Weight Loss Supplements – Do They Really Work?
By Nadine A Douglas
Most health foods stores and supermarkets have a variety of weight loss supplements, many of which claim to achieve remarkable results. Although it is tempting to stock your kitchen cupboards with bottles and bottles of weight loss ‘potions’, some have been known to have more reliable results than others. This article looks at four popular weight loss supplements and whether they are worth your bucks.
According to weight loss website, weightloss.com.au, green tea comes from the Camellia Sinensis Bush family and generally speaking some of the highest quality types come from China, Japan, Taiwan, Sri Lanka and India. Many research studies have shown that drinking green tea has a positive effect on weight loss as well as our general health. In addition to this, substances such as theanine are present in the tea which may raise your metabolism and suppresses appetite. Green tea has also shown to increase the body’s ability to burn fat (fat oxidation) which has also been attributed partially to the relatively high levels of caffeine in green tea, although the levels are not as high as coffee, for example.
Green tea has not only been found to be good for weight loss but it is also known to be beneficial for a variety of other conditions such as reducing the risks of some forms of cancer, lowering cholesterol levels and reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems. Many researchers believe that in order to obtain the maximum benefits of green tea it is advisable to drink as much as five to ten cups a day. However, because green tea has relatively high levels of caffeine researchers advise that anyone who suffers from conditions such as heart or kidney disease, high blood pressure, an overactive thyroid, anxiety disorders, blood clotting problems as well as women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, should talk to a doctor before consuming large quantities of the tea. It is also advisable not to give large amounts to children either because of the caffeine content.
Although green tea has numerous benefits, the most popular of uses is its weight loss properties and it is becoming increasingly popular in the western world, with many celebrities now recommending it as a weight loss tool.
According to the article entitled “Acai: Weight Loss Wonder Fruit?” written by By Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD on the WebMD website, the acai berry does contain a large amount of antioxidants which are helpful to general health, but there does not appear to have any ‘magical’ properties when it comes to weight loss. This is according to David Grotto, RD, author of “101 Foods That Could Save Your Life. ” Grotto goes on to say that “There is not any single food, including the super-healthy acai berry that can provide the solution to weight loss. To lose weight, you need to control calories with a healthy lifestyle approach that includes plenty of physical activity, nutritious foods, and adequate rest.” According to some websites which market the product, acai’s fiber and essential fatty acid content help the body burn fat more efficiently and helps speed up the metabolism process. These claims however remain largely unsubstantiated due to over-the-counter supplements not being as closely regulated as prescription medicines.
Grotto goes on to say that there is something unique about acai, it is one of the few fruits, with the exception of avocados, that contain monounsaturated fats (MUFAS). MUFAS are thought to help you feel fuller for longer but the amount present in acai is so small that it would be work out to be very expensive due to the sheer amount of acai berries you would need to consume for the MUFAS to become viable.
According to an article on the webMD website entitled ‘Lots of Hope, Hoodia has been marketed as the ‘wonder drug’ for weight loss. The plant from the Kalahari Desert is now imported in huge amounts to westerners who need to lose the flab. Mark Blumenthal, Founder and Executive Director of the American Botanical Council, states that the evidence recorded from one study was not conclusive. “We can only say the evidence available to us right now, which is considered inadequate, suggests that there is some type of appetite-suppressing mechanism in some of the naturally occurring chemicals in hoodia,” Blumenthal says. He adds that his organization has not received any consumer reports of safety problems with hoodia use. The study was conducted by David Maclean, MD, Professor at Brown University in Providence, MacLean then goes on to say that a cousin of Hoodia’s P57 molecule may eventually prove to be a better answer “”A chemical within that class of molecules has real potential to reduce appetite,” he says. “I’m less confident regarding the hoodia molecule itself for reasons relating to its metabolism [absorption and breakdown] in humans.”
Although weight loss supplements can be used to help with weight loss, most nutritionists and fitness experts agree that in order to achieve long term weight loss, a person needs to adopt healthy nutritional eating habits combined with a moderate to high exercise regime and adequate rest.
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Nadine ‘Diet Coach’ Douglas lost over 25 pounds after being overweight most of her adult life. She now runs a successful weight loss website which gives information about great resources which can help you lose weight and be healthy for long term success.
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