Although we know that there is no such thing as a magic pill when it comes to weight loss, it doesn’t stop us looking! Exercising regularly to create a healthy metabolism, along with eating well is, of course the foundation to healthy weight management, but there are a handful of nutritional supplements that may help to nudge the scales in the right direction. Here are 4 of the best:
- Green Tea
Green tea, perhaps one of the best known weight management aids, is thought to stimulate thermogenesis (heat production), therefore increasing caloric expenditure and reducing weight. The increased burning of calories produced by green tea is primarily due to the combination of green tea's antioxidant compounds and caffeine content.
- Green Coffee
A lesser-known supplement, green coffee extract, is also showing potential as a weight management supplement. Green (unroasted) coffee beans do not have the aroma or flavour of the roasted coffee which is usually consumed as a beverage, yet they have higher levels of chlorogenic acid. This plant compound has been shown to support blood-sugar regulation after meals. Additionally, chlorogenic acid may stimulate fat release from adipose tissue.
- Whey Protein
Protein powders are popular amongst those aiming to shape-up. Protein increases the satiety of a meal and aids in blood-sugar balance. Whey protein powder is of particular interest, as it is thought to help preserve lean tissue while reducing body fat when following a calorie-controlled diet.
Although all foods are thermogenic to some degree (due to the fact that the body must use energy to digest them), lean protein is the most efficient macronutrient in terms of stimulating thermogenesis and regulating body weight.
The link between body weight and the gut microbiota is a current topic of interest in obesity research. Overweight individuals tend to have a make-up of bacteria in their intestines that is different from that of people who are of optimal weight. Some preliminary studies show that subjects taking supplements containing beneficial bacteria (probiotics) experienced more weight loss than control groups. Interestingly, the best results were achieved among women.
Don't diet. Live healthy!
Dietary supplements are only useful aids to healthy lifestyle changes. Keep in mind that losing weight or just staying in shape does not have to be punishing and that quick fix diets typically do not yield long term results. Small, consistent changes are always more effective in the long run than drastic measures that can only be maintained for a few weeks. Incorporate some fresh foods into your diet (more fruits and veggies) and keep active. Get enough sleep and rest and you’ll be feeling brand new in no time.