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by Dr. Cheryl Cooper, ND
Here we are, 6 months into the New Year, and everyone’s resolutions are long forgotten but those pesky pounds from the year before are probably still lingering around. Next to becoming more fit and healthy, losing weight is the most common New Year’s resolution in North America. Most people will start the New Year with a weight loss program that includes significant reduction in calories or food restriction accompanied by an intensive exercise program. And while some succeeded for the short or long term, most gave up after a couple of weeks after not seeing a significant and consistent change.
Statistics from the National Weight Control Registry show that only 20% of individuals that are consciously trying to lose weight are successful in losing weight in the long term. This is defined as losing 10% of the initial body weight for over a year.
Now that June is here and bikini season is already upon us, let’s get real. The weight loss industry is a billion dollar industry and has failed at enabling people to lose weight permanently for decades. The biggest question that begs to be asked here is: Why?
Since the 70s, obesity has become a significant issue in Canada with the incidence increasing from 9.7% in 1972 to 25.3% in 2011. What are the main factors contributing to this increase? The simple answer is an increasingly sedentary lifestyle accompanied by the proliferation of processed foods and an increased consumption of carbohydrates and sugar in our diet. Adding to the complexity of the obesity epidemic is more stress, less sleep, systemic toxicity, thyroid imbalances, adrenal fatigue, hormone issues, anemia, nutrient deficiencies, depression and/or mood disorders which are all factors that may contribute to an individuals ability to succeed in their weight loss efforts.
Hundreds of fad diets and a myriad of quick-fix weight-loss scams promise to provide the miracle weight loss solution for thousands of people out there that are literally dying to lose weight. I hate to be the purveyor of bad news, but there is no miracle! The secret to long-term weight loss is setting sensible goals, having realistic expectations, making better lifestyle and diet choices, sticking to the plan, and doing this with balance and moderation. Just like with the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady wins the race!
Setting realistic goals and addressing the more complex health factors are why it’s important to work with a qualified and knowledgeable health professional when starting a weight loss program. This will make all the difference in your ability to succeed in losing weight in the long-term and keeping it off.
In addition, there are some other strategies that can support your weight loss efforts. Research has demonstrated that certain supplements have been shown to support weight loss by balancing blood sugar, increasing metabolism, reducing appetite, balancing pH levels and providing more energy.
Here are some of the most valuable supplements that research has shown to be beneficial for weight loss:
Chromium has been shown to support blood sugar balance by enhancing the body’s use of insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that is critical to the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and protein in the body.
Garcinia cambogia contains hydrocytic acid, which has been shown to block the enzyme citrate lyase. This enzyme acts in the body to convert carbohydrates and sugar into stored fat, thus, by blocking it, the energy from these nutrients stays in the system longer and are more readily usable for energy. Another benefit of Garcinia is that it raises the level of the brain chemical serotonin, which reduces the appetite and improves moods.
This supergreen supplement is high in easily digestible protein and loaded with nutrients which makes it an excellent energizing supplement. When combined with regular exercise. The protein (70%) contributes to increased lean muscle mass, which burns more increases your basal metabolic rate.
This naturally occurring fatty acid is obtained from our diet, but the processing of food has decreased the amount in food. Research shows that CLA helps to reduce the overall fat mass of the body by making the fat more readily available to burn as a fuel and, thus, increasing the speed of fat burning.
High in antioxidants and a potent source of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), green tea stimulates the metabolism and assists in weight loss. Other benefits include: lowers cholesterol, anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, cardio-protective.
Of course, I would be completely amiss not to mention that all of these supplements are more effective when they are combined with healthy life-style changes, including a sustainable balanced diet and moderate exercise. Adding in the supplements can assist in getting you on track to being healthier this year.
So, go forth into the
New Year everyday life with the intention to be healthier, fitter and leaner, and remember it’s about balance and making permanent changes to your diet and lifestyle and getting the help you need to succeed.
Have a Happy and Healthy
Dr. Cheryl Cooper is a Naturopathic Doctor and the owner and CEO of Vitallife Integrative Medicine based in Ottawa. She has 20 years of experience in the health and wellness industry, specializing in hormone balancing, women’s health, detoxification, stress management and sleep issues. Dr. Cooper uses a holistic approach to helping patients, involving educating and empowering patients to take control of their health. Recently moved to her hometown of Canmore, Alberta, she now practices out of Inner Balance Spa in Calgary.