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Committing to Healthy Weight Management

The Feel 21 Health Report

Of course you want to look as good as you possibly can, and maintaining a slim body is the visual epitome of health and sex appeal. There are as many "diets" as there are people on the planet, it seems, and it compounds the confusion. Rest assured, your local natural products retailer is a repository of information and products on how to manage your weight for life.

Stephen Holt, MD, author of Combat Syndrome X, Y and Z, explains in his book the intimate role obesity has in diseases that stem from Syndrome X - heart disease and diabetes, to name a couple. "Obesity occurs when the net amount of energy intake into the body is greater than the net utilization of energy by the body over a period of time."

Holt lists the following as complications caused by obesity: diabetes mellitus, hypertension, glucose intolerance, pulmonary disease (sleep apnea, chronic lung disease), cerebrovascular disease (stroke), gallbladder stones, hypercholesterolemia, gout, degenerative arthritis, renal failure, and early death.

"The accumulation of excessive body fat leads to insulin resistance which then results in the high blood sugar, insulin, cholesterol and blood pressure which so typifies the killer constellation of Syndrome X," he writes.

We all know that healthy weight loss begins with what we eat - notably, lots of fruits and vegetables. In his book, What Color is Your Diet?, David Heber, MD, PhD, focuses

on creating a balanced, healthful diet based on the natural colors of vegetables and fruits. This diet will not only help one achieve a healthy weight, but it provides other benefits. "Studies of populations around the world . . . have provided a great deal of evidence that people who consume about a pound of fruits and vegetables daily have markedly lower risks of lung, esophageal and stomach cancers," he writes.

"When you first switch form the usual American diet to the Color Code diet, you may lose a few pounds since fruits and vegetables carry fewer calories per bite than breads, cakes and pastries made from refined flour," Heber adds.

Karlis Ullis, MD, believes that healthy weight management stems from ensuring that the body's hormonal system is balanced and healthy. In his book, Ullis asserts that, "Far too many people are ignorant of the broad impact hormones have on our bodies, from determining body shape to impacting fat storage and muscle growth. The only way to achieve lasting fitness and weight loss is to implement habits that allow your body to maintain a robust balance of hormones."

Holt advises that it is very important to realize that losing weight should not result in loss of lean body mass (muscle); weight management pursuits should be aimed at gaining muscle while shedding fat. Therefore, weight control involves a careful consideration " of the retention of an ideal body composition" which means a healthy muscle-to-fat ratio in the body.

"The health consequences of building muscle mass during weight control have been underestimated in many weight-loss guidelines," he writes. "Predictably, the retention of an ideal body composition involves exercise, as well as balanced nutrition. The most effective way to lose weight or prevent weight gain is calorie restriction or control in the diet combined with exercise."

When it comes to exercise, it seems that i has a synergistic relationship with healthy eating, according to Ullis. "Research studies as well as my own observations have shown that people start eating healthier almost automatically once they start exercising. When you exercise regularly, your body sends strong messages to your appetite and taste centers telling them what kind of food it needs, and most people respond positively to these brain messages."

In one's quest to modify lifestyle to promote health and weight management, dietary supplements are viable guideposts to help you get there quicker. There is a wide range of dietary supplements that can assist the body in getting lean and fit while you enjoy a healthful eating style and exercise. These include conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), l-carnitine, Coleus forskohlii, zhi shi, chromium, hydroxycitric acid, chitosan, white kidney bean extract, and more.

Your health food store can also supply you with just that - nutritious foods and beverages that promote health. Some can point you to gyms and exercise classes to get you started. AS always, share your new diet and exercise program - and supplement usage - with your primary health care practitioner.


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This article is reprinted with permission from Vitamin Retailer magazine and is provided for educational purposes only by your local retailer. No part of this article is intended as medical advice. Always consult your health care provider for any medical problems.

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