Weight Loss: What to Consider Before Buying Dietary Supplements

There are many ways to lose weight. Some are tried and tested, some are new, and some we’re still on the fence about as to whether they work or not. With so many different options to choose from, it can be hard to know what’s right for you!

There’s a whole world of dietary supplements that claim to aid with weight loss. Are any of them worth it? That is what will be discussed in this article. Read on for Weight Loss: What to Consider Before Buying Dietary Supplements.

What Are Weight Loss Supplements?

As mentioned, there are a huge variety of dietary supplements targeting weight loss. They all work in different ways and are made up of different key ingredients. Some work by making you feel more full and therefore stopping you from feeling hungry. Others claim to help you burn fat more quickly. Some weight loss supplements are regulated and only available when prescribed by medical professionals. Let’s dive into some of the most popular weight loss supplements, and how they work, so you can see if they might be right for you.

Probiotic Supplements

Probiotics are a collection of live bacteria and yeasts, often put into a drink for consumption. They are used to help promote gut health and aid digestive issues, by improving or restoring gut flora. They are widely renowned as healthy and safe for human consumption, having been rigorously tested for many years.

Separately, it has been said that the right mix of probiotics can have weight loss benefits. According to multiple Floraspring reviews, it appears that weight loss probiotics can help reduce belly fat, decrease hunger and help boost energy. How? Well, by rebalancing the gut biome, you immediately reduce the risk of obesity.

This is because imbalanced gut flora is one of the contributing factors to obesity onset. However, since these probiotics reduce inflammation and gut permeability, while also rebalancing gut health, they set the stage for weight loss very nicely. They may not have immediate and drastic effects, but they certainly do seem to be healthy and work well over a longer period of time.

Thermogenic Supplements

The next kind of supplement to discuss is thermogenic supplements. Thermogenics aim to increase the speed of your metabolism to help you burn fat and energy more quickly. Some popular thermogenic supplements include caffeine extracts, green tea and capsaicin. You know how it feels; have some caffeine, feel your heart rate increase!

Most people can take these types of extracts quite safely, though some people experience jittery side effects if taken too rapidly or at too high of a dose. The main issue is that the body can adapt to these quite quickly, increasing tolerance and potentially reducing their fat-burning effects.

“Tummy Tea” Style Supplements

Although Flat Tummy Tea is a brand, there are plenty of alternative companies making very similar supplements. These packs usually come in one-to-four week sets, with multiple types of teas. The flavours and types of teas are often spread out throughout the day to help you enjoy the process. Many start with a tea before breakfast, while offering you different herbal flavours throughout the rest of the day.

These teas are packed with natural ingredients that are all aimed at reducing bloating, water retention and fat while boosting natural energy and mood. Unfortunately, there have been very few studies to date on these kinds of supplements, though some users report good results. Therefore it is not yet fully known whether the use of these specific herbal teas is effective or not.

Fibre Supplements

Finally, a quick word on fibre-based supplements. These are, again, usually made up of all-natural ingredients. However, fibre supplements work a little differently than those discussed thus far. Fibre supplements are designed to expand in your stomach and make you feel full. This way, you will simply consume less food.

There is nothing wrong with this per se, and it often works, but you need to be sure that what you do eat after the fibre is super healthy to ensure you’re still getting all the nutrients you need. There’s no point filling up on fibre to stop you from eating too much , then directing your few hundred calories of hunger on chocolate cake!

Is One the Best?

All of the above supplements have had various studies conducted around them, all of which show good results. Some have been tested to a far greater extent than others. This is why it is always best to delve into this research and check it out for yourself. As far as natural weight loss with zero side effects go; probiotics seem a good place to start.

Speak To Your Doctor

It’s worth noting that you should definitely speak to a doctor or medical professional before trying any of these supplements. There may be other factors at play that aren’t helping you lose weight, and it’s best to assess these with a doctor or dietician before trying to lose weight drastically with a supplement. They may well approve of and recommend probiotics or another of these supplements. But, just in case anything else needs addressing, you should still seek the advice of a trained physician.

Could You Just Count Calories Instead?

One of the biggest arguments against diet pills or supplements is this: calories in versus calories out works best. There is some truth to this argument. If you can learn to manage your calorie intake, you can and will lose weight.

There are plenty of resources online that allow you to calculate your ideal, daily calorie intake based on your age, height, weight and activity level. Millions of people use these formulas to calculate their proper calorie count for the day. You can then use an app to track everything you eat, making it easy to see if you’re sticking to the ideal calories or not. Some argue this is better as you can properly manage calories without the need for supplements. Others use a combination of both. The choice is yours.

Exercise & Good Food Are Still Important

It’s also important to note that even if you are taking supplements to help you eat less or burn more fat, you should still aim to eat healthy foods. There is no point in trying to lose weight whilst living off saturated fat and processed sugar products. You will feel tired, lethargic and unwell. This is no way to achieve weight loss!

Instead, focus on eating right and doing regular exercise, alongside taking your supplements. Exercise, even if minimal, is great for your heart, joints, and muscles. So, whatever diet route you choose, make sure you’re keeping fit and healthy alongside it.

With all of this information in mind, you should be able to begin making an informed decision about what supplements may be right for you. Look after yourself, eat well, and seek medical advice. We’re sure that, alongside these things, supplements can help you reach your ideal weight goal.


Orlistat comes under a different group of dietary supplements altogether. Often sold under the brand name Alli or Xenical, it can be bought over-the-counter in many states, or prescribed by a doctor. This sort of drug is similar to a thermogenic as it helps you absorb less fat, however, it works slightly differently.

With Orlistat, the drug actively prevents the breakdown of fat molecules in the stomach and gut. This makes you take in fewer calories from fat, leading to less overall calorie consumption. However, this process does come with a few unpleasant side effects. Most often, people taking fat-inhibiting drugs suffer from increased flatulence and need to use the toilet more often. It can also inhibit the absorption of many fat-soluble vitamins such as K, A and E.

Some studies have shown this drug to be very efficient in reducing belly fat and overall fat consumption. However, you usually have to follow a low-fat diet at the same time as taking the drug. Conversely, studies on low-carb diets have shown to be as effective, if not more effective, than taking Orlistat whilst following a low-fat diet, without the need for any drugs. In this case, then, it seems the benefits may be outweighed by any adverse effects.

Before buying any of the above or other dietary supplements, consult your doctor and determine whether it’s safe for you to use them. Research the supplements on trustworthy websites and find out if they contain safe ingredients as well as confirming that the supplements’ manufacturers are legitimate. Got something to say about dietary supplements? Let us know in the comments below and join in the conversation on FacebookTwitter & Instagram!

Jennifer Dawson

Jennifer Dawson is an experienced freelance writer who specializes in food and nutrition. Working in fitness marketing previously gave her a good feel for the industry and since going freelance she has been able to explore her preferred topic areas such as diet types, nutrition and food. Outside of work, Jen enjoys traveling, swimming and spending time with her young family.

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