Welcome to my science based guide that will explain everything you need to know about CLA and weight loss.
The short answer is, YES, CLA can help you burn some extra body fat.
But it only will work for you (and not against you) under very specific conditions.
And before we dive into the science behind those, here's a short overview of everything that that's covered in this article.
CLA weight loss results
Let's kick things off with some science that'll give you a rough idea about how much weight CLA can actually help you lose.
In one study, people took a CLA weight loss supplement for 12 weeks.
And according to this study, you expect some surprising weight loss results from CLA:
On average, the people in the study lost "only" 0.5 pounds (0.25 kilograms) of weight, but they did lose 3 pounds (1.7 kilograms) of body fat.
So while the people in the study didn't actually lose a lot of weight, they did lose some of their body fat.
(While gaining some new muscle mass during those 12 weeks.)
Now, this would be an awesome benefit of CLA, by any standard.
But this only happened because the people in the study also followed an intense exercise program.
(Or they wouldn't be able to put on any new muscle mass.)
Now, let's take a look at whether or not CLA works for weight loss when there's no exercise involved.
Can CLA help you lose weight without exercise?
In another study, two groups of people took a CLA supplement for 12 weeks.
The first group was doing 90 minutes of intense exercise three times a week, but the second group only did some light workouts.
The study showed that the intense-exercise group lost some extra body fat with CLA.
But for the light-exercise group, CLA couldn't help the people lose any extra body fat.
So it looks like CLA can only help you burn off some extra body fat, if you're prepared to exercise pretty hard while taking it.
But there's one more strange thing that can surprise you, even if you're prepared to exercise while taking CLA for fat burn.
CLA does NOT work for all people
In one study, obese people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) higher than 25 took a CLA supplement for 8 weeks.
On top of taking CLA, the people in the study exercised 3 times per week.
A combination of exercise and CLA should help speed up their fat burn rate (as proven by the studies I've shown you so far).
But sadly, the study showed that CLA couldn't help obese people burn off any extra body fat.
The bottom line is, if you still have a lot of weight to lose, then CLA may not help you get rid of that embarrassing body fat any faster.
(That's even if you combine it with exercise.)
But there's one more benefit of taking CLA for weight loss you should know about.
The potential to bring down your appetite, hunger, and cravings.
CLA reduces hunger and appetite
By far the most common reason why people struggle (and ultimately fail) on most weight loss diets, is the fact that those diets skyrocket their hunger and cravings.
This happens because poorly designed weight loss diets increase the production of your hunger boosting hormone, leptin.
But what does a hormone, capable of triggering overwhelming hunger and cravings, have to do with CLA?
Well, one weight loss study proved that taking a CLA supplement can bring down the levels of leptin in your body.
In theory, lower levels of leptin in your body should bring down the hunger and cravings (which should help you eat less food and lose more weight).
The problem is, even though the CLA supplement used in the study was able to bring down the production of leptin, this ultimately didn't help people lose any extra weight.
Summary (actionable takeaways)
All in all, CLA can help you lose some weight, but it will only work only under some very specific conditions.
If you're a reasonably fit person, who does not need to lose a lot of weight (and you are prepared to commit to a serious exercise program), then CLA may be able to help you out.
But if you still have a lot of weight to lose and hate the idea of exercising really hard, then CLA won't do much for you.
At best, your hunger and cravings could be a little less intense after taking CLA, but this has yet to be proven to actually help people lose more weight.
This guid is just a small part of my mega guide on CLA, so go there to find out more.
3. Ribeiro AS, Pina FL, Dodero SR, Silva DR, et al. Effect of conjugated linoleic acid associated with aerobic exercise on body fat and lipid profile in obese women:A randomized, double-blinded, and placebo-controlled trial. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2016;26(2):135-44.