Module 9- Supplements For Stimulating Fat Loss

Module 9- Supplements For Stimulating Fat Loss


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This week is all about discovering supplements that will help to stimulate your fat loss.
Please understand the following KEY point: taking supplements alone will not get you any fat loss results. What needs to always come first is exercise and diet. Supplements + exercise + diet = fat loss results.


  1. 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)
    • 5-HTP is an intermediate in serotonin production (tryptophan—> 5-HTP—> serotonin)
    • 5-HTP improves serotonin signaling which reduces carbohydrate cravings—> fewer and less intense carbohydrate cravings will translate into reduced overall food intake and therefore weight loss.
    • Evidence shows that 5-HTP works for people with obesity and/or diabetes but more research is needed to see if healthier people can benefit
    • Warning: should not be taken alongside anti-depressants, anti-psychotics or other medications that affect serotonin such as dextromethorphan and tramadol
    • Dosing
      • Take 300-500 mg once a day or 15-250 mg twice a day
      • Take 30 minutes before a meal, especially one that contains carbohydrates
      • If you take it in the evening it might reduce food cravings before bed and improves sleep quality by helping your body to produce melatonin
  2. Caffeine
    • caffeine causes epinephrine (aka adrenaline) and dopamine to be released. This leads to beneficial effects on energy, mood and fat loss
    • After prolonged consumption the only strong effect caffeine has is in warding off sleep. The euphoria, excitability and fat loss are significantly diminished
    • Three ways caffeine can help in fat loss
      • Increases heat production
      • Helps to break down fat, which your body can then burn
      • Suppresses phosphodiesterase (PDEs), which leads to an increase in cAMP levels which are associated with lower triglyceride levels in fat cells because cAMP increases lipolysis and improved protein production in muscle cells
    • Warning: caffeine is not harmless! Regular consumption does lead to tolerance, dependence and withdrawal. Caffeine also interacts with tizanidine and MAOIs. It can also decrease blood lithium levels so the sudden elimination of caffeine can cause lithium levels to rise so people on lithium meds should keep their day to day caffeine intake the same
    • Caffeine also has the following effects:
      • interferes with glucose metabolism
      • raises blood pressure
      • raises heart rate
      • increases urination —> leads to a risk of dehydration
    • Dosing
      • The Upper limit intake is 400 mg. This is how much most healthy people can regularly consume in a day without suffering lasting harm
      • if you are going to supplementing for a long period of time: take 100-200 mg twice a day (through coffee or tea)
      • average half life is between 5-6 hours
  3. EGCG
    • The less fermented the tea the richer it is in catechins. Catechins are phytochemicals with anti-oxidant properties
    • The least to most fermented tea: white, green, yellow, oolong, black and puerh.
    • The most bioactive and most abundant catechins (48-55% of total catechin content) found in tea is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)
    • EGCG is a fat burner
      • EGCG works by inhibiting catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT). COMT is an enzyme that is responsible for breaking down catecholamines like dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine. Catecholmaines help to breakdown stored body fat which can then be used or excreted by the body. When EGCG inhibits COMT, it allows the catecholamines to free stored fat over a longer period of time
      • Adding EGCG to a weight loss program has been shown to decrease body weight by 1.41-5.51lbs more than placebo over an average of 12 weeks
    • Dosing
      • Take 400-500 mg of EGCG per day (Note: the EGCG content of a standard cup of green tea can vary greatly from less than 50 to more than 110 mg per cup). To get this daily dose you will likely need to drink about 4-8 cups of tea.
  4. Yohimbine
    • As a fat burner it increases epinephrine (aka adrenaline) levels in the body and inhibits a regulatory process in fat cells that normally would suppress fat use
    • The receptors it targets are around the oblique muscles so it is efficient at burning the stubborn fat- the love handles.
    • WARNING: it has adverse effects like: increased heart rate and anxiety. Studies on anxiety typically use yohimbine to induce anxiety. It can cause panic attacks in people with panic disorders. Anyone that is susceptible to anxiety should stay away from this supplement.
      • You must weigh the benefits and risks of using yohimbine.
        • Benefits: increase epinephrine levels in the body, makes fat cells more susceptible to fat loss, works in young and athletic people
        • Risks: increased heart rate, might cause anxiety, might cause panic attacks
      • You Should NOT be used alongside anti-psychotics, anti-depressants like MAOIs or tricyclic anti-depressants. Shouldn't be used in people with migraines that use ergotamines
    • Dosing:
      • Take 5-10 mg twice a day (note: the dosing will differ when combined with other stimulants)
      • You should start at the low end of the range before increasing your dose
      • Yohimbine has fewer side effects than yohimbe so its safer to supplement with the former. Note that companies who are selling yohimbine often use a barck extract whose yohimbine content has been estiamted rather than ascertained so the actual yohimbine content can differr dangerously from the number on the label
  5. Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCTs)
    • Help with weight loss by increasing thermogenesis
    • Less likely to be stored as fat because they are quickly metabolized
    • Dosing:
      • Take 2-12g of C8 (i.e. caprylic acid) or C10 (i.e. capric acid) per day
      • Note that taking too much at once as a naive MCT consumer might result in diarrhea
  6. Synephrine
    • Comes from a citrus fruit known as Citrus aurantium (aka bitter orange).
    • It increases metabolic rate by having affects on the dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine systems
    • Doesn't lose its fat burning effect
    • Warning: it is considered a vasoconstrictor and therefore it interacts negatively with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
    • Rarely taken on its on. It is usually used in combo with caffeine and white will bark extract
    • Dosing:
      • Take 10-20 mg twice a day. Start at the lower end of this range
      • Take on an empty stomach in the morning and again 6-8 hrs later (note: it might cause nausea when taken on an empty stomach. If this happens then consider taking it with a meal)
  7. White Willow Bark
    • It is a plant source of salicin. Salicin is metabolized into salicylic acid (closely related to acetylsalicylic acid- aka aspirin)
    • Salicin inhibits prostaglandin production in neurons and therefore can improve stimulatory signaling and the effects of epinephrine
    • It is synergistic with the caffeine-synephrine combo
    • It doesn't help much with fat burning on its own
    • Warning: might interact with drugs like blood thinners such as warfarin.
    • Dosing:
      • Take 60 mg of salicin twice a day (120 mg/day total)

Supplement Mixology

If You Wish to Burn Fat Without Taking Any Stimulants

To burn fat without relying on any stimulants use the following supplement cocktail

  • Take 5-HTP (300 mg/day and over a week increase dose to 500 mg/day)
  • Take 400-500 mg/day of EGCG
  • Take 2-12 g/day of MCTs

If You Wish to Burn Fat By Relying on Stimulants

To burn fat using stimulants, use the following supplement cocktail- 12 weeks on, 12 weeks off

  • Take 100-200 mg of caffeine
  • Take 10-20 mg of Synephrine only after you've developed tolerance for the caffeine
  • Take 60 mg of white will bark extract (salicin), again, only after you've developed tolerance for caffeine
  • If you want greater stimulation for your next 12-week cycle then add the following
    • Take 2.5 mg of yohimbine and increase to 5 mg after a week and increae to 7.5 mg after another week
    • Once you've adjusted to the above protocol with yohimbine you can add forskolin (25 mg)

Action Item(s)

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Weekly Weigh In (record your weight and % body fat)

Weekly Reflections

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