Weight Loss Regimen
Summary: Follow the Zone Diet. Ensure optimal function of the organs of digestion and elimination. A surprisingly easy to remember and effective regimen for weight loss is to avoid all foods that contain wheat and processed corn and use sugar only as an occassional condiment.
You've heard it a thousand times, and here's the thousand and first, eat less and exercise more. When one is following a diet with adequate protein and good oils and limiting carbs, like the Zone Diet, more total calories can be eaten and weight still be lost due to increased metabolism. See the Diet Section for information on this and other diets, such as Atkins.
Blood type O's who think they are eating healthy by following a vegan diet are some of the most anemic and fatigued people you will find in the alternative health community. If one has been eating vegetarian and decides to start eating meat, they should start off slowly with small amounts, building up as their vegetarian-impaired digestion allows and use digestive enzymes if needed. On the other hand, blood type A's who follow a vegetarian diet and get adequate protein and good oils are some of the healthiest people you will meet .
Note that following the Zone Diet should still be tempered by Eat Right 4 Your Type. In general, blood type O's should not follow a vegetarian diet. They do best when eating red meat occassionally - a few ounces twice per week is sufficient, and otherwise getting sufficient protein from animal and other sources. On the other hand, blood type A's do not need as much meat and do well tending toward a vegetarian diet, but sufficient protein should still be consumed.
Good oils, but not to excess, are required to lose weight as well. The body must learn to burn fat as an energy source. It is important to avoid damaged oils such as hydrogenated ones found in many processed foods and margarine, and trans fats found in fried foods, but sufficient oils with adequate essential fatty acids are, well, essential. See the Fats and Oils section for more information.
Some dietary supplements such as chitin also known as "chitosan" supposedly work by binding fat and transporting it out of the body before it can be digested. This is a not a good idea. Again, the body requires fats and oils. However, these types of products might not be a bad supplement to use before eating fried foods or hydrogenated oils.
One of the latest in the long line of over-hyped miracle fat loss supplements is hoodia gordonii, a form of African cactus. It does appear helpful as an appetite supressant and for increasing energy levels. Combining it with unsweetened cocoa may make it more effective, and this certainly does add some good antioxidants like theobromine. Some combination supplements are hoodia complexes that contain extracts of these along with green tea extract and chromium, and are likely some of the best overall products of this type for the money.
What may also be helpful are metabolic stimulators, also known as thermogenic supplements. Two of the most effective are ma huang extract (ephedrine and pseudoephedrine) and caffeine. There are side effects of these, especially used long term, and neither of these are recommended for weight loss or used long term. There are safe herbal metabolic stimulators such as extracts of bitter orange, garcinia cambogia (the richest source of hydroxycitric acid), and green tea. A good example of a safe ephedra-free thermogenic supplement that contains these ingredients is Now Diet Support.
Using diet supplements like these usually do help in the short term, but people lose interest in using the supplements or just forget to buy them, and most of these supplements should probably not be used long term anyway. The key is adjusting one's lifestyle to eat healthy. Learning to limit the consumption of starches and sugar and consuming adequate protein and good oils will provide all the increased energy and weight management that is needed in the long term. Plus, it is more economical than buying supplements, too.
If one is going to use a limited number of supplements, it is really best to get the body functioning well and able to better digest protein, fats, and oils. Starchy carbs are notoriously easy to digest. The process starts in the mouth with the saliva breaking down the starches into sugar and by the time they hit the intestines they are completely digested. This is why they raise blood sugar levels more than any other food. Proteins and oils require additional enzymes and acids produced by the pancreas and liver. If the body is not able to completely digest proteins and oils, it does not get the benefit of not only the important nutrients they contain, but the blood sugar lowering effects as well.
There are some anecdotes of people using enzymes like bromelain or pancreatin and losing weight. This is understandable since they are better able to digest protein and oils. But it is better to clean the liver so it will produce the enzymes and acids on its own by using a liver cleanse regimen. However, using the Zone Diet will, in a short time, greatly improve liver and pancreas function, so it may not be necessary to use this regimen. If there are signs of a compromised liver, such as liver, shoulder, or upper back pain, or difficulty digesting proteins and good oils (even healthy livers have a hard time digesting damaged oils), it is best to go ahead and quickly clean the liver.
Calcium is sometimes reported to help with weight loss, but far more important in this regard is magnesium. Besides the fact that magnesium is necessary to produce most of the enzymes and hormones in the body, as well as being crucial for the proper operation of nerves and muscles, it helps clean the liver, colon, kidneys, and other organs. For general maintenance and especially for weight loss, it is highly recommended to use a calcium magnesium supplement. For addional elimination stimulation, use a 1:1 ratio calcium magnesium product like Solaray Cal-Mag Citrate or Now Full Spectrum Mineral Caps. The Cal-Mag Citrate may be the best form for weight loss since the citric acid that is used to compound the calcium and magnesium may provide some weight loss benefits of its own, simliar to hydroxycitric acid or HCA (see garcinia cambogia comment above). See the Multimineral Section for more information on mineral supplements.
Also helpful for general health and optimal organ function is to use a good multivitamin. These provide B vitamins helpful for weight loss (they provide a bit of energy and stimulate the liver). If not enough essential fatty acids are consumed, consider using an EFA supplement. One problem using B vitamins for weight loss is that they seem to stimulate the appetite, perhaps by stimulating the digestive process so food does not hang around as long in the stomach, so they are best taken with or just before meals to minimize this effect.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism include depression, low energy, fatigue, infections, chronic headaches, circulatory problems, chronic skin disorders, poor memory and concentration, eczema, psoriasis, excessive weight, irregular menstrual periods, neuroticism, irritability, and hair loss.
In some cases, low thyroid output can lead to weight gain or difficulty in losing weight. A method to get an estimate of thyroid output is taking the basal temperature. This is one's body temperature first thing in the morning, taken while still in bed. If should be between 97.8 and 98.2. If it is lower than this, it may indicate a hypothyroid (low thyroid) condition. This test is done for 7 days straight to ensure that this is actual basal temperature and not being affected by a woman's cycle or a low grade infection (which can raise the temperature slightly). If this is the case, it may be helpful to use a thyroid stimulating supplement like kelp, which is rich in iodine, a nutrient that stimulates thyroid activity. It is also beneficial to ensure that the consumption of other nutrients which are necessary for hormone production, in particular magnesium, is sufficient.
If these nutrients do not bring up the basal temperature, then using actual thyroid hormone in the form of thyroid glandular supplements, or a natural thyroid prescription product like Armour Natural or Cytomel can be used. One of the best single non-prescription supplements to use to stimulate thyroid output, as well as provide some thyroid hormone directly, is Enzymatic Therapy Thyroid and L-Tyrosine Complex. It contains sufficient iodine plus thyroid glandular extract along with a few minerals, vitamin B12, and tyrosine, an amino acid that stimulates production. After using this supplement to jump start thyroid activity, once it is normalized it may be best to then try an inexpensive kelp supplement long term (1 capsule per day) to see if this is sufficient to retain the progress. It is best to stimulate the body to produce hormones on its own since using hormones directly for long term may cause the body to lose the ability to produce them on its own, so they must therefore by used thereafter.
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