You’ve cut your calorie intake, you’re eating right. You’re giving it your all at the gym – but you just can’t seem to shift that fat.
Maybe you have time pressures that mean you can’t work out several times a week. Or perhaps you just want to give your fat loss programme an extra boost. That’s where supplements come in.
Responsible use of supplements can help you on your way to your fat loss goal – but only if you eat healthily and train hard at the gym.
Fat loss supplements can be split into two broad groups: fat burners and muscle mass protectors.
Fat burners are designed to work by speeding up the metabolism, suppressing appetite and/or
blocking fat absorption. Always read the manufacturers’ guidelines before taking and adopt a two weeks on, two weeks off cycle to avoid dependency or adrenal exhaustion. Here are some of the main fat burning ingredients to look out for:
Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, raising your heart rate, suppressing appetite and stimulating production of adrenaline. That’s good news because it raises your metabolic rate.
2. Green Tea
One of nature’s superfoods, green tea is packed with antioxidants. Drinking the tea itself won’t make a make a significant difference to your fat loss campaign, green tea extract might.
The active ingredient is Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), an antioxidant that boosts fat processing without raising your heart rate. Don’t take green tea extracts if you’re pregnant.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) works by stimulating the natural process of lipolysis.
It reduces body fat by increasing metabolic rate, which allows your body can convert food into
energy more efficiently. As well as reducing body fat, CLA can help with muscle growth, recovery and repair functions, and keeping your immune system healthy.
4. Acai Berry
Recent research has found that after taking Acai Berry for one month, participants were less susceptible to the sugar spike after meals. This is fantastic news for fat loss, as this sugar spike is one of the main causes of fat tissue build up. In addition, insulin, cholesterol and fasting blood
sugar levels were all lowered after the one month period. Bonus!
1. Whey protein
To protect and build lean muscle mass during your fat loss programme, you need to include sufficient protein in your diet. This is particularly important before and after your workout.
Pre-workout, a dose of whey protein is a fast effective way to get some protein into your system.
Post workout, you’re taking advantage of the ‘anabolic window’, the time up to two hours after your gym session when your body is most receptive to laying down muscle.
Whey protein is a tried and tested protein source, and because you usually take it as a shake, it’s convenient and tasty too.
2. Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are extremely useful for those training for fat loss. BCAAs work in three ways:
If you’d like to know more about the role supplements can play in helping you achieve your training aims, please see our Beginner’s guide to supplements.