November 22nd, 2017
acetyl-l-carnitine

The Woman’s Guide to Weight Loss Supplements

SECTIONS:
What Are Weight Loss Supplements And Who Needs them
How Do Weight Loss Supplements Work?

Popular Weight Loss Supplements and Weight Loss Ingredients That Work
Sleep
Caffeine
Green Tea Extract
Acetyl-L-Carnitine
Green Coffee Extract
Capsaicin
Bitter Orange Extract (aka Citrus Aurantium)
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

Popular weight Loss Supplements and Weight Loss Ingredients That Might Work
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)
Calcium

Popular Weight Loss Supplements and Weight Loss Ingredients That Probably Don’t Work
Chromium
Chitosan
Raspberry Ketones

…Our Favorite Weight Loss Supplement…

The Woman’s Guide to Weight Loss Supplements

Sick of seeing stupid and ridiculous claims like:

“Lose 10 pounds in a week without changing your diet!”

“New miracle fat loss pill discovered!”

Us too! That’s why we’ve compiled a simple and straightforward guide to weight loss supplements that are actually backed by science.

The truth is that while fat loss products can be effective for some, most aren’t nearly what some marketers would like you to believe.

We’re here to show you what ingredients are actually shown to be effective so you can make an informed decision based on your goals. Read on to learn more!

What are weight loss supplements and who needs them?

The most popular sports nutrition weight loss supplements are called “Thermogenics” and “Fat Burners”. These are products designed to help raise your metabolism.

There are many types of ingredients and compounds commonly found in these types of supplements: fatty acids, polyphenols, anti-oxidants, metals and anti-inflammatories… just to name a few.

The fact remains though, that the ultimate factor in fat loss will be your diet. Supplements are just that… “supplements”, and should not be counted on to do more good for your health than proper diet and exercise.

That being said, coupled with proper diet and exercise, a good weight loss product may give you the extra boost that it takes to hit your goals. So whether you’re trying to just shed a few extra pounds or really trying to bring that 6-pack to the front of the fridge so to speak, identifying the right product for the job may be the extra edge you need.

How do weight loss supplements work?

There are many complex pathways and processes that occur in your body that contribute to fat loss. By supplementing key compounds involved in these pathways and processes you can increase your body’s ability to burn fat.

Many fat-burning supplements contain a mixture of active ingredients including stimulants, focus enhancers and appetite suppressants. For this reason, you should always make sure you’ve properly assessed your tolerance before moving up to the recommended dosages listed on the label.

Less is more at the beginning. Figure out what works and don’t ever take more than the recommended amounts.

Popular Weight Loss Supplements and Weight Loss Ingredients That Work

Sleep

sleep
Okay, so we know that sleep isn’t a supplement, but it’s worth mentioning that many studies have shown strong links between sleep quality, length and consistency is strongly linked to healthy weight loss.

Recommended:

6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. Try to keep your bed-time and wake up time as consistent as possible.

Sources:
1. Association between reduced sleep and weight gain in women.
2. Objectively Measured Sleep Patterns in Young Adult Women and the Relationship to Adiposity
3. Relationship between sleep quality and quantity and weight loss in women participating in a weight-loss intervention trial.
4. Short sleep duration and weight gain: a systematic review.

Caffeine

caffeine
Caffeine intake is associated with weight loss through thermogenesis and fat-oxidation. It is one of the most common and useful fat-loss products/ingredients available. Though it’s not typically used as a standalone fat loss product, it is often used in conjunction with other ingredients in hopes of synergistic effects.

PrettyFit Lean contains 100mg of Caffeine per serving; the rough equivalent to the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee.

Sources:
1. Body weight loss and weight maintenance in relation to habitual caffeine intake and green tea supplementation.
2. Coffee, tea and diabetes: the role of weight loss and caffeine.
3. Green tea catechins, caffeine and body-weight regulation.

Green Tea Extract

green tea extract
There are many amazing and well-documented health benefits of green tea including prevention of diabetes, heart disease, and anti-carcinogenic effects.

Green tea has also been shown to aid in weight loss as it contains effective polyphenols and EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate – a very powerful antioxidant).

Studies have shown that a combination of green tea extract and moderate exercise increases fat oxidation and glucose tolerance.

The Science

In controlled experiments, subjects supplementing with green tea extract showed greater loss of body weight, abdominal fat, subcutaneous abdominal fat, and fasting serum triglycerides compared to control groups. Similar studies also showed lower levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL cholesterol) and lower systolic blood pressure.

Recommended Dosage:

300-700mg daily. As a stimulatory product, make sure to check dosages and don’t mix with other stimulants. Avoid taking in the evening or close to your bed-time.

PrettyFit Lean contains 400mg of Grean Tea Extract per serving.

Sources:
1. A green tea extract high in catechins reduces body fat and cardiovascular risks in humans.
2. Ingestion of a tea rich in catechins leads to a reduction in body fat and malondialdehyde-modified LDL in men.
3. Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans.
4. Green tea extract ingestion, fat oxidation, and glucose tolerance in healthy humans.
5. Green tea catechin consumption enhances exercise-induced abdominal fat loss in overweight and obese adults.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine

acetyl-l-carnitine
In combination with exercise, Carnitine has been shown to help increase your body’s fat burning abilities.

The Science

Carnitine aids in fat-loss and metabolism by playing an important role in transporting fat cells to your cells’ mitochondria (the power plants of the cell). It has also been shown to potentially help improve endurance, strength and muscle recovery as it increases nitric oxide in the blood stream. This causes your blood vessels to relax, which allowing better blood flow. Better blood flow means better nutrient and oxygen delivery to your muscles.

Recommended dosage:

300-2,000mg daily.

PrettyFit Lean contains 300mg of Acetyl-L-Carnitine per serving.

Sources:
1. The effect of l-carnitine on fat oxidation, protein turnover, and body composition in slightly overweight subjects.
2. Effects of oral L-carnitine supplementation on in vivo long-chain fatty acid oxidation in healthy adults.
3. Role of supplementary L-carnitine in exercise and exercise recovery.

Green Coffee Extract

green coffee extract
Green coffee extract contains caffeine (a powerful thermogenic) and chlorogenic acids, a phytochemical found in coffee beans. It is a popular ingredient in many fat-burners.

The Science

Green coffee extract has been found to potentially help in weight loss as caffeine is a suppressor of fat absorption and chlorogenic acid has a positive effect of absorption and utilization of glucose from the diet.

Recommended Dosage

Typically taken as part of a fat-burner product, its dosage depends upon other stimulatory ingredients it’s taken in conjunction with.

PrettyFit Lean contains 150mg of green coffee extract per serving.

Sources:
1. The effect of chlorogenic acid enriched coffee on glucose absorption in healthy volunteers and its effect on body mass when used long-term in overweight and obese people.
2. Inhibitory effect of green coffee bean extract on fat accumulation and body weight gain in mice.
3. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, linear dose, crossover study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a green coffee bean extract in overweight subjects.

Capsaicin

capsaicin
An active component of chili peppers, capsaicin supplementation may help increase fat loss through fat-oxidation and thermogenesis (increased body temperature).

The Science

Through inducing heat production, an elevated metabolic rate, and by preventing triglycerides from accumulating into fat cells, Capsaicin helps in fat loss and preventing obesity through a number of different metabolic pathways.

Recommended Dosage:

Typically taken as part of a fat-burner product, its dosage depends upon other ingredients it’s taken in conjunction with.

Sources:
1. Capsaicinoids and capsinoids. A potential role for weight management? A systematic review of the evidence.
2. Could capsaicinoids help to support weight management? A systematic review and meta-analysis of energy intake data.
3. The effects of capsaicin and capsiate on energy balance: critical review and meta-analyses of studies in humans.
4. Effect of capsaicin on substrate oxidation and weight maintenance after modest body-weight loss in human subjects

Bitter Orange Extract (aka Citrus Aurantium)

bitter orange extract
Bitter orange extract, also known as p-synephrine or Citrus Aurantium, is a stimulatory compound that has been shown to potentially improve your resting metabolic rate and energy expenditure, contributing to weight loss.

The Science

P-synephrine, the primary active compound in Bitter Orange Extract in regards to weight management, increases lypolisis, the break down of fats. This contributes to the increase in resting metabolic rate.

Recommended Dosage

10-20mg three times daily or up to 50mg for acute dosages taken once daily.

Sources:
1. Effects of p-synephrine alone and in combination with selected bioflavonoids on resting metabolism, blood pressure, heart rate and self-reported mood changes.
2. A review of the human clinical studies involving Citrus aurantium (bitter orange) extract and its primary protoalkaloid p-synephrine.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

Conjugated Linoleic Acit CLA
CLA is a fatty acid that occurs naturally in dairy products and red meat (with organic and grass fed versions having significantly higher concentrations of CLA compared to “conventional” or grain fed dairy).

The Science

CLA has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and it helps blood glucose enter body cells. In some studies, subjects consuming 3.2g of CLA per day lost an average of 90g of fat per week (this adds up to about a pound after 5 weeks).

However, from the research we’ve gathered and reviewed, there needs to be more concrete evidence that supplementing extra CLA contributes to increased fat and weight loss.

Recommended Dosage

We recommend trying to get the majority of your CLA intake naturally through organic or grass fed dairy/meat. You can supplement this intake by taking CLA capsules, which are widely available. Recommended dosages are typically between three and six grams daily taken with or before meals.

Sources:
1. Efficacy of conjugated linoleic acid for reducing fat mass: a meta-analysis in humans.
2. Opposing effects of cis-9,trans-11 and trans-10,cis-12 conjugated linoleic acid on blood lipids in healthy humans.

Popular weight Loss Supplements and Weight Loss Ingredients That Might Work

Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)

alpha lipoic acid
The “Universal Antioxidant”, alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Research has shown that ALA may improve our ability to metabolize food into energy and thus lead to healthy weight loss.

Recommended Dosage

The recommended dosage of ALA as a fat loss supplement is 300-600mg daily.

Sources:
1. Anti-obesity effects of alpha-lipoic acid mediated by suppression of hypothalamic AMP-activated protein kinase.
2. Alpha-lipoic acid increases energy expenditure by enhancing AMPK-PGC-1α signalling in the skeletal muscle of aged mice
3. Effects of alpha-lipoic Acid on body weight in obese subjects.

Calcium

calcium
Image: Pond5
Many companies and marketers have labeled calcium as a fantastic weight loss supplement. Though we know that calcium sufficient diets have great health benefits beyond weight management and body composition, the effectiveness of calcium as an effective weight loss ingredient is still in question.

There are scientific reports showing that calcium has a positive effect on fat loss, though it may be restricted to those whose diets are calcium-deficient. Many people have had great success losing weight with calcium supplementation, but the studies have not been controlled enough to zero-in exactly who it works for and why.

Sources:
1. Effect of calcium supplementation on weight and fat loss in women.
2. The influence of calcium supplement on body composition, weight loss and insulin resistance in obese adults receiving low calorie diet
3. Supplementation with calcium + vitamin D enhances the beneficial effect of weight loss on plasma lipid and lipoprotein concentrations.
4. Effects of calcium and dairy on body composition and weight loss in African-American adults.

Popular Weight Loss Supplements and Weight Loss Ingredients That Probably Don’t Work

Chromium

Chromium plays a role in glucose and fat metabolism and it is believed that its supplementation may increase these effects. However, there are contradicting studies that show whether or not chromium is actually an effective standalone weight loss ingredient.

Sources:
1. Chromium and exercise training: effect on obese women.
2. Effects of chromium on body composition and weight loss.
3. The potential value and toxicity of chromium picolinate as a nutritional supplement, weight loss agent and muscle development agent.

Chitosan

chitosan
Image: Pond5
Chitosan is a compound extracted from the exoskeletons of crustaceans like crabs and shrimp. While hyped and advertised as a supplement that may limit fat absorption, there is a mass of evidence and research showing its LACK of effectiveness as a weight loss supplement.

Sources:
1. Randomized, double-blind trial of chitosan for body weight reduction.
2. Effect of chitosan on weight loss in overweight and obese individuals: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials.
3. Chitosan supplementation and fat absorption in men and women.

Raspberry Ketones

A well hyped fat-loss supplement, there are very little studies showing any correlation of increased fat-loss or metabolism boosting properties of this ingredient.

Don’t Believe the Hype!

Don’t forget that even the most effective weight loss supplements won’t be nearly as effective if you aren’t taking care of the most important factors that influence body composition:

  • Eating a healthy diet with a reasonable balance of protein, carbs, and fat
  • Training hard several times per week
  • Getting sufficient sleep

Our Favorite Weight Loss Supplement

PrettyFit Lean – designed to be a minimal ingredient, effective metabolism booster/fat-burner and supplement for active women.

Evan Clark

Evan Clark is a former wildland firefighter turned fitness pro (NSCA CPT). Though he loves his heavy squat and deadlift sessions, he believes that health and fitness extend well beyond the gym and that fitness should be a tool to promote mental health and lifestyle balance.

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