Last Updated on August 31, 2023

“What are the best supplements for weight loss?” is a question I’ve been asked a million times.

Every single person that knows: That I’ve lost weight, that I’m a nutritionist, or knows I can help people lose weight… or that have seen my clients lose weight and want to work with me – asks me about weight loss supplements.

Supplements can be an important aid in weight loss… only if you’re taking the right things.

There are SO MANY supplements out there being marketed for “fat loss” that are straight-up garbage.

That’s why I’m sharing this helpful guide to the best supplements for weight loss.

 

How do supplements help weight loss?

 

First things first – the metabolism has to have specific nutrients to function properly.  Without them, your metabolism won’t be able to carry out it’s metabolic functions.  When the metabolism isn’t getting its nutritional needs met it’ll start to dysfunction…  Metabolic dysfunction left untreated eventually manifests into a diagnosis, disease, and eventually death.

The metabolism is in place to keep you alive.  Weight loss and weight gain are survival instincts.  When you eat too many calories you’ll store fat in case you’re without food in the future.  When you don’t eat enough the metabolism starts to use your excess body fat for fuel.  Your metabolism needs essential nutrients and calories to function properly.

Nutrients are called ‘essential’ because you have to get them into your diet.  The body cannot make them.  You have to consume them.  There are two ways to get the essential nutrients you need into your body needed to boost your metabolism so you can lose weight easier.

They are:

Food: The foundation of successful and sustainable weight loss is a diet that provides the right balance of nutrients consistently while boosting metabolism while maintaining a calorie deficit (burning more calories than you consume). Whole foods that are nutrient-dense and lower in calories can help you feel full and satisfied while achieving your weight loss goals.  You must get enough protein, carbs, fats, fiber, and water daily for weight loss and proper metabolic function.

Supplements:  There’s no magic pill for weight loss. While some supplements may claim to aid in weight loss or boost metabolism, their effects are often minimal or temporary.  Additionally, some supplements might have side effects or interactions with medications, so it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before using them. HOWEVER, supplements that have the nutrients needed to boost and optimize metabolic function can aid with weight loss.  In a lot of cases, food is the best source of these nutrients.  Luckily, there are supplements made with concentrated amounts of nutrients proven to boost metabolism and aid with weight loss.

Below you’ll find a list of the best supplements for weight loss.  As you go over the list see my notes about the best source of these nutrients, either food or pill form.

text that says: The Best Supplements for Weight Loss and a list of the supplements

 

Weight Loss Supplements

 

These are not the ‘normal’ BS fat burners/harmful stimulants you see floating around the internet.

The following supplements with nutrients that have been scientifically proven to stimulate metabolism to optimize health and weight loss.

In addition to supplements that help optimize metabolism, I’m also including supplements proven to help weight loss in indirect ways.  For example, some help stop cravings, some regulate hunger and hormones, boost mood/energy/motivation, and others help improve gut health which in turn helps boost metabolism.  All of these examples can indirectly help weight loss.

I’ve linked my fave affordable ‘public’ recommendations from well-known, reputable brands.  This post/these recommendations are not sponsored in any way. 

Please note, I do have medical grade options that I recommend more than these options, BUT I only offer those via one on one sessions because they’re only available through my practitioner account and you’d have to go through as assessment to make sure you get the best option for your needs. 

The things I’m linking below are more general, affordable, accessible, and will still work if used in conjunction with a healthy diet… even more so if you’re using one of my meal plans.

I’m starting with the most important/beneficial supplements and working my way down.  I also don’t recommend taking all of these.

EVERYONE can benefit from the first 5 supplements on this list and should be taking them daily:

 

1. Quality Multivitamin

A multivitamin including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants provides a range of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support various bodily functions. While it doesn’t directly boost metabolism, it can indirectly aid weight loss efforts in a few ways. Vitamins and minerals are cofactors in all metabolic processes, helping convert nutrients into energy and supporting efficient metabolism. Antioxidants combat oxidative stress, which can promote inflammation and hinder metabolism. By reducing oxidative stress, antioxidants can contribute to a healthier metabolism. Moreover, deficiencies in certain nutrients might lead to sluggishness and reduced physical activity and metabolic function, impeding weight loss.  Everyone needs to be taking a multivitamin as it’s impossible to eat the nutrients you need and maintain a calorie deficit.

 

2. Protein Supplements

Protein can help increase satiety and preserve lean muscle mass during weight loss, which can indirectly support metabolism. Whey protein, in particular, has been studied for its potential benefits in promoting weight loss.  The best sources of protein are meat.  The second best is protein powders.  Using protein powders is a great way to increase your protein intake.  A lot of people don’t get enough protein.  Find out how much protein you need by using my Protein Intake Calculator.  See my complete guide to protein powders to see which is best for you.  See the protein powders I recommend most here.

 

3. Fiber

Soluble fiber supplements, such as glucomannan, can help increase feelings of fullness and reduce overall calorie intake. They may also have a positive impact on gut health.  For example, Glucomannan is a type of soluble fiber that can absorb water and help increase feelings of fullness. This might contribute to reduced hunger and cravings.  But that’s just one of many different types of fibers.  And you need a variety to get the benefits. YOU DO NOT NEED FIBER SUPPLEMENTS.  In fact, most do more harm than good and can cause major GI distress.  It’s far better to eat high-fiber fruits and vegetables. See the best fruits for weight loss and the best vegetables for weight loss to see my recommendations.

 

4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids can indirectly aid weight management. They combat inflammation, improve insulin sensitivity, regulate appetite, and enhance heart health. While not a direct weight loss tool, their impact on metabolism, hunger control, and overall well-being makes them a valuable addition to a balanced diet.  You can find omega-3’s in fish like salmon and plant sources like flaxseeds.  Make sure you’re choosing and using the Best Cooking Oils.  I also recommend supplementing with Omega-3’s if you’re unable to be consistent with Omega-3 dietary intake.  These are the Omega-3’s I recommend most.

 

5. Probiotics

Probiotic supplements can support gut health, which is linked to various aspects of well-being, including metabolism and appetite regulation. A healthy gut microbiome may indirectly contribute to weight management and reduced cravings.  Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that play a role in gut health. While not a direct weight loss solution, they can influence weight management through several mechanisms. A healthy gut microbiome is associated with improved metabolism and reduced inflammation, which are important for maintaining a healthy weight. Probiotics might affect hormones that regulate appetite, potentially helping control overeating. Additionally, an imbalanced gut microbiome has been linked to weight gain and insulin resistance, and probiotics can help restore balance. While more research is needed to fully understand their impact on weight loss, incorporating probiotic-rich foods (like yogurt, kefir, and fermented vegetables) and using probiotic supplements.  I recommend these Probiotic Supplements.

 

6. Berberine

Berberine, a natural compound found in various plants, is trending lately due to its potential health benefits, including its possible contribution to weight loss and metabolic wellness. Studies suggest that berberine may aid weight management by enhancing insulin sensitivity and regulating blood sugar levels, potentially reducing cravings for sugary foods. It could also impact metabolism by activating AMPK, a cellular energy regulator, leading to increased fat utilization. Berberine’s influence on the gut microbiota may further support metabolic health. Additionally, its anti-inflammatory effects and potential appetite-regulating properties could contribute to an overall healthier lifestyle.  I recommend this berberine.  Take 2 daily.

 

7. Green Tea

Green tea contains compounds called catechins, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which may aid in increasing fat oxidation and promoting thermogenesis.  It can also help suppress the appetite. Green tea extract supplements are available, but I don’t recommend them as they’ve been linked to liver damage.  For the best results supplement by drinking this green tea 3-5 times a day.  It’s best unsweetened.  Temperature doesn’t matter either.  You can add stevia if you’d like.

 

8. Caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant that can temporarily increase metabolic rate and enhance fat oxidation. It’s often found in coffee, tea, and some weight loss supplements. Caffeine, specifically caffeine from coffee also helps the liver which can aid with weight loss.  However, its effects can diminish over time as your body develops tolerance.  It’s also important to note that those with adrenal issues should avoid this completely as caffeine will have a negative effect and make issues worse.  I recommend supplementing your diet with a maximum of 2, oz. servings of coffee a day – only if you don’t have adrenal/stress issues.  Do not use pre-workout powders or other stimulants as they can cause adrenal/hormonal issues.

 

9. Carnitine

Carnitine is involved in the transport of fatty acids into cells’ mitochondria for energy production, which in turn can help boost metabolism.  Due to its ability to facilitate the transport of fatty acids into cells for energy utilization, L-carnitine is occasionally employed as a supplement for weight loss purposes. A comprehensive analysis of 37 research studies revealed that the addition of L-carnitine to one’s regimen resulted in notable decreases in overall body weight, body mass index (BMI), and fat mass. Some studies suggest it might enhance fat oxidation, but the evidence is not yet conclusive.  YOU DO NOT NEED CARNITINE SUPPLEMENTS.  Eating a variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), nuts, seeds, and soy will help you get what you need to get benefits.

 

10. Capsaicin

Capsaicin (from Chili Peppers) may help increase metabolism and fat oxidation by promoting thermogenesis. It’s often included in weight loss supplements.  I highly recommend this if you have a slow metabolism or want to boost detox.  You can supplement for this but I recommend eating chili peppers or using hot sauce instead as the capsaicin will absorb faster in food form vs. pill form.  But if you want to try the pills here’s the brand I recommend most.  Start with one, once a day.  If you can tolerate it, graduate into 2 daily.  Warning: you will feel warm/hot after taking these… that means it’s working.

 

11. 5-HTP

5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is a naturally occurring amino acid and precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in regulating mood, appetite, and sleep. Some research suggests that 5-HTP may indirectly contribute to weight loss by affecting appetite and food intake. By increasing serotonin levels, 5-HTP may help control cravings for carbohydrates and promote feelings of fullness, which could lead to reduced calorie intake. Additionally, improved mood and reduced stress, which can be associated with higher serotonin levels, might discourage emotional eating.  DO NOT TAKE THIS IF YOU’RE TAKING ANTIDEPRESSANTS OR ANTI-ANXIETY MEDICATIONS.  Otherwise, use this 5-HTP.  Take one in the morning and if you tolerate it well, start taking one in the morning and one at night.  You can also take 2 in the morning and 2 at night if you have more serious mood/energy/sleep issues.  DO NOT TAKE MORE THAN 400mg A DAY.

 

12. Alpha-Lipoic Acid

Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) is an antioxidant that plays a role in energy metabolism. Some studies suggest that ALA may have potential benefits for weight loss due to its effects on insulin sensitivity. ALA appears to enhance insulin action in the body, leading to improved glucose utilization and potentially reduced fat storage. ALA promotes the production of glutathione and can also recycle vitamins C and E, thereby enhancing their antioxidant activities.* In addition, ALA may help to maintain healthy neural tissues, promote proper glucose metabolism and support healthy cardiovascular function.  You can get the ALA needed for benefits from certain foods like spinach, broccoli, and organ meats.  Supplementation should be considered when it’s difficult to meet sufficient levels through diet alone.  DO NOT TAKE ALA IF YOU HAVE AN AUTOIMMUNE DISORDER.  If you don’t have an autoimmune disorder I recommend this ALA supplement most…. especially if you’re stressed and don’t have the healthiest eating habits.

 

I hope this list helped you gain expert insight as to what weight loss supplements you really need and that you won’t waste your money on bogus ‘fat burning’ products and other nonsense pills that do nothing.

Remember, it’s best to supplement in addition to following a meal plan that gives you all the nutrients and fibers your body needs to burn fat automatically.  HINT:  That’s what my meal plans do and why they work so well.  

If you liked this post please let me know in the comments.

Forever rooting for you!

Your Coach and Biggest Cheerleader,

 

P.S.  Pin this post to Pinterest so you’ll have it forever.

text that says: The Best Supplements for Weight Loss and Wellness and 5 different supplement containers and pills on a white countertop

 

If you liked this article you’ll love everything else in my Best Foods for Weight Loss Series

 

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