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Natural Weight Loss with Supplementation
A healthy weight is not something that will be obtained through supplementation alone. Achieving your ideal weight really only happens through whole-life transformation. If you are unhappy with your current weight, be it too low or too high, then a total lifestyle overhaul may be the change you are seeking. It is important to understand, though easier said than done, that the number on the scale is not the bottom line. Fulfillment is the measure of health. I've seen many overweight people with a glow and a zest for life, and a natural beauty that just shined regardless of their weight.
With that said, for those of us whose weight is an apparent roadblock to our fulfillment, there is hope. I say apparent because we have been conditioned to believe that if we have something, such as a size whatever waist, then we will be fulfilled. It's this type of conditioning that is the true roadblock to health, and which feeds into the self-destructive cycle of emotional eating, lack of exercise, and guilt. The good thing is that we can use our dissatisfaction with our current state as an impetus for growth.
If we look in the mirror and don't like what we see, we can use that feeling to fuel our desire for change. Taking the first action step can be putting on our running sneakers to exercise, calling a friend instead of emotionally eating, or purchasing a supplement as an addition to a healthy, well-balanced diet. As we make healthier choices and take steps towards health, it becomes easier to continue to do so. When we eat well for example, we feel better, have more energy, and have an easier time getting ourselves to the gym. Positive choices feed healthy habits just like unhealthy choices feed self-destructive habits. Over time we can alter our conditioning to be more beneficial for us, and we begin to feel and see the difference.
One tool that can aid in weight loss is supplementation. It can be useful in conjunction with other healthy lifestyle practices. One way that supplements can help is by reducing misplaced cravings. Cravings can be a sign of nutrient deficiency. Oftentimes people crave sugary or salty foods when what their bodies really need are nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Some other needs that people try to assuage or fill with food are the needs for human interaction and affection, healthy movement, intellectual stimulation, or spiritual inspiration. Food will never meet these needs. However, taking steps towards health, by using supplements for example, can put us in a better position to meet those other needs. A basic multivitamin, or a superfood such as a greens powder, can help meet our nutritional needs and support us in taking positive steps in other areas of our lives, such as exercising or cultivating healthy relationships.
Metabolism & Other
Another supplementation technique to aid in weight loss is to use protein powder shakes between meals. Personally, I wouldn't use meal-replacement shakes in place of eating real food. When we restrict our eating, our bodies receive signals to slow our metabolism and start storing up fat reserves. Some experts say that eating smaller, more frequent meals is actually easier on the digestive system and healthier overall. Eating a healthy snack or using protein shakes between meals can help fuel our digestive fires and keep our metabolism running smoothly. Of course, when we exercise regularly we have more leeway around how many calories we intake, and how healthy our food choices need to be. In other words, when we exercise, we have more room for error in our diet.
If a slow metabolism is an issue for you, then a green tea supplement, or another metabolism-boosting supplement, might help give you that added oomph required to move towards a healthier weight. Green tea has other added health benefits as well, due to its antioxidant properties. There are a number of other supplements that can also aid with weight loss. One is hoodia, which is an African plant that helps curb appetite. It is important to drink enough water when using this supplement. Many people often mistake thirst for hunger anyway, but since using hoodia can suppress thirst as well as hunger, it's important to stay hydrated. Another useful supplement is chromium. If a sweet tooth is your downfall, chromium can help maintain blood sugar levels by aiding the action of insulin in the body. Remember to consult with a health care practitioner before taking supplements if your blood sugar is a concern for you. Lastly, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is another weight loss supplement that has been shown to help reduce fat buildup. Double-blind, randomized studies have shown CLA to reduce fat and preserve muscle tissue. Study results have shown that recent dieters who took CLA gained less fat and more muscle than the placebo group.
Making the Choice
If you decide to use supplements as part of a healthy weight lifestyle change, it is useful to have consistency in your approach. The health benefits of supplements may not be immediately evident. Once you develop a program with the help of your health care practitioner, consistency is key. Finding a plan that works and sticking with it with determination, persistence, and commitment will produce lasting results. I'm not talking about dieting, because diets don't work. I'm talking about whole life transformation. Just doing a few things every day to recommit to health will keep it fresh and present in your life.
Remember, lasting change happens through consistent effort over time. There is no magic pill and no miracle supplement that will give you the weight you desire. Ultimately, it is up to us to do the work, even with the use of tools such as supplementation. Really getting clear on our personal motivation to achieve our ideal weight and be healthy helps keep us on the path. Do you want to look good in those jeans, or do you want more energy to spend doing what you love, with your children, or to serve the greater good? Even though you may want to be smaller, think bigger in terms of your potential. We only live this life once, so why not choose the path of health and happiness in this very moment?
Written by Joshua
Article featured in January 2010 issue of Natural Nutmeg.
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