Over the last few years, there’s been a huge shift towards everything natural. Although alternative medicines like homoeopathy have been around for centuries, today’s society is seeing an increasing demand for all-natural food, beauty and health products. With movements like veganism, ‘clean eating’ and wellness gaining more traction, the market is starting to sit up and take notice. Now, it’s all about the natural.
This interest in the natural extends to supplements, with more and more people seeking natural options over pharmaceutical drugs. From herbal sleeping pills to tea detoxes, consumers are looking to nature for help. And weight loss supplements are no different.
Luckily, you don’t have to look much further than your own back garden to find a variety of effective weight loss remedies. From green tea to capsicums, nature is bustling with ingredients we can use to shed those pesky pounds.
With that in mind, here are 10 of our favourite natural weight loss remedies – courtesy of Mother Nature herself.
1. Capsimax powder
Inspired by the power of capsicums, Capsimax powder is a blend of capsicum, piperine (a molecule found in black pepper) caffeine and niacin (vitamin B3). By combining these natural weight loss aids, Capsimax powder creates a synergistic effect to give you an even bigger boost.
The biggest weight loss stars in Capsimax powder are piperine and capsaicin (the active compound in capsicum). Capsaicin is the chemical that contributes to the spiciness of chili peppers, and both capsaicin and piperine have been found to induce thermogenesis in your body. This is the metabolic process of your body burning calories to produce heat, and can aid weight loss by increasing the amount of calories your body burns. Because of this, thermogenic ingredients have become a popular addition to weight loss products.
Got milk? The benefits of calcium extend way beyond healthy teeth and bones. Aside from its importance for muscle function and hormone regulation, various studies have actually linked high-calcium diets with reduced rates of obesity.
Calcium plays an important role in how fat is processed and stored in the body. Research indicates that this is because calcium significantly increases lipolysis (the breakdown of fat). And the more calcium there is in a fat cell, the more fat that cell will burn.
And that’s not all; a high-calcium diet can also help suppress your appetite. This is because dairy products like cheese and yogurt have a high protein and fat content, which are extremely satiating and can help stop you snacking. Various studies have supported the many positive effects calcium can have on weight loss. In a study in the National Library of Medicine, researchers found that an increase in calcium intake increased fecal fat and energy excretion by an extra 350 kj a day.
Now, this isn’t to say you should load up your plate with cheeseburgers and nachos. It’s still important to watch your calories when you’re upping your calcium intake, so a calcium supplement may be the best way to go.
Can’t start the day without a cup full of caffeine? That might not be such a bad thing.
Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that most of us consume on a daily basis in coffee, tea and soft drinks. Aside from helping with alertness, caffeine has repeatedly been linked to weight loss. Though this benefit has been widely debated, the positive effects have been established by several studies in the National Library of Medicine.
There are actually a couple of reasons why caffeine has been linked to weight loss. One of these is that, similarly to capsaicin, it promotes thermogenesis. Another is that caffeine leads to increased fat oxidation, which is the process of your body converting free fatty acids into energy. This means that instead of using the glycogen in muscles, your body burns fat for the energy you need. When looking at the effects of a high caffeine intake on weight loss, one study found that the subjects who consumed more caffeine had a greater weight loss and a reduced fat mass. The reasons for this positive result were put down to the thermogenesis and fat oxidation caused by caffeine.
4. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
No weight loss pill is complete without this natural firecracker of an ingredient.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a naturally-occurring fatty acid found in beef and dairy, particularly if the cows had been grass fed. It’s also an extremely popular weight loss supplement, and due to its impressive results in clinical studies, it’s often hailed as the ‘miracle pill’.
Now, it might seem crazy to use fat to lose fat. However, CLA actually has a hugely positive impact on body fat mass (BFM). When the fat you eat isn’t used for energy, it’s normally stored in your fat cells. Instead of your body storing this fat, CLA helps divert triglycerides (the main constituent of fat) to your muscle cells, where they can be burnt for energy. This biochemical reaction helps to reduce your overall BFM, whilst also increasing your muscle mass. Because muscle burns more calories than fat, this also improves your basal metabolic rate (BMR), increasing your overall energy expenditure.
There has been a huge amount of research that backs the effectiveness of conjugated linoleic acid. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a group of overweight participants lost 9% of their body fat over the course of a year, whilst the placebo group lost absolutely no body fat. They also experienced a reduced overall BMI and an improvement in muscle mass. These volunteers didn’t change their diet or exercise routine, meaning the results were purely down to the CLA supplementation.
5. Green tea extract
Ah, green tea. Nature’s worst kept secret. By now you’re probably aware that this tasty drink isn’t just something to go alongside your sushi. It’s actually packed with health benefits, and has even been linked to preventing certain types of cancer. But I’m not here to sell you on green tea as a medicine, so let’s take a look at why it’s so effective for your weight loss.
Green tea is packed with antioxidants called catechins. The most important of these catechins is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which helps your body burn more fat. EGCG does this by increasing the amount of norepinephrine – the hormone that helps break down fat – in your body. When this fat is broken down, your body can use it as energy.
The caffeine in green tea also helps to aid weight loss, creating a potentially synergistic effect with the EGCG. This was supported by a study in the International Journal of Obesity, which found that green tea had a positive effect on weight loss and weight maintenance. The research concluded that caffeine intake might influence the effect of the catechins in green tea.
So, whether it’s in a supplement or your favourite mug, green tea is a great addition to your diet.
6. Chromium picolinate
Chromium picolinate is a nutritional supplement derived from picolinic acid and the mineral chromium. Like most minerals, chromium is tough for the body to absorb. By binding it to the organic compound picolinate, chromium becomes much easier to absorb, meaning you can enjoy more of the benefits that are packed into this mineral.
Chromium works by improving the action of insulin in your body, which is essential for regulating how your body stores glucose and fat. When taken as a supplement, chromium picolinate has been found to help control blood sugar and lower cholesterol levels. Studies have also found that it has a positive effect on weight loss. In a study of overweight people who struggle with depression, researchers found that chromium picolinate helped curb participants’ appetite and carb cravings after just eight weeks.
The studies about chromium picolinate and weight loss are quite limited, with some tests containing a very small number of participants. However, this chemical compound is gaining major headway, and is often included in weight loss drugs alongside other natural ingredients.
The nopal cactus, also known as the ‘prickly pear cactus’, is the name of a plant found in Mexico. Nopal is frequently used in Mexican cuisine and is often hailed as a natural remedy for treating inflammation, lowering cholesterol and aiding weight loss.
The weight loss benefits of nopal are mainly due to its high fibre content. This means that nopal helps to suppress your appetite, keeping you full for longer and helping your diet to stay on track. It’s also packed with amino acids, which can help to reduce your fatigue, leaving you with more energy to get off the couch and hit the gym.
8. L-carnitine fumarate
L-carnitine fumarate is the stable form of the amino acid L-carnitine, which is commonly found in red meat, nuts and green vegetables. Aside from having a positive impact on your cardiovascular and mental health, this amino acid can also aid weight loss. This is because L-carnitine helps move more fatty acids into your cells to be used as energy, leading to an increase in fat burning.
In a study of randomized trials, researchers found that taking L-carnitine supplements resulted in an average of 3 lbs of additional weight loss compared to the placebo groups. Though the results of various studies have been fairly marginal, they highlight that L-carnitine fumarate is an effective ingredient to include alongside other weight loss aids.
Guarana is a climbing plant found in Brazil and is best known for its seeds. These seeds are naturally high in caffeine, which makes it a popular ingredient for natural diet pills. In fact, guarana contains twice as much caffeine as coffee beans.
Similarly to caffeine, guarana is effective for inducing thermogenesis and promoting weight loss. A study about the effects of guarana on overweight men and women found that it resulted in a significantly greater weight loss than the placebo. The 8-week treatment period also found that the participants taking guarana supplements had a greater reduction in their hip circumference.
When combined other stimulants, guarana helps maximise the thermogenic effects you get from weight loss pills. It also helps increase your focus and overall energy levels.
Who needs Starbucks, eh?
Glucomannan (GM) is a natural dietary fibre found in the roots of the konjac plant. It’s frequently sold as a weight loss supplement, but is also used as a thickening agent in food.
The benefits of GM have been supported by several clinical studies, with one highlighting that it helps promote satiety in overweight and obese individuals. This makes it a great addition to weight loss pills that act as an appetite suppressant.
Like other soluble fibres, glucomannan works as a weight loss aid by being filling you up and helping to suppress your appetite. Because soluble fibre turns to gel in your body, it also helps slow your digestion, keeping you feeling full and satisfied for longer. This means you’re less likely to soccer dive for the cookie jar as soon as you get in from work.
Inspired by nature
There are a whole host of prescription weight loss drugs and dodgy fat-burning pills out there. But with nature on your side, you can lose weight the healthy way.
Not sure on how to get your hands on these ingredients? PhenQ is here to help.
PhenQ is a completely natural weight loss supplement that harnesses the power of nature to suppress your appetite, help your body burn more fat and boost energy levels. It’s basically like adding a whole load of natural fat-burning power to your morning cup of Joe. Except it tastes much better.
Thanks, Mother Nature!