It's no secret that regular exercise and a healthy diet are two main factors in weight loss. However, adding nutritional supplements to your diet can help increase your chances for losing weight and keeping it off.
There are two major factors that promote optimal weight management: regular exercise and a well-balanced diet. Exercising burns calories, strengthens the heart, and improves circulation which boosts the transport of oxygen and nutrients through the blood, including those that support weight loss.
Maintaining healthy eating habits helps ensure that the body receives a daily supply of quality vitamins, amino acids, and minerals; however, optimal amounts of nutrients that promote weight control are not always consumed due to a number of different factors (e.g. busy schedules, changes in appetites).
Adding nutritional supplements to the diet provides the body with ample amounts of nutrients that support long-term weight management. More specifically, research shows that supplements such as raspberry ketone, epigallocatechin gallate, chromium picolinate, L-carnitine, beta-alanine, L-tryptophan, and zinc provide numerous benefits that include enhanced fat-burning, heightened metabolism, and increased lean muscle mass. Let’s take a closer look at the research.
1. Raspberry Ketone
Raspberry ketone is a red raspberry extract that promotes weight management by enhancing the body’s metabolism of brown and white fat as well as preventing the absorption of dietary fat in the small intestine.1 It elicits this activity by increasing norepinephrine-induced breakdown of white fat in cells that typically store body fat and by heightening the heat-producing potential of brown fat.2
White fat is stored in cells that make up connective tissue and is mostly found under the skin as well as around the organs. It functions as an energy source and protective insulation for vital organs, but unlike brown fat, it does not produce heat.3 Brown fat is also found under the skin, particularly in the upper back, neck, and shoulders, and it rapidly produces heat that helps regulate body temperature, especially during cold weather.
Adults who have more brown fat than white are usually slender, and weight typically begins to increase as the levels of white fat in the body increase. Indeed, a high carbohydrate diet and enhanced insulin activity can stimulate the overproduction of white fat as well as the storage of excess fat, and this may contribute to obesity.4
Research shows that raspberry ketones stimulate the production of and transport adiponectin, which is a protein that promotes the breakdown of white fat and prevents it from accumulating.5 Raspberry ketone also enhances the production of several enzymes that break down triglycerides (fats) such as hormone sensitive lipase (HSL) and adipose TG lipase (ATGL).5,6 Therefore, raspberry ketone has anti-obesity properties due to its ability to target body fat.4-6 The amount of raspberry ketone in nutritional supplements typically ranges from 100 mg to 400 mg.7
2. Epigallocatechin Gallate
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a powerful nutrient found in green tea extract that heightens fat metabolism during exercise and at rest.8 More specifically, two studies showed that a group of individuals who took 300 mg of EGCG daily for two to three days experienced an increase in the breakdown of fat after they consumed a meal and were at rest.9,10
In addition to enhancing fat metabolism, EGCG also increases thermogenesis, which refers to the production of heat as calories are burned.9,11 It is proposed that these processes target body fat and in doing so, help reduce body weight. EGCG supplementation improves the body’s natural fat-burning potential, especially after eating a meal, and thus supports weight loss.