The Lightning-Fast Way to Whittle Your Middle

March 25, 2016
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

Supplement with fat-burning CLA.

Earlier this week I wrote about the beautifying, fat-blasting, and disease-fighting benefits of GLA (gamma linolenic acid), but I can’t tell you about GLA without also telling you about GLA’s BFF, CLA.

What’s the difference between these two?

GLA raises your metabolism by stimulating brown fat (adipose tissue) in the body to burn calories for energy, while conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) especially targets visceral fat (found deep within the abdominal area) to powerfully burn belly fat while increasing lean muscle mass. I recommend taking this powerhouse duo together for full body fat-burning benefits.

When I think of how powerful CLA is, I remember a client that I worked with years ago. She was wheelchair-bound and had persistent belly fat she couldn’t seem to get rid of. I directed her to begin taking CLA supplements and merely one week later she was starting to see a noticeable whittling of her middle!

The Benefits Don’t Stop At Belly Fat

CLA has profound fat loss and healing benefits. A ready-made innate calorie burner, it helps reduce body fat while simultaneously retaining lean muscle mass. It’s also considered a necessary fatty acid for both cell growth and as a building block for cell membranes.

To date, there are over 500 published studies on this previously unrecognized nutrient. The first human clinical trial using CLA was conducted in 1997 in Norway. It was a 90-day double-blind clinical study that showed a stunning 20% decrease in body fat, with an average loss of seven pounds of fat in the group taking CLA.

These results were achieved without a single change in dietary habits, establishing CLA supplementation for the first time as a simple, effortless weight loss tool.

In addition to the ability to reduce body fat, CLA has also been shown to increase lean muscle mass. In this same study, although participants lost body fat, they experienced very little change in overall body weight due to the increase in lean muscle mass. The end result was a stronger, healthier body.

And, there’s more.

Over the past two decades, researchers have found that CLA also modulates the immune response, protects against heart disease, and inhibits the growth of various cancers. It may also prevent and control adult onset diabetes—a disease running rampant in our overweight country. And, because it helps prevent bone loss, CLA may also be a potent agent for preventing osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

Sources of CLA

For those who are able to tolerate dairy without issue, CLA occurs naturally in grass-fed dairy foods—especially cream, butter and full-fat cheese. It’s also found in whey proteins made from grass-fed, non-denatured A2 milk protein, as well as in organic beef and lamb.

While adding grass-fed meats (and the right dairy, if you can) back into your diet is a fantastic idea for a variety of health reasons, I still recommend adding a CLA supplement that’s made from conjugated safflower or sunflower oil. This is because of its potency and convenience.

To put it into perspective, you would need to eat six pounds of steak or 50 slices of Colby cheese to receive the same amount of CLA found in most supplements.

My pick is CLA-1000. I recommend one 1,000 mg softgel with each meal—for a total of 3,000 mg daily. Please be cautious to not take it too close to bedtime, as occasionally people have reported difficulty falling asleep when taken too late.

It’s also best to avoid taking CLA with fiber supplements or high-fiber meals because the fiber may absorb some of the CLA. To avoid this, take CLA about an hour after your meal or fiber supplement.

To help get this holiday weekend started, UNI KEY is offering a 20% discount on CLA-1000 to all ALG fans! Simply enter code ALCLA20 at checkout on UNI KEY’s website. The offer is good through 3/31/2016 and cannot be combined with any other promotions.

May CLA (and GLA) help you easily burn your way to your summer body goals before spring’s end!

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Wendy

    I must be one of those people whom it doesn’t work. I’ve tried multiple times, multiple brands, including doubling the dose and nothing. I guess we are all individuals and it’s not a one size fits all.

    • Lisa

      I’m going to ditto your comment!

      • kerry

        Me too!

  2. Marion

    I’ve been using a supplement called super CLA derived from pomegranate see oil as I have also tried CLA with not seeing results.

  3. Sherry H

    I’ve used CLA for about 5 years now and I’m convinced it definitely works for me. I’m not a meat or dairy consuming individual and I’ve researched the benefits, esp. the cancer inhibiting aspects. I only use Tonalin CLA with a Safflower oil base. I take it an hour before lunch and dinner and it actually gives me a burst of energy that is noticeably not present if I forget to take it. At 52 and post-menopausal, I have very little abdominal fat and twice the energy of women half my age 🙂
    Keep an eye on your cholesterol if your levels are high before beginning the supplement–but other than that, I’m a huge fan of CLA !!

  4. Zee

    Same as Wendy–in fact, I’m gaining weight in my stomach rather than losing : (

  5. Ann Louise Gittleman

    Dear Wendy, Lisa, Kerry, Marion, and Zee:

    I read your comments with interest and wonder if you were using the CLA in conjunction with an anti-inflammatory, hypoallergenic, lower carb diet? The outstanding results we have had for over 15 years with CLA (and GLA) supplementation, have to be appreciated in light of their use with my Fat Flush program. If you are NOT familiar with Fat Flush, then just pick up a copy on Amazon via Kindle or try the Fat Flush App. Try the 2 Week Fat Flush, add the CLA to this (1, 1000 mg three times per day) and watch what happens.

  6. Shelli

    Again, I am like most all other posts here. I had been taking 3 to 4 grams of CLA and eating a super low carb diet (some protein, lots of healthy fats and lots of vegetables) and saw no results from CLA. Sorry to say but it simply did nothing for me. I turned 50 this year and I was determined to get back to by pre-baby weight (had a baby at 45 the old fashion way!). I have gotten to the point that I literally only eat after 11am for my first meal (intermittent fasting) and only eat a salad or a little meat and veg and have lost 7lbs and this is usually my only meal. I have 10lbs more to go. I have done Fat Flush in the past and didn’t lose anything beyond 5lbs (three weeks on the program). I liked losing the 5lbs but it was super hard for me given my work schedule and travel (lots of overnight travel and in long meetings and long drives).

    • Ann Louise

      Shelli — If you did not lose on CLA and were such a slow loser on Fat Flush, then I suspect you have a problem with fat metabolism – which points to inadequate bile production. Check into Eat Fat, Lose Weight (KINDLE version) to address this issue with the right foods and possible bile support (with or without a gallbaldder). Most of all, don’t give up. There is an answer out there which should not be addressed via a starvation diet.

      • Shelli

        Hello Ann Louise.

        Thank you for your reply. It is an honor to receive a response from you. I will check out the Eat Fat, Lose Weight as I had already been thinking about getting this book. And trust me, I am not giving up. I have been maintaining my current weight loss of 8lbs and I think the reason I was a low achiever on Fat Flush is that I was only 136lb last time I did it so I did not have that much to lose. I only weight 144lb now and I am 5.5″. I only have another 9lbs to lose to get to my pre-pregnancy weight and I am 50 and yes, I did go through menopause and I am fully postmenopausal so I am looking at other alternatives like adding progesterone. I wanted to supply the full picture…I am also going to get a full blood work up from my primary physician including my thyroid. If there is a general forum, I will try to give an update on my progress.

  7. Yvonne

    Oh my lord Shelli all the other comments were huh huh til I got to yours and my eyebrows went up … you only eat 1 meal a day ??? Girl you had better get your organs checked I’d say you’re not losing weight, you’re starving yourself. Your organs will go against themselves if you eat so scant a diet….. please check into this. Don’t let your journey take you to the wrong destination….. posted with love, please look into what you are doing.

  8. Lydia Singura

    I downloaded the free Eat Fat, Lose Weight and read it. I had gallbladder surgery about 7 years ago and have had even more issues after surgery. I tried to get the book at 2 different Barnes and Noble and my daughter finally got a used book but it is 1999!!! I checked on Amazon and see it is on the Kindle, but I don’t have the Kindle !! Why cannot get a book??? From reading the intro, I have high hopes of getting back to better health !!! Please help !!

    • Team ALG

      The print version of the current edition of Eat Fat Lose weight should be available in the next couple of months. Currently it is only available in the electronic version. Even if you don’t have a kindle you can download it on to another electronic device, like your computer.

    • Lydia Singura


  9. Beth Switzer

    I too, don’t have a kindle and would like the “book”, is that option?I’d really like to learn more Ms Gittleman.

    • Team ALG

      Beth, I understand you’d like to have the hard copy. Eat Fat Lose Weight should be available to purchase in the book format in the next couple of months.It is such an important book with great information!

  10. Beth Switzer

    I have been on Doug Kauffman’s Phase 1 diet for over a year and feel so much better! Apparently my arthritic symntoms were fungal related. I started taking bioidentical hormones approx 8 months ago (prescription after testing) and have been doing OK on them. This past month or so, it seems kinda “all of a sudden” i have gained 5 or so pounds and it feels like its all belly fat. I just can’t understand why. Any suggestions? Is it hormone related? Should I get retested?

    • Team ALG

      It very well could be hormone related.Many women gain weight when they are low on progesterone or low relative to estrogen. It would be good to do another hormone test. Ann Louise has always recommended doing a salivary test for hormones

  11. Deb

    I am Estrogen Dominant and I did a month long test of CLA/GLA. My results were no fat loss, or inch loss. In fact my estrogen dominance symptoms worsened. in fact I started growing black hairs on my nipples that were not there before.

    I quit after giving it a good try. I’m still using GLA which is helping the skin issues and facial hair worsening to slowly reduce again. It’s a YMMV type of thing.

  12. James Lynch

    Does the GLA from Black Currents work similar as the CLA where you say to take 1 hour after eating, especially if you eat a high fiber meal so you get maximum uptake? I eat a lot of fiber in my meals. Thank you.

  13. Cherly

    I started the GLA & CLA again and guess what I am losing, it’s a slow process but a losing process which I am thrilled with. Before I took each 1 month and saw no difference, this is the 3rd month and finally a difference I can feel. Yay!!! I am looking forward to the end results.


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