Glucomannan may just be one of the best lesser-known weight loss supplements around (1).
But just because it isn’t as popular as other weight loss supplements like berberine, doesn’t mean it can’t help you lose weight.
And on top of its benefits for weight loss, it has also been shown to help with a host of other conditions like high cholesterol, appetite control, blood sugar regulation, and more.
But what is this mysterious ingredient that can help with so many different conditions?
It’s a soluble dietary fiber.
And while it does come from food, it’s not the same thing as the fiber you would get from vegetables, fruits, or even grains.
It has a few extra hidden properties that normal dietary fiber does not.
The fact that it absorbs and holds up to 50 to 100x its weight in water.
This expansion results in some serious benefits to your appetite and weight, as I will explain in just a second.
And the best part? It can be purchased over the counter and added to almost ANY existing weight loss regimen and combined with intermittent or prolonged fasting to make these therapies even easier and more effective.
Making it, in my opinion, one of the most versatile weight loss supplements available.
Let’s talk about how it works and how it can help you lose weight starting right now:
3 Ways Glucomannan Will Help You Lose Weight
#1. It Makes Controlling Your Appetite Much Easier
When you look at why people are able to lose weight and keep it off, you see one common trend:
They can stick to a healthy diet long term.
The issue is generally not a lack of knowledge between what’s healthy and what isn’t, it’s the ability to stick to eating healthy foods day after day and week after week.
And glucomannan happens to make this process much easier.
When you take glucomannan with water and before a meal, it expands to roughly 100x its weight (due to its actions as a humectant).
This expansion occurs in your stomach where it pushes against the walls of your stomach and triggers the stretch receptors found there.
These receptors then feedback to your brain where they send the signal that your stomach is full (2).
But here’s the catch:
If you take it before a meal, you can trick your brain into thinking you had a meal that contained WAY more calories than it actually did because of this expansion.
So your brain tells your body that you are full for hours and hours which means you don’t have to worry about food cravings disrupting your diet and derailing your weight loss.
Imagine eating a meal that only consists of 300 calories but your brain thinks you had a Thanksgiving feast worth 700 calories or more.
In this scenario, you’d be able to easily cut back on a few hundred calories every day with essentially minimal effort on your part and without having to deal with hunger pangs.
And this is why glucomannan is a favorite supplement of bodybuilders who are trying to cut weight.
They know that it’s easier to stay on track if your appetite isn’t screaming at you to eat food all day long.
It’s not rocket science, it just makes this process much easier.
And this benefit to appetite control doesn’t only apply if you take it before a meal, you can also take it on an empty stomach as well.
Doing this means that you can more easily take advantage of weight loss therapies like prolonged and intermittent fasting which are some of the most powerful weight loss treatments out there.
The appetite suppressant effects are not as strong if you take it on an empty stomach, but they still exist.
So if you are someone who knows what you should be eating but feels like you are self-sabotaging with the inability to control your appetite then glucomannan is a great option for you.
On the other hand, if you are someone who is a constant overeater or someone who struggles with portion control, then glucomannan would be great as well.
#2. It Delays the Absorption of Nutrients like Carbohydrates and Sugars
The second way that it can help with weight loss is by influencing your blood sugar and insulin levels.
Roughly 50% of the American population (3) suffers from some degree of insulin resistance.
This should ring some serious alarm bells in your head because insulin resistance is a major cause of weight gain.
When insulin is high, it prevents the action of a hormone called hormone-sensitive lipase (4).
The action of this hormone is to break down fat and put that fat into circulation where it can be burned and used as energy.
In a very real sense, if you are insulin resistant, your fat cells remain locked up due to this process.
The key to unlocking your fat cells is all about improving how sensitive your body is to insulin.
And glucomannan can do just that in a way that’s completely different from other supplements and medications.
Remember when I mentioned that glucomannan absorbs many multiples of its weight in water?
This effect of absorbing water turns it into a sticky substance.
And this sticky substance holds onto sugars and carbohydrates in your stomach thereby delaying their absorption.
The slower you digest and absorb carbohydrates, the more stable your insulin and blood sugar will be.
On top of this, taking glucomannan will also help you reduce caloric intake and total meal volume which has another positive impact on insulin.
It’s hard to know exactly how glucomannan impacts blood sugar as some studies show it impacts fasting glucose (5) more than post-prandial glucose but one thing is for sure:
If you consume fewer carbohydrates in general then you will see a positive impact on insulin.
Everyone knows this, the hard part isn’t understanding why you should eat less sugar, the hard part is actually doing it.
And glucomannan makes the part of actually doing it, much easier.
As your body becomes less resistant to insulin, your body will more easily be able to burn the extra energy you have stored in your fat cells.
It’s that simple.
#3. Glucomannan Positively Impacts Gut Health
Most people don’t think about their gut health when they think about their ability to lose weight but these two things are definitely connected.
If your gut is in bad shape, it will promote weight gain by influencing how many calories you absorb from the food that you eat and the relative level of inflammation that exists in your body thereby impacting your neurotransmitters and hormones.
This is why we see completely different microbiome bacteria compositions in people who are lean versus people who are obese.
What matters to you is trying to get your gut health to match the composition of a lean person and you can do that with certain therapies like prebiotics.
It just so happens that glucomannan is a prebiotic.
So not only does it help you control your appetite through the mechanisms we just went through, it also happens to act as a source of food for healthy bacteria in your gut.
By feeding the right type of bacteria, you can restore gut health which means it will be easier to lose weight.
This is not just some theoretical benefit, either.
Several studies have shown that supplementing with the combination of prebiotics and probiotics when combined with a healthy lifestyle, promotes both fat loss and the building of lean muscle mass (6).
Prebiotics, if used by themselves generally aren’t great for weight loss, but the prebiotic benefit of glucomannan is really just icing on the cake here because if weight loss is your goal, you are primarily using it for its effects on your appetite (not its effects on your gut).
But since it’s doing all of these things anyway, you might as well just roll with the benefits.
The effect that glucomannan has on your gut will be important when we talk about potential side effects in a minute so keep this idea in the back of your mind.
3 Ways to Use Glucomannan
Now that you understand how glucomannan works, let’s talk about how to take it so you can get these benefits.
And as I’ve alluded to a few times, it’s not your typical weight loss supplement and it does require a little bit of strategy in terms of how you use it.
Depending on what type of issues you struggle with and what types of benefits you are trying to get, you can alter when you take it and how you take it to target these issues.
Here’s what I mean:
Method #1. Strategically take 1 serving 15-20 minutes before the biggest meal of the day
This tried and true method works great for people who want fine-tuned control over their appetite at specific times.
If, for instance, you are someone who tends to get snacky at night, or struggles to eat healthy at a certain time of the day, then this method works best.
My wife takes it 30 minutes before dinner because she always finds it harder to eat healthy later in the evening.
You probably know what time of day is the most difficult for you so just plan to take your dose 30 minutes before that time with a big glass of water.
And be generous with the water as it’s part of what makes it work.
Method #2. Use it while fasting
Fasting, either intermittent or prolonged, is a great way to control caloric intake and help with weight loss.
But people often find fasting difficult because the idea of going without food for an extended period isn’t easy.
Using glucomannan when you feel hungry during a fast can help kill off hunger pangs which often means your fasting will be much easier.
And method #3. Use it daily (in the morning) with 8-12 ounces of water
This method gives you more sustained control over your appetite throughout the day and provides a general benefit to blood sugar and insulin.
If you are primarily using glucomannan for insulin resistance or blood sugar control then this is probably the best option.
Dosing: How Much Do You Need to Take?
What about dosing? How much should you be taking?
My recommendation is to find a glucomannan supplement that contains an extract from konjac root and use a dose of 3,000 mg per serving.
The dosing in most supplements ranges from 1,000 to 3,000 mg per serving but I’ve found the most success with higher doses.
A higher dose means better results in the form of better appetite and blood sugar control which ultimately means more weight loss.
Really the only downside to a higher dose is that you may experience some side effects, but these side effects are minimal and tend to fade over time.
For the most part, glucomannan is very well tolerated (7) and the only symptoms that you may experience while using it include things like:
- Loose stools
- And abdominal discomfort
These aren’t common and if they do exist, they tend to fade as your gut acclimates to the supplement over the course of 5 to 10 days.
Get Even Better Results by Adding These Two Ingredients
What about results, what should you expect?
Like any supplement, how it impacts you will be different from the next person.
Based on my own experience, I’ve found that if you are using glucomannan by itself, it works for about 60-70% of people.
This is great if you are one of the 7 out of 10 people that it works for, but not so great if you are one of the 3 out of 10 that it doesn’t.
Through some experimentation, I’ve found that the percentage of people it works for increases by combining glucomannan with the combination of L-glutamine and olive oil.
L-glutamine, a protein, and olive oil, a fat, act to enhance the appetite-suppressing effects of glucomannan most likely through their impact on satiety hormones.
This is why I formulated GlucoSlow Fiber to contain a therapeutic dose of glucomannan, olive oil powder, and l-glutamine.
And I also added a free fasting guide PDF with every purchase to help you lose even more weight while using it.
The only downside to this strategy is that both l-glutamine and olive oil provide a source of calories which means it may not be ideal to use while fasting.
I personally believe that the pros outweigh the cons even while fasting but you can determine if it’s worth it for your situation.
Recap & Final Thoughts
The bottom line is that glucomannan is a powerful natural supplement that can help you lose weight and control your appetite and it works through a mechanism that is unlike pretty much all other weight loss supplements.
If you are interested in natural weight loss, and you like the idea of using supplements, then I’d recommend checking out this article next.
It walks you through the most effective weight loss supplements around.
Now I want to hear from you:
Is this the first time you’re hearing about glucomannan?
If not, have you tried it before? Why or why not?
Are you planning on giving it a try after reading this?
If you took it in the past, how did you take it?
Leave your questions or comments below!