It seems that wherever you look, there are a range of supplements to help lose weight – but how effective are they, and are they actually worth taking?
Effective weight loss supplements can mean different things to different people because each of our bodies are unique. Biological features like our height, current weight, sex, and age all play a part in how our bodies may react to a supplement.
Since there is such a variety of weight loss information out there, we’ve compiled the top 13 supplements to help you lose weight into one convenient place – and looked into the data to back up the claims.
But before we dive into the best supplements to help lose weight, let’s talk about what a healthy weight loss journey looks like.
How to lose weight healthfully
The tried and tested route to losing weight is no mystery. Medical professionals recommend a healthy balanced diet and routine exercise to help keep weight within normal parameters.
Do you need to lose weight?
Your first question may be if you even need supplements to help lose weight at all. Instead, you may benefit from supplements to help you maintain the healthy weight you already have. Your health professional will be able to shed more light based on your individual circumstances.
Great weight-loss methods
Supplements to help lose weight offer direct or indirect methods to accomplish their goals.
Direct weight loss through supplementation involves persuading the body to use or discard the calories you provide through your diet (rather than storing it as fat). Similarly, the presence of supplements and hormones may also encourage the body to use the fat stores that it has, rather than hanging onto them.
Supplements to help lose weight may also work indirectly, by supporting your weight loss diet and exercise routine. Similarly, supplements that reduce appetite will reduce your motivation to eat too much, making a low-calorie diet easier to stick to.
Some supplements to help lose weight will help support a robust exercise routine by providing knee joint pain relief or helping safeguard against injuries to cartilage. If you’re able to exercise for longer, you’ll be able to burn more calories per session and lose more weight as a result.
Supporting healthy weight loss through diet and exercise is what we’re keeping in mind as we help you to discover daily supplements to help you lose weight. Do not expect any of the supplements to help lose weight to be a miracle cure.
Can I take more than one supplement?
You may be wondering: “Can I take a variety of supplements to help lose weight?”
It’s important that you don’t rush into any big changes to your diet and lifestyle in the hope of losing weight quickly. Even once you’re taking daily supplements that are right for you, the results you’re looking for may take over a month to show.
Even effective weight loss supplements need time to yield results. The key is patience and consistency.
Remember, you’re the one doing the work to lose weight through a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise, and any supplements that you take are just there to support those habits.
With that being said, let’s take a look at the top 13 supplements to help lose weight.
13 top supplements to help lose weight
If you’re looking to lose weight with the help of supplementation, here are 13 of the most popular supplements on the market, and how effective they are:
What they are: Live microorganisms, such as good bacteria or yeast, that support overall gut health.
How they work: By promoting general gut health, the body is able to digest food more efficiently and store less calories as fat.
Effectiveness: Are probiotics effective weight loss supplements? Studies have shown that overweight or obese patients who have taken probiotics were able to lose weight effectively; however, ongoing studies are needed to further support these claims.
Side effects: Probiotics are considered safe for the vast majority of the population. The biggest side effect is a temporary feeling of bloatedness.
2. Vitamin C
What it is: Found naturally in fruits and vegetables, this water-soluble vitamin is an antioxidant and helps to synthesize collagen protein.
How it works: When you have adequate vitamin C levels, you may burn up to 30% more fat during exercise than someone with a vitamin C deficiency.
Effectiveness: Vitamin C is vital for our bodies; however, only a small amount of it is required to help us complete the tasks that we need it for.
Side effects: Vitamin C is essential to our diets (without it, we get scurvy). But taking too much vitamin C may provoke nausea or vomiting.
3. Vitamin D
What it is?: Vitamin D has a variety of essential bodily functions, including helping to retain calcium and phosphorus; both elements vital for building bone.
How it works: There is some evidence that connects a lack of vitamin D to obesity in general. In all cases, vitamin D is essential to overall bodily health.
Effectiveness: Keeping healthy generally will help you to find an ideal weight, but the connection between vitamin D and obesity warrants further study.
Side effects: All vitamins are essential nutrients to include in our diets. Of course, you can always have too much of a good thing. Too much vitamin D eventually becomes toxic for the body.
4. B-group vitamins
What they are: B-group vitamins are essential to the body. As supplements to help lose weight, they support vital metabolic processes.
How they work: B vitamins are not calories themselves, but their various types allow the healthy digestion and synthesis of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
Effectiveness: Like the other vitamins on this list, B vitamins are essential for overall well-being, which provides the right conditions for a healthy diet and exercise. As long as your body has access to these B vitamins, it can continue digestion in a healthy way.
Side effects: Similarly to other vitamins, you should only worry about side effects when greatly exceeding the recommended dose.
5. Fish oil
What it is: Also known as the healthy fatty acid omega-3, fish oil is popular and effective for a range of important bodily processes as well as supplements to help lose weight.
How it works: Omega-3 is a helpful fat and is essential for the standard developments of the eyes and brain, as well as keeping up heart and lung health.
Effectiveness: Having a healthy heart and lungs allows for a more comprehensive exercise routine that can help you burn calories and lose weight effectively.
Side effects: Fish oil, like vitamins, is considered a healthy nutrient for the body. Staying within the limits should not present any unwanted effects; however, taking too much fish oil has been connected to nosebleeds and loose stools.
What it is: Fiber can be a little confusing to understand at first. It’s a necessary part of our diet, but our body cannot digest it, but that qualifies it as one of the most popular supplements to help lose weight.
How it works: Fiber passes through the body undigested. This helps the body to regulate its use of sugars. In turn, reducing feelings of hunger and balancing overall blood sugar levels.
Effectiveness: Fiber is a strong choice as effective weight loss supplements. Investigations seem to come to the conclusion that the majority of Americans would benefit from more fiber in their diets. Our bodies anticipate a certain quantity of our diet to include fiber, but if we eat carbohydrates and fats instead that leads to weight gain.
Side effects: Too much fiber can cause bloating, gas, or constipation, but should be considered essential within limits. It is recommended that 25-35 grams of fiber per day will keep us healthy.
What it is: A type of dietary fiber usually made from the root of the konjac plant. It’s been used traditionally in Asian cultures for health purposes.
How it works: Glucomannan may help the gut by absorbing water to form a bulky fiber. It may also slow the absorption of sugar and cholesterol. Because of these properties it is considered one of the natural supplements to help lose weight.
Effectiveness: Similar to other fibers, glucomannan can help people to lose weight by reducing appetite, regulating blood sugar, and increasing fat metabolism, and appears effective at doing this.
Side effects: No major health concerns are associated with glucomannan in adequate doses.
8. Green tea extract
What it is: A mixture prepared from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant, native to China and Southeast Asia.
How it works: As an antioxidant, green tea may protect cells from general damage, improving overall health. Some evidence points to green tea extract promoting thermogenesis in the body, a state where the body is happy to use its stored calories for energy production, which can result in weight loss.
Effectiveness: Green tea may not be one of the best examples of effective weight loss supplements. Its effects are mild at best, and there is ongoing research into whether the extract itself promotes thermogenesis, or if that is because of the general presence of caffeine.
Side effects: The side effects of green tea are, in essence, the general side effects of caffeine. They include nausea, irritability, and sleeping problems if taken in large quantities.
What it is: Caffeine is a stimulant which promotes mental alertness and dissuades the body from feeling tired.
How it works: Caffeine is digested quickly and works in the brain to block adenosine, a chemical that encourages tiredness. Alert people are likely to be able to accomplish more tasks in a day and lead less sedentary lives, burning calories in the process.
Effectiveness: Caffeine’s effect on weight loss is very personal. If you need a small boost to help raise energy levels that get you on your feet, or encourage you to do some physical activity such as taking a walk or a spot of gardening, then caffeine can help you lose weight.
However, if you don’t need the stimulant to get up and go, then taking it probably won’t make a difference to your overall weight.
Side effects: There are always going to be consequences to “tricking” the brain into doing something that it wasn’t originally planning on (even if that’s just resting). Nausea, sleep problems, high blood pressure, and irritability are problems that become more prevalent the more daily caffeine you consume, so it’s best to keep to small doses each day.
10. Raspberry ketones
What it is: Popular for its color and fruity connection, this is a chemical found in raspberries that is common as a supplement to help lose weight.
How it works: Advocates for raspberry ketones propose that the supplement may boost your metabolism.
Effectiveness: It’s debatable whether ketones, usually sourced synthetically rather than from raspberries themselves, have any real weight loss properties. Early, limited studies on mice appear positive, but at the moment we’re still waiting on further confirmation.
Side effects: Considering that its benefits may be mild at best, Ketones run the risk of needing large quantities to have any real effect. This may therefore provoke more side effects than desired effects including increased blood pressure and rapid heart rate.
11. Chlorogenic acid
What it is: Found in coffee and black tea, chlorogenic acid is on many lists of supplements to help lose weight.
How it works: The acid works as an antioxidant and promotes well-being generally. Additionally, it may work as a supplement to help lose weight. This is particularly true for diabetics, as some studies have shown that this acid stabilizes blood sugar levels by lowering glucose levels.
Effectiveness: The most widely-shared studies on chlorogenic acid are based on animals, rather than humans. Although the results appear positive, further research is needed to determine their true efficacy in humans.
Side effects: As a natural product, there are very few side effects to fear as long as the product is not taken in excess and does not provoke an allergic response (which is rare).
12. Bitter orange
What it is: Not to be confused with regular oranges, bitter orange is the common name for synephrine, and is often touted as one of many supplements to help lose weight.
How it works: Like many other supplements to help lose weight, it is claimed that bitter orange can improve your metabolic rate.
Effectiveness: Just a glance at the material available online will show you that this supplement comes with several warnings and should not be taken without the all-clear from your health professional.
Side effects: Bitter orange may come with unwanted side effects to the heart and nervous system, even in healthy adults. Athletes should also be very careful not to take this supplement, as the NCAA considers it a banned substance.
What it is: Made from natural amino acids, this do-it-all protein reinforces tendons, ligaments, and cartilage, as well as provides structure to cells throughout the body.
How it works: How does protein help you lose weight? Being stocked up with collagen protein allows exercise (however gentle) to be accomplished with less muscle pain, and a potential lower risk of injury. As a pure protein, supplementation also encourages a diet that steers away from unhealthy fats.
Effectiveness: Is collagen good for weight loss? As well as promoting exercise, protein-focused diets may encourage the body not to store as much food as fat, helping you to lose weight.
Collagen can also boost your metabolism and help you feel full for longer, all good things when you’re looking to lose weight.
Side effects: Collagen is natural and already found in our diets, so there is little to worry about. Unlike whey, collagen is suitable for lactose-intolerant people. It is also gluten free.
Choosing the right collagen protein
Liquid collagen for weight loss may be one of the best supplements to help lose weight, but you need to ensure your supplement is a quality one.
Look for a supplement that has been hydrolyzed or nano-hydrolyzed. This will ensure that your body can digest the supplement easily. You should also make sure the supplement doesn’t contain any sugars or additives that would hinder your weight loss progress.
For best results, we recommend purchasing a medical-grade collagen supplement. Medical-grade supplements have been tested by doctors and are regulated by the FDA. They are trusted for use in thousands of medical facilities across the country, and are a safe bet as supplements to help you lose weight.