“Advanced formula that will boost your metabolism”.
“This will block fat storage hormones”.
How many times have you seen mumbo-jumbo headlines like that? Heaps, I’m sure.
If you believe even half of what supplement advertisements say, it would take ages for you to come to this conclusion:
Most supplements are utter crap.
Most supplements have never been scientifically proven to be effective. Not all but most.
In this weight loss supplements guide, I’ll go through a few supplements that are well researched. A handful of supplements that are worth your savings.
So let’s dive in and see medically proven weight loss supplements that will save you hundreds of dollars. For instance, for a protein powder with low protein content, you would throw out of the window at least $50.
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I’m sure you know supplements aren’t magic. They will help to lose weight only if you have nutrition dialed in. Only then you can get the benefits that supplements have to offer
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Don’t believe any of that crap that says fat burners can burn fat directly. It can’t.
A good fat burner will do these things for you:
- Increase basal metabolic rate
- Reduce hunger and cravings
- Increase satiety
Image source: Express
You probably know caffeine as an energy booster that you get with your morning coffee, right?
Well, caffeine is one of the best fat burners, actually.
Caffeine increases the body’s daily energy expenditure. Thus, making your body burn more calories.
You might have a brilliant idea at this point – “I’ll just drink buckets of coffee…”.
Not so fast. Research clearly shows that pure form (pills, powder) is more effective.
How to use Caffeine?
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The biggest mistake I see with people taking caffeine is that they let their bodies to build a tolerance to caffeine. Once it happens, increased daily energy expenditure goes down the drain.
That being said, you need to prevent tolerance for caffeine.
Make sure to have one or two low caffeine days per week (get half of the usual dosage) and one caffeine-free day.
Aim for 3-6 mg per kg of body weight.
Image source: Livestrong
Synephrine is a natural compound found in citrus fruits.
It increases your body’s daily energy expenditure and breakdown of fats (known as lipolysis).
Moreover, synephrine inhibits receptors that prevent fat mobilization and increases the thermic effect of food.
Finally, synephrine is considered as an effective appetite suppressant.
How to use Synephrine?
Synephrine can be taken for up to three times per day with 25-50 mg.
Image source: Womansworld
5-HTP is a natural compound found in milk, meat or green vegetables.
The main 5-HTP benefit is that it gives you that feeling of fullness. This will result in a controlled food intake.
How to use 5-HTP?
Take 5-HTP up to three times per day with your meals. The upper dosage is 500 milligrams.
4. Green Tea Extract
Image source: Cupandleaf
Green tea extract is a herbal compound derived from green tea leaves. It contains catechins – a substance that is related to weight loss.
Research shows, that green tea extract reduces total fat mass. In particular, it reduces abdominal fat.
The exact fat burning mechanism of green tea extract is still yet to be confirmed but it seems that it has something to do with increasing levels of catecholamines.
Read more about catecholamines here.
How to use Green Tea Extract?
There is no best time to take green tea extract so it is up to you. Daily dosage should be anywhere between 400 and 600 milligrams.
Image source: Forskolinnaturalweightloss
What the hell is forskolin, right? It sounds like a Russian thing or something.
Well, forskolin has been long used to treat heart disorders as Indian herbal.
However, it has some cool fat burning benefits to offer as well. It accelerates fat loss by initiating the fat burning process.
How to use Forskolin?
You will get the best results if forskolin is taken once a day, 20 to 50 milligrams.
There is evidence showing a better effect if taken along with synephrine.
Image source: Healtheiron
How to use Yohimbine?
Any insulin spike, caused by a meal or a drink, would completely shut all the benefits that this fat burner has to offer.
Take yohimbine sometime in the day when you did not have any meal for at least a couple of hours. 0.2 mg per kilogram of body weight would be an effective dosage.
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Spirulina is a non-toxic compound rich in various nutrients. It has an unbelievably wide range of benefits to offer:
- Increased strength
- Reduced blood pressure
- Blood sugar control
- Improved gym performance
- Improved insulin sensitivity
Improved insulin sensitivity, is something that you should be interested in.
With improved insulin sensitivity, your body requires less insulin to be secreted in order to lower blood glucose levels.
When the insulin level is low, your body moves from using glucose as a primary energy source to fat being the primary.
So instead of burning glucose for energy, your body might burn more fat with the help of spirulina.
How to use Spirulina?
Spirulina can be used at any time of the day. Daily dosage with additional benefits can be seen with up to 10 grams.
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As I said in weight loss blunders article, protein is the most crucial macronutrient when it comes to weight loss.
If you don‘t eat enough of protein, you‘ll put yourself at risk of losing muscle while in a calorie deficit. It‘s as simple as that.
Heaps of studies show the benefits of reduced cravings, snacking and binge eating.
Higher protein intake increases satiety levels and reduces your hunger hormone ghrelin levels.
This study found that subjects with 30% of daily calories coming from protein dropped their calorie intake by 441 calories/day!
Along with satiety that protein gives it has a massive thermic effect.
Because of it protein boosts your metabolism by ~100 calories/day.
So it shoudn‘t come as a surprise for you that a higher protein diet causes weight loss without even restricting calories or portions.
Just by eating more protein you create a deficit of several hundred calories.
If you‘re like most people, you‘ll fail to get sufficient protein intake. You‘re going to need protein supplements. Women especially.
What protein type should you opt for?
Image source: Runnersworld
Not all protein powders are the same:
- Different protein forms have different digesting speeds
- Different protein forms have different essential amino acids profile
- Different protein forms are digested better than others
As a rule of thumb, you should look for protein powders that have no less than 75-80% protein concentration – out of 100g of powder, at least 75g should be pure protein.
Here are my choices for high-quality protein powders:
- The best whey protein – Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder.
- The best vegan powder – Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder.
- The best natural powder – Antler Farms 100% Grass Fed Whey Protein.
- The best pea protein – Organic Pea Protein Powder.
- The best egg white protein – Egg White Protein Powder From The Freshest Of Eggs.
How to use protein powder?
It‘s really up to you. Take it before/after a workout, throw into oats, pancakes or a smoothie to make it taste better or simply have it when you can‘t take a meal with you.
Image source: Ast-ss
You might think:
“Say what, Egis? In what world creatine helps with weight loss?“. Bear with me.
Creatine is found in your body and food like red meat. It‘s the most researched supplement in the sports nutrition field!
When you‘re losing weight (calorie deficit), you want to maintain your muscle mass. That you‘ll do if you maintain muscle strength.
That‘s where creatine comes in.
Not only do creatine increases strength but builds muscle and endurance too.
How to use creatine?
Don‘t fall for fancy creatine forms. Creatine monohydrate is the cheapest and is already absorbed by 100%. Don‘t even look for anything better.
The literature shows that for the best effect, there should be a creatine “loading“ phase of 20 g over five to seven days. After that, take 5 g daily.
Take that 5 g after a workout because studies show it‘s more effective as opposed to taking before.
People with kidney issues shouldn‘t use creatine.
Image source: Vitagene
I bet you didn’t even know about Fish Oil as a fat burner. But yes, it speeds up fat loss.
Fish oil has many more benefits but we are interested in two:
- Improved insulin sensitivity
- Improved glucose uptake
We already talked about insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake is another important factor in fat loss.
You want your body to be as efficient as possible in using glucose as an energy source so it could get on with fat burning.
How to use Fish Oil?
Studies show that for the optimal fat loss, 1.2 to 2.8 grams of omega-3 fatty acids per day is optimal.
Don’t get mistaken – I’m talking about omega-3 fatty acids. 2.8 g of fish oil doesn’t mean it’ll have 2.8 g of omega-3s in it. So make sure to get one with high fatty acids concentration.
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Just like with protein, multivitamins are overhyped. The labels promise disease prevention, hormone optimization and whatnot…
Many multivitamins are stuffed with micronutrients that we don’t even need or they’re in ridiculously low dosages.
Ideally, you would want to get every vitamin and mineral from what you eat but…
When you’re on a calorie deficit, it’s very likely there will be holes in your diet. There will be a lack of particular vitamins.
How to use Multivitamins?
Make sure your multivitamins are low in vitamins A, C and E as we get enough of them from food. As well as high in carotenoids (eg. Zeaxanthin, fucoxanthin) and B group vitamins.
Image source: Theatlantic
Fiber is the type of carbohydrate that you can find in fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. It’s always over-looked when it comes to healthy eating.
Fiber becomes crucial to people who are losing weight by cutting carbohydrate intake.
There’s no way in the world that you could get 14 g of fiber for every 1000 calories you eat (Institute of Medicine) without a supplementation.
Adequate fiber intake may reduce the risk of:
That’s quite a list, right?
Image source: Happybodyformula
If you eat a balanced diet, greens supplements won’t do much for you. It’s just yet another batch of promises for you.
However, similarly to fiber, most people don’t get enough fruits and vegetables already. Then they start dieting and that deficiency becomes enormous.
Just like with vitamins you would want to get greens in a form of food but it becomes difficult for many when they don’t have many calories to play with.
That’s where greens superfood supplementation comes in.
Surely, it can’t and it won’t replace fruits and veggies. However, it’ll give you the benefits that fruits and veggies would give for the duration of your weight loss program.
How to use Greens Superfood?
If you already decided to get spirulina, greens superfood are more or less a waste of money. Spirulina is thought to be one of nature’s most complete sources of nutrients.
Image source: Womenshealthmag
It’s very well known that the lack of sleep negatively affects weight loss.
Evidence suggests that sleep quality and quantity may contribute to weight and weight control.
In this study better sleep quality increased the likelihood of weight-loss success by 33%.
Now, what the hell is GABA, right? I’m actually surprised that very few people know about it.
GABA is is an amino acid that helps stimulate relaxation and improve sleep.
Studies show that low levels of GABA increase wakings.
This will be yet another cliché:
You can lose weight without supplements. No doubt.
But if you want to get the most out of your weight loss and make it more enjoyable, with less hunger, cravings, binge eating, taking supplements make sense.
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Certificate in strength and conditioning, 2014. Lithuanian Sports University, Lithuania
Athletic Training, 2013. Masaryk University, Czech Republic
Certificate IV in fitness, 2017. The Eagle Academy, Australia