The new year is already a quarter of the way through, and for many people, that means it’s time to focus on their resolutions that way have been put on the back-burner and cut back on the laissez-faire diet and exercise routine and get back on track with eating right, training hard, and (very likely) losing some of the “holiday cheer” that was gained over the last few months or so.
Supplements can also play a beneficial role in your quest to get healthy, lean, and fit this year.
If you’re ready to rev up your workout with the best weight loss supplements, then check out what supplements take to help you achieve your weight loss goals here!
But, before we get into the best weight loss supplements for 2022, we need to address the single most significant factor that will impact your ability to lose weight, build muscle or maintain your current body weight -- total daily energy expenditure (TDEE).
Learn Your Total Daily Energy Expenditure
We’ve gone into great detail before about TDEE, but the gist of it is…
Total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) is the total amount of calories your body burns in a day, taking into account:
- Resting metabolic rate
- Exercise's thermic effect (how many calories burned during structured physical activity -- cardio, HIIT, resistance training, fitness classes, etc.)
- Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (calories burned during non-structured physical activity -- cleaning the house, putting away clothes, walking upstairs to change the air filter, walking the dog, etc.)
- Thermic effect of feeding (the amount of energy the body expends digesting, absorbing, and utilizing the nutrients you consume from food and supplements)
So, why is TDEE so important?
Well, at the very heart of weight loss, weight gain, or weight maintenance (which is honestly one of the hardest things for individuals to sustain), is TDEE, or rather, how you manage it.
You see, losing weight, gaining it, or staying roughly around the same body weight is a matter of energy balance, calories in vs. calories out.
Despite what the "gurus" and insta-influencers may shout from their tribal mountain tops, calories are king when managing body weight.
For the vast majority of people, if you consume fewer calories than you burn in a day, you will lose weight. On the flip side, if you consume more calories than you burn in a day, you will gain weight. And, if you consume roughly the same amount of calories that you burn in a day, you will maintain your weight.
So, depending on your goal (fat loss, muscle gain, body recomposition, etc.), having a rough idea of what your TDEE is, is critical.
It’s also worth mentioning that every TDEE calculator that you’ll encounter on the internet (or through whatever fitness tracker or nutrition app you’re using) is merely an estimate. It is not 100% accurate and provides a rough guess of how many calories you are burning each day. Furthermore, there will be minor fluctuations from one day to the next in how many calories you burn (yes, even for the most regimented of you out there).
Maybe you slept a little worse; maybe you fidgeted at your desk a bit less; perhaps you took a few extra steps during the day, etc.
Whatever the case, there is always a margin of error as precise as you try to be.
You don’t need to be 100% perfect to accomplish your goals.
So long as you're taking care of the "big picture" items (maintaining a calorie deficit, training hard, consuming enough protein, etc.), you'll get the results you want.
Thus, having a rough idea of your TDEE is necessary for achieving your fitness and physique goals, but it will not be 100% accurate every time.
Now….back to the focus of this article (the best supplements for weight loss in 2022)...
Boost Your Metabolism With Thermogenics
Thermogenic supplements are dietary supplements that support the body's ability to generate heat, inherently boosting metabolism and burning calories.
A number of supplements have been found to stimulate brown fat thermogenesis, leading to more significant energy expenditure, increased fat burning, and improvements in body composition and fat loss. At the top of the list is…
Grains of Paradise (Paradoxine®)
Grains of paradise (Aframomum melegueta) is related to two other well-known culinary spices -- ginger and cardamom. The plant seeds impart a pungent, black-pepper-like flavor with hints of citrus.
In addition to its palate-pleasing properties, grains of paradise have also been found to offer some attractive weight loss benefits.
Grains of paradise is loaded with several bioactive compounds, including:
Paradoxine® is the leading, patented grains of paradise extract on the market standardized for 6-paradol.
Human studies indicate that supplementation with Paradoxine may help stimulate brown fat thermogenesis and reduce body fat mass and waist circumference.[1,2]
Additionally, research notes that daily supplementation of grains of paradise extract may also lead to reductions in visceral fat.[1,2]
Visceral fat is a type of fat that is stored within the abdominal cavity and is located near several vital organs, including the liver, stomach, and intestines different types of these supplements are available over the counter.
Some contain just one ingredient, while others use a blend of metabolism-boosting compounds.
Chile peppers are revered for the tongue-tingling "bite" and heat added to culinary dishes. And, if you can get past the sweat-inducing inferno that follows, they have a slightly sweet, fruity taste.
In regards to weight loss benefits, chile peppers are loaded with bioactive compounds, including capsaicinoids and capsinoids that have been shown in research to[3,4,5]:
- Increase energy expenditure
- Increase lipid oxidation
- Activate brown fat thermogenesis
- Reduce appetite
Caffeine is ubiquitous in society, it seems. It's found in energy drinks, pre-workouts, fat-burning supplements, coffee, and tea, but it’s also popping up in less-than-obvious functional foods, such as protein bars, chewing gum, and even peanut butter.
The consummate stimulant inhibits adenosine receptors (which increases alertness). Still, it also causes a release of dopamine and norepinephrine, the latter of which can bind to fat cells, causing them to release fatty acids into the bloodstream, at which point they can be used by your cells for energy ("fat-burning).
Caffeine also reduces appetite and boosts metabolism, helping you burn more calories while eating less throughout the day.
Green tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages on the planet and is associated with numerous health benefits. Various compounds, including caffeine and catechins (like EGCG), have documented fat-burning benefits.
Some research indicates that green tea supplements containing caffeine may increase metabolism by ~4% and upregulate fat burning up to 16% for 24 hours after ingestion.
As we just mentioned above, caffeine stimulates the release of norepinephrine (as well as its downstream metabolite -- adrenaline) which boosts metabolism and encourages fat burning.
EGCG bolsters these effects by slowing the breakdown of adrenaline to a more significant impact.
Yohimbine is an alkaloid derived from the Yohimbe tree that acts as a central nervous system stimulant, increasing locomotion (movement), energy expenditure, and alertness. It also serves as an alpha-2 adrenergic receptor antagonist, beneficially impacting fat storage / fat burning mechanisms.
Yohimbine also blocks the presynaptic feedback inhibition of noradrenaline release, prolonging the excitatory effects of noradrenaline -- which is one of the reasons that it is added to fat-burning supplements and pre-workouts (for a strong "kick" in energy).
Supplements can be a useful addition to a properly structured diet and exercise program focused on weight loss. They can't replace the necessary preparation, consistency, work, and dedication that weight loss commands, but they can enhance the process and make it more manageable (especially when it comes to managing cravings).
1. Sugita, J., Yoneshiro, T., et al.; "Grains of paradise (Aframomum melegueta) extract activates brown adipose tissue and increases whole-body energy expenditure in men”; British Journal of Nutrition; (2013) 110(4), pp. 733–738
2. Sugita J, Yoneshiro T, et al.; "Daily ingestion of grains of paradise (Aframomum melegueta) extract increases whole-body energy expenditure and decreases visceral fat in humans”; Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology; 2014, 60(1): 22-27
3. Galgani JE, Ravussin E. Effect of dihydrocapsiate on resting metabolic rate in humans. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2010;92(5):1089-1093. doi:10.3945/ajcn.2010.30036.
4. Snitker S, Fujishima Y, Shen H, et al. Effects of novel capsinoid treatment on fatness and energy metabolism in humans: possible pharmacogenetic implications. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;89(1):45-50. doi:10.3945/ajcn.2008.26561
5. Sun L, Camps SG, Goh HJ, Govindharajulu P, Schaefferkoetter JD, Townsend DW, Verma SK, Velan SS, Sun L, Sze SK, Lim SC, Boehm BO, Henry CJ, Leow MK. Capsinoids activate brown adipose tissue (BAT) with increased energy expenditure associated with subthreshold 18-fluorine fluorodeoxyglucose uptake in BAT-positive humans confirmed by positron emission tomography scan. Am J Clin Nutr. 2018 Jan 1;107(1):62-70. DOI: 10.1093/ajcn/nqx025. PMID: 29381803.
6. Harpaz E, Tamir S, Weinstein A, Weinstein Y. The effect of caffeine on energy balance. J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol. 2017 Jan 1;28(1):1-10. DOI: 10.1515/jbcpp-2016-0090. PMID: 27824614.
7. Hursel R, Viechtbauer W, Dulloo AG, Tremblay A, Tappy L, Rumpler W, Westerterp-Plantenga MS. The effects of catechin rich teas and caffeine on energy expenditure and fat oxidation: a meta-analysis. Obes Rev. 2011 Jul;12(7):e573-81. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2011.00862.x. Epub 2011 Mar 2. PMID: 21366839.
8. Shixian Q, VanCrey B, Shi J, Kakuda Y, Jiang Y. Green tea extract thermogenesis-induced weight loss by epigallocatechin gallate inhibition of catechol-O-methyltransferase. J Med Food. 2006 Winter;9(4):451-8. DOI: 10.1089/jmf.2006.9.451. PMID: 17201629.
9. Tam S.W., Worcel M., Wyllie M. Yohimbine: A clinical review. Pharmacol. Ther. 2001;91:215–243. DOI: 10.1016/S0163-7258(01)00156-5.
10. Brunetti P, Lo Faro AF, Tini A, Busardò FP, Carlier J. Pharmacology of Herbal Sexual Enhancers: A Review of Psychiatric and Neurological Adverse Effects. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2020;13(10):309. Published 2020 Oct 14. doi:10.3390/ph13100309