Natural Weight Loss that Works
Topics Covered in This Exclusive Special Report:
- Background and Overview
- Phaseolamin (Phase 2®)
- Super CitriMax®
- Green Tea Extract (EGCG)
- Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
In January 2007, Jean Carper published the article, 5 Fat Fighters that Really Work, which discussed five clinically proven, all-natural “fat busting supplements” including EGCG, CLA, HCA, chromium and phaseolamin. This article generated an overwhelming response from our readers, who wanted to know how they work, what kind of research supported their effectiveness, how safe they were and how to incorporate them into a healthy diet.
Current statistics show that 64% of Americans have a weight problem: 34% are overweight and 30% are obese. Being overweight increases your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, some forms of cancer and arthritis. Additionally, being very overweight can have a major impact on your ability to live a long, healthy life. According to former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, obesity accounts for 300,000 premature deaths every year.
So losing weight is a critical health situation for many people. And if you’re over 50, the effects of aging: slower metabolism, loss of hormones, decreasing muscle mass, the effects of medications, and decreasing exercise–all conspire to make weight loss a very challenging task indeed.
Are prescription weight-loss drugs really safe?
If you’ve been looking for something to help you lose weight, no doubt you’ve come upon hundreds of possible choices. But what really works, and what is really safe? A new over-the-counter fat blocker, called Alli, which is half the dosage of the prescription drug Xenical, hit the marketplace recently. But how natural is it if Alli’s manufacturer warns of the possibility of a variety of bowel system changes, complications with prescription drugs and reduced absorption of key vitamins and minerals. Another potential weight-loss drug, Zimulti, was recently rejected by an FDA advisory panel because studies showed it can cause a heightened risk of depression and suicidal thoughts. Scares from previous prescription weight-loss drugs, like phen-fen or herbs like ephedra, make everyone cautious about trying something new.
A Natural, Effective Weight-Loss Approach
This Special Report details some of the best research on each of the five natural fat fighters that Jean Carper wrote about. Clinical research has shown that these supplements can make your weight-loss efforts work faster, better and be more long lasting. And unlike newly approved weight-loss drugs, these natural ingredients have been a part of the food chain for hundreds, even thousands of years and have been extensively tested for toxicity. We still, of course, recommend healthy eating habits and regular exercise. No dietary supplement can healthfully overcome inactivity, constant overeating or poor food choices.
They Really Work!
One of Jean’s research references for her article was the book, The Natural Fat-loss Pharmacy: Drug Free Remedies to Help You Safely Lose Weight, Shed Fat, Firm Up and Feel Great (Broadway Books, 2007) which was written by prominent Georgetown University researcher Harry Preuss, M.D. Much of the exciting research we present here is covered in Dr. Preuss’s book.
When we interviewed Dr. Preuss, he told us that you must be consistent and you must be patient – but you will see very positive results, and some may experience incredible results. Too often, he says, people become frustrated and give up too soon. Some supplements, like CLA, take months to show their effectiveness and the results may not be seen on the scale, because you’re gaining weight through increased muscle mass at the same time you’re losing body fat. But the bottom line is that clinical research proves that these all natural ingredients really work, and with limited, if any side effects!
Phaseolamin (Phase 2®)
An extract derived from white kidney beans, phaseolamin has been shown to neutralize the starch found in foods like potatoes, breads, pasta, rice, corn and crackers. If your love for carbohydrate rich foods has been an obstacle to losing weight, this nutrient can help. It also has been shown to help decrease insulin resistance and triglyceride levels.
How it works: Phaseolamin (sold under the brand name Phase 2) blocks the activity of alpha amylase, a digestive enzyme that breaks down starch in your intestines, making it available for energy as glucose or for fat storage. When starch is not broken down it simply passes through your system.
Research: In a 2004 UCLA study, a group of overweight adults who received phaseolamin lost twice as much weight and their triglycerides dropped three times more than those in the group that received a placebo.
In a 2005 Universita Cattolica di Roma study, 60 overweight adults on a high-carb diet were given phaseolamin or a placebo for 30 days. The carb-blocker group lost 10 times more weight. They also showed decreases in BMI, fat mass, fatty tissue thickness and waist/hip/thigh circumference compared to subjects receiving a placebo.
Safety: According to Dr. Preuss, there have been no harmful side effects in small clinical studies on people. In addition, no problems have been reported in the 10 years this product has been on the market.
Cost: If you were to purchase Phase 2 on its own, a one-month supply of a 1,500 mg daily dose could range from $20 to $30.
Eat less without feeling hungry.
Super CitriMax is a patented product composed of an active ingredient, hydroxycitrate (HCA), with potassium and calcium added to aid absorption. HCA is derived from the rind of the tamarind, a fruit native to India. It is similar to the citric acid found in oranges and lemons, but has some unique properties.
How it works: HCA helps to prevent extra sugar that is not needed for energy from being converted to fat and stored in fat tissues, as would normally happen. Instead, it is stored in muscles and in the liver as starch, where it is easily broken down and used for energy as needed.
HCA also seems to help people to eat less without feeling hungry, so they are better able to stick with a diet. It may be that excess carbohydrates stored in the liver and muscles send satiety signals to the brain, turning off appetite. Or it may be because HCA raises blood levels of serotonin, a brain chemical that’s often low in people with depression. So serotonin has a calming effect, and may help reduce emotional eating.
Research: In a 2004 Georgetown University Medical Center study, 30 healthy but overweight people participated in a sensible, moderate weight-loss program. They ate 2,000 calories a day and walked 30 minutes, five days a week. Half received HCA, as Super CitriMax, the other half received placebos. At the end of the eight-week study, the HCA group had lost an average of 12 pounds each, compared to 3 pounds for the placebo group. Their BMIs fell by an average 6.3%, compared to 1.7% for the placebo group. They had a 20% increase in HDL, the “good” cholesterol, and a 12% decrease in LDL, the “bad” cholesterol.
Safety: In clinical studies, no significant side effects have been noted. HCA has been on the market for 10 years without reports of significant ill effects and has been shown to lower blood sugar and blood pressure and raise serotonin levels.
Cost: A 4,500 mg daily dose of Super CitriMax can range from $18 to $22 for a one-month supply.
Green Tea Extract (EGCG)
Burn more calories.
Green tea extract is derived from green tea leaves and contains concentrated amounts of a compound called epigallocatechin gallate, a powerful antioxidant with anti-cancer effects. EGCG also increases metabolism. (Note: Not all green tea extracts are created equal. Look on the product label for the percentage of EGCG. Some can be as low as 20%. We recommend at least 50% EGCG. Stop Aging Now always uses a green tea extract that is 70% EGCG.)
How it works: EGCG is thought to block the action of an enzyme that breaks down noradrenaline, a hormone made by the adrenal gland. Noradrenaline acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. It stimulates the body’s sympathetic nervous system, which controls heart rate, muscle tension and the release of energy from fat. Increasing noradrenaline levels keeps your body slightly “revved” so you burn more calories.
On average, people can burn about 3-4% more calories a day when they take green tea extract. For a person consuming 2,500 calories daily, that would amount to 75- 100 calories a day, or 525-700 calories a week. That’s like making one meal vanish. Green tea also seems to act as a blood sugar regulator, helping to slow the rise in blood sugar after a meal.
Research: In a 2000 University of Geneva study, researchers found that men burned an average of 78 more calories per day and about 20% more fat if they took a combination of EGCG and caffeine. In a 2005 Westerterp Obesity Research study, a group of overweight men and women spent one month on a very low-calorie diet, losing an average of 13 pounds. They then spent the next three months on a weight maintenance diet where some received a green tea extract three times a day and others a placebo. The group that received the green tea extract continued to lose weight during the weight maintenance period, while the placebo group regained an average of 40% of the weight they had lost.
Safety: Green tea extract is not just remarkably safe, it has many additional benefits that improve overall health. Research suggests it can help reduce the risk for cancer, stroke, infection, allergies and diabetes.
Cost: A 450 mg daily dose of green tea extract with 70% EGCG can range from $22 to $28 for a one-month supply.
Speed up metabolism.
ChromeMate contains chromium, a nutrient that plays an essential role in proper insulin function, maintains healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels and promotes healthy body weight and normal energy production. Chromium is used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and hypoglycemia.
How it works: Chromium increases the action of insulin in the body, which in turn helps your body metabolize fat, turn protein into muscle and convert sugar into energy. Many Americans do not get enough chromium in their diets, and it is depleted by an excess consumption of refined sugar and white flour products. Additionally, the use of antacids can reduce chromium absorption.
Research: Dr. Preuss has published more than a dozen scientific papers on chromium and he believes it is one of the most beneficial supplements for blood sugar balance, muscle gain, fat loss and overall health. According to Dr. Preuss, chromium helps dieters avoid the yo-yo effect which occurs when people lose mostly muscle when they cut calories.
Supplemental chromium helps people lose fat while maintaining muscles mass. In one study, where both groups lost the same amount of weight, the chromium-supplemented group lost 84% fat and 16% muscle. The placebo group lost 92% muscle and 8% fat. Since muscle burns more calories than fat, retaining as much muscle as possible is very important to maintaining weight loss. If you lose muscle mass, your body burns fewer calories every day.
Safety: Dietary chromium has a good safety profile. None of the hundreds of studies on chromium have shown harmful affects.
Cost: A 200 mcg daily dose of ChromeMate can range from $7 to $10 for a one-month supply.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
Turn fat into lean muscle.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a fatty acid found primarily in the tissue of grazing animals and in some dairy products. The amount of CLA found in meat and dairy products was much higher half a century ago, when livestock was primarily grass fed. Today most livestock is fattened with corn and other types of feed. CLA has been shown to increase lean muscle mass while decreasing body fat without any change in diet or exercise. Tonalin is a specific and patented form of CLA that has been used successfully in several weight-loss studies.
How it works: CLA interferes with lipoprotein lipase, a substance which causes the body to store fat. In addition, CLA helps release existing stored fat which is then used for energy, and it helps increase lean muscle tissue – which then helps you burn more calories. Hundreds of studies have been done on CLA since its discovery revealing it to block the progression of certain cancers, like breast cancer and melanoma, enhance immune function, lower cholesterol and lower triglycerides. So, supplementing your diet with CLA appears to be a good thing on many levels.
Research: In a Scandinavian clinical research study, a group of overweight men and women were divided into three groups. Two groups received two different forms of CLA and one group received olive oil as a placebo. They were told not to change their diet or activity levels. One year later, those taking CLA had decreased their body fat by 9% and increased muscle mass by 2%. The placebo group showed little or no change in either fat or muscle. CLA’s potential as a weight-loss aid may be primarily in its effect on body composition. Those who took CLA over a period of two years did not gain their weight back, a common problem for dieters and probably due to lost muscle mass. Other studies have shown that CLA may help people deal with the irritations and uneasy feelings that occur when calories are restricted – sometimes called the “diet blues.”
Safety: Michael Pariza, Ph.D., of the Food Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin, is considered to be the leading expert on CLA in the United States. Dr. Pariza says CLA is safe. A small number of people report side effects when taking CLA, including occasional nausea, loose stools or stomach aches, but these often diminish with continued use.
Cost: A 3,000 mg daily dose of Tonalin CLA can range from $25-$30 for a one-month supply.
Fight Fat, Improve Your Health…Naturally
If you’ve read this far, then losing weight must be on your agenda. You recognize that healthy eating and exercise are the cornerstones of a healthy lifestyle. And you also know from experience that the older you get, the more difficult it can be to keep off excess pounds. Gaining weight and losing muscle mass seem to go hand in hand with aging, and most of us need all the help we can get to stay reasonably, healthfully trim.
Knowing that being overweight also puts you at risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis pain, diabetes and other health problems, and having failed to bring your weight under control by calorie-restriction and exercise, you can feel desperate for answers and help.
Prescription drugs don’t seem to hold out much hope and are often associated with negative side effects and health consequences.
But it’s not hopeless. There are safe and effective aids to weight-loss and weight-maintenance that help burn calories, protect and restore muscle mass, burn fat, curb appetite and control blood sugar. Rather than having negative health consequences, these natural fat fighters often bring multiple health benefits that go beyond weight loss with regular use. You’ve read the research. These natural supplements could be the key to your successful weight management by boosting calorie and fat burning, helping you stay on track with a healthy diet, maintaining and building muscle mass, regulating blood sugar for better appetite control, and much more. So what are you waiting for? It’s worth a try!