Aug 7, 2012

Controlling Your Weight

  For some of us, our weight may seem out of control. We try difficult and torturous fad diets that may help us lose weight temporarily, but it’s only a matter of time before the weight we tried so hard to lose returns. What causes our weight to get out of our hands? There are some cases where genetics can truly have an impact our weight (hyperthyroidism, & hormonal and metabolic issues).  However, for most of us, it’s our behavior that dictates our weight.

  The first issue is our diets. Overeating, not consuming enough lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, and overindulging in too many desserts and foods high in sodium and fat content, are all behaviors that contribute to weight issues. Less than 25% of adults and adolescents eat the recommended 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. The second issue is that most of us don’t get enough exercise. In fact, less than 50% get the amount of vigorous exercise necessary for health benefits.

  Having an overall healthy lifestyle is a great way to manage your weight.  An easy way to get on the right track is to make small changes in your diet and activity level so that over time, positive habits are formed and you look and feel your best.  In the paragraphs below, there are some ideas on how to improve your diet, exercise level, and how to use herbs to help control your weight.

  Suggestions from The Department of Agriculture’s “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” include building a healthy plate by making half your plate fruits and vegetables, making at least half your grains whole, varying your protein choices (try seafood twice per week), eating beans (a natural source of fiber and protein), keeping meat and poultry portions small and lean, and switching to skim or 1% milk. They also recommend cutting back on foods high in solid fats (butter, animal fat, shortening…), added sugars, and salt.  In addition, keep caloric intake in mind- limit your portions, stop eating when you are satisfied, not full, use smaller plates, bowls, and glasses, try to eat at home more often, and try keeping a food journal.

  As far as exercise goes, The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that the average adult should get at least:

  • 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking, swimming, mowing the yard) every week and muscle-strengthening activities (i.e., weight lifting, rock climbing, heavy gardening) on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).


  • 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., jogging or running) every week and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups.


  • An equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups.

  As a general rule, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. If you’re short on time, even short bouts of activity are beneficial. If you can't find the time for one 30-minute walk, try three 10-minute walks instead. The most important thing is making regular physical activity part of your lifestyle.

  Lastly, in addition to forming a healthy lifestyle by eating right and getting enough exercise, certain herbs can be very beneficial in helping you stay in control of your weight.
  • Guggul Gum Resin may help normalize thyroid function, your metabolism master.
  • Cha-de-Bugre herb- Is grown in Brazil, where it has long been enjoyed as a tea to reduce the amount of food needed to feel full. Most effective when taken 30 minutes before a meal.
  • Research indicates Pomegranate leaf may be the best new natural appetite suppressant and may inhibit intestinal fat absorption.
  • Evodia fruit- Helps delay empting of the stomach, increase body fat loss, and may suppress appetite.
  • Fresh Ginger root- Helps to decrease body weight through thermogenesis (the process of heat production in organisms).
  • Garcinia fruit- Contains hydroxycitric acid used to inhibit the conversion of carbohydrates to body fat and induce weight loss, 700% more effective when taken 3 times per day.
  • Malic acid, found in Horsetail herb and Cornsilk herb is used by the Krebs Cycle, which is the final and most essential step in making energy from carbohydrates, fats and protein available to the body.
  Don’t feel overwhelmed. Take small steps to improve your diet and increase exercise. Try using nature’s herbs to help you control your appetite, increase thyroid function, and aid in your body’s natural metabolic processes. Remember that consistency is key, small changes repeated over and over pay off!

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