Do You Know What The Best Herbs For Weight Loss Are?
For those who want natural help to loose weight it is only natural to seek herbal remedies that may help with dieting. In addition to eating plenty of foods from our complete list of healthy foods adding certain herbs to your daily diet can amplify your fat loss. The reason being is that most people trust nature over man-made supplement that are often made of chemicals and compounds that we have never heard of and are crazy difficult to pronounce.
Not exactly the kind of stuff some people are comfortable putting into their body to be filtered through their liver… no mater how effective they may be.
For those of you who would rather put your trust in mother-nature than some unknown chemist and quake-duck “scientist, we will explore some of the best herbs to help burn fat.
Still, keep in mind that not all these herbs have been tested by the FDA. Some have been tested by various medical studies. Some may have been used by other countries’ traditional medicine such as China. So do some further reading on any of these that peak your interest and come to your own conclusion about their effectiveness and safety factor.
The FDA is not the end-all be-all of nutritional information. They seem to be more concerned with testing various pharmaceuticals rather than natural health solutions. Meds are where the big profits are and consequently that’s where the most government activity is.
What the FDA will come through with is in pulling an unsafe herbal supplement off the market. So although they may not have “approved” a certain herb as effective for a certain use, they do their best to keep the public safe from harmful herbs. Personally, I wish they would do a little more testing to see what kind of positive effects different plants have as well.
Keep in mind that taking any supplement or herb without the accompanied lifestyle change (proper nutrition, rest and recovery, and fitness program) can help to an extent… but it will not be nearly as effective as making a total behavior alteration which leads to a body transformation. For every action there is an equal reaction… so you have to put in the work to get the results.
The Best Herbal Aids For Weight Loss
- Bitter Orange: People use this supplement as an alternative to the banned ephedra. It works in a similar manner, basically by acting as a stimulant. And being a strong stimulant it carries many of the same risks as ephedra. It has not been researched very thoroughly at this time.
- Garcinia (Garcinia Cambogia):
- Guarana: Guarana stimulates your nervous system, helps with stress, and can aide people with depression. Due to its known properties of helping your emotional state it can also help prevent you from making emotional eating decisions which is a huge plug. Additionally it is a diuretic which will not really help you lose fat per se but it can be a useful benefit of this herbal supplement if you have problems with water retention.
- Dandelion: Dandelions don’t just grow in your otherwise pristine green yard… they also have a great effect on your body. They act as a minor diuretic and help lower cholesterol. Add to that the fact that they contain quite a few vitamins and minerals and help your body get rid of fatty acids and you really have no excuse not to add some dandelion greens to some soup or salad. You can even make tea with them or buy them in droplet form.
- Guar Gum: When eating guar gum you are much less likely to over eat because this gum has a ton of fiber which keeps you feeling full and less likely to overeat. This derivative of the Indian Cluster Bean is also known to help with diabetes and decrease LDL (your bad Cholesterol.)
- Hoodia : An herb from the African Kalahari Desert that is claimed to aid fat loss by acting as an appetite suppressant. Apparently the local tribesman would use it suppress their hunger and thirst for long hunts.
- Cayenne Pepper:
- Black Pepper:
- Ginseng: Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus Senticosus) in particular is a great substitute for “pick me up” quality of coffee. Throw some in your tea and enjoy the increase of stamina and decreased fatigue. You will notice more energy when you go to work out as well as more regular blood sugar levels which both indirectly help you lose fat.
- Flaxseed: Can be used as a “bulking agent” when you soak them in water before eating them. The water makes the mucilage coating of whole flaxseeds expand and neither the seed nor thier coating are well-absorbed by your stomach. Again like some of the other fat loss herbs listed here, this can elp you lose fat because of the full feeling it produces with very few calories.
- Ginger: Ginger is not just an something to take when you get a cold. It is also useful for reducing acidity in your stomach by making it more alkaline. The high fiber content of Ginger will aslo help clean your digestive system and porduce a more filling feeling.
- Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Verum): By helping to regulate your blood sugar levels and your cholesterol cinnamon indirectly helps you fight some of the fat by keeping more from accumulating on your body. Basically it is helping your body digest whatever fat you consume by helping your liver process it more efficiently. Try using it in your coffee or tea instead of sugar. You can also take it in a capsule format. Since it helps regulate blood sugar it will be most useful for herbal weight loss if you take it prior to eating your meal.
- Green Tea Extract or Green Tea: Green Teas helps you to to lose weight by boosting your metabolism and decreasing your appetite. It does this through a class of antioxidants called catechins. Aside from helping with fat loss, green tea also has the added benefit of killing free radicals. What other supplement decreases your chance of getting cancer while burning fat at the same time? Pretty cool supplement. I would recommend getting the decaffeinated Green Tea Extract capsules so that you can get the proper dosage to be useful toward fat loss without the jittery side effects. Green tea extract comes in both liquid and capsule form. Find out more about green tea’s many benefits beyond dieting purposes here.
- Glucomannan: Glocomannan helps you lose weight by slowing glucose (sugar) absorption by your intestines. This is a relatively new supplement and it does not yet have much research about it.
- Laminaria: Laminarai is a natural thyroid regulator. If you gained some weight due to an hypoactive (under-active) Thyroid then Laminaria may help you lose some fat indirectly by helping your Thyroid function more efficiently again.
- Ephedra: Remember this one? It was banned from sale in the US a few years back because of it’s supposed dangerous side effects? Well these were likely due to people taking the wrong dosages and the FDA flipping out as they often due before the proper investigations into these “related”deaths were preformed and long term studies conducted. According to the FDA ephedra was responsible for people having very adverse side effects including stroke, psychosis, heart attacks, and death. Because of this the FDA decided the risks outweighed the benefits and prohibited ephedra in the US. However if you live elsewhere in the world you may still be able to get your hands on this herb.
- Senna: Some people use Senna to help with weight loss but it is really a laxative. The FDA has actually approved it as a laxative. I suppose you could count that as a very short term weight loss supplement, but don’t count on using it in the long term for this purpose because it can throw your bowels out of whack.
- Gymnema Sylvestre: This comes from a plant that grows in Africa and India. It does its magic by tricking your taste buds. Apparently it works by binding to the receptors on the taste buds so that you cannot taste sweets very well (This effect is not permanent.) This has been demonstrated in people to reduce the amount of sweets they consume which can in-turn help with weight loss. Try consuming 300 milligrams 2 – 3 times a day spaced out before meals.
- Water: Okay, I know, I know… That’s not really an herb but I wanted to add it here because it’s one of the simplest things you can do to help you shed fat. Simply drink more water so your body can work like it should! Many of these herbs may also increase your need for water since some of them increase your metabolism and have diarrhetic effects so be sure to fuel your finely tuned machine with the fuel that it craves… H2O!
Other Natural Supplements For Weight Loss
- Chitosan: Chitosan is a strange supplement. Why is it strange? It comes from the outer layers of shrimp, crabs, and lobsters exoskeletons! It has been shown in some studies to limit the absorption of fats and cholesterol and therefor aide in weight loss. Some medical authorities on the other hand have claimed that it is probably ineffective.
- Chromium Picolinate: There have been some claims that supplementing with Chromium can help with weight loss since chromium plays an important role in the effectiveness of insulin. Insulin is the hormone that regulates blood sugar and is involved with fat storage and digestion of carbohydrates. Logically it would make sense that this would help with fat reduction however a recent study has show this not to be the case and other smaller studies have even found that it has the potential of leading to kidney or liver failure.
- Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) : This is a popular fatty acid used by some to help stave off hunger and indirectly help with weight loss. Some studies have found that it helps reduce BFM (Body Fat Mass) and increase LBM (Lean Body Mass) when supplemented at 0.7 – 4.5 grams daily. However, some research has also suggested that when used long-term it may lead to increased insulin resistance especially in people who already have obesity. This causes concern that it can lead to an increased risk of Type II diabetes for already obese users when used continually.
- Fish Oil: Alright, alright, I know you are probably wondering how fish oil which contains omega 3 fatty acids can help you lose fat? Well somehow having more of these hear healthy fatty acids in your system make your body burn more fat for fuel rather than only storing it. It may also help by helping to reduce cravings for more dietary fat. The recommended dose to help with fat loss is 1000 – 2000 milligrams per day. And if you are Vegan or are concerned about metal content in fish oil then there are alternative omega 3 capsules derived from other sources such as algae or krill and several others.
- L-Glutamine: Has been shown to help reduce cravings which can aid in fat loss. In order to achieve this effect it should be taken throughout the day in-between meals? Why? Because as you get hungry your brain begins to crave this amino acid for fuel. When you blood sugar drops in-between meals and even more so if you are dieting, your brain sends signals to your body to do something about it’s lack of nutrients. The result? You start craving chocolate bars, potato chips, or whatever other junk food you see first when the cravings hit. Take 500 milligrams three times a day in-between meals. You can get L-Glutamine in either powder format to add to a drink or in a capsule.
- Miracle Fruit:
How To Use These Herbs For Weight Loss
Again feel free to experiment with any of the above supplement after you have done a little more research on one that peaks your interest.
The best thing to do with herbs is to start small and work your way up to the Minimum Effective Dose (MED). Herbal supplements, like pharmaceuticals or anything in life really, have a point of diminishing returns.
Remember more is not always better with these and also everyones body is different. Pay attention to and listen to your body!
If you feel yourself getting the jitters, dehydrated, headaches, etc. then you should back off the dosage until these negative side effect subside.
If you are still getting your desired fat loss results without the undesirable side effects then you have found something near your minimum effective dose. Stick with that and then cycle off your supplement for periods of time.
Your Focus Should Be On Food, Not Herbs
Remember, herbs should be viewed and utilized simply as an dietary aid not as your only method of losing fat.
Your primary way to force your body to reduce your excess adipose tissue is through proper nutrition. Check out our ultimate list of healthy foods for some good ideas on what you should be eating.
Nutrition is king in losing fat, and the king of nutrition is eating nutritionally dense foods. You want to consume as many food that have the most nutritional value per calorie as possible.
This means the majority (if not all) of your foods should be plant based. Green leafy vegetables have the highest nutritional to caloric ratio. Processed foods have the weakest nutritional to caloric ratio.
Anytime you see “enriched” anything in the ingredients of any food you are considering, leave it. Processed food has to be “enriched” with vitamins because during its processing it has lost nearly all of its original nutrients. So you are basically eating empty calories.
If you don’t recognize an ingredient, it’s probably not very nutritious, rather it was added to help preserve the food. Unfortunately many of these preservatives to not help your body thrive.