Losing weight is hard. Fad diets promising quick success without effort don’t work. The truth is that no herb, vitamin or special food will magically melt away the kilograms. But some nutritional and herbal supplements may enhance a healthy diet and exercise program.
What is it?
Being overweight becomes a medical concern when you weigh more than 20% over the ideal weight for your height. According to government statistics, almost one fifth of adult Australians fall into this category and are defined as obese. Though not a disease in itself, obesity is a risk factor for serious medical conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and certain types of cancer. Excessive body weight also puts great stress on joints and so increases a person’s chance of developing arthritis.
What causes it?
Everyone’s metabolism (the rate at which the body burns kilojoules) is different and is influenced by many factors, including genetics. Regularly eating even a few more kilojoules than your body needs can lead to weight gain. By consuming only 450 extra kilojoules a day, for example, you will gain half a kilogram in approximately a month (half a kilogram of body fat equals 15 000 kilojoules). Some experts think that a sedentary lifestyle influences weight gain even more than eating too many kilojoules. Exercise burns kilojoules and builds muscle. And the more muscle mass you have, the more kilojoules your body burns at rest.
What are the symptoms?
- Body weight exceeds the recommended ideal by 20% or more.
- Excess weight affects energy level and the ability to do everyday tasks.
- Fatigue and/or shortness of breath during normal activity.
Are there any natural therapies?
Although supplements are not ‘magic bullets’, they may be effective in suppressing the appetite and make it easier to lose weight. Don’t exceed the dosages listed – larger amounts will not produce faster results and instead may cause unpleasant side effects. Chromium helps the body to use fat for energy and build muscle, and may give you a slight edge. Essential fatty acids may block excessive accumulation of body fat. Use them together with psyllium, a type of fibre that adds ‘fullness’, and/or chitosan, a substance that slows down the absorption of fat in the intestine. As chitosan also reduces the absorption of fat-soluable vitamins (A, E, D, K) and essential fatty acids, foods or supplements containing these should be taken at different times of the day.
If you need help controlling your appetite rotate the following supplements in month-long cycles, so your body doesn’t accustom itself to any particular one. Garcinia cambogia (brindleberry), the extract of a fruit grown in India, may quell hunger pangs. Because low levels of the brain chemical serotonin may be linked to overeating, try St John’s wort. (Some experts think overweight and depression may be linked.) Only the seriously obese should consider using ephedra with St John’s wort, and only with their doctor’s approval.
What else can I do?
- Base your diet on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.
- Eat slowly, give your brain time to signal when you’re full.
- Exercise regularly and look for ways to increase your daily activity.
Did you know?
Watching TV has been closely linked to the onset of obesity. The more time spent watching, the greater the degree of overweightness.
Every festive season comes with new opportunities for get-togethers with friends or family. This means food – lots of it – and usually not the healthy kind.
Whether it’s Christmas dinner with a giant turkey, gravy, stuffing, and mashed potatoes, wine and cheesecake with your girlfriends, or beers on a patio in the summertime – dieters face the same dilemma – how can you get through the meal without eating too much and sabotaging your weight loss goals?
Follow these simple tips for weight loss while still enjoying your social life.
"Out of sight, out of mind." It's an old phrase that can apply to a lot of situations.
A recent study shows that this phrase can easily be applied to the number of lollies and chocolates a person eats at work, with people being more likely to consume more chocolates per day when it's in plain sight and within easy reach.
In the study, 40 adult workers (all female) volunteered to take part in a four-week study of chocolate consumption from an office candy dish.
Eating too little fish, fruit and vegetables is as bad for human health as smoking, a report by the Dutch public health agency said.
The study, which the European Food Safety Authority says it will use when analysing food and diet risks, concluded that "of all dietary factors, insufficient consumption of fish, fruit and vegetables currently causes the most cases of serious illness and death in the Netherlands".
"Taking into account not just deaths but also years spent living with serious disability, unhealthy dietary habits cause as much health loss as does smoking," said the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).
Always wondered why some people can eat and never put on weight while others struggle to shed a kilo?
It may come down to your genetics. It’s true, there really is a fat gene.
Research suggests that the FTO or the fat gene causes overeating, obesity and Type 2 Diabetes.
If you find it hard to shift that extra weight, maybe its time to find out what your genes telling you?
The credit crunch is here again!
Healthy eating doesn’t mean you’ll break the budget. In fact, making better food choices may actually help the hip pocket and keep you healthy at the same time.
Keep this in mind when writing your shopping list and filling your trolley – you may well see a big difference at the cash register!
Losing belly fat doesn’t have to be solely a cosmetic goal; understanding the health risks associated with it can help motivate you.
The more visceral / abdominal fat you have, the more likely you are to suffer heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, hypertension, and cancer.
The good news is that there are some clever strategies to help you get rid of the jelly belly and reduce your risk of disease.
A recent story shown on Today Tonight has shed light on the weight loss powers of Pharmafoods IsoWhey Complete.
Dr Robert Buist developed Pharmafoods IsoWhey, believing there is a need for a meal replacement product containing high quality protein that can be quickly absorbed. Not only does IsoWhey help you shed the kilos easily – it also tastes pretty good too.
We have been using and recommending Whey Protein Isolate for many years. The benefits of Whey Protein in assisting with weight loss, maintaining lean muscle mass, reducing hunger pains, and increasing performance of athletes are well documented.
"Today Tonight" has picked up on the weight loss powers of Whey Protein and ran a story on one of our products: Pharmafoods IsoWhey Complete. Not only does IsoWhey help you shed the kilos easily – it also tastes pretty good too.
People lose weight when they cut calories, but a diet with some extra protein may be especially effective at trimming body fat and improving blood fats, a new study shows.
Researchers found that over one year, a moderate-protein diet was better than a standard high-carboydrate, low-fat diet at helping overweight adults shed body fat. What’s more, it had greater benefits when it came to boosting “good” HDL cholesterol and lowering triglycerides, a type of blood fat that contributes to clogged arteries.
If you’re looking to shed some body fat and tone up, you may want to follow your workout with a few capsules of fish oil.
A new Australian study has shown that a combination of exercise and fish oil was effective at reducing body fat and improving cholesterol levels.
Combine this with all the other benefits of fish oil and it’s little wonder that omega-3’s are considered vital for good health.
High protein diets are nothing new. Their popularity has cycled in and out of cultures for decades. Who hasn’t heard of The Zone, the Atkins diet, or the Duncan Diet?
New research finally explained why increasing protein in our diet make us feel fuller and helps us lose weight.
Emed explains how this hunger fighting hormone can get you ready for summer in no time!
Fibre has been called the weight watcher’s dream.
Research shows that people who have diets high in fibre typically have lower body weight, lower body fat and lower body mass indexes.
Here’s how this wonder substance works – and why you’d have to be nuts to let a day pass with less than your recommended 25 grams.
Each year we are promised the diet to solve all weight loss problems.
Some diets can help to re-educate people about nutrition while others are well and truly fads that set us up for failure.
The British Dietetic Association (BDA) annually publishes its Top 5 Worst Diets.
Find out those diets that did not make the grade.
A problem with insulin could be preventing your from losing weight.
Insulin resistance is a common problem and causes obesity, heart disease, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and rapid ageing.
It also increases the risk for cancer, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, menopausal symptoms and osteoporosis.
How could one little hormone do all that?
Not only is it a powerfully refreshing drink to start off your day, but water with fresh lemon in the morning can help to accelerate natural and healthy fat loss in addition to boosting your overall immune function.
What’s more, is that it is extremely simple to prepare — even easier than the typical morning cup of coffee.
If you are serious about weight loss, then you need to befriend the lemon.
Is low Vitamin D sabotaging your weight loss goals?
Just when you thought you had heard all about Vitamin D, new research has also linked it to weight loss.
Believe it or not, most of us are deficient in this very important nutrient – especially the elderly, people with darker skin and people who are overweight.
Emed explains how the sunshine vitamin can kick start your weight loss!
Why do some people seem to enjoy Brussels sprouts, while others can’t stand them?
The answer may be that genetic variation prevents some people from tasting bitter flavors found in certain vegetables.
About 25% of people are unable to taste a chemical called PTC similar to the bitter components found in cabbage, raw broccoli, coffee, tonic water, and dark beers.
These people are essentially “taste-blind”—and compared to those who do respond to bitter foods, taste-blind people find most food and drink to be less bitter, or not bitter at all.
While weight gain is often attributed to an unhealthy diet and poor lifestyle choices, a heavier body may be a stressful symptom of a more serious condition.
The thyroid gland, which is situated below the larynx, secretes hormones that regulate many biological and metabolic processes, including growth, development, and energy expenditure.
Both over and underproduction of thyroid hormones lead to a variety of clinical symptoms, many of which overlap with other conditions and are therefore easily misdiagnosed.
Forget what you think you know about fats.
We’ve long been told to choose low-fat food options and stay away from saturated fats, but the truth is, not all fats are alike!
Coconut oil is fast becoming a widely-recognised superfood as it’s health benefits are more thoroughly researched and publicised.
Previously receiving negative attention for it’s high saturated fat content, evidence shows that Coconut oil stands alone from most other dietary sources of fat.
In this article we reveal the many health benefits of coconut oil, explain how eating the right fats can actually help you lose fat, and share a delicious coconut-based recipe with you.
We all know how it feels to get a bit bloated. Suddenly your jeans don’t fit so well or your face starts looking more puffy than you remembered.
You may be experiencing sudden weight gain or can barely walk down the driveway at the end of a day because your feet are so sore and swollen.
The symptoms of fluid retention or oedema can be quite debilitating and embarrassing and often flare up in the summer heat, significantly affecting your everyday life.
Instead of turning to the pharmaceuticals straight away, find out which simple and easy changes you can make to naturally rid yourself of excess fluid and that bloated feeling for good!
Take a look around and you’ll notice something interesting about people’s bodies – most of them fall into 4 shapes.
Many people think that the shape of the body is purely genetic and there is nothing that can be done about it.
The truth is that hormonal imbalances will cause excessive distortion of accumulated fat in different locations around the body.
An imbalance on the inside can show up on the outside. Read on to find out which body type you are.
As obesity becomes the leading cause of chronic disease in developed countries worldwide, everyone is looking for solutions and many people are desperate to lose weight.
Lap-band surgery may seem like a relatively easy treatment option for weight-loss, but do the benefits outweigh the risks?
Furthermore, can a surgical procedure really replace the positive effects of dietary education, lifestyle changes and resolving underlying psychosocial problems?
We look at the realities of this increasingly popular surgery and what you can expect afterwards.
Want to lose some weight and not sure where to begin?
Making over your kitchen is a perfect place to start and is an essential part of your journey to better health.
It's difficult, if not impossible to succeed in achieving a healthy weight if you are constantly surrounded by processed, unhealthy foods.
You may not be able to control the type of foods at your workplace or school, but you can definitely stock your fridge and pantry for weight loss success.
Here are our Top 12 Favourite Foods to help with Healthy Weight Loss.