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Does Garlic Burn Belly Fat Or Is It Just A Smelly Myth?

Michael Garrico
Published by Michael Garrico
Last updated: October 5, 2022

I’ve heard some crazy ideas for dealing with belly fat as a personal trainer, but I’m always interested when people tell me about different natural ingredients that can help with weight gain.

In a conversation with a colleague, she mentioned eating raw garlic for weight loss.

Now, I don’t mind garlic in food, but for it to work on belly fat, it would have to be worth the smelly breath you’d be dealing with.

So, I’ve gone through the relevant literature and got a nutritionist to help me with the research.

Let’s see if it can actually help you lose weight.

Quick Summary

  • Garlic has been known to provide many health benefits, including positively affecting blood pressure and cholesterols.
  • People have also been taking garlic powder to help them with body fat loss, but the evidence is a bit limited.
  • There are other options in place of raw garlic, like extract supplements, but they could still give you a smelly breath.

Does Eating Garlic Reduce Belly Fat?

Top view of garlic in a glass jar

Yes, garlic is a natural fat burner ingredient and it can reduce belly fat, but the effects are a bit limited.

Studies have shown that there is an impact on waist size, but it’s not a major influence on overall body mass index [1].

This is quite a limited fat-burning process, and my nutritionist pointed out that her experience showed that on its own, garlic had a limited impact on body weight.

She did mention that she has seen slightly better results when combining garlic powder with lemon juice and taking it on an empty stomach in the morning.

The main effect there could be the fact that garlic may also influence your hunger cravings allowing you to eat less.

More on that shortly.

What the studies I reviewed seemed to agree on is that garlic isn’t a potent fat burner, and there are several other natural ingredients that would work a lot better.

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How Much Weight Can You Lose With It?

You can lose very limited weight with garlic. These studies have shown that people lose a pound or more a week with garlic supplements, but they typically use products that include other ingredients that would also burn body fat [2].

While raw garlic may well have a positive impact on general health, it seems that a powder supplement works better and only when combined with other weight loss ingredients.

“A study published in "Nutrition Research and Practice" in June 2012 found that taking garlic extract helped participants reduce their body mass index, especially if they also exercised. Those who took the extract without exercising, however, lost more muscle.”

- Jessica Bruso, Writer at SFGate.com

Overall, I wouldn’t dismiss it as a dietary supplement, but relying on it to burn belly fat and more calories as part of your weight loss plan is not the best idea.

Other Benefits

Pointing at healthy belly

Both raw garlic and powder can have positive effects on your overall health that could make them a worthwhile addition to your diet.

First of all, garlic can impact your digestive system and act as an appetite suppressant [3].

That should help you bridge the gaps between meals and allow you to avoid unhealthy snacking.

Studies have also shown that garlic can have a positive effect on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease [4].

And then, there’s the positive impact on blood pressure, which can be important for obese people on a weight loss journey [5].

These are all important health benefits that go beyond your fitness levels and body weight, and they are good enough reasons for me to regularly take a garlic supplement. 

Overall, it can help with a general improvement in body composition, but I wouldn’t rely on it solely to lose weight and get slim.

Related ArticleIs Garlic Good For Testosterone?

 

FAQs

Do Garlic Supplements Make Your Breath Smell?

Yes, garlic supplements can make your breath smell. While chewing garlic cloves will cause a more instant smell from your breath, digesting garlic can slowly emit gasses and smells that are very noticeable.

Should You Take Garlic Daily To Lose Weight?

No, you shouldn’t take garlic with the hope of losing weight. It has a limited effect on fat burning and won’t make a huge difference to your weight loss goals directly. But taking it daily could have several benefits on your heart health.

Is It Worth Eating Garlic For Weight Loss?

Based on the feedback from my nutritionist and the research I’ve done in clinical studies, there’s not enough evidence that garlic will help you lose weight effectively.

There are still good reasons to add it to your diet or supplement stack, so don’t completely dismiss it.

If you want a boost for your fat-burning process, then you’re better off taking a belly fat burner. These trigger a natural metabolic process to release more stored body fat.

It’s not a magic pill, but over the weeks and months ahead, it can make quite a difference.


References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31357923
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23601452/
  3. https://www.ndtv.com/food/weight-loss-how-to-use-raw-garlic-to-lose-weight-and-burn-belly-fat-1934885
  4. https://eje.bioscientifica.com/view/journals/eje/181/6/EJE-19-0179.xml
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6966103
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