You're doing all you can, right? You watch your calories like a hawk. You work your ass off in the gym. You've overcome the aroma of the pastry and the taste of beer. But you still can't get rid of those last 5 pounds.

If that sounds familiar, consider adding these three well-researched fat-loss supplements to your weight-loss plan. Combined with regular, vigorous exercise, they can accelerate your body's fat-burning processes and get you the shredded physique you've been working so hard to achieve!

1. Caffeine

Look at the label of any popular fat-loss supplement, and what do you see? Caffeine! It's there because it works. Caffeine is renowned for its energizing effects, but it can also play a vital role in your body's ability to burn more fat.

Caffeine jump-starts lipolysis, the process of converting fat into useable energy.[1] And it can increase your body's resting energy expenditure so you burn more calories even when you're just sitting around.[2] Even if you aren't a coffee fan, consuming caffeine in some form can increase your energy, help you burn more fat, and improve your workouts. Sound like it's worth a shot?

At A Fat Loss Plateau: Try These 3 Fat Burning Supplements

If so, take 150-300 milligrams before your workout to kick it into fat-burning overdrive. Take 100-200 milligrams any other time of the day for more energy, better focus, and even more fat-burning action.

2. Green Tea Extract

Green tea is full of both caffeine and the antioxidant EGCG, making it the perfect fat-torching cocktail to sip throughout the day. Compared to a mix of placebo and caffeine only, green tea extract has been shown to ramp up the number of calories you can burn and increase the amount of fat you burn during exercise.[5-7] 

At A Fat Loss Plateau: Try These 3 Fat Burning Supplements

People who consume green tea extract over 12 weeks have been able to lose 2-3 pounds more weight than with a placebo.[8] But the extract won't do all the work for you. Pair it with a reduced-calorie diet and regular workouts, and it can help you lose more weight than if you exercise without it.

For maximum benefit, consume 500-1,000 milligrams 2-3 hours before or after a meal.

3. Whey Protein

You read that right: Protein. Whey protein is known for its ability to help build muscle, but it's no slouch when it comes to fat loss. Because it takes a while for your body to digest protein (longer than it takes to digest carbohydrates), this supplement can help you feel full and control your appetite. It can also boost metabolism, so you can burn more calories every hour of the day. 

At A Fat Loss Plateau: Try These 3 Fat Burning Supplements

As with caffeine and green tea extract, when you combine a whey protein supplement with exercise as part of a weight-loss program, you can see significant improvements in your body composition.[9]

And as a bonus, since whey protein is so good at increasing muscle mass when you work out, it can help maintain hard-earned muscle mass as you lose weight.[10] It's a win-win!

There you have it: The three most effective supplements for fat loss. Try tossing one, two, or all three into your current regimen to ignite the fat burn. 

  1. Acheson, K. J., Gremaud, G., Meirim, I., Montigon, F., Krebs, Y., Fay, L. B., ... & Tappy, L. (2004). Metabolic effects of caffeine in humans: lipid oxidation or futile cyclingThe American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, 79(1), 40-46.
  2. Acheson, K. J., Zahorska-Markiewicz, B., Pittet, P., Anantharaman, K., & Jéquier, E. (1980). Caffeine and coffee: their influence on metabolic rate and substrate utilization in normal weight and obese individuals. The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, 33(5), 989-997.
  3. Nehlig, A., Daval, J. L., & Debry, G. (1992). Caffeine and the central nervous system: mechanisms of action, biochemical, metabolic and psychostimulant effects. Brain Research Reviews, 17(2), 139-170.
  4. Costill, D. L., Dalsky, G. P., & Fink, W. J. (1977). Effects of caffeine ingestion on metabolism and exercise performance. Medicine And Science In Sports, 10(3), 155-158.
  5. Cabrera, C., Artacho, R., & Giménez, R. (2006). Beneficial effects of green tea—a review. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 25(2), 79-99.
  6. Dulloo, A. G., Duret, C., Rohrer, D., Girardier, L., Mensi, N., Fathi, M., ... & Vandermander, J. (1999). Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 70(6), 1040-1045.
  7. Venables, M. C., Hulston, C. J., Cox, H. R., & Jeukendrup, A. E. (2008). Green tea extract ingestion, fat oxidation, and glucose tolerance in healthy humans. The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, 87(3), 778-784.
  8. Maki, K. C., Reeves, M. S., Farmer, M., Yasunaga, K., Matsuo, N., Katsuragi, Y., ... & Blumberg, J. B. (2009). Green tea catechin consumption enhances exercise-induced abdominal fat loss in overweight and obese adults. The Journal of Nutrition, 139(2), 264-270.
  9. Miller, P. E., Alexander, D. D., & Perez, V. (2014). Effects of whey protein and resistance exercise on body composition: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 33(2), 163-175.
  10. Frestedt, J. L., Zenk, J. L., Kuskowski, M. A., Ward, L. S., & Bastian, E. D. (2008). A whey-protein supplement increases fat loss and spares lean muscle in obese subjects: a randomized human clinical study. Nutrition & Metabolism, 5(1), 8.

About the Author

Austin Peterjohn

Austin Peterjohn

Austin Peterjohn serves as a lead undergraduate research assistant and sports nutrition intern at The Ohio State University. His primary research interests are cardiometabolic responses...

View all articles by this author

Fat Loss