Battling To Lose Weight? A Must Read 2300 Words Article

Nourishing yourself Thin

Shakes, pudding, powders and grapefruit: Name the diet and you have tried it, each time hoping it will be the one that works. The you watch that dreaded needle on that dreadful scale drift right back up to where you started.

Despite sage advice against dieting from physicians and national experts, we are still doing it. According to a 2006 survey of more than 2000 adults in the United States, two thirds had tried a diet at least once in the previous 5 years. Among those who dieted, 65% said the attempt failed. Regardless of all that calorie counting, our national waistline continues to expand at an alarming rate.

According to the National Centre of Health Statistics, about 66% of Americans are overweight or obese. Could it be the time to throw the towel and pick up the fork? “No” says Judy Dodd, RD assistant professor at University of Pitsburgh and past president the American Dietetic Association. “We just have to be sensible about our diets. Even people who are genetically predisposed to putting on weight do not have to be overweight. There are steps you can take to beat it, such as exercise and nutrition.

Multivitamin May Lend a Hand

And what about vitamins and minerals? What role do they play in a sensible no-diet weight-loss plan? Although the topic is controversial, some doctors believe that multivitamins/mineral supplements, combined with a healthy food and exercise plan, can help. They find that the struggles of overweight people are often brought on by combination of poor general nutrition and dieting that leaves them feeling fatigued and craving food.

There is no doubt that nutrient deficiency makes it difficult to manage your weight loss, says Carol Forman Helerstein, PhD, a licensed clinical nutritionist in private practice on Long Island in New York. Its particularly true when it comes to B vitamins such as folate, B-6 and B-12 because they are involved in energy production. When you are deficient in vitamin Bs, you may lack energy, crave food and feel anxious. When you get enough of the vitamins, you’re likely to have the energy you need and feel calm, Dr. Helerstein says.

“Its kind of like a dog chasing its tail,” You are depleted in the micronutrients that on a cellular level make everything work.

And that not hard to be deficient in B vitamins. In American today, we are all deficient because the food we eat are so processed that we simply don’t get what we need. The solution: a multivitamin. When you get all the micronutrient your body needs, you will have fewer cravings and more energy. Scientist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre surveyed 15 000 people with cancer and found that those who had taken a multivitamin, vitamin B-6 and vitamin B-12, and Chromium for 10 years had gained less weight, up to 14 fewer pounds than those who had not taken vitamins.

Following fad diets may also have a huge effect on your nutrition. Some of the old fad diets such as high protein are popular again and people tend to skimp on important dietary elements such as fruits, vegetables and dairy.

According to research, the most popular diets – those emphasising high or low levels of protein, carbohydrates and fat – all lead to deficiencies in important vitamins and minerals, particularly A and C, thiamine, iron and calcium. And low-calorie diets, even those that are well balanced, typically lack folate, vitamin B-6, magnesium, and zinc.

Whether your following fad diet or not, simply eating less will make it harder to get all of the micronutrients you need from food. “Nutrition is a problem when people restrict calories” it is recommended that people get their vitamins and minerals from food sources, but if they go below 1200 calories, they should consider a multivitamin/mineral supplements with 100 percent of the Daily Values.

Aside from multivitamin/minerals supplements, here are some of the nutrients that many experts believe can help you stay healthier and feel better and may even promote weight loss.

Nutrients to Build Immunity

As if the well-documented health risks associated with overweight, such as heart disease and diabetes, were not bad enough, some researchers now believe that overweight people have lowered immunity, perhaps because of deficiency of vitamins and minerals, especially antioxidants.

Antioxidants such as vitamin C and E are important because they protect our bodies from free radicals, unstable oxygen molecules that damage the body’s cells be stealing electrons from healthy molecules. Antioxidants offer their own electrons, neutralizing free radicals and protecting cells. Vitamin A arms your immune system by making white blood cells that attack bacteria and viruses and prevent infections. And if you don’t exercise enough, the antioxidant vitamin E may mimic exercise effect on free radicals in your body, protecting cells from damage. Although exercise should always be your daily routine, taking vitamin E will help make up for any shortfall.

Antioxidants are extremely important. We create free radicals simply by living, such as when we digest food or breathe in pollution. Antioxidants protects us from those free radicals.  According to a study done in Poland, overweight people may not be reaping antioxidants benefits. Researchers at the National Institute of Food and Nutrition in Warsaw studied 102 overweight women and found that the women had significantly lower levels of the antioxidants vitamin C and E, as well as of vitamin A, and higher prevalence of overall vitamin deficiency compared with women of normal weight.

These deficiencies are at least partially responsible for depressing immunity in overweight individuals, leaving them more susceptible to cancer and infectious illness, say some researchers.

Because of abnormal hormone activity, overweight people may also have greater need for antioxidants than people who are not overweight. Studies show that the excess fat in overweight people drives estrogen production up and testosterone down, a deadly combination that scientists believe could be a major factor in certain female reproductive cancers.

Dr Helerstein recommends getting a multivitamin that includes more than 100% of the Daily Value of the antioxidant vitamin C and E. current recommendation from the government are set to only help prevent diseases that result from deficiencies. For instance, the Daily Value of 60mg of Vitamin C will keep you from getting scurvy but wont give you enough antioxidant protection.

If you would like to take a separate supplement from your multivitamin, aim for 1000mg of vitamin C and 400 to 800 IU of vitamin E a day and this is what is recommended.

But when it comes to Vitamin A, do not get more than the Daily Value of 5000 IU. Research has found that taking 10 000 IU of vitamin A daily in early pregnancy can cause birth defects. For this reason, more than the Daily Value should only be taken in consultation with a physician. Pregnant women should talk to their doctors before taking any supplements.

To get more antioxidants in your diet, take more fruits and vegetables. Those with bright orange colouring such a s sweet potatoes, carrots and cantaloupe, are rich in beta-carotene (a precursor of vitamin A); broccoli, brussels sprouts, and citrus fruits will give you a burst of Vitamin C; and wheat germ and kale are good source of vitamin E.

Calcium May Carb Fat

This mineral may traditionally be thought of as an aid in osteoporosis prevention, but there is mounting evidence that a diet high in calcium helps break down fat and leads to weight loss. Experts also believes that calcium from food and supplements may bind to fat in the digestive tract  and carry it out of the body.

In one study, 32 adults who were obese were split into two groups. One group ate a diet that included 400 to 500mg of calcium, another ate a standard diet and added a calcium supplement of 800mg, and the third ate a diet that includes 1200 to 1300mg of calcium each day. Each group cut off 500 calories from their diet over 24 weeks. The group getting up to 1300mg of calcium lost the most weight.

Its not just the calcium in food that is beneficial. You may lose more weight if take calcium supplements. After reviewing 10 years’ worth of data from more than 5000 women between ages 53 and 57, researchers at the University of Washington found that those who got 1100mg of calcium or more in their diet gained 2 pounds less that women who got less. The women who reached their calcium level with supplements lost a pound more than women who consumed calcium through their diet.

Some studies have contradicted the ones that show a benefit from calcium, but calcium is so important for a variety of reasons that it cannot hurt to ensure you are getting enough of the mineral every day. And considering 88% of women and 63 % of men in the US don’t get enough calcium from diet food, a supplement may be a good idea. Another advantage to supplements, they do not have calories.

There is another reason to get calcium: Your bones may suffer if you are cutting calories. Rutgers University scientists who found out that people who are trying to lose weight show up to 3% of loss of bones after 6 months of dieting. They found that eating less shifts hormones in your body and makes it harder to absorb calcium from food and supplements.

If your dieting, make sure you are getting 1000 to 1200mg of calcium a day. If you are over 50, increase your gaol to 1500mg a day to make up for lower absorption.

Also vitamin D is just as important for your bones. Although the Daily Value for vitamin D is 400 IU, many experts recommend aiming for 1000 IU a day.

Chromium Can help

It might not be the waist-whittling miracle mineral that some advertisers tout it as, but according to some research, chromium picolinate ( a supplement form of chromium) may indeed help build lean tissue and reduce fat in adults who exercise.

In one study of 59 college-age students at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, researchers found that women taking 200mg of chromium picolinate a day gained almost twice as much lean body mass as those as those who did not take the supplement, an effect that could result in long-term reduction of body fat, since lean body mass burns more calories that fat.

What makes the effectiveness of chromium more and more believable is that the results we see in human are so well-documented in animal studies. And although chromium will benefit only those who are deficient, most people in Westernise countries receive only 25% of the Daily Value of 120mg. so a lot of people are deficient.

Chromium also improves the effectiveness of insulin, the hormone that allows cells to pick up glucose (a simple sugar that your body uses for fuel) from the blood stream. For this reason, chromium may also be helpful to prevent diabetes, which is common in people who are overweight. People with diabetes who take chromium should be under medical supervision, since their insulin dosage may need to be reduced as their blood sugar level drop.

Dr. Helerstein recommends going to a health store and look for a supplement under the category of weight loss or blood sugar level control or balance. Those supplements will include chromium and other agents that help control blood sugar and help with weight management, such as cinnamon, green tea extract, and fenugreek.

The National Institute of Health warn, however, that the studies that shows a link between chromium and weight loss have included a small number of participants and were short in duration. Also, a 2003 review of 24 studies that used from 200 to 1000micrograms of chromium a day failed to find an impact on body mass.

Doctors who recommends chromium picolinate supplements suggests daily dosages ranging from 50 to 200 micrograms. If you would like to increase your chromium trough diet, try whole grain cereal, black pepper, cheese, and brewer’s yeast.

Think Zinc

Its well documented that zinc, the mineral found in wheat germ, seafood, and whole grains, frequently gets left by the wayside when calorie intake dips below 1200.

Most experts do not recommend such low-calorie regiments. If you are among those who keep a too-tight daily calorie tally anyway, you should know that zinc deficiency not only depresses the immune system but also can be barber’s nightmare, causing brittle, dry hair and hair loss.

Exprts usually recommends between 15 and 30 mg of zinc daily. Since zinc competes with other metals in the body, however, daily doses of more than the Daily Value of 15mg warrants medical supervision. For the best results, you should take 1mg of copper for every 10mg of zinc.

Minerals Make a Difference

Magnesium and iron are the major minerals that doctors find deficient in people who are overweight, particularly in those who are trying to slim down.

Magnesium is essential for every major biological function, including your heartbeat. According to research, even marginal magnesium deficiency is not to be taken lightly, especially when you are dieting and losing weight, as it can lead to potentially fatal heart abnormalities.

Doctors who recommends magnesium supplements call for between 250 and 500 milligrams daily, which is right around the Daily Value of 400 milligrams. (If you have heart or kidney problems, you should check with your doctor before taking magnesium supplements.) Good dietary sources of magnesium include seafood, green vegetables, and low-fat dairy products.

Iron is another frequent vitamin of low-calorie dieting. The most common complications arising from a lack of iron is iron-deficiency anemia, which can cause headaches, shortness of breath, weakness, heart palpitations, and fatigue.

Doctors who recommend supplementing iron suggest 15 milligrams a day, particularly for adults who are following low-calorie diet to lose weight. To pump some iron into your diet, try steamed clams, Cream of Wheat cereal, tofu, and soy beans.


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