How it works

419 Comments

Dietary Supplements for Weight Loss
The life-span extension of these worms was the equivalent of keeping a man alive for to years. Similarly, a meta-analysis of eight trials that included participants found that glucomannan did not significantly affect weight loss compared to placebo [ ]. How about avoiding food after 3 or 4 pm every day? They are loojing for quality and, of course, the ribht price. Some of the benefits of these specific vitamins and minerals include:. New dietary supplements for obesity:

What are GNC Lean Shakes?

Best Meal Replacement Shakes

The authors of a systematic review and meta-analysis of seven randomized controlled trials concluded that taking 2. However, the authors noted that the "magnitude of these effects is small, and the clinical relevance is uncertain. CLA appears to be well tolerated. Most reported adverse effects are minor, consisting mainly of gastrointestinal disturbances, such as abdominal discomfort and pain, constipation, diarrhea, loose stools, nausea, vomiting, and dyspepsia [ 3 , , , , , ].

CLA might also increase some markers of oxidative stress and decrease breastmilk fat levels, but additional research is needed to confirm these effects [ ].

CLA has been linked to hepatitis in three case reports [ ]. However, whether CLA caused this toxicity cannot be definitively established because the products were not analyzed to rule out the presence of a contaminant. CLA might adversely affect lipid profiles, although results from studies are inconsistent.

Some research indicates that CLA has no major effect on lipid profiles, but other research shows that certain CLA isomers might decrease HDL cholesterol and increase lipoprotein a levels [ , , , ]. The CLA isomer t10cCLA has also been reported to increase insulin resistance and glycemia in obese men with metabolic syndrome [ , ]. Fucoxanthin is a carotenoid in brown seaweed and other algae. Results from laboratory and animal studies suggest that fucoxanthin might promote weight loss by increasing resting energy expenditure and fatty acid oxidation as well as by suppressing adipocyte differentiation and lipid accumulation [ , ].

Only one clinical trial has been conducted on the possible weight-loss effects of fucoxanthin. The safety of fucoxanthin has not been thoroughly evaluated in humans. Garcinia cambogia is a fruit-bearing tree that grows throughout Asia, Africa, and the Polynesian islands [ ]. The pulp and rind of its fruit contain high amounts of hydroxycitric acid HCA , a compound that has been proposed to inhibit lipogenesis, increase hepatic glycogen synthesis, suppress food intake, and reduce weight gain [ 6 , 15 , , , ].

Studies in rats have found that Garcinia cambogia suppresses food intake and inhibits weight gain [ 3 ]. In humans, however, the evidence on whether Garcinia cambogia or HCA is effective for weight loss is conflicting, and any effects it has appear to be small [ 6 , 17 , ]. In one randomized, placebo-controlled trial, 89 mildly overweight women mean BMI Women receiving Garcinia cambogia lost significantly more weight 3.

However, Garcinia cambogia did not alter appetite, and the study produced no evidence that the supplement affected feelings of satiety. Participants in both groups lost weight, but the between-group weight-loss differences were not statistically significant. HCA also had no effect on body fat loss. A review and meta-analysis of 12 randomized controlled trials with a total of participants examined the effects of Garcinia cambogia on weight loss [ ].

Therefore, the effect of Garcinia cambogia on body weight remains uncertain. The reported adverse effects of Garcinia cambogia and HCA are generally mild and include headache, nausea, upper respiratory tract symptoms, and gastrointestinal symptoms [ , , ]. However, dietary supplements containing Garcinia cambogia have been implicated in three cases of mania, which might have been caused by the serotonergic activity of HCA [ ].

Symptoms included grandiosity an unrealistic sense of superiority , irritability, pressured speech, and decreased need for sleep. Reports have also described 10 cases of liver toxicity, resulting in one death and two liver transplants, in people taking products containing Garcinia cambogia [ 43 , ].

In most of these cases, the products contained other botanical ingredients and minerals as well, so the toxicity cannot be definitively attributed to Garcinia cambogia. Because all clinical trials of Garcinia cambogia and HCA have been short, its long-term safety is unknown. Glucomannan is a soluble dietary fiber derived from konjac root Amorphophallus konjac that can absorb up to 50 times its weight in water [ 16 ].

Like guar gum, glucomannan has been proposed to increase feelings of satiety and fullness and prolong gastric emptying by absorbing water in the gastrointestinal tract [ 16 , , ]. It might also reduce fat and protein absorption in the gut [ 16 ]. Glucomannan appears to have beneficial effects on blood lipids and glucose levels [ ], but its effects on weight loss are inconsistent. At the end of the study, glucomannan produced significantly greater weight loss mean loss of 2.

In another study conducted in the United States, supplementation with glucomannan 3. Eight weeks of glucomannan supplementation 1. The authors of a systematic review of six randomized controlled trials with a total of participants concluded that 1.

Similarly, a meta-analysis of eight trials that included participants found that glucomannan did not significantly affect weight loss compared to placebo [ ].

The authors of an older meta-analysis of 14 studies designed primarily to investigate glucomannan's effect on lipid and blood glucose levels concluded that 1.

Little is known about the long-term safety of glucomannan. Glucomannan appears to be well tolerated for short-term use, with minor adverse effects, including belching, bloating, loose stools, flatulence, diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal discomfort [ , , , ].

The use of tablet forms of glucomannan was reported to be associated with seven cases of esophageal obstruction in — in Australia [ 99 ]. Users should therefore be cautious when taking glucomannan tablets. Powdered and capsule forms have not been associated with this effect [ ]. The seeds or beans of the coffee plant Coffea arabica, Coffea canephora, Coffea robusta are green until they are roasted. Compared to roasted beans, green coffee beans have higher levels of chlorogenic acid.

Green coffee extract, probably because of its chlorogenic acid content, inhibits fat accumulation in mice and humans by regulating adipogenesis. Green coffee extract also modulates glucose metabolism [ ], perhaps by reducing glucose absorption in the gut [ ]. Green coffee beans contain caffeine see section on caffeine above [ ], although decaffeinated forms are available [ 16 ]. In mice, green coffee bean extract in combination with a high-fat diet significantly reduced body weight gain and fat mass [ , ].

Only a few clinical trials have examined the effects of green coffee bean on weight loss in humans, and all were of poor methodological quality. The researchers concluded that green coffee extract has a moderate but significant effect on body weight mean weight loss of 2.

The authors of another small clinical trial claimed to show a benefit of green coffee extract for weight loss [ ], but the study was strongly criticized by the Federal Trade Commission for having several critical flaws in its design [ , ]. Two of the three study authors subsequently retracted the journal publication.

Green coffee extract appears to be well tolerated, but its safety has not been rigorously studied. Reported adverse effects include headaches and urinary tract infections [ ]. The caffeine naturally present in green coffee beans acts as a stimulant and can cause adverse effects, depending on the dose and whether it is combined with other stimulants see section on caffeine above.

Green tea Camellia sinensis is a popular beverage consumed worldwide that has several purported health benefits [ ]. Green tea is present in some dietary supplements, frequently in the form of green tea extract. The active components of green tea that are associated with weight loss are caffeine see section on caffeine above and catechins, primarily epigallocatechin gallate EGCG , which is a flavonoid [ 41 , ].

A typical brewed cup of green tea has about — mg catechins [ ] and 45 mg caffeine. It has been suggested that green tea and its components might reduce body weight by increasing energy expenditure and fat oxidation, reducing lipogenesis, and decreasing fat absorption [ 41 , ]. Green tea might also decrease carbohydrate digestion and absorption [ ]. Available green tea extracts cover the range from minimally processed tea leaves to highly processed, manufactured concentrates of single constituents, such as EGCG.

The authors of a meta-analysis of six randomized controlled trials with a total of 98 participants found that caffeine alone or in combination with catechins significantly increases energy expenditure in a dose-dependent fashion compared with placebo [ ]. This effect might be important for maintaining weight loss by helping counteract the decrease in metabolic rate that can occur during weight loss.

Catechins combined with caffeine also significantly increase fat oxidation, but caffeine alone does not. Other human research indicates that EGCG alone does not increase resting metabolic rate, fat oxidation, or the thermic effect of feeding the increase in metabolic rate associated with the digestion and absorption of food [ , ].

Taken together, these findings suggest that green tea catechins and caffeine might act synergistically [ 41 , , ]. Several human studies have examined the effects of green tea catechins on weight loss and weight maintenance. A Cochrane review analyzed the results from 14 randomized controlled trials of green tea preparations in a total of 1, overweight or obese participants [ ].

The trials lasted from 12 to 13 weeks, and doses of green tea catechins ranged from to 1, mg; in 10 of the 14 trials, the green tea preparations contained caffeine. Green tea supplementation reduced body weight by a mean of 0.

However, when the authors analyzed the six studies that were conducted outside of Japan where study methodologies were less heterogeneous than in the Japanese studies , they found no statistically significant difference in weight loss for green tea compared to placebo.

The authors reported that green tea catechins combined with caffeine over a median of 12 weeks modestly yet significantly reduced body weight by a mean of 1. Only two studies in this meta-analysis examined the effects of green tea catechins alone.

Their results suggest that green tea catechins alone do not affect body weight or other anthropometric measurements. A meta-analysis of 11 randomized controlled trials found that people who took EGCG combined with caffeine for 12—13 weeks lost a mean of 1. In , EFSA examined health claims related to green tea and concluded that "a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of catechins including EGCG from green tea…and contribution to the maintenance or achievement of a normal body weight" [ ].

Taken together, the findings of these studies suggest that if green tea is an effective weight-loss aid, any effect it has is small and not likely to be clinically relevant [ , ]. No adverse effects have been reported from the consumption of green tea as a beverage [ ]. For green tea extract, most reported adverse effects are mild to moderate, and they include nausea, constipation, abdominal discomfort, and increased blood pressure [ ]. Toxicology studies in rats and mice show that green tea extract does not cause cancer but does cause nonneoplastic lesions in many areas of the body, including the nose, liver, and bone marrow [ ].

Other evidence in mice shows that high doses of catechins cause liver toxicity. There is also increasing evidence in humans that green tea extract might cause liver damage, though the underlying mechanism is not well understood [ ].

An analysis of 1, postmenopausal women participating in the Minnesota Green Tea Trial found that women who consumed green tea extract containing 1, mg total catechins including mg EGCG and Consumption of some green tea extracts—primarily ethanolic extracts of green tea—has also been linked to liver damage in at least 50 case reports since [ 43 , ].

In , the U. Pharmacopeia USP systematically reviewed the safety of green tea products [ ]. The USP noted that problems are more likely when green tea extract is taken on an empty stomach and, therefore, advises taking green tea extracts with food to minimize the possible risk of liver damage. Other researchers and medical experts advise using dietary supplements containing green tea extract only with caution [ ].

Guarana see section on caffeine above. Guar gum is a soluble dietary fiber derived from seeds of the Indian cluster bean Cyamopsis tetragonolobus [ 16 , ]. Guar gum is present in certain dietary supplements and is an ingredient in some food products, especially gluten-free baked goods, because it helps bind and thicken these products.

Like glucomannan, guar gum is purported to promote weight loss by acting as a bulking agent in the gut, delaying gastric emptying, increasing feelings of satiety, and, theoretically, decreasing appetite and food intake [ 16 , ]. However, guar gum does not appear to enhance weight loss.

In a meta-analysis of 20 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials that statistically pooled data from 11 trials, Pittler and colleagues evaluated the effects of guar gum for body weight reduction in a total of adults [ ].

Trial participants included people with hypercholesterolemia, hyperlipidemia, or type 1 or type 2 diabetes; menopausal women; and healthy volunteers. Compared with placebo, guar gum had no significant effect on weight loss. The authors concluded that guar gum is not effective for body weight reduction. Reported adverse effects for guar gum are primarily gastrointestinal and include abdominal pain, flatulence, diarrhea, increased number of bowel movements, nausea, and cramps [ , , ].

Case reports indicate that guar gum can cause severe esophageal and small-bowel obstruction if taken without sufficient fluid [ , ]. However, these reports were about a guar gum product that is no longer available [ ]. In their meta-analysis, Pittler and colleagues concluded that given the adverse effects associated with the use of guar gum, the risks of taking it outweigh its benefits [ ].

Hoodia gordonii is a succulent plant that grows in the Kalahari Desert of southern Africa. The San people have traditionally used hoodia as an appetite suppressant during long hunts. This anecdotal evidence, combined with results of a few animal studies indicating that hoodia reduces food intake [ ], led to the widespread marketing of hoodia as a weight-loss supplement in the United States in the early s.

Scientists have not determined the exact mechanism whereby hoodia might suppress appetite. A glycoside commonly called P57, which may have central nervous system activity [ ], is widely believed to be the main active ingredient, although not all researchers agree [ 16 , ].

Despite its popularity as a weight-loss supplement, very little scientific research on hoodia has been conducted in humans [ ]. Compared to placebo, hoodia extract had no significant effect on energy intake or body weight. Hoodia has been reported to cause significant increases in heart rate and blood pressure [ ].

It also raises bilirubin and alkaline phosphatase levels which may indicate impaired liver function , although the clinical significance of these findings is unclear because hoodia has not been reported to affect levels of other liver enzymes.

Other side effects include headache, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. In the past, some hoodia products were found to contain little or no hoodia [ ].

Maté see section on caffeine above. The human microbiota, which outnumber human cells by up to fold, have myriad roles in human health [ , ].

Although microbes are found throughout the human body, the vast majority inhabit the colon. The gut microbiota play an important role in nutrient and energy extraction from food. Research in mice suggests that the gut microbiota affect not only energy utilization from the diet, but also energy expenditure and storage within the host [ ].

Whether these effects translate to humans is not yet clear. However, manipulating the gut microbiota has been proposed as a method to prevent or treat obesity in humans, and probiotics might provide a way to accomplish this.

Probiotics are in foods such as yogurt as well as dietary supplements. The many different strains of probiotics include lactobacilli, streptococci, and bifidobacteria, which all have widely varying effects in the body [ , ]. Most of the research on probiotics and its influence on the gut microbiota and obesity has been in mice, and the results have been promising. For example, probiotic supplementation reduced body weight gain and fat accumulation in obese mice fed a high-fat diet [ ].

A limited number of human clinical trials have been conducted and have had inconsistent results. However, a systematic review and meta-analysis of four randomized controlled trials including the one described above found no significant effect of probiotics on body weight or BMI [ ].

The researchers noted that the limited number of trials, small samples, and poor methodological quality of the trials limited their ability to draw firm conclusions. Additional research is needed to fully understand the potential effects of probiotics on body weight and obesity in humans. Probiotics from foods or dietary supplements are safe in healthy people. No serious adverse effects have been reported in clinical trials [ , ], and side effects are usually minor, consisting of gastrointestinal symptoms, such as gas [ ].

Pyruvate is a three-carbon compound that is generated in the body through glycolysis [ ]. Pyruvate is also available as a dietary supplement, frequently in the form of calcium pyruvate. Researchers have suggested that pyruvate enhances exercise performance and reduces body weight and body fat, possibly by increasing lipolysis and energy expenditure [ 6 , , ].

Only a few studies have examined the effects of pyruvate supplementation in humans. Although some of these studies suggest that pyruvate decreases body weight and body fat, others do not. At the end of the trial, the pyruvate group had significant decreases in body weight mean loss of 1.

In the placebo group, these measurements did not change significantly compared to baseline. However, a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 23 overweight women mean BMI The authors of a systematic review and meta-analysis of 6 randomized controlled trials in a total of participants concluded that 5—30 g pyruvate for 3—6 weeks reduces body weight by a mean of 0.

However, the authors noted that the methodological quality of all trials is weak, preventing them from drawing firm conclusions. The safety of pyruvate has not been rigorously studied.

Additional research is needed to better understand the safety and possible side effects of this compound. Raspberry ketone is the primary aroma compound found in red raspberries Rubus idaeus , and it is added to some foods as a flavoring agent [ 16 , ]. In vitro and animal studies suggest that raspberry ketone might help prevent weight gain by increasing fatty acid oxidation, suppressing lipid accumulation, and inhibiting pancreatic lipase activity [ 16 ].

Although it has been touted on the Internet and national television as an effective way to burn fat, little evidence exists to support this claim. In mice fed a high-fat diet, raspberry ketone supplementation reduced food intake and body weight compared to the same diet without raspberry ketone [ ]. Only one randomized controlled trial has examined the effects of a dietary supplement containing raspberry ketone on weight loss. This product contained 2, mg of a proprietary blend of raspberry ketone, caffeine, bitter orange, ginger, garlic, cayenne, L-theanine, and pepper extract along with B- vitamins and chromium.

During the 8-week study, participants followed a calorie-restricted diet approximately calories less per day than estimated needs and engaged in moderate exercise 60 minutes 3 days per week. However, 25 of the 70 participants dropped out of the study, and results were reported for only the 45 participants who completed the study i. Furthermore, the product contained many ingredients in addition to raspberry ketone, making it impossible to determine the effects of raspberry ketone alone.

Typical diets provide only a few mg of raspberry ketones a day. Doses contained in dietary supplements typically range from to 1, mg, and the safety of such doses has never been evaluated in humans [ ]. However, additional research on raspberry ketone is needed to better understand its safety and side effects. Vitamin D, which is fat soluble, is present in a few foods, such as fatty fish, cheese, egg yolks, and vitamin D-fortified milk.

It is also available in many dietary supplements, and humans synthesize it naturally when their skin is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the gastrointestinal tract and is needed for proper bone growth and remodeling [ 56 ]. Observational studies indicate that greater body weights are associated with lower vitamin D status, and obese individuals frequently have marginal or deficient circulating levels of vitamin D [ ]. Nevertheless, the association between vitamin D and obesity raises the question of whether increasing vitamin D concentrations might reduce body weight [ , ].

Despite the association between low vitamin D levels and obesity, scientific evidence does not support a cause-and-effect relationship.

The authors commented that the cause of this finding might have been stored vitamin D in body fat and skeletal muscle that was released during weight loss. However, according to a meta-analysis of 12 vitamin D supplementation trials including 5 in which body composition measurements were primary outcomes , vitamin D supplements without calorie restriction did not affect body weight or fat mass compared to placebo [ ].

Overall, the available research suggests that consuming higher amounts of vitamin D or taking vitamin D supplements does not promote weight loss. Vitamin D toxicity can cause anorexia, weight loss, polyuria, and heart arrhythmias. It can also raise calcium blood levels, which can cause vascular and tissue calcification. White kidney bean or bean pod Phaseolus vulgaris is a legume that is native to Mexico, Central America, and South America and is cultivated worldwide [ ].

Phaseolus vulgaris extract is an ingredient in some weight-loss dietary supplements marketed as carbohydrate- or starch-absorption "blockers. Phaseolus vulgaris might also act as an appetite suppressant [ , ]. The effect of Phaseolus vulgaris on weight loss and body fat has been examined in a few clinical trials, which had inconsistent results.

After 30 days, those receiving Phaseolus vulgaris extract lost significantly more weight mean weight loss 2. Those in the Phaseolus vulgaris group also experienced a significantly greater reduction in fat mass, adipose tissue thickness, and waist—hip—thigh circumference. However, the authors noted that the quality of the trials included in their review was poor, making it impossible to draw firm conclusions. After the publication of that review, a week clinical trial in overweight and obese men and women showed that Phaseolus vulgaris modestly yet significantly reduced body weight and body fat [ ].

Compared to those taking placebo, those receiving Phaseolus vulgaris lost significantly more body weight mean loss of 2. Reported adverse effects for Phaseolus vulgaris are minor and include headaches, soft stools, flatulence, and constipation [ ]. No serious adverse effects of Phaseolus vulgaris have been reported in clinical trials, but no trials have lasted longer than 13 weeks.

Yerba Maté see section on caffeine above. Yohimbe Pausinystalia yohimbe, Pausinystalia johimbe is a West African evergreen tree. Yohimbine has hyperadrenergic physiological effects because it acts as an alpha-2 receptor antagonist [ 6 , ].

Yohimbe extract is an ingredient in some dietary supplements that are promoted for libido enhancement, body building, and weight loss [ ], but it is used primarily as a traditional remedy for sexual dysfunction in men.

The authors of a review of yohimbe concluded that no conclusive evidence indicates that yohimbe affects body weight or body mass [ ]. The author of a review of yohimbe reached similar conclusions, noting that results from small human trials of yohimbine for weight loss are contradictory and the evidence base is insufficient to support a weight loss claim for this compound [ ].

Yohimbe can be dangerous. Taking 20 to 40 mg of yohimbine has been reported to increase blood pressure slightly, whereas doses of mg or higher can cause headaches, hypertension, anxiety, agitation, tachycardia, myocardial infarction, cardiac failure, and death [ 43 , , , , ]. More recently, dietary supplements containing yohimbe accounted for 1, self-reports to U.

Although yohimbe is generally well tolerated at low doses [ ], no safe dose has been established for it. Yohimbe should only be used under medical supervision because of its potential to produce serious adverse effects [ ]. Ephedra sinica, Ephedra equisentina, and Ephedra intermedia [ ]. The active compounds, which are in the plant's stem and account for about 1.

In the s, ephedra—frequently combined with caffeine—was a popular ingredient in dietary supplements sold for weight loss and to enhance athletic performance.

The FDA no longer permits the use of ephedra in dietary supplements because of safety concerns that are detailed below, but information is provided here in response to continued interest in this ingredient.

Ephedrine acts as a stimulant in the central nervous system [ , ], and it might increase thermogenesis and act as an appetite suppressant [ ]. The authors of a meta- analysis that included 20 clinical trials concluded that ephedrine and ephedra are modestly effective for short-term weight loss 6 months or less , but no studies have assessed their long-term effects [ ].

While ephedra was available as a dietary supplement ingredient in the United States, its use with or without caffeine was associated with numerous reported adverse effects, including nausea, vomiting, psychiatric symptoms such as anxiety and mood change , hypertension, palpitations, stroke, seizures, heart attack, and death [ , ]. Although these reported adverse effects could not be linked with certainty to the use of ephedra-containing dietary supplements, the FDA deemed the safety concerns serious enough to prohibit the sale of dietary supplements containing ephedrine alkaloids in [ ].

As a result of this ruling, manufacturers are no longer permitted to sell dietary supplements containing ephedrine alkaloids in the United States. Like all dietary supplements, weight-loss supplements can have side effects and might interact with prescription and over-the-counter medications.

In some cases, the active constituents of botanical or other ingredients promoted for weight loss are unknown or uncharacterized [ 29 ]. Furthermore, many weight-loss supplements contain multiple ingredients that have not been adequately tested in combination with one another.

Pittler and Ernst noted that for ingredients lacking convincing evidence of effectiveness, "even minor adverse events shift the delicate risk-benefits balance against their use" [ 6 ]. People need to talk with their healthcare providers about the use of weight-loss dietary supplements to understand what is known—and not known—about these products.

Messages like "magic diet pill! At best, products with claims like these do not live up to them, and even worse, they could be dangerous. Between January and December , dietary supplements were subject to a Class I recall by the FDA, indicating a reasonable probability that use of or exposure to these products would cause serious adverse health consequences. In most cases, the recall was due to the presence of undeclared drug ingredients.

In , the FDA issued 36 public notifications warning consumers not to purchase specific weight-loss products because they contained a hidden drug ingredient—often sibutramine, a weight-loss medication that was withdrawn from the U. A product represented as a dietary supplement that contains one or more drug ingredients, whether or not these ingredients are declared on the label, is considered an unapproved drug and is therefore subject to enforcement action by the FDA.

The FDA maintains a webpage listing public notifications about tainted weight-loss products. Some ingredients in weight-loss dietary supplements can interact with certain medications. For example, glucomannan and guar gum might decrease the absorption of many drugs that are taken orally [ , ]. Glucomannan has been reported to lower blood glucose levels [ ] and, therefore, could interact with diabetes medications [ ]. Chitosan might potentiate the anticoagulant effects of warfarin [ ].

Green tea could interact with chemotherapy drugs [ , ]. Garcinia cambogia was associated with serotonin toxicity in a patient taking the supplement together with two selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor medications [ ]. Other ingredients, such as caffeine and bitter orange, could have an additive effect if taken with other stimulants.

Bitter orange has also been shown to inhibit CYP3A4 activity, leading to increased blood levels of certain drugs, such as cyclosporine and saquinavir [ 43 ]. These are just a few examples of interactions between ingredients of weight-loss dietary supplements and medications.

Individuals taking dietary supplements and medications on a regular basis should discuss their use with their healthcare provider. As this fact sheet shows, the evidence supporting the use of dietary supplements to reduce body weight and stimulate weight loss is inconclusive and unconvincing, and the cost of these products can be considerable [ 6 , 14 , 29 , 41 ]. The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to follow a sensible approach that incorporates a healthy eating plan, reduced caloric intake, and moderate physical activity under the guidance of a heath care provider.

For some individuals with a high BMI who have additional health risks, physicians may prescribe adjunctive treatments, including FDA- approved prescription medications or bariatric surgery, in addition to lifestyle modifications [ 7 ]. Lifestyle changes that promote weight loss might also improve mood and energy levels and lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers [ 5 ].

The Weight-control Information Network , a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, provides several helpful publications on weight control, obesity, physical activity, and related nutritional issues.

The federal government's Dietary Guidelines for Americans notes that "Nutritional needs should be met primarily from foods. In some cases, fortified foods and dietary supplements may be useful in providing one or more nutrients that otherwise may be consumed in less-than-recommended amounts. For more information about building a healthy diet, refer to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the U.

Department of Agriculture's MyPlate. This fact sheet by the Office of Dietary Supplements ODS provides information that should not take the place of medical advice. We encourage you to talk to your healthcare providers doctor, registered dietitian, pharmacist, etc. Any mention in this publication of a specific product or service, or recommendation from an organization or professional society, does not represent an endorsement by ODS of that product, service, or expert advice.

November 1, History of changes to this fact sheet. Strengthening Knowledge and Understanding of Dietary Supplements. Prevalence of obesity and trends in the distribution of body mass index among US adults, Prevalence of obesity and trends in body mass index among US children and adolescents, Supplemental products used for weight loss.

J Am Pharm Assoc ; Department of Agriculture, U. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Government Printing Office; Weight Loss for Life. Pittler MH, Ernst E. Dietary supplements for body-weight reduction: Am J Clin Nutr ; Use of nonprescription dietary supplements for weight loss is common among Americans.

J Am Diet Assoc ; Nutr Bus J ; Why US adults use dietary supplements. Availability of weight-loss supplements: Results of an audit of retail outlets in a southeastern city. General Accounting Office now the U. Dietary Supplements for Weight Loss: Food and Drug Administration. Plant extracts with appetite suppressing properties for body weight control: Complement Ther Med ; Alternative treatments for weight loss: Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr ; New dietary supplements for obesity: Curr Obes Rep ;5: An evidence-based review of fat modifying supplemental weight loss products.

IGOB, a novel seed extract of the West African plant Irvingia gabonensis, significantly reduces body weight and improves metabolic parameters in overweight humans in a randomized double-blind placebo controlled investigation. Lipids Health Dis ;8: The efficacy of Irvingia gabonensis supplementation in the management of overweight and obesity: J Diet Suppl ; Food Chem Toxicol ; A case of renal failure developing in association with African mango consumption.

GNC Lean Shakes are intended to suppress the appetite during the day to help with weight loss goals. To date, the product has received consistently decent results with some customers claiming to experience reduced hunger for two to three hours after consuming the shakes. This is how much it costs to start on the respective program.

We always recommend trying a product before making a large investment. Reports on the taste of this meal replacement shake are mixed. Some purchasers really love the flavors and some say they are terrible. The flavor with the highest number of complaints seems to be vanilla. Some users have also expressed a dislike for the consistency of the shake. Some users said that the shake seemed thin and watered down. Shakes can also be blended with ice to create a thicker texture, and more protein powder may be used as well.

The flavors available for GNC Lean Shake can also be added to milkshakes, smoothies, or any other beverage that can make the taste more palatable to an individual. Some consumers have also expressed that the lightly colored flavors have a naturally thin consistency when compared to the darker colored flavors like swiss chocolate and mocha.

GNC Lean Shakes include a variety of ingredients that are intended to support digestive health, suppress appetite, and regulate energy output. Several of the ingredients included in the GNC Lean Shake have been scientifically proven to promote digestive health and regularity.

Clearly, this shake is not lactose free, and we cannot find any indication that is is gluten free either. One bottle or 14 fluid ounces of a GNC Lean Shake represents approximately one serving of the beverage. In one serving, consumers can expect to find the following:. Consumers who are seeking to lose weight with this product will generally be placed on a lower calorie diet than the standard calorie diet and should remember to adjust these values to their specified daily caloric intake.

Some of the benefits of these specific vitamins and minerals include:. Whey protein powder isolate is one of the key active ingredients in the GNC Lean Shakes, and its purpose is appetite suppression. Hydrolysates are proteins that have been broken down for better absorption by the muscles. By consuming this protein in supplemental or natural form, those seeking weight reduction become six times more likely to lose fat and replace that fat with lean muscle mass through a consistent workout plan.

One serving of the GNC Lean Shake meal replacement yields nearly a fourth of the daily requirement for protein. For those attempting to limit daily caloric intake to under calories as is the case with many diets a single serving of the meal replacement yields over half of the total daily requirement for protein.

By substituting the meal replacement shake for at least two meals each day, consumers may successfully ease cravings while consuming the entire daily requirement of protein before dinner. By using this product as a meal replacement for the first two meals of the day, consumers can guarantee that they are consuming only calories in addition to the number of calories eaten during dinner meals.

This should create a sufficient calorie deficit to assist with weight loss. GNC Lean Shakes help consumers to experience consistent weight loss by helping to limit the number of calories consumed each day. Weight loss is accomplished by a simple equation that requires that the overweight individual consume fewer calories than their bodies burn in one day. By replacing one or two meals per day with a GNC Lean Shake, consumers may just increase the odds that their daily caloric intake will be less than their daily caloric output, thus resulting in gradual weight loss.

Meal replacement shakes are intended to be a lower calorie, high nutrition alternative to preparing a meal. However, it is important to get enough calories, protein and nutrients from your shake replacement, and not all powdered protein drinks fill those needs.

According to Prevention magazine, meal replacement shakes should contain: GNC Lean Shakes fall a little short in the calorie department, weighing in at around calories per serving. However, with a whopping 8 grams of fiber and 25 grams of protein GNC Lean Shakes can be a good meal replacement for those on a weight loss diet plan. If you take on the question of whether or not GNC Lean Shakes works for weight loss, you have to look at the research into meal replacements simply.

Meal replacement shakes , and other similar products can be an effective means of reducing calorie intake and if you stick with a healthy diet and exercise plan, promotion of weight loss. Although consumers who used the GNC Lean Shakes have reported weight loss, the product has also received complaints of decreased energy for individuals with very active daily lives.

Replacing two meals per day with the GNC Lean Shakes deprives very active people of the caloric intake that their bodies require continuing current activity levels or metabolism in general. Side effects that have been reported by individuals using the GNC Lean Shakes as meal replacements include:. What about breastfeeding moms?

Nutritionists warn against using meal replacement shakes for kids, though. Young children have different nutritional needs than adults, and may be more sensitive to ingredients as well. Meal replacement shakes should only be used occasionally for teens, and should be formulated for children. On the other side of the coin, some key benefits of consuming GNC Lean Shakes, or a similar meal replacement product, on a daily basis could include:.

There are several shakes that compare to GNC Lean Shakes and can be used as an alternative to the meal replacement. The meal replacement industry is very lucrative, and the competition in this area has caused the developers to create better-tasting products with improved nutrition.

Alternative meal replacement shakes can also be created at home. By combining a liquid multivitamin with a scoop of whey protein isolate and a combination of tasty fruits, those seeking a meal replacement can make a comparable shake from the comfort of home.

When creating a GNC Lean Shakes alternative from home, however, be sure to measure the quantities of the vitamins and fruits that are included to ensure that the calorie count for the shake remains low. Some fruits, oils, and vegetables contain a high amount of good fat and calories that can easily eliminate any benefit gained by replacing the meal. There are alternatives to GNC Lean Shakes offering similar nutritional value and benefits to weight loss. And while 18 Shake has only 90 calories per serving, comapred to GNC Lean Shakes calories, the nutrition is different too.

Isagenix recommends 1 to 3 shakes a day as a way to get high nutrition while cutting calories. I am a member of the meetings, and I honestly had no idea what the new program was about—despite the fact that I go to meetings every week! I am going to start looking at the routines I can form! This was great info, Beth! I am doing WW online and kind of wish now I was going to meetings instead. After reading your post, I think I will give these more attention!

The tips about food in the fridge and always taking a snack with you when you go out, are great! I am glad to see that, on my own, gradually, the contents of my fridge have changed and reflect mostly what you mentioned above.

I even went out and bought snack size baggies for other things like sunflower seeds, etc. I portion out any snacks like that right away, so I can just grab a baggie and know exactly how many points I am getting! Another tip, my husband has ALWAYS done for the sake of saving money and I now strive to do for my health is, always bring a bottle of water with you when you leave the house.

There have been so many times in the past where I get thirsty but am not anywhere I could easily walk into a store and buy some water; he just reaches into his backpack and has water any time he wants! Without having to dole out money, either. I am 50 and have been on protein shakes for meal replacements for a few years. It was successful until I became sensitive to the ingredients. I want to know if this is a great nutritional way to loose weight or just maintain as my matbalism slows as I age?

I exercise regularly but when it comes to food I really need help. I tend to either skip meals or crave carbs. So just to maintain and feel great is this for me?

A friend and I are going to our first meeting this coming Thursday and I am very excited to start this program. I am terribly overweight and my Dr. I know this is probably an unrealistic goal in my life and gastric by-pass may be the only option I have. I really need to know if this is possible. I have also had to have neck surgery and major back surgery. Let me tell you my story. But I had to at least TRY! I lost lbs! Once I started the program, I never looked back. It took just 2 years to lose the weight.

I never starved myself to increase my weight-loss because I knew from previous experience that just comes back and bites you big time. What made me stick with it? The freedom to move like I never could before, my boundless energy, loving what I saw in the mirror every day and best of all moving down from a size 28 to a size 6.

Surgery as an option for weight-loss is a serious one to make and for some people, it is the only way. I never considered it for many reasons; the risks that major surgery brings, the tiny meals would be a downer I love food!

I encourage you to try WW and give it your all. Best of luck to you!! Hi Darlene — Thank you so much for sharing your incredibly inspiring story! Does the program work for the stubborn menopausal weight gain? This has truly convinced me to join, thanks for sharing. I have contemplated trying the new program and now plan on attending the meeting this week.

I have pounds to lose. Mad at myself for being so heavy and very frustrated. Tried weight watchers once before and had a terrible leader who started md out with wrong point total. Was planning on going to a meeting Monday for information on gastric bypass but not a fan of the surgery approach. Thank you for sharing your story. Nice to hear big girls find success also not just the ones trying to lose 20 pounds. I feel your pain.

A year ago, I was on points plus and lost 60 pounds. Was under for the first time in years. Then I gained back 45 pounds of it. Back to needing to lose pounds again. Thanks — your words have encouraged me to give the WW a try. Your story if very inspiring and I hope it works for me too! How do you make yourself eat the foods that are good for you? The only vegetable I eat with dinners is corn. I eat by taste and at 55 how do you change that thinking? Where do I begin.

I m 61 and have tried ww a few time. Have gone up and down the weight loss and gain tower. Nd I m at the gain again. Even being in a coma for a month did not give me weight loss. So 4 yrs ago I died and was brought back to life. Everything I eat makes my stomach hurt. No one knows why. So after watching one of my faves. Jennifer Hudson last night on the acadamy awards. I said to myself. I know you have a chef. Skinny legs and a huge midsection. How can I be helped doing the online version.

I have joined WW severall times and the last 2 times I did lose a pound but never could get pass that, I would lose then gain it back. I am a bit reluctant to join again, I do not want to waste the money again. Can you give me some pointers on making this work for me. I need to lose 20 pounds. Hi Marietta — Sorry you have been struggling so much with WW lately! I know the meetings make a huge difference for people, so one idea could be to try out different meetings until you find a group and a leader that you like.

Also, planning is a huge piece for me, so taking some time on the weekends to plan for the week can set you up for success. Men have it easier when it comes to weight loss! I know i need to get moving but Do you think the WW online tools would help with this nasty menopausal weight? I do think the e-tools are a great option, especially since they are cheaper than the meetings or the online program. Hi beth I really want to lose weight but im not sure what program to choose I really prefer the online version because I have a baby and its hard for me to attend the meetings and my car is down right now.

I need help and fast I also have a gym membership to work out so I just want to know if the online version is good and do it works.

Celebrating 30 years in helping patients achieve their weight loss goals.