So you finally made up your mind to work on your dream weight on a vegan diet, and now you realized that it is harder than it looks. We have all been there unfortunately 🙁
So now you are looking for that magic pill that will help you get there faster, right?
Sorry to break your bubble but there is no magic pill and no supplement alone can make you lose weight. I know this is not what you want to hear but it is the honest truth.
However, I don’t want to totally dismiss vegan weight-loss supplements. They can help. But you need to understand that they are just that, supplements.
Vegan weight loss supplements should be a complement to your plant-based diet and exercise regimen.
My point is that you can’t just take vegan weight loss supplements, eat whatever you want and lose weight.
Having said that, there are some natural supplements out there in the market that can give you a little needed push if you feel like you need it.
But, how do you choose from the hundreds of slimming supplements out there? Isn’t it overwhelming?
Lucky for you, I did all the research to help you make the best decision. So keep reading to find out the brands that I recommend.
Understanding The Weight Loss Process
I don’t need to remind you why and how being overweight is detrimental to your health. Aside from all the diseases you can get, it can also eat at your self-esteem.
Now, if you’re wondering how weight loss happens, the process is not as simple as some make it to be. How does the body initiate it? Where do all the fats you lose go?
To understand the weight loss process, let’s begin with our metabolism and how our body stores fat.
As we all know, our body gets its fuel from the food we eat through the metabolism. When we eat too much food –calories– our body stores all the excess as fats.
For people with a slower metabolism, it won’t take long until all these turn to extra pounds.
On the contrary, there are people whose metabolism is fast enough that it seems like no matter how much they eat, they never gain weight. Some gene pool jackpot right?
Unfortunately, I’m not of the lucky ones. And if you are reading this blog post, I’m guessing you weren’t very lucky either.
Anyways, to lose weight you need to do the following: If you eat less calories or food than what your body needs, it will start to use up those extra pounds you have in storage to fuel you. This is what is called to be in a ‘caloric deficit’.
But the time it takes for the human body to do that will vary from one to another. What can you do?
Two things: Proper diet and exercise. I know that sounds old, but for a lot of people it’s never easy. Nevertheless, these are your 2 keys for weight loss.
Supplements can help, yes, but if you want to get it right and fast, you need to plan for your proper diet and exercise. If not, whenever you stop taking the supplements, you will regain all the weight back!
Also, where does your fat go after you burn them?
Once your body starts to use your extra fat, the body metabolizes (or dissolves) them for use.
To be more specific, the fat you lose turn into carbon dioxide and water. That means you pee and sweat them, and for the most part, you exhale them. You heard that right!
But hold your horses! This might give you the idea that exhaling more will make you lose more weight. NO! If you do that you’ll just end up hyperventilating.
You need to get your muscles moving first. Don’t worry though, it can be as simple as just walking or doing some chores at home. Just keep moving!
Factors That Affect Weight Loss Speed
Consider yourself lucky if you can eat a lot without gaining much weight. Do you ever wonder how two people can lose and gain weight differently? There’s more than just the difference in metabolism speed. Take a look at these other factors:
As the body ages, the metabolism also slows down. Once you turn 25, your metabolism will slow down for up to 4% every year. Muscle mass also lessens with age, along with the increase in body fats. In turn, the body uses less calories. So, the older you are, the more exercise you need.
2. Physical activity
The more activities you have, the more calories you burn and the faster you can lose weight.
Men generally have more muscles, which means they use up more calories than women.
If you have a large body frame, your burn more calories, even while you rest.
Consider these factors when you plan your weight loss program. If you’re over 25 years old and/or a female, you might need to put in some extra effort.
Also, work on adding more muscle mass as you age. This will prevent your metabolism from slowing down significantly.
Healthy Weight Loss On A Vegan Diet
People tend to want to lose as many kilos in the shortest time possible. Have you ever dreamt of shedding as much as 10 kilos in one week? You know that’s totally a dream, and believe it or not, your body would hate you for that.
Have you been told that healthy weight loss is only up to 1 kilo per week? Well, that’s correct!
If you lose over 1 kilo (around 2 lbs.) each week, chances are you are only losing water and muscles. And guess what? They are bound to come back… in the form of fat!
Why? It’s because fat loss is a slower process unlike water and muscle loss.
So if you’re only shedding around 1 kilo per week, there’s no need to feel like your efforts are futile. In fact, according to CDC, losing only 1-2 pounds (1 kg or less) a week will help to keep off the weight you lost in the long term. Gradual and steady weight loss is the key!
Types Of Vegan Weight Loss Supplements And How They Work
While there are hundreds of weight loss supplements out today, you can narrow them down by their action types. These mechanisms of action will tell you how they facilitate weight loss inside your body.
Supplements can be from the following sources:
- Natural – supplements with natural sources, often from plants or herbs.
- Synthetic – you probably already know, yes they are made in laboratories.
- Combination – some brands with trademark ingredients or cocktails often use a combination of plant extracts and lab chemicals.
While most weight loss supplements are available over the counter, some will require a doctor’s prescription. Prescription weight loss medications are often given to patients with obesity.
Such pills are regulated for safety reasons, and therefore must be taken according to doctor’s instructions only.
Now take a look at each mechanism of action in more detail:
1. Fat burning
A lot of weight loss supplements work by fueling the burning process against fats and calories. This can be done in different ways:
- By regulating thyroid hormones
- By increasing body temperature (thermogenic)
- By boosting energy
- By blocking fat, carbs, and/or cortisol
By speeding up fat burning, your body can shed more fats faster. It’s also worth noting that there are 2 main types of fat burners, those with stimulants (usually caffeine), and those without stimulants.
2. Boosting Metabolism
Supplements that boost metabolism work pretty much the same as fat burners. Also, if you notice, many of the fat burners have a metabolism boosting function as well. Ingredients that can do both make a frequent appearance in supplement labels.
Here are the most common metabolic boosters:
3. Appetite suppression
For weight loss to happen, calorie reduction is required. This is why suppressing appetite is also one of the most common ways to restrict food intake.
We all know how difficult it is to say no to cravings. And I’m sure you’ll agree that the temptation just seems to increase when you’re trying to lose weight, doesn’t it?
Appetite suppressants work by simply curbing your appetite or making you feel full. There are dozens of ingredients that can suppress your appetite, so for this list I will only include the natural ones.
4. Blocking fat absorption (lipase inhibitors)
Another way to prevent new fats from developing is to block their formation. This is how lipase inhibitors do their work. Lipase is our body’s natural enzyme that digests fats. By inhibiting this enzyme, the fats that you eat skip digestion and go through elimination instead. This way, your body will not absorb any of the fats that you eat.
There are also lipase inhibitors from plant sources. However, they haven’t been tested or used in humans yet. Currently, orlistat is the only lipase inhibitor in the market, which, fortunately, is also approved and regulated by the FDA. Yes it’s vegan-friendly too!
5. Inducing Bowel Movement (Laxatives)
This is probably the most simple and common of all. If you have been attempting to lose weight, I’m sure you have tried one of the many laxative teas in the market with slimming claims.
Before I give you the most common laxatives in the market today, here are the types of laxatives for your guide:
- Bulk-forming – Helps absorb water to bulk up stool; ideal for mild constipation.
- Lubricant – Coats the stool and intestinal lining to lubricate evacuation of stool.
- Osmotic – Retains water in the colon through osmosis to increase frequency of movement.
- Saline – Draws water into the small intestine; ideal for mild constipation.
- Stimulant – Speeds up digestive tract movement.
- Softener/emollient – Draws water into the stool to soften them.
There are many common laxative ingredients that have been banned by the FDA such as cascara and aloe latex. Despite their previous popularity, these ingredients are either found to be unsafe or have insufficient proof of efficacy.
Unfortunately though, laxatives are not meant to aid in weight loss. Aside from the obvious reason that they are stool softeners only, laxatives only make you lose water.
This fluid loss can be significant enough to cause health issues if you take laxatives too often. What’s more, losing water weight is only temporary.
If you feel you are not moving your bowels enough, laxatives will help. I know how heavy it can feel on the inside if your bowel movements are not regular. In this case, laxatives will help lighten that. Just remember not to overdo it because…
Warnings Against Prolonged Laxative Use
- Impairment of intestinal function
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Irritation of intestines which can lead to bloody stools
- Protrusion of intestine from the rectum (prolapse)
Comparison Of The Most Common Types Of Weight Loss Supplements
There’s only a few but some of them can seem quite similar. If you need more help choosing, here’s a closer comparison:
People react differently to weight loss supplements. This means that what works for your friend may not work for you. Moreover, side effects may also vary from one person to another. This often depends on sensitivity, tolerance, and current diet.
There are people who may also have sensitivity to some of the ingredients, and subsequently cause an allergic reaction. So always look for the detailed list of ingredients.
Another thing to note is that most supplements, especially OTCs, do not require FDA approval. Some may have it, but most will not. This is why you have to be very careful when choosing supplements.
However, supplements that do not have FDA approval doesn’t necessarily mean that they are shady. It’s just not a requirement.
In the same way, supplements with FDA approval cannot guarantee your results. While they are definitely tested by the FDA, remember that bodies work differently and results will always vary.
Now when it comes to the maximum doses, don’t even think about tempting faith. The numbers are the “maximum limit”, so depending on sensitivity, this figure can change.
If you are more sensitive, a lesser amount than this limit can be more than enough to trigger adverse reactions.
If you really want to be safe, always stick to the recommended dosage. You can’t rush you weight loss anyway.
Weight loss supplement brands may also recommend a combination of other products from their line. You’ll notice this with supplements that claim to be “stackable”. This means you can “stack” or use them with other slimming supplements that are also stackable.
If you want to do this, check for drug interactions especially if the supplements you want to combine are from different brands.
Usually, brands only recommend their own products for stacking. For others, this gives an option of using (or not using) stimulants like caffeine with their supplements.
Common Weight Loss Supplement Ingredients
Now if you notice, many of the ingredients above have multiple weight loss actions. These are the ones that you will often find in supplements. Multi-action products also seem to be more popular, perhaps due to its perceived efficiency.
Here are some of the most common and perhaps most powerful slimming ingredients:
Caffeine – stimulant, fat burner, appetite suppressant, and metabolic booster.
CLA – metabolism booster, appetite suppressant, and fat burner.
Garcinia or hydroxycitric acid (HCA) – suppresses appetite and blocks fat.
Glucomannan / Fiber – to create a feeling of fullness and to regulate bowel movement.
Green tea extract – natural fat burner with antioxidant properties.
B vitamins – provides energy and fuels metabolism.
Although most of the ingredients are from natural sources, some manufacturers also produce synthetic versions. There are many ingredients that have also been banned by the FDA, even those from plant sources. More on that below.
Why You Should Choose Vegan Weight Loss Supplements
If you go over the ingredients in weight loss supplements, they are mostly from natural sources. Most notably, from plant sources.
Brands often make their signature cocktail of ingredients from plant extracts, and for good reason of course. Aside from their effectivity, consumers also prefer natural ingredients and avoid the synthetic ones.
If you still need convincing, here are some of the reasons to choose vegan weight loss supplements:
- They are surely cruelty-free and you don’t have to worry your conscience about animal testing.
- Unlike fat burners derived from meat products, you don’t get the possibility of increasing your risk of heart disease. This is the case with fat burners derived from meat and dairy sources.
- You get extra nutrients from the plant sources. Fat burning plant extracts often have a lot of other valuable nutrients. Green tea for example, is rich in antioxidants too.
- If you have allergies to milk protein and similar products, you can choose vegan supplements and not have to worry about efficiency.
- A lot of the top-rated weight loss supplements are vegan!
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Taking Supplements
Like any other products taken internally, supplements come with both the good and the bad. Yes, vegan ones included!
The advantages will of course depend on your choice of supplement. However, in general, these are the benefits you can get when you use supplements to help you lose weight.
- Energy boost to keep you going on your exercises
- Appetite control to help you fight your cravings
- Prevention of the formation of new fats
- Preservation of muscles as you lose fats
- Positive mood to keep you optimistic about your weight loss journey
- Weight loss can happen even with minimal exercise
- Supplements may help you surpass plateaus. This is that period after steady weight loss where you stop losing despite the same routine
Unfortunately trying to take shortcuts does have its consequences. And since you know I’m always honest with you, here are the disadvantages of having to take weight loss supplements:
- OTC supplements are not regulated since they do not require FDA approval. The FDA can only monitor them after its release in the market.
- Price is often a downside since most slimming supplements are really pricey. Combine this with gym memberships and your monthly weight loss program costs can go sky-high!
- Side effects can make you feel sick.
If the advantages outweigh the disadvantages for you, then it shouldn’t be a problem.
These may vary depending on the supplement you’re taking, but always weigh the benefits you get against the risks. Your health should be your top priority.
I also advise you to consult your doctor before you start taking any over-the-counter weight loss supplements just to be on the safe side.
When To Stop Taking Weight Loss Supplements
Most supplements come with instructions, but sometimes, you’ll find yourself in situations that the labels don’t address. If you’re in any of these, then it’s time to stop taking that supplement!
- 3 months of intake without changes (or no weight loss)
- Allergic reactions
- You get bothersome adverse reactions such as palpitations and stomach pains
- Side effects get worse or do not disappear
- You’re gaining weight instead of losing it
- Your appetite is increasing instead of decreasing
There are side effects that can happen either because you have taken too much of it or you have eaten something or taken a medication that interacts with it.
Also, a lot of weight loss pills have to be taken with food to avoid stomach irritation. Problem is, many people still miss this important instruction.
Testing your tolerance is also important when you’re starting on a weight loss supplement. To do this, start with a smaller dose in the first few days. If you don’t get any adverse reaction, gradually increase the dose until you reach the recommended dose.
Who Should Not Take Weight Loss Pills?
While there are probably millions of people who want to lose weight, weight loss supplements are not for everyone. More specifically, NOT for these people:
- Women who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant
- Lactating or breastfeeding mothers
- Too young or too old (those below 18 or above 60 need to consult a doctor first)
- Individuals with digestive health problems
- Those with problems in kidney or liver function (these organs metabolize supplements)
- Individuals with medical conditions (consult your doctor first)
How To Choose Vegan Weight Loss Supplements
If you find yourself in a sea of thousands of weight loss supplements, choosing can be really difficult. Here’s a guide to help you know what to look for and what to avoid.
1. Choose supplements which have:
- Natural ingredients and no synthetic additives and fillers
- Nutrients that help in weight loss like B vitamins, Vitamin D, iron, calcium, and magnesium.
- Undergone testing for safety and efficiency
- Reliable consumer reviews (with lots of positive ones!)
2. Avoid supplements that have:
- No proper labels (incomplete label information, no ingredient list, etc)
- Interactions with the medications you are currently taking
- Any of these banned ingredients: Ephedra, HCG, Hydroxycut, Fen phen, Kratom, Meridia, Sibutramine, Rimonabant, Phenytoin, Phenolphthalein
These ingredients are either found to be unsafe or they do not have enough studies to support their claims. Check FDA’s list of “tainted” weight loss brands and products here.
I would also suggest that you do your own research about the brand or manufacturer before buying.
If there are ingredients that sound strange or new to you, research on that too. Remember that this pill will be going inside your body. So find out all that you can before you even get your hands on it.
Do’s And Don’ts When Taking Weight Loss Supplements
1. DO NOT combine weight loss supplements
Are you sure you want to make a concoction for disaster? Unless you have stackable supplements, taking different supplements together is a bad idea. This will only result to more adverse reactions.
2. DO NOT take prescription supplements without your doctor’s prescription
I know this should go without saying, but yes, some people can get hold of prescription pills without proper prescription. Prescription supplements are regulated for a reason: consumer safety.
3. DO NOT combine them with other stimulants
The best example is taking beverages with caffeine when you’re on a caffeine-loaded supplement. The same goes for your medications too, if you’re taking any. Make sure one does not interfere with the other.
4. DO NOT exceed recommended dose
If you think a double dose (or more!) will speed up weight loss, you’re wrong! VERY WRONG! You will only get more side effects, and possibly some dreadful signs of overdose. Even if you think you don’t feel anything, your amped up intake can still wreak havoc inside your body.
5. DO NOT take your supplements forever
If you do, it might disrupt your body’s natural balance for good. Consulting a doctor can give you a proper time frame according to the goals that you both agree on. However, the general rule is to not exceed 1 year. The less, the better.
6. DO adjust dosage per weight
You need to do this especially if you have a lot of weight to lose. However, most OTC diet pills do not have the exact instructions for this. The best way for you to get the right dosage is through your doctor’s recommendation.
7. DO change your diet
Supplements are just that — a “supplement”. It cannot work just by itself. You will also need to change your diet for it to work best. If you think you can use fat burners so you can eat whatever you want, then you are mistaken!
8. DO assess your level of tolerance first
When starting on any supplement, it is best to test your tolerance first by starting on a lower dose. Observe for any reactions in the first few days. If there are no adverse reactions whatsoever, you can increase your dose.
9. DO increase your fluid intake
Most weight loss supplements will make your body lose a lot of water through sweat and other means. Avoid dehydration by replenishing this fluid loss as much as you can everyday.
Vegan Foods For Better Weight Loss
One of the best diets you can choose for your weight loss program is a vegan diet. A lot of the weight loss supplements obtain their ingredients from plant sources. So why not chow down these plant sources directly, right?
If you need help, here are some of the many vegan food items that can help you shed those stubborn fats:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Balsamic vinegar
- Black beans
- Brown rice
- Dark chocolate
- Flax seed
- Green tea
- Hemp seed
- Hot peppers
- Raw salad greens
- Red wine
- Whole grain
- JUNK FOOD & PROCESSED FOOD!
Look for low-calorie and high-fiber food options. Proteins from beans and lentils will help you feel full too.
Just don’t overindulge on anything as it can hinder your weight-loss. Remember, you can eat certain foods in moderation.
BONUS: To learn more about the different natural fat burning supplements, check out the video below!
The Best Vegan Weight Loss Supplement Brands
And finally the moment you have been waiting for!
Fortunately, there are many weight loss supplements that use plant extracts as their main ingredient. However, only a few are quite high-rated.
Take a look at what in my opinion are the 3 best vegan diet pills today:
Tips Beyond The Supplements
- Set your weekly goals for weight loss and keep it realistic.
- Reduce weight gradually. Remember that trying to rush weight loss results will come back to bite you in the butt!
- Maximize your weight loss results by modifying your lifestyle, diet and activities,. Make healthier food choices and start engaging in physical exercises.
- Reduce food portions. Start gradually if you think it will be difficult. The good thing is, since the stomach is a muscle, it will eventually adjust to your usual amount of food you are consuming.
So if you often eat small, your stomach will get smaller too. This means you will feel fuller faster with smaller portions.
- Consume more protein not just to help your body build more muscle but also to keep you feeling full.
- Keep track of your progress and find your motivation everyday. In fact, your weekly weight loss, no matter how little, should motivate you enough!
- Kick off bad habits! I’m talking about bad food choices, sedentary lifestyles, and other habits that sabotage your dream body!
- Get enough rest. Many will overlook this. A lot of people even think that tiring themselves out will help them lose weight for some reason.
If you don’t get enough sleep, you can disrupt your body’s hormones. Particularly those that help in weight loss like serotonin, which can control your appetite.
Understanding the weight loss process is only scratching the surface of a challenging journey to your dream weight.
Keep in mind that you cannot just take vegan weight loss supplements and expect to lose weight. You will also need discipline, a lot of exercise, and to make healthy food choices to reach your goal.
The only service that supplements provide is that they can provide you with a little boost. However you will need to eventually stop taking them, and if you have not built strong healthy habits by then, you will most likely gain back any weight you might have lost up to that point.
Vegan weight loss supplements are a sensitive subject to talk about, at least for me. I don’t believe in them myself as I don’t think they are necessary for you to lose weight.
However, if you are going to take supplements, I rather you read the information I provide, then for you to go read God-knows-who blog post on the web.
If you still are determined to take vegan weight loss supplements, then make sure you take note of the brands I recommend above.
Are you a vegan on a weight loss journey who is currently taken or have taken weight loss supplements? Is there a vegan weight loss supplement that has work for you and that you would recommend to others? Let me know on the comment section below. And don’t forget to share this article in your favorite social media platform.