Confused by the growing number of supplements on shelves that can supposedly help you shed pounds? Here's the skinny on the most buzzed-about fat-burning ingredients.
1. Green Coffee Bean Extract: This supplement comes from a natural substance called chlorogenic acid, found in green coffee seeds. It's thought to block fat accumulation and carb absorption and may boost weight loss when consumed as a supplement (regular coffee doesn't contain the chemical, which is diminished during the roasting process). Several studies, including one conducted by Dr. Oz, have shown that subjects who ingested the extract lost more weight than those who were given a placebo.
2. EGCG: An antioxidant found in green tea, this substance may help your body burn fat by its ability to increase thermogenesis (heat production), which in turn uses up stored fat as energy. Some studies also suggest that the substance can prevent the growth of new fat cells. The most effective way to harness the fat-burning effects of EGCG is to combine it with caffeine, as it naturally occurs in green tea.
3. Capsaicin: A chemical found in spicy foods such as jalapeños, habaneros, and cayenne peppers, capsaicin can amp up your calorie burn and suppress your appetite. Research shows that this substance may reduce the number of fat cells your body produces, possibly preventing obesity. In another study, subjects who ate spicy chili sauce daily had lower spikes in blood sugar levels after meals than those who ate blander foods. Next time you're out for Asian or Mexican, be heavy-handed with the hot sauce.
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4. Caffeine: This natural stimulant that’s found in coffee and caffeinated teas can help you burn fat by boosting your basal metabolic rate, or BMR. Several studies have found that a dose of caffeine increased subjects’ energy expenditures by 5 percent or more, helping their bodies burn calories and fat. So take a big gulp of your morning joe!
5. Raspberry Ketones: Research has shown that these aromatic compounds found in raspberries have potential fat-blasting effects. Raspberry ketones increase the production of two hormones: norepinephrine, which raises body temperature, and adiponectin, which regulates metabolism. In turn, this causes stored fat to get broken up more effectively, which makes it easier for your body to burn fat as fuel.
Since eating raspberries alone isn’t enough to reap the fat-fighting benefits (you’d have to consume 90 pounds of the fruit to reach the recommended 100mg dose!), you'll need a supplement to ingest the necessary amount. For example, a new product, Doctor's Select Nutraceuticals Weight Loss 4, contains the top four most buzzed-about fat-burning ingredients: raspberry ketones, green coffee bean extract, white kidney bean extract, and cayenne pepper extract. Each substance can help boost your body’s ability to break down fat and burn calories, which may aid in weight loss. The combo of the ingredients may also help curb your appetite, which is always a good thing as bikini season approaches.