This is a great article from North East personal trainer Martin Whitaker.
“What are the best supplements to take for weight loss?”
This is a question I’m asked time and time again, so lets clear one thing up first – you cannot out train or out supplement a bad diet! You see the truth is there’s no miracle pill or supplement to weight loss, despite what supplement companies spend millions of pounds telling you, in fact I’d go so fay to say that over 90% of the ‘weight loss’ supplements available today are basically a waste of your hard earned cash! Successful and more importantly sustained weight loss comes through correct nutrition and exercise.
While you can get awesome results from nutrition and exercise alone there’s still room to supplement your diet. Why? Because supplementing is exactly that- ‘Supplementing an already clean, nutritious, healthy diet’.
What I’m going to share with you today are my top 3 weight loss supplements, this is totally my opinion but is based on research and from what’s worked on hundreds of clients over the last few years.
OK so first things first, my top supplement has to be a good quality fish oil. Fish oil has literally hundreds of benefits to health including improved brain and memory function, good eye-development plus the ability to reduce the risks of Alzheimer’s and strokes. But as we’re focusing on weight loss how does it help? Quite simple really, research has shown that it improves the flow of blood to the muscles during exercise and helps to stimulate enzymes which transport fat to where it can be used up for energy. So it basically ‘switches on’ those enzymes needed to help burn fat!
If that’s not reason enough to supplement with it, fish oil can also minimise the risk that the food you eat is stored as fat! It does this because it increases something called insulin sensitivity. Keeping the cells of your body sensitive to insulin is key to losing weight and staying healthy. The reason it’s so important is that the more sensitive your cells are to insulin, the less likely it is that the food you eat will be stored as fat! Simples!
Before you rush out to the nearest health food store or supermarket a word of warning, the quality of the fish oil in these supplements is very poor! The cheaper the brand the worse the quality, plus the lower the concentration of the good fatty acids they contain. Make sure you buy one that’s been tested to be free detectable impurities and potentially harmful substances like mercury, other heavy metals and pesticides.
A good product will contain at least 500 mg of the EPA and DHA, the omega 3 fatty acids that give fish oil its benefits per capsule. The brand I recommend is from a company called Aliment Nutrition, it’s one of the best quality fish oil supplements on the market and comes at a lower price than some of it’s competitors.
My second recommended weight loss supplement is a “Green’s Drink”
Greens drinks contain many different alkalising ingredients, and the regular consumption of greens drinks not only play a part in maintaining a nutrient dense diet but also boost energy levels and work to combat many lifestyle issues, ranging from obesity to life threatening diseases.
When our diets are nutritionally poor, almost any area of our bodies can be negatively affected. This puts great strain on the body creating heightened risks of diseases such as cancer, CHD, diabetes, obesity, weight problems, allergies, fatigue and premature ageing to name only a few!
So why drink a Greens Drink for weight loss?
Simple, as well as containing literally shed loads of green plants and vegetables, vitamins and minerals, green drinks will help to instantly alkalise your body by neutralising the excess acids that a modern Western diet commonly includes.
You may feel a massive increase in energy, and may no longer feel the urge to snack or reach for sugary or caffeine based pick-me-ups! Greens drinks also help ward off illness, reduce the amount of infections and dramatically reduce the amount of toxins in the body.
What’s important to bear in mind is a healthy body does not want to carry excess body fat, so improve your health and weight loss becomes a natural occurrence!
There’s literally stacks of greens drinks on the market each offering the nutritional benefits of the green plants and vegetables that are often lacking in our diets. The prices range massively too, never mind the taste! Believe me I’ve tried some absolutely rank ones in the past …more like drinking swamp water than something nutritious!
Anyway onto my recommended brand, as I’ve already said I’ve tried lots of these over the years and without doubt Lean Greens has to be the best tasting drink, plus the ingredients list surpasses that of most others I’ve tried.
You can find it here http://iloveleangreens.co.uk
Greens Drinks, are not meal replacements, they should be consumed along with a healthy, clean diet.
Finally my third recommended weight loss supplement is Magnesium!
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in the human body. There are 17 minerals deemed essential to human life 10 of these make up 99% of the body’s mineral content – no guesses here then that one of these is Magnesium – however strangely enough Magnesium is one of the most depleted minerals in the body!
Magnesium along with the B-complex vitamins are ‘energy nutrients’ that is they activate enzymes that control digestion, absorption, and the utilisation of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
Lack of these nutrients causes improper utilisation of food, which can ultimately lead to symptoms such as hypoglycemia, anxiety, and obesity.
Food cravings are essentially a desire to continue eating because the body is craving nutrients that its missing, usually through consuming processed foods! A chocolate craving could well be a craving for magnesium, your body knows cocoa (the raw ingredient of chocolate) is rich in magnesium so these could well be a craving for magnesium …not chocolate! If you continue to eat ‘empty calories’ from processed foods you no further ahead in your nutrient requirements.
Magnesium works to activate certain enzymes that tell the body whether it is getting enough food to satisfy its needs.
Not only that, Magnesium also plays a role in insulin functioning and can therefore be a tool to fight obesity. When you consume enough magnesium, insulin functions normally and blood glucose is used for energy. But when you are deficient in magnesium both insulin and glucose become elevated. The excess glucose gets then gets stored as fat ultimately leading to obesity and type 2 diabetes. As for supplementation, the best form of magnesium taken orally has to be magnesium citrate.
Martin has a great blog you can follow: www.martinwhitiker.co.uk