Weight loss is best achieved through healthy eating and regular exercise. When it comes to healthy eating, experts recommend eating at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day, basing meals on higher fibre starchy foods like potatoes and rice, having some dairy or dairy alternatives, eating some protein, and choosing unsaturated oils and spreads and eating them in small amounts. When it comes to exercise, adults aged 19 to 64 should try to be active daily and should do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or brisk walking every week and strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles.
But researchers have also suggested the addition of a supplement can also help a person achieve their weight loss goal.
Three supplements you may want to consider are caffeine, garcinia cambogia extract and glucomannan.
Caffeine is found naturally in coffee, green tea and dark chocolate, and is added to many processed foods and beverages.
It’s a well known metabolism booster and, as an ingredient, is asses to commercial weight loss supplements.
Studies have shown caffeine can boost metabolism by 3-11 per cent and increased fat burning by up to 29 per cent.
There are also some studies showing caffeine can cause modest weight loss in humans.
Garcinia cambogia extract
Garcinia cambogia is a tropical fruit native to India and Southeast Asia, and the skin of the fruit, which contains hydroxycitirc acid, is marketed a weight loss supplements.
Animal studies have shown it can inhibit a fat producing enzyme in the body and increasing levels of serotonin, potentially helping to reduce cravings.
Another study involving 130 people compared garcinia against a dummy pill, and there was no difference in weight or body fat percentage between groups.
A 2011 review looked at 12 studies on garcinia cambogia found, on average, it caused weight loss of about two pounds over several weeks.
Glucomannan is a dietary fibre made from the root of the konjac plant.
It’s been found to help aid weight loss as it absorbs water and becomes gel-like, promoting the feeling of illness and helping people eat fewer calories.
Three human studies have shown glucomannan, when combined with eating a healthy diet, can help people lose 8 to 10 pounds in five weeks.
Other benefits of glucomannan are lowering blood sugar, lowering blood cholesterol and helping prevent constipation.
If you’re considering taking any supplements for weight loss, speak with your GP.