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Chapter 14: Supplementation Strategies for Boosting Your Fat Loss Formula

Supplements for Weight Loss


In the Fat Loss Formula series, we’re discussing tips and tricks for shedding the pounds and optimizing your weight loss journey. One such strategy involves supplementation, an essential part to any fat loss program. To understand the importance of supplements, this blog post will explore common supplements that are considered popular in weight loss programs.

Understanding the Role of Supplements in Fat Loss

Before getting started, let’s get one thing straight: supplements are not some miracle, cure-all solution for fat loss. While supplements can certainly support your health journey, they are simply one tool in an entire toolbox of weight loss strategies. Supplements are meant to be complementary to traditional weight loss modalities, used together with a balanced diet and exercise routine. They should be selected carefully to both fill nutritional gaps and address your specific health needs.

In addition, not all supplements are created equal. Selecting a supplement that is high-quality and ethically manufactured will be essential. Additionally, you’ll want to opt for evidence-based supplements, meaning choosing supplements that have been tested for both safety and efficacy and are backed up by scientific research.

Looking at 11 Supplements for Fat Loss

1. High quality probiotic

When we think of bacteria, we tend to think of it as a negative thing. However, there is such thing as “good” bacteria. In fact, our bodies need this “good” bacteria to function properly. This is specifically important when it comes to gut health.

Our gut is made up of millions of tiny little microorganisms that help to balance out the microflora in our gut. Maintaining this balance is essential to promoting proper digestion. However, oftentimes this ecosystem is thrown out of whack. Thankfully, probiotics contain the “good” bacteria our bodies need and can thus help to restore the health of our gut microbiome.

When it comes to weight, being overweight or obese is associated with an imbalance of the gut microflora and low microbial diversity. This abnormality can alter one’s hormones that control things like hunger and satiety.

Research has found that taking probiotics could potentially restore our microbiome’s balance, helping to lose weight in conjunction with lifestyle changes. Certain strains like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacetrium are the most effective in supporting weight loss. Thus, high quality probiotics are one of the best supplements for fat and weight loss (1).

Probiotics are typically supplied containing between one and 10 billion colony forming units (CFU), although some have as many as 500 billion CFU. Note that increased CFU does not necessarily mean greater efficacy (2).

2.  Conjugated Linoleic Acid

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is produced by the microbes found in the guts of specific animals and throughout our bodies. Thus, CLA supplements are derived from beef and dairy products. Some individuals use CLA for the purposes of weight loss, as animal studies show that CLA could lower body fat while improving blood lipid profiles and insulin sensitivity.

The studies of CLA in humans are mixed, as some demonstrate that CLA can improve body composition and cause weight loss, while others don’t show a correlation. For example, a meta-analysis showed that CLA had no impact on blood sugar levels, blood glucose, or waist circumference (3). One study that did show reductions in body fat, however, utilized a dose of 1.8 mg daily (4).

3.  Green Tea Extract

Green tea is derived from the plant known as Camellia sinesis. Rich in polyphenols, green tea extract has a protective effect against oxidative stress. Thus, it has been used for conditions such as high cholesterol and weight loss (5).

In a randomized, double-blind study, over 100 women with obesity took a daily dose of 856 mg of green tea extract for a period of 12 weeks. Results indicated that treatment with high-dose green tea extract induced significant reductions in weight, waist circumference, total cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. Thus, high-dose green tea extract could be a potential complementary supplement in one’s weight loss journey (6).

4.  Caffeine

We all know and love caffeine, specifically when it comes to getting in that boost of energy in the morning or during that afternoon slump. But did you know it may actually help with weight? One study evaluated this theory, following 126 overweight adults over the course of 24 weeks. Results found that intaking four cups of coffee a day could lower body fat by around four percent in participants.

Why does this happen? Experts postulate that caffeine may increase somebody’s metabolism, thus burning more calories and lowering body fat (7). Caffeine can also curb your appetite, causing you to eat less and lose weight in the process.

5.  Protein Powder

Let’s explore the use of protein powder for weight loss. Protein itself is very important to both our bodies and weight loss journey. For starters, protein promotes satiety, allowing you to feel full and satisfied after eating. It also takes more energy to digest and metabolize, which increases your metabolic rate and calorie expenditure, benefiting weight. Additionally, protein supports building muscle and maintaining a leaner body composition, which can also help during your health journey.

Thus, protein powder can be a good way to get more protein into your diet and lower your daily calories, thus lowering body fat while losing weight. However, protein powder still contains calories, so you’ll want to ensure you are still eating in a caloric deficit if you choose to add in protein powder. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests around 46 to 56 grams of protein daily (8). Our clinic promotes no less than 60 grams of protein daily for patients in a weight loss program to help support a nutritional density along with a caloric deficient.

Garcinia Cambogia

Garcinia Cambogia is a plant originating from Southeast Asia and India. It contains a substance known as hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which investigators have evaluated for its effects on appetite and weight loss. In addition, it’s been used for athletic performance, joint pain, and digestive symptoms (9).

When it comes to weight loss, one study evaluated Garcinia cambogia on fat accumulation over a period of 12 weeks. Studies found that the supplement decreased abdominal fat accumulation in participants at 16 weeks. However, there were no significant differences with regards to body weight or body mass index (BMI) (10).

Fish Oil

Fish oil is an ingredient that has the potential to lower body fat and weight, as demonstrated in animal models. In addition, it may also have anti-obesity effects in humans. One study found that fish oil was associated with decreased weight circumference and waist hip ratio, however, it did not have an effect on weight or BMI (11).


Yohimbine is an herbal remedy derived from an evergreen tree in Africa. As a potential weight loss remedy, yohimbine demonstrated in studies its potential to decrease weight versus placebo in conjunction with a low-energy diet (12).

Fiber Supplements

Fiber is important to prevention of diabetes and heart disease, but it can also be beneficial when it comes to weight. In one study, a group of participants was asked to eat a minimum of 30 grams of fiber a day. At completion of the study, those on the high-fiber diet lost an average of 4.6 pounds and were able to sustain their weight loss for a year afterwards (13).


Some speculate that chromium, a necessary nutrient in regulating our metabolism, can also play role in body composition. Although some animal studies support its use in decreasing body fat and increasing lean muscle mass, its efficacy in humans has yet to be validated (14).


L-carnitine is an amino acid derivative and a vitamin-type substance. When it comes to weight management, there are mixed results out there in terms of L-carnitine’s efficacy, although some studies suggest it could provide a modest decrease in BMI, fat, and body weight (15).

Strategies for Incorporating Supplements into Your Fat Loss Program

When it comes to integrating supplements into your weight loss journey, you’ll want to start by establishing realistic goals and expectations. Supplements will not be your end-all-be-all for losing weight. Integrating supplements is just one part of a comprehensive approach that includes diet, exercise, and lifestyle modifications.

Additionally, it is essential that you connect with a healthcare professional or nutritionist before starting any new supplement regimen. They will be able to decide if a supplement is safe and appropriate for you specifically.

Additional Tips for Maximizing Fat Loss with Supplements

When it comes to picking a supplement, keep the following in mind:


In summary, there are several supplements on the market that are proven to be efficacious for weight loss, making them a great addition to your weight loss journey. However, supplements should be used as part of a holistic approach as an add-on to diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes.

If you’re interested in learning more about weight loss strategies, stay tuned for future installments of the Fat Loss Formula series.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8540110/
  2. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Probiotics-HealthProfessional/
  3. https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/conjugated-linoleic-acid
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4429457/
  5. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?c&c
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26093535/
  7. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/four-cups-of-coffee-modest-loss-of-body-fat/
  8. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/expert-answers/protein-shakes/faq-20058335
  9. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/garcinia-cambogia
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4053034/
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4646500/
  12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1955308/
  13. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/making-one-change-getting-fiber-can-help-weight-loss-201502177721
  14. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9763876/
  15. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32359762/
David Bauder David J. Bauder, PA-C David Bauder, PA-C, is a certified physician assistant and the assistant medical director at Weight Loss and Vitality in Manassas and Alexandria, Virginia, Washington, DC; and Gaithersburg, MD. He enjoys helping patients optimize their physical and mental health to improve their overall well-being. He earned his physician assistant degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Afterward, he gained admission into the reputable graduate program for physician assistant studies at the University of Nebraska Health Science Center in Omaha. David has over 26 years of experience working as a physician assistant. He’s practiced in podiatry, family medicine, emergency medicine, general surgery, urgent care, and functional medicine.

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