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Supplementing Your Fat-loss Program 

When it comes to knowing which supplements to take to increase metabolic efficiency and lose fat, there is a great deal of confusion in the marketplace. Some people fall victim to every new weight-loss fad or pill, sometimes spending hundreds of dollars a month on products or programs that might be useless or even harmful. Others may take the right supplements but don't know how much to take or when to take them.

I suggest that people on a calorie-restricted weight-loss plan, in conjunction with exercise, seek approval from their physician to add a good multivitamin/mineral supplement to their diets. A high-quality multivitamin/mineral supplement can help promote a stronger immune system, good metabolic function and overall good health. There are many multivitamins on market, some claiming to contain 100 percent of the daily requirement for all of the vitamins and minerals needed to support good health.

Insofar as promoting weight loss, research has shown that certain types of nutrients may increase metabolic function and assist fat mobilization. Most people correctly associate calcium with strong bones and indeed it is true; however calcium may also aid in weight reduction. Clinical studies cited in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry appear to verify this conclusion. Just be sure to take an adequate amount of Vitamin D with the calcium to help your body absorb it.

In addition to increasing the effectiveness of calcium, Harvard researchers have discovered a link between the amount of magnesium consumed and the risk of developing type-2 diabetes. These findings were published in the Journal of Diabetes Care. Chromium picolinate, which is usually found in a good multivitamin/mineral supplement, may help patients with type-2 diabetes control their disease, according to a series of presentations at the 18th International Diabetes Foundation Congress.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that Ògreen tea extract has thermogenic properties and promotes fat oxidation beyond that explained by its caffeine content.Ó In addition, there are other nutrients that may prove effective in assisting fat loss, but the jury is still out on a final determination. Several examples include alpha-lipoic acid, conjugated linoleic acid and omega-3 fatty acids. More study is needed before conclusions can be drawn. Before you jump to any conclusions on your own, please discuss your particular nutritional requirements with your physician.

One final word on supplementation: amounts each individual needs may vary by such factors as age, gender, medical history and lifestyle factors. It also may depend on how much you exercise and the nutritional balance of your diet. Before you begin a new weight-loss program or modify your exercise program, especially if you've been inactive, check with your doctor.


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