Healthline: Medical information and health advice you can trust. – a popular health-related online newsletter that lists 12 popular weight loss supplements and pills. These are:

1. Garcinia cambogia extract

2. Hydroxycut

3. Caffeine

4. Orlistat

5. Raspberry Ketones

6. Green Coffee Bean extract

7. Glucomannan

8. Meratrim

9. Green tea extract

10. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

11. Forskolin

12. Bitter Orange/Synephrine

I looked at the scientific studies in support of the constituent herbs of each of these weight loss supplement products while researching for my book Natural Solutions for Obesity.

  1. The scientific support for each of these is generally limited to animal trials.
  2. Each of these supplements does show some evidence of weight loss.
  3. None of the evidence is conclusive.

Obesity is a complex disease. People who are looking for a silver bullet to help them lose weight end up disappointed.

A weight loss program requires a combination of skills. You begin by ruling out medical causes for obesity. Once you have ruled that out, you check with a dietitian who will prescribe a customized diet appropriate to your needs.

The diet has to be supported by physical exercises.

There appears to be a consensus that higher cardiovascular and insulin resistance (which could lead to diabetes) risk is seen in cases with high levels of abdominal fat. (Peiris et al.,1989) Increased abdominal fat is a marker for insulin resistance indications. (Goodpaster et al., 1997) High levels of cardiorespiratory fitness are associated with a substantial reduction in health risk for a given level of visceral and subcutaneous fat. (Lee et al., 2005). Exercise plays an essential role in weight loss management and reducing disease risk.

Women with a waist size of more than 35 inches or 80 cm and men with a waist measurement of more than 40 inches (102 cm) are more prone to these ailments. A periodic check of these parameters helps track the performance of a weight loss program. Women generally have a more substantial proportion of body mass as fat when compared to men. It could be an adaptation for female reproductive success. (Power et al., 2008)

Combining diet and aerobic exercise or diet and resistance training brings about more significant metabolic risk factors than diet only. Reduction in metabolic risk factors is vital for weight loss. But another study found that aerobic or resistance exercise enhanced growth in the metabolic profile. (Janssen et al., 2002)

Bottom line, if you have no underlying causes for obesity, it all boils down to improving your lifestyle, making it more active, preferably plant-based, low in fats and carbohydrates.

Additional reading:
Natural Solutions for Obesity

Natural Solutions – tri-series

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Sudhirahluwalia, Inc