A Guide to Weight Loss Supplements

Health magazines, fitness clubs, talk shows, and dieting blogs often talk heavily about the latest weight loss supplements and their benefits.

In a society that is becoming more conscious than ever about their weight, and given all the latest obesity statistics, some people have become incredibly desperate to get all the potential help possible when it comes to losing weight and managing weight.

These weight loss supplements make some major money for the people manufacturing them, but they can be unsafe, or just not work at all. It’s a shame, but there are far too many people wasting time and money and products that they will never see any benefits from using.

A legitimate weight loss supplement can be a great aid if combined with a healthy diet and exercise plan. Good weight loss supplements increase weight loss and give you a jump-start to your long-term – hopefully permanent – lifestyle changes.

Before heading to the store and buying these supplements, it’s important to understand which ingredients are best and just how these weight loss supplements work.

Today we have five kind of weight loss supplements for you that have all been tested and proven to be effective. Fitness enthusiasts and dieters should read the product labels of product to find these ingredients after coming to an understand about how to use weight loss supplements, and the potential dangers to watch out for.

How to Get the Best Results From Weight Loss Supplements

A legitimate weight loss supplement can be a great aid if combined with a healthy diet and exercise plan It’s important to understand the definition of the word “supplement”; it means something that is used to enhance something else. One should never rely primarily on weight loss supplements to control weight. They were never intended to be used by themselves.

Most people are just looking for a quick fix and feel that taking a supplement allows them to maintain their unhealthy diet and not exercise. They then consider the supplement to be a scam after seeing that they have no results.

There are actually very few dietary supplements on the market that claim to be effective without changing your diet and exercise regime.

This is something that every potential supplement purchaser needs to keep in mind before choosing to invest money in weight loss supplements with misguided false hope.

If a weight loss regime involves nothing but popping pills, then it’s one you want to avoid, because the only way to maintain any weight lost would be to maintain the pill usage.

The Safety and Side Effects of Weight Loss Supplements

You should only ever use weight loss supplements in the way directed on the label of the product or by your physician. Taking more than the recommend dose won’t make the results better; it just puts you at a greater risk of developing side effects.

As is the case with many over-the-counter and prescription medications, a number of weight loss supplements have the potential to cause a range of side effects, which some will get and some won’t.

These side effects need to be carefully monitored, and you must always discontinue using a supplement if you notice any side effects. Consult your doctor before beginning supplementation at home, especially if you have a health condition or are on medication.

How Weight Loss Supplements Work

Weight-loss supplements typically work through a combination of different actions. Here is a look at the main functions of a weight loss supplement:

  • Fat Blockers/Fat Absorption Inhibitors – These ingredients prevent the body from absorbing fat.
  • Carbohydrate Blockers  – These ingredients prevent the body from processing carbohydrates.
  • Appetite Suppressants  – These ingredients reduce your appetite, making you want to eat less.
  • Metabolism Boosters – These ingredients stimulate and boost the metabolism, allowing your body to burn more fat and calories.
  • Fiber – Fiber is used to make you feel fuller and reduce your appetite.

Buyers can use the primary active ingredients of a supplement in order to classify it and determine the right supplement for them. If you are having sleeping troubles, then a metabolism booster would be a bad choice, because they contain stimulants that could make your sleeping issues worse.

If you have irritable bowel syndrome, then a fat blocker would be a bad choice because it forces the body to remove fat through the bowels, which could make IBS worse by causing greasy and runny stools.

Common Weight Loss Supplements Ingredients

Below is a list of five of the common weight loss supplement ingredients available without the need for a prescription. Many buyers might be familiar with the brand names of different substances, but don’t know the different active ingredients.

1. Chitosan

Chitosan is a fibrous substance made from processing crustacean (shellfish) shells – including the shells of crabs, lobster, and shrimp – with lye. Some studies have shown that chitosan is an efficient fat absorption blocker, which means it could also help reduce cholesterol and block the digestion and procession of fat; enabling additional weight loss. The most common chitosan dose is 2.4 grams a day, but some could need more or less. Always read the labels. The side effects of chitosan are unknown.

Chitosan isn’t safe for everyone, however, and should not be taken by children under 18, pregnant/breastfeeding women, and people allergic to shellfish. Patients on blood thinners should consult their doctors before they take chitosan because it potentially has anticoagulant properties.

2. Hydroxycitric Acid

Garcinia cambogia is an Asian fruit that is rich in hydroxy citric acid (HCA), an effective appetite suppressant and fat reducer. It’s believed that this ingredient also boosts carbohydrate burning, which prevents the carbs from being processed and stored as fat.

Common Side Effects and Contraindications:
HCA is reported to induce headaches and gastrointestinal problems.

HCA should be avoided by those who are under 18 years old, are pregnant/breastfeeding, have diabetes, have dementia, and have liver/kidney disease. Because HCA is also not regulated by the FDA, those who take it must exercise extreme caution.

3. Conjugated Linoleic Acid

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) supposedly works in a number of ways to boost weight loss and burn fat, including boosting metabolism, reducing belly fat, stimulating the growth of muscles, and reducing cholesterol levels. Clinical trials have been performed with doses ranging between 1.8 grams and 6 grams per day, so ensure you read the product label and take only the recommended amount.

Common Side Effects and Contraindications:
The Side effects of CLA include nausea, stomach ache, fatigue, and loose stools. CLA should be avoided by those who are under 18, are pregnant/breastfeeding, have diabetes or metabolic syndrome, and have heart disorder (or a family history of it).

4. Beta Glucans

The name “beta glucans” sounds a little out of this world, but this all-natural fiber comes from the plant cellulose of fungi (including yeast and mushrooms), algae, seaweed, barley, and oats. Avoid taking more than 15 grams of beta glucans a day (commonly divided into 2 7.5 gram doses).

Common Side Effects and Contraindications: 
There are currently no known side effects of orally ingesting beta glucans. However, they should be avoided by people under 18, pregnant/breastfeeding women, those with AIDS/HIV or ARC, and people taking immunosuppressant drugs.

5. Glucomannan

Like the similar-sounding beta glucans, glucomannan is a form of dietary fiber derived from the cell walls of plants. It’s another potent cholesterol reducer, and it’s also known to possess intestinal cleaning properties. There are a number of names and spellings for glucomannan, including konjac, gonyac, and konnyaku. The doses of glucomannan used in clinical trials ranged between 1 and 13 grams each day, so be sure to check the product label for precise instructions.

Common Side Effects and Contraindications:
There are no known side effects of glucomannan, but it should be avoided by those under 18, pregnant/breastfeeding women, people diabetes, and people with gastric or esophageal abnormalities.

Where to Find Weight Loss Supplements?

There are a number of places you can find weight loss supplements, including vitamin shops, nutrition centers, pharmacies, drug stores, grocery stores, discount stores, gyms, and fitness centers.

There are also supplements offered by direct selling companies. Supplements can also be found online, whether through an online store or an auction website.


While you shouldn’t expect results from just taking a weight loss supplement, they can improve the results that you get when following a healthy diet and exercise program. It’s is neither safe, effective, nor healthy to just swallow pills, but they can give better weight loss results when used to supplement a proper diet.

The most effective weight loss supplement ingredients have been scientifically shown to be chitosan, CLA, HCA, glucomannan, and beta glucan.

Potential weight loss supplement users should understand the contraindications of these ingredients, and know the ingredients they should avoid. Users must also understand that these supplements can come with side effects that need to be looked out for.

The most important thing is to only take weight loss supplements as directed. If you follow these guidelines, then you will be able to use weight loss supplements to smash through that plateau you’ve hit, lose that last bit of weight, and increase your confidence when starting weight loss programs. They could be that missing piece of the puzzle you’ve been trying to find.

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