by Louise Owens
The holy grail of weight loss strategies for the conscientious individual is to lose those few extra pounds permanently without compromising your health. Forget the fad diets that only equate to short-term gain, long-term waist gain! The key to sustainable weight loss coupled with a healthy lifestyle is to clarify your long-term goals and build a sustainable exercise and eating program. Remembering that we all have different dietary needs, nutritional supplements can greatly complement your new lifestyle regime by compensating for any dietary conditions you may have or deficiencies in your diet.
Incorporating nutritional supplements into a lasting lifestyle plan can greatly complement your progress to achieving the new you, but be careful of which supplements you choose. It is always prudent to consult with your doctor or nutritionist before embarking on a new eating program, especially when your goal is to make the new program an integral part of your lifestyle.
Benefits of Nutritional Supplements
Nutritional deficiency is unfortunately too rampant in today’s culture. With busy lifestyles, the temptation and convenience of fast food, and the availability of pre-packed meals, it is often very difficult to find the time to prepare a well-balanced meal.
Furthermore, it is sometimes difficult to determine whether our diets are properly balanced. The vegetables we eat may have been grown in soil that is deficient in minerals, or their vitamin content may have been reduced by long storage. Overcooking, skipping meals, or relying on inadequate snacks, are all factors that contribute to reducing our intake of vital nutrients.
Nutritional supplements can help you overcome nutritional deficiencies by boosting vital dietary needs, and can also help boost our immune system. The stronger your immune system, the more resistant your body can be against disease. Supplements are also useful in getting rid of the toxins, which we unwittingly take in everyday. Environmental stresses and chemicals we touch subject us to harmful toxins, which can lead to serious health problems. Supplements, most especially anti-oxidants, can minimise the toxicity levels in our bodies.
Nutritional Supplements Compensate for Individual Dietary Needs
Nutritional Supplements can also help compensate for individual dietary deficiencies. Sex, age, weight, nutritional history, amount of physical activity, likes/dislikes and lifestyle all determine what nutrition we need in our diet. For example, special nutritional needs may exist due to deficiencies (e.g. anemia from lack of Iron), digestive conditions (e.g. Irritable Bowel Syndrome) or allergies/food intolerances (e.g. Celiac disease). Therefore some individuals require more or less of certain foods, putting them at an increased risk of malnutrition.
When looking to change eating habits, many people look to popular diets or eating programs in books or magazines, or aim to follow the food pyramid. The food pyramid is a diagram that most people could probably visualise, but they may struggle to articulate just how much of each food group they have to take daily to meet their dietary requirements. When planning your diet remember that the ‘one-size-fits-all approach’ may not be appropriate to meet your needs. It is not wise to self-diagnose; consult your doctor to determine which supplements are best for you.
Nutritional Supplements can aid Weight Loss
Although your long-term goal is a healthy sustainable lifestyle, losing weight is an important part of this process as obesity carries many health risks. Mild obesity is a body mass index (BMI) of 30+, morbid obesity has a BMI 40+, and malignant obesity has a BMI 50+. Risks include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, breathing problems, arthritis and deep vein thrombosis.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a natural substance found in meat and dairy products, has a documented ability to reduce body fat. It is a biologically active compound that blocks the uptake of fat in fat cells, while redirecting the fat to the muscle cells where it gets converted into energy.
A Norwegian study of 118 overweight people demonstrated how effectively it works: When they were given daily CLA supplements for a period of 12 months, they lost close to 9 per cent of their body fat – independent of physical exercise. However, the optimal effect is obtained through combining the active substance with a regular workout. Regular physical activity supports the effect of CLA because the muscle cells are stimulated to burn more fat.
Scientific studies with CLA show that when you take a supplement with this essential fatty acid you optimise the body’s fat and muscle balance by:
- Increasing the release of fat from the fat reserves
- Preserving/Increasing muscle mass
- Increasing the body’s fat metabolism
- Blocking the fat uptake in fat cells
Green tea extract (GTE) is a natural and highly effective plant extract, which increases energy expenditure and promotes fat oxidation. This way it promotes the body’s capacity to balance weight and body composition. The GTE compound has been shown to increase fat oxidation (another term for fat burning) by up to 17%.
Pharma Nord have combined CLA and GTE to create the CLA Booster, which has become one of the fastest-growing brands in Europe. The CLA Booster has won several prizes in countries like Holland and Poland where both consumers and retailers view it as an all-time favorite.
REMEMBER, Choosing the right holistic strategy to lose weight is essential to your overall wellbeing and future health. Many have tried fad diets to achieve weight loss; these may work in the short term, but inevitably weight will be gained when normal habits resume.
A realistic and worthwhile long-term goal is to instill a healthy well-balanced lifestyle – by including a healthy diet and consistent exercise regime that is pragmatically designed to accommodate your commitments and responsibilities. Nutritional supplements can be incorporated into your diet to supplement, not substitute, your eating habits and help you achieve your goals.