What is Glucomannan?
Glucomannan may just be one of the best lesser-known weight loss therapies around (1).
It's not that popular despite the fact that it has been shown to help with a number of health conditions ranging from cholesterol management (2), to weight loss, to appetite control, to blood sugar control, 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 or fruits or grains.
It has a few extra hidden properties that normal dietary fiber does not.
The fact that it can expand when it touches water.
This expansion results in some serious benefits to your appetite and weight, as I will explain in a few minutes.
Today we are going to talk about glucomannan and why you may want to consider using it if you are trying to lose weight.
You will learn:
- How glucomannan works in your body
- Why it's amazing at helping to curb appetite and to help manage cravings
- How it impacts blood sugar and insulin resistance
- A secondary way it can help with weight loss: through your gut bacteria
- How to use glucomannan with intermittent fasting and why this might be the best way to use it
- Other effective ways to use glucomannan for weight loss
- The difference between glucomannan and propolmannan
- And much more
Let's jump in...
3 Ways Glucomannan Helps with Weight Loss
As I mentioned above, glucomannan has some special properties over regular dietary fiber that make it excellent for weight loss.
Even though this is true, I do not recommend using glucomannan as a weight loss therapy all by itself.
In other words, don't just start taking this supplement and hoping it will help you lose weight.
It may, but a far better way to use it is in conjunction with basic weight loss therapies.
Using glucomannan in conjunction with a healthy whole food diet as well as exercise and intermittent fasting will give you a multiplicative effect.
Each one of these therapies works in concert with one another and provides results far greater than the sum of each if they were used individually.
So, with that in mind, let's talk about 3 ways that glucomannan helps with weight loss.
#1. Helps to Control and Regulate your Appetite (if taken correctly)
The first way is through the regulation of your appetite.
I mentioned earlier that glucomannan interacts with water in a very special way.
When it combines with water it not only expands but it turns into a viscous or sticky fiber.
You can see an example of what I am talking about in this video:
We will talk about the viscous component in a minute but right now I want to focus on the expansion aspect.
As glucomannan interacts with water it expands to several times its body weight.
If you take glucomannan with a big glass of water then this expansion will occur inside your stomach.
And as it expands in your stomach it will push on the sides of your stomach.
This simple pushing on your stomach walls results in signals being sent to your brain (via stretch receptors (3)) to tell you that you are full.
The best part? You didn't have to actually eat anything to get this beneficial effect!
In other words, you are tricking your stomach into thinking it's full of food when it's full of something else.
In essence, you are hacking the appetite signals from your stomach to your brain and causing them to fire without consuming food.
Many people, especially those with thyroid problems, suffer from a mismatch between their appetite and their metabolism.
Their brain is constantly sending signals that they are hungry when it should do the opposite.
In cases of leptin resistance, let's say, this connection is altered and you may feel hungry all of the time while your metabolism remains low.
Using something like glucomannan can be a natural and healthy way to regulate your appetite without over-consuming foods that can be harmful to your body.
In addition, some people have a difficult time with overeating.
If you are someone who naturally just tends to eat more than you should, using glucomannan can help keep this under control.
By taking it with a big glass of water before your next meal, you can ensure that there just isn't much space in your stomach to fill!
The result is that you will naturally consume less food but still feel full.
#2. 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 (4) suffers from some degree of insulin resistance and insulin resistance.
This should ring some serious alarm bells in your head because insulin resistance is a major cause of weight gain.
And it isn't until you address this insulin resistance that you will be able to lose weight and keep it off.
If you do not manage your blood sugar and insulin levels then you will NOT be able to lose weight.
Glucomannan can help manage blood sugar and insulin levels in a special way that is different from many other supplements and medications.
Remember when I mentioned that glucomannan turns into a viscous or sticky fiber?
The sticky aspect of this fiber is how it helps to manage your blood sugar.
The sticky viscous fiber holds onto sugars and carbohydrates in your stomach and DELAYS their absorption into the gastrointestinal tract.
So if you consume glucomannan before a meal then it will delay or slow down this absorption which will prevent the spike in insulin after meals.
Slowing down this insulin spike will help sensitize your body to insulin and, in turn, reduce blood sugar levels.
This in turn will allow you to lose weight as insulin resistance falls.
#3. Positively Impacts Healthy Gut Bacteria Because it is a Fiber
Lastly, because it is a fiber, it also has a positive impact on the bacteria in your gut.
As you probably know, the bacteria in your gut manage and regulate all sorts of body functions including your metabolism, food cravings, immune function, and more.
If you can INCREASE these healthy gut bugs then you will be well on your way to improving your overall health but also making your weight loss efforts more fruitful.
We know, for instance, that it is easier for people to lose weight when they have a healthy and diverse microbiome.
Glucomannan can promote the diversity and growth of healthy bacteria by acting as a prebiotic.
A prebiotic is a source of food for your gut bacteria but not a source of food for your body.
Prebiotics can be combined with probiotics (and often should) for powerful effects on weight, metabolism, and overall health.
This is why I frequently recommend high-dose probiotics to those people trying to lose weight.
3 Different but Effective Ways to use Glucomannan
Now that you understand how glucomannan can help with weight loss, we need to talk about exactly how to use it.
Like any supplement or medication, it will only work if you use it correctly.
The time of day that you use it, how you are taking it, whether you take it with food or not, all impact how well this supplement will work in your body.
I have 3 preferred ways that I recommend using glucomannan if weight loss is your primary goal.
#1. Using Glucomannan with Intermittent Fasting
The first and perhaps most effective way to use it is in conjunction with intermittent fasting.
I am a huge fan of intermittent and prolonged fasting and its impact on weight.
In fact, you can put me on record here as saying that fasting may be the single most effective weight loss therapy out there.
Not only is it free (you are avoiding food, after all), it's highly effective for just about every condition that causes weight gain.
Having said that, there are right ways and wrong ways to fast.
So before you jump out and start fasting, make sure you read this detailed article on how best to use it.
Despite fasting being incredibly effective it can also be very difficult to do.
Going without food (and sometimes water if you are undergoing a dry fast) can be difficult for a variety of reasons.
One reason people fail to fast is simply because of hunger pangs.
Those who are overweight often struggle with intense food cravings that can be difficult to manage if you are going cold turkey.
This is where glucomannan steps in.
When you fast you are going without food which means that your stomach is pretty much empty (except for some water that you may be drinking which doesn't stay in there for very long).
The sensation of an empty stomach sends signals to your brain that you are hungry and this triggers your appetite.
But we know that glucomannan, if taken with water, may be able to help solve this problem.
Not only does glucomannan expand when it's introduced to water but it also does NOT break your fast.
It acts as a food source for your gut bacteria but not as a food source for your body.
So you can use glucomannan fiber to help combat the hunger that you feel during fasting without breaking your fast.
And this is probably the single most effective way to use this supplement.
You can simply take 3-6 capsules with a huge glass of water whenever you feel hungry during your fast.
Doing so should at least cut down on the hunger pangs, if not completely eliminate them, for a period of time.
By staying compliant and consistent with your fasting regimen, you will experience much better results with your weight!
#2. Using Glucomannan for Appetite and Portion Control
Another effective way to use glucomannan is to help control your appetite and to reduce the total amount of food that you would normally consume with a meal.
Let me explain:
Imagine that you are going to go out to eat with your friends.
Going out to eat is part of life and something that you should definitely do to remain social and keep up your friendships, etc.
Unfortunately, most places that you go out to eat don't always have the healthiest food choices, so you are really making a conscious decision to eat at least somewhat unhealthy when you do go out.
The social benefits are worth the trade-off, though, in many cases.
But just because you are going out doesn't mean that you have to fill up on the unhealthy food.
You can use glucomannan to help.
About 15-20 minutes before you plan to leave you can take 6 capsules of this supplement with a big glass of water.
By the time you get out, your stomach will be partially full which will reduce the amount of food that you need to feel "full" when you do go out.
This prevents you from overeating unhealthy foods and even helps regulate your appetite when you are there.
So you get the best of both worlds.
The social benefit of going out and a reduction in the unhealthy food that you would have otherwise consumed.
And this works with ANY meal, by the way, not just when you go out with friends or family.
To reduce the total amount of food that you would otherwise consume just take your glucomannan 15-20 minutes before your meal.
#3. Using Glucomannan Daily for Blood Sugar Control
Lastly, glucomannan can be used on a daily basis to help control and regulate blood sugar (5).
This method is a little bit different from the other methods but is still somewhat similar.
To get this benefit all you need to do is take a smaller dose (usually 3 capsules) before each meal that you eat.
The smaller dose of glucomannan will still somewhat help to reduce the total amount of food that you eat but it will also do something even more important.
It will slow down or delay blood sugar absorption for EACH meal that you consume.
This will naturally help to lower blood sugar after each meal and can help reverse insulin resistance at a slow and steady rate.
Propolmannan vs Glucomannan
When it comes to glucomannan you have a couple of options in terms of which type to use.
Regular glucomannan fibers are unrefined and come from the konjac plant.
These types of supplements can still work but there are better options available.
My preferred type is propolmannan or propol-a which is the highest grade quality of glucomannan on the market.
This fiber has been studied and shown to be effective in its viscous nature, ability to manage blood sugar, and more.
I recommend using this supplement which contains the highest quality propolmannan (glucomannan derivative) available.
If you want to get the best results then you need to use the best products.
Using an unrefined glucomannan product may be cheaper but it will not be as effective if it doesn't expand as much as the pure derivatives.
These derivatives can sometimes expand as much as 8x that of regular glucomannan which means you are getting more stomach expansion at smaller doses.
This is important because it improves quality of life by reducing how many capsules you have to take to get results.
If you plan to use a regular glucomannan supplement then just be sure to adjust your dose so that you obtain the benefits we have already discussed.
Glucomannan is not only incredibly safe but it is also an effective weight loss therapy that few people know of.
It primarily works by helping to manage and control your appetite while also positively impacting blood sugar and insulin levels.
This incredible supplement works through a completely different mechanism than other weight loss supplements which means it can be combined with them for even better results.
It makes intermittent fasting easier and can help reduce your intake of unhealthy foods.
What's not to like?
If weight loss is something you are trying to focus on then I would highly recommend considering it and combining it with other weight loss supplements such as berberine, fish oil, and high dose probiotics.
Always use weight loss supplements in conjunction with a healthy whole food diet, intermittent fasting, and regular exercise!
Now I want to hear from you:
Have you had success in using glucomannan before?
Is this your first time hearing about glucomannan?
Are you planning on incorporating it into your weight loss regimen?
What other weight loss therapies are you already using? Are they working for you?
Leave your questions or comments below and let me know what you think!
References (Click to Expand)