Many people across the globe struggle with their weight. For whatever reason, people have a hard time with weight gain and the health complications that come with excessive body fat.
More often than not, intensive workout sessions and dieting is all that is needed for most people to lose weight. However, for others, this may not be quite sufficient. This is where weight loss supplements may prove to be useful.
In truth, weight loss supplements in bodybuilding are nothing new, and in fact, it is often recommended for bodybuilders running a cutting program.
Weight loss supplements should not be confused with androgenic-anabolic steroids or even anti-obesity medications. They are specific medications with the primary purpose of promoting weight loss in a number of different ways.
In this full guide about weight loss supplements, we will highlight the properties of the best weight loss supplements, how they work, and the possible side effects that users can be exposed to.
But first, we begin this guide by explaining what weight loss supplements are in bodybuilding.
What are Weight Loss Supplements in Bodybuilding?
Simply put, weight loss supplements in bodybuilding are those medications that stimulate a variety of bodily functions that will help promote fat burning and weight loss.
These supplements are typically available as orally administered drugs and come in a variety of forms including liquids, tablets, capsules, or powders. Each form is effective and none should actually be rated higher than the other.
Whatever form of weight loss supplement you decide to use, you should include it to your respective dietary plan designed to promote weight loss.
Supplements for weight loss may work in a number of ways like boosting your metabolism of carbohydrates, increasing your energy usage during training, promoting increased levels of satiety, and fat burning.
Also, it is not unusual to find supplements for weight loss consisting of multiple ingredients including a range of essential minerals and herbs designed to provide you with other health benefits even while dieting. Some of these benefits include curbing cravings, preventing nutrient deficiencies, and full body fatigue.
What are the best weight loss supplements?
The best weight loss supplements in the open market fall under any of these seven categories:
Thermogenics are weight loss supplements that aim to increase your body’s metabolism and encourage thermogenesis or an increase in your body temperature.
Thermogenics are an effective fat burner because your body would naturally attempt to reach a homeostasis body temperature which results in excessive sweating to cool you down while your temperature is high. The effect of which is calorie as well as subcutaneous and visceral fat burning.
In addition to this, thermogenics also provide other weight loss and health benefits, such as; reduced cravings, hunger, and full body fatigue.
Also, thermogenics like green tea and caffeine help to improve your overall mood, strength, and energy levels.
The active components in thermogenics like green tea include capsaicin, epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG, and synephrine which are all well-known calorie burning ingredients.
#2. Lipolytic (fat burning) Agents:
Supplements that consist of ingredients like hydroxycitric acid, forskolin, yohimbine, and CLA are known to be active lipolytic agents.
These agents help to separate fat from fat cells in a process known as lipolysis.
The release of fat from fat cells will lead to the eventual shrinking of the cells which means that you’ll be better off for it, as you become leaner.
In addition to releasing fat from fat cells and promoting fat burning, lipolytic agents will also boost your energy levels, as the released fat is converted into much needed energy fuel that will help you in training longer and harder than ever before.
#3. Fat Transporters:
There are also supplements like carnitine that specializes in transporting fat released from fat cells to the cells’ mitochondria. It is here that the fat will eventually be burned and used as energy fuel for your workouts.
The great thing about fat transporters is that they prevent fat from recirculating into your bloodstream and settling somewhere else or in worst cases clogging your arteries.
#4. Thyroid Gland Stimulators:
Forskolin and bacopa monniera are known ingredients in thyroid gland stimulator supplements that help to boost the production of thyroid hormones which leads to increased metabolism, thermogenesis, and lipolysis (fat burning).
#5. Insulin Regulators:
It is important for you to regulate your insulin level if you want to burn fat and lose weight. Whenever you want to get weight loss supplements for bodybuilding, look for those supplements consisting of Insulin regulator ingredients like chromium, alpha lipoic, evodiamine, and Cinnulin PF (Cinnamon extract).
These ingredients will help to lower your insulin level which rises if you are on a high-carb diet. The problem with rising insulin levels is that your body’s natural fat burning process is halted while your body starts to store excess fat.
#6. Appetite Suppressants:
Appetite suppressants will help to curb overeating due to hunger pangs, and incessant cravings while you are on a diet while also preventing full body fatigue which is common with dieting.
Some very effective appetite suppressant ingredients you can find in supplements include 5-HTP, simmondsin, phenylethylamine, and glucomannan.
Diuretics are supplements that help to eliminate excess water retention under your skin. Diuretics encourage a dry, hard, lean look rather than a heavy appearance.
Diuretics will also give you a well-defined muscle tone which is great for bodybuilders preparing for a competitive bodybuilding event.
While there are synthetic diuretic supplements, you can also try out natural diuretics like horsetail extract, uva ursi (bearberry), and dandelion (Taraxacum officianilis) extract.
However, you should always seek proper guidance from your doctor or trainer before using any diuretic.
Other weight loss supplements you could check out include brain and mood enhancers which help to keep you in a good mood, as depression and anxiety are two mental health issues known to promote excessive eating.
You can also go for fat and carb blockers like Phaseolus vulgaris (white kidney bean extract). These supplements will help to restrict the amount of fat and carbs that your body can absorb.
Fat and carb blockers will immediately bind to the fat and carbs consumed and get rid of the nutrients before they are able to adversely influence your overall physique.
How do weight loss supplements in bodybuilding work?
Weight loss supplements in bodybuilding work in a number of ways depending on which category they fall in. With diuretic supplements for example, excess water under your skin is eliminated to give you a dry, lean appearance.
An appetite suppressant will increase your level of satiety and stop you from having cravings. With insulin regulators, you have supplements that help to keep your insulin levels in check to prevent fat stores that occur naturally whenever your insulin level rises due to your regular consumption of large amounts of carbs.
Thyroid gland stimulators tend to increase your thyroid hormone production which raises your metabolic rate, thermogenesis, a homeostasis body temperature, lipolysis and fat burning similar to thermogenics.
For anyone using lipolytic agents, you will encourage the release of fat from at cells which shrinks the cells and leaves you looking trim. Fat transporter supplements also work in a similar fashion, as they transport fat from fat cells to the cells’ mitochondria where they are eventually used for energy fuel by your body during your training sessions.
Possible Adverse Effects of Weight loss supplements
It is worth noting that while the best weight loss supplements are effective in helping you to burn excess fat and maintain a competitive weight in preparation for your respective bodybuilding event, there is the remote possibility that you could be exposed to adverse side effects from using these supplements.
Some of the possible side effects to look out for include headaches, bloating, nausea, and dizziness. Note that if you are using diuretics, you should be aware of the dangers of dehydration.
Weight loss supplements are an essential part of any bodybuilding cutting program. There are many types of supplements to choose from, but not all may be ideally suited to your bodybuilding needs.
Ultimately, it is better to consult a physician before using any fat burning and weight loss supplement for bodybuilding if you want to avoid possible health complications in the short and long run.
You can also chat with an IFBB PRO here for free coaching on the best weight loss supplements that would be right for you.