Best Methods for Fat Loss – Supplements
I could probably think of 20 different supplements that are good for fat loss. The problem is that, the supplements that I will be recommending are the “basics.” This is where most people should start and anything beyond these supplements should be for a targeted and specific purpose for the individual.
*Quick note: Any recommendations are for informational purposes only and as always you should check with your doctor before adding any supplements into your current regimen. Also, I don’t have any vested interest in any of the recommendations I make. In other words, I’m not trying to sell you any damn supplements. These are the supplements I’ve personally taken, by brands that I trust, not only for myself but also for my friends and family.
1 – Fish Oil – There are so many reasons to use fish oil that it’s almost staggering. Honestly, if there were a wonder drug that helped with almost every chronic disease that Americans now face, this is it. If you’re trying to lose weight, this supplement helps. If you’re trying to gain muscle, this supplement helps. If you have heart disease, this supplement helps and the list can go on and on.
Most studies have shown that there aren’t many added benefits to increasing dosages above 1 gram of Omega 3’s per day. What this means, if you’re using a “cheap” brand, is that it would take 3-4 pills to get that 1 gram of DHA/EPA. If you’re obese, you can probably get away with using more per day. The reason for this, is that studies have shown that if you are deficient in Omega 3’s you are more apt to have feelings associated with depression because of a disruption of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is primarily made in the gut though, and by adding in more Omega 3’s you will start making more serotonin. This should help you to actually want to move while increasing your motivation to exercise (feeling better doesn’t hurt either).
How To Use: A – Purchase a good brand – My favorites are Charles Poliquin’s line along with Biotest’s Flameout. Purity is rare when it comes to supplements, and truth be told, with solvents, PCB’s and mercury in fish, it’s important to get trusted brands (which, yes, means spending more money).
B – Store the fish oil in the fridge. There have been some studies with cheaper brands actually increasing oxidation levels when taking expired or bad fish oil. Oxidation is like rusting on a car – it’s something you don’t want to happen. So keep the fish oil fresh by keeping it in the fridge.
C – After 6 months of high dose fish oil usage, add in GLA, or use a type that has GLA in it. After 6 months, you’re body will use up it’s stores of GLA with high dose Omega 3’s and the fat-burning effects will diminish.
2 – Protein Powder – I like a high quality Whey protein powder that’s easy to use. Higher protein diets (30% and above) have been shown to hold onto muscle better when dieting and is obviously a bit more effective with adding muscle while in a caloric surplus. You don’t need the fancy, super-duper supplements, and honestly, as long as you are switching between brands, I think you can use the protein powder daily without any negative side-effects or stomach distress.
How To Use: A – Purchase at least two different types of protein, such as a pure Whey protein Isolate (My favorite is from Blue Bonnet, but this can get expensive) and a Whey protein Concentrate (True protein.com has a low cost one that can be purchased by the pound).
B – Use One brand on Day 1, and the other brand on Day 2 and continue to alternate. Don’t drive yourself crazy with OCD, but try to stick to that schedule.
C – If you’re trying to lose fat, taking a shake after a workout will help keep the muscle – before and after is probably more effective, but no need to get too crazy.
3 – A Greens Drink – A greens drink is usually freeze-dried fruits and vegetables in a concentrated form that allows you to take in the equivalent of 5-12 servings of fruits and vegetables in one serving. Obviously you don’t get the fiber content of 5-12 servings of fruits and vegetables, but you get the vitamins and minerals found in that amount. These supplements have also been shown to help with blood alkalinity, which for what it’s worth will typically help make you feel better and more energized – two things that help immensely while trying to lose fat.
How to use: A – Purchase a good brand – My favorites include Biotest’s Superfood, Greens Plus and Primal Greens. B – Take daily at breakfast or after a hard workout. Lactic acid build-up (from a tough workout) will typically make your blood more acidic and this will help to mitigate that feeling. C – If you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford this, but just want some help with the removal of toxic substances, take a chlorophyll supplement daily. For $21 you can get a 60-day supply. Quick warning – If you do this, expect your shit to turn green.
4 – Probiotics – I think Probiotics are one of the most under-rated supplements out there. The reason why I feel this way is because most overweight and obese people will have “compromised” gut bacteria health from a high sugar diet and over-consumption of anti-biotics. Studies have shown an enhanced mode of fat loss, a lower incidence of colds, better breakdown of certain foods along with better absorption of certain vitamins and minerals with the use of probiotics.
How to use: A – Purchase a brand that has at least 15 billion (not million) active organisms per serving. B – Store in a fridge. C – Take at least once per day at the end of one of your meals. If you have meals with dairy in it, take the capsule at the end of that meal. My favorite brand is from Charles Poliquin, although I’ve used a couple other brands without any incidence.
5 – HCl – This is really a big thing with Charles Poliquin and truth be told, ever since I started taking this supplement, especially with larger meals, I feel better. I feel like I’m actually using the food for energy and not simply using all of my energy in breaking down the food. This is his first step and although it is usually associated with my first steps, it isn’t always the first.
How to Use: A – Read this article. B – No seriously, read this article and learn how you should use it. C – If you’re still having issues with any digestion, read this article and see what other factors may be happening. For digestive issues, this is my favorite article. It’s one of the few that pull it all together and has good recommendations in about 2-3 pages. I knew all of this information before I read this article, but I had gotten the information from a lot of disparate sources with a lot more nonsense. This article broke it down simply.
6 – A Multi-Vitamin -Vitamin and Mineral deficiencies can inhibit fat loss, cause low-energy, depression, lack of motivation, along with many health issues. Doctors will say if you eat a good diet you can get all your vitamin needs from foods. I think that’s complete bullshit. Maybe 50 years ago, that was true, but I really don’t see that being backed up by any science in the last 20 years. Numerous studies have shown that most American’s are deficient in multiple vitamins and minerals. With a depleted oil that is usually fertilized with 3 minerals and not 17 of a healthy soil, I just don’t see how you can get your requisite needs by food alone. Combine those facts with the fact that most Americans also have low stomach acid (thereby inhibiting the absorption of Vitamin B12 along with a couple of others), and inadequate good bacteria (which also limits absorption of vitamins and minerals) and it is just a wise bet to take a good Multi-Vitamin/Mineral.
How to Use: A – Purchase a good Multi-Vitamin. I like to alternate between Multi-Intense (I use 4 caps per day or more if I know I’m going to be drinking alcohol) alternated after every bottle with Garden of Life Men’s Multi. B – Spread the capsules over at least 2 meals and take with food. I like taking all of my pill-form supplements with meals, as the HCl helps break them down and utilize them.
7 – Water – Water is the most under-rated “supplement” out there. People will drink coffee, tea, protein shakes, juices, etc without any regard to actually drinking water. Water helps your body get rid of the toxins that is released when you burn more fat. It helps keep your mitochondria working correctly, along with the cell membranes in order to keep them working efficiently.
Dehydration has been shown to effect memory negatively along with huge drops in performance while working out – even at levels of a 2% dehydration level. This is important if you’re looking to lose fat and not have brain fog.
How to Use: No set standards for water intake has ever been recommended by any scientific backings. With that said, who cares? For fat loss, I think the best recommendation is to drink 60% of your weight in ounces per day, up to 128 ounces (no one “needs” more than a gallon per day for fat loss purposes). Therefore, if you weigh 200 lbs drink 120 ounces, spread out throughout the day.
Spread out throughout the day is important. If you consume most of your water while at work, but you have no need for it, then you’re really not using the water most efficiently. Whereas if you drink more water in the morning (which helps with hydration levels throughout the day), whenever you feel thirsty and around your workouts, you will be much better off. Therefore, if you weigh 150 pounds drink 90 ounces of water per day, spread out throughout the day. If you’re 100 pounds, stop trying to lose weight. Just sayin’.
With that said, there are literally countless other supplements that can and should be tailored for the individual based on blood tests, vitamin tests, chronic disease states, etc, but the bottom line is that with these “basic” supplements, you should be able to lose most of the fat that you will be able to lose. With the Exercise component, Diet recommendations and these supplements, there is almost no way that you don’t lose fat if you follow the best recommendations in each (there can be a couple of instances, but it will typically have to do with a compromised immune or detoxifying system in your body – and no, more than likely you won’t be effected in this way). With that said, I will put up one last post in this series in how to combine all of these methods into a baseline fat-loss program where I start most of my clients. This will be a 3-6 week program where I can track their progress and see how to move from that point. It’ll be a weekly schedule that will explain what to do from day to day and week to week. Follow it only if you’re trying to lose fat. I’ll be putting that post up by next the following Tuesday (3/15/11). If you have any questions, please feel free to let me know.