Top 10 Fat-Loss Supplements For Women: Calcium, Green Tea, Fiber and More

Share This!

Looking for the weight-loss supplements that work best for women? Certain supplements have some level of research to support their claims, but it’s easy to be fooled into buying products that don’t work. Capsaicin, green tea, calcium and fish oil are just some of the fat-loss supplements that show some scientific promise.

Here’s a list of the Top 10 fat-loss supplements that work, and are more science than illusion.


At the outset of caffeine use, appetite is typically blunted and food consumption is reduced. The combination of increased energy expenditure and decreased energy intake would lead one to believe that caffeine is the ultimate weight loss aid. Although this has been shown in animals, long-term study interventions in humans have not demonstrated an effect of caffeine consumption on bodyweight. This is likely due to the development of an insensitivity to its effects.

Caffeine has been shown to potentiate the thermogenic effect of ephedrine, especially under condition of caloric restriction. Unfortunately, despite a body of evidence pointing to the effectiveness of this combination, the potential adverse health effects of ephedra led the Food and Drug Administration to ban the sale of ephedra-containing dietary supplements. Despite the lifting of the ban for products containing less than 10 mg of ephedra, bona fide supplement manufacturers no longer produce ephedra-containing products.

Green Tea/ECGC.

Researchers speculate that the combination of catechins, especially ECGC, with caffeine, may make green tea, oolong tea and white tea mildly effective weight-loss aids. Studies show that consumption of tea extracts leads to a reduction in food intake and/or an increase in energy expenditure. Subjects showed on average a 60-calorie daily deficit, due to the increased energy expenditure attributed to tea extracts, especially when combined with a low-energy diet.


Capsaicin is the major pungent component in red hot peppers. It has been shown to increase thermogenesis and fat oxidation. However, the pepper-capsaicin extract is pungent and subjects have not been able to maintain adequate supplementation to achieve long-term weight loss.

A study investigated capsinoids, non-pungent capsaicin-related substances found in peppers, for effects on metabolism and bodyweight in 40 men and 40 women. After a 12-week, placebo-controlled, randomized study, those subjects treated with 6 mg/day of capsinoids did not lose any more weight than control subjects, but they did lose more abdominal fat, compared to controls.

Whey Protein.

Proteins in general and whey protein in particular provide appetite control, enhancing satiety signals that affect both short-term and long-term food intake. In addition, whey proteins impact other systems in the body, which affect fat cell metabolism, stimulating several anti-obesity activities. While whey protein is available in milk and dairy products, the supplement appears necessary to achieve effective doses.


A Canadian study showed that women who consume less that 600 mg of calcium per day had greater bodyweight, BMI, percentage fat mass, absolute fat mass, waist circumference and abdominal adipose tissue than did women who consumed greater amounts of calcium, even after adjustments for energy intake, percentage of energy consumed as fat, dietary protein intake, socioeconomic status, and age.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA).

CLA is a naturally occurring dietary fatty acid found predominantly in whole milk, beef, eggs and cheese. Significantly higher CLA levels are found in products from grass-fed animals. Since CLA is a fatty acid, low-fat or fat-free products are virtually CLA-free. CLA has been shown to reduce weight gain and dramatically decrease fat mass in animals. Human research results have been very inconsistent, but a few recent studies show some promising results for weight-gain avoidance, body fat reduction and regional body fat reduction, especially when combined with a calorie-reduced diet and exercise.

Medium-chain triacylglycerols (MCT).

Short-term studies have shown some greater fat loss in men consuming MCTs versus LCTs (long-chain triacylglycerols) from olive oil. A recent 16-week study showed that MCT oil as part of a weight-loss diet improved weight loss, compared to olive oil in overweight men and women, by a small but statistically significant amount.

Fish Oil/Omega-3 Fats.

The three omega-3 fats: ALA, DHA and EPA may act at different sites and involve different mechanisms, making all of them important in the diet. The positive effects on insulin resistance may potentiate the effects of the energy deficit created by a healthy calorie-restricted diet and exercise program, enhancing weight-loss outcomes.

In addition, there are numerous health reasons to eat fish and supplement with fish oil: cardiovascular health, anti-inflammatory effects, enhanced mood and brain health.


Studies show that simply increasing dietary fiber through high consumption of fruits and vegetables increases weight loss and decreases weight gain over time. There have been several studies investigating the influence of fiber supplements on appetite suppression and weight reduction.

And just like fish oil, there are loads of additional health reasons to include fiber in your diet: lower risk for developing coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and certain gastrointestinal diseases.

Meal Replacers.

Studies show that meal replacers can be an effective aid in weight-loss diets. Typical studies have used meal replacers in place of one to two meals per day, with the rest of the calories from an energy-restricted diet coming from healthful foods providing a third meal and daily snacks.

While many of these products show individual promise, several show even more promise when combined. Researchers have created cocktails of caffeine, EGCG and capsaicin. CLA has been combined with fish oils, among others.


  1. Anderson JW, et al. Health benefits of dietary fiber. Nutr Rev, 2009;67:188-205
  2. Belza A, Frandsen E, Kondrup J. Body fat loss achieved by stimulation of thermogenesis by a combination of bioactive food ingredients: a placebo-controlled, double-blind 8-week intervention in obese subjects. Int J Obe (Lond), 2007;31:121-30
  3. Birketvedt GS, et al. Experiences with three different fiber supplements in weight reduction. Med Sci Monit, 2005;11:P15-8
  4. Diepvens K, et al. Metabolic effects of green tea and of phases of weight loss. Physiol Behav, 2006;87:185-91
  5. Diepvens K, Westerterp KR, Westerterp-Plantenga MS. Obesity and thermogenesis related to the consumption of caffeine, ephedrine, capsaicin, and green tea. Am J Physiol
    Regul Integr Comp Physiol, 2007;292:R77-R85
  6. Fedor D, Kelley DS. Prevention of insulin resistance by n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Curr Opin clin Nutr Metab Care, 2009;12:138-146
  7. Gaullier JM, et al. Six months supplementation with conjugated linoleic acid induces regional-specific fat mass decreases in overweight and obese. Br J Nutr, 2007;97:550-60
  8. Li JJ, Huang CJ, Xie D. Anti-obeisty effects of conjugated linoleic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, and eicosapentaenoic acid. Mol Nutr Food Res, 2008:52:631-45
  9. Luhovyy BL, Akhavan T, Anderson GH. Whey proteins in the regulation of food intake and satiety. J Am Coll Nutr, 2007;26:704S-712S
  10. Maki KC, et al. Green tea catechin consumption enhances exercise-induced abdominal fat loss in overweight and obese adults. J Nutr, 2009;139:264-270
  11. Nagao T, et al. Ingestion of a tea rich in catechins leads to a reduction in body fat and malondialdehyde-modified LDL in men. Am J Clin Nutr, 2005;81:122-9
  12. Noakes M, et al. Meal replacements are as effective as structured weight-loss diets for treating obesity in adults with features of metabolic syndrome. J Nutr, 2004;134:1894-1899
  13. Ramel A., et al. eneficial effects of long-chain n-3 fatty acids included in an energy-restricted diet on insulin resistance in overweight and obese European young adults. Diabetologia, 2008;51:1261-8
  14. Snitker S, et al. Effects of novel capsinoid treatment on fatness and energy metabolism in humans: possible pharmacogenetic implications. Am J Clin Nutr, 2009;89:45-50
  15. St-Onge M-P Dietary fats, teas, dairy, and nuts: potential functional foods for weight control: Am J Clin Nutr, 2005;81:7-15
  16. St-Onge M-P, Bosarge A. Weight-loss diet that includes consumption of medium-chain triacylglycerol oil leads to a greater rate of weight and fat mass loss than does olive oil. Am J Clin Nutr, 2008;87:621-6
  17. Watras AC, et al. The role of conjugated linoleic acid in reducing body fat and preventing holiday weight gain. Int J Obes (Lond), 2007;31:481-7