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The Best Supplements for Weight Loss

So you've put on some fluff around the middle. You let your diet slide during the holidays, indulged a bit too much at Mom's house, or maybe you just can't shed those last few pounds. (Trust us, we get it.)

Whatever your goal, these fat-burning supplements will help you slim down so you can level up.

CONJUGATED LINOLEIC ACID (CLA)

A fatty acid that burns fat? It may sound counter-intuitive, but conjugated linoleic acid (CLA for short) could help you torch extra jiggle, especially around your abdominal area. (x) Scientists aren't sure exactly how CLA helps you battle the bulge, but research suggests it has something to do with CLA's effect on energy metabolism. (x) It has also been shown to increase lean body mass when paired with creatine and a healthy exercise routine--good news if you're gearing up for shredding season. (x)

WHEY PROTEIN

Whey protein comes from milk and is rich in amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Protein is crucial to your overall health--it not only builds muscle, but may also help you lose fat. That's because whey protein curbs your appetite so you feel fuller longer. In one study, those who took whey protein lost significantly more weight and body fat than those who supplemented with soy protein. (x)

In another series of studies, participants who took whey protein during a weight-lifting program lost eight pounds on average, decreased their body fat percentage, and increased lean body mass. (x)

Whey also helps you build muscle, which on average burns more calories than fat--meaning every pound of fat you replace with muscle revs up your metabolism. No whey! (...sorry. We had to.)

CAFFEINE

You rely on it every morning (and afternoon...and evening...and always, let's be real) for energy, but caffeine does more than just put a pep in your step after your cup of joe. It has also been shown to effectively speed up metabolism and burn fat. (x)

In one study, participants who took caffeine before exercise burned more calories during their workouts, ate less after, and reported enjoying their gym sessions more than those who did not supplement with caffeine. (x)

If downing a cup of coffee isn't your thing, you can mix green tea extract, guarana, or green coffee bean into your preworkout drink before you hit the gym.

A quick note: Be sure to limit your caffeine intake to under 400 mg a day. More than that could leave you feeling jittery and sick.

GREEN TEA EXTRACT

Studies have found that a phytochemical in green tea called epigallocachetin gallate (EGCG) may increase the rate of fat oxidation (the process by which your body converts fat to energy) by up to 33%. (x)  It not only helps you lose weight, but could help you keep the weight off, especially around your middle. (x)(x)

Need another reason to go green? Green tea is packed with antioxidants that protect your cells from damaging free radicals.

GARCINIA CAMBOGIA

Garcinia cambogia, also known as gummi-gutta, is a small, pumpkin-shaped fruit native to India, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

Modern research focuses on a particular component in garcinia: hydroxycitric acid, or HCA, which studies suggest may aid in weight management when paired with a healthy diet and lifestyle.

So how does it work? Scientists believe HCA helps whittle your waistline by inhibiting a fat-producing enzyme in the body, and by increasing levels of a chemical called serotonin, which produces feelings of calmness and well-being and may also help curb cravings. (12)

Another bonus? It could help lower your cholesterol for a healthier heart. (x)\

RASPBERRY KETONES

Raspberry ketones are compounds that give red raspberries their fresh fragrance and fruity taste.

Research suggests they may improve your body's ability to break down fat by  increasing levels of a hormone called adiponectin, which is believed to regulate weight (especially excess fat on your abdomen). (x)(x)

So if you're eager to burn away that spare tire around your waist, add some raspberry ketone powder to your preworkout shake for a metabolic boost and a fruity zing.

Be sure to check with your doctor before taking any supplements, and keep in mind that when it comes to weight loss, there's no magic pill--all of these supplements should be paired with healthy diet and lifestyle choices.

Check out our full catalog of weight loss supplements here.

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