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13 Ways to Lose Weight Naturally

13 Ways to Lose Weight Naturally

To lose weight naturally means that you’re not going to extreme measures, such as surgery, to get rid of excess pounds. You’re making changes to your lifestyle that will help you lose weight.

Highly restrictive diets that promise fast results may be enticing, but these plans aren’t sustainable in the long run. Though it takes more time to meet your goals, natural weight loss is best achieved through a combination of eating fewer calories and exercising.

However, we know that losing weight is simple in theory and much harder to put into practice. So we’re sharing 13 simple ways to lose weight naturally and help you achieve a healthier lifestyle.

1 | Drink Water

Not only do we need to stay hydrated for our bodies to function properly, water is also one of the easiest ways to cut back on calories. Drinking a glass of water before each meal will help you feel full and eat less.

Replacing other high calorie beverages, such as soda or juice, with water will reduce your calorie intake.

2 | Exercise Regularly

Getting a moderate amount of exercise has been shown to have numerous health benefits, aside from helping with weight loss. People who get regular physical activity are at lower risk for a host of chronic health problems.

Exercise has also been shown to play an important role in maintaining weight loss. Once you’ve done the hard work of losing weight, even moderate amounts of exercise will help prevent you from regaining the weight.

3 | Eat Whole Foods & Avoid Processed Foods

Nutrient-dense, single-ingredient foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and eggs, provide many of the key components of a healthy diet. These foods are typically more filling and lower in calories.

Processed food is loaded with added sugar and fat, which makes it a poor choice if you’re trying to lose weight. What you gain in convenience, you lose in nutritional value.

4 | Cut Out Added Sugar

Added sugar is widely recognized as one of the leading causes of weight gain. It also contributes to chronic health problems like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It’s very difficult to eat in moderate levels unless you avoid processed food and sugary beverages.

By eating mostly whole foods, you can decrease the added sugar in your diet. At this point, there’s no distinction between added sugar and naturally-occuring sugar on nutritional labels, so you have to check carefully for hidden sugar in items that appear healthy, such as yogurt or oatmeal.

5 | Get Enough Sleep

Sleeping might not jump out at you as an important factor for natural weight loss, but in multiple studies, individuals who got plenty of sleep had better weight loss results than those who didn’t. One possible reason might be that the earlier you go to sleep, the less time you’re awake to eat.

When you’re tired, you’re less likely to be physically active. We also tend to make poor food choices when we’re fatigued. Getting enough sleep can even benefit those with a genetic predisposition to obesity.

6 | Eat Fiber

Despite the numerous benefits of fiber for weight loss, the average American gets roughly half the daily recommendation of 14 grams per 1000 calories. Fiber-filled foods can help with hunger control and with the regulation of blood sugar levels, helping you to eat less without feeling deprived.

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts are all good sources of fiber. Soluble fiber found in the flesh of plant-based foods forms a gel-like substance in the gut, slowing the absorption of sugar and fat.

7 | Eat Healthy Fats

For a long time, fat got a bad rap so there are a lot of misconceptions about what type of fat we should be eating. Eating a moderate amount of healthy fats can actually help you lose weight.

Monounsaturated fats, such as those found in olive oil, avocado, and tree nuts, can help lower blood pressure and bad LDL cholesterol levels when replacing saturated fats in your diet.

Polyunsaturated fats, specifically Omega-3 fatty acids found in several types of fish, can have a multitude of positive effects such as reducing inflammation and fat build-up in the liver.

8 | Don’t Drink Your Calories

High calorie beverages, such as soda, juice, and many coffee drinks, are some of the worst saboteurs of a natural weight loss plan. Our brain recognizes liquid calories differently than those from solid food, so we often consume more calories while reaping no nutritional benefit.

Sugary drinks also make it easy to consume large amounts of fructose in a short period of time. Fructose can only be metabolised by the liver. When the liver is overloaded with fructose, it is forced to convert the fructose to fat.

9 | Supplement with Lovidia

We believe strongly that the patented Gut Sensory Modulation science behind our hunger-control pill, Lovidia, can be a valuable tool if you’re trying to lose weight naturally.

While Lovidia is not a magic pill, it can help you overcome hunger and cravings without unpleasant side effects. You can read more about Gut Sensory Modulation in our post, Understanding Weight Loss Supplements, Pills, Shakes, and Vitamins.

As always, we recommend you talk to your doctor or health care provider before taking any supplement, including Lovidia.

10 | Weigh Yourself Regularly

While your overall health is certainly not defined by the number on your scale, studies show that weighing yourself on a regular basis can be an asset when you’re trying to lose weight naturally. One possible reason is that you’re more aware of your progress or the negative consequences of poor food choices.

Be sure to weigh yourself at the same time each day for accurate results. If stepping on the scale every day seems to make you obsess over the number, try weighing yourself every few days instead.

11 | Cut Out Refined Carbs

At this point most of us know that not all carbohydrates are created equally. As carbohydrate foods are more refined, or processed, they typically decrease in nutritional value. Wheat is refined to produce white flour that creates a softer texture, but the fiber and vitamins are removed during the refining process.

The fiber in whole grains prevents carbs from being immediately turned into blood sugar so your body uses some of the carbs as fuel or to create muscle mass. Refined carbs also often have added fat and sugar, making the food even less healthy.

12 | Eat Protein-rich Foods

Protein is the nutrient that gives you the most bang for your buck when it comes to losing weight naturally. It takes more energy to digest and metabolize, which means your body uses more calories to process it than other nutrients.

Protein also makes you feel full faster and increases the hormones that signal fullness to your brain. Chicken, fish, and lean beef are all great sources of protein. For a more portable option to take with you on-the-go, try string cheese, hard boiled eggs, and smoothies made with protein powder.

13 | Try Intermittent Fasting

There are several different methods of intermittent fasting, including the 16/8 method and Eat Less Days (alternate day fasting.) Regardless of the method you choose, the purpose is to significantly reduce calories at some times, while eating “normally” the rest of the time.

While studies show that there are numerous potential benefits of intermittent fasting, one reason it is so helpful for natural weight loss is its simplicity. The easier a weight loss program is, the more likely you are to succeed.

Wrapping It Up

To lose weight naturally, you need to use more calories than you consume. Each of these 13 tools can help you to reduce your caloric intake or maximize your caloric output. This combination will help you succeed in losing weight and keeping it off long term.

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Weight Loss Program FAQs

For many of us, losing weight is a little like the movie Groundhog Day. We wake up on a Monday and decide to start a diet. We’re going to cut out carbs, forgo wine with dinner, crush it in the gym, and never, ever eat ice cream again.  

And by Friday, we’ve given up. It’s been a stressful week. We need that glass of wine, those carbs, and that ice cream. And who has time for the gym?

Another diet ends in disaster. You’ll try again next week, maybe.

We’ve all been there. Losing weight is hard. In fact, most statistics show it’s nearly impossible to lose weight through dieting alone.

And that’s where weight loss programs come in. A serious weight loss program can make the difference between another diet disappointment and “success, at last!”

What’s the difference between a diet and a weight loss program?

The best way to illustrate the difference between a diet and a weight loss program is to use a food analogy.

 

Dieting is like trying to make an extremely complex dish ― something like eggs benedict of macarons ― by following a recipe.

The most effective weight loss program, on the other hand, is like an in-depth course, designed and taught by a world-class culinary arts instructor, on how to make the dish.  

Which approach do you think will be more successful?

Studies show people are both more likely to stick with a weight loss program and lose more weight when using a weight loss program compared to dieting alone.

Weight loss programs provide two elements that dieting on your own lacks:

  • Structure ― A good weight loss program provides you with a step-by-step, day-by-day personalized plan for reaching your goals.
  • Support ― The best weight loss program also will include personalized coaching to guide you through challenges and keep you accountable and motivated.

Now that we’ve seen the benefits of a weight loss program, let’s look at how and when weight loss programs work.

How do weight loss programs work?

To a great extent, all weight loss is ultimately a matter of calories consumed versus calories burned. When you eat more calories than you burn, you’ll gain weight, and when you burn more calories than you consume, you’ll lose weight.

So, all of the best healthy weight loss programs work based on the same basic premise: You must create a calorie deficit in order to lose weight.

You can create a calorie deficit in three ways:

  1. Take in fewer calories while maintaining your current exercise routine and activity level
  2. Increase your exercise and activity to burn more calories while eating the same diet
  3. Combine a restricted-calorie diet with increased exercise to maximize weight loss

So, the simplest answer to “How do weight loss programs work?” is: by helping people create a calorie deficit that is sufficient to produce weight loss.

Beyond that, however, weight loss diet programs vary as widely as fingerprints and snowflakes in terms of the specific approach they employ to create a calorie deficit ― the program’s individual philosophy and macronutrient targets.

So, let’s break this into two separate questions: “How does weight loss work?” (the universal strategy behind all weight loss); and “How do weight loss programs work?” (the specific tactics weight loss programs use to achieve the strategy).

We will look at each topic individually.

1) How does weight loss work?

As we’ve already noted, all weight loss works on a recipe of calories in versus calories out.

For many years, there was a relatively simple mathematical formula for weight loss that many dieters know well.

Based on a paper by Dr. Max Wishnofsky in 1958 and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it posited that a person had to burn around 3,500 calories more than they took in to lose one pound of body weight.

For most of the 50 years that followed, it was widely accepted that a person could lose about one pound per week by cutting an extra 500 calories per day from their diet, since 500 calories a day times seven days equals 3,500 calories.

However, researchers at the National Institutes of Health have recently concluded that the 3,500-calorie formula doesn’t work.

Something told them the formula was flawed when they reviewed decades of anecdotal evidence that dieters following the formula were not losing weight at the rate promised.

So, the NIH enlisted the help of mathematician Kevin Hall, who revised the formula to account for “metabolic adaptation,” changes in how the human body burns calories ― slowing metabolism ― as it adapts to dieting and exercise.

“The biggest flaw with the 500-calorie rule is that it assumes weight loss will continue in a linear fashion over time,” Hall told Runner’s World. “That’s not the way the body responds. The body is a very dynamic system, and a change in one part of the system always produces changes in other parts.”

According to Hall’s calculations, a person has to cut or burn closer to 7,000 calories to produce a pound of weight loss.

The National Institutes of Health even used Hall’s findings to create a Body Weight Planner food and activity tool to help dieters see how many calories they should eat per day to reach their weight loss goals based on their current weight and exercise routine.

It is accompanied by a SuperTracker tool that provides a personalized meal plan based on your calorie results from the Body Weight Planner.

“I suppose some people will be bummed out,” Hall said of the higher number of calories required to make weight loss programs work. “But we believe it’s better to have an accurate assessment of what you might lose.”

The more accurate number also may help dieters have the realistic expectations and patience needed to stick with a nutrition program for weight loss for the long-term so it has a chance to work, no matter how long it takes to reach their goals.

Now that we’ve seen how weight loss works, let’s take a take a look at how specific weight loss diet programs work.

2) How do weight loss programs work?

As mentioned above, even though all weight loss is based on the same strategy (creating a calorie deficit), different weight loss food programs use a wide range of philosophies and features to create the deficit, as well as macronutrient targets ― the nutritional mix they believe will best produce effective weight loss.

Here’s a review of how some popular at home weight loss programs work:

Weight Watchers

  • Foods and beverages are assigned point values based on their nutritional merits
  • Members count points and stick to a daily target based on their gender, weight, height and age
  • Members choose from an online-only program, or upgrade, for an additional cost, with meetings and/or personal coaching

Atkins

  • Some foods are restricted, including sugars and simple carbohydrates such as white bread, potatoes and rice
  • Members buy food from the program, including low-carb meal kits, frozen meals, shakes, bars, treats and fresh meal ingredients

Nutrisystem

  • Some foods are restricted; allowed foods include lean protein, high-fiber foods and low-glycemic carbs
  • Members eat six times a day ― a small meal or snack every two to three hours
  • Members buy food from the program, including breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks

The LOVIDIA Way

  • No foods are off limits; instead, the program emphasizes smart choices and healthy food swaps
  • Up to several days a week, on “Eat-Less Days,” customers eat only about one-third of their typical daily caloric intake
  • To avoid metabolic reset (where metabolism slows down in response to lower calorie consumption), customers enjoy at least one normal eating day between Eat-Less Days
  • Lovidia Hunger-Control Supplements, bars and hearts reduce hunger and cravings to improve program adherence
  • All customers receive personalized coaching as an included feature

As you can see from just these few examples, there are both similarities in the way the highest rated weight loss programs work as well as significant differences.

Other weight loss diet programs such as Jenny Craig, Slim-Fast, Medifast, BistroMD and the South Beach Diet follow the basic formula of calorie reduction, but each program also offers unique features such as packaged foods, nutrition education, and coaching.

The same is true of doctor weight loss programs. There are literally thousands of weight loss clinics across the country, including physicians weight loss programs, that follow the basic weight loss recipe of balanced nutrition, calorie restriction and regular exercise to create a calorie deficit but vary in the specific tactics they use.

What is the best weight loss program?

Everybody’s body is unique, so the weight loss program that works for your best friend or your sister may not work for you.

As Alexandra Sifferlin writes in Time, “Individual responses to different diets ― from low fat and vegan to low carb and paleo ― vary enormously,” adding that “… scientists are showing that the key to weight loss appears to be highly personalized.”

So, rather than asking what’s the best weight loss program, the better question is, “Which weight loss program will work for me?” And that’s exactly the question we’ll help you answer in the next section.

Having said that, though, there are certain elements that any successful weight loss program should have.

The most effective weight loss program:

  • Sets realistic expectations ― striving for a supermodel body is a surefire way to suffer a letdown
  • Is simple and easy to stick with ― if a program seems too complex, it is
  • Uses nutritional science, not “willpower” ― any program that forces you to constantly fight hunger is doomed to fail
  • Focuses on your overall health and lifestyle habits, not just what you eat
  • Stresses the role of sleep, stress management and daily exercise in weight loss and management
  • Offers coaching, motivation and support to help you past obstacles and plateaus
  • Has proven results

Since this is a broad topic, we cover each of these points and more in much greater detail in a dedicated post titled, “What is the best weight loss program?” Give it a read!

Which weight loss program will work for me?

In many ways, answering the question, “Which weight loss program will work for me?” depends as much on you than the program itself.

According to Frank Sacks, a weight loss researcher and professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, “Some people on a diet program lose 60 pounds and keep it off for two years, and other people follow the same program religiously, and they gain 5 pounds.”

That’s why the “best weight loss program for me” is one that treats you as an individual and accounts for personal factors such as your health, your activity level, and your likes and dislikes.

Ask yourself these questions when considering a weight loss program:

How much weight do I want to lose?

The more clear you are about your goals, the more targeted your program can be in helping you get there. And the more targeted the program is, the more likely you are to reach your goals.

How long will it take?

When it comes to weight loss, slow and steady wins the race every time. Studies have shown people who lose too much weight, too quickly, almost always gain the weight back. Choose a program that fits your timeframe for reaching your goals.

That’s why the LOVIDIA Way stresses gradual, sustainable weight loss ― 1 to 2 pounds per week (though your weight loss may be faster at the start of a program) or 5 to 10 percent of your starting weight within 3 months.

Am I physically able to do a weight loss program?

Ask your doctor to review any medical conditions you have or medications you are taking that might impact your results or be affected by the requirements of the weight loss program. The best weight loss program is always the safest weight loss program.

What level of support will be best for me?

No matter which weight loss program you choose, you are going to run into obstacles. There will be work and family stress that drains motivation, plateaus that cause frustration, and holiday get-togethers filled with temptations.

Choosing a program like The LOVIDIA Way that includes personal coaching will assure that you have the support and motivation you need to make it through rough patches.

Is it a program you can live with?

Be honest with yourself about your food preferences and your willingness to adjust your eating habits. A weight loss program shouldn’t seem like punishment.

Beware of programs that force you to starve yourself, give up your favorite foods, eat packaged foods for months on end, or eat foods you don’t like.

The same goes for exercise. If a program pushes you to exercise too hard, you’ll spend every minute of it dreaming about quitting … until you do quit.

How much time do I have for a weight loss program?

Some weight loss programs are time consuming. They may require you to spend time counting points, measuring portions, or learning a whole new way of cooking.

When asking “Which weight loss program will work for me?” think about how much time you can commit in your day, every day, for the work involved with a particular weight loss program.

In general, the simpler a program is, the less burden it is on your time, the more likely you are to stick with it. The most effective weight loss program is one that’s easiest to fit into your life.

Are online weight loss programs effective?

The Internet is chock full of tools and information that empowers people to lose weight, including access to great online weight loss programs like The LOVIDIA Way.

Online weight loss programs offer features like grocery lists, recipes, week-by-week meal plans, articles on fitness and nutrition, live support, and even one-on-one counseling and coaching. Best of all, you can do a weight loss program at home!

We cover the benefits of online weight loss programs in greater detail in this dedicated post about online weight loss programs.

Are there weight loss programs without surgery?

Of course there are weight loss programs without surgery!

For most people, weight loss surgery, also called bariatric surgery, is a last resort after they’ve tried a nutrition program for weight loss without surgery.

There are several different types of weight loss or bariatric surgery. Here’s a look at some of the most common types of weight loss surgery:

Gastric bypass weight loss surgery: In gastric bypass surgery, the patient’s stomach is divided into a small upper pouch and a larger lower pouch, and the smaller pouch is connected directly to the small intestine.

This significantly reduces the amount of food the patient’s stomach can hold, since food is directed to the smaller pouch and “bypasses” the rest of the stomach.

The idea of how gastric bypass weight loss surgery works is that, due to the smaller stomach capacity, the patient will eat less after surgery.

Adjustable gastric band weight loss surgery: In gastric band surgery, the surgeon places a ring with an inner inflatable band around the top of the patient’s stomach to create a small pouch.

Similar to gastric bypass surgery, this is designed to make the patient feel full after eating a small amount of food.

Gastric sleeve weight loss surgery: Gastric sleeve surgery goes a step further than gastric bypass or gastric band surgery by actually removing a large portion of the patient’s stomach so that all that remains is a narrow “sleeve.”

The concept of how gastric sleeve weight loss surgery works is similar the idea behind other types of weight loss surgery ― the patient can only eat small amounts of food at any given time.

It is believed that Gastric sleeve surgery also reduces production of ghrelin, a stomach hormone that drives hunger.

Electric implant weight loss surgery: In electrical implant weight loss surgery, a small device is implanted in the patient’s abdomen.

The device delivers electrical pulses to the vagus nerve, which tells the brain when the stomach is full. The patient can control the device to try to reduce hunger and control eating.

All weight loss surgery requires a patient to limit how much she eats after surgery ― and all weight loss surgery comes with health risks and side effects. Common side effects of weight loss surgery include nausea, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, increased gas and dizziness. Another possible side effect is the formation of gallstones due to losing weight too quickly.

Due to the health risks, weight loss surgery is usually reserved for those who are extremely obese (body mass index of 30 or more) and/or have serious health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease caused by being overweight.

Does insurance cover weight loss programs?

Health insurance plans vary widely in coverage, so there is no easy “yes” or “no” answer when asking, “Does insurance cover weight loss programs?” It should also be noted that federal regulation of health insurance is subject to change at any time.

The Affordable Care Act, passed during the Obama administration and still in effect as of publication of this post, requires insurance companies to cover obesity screening and counseling at no cost to policyholders.

Free obesity screening is part of the Affordable Care Act’s emphasis on preventive care ― covered services designed to identify risks factors that contribute to chronic disease.

The idea is that screening to detect whether a patient is overweight gives health care providers an opportunity to develop a treatment plan that can help the patient lose weight and, thereby, reduce the risk of obesity-related health problems such as type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension and arthritis.

It is important to point out here that not all health insurance policies are Affordable Care Act compliant. Some insurance providers have chosen to opt out of the ACA “marketplace.”

However, any health insurance policy sold on a state health insurance marketplace will cover obesity screening and counseling. If screening shows a policyholder’s body mass index (BMI) to be over 30, the policyholder then qualifies for free (covered) weight loss counseling services.

Unfortunately, the Affordable Care Act is not terribly specific about what these counseling services should encompass.

And the picture of does insurance cover weight loss programs becomes even murkier when it comes to actual treatment of obesity ― including the cost of participating in a weight loss program ― depending to a great extent on where a policyholder lives and the plan they have.

According to the Obesity Society, only four states ― California, New Mexico, Massachusetts and Michigan ― plus the District of Columbia chose benchmark plans that require insurance to cover weight loss programs as an essential health benefit.

Twenty-two states, including the four mentioned above, chose benchmark plans that require insurance cover bariatric surgery, while 28 states chose plans that cover neither weight loss programs nor bariatric surgery.

What’s more, even people whose insurance covers weight loss programs are never formally diagnosed and, therefore, do not access the services outlined in their insurance plans.

“This could go hand-in-hand with coverage: If doctors aren’t being paid to treat obesity, they may not see any benefit in making a formal diagnosis,” says Scott Kahan, spokesperson for The Obesity Society.

These two barriers to care ― no insurance for medical weight loss support and lack of initial diagnosis ― can negatively impact people with obesity or overweightas they seek support from those most adept, trained weight-loss professionals,” adds Kahan.

To determine whether your insurance covers weight loss programs, check with your company’s benefits director or call your insurance provider directly.

Which weight loss programs are for beginners?

If you are a beginner to weight loss diet programs, there are a few things you should know and accept from the start.

One is that, in a sense, all weight loss food programs are for beginners ― meaning that if a weight loss program is effective and works, you shouldn’t need to use another weight loss program in the future.

Looking at this another way, if you are very “experienced” with weight loss programs ― if you have been on several different programs without success ― either you have chosen the wrong weight loss programs in the past, or you are not following the programs properly.

So, if you are a beginner, it’s important to choose the best healthy weight loss program from the start. Specifically, you’ll want to examine the program’s features, safety, costs and results based on clinical trials.

For tips on evaluating weight loss diet programs, read our previous post, Everything You Need to Know about Weight Loss Programs ― Including Which Is Best for You.

Which weight loss programs are for type 2 diabetics?

For a review of weight loss programs for type 2 diabetes, click here.

Are there weight loss programs for busy moms?

There are lots of challenges for weight loss programs for busy moms, not the least of which is … moms are busy!

Busy moms don’t have time to spend hours planning out meals, counting calories or working their butts off in the gym.

So, the best program for busy moms is the easiest weight loss program.

On the surface, then, it would seem weight loss food programs that offer packaged meals and snacks would be perfect for busy moms, but if you’re a busy mom who also prepares most of the meals in your house, packaged foods present a problem: What do you feed your family?

Not only do you have to spend all that time (you’re busy ― you don’t have time!) preparing separate meals for your family, you also have to watch them eating the food you lovingly made while you eat food that came in a cardboard box.

For this reason, the best at home weight loss programs for busy moms are ones that offer food choices mom and the whole family can eat and enjoy.

We must point out here that children and minors should never follow a restricted-calorie diet or weight loss program unless one has been recommended by a doctor for medical reasons.

But there are plenty of at home weight loss programs such as The LOVIDIA Way that are based on nutritional balance and portion control ― in other words, sensible eating ― and since no foods are “off limits,” a family can still enjoy meals together.

Which are the best weight loss programs for athletes?

Athletes have to be especially cautious about weight loss programs.

An athlete’s body uses up huge amounts of energy. Strenuous exercise and training breaks down muscle, wears at joint tissue, and strains the heart and lungs. So, an athlete’s body needs calories and nutrients to feed muscles and fuel organ function and tissue repair.

Calories are the energy found in food. Your body burns calories for energy. Athletes have to be careful about weight loss programs that require them to drastically cut calories or eliminate certain foods from their diets to lose weight.

If an athlete isn’t getting enough calories or is missing key nutrients because of a restricted-calorie diet, she will feel weak, lack endurance, and be more prone to injury.

Therefore, the best weight loss programs for athletes are ones that stress balanced eating, with plenty of vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats.

What if I have more questions?

When in doubt, talk to your doctor or healthcare provider. Tell him or her you’re concerned about your weight and that you’re considering making a lifestyle change. Write down any questions or concerns you have and bring them with you to the appointment.

Bring literature from any weight loss plans you are considering so your physician can help you assess their safety and which program is likely to work best for you. This is especially true if you have a medical condition such as type 2 diabetes or take any medication that affects your weight.

Finally, you’ll find more information on weight loss programs in the related posts below:

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Weight Loss Programs for People with Diabetes

When it comes to weight loss, the desire to look good is a powerful motivator, and there’s no doubt that losing weight has positive effects on confidence and self-esteem.

But the benefits of weight loss programs for diabetics far exceed fitting into a smaller size dress or being able to notch your belt tighter, especially for people with Type 2 diabetes.

For Type 2 diabetics, losing just 5 percent of your body weight can be life changing.

According to the American Diabetes Association, “Losing just a few pounds through exercise and eating well can help with your diabetes control and can reduce your risk for other health problems. You will also have more energy and feel better in general!”

A 2011 Study published in the journal Diabetes Care showed that diabetics who lost at least 5 percent of their body weight were more successful reducing their hemoglobin A1C levels. The impact of weight loss on blood sugar was comparable to the effect of anti-diabetes pills.

As we will discuss later in this post, a clinical trial on our own weight loss program, The LOVIDIA Way, showed dramatic improvement in A1C levels for nearly half of the participants with prediabetes, and the sole participant with Type 2 diabetes saw her diabetes resolved during the course of the study.

What’s more, by losing weight, people with Type 2 diabetes can become less insulin resistant. And because their bodies are better able to use insulin, they find it easier to lose weight.

In many ways, you can think of weight loss programs for diabetics as creating a circuit that works like this:

Losing weight → better glucose control + less insulin resistance → easier weight loss → better glucose control + less insulin resistance → continued weight loss

And so on, and so on.

That’s why doctors typically recommend that overweight patients who’ve been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes begin a weight loss program as soon as possible. The earlier you can start the cycle of weight loss described above, the better your chances of reversing the effects diabetes.

What causes Type 2 diabetes?

To understand how weight loss programs for diabetics can help reverse the effects of Type 2 diabetes, it’s important to review what causes the disease.

Type 2 diabetes starts in your pancreas.

When you eat, your blood sugar (glucose) rises, especially in response to sugary foods and other carbohydrates.

In healthy individuals, the pancreas produces the hormone insulin, which helps move sugar from the blood into cells where it can be used as energy. As blood sugar decreases, the pancreas stops releasing insulin.

But in people with Type 2 diabetes, your body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin. As a result, sugar or glucose builds up in the blood, causing a range of symptoms, including excessive thirst and urination, fatigue and increased hunger.

The connection between Type 2 diabetes and weight

There are clear links between body weight and Type 2 diabetes:

According to the World Health Organization, 90 percent of Type 2 diabetics are overweight or obese.
Being overweight increases insulin resistance, making blood glucose management more difficult.
Insulin resistance also causes the pancreas to secrete extra insulin in an attempt to compensate.
Insulin is a fat-storage hormone, so having extra insulin makes weight loss more difficult for diabetics than for people without diabetes.
While some diabetes-management medications aid in weight loss, weight gain is a common side effect of prescription insulin used to treat Type 2 diabetes.
In short, being overweight contributes to the onset of Type 2 diabetes, and having Type 2 diabetes makes weight loss more difficult.

Can a weight loss program for diabetics reverse Type 2 diabetes?

There is ample evidence that with a healthy eating weight loss program, Type 2 diabetes can be managed and even reversed. What’s more, the beneficial effects on blood glucose control often can be observed before weight loss occurs.

A British study that aimed to assess the effects of a physician-directed weight loss program for diabetics found that nearly half of participants who stopped taking medications to control their diabetes and instead followed a structured diet under a doctor’s supervision “achieved remission to a non-diabetic state” ― meaning they no longer had diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association likewise says, “Normal blood glucose control is possible after weight loss in some individuals. This happens most commonly after bariatric surgery, but it can also happen when eating dramatically fewer calories. This return to normal can happen when following a very-low-calorie diet.”

The ADA cited another British study in which “a robust and sustainable weight loss program reversed diabetes for at least 6 months in 40% of subjects (and in 60% of subjects with short-duration diabetes).”

The ADA concluded, “According to these findings, Type 2 diabetes is a potentially reversible condition.”

This assessment was verified in our own clinical trial on The LOVIDIA Way, where seven of the 17 participants (41 percent) with prediabetes saw their A1C levels return to the normal range after just 13 weeks of following the program. Likewise, while there was only one participant with Type 2 diabetes, that individual’s diabetes resolved during the course of the study, with A1C levels returning to prediabetes levels.

What’s the best weight loss program for diabetics?

When considering a diabetic-friendly weight loss diet program, make sure the program takes your nutritional needs as a diabetic into account.

All of the studies cited in this post involved reduced-calorie weight loss diets. But it’s not just a simple matter of calories consumed and calories burned. A weight loss program for diabetics should also help give you better control over blood sugar levels.

In general, your best choice for keeping blood glucose levels balanced ― preventing spikes and dips in blood sugar ― is a healthy eating program that gets 40-50 percent of total calories from protein, 20-25 percent from healthy fats, and 30-35 percent from complex carbohydrates such as vegetables, whole grains and fiber.

Finally, a weight loss program for diabetics shouldn’t be only about diet. Your weight loss program should combine the nutritional requirements of a diabetic diet with daily exercise.

There is extensive research to shows that people who incorporate regular exercise along with a reduced-calorie diet lose more weight and more fat than people who diet alone.

This is especially important for diabetics because fat plays such a critical role in insulin resistance and the body’s ability to use insulin correctly.

These findings are supported by the National Weight Control Registry, which maintains a database of 10,000 men and women who have lost at least 65 pounds and kept it off. The Registry compiles information on how these people achieved and maintained weight loss and has found that 90 percent exercise regularly.

Talk to your doctor before beginning a weight loss program for diabetics
Diabetes is a complex disease, and we always recommend that everyone consult with their doctor or health care provider before beginning a weight loss program. This is especially true of anyone with a serious medical condition like Type 2 diabetes.

But don’t wait to have the conversation.

A healthy eating weight loss program may be the diabetic solution you need, and the sooner you get started on a weight loss program for diabetics, the more likely you are to have success in freeing yourself from diabetes and its complications.

When you start eating healthier, get more exercise and lose weight, you can at least reduce your diabetes symptoms, and a commitment to exercise and dietary changes may be all you need to significantly improve the quality of your life.

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Natural Weight Loss Supplements

Will Natural Weight Loss Supplements Help You Lose Weight?

If you Google “natural weight loss supplements,” prepare to be overwhelmed ― there are currently over four million search results for the term “natural weight loss supplements!”

Not only is that an impossible amount of material to sift through and try to make sense of, it’s also full of bogus information. So prepare to be misled, as well.

The weight loss supplement industry is notorious for unscrupulous characters who prey upon the millions of Americans who are desperate to lose weight. They’re always coming up with new marketing fads designed to grab our attention and fill us with false hope. Lately, it’s “natural weight loss supplements.”

There are literally millions of websites dedicated to convincing you to buy and try natural weight loss supplements in every imaginable category, including:

  • Natural weight loss pills
  • Natural weight loss shakes
  • Natural weight loss herbs
  • Natural weight loss teas
  • Natural weight loss vitamins
  • Natural weight loss fat burners
  • Natural weight loss meal-replacement bars

Some sites promise unbiased reviews or rankings of popular natural weight loss products but are actually just marketing sites made to look like third-party reviews.

This post will help you separate facts about natural supplements from marketing hype, so you can be an informed consumer and make the best choices for you and your weight loss.

Some of the questions we will seek to answer include:

  • What does it mean when a weight loss supplement’s label says it is “natural?”
  • Will natural weight loss supplements help you lose weight?
  • What should you know before you purchase natural weight loss supplements?
  • Most importantly, are natural weight loss supplements safe or “good” for you?

What does it mean when a weight loss supplement’s label says it is “natural?”

The short answer to this question is: not much.

The word “natural” shows up on so many product labels, from weight loss pills, vitamins and dietary supplements to laundry detergent, home cleaning products and packaged foods.

“Natural” may be the most abused food label fib because there are no laws, legal requirements or rules for its use.

On its website, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says:

“Although the FDA has not engaged in rulemaking to establish a formal definition for the term ‘natural,’ we do have a longstanding policy concerning the use of ‘natural’ in human food labeling. The FDA has considered the term ‘natural’ to mean that nothing artificial or synthetic (including all color additives regardless of source) has been included in, or has been added to, a food that would not normally be expected to be in that food.”

Confused? So are we. According to this loose standard, a weight loss supplement labeled natural may contain, for example, extracts and oils from genetically modified plants, seeds and herbs.

What’s more, the Global Healing Center produced a fascinating report on synthetic vitamins that goes into great detail about how easy it is for dietary supplement and vitamin makers to work around the FDA’s natural labeling guidelines:

“Unfortunately, vitamins can be labeled as natural if they contain as little as 10% of the natural form of the vitamin. This means that your ‘natural’ vitamin could contain 90% of synthetically produced chemicals!

Or, as Consumer Reports puts it:

“[Natural] doesn’t mean ‘organic,’ ‘free of genetically modified organisms,’ or ‘no artificial ingredients,’ or that a product is safe to take. Instead, it can mean whatever a manufacturer wants it to mean — or nothing at all.”

Will natural weight loss supplements help you lose weight?

Natural weight loss supplements can help you lose weight, but there is no guarantee they will help you lose weight.

Natural weight loss supplements vary greatly in effectiveness. Even the best natural weight loss supplements, including supplements that are shown to be effective in clinical trials for the majority of people taking them, don’t work the same or as well for every individual.

Every person’s body responds differently to supplements, and there are many variables that affect an individual’s weight loss results. A supplement that is effective for one person may not be effective for another person.

The two factors that have the greatest influence on a supplement’s effectiveness are its active ingredients and/or mode of action.

Most weight loss supplements contain ingredients such as natural herbs, herbal extracts, fiber or stimulants. These ingredients are referred to as “actives” because they are known (or believed) to act on the body to produce a specific effect that will aid in weight loss or make losing weight easier.

Some supplement ingredients help to suppress appetite, some help to burn fat, while others work to block fat.

You may be familiar with some common weight loss supplement ingredients, such as caffeine (Hydroxycut), garcinia cambogia, glucomannan (konjac root, Lipozene), green tea extract, ketones and the synthetic fat-blocker orlistat (Alli).

In our previous post, Understanding Weight Loss Supplements, Pills, Shakes & Vitamins, we examine in great detail the weight loss supplement ingredients mentioned above and others, reviewing evidence of each ingredient’s effectiveness based on clinical trials.

As you’ll see in our post, scientific evidence regarding the benefits and effectiveness of most weight loss supplement ingredients ― both natural ingredients and synthetic drugs ― remains open to debate.

Generally speaking, weight-loss pills — whether prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, herbal products or other natural dietary supplements — can help you lose weight … but only when they are taken as one part of a sensible and sustainable weight loss strategy based around smart lifestyle choices such as eating a healthy, balanced diet.

What should you know before you purchase natural weight loss supplements?

The first thing you should look at when considering a natural weight loss supplement is whether the product will really work to help you lose weight.

As mentioned above, our previous post, Understanding Weight Loss Supplements, Pills, Shakes & Vitamins, examines evidence, based on clinical trials, of the effectiveness of various weight loss supplement ingredients.

The second item to consider is whether the product’s ingredients are, in fact, natural.

Given the broad and somewhat ill-defined standards for natural products, it’s not always easy to know if the supplement you’re taking is actually natural, but one clear signal a product is not natural is when it contains a drug.

For example, the active ingredient in the popular over-the-counter fat blocker Alli is a synthetic drug called orlistat. So, while clinical trials have shown orlistat to be moderately effective in aiding weight loss, it is not a natural ingredient.

What’s more, orlistat is known to cause a number of unwanted side effects, which brings us to our third “must know” item when considering a natural weight loss supplement. We will discuss side effects in greater detail in the next section of this post.

Are natural weight loss supplements safe or “good” for you?

The down side of many weight loss supplement actives, even “natural” ingredients, is that they act on the body un unwanted ways, causing side effects.

Most hunger-control supplements and fat burners, for example, rely on caffeine and other stimulants that have the potential for side effects that range from jitters to sleeplessness and racing heart.

Some fat blocker ingredients such as orlistat (Alli) are notorious for uncomfortable, urgent and embarrassing gastrointestinal side effects because they interfere with the body’s natural digestive processes to expel nutrients through the colon undigested.

If a supplement can cause an effect, chances are it can cause a side effect, and “natural” does not always mean safe.

Poison ivy is natural. So is the flu virus. Some “natural” weight loss supplement ingredients, like products containing high levels of caffeine and other “natural” stimulants, are among the most harmful and should be avoided.

As the National Institutes of Health quotes on its website: “… even minor adverse events shift the delicate risk-benefits balance against [supplement] use.”

Always talk to your doctor or health care provider to discuss possible side effects and other safety concerns before beginning a natural weight loss supplement plan.

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Weight Loss Supplements For Men: What Works Best (Science Based)

Weight Loss Supplements For Men: What Works Best (Science Based)

For many years, the weight loss industry geared almost all its products toward women. Men, it was believed, weren’t as concerned about weight loss, so you didn’t see many ads for weight loss supplements for men.

They had it all wrong. Men care just as much about their weight, sometimes they need help losing weight, and they want to know what weight loss supplements work best for men.

This post aims to clear up some of the misconceptions about weight loss supplements for men.

We will cover the benefits, effectiveness and potential health risks and safety concerns around weight loss supplements for men, including evidence from clinical trials.

Before we jump into a conversation about supplements, though, let’s begin with a discussion of some of the ways men are different than women when it comes to weight loss.

Do men really lose weight faster than women?

There’s a widely held belief that men have a physiological edge when it comes to weight loss.

The idea is that men’s bodies have a higher percentage of lean muscle tissue, and lean muscle burns fat, so men have an easier time losing weight thanks to a faster resting metabolism.

And it’s true … to an extent. The key to the accelerated rate of weight loss for men lies in hormones. Men have more testosterone and less estrogen, which makes their bodies leaner, with anywhere from 6 to 11 percent less body fat, on average.

The extra lean muscle tissue in men’s bodies does give them a weight loss advantage.

As WebMD notes, “… when men and women cut the same number of calories, men usually do lose more weight ― but it’s short-term.”

It’s important to mention that weight loss for men and women evens out at one point. A British Journal of Nutrition study showed that when men and women used commercial weight-loss programs such as Atkins, Slim-Fast and Weight Watchers, the men lost twice as much weight and three times as much body fat as the women in the first two months.

But weight loss for men ultimately levels off. By six months into the British study, for example, the total pounds lost for men and women evened out.

This is because as women lose weight, their bodies become leaner, allowing them to burn fat faster and “catch up” with men from a metabolic standpoint.

The takeaway: Men lose weight faster in the early stages of weight loss, which can provide a great psychological boost. But men’s weight loss eventually plateaus, so you have to prepare yourself mentally to push through once your momentum slows down.

One tool that may help men over the hump is weight loss supplements.

What are the benefits of weight loss supplements for men?

The primary benefit of weight loss supplements for men is that they can enhance your weight loss results, possibly helping you shed pounds faster.

For example, some weight loss supplements are designed to help control hunger and cravings, so it’s easier to make healthy food choices and take in fewer calories throughout the day.

Please bear in mind, however, that weight loss supplements are not intended to be a magic bullet. You can’t eat a poor diet and expect to lose weight simply because you’re taking a weight loss supplement.

Rather, weight loss supplements are just one aspect of weight loss, providing men with an added level of support for efforts that include good nutrition and healthy eating ― watching what you eat and how much you eat ― as well as regular exercise.

Is there any difference between weight loss supplements for men and those marketed to women?

Nope. As we’ve addressed in other posts, makers of weight loss supplements will sometimes place the same product in a different package with the words “for men” on the label.

But what’s on the front of the label isn’t nearly as important as what’s on the back: the ingredients.

All that really matters when choosing a weight loss supplement is the active ingredients. And there is currently no evidence from clinical trials on weight loss supplement ingredients to show that particular ingredients are more effective for men.

Rather, clinical trials so far have shown that the effectiveness, as well as the side effects and health risks and dangers, are the same for men and women.

For a detailed review of common weight loss supplement ingredients, check out our post, Understanding Weight Loss Supplements, Pills, Shakes & Vitamins.

So, what are the best weight loss supplements for men?

The best weight loss supplements for men are those that make it easier to stick with your weight loss plan for the long term ― specifically, a supplement that helps you overcome the obstacles that often cause men to give up before they reach their weight loss goals.

So, let’s look at the greatest challenge most men face when trying to lose weight naturally.

Losing weight requires men to create a calorie deficit. To lose weight, you have to take in fewer calories than you burn or use up during the day. Every time you burn or cut 3,600 calories from your diet, it results in a pound of weight loss.

The best way to understand this number is to break it up into a daily goal. For example, there are seven days in a week, so breaking 3,600 into seven equal parts comes out to just over 500 calories a day. If you can burn or cut a bit more than 500 calories a day from your diet, you will lose one pound of weight every week.

The problem most people ― men and women ― run into is that creating a calorie deficit also creates an energy deficit, and often a nutritional deficit.

When you eat less (cut calories), you may find yourself feeling tired, worn out and hungry. So, the best weight loss supplements for men are the ones that 1) give you energy and 2) control hunger.

Weight loss supplements for men that provide energy

When you want energy to power your weight loss, the best place to start is by boosting your protein intake. Protein supports muscle health and is essential for keeping your body strong when you are running on fewer calories.

In addition to eating healthy, natural sources of lean protein like chicken and fish, you can also consider protein supplements such as protein shakes, protein powders, protein drinks and protein bars.

Similarly, you’ll want to make sure your body is getting adequate vitamins and minerals. The best natural sources of vitamins and minerals are vegetables, especially green, leafy vegetables like spinach, kale and broccoli.

But let’s be honest ― we don’t always eat as many vegetables as we should, and that’s where a good multi-vitamin supplement comes in. Look for a vitamin supplement that has a 100 percent of the recommended daily allowance of B vitamins for energy metabolism, as well as calcium and vitamin D to support strong bones and muscles.

Weight loss supplements for men that control hunger

Any conversation about hunger control usually starts with a category of weight loss supplements known to suppress appetite. Men should be very careful before delving into these types of supplements as most over-the-counter hunger-control supplements rely on stimulants to artificially reduce hunger.

Stimulants, whether they be caffeine or “natural” herbs and herbal extracts such as yohimbe root, ephedra and hoodia, act on the central nervous system. Yes, they reduce hunger, but they also bring a long list of side effects, health risks and dangers for men, from jitters to high blood pressure and even heart attack.

At Ambra Bio, we believe we’ve found a better way to control hunger. It’s called Gut Sensory Modulation (GSM).

GSM is the mode of action at the heart of our weight loss supplement, Lovidia, and it’s been shown in clinical trials to reduce hunger and aid weight loss without stimulants or side effects.

That’s because GSM uses only FDA-GRAS (generally recognized as safe) food-grade ingredients to activate your body’s natural hunger-control mechanism.

You can learn more about Lovidia here. Then, ask your doctor whether he or she thinks Lovidia is the right weight loss supplement for you.

We hope you found this post on weight loss supplements for men helpful. Good luck reaching your weight loss goals!

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Is Obesity a Brain Disease?

Is Obesity a Brain Disease?

You may have never imagined that what we eat can literally change our brains! New research published this week raises questions about whether obesity is a truly metabolic vs. a neurologic phenomenon, or a little bit of both.

Animal research done at Vanderbilt University headed by Dr. Aurelio Galli reveals a mechanism for how a high-fat diet can disrupt brain signals that regulate appetite. The findings reveal a system designed to control the eating of highly rewarding high-fat and high-sugar foods.

Strangely enough, this system can be hijacked by the very foods that it is designed to keep under control. Dr. Galli’s team found a group of specific proteins are responsible for the hijacking, and how they cause brain changes that lead to a vicious cycle of eating increasing amounts of high-fat and high-sugar foods that likely further cement these changes.

This can help explain why the more often we eat pizza, hot dogs, and ice cream sundaes, the more we tend to crave them.

Other published work is now linking obesity to brain disease:

The presence of obesity increases the likelihood of to developing a common brain tumor (meningioma) by 50%
There is a statistically significant risk for earlier onset of Alzheimer’s disease in middle-aged obese people. This may be due to cognitive impairment resulting from chronic insulin resistance – which also leads to the development of type II Diabetes.
It’s not yet clear however whether a healthy weight can delay the onset of dementia and/or other neurological problems in patients at risk. But based on all these new findings, certainly this would be worth looking into.

Read more at:

Relating Obesity to Brain Health

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2769828

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6 Mindful Snacking Tips for Weight Loss

6 Mindful Snacking Tips for Weight Loss

How often do you reach for a snack?

According to research from Mintel, 94% of Americans snack at some point during the day with half of adults snacking two to three times a day.

With so many of us snacking regularly, you have to wonder what impact snacking has on weight loss. While some argue that eating smaller meals throughout the day is the secret to losing weight, others contend that snacking is the reason American waistlines are growing.

Ultimately it’s not about whether or not you do snack, but HOW you snack that’s most important. Mindless snacking is guaranteed to add unnecessary calories to your diet without the nutritional benefits.

On the other hand, mindful snacking ensures that you’re carefully considering your snacks as a part of your overall nutritional intake. Here are five mindful snacking tips to promote weight loss:

1 | Choose snacks that are high in fiber or protein

Many popular snack foods are filled with empty calories, meaning they have little to no nutritional value. By swapping your usual snacks for nutritious options that contain fiber and/or protein, you’ll feel full faster and satisfied for a longer time.

Fiber helps regulate your nutrient intake so that your body processes fat and carbohydrates at the proper rate for lower insulin levels. It also boosts the appetite-suppressing hormone GLP-1 to naturally control hunger.

Getting enough protein in a low-calorie diet has been shown to maintain muscle mass with increased fat loss. Protein also stimulates production of GLP-1 and PYY, the “fullness” hormones released in your lower intestine.

A lot of snack foods are high in sugar and carbohydrates. They give you a quick jolt of energy, but the feeling doesn’t last. Soon your blood sugar drops and you’re craving more food to boost your energy.

2 | Pay attention to portion size

Healthy snacks can be an asset to your overall nutrition, but this doesn’t mean you can eat as much as you want. Portion size is important.

Diving into an entire bag of Beanitos Sea Salt Chips may boost your protein intake, but also increases your calorie and sodium intake. To avoid unwanted calories from snacks, it’s key that you pay attention to serving sizes.

It can be challenging to measure individual serving sizes correctly. It’s also more taxing for your willpower to stop eating when a full bag is present. Our “Goodbye Hunger” Bundle takes the guesswork out of snacking by providing pre-portioned, healthy snack options.

3 | Read nutrition labels

Along with portion size, it’s essential to read the nutrition label on snack foods. Just because a snack is low in calories or fat, doesn’t mean it’s good for you or that it will sustain your energy.

Many snacks advertised as “100 calorie packs” are full of sugar or sodium and have little to no nutritional value. These items may be pre-portioned, but they won’t fill you up. It won’t be long before you’re fighting the urge to grab another package.

Watch out for misleading facts that make a nutrition label confusing. Research shows that many people have a hard time reading nutrition labels correctly, which can lead to accidentally making poor choices.

4 | Take your Lovidia XR twice daily for hunger control

Lovidia XR stimulates taste sensors in your lower gut that trigger the release of GLP-1 and PYY, the hormones that control hunger and cravings. When you take Lovidia XR consistently, you lower your baseline hunger level so you naturally eat less.

Lovidia XR doesn’t contain any caffeine or stimulants so you get the benefits of hunger control without the unpleasant side effects. Your appetite is smaller, you feel full faster, and you take in fewer calories without the struggle of feeling hungry.

The best time to take Lovidia XR is at breakfast and lunch so you’re appetite is naturally reduced throughout the day. Similar to other healthy habits, consistency is key.

5 | Use Lovidia Bars as a Meal Replacement

Unlike the typical protein or meal replacement bar, Lovidia Bars are made with a specially-formulated blend of all-natural ingredients designed to reduce hunger levels and control cravings. Because of its potent hunger-control effect, this is an excellent choice as a meal replacement to accelerate weight loss.

Many bars on the market are so loaded with calories, sugar, and carbohydrates that you can barely finish one. This small, but mighty bar works with your body’s own hunger control process to help you feel satisfied with fewer calories.

6 | Be aware of your ACTUAL hunger level

We live in a time when food is easily accessible at all times. We no longer have to hunt or grow our own food, and we don’t have to plan ahead for seasons when food is less abundant.

While this obviously makes life a lot easier, the downside is that we often eat when we’re not actually hungry. You might feel like snacking because of stress, boredom, hormones, habits, or emotions.

Learning to recognize true hunger will help you avoid unnecessary calories that can lead to weight gain. Mindful snacking means that you’re eating because your body needs food, not because your emotions are luring you to the pantry.

When you feel like eating, ask yourself a few questions before immediately reaching for a snack. Instead of mindlessly obeying your cravings, listen to your body’s natural hunger cues.

  • Are you feeling stressed or anxious?
  • Do you want food simply because it’s available (for example, if someone left treats in the breakroom at work)?
  • Are you bored or lacking motivation?
  • Does a particular activity make you feel like you should be eating (for example, having a snack while watching tv)?

If your answer to any of these questions is yes, try this easy trick to determine if you really need food. Set a timer for 20 minutes and find another activity. Chances are that when the timer goes off, you’ll no longer be focused on food. If you’re still feeling hungry, eat a small, healthy snack.

Conclusion

Mindless eating is bad habit and an easy way to add unwanted calories to your diet. Focus on the quality of the snacks you eat and the portion size to avoid unnecessary weight gain. Pay attention to your hunger level rather than responding to cravings alone.

Lovidia will help you establish a lower baseline hunger level and control your appetite so you can lose weight without the struggle.

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Lose Weight Fast: The “Fast Can’t Last” Weight Loss Myth

Losing Weight Fast: the “Fast Can’t Last” Weight Loss Myth

It’s one of the most deeply entrenched and persistent myths about weight loss. It’s even on the CDC website:
“People who lose weight gradually and steadily (about 1-2 pounds per week) are more successful at keeping weight off.”

Turns out that it is truly a myth that doesn’t hold up at all to scientific scrutiny, according to a randomized controlled study published in the journal Obesity.
The authors found that the rate of weight loss, fast or slow, has zero effect on whether a person can maintain their loss.

It is true however, that we all lose at different rates – some dramatically quick, others more slowly. Dr. Casazza, in the New England Journal of Medicine, describes the phenomenon perfectly: “Although it is not clear why some … persons have a greater initial weight loss than others do, a recommendation to lose weight more slowly might interfere with the ultimate success of weight-loss efforts.”

Based on what I see in my own weight-loss practice, I have to admit, I’m biased towards efforts to get weight off as quickly as possible. Most of my patients have struggled with their weight for a very long time (sometimes most of their lives). If that’s true for you, you are probably feeling frustrated, or maybe even ready to give up completely! It’s very understandable.

But picture when you see the scale start to move quickly as a result of your hard work. That can be a VERY powerful motivator to continue working on all aspects of lifestyle change.

Read more here.

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Weight Loss Programs for Women

Weight Loss Supplements For Women: What To Look For… And What To Look Out For

Ads promoting weight loss supplements for women are all over the place ― in magazines, on TV, your Facebook page, Instagram and Pinterest.

If you find yourself thinking, “I need to lose weight, but I can’t take another diet,” you’re not alone. For many women, dieting is a dead-end, filled with frustration and disappointment.

The temptation to seek a quick-fix to lose weight is hard to resist, especially when you see so many ads for products promising to “melt away fat,” “drop a dress size in 2 weeks,” and “lose weight without diet or exercise.”

Diet pills are nothing new. As far back as the 1950s, doctors were prescribing amphetamines to their women patients as a “modern” approach to weight management.

Today, “health and nutrition” stores make millions by selling weight loss pills, tablets, chews, bars, drinks and shakes to women who are desperate to shed pounds fast.

But are these products safe and effective? Are women wasting our money on weight loss supplements — or worse, harming our health?

This post will attempt to help you separate fact from fiction by answering common questions women ask us about weight loss supplements, beginning with the most basic question …

Should women take weight loss supplements or diet pills to lose weight?

If you’re watching what you eat, exercising regularly, and still not dropping pounds, a good weight loss supplement may be just what you need to boost your weight loss.

The key is to remember that a supplement by itself won’t make women lose weight ― and it shouldn’t.

There may be products that cause weight reduction on their own, but not in a way that’s safe or sustainable.

Think about what the word supplement means: something that completes or enhances something else when added to it.

Weight loss supplements are designed to support women’s efforts to lose weight when used alongside healthy eating and regular exercise.

What are the benefits of weight loss supplements for women?

The benefits of taking weight loss supplements for women are the same as the benefits for men: a good supplement can make it easier to lose weight.

For example, some weight loss supplements are designed to reduce hunger and cravings, so it’s easier for women to make healthy food choices and take in fewer calories throughout the day.

Is there really a difference between weight loss supplements for women and weight loss supplements for men?

Generally speaking, no. Weight loss supplements are not made differently “for women” or “for men.”

While some weight loss supplements are marketed as being “formulated for women,” a quick check of the active ingredients will usually show it’s not true.

In one famous case, the makers of a “sprinkle” supplement that became wildly popular a few years ago after it was featured on the Dr. Oz Show took the same product, placed it in a black package and slapped the words “for men” on the label.

There was no difference between the ingredients in the weight loss supplement they were selling to women and the “new” version for men, other than the packaging.

When you see the words “weight loss supplement for women,” see it for what it is: marketing, not science.

Do some weight loss supplements work better for women?

Again, generally speaking, the answer is no. Based purely on effectiveness, weight loss supplements are gender neutral. There is no scientific evidence supported by clinical trials showing a weight loss supplement to be more effective for women than for men, or vice versa.

However, there are considerations women must make that men don’t have to make when choosing a supplement. These include:

1 | Will you be breastfeeding while taking a weight loss supplement?

When you are breastfeeding, everything you put into your body has the potential to come out of your body in your breast milk.

Some weight loss supplements, such as fat burners, metabolism boosters, hunger-control supplements and fat blockers, contain ingredients that pose serious dangers for nursing babies. These can include herbs, herbal extracts, laxatives, bitter orange, chitosan, chromium, and stimulants like caffeine, ephedra, green tea extract and hoodia.

Pregnant women should never take weight loss supplements, and nursing women should always consult their doctors or health care providers before taking any medication, including over-the-counter weight loss supplements.

2 | Are you going through menopause or have a medical condition that affects or is related to hormonal changes?

During menopause, women experience a reduction in two key hormones: estrogen and progesterone. Combined with a loss of lean muscle, hormone fluctuations make women prone to gaining weight during menopause. It’s harder for menopausal women to burn calories as our metabolisms tend to decrease, and we store more of what we eat as fat.

Changes in body mass also put women at greater risk of weight-related health issues such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. Many over-the-counter weight loss supplements contain ingredients that also increase these risks, so women who take supplements during menopause are often putting themselves in danger without knowing it.

In addition, many weight loss supplements contain multiple ingredients that can interact with or interfere with other medications women may be taking for hormonal imbalances or other health issues. For this reason, we always recommend women talk with their doctors before beginning a weight loss supplement plan.

What are the best weight loss supplements for women?

Generally speaking, there are a few supplements that are useful for most women in losing weight.

Protein supplements

We bet you weren’t expecting protein to be on the short list of best weight loss supplements for women. But if you’re losing weight the natural way, by practicing good nutrition and sensible eating, you’re going to want lots of protein.

Firstly, protein helps women build and maintain lean muscle ― and lean muscle is responsible for more than 95 percent of the body’s fat burning power!

Secondly, weight loss requires women to create a calorie deficit, meaning that you are taking in few calories than you burn during the day. Protein is essential for keeping your body strong when you are running on fewer calories.

Protein shakes, protein powders, protein drinks and protein bars are all good sources of protein. But be careful to check the sugar content of protein weight loss supplements as these can be unexpected calorie bombs.

Vitamins, especially calcium and vitamin D

If you are eating less to create a calorie deficit, you will want to make sure your body is still getting all the vitamins and minerals it needs for energy production and healthy body function.

This is especially true of calcium and vitamin D. According to the Women’s Health Initiative, “Some research suggests that calcium and vitamin D may play a role in weight management. These nutrients may stimulate the breakdown of fat cells and suppress the development of new ones.”

These findings were based on evidence in a seven-year clinical trial of more than 36,000 women who took either a placebo or calcium and vitamin D supplements.

As the makers of Lovidia, we also encourage you to speak with your doctor about our product. Ask her to review our website so you can begin a conversation about how Lovidia works to control hunger and helps you lose weight without caffeine, stimulants or fat blockers.

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Are Weight Loss Supplements Safe? These are the Facts!

Are Weight Loss Supplements Safe? These Are The Facts

Your online search of “safe weight loss supplements” can return misleading reviews. This post will help you sort through the facts regarding weight loss supplement safety.

As the makers of the weight loss supplement Lovidia, we wish we could say that all weight loss pills and supplements are safe.

But rather than acting as a cheerleader for the weight loss supplement industry, we want to provide you with information you can use to make an educated decision about safety concerns regarding over-the-counter weight loss supplements and pills.

Several factors you should consider in your search for safe weight loss supplements are side effects associated with specific supplement ingredients as well as health risks and dangers due to interactions with medications.

Known Side Effects & Health Risks of Common Weight Loss Supplement Ingredients

The following summary of safety concerns associated with common over-the-counter weight loss supplement ingredients is compiled from published reviews of clinical trials.

Because this post focuses on supplement safety, we do not address questions of effectiveness here, except where an ingredient has been shown in clinical trials to be truly useless. We want you to be safe, as well as warn you about weight loss supplement ingredients that are a potentially dangerous waste of money.

For more information about specific ingredients, including benefits and evidence of effectiveness and products they are used in, please refer to our post, Understanding Weight Loss Supplements, Pills, Shakes & Vitamins.

Ingredient

Bitter Orange

Mode of Action

Contains the stimulant synephrine believed to suppress appetite

Known Side Effects and Health Risks

Chest pain, anxiety, headache, musculoskeletal pain, increased blood pressure and heart rate

Caffeine (including from herbs such as guarana, kola nut and yerba mate)

Stimulant that affects the central nervous system to suppress appetite

Jitters, anxiety, insomnia, nausea, diarrhea, depression, racing heart, high blood pressure, impaired adrenal function, potential for addiction

Capsaicin (cayenne pepper)

Some evidence suggests spicy foods have thermogenic properties to increase fat burning and energy (calorie) metabolism

Allergic reaction, skin rash; kidney and liver damage; Stomach irritation and heartburn, especially in people with irritable bowel syndrome or stomach or intestinal ulcers

Garcinia Cambogia

Seen in testing on rats to inhibit production of an enzyme related to fat synthesis; results not replicated in any human trials

Dizziness, dry mouth, headache, upset stomach, diarrhea, jaundice, elevated liver enzymes, liver damage, liver failure

Glucomannan/ Konjac Root

Provides fiber to create a feeling of fullness and suppress appetite

Abdominal discomfort, flatulence, diarrhea, constipation

Green Tea Extract

Contains the antioxidant ECGC that increases a hormone associated with fat burning and metabolism

Generally safe, but in high concentrations, may produce herbal hepatotoxicity leading to liver damage/liver failure

Gut Sensory Modulation

Uses food-grade nutrients to activate satiety sensors in the gut and control hunger and suppress appetite

No safety flags noted in clinical trials

Hoodia

Marketers claim it stimulates release of a chemical compound similar to glucose; no impact on weight loss seen in clinical trials

Increased heart rate and blood pressure, headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting

Ketones

Marketed as a fat burner/metabolism booster despite no credible clinical evidence

Chemically related to the stimulant synephrine; might cause jitters, increased blood pressure and rapid heartbeat

Orlistat

FDA-approved drug that blocks an enzyme that breaks down fats, leaving them undigested

Gastrointestinal issues: loose stools, oily spotting, gas w/ discharge, urgent bowel movements, poor bowel control; Possible nutritional deficiency due to interference with absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, K

Is this Supplement Safe? What the FDA Says

Weight loss supplements are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as food, not as drugs. This is an important distinction because it means the FDA essentially relies on the makers of weight loss supplements to be honest both about the ingredients they contain and that those ingredients are safe.

Similarly, since the FDA does not approve individual food labels, including the “active ingredients,” “supplement facts” and “other ingredients” on weight loss supplements. Rather, “FDA regulations require nutrition information to appear on most foods, including dietary supplements. Also, any claims on food products must be truthful and not misleading, and must comply with any regulatory requirements for the type of claim.”

Again, this puts the onus on weight loss supplement makers to be clear and truthful in their labeling. As you will see later, this is not always the case.

Does the FDA Require Safety Testing for Weight Loss Supplements?

No. The FDA doesn’t test or approve weight loss supplements, stating, “Unlike new drugs, dietary supplements are not reviewed and approved by FDA based on their safety and effectiveness. Unless an exception applies, dietary supplements that contain a new dietary ingredient (a dietary ingredient not marketed in the United States before Oct. 15, 1994) require a notification to FDA at least 75 days before marketing.”

The notification must include the information, such as evidence from clinical trials, that provides the manufacturer’s or distributor’s basis for concluding that a weight loss supplement will “reasonably be expected to be safe.”

Hidden Ingredients Complicate the Question of Supplement Safety

In a warning to consumers, the FDA says it has seen “an emerging trend where over-the-counter products, frequently represented as dietary supplements, contain hidden active ingredients that could be harmful.

This is very important when considering whether a weight loss supplement is safe because you cannot always trust the label to show all the ingredients a supplement contains.

In its warning, the FDA continues, “Consumers may unknowingly take products laced with varying quantities of approved prescription drug ingredients, controlled substances, and untested and unstudied pharmaceutically active ingredients. These deceptive products can harm you! Hidden ingredients are increasingly becoming a problem in products promoted for weight loss.

“Remember, FDA cannot test all products on the market that contain potentially harmful hidden ingredients. Enforcement actions and consumer advisories for tainted products only cover a small fraction of the tainted over-the-counter products on the market.”

In a separate warning on health risks and dangers associated with weight loss supplement ingredients, the FDA notes that “… many dietary supplements contain ingredients that have strong biological effects which may conflict with a medicine you are taking or a medical condition you may have. Products containing hidden drugs are also sometimes falsely marketed as dietary supplements, putting consumers at even greater risk.”

What Happens When a Product is Found to Be Dangerous?

When public health concerns arise about a weight loss supplement after the product is on the market, the FDA will research and evaluate the product’s safety and monitor adverse events.

In rare cases, the agency may even remove a product from the market if there is overwhelming evidence it is not safe.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, a number of weight loss supplement companies were using a Chinese herb called ma huang as an ingredient in their products.

Ma huang had been used for centuries in traditional Chinese holistic medicine. Also known as ephedra, it was a natural botanical with an exotic backstory, which made it an attractive herbal weight loss supplement ingredient from a marketing standpoint.

And it was an effective ingredient, at least in one regard. Ephedra contained an amphetamine-like stimulant called ephedrine that had properties that suppress appetite.

Consumers assumed that since ephedra was from an herb, it produced safe weight loss supplements.

Then, 23-year-old Baltimore Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler died while using ephedra, helping to prompt the FDA to undertake extensive research involving more than 16,000 reports of health risks associated with products containing ephedra.

Reviews of clinical trials revealed hundreds of safety risks associated with ephedra, including high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, seizure and sudden death. Other side effects of the herb included insomnia, nausea and vomiting.

Finally, in December of 2003, after more than 150 deaths were linked to ephedra-based products, the FDA determined ephedra was not safe for use in weight loss supplements and banned its sale. It was the first time the FDA had banned an herbal weight loss supplement ingredient for safety reasons.

Other Safety Concerns

As we’ve noted in other posts, many supplements sold online and in retail stores are made in China and other countries that have low standards for purity and safety. These products may contain harmful contaminants such as pesticide residues and heavy metals. To be safe, choose supplements that are sourced and made entirely within the U.S.

Also, while the FDA does not approve weight loss supplements to affirm their safety and effectiveness, it does offer one type of supplement ingredient regulatory classification: “generally recognized as safe,” commonly referred to as GRAS. An FDA-GRAS designation means an ingredient is generally recognized by qualified experts in the scientific community as safe to consume.

Summary: Better safe than sorry

Weight loss supplements are never an easy answer to weight loss. Losing weight and keeping it off require a commitment to eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise.

If you choose to take a weight loss supplement, you’ll want to take precautions to be safe.

  • Don’t exceed the recommended dosage
  • Check with your doctor or health provider to make sure the ingredients won’t interact or interfere with any medications you’re taking
  • Look for products that only contain FDA-GRAS ingredients
  • Research the product as well as the manufacturer to see where the product is made and if there are any safety complaints

We urge you to speak with your doctor to evaluate the potential benefits and risks of any weight loss supplement. Working together, you and your doctor can find a safe weight loss supplement for you.