Have a question? Call us now: 888-908-4258
Shopping Cart ()
Free shipping & returns on all US orders

Which Weight Loss Pills Actually Work?

By

The sheer number of weight loss pills on the market is overwhelming. Want to know which work and which don’t?

 

The US weight loss market is absolutely massive (worth nearly $61 billion as of 2011), and weight loss pills account for about $1.5 billion of that pie.

When people are spending that kind of money, count on the hucksters and shysters to be operating in force.

The result is, well, what we see in the marketplace: an absolute glut of weight loss products and dietary routines, all advertised as better than the next.

This can make weight loss a very confusing, frustrating, and expensive endeavor.

Well, the first thing you should know is that NO pill will cause you to magically lose weight. You have to regulate your caloric intake to lose weight (you have to feed your body less energy than it burns every day).

That said, in this article, I’m going to go over the ingredients in variety of popular “weight loss pills” and show you which can speed up weight loss when combined with a proper diet, which don’t, and which scientists are unsure of.

Before you buy that next bottle of weight loss pills, check out the ingredients and compare them against this list. You won’t find everything here, but these are the most popular ones at the moment.

Let’s get the bad out of the way first.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I want you to know that the supplements I recommend in this article are not just what I personally use but they are from my supplement line, LEGION.

As you probably know, the supplement industry is notorious for its lies and shenanigans. The truth is the majority of the supplements you see in the magazines and on the shelves aren’t going to help you reach your goals faster.

That’s why I decided to create the products I myself have always wanted: science-based formulations, clinically effective dosages of all ingredients, no fillers or unnecessary junk, and natural sweetening and flavoring.

You can learn more about LEGION and my goal to change the supplement industry for the better here.

And if you like what you see and decide to support my work…you’re awesome. 🙂 It’s because of people like you that I get to spend my time writing articles like this that help others get into the best shape of their lives.

Acai Berry and Weight Loss

best weight loss diet pills

The acai berry craze has passed, but it still remains a solid top seller in the world of weight loss supplements.

I’ll keep this short and simple, and just quote the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine:

“There is no definitive scientific evidence based on studies in humans to support the use of acai berry for any health-related purpose.

“No independent studies have been published in peer-reviewed journals that substantiate claims that acai supplements alone promote rapid weight loss. Researchers who investigated the safety profile of an acai-fortified juice in animals observed that there were no body weight changes in rats given the juice compared with controls.”

The Bottom Line

Don’t waste your money on acai berry products if you’re trying to lose weight.

Use this workout and flexible dieting program to lose up to 10 pounds of fat and build muscle in just 30 days…without starving yourself or living in the gym.

Carnitine and Weight Loss

#1 weight loss pill

Carnitine is a compound that your body produces from the amino acids lysine and methionine, and it plays a vital role in the generation of cellular energy.

While there is scientific evidence that carnitine supplementation can help with muscle recovery after exercise, does it have anything to offer in the way of weight loss?

Well, it does have a mechanism that is of interest: it increases fat oxidation in the muscles.

What this means is it appears to increase the rate at which muscle tissue burns fat for fuel instead of glycogen. Theoretically, this might result in additional fat loss while exercising.

Actual research is less than promising, however.

There’s evidence that carnitine can reduce fat mass and increase muscle mass in the elderly, but these effects were not seen when it was tested with overweight pre-menopausal women.

Animal research has also failed to demonstrate any weight loss benefits when simply combined with a calorie-restricted diet.

Thus, scientists don’t know yet if carnitine’s metabolic effect are profound enough to actually accelerate weight loss when combined with exercise. 

Animal research says no, as well as a human trial (which isn’t definitive due to flaws in design, but is worth noting).

The Bottom Line

Unless your body’s ability to oxidize fat is impaired by disease or dysfunction, the research currently available says that carnitine supplementation isn’t likely to help with weight loss.

Raspberry Ketones and Weight Loss

top rated diet pill

Raspberry ketones are the primary aroma compound of the red raspberry (it gives the raspberry its smell), and it’s also found in other fruits like the blackberry and cranberry.

How did such a seemingly random compound find its way into weight loss products?

Well, it started with a couple animal studies. One demonstrated that raspberry ketone supplementation prevented weight gain by increasing lipolysis and fat oxidation, and the other backed up this mechanism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That might be promising if it weren’t for a few little details:

  • Animal research can not be used as proof of human effectiveness. The human and rat body just isn’t similar enough, and this is especially true when talking about metabolic functions.
  • One of the rat studies was in vitro research. This means parts of living rats were removed to be studied in isolation, as opposed to research done with living, intact organisms (in vivo research).

In vitro research is less definitive than in vivo because living organisms are incredibly complex, and sometimes in vitro findings just don’t pan out in vivo.

  • The in vivo rat study that demonstrated weight gain prevention used an absolutely massive oral dose: up to 20 g/kg of body weight, or 4761 times greater than the average human intake.

There is one human trial I know of that is commonly cited as evidence of raspberry ketone’s effectiveness for weight loss. The problem with this study, however, is the compound was paired with caffeine, capsaicin, garlic, ginger, and citrus aurantium as a source of synephrine. It’s impossible to know if the raspberry ketone did anything or not.

The Bottom Line

There is insufficient evidence to support the use of low oral doses of raspberry ketone for weight loss purposes. Save your money.

Garcinia Cambogia and Weight Loss

what's the best pill to lose weight

Garcinia cambogia is a small fruit often used in Indian and Asian cuisine to impart a sour flavor.

It’s a good natural source of hydroxycitric acidand has received a lot of media attention recently as a weight loss aid.

These claims are unfounded, however.

Like many fad supplements, garcinia cambogia has some animal research on its side, but human research is contradictory and hard to interpret.

A couple rat studies, such as this one, have demonstrated that garcinia cambogia can reduce weight gain during a period of overfeeding. The mechanism by which it accomplished this is the suppression of fatty acid synthesis in the liver (it reduced the amount of fat the body could make from the excess calories).

The human research bursts that bubble, though.

A meta analysis of 12 randomized clinical trials of garcinia cambogia found the following:

  • Three studies with small sample sizes reported statistically significant, albeit small, decreases in fat mass over the placebo groups.

(In case you were wondering, the best result was 1.3 kg more weight lost than placebo group over a 3-month period.)

  • Two studies found no difference in weight loss between the garcinia cambogia and placebo groups, including the largest and most rigorous study reviewed.
  • The results of the remaining studies reviewed were marred by serious design and/or execution flaws.

The Bottom Line

The research currently available says that garcinia cambogia probably won’t help you lose weight, but if it did, the best you could hope for is a very small boost.

Green Coffee Extract and Weight Loss

weight loss pills that actually work for men

Green coffee extract is a supplement derived from green coffee beans. It’s similar to regular coffee beans, but has high amounts of a substance known as chlorogenic acid.

This substance is particularly hot at the moment, thanks to people like Dr. Oz and other mainstream “health gurus.” It may not be everything they claim, though.

A recent meta analysis of the 5 human trials available found that high dosages of chlorogenic acid via green coffee extract (400-800 mg chlorogenic acid per day) may induce fat loss, but researchers noted that the studies demonstrating this had high risks of bias due to funding sources (for-profit companies producing green coffee extract).

The Bottom Line

Green coffee extract may help you lose weight if taken in high enough dosages.

However, until more research is done on it, and particularly unbiased research, green coffee extract’s value as a weight loss supplement is uncertain.

Caffeine and Weight Loss

best proven weight loss pill review

Caffeine, the world’s most popular drug, has more value to us fitness folk than the energy high.

It can improve strength, muscle endurance, and anaerobic performance, as well as reverse the “morning weakness” experienced by many weightlifters and, last but not least, speed up fat loss.

The mechanism by which it aids weight loss is quite simple: it speeds up your body’s metabolic rate by increasing the amount of catecholamines in the blood, which are chemicals that mobilize fat stores to be burned for energy.

Part of maximizing the fat loss benefits of caffeine is preventing your body from building up too much of a tolerance, however. The best way to do this is to limit intake, of course.

Here’s what I recommend:

  1. Before training, supplement with 3 – 6 mg caffeine per kg of body weight. If you’re not sure of your caffeine sensitivity, start with 3 mg/kg and work up from there.
  2. Keep your daily. intake at or below 6 mg per kg of body weight. Don’t have 6 mg/kg before training and then drink a couple of coffees throughout the day.
  3. Do 1 – 2 low-caffeine days per week, and 1 no-caffeine day per week. A low day should be half your normal intake, and a no day means less than 50 mg of caffeine (you can have a cup or two of tea, but no coffee, caffeine pills, etc.).

The Bottom Line

When combined with a proper diet, caffeine can help you lose weight faster.

Don’t abuse it, however. If consumed too acutely and regularly, tolerance builds (which reduces its effects) and withdrawal symptoms are common.

When I use caffeine for weight loss purposes, I consume no more than 5-6 mg/kg per day, usually in two doses per day before exercise.

Personally I get my caffeine from my pre-workout PULSE, which contains a dehydrated and concentrated form of caffeine (caffeine anhydrous) shown to be more effective for improving performance than what is naturally found in beverages like coffee.

PULSE also contains clinically effective dosages of 5 other ingredients scientifically proven to improve workout performance:

And what you won’t find in PULSE is equally special:

  • No artificial sweeteners or flavors..
  • No artificial food dyes.
  • No unnecessary fillers, carbohydrate powders, or junk ingredients.

The bottom line is if you want to know what a pre-workout is supposed to feel like…if you want to experience the type of energy rush and performance boost that only clinically effective dosages of scientifically validated ingredients can deliver…then you want to try PULSE.legion-pulse

Green Tea Extract and Weight Loss

best weight loss pills

Green tea extract is an herbal product derived from green tea leaves. It contains a large amount of a substance known as a “catechin,” which is responsible for many of tea’s health benefits.

One of these benefits relates to weight loss: Research has shown that supplementation with green tea extract reduces total fat massaccelerates exercise-induced fat loss, and can help reduce abdominal fat, in particular. 

The primary mechanism by which it accomplishes this is inhibiting an enzyme that degrades catecholamines, which are chemicals that mobilize fat stores to be burned for energy. This also makes green tea extract work synergystically with caffeine–caffeine increases catecholamine levels, and green tea extract extends the amount of time they spend in the blood.

 The epigallocatechin gallate in my fat burner Phoenix is the catechin most associated with weight loss benefits, so if you’re taking Phoenix, you don’t need to supplement with GTE. If you’re not, however, GTE is a worthwhile addition to your fat loss regimen.

The Bottom Line

Green tea extract is an effective fat loss agent, as well as an effective weight management agent.

Habitual caffeine consumption will reduce its effects, however, and you must take enough (400-600 mg of catechins per day, according to the research available).

 The epigallocatechin gallate in my fat burner PHOENIX is the catechin most associated with weight loss benefits, and that’s how I get my EGCG when I’m cutting.

PHOENIX contains clinically effective dosages of other ingredients that help you lose fat faster as well, including…

Through these mechanisms, naringin also works synergistically with synephrine and hesperidin to further accelerate the basal metabolic rate.

Research has show that supplementation with forskolin accelerates fat loss and increases testosterone levels.

  • And more…

The bottom line is if you want to lose fat faster without pumping yourself full of stimulants or other potentially harmful chemicals…then you want to try PHOENIX.phoenix-bottle

Yohimbine and Weight Loss

#1 weight loss pill over the counter

Yohimbine is made from the Pausinystalia yohimbe plant, and it helps the body “tap into” fat stores.

(Not a very technical explanation, I know–if you want to know exactly how it works, check out this article of mine on how to lose stubborn fat.)

Yohimbine accelerates weight loss, but only works if you’re training in a fasted state. Elevated insulin levels negate yohimbine’s effects.

I’ve cut both with and without fasted training and yohimbine and I can say with absolutely certainty that with is noticeably faster. So much so that I think the biggest benefits of fasted training are that it lets you use yohimbine and it makes the other supplements discussed in this article more effective.

By itself, fasted training will make a slight difference in how quickly you lose fat. Combined with these supplements, however, it’s quite dramatic.

In terms of dosages, research has shown that .2 mg/kg of body weight is sufficient for fat loss purposes, and that ingesting it prior to exercise is particularly effective.

Some people get overly jittery from yohimbine, so I recommend you start with .1 mg/kg of body weight to assess tolerance. If you feel fine, then increase to the clinically effective dosage of .2 mg/kg.

The Bottom Line

When used properly (high enough dosage, fasted state, before exercise), yohimbine speeds up fat loss.

However, you should know that research has shown that yohimbine can raise blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, I don’t recommend you use it.

In terms of which specific yohimbine supplement I recommend, you’re probably not surprised that I’ve included a clinically effective dosage in every serving of my pre-workout fat burner FORGE.

FORGE also contains clinically effective dosages of two other ingredients that help you get the most out of your fasted training…

  • HMB. HMB is an extremely effective anti-catabolic agent, which means it’s very good at preventing muscle breakdown. This helps you recover faster from your workouts and experience less muscle soreness.
  • Citicoline. CDP-choline (also known as citicoline) is a chemical that occurs naturally in the brain that increases levels of another chemical called phosphatidylcholine, which is vital for brain function.

Research shows that supplementation with CDP-choline improves attentional focus, and I included this in FORGE because most people find fasted training more mentally draining than fed training and CDP-choline can help counteract this.

forge-bottle1

What’s your take on weight loss pills? Have anything else to add? Let me know in the comments below!

admin admin

I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

If you like my articles, then you'll love my bestselling books. They'll show you exactly what you need to do to build muscle and lose fat without hating your diet or living in the gym.

If you're a guy, check out Bigger Leaner Stronger, and if you're a girl, Thinner Leaner Stronger is for you.

THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE HAVE USED MY BOOKS TO BUILD THEIR BEST BODIES EVER. WILL YOU BE NEXT?

If you want a "paint-by-numbers," step-by-step blueprint for building a muscular, lean, strong body...faster than you ever thought possible...then you want to check out my bestselling books.

Here's a little sneak peek of what you'll learn inside...

  • The 7 biggest muscle building myths & mistakes that keep guys small, weak, and frustrated. (These BS lies are pushed by all the big magazines and even by many trainers.)
  • How to build meal plans that allow you to build muscle, lose fat, and get healthy with ease…eating foods you love (yes, including those deemed “unclean” by certain “gurus”)…and never feeling starved, deprived, or like you’re “on a diet.”
  • The 5 biggest fat loss myths & mistakes that keep women overweight, disappointed, and confused. (These BS lies are pushed by all the big magazines and even by many trainers.)
  • An all-in-one training system that delivers MAXIMUM results for your efforts…spending no more than 3 to 6 hours in the gym every week…doing workouts that energize you, not wipe you out.
  • A no-BS guide to supplements that will save you hundreds if not THOUSANDS of dollars each year that you would’ve wasted on products that are nothing more than bunk science and marketing hype.
  • And a whole lot more!

The bottom line is you CAN achieve that “Hollywood body" without having your life revolve around it. No long hours in the gym, no starving yourself, and no grueling cardio that turns your stomach.

My book will show you how. Get it today and let’s build a body you can be proud of.

Bigger Leaner Stronger

Bigger Leaner Stronger

Thinner Leaner Stronger

Thinner Leaner Stronger

Want more awesome stuff like this? Enter your email address to get the weekly newsletter.
Leave a Comment!
Comment!
Sign in to Muscle For Life
or use your MFL Account