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The right supplements can make any diet and exercise program work better, by giving you a jump start, curbing appetite, and helping you stay motivated so you lose more weight. Our top 10 include relative newcomers and classics. See how each one works and pick those that tackle your personal obstacles to success.
GET A JUMP START
Stagnant water weight can make you look and feel bloated. Herbal diuretics help you eliminate toxins and shed excess water quickly, for a motivating jump-start. Popular ones include dandelion extract and uva ursi, and formulas are available with or without caffeine.
Try:Solgar Natural Herbal Diuretic helps flush water weight with uva ursi, buchu, juniper, parsley, and barberry extracts.
Your sense of taste and smell can help you feel satisfied with less food, and lose weight. That’s the idea behind Sensa, developed by a doctor who specializes in treating smell and taste disorders. The product consists of flavored crystals that you sprinkle on food. By enhancing flavor and aroma, it curbs appetite.
In a study of 1,463 men and women, using Sensa led to an average weight loss of 30.5 pounds in 6 months, compared to a 2-pound loss with a placebo. People in the study were not asked to change their eating or exercise habits, but those using Sensa ate less.
The crystals are designed to be used for six months, with different flavor blends for each month. This prevents your body from becoming too accustomed to each flavor, which would make it less effective. Each month, there is one shaker of crystals for salty foods and another for sweet ones. If you want to use Sensa for more than six months, start over with the first month’s crystals.
Try: Sensa Whole Body works with the body’s senses to help you eat less—simply sprinkle evenly over food before eating.
TRIGGER A FAT-BURNING HORMONE
The compounds that give red raspberries their aroma, raspberry ketones increase the activity of a hormone called adiponectin, which promotes fat burning. Animal and test-tube studies show that the supplement breaks down fat cells and reduces the amount of fat that gets stored. It should be used with a healthy diet and exercise program.
Try: iSatori Razberri Ketone-Slim features 200 mg of pure pharmaceutical-grade raspberry ketones.
SHRINK BELLY FAT
Studies at Ohio State University found that among post-menopausal women with type 2 diabetes, simply adding safflower oil to a regular diet reduced belly fat by 6.3 percent in 16 weeks. And, the oil lowered inflammation and blood-sugar levels.
Combining a highly absorbable form of safflower oil called SAFActive78 with a diet and exercise program may produce even better results. In a contest, The Lean Belly Challenge, sponsored by SafSlim, people who took SafSlim and followed a reduced-calorie diet and regular exercise program lost up to 7 inches and 15 pounds in 12 weeks.
Try: RE-Body SafSlim contains high-linoleic safflower oil (SAFActive78).
STOP STRESS EATING
Stress can lead to cravings for carbohydrate-rich snacks, which trigger feel-good hormones, but saffron extract has been shown to trigger these same hormones without any calories. In a study of 60 overweight women, published in Nutrition Research, those taking a proprietary extract of saffron extract for 8 weeks reduced snacking by 55 percent, between-meal hunger by 84 percent, and cravings for sugary snacks by 78 percent.
Try: Paradise Herbs Saffr-Tone Saffron Extract contains the full spectrum of active and synergistic constituents from the whole spice.
STOP STRESS EATING
Green Coffee Extract
Green coffee beans contain cholorogenic acids, therapeutic substances that are destroyed when coffee is roasted, but are available in green coffee extract. The supplement reduces appetite and fat storage by slowing down absorption of carbohydrates and sugar. A study of green coffee extract, by Dr. Oz on his TV show, compared the supplement with a placebo in 100 women. None changed their diet or physical activity, but all kept a food journal. In two weeks, women taking the extract lost 2 pounds, whereas placebo takers lost only 1 pound.
Try: Futurebiotics Green Coffee Extract is standardized to contain 50% (200 mg) chlorogenic acid.
Aside from the energy-enhancing effects of caffeine, green tea contains a catechin known as EGCG, which studies show helps reduce body weight. One study demonstrated that combining EGCG with exercise can decrease body fat, especially abdominal fat. Overweight people who drank a beverage high in EGCG for 12 weeks and exercised moderately three times a week lost more body fat than a placebo group who exercised but did not take the extract, according to a study published in Journal of Nutrition.
Try: Celsius Raspberry Acai Green Tea blends green tea with several fat-burning herbs.
FEEL SATISFIED WITH LESS FOOD
Two special fiber supplements, glucomannan and PGX, are particularly helpful with weight loss. Small quantities of these expand in the stomach so you feel full with less food.
Glucomannan is found in konjac root, a Japanese plant, and studies have found that it can also lower cholesterol and triglycerides. PGX, made from plant fibers, is formulated to hold a lot of water and be gentle on the stomach. And both fibers reduce ups and downs in levels of blood sugar, reducing cravings and fat storage.
Take glucomannan in capsules, 2 grams with water before meals. Or, take PGX in capsules or powder, 5 gm with plenty of water, 5 to 10 minutes before a meal.
Try: Natural Factors PGX Daily, formulated to help you feel full faster.
PRESERVE MUSCLE WHILE LOSING FAT
CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid)
A healthy fat found in grass-fed beef, CLA increases the breakdown and burning of fat, may reduce the number of fat cells and amount of fat stored,
and helps to preserve muscle and other lean tissue. A proprietary form of CLA, Tonalin, has been tested in several weight-loss studies. In one two-year study, researchers found that Tonalin not only produced fat loss but also prevented weight regain.
Try: Source Naturals Tonalin 1000 CLA features the proprietary form of CLA used in studies.
LOSE MORE WEIGHT
A study published in Lipids in Health and Disease found that men and women who supplemented with African mango extract for one month lost an average of nearly 9 pounds. Meanwhile, a placebo group loss less than 1 pound. Additionally, study subjects taking African mango extract 30 minutes before meals lost an average of 2.4 inches from their waistlines and 1.8 inches from their hips. In single supplements, take 1,000 mg per day; in formulas, follow label instructions.
Try: Creative Bioscience Raspberry Ketone 1234. This weight loss formula combines African mango extract with raspberry ketones and other nutrients.
MAKE STARCH CALORIES DISAPPEAR
White Kidney Bean Extract
Cutting back on starchy carbs is one of the most difficult things to do, but white kidney bean extract makes it easier. It has been shown to stop about 80 percent of starch calories from being absorbed—as though you never ate them. Those starch calories turn into fiber that is eliminated. A patented extract of white kidney beans is sold under the name Phase 2 and is specially formulated to be gentle on digestion and, unlike beans, does not cause gas.
Try: Top Secret Nutrition Extreme Jitter Free Fat Burner combines white kidney bean extract, raspberry ketones, green coffee extract, and other ingredients known to help your body burn fat, promote energy, and raise metabolism.