How to Use Dietary Supplements to Lose Weight
By now, you most likely know that there is no magic pill or weight loss supplement that will help you drop bodyweight and that technically, all you must do is eat fewer calories than you burn. However, if you know these two things, you also most likely know that real-life weight loss is way more complex and challenging than a simple math equation.
There are many factors involved in successfully changing your body composition and maintaining the change. Some of the factors are:
- mental health
- relationship with food
- support system
To complicate things, dieting and diet culture have become an incredibly toxic and emotional topic. We must find a way to encourage healthier, more balanced lifestyles to optimize people’s health and quality of life, without further adding to the mess of diet culture. With that said, let’s talk about strategies to help create lasting changes.
Five Strategies to Lose and Maintain Weight Loss
Maintain a calorie deficit through a combination of eating fewer calories and exercising to burn more calories.
Restriction is not the answer for maintaining a caloric deficit if you want to make lasting changes to your body composition. It is human nature to rebel against restriction, and with rare exceptions, extreme, restriction-based diets fail. So, instead of cutting calories and all snacks out of your diet and turning to a diet comprised only of chicken breast and sweet potatoes, consider a modest reduction in calorie consumption paired with an increase in calories expended by adding cardio to your workout routine.
You might be interested in calculating an appropriate estimation of your calorie needs. First, calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). This is the number of calories your body needs to function if you don’t move for an entire day. Note this is not how many calories you should aim to consume.
Adult Male BMR = (10 x body weight in kg) + (6.25 x height in cm) – (5 x age in years) + 5
Adult Female BMR = (10 x body weight in kg) + (6.25 x height in cm) – (5 x age in years) – 161
Then account for your activity by multiplying your BMR by the number that corresponds with your activity level:
- sedentary (little or no regular exercise) = 1.2
- lightly active (light exercises 1-3 days/week) = 1.375
- moderately active (moderate exercises 3-5 days/week) = 1.55
- very active (hard exercises 6-7 days/week) = 1.725
- extremely active (very hard exercises 6-7 day/week) = 1.9
You can also use an online calculator to determine your caloric needs. Once you have a number, begin by subtracting just 250 calories from what you consume and aim to burn at least 250 calories through exercise. This should allow you to maintain a caloric deficit without feeling overly restricted.
Incorporate weightlifting and cardio into your workout split.
When we talk about exercising to burn calories, you probably imagine yourself on a treadmill or elliptical for hours watching the calorie counter tick. It doesn’t have to be that way! In fact, it’s better to aim to gain lean muscle mass even if you’re trying to lose bodyweight.
The more muscle tissue you have, the more energy your body burns at rest. So, as you build muscle, it will actually help you shed body fat, too. To change your body composition and lose bodyweight, try lifting three to five times a week and doing 30-60 minutes of cardio five to six times a week.
Take one to two rest days per week.
Don’t underestimate your rest. Allowing your body to heal and recover is essential to continuing to make progress for any fitness goal.
Sleep for at least seven hours a night.
Like rest days, don’t underestimate your sleep either. Your body heals and repairs while you sleep. If you have poor sleep hygiene, your results will suffer. Plus, your body might hold on to excess body fat.
Incorporate dietary supplements and strategic weight loss supplements to hit nutritional goals.
While there is no magic pill or dietary supplement that will help you lose weight without modifying your daily habits, supplements are a great tool to ensure you’re hitting nutritional goals like:
- protein, carb, and fat intake
- vitamins, minerals, antioxidants
Weight Loss Supplement Stack
Multivitamin dietary supplement
Ensuring your diet is rich in vitamins and minerals is vital for your health and weight loss journey. While multivitamins are not technically a weight loss supplement, many vitamin deficiencies (like vitamin D) are linked to unhealthy weight and obesity. There is a risk of falling short on your body’s micronutrient needs if you begin to cut out foods.
CLA weight loss supplement
CLA or conjugated linolic acid is plentiful in meat and dairy products and is a popular weight loss supplement. Some research indicates that using the dietary supplement as a weight loss supplement can reduce body fat levels by reducing food intake, increasing fat burning, stimulating fat breakdown, and blocking fat production.
Pre-workout dietary supplement
Dietary supplements marketed as pre-workout supplements are designed to increase energy and improve athletic performance for a better workout. There is no specific formula for pre-workout products, but products that contain creatine and caffeine promote lean muscle growth and fat loss. These ingredients make a pre-workout a weight loss supplement.
Protein weight loss supplement
Giving your body enough protein, especially immediately following a workout, is a great way to improve your recovery, build lean muscle, and ultimately maintain your calorie deficit. Choose a protein weight loss supplement that contains very little fat, carbs, and sugar, so you keep the calories low and the protein high.
Another dietary supplement to consider is casein protein. Use the slow-digesting protein as a weight loss supplement by replacing meals or feeding your body overnight.
EAA dietary supplement
EAA or essential amino acid dietary supplements support your body’s recovery so you can optimize your lean muscle growth and your weight loss.
There is no magic dietary supplement that you can take to make maintaining a calorie deficit easier. However, this specific weight loss supplement stack can help you hit your calorie goals in a healthy, balanced way that makes it easier to lose weight and build healthy habits surrounding your diet and exercise programs so that you can live a healthy, happy, and balanced life.