7 Best Supplements for Weight Loss

Supplements to Help You Lose Weight Faster

Throughout my weight loss journey there were a few times that I hit a plateau.

Despite my efforts I just wasn’t seeing results. It was very frustrating.

As I started reading and researching more, I found that most people seriously into fitness were taking some supplement. I’ve tried a ton, but these are the ones that I always come back to and really feel helped push me past my plateau and continue seeing progress.

I’ll start by saying you don’t NEED to take any supplements. You can 100% get results without them, but if you’re eating healthy and working out regularly they can help enhance and expedite your results.

That being said, if you’re not eating correctly or  barely working out, they’re not going to do much for you. There’s hundreds of different supplements, these are just my favorite.

1. Protein, duh.

The most common supplement that everyone knows is protein.

Best Used For:

Protein is typically used when you are trying to gain muscle.

This sometimes scares women off because they don’t want to become ‘bulky’. Unless you start taking steroids (please don’t) I can 99.9999% promise you will not get bulky.

“Uhm, but I’m trying LOSE WEIGHT….”

The great thing about having more muscle, besides looking more toned and awesome, is that the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn just living.

You will literally burn more calories sitting on the couch if you trade in your fat pounds for muscle pounds!


Protein from food – chicken, turkey, beans, etc  – should be your primary source.

Protein powder is used only as a supplement.

Your protein intake will change based on your goals, but as a general rule of thumb you want to get at least your body weight in grams of protein (i.e. if you weight 120lbs, you’ll want to take in at least 120g of protein per day).

If you want to know exactly how many calories you should be taking in and burning, try out my calorie calculator or take a look at my macros post for more details on how much protein you should be getting!

Protein powder is commonly taken immediately following a workout because the protein helps repair and build your muscles.

Solid food takes longer to break down and get the protein to your muscles as opposed to only about 30 minutes for a protein powder supplement.

Whey protein is by far the most common type that people take. Whey is a protein found in milk that contains all 9 essential amino acids.

If you are a vegan, there are also plant based proteins that come from peas, rice, hemp, etc. or some combination of those.

Another thing to look for in your protein is if it is a concentrate or an isolate.

Concentrates are less processed, but that actually means they contain more lactose and fat and are only about 80% protein.

Isolates have additional filtering done and are about 90% protein. Isolates are better if you’re trying to gain muscle and not just mass. It’s also the better option for you if you’re drinking whey and are lactose intolerant. Isolates also typically cost more.

Hydro whey is a further refining, but for simplicity, we’ll stick to concentrates and isolates.

What I drink:

Dymatize ISO-100 & Isopure

If you’re vegan, I’ve had this one recommended quit a bit: Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder

Best time to take it:

Directly after working out

2. CLA

Best used for:

Cutting weight

Conjugated linoleic acid is the fancy name for CLA.

It’s actually a type of fatty acid found naturally in some meat and dairy products. So essentially, it’s a fat, that helps you burn.. Fat.

CLA is touted as a weight loss supplement.

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It’s at times also credited with other immune boosting benefits.

If you read studies and reviews on it, like many supplements, you’ll probably see mixed results. You’ll definitely need to be working out and eating healthy, but I feel this is one that really helped me start burning fat and getting me over my plateaus.

What I take:

Sports Research Max Potency CLA 1250.

Best time to take it:

~30 mins before eating 2-3 a day

3. BCAAs

BCAA stands for branch chain amino acids – the building blocks of protein.

Best Used For:

BCAAs are great for muscle growth, recovery, and fatigue. More muscle = more calories burned. Less fatigue = better workout.

BCAAs are the 3 essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine. Your body does not create them on it’s on, which means it needs to come from your food or supplements. BCAAs help with muscle growth, recovery, and fatigue.

You can drink them before, during, or after your workout. I like to drink them during when possible because it helps me keep going longer.

There are a few BCAA pills, but if given the choice, go for the liquid form. Your body will absorb a much higher percentage of a liquid than a pill form.

What I Take:

MusclePharm Combat BCAA + Recovery.

Best time to take it: 

Taking my BCAAs during my workout has been a game changer for me and definitely my preference, but you can take them before or after as well!

4. Pre-workout

Pre-workout supplements are not necessary, but it’s what I use the most next to protein.

People always ask me where I find the “motivation” to workout after going to work all day. I don’t. I take pre-workout.

I wish I drank it less, but finding energy for a good workout after 10-12 hours at work can be tough.

It’s  helpful when you’re feeling tired, you can take it before your workout to give you an extra bump of energy. They usually have a relatively high dose of caffeine sometimes with other ingredients added to help you absorb the caffeine. Some of them will also boast other added benefits as well.

If you’ve never taken it, you might want to ease yourself in, or you’ll be jumping off walls like I was my first time.

I find that I do a significant amount more and work a lot harder when I do take it before my workout, therefore leading to better results!


My main thing to look for in a pre-workout is the ingredients list and make sure there are no ‘proprietary blends’.

This often times means there’s crap in it or something that the manufacturer is trying to hide.

I’ve honestly probably tried no less than 30 different brands. This is the one I’m taking now and I like it a lot. I usually only take a half a scoop or so. I’m also a big fan of Bang Energy but I only drink those on occasion.

Ingredients to look for that are effective (there a lot out there that use crap ingredients):

  • Caffeine
  • Creatine Monohydrate
  • Beta-Alanine
  • Vitamin D
  • Magnesium
  • Beetroot

What I Take:

MusclePharm Assault Black

Best time to take it:

Pre-workout…. duh.

5. L-Carnitine

Best used for:

Fat burning, energy

L-Carnitine is an amino-like-acid produced by the body. You can also get it from food sources – primarily meat as well as in liquid supplement form. L-carnitine transports fats to the mitochondria of your cells, which is then used as energy. That’s a long way of saying it helps your body to burn more fat as your fuel!

Benefits of L-caritine include:

  • Burning your fat to generate energy
  • Less fatigue
  • Improved recovery
  • Better blood flow

What I Take:

ProSupps L-Carnitine 3000 Liquid Fat Burner.

Best time to take it:

With your most carb heavy meal

6. Glutamine

Best used for:

Cutting weight

Glutamine is another amino acid that is needed by your body in large amount.

It is a key player in metabolizing protein.

It boasts burning fat and building muscle.

It is also at times credited with brain and brain and digestive health. It’s found in animal and plant proteins – and of course supplements or I wouldn’t be mentioning it here.

What I Take:

Beyond Raw Chemistry Labs L-Glutamine.

Best time to take it:

2 to 5 grams twice daily. Taking it after working out has been shown to increase the natural production of HGH

7. MCT Oil

Best used for:

Weight loss, muscle recovery, brain function

MCT stands for medium-chain triglyceride oil. It is commonly extracted from coconut oil. There is a lengthy list of benefits of MCT oil that goes far beyond just helping you to burn fat.

Here are some of the touted benefits of MCT Oil:

  • Suppresses appetite by making you feel fuller longer.
  • It has been shown to significantly reduce body weight and waist circumference.
  • Increase fat burn during exercise
  • The way MCT oil is broken down by your body, it can be used as an immediate fuel source for your body.
  • May help reduce lactic buildup during exercise
  • May help Epilepsy and Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Fights Yeast and Bacterial Growth
  • May Reduce Risk Factors for Heart Disease, Such as Weight and Cholesterol
  • May help Control Blood Sugar Levels
  • Support Diabetes Management

What I Take:

Sports Research MCT Oil

Best time to take it:

Can be taken at any time, I take mine with my coffee in the morning or in a smoothie.

Like I mentioned, there are tons and tons of supplements on the market. These are just some of the ones that you’re more likely to hear about as well as the ones that I’ve tried. Fat burning pills are also extremely common, but I do not personally recommend those; there have been numerous documented negative side effects with stimulant based fat burners.

Comment or message me with any questions or future post requests here or on my Instagram @jillianxfit

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As always, everything I post is based on research I’ve done and my personal experience. 🙂

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