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GETTING MY WAISTLINE DOWN

8/17 9:17:27

Question
Over 2 years ago, I sent in the following question and received the provided answer:

Question -
My waistline's crept up and I want to get it back to 30". I don't consider 'weight' to be a problem as no-one else looks at my scales. They do see my belly, though. I'm content with other parts of my body.

I'm quite happy to do something drastic as it should only be necessary short-term. While I realise we should have balanced diets, I'm quite happy to not have if it's only for the period of time it takes to get rid of my belly.

Last time it crept up, I had a strict apples & diet cola diet, i.e. very low in calories. It's pretty boring though, and I doubt I could be as disciplined this time. I'm not worried about yo-yo dieting as I've never done this - It's quite some time since I had a waistline problem. I've never liked vegetables apart from potato & baked beans.

I guess what I want is a diet that's REASONABLY interesting that'll fill me up. After success, I'll most likely get back to the gym for body-building and resume a high-protein diet.

My exercise regime currently consists of long walks. I can't run because of a problem with one of my knees. I don't have a bicycle and don't want to renew my gym membership just for CV exercises that I could probably do from home.

What do you suggest?


Jackie Barr Answers -
Hi Andrew

You might want to try one or two supplements to help with the weight loss.

Here is a listing of natural supplements and herbs that help weight loss.

Powerful Proteins -- with 8 ounces or more a day, such as eggs, lean beef, chicken, fish and whey -- boost metabolism by up to 25 percent for about 12 hours to keep metabolic fires burning. Proteins are the tissue and muscle builders par excellence. For every pound of muscle gained, you burn an extra 70 calories per hour. Subsequently, you will help stop hunger and keep blood sugar/insulin levels steady as well as support your system's detoxification process. And you'll actually be eating eggs with yolks on the diet because the sulfur-bearing amino acids they contain help the liver metabolize fats.

Amazing Omegas -- such as high-lignan flaxseed oil and GLA-rich botanicals from evening primrose oil, borage, or black currant seed oil -- trigger fat burning rather than fat storage. Flaxseed oil tops the satiety scale and can attract oil-soluable poisons that have been lodged in your fat stores and transport them out of the system. The GLA oils mobilize brown adipose tissue, which burns off excess calories and burns energy.

Colorful, Friendly Carbohydrates -- such as antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies -- that are high in natural enzymes, vitamins and minerals such as potassium, keep sodium out of your cells to banish water retention.

Thermogenic Spices -- such as ginger, cayenne, mustard and cinnamon -- raise your body temperature and kick your metabolism into high gear. In fact, studies show that some of these seasonings triple the body's ability to burn calories for fuel rather than store them as fat.

Elimination of Metabolism Blockers -- such as wheat, milk and yeast-based seasonings -- to protect your fat-burning process and ward off those unsightly allergy-related symptoms, such as puffy eyes and dark circles under the eyes. Omitting them is vital to your weight loss success becaue they have a way of retaining fluid, slowing down metabolism and making fat stick.

Used as a Chinese cure-all for centuries, scientists have shown ginseng stimulates our central nervous systems, boosts metabolism and improve mental alertness. It helps the adrenal glands, which regulate hormones.

Considered one of the golden herbal remedies, royal jelly is made by worker bees from pollen for their queen. The list of reported health benefits is impressive: improved general health, stimulated immune system, boosted stamina and increased energy.



The following supplements and herbs may help encourage weight loss:

With any weight loss attempt, a Multivitamin supplement is recommended, since the reduced caloric intake means the body may not get all the vitamins and minerals it needs as easily.

5-HTP has been shown to help decrease appetite and encourage weight loss. Taken in the form of chromium picolinate, it appears to increase fat loss and lean muscle gain in both animals4 and humans.

Psyllium is an excellent source of fiber, which may help lessen appetites and encourage weight loss.

Pyruvate, which is a modified form of the sugar molecule, appears to aid weight loss. Supplementation appears to enhance weight loss in adults who are eating a low-fat diet. It is suspected that Pyruvate works by increasing the body's resting metabolic rate (the amount of energy used by the body when at rest).

Spirulina (blue-green algae) appears to help encourage weight loss. Even if these results are not seen, it may be a good supplement to use when undergoing a weight loss plan, as it is an excellent source of protein, essential fatty acids, and several vitamins and minerals.

Cayenne Pepper and other hot peppers boost metabolism for several hours after they are eaten, increasing calorie burning. They contain antioxidants that help to prevent cancer, heart disease, and defend against toxic chemicals. Regular consumption of hot peppers can improve circulation, ease flatulence, relieve indigestion, and strengthen the heart and nervous system. The powdered form is often used to treat colds and the flu.

Cinnamon helps to keep blood sugar levels steady and aids in digestion by enhancing breakdown of proteins and fats. It inhibits growth of bacteria, fungi and viruii, helping to ward off infections, including colds and the flu, and helps to ease symptoms of diarrhea.

Paprika contains cancer-fighting antioxidants and possesses health benefits similar to cayenne pepper and red pepper.Parsley is an excellent diuretic that is used to ease bloating, reduce water retention and speed the excretion of toxins. It is also used to purify the breath.Red Pepper Flakes increase metabolism and contain the same health benefits as cayenne pepper.

MY QUESTION NOW

First of all, I'd like to know whether any of Jackie's points have been disproved, or their benefits found to be insignificant. You're welcome to disagree with Jackie!

I suffer from bruxism - subconscious grinding of my teeth, mainly at night. It seems to have triggered neuropathy. If ginseng stimulates the CNS, should it therefore be avoided?

I didn't take any of the supplements in response to Jackie's answer. I don't want to be consuming as much medication as food! But I'm prepared to reconsider taking some now. Out of the following, which would you say is least useful, or least proved to be useful:

- Royal jelly
- Chromium picolinate
- Psyllium
- Pyruvate

I would be most grateful for any other help you can give to me. Thank you!

Andrew
Answer -
Hi Andrew,

The bottom line with supplements is that very little has been shown to be effective in promoting weight loss.

Regarding the supplements you are considering:

Chromium (from wholehealthmd.com)
Chromium has been shown in some studies to help promote weight loss *in people who are obese*.  The manufacturer of chromium picolinate is only allowed to state that their product can help a moderately obese person improve body composition by increasing muscle mass and reducing fat. Aside from this ruling, research on the ability of chromium picolinate to promote weight loss by burning fat has, indeed, produced mixed results.
In a 1998 study, 122 healthy adults recruited from health clubs in Texas were given either 400 mcg of chromium picolinate or a placebo daily. At the end of three months, the individuals who took the chromium supplement lost six pounds in the form of body fat--not valuable muscle--while those on the placebo lost only three pounds.

Other studies, however, have failed to show that chromium supplements are any more effective than a placebo. Perhaps, in combination with a well-balanced diet and regular exercise program, chromium picolinate may give the dieter a slight advantage, but much more research is needed to determine whether the mineral actually aids weight loss. Claiming that chromium taken at bedtime will "burn fat while you sleep" are completely unsubstantiated.

Psyllium:
Consuming 1-3 tbsp of psyllium with plenty of water before each meal will help you feel full, and psyllium also assists in stabilizing blood sugar levels, which may help control food cravings.

There is no good evidence that either pyruvate or Royal Jelly will help promote weight loss.

So basically, I think out of all of them, really the psyllium is most likely to help. There's no magic there though- it's just adding fibre to your diet, which makes you feel full so you don't eat as much. Eating any high-fibre foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes) will have the same effect.

By the way, for your future reference, the Wholehealthmd.com website is a great resource for checking out reliable, factual information on a wide variety of different supplements (just click on the "reference library" section).

Unfortunately, abdominal fat is absolutely the hardest to get rid of! If you're really serious about firming up your midsection, you have to work at it pretty seriously, with both a healthy diet and lots of exercise. There's no "magic bullet"! A healthy diet will cost you a lot less than some questionable supplements, and also provide your body with all the nutrients it needs to function properly.

I don't know if you've changed your exercise regimen since you wrote your original question, but to get rid of that stubborn ab fat, you need to be doing intense cardio at least 4 times per week for 30-45 minutes, plus strength training for 30-60 minutes at least twice per week (increasing your muscle mass will increase your metabolism, and it's an effective way to get rid of body fat!). I get the impression you have already done weight training in the past, but you should definitely continue with it now! Just in case you need some assistance in that area, _Weight Training for Dummies_ by Suzanne Schlosberg and Liz Neporent is a great resource.

Here are some of my general weight loss tips, which should help you tune up your diet a bit:

1. Think 揾ealthy food? not calories!

Counting calories is not an effective long term strategy for promoting weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight. Instead, focus on choosing foods that are low on processing and high in nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibre most of the time.

2. Get Enough Calcium!

Scientific research has demonstrated that dietary calcium plays a role in weight control. Calcium helps to regular fat storage and promotes fat loss in the abdominal area.

Eating about 1000 mg of calcium per day (from food, not supplements), equates to the burning of about 100 more calories of body fat per day (or about 10 pounds of fat per year!)

Choose 8 servings from the following list to meet your daily goal:

?cup calcium fortified orange juice
?cup fortified tomato juice
1 cup cooked or 2 cups raw greens (e.g. kale, collard greens, broccoli)
?cup cow's milk, soy milk, or yogurt
?oz cheese
?cup calcium-set tofu
?cup almonds
2 tbsp almond butter or sesame tahini
?cup soy nuts
1 oz calcium-fortified breakfast cereal

Although 8 servings sounds like a lot, many of the serving sizes are quite small. For example, if you include ?cup of fortified orange juice as well as ?cup milk on cereal at breakfast, 1.5 oz of cheese on your sandwich at lunch, 1 cup of milk with supper, and ?cup of yogurt plus ?cup of almonds for a snack, you've gotten in 8 servings!

3. Eat breakfast

About 40 percent of adults skip breakfast at least 4 times per week. Don't be one of them! Research has demonstrated that breakfast skippers weigh more than breakfast eaters. People who eat breakfast actually consume fewer calories by the end of the day than breakfast skippers. If you are pressed for time in the morning, or don't feel up to eating right after you get up, pack a portable breakfast (e.g. muffin or cereal bar, fruit cup or fresh fruit, yogurt) and nibble throughout the morning.

4. Eat the RIGHT kind of carbs

Yes, carbs have been elevated to dietary demon status lately - but they shouldn't be.  Your body needs carbohydrates to function properly. The key is to choose the right types of carbs. Steer clear of overprocessed foods like white bread, and increase your intake of healthy whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. One key benefit of healthy carbs is that they contain fibre, which helps you to feel full, so you don't overeat.

Good choices include:

Breads and baked goods made with whole grain flours, such as whole wheat, oats, or rye
Whole grain breakfast cereals, like Raisin Bran, Corn Bran, or Cheerios
Brown rice, couscous, barley, kamut, or millet
Fresh, frozen or canned fruits or vegetables
Legumes such as lentils, split peas, chickpeas, black beans, or baked beans
5. Beware of "Snackwell's Syndrome"

Due to the focus on low fat diets, many people have forgotten that calories count too! Just because a food is low in fat does not mean it is low in calories (often fat is replaced with more sugar). So even when consuming lower-fat versions of foods, continue to monitor your portion sizes!

6. Include adequate amounts of protein and fat

While it is not necessary (or even healthful) to consume a high-protein diet to promote weight loss, including adequate protein in your diet is important. Consuming protein foods at each meal will help you to feel satisfied for longer. Small amounts of fat can have the same effect ?just choose healthy fats like olive or canola oil, or the fat naturally present in foods such as nuts or avocadoes.

7. Avoid 搎uick fixes?br>
Although potions and pills may promise miracles, they will not deliver lasting results. You did not gain weight overnight, and you can't take it off overnight either! Studies show that people who lose weight quickly are likely to gain it all back. Permanent weight loss takes place much more slowly. Be patient and you will achieve your goal.

8. Set realistic goals

A safe rate of weight loss is 0.5 to 2 lbs per week. So, once you have determined your target weight, set a realistic time frame to get to your goal weight.

9. Get moving!

Regular physical activity is absolutely essential to promoting and maintaining weight loss. Much research has shown that individuals who commit to regular exercise are the ones most likely to maintain weight loss.

If the thought of physical activity intimidates you or makes you cringe, a great way to start is by purchasing a pedometer and using it daily.
A study of women aged 19-71 who walked 10,000 steps per day for 8 weeks, found that nearly half of the women reported losing weight during the 8 week period.

A pedometer increases your awareness of your daily activity level. You can purchase a basic one for about ten dollars. Start out by keeping track of how many steps you are currently taking per day, then aim to add 1000-2000 steps per day until you hit 10,000. This is the equivalent of about 8 km (5 miles). Squeeze in more steps by taking 5 to 10 minute walking breaks several times throughout the day, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and walking to destinations less than 1 km away.

10. Practice 揺xtreme self care?br>
Taking good care of yourself is crucial to both your weight loss success and your overall ability to live a satisfying life. Make sure to get enough sleep, and treat yourself to what your body and spirit needs ?a long, hot bath, a massage, or an evening curled up with a good book and a hot cup of tea. You are worth it!

In addition, two other factors to keep in mind:

-stress promotes increased storage of abdominal fat, so if you're under a lot of stress for any reason, try to get it under control (exercise is a great stress-buster!)

-not getting enough sleep has been shown to cause hormonal changes that promote body fat storage, so make sure you are getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night if at all possible.

Hope that helps!

Karen
www.getfitwithkaren.com

FOLLOW-UP

Thanks for that, Karen. Very helpful. I forgot to ask about garcinia cambogia. I've heard about it, and just read about it at wholehealthmd.com. What do you think?

What do you think about Jackie Barr's comment "Elimination of Metabolism Blockers -- such as wheat, milk and yeast-based seasonings -- to protect your fat-burning process and ward off those unsightly allergy-related symptoms, such as puffy eyes and dark circles under the eyes. Omitting them is vital to your weight loss success becaue they have a way of retaining fluid, slowing down metabolism and making fat stick."
Answer -
Hi again Andrew,

The garcinia looks interesting. It looks like some studies have found it can be helpful, while others have shown limited effects. It doesn't look like it has any know side effects or interactions, so at the very least it shouldn't do you any harm. If you are keen on trying a supplement, this one looks pretty harmless, and it looks like it might have some potential benefits. I do recommend that before you purchase any supplements, check out reputable brands at consumerlab.com (lots of natural health products either don't have as much active ingredient as it states on the label, or contain harmful contaminants, so it's always a good idea to check the brand out thoroughly before you buy).

As far as the "metabolism blockers", no I don't agree with what Jackie said. Of course eliminating white flour wheat-based products is a good idea, since they're usually higher in calories and lower in nutrition. There's no reason to eliminate whole wheat products though. Dairy products have actually been shown in some research studies to help promote weight loss and mobilize body fat (you need to get at least 1000 mg of calcium a day from food, not supplements, for this to work effectively).

Karen

FOLLOW-UP

You suggested 1-3 tablespoons of psyllium powder before each meal. The psyllium powder I've bought, however, says to take just 1 rounded teaspoon (5g), and to take it with a full 8oz glass of water, which is a normal sized glass. It says "If you do not drink enough liquid, the product may swell in the throat causing blockage or choking."

Even 1 flat tablespoon weighs approx 10g, so 3 flat ones would need 6 glasses of water! The water alone would fill me up!

Answer
Hi Andrew,

The difference in the amounts of psyllium is likely due to variations between different brands (some of them may be courser and some of them finer ground, which would make a difference in the recommended dosage). I checked a local brand this afternoon, and the recommended dose was 2 teaspoons with 8 oz of water. I would just follow the dosing guidelines on the package for the brand you've got(1 tsp with 8 oz water).

Karen
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