By Michael A. Smith, MD
Starting your diet is only half the battle. Sticking with it is the other, more difficult half. Diets ultimately fail because they are too restrictive and, if we’re going to be perfectly honest, people get hungry! And it’s not necessarily a lack of will or loss of self-control that leads to cheating, it can also be physiological.
Here’s how it works: Your body doesn’t like it when you eat less. A drop in calories will eventually force your body to initiate counter-measures to make up for the loss of energy. One big counter-measure is increasing your appetite, especially for quick energy snacks — which, of course, are loaded with sugar.
So how can you avoid the inevitable increase in appetite that so often comes along with dieting? One way to do this is to make your diet less restrictive and incorporate nutrients that can help with appetite, sugar absorption, and supporting your metabolism. This way you’re using the diet more as a guideline to losing weight.
Which Nutrients Can Help with Weight Loss?
We like the following nutrients because they have solid track records based on research and testimonials. They can help you by allowing for more flexibility when you’re on a diet. For instance, let’s say your diet restricts the number of carbs you can eat to only 20% of your total calorie intake. That’s pretty tough for most of us. But by incorporating sugar blocking nutrients, you can actually eat a few more carbohydrates without entirely ruining the diet. This way you’ll potentially stick with the diet longer and have a greater chance of reaching your weight loss goals.
The nutrients in the table below belong to one of three broad categories, with overlap for some:
- Appetite Suppression
- Sugar & Fat Blockers
- Metabolic Boosters
|Weight Loss Nutrient||Category||Mechanism of Action||Suggested Dosing|
|Irvingia gabonensis (African Mango)||Appetite
|Decreases appetite by breaking leptin resistance (leptin is a hormone that signals the brain to stop eating). The average weight loss was around 20 pounds in 10 weeks.1||150 mg twice a day.|
|White Kidney Bean||Sugar Blocker||Inhibits amylase, the digestive enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates to be absorbed into the bloodstream as glucose. Resulted in a loss of 6.5 pounds on average in just 30 days [2,3,4]||445 mg twice a day. Take 15 minutes before the heaviest meals of the day.|
|Brown Seaweed Kelp and Bladderwrack||Sugar Blocker||Together they block two digestive enzymes: amylase, which helps break down starches into glucose molecules, and glucosidase, which breaks down simple carbohydrates into glucose.||250 mg/day.|
|Green Coffee Bean Extract||Sugar Blocker||A rich source of chlorogenic acid which inhibits the digestive enzyme glucosidase and the sugar producing enzyme glucose-6-phosphase. The result is lower after-meal blood sugar levels ||200 to 400 mg/day.|
|L-Arabinose||Sugar Blocker||Inhibits the digestive enzyme sucrose, which breaks down sucrose to fructose and glucose in the digestive tract for absorption into the bloodstream. The result is improved blood sugar and insulin levels .||550 mg twice a day. Take 15 minutes before the heaviest meals of the day.|
|Propolmannan||Fat Blocker||A soluble fiber that binds to bile acids in the small intestine and helps transport them out of the body.8Overall, this will help decrease the number of fat calories from entering into your bloodstream.
In placebo-controlled studies, participants lost on average 8 pounds in just 8 weeks [8, 9].
|2 grams twice a day. Take 15 minutes before the heaviest meals of the day.|
|Conjugated Linoleic Acid||Metabolic Booster||A study that showed a dose of 3.4 g CLA per day for 12 weeks seems to be sufficient to reduce body fat mass (BFM) significantly in overweight and obese humans .||3 to 4 grams per day|
|Fucoxanthin||Metabolic Booster||Unlike many “fat burners” that stimulate the central nervous system, Fucoxanthin works directly in fat cells [11, 12].||200 to 400 mg a day. Take 15 minutes before the heaviest meals of the day.|
|Green Tea Extract||Metabolic Booster||Its principal antioxidant is epigallocatechin-3-gallate or EGCG. It promotes a healthy resting metabolic rate .||150 to 300 mg/day.|
Losing weight can be hard, we completely understand. It’s even tougher when your own body’s response seems to sabotage your best dieting efforts.
We suggest fighting back by using the nutrients above to help make your diet a little less restrictive. Please let us know how they work out for you!
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- Altern Med Rev. 2004 Mar;9(1):63-9.
- Altern Ther Health Med. 2007 Jul-Aug;13(4):32-7.
- Int J Med Sci. 2007 Jan 24;4(1):45-52.
- Nagendran MV. Effect of Green Coffee Bean Extract (GCE), High in Chlorogenic Acids, on Glucose Metabolism. Poster presentation number: 45-LB-P. Obesity 2011, the 29th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Obesity Society. Orlando, Florida. October 1-5, 2011.
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