Maintaining a healthy weight is by no means a superficial goal – it acts as a buffer against a host of life-threatening complications. One of the gravest threats posed by obesity is heart disease, a major killer both in the UK and worldwide. It is therefore imperative to take steps to keep your weight at a healthy level to lead a long and fulfilling life.
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Weight loss requires a multi-pronged approach but if you are just starting out, even small steps can help.
According to Dr Diana Gall of Doctor 4 U, taking dietary supplements alongside a healthy diet and exercise can help you to achieve your weight loss goals.
Dr Diana recommends the following five supplements:
As Dr Diana explains, you should avoid the types found in chocolate or processed food and drinks because the other ingredients in these items will cancel out the benefits provided by the caffeine intake.
Caffeine in itself is a metabolism booster and fat burner, however, which is why it is added to a lot of weight loss supplements, she says.
In fact, short-term studies have shown that caffeine can boost metabolism by three to 11 percent, and increase fat burning by up to 29 percent.
According to Dr Diana, orlistat, the active ingredient found in weight loss drugs Xenical and Alli, helps break down the fat from food, and in turn, lowers the number of calories taken in from said fat.
Evidence bolsters this claim. According to a big review of 11 studies, orlistat can increase weight loss by six pounds (2.7 kg) compared to a dummy pill.
Green tea extract
Dr Diana says: “Green tea extract is an antioxidant and a number of studies have shown the main antioxidant in green tea (EGCG) assists in burning fat.”
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Antioxidants are molecules produced in your body that have been shown to encourage weight loss.
Many human studies have shown that green tea extract can increase fat burning and cause fat loss, especially in the belly area.
This is particularly significant because belly fat is the most harmful form of fat due to its positioning near vital organs, such as the liver and intestines.
“As opposed to the other supplements, Saxenda is a prescription weekly injection with the main ingredients being liraglutide,” she explains.
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According to Dr Dr Diana, liraglutide works like the hormone GLP-1, which helps helps to suppress your appetite and reduce cravings.
Glucomannan is a fibre from the roots of konjac or elephant yam, says Dr Diana.
“As it is highly absorbent, glucomannan binds to water in the gut forming a gel-like substance which helps make you feel more full, leading you to eat less,” she says.
Evidence points the fat-burning potential of taking glucomannan supplements.
Three human studies showed that glucomannan, combined with a healthy diet, can help people lose 8-10 pounds (3.6-4.5 kg) of weight in five weeks
As Dr Diana cautions, any weight loss supplements are not miracle cures or going to help you shed stones overnight, but combined with a healthy diet and exercise can help alongside your weight loss goals.
“You should speak to your doctor before taking any prescription supplements,” she adds.
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