Guide To The Best Weight Loss Supplements For Women

Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of the top science-backed weight loss supplements for women, from vitamins that support metabolism to prescribed weight loss medications.

Table of Contents
  • Dietary Modifications And Supplements For Weight Loss
  • Which Supplements Support Weight Loss For Women?
  • Weight Loss Supplements To Avoid For Overall Health
  • Which Prescription Medications Work Best For Weight Loss?

With so many options flooding the market, finding the right ones can be overwhelming. Whether you're aiming to shed a few pounds or embark on a transformative lifestyle change, discover which weight loss supplements are best for your health and wellness goals. 

From metabolism boosters to appetite suppressants, this guide covers the best options for weight loss supplements and medications. 

Dietary Modifications And Supplements For Weight Loss

While weight loss supplements can help achieve weight loss goals, it's crucial to recognize that their effects are likely modest, especially when compared to the impact of a healthy diet and regular exercise. While supplements may aid in boosting metabolism, reducing appetite, or increasing fat burning, they are not a substitute for sustainable lifestyle changes. 

A well-rounded approach that includes a balanced diet rich in whole foods, portion control, and regular physical activity is essential for long-term weight management success. Additionally, focusing on stress management and adequate sleep are key components of a healthy lifestyle. While supplements may provide an extra boost, they should be viewed as just one tool in a comprehensive weight loss strategy. Furthermore, while over-the-counter dietary supplements are widely used for weight loss, evidence to support their safety and effectiveness is at times limited and often controversial. 

As always, when starting any new medication, you should talk with your doctor to make sure it’s right for you. Read on to learn more about weight loss supplements. 

Which Supplements Support Weight Loss For Women?

  1. Protein powder: Research shows that eating a diet high in protein not only reduces body weight but actually decreases fat mass specifically while maintaining muscle mass (1). Protein supplementation can be an excellent addition to your diet as it will also keep you feeling full for longer. If you’re starting a new exercise program, the added protein will support muscle repair and growth. Try adding some protein powder into your morning smoothie to keep you feeling full until lunch. 
  2. Fiber supplements: These offer a wide range of health benefits, From protecting against heart disease, stroke, and diabetes to promoting regular bowel movements and aiding in weight loss, especially in those struggling with obesity (2).  This is because fiber-rich foods such as whole grains, nuts, legumes, and root vegetables, are generally more filling and keep us satiated for longer. The recommended daily amount is 15 grams per day, and experts say that most Americans aren’t getting nearly enough fiber in their diets (3).  Supplementing with fiber may help promote feelings of fullness and support weight loss efforts. 
  3. Omega-3 fatty acids: Found primarily in fatty fish such as salmon or mackerel, omega-3 fatty acids can also be taken in fish oil supplements. A study looked at the benefits of fish oil supplements in women and found that after three months of supplementation, their resting metabolic rate was boosted by 14%. As an added bonus, fish oil consumption was shown to lower triglyceride levels and increase lean muscle mass (4).
  4. Green tea extract: Rich in antioxidants and catechins, green tea extract may boost metabolism and promote fat burning. Studies show the associated weight loss is quite small however. (5).
  5. Vitamin D: Studies have shown this daily vitamin D and calcium can help reduce fat for those struggling with being overweight or obese  (6). Vitamin D comes naturally from the sun, though for those who find themselves indoors or in rainier climates year round, there’s a good chance you could benefit from the added boost. 
  6. Magnesium: This supplement has many health benefits that may help boost your ability to lose weight including insulin regulation and improved sleep quality.. Research suggests that getting enough magnesium may boost metabolism (7). 

Weight Loss Supplements To Avoid For Overall Health

There are many other additional weight loss medications available. While we don’t cover them all in this article, it’s important to be aware of a few others that the FDA considers to be unsafe or best to avoid : 

  1. Garcinia cambogia: Tropical fruit known to block your body’s ability to make fat and suppress appetite (8). Studies have shown that weight loss results are minimal, and the FDA warned against its use because of associated liver failure (9, 10).
  2. Ephedra and ephedra alkaloids (Ma Huang): These plant based supplements stimulate weight loss by increasing thermogenesis and suppressing appetite, however, were taken off the US market after the FDA prohibited their sales due to serious safety concerns (11, 12)
  3. Bitter orange extract (Citrus aurantium): A botanical source of synephrine marketed for its ability to help with weight loss, though evidence on their effectiveness is extremely limited and research has shown a significant rise in blood pressure while on this supplement (13). Best to avoid.  

Be aware there are other over-the-counter medications that are marketed for weight loss with unknown and/or potentially dangerous ingredients. Using laxatives for weight loss is also dangerous and not advisable as they can cause serious electrolyte imbalances leading to kidney and heart problems. It is highly advisable to speak with your healthcare provider before starting a weight loss supplement.

Which Prescription Medications Work Best For Weight Loss?

A number of safe prescription medications have been gaining traction over the recent years. Among those medications, the GLP-1 medications have been rising in popularity as they can be safely taken and are highly effective.

Ozempic and Wegovy are two FDA-approved, injectable medications commonly prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes in adults and more recently to aid in weight loss.

The active ingredient in both Ozempic and Wegovy is semaglutide which mimics the body’s glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptors and results in various functions including insulin secretion and appetite suppression to help achieve drastic weight loss (14).

Both drugs can be an extremely effective weight loss tool for:

1) those struggling with obesity (BMI > 30) or 

2) those who struggle with being overweight (BMI > 27) and are facing a serious health condition related to their weight such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. 

A large trial found that a once-weekly injection of semaglutide,, along with diet and exercise, resulted in a  weight reduction of around 15% after 68 weeks (15). 

For those who prefer to avoid injections, the oral GLP-1 medication, Rybelsus, may serve as an adequate alternative. Rybelsus is FDA-approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes though it is not formally FDA-approved for weight loss. However, it is often used “off-label” to help patients lose weight. The primary active ingredient in Rybelsus is also semaglutide, however, unlike Wegovy which is injected, Rybelsus comes in pill form. One study showed weight loss to be a welcome side effect of Rybelsus in adults taking the medication for type 2 diabetes. The study showed on average a 5-pound weight loss after 26 weeks on Rybelsus without additional dietary or exercise changes (16). 

If you would like to learn more about GLP-1 medications or want to see if you might be eligible for medication-assisted weight loss, check out Mochi Health, where board-certified obesity medicine physicians can offer their expertise tailored to your specific needs.


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  2. Anderson, J. W., Baird, P., Davis, R. H., Jr, Ferreri, S., Knudtson, M., Koraym, A., Waters, V., & Williams, C. L. (2009). Health benefits of dietary fiber. Nutrition reviews, 67(4), 188–205.
  3. Akbar A, Shreenath AP. High Fiber Diet. [Updated 2023 May 1]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan-. Available from:
  4. Logan, S. L., & Spriet, L. L. (2015). Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation for 12 Weeks Increases Resting and Exercise Metabolic Rate in Healthy Community-Dwelling Older Females. PloS one, 10(12), e0144828.
  5. Jurgens, T. M., Whelan, A. M., Killian, L., Doucette, S., Kirk, S., & Foy, E. (2012). Green tea for weight loss and weight maintenance in overweight or obese adults. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 12(12), CD008650.
  6. Rosenblum, J., Castro, V., Moore, C., & Kaplan, L. (2011). Calcium and vitamin D supplementation is associated with decreased abdominal visceral adipose tissue in overweight and obese adults. Retrieved from
  7. Fiorentini, D., Cappadone, C., Farruggia, G., & Prata, C. (2021). Magnesium: Biochemistry, Nutrition, Detection, and Social Impact of Diseases Linked to Its Deficiency. Nutrients, 13(4), 1136.
  8. Semwal, R. B., Semwal, D. K., Vermaak, I., & Viljoen, A. (2015). A comprehensive scientific overview of Garcinia cambogia. Fitoterapia, 102, 134–148.
  9. Onakpoya, I., Hung, S. K., Perry, R., Wider, B., & Ernst, E. (2011). The Use of Garcinia Extract (Hydroxycitric Acid) as a Weight loss Supplement: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Clinical Trials. Journal of obesity, 2011, 509038.
  10. Lunsford, K. E., Bodzin, A. S., Reino, D. C., Wang, H. L., & Busuttil, R. W. (2016). Dangerous dietary supplements: Garcinia cambogia-associated hepatic failure requiring transplantation. World journal of gastroenterology, 22(45), 10071–10076.
  11. Bent, S., Tiedt, T. N., Odden, M. C., & Shlipak, M. G. (2003). The relative safety of ephedra compared with other herbal products. Annals of internal medicine, 138(6), 468–471.
  12. Office of dietary supplements - ephedra. (n.d.). Retrieved from,risk%20of%20illness%20or%20injury. 
  13. Koncz, D., Tóth, B., Bahar, M. A., Roza, O., & Csupor, D. (2022). The Safety and Efficacy of Citrus aurantium (Bitter Orange) Extracts and p-Synephrine: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients, 14(19), 4019.
  14. Davies, M., Færch, L., Jeppesen, O. K., Pakseresht, A., Pedersen, S. D., Perreault, L., Rosenstock, J., Shimomura, I., Viljoen, A., Wadden, T. A., Lingvay, I., & STEP 2 Study Group (2021). Semaglutide 2·4 mg once a week in adults with overweight or obesity, and type 2 diabetes (STEP 2): a randomised, double-blind, double-dummy, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial. Lancet (London, England), 397(10278), 971–984.
  15. Pella, C. J. (2024, February 13). Ozempic for weight loss: What is Ozempic & How it works: Mochi health. What Is Ozempic & How It Works | Mochi Health. 
  16. Davies, M., Færch, L., Jeppesen, O. K., Pakseresht, A., Pedersen, S. D., Perreault, L., Rosenstock, J., Shimomura, I., Viljoen, A., Wadden, T. A., Lingvay, I., & STEP 2 Study Group (2021). Semaglutide 2·4 mg once a week in adults with overweight or obesity, and type 2 diabetes (STEP 2): a randomised, double-blind, double-dummy, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial. Lancet (London, England), 397(10278), 971–984.
  17. Wilding JPH, Batterham RL, Calanna S, Davies M, Van Gaal LF, Lingvay I, McGowan BM, Rosenstock J, Tran MTD, Wadden TA, Wharton S, Yokote K, Zeuthen N, Kushner RF; STEP 1 Study Group. Once-Weekly Semaglutide in Adults with Overweight or Obesity. N Engl J Med. 2021 Mar 18;384(11):989-1002. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2032183. Epub 2021 Feb 10. PMID: 33567185. 
  18. Alhindi, Y., & Avery, A. (2022). The efficacy and safety of oral semaglutide for glycaemic management in adults with type 2 diabetes compared to subcutaneous semaglutide, placebo, and other GLP-1 RA Comparators: A systematic review and network meta-analysis. Retrieved from

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