It’s no secret that losing weight is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions. So if you’re one of the millions resolving to shed a few pounds, I want to share a few friendly reminders on how to ensure success in the coming months. For starters, by now, I hope you realize that there’s no such thing as a magic diet pill. Healthy weight loss requires making changes to your lifestyle, including your diet and activity level.
Green Tea Extract:
When it comes to safe and effective weight loss supplements, one of the most impressive is green tea, which contains EGCG and other catechins that, in addition to their immune and cardiovascular benefits, have been demonstrated to increase thermogenesis, or fat burning.
Italian researchers gave a supplement containing green tea catechins to 50 overweight or obese men and women and placebo capsules to another 50. All study participants adhered to a reduced calorie diet—1,350 calories per day for the women and 1,850 for the men. After 90 days, the men and women taking the green tea extract lost an average of 34 and 26 pounds, respectively, compared to a mean 10-pound loss among those in the placebo group. They also had significant reductions in cholesterol, triglycerides, leptin, cortisol, and, for the men, waist circumference.
The supplement used in the study was a standardized green tea extract bound to phosphatidylcholine called GreenSelect® Phytosome. The suggested dose is 300 mg per day.
When you consume carbohydrates, they are converted into glucose, your body’s primary fuel. Carbohydrate energy is then converted into glycogen and stored in the muscles and liver for future use. When the muscles and liver run out of storage capacity, excess glucose is converted into fat. HCA inhibits this process, thereby reducing the production of fat.
Other Safe and Effective Weight Loss Supplements
Resveratrol, the phytonutrient in red wine that has gained fame as an anti-aging agent, may also have weight control benefits, according to some research. German scientists discovered that resveratrol inhibits fat storage and the development of new fat cells, and positively affects the hormonal/signaling protein cascade that obesity undermines. Look for supplements that contain a standardized extract of trans-resveratrol, and use as directed.
The heavily advertised supplement CortiSlim claims to help with weight loss by blocking cortisol. Although I’m unaware of any research supporting this product, I can tell you that DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), a natural counter-regulator of cortisol, has been shown to assist in abdominal weight loss. When older, overweight men and women with low blood levels of DHEA took 50 mg of DHEA daily, the men lost 10.2 percent of their visceral adipose tissue and the women lost 7.4 percent. Their insulin sensitivity improved as well. The usual starting doses of DHEA are 50 mg for men and 25 mg for women. DHEA is not recommended for anyone with prostate, breast, or ovarian cancer. Blood levels should be tested three months after starting on DHEA and the dose adjusted to help you stay in the high-normal range for a young adult.
Extracts of green coffee beans and raspberry ketones are some of the latest supplements for weight loss that are being touted for their ability to help shed pounds. But do they actually work? The short answer is a qualified yes and yes. Both appear to have moderate weight-loss effects.