Trying to lose weight can be difficult. Weight loss supplements sound like a good idea, but you have to wonder if they are, and if so, which ones work and are safe. Just as you probably suspected, some weight loss supplements are better than others. You can get these supplements at drugstores, supermarkets, health foods stores or online. You should be careful, warns MayoClinic.com, because some weight loss supplements may be ineffective or even dangerous. Read the labels and before taking any supplements, discuss their safety and effectiveness with your doctor or pharmacist.
Alli is the over-the counter version of orlistat, the prescription drug Xenical. Alli helps you lose weight by decreasing the amount of fat your body absorbs. It works by disabling an enzyme called lipase that stores fat. Rather than store the fat, you eliminate it through bowel movements. You take Alli when you eat meals that contain fat. You should not eat more than 15 grams of fat when you take Alli because you could wind up with diarrhea, gas or bloating. You can expect to lose 3 to 5 lbs. per year if you take Alli and do nothing else to aid in your weight loss. Ideally, you should combine Alli with a reduced calorie diet and exercise for maximum weight loss benefits. The Food and Drug Administration is reviewing Alli because of reports of this supplement possibly causing liver damage.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid
Conjugated linoleic acid, a fatty acid found in beef and dairy products, reduces body fat and builds muscle, according to MayoClinic.com. Results are achieved without diet or exercise. CLA may also increase your metabolic rate, according to Mercola.com. You can lose about 1 lb. per month with CLA supplements.
Green tea may boost your metabolism to help you lose weight and burn fat, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Polyphenols, substances in green tea, are what cause the fat-burning effect.
Bitter orange may help you lose weight, but this supplement may not be safe, according to MayoClinic.com. Bitter orange became a substitute for ephedra after the Food and Drug Administration banned it. But, because bitter orange is also a stimulant like ephedra, it can cause similar health risks, such as an increased heart rate and elevated blood pressure.