L‐carnitine: This stimulant-free amino acid has been physique athletes' secret weapon for decades. Taken once or twice daily with food, it can also help your body convert stored body fat into energy, leaving you leaner and more defined. It does this by breaking up fatty acids so the body can use them for fuel. As Jim Stoppani, Ph.D., explains in "Your Expert Guide to L-Carnitine," it has also been shown in studies to support recovery from workouts, reduce muscle damage, and even reduce exercise-induced muscle soreness.
The leafy green is jam-packed with energy-boosting nutrients such as vitamin A, iron, and folate. It can also reduce your appetite—helping to curb your calorie intake and encourage your body to start burning fat—thanks to natural compounds called thylakoids. Swedish researchers found that over three months, women who consumed a five-gram thylakoid supplement from spinach reported a 25 percent reduction in hunger and cravings and significantly more weight loss (11 pounds) than the control group!
A big part of weight loss is simply being aware of the decisions you’re making. For example, when out at happy hour with friends, you may lose track of how much you're eating or drinking. But if you take a split second to step back and become aware of that fact, you’re able to course correct. “The awareness and then planning for what else I can be doing, that might give me the same benefit of eating comfort foods,” says Gagliardi.