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Safe And Effective Natural Weight Loss Aids - Part 1

Dec 25, 2007
To begin with, not all natural weight loss products are any safer than diet drugs. Any kind of stimulant, regardless of whether it's a drug or it's a natural supplement can be dangerous, and eventually counterproductive in that, over time, stimulants result in excess production of cortisol that in the long term leads to weight gain.

There are some natural weight loss products that are safe to use and can effectively enhance the effects of diet and exercise. You'll notice that I said that they enhance the effects of diet and execise - no weight loss product should be considered a stand-alone weight loss program. Even the most effective natural weight loss products are minimally effective at promoting weight loss when used by themselves and without diet and exercise.

In order to get maximum benefit from any natural weight loss product, you must combine it with diet and exercise. No matter how good the advertising sounds and no matter how much you want to believe that a pill or potion is all you need to lose weight, the simple truth is that diet and exercise are absolutely necessary to effective lasting weight loss.

There are several natural weight loss products that are worthwhile when combined with a good diet and exercise program. These products may get their effects through improving metabolism, suppressing hunger, or from blocking the absorption of fat in the digestive tract. What follows is a list of the products and their effects that you might find useful.

Chitosan is a substance found in the shells of shrimp and other shellfish, so it should not be used by people with shellfish allergies. Chitosan assists in weight loss by binding fat in the digestive tract and keeps it from being absorbed. This in effect lowers the calories consumed in each meal. It should be noted though that chitosan can produce loose stools and occasionally a temporary loss of bowel control. There is also a potential for deficiencies of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K to develop with long-term use of chitosan. For these reasons, I do not recommend chitosan, but if you feel you must use it, a reasonably safe dosage is 1500 to 3000 mg per day split into doses taken with 8 ounces of water before meals. You may wish to consider supplementing with fat soluble vitamins between meals when taking chitosan.

Chromium nicotinate at a daily intake of 200 to 400 mg (which is best taken with meals in divided doses) can enhance metabolism and speed up weight loss. Even though a different form of chromium, chromium picolinate has been more widely promoted for use in weight loss, the research using the nicotinate form has been much more consistently favorable, and therefore it is recommended over the picolinate form.

CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid can be taken in doses of 300 to 600 mg taken before each meal (no more than 1800 mg per day). CLA has been shown to promote fat burning and the development of lean body tissue in laboratory animals, but the effects in humans remain uncertain.

Green tea extract containing at least 90% total catechins appears to increase metabolism. This effect appears to be separate from the metabolic effects of the caffeine, and because of the problems with stimulants in long-term weight loss, the decaffeinated extract is recommended. The suggested dose is 100 to 400 mg per day, best split into two or more doses and taken in between meals.

In part 2 of this article, I'll continue with more popular natural weight loss aids.
About the Author
Dr. George Best has been assisting people with weight loss since 1992. For more information, please visit his site on natural weight loss . For diet cooking tips, go to healthy eating meal plan .
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