Do weight loss supplements actually work?

Do weight loss supplements actually work?
  • PublishedFebruary 17, 2020

According to most dieticians, the best way to lose and maintain a healthy weight is all about a change in the personal lifestyle. That is; having a balanced diet, staying hydrated, reducing calorie intake and regular exercise. However, some times the diet may not provide the necessary minerals and vitamins that are required in order for one to have a healthy weight. For this reason, most people turn to dietary supplements and other fat-burning pills in the hope that this will help them achieve weight loss easier and faster. Over time, many dietary supplements have been penetrating the market. But the concern should be whether weight loss supplements actually work?

You may also want to know the best diet plan for weight loss.

What are weight loss supplements?

Before responding to the question of whether weight loss supplements actually work, it is important that we have a brief understanding of what the weight loss supplements are. A weight-loss dietary supplement is a manufactured product intended to supplement the diet when taken by mouth as a pill, capsule, tablet, or liquid to boost the body’s metabolism so that more calories are burnt. they also reduce appetite so that you take in fewer calories.

You may be wondering how weight loss supplements actually work.

We are all aware that there are so many weight loss supplements that penetrate the market each day. The bottom line is that all the weight loss supplements have the same mechanism of operation. that is to say;


  1. Reducing appetite by making you feel full so that you eat fewer calories
  2. Control the absorption of fats so that you take in fewer calories
  3. Boost the body’s metabolism to burn more calories.

weight loss supplements in this article include; hydroxyl cut, glucomannan, green tea extract, conjugated linoleic acid, green coffee bean extract, caffeine, and orlistat.

But do weight loss supplements actually work?

As a matter of fact, the question of whether weight loss supplements actually work or not depends on the results individuals expect or hope to get from using the different forms of supplements. Where there is evidence of positive results, a recommendation can be made or a positive conclusion can be drawn and the reverse is true.

Nate Masterson a health expert and head of natural product development at Maple holistics says that; you will never have a magic fix of you weight loss goals. He goes ahead to say that fat burners only support the weight loss process. therefore weight loss supplements work alongside a balanced diet and regular exercise in order to burn the fats.

What are the best weight loss supplements?

let us look at these weight loss supplements in detail, their benefits and the side effects as well.


  1. Hydroxy cut

This has been around for quite some time and it’s one of the most popular weight loss supplements in the world. the hydroxy cut has caffeine and plant extracts that possess weight loss properties. It

However, caffeine may lead to diarrhea, nausea and anxiety if one is caffeine sensitive.

  1. Glucomannan

It is a fiber found in the roots of the elephant yam called konjac. It absorbs water and sits in the gut, promoting a feeling of fullness helping you to eat fewer calories. Glucomannan lowers blood sugar, cholesterol and is also good at constipation.

However, it can cause soft stools and bloat. It is therefore good to take within a considerable time before meals.

  1. Green tea extract

As a matter of fact, green tea can boost the body’s metabolism in the short term. A high metabolic rate is one of the factors that help you burn fat. According to the national center for complementary and integrative health, several studies show that green tea leads to a decrease in body fats, especially in the abdominal region.

However, it contains some caffeine and may cause symptoms to people who are caffeine-free.

  1. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)

This is one of the healthier weight loss supplements found naturally in some fatty animal foods like cheese, butter and has existed for years. It reduces appetite, boost metabolism and speeds up the breakdown of body fats.

However, it may contribute to fatty liver, insulin resistance and increased inflammation in the long run.

  1. Green coffee bean extract

The roasted coffee beans contain chemical compounds caffeine and chlorogenic acid. This increases fat burning and slowing down the breakdown of carbohydrates in the gut respectively.

However, it may cause side effects to those that are caffeine sensitive.

  1. Caffeine

This is one of the most commonly consumed substances in the world. It is found in green tea, green coffee beans and chocolate. Caffeine is used as a beverage and is also added to many processed foods. It boosts metabolism and increases fat burning.

However, those sensitive to caffeine may experience nausea, anxiety and other symptoms.


This is a drug sold over-the-counter prescribed as Xenical, under the name Alli. It inhibits the breakdown of gut fat and makes you take in fewer calories from the fat.

It reduces blood pressure and the risk of getting type 2diabetes.

However, it may have side effects like oily stools, frequent bowel movements that are not easy to control.

What are the benefits of dietary supplements?

On busy days like Monday, I find it practically impossible to prepare a healthy meal. I, therefore, resort to cheap and fast processed foods like sausages and chips. however, these foods don’t provide the body with the required nutrients. The body may need nutrients like water, fats, vitamins, proteins and carbohydrates.

Even when we may strive to have a balanced diet, we may still miss out on some of these nutrients. Therefore, when dietary supplements are taken appropriately, can provide all the necessary nutrients that a healthy diet should have.

Let us take an example of the multivitamin supplement. This supplement contains essential vitamins and minerals that one cannot get in a single diet.

Do you think supplements are as good as food? Since they come with a variety of nutrients?

Initially, before carrying out more research, I actually thought that maybe I can have more dietary pills or drugs compared to food. I have actually found out that supplements cannot substitute food. They cannot provide all the nutrients and benefits of whole foods, like vegetables and fruits.

For example, whole grains, fruits and legumes can provide fiber which may not be the case with dietary supplements.

Why we should not have supplements

Most nutritionists and dieticians emphasize that the best way to lose weight is to have a healthy diet plan and carrying out regular exercise.

All the supplements discussed above come with side effects, which is not the case with a healthy meal and an active body. Supplements are a waste of money because they are expensive.

What time of the day is the best to have dietary supplements?

According to Jeffery Blumberg, a professor of nutrition science and policy at Tufts University in Boston, taking dietary supplements during the day is better, because the body is active and the metabolic rate is high. There will be sufficient absorption of the nutrients during the day unlike in the night where metabolism and digestion slow down.

What happens if you take too many dietary supplements?

I am sure you have heard of a saying that goes “too much of everything is bad”. Therefore getting an overload of vitamins or minerals can be harmful to your healthy body. For example, an overload of vitamin C could cause diarrhea, nausea and stomach cramps.

What are the side effects of weight loss supplements?

The ingredients in some of these weight loss supplements have been reported by the FDA to cause serious side effects.

Ephedra, for example, was banned in 2004 when evidence showed that it could increase the risk of heart attack

Fen-phen was recalled in 1990 because its ingredient fen flu amine was linked to cases of heart damage and lung diseases.

Sibutramine in the drug meridian was withdrawn from the market in 2010 as a clinical report showed that it could increase the risk of heart attack

Other side effects related to weight loss supplements include;



Rectal bleeding

Liver damage

High blood pressure

Increased heart rate


As a matter of fact, no supplement or pill really works well for weight loss. most of the supplements may increase your metabolism slightly and help you lose a few pounds, but that’s where it ends, unfortunately. Cutting the intake of carbohydrates eating more protein and regular body exercise are still the best ways to lose weight.


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