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The Truth About Weight Loss Supplements

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More than 15% of American adults now use a diet supplement to help them lose weight, opting for a range of products that claim either to suppress appetite, block fat absorption, or increase metabolism.

As a group, these products are called nutraceuticals, and many of them continue to be controversial. The FDA does not evaluate nutraceuticals, and most weight loss experts hesitate to recommend particular supplements because of a pervasive scarcity of clinical evidence.  Many of the popular supplements currently on the market have undergone testing and have proven to contribute to weight loss, but even these products have skeptics due to the absence of long term clinical studies of possible side effects.

Currently Popular Supplements

The following is a summary of what is currently known (and not known) about the some of the most popular weight loss supplements:

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Raspberry Ketones

Raspberry ketones gained instant notoriety in early 2012, when Dr. Mehmet Oz (TV’s “Dr. Oz”), called them “unquestionably the Number 1 Fat Burner on the Market.” Although their scientific mechanism is not yet fully understood, raspberry ketones are known to stimulate the body’s production of adiponectin, a hormone which modulates body fat.

It is believed that high potency doses of this supplement tend to break down (or “burn”) fat molecules. This theory has been corroborated in numerous studies on animals. Dr. OZ emphasizes that the raspberry ketones will only accomplish the best results when used as part of an overall weight loss plan that includes low calorie meals and exercise. You can watch the Dr. Oz video by clicking here.

Hydroxycut

Hydroxycut was introduced in 2002 by a Canadian Company called Muscle Tech research and Development. From 2002 until 2004 the product contained Ephedra. Ephedra is a chemical presumably effective for weight loss but also for boosting heart rate and blood pressure. Adverse effects resulting from Ephedra use included heart attacks, strokes, and seizures, and the FDA officially banned Ephedra l_me-2214in 2004.

In that same year Hydroxycut was purchased by lovate Health Sciences and the product was completely reformulated without Ephedra. Today’s Hydroxycut contains four principal ingredients, which are lady’s mantle, wild olive extract, wild mint extract, and Komijin extract. All four ingredients have individually and as a group been shown to be effective for weight loss, but probably as a result of its uneven history Hydroxycut remains somewhat controversial.

Hoodia

Hoodia Gordonii, is a stem succulent plant that grows in the Namib and Kalahari Deserts in Southern Africa. The plant has been used as an appetite suppressant for generations by the Bushmen who inhabit these deserts. In 2007 Unilever, PLC, one of world’s largest food HoodiaBottnewcompanies, developed ambitious plans to use Hoodia Gordonii in a wide variety of its diet products.

However, in a document entitled “Sustainable Development 2008: An Overview,” Unilever stated that, after having invested 20 million pounds in R & D, it was ending its Hoodia project because “our clinical studies revealed that products using Hoodia would not meet our strict standards for safety and efficacy.” Despite Unilever’s decision, Hoodia has remained a popular appetite suppressant, and is available in tablet and capsule form.

 Garcinia Cambogia

Garcinia Cambogia is a small, pumpkin-shaped fruit, sometimes called a Tamarind. It comes from Indonesia and Southeast Asia. The natural extract from Garcinia is hydroxycitric acid (HCA), and its image001adherents claim it can double or triple weight loss. Garcinia acts as both a fat burner and an appetite suppressant.

It blocks fat by restricting an enzyme called citrate lyase, and it suppresses your appetite by increasing serotonin levels. Detractors often claim that prolonged use may cause testicular atrophy in men, but research on humans has never confirmed this. Dietary experts believe that for maximum effectiveness a Garcinia Camogia capsule should contain at least 60% HCA, it should contain some potassium as an ingredient, it should be taken on an empty stomach, and the daily dosage should be 1,600 milligrams.

Green Coffee Bean Extract

Green Coffee Beans are simply coffee beans that have not been roasted. Roasting reduces the amount of chlorogenic acid (GCA) in the coffee beans, which is their desirable weight loss component. GCA, in addition to assisting 61aHZnBgi8L._SY300_with weight loss, is believed to have benefits for heart disease and diabetes.

This supplement is a fat burner, and it works by inhibiting the release of sugar into the blood stream.

To be effective, Dr. Oz recommends the product you choose  a) should contain either GCA or Svetol, b) have no fillers or binders, c) must be 100% vegetarian, and d) you should take 1,600 milligrams daily. To learn more about a product that meets all Dr. Oz’s criteria, click here.

 Summary

As you can see, there is pretty much universal agreement that these supplements can aid in weight loss when used in conjunction with a low calorie diet and exercise, but there is less unanimity with regard to long term outcomes and side effects. It is very hard to really get the “warm fuzzies” about any of these products because of the scarcity of long term studies. So before deciding on the best supplement for you should do all the reading and research that you can, and use your supplement only as one part of your overall weight loss plan.

A Coordinated Campaign Against Calories

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To achieve optimal results, you should design a program that combines several elements into an overall plan that is both effective and long lasting. If your regimen is overly demanding and requires great personal deprivation, willpower and sacrifice, you will most likely not stick to it for the long term, so make sure your plan is realistic and enjoyable as well as being effective.

A good campaign should include three primary components; a natural weight loss supplement, great tasting, low-calorie foods, and some type of regular exercise. In the grand scheme of things, your primary goal should be lifelong improvement in your overall health, and weight loss should be your secondary, subordinate goal to that.

Natural Weight Loss Supplements

The right supplement can help you reduce your calorie intake without depriving you of all the foods you love. In selecting a supplement, however, the key word is “natural.” There are several types of supplements, and as you know a vast array of products are available on the market.  We are all bombarded with advertising claims on the Internet every day. Generally speaking, all weight loss supplements fall into one of two broad categories; natural-based supplements and chemical-based supplements.

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 Chemical-based supplements originate in laboratories and are often closely related to amphetamines. These products frequently have unpleasant side effects and problems, and can also be addictive. Virtually all chemical supplements require prescriptions, and are highly regulated. In addition, the effectiveness of these products often diminishes after eight to twelve weeks as the body becomes used to them.

Natural, or “herbal” supplements, on the other hand, are made from naturally occurring substances, making them much safer in terms of both side effects and dependency, and most do not require prescriptions.

We recommend  that you consider only natural supplements, and this website will from time to time promote offers for what we believe to be the best weight loss supplements available.

Great Tasting, Low Calorie Foods 

The second component of your overall weight loss plan is a diet consisting of low calorie foods that are both nutritious and yummy. Once again, if the foods you are eating don’t taste great as well as being nutritious, you will be unlikely to stick with them over the long haul.

Crockpot recipes are virtually perfect because almost all are comprised of natural and organic components low in fat. Crockpots do not like fat, and most slow cooked meals begin and end with fresh produce and lean meats. All of our recipes are free from the further-processed ingredients, flavorings, tenderizers, and chemical additives that characterize most meals.

As a result, they are generally both lower in calories and more nutritious than fast-cooked meals. Except in very rare instances, all our recipes contain less than 400 calories per serving, and when you are taking a natural appetite suppressant you will seldom be inclined to eat more than one serving.

Regular Exercise

The benefits of regular exercise are well known, and it’s not the purpose of this website to promote any particular exercise regimen. The frequency and intensity of your exercise program should be tailored to your own age and health, but once again it is best to avoid being too aggressive and to keep your thinking long term. For best results, your daily exercise, just like your daily diet, should be something you look to rather than something you dread.

 

 

The Many Rewards of Slow Cooking

Today the slow cooker has become the most popular appliance in the kitchen, and for good reason. Consider this. Of all the many methods of food preparation and cooking available to us, slow cooking in a Union-Jack-Crock-Pot-High-Rescrockpot is the cheapest, the most convenient, produces the most flavorful foods, and creates the healthiest and most nutritious meals.

But perhaps the biggest and least understood bonus you get with crockpot cooking is that it represents a sure fire way to serve dinners that are low in both fat and calories.

The purpose of this website is to enlighten our readers about the many benefits of slow cooking and to provide them with the knowledge, the recipes, and the knowhow they need to enjoy slow cooking at its fullest.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the great benefits of slow cooking with your crockpot.

Low Cost Cooking

When you use your slow cooker you will be saving money in a variety of ways, First, your produce for the most part will consist of unprocessed, all natural fruits and vegetables. You will not be paying premiums for highly processed ingredients and expensive packaging. Your crockpot is one of the greatest meat tenderizers ever invented, and you will normally be utilizing the cheapest cuts of meat instead of the most expensive.

Chuck roasts, round steak, pork shoulders and poultry thighs and drumsticks are automatically tenderized by the low heat of your crockpot, and will remain more moist and tender than the leaner, more expensive cuts. Your slow cooker also consumes a low amount of power relative to the multiple appliances you use preparing a conventional dinner.

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The Convenience of an Unwatched Pot

With most crockpot recipes, you can “set it and forget it.” If like most of us you are a working parent, your evening meal requires no more than fifteen or twenty minutes of morning preparation and an eight or nine hour setting on your crockpot. No stirring, no “turning over” and no pot watching are necessary during the day.

There aren’t too many things better than getting home after a long, hard day and having a great dinner ready and waiting for you. Almost as good as having your own Chef.

Great Flavors and Wonderful Aromas

Among the great bonuses of crockpot cooking are the great aromas that fill your house while the cooking progresses. At a cook temperature of about 200° F your ingredients are “stewing in their own juices “ and essentially cooking in steam.

Your crockpot lid not only seals in vital nutrients, but it preserves the great flavors and aromas of your recipe. For example, if you add a touch of wine to your recipe it does not evaporate or boil away, and if you finish up your cook with herbs and spices they will not cook away nor will their flavors be diluted.

Nutritious Meals – Low Fat & Low Calories

We usually associate slow cooking with comfort foods and we associate comfort foods with high calories. The reality, though is quite the opposite. When you cook with your crockpot, you are almost always using all natural ingredients and most recipes require that you you trim the fat from your meats before beginning.

Crockpots don’t like fat, they don’t like breading, and they don’t like processed, artificial ingredients. So though it seems counterintuitive, slow cooking is a great way to eat healthy and lose weight at the same time. All the beneficial nutrients, vitamins and minerals in your ingredients are sealed in, and never cook away in your crockpot. Here at crockpotcooking.org we have compiled hundreds of great recipes that all contain less than 400 calories per serving.