In this post, I'm covering the supplements for weight loss that I recommend to my clients. Supplementation is very individual and there is no one size fits all! Remember to check with your doctor before supplementing.
I often am asked by weight loss clients "which supplements are healthy?" The answer is "it depends" which I'll get to in a minute.
Do You Need Supplements To Lose Weight?
The short answer is no. There is no supplement or pill that will actually make you lose weight without changing your diet and lifestyle.
There are pills that suppress appetite, however, I've seen tons of clients who have taken these, never lost weight and suffered a number of side effects their doctor never informed them about. Pills are bandaids to larger problems and women who go the route of taking pills are often looking for a quick fix instead of a lasting solution.
Weight loss requires learning how to eat in a new way and learning how weight loss works in your body. If you take the time to do these things, lasting weight loss is achievable.
That said, there are two important things the body does need for weight loss. Vitamin D and iron. If you are deficient in these, weight loss will be extremely difficult. I always recommend my clients have their levels checked with a blood draw.
Vitamin D toxicity can happen so always get your levels checks before supplementing. I share more about Vitamin D and safe sun protection in this training.
Do You Need Supplements At All?
Ideally, those who eat a balanced diet, who have well-functioning bodies and are in good overall health should not need supplements. Our ancestors weren't walking around taking supplements, but todays world make it virtually impossible to achieve optimal health without any supplements.
- Processed Foods, Chemicals, Preservatives, Added Sugar interfere with our bodies' ability absorb nutrients from food. Even on a plant based diet it's difficult to fully avoid these things.
- Vegetables today have dramatically lower qualities of critical nutrients as the soil has been depleted of nutrients compared to decades ago. Even if you're eating 8-10 servings per day that I recommend, you may not be getting the nutrient quantity that you need.
- Stress and Exercise dramatically increase the bodies' nutrient requirements. If you're living in 2020, you're likely experiencing a large form of stress and much more than your grandparents. Unfortunately, stress has become the new normal during this time and that means we may need more supplements.
What Supplements Do You Need To Lose Weight?
Below I've outlined the supplements I recommend for almost every woman I work with in my one-to-one coaching. These supplements do not mean you will lose weight or supplement diet and lifestyle changes. Rather, they complement a healthy, lasting weight loss.
Collagen is a protein in our bodies found in connective tissue, muscles, bones, skin, tendons, and throughout the digestive tract. It serves to hold various parts of the body together and gives skin and organs their elasticity and flexibility. Our body produces collagen on its own, but production decreases with age, diets high in sugar, and exposure to chemicals, so supplementing with collagen is helpful for many people.
Collagen is also a great way to get extra protein which many women seem to struggle with I've noticed. I put collagen in my coffee, but you can also put it in tea, yogurt, smoothies, soups. It's dissolvable so really anything it can dissolve in. This is the collagen I buy. I get the unflavored one, but there are many flavors to choose from.
You can also buy collagen waters that are great for an extra boost of protein and they are naturally sweetened.
Recipes I use collagen in:
Even if you're not experiencing digestive issues, I recommend taking a probiotic and rotating different strains due to what I said above about living stressful lives and being exposed to processed foods, chemicals, preservatives and added sugars. I generally recommend Garden of Life and RenewLife.
Most people are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids and are getting too many omega-6's in their diet. Omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is important because the omega-6's are what lead the obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, inflammation, cardiovascular disease etc.
Food sources high in omega-3 are salmon, mackerel, tuna, nuts and seeds, extra virgin olive oil. The tricky thing is these foods are also higher in calories so for weight loss you still want to be mindful of how much of them you are eating and the balance of them with your other food groups. Taking a supplement like this one can be helpful in achieving this balance and reversing the health consequences from being overweight.
Magnesium is critical for a number of processes in the body and it is estimated that the majority of American's are deficient. Magnesium helps with relaxation, sleep, anxiety and healthy digestion. The magnesium supplements I recommend are this one or this one.
The best source of protein is always real food, but I know many will ask the question about protein powders. I’m not a big proponent of relying on protein powders for protein. Most of them have heavy metals, chemicals and added sugars in them so really investigate what you are getting before you buy it.