Is it possible to lose weight by taking fat supplements? According to Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) supplement manufacturers—absolutely! As you’re probably aware, not all fat is unhealthy. Dieticians advocate for balanced diets which includes incorporating healthy doses of fat. And CLA is part of that healthy fat.
Over the years, CLA supplements have become increasingly popular, with many Americans viewing them as their go to for weight loss. While some scientists are skeptical about these claims, further research into the effectiveness of the supplements has proved them wrong.
In this article we’ll discuss how fast this supplement works. But we’ll also include information you’ll find useful to help you make an informed decision on what to add to your own diet.
What is CLA?
As you’ve probably gathered, CLA is a type of fat. Scientifically speaking, it’s an umbrella term that encompasses a group of omega fatty acids—28 in total.
If you know anything about omega fatty acids, then you’re probably aware that they’re considered essential fats with numerous health benefits.
Benefits of CLA
Essential fatty acids found in CLA are known to boost your metabolism which is necessary for weight loss. But unfortunately, this highly beneficial type of fat is found in minute proportions in certain foods.
Manufacturers took their cue from this information by developing CLA supplements to enable interested parties to consume them in relatively large amounts.
While the main reason for taking CLA supplements is to aid in weight loss, they offer other benefits which include:
- Boosting your immune system
- Keeping your cholesterol levels in check
- Increasing muscle strength
- Increasing exercise endurance
- Reducing risk of breast, colon and prostate cancer
- Minimizing occurrence of asthma attacks
- Decreasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases
- Decreasing the risk of type 2 diabetes
- Helping with allergies
Where is CLA Found?
For such a very crucial nutrient, you’ll be disappointed that it’s not available in very large proportions—neither can it be manufactured by the human body. It doesn’t help that on their quest to lose weight, unfortunately many people may very well be avoiding foods that contain CLA.
The largest quantities you can find it in are in vegetable oils. However, it’s found in almost negligible amounts in animal and dairy products such as:
- Whole milk
So How Does CLA Work?
So how exactly does CLA aid in fat loss? It works by reducing body fat as well as preserving muscle. It’s known to be a potential inhibitor of body fat accumulation.
Here CLA works by delivering more fat directly to your muscles. As a result, food is converted more efficiently into energy as opposed to sticking to your belly or thighs as unwanted fat.
How Quickly Does it Work?
You’ll agree that its benefits definitely sound good, right? So, you’re probably dying to know how fast this magical CLA supplement works. Well, the initial experiment was done on rodents. And the results showed that it cut down rats’ body fat by up to 60%.
Unfortunately, human beings aren’t so lucky. The amount of weight loss experienced by humans after taking CLA supplements is fairly small.
But it does promise to show results if taken consistently. For effective results you need to take 3.4g of CLA daily. But since it’s nearly impossible to get that much from your food, supplements are the way to go.
Note however that the effectiveness of these supplements will depend on the exact type you take. In other words, the type you take is more important than the amount.
Some supplements contain a mixture of different types of CLA. And the one you want which is effective at burning fat is trans-10, cis-12 isomer.
By taking the right type of CLA supplements, you can lose a pound in 12 weeks. In research conducted with people who took the supplements for longer—between six months and two years—they lost a quarter of a pound weekly.
Weight loss is generally more effective within the first six months and plateaus for up to two years. It’ll slow down after some time.
Unfortunately, some people don’t even notice any tangible results upon taking CLA supplements. But this is probably because of the type they’re taking.
When is the Best Time to Take Your Supplements?
You can either take your CLA supplements before or with your meals. According to many researchers, it’s advisable to also follow a healthy meal plan for effective results.
Do They Have Side Effects?
Much like any other supplement, taking CLA supplements may cause side effects. But of course, this will depend on the individual. It’s reported that side effects are rare and when they do occur can include nausea or an upset stomach.
However, you can significantly reduce the occurrence of these side effects if you take your supplements with protein, for instance low fat milk.
Also, it’s been reported that people who do experience these side effects have noted that they subside after a couple of weeks.
No serious health risks have been documented as a result of CLA supplementation. This applies as long as you don’t take the supplements in large doses. Taking more than the recommended dosage can lead to fat accumulation around your liver which can result in diabetes.
Would we recommend that you take CLA supplements? Sure. Even if the claims regarding the supplement’s ability to cure cancer doesn’t hold substance, it still has many amazing health benefits. There’s more to gain than lose by taking them given the fact that you won’t suffer any serious side effects. Chances are you may lose fat and wind up with a healthier and leaner version of yourself.
Just be sure to incorporate the supplements as part of a holistic, healthy diet plan. For faster results, take your CLA supplements but try and incorporate a consistent fitness regimen.
Then, enjoy the results.