Most people I have come across looking to start a cutting program tend to ask the question of how effective supplements are in losing weight.
My response to them is usually the same, and that is, there are no miracle weight loss supplements and the best weight loss cycle is one that incorporates a caloric deficit diet, and a structured training program along with the best weight loss supplements available to you.
It is only when your nutrition, and lifestyle choices are taken care of that you will be able to experience significant weight loss gains. Nevertheless, I thought it wise to drop this post to give you an idea of what to expect from the use of supplements in your cutting program.
Supplements for Weight loss
We start this post with possible supplements that have been scientifically proven to be effective in promoting weight loss.
However, it must be mentioned that there are several factors that could influence your ability to shed body fat and lose weight.
For example, your genetics is one of such key factors. Also, you should note that the FDA has stringent regulations on supplements that promise users weight loss gains, but in fact contain prescription drugs that were not stated on the product label.
As a matter of fact, unlike food and drugs which are thoroughly scrutinized by the FDA, weight loss supplements are not necessarily reviewed for both safety and effectiveness with the thoroughness you would expect from the FDA before being made available to consumers.
This is why it is important to not jump at every over-the-counter supplement you come across without first checking with your physician.
That being said, there are essential minerals, sugars, and chemical compounds that are known to promote weight loss, and if these components are available in the cutting supplement you intend using, then you might be onto something.
The best weight loss supplements often contain the following components:
Chitosan is a form of sugar that can be naturally found on the exoskeleton of crustaceans like shrimps, crabs, and lobsters. Studies on the importance of chitosan suggests that this sugar serves as a fat blocker by preventing the body from absorbing cholesterol.
However, while chitosan is generally well-tolerated by most people, it is known to cause constipation or diarrhea in others.
Also, note that if you have an allergic reaction to shellfish, it would probably be best to avoid supplements with chitosan as part of their active ingredient.
#2. Chromium Picolinate
One of the responsibilities of insulin hormone is to convert the food that you consume into the energy you require for your daily activities.
Insulin will breakdown the fats, protein and carbohydrates you eat into much needed energy fuel. Chromium Picolinate is one mineral known to promote the production of insulin in the body.
In fact, studies suggest that Chromium Picolinate will help to curb hunger pangs while boosting metabolism which then leads to thermogenesis and a loss of body fat in the process.
However, it must be said that overdosing supplements with Chromium Picolinate could cause headaches, irritability, poor concentration, Insomnia, and even kidney damage.
Glucomannan is a dietary fiber derived from the konjac plant. Researchers believe that Glucomannan serves as a fat blocker, preventing your body from absorbing cholesterol while converting body fat into energy fuel.
The tablet form of Glucomannan is dangerous as it could cause you to choke, but Glucomannan supplement available in capsule or powder form is presumed to be much safer for use.
#4. Green Tea Extract
Green Tea Extract is known to act as an appetite suppressant while at the same time boosting both fat and calorie metabolism.
While Green Tea Extract seems to be really effective in promoting weight loss, it does have some side effects, such as; bloating, nausea, insomnia, diarrhea, and dizziness.
#5. Guar Gum
Guar Gum is a dietary fiber that is derived from the Guar plant seed. Guar Gum is believed to act as a cholesterol blocker by reducing the amount of fat that is absorbed by the body.
Guar Gum will also increase your level of satiety to make you feel full for much longer throughout the day. The possible side effects from using supplements with Guar Gum are diarrhea and gas.
Hoodia is a plant that can be found growing naturally in the Kalahari Desert of the Southern Africa region covering most of Botswana, the Eastern third of Namibia, and parts of South Africa in the northernmost regions of the Northern Cape province.
Hoodia is an appetite suppressant as it is made up of P57, a component well known for its efficacy as an appetite suppressant.
7-Keto-DHEA occurs naturally in the human body and it is known to aid weight loss by raising the body’s metabolic rate.
By increasing your metabolism, 7-Keto-DHEA will promote thermogenesis (increased body heat) which the body tries to regulate by stimulating your sweat glands to produce more sweat to cool the body and return it to a homeostasis state of wellbeing.
The fluctuations in body temperature will cause the body to experience lipolysis leading to a loss of fat and body weight.
Also called ma huang, Ephedra is a herb that contains ephedrine. However, it must be mentioned that the FDA has prohibited supplements containing Ephedra because of the serious health risks that the ephedrine may pose, such as; seizures, strokes, heart attacks, psychosis, and even death.
But you should know that the FDA does not prohibit traditional herbal remedies of Chinese origins.
#9. Bitter Orange
The bitter orange is a tree that is predominantly found in parts of the Mediterranean, tropical Asia, Africa, Florida and California.
The fruit of bitter orange contains an ephedrine-like stimulant known as synephrine which helps in increasing the amount of calories that the body burns.
With the prohibition of weight loss supplements with ephedra by the FDA, many of the best weight loss supplements in the market turned their attention to bitter orange as an effective appetite suppressant and fat burning alternative, as it is believed to be a safer option.
However, bitter oranges are believed to raise the blood pressure as well as the heart rate of some dietary supplement users.
Who are Weight loss supplements for?
Another question that is often asked by many people I come across wishing to lose weight is when is it necessary to use supplements. Well, there’s really no quick fire answer to this question, as it all depends on you.
Before you use any weight loss supplement, you will be expected to consult with your physician. This is important as you need to know if the over-the-counter supplement you intend buying will be safe and effective for use.
Also, you need to be sure that the supplement does not contain ingredients that may be detrimental to your overall health.
Typically, weight loss supplements should be used by person’s looking to run a cutting program especially if they are 25 pounds (Ib) or more overweight.
In addition to this, the best weight loss supplements should be used alongside a structured dietary plan with caloric deficit consideration and a cutting training program.
Advantages of supplements during a weight loss cycle
Supplements offer several advantages, especially when taken during a weight loss cycle. Here are a few worth noting.
#1. Increased Metabolism
For starters, supplements for weight loss can help boost your metabolism which can start the process of thermogenesis, increased perspiration for homeostasis, and lipolysis (fat burning).
#2. Appetite Suppressant
The best weight loss supplements help to increase your level of satiety by serving as appetite suppressants. When you combine eating less with regular workouts and supplementation, you are more likely to lose excess weight.
#3. Fat Burning
The best weight loss supplements will offer fat burning gains on both subcutaneous and visceral fat. These supplements promote lipolysis which always helps in any weight loss program.
#4. Increased Energy
Body fat can be converted to a source of energy fuel when you use the right supplements for weight loss. This extra energy will help you during your regular workout sessions.
#5. Improved Health
Your general health will be improved when you use supplements for weight loss.
Apart from promoting increased metabolism and lipolysis, these supplements often contain other ingredients that promote healthy living by boosting your immune system, supporting your neurological and cardiovascular health.
Possible risks and side effects
As highlighted earlier, supplements like any other form of drug or medication come with risks and side effects. It is for this reason that it is best to speak with your physician before using any supplement.
Some of the risks and side effects you could expose yourself to include headaches, nausea, vomiting, bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, and cardiovascular issues.
Weight Loss Supplement for Women
Weight loss supplements with the components mentioned earlier would also be ideally suited to female use. However, it must be emphasized that the combination of diet, and exercise, particularly cardio and resistance training would go a long way in optimizing your weight loss gains.
You should also reduce your carbohydrate intake while you consume more protein during your cutting program. Females should also drink lots of water and get sufficient sleep daily, as this will help in reducing cortisol levels, boosting metabolism and ultimately promoting weight loss.
The best weight loss supplements for your weight loss cycle should be that recommended specifically for your need by your physician and/or personal fitness coach.
There are lots of supplements in the market and it is worth noting that not all have been thoroughly reviewed by the FDA, so the reliance on your physician for professional advice is crucial to ensuring that you buy the right supplements that offer both safety and efficacy.
You should also be wary of supplements with chitosan if you are allergic to shellfish. If you want a personal cutting program that incorporates a dietary plan, scheduled training, and supplementation, you can chat with an IFBB PRO here for free today