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Lose Weight Safely

Natural Supplementation to Your Diet & Exercise

Q: What supplements can I take to help me lose weight safely?  -Erica, North York.

The growing North American obesity epidemic is a great concern. However, trying to lose weight can be a challenge, and sometimes the body needs a nudge to either kick-start or further propel progress that has hit a plateau.

First and foremost, it is of utmost importance that I stress the impact of physical activity and what you eat on your body’s ability to attain AND maintain a healthy weight.  There is no magic pill for healthy and sustainable weight loss. Supplements can only work when used in conjunction with a balanced diet and exercise.  Always choose a primarily organic WHOLE FOODS diet that is rich in colourful fruits and vegetables, and a variety of clean proteins and healthy fats.  Drink ample amounts of water and greatly reduce, if not avoid, processed, chemical-laden, ‘food-like’ products.  Always start with clean eating and exercise when it comes to weight management.

On the topic of diet, did you know that certain fats are actually NOT the enemy? Some fats, actually promote better health and weight. Organic Raw Coconut oil, for instance, is loaded with Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs).  MCTs are easily digested and immediately converted into energy for cells, can speed up metabolism, balance blood sugar levels, and because they are readily processed by the liver, they provide long lasting energy that is more effective then sugars and carbohydrates. These key factors help maintain a lean healthy weight.  Think of it as a supplement and take a daily serving of Coconut oil.

In last month’s “Ask the Expert” I touched on the importance of protein and amino acids in the diet because they are sources of energy for the body and contribute to lean muscles. Increasing lean muscle tissue through exercise and adequate protein intake helps support healthier metabolism and weight management. Try supplementing with a grass-fed whey or vegetarian protein powder to help muscles develop and recover more efficiently, especially if you are physically active.

CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) is a fatty acid supplement typically derived from Safflower oil. Research shows that CLA can be beneficial in lowering body fat especially in those who combine their intake with regular exercise.  There are also studies that suggest that along with fat reduction it can help increase lean muscle tissue and improve the metabolic rate.

Garcinia Cambogia is an Indian fruit rich in Hydroxy Citric Acid (HCA). This is said to support normal fat metabolism and cholesterol levels, carbohydrate metabolism, and healthier appetite levels, in turn helping manage weight.  Coleus Forskolin, another Ayurvedic botanical, works by increasing the cell messenger cAMP in the cells. This enhances insulin secretion for better carbohydrate metabolism, metabolic rate via the thyroid, and lipolysis (fat burning).  

There are no sustainable short cuts for weight loss. Always start with physical exercise and a whole foods diet. Decrease sugar, and increase healthy fats and protein intake.     If you still feel like you need an extra nudge, a natural weight loss supplement might be helpful ☺