There are many reasons that the majority of American adults are now overweight or obese, but the failure of mainstream weight-loss approaches is too important to overlook. And as millions of chronic dieters can attest, losing weight is more complicated than simply eating well and exercising, so it is perfectly normal to look for supplements and other alternatives to help with weight loss. The trouble is that many of the easily accessible, often faddish weight loss supplements have inconsistent results at best, so anyone who is serious about being healthy in a natural way must look elsewhere.
Natural supplements can be hard to find, but they have many benefits other supplements lack. For one thing, they are not as harsh as many of the other types of supplements, meaning you can take them without worrying your health will be damaged (though it is always a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting any type of supplement). Plus, natural supplements rely on tried and true wisdom that has been passed down through the centuries and comes from all over the world. Mainstream medicine is often skeptical toward these things, but people who actually use them know that they work.
There are many natural supplements that can help with weight loss, but let us start with five that are popular right now.
1. Fish oil: The element of fish oil that is most beneficial is its omega-3 fatty acids. When you see the word “fatty,” you might think that this sort of thing should be avoided when you are losing weight, but omega-3 fatty acids are the best kind of fats. They help you burn your other fats efficiently and reduce your food cravings.
2. Glucomannan: Glucomannan, which comes from the konjac plant that grows in east and southeast Asia, is a relatively new supplement to Westerners, so its benefits are not definitively established. Preliminary research has however shown that it does have the benefit of reducing the appetite and blocking the absorption of bad fats. The supplement is still difficult to find, but it is typically available at modern health food stores and can be easily ordered online.
3. Green tea extract: Green tea contains a type of antioxidant that boosts metabolism and stimulates the burning of fat. This is of course in addition to the many additional benefits that green tea, especially its antioxidants, is said to have. And unlike many of the other most beneficial natural supplements for weight loss, green tea extract is relatively easy to find, often available even at your mainstream supermarket.
4. Chitosan: Chitosan is a sugary fiber that comes from the exoskeletons of lobsters and other crustaceans. Its primary effect is to block the absorption of fats and cholesterols, but its effectiveness as a weight-loss supplement suggests that it has other benefits that are yet to be discovered. Of course, there is a down side to this mystery—there is a potential that chitosan has side effects that we do not yet know about.
5. Reishi mushroom: Reishi mushrooms have traditionally been used in Chinese medicine to fight fatigue, as well as for other purposes. While its benefits have not been scientifically studied in the West, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence suggesting that taking the supplement does indeed help you stay on target with a healthy diet and exercise regimen.
By Lisa Pecos