When looking for a weight-loss supplement, understanding the potential ways each type of ingredient may affect weight-loss can help with the decision. For example, people who have trouble controlling their appetite may want to choose a weight loss supplement that contains fiber or other appetite suppressants.
Thermogenic and Fat-Burning Supplements
One of the more popular types of supplements is thermogenic pills for weight loss. The most well-researched of these supplements include green tea extract, caffeine, pyruvate and green coffee bean extract. Other ingredients that may have thermogenic effects and either increase metabolism or help increase fat burning include bitter orange, calcium, fucoxanthin and garcinia cambogia. The theory is that the increase in metabolism or fat-burning will help increase weight loss compared to diet and exercise alone.
Fiber helps keep people feeling full for longer, so increasing fiber intake – either through food or supplements- can sometimes help keep people from feeling too hungry when trying to lose weight. Some types of fiber commonly included in weight-loss supplements include guar gum, glucomannan and chitosan. Soluble forms of fiber such as these soak up water and expand, taking up room in the stomach and making it easier to eat less.
One of the more effective carbohydrate blockers is white kidney bean extract. This type of bean inhibits the digestion and absorption of starchy carbohydrates, and as such can help people who eat a lot of carbohydrates lose a modest amount of weight.
Not all of the weight-loss supplement ingredients that may help suppress appetite are types of fiber. Preliminary evidence suggests that bitter orange, chromium, forskolin, garcinia cambogia and hoodia gordonii may also help with this, although more research is necessary to verify these effects.
Check with a doctor before taking any type of weight-loss supplement, as some of the ingredients may interact with certain prescription medications. These interactions can cause dangerous side effects. In the absense of interactions, the side effects of these ingredients tend to be relatively mild and include constipation, gas, nausea, diarrhea, headache and upset stomach. Large doses increase the risk of adverse effects, however, and may cause high blood pressure or irregular heartbeat in some cases, so don’t take more than the recommended amount.