L-Carnitine For Weight Loss – Diet, Supplements, Benefits, And Side Effects April 21, 2017

Need to lose weight but don’t want to look skinny? Do you want to be able to workout without feeling fatigued in just a few minutes? Well, L-carnitine is what you need. What is it and how can it help you? Read on to find out.

L-carnitine is mostly used by bodybuilders and dieters and is naturally found in food sources such as fish, poultry, and dairy products. L-carnitine supplements can also help you shed fat, gain lean muscle mass, and improve muscle power and endurance.

It acts by increasing fatty acid oxidation, thereby providing more spontaneous energy. This energy can be used to burn calories. Read on to find out how L-carnitine can help you lose weight, its benefits, which foods to eat, a vegan diet plan, and much more. Let’s begin!

What Is L-Carnitine And How Does It Aid Weight Loss?

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Here is the L carnitine and weight loss connection. L-carnitine is a molecule involved in the oxidation of fatty acids in the mitochondria. It is a non-essential amino acid and is produced from two amino acid substrates, L-lysine and L-methionine. Though it is naturally available in fish, milk, and poultry, it can also be obtained through supplements available in the market. It is mostly used by people to lose weight, build lean muscle mass, and improve endurance and muscle power. L-carnitine benefits weight loss by transporting fatty acids to the mitochondrial matrix, where they get oxidized, and energy is released. This process helps to burn the fat and the energy released is used to boost exercise performance and improve endurance and muscle power (1).

Here is a list of natural sources of L-carnitine.

Natural Sources Of L-Carnitine

Looking at this table, it is clear that red meat is not harmful to your health unless you consume it in excess. Neither will consuming protein make you gain weight. Let’s move to the next section where I’ll tell you what to eat to lose weight and build lean muscle mass. Take a look. (Vegans, scroll down for a complete vegan L-carnitine diet plan.)

L-Carnitine Rich Diet Plan For Weight Loss

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MealsWhat To Eat
Early Morning (7:00-7:30 am)1 cup fenugreek soaked water
Breakfast (8:15-8:45 am)1 whole wheat bread + scrambled eggs + 1 cup low-fat milk
Pre-Lunch (10:30 am)1 cup green tea
Lunch (12:30-1:00 pm)Options:

  • Grilled chicken taco
  • Tuna sad
  • Beef sad
Evening Snack (4:00 pm)Options:

  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 cup watermelon juice
  • 1 cup green tea
Dinner (7:00 – 7:30 pm)Options:

  • Grilled beef steak with veggies
  • Smoked fish
  • Chicken stew
Why This Works

Drinking a cup of fenugreek soaked water in the morning will help kickstart your metabolism. Whole wheat, milk, and eggs are a great source of  L-carnitine, dietary fiber, protein, and calcium. This wholesome breakfast will activate your brain and keep your hunger pangs at bay. Having a cup of green tea before lunch will keep you from overeating and also flush out the toxins. Beef, chicken, and tuna are great sources of L-carnitine and protein that will help you burn fat and build lean muscle. A healthy and filling evening snack will give your body an extra dose of vitamins and minerals. For dinner, have protein and l-carnitine-rich foods that will burn the fat and provide energy.

There are a lot of vegan foods that may not match up to the l-carnitine amounts present in non-vegetarian food, but they can help you get a decent amount of l-carnitine. Here is a vegan L-carnitine diet chart.

Vegan L-Carnitine Rich Diet Plan For Weight Loss

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MealsWhat To Eat
Early Morning (7:00 – 7:30 am)Lemon juice and warm water
Breakfast (8:15- 8:45 am)Sprouts + Brazil nuts
Pre-Lunch (10:30 am)1 cup green tea
Lunch (12:30-1:00 pm)Options:

  • Kidney bean chili
  • Spinach, tomato, and asparagus salad
  • Boiled corn salad
Evening Snack (4:00 pm)Options:

  • Green tea
  • Coconut water
  • Fresh fruit juice
Dinner (7:00 – 7:30 pm)Options:

  • Lentil soup
  • Bell pepper stuffed chickpeas
  • Blanched broccoli, beans, and spinach
Why This Works

Lemon water will help flush out the toxins and maintain the body’s pH levels. Sprouts and Brazil nuts are an excellent source of L-carnitine, proteins, and healthy fats. Green tea helps to suppress your appetite and has antioxidant properties. Have a light, protein-rich, filling, and L-carnitine rich lunch to help your body burn the calories. For your evening snack, drink a cup of green tea, fresh fruit juice or coconut water to flush out the toxins and boost your body’s cellular functions. Keep the dinner as light as possible but eat foods that are rich in L-carnitine such as lentils, chickpeas, spinach, beans, and broccoli.

Though L-carnitine will help to burn fat and produce energy, if that energy is not used up, it will get stored as fat again. And since your objective is to lose weight and not just recycle the stored fat, you have to workout at least 3-5 hours a week. Here is a sample workout plan.

Workout Plan For Weight Loss

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  • Neck rotations – 1 set of 10 reps (clockwise and anticlockwise)
  • Shoulder rotations – 1 set of 10 reps (clockwise and anticlockwise)
  • Arm circles – 1 set of 10 reps (clockwise and anticlockwise)
  • Side crunches – 2 sets of 10 reps (left and right sides)
  • Upper body twists – 1 set of 20 reps
  • Ankle rotations – 1 set of 10 reps (clockwise and anticlockwise)
  • Spot jogging – 5-7 minutes
  • Rope jumping – 2 sets of 50 reps
  • Burpees – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Jumping jacks – 1 set of 20 reps
  • Tricep dips – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Forward lunges – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Jumping forward lunges – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Pushups – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Crunches – 1 set of 20 reps
  • Mountain climbers – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Stretch

You can also include dancing, cycling, walking, running, weight training, yoga, and meditation to lose weight.

If you want to accelerate the rate at which you will lose weight, you should talk to your doctor about taking L-carnitine supplements. Here is what you should know.

L-Carnitine Supplements For Weight Loss

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L-carnitine supplements can be used by those who have L-carnitine deficiency or want to lose weight and build body at a faster pace than by simply consuming an L-carnitine rich diet and working out. L-carnitine capsules are available in pharmacies as “fat burner” capsules.

L-Carnitine Weight Loss Dosage

The L-carnitine dosage for weight loss is you can have 2-3 g L-carnitine per day. You can have it after working out or in between meals. But is taking L-carnitine supplements safe for you? Revealed in the next section.

Are L-Carnitine Supplements Safe?

Scientific evidence says that 2 g or less L-carnitine per day is safe to take for those who want to lose weight. Also, if you decide to take L-carnitine supplements, please consult your doctor first. Talk to your doctor if you are currently on any prescription medication or following a diet plan for weight loss.

So, if you are investing your time, money, and energy to lose weight, what are the benefits you will get? Take a look at the next section.

Benefits Of L-Carnitine

  • Energizes Your Body

L-Carnitine is one element that is said to energize your body. With this, you can burn a whole lot of calories throughout the day and more than what you usually do while working out. It helps you give your 100% and makes working out super effective. It helps in transporting all fatty acids to the mitochondria, which leads to oxidation. This, in turn, burns energy. It stops the accumulation of fats and helps you lose weight quickly.

  • Boosts Metabolism

L-Carnitine also helps boost your metabolism significantly. It breaks down all the fat and allows your metabolism rate to head north. In fact, most experts have said that some people lose weight at a slow rate because of low metabolism and lack of L-Carnitine in their diet.

  • Helps You Lose Weight Faster

L-Carnitine helps in sending all your fat to the cells so that it can be used as energy. According to several health experts, adding L-Carnitine to your diet will help you get faster results in a shorter period. In fact, there was a survey conducted, where it was found that people who ate a healthy diet including L-Carnitine lost more weight than those who exercised.

  • Burns Body Fat At Cellular Level

L-Carnitine helps by burning body fat at the cellular level. It is related to vitamin B although its structure is very similar to amino acids.

  • Builds Muscle & Strengthens Bones

As L-carnitine helps to burn fat, it also helps to build lean muscle. The energy derived from fatty acid oxidation enhances muscle power. When you exercise, your muscles undergo wear and tear. And when you rest, these muscles are rebuilt into stronger muscle fibers.

  • Treats Heart Conditions

People suffering from angina can use L-carnitine to exercise without experiencing chest pain or uneasiness. L-carnitine can also help people with heart disease and patients who have had a minor heart attack.

  • Can Treat Diabetes Type II

L-carnitine helps to increase glucose oxidation, uptake, and storage. So, people who have diabetes type II can benefit from L-carnitine supplements as they will help reduce the blood glucose levels.

  • Boosts Immunity

L-carnitine has antioxidant effects. It helps to scavenge the free oxygen radicals, thereby neutralizing their harmful effects on the body cells.

  • Helps Kidney Function

L-carnitine is naturally produced by the kidneys. If a person is suffering from kidney disease and not able to produce enough L-carnitine, he/she can surely benefit from L-carnitine supplementation.

  • Benefits Breastfeeding Mothers

Breastfeeding leads to L-carnitine deficiency. Hence, new mothers can benefit from L-carnitine supplementation.

  • Improves Brain Function

L-carnitine helps to improve brain function by preventing stress-related and age-related brain damage in elders, thereby promoting brain health and function.

You may now give a serious thought about taking L-carnitine supplements. But it is also not without any side effects. Here is what you can experience if you overdose yourself.

L- Carnitine Side Effects

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L-carnitine overdose can lead to nausea, headache, indigestion, increased heartbeat, fever, impaired vision, loss of appetite, and weakness. The most serious side effect is atherosclerosis, and it is commonly known as carnitine clog.

As we come to an end, here’s what I have to say. Following an L-carnitinel weight loss plan and a regular workout is enough to help you lose weight. But if you do wish to lose weight faster, talk to your doctor or dietitian before taking L-carnitine supplements. Have you ever considered L carnitine for weight loss? How did it help you? Please feel free to to share your experience with us by commenting below.

Take care!

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Charushila is an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition and a full-time contributor to Diet & Weight Loss at Stylecraze. She believes that food has healing powers and eating good food is the best way to lose weight. A binge eater-turned-fitness enthusiast, Charushila likes to share her knowledge and experience with the world. When she is not working, she loves to cook healthy food, watch movies, travel, workout, and read Bengali literature.