~ The Hows and Whys of Weight Loss
As people age, they often accumulate excess body fat. Weight gain not only creates cosmetic problems, but it also contributes to disorders such as Type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cartilage breakdown, sexual dysfunction, and even cancer.
Carrying extra pounds has a profound impact on our health and well-being. Perhaps the most devastating emotional impact of being overweight comes from the frustration of continued dieting without success or ending up heavier than ever after following a diet.
Typical approaches to conventional weight loss have a high failure rate. However, the scientific literature provides data indicating that sustained weight management is attainable.
The Role of Fiber in Weight Loss
Today, a growing body of research is examining one of fiber's least-publicized benefits: its ability to help reduce caloric intake and thus maintain a healthy weight.
Modern science confirms that fiber can help maintain normal body weight by reducing food intake at each meal. The body processes a fiber-rich meal more slowly, which promotes feelings of fullness or satiety sooner. Fiber-rich food is also typically lower in calories, fat, and added sugars, and is thus less "energy dense" than other dietary choices. Fiber may assist in weight-management programs by promoting a feeling of fullness, decreasing hunger, and promoting adherence to a reduced-calorie diet.
Research also indicates that energy density and macronutrient composition may be more important than caloric intake in diets that contribute to obesity. Usually, foods that are rich in dietary fiber are relatively low in fat and contain components that are primarily indigestible. A diet that provides energy from proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fibers can help lower fat intake and assist in maintaining or improving body weight.
The Importance of Maintaining Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
A poor diet can induce the pancreas to secrete large amounts of insulin. Aging people also experience metabolic disorders that cause the hypersecretion of insulin. Eventually the cells in the body become resistant to insulin (by decreasing the number of insulin receptors).
As cells become insulin resistant, the body stabilizes blood glucose by producing higher levels of insulin. The effect of high insulin production is weight gain. The long-term result is often Type II diabetes in which blood glucose levels become unstable even though insulin levels remain dangerously high.
As people accumulate excess body fat, they develop a chronic condition known as hyperinsulinemia, meaning the pancreas constantly secretes too much insulin and the body is unable to effectively utilize it.
One of the ways that excess insulin results in weight gain is that it causes people to be chronically hungry. A reason for this is that high insulin levels rapidly deplete glucose from the blood. This causes a state known as "reactive hypoglycemia," in which the blood becomes deficient in glucose because too much insulin is in the blood.
Low blood sugar-induced by hyperinsulinemia-produces a ravenous craving for glucose-producing foods. This hyperinsulin state promotes excess food intake and leads to a cycle where even greater amounts of insulin are produced to balance the increased calorie intake. The continuous consumption of glucose-producing foods leads to even more insulin secretion and contributes to the pathological accumulation of body fat.
Thyroid Deficiency and Weight Gain
We tend to put on weight as we grow older, in part because aging impairs our ability to metabolize carbohydrates. Because most food is eventually broken down into glucose (blood sugar), a decline in our ability to metabolize glucose is a significant cause of degenerative disease and the excessive weight gain associated with aging. One cause of impaired carbohydrate metabolism is subclinical thyroid deficiency.
Blood tests are not always reliable to diagnose subclinical thyroid deficiency. A study found that 14% of elderly people who were initially diagnosed as having normal thyroid levels were later found to have significant thyroid deficiency after undergoing extensive testing. Some physicians believe that most people over 40 have a subclinical thyroid deficiency that contributes to their weight gain (Bemben et al. 1994; Samuels 1998).
The thyroid gland secretes hormones involved in cellular energy expenditure. When an individual diets, the enzyme 5-monodiiodinase that is necessary to convert the thyroid hormone T4 into metabolically active T3 is reduced. T3 deficiency results in a slowing down of the body's metabolic rate and less food is metabolized to energy. This decrease in metabolic rate occurs because your body thinks you are starving and tries to conserve energy until more food is found.
Clinical studies have shown that dieting produces a decline in the conversion of T4 to T3, resulting in a severe reduction in resting energy expenditure. This reduced metabolic rate prevents cells from burning calories to produce energy. If the cells do not take up glucose to produce energy, sugar is stored as fat within the body. The only way dieting can produce significant long-term weight loss is for the cells to take up glucose for conversion into energy rather than into body fat.
This is why thyroid hormone supplementation is so important to many people seeking weight loss through dieting. Not only does thyroid hormone replacement maintain healthy thermogenic activity, but it helps fight fatigue, depression, and other common disorders associated with calorie restriction. Individuals who have thyroid hormone deficiency should be prescribed a drug such as Cytomel or Armour (only under supervision of a physician).
Hormone Imbalances That Affect Weight
We know that hormone imbalances (such as too much insulin, too little T3, etc.) are a cause of age-associated weight gain. The adrenal hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) has kept old animals remarkably thin, but has not worked as well in humans. Nevertheless, many older individuals taking DHEA report anabolic muscle gain and fat loss. DHEA has been shown to boost insulin growth factor (IGF-1) in humans, and the increase in this youth factor may be responsible for the fat reduction and anabolic effects seen in some elderly people.
In individuals with low thyroid hormone output (hypothyroid), DHEA levels are low (Tagawa et al. 2000, 2001). For some, DHEA replacement could help protect against the decline in thyroid hormone output that occurs in response to reduced calorie intake.
For people over 35 year of age, the benefits of restoring DHEA levels to a youthful state include immune enhancement, protection against neurological disease, reductions in risks of cardiovascular disease, alleviation of depression, and protection against osteoporosis.
DHEA-replacement therapy is also suggested as part of an overall weight-management program for people over 35 years of age. The average daily dose of DHEA for men is 50 mg of DHEA, whereas women need only 15-50 mg. It is advisable to take DHEA early in the day.
Refer to the DHEA Replacement Therapy protocol before taking DHEA. DHEA is contraindicated in men and women with hormone-related cancers.
Testosterone Deficiency and Abdominal Obesity in Men
A consistent finding in the scientific literature is that obese men have low testosterone and very high estrogen levels. Central or visceral obesity (pot belly) is recognized as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes. Boosting testosterone levels decreases the abdominal fat mass, reverses glucose intolerance, and reduces lipoprotein abnormalities in the serum. Further analysis has also disclosed a regulatory role for testosterone in counteracting visceral fat accumulation.
Refer to the Male Hormone Modulation Therapy protocol. Men contemplating testosterone replacement therapy should have a PSA blood test and digital rectal exam to rule out existing prostate cancer.
A Scientific Approach for Inducing Fat Loss
People seeking to lose weight should have their blood tested to determine obesity-related factors such as insulin, glucose, thyroid, testosterone, and estrogen. These tests are covered in the Obesity and Weight Loss Protocol.
Fat Loss Supplements
Conjugated Linoleic Acid - Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a fatty acid component of beef and milk that has been shown to reduce body fat in both animals and humans. CLA is essential for the transport of dietary fat into cells, where it is used to build muscle and produce energy. Fat that is not used for anabolic energy production is converted into newly stored fat cells.
Tonalin® CLA - 72% to 82% Conjugated Linoleic Acid
Super CLA Blend with Sesame Lignans
Guarana - Guarana is an herb that contains a form of caffeine called guaranine which is 2.5 times stronger than the caffeine found in coffee, tea, and soft drinks. What makes guaranine unique from the caffeine found in beverages is its slower release. That is because the guarana seed is fatty (even in powder form) and is not readily water-soluble. Therefore, the body does not quickly absorb it. Since guaranine is released slowly, over a period as long as 6 hours, the energy boost that is experienced from guarana is not like that of coffee (a sudden rush and quick drop-off). Rather, the energy boost continues to escalate over hours. Guarana aids in a temporary, natural increase in body temperature and metabolic thermogenesis through nutritional stimulation of the body's beta-receptor pathway, which can induce the breakdown and release of stored body fat and thereby allow stored fats to be turned into energy.
Super CLA Blend Plus Guarana with Sesame Lignans
Essential Fatty Acids - Not long ago, low-fat diet gurus were trying to terrorize people into further reducing all fat consumption. Now that we have witnessed the epidemic of obesity that followed, we know better. Healthy fats help keep us slender! They also help protect against atherosclerosis, cancer, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and various other degenerative disorders. Through their impact on important metabolic enzymes, healthy fats increase the synthesis of beneficial prostaglandins E1 and E3 while decreasing the levels of inflammatory prostaglandin E2; they also modify cell membrane composition and fluidity. Hence, improved blood flow and tissue oxygenation, higher metabolic rate, improved insulin sensitivity, immune enhancement, more muscle and bone formation, better brain function, and faster nerve impulse conductance result, to mention just a few of the major benefits.
Super EPA/DHA - Contains the "healthy trio" of concentrated nutrients from fish oil, sesame seed oil and extra virgin olive oil. Super EPA/DHA with Sesame Lignans & Olive Fruit Extract is from a new source of pharmaceutical-grade fish oil with a unique 35%/25% ratio of EPA/DHA. The premium fish oil in Super EPA/DHA with Sesame Lignans & Olive Fruit Extract has been tested for pollutants including dioxins, furans, PCBs and heavy metals. The oil is sourced from the purest wild sardine, anchovy, and mackerel fished in cold, pristine, deep waters off South America, where there are significantly less environmental impurities.
Chromium - Chromium has received widespread publicity for its ability to lower serum glucose levels by potentiating insulin sensitivity. Studies have shown that chromium supplementation results in a slight reduction in body fat and an increase in lean body mass. Niacin has been shown to improve the metabolic-enhancing effect of chromium.
Chromium Complex - The main function of chromium is to break down age-associated insulin resistance. Contains both chromium picolinate and chromium polynicotinate. Both have proven effects in improving sugar metabolism. Flush-free Niacin aids the activity of chromium to initiate youthful carbohydrate metabolism. This complex contains the two most effective forms of chromium with inositol to facilitate optimal biological activity.
Chromium Ultra - In response to evidence that many people need higher does of chromium, a new formula has been developed that provides 500mcg of chromium along with 60mg of flush-free niacin in one capsule. To provide full-spectrum benefits, the antioxidants and gene-protecting nutrients that have been specifically shown to protect against very high chromium intake are included. These nutrients include curcumin, resveratrol, and green tea extract. To protect against niacin-induced methylation defects, small amounts of folic acid and vitamin B12 are also included.
Fiber - Soluble fiber includes pectin, gum, and mucilage. Soluble fiber tends to form a gel when added to water. Soluble fiber is found in oat bran, barley, vegetables (carrots), and fruits (apples and oranges). Insoluble fiber is made from cellulose that is used primarily as structural material in plants. The best time to take fiber is with the highest-fat meal of the day. The objective is to have the fiber absorb some of the dietary fat to prevent it from absorbing into the bloodstream where it helps contribute to body fat accumulation. Do not take fiber at the same time you take beneficial fatty acids such as CLA, EPA/DHA, and GLA. The fiber can absorb these critically important fatty acids before they can reach your cells.
All-In-One Weight-Loss Capsule - Contains a complex of fibers including chitosan, guar gum for a full belly, and apple pectin. Natural Weight Loss Formula contains: chromium and gymnema to reduce glucose levels and cravings, Citrimax to metabolize fats as well as folic acid. Ginkgo and fat-soluble prevent oxidation caused by the process of losing weight. HCA inhibits the enzyme that causes excess sugar in your blood, chromium to enhance insulin so glucose is used for energy and not converted into body fat, and gymnema sylvestri to reduce sugar and carbohydrate cravings. Can reduce cholesterol levels and elevate good HDL levels. Contains anti-oxidants to protect against free radicals.
WellBetX PGX Fiber Blend - The patent-pending PGX™ formula is the result of hundreds of tests designed to create a highly viscous fiber that "soaks up" some carbohydrates in the gastrointestinal tract before they are assimilated into the bloodstream. In addition to absorbing dietary sugars, this fiber blend binds cholesterol in the small intestine, thus preventing its reabsorption into the bloodstream. PGX™ capsules also contain a special extract of mulberry leaves. Mulberry extract diminishes after-meal rises in both glucose and insulin levels.
SlimStyles PGX Appetite Control Fiber Blend - A near 0 calorie fiber blend with PGX™, used before and between meals for a feeling of fullness and to prevent food cravings. PGX™ is a completely unique blend of highly purified soluble fibers processed using advanced proprietary technology. Compared to other soluble fibers, significantly less PGX™ is required to obtain the same important health benefits including glucose balance, appetite control and reduced food cravings.
DHEA - Shown to boost insulin growth factor (IGF-1) in humans, and the increase in this youth factor may be responsible for the fat reduction and anabolic effects seen in some elderly people.
7-Keto DHEA - 7-Keto DHEA, a natural metabolite of DHEA, has been shown to safely increase thermogenesis and improving fat loss benefits of diet and exercise three-fold. Antioxidants are added based on the effect 7-Keto has in boosting mitochondrial oxidation.
DHEA Complete - With 7-Keto DHEA and Antioxidants
Stevia - Stevia is a South American herb (Stevia rebaudiana) that is known locally as "sweet herb" or "honey leaf." Stevioside extracted from this plant is 100-300 times sweeter than table sugar, yet it is not a carbohydrate. Stevia extract and powder can be used as a sweetener both in beverages and in cooking.
Thyroid and L-Tyrosine Complex - Combines high-quality thyroid tissue, the amino acid tyrosine, and synergistic trace minerals that must be present for endocrine gland functions, especially the thyroid. The thyroid gland needs iodine and L-tyrosine to produce hormones that control the body's metabolism.
Hoodia - Hoodia gordonii is a succulent plant found in the Kalahari Desert of South Africa. The San Tribesmen of the Kalahari have been using hoodia as a food source for thousands of years.
Tru Hoodia Diet
Many other supplements and products, such as sugar substitutes, helpful for Weight Loss and Blood Sugar Control may be explored in the following sections:
Blood Sugar / Diabetes
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