Ignite Fat Burning

By on August 17, 2013

Tried various diets in the past where you have lost weight, only to gain it back again and more? It is important to address the underlying reasons why your body may be preventing you from losing weight and keeping it off.  No matter how clean your diet is, what weight loss supplements you take, or how healthy your lifestyle is, key hormones such as cortisol, as well as food sensitivities and systemic inflammation often prevent people from losing weight, leading to stubborn adipose tissue that sticks around regardless of the efforts you are putting in.  
    In addition to addressing these underlying factors and structuring an appropriate nutrition program, certain supplements can complement your efforts and lead to more efficient weight loss results.  

Vitamin D
    The sun may actually help you to stay trim. It helps your body produce vitamin D, and research shows that people with lower vitamin D levels are significantly more likely to be obese compared to those with higher levels. Additional research also demonstrated that women deficient in this vitamin gained more weight over a set period of time than those with adequate blood levels. The amount gained was relatively small however, with approximately two pounds of additional weight gained over a 4.5-year period.  Further evaluation and research is needed so that we can acquire more knowledge on the link between vitamin D and weight management.    

Green Tea
    Green tea has been promoted for its health benefits for many years. A meta-analysis of clinical studies suggests that supplementing with green tea extract along with caffeine modestly reduced body mass index (BMI), body weight, and waist circumference when compared to caffeine alone. Green tea extract appears to work synergistically with caffeine, as without it the extract does not appear to significantly reduce weight or waist size. Preliminary clinical research pinpoints epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a potent antioxidant, as the key component in green tea for weight loss.  
Remember that not all green tea drinks and tea bags are equally as powerful, with variations in EGCG and caffeine levels depending on the company that produces the product. EGCG supplements offer a standardized way to know the content and dosage you’re taking, but green tea itself offers a variety of other health benefits as well.  

Omega-3
    Lately, omega-3 supplements have been making headlines in relation to a variety of health conditions.  This valuable supplement is thought to contribute to weight loss as well.  Omega-3 fish oil, containing the key components eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) & docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), has been shown to significantly increase lean muscle mass and decrease fat mass over a 6-week period.  This was also notably correlated with a reduction in cortisol, the body’s “stress hormone” produced by the adrenal glands, at the end of the six week period.   

Protein
    High-protein foods take more time to digest and metabolize in the gastrointestinal tract, meaning the body burns more calories processing them.  When combined with other foods such as carbohydrates, they slow the digestion process causing less of a spike in blood sugar and therefore, a reduction in the amount of food energy stored as fat.  One study showed people who consumed 30% of their daily diet as protein ate nearly 450 fewer calories a day and lost approximately 11 pounds over a 12-week period.  Consuming protein also helps ensure you burn fat while conserving lean muscle.      

Green Coffee Beans
    Green coffee beans are coffee beans that have not yet been roasted. They contain a higher amount of the key component chlorogenic acid, a chemical that is destroyed by roasting the beans at high temperatures. Several clinical trials have shown that taking green coffee extract as a supplement can lead to weight reduction and fat loss. Chlorogenic acid is thought to slow the absorption of fat from food, and help metabolize excess fat. This chemical slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream, which prevents conversion of sugar into fat for storage.   Research on chlorogenic acid and green coffee beans is preliminary, and additional studies done on a larger, long-term scale are needed to confirm these current findings. 

Raspberry Ketones
    Raspberry ketones are a natural phenolic compound found in the red raspberry.  Studies show promising results for fat loss, by altering lipid metabolism leading to lipolysis and fatty acid breakdown. Unfortunately, the majority of the studies on this supplement thus far are animal studies, with no human trials to date.  Raspberry ketones may have potential, but more research and potential clinical trials would be well warranted to confirm what the animal studies have shown.   

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
    CLA is a naturally occurring polyunsaturated fatty acid.  When taken in oral supplement form, CLA appears to improve body composition in patients who are already overweight.  CLA has also been shown to reduce hunger and increase the feelings of fullness and satisfaction after eating. It’s important to note that some CLA supplements are made from animal sources, so be sure to read labels if you are a vegetarian.  
    It is key to remember that you don’t get healthy just by losing weight; you lose weight when you’re healthy.  Looking at the “whole person” can help to get you on track with your weight loss goals, and ensure that you stay on track in the long-term. 

Nicola Kempinska, BKin, BA, ND is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor located in Burlington, Ontario.  Kempinska practices Family Medicine, with a special interest in Anti-Aging Medicine & Longevity, Women’s Health, and Pain Management. She has a deep passion for natural health and the body’s ability to heal itself. To book an appointment call Cedar Springs Medical Centre at: 905-333-9799

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