This is another excerpt from the forthcoming book on women’s physiology, training and fat loss (which is past the halfway mark on editing so please just be patient). It is part of a longer chapter looking at general use supplements with sections on luteal phase specific supplements (including PMS), and supplements specifically for women entering menopause. No joke. So here’s an excerpt on fat loss supplements.
Fat Loss Supplements
Perhaps the single most popular, lucrative and marketed type of supplement is those aimed at fat and weight loss. It’s an industry filled mostly with nonsense and false claims with hundreds if not thousands of products having come and gone with little to no effect. This has led many to conclude, at least partially correctly, that there is no product that any impact on fat loss. But this is a little bit too extreme of a conclusion.
There are absolutely compounds that have been shown to have some effect on one or another component of fat loss. Some increase energy expenditure, some help to blunt appetite, some do both. None of them can or will ever make up for a proper diet and exercise program and at most they add only a small amount to the overall results. Absolutely none of them are required for fat loss but they may be useful.
With one exception, all of the products that I’m going to talk about in this section fall under the general heading of thermogenics (24). This term refers to any compound or product that increases the body’s calorie expenditure, typically generating heat as a result. The overall impact of thermogenics is not enormous, potentially increasing energy expenditure by 5-10% depending on the product. Without any change in diet or exercise, the impacts are fairly meaningless.
But added to a proper diet and exercise program, this increase can not only enhance the overall results but help to offset some of the normal diet related reduction in metabolic rate. These compounds have also been shown to improve long-term weight maintenance, once again by helping to offset the normal drop in energy expenditure. This can allow more food to be eaten when the diet is over without fat gain occurring.