THE HOLY GRAIL OF WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENTS
Garcinia Cambogia is a small fruit that resembles a miniature pumpkin. It's
indigenous to India and parts of Asia, and an extract from its fruit and
rind is popular in many natural weight loss products. Schinoussa's Garcinia
Cambogia Fit supplement contains 500mg garcinia cambogia per capsule. Dr. Oz
referred to this formulation as "The Holy Grail of weight loss supplements"!
Garcinia Cambogia 50% (HCA)
No fillers or binding agents used in this formulation
Take 2 capsules with breakfast and 1 with lunch daily.
HCA - What is it?
Hydroxycitric acid is a derivative of citric acid that is found in
select tropical plants, including Garcinia cambogia and Hibiscus
subdariffa.It is also a common ingredient in Indian and Thai food, as a
condiment and flavoring agent, in curries and chutneys.
HCA and weight loss
HCA has recently been included in a variety of weight loss supplements based
on research that suggests it plays a role in lipid metabolism and glucose
absorption. Animal studies have shown that HCA can delay intestinal glucose
absorption, preventing spikes in blood sugar and therefore the need for the
body to produce high levels of insulin. Large and fast spikes in blood sugar
can be correlated with a higher risk of obesity. A slower release of glucose
and insulin also means satiety is longer lasting, leaving you feeling full
for longer periods. These studies have not been conducted on humans and as
of yet, these blood sugar regulating and appetite blocking effects are only
HCA and cholesterol
Studies are also suggesting that HCA can have a positive effect on lipid
profiles, reducing total cholesterol, LDL lipoproteins, triglycerides and
serum leptin levels. Leptin circulates in the body at levels that are
directly proportional to body fat, also referred to as the ‘full hormone’ it
has been shown to send signals to the brain that the body has had enough to
eat. In these same studies, HCA has also been shown to increase HDL
cholesterol levels and excretion of urinary fat metabolites. Some
researchers believe it exerts these lipid-regulating effects by inhibiting
an enzyme in the body that converts carbohydrates to fat for storage.
Further studies need to be conducted to validate these studies.
Where do I find it?
HCA can be found as a component of many weight loss combinations, most
commonly in capsule form. It is also available as a part of a proprietary
blend of herbs aimed at weight loss, called Citrimax. Garcinia cambogia, or
tamarind, is a small fruit that contains HCA extract in its rind and may be
the source of HCA in many supplements. Supplements containing garcinia
cambogia may label it as GCE.
Dosage and Safety Information
Guidelines for dosage range from 500-1000 mg before meals, up to a maximum
dose of 3000 mg/day.
There is very little information about the safety of HCA, or Citrimax for
use as a supplement. The little we do know suggests that supplements
containing HCA should be used with caution. Some individuals using products
that contained HCA experienced severe liver damage, while others reported
cardiovascular, neurological , gastrointestinal and respiratory problems
while taking supplements containing HCA or garcinia cambogia. In 2009, the
US Food and Drug Administration issued warnings against many products
containing high amounts of HCA for these reasons.
Individuals who are taking medications for diabetes should use HCA with
caution or speak with a health professional before using. It may also
exacerbate muscle degeneration in individuals taking statin medications,
which are known to cause rhabdomyolysis in some individuals. There is also
the possibility that HCA may worsen dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and
should not be used by individuals already dealing with these conditions.
HEALTHY TIPS TO LASTING WEIGHT LOSS
1) Increase your fibre
It's difficult to grasp, how something that actually slows digestion can
also help to support healthy weight loss, but that is just the case with
FIBRE. Fibre is very difficult for the digestive system to breakdown, but it
tries none-the-less! In the process of trying to break down these hard to
breakdown plant fibres, digestion slows. Refined carbohydrates normally
increase blood sugar. This increase is less noticeable when fibre is there
to slow the rate at which these sugars are being released into the
bloodstream. This prevents spikes in blood glucose as well as large bursts
of insulin, which inevitably will cause us to store fat. Because fibre slows
things down a little, it also helps to increase satiety, leaving us feeling
full for longer, an added bonus to anyone looking to lose weight. High fibre
diets are those that contain an abundance of fruit and vegetables, legumes,
beans, and WHOLE grain products (NOT refined carbohydrates). Aim to get
anywhere from 25-35 g of fibre/day. Increase fibre slowly and be sure to
increase you water intake at the same time.
2) Eat more protein
Making sure to include adequate protein in your diet is one fail proof way
to ensure healthy weight loss. Protein, combined with exercise, has a number
of weight related benefits. First off, when getting adequate protein, you
maintain lean body mass while still shedding fat. You also build muscle
faster (as protein is a necessary building block for muscle). One pound of
muscle burns 70X more calories at rest than 1 pound of fat. In other words,
the more muscle you build and maintain, the more accelerated your weight
loss will be. Be sure to vary the sources of protein you are eating. Animal
protein tends to be much higher in saturated fat, cholesterol and calories.
Try to chose lean sources of animal protein, like fish and chicken, and
combine them with plant sources for a more well rounded, heart healthy diet.
Try whey protein in your morning smoothie, it's a great 'whey' to start off
a protein-rich day.
3) Drink Green Tea
Green tea is not only a healthy and tasty alternative to coffee, but it's
high in antioxidants and its weight loss effects go far beyond it's caffeine
content. Green tea contains a catechin polyphenol called epigallocatechin
gallate (EGCG) which has significant antioxidant activity, preventing
oxidative/free radical damage. Studies have shown it to have cancer
preventing and cholesterol lowering effects, as well as decrease overall
risk of cardiovascular and liver disease. EGCG has also been shown to
enhance thermogenesis, increasing our ability to burn fat for energy more
efficiently. As if all these benefits weren't enough, green tea contains L-theanine
an extract that has been shown to relieve anxiety and depression and improve
sleep quality without causing drowsiness. This means no jitters (a la
coffee) and better sleep, which also supports healthy weight loss. Drink up.
4) Eat Healthy Fats
Yes, fats can actually help to support your weight loss efforts, the right
kid of fats, that is. Regular consumption of healthy fat actually trains
your body how to burn fat more efficiently. Omega 3 rich fish oil, when
combined with moderate exercise, has been shown to increase weight loss,
when compared to groups who used exercise alone. There is also some evidence
to suggest that fish oil supplementation alone can increase metabolic rate
and fat oxidation, while decreasing body fat. For a healthy diet, 20-35% of
your calories need to come from fat. It's all about the right choices. Keep
trans fats and saturated fats to a minimum. Don't cook with oils, but
instead supplement with fish, flax evening primrose or borage oil. Use cold
pressed oils or extra virgin olive oil on salads and add after veggies are
cooked for added flavour. Include raw nuts and seeds, like chia and walnuts
into your daily routine.
5) Decrease Sugar
I had to put this next, because it really goes hand in hand with increasing
healthy fats. We used to think that fat was at the root of all weight gain.
This started a 'low fat' food revolution that sadly still exists today.
These products tend to be extremely high in sugar and often have a similar
caloric intake to their full fat counterparts. The problem is many people
still don't understand that SUGAR MAKES YOU FAT and they are really not
doing themselves any favours. Cut out ALL refined sugar in your diet. It's
that simple. You will need to get out the magnifying glass a read a few
labels to do this. You'd be surprised the foods in which sugar is hidden. If
you are having intense cravings, try healthier alternatives like stevia and
xylitol, just remember that moderation is key with these, as well. Chromium
has also been shown to help control sugar cravings, if you feel as though
you need a little added support.
6) Use Portion Control
Time is something we never seem to have enough of these days. We go and go
and realize eight hours later that we haven't had a stitch to eat since
breakfast. We then eat a huge and heavy dinner and head to bed to start all
over again. This pattern needs to change if you want to achieve real,
sustainable weight loss. Eating 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day may
require a little more planning on your part, which I realize takes up a
little more of your precious time, but it is worth it in the end. When we go
long period without eating, our blood sugar drops and we usually make
unhealthy choices when we get the chance to eat again, because we're beyond
hungry. The next thing we eat then causes an unhealthy spike in blood sugar,
again leading to an unhealthy release of insulin and inevitably increased
fat storage.... and the cycle continues, and continues. Smaller portions,
more often throughout the day, can do wonders to regulate blood sugar and
promote healthy weight loss.
7) Reduce Stress
Cortisol is a hormone released by our adrenal glands in times of stress.
Ideally cortisol should peak early in the morning and decrease as the day
goes on. Nowadays, this pattern is rarely seen. We are stressed out, meaning
either we have prolonged high levels of cortisol throughout the day or our
adrenal gets exhausted from overproduction and we don't have sufficient
amounts. The bad news is, that either way you look at it, weight gain will
be the result, as are cravings and fatigue, which once again lead to us
making the wrong choices when it comes to food. I cannot STRESS this enough,
you need to get a hold of your stress- take time for yourself, unwind and do
something you enjoy. Stress reduction can and will make you a happier,
healthier and slimmer person. Consider herbs like Rhodiola, Ashwaganda and
Holy basil for added adrenal support and help in regulating cortisol levels.
8) Have your thyroid checked
Adrenal function cannot be mentioned without also addressing thyroid
function, as these hormones are so closely related. Thyroid hormones, or
more specifically thyroid hormone deficiencies, may be the missing link in
terms of achieving sustainable weight loss. Thyroid hormones control the
metabolic function of the body. If were are deficient in these hormones,
often very common in postmenopausal women, then our metabolic rate suffers.
If our metabolism is sluggish, weight gain is inevitable, no matter what we
are eating. Ask your MD or Naturopathic doctor about having your TSH checked
and ask to see the results yourself. Although anything below a 5.5-6 is
considered within the 'normal' range, studies show many individuals have
symptoms at levels as low as 2 or 3, including difficulty with weight loss.
Does it really need to be said? Weight loss is absolutely impossible without
exercise. If you are someone who is already exercising, make sure to vary
your routine. Include both cardiovascular and resistance training exercises
(You remember what I said about muscle... right?). If you are new to the
world of elliptical machines, start out slow. Walking for 30-40 minutes, at
a pace in which you can still carry on a conversation but increases your
heart rate, even 3-4 times/week will help to stimulate weight loss. As soon
as that becomes easier, you can start stepping up the pace, or introducing
some weight training into the routine. Find a friend who is interested in
joining you, it makes the routine a little more enjoyable and you'll find
its easier to stick to a schedule when there is someone else depending on
you to do so. We still have a few months before the snow falls (AHHHHHHHHHH!),
get out there and get active.
10) Don't Diet
Significant and sustainable weight loss is a lifestyle. Don't be discouraged
if you slip up and have one last ice cream cone before the season is over.
Don't beat yourself up if you miss the gym one day. Just get up the next
morning and start all over again, doing the right things. Don't deny
yourself the odd treat, just don't do it everyday. Diets don't work, but
small, simple and lifelong changes in eating and exercise habits DO! Weight
loss is really just disease prevention by a different name. A smaller
waistline is only a small side effect of an overall healthier you.