The best diet supplements for weight loss help you to eat less. They kick-start your metabolism and curb the appetite. It’s not that complicated to burn fat but most people have trouble sticking to a healthy diet and exercise plan. Diet supplements are usually natural ingredients from plants, such as fennel, garcinia cambogia, or raspberry ketones, designed for safe weight loss.
WHAT EXACTLY ARE DIET SUPPLEMENTS?
A diet supplement is any product that you take orally that adds to the content of your ordinary diet. Not all supplements are intended to promote weight loss; a supplement may provide valuable nutritional replacement for consumers who don’t get enough of a specific ingredient in their daily meals. A dietary supplement may contain:
- Amino acids (Building blocks of protein)
- Botanical products/herbs
- Glandular extracts
- Organ products
People take diet supplements for many different reasons: to lose or gain weight, to restore lost nutrients, to build muscle tissue, to support physical functions like eyesight, to improve sleep, or to boost energy.
Just because a diet pill or supplement is sold in attractive packaging at a local drugstore or through an online vendor doesn’t mean that it’s safe. Many consumers aren’t aware that products marketed as diet supplements aren’t subject to regulation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) unless the product contains a new ingredient. According to the Dietary Supplement and Health Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994, it’s the manufacturer’s responsibility to prove that a supplement is safe, and not all manufacturers comply with this requirement. Many manufacturers have been accused of making false claims about their products, adding pharmaceutical ingredients to their supplements or producing their supplements under unsafe circumstances.
HOW DO WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENTS WORK?
If you’re searching for dietary supplements that will help you lose weight, you’ll have no shortage of choices. The companies that distribute these products claim that the ingredients in their supplements can help you achieve results like these:
- Curb your cravings for food (chickweed, bee pollen, fennel)
- Make you feel full before you’ve had too much to eat (guar gum, psyllium)
- Speed up your metabolism (caffeine, guarana, synephrine, B-complex vitamins)
- Slow down your body’s fat production (green tea, hydrocitric acid, flax seed)
- Keep your body from absorbing the fat in the foods you eat (chondritin)
Diet supplements are available in just about any form that you can take by mouth – from pills and capsules to powders, liquids, and teas. Some products are taken with a meal, while others are taken instead of a meal. Over-the-counter diet pills supposedly help you lose weight by stimulating your metabolism, your body’s system for utilizing energy. The primary ingredient in products like Dexatrim with Metabolic Support is caffeine, a central nervous stimulant that may help you burn fat through a process called thermogenesis. But the risks of taking these stimulants may outweigh the benefits.
WHY ARE WEIGHT LOSS PILLS DANGEROUS?
Many diet supplements are harmless, and some may even be effective at creating a sense of fullness, burning fat, or boosting your metabolism. But some of the popular ingredients in weight loss products have been banned by the FDA because of harmful side effects like these:
- Increased heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Kidney problems
- Liver damage
- Rectal bleeding
Ephedra – Banned
Once widely sold as an ingredient in diet supplements, the Chinese herbal stimulant ephedra was banned in 2004 because of evidence that its use could increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke. In 2005, a lower court ruled that ephedra could be used in small doses. In 2006, a federal appeals court reinstated the FDA’s original ban, ruling that ephedra was too dangerous to be used as a supplement at any dose.
Hydroxycut – Recalled and Banned
Some weight loss products can cause severe damage to your kidneys, liver, and other vital organs. Hydroxycut products were banned and recalled in 2009 because of reports of serious adverse reactions, including hepatitis and jaundice. One person who took these fat-burning supplements died; another required a liver transplant.
Fen-Phen – Recalled
Fenfluramine, one of the two active ingredients in the off-label diet drug Fen-Phen, was recalled in the late 1990s after the drug was linked to cases of heart damage and lung disease. Phentermine, the other primary ingredient in Fen-Phen, is still prescribed in certain cases for weight loss, but should be used only with a doctor’s prescription.
Meridia – Withdrawn from the Market
Sibutramine, a prescription drug sold as Meridia, was withdrawn from the market in 2010 after a clinical study indicated that the drug could increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. According to the National Institutes of Health, sibutramine was originally prescribed as a long-term appetite suppressant and weight management solution. The manufacturer voluntarily stopped production after Meridia was associated with evidence of cardiovascular damage.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TAKING?
One of the biggest risks of taking over-the-counter diet supplements is that you can’t always be certain about the ingredients that a product contains. Because the FDA does not test all weight loss products for safety, there’s no guarantee that each ingredient in every supplement is safe. The FDA maintains a list of tainted weight-loss products so consumers can be aware of ones they should stay away from. Because the manufacturers did not list these ingredients on their product labels, consumers would have no way of knowing that they were ingesting products like these:
- Sibutramine: a weight-loss drug withdrawn because of its association with an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke
- Rimonabant: an appetite suppressant not approved for use in the US
- Phenytoin: an anti-seizure drug
- Phenolphthalein: an experimental drug that may cause cancer
The FDA issued a warning to consumers not to purchase supplements in its list of tainted products; however, this agency can’t test every new product on the market. The best way to ensure your safety is to consult a healthcare professional before you take any weight loss supplement.
What to Look for in the Top Weight Loss Supplements
If you do a quick Google search for “best weight loss supplements,” you will find dozens of options to choose from. Numerous weight loss pills exist on the market today, each offering different benefits with varying formulas.
Unfortunately, not all natural weight loss pills are reliable and effective. Some of these dietary supplements use cheap “filler” ingredients and charge outrageous prices for their ineffective pills.
Using your best judgment can help ensure that you choose the best weight loss pill for your needs. As you sort through your options, be sure to review the following factors that contribute to effective, safe, trustworthy weight loss pills.
The best diet pills for weight loss use only natural ingredients to produce their weight loss benefits.
Because you do not need a prescription to acquire effective weight loss pills, you want to feel confident that the ingredients you are consuming are safe for your health. Searching for supplements that contain only natural ingredients can help you feel confident in the safety of the product you choose.
As you search for the best diet pills for your needs, be sure to review each product’s ingredient list closely. If you are not sure what an ingredient is, you can always Google it to find more information. All of the weight loss pills on our list state their ingredients’ benefits clearly on their websites.
We recommend avoiding weight loss supplements that use synthetic ingredients in their formulas.
Clean Label (No Proprietary Blends)
One of the most important factors you should consider when choosing the best weight loss pill is the formulation.
If you’ve ever visited the supplement aisle of your local grocery store, you may have seen products that use a “proprietary blend” of ingredients.
Proprietary blends are essentially secret formulas in which companies disclose their ingredients but not their dosages. As a result, companies that use proprietary blends can get away with only including trace amounts of their effective ingredients.
If you notice that a weight loss pill uses a proprietary blend, you can assume it has something to hide. We recommend staying away from proprietary blends and looking for weight loss pills that disclose their formulas clearly.
Another important things to consider when choosing an effective weight loss pill is whether or not the product comes with a money-back guarantee.
Purchasing a new supplement is sometimes a risky process. You may feel unsure whether the product will be effective for you or suit your needs well, leaving you wary about spending money on it.
However, the best weight loss pills offer a money-back guarantee to help their customers feel confident purchasing their products. These guarantees allow you to return any unused capsules within a specified period and receive a full refund. You can use them for just a few weeks or a month or more to determine if they are starting to have the desired effect.
The best weight loss pills on our list offer at least a 60-day money-back guarantee, while some even give you 100 days to request a full refund.
Discounts for Multiple Bottles
When looking for weight loss pills that actually work, check to see if the manufacturer offers discounts when buying multiple bottles.
Most diet supplements require you to take the product continuously for at least 60 days to receive the optimal benefits. Similarly, many utilize a formula that only produces results while you are taking it. Therefore, if you want to keep experiencing the benefits of a diet supplement, you will need to purchase enough capsules to take it daily until you lose your desired amount of weight.
However, the best weight loss pills offer discounts when you purchase more than one bottle at a time. For example, many of the products on our list give you a free bottle when you buy two and two free bottles when you purchase three. These deals make it more cost-effective to buy multiple bottles and keep using a product continuously.
When you purchase a weight loss pill, you want to feel confident that it has actually been effective for previous customers. Customer reviews can give you accurate information about their perceptions of a product’s effectiveness and benefits. If a weight loss pill has mostly positive reviews and few negative ones, most people will draw conclusions that they will likely have a positive experience, too.
The Different Types of Supplements for Weight Loss
You may have noticed that the weight loss pills on our list produce benefits for weight loss through several different methods. Some boost metabolism, others act as appetite suppressants, and some aid fat loss. Determining which type of diet pill you need can help you narrow your search process significantly.
Let’s discuss the different types of weight loss pills in greater detail.
Thermogenic Fat Burners
A thermogenic fat burner is one of the most popular types of weight loss pills.
Thermogenesis is your body’s process of producing heat. When you eat foods that kickstart your thermogenic process, your body begins to burn more calories, contributing to body fat loss.
Several of the most effective weight loss supplements on our list include one or more ingredients that act as a thermogenic fat burner. Ingredients such as α-Lacys Reset, caffeine, and cayenne pepper act as fat burners by inducing thermogenesis. If you are trying to burn stubborn belly fat or achieve full-body fat loss, you may want to look for a diet pill with thermogenic properties.
An appetite suppressant is a type of weight loss pill that helps to reduce appetite and food cravings, resulting in lower calorie consumption. By lowering your calorie intake, appetite suppressants can help you lose weight faster.
One of the most important, and often most challenging, aspects of weight loss is to burn more calories than you take in. Numerous studies have supported the concept that eating in a calorie deficit can maximize your fat-burning and calorie-burning efforts, helping you lose body weight.
One way to combat the challenge of reducing your food intake is to take a diet pill that suppresses your appetite and prevents weight gain. Ingredients like glucomannan can suppress your appetite naturally, creating safer, milder results than a prescription weight loss drug like Alli.
If you struggle with sticking to a low-calorie diet, an appetite suppressant diet pill can help you lose weight more easily.
A carb blocker is a type of weight loss pill that inhibits the enzymes needed to digest and break down complex carbs. Blocking these enzymes causes complex carbs to pass straight to your large intestine, preventing them from contributing calories to your diet.
While carb blockers are not nearly as effective as they sound, they can still prevent weight gain and provide modest weight loss. Limiting carb intake is a critical aspect of losing weight and excess fat, but if you eat carbs now and then, you can rely on a carb blocker diet pill to prevent them from contributing to weight gain.
Keto Diet Pills
Sticking to a ketogenic diet is a popular way people are losing weight in 2022. The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that triggers your body to enter a state of ketosis in which it begins burning fat for energy rather than carbs.
Many people who follow the keto diet find that eating a healthy diet with the right balance of carbs and fats needed to achieve ketosis is challenging. As a result, these dieters often add a keto diet pill to their regimens to supplement their diet with exogenous ketones.
If you are trying to follow the keto diet to lose weight, you may benefit from taking a keto diet pill. If not, the other weight loss solutions on our list may suit your needs better.
Popular Weight Loss Pill Ingredients
The popular weight loss pills on our list may contain some natural ingredients you are unfamiliar with. If you don’t know the benefits of raspberry ketones or green coffee beans off the top of your head, don’t fret. Let’s discuss how these ingredients within diet pills can contribute to fat loss.
Green Tea Extract
Green tea extract is a popular ingredient in many of the top weight loss pills. Green tea extract can help with your weight loss journey in several different ways.
First, green tea contains the antioxidant EGCG, which contributes to fat oxidation. Fat oxidation is your body’s process of breaking down fatty acids. Similarly, green tea stimulates norepinephrine in your body, helping you burn more fat.
Green tea also has a small amount of caffeine, which gives you energy, suppresses your appetite, and kickstarts thermogenesis.
Caffeine is a common ingredient that you’ll find in many diet pills. Caffeine produces several significant benefits for weight loss, such as boosting metabolism, energizing you, suppressing your appetite, and burning fat. Instead of consuming caffeine through a sugary iced coffee drink, you can take one of the natural diet pills on our list and reap the same benefits without the added calories.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is touted as an effective diet pill ingredient that can help people lose fat and retain lean muscle mass. CLA is an essential fatty acid that comes from beef and dairy products. Although there is more research needed, some studies indicate that CLA may help improve body composition and aid in weight loss.
Garcinia Cambogia Extract
Garcinia cambogia is a popular weight loss ingredient included in many of the best diet pills. It is believed that garcinia cambogia can help block fat production in the body and suppress your appetite. The active ingredient in garcinia cambogia is hydroxycitric acid (HCA). HCA supposedly blocks an enzyme called citrate lyase, which our bodies use to produce fat. HCA may also raise serotonin levels, an important chemical in the brain. By increasing serotonin levels, it may make you feel less hungry and prevent the urge to snack.
Green Coffee Bean Extract
The green coffee bean is the unroasted form of the coffee bean. The extract from this ingredient can help you lose belly fat by increasing fat burning and blocking the digestion of carbs in your gut.
Green coffee bean extract may also lower blood sugar levels and reduce high blood pressure. Keeping your blood sugar and blood pressure in a healthy range can make it easier for you to lose body weight compared to those with high blood pressure and sugar.
Supplements that claim to speed up weight loss – and what the science say
1. Raspberry ketones
Raspberry ketones, sold as weight loss tablets, are chemicals found in red raspberries responsible for that distinct raspberry flavour and smell. You can also make raspberry ketones in a lab.
A study in obese rats found raspberry ketones reduced their total body fat content. In one study, 70 adults with obesity were put on a weight loss diet and exercise program, and randomised to take a supplement containing either raspberry ketones, or other supplements such as caffeine or garlic, or a placebo.
Only 45 participants completed the study. The 27 who took a supplement lost about 1.9 kilos, compared to 400 grams in the 18 in the placebo group. The drop-out rate was so high that these results need to be interpreted with a lot of caution.
A small pilot study of five adults found no effect on weight when the participants were told to maintain their current eating and exercise patterns and just took supplements of 200mg/day of raspberry ketones.
Concerns have been raised about potential toxic effects of raspberry ketones on the heart and for reproduction.
2. Matcha green tea powder
Matcha is a green tea made from leaves of the Camellia sinensis, or tea plant, but it’s processed into a green powder and can be mixed into liquids or food. Before the leaves are harvested, the tea plant is put in the shade for a few weeks, which increases the content of theanine and caffeine.
No studies have tested the effect of matcha on weight loss. A review of six studies using green tea preparations for weight loss over 12 weeks found a difference based on country. In studies conducted outside of Japan, people consuming green tea did not lose more weight than controls. In the eight studies conducted within Japan, the mean weight loss ranged from 200 grams to 3.5 kilos in favour of green tea preparations.
Tea has a reputation for weight loss that’s probably not deserved. from www.shutterstock.com
3. Garcinia cambogia supplements
Garcinia Cambogia is a tropical fruit that contains a large amount of Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA), claimed to aid weight loss.
In animal studies, HCA interferes with usual production of fatty acids. If this was transferred to humans it could theoretically make it harder to metabolise fat and speed up weight loss. Research studies in humans show this is not the case.
While one 12-week trial in overweight women randomised them to a low kilojoule diet, with or without HCA and found the HCA group lost significantly more weight (3.7 compared to 2.4 kilos for placebo), two other trials found no difference in weight loss.
A 12-week trial in 135 men and women found no difference in weight loss between the HCA group (3.2 kilos) and the placebo group (4.1 kilos). A ten-week trial in 86 men and women who were overweight and randomised to take either Garcinia Cambogia extract or placebo, but were not also put on a weight-loss diet, found minimal weight loss of 650 grams versus 680 grams, with no difference between groups.
4. Caffeine supplements
Caffeine is claimed to increase your metabolic rate and therefore speed up weight loss. Research studies in volunteers of a healthy weight found an increase in metabolic rate, but it depended on the dose. The more caffeine supplements consumed, the more the metabolic rate went up.
The lowest caffeine dose of 100mg, the amount in one instant coffee, increased the average metabolic rate by nine calories per hour, while the 400mg dose, which is roughly equivalent to the caffeine found in two to three cups of barista-made coffee, increased metabolic rate by about 34 calories per hour over three hours.
When adults with obesity were given caffeine supplements at a dose of 8mg per kilo of body weight, there was an increase in metabolic rate of about 16% for up to three hours.
In a study in which adults with obesity were asked to follow a weight-loss diet, then randomised to receive either 200mg caffeine supplements three times a day for 24 weeks or a placebo supplement, there was no difference in weight change between groups. For the first eight weeks, the group taking caffeine supplements experienced side-effects of insomnia, tremor and dizziness.