Low-fat dairy, fibre and green tea are the best supplements for weight loss, research finds.
Soluble fibres, like those in beans, vegetables and fruits, improve weight loss and reduce belly fat by reducing appetite.
The caffeine and flavonoids contained in green tea help to speed up the metabolism and process fat more quickly.
Vitamin D and calcium are present in relatively high levels in dairy products.
Low levels of calcium are frequently linked to obesity and vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium.
The conclusions come from research that examined multiple studies carried out on supplements for weight loss.
Professor Melinda Manore, the study’s author, said that while supplements can help, making dietary changes is critical:
“For most people, unless you alter your diet and get daily exercise, no supplement is going to have a big impact.
I don’t know how you eliminate exercise from the equation.
The data is very strong that exercise is crucial to not only losing weight and preserving muscle mass, but keeping the weight off.”
Increasing protein intake may also be effective, along with these three changes, Professor Manore said:
“Adding fiber, calcium, protein and drinking green tea can help.
But none of these will have much effect unless you exercise and eat fruits and vegetables.”
The research looked at a variety of weight loss supplements including appetite suppressants and caffeine, but few were effective, the study concluded.
Professor Manore said:
“What people want is to lose weight and maintain or increase lean tissue mass.
There is no evidence that any one supplement does this.
And some have side effects ranging from the unpleasant, such as bloating and gas, to very serious issues such as strokes and heart problems.”
The study was published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism (Manore et al., 2012).