- Do Weight Loss Supplements Really Work?
- Best Weight Loss Supplement Ingredients for Men
- Best Weight Loss Supplement for Men
- Summarizing: Weight Loss Strategy
- Final Thoughts: Weight Loss Supplements for Men
Spawned by the overweight and obesity epidemic in the U.S., the diet and weight loss industry reached some $78 billion in 2019. After a slight downturn in 2020, the market is expected to rebound and grow through 2025. Nearly two-thirds of all U.S. adults fall into one of the two categories, either simply overweight or obese.
The industry encompasses multiple segments from artificial sweeteners to health clubs, commercial weight-loss chains, supplements, and diet pills, multi-level marketing companies, medical weight loss programs, and low-calorie dinner entrees. The diet and weight loss supplement business, at $4.55 billion, represents only about 5% of the industry; however, it remains a large and highly competitive segment of the market.
How do most companies attempt to sell weight loss supplements? Most use before and after photos and testimonials. Where is the science, the clinical evidence of effectiveness?
In researching the best weight loss supplement for men, we scoured the internet seeking reliable information about ingredients and products in the space. We found other “Best of” articles listing the top five, ten, or twenty weight loss products. However, too many of those articles featured best-sellers that we’ve never heard of. They are not available in any brick and mortar retailers, only on websites and from obscure manufacturers that provide virtually no information about the company, its founders, or key employees. In addition, most of the products use proprietary blends, all the better to “fairy-dust” the formulations.
Our approach to this guide was very different:
- We identified those ingredients that have been clinically tested as reported by the NCBI, National Center for Biotechnology Information, and found them effective in weight management at specific dosages.
- We report on those ingredients, their efficacy, and the mechanisms that make them effective.
- We reviewed some of the best-selling products in the dietary supplement space for weight loss, focusing on ingredients, formulations, cGMP certified facilities, and other third-party certifications.
In our Summary, we address the two most important concepts in any weight loss program and provide tips for your weight loss journey. Ready to find out what the best weight loss supplement for men is? Let’s get started!
Do Weight Loss Supplements Really Work?
Our research also led us to an article in Medical News Today with the title, “Insufficient Evidence that Weight Loss Supplements Work.” The article states that in a review of over 120 controlled trials, including nearly 10,000 adults, the use of supplements for weight loss cannot be justified based on the current evidence.
We concur; no magic pill or potion will burn enough calories or reduce weight and body fat significantly in a vacuum. For a weight loss regimen to work, regardless of the method you might use, Intermittent Fasting, KETO, NutriSystem, or NOOM, you will need to reduce your total caloric intake (diet) and increase your physical activity (exercise). Period. However, when combined with diet and exercise, several ingredients have excellent results in accelerating weight loss and improving body composition.
Best Weight Loss Supplement Ingredients for Men
We don’t expect special treatment for our “Best of” article, so in addition to our take on the best weight loss supplements for men, we include data from the NCBI on each ingredients’ clinical trial supporting evidence.
Our first ingredient is not traditionally positioned in the market as a weight-loss supplement for men, protein. The NCBI cites increased protein intake as one of its core strategies for weight loss and weight management. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight – well below what we suggest for those exercising. Now the NCBI recommends 1.2 – 1.6 grams of protein per kg of body weight for reductions in body weight and fat mass while preserving your lean mass!
Protein works in three ways:
- Improves satiety – you eat less, with fewer cravings.
- Increases TEF (Thermic Effect of Food) – you literally expend more energy metabolizing protein than carbohydrates or fat.
- Protein prevents a decline in REE (Resting Energy Expenditure)
In addition to its stimulating effects, burning more calories, caffeine effectively releases fat from fat cells. According to studies, caffeine may work best at releasing fat when taken before a workout, which is why it is a component in many popular pre-workout products. Recommended dosage, 200 – 400 mg. The NCBI confirms that caffeine demonstrates the ability to promote weight, BMI, and body fat reduction. Notably, increasing the frequency of caffeine intake will improve its effectiveness in these areas.
The active compound of Yohimbe is yohimbine, another ingredient that aids in the release of fat, although through a different mechanism. It can be even more effective when taken in combination with caffeine. Although the NCBI concluded yohimbine could significantly increase weight loss in those on a low-energy diet, we recommend a bit of caution with its use. Some people are sensitive to Yohimbe or yohimbine and feel light-headed, nauseous, or dizzy. The recommended dosage is 5 – 20 grams per day. We suggest you start with a lower dosage and titrate up as tolerance allows.
The last of our “Best of” ingredients for burning/releasing fat from fat cells, synephrine is an herb from the plant Citrus aurantium, also known as bitter orange. Synephrine is somewhat similar to the banned substance ephedrine (perhaps the one magic pill when combined with caffeine and aspirin in an ECA stack). Synephrine also decreases appetite and raises your metabolic rate. The recommended dosage is 10-20 mg.
Not surprisingly, given its relationship to ephedrine, the clinical trials on synephrine focused on safety and efficacy in weight loss. The findings, synephrine supplementation, did not cause any significant adverse events such as increased heart rate or blood pressure. Yet, the ingredient was shown to increase resting metabolic rate and energy expenditure, producing moderate weight loss.
Once you have released the fat from fat cells, you need to increase your calorie expenditure to use that fat for energy.
Green Tea Extract
The active ingredients in green tea are catechins; specifically one called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). In addition to other health benefits, green tea helps burn more fat by increasing the number of calories you burn.
According to the NCBI, EGCG can significantly affect weight loss and decrease BMI (Body Mass Index) and waist circumference, with no adverse side effects. Recommended dosage, 500 mg.
Capsaicin is the natural plant chemical that gives spicy peppers, such as cayenne peppers, their heat. Like green tea, capsaicin’s role in a diet aid is to increase your calorie burn. Taken before meals, capsaicin may also help to decrease the quantity of food you consume. The NCBI tells us that clinical test results indicate capsaicinoids (CAPs) can positively affect body fat and fat mass. Dosage, about 50 mg.
Carnitine is an amino-acid-like molecule that transports any remaining fat not burned during caloric expenditures into the mitochondria. Studies confirm that supplementing with carnitine increases the amount of fat that the body burns. We prefer the Acetyl-L-carnitine variety due to its improved absorption and uptake. The recommended dosage is 1-2 grams.
NCBI: Results from the analysis of eligible trials showed that subjects who supplemented with carnitine lost significantly more weight and showed a decrease in BMI versus those panelists who received a placebo.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
CLA is a group of fatty acids found in meat and dairy, believed to have various health benefits. In supplementation, CLA is a naturally occurring group of omega-6 healthy fats designed to aid fat loss while increasing muscle and strength. CLA prevents the body from storing fat and instead encourages it to burn fat. Recommended dosage, 1-3 grams three times per day.
The NCBI indicates that 3.4 grams per day, when combined with green tea, significantly reduced total body fat percentage.
Several ingredients deserve honorable mention. For those on a ketogenic diet, Beta-Hydroxybutyrate or BHB Salts can be effective in helping to reach or maintain a state of ketosis. We excluded mood or cognition-focused ingredients, often used in dietary supplements such as L-Tyrosine or Phosphatidylserine.
Finally, we didn’t identify those trademarked and patented forms of our selected ingredients, many of which have additional clinical trials supporting their efficacy at the appropriate dosages. Examples would be Capsimax® Cayenne Pepper Extract and Advantra Z® Synephrine. We tend to favor those brands and products that incur the added expense of including patented ingredients in their formulations, provided they are at the clinically-tested dosages.
Best Weight Loss Supplement for Men
Each of the selected products meets our high standards for manufacturing facilities, cGMP certified, and each company has its ingredients and finished product third-party tested for quality.
These weight loss products are made and marketed by some of the most advanced companies in the dietary supplement space. Each of these supplements is focused on performance and is ideal for men looking to manage their weight.
Now, let’s take a look at our picks for the best weight loss supplements for men.
Hydroxycut, from Iovate, the makers of MuscleTech supplements, is the best-selling weight loss brand in the U.S. They have several popular supplements such as Hydroxycut Platinum and Hydroxycut Black. Their Hydroxycut Hardcore is an excellent product for men, containing several of our key ingredients, including caffeine anhydrous, cayenne pepper, Yohimbe, and green tea extract.GET THE BEST PRICE ON HYDROXYCUT HARDCORE
Cellucor Super HD
Super HD from Cellucor is another major brand in the sports nutrition space. Cellucor also owns Xtend Intra Workout BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids), which we recommend when dieting and exercising. Super HD does use a proprietary formula for a part of their formulation, which includes Yohimbe, Capsimax (trademarked cayenne pepper), and other ingredients. Listed separately are the caffeine anhydrous and green tea extract.GET THE BEST PRICE ON CELLUCOR SUPER HD
Our current favorite weight loss product for men is JYM Shred from Stoppani Supplement Science. The product contains two trademarked ingredients, CapsiMax and Advantra Z Synephrine, in addition to caffeine, green tea, and Acetyl-L-Carnitine, all at the clinically tested levels.GET THE BEST PRICE ON JYM SHRED
Clean Burn Amped
Clean Burn Amped is a supplement from Kaged Muscle, the same make of popular pre-workout Pre-Kaged. Clean Burn Amped is a newer entry into the space and is positioned as a plant-based vegan alternative. The formulation includes three trademarked ingredients: organic PurCaf caffeine, Svetol green coffee bean, and Green Select green tea. Clean Burn is ideal for those following a vegan diet or adhering to a strictly plant-based regimen.GET THE BEST PRICE ON CLEAN BURN AMPED
Summarizing: Weight Loss Strategy
To frame our summary, we return to the NCBI and several quotes that we found to be pertinent regarding any weight loss program:
“The problem of overweight and obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. and globally, and the high prevalence is due in part to the recidivism associated with weight-loss treatment. Approximately one-third of lost weight is often regained in the first year after treatment and, at times, continues.”
Even medically-induced weight loss programs fail within the first year as most people regain a significant portion of the weight lost, and the unfortunate gains, at times, continue.
Regarding the results of clinical trials of higher protein consumption on weight loss, the NCBI states,
“Dietary compliance appears to be the primary contributor to the discrepant findings because improvements in weight management were detected in those who adhered to the prescribed higher-protein regimen, whereas those who did not adhere to the diet had no marked improvements.”
Regardless of the weight loss strategy, higher protein consumption, dietary supplements, calorie restriction, or Keto, no matter how effective it may be, the most important consideration in weight reduction is compliance.
When NCBI lists its Strategies Found to be Beneficial for Weight-Loss Maintenance, the following are among the items are listed:
- Dietary modifications
- Adherence to physical activity
- Increased protein intake
- Increased caffeine intake for those consuming
Final Thoughts: Weight Loss Supplements for Men
The ingredients and products we identified in this article can be very effective in aiding your weight loss program when combined with a solid training and nutrition plan. Provided you apply these two essential concepts, identified by the NCBI, adherence, and compliance to your program.
Another important concept identified by the experts is accountability, which is why NCBI lists “continued contact with participants” as another of its strategies. For those embarking on a weight loss program on their own, with no clinic, doctor, or nutritionist, we have one key discipline to help hold yourself accountable. Plot your current weight on a spreadsheet, count off thirty columns and plot your desired weight. Now draw a line connecting the two. Weigh in each day and plot your weight on the chart. If you are below the line, you are on target – if you creep above the line, you need to be very disciplined that day. See the example below. Twenty pounds in thirty days is an extreme example used for illustration purposes. Keep your goals realistic.
We hope you find this guide, and the strategies, ingredients, and supplements recommended as effective tools in your weight loss journey.