supplement grown in Nepal, India, and other parts of Asia. Forskolin can be used both as an appetite suppressant and a fat blocker.
Forskolin promotes lipase production, which is used to free and burn fatty acid. And burning fatty acid ultimately reduces fat content in your body. However, to achieve a holistic weight loss effect, you need to go through a calorie deficit and a fat-burning process.
When your body burns more calories than what you consume, you are in a state of calorie deficit. So fat burning through forskolin alone might not work well for weight loss unless you control your diet and exercise.
Aegeline is a plant extract that has been used in ayurvedic medicine for centuries. While it can lower blood sugar and cholesterol level, its effect on weight loss is yet to be proven.
Besides, long-term use of Aegeline can be harmful to the liver. If taken beyond the recommended dose, it can fatally affect the liver. For its potential danger, FDA has warned consumers and manufacturers about using it.
The Bottom Line
Most weight loss supplements for women don’t have much efficacy when it comes to faster weight loss. The number of cons might outweigh the pros for some of those supplements. Most of them fail to live up to the hype they advertise. Another fact is, people respond differently to different drugs or chemicals.
You will barely find any resounding solution to weight loss that will be equally beneficial to all human beings. So you have to go through some trials and errors to see what natural supplement suits you the best. The best way to lose weight is to change your lifestyle, not only the diet. Rather than depending solely on supplements, track your calorie intake and exercise to shed excess fat.
My name is Deborah Foster and I am a Weight Loss Coach with a background in Nutrition Coaching and Personal Training. I specialize in helping women and men break through the yo-yo diet cycle and lose weight for good, without being miserable in the process.