Helpful or Harmful: Do Supplements Work for Weight Loss?

//Helpful or Harmful: Do Supplements Work for Weight Loss?
  • Supplements for Weight Loss

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for your entire life, chances are you’ve come across an ad for a weight loss supplement at some point. The weight loss industry is worth nearly $70 billion, after all.

Maybe you happened upon an ad while you were flipping through magazines in the checkout line or channel surfing late at night.

Wherever you heard about these magic pills, you probably also found yourself wondering, “do supplements work for weight loss?”

Does this sound familiar to you? Are you still unsure of the efficacy of weight loss supplements?

If you answered, “yes” to either of these questions, keep reading. Everything you need to know about weight loss supplements is explained below.

Do Supplements Work for Weight Loss?

If you based your opinion on weight loss supplements solely on the results presented in the advertisements, it would seem obvious that supplements are an effective tool to help you lose weight. The truth is not so black and white, though.

Can supplements work for weight loss? Sure. You can view the incredible transformations for yourself online and on television. 

What you might not always realize, though, is how supplements promote weight loss.

Types of Weight Loss Supplements

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of weight loss supplements available on the market. But, all these supplements can be divided into the following four categories:

  • Appetite suppressants: Appetite suppressants — you guessed it — suppress the appetite by manipulation the hunger and fullness hormones leptin and ghrelin.
  • Fat burners: Fat burners raise the body’s core temperature, which helps you to burn more calories. 
  • Fat blockers: Fat blockers reduce fat digestion and absorption and help to prevent fat storage.
  • Diuretics: Diuretics help you to shed excess water and minimize bloating.

Of the different types of weight loss supplements, many people find appetite suppressants and fat burners to be the most effective options.

Are Supplements All You Need?

Many people experience success when they consume one or more of these weight loss supplements.

It’s important to note, though, that supplementation is not the only thing people use to successfully lose weight. There are, in most cases, a lot of other tools involved. 

First and foremost, in order to lose weight, you must be in a caloric deficit. This means that you burn more calories than you consume.

Supplements like fat burners and appetite suppressants can make it easier for people to maintain a caloric deficit since they feel less hungry and can burn more calories while exercising. Without the calorie deficit, though, no supplement will be effective at helping you lose weight.

A healthy diet and consistent exercise regimen are also essential if you want to lose weight and keep it off. Weight loss supplements can be an effective short-term solution, but it’s unhealthy to rely on them long-term.

Which Supplements are Most Effective?

If you are going to use weight loss supplements, the following are often considered to be the most effective options:

Garcinia Cambogia Extract

Garcinia cambogia is a small green fruit, the skin of which contains a substance known as hydroxycitric acid (or HCA). HCA is the active ingredient in garcinia cambogia extract.

Garcinia cambogia extract is a fat blocker and appetite suppressant. It helps to reduce cravings and inhibit the effects of some of the body’s fat-producing enzymes.


Yes, caffeine can be used as a weight loss supplement.

Caffeine increases the body’s metabolic rate and acts as a fat burner. In fact, it’s the primary ingredient in most fat burners.

You can get the same effects if you consume caffeine in the form of coffee or tea, though.


Orlistat is a fat-blocking supplement. It can be sold over-the-counter or under prescription. 

Orlistat inhibits fat breakdown and causes you to absorb fewer calories from the fat-containing foods you consume. This, in turn, can make it easier for you to maintain a caloric deficit.

Orlistat may also help to reduce blood pressure and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.


Hydroxycut is an example of a fat-burning weight loss supplement. It’s one of the oldest and most popular weight loss supplements and it contains significant amounts of caffeine. It also contains plant extracts that also help to boost the metabolism and increase your calorie burn.

Green Tea Extract

Green tea, by itself, offers a wide range of health benefits, but the more potent green tea extract can be even more helpful to folks who are trying to lose weight.

Green tea extract is a fat burner that increases the activity of fat-burning hormones like norepinephrine. It also contains caffeine, as well as an antioxidant known as EGCG, which is also known to aid in speeding up the metabolism.

Many people find that they can tolerate green tea extract better than some other weight loss supplements.

What Else Should You Do to Lose Weight?

Remember, in order to lose weight, with or without supplements, you need to maintain a caloric deficit. In order to do this, you need to make sure you’re eating well and exercising regularly.

What does “eating well” mean? Everyone’s ideal healthy diet is a bit different, of course. But, generally speaking, you’ll have an easier time sticking to a caloric deficit if you’re eating whole, unprocessed foods.

Fast food and processed snacks are some of the worst foods you can eat if you want to lose weight. On the other hand, vegetables, fruit, meat, poultry, fish, and healthy fats like olive oil and avocado will keep you satiated and reduce your chances of overeating.

Regular exercise — especially weightlifting, which helps to increase the metabolism — is important, too. You don’t need to be a gym rat, but exercising on a consistent basis will help you burn more calories. Exercise can suppress your appetite further, too.

Looking for More Weight Loss Advice?

As you can see, the answer to the question, “do supplements work for weight loss?” isn’t exactly a simple one.

Supplements can be very beneficial, it’s true, and they can yield some impressive results. But, you also need to make sure your diet and exercise routine is in check. Remember, you can’t out-exercise an unhealthy diet, and you can’t out-supplement an unhealthy lifestyle.

Are you interested in learning more about healthy, sustainable weight loss?

If so, be sure to check out the Health section of our site today. You’ll find all kinds of helpful information here on healthy eating, exercise, weight loss, supplements, and more.

By | 2019-02-02T19:25:35+02:00 February 2nd, 2019|Lifestyle|

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