Know the Myths and Facts about Weight Loss Supplements

Do you fear by the use of weight loss supplements?

Most of you dream to shed those extra pounds just by popping a pill. Everyone wants a magic pill, which would take their weight away, without any diet or exercise. Well, this is an easy way, but this quick fix is not possible.

There are numerous products that claim to offer a lean and slim body by using colorful capsules. However, this is unacceptable, as with supplements, you have to use proper diet and exercise.

Following are common myths about diet supplements; learn the truth behind each myth, and you will unleash the way to a better and healthier path to lasting weight loss with a proper plan.

#1 MYTH: African herb ‘hoodia’ is an effective appetite suppressant

FACT: The researchers are unable to back up the claim whether hoodia can make it easy to skip dinner and save a few hundred calories. However, there is some anecdotal evidence about the herbs powers. People who have to travel long journeys in the desert can use hoodia to arrest their hunger. A compound called P57 is believed to be an active ingredient in hoodia.

Research says animal with P57 injected into their brains east less; the effect isn’t replicated in humans taking hoodia capsules. It hasn’t been studied in humans yet, and the safety and ability to stop hunger are mere guesses.

#2 MYTH: You don’t need to diet or exercise if you are taking a weight-loss supplement

FACT: Mostly the supplement’s label will tell that to shed a few pounds, you need to eat a healthy diet and have a workout regimen. Even if you consider the USA made peptides online – it should be thought of as a boost to diet and exercise, not as a replacement for either.

For taking supplements, you have to stick to a low-fat diet, or you may experience the use of some unpleasant side effects. Not all supplements behave the same way; however, this is possible in case of a supplement, for example, Alli. It keeps your gut from some fat you eat. So, if some people consume too much fat, then it is flushed through, and they can feel bloated. Taking it may require a change in your diet.

#3 MYTH: Green-tea supplements are helpful to burn fat

FACT: Green Tea extracts promote weight loss, but taking a green tea supplement or drinking cups of tea won’t produce the lasting weight loss.

The effect which is seen from the green tea is due to the caffeine; however, a compound called EGCG is on the way and will stimulate a cause to burn calories if it causes you to move more.

Green tea has an abundance of caffeine and if you are sensitive to caffeine, then steer clear of caffeine based supplements as too much of it can affect your heart rhythm and disturb your sleep.

#4 MYTH: Bitter orange is a safe substitute for ephedra

FACT: Bitter orange is similar to herb ephedra, but it is not a good thing. Ephedra is known to cause increased blood pressure and arrhythmias and was banned by FDA because of the high-profile deaths. Bitter orange has synephrine, which is similar to ephedrine, and according to experts, it carries the same risks like ephedra.

Many experts have protested that dangers of bitter orange are overblown, and the result you see may not be worth any risk at all. The research is inconclusive on the effectiveness of bitter orange for weight loss.

#5 MYTH: If the product from a recognized store, then it is safe for intake

FACT: Most of you don’t know that weight loss supplements aren’t approved or tested in the US. Americans feel that the government agency wouldn’t allow these products to be sold; before selling, these products should be tested for their safety and effectiveness, and shouldn’t prove dangerous to anyone. This is not true of dietary supplements.

According to a study, almost 54% of people, who had taken weight loss supplement, believed that FDA has approved the supplements for weight loss. Recently FDA has launched a list of supplements which are unsafe and are conducting research about it.

#6 MYTH: Natural weight-loss supplements don’t have any side effects

FACT: This is entirely false. If a supplement can cause positive effects, then surely it can even have side effects too.

If you want to use the natural way, then opt for the good you have to consume and the workout regime. There were many natural supplements, that received a lot of hype as a weight loss supplement, but the research is little about its effectiveness. For example, Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) may be useful in gaining more muscle mass and losing fat, but with alone diet and exercise can achieve that. If someone chooses a healthy diet, then CLA can be found in eggs, dairy products, and meat. So always remember that quality of total diet matters a lot.


There is nothing bad about using supplements, but make sure those are clinically tested by the FDA and are safe for you. Always consult a physician before opting them, so that you are aware of what you are consuming, and any reaction in future would prepare you to deal with it.

How to Take Care of Yourself By Listening to Your Body

I’ve become a prisoner in my home because of the ridiculous weather of the past few weeks. I’m not complaining because I love my home and realize how blessed I am to have one. But I also know that single-digit temperatures are as harmful to my health as the heat and high humidity of summer weather. So home is where you’ll find me.

I miss being outdoors with the ability to freely come and go. I don’t enjoy having to worry about a dip in temperature or what the wind chill factor is going to be.

When you live with a chronic illness you learn the importance of listening to your body, actually hearing what it’s trying to tell you. I’ve had this body for fifty-six years and I’ve learned that it’s smarter than I ever imagined.

  • A throbbing headache? Change in air pressure.
  • Aching bones? A change in the weather pattern.
  • Tingling sensations in my feet? Too much stress.
  • Momentary jabs of pains in my back? Drink more water to avoid more kidney stones.
  • Itchy skin? Moisturize more often.
  • Constipated? Use a laxative.
  • Weakness and dizziness? The possibility of an MS flare-up.

As we age it’s even more important to pay attention to our bodies. Pain is always telling us something, and lesser-known signs such as a bulging stomach or yellow bumps on the eyelids could also signal that something is wrong.

I’m not advocating for everyone to go into panic mode, but I do think knowledge is powerful in taking good care of ourselves.

If you begin experiencing symptoms that are unusual to you, it may be time to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Keep a daily journal of what’s happening and record daily changes. It’s helpful to share this information with your doctor.

We live in a fast-paced world and sometimes we forget to make our health a priority. In today’s healthcare system doctors are often overwhelmed, inundated and pressed for time. Too many office visits become costly. So it’s a good idea to not only listen to our bodies but to also follow preventive medicine.

This includes scheduling regular examinations with doctors to maintain your health, such as:

  • Mammograms
  • Colonoscopies
  • Dental and eye exams
  • Annual visits to your internist and gynecologist
  • Visit the doctor.

If applicable, schedule visits with specialists such as a:

  • Cardiologist
  • Dermatologist
  • Endocrinologist
  • Neurologist
  • Oncologist
  • Orthopedist
  • Otorhinolaryngology (ENT)
  • Podiatrist
  • Rheumatologist
  • Urologist

Taking the time to listen to your body is the most important thing you can do for yourself. So listen up!

Garcinia Cambogia: Does it Work?

There are many studies conducted to Garcinia Cambogia. As soon as it hit the market, and promoted by Dr. Oz, people have gone crazy trying to get their hands on it. From their research results, reviews and testimonials on its weight loss capabilities, people’s opinion about it vary. However, the most publicized use of Garcinia Cambogia is its ability to make you lose weight. There are also other claims like suppression of appetite, mood improvement, increased energy, blood sugar levels stabilizer, makes you regular in the bathroom, improvement of the joint health, desire to become physically active. Several benefits have not backed up by research yet, however, here are 4 benefits that have.

Weight Loss

Research said that the HCA (active component in garcinia cambogia) acts like a blockage to an enzyme responsible for converting your food to fat cells. This enzyme is called adenosine-triphosphates-citrate-lyase. There are numerous studies that showed Garcinia Cambogia can help you lose weight. One clinical study proved that a group of 12 different trials were done. Subjects were divided to the control (those who were not given any active ingredient and only took the placebo) and those who took garcinia cambogia. Results show that those who were given garcinia cambogia proved to decrease visceral, subcutaneous, total fat. There are also other research conducted wherein Garcinia Cambogia only proved to lose about 2 to 3 pounds. This only tells us that the magnitude of its effects can sometimes be uncertain. Future tests and trials regarding this should be more rigorous. The bottom line is, if you want to lose weight, garcinia cambogia may help you out on that dilemma.

Suppresses Appetite

Studies have proved that HCA from garcinia cambogia can actually help lower down a person’s appetite due to the fact that it can help increase serotonin production. Serotonin is a hormone associated in happiness, and calmness. When a person is generally happy, he or she tends to not overeat or become a depressed eater. A happy disposition can actually reduce a person’s desire for unhealthy food. There are also other studies conducted that proved that it can increase energy expenditure. This in turn tells your body not to eat so much. Always remember that although taking supplements that can help you reduce your weight and appetite, there are also other alternatives that you can try to manage your weight. Eating a healthy and balanced diet is one of them. Also, eating more fiber and drinking more fluids will help you stay full.

Lowers Cholesterol

There is some support that taking garcinia will help you improve the levels of your triglycerides (TAG) or cholesterol. It can also help you raise your HDL or high density lipoprotein which is the good kind of fat. However, keep in mind that not all studies have produced the same results in terms of its use in lowering down cholesterol. There are some studies that show significant changes whereas there are those that show minimal changes only. If you are aiming to lower your cholesterol only, there are many ways to do it aside from taking garcinia cambogia.

Stabilization of Blood Sugar

So how does garcinia stabilize blood sugar? There are numerous evidences that show how garcinia cambogia can improve how cells take up sugar to be converted into energy. There are some evidences showing that it can inhibit the pancreatic alpha-amylase enzymes. This changes in the body actually helps your body metabolize carbohydrates better. If you are diabetic, you might want to consult your doctor if you can take garcinia cambogia as it can affect your body’s responses to insulin. If you are someone who is suffering from diabetes, blood sugar swings or taking medications related to insulin, taking garcinia cambogia might dangerously drop your blood sugar low. Although this doesn’t happen all the time, it’s something that you also need to consider.

How to Change Your Eating Habits for a Healthier You

“There is no sincerer love than the love of food” ~George Bernard Shaw

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with food. Growing up it was all love. If there were cheese, chocolate, pasta or bread in front of me I’d have no problem devouring it. That also goes for ice cream, salami, hot dogs, brownies…

In college, I lived on pizza, steak and cheese sandwiches (a specialty of our on-campus 24-hour sandwich shop) and Steve’s ice cream to avoid the mediocre cafeteria food. You’ve heard of the freshman 15? I had the freshman 30!

Do Not Pass Go. Do Not Collect $100. Go directly to Weight Watchers!

When I grew up Wonder Bread was the bread of choice. Housewives believed it really did help build strong bodies 12 ways. There were fewer varieties of fish available at our local fish market, so, on a fish night, my mother cooked either lemon sole or salmon.

The vegetable aisles were stocked with iceberg lettuce, beefsteak tomatoes, celery, cucumbers, green beans, and other similarly boring vegetables. I never heard of kale, Swiss chard, arugula or broccoli rabe.

Ethnic restaurants close by were mainly Italian and had heavy sauces like Fettuccine Alfredo. The most popular item in our local Chinese restaurant was Chop Suey. It was so 1960’s.

Much of what I ate in those days was high in fat, cholesterol, and sodium. How did I survive?

Now that I’m in my fifties I’ve learned to make smarter food choices for better health. I read labels on every item I buy to make sure it’s lower in fat, sodium, and cholesterol. I’ve also increased my daily intake of fresh fruits and vegetables.

If organic food is available I think it’s wise to splurge a little even though it’s pricier. (Read the Mayo Clinic article about organic vs. non-organic food to make your own decision on buying organic food.)

I rarely eat red meat (Read the article about eating red meat) and mainly eat chicken (white meat/skinless), pork or turkey, and all in moderation.

I use Trader Joe’s soy creamer instead of regular milk for my morning cup of Joe. As a snack, I enjoy a serving of nonfat regular or vanilla yogurt while adding my own fresh fruit, slivered almonds or granola.

“When you go to the grocery store, you find that the cheapest calories are the ones that are going to make you the fattest” ~Michael Pollan

I’ve eliminated white sugar and flour from my diet (Read Dr. Weil’s statement on good nutrition) and stick to whole grains, like quinoa and wild or brown rice. (Read Dr. Weil’s statement about whole wheat.)

I religiously drink 64 ounces of filtered water a day and enjoy a cup of green tea in the early evening. Green tea has antioxidant properties. There is evidence it may protect against certain cancers and reduce your risk of heart disease.

“Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.” ~Dorothy Day

But I still love good food and I also enjoy the social aspect of sharing a meal with family, friends and lively conversation.

I’d be lying if I said I never eat cheese, chocolate or pizza. But these days if I do I try to eat smaller portions for the rest of the day, being mindful of every bite. (Read the NY Times article about mindful eating.) Being mindful of my eating habits allows me to be more in control of what I put into my mouth, and stops me from eating too much.

“Health food may be good for the conscience but Oreos taste a hell of a lot better.” ~Robert Redford

Will changing our diet help us live longer? I can’t make that promise because genetics and environment also play a role in longevity. What I can say is that everyone has something in their lives they can’t control. What we do have control over is what we put into our mouths.

Healthy food doesn’t have to taste bad. In fact, these days the foods I eat are purer, fresher and more flavorful than ever.

You may have asked why I mentioned a “love-hate” relationship with food. It’s because family genetics dictate that I must be careful about the amount of fat, cholesterol, and salt I consume each day. It’s also because I’m prone to gaining weight. There’s nothing I’d like more than enjoying a few slices of pizza, a perfectly baked croissant or a few bites of some delicious Brie whenever I want to. But I have to be careful so I try to make wiser choices.

In our fifties, it’s important to be aware of what is healthy and unhealthy to eat. It’s time to get our priorities straight if we want to maintain good health. And good health begins with eating well.