Natural Weight-Loss Supplements: My Experience

weight-lossA few days ago I was thinking about the days long before I discovered daily intermittent fasting and I remembered all the things I’d tried in my effort to lose weight over the years.  My relationship with “weight-loss aids” started fairly early.  I remember drinking SlimFast when I was in high school in order to shed my summer break weight.  As I got older, however, the few extra summer pounds stayed around all year long.

By the time I reached my forties, there seemed to be no quick fixes.   Nevertheless, I tried many a “natural” supplement and “homeopathic” cure in an effort to combat what seemed like an uncontrollable appetite and sluggish metabolism.  Daily intermittent fasting has improved those factors greatly, but not completely.  I still have to be mindful of what and how much I eat when I break my fast and there are times that’s not easy to do.  Still, as I continue to lose weight (45 lbs so far), both my appetite and my metabolism seem more in check.

Here’s a rundown of what I’ve tried through the years and my experience.  There are no links to products and I am not promoting nor profiting from the mention of any of the items below.  This is only my personal experience.  If you’re considering any of these supplements, please allow what I’ve written below to serve as a starting point for your own research.

SlimFast
Still taking it? No
Those days are long gone.  Ever read the gazillion ingredients in that can?  Scary.

SlimQuick
Still taking it? No
This works for appetite control and energy, but I was always a little troubled by the odd aftertaste it leaves on the tongue for hours afterwards.  I used to pack the little flavored packets in my purse, which was very convenient.  Combined with a healthy diet and exercise, this did work for me for a while.

Sensa
Still taking it? No
It was hard to believe that shaking tiny sprinkles of God-knows-what on your food would cause you to eat less of it, but it works and apparently there’s a lot of science behind it.  Still, for how long are you going to be shaking pricey bottles of Sensa on your food?  Eventually we all have to practice moderation naturally.

Chromium Picolinate
Still taking it? No
I only took this for a short time after reading that there’s no conclusive evidence of its effect on metabolism and weight loss and that it’s only “possibly safe” when used for over six months.  I didn’t notice a significant change anyway.

Grapeseed Extract, Apple Pectin and Banaba (not Banana) Leaf Extract
Still taking it? Yes and No
This was a magic combination touted by Dr. Oz back in the day, and I must say it works for appetite control.  I’m not sure if it’s one or all three of these that does the trick, but I did notice diminished hunger and cravings.  I will continue taking two of these for now, mainly because I still have a big bottle of banaba leaf capsules left and I keep grapeseed extract capsules on hand when I need a vitamin C boost (it’s great during cold season).  I ran out of apple pectin.  I don’t think either supplement warrants the weight-loss hype, but I do think they are somewhat effective.

100% Whey Protein Powder
Still taking it? Yes
I recently read that just increasing protein alone aids in weight-loss.  I do seem to experience great energy and less hunger when I take whey protein.  Supplementing seems to be necessary since, no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to get a decent amount through food alone.  FYI, a fitness buff friend of mine suggested only consuming high quality 100% whey (80% protein) , with no artificial sugars, flavors, fillers, etc. – the kind generally only available in health food stores.  Read those labels.

L-Carnitine
Still taking it? No
I read about this in a post in a low-carb group back when I used to belong to one.  I wasn’t on it for long, but it didn’t live up to the metabolism-boosting effects that were touted by so many.  I was surprised my experience was so different than so many.  Ironically, despite the fact it’s claimed to diminish hunger, I found that it actually gave me a ferocious appetite and also seemed to trigger intense cravings for high carb foods like bread and sweets – not something a daily faster wants to deal with.

Garcinia Cambogia
Still taking it? No
Garcinia cambogia works for appetite control, but be sure to drink it with lots of water as it can cause constipation.  I also found it made me cranky, perhaps due to low blood sugar, which it’s claimed decrease.   If you get it in capsule form, be sure it’s 100% garcinia cambogia, preferably 70% HCA (hydroxycitric acid) with no fillers.  I bought mine online in bulk powder form which came with a tiny measuring spoon.

Raspberry Ketones
Still taking it? No
I didn’t notice any significant effects from taking this.  Save your money.

White Tea with Saffron
Still taking it? Yes
White tea is a natural mild appetite suppressant and the effects of saffron have been likened to a mild dose of Prozac.  Together they knock out hunger very effectively.  One caution… I was told it can affect those with mood disorders.  That’s because saffron effects serotonin levels – a neurotransmitter that gives us a feel-good effect.   For those of us not on any mood medications, saffron tea is a mood-lifting, appetite-suppressing delight.  Here’s my post on how to make it yourself.

Gingko Biloba
Still taking it? Yes
It helps my brain fire on all pistons.  I kinda sorta think it has some appetite suppressing effects, but I have yet to read any studies that claim that.

Anything you want to share?  Let us know in the comments below.

Mimi

Hi, I'm Mimi and I've lost 70 pounds (so far) through daily intermittent fasting or "scheduled eating." I'm committed to the fasting lifestyle and to making it as easy and fun as possible. (Yes, I said fun!) If you're on the fasting journey with me or if you're contemplating it, you've found the right place for information, tips, and support. You may also want to follow me on Twitter @foodcanwait or join us on Facebook at facebook.com/foodcanwait.

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