Give Yourself Some Help!
When you’re trying to lose weight, sometimes you just want a little help. Taking quick fix drugs or sketchy supplements is dangerous – no weight loss is worth risking your health!
But there are plenty of safe, natural herbs and vitamins that give your body the chance to lose and maintain a healthy weight. Here are the first few, with an explanation about why each might be a good addition to your daily routine.
How It Melts Fat: Study after study shows that vitamin D helps to ensure body cells listen and respond to insulin, a hormone secreted from your pancreas. One of its jobs is to help glucose get into body cells, which burn glucose for energy. How well insulin pushes glucose into cells is called “insulin sensitivity.” The more sensitive your cells are to insulin, the better. The less sensitive they are to insulin, the more likely the calories you eat will end up in your fat cells.
When levels of D are low, levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH) rise. Higher than normal levels of PTH trigger a series of reactions that eventually lead to fat cells converting sugar into fat and hoarding fat rather than releasing it to be burned, explains Michael B. Zemel, PhD, director of the Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
A lack of vitamin D may also interfere with leptin, a hormone that signals your brain to stop eating. Your body doesn’t know when it’s full, so you continue to eat.
How It Melts Fat: Calcium is a mineral that works in tandem with D to help you shed fat. Calcium is stored in fat cells, and researchers think that the more calcium a fat cell has, the more fat that cell will release to be burned. Calcium also promotes weight loss by binding to fat in your GI tract, preventing some of it from getting absorbed into your bloodstream.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
How They Melt Fat: omega-3s enable weight loss by switching on enzymes that trigger fat-burning in cells. They also help to boost mood, which may help reduce emotional eating. And omega 3s might improve leptin signaling in the brain, causing the brain to turn up fat burning and turn down appetite. Fatty fish like salmon (which are also high in vitamin D) are one of the richest sources of this fat. Other foods, such as some nuts and seeds, contain a type of fat that can be converted into omega-3s after ingestion.
How They Melt Fat: Polyphenols are the antioxidants that give green tea its health-and metabolism-boosting punch. Research shows they boost resting metabolic rate by up to a whopping 17 percent, helping the body to burn more fat. One recent study done on rats found that EGCG, the polyphenol in green tea, blocked weight gain and prevented metabolic syndrome when rats were fed a high-fat diet. You can actually feel this effect after you drink the tea. Your body will literally heat up as your cells waste calories as heat. Green tea is a great winter elixir for that reason. Drink a cup whenever you feel chilled and are tempted to eat even though you are not really that hungry. The tea will warm and soothe you, reducing hunger and cravings.
– via Women’s Health
Weight Loss Isn’t Just About Weight Loss
If you want to lose weight and keep it off, then it’s time to focus not just on the scale, but on your health overall. So taking vitamins and supplements that improve your health and keep your body functioning at its best means that your weight loss will be easier and you’ll be able to keep the weight off easier in the long run!
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) – This one comes with its share of possible side effects, but the potential benefits seem to outweigh them. Studies have shown promising results in this helping with cardiovascular disease, general inflammation of the body, migraines, dysfunction of the organs, staving off Alzheimer’s, aging concerns, and erectile dysfunction.
Getting your organs and cardiovascular systems to function more properly will be a big boost to your weight loss efforts, and any other side benefits are just icing on the cake. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting out on this to see if there are any contraindications you should be aware of.
Apple Cider Vinegar – This has long been associated with weight loss, and is said to help you feel more full when you drink it, therefore allowing you to eat less, or have fewer cravings. It’s definitely all natural because it’s made from pressed apples. When taken in small amounts there are few side effects linked to it.
If you do end up taking it you don’t have to go overboard. Success was reached in a study in Japan in which the participants who lost the most weight only consumed 30ml of it per day. You definitely don’t need to chug it or drink copious amounts of it to feel fuller and see the benefits.
Beta-Glucan – This is one possible way to increase your fiber intake, and may provide assistance in losing weight. It’s soluble, meaning your body can’t digest it, so it passes through undigested and should provide a similar benefit to eating foods that are high in fiber.
You don’t have to worry about being overloaded with grains like oats and barley, especially if you’re on a diet that doesn’t allow eating them. You can find it in supplement form, and simply take a pill. It also helps with the immune system, and is a relatively inexpensive supplement.
B Vitamins – Here’s the lineup of B Vitamins that you get in a complex: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. You don’t have to go overboard on these, especially if you don’t have a deficiency in any one of them. You can take them singly if it’s discovered that you’re lacking in only a few. There are plenty of ways that these vitamins help the body in all of its processes, and a lack of them will trip up your weight loss efforts.
Vitamin B12 usually gets the most attention, and some dieters even get injections of it in order to help boost energy levels and help with losing weight.
Chia – Chia seeds made it onto our list of superfoods for their high levels of Omega-3. It provides a non-fish oil way of introducing more omega-3 into the body, and also contains healthy amounts of alpha-Linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid that is often added to healthy diets.
Chia seeds are pretty easy to incorporate into your diet, since they don’t have a distinctive flavor and aren’t like a typical seed that you have to crunch up, you can basically sprinkle them on anything you want and enjoy the benefits they bring.
Choline – It’s possible to have a choline deficiency, so this is one nutrient that you want to make sure you’re getting enough of. Natural sources of choline include cauliflower and other veggies in the cruciferous family. Eggs and lean meats are also good sources.
You can also get it in supplement form, although it’s always best to get it through food so that your body processes it naturally and can easily get rid of what it doesn’t need. There are other side benefits like brain and memory function that make this worth seeking out.
Chromium Picolinate – The theory behind this compound is that it helps to stabilize blood sugar levels, which in turn reduces cravings, and should lead to weight loss. Stabilized blood sugar levels means more energy throughout the day, and fewer crashes. And reduced cravings mean that you’ll feel less deprived when on a diet, and more satisfied overall with the foods you’re eating.
Be cautious of companies making claims that sound too good to be true with this supplement, it’s meant to act as an aid in weight loss, not to cause you to drop pounds on its own.
Coconut Oil – Nothing stirs debate better than bringing up the good fat/bad fat discussion. Coconut oil falls into that talk because it has higher amounts of saturated fat. Proponents of using it for weight loss say that the saturated fat it does contain is not your run of the mill saturated fat that fast food is laced with.
So who to believe? You’ll have to do some research into it and decide for yourself, as there is plenty of scientific studies and sound points on both sides of the debate. But compared to some oils it does appear to have healthy properties that could lead to weight loss.
Coenzyme Q10 – This has so many positive benefits listed that you’ll want to make sure you’re not running low on it. They say it keeps your energy levels up, and helps you burn more fat than you otherwise would without it. It’s also supposed to help with the immune system, help with the heart, migraines, and is even been looked into as a possible cancer treatment.
Fish is the most easily accessible food that contains Coenzyme Q10, as many aren’t willing to add more organ meats to the menu. It’s also available as a supplement which makes it easy to take.
– via Bembu
What supplements do you take to help your weight loss?