Tongkat Ali: A natural weight loss supplement that burns fat and calories

Tongkat Ali is amongst the top natural weight loss supplements used by healthy adults and fitness communities to burn more calories and fat through efficient use of energy within the body.

But does it work to reduce BMI, fight obesity and maintain your weight?

This article deep dive on natural weight loss supplements, how it works, how to use Tongkat Ali as a weight loss supplement and scientific evidence to support Tongkat Ali’s effects on weight loss.


Natural weight loss supplements are a viable choice for health-conscious consumers looking for safe alternative to weight loss pills.

Popular weight loss pills such as Bupropion/naltrexone (Contrave), Saxenda, Xenical, Adipex, Ionamin and Qsymia promote weight loss by curbing eating habits. Whilst prescription appetite suppressant pills may work, weight loss medicines are not suitable long term and may have severe consequences to your hormones and long-term health.

Tongkat Ali is gaining new grounds as a natural weight loss supplement when combined with high-intensity and aerobic exercises. It is used for menopausal women to aid weight loss too.

Let’s investigate the fat-burning properties of Tongkat Ali to aid weight loss.



Tongkat Ali supports weight management and aids weight loss by burning more fat and increasing lean muscle mass. It can be used by active healthy adults above 18 years of age who are seeking to achieve a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI).


You may use Tongkat Ali supplements to manage your Body Mass Index (BMI), or to gain more lean muscle with regular exercises and diet. 

Here’s how to use Tongkat Ali based on BMI scores.

If your BMI falls between 18.5 to <25 (i.e healthy weight)

  • Take a minimum of 1 capsule (200mg) 1-2 hours before intense exercise.

If your BMI is exceeds 30 (overweight/obese):

  • Take 1 capsule (200mg) 1-2 hours before exercise.
  • Take 1 capsule (200mg) after exercise, or right before bed.
  • Maintain cardio-exercise or resistance training for a minimum of 3 times a week.

Note: If you are obese, you may use Tongkat Ali supplements with regular exercises with daily continuous consumption. Please refer to the Body Mass Index (BMI) chart guidance.

Does Tongkat Ali aid weight loss?

Tongkat Ali is linked to direct and indirect effects of weight loss through various mechanisms of action. 


Studies showed that Tongkat Ali promotes weight loss in six ways:

  1. Raises metabolism rate and prevents a decrease in metabolism rate
  2. Increase fat burn and burn calories more efficiently
  3. Raises testosterone to promote lean muscle mass and strength
  4. Lowers cortisol to curb emotional stress from overeating
  5. Balances healthy blood sugar levels 
  6. Reduces LDL cholesterol levels that prevents metabolism disorder.

1. Boosts metabolism and burns more calories


Tongkat Ali boosts metabolism to aid weight loss and prevents decrease in metabolic rate through efficient conversion of energy from your food intake. In addition, Tongkat Ali supplementation reduces Body Mass Index (BMI) of test participants with obesity when consumed for more than 100 days.

Tongkat Ali raises metabolism by stimulating thermogenesis, a process of heat production that burns calories in your body, ultimately accelerating weight loss and BMI.

Tongkat Ali burns calories more efficiently which aids in weight loss for both men and women.

Not only that, Tongkat Ali helps maintains your weight by preventing metabolic adaptation as you are going through your weight loss goals. Without supplementation, your metabolic rate often decreases as your body fights to conserve energy. This metabolic adaptation can make it challenging for you to maintain or to continue losing weight.


A 112-day randomized placebo-controlled study on 96 obese adults published in Phytotherapy Research showed that consuming 400mg of Tongkat Ali daily with bergamot orange led to a significant reduction of Body Mass Index (BMI). This study suggests that Tongkat Ali supplementation may help obesity.

Studies have shown that Tongkat Ali stimulates thermogenesis by promoting the activity of brown adipose tissue (BAT), a type of fat that generates heat when activated. This increased heat production, known as thermogenesis, leads to a higher metabolic rate, which enables weight loss.

Other placebo-controlled studies showed that stimulation of thermogenesis causes body fat loss and fecal fat excretion in test subjects who are obese.

Research suggests that Tongkat Ali may counteract this adaptation by preventing a decrease in metabolic rate, thus supporting sustainable weight loss efforts.

2. Raises testosterone and builds lean muscle


Tongkat Ali may assist with weight loss by increasing testosterone levels, a key hormone that boosts metabolism for both men and women.

High testosterone levels from Tongkat Ali supplementation is associated with a higher proportion of lean muscle mass and reduced body fat in men and women.

As muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat tissue, an increase in muscle mass translates to a higher metabolic rate, which in turn aids in burning calories more efficiently. 

Furthermore, testosterone can influence appetite regulation, energy levels, and motivation, all factors that can impact weight loss efforts. By boosting testosterone levels, Tongkat Ali supplements support the development and maintenance of lean muscle mass, enhance calorie-burning capacity, and create a favorable environment for weight loss.


In fact, a study showed, during a 5-week clinical trial with 14 men participating in a strength training program, that those who took just 100 mg of Tongkat Ali extract per day experienced significantly greater increases in lean body mass than those taking a placebo. The participants also lost more fat than participants in the placebo group. 

This study suggests that integrating Tongkat Ali supplementation with a well-structured exercise program, particularly one focused on strength training, can maximize its benefits in promoting healthier body composition and facilitating weight loss.

3. Lowers cortisol levels and curbs stress eating


Tongkat Ali may help with weight loss by reducing stress eating, a common response to elevated stress levels. Tongkat Ali studies showed positive results in lowering cortisol levels, thus regulates stress responses and curb emotional eating. 

By managing stress more effectively and reducing the urge to indulge in unhealthy foods during stressful times, you can adhere to your weight loss goals and improve overall well-being. 


A study showed those taking Tongkat Ali supplements saw significant reduction in cortisol levels (i.e stress hormones) compared to the placebo group. These findings suggest that Tongkat Ali may help with weight management by lowering cortisol levels and improving mood, which can potentially reduce stress-related eating and contribute to better weight control. 

Combining Tongkat Ali supplementation with stress reduction techniques, such as meditation or exercise, may further enhance its effectiveness in minimizing stress eating and promoting a healthier relationship with food.

4. Lowers blood sugar levels and increases fat storage


Tongkat Ali may aid weight loss by regulating blood sugar levels. Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is essential for weight management, as elevated blood sugar can lead to insulin resistance, increased fat storage, and weight gain. 

When blood sugar (or glucose) is high, your pancreas is triggered to produce more insulin to move that sugar out of your blood and into your cells. That’s a problem for weight loss, because your body only burns fat when it senses insulin levels are dropping.

By promoting better blood sugar control, Tongkat Ali may help prevent sudden spikes and crashes in blood sugar, which can cause cravings and overeating. 

Combining Tongkat Ali supplementation with a balanced diet rich in fibre and low-glycaemic foods can further support healthy blood sugar levels and promote successful weight loss.


A 2020 study showed that Tongkat Ali has hypoglycaemic properties along with the control of body weight, meaning it can lower blood sugar levels by enhancing glucose uptake into cells and improving insulin sensitivity. 

By taking Tongkat Ali, you may find it relatively easier to make healthier food choices and adhere to your weight loss goals. 

5. Improves cardiovascular health


Tongkat Ali benefits cardiovascular health, which helps your weight loss effort as cardiovascular health and obesity are closely linked. Weight loss helps reduce LDL cholesterol levels too.

If you are obese, Tongkat Ali may help to reduce or maintain healthy cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

By improving your cardiovascular health, Tongkat Ali may support more efficient nutrient delivery and oxygenation to the muscles during exercise, potentially enhancing workout performance and calorie-burning capacity. 

When using Tongkat Ali, take advantage of cardiovascular exercises such as running or cycling to burn more calories, burn more fat, lowers LDL cholesterols and promote weight loss.

By improving cardiovascular health and enhancing exercise performance, Tongkat Ali is a natural weight loss supplement that can facilitate your overall weight loss efforts.


Research published in the Makara Journal of Health Research in 2017 suggests that Tongkat Ali may help reduce LDL cholesterol levels, both of which are risk factors for heart disease and metabolic disorders. 

Another study in 2016 showed that Tongkat Ali supplementation reduces blood pressure. Obesity contributes to high blood pressure and this is where Tongkat Ali supplementation may benefit your weight loss effort.

FAQ : User Guide

Get the best answers when using natural weight loss supplements.

How much weight can I lose after taking Tongkat Ali?

The estimated average weight loss based on 24 weeks of supplementation of Tongkat Ali ranges between 5% to 20% depending on your current BMI. Most users reported an average of 5% to 10% reduction in body fat with a significant increase in lean muscle mass when paired with daily high-intensity exercises.


Body Mass Index (BMI)

Activity Levels

Estimated weight loss after 24 weeks


19 – 24.9

(Normal Weight)


Moderate Exercises





High Intensity Exercises





High Intensity Exercises



(Extremely Obese)


Moderate Intensity Exercises

3 -10%


(Extremely Obese)


High Intensity Exercises

5 -20%

Natural weight loss supplements vs weight loss pills. Whats the difference?

Natural weight loss supplement such as Tongkat Ali works by increasing thermogenesis resulting in higher calorie and fat burn in the Brown Adipose Tissue (BAT) whilst weight loss drugs work by suppressing your appetite to eat and makes you less hungry.

Does Tongkat Ali suppress my appetite?

Tongkat Ali is not an appetite suppressant and does not reduce your appetite. Instead, Tongkat Ali works by increasing thermogenesis, thus increasing your metabolism rate which helps your body burn more calories. This process leads to the creation energy balance which is directly linked to weight loss.

Is Tongkat Ali a fat burner?

Yes, Tongkat Ali contains fat-burning properties (i.e thermogenic) that boost metabolism, increase your calorie burn rate, and burn more fat. This action promotes weight loss by reducing belly fat and increasing lean muscle development.

Does Tongkat Ali help reduce obesity?

Yes, Tongkat Ali helps to reduce obesity when coupled with exercise. A randomized placebo-controlled study on 96 obese adults published in Phytotherapy Research showed a significant reduction in Body Mass Index (BMI) after 112 days.

How does Tongkat Ali work to reduce fat & obesity?

Tongkat Ali reduces symptoms related to obesity-associated metabolic disorders by promoting thermogenic process in the Brown Adipose Tissue (BAT), supporting a healthy insulin resistance, reducing diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Studies suggest that Tongkat Ali’s thermogenic properties increase metabolism by producing more brown fat in your body to burn calories and fat efficiently.

Does Tongkat Ali reduce fatty acids?

A placebo-controlled study in 2017 showed a significant reduction of Free Fatty Acids (FFA) in young athletes consuming Tongkat Ali after 3 days of treadmill exercises at 65% VO₂ max. This study suggests that Tongkat Ali has a strong potential of reducing fatty acids and promoting fat lipolysis in active adults.

Does Tongkat Ali increase glycerol levels?

Tongkat Ali supplementation with aerobic exercises showed significant increases in glycerol levels that may aid weight loss and metabolic effects. A placebo-controlled pilot study on college athletes by the University of Malaya showed a significant increase in plasma glycerol after the third day of Tongkat Ali supplementation.

Can I use Tongkat Ali as a menopausal supplement for weight loss?

Tongkat Ali helps reduce menopausal symptoms and weight loss by reducing hot flushes. A recent study in the Journal of the North American Menopause Society showed a strong correlation of weight loss vs. reduction in hot flushes in women.

What's the best way to use Tongkat Ali for weight loss?

You may use Tongkat Ali as a pre-workout supplement. For best results, take 200 mg of Tongkat Ali daily over 12 weeks with 15 minutes HIT exercises, or 4 days per week of resistance training.

What are the steps of using Tongkat Ali for weight loss?

  • Daily dosage of 200mg – 400mg daily with weekly ON / OFF cycle. 
  • Take 200mg 1 hour before workout, and 200mg 2 hour after workout, or before sleep.
  • Take Tongkat Ali coffee as a pre-workout to get the best results, or use Tongkat Ali with orange citrus to accelerate fat burn.
  • Perform 30 minutes cardio exercises (eg: running, cycling, swimming. HIIT) at least 3-4 days a week.
  • Perform weight or resistance training at least twice per week, with a minimum of 2-day rest.
  • Use only clinically tested Tongkat Ali extract.
  • Watch your diet; cut down sugar intake, carbs and alcohol for at least 60 days.

Can I combine Tongkat Ali with other weight loss pills?

It is not recommended to use Tongkat Ali with other weight loss pills such as bupropion/naltrexone (Contrave), Saxenda, Xenical, Adipex, Ionamin and Qsymia. Please consult your healthcare professionals for further advice if you are consuming Tongkat Ali supplements alongside with other weight loss drugs.

Which type of Tongkat Ali works best for weight loss?

Clinically tested Tongkat Ali supplements with standardized hot water extract works better for weight loss. Clinically tested natural weight loss supplements have a higher efficacy to burn more calories, thus promoting weight loss.

How well do weight loss supplement work?

Taking Tongkat Ali natural supplement for 6 to 12 months may result in a loss of total body weight of 10% or more when paired with diet and regular exercises. Whilst the weight loss may not seem like a lot, losing 5% to 10% of your total weight may contribute to greater health benefits such as lower blood sugar levels and fats in the blood called triglycerides.

Is Tongkat Ali a weight loss drugs?

Tongkat Ali is not classified as a weight loss drug by FDA or any other health authorities. Tongkat Ali is viewed as a dietary supplement that promotes weight loss when combined with aerobic or high-intensity exercises and lifestyle changes.

What are some cautions about weight-loss supplements?

Using weight-loss pills and supplements may have risks of increased blood pressure, a faster heart rate, headaches, and sleep problems. It is possible to abuse some of these weight loss pills without proper diet and exercise. Weight-loss supplements can also harm unborn babies. Women who are pregnant and post-pregnancy should not take Tongkat Ali or any form of weight loss supplements.


Tongkat Ali is a natural weight loss supplement due to its ability to boost metabolism to burn more calories, increase testosterone levels, curb your stressful eating habits, regulate blood sugar levels, and promote good cardiovascular health. It works to aid weight loss for both men and women.

By addressing multiple factors that can impact weight management, Tongkat Ali can be considered one of the best natural weight loss supplements if you are looking to shed excess fat, burn more calories and improve your overall endocrine system.

Tongkat Ali benefits your health in many ways, where it complements your exercises and diet to achieve sustainable weight loss that you desire.

Do check out our Tongkat Ali dosage guide and FAQ page to know more.


Tongkat Ali should not be used for the sole purpose to lose weight or as a weight loss supplement. Pregnant and breastfeeding woman, and children below 18 years of age should not be taking Tongkat Ali. Tongkat Ali is a dietary supplement that complements your exercises to achieve your health goals. If you are experiencing obesity or eating disorders, we recommend you to consult your medical professionals or doctors for advice before consuming Tongkat Ali supplements.


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Naressa Khan contributes regularly on AKARALI. As a writer and journalist, Naressa is all about creating, deconstructing, and reassembling meanings through words. With this approach always in mind, she eagerly explores the nuances in life via the aspects of lifestyle, culture, travel, health, and wellness.

Our articles are third party reviewed by our panel of experts and medical advisors to ensure the facts are accurate and credible. These are validated against multiple source references which include but not limited to research studies, peer-reviewed journals, pre-clinical studies, clinical tests and other credible publications.

Our panel of medical advisors and experts are highly experienced in their individual fields. However, they do not provide any medical advice or recommendations arising from content published in this article.

Disclaimer: The content published in this article is for educational purposes and not intended to provide any form of recommendations, directly or indirectly to purchase or consume herbal supplements, drugs, medications, alternative remedies and practices or any brands mentioned in this article. By reading this, the sole responsibility and decision lies on the reader to make an informed decision based on publicly available information published on the internet. Any herbal supplements can be used as a health supplement, dietary plan or to treat illnesses. However, we encourage you to consult your nearest doctor before making any purchase from this website or any other websites or social platforms after reading this article. We do not hold any responsibility or accountability for any products purchased from this website or any third-party websites that are linked to this articles, sales channels or social platforms.

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  1. Interesting read! I’ve always been curious about natural supplements for weight loss. Tongkat Ali’s potential fat-burning effects sound promising. However, I’d love to see more research-backed evidence on its effectiveness and safety. Always cautious when it comes to supplements, but this has definitely sparked my interest!

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