Most supplements are formulated with harmful stimulants that artificially speed up metabolism and/or suppress appetite. In the long term, they can do more harm than good.
Facts About Weight Loss Supplements For Men or Women
Whether looking for a weight loss supplement for men or women, the ingredients are the first place to start. Dietary supplements formulated with high doses of caffeine or other stimulants can produce harmful side effects, including:
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Stomach Irritation
- Jitters or Shakes
Ideally, you want supplements formulated with natural ingredients and without high doses of stimulants. Studies show such supplements rarely burn more than 50-100 extra calories per day. That’s hardly enough to burn fat and reach your weight loss goals.
In addition, the body always adjusts to any change in metabolism rate or appetite that is unnatural in origin. This is especially true if there is an underlying condition like a metabolic hormone imbalance. Until the underlying problem is addressed, any weight loss supplements are doomed to fail.
Weight Loss Supplement for Men or Women Should Impact Metabolic Hormones
Ultimately, eliminating fat requires you to create a caloric deficit. In other words, you must ingest fewer calories than you burn. Ideally, you need a diet supplement that impacts the metabolic hormones. Additionally, you want a supplement that adjusts the metabolism rate naturally.
Our metabolic hormones determine whether our weight loss efforts succeed or fail. First, they control cravings. If the supplement doesn’t help reduce cravings naturally, it’s not going to help you in the long term.
Second, metabolic hormones determine portion size. Specifically, they control how much we need to eat to feel full and satiated. Any weight loss supplement that naturally helps reduce portion size is likely to help you see long term results.
Lastly, metabolic hormones control the metabolism rate itself. That is, they determine how many calories we are burning at rest. So, if the weight loss supplement helps improve the metabolism rate naturally, it’s what you want.
Looks for Diet Supplements that Target Leptin Specifically
An effective weight loss supplement for men or women targets the metabolic hormone leptin. Leptin is the gatekeeper when it comes to caloric intake and caloric burn.
Leptin is stored in our body’s fat cells. The more fat you have, the more leptin you are carrying around.
When we eat, leptin levels increase and tell the brain to be satiated and stop eating. When we don’t eat, leptin levels drop and signal the brain that we need energy. This in turn causes cravings and hunger pangs.
If everything is working properly, leptin effectively helps the brain regulate caloric intake. Unfortunately, too much leptin causes problems. Specifically, if you are carrying around too much fight and thus leptin, the brain stops detecting leptin. When this occurs, it is known as leptin resistance.
When your brain fails to detect leptin, it thinks you are essentially starving. Thus, it causes three things to happen that no weight loss supplement can overcome:
- Cravings Increase Significantly in Both Intensity and Frequency
- You Eat More and More to Feel Satiated
- Your Metabolism Rate Slows to Conserve Calories
Even the best weight loss supplement for men or women can’t overcome all three factors. Thus, consistently losing weight becomes impossible. Plus, your crryvings intensify to the point of making you miserable.
How do you know if you have leptin resistance? If you have any significant amount of belly fat in particular, then you almost certainly have leptin resistance. Until this condition is reversed, long-term weight loss is unfeasible.
Reversing Leptin Resistance Vital to Weight Loss
Until you reverse leptin resistance, no weight loss supplement, diet or exercise program will work. You are fighting your own body and that’s a sure recipe for disaster. There are three things you can do to reverse the condition and start burning fat naturally again.
Effectively, you need to reduce the levels of leptin in your body. To put another way, you have to eliminate fat.
Best Weight Loss Supplement for Men Targets Leptin
Trying to reverse leptin resistance naturally takes months. Plus, you are fighting cravings the entire way so it’s miserable as well. That’s why you want a weight loss supplement for men or women that specifically targets leptin. With the right supplement, you can reduce the time it takes to reverse leptin resistance to just a few weeks. Unfortunately, however, a weight loss supplement alone is not enough. It speeds the process up, but it alone can’t reverse leptin resistance without some help from you.
Causes of Leptin Resistance
Researchers have concluded that leptin resistance is primarily caused by two factors:
- High Levels of Leptin
- Chronic Inflammation
Ironically, having too much leptin can lead to leptin resistance. Researchers don’t quite know the tipping point but the key factor appears to be abdominal fat. Any significant level of abdominal fat is a clear indication of leptin resistance.
However, the biggest cause of leptin resistance and what can lead you to have too much leptin in the first place is actually inflammation. Traditionally, we tend to think of inflammation in terms of injuries like cuts or a sprained ankle. Both will cause short term or acute inflammation and medication like ibuprofen can provide relief.
However, toxins also cause inflammation such as air pollution. Additionally, the additives and preservatives in most processed foods are considered toxins and also lead to inflammation.
Foods That Cause Inflammation and Lead to Leptin Resistance
Not only does processed meat cause inflammation, research has also linked it to:
- Increased Risk of Heart Disease
- Increased Risk for Stomach and Colon Cancer
The inflammation is caused by AGE’s or advanced glycation end products. So you really want to avoid sausage, bacon, ham, smoked meat, beef jerky, and any deli meats.
Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Any weight loss supplement for men or women will be rendered useless by excessive alcohol consumption. For one thing, losing weight is much harder because you are consuming empty calories. While 1 or possibly 2 drinks per day can provide some health benefits, it still makes losing weight much harder.
In addition, the inflammatory marker CRP is higher in people who consume alcohol. And the more alcohol you consume, the higher the CRP levels become.
Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup
Sugar and high fructose corn syrup are used to add flavor to both foods and beverages. In addition to making weight loss much harder, sugar and high fructose corn syrup also increase inflammation. In studies, mice fed a diet high in sugar developed breast cancer that eventually spread to their lungs due to the inflammatory response to sugar.
There are foods like fatty fish that actually reduce inflammation naturally. Unfortunately, sugar actually impairs the ability of these foods to reduce inflammation.
In addition, a high sugar intake increases risk for obesity, insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, and chronic kidney disease. Even the best weight loss supplement for men or women won’t help you burn fat unless you severely limit your intake of sugar.
Vegetable and Seed Oils
French fries, fried chicken, and many of the comfort foods we love are cooked in vegetable oil. Unfortunately, vegetable oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids which cause inflammation. In small quantities, omega-6 fatty acids are actually good for you.
However, too many omega-6 fatty acids can nullify the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fatty acids. Studies consistently show that the greater the ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids, the higher the levels of inflammatory markers.
But don’t think that only deep-fried foods are the problem. Vegetable and seed oils are a major ingredient in most processed foods as well.
Artificial Trans Fats Increase Inflammation and Risk for Leptin Resistance
If you see the words “partially hydrogenated oil” on any food label, don’t buy it. That’s what food companies call artificial trans fats and they are made by adding hydrogen to unsaturated fats. They do this because unsaturated fats are liquid and adding hydrogen helps solidify them. Think of margarine as a good example of an artificial trans fat that becomes liquid when it’s warm.
Many processed foods include artificial trans fats because they extend shelf life and the “appearance” of freshness. However, artificial trans fats not only increase inflammation, they also increase risk for a wide range of diseases.
For one thing, artificial trans fats lower your HDL, or good cholesterol. In doing so, it increases your risk for heart disease.
As for inflammation, artificial trans fats dramatically increase C-reactive protein levels which are inflammatory markers. When all other variables are held constant, consuming artificial trans fats increased CRP levels by 78% in one study.
Artificial trans fats and vegetable/seed oils seem to go hand in hand when it comes to inflammation. In fact, artificial trans fats are found in many vegetable oils. So foods high in artificial trans fats include:
- Vegetable and Seed Oils
- French Fries
- Fried Chicken
- Microwave Popcorn
- Packaged Cakes and Cookies
- Certain Pastries
- Any Processed Food with Partially Hydrogenated Oil as an Ingredient
To Lose Weight, You Have to Reduce Inflammation and Reverse Leptin Resistance
By eliminating or at least severely reducing your intake of foods that cause inflammation, you get one step closer to reversing leptin resistance. If your brain can properly detect leptin, losing weight becomes natural.
Just as there are foods that cause inflammation, there are also many that naturally reduce inflammation. Foods that help reduce inflammation include:
- Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Fatty Fish (salmon, sardines, anchovies, herring, mackerel)
- Chili Peppers
- African Mango
- Green Tea or Green Tea Extract
Eat More Protein to Lower Levels of Leptin
Protein helps the body burn fat naturally. It does this because protein requires significantly more energy to digest than fats or carbs. In fact, you can burn an extra 100 calories per day just by increasing your intake of protein.
Another benefit of protein is that it helps naturally reduce your appetite and cravings. Protein affects hormones that control satiation. Plus, it also affects hunger hormones so we aren’t hungry all the time like with carbs and fats.
Lastly, protein helps create a caloric deficit by reducing the number of calories we ingest. Studies show that people who eat a high-protein diet naturally ingest over 400 fewer calories per day than with those that don’t.
Protein helps lower leptin levels by increasing metabolism and lowering caloric intake.
Increase Lean Muscle Mass
Adding more muscle to your body also naturally elevates your metabolism rate. Muscle cells simply burn more calories at rest than fat cells. Adding in protein to your diet is very beneficial as it is the building block of muscles.
Ideally, you need to incorporate anaerobic exercise into your weekly routine. Specifically, weight lifting, HIIT, or jumping rope. Even just using dumbbells a few times a week builds muscles fast and boosts your metabolism. You need at least 3 sessions a week of around 1 hour each. That will help you immediately burn 400-600 calories. Plus, it will build muscle to burn even more calories when at rest.
Of course, aerobic exercise should not be overlooked. Even some brisk walks really help burn calories and improve cardiovascular health.
First, you need a weight loss supplement for men or women that targets leptin. Next, you need to eat more protein. Lastly, you should work on building lean muscle mass using anaerobic exercise. Only by combining all 3 strategies can you reverse leptin resistance and finally achieved sustained weight loss. But if you reverse leptin resistance, then burning fat and losing weight become much easier and more natural.
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Mike Dorfman is BS in Biochemistry from the University of Colorado. Mike’s has worked as a personal trainer for Gold’s Gym and helped many clients achieve their weight-loss and fitness goals.
To health first, weight-loss second. Mike and Tetrogen are here to help you make the transition to the healthier, happier, and thinner you!
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