When it comes to weight loss, body recomposition and weight loss in general, we are often led to look for "magic formulas" that allow us to achieve the desired results in the shortest possible time. There are many sellers who bet on this hope to earn. The truth, however, is as far as possible: there are no shortcuts to lose weight .
The only safe ways to lose weight are:
- Adopt a healthy and balanced diet , taking in fewer calories than those consumed;
- Therefore reduce the calories introduced on the basis of our metabolism;
- Be physically active , play sports and maintain a good amount of muscle mass.
Lifestyle and calorie deficit are actually the only relevant factors in a weight loss process . However, there really are supplements that can help us cope with weight loss optimally, by supporting our metabolism, our lymphatic system or even just by improving insulin sensitivity.
In the course of this article we will list some plant extracts to be used as an adjuvant in a slimming process, explaining the reasons and benefits that we can draw from what nature offers us.
Increase energy expenditure
We explained that to lose weight it is essential to establish a calorie deficit . This can be done by decreasing the calories ingested but also by increasing energy expenditure. Physical activity is the basis of energy expenditure, but as a natural aid we can choose to use thermogenic supplements (which we have already dealt with in depth in this dedicated article https://blog.yamamotonutrition.com/en/thermogenics-what-they-are-and-how-they-work-a1821).
In short, thermogenics raise body temperature, thereby increasing energy expenditure. However, remember that they do not "burn fat" in the strict sense, and that they work when combined with training.
Improve body composition
We know that it is important to lose fat mass and not simply weight: this translates into an improvement in body composition, which for the body therefore means preserving lean mass while reducing adipose tissue. If we want support for this step of weight loss, we can use two types of supplements:
- Protein - more satiating than fats and carbohydrates, they are essential in low calorie to preserve muscle mass. Protein powders, in addition to having anabolic Energy, are cheap (compared to solid protein sources!) And can help us reach our protein needs.
- Creatine - allows the increase of muscle mass, improves performance during training and muscle recovery. In the definition phase, increased stores of muscle creatine help fight catabolism.
If we eat less with the aim of reducing the calories we eat, we will certainly feel hungry. Some supplements can help us in this sense: they will not make us lose weight directly, but by appeasing the feeling of hunger they can make it less difficult for us to "stay on a diet". The supplements that work in this regard are:
- Fiber supplements - help to slow down the absorption of carbohydrates but also to control the rise in blood sugar. Both soluble and insoluble fiber contribute to satiety, making it last longer after a meal or snack. In addition, soluble fiber dissolves in water forming a gelatinous layer in the stomach, slowing intestinal transit and causing a sense of fullness.
- Garcinia Cambogia - this small exotic fruit has always been considered an ally in weight loss. Its properties derive from the active ingredient contained in its peel, hydroxycitric acid, which inhibits the action of the enzyme citrate synthetase responsible for the transformation of excess sugars into fats. Furthermore, it seems to exert an anorexigenic action towards the center of appetite.
Improve insulin sensitivity
Last but not least, to lose weight it is important that our body knows how to manage all macronutrients in the correct way : to keep blood sugar levels at bay (https://blog.yamamotonutrition.com/en/glycemia-glycemic-index-glycemic-load-let-s-be-clear-a1830 ) in the blood and having a good sensitivity to insulin allows glucose to be conveyed to muscle glycogen, avoiding accumulations in adipose tissue and liver. Useful supplements are:
- Gymnema sylvestre - a plant known in traditional Ayurvedic medicine used to treat diabetes and other metabolic disorders. It appears to have action by lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood, providing support for the treatment of metabolic syndrome.
- Cinnamon - the concentrated extract of this spice contains several active ingredients useful for controlling blood sugar. It can inhibit several digestive enzymes by reducing the influx of glucose into the systemic circulation, thus avoiding insulin spikes.
- Banaba - thanks to the corosolic acid contained in the leaves, Banaba can inhibit the action of α-amylase (enzyme that hydrolyzes starch to sugar), as well as slowing down several enzymes involved in the digestion of carbohydrates and responsible for increasing levels blood glucose, which rise especially after eating foods containing starches and sugars.
Although there are no supplements that can directly make us lose weight, there are several active ingredients that can support those who decide to embark on a path of weight loss or body recomposition. Improving our insulin sensitivity, reducing the feeling of hunger and increasing energy expenditure in a natural way are the "tricks" we can use to optimize weight loss. But be careful: training and nutrition remain the two pillars for obtaining tangible results.
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