In my experience, a lot of people get supplementation wrong for a number of reasons, and that’s too bad because, applied correctly, supplements can be just the push you need to get over the finish line and achieve your goals of shedding any excess baggage you picked up over the holiday season. The key with fat-loss supplementation is to understand the context in which you’re using something. It’s also essential to understand what you’re trying to achieve—because in order for something to work, you might need to adjust other things. What you shouldn’t do is overload your body with stimulants; while it might have a short-term metabolic benefit, in the longer run it will potentially negatively affect your metabolism and energy levels.
With so much noise over what supplements actually do and which ones to take, it can get confusing. That’s why I’m going to give you all the key points you need so you can create your own super-fat-burning stack.
Here are the main goals when picking a supplement to help burn fat quicker:
- Boosting thermogenesis so that you’re able to achieve a greater energy deficit.
- Improving insulin resistance so that you’re able to utilize energy more easily.
- Increasing fat mobilization so that your body can expend stored fat as energy more readily.
- Combating catabolism to retain as much lean muscle as possible, in turn boosting the metabolism.
- Enhancing performance so that you can train harder and burn more energy.
These are the basic requirements of any fat-loss supplement. However, supplements must be used within the correct context. For instance, I’ve seen many people who are taking lots of supplements, yet their diet and training aren’t optimized. What this usually equates to is a lot of wasted money and effort. The reality is, supplements are going to help you lose fat only if your diet is completely tracked and on point. By this I mean that your body is in an energy deficit, you’re consuming the right macronutrients, and you’re following a high-meal-frequency diet as well as focusing on micronutrient intake. The same goes for training. With Y3T, intensity is always a key feature in every workout, so your energy expenditure is increased. Cardio must also be factored in, because to improve fat mobilization, generally you need to do some form of cardio on a regular basis when fat loss is the priority.
Once all these things are accounted for, the right supplements can absolutely accelerate fat loss. The reason I’ve gone through these points first is to give context, because I don’t want people to think that by immediately taking supplements, which have the potential to support fat loss, they’ll progress without the right diet and training plan in place!
The Top 5
Now that we’ve established the correct context in which fat-loss supplements can help, I’m going to explain why these five supplements have the potential to help with your fat-loss goals.
Green tea extract is one of the most documented natural fat-loss supplements out there. The key ingredient is the antioxidant EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). While this carries numerous health benefits to the body, it’s also a very good natural metabolic booster, raising thermogenesis. As a result, by supplementing with green tea extract you can burn more calories every day. My clients will often also drink green tea for this reason. My approach is to achieve as many crossover benefits as possible through nutrition and supplementation. The antioxidant content of green tea is extremely good for fighting toxins, helping with recovery and overall health.
L-carnitine is an amino acid that can help with fat loss and improve energy levels. The pathway by which this works is through transporting fatty acids to the mitochondria, where the energy is then used as energy. In reality, this means that over a period of time, while in an energy deficit, your body is going to be able to use more stored fat as energy. This helps you become leaner.
My clients do often report an improvement in energy levels while using L-carnitine as well, which is attributed to the fact that their bodies are using fat sources more efficiently.
Increasing insulin sensitivity is one of the most important things when aiming to lose fat. Omega-3s have the potential to help with this. The wall that surrounds the cell is where nutrients pass through. The permeability of the substance within the cell wall can change depending on variables, including diet. To maximize insulin sensitivity, you want the cell wall to be as “fluid” as possible, increasing cell permeability. Omega-3s are very good at achieving this.
As a side note, make sure your diet isn’t too rich in omega-6s and saturated fats, because this can affect your omega-3-to-omega-6 ratio. You want to aim for a clear bias toward omega-3s from diet and supplementation. Some saturated fat is good, but ensure you always prioritize omega-3s.
Greens powders can indirectly help with fat loss in many ways, including:
- Reducing cravings due to improved sugar management because of the fiber content.
- Increasing insulin sensitivity by adding extra fiber to your diet.
- Helping the body metabolize estrogen more efficiently.
Along with these key benefits, greens powders help improve digestion, which reduces bloating within the gut. They also help improve nutrient uptake, so recovery and overall energy levels tend to improve
BCAAs aren’t directly a fat-loss supplement, but what you need to remember is that to optimize fat loss, you need to retain as much metabolically active tissue (i.e., muscle) as possible. While you’re in an energy deficit, there is no question you’re more likely to lose muscle mass, which is why BCAAs can be so helpful. They will help sustain muscle protein synthesis and reduce the effects of catabolism. From an aesthetic perspective, by retaining more muscle tissue, you’re going to look much better when you’ve dieted down as well.
By having BCAAs, your recovery will also improve during your fat-loss phase, which in turn should enhance performance. This indirectly helps with fat loss because your energy expenditure shouldn’t diminish, which can happen when energy levels are reduced.
BY NEIL HILL