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How Real Foods And Supplements Can Help You Lose Weight

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How Foods And Supplements Can Help You Lose Weight

Have you tried countless weight loss hacks to no avail?

You’re not alone. Globally, 45% of people are trying to shed some weight. And for some, the weight-loss equation might seem simple. 

Eat less + move more = weight loss

However, despite the efforts, many people are still finding it hard to lose weight. 

Whether it’s fighting feelings of deprivation or lack of motivation or discipline, putting off a few pounds takes more than just counting calories. 

That’s why it might be useful to take a closer look at what you’re putting in your body that might aid in your weight loss. 

In today’s post, I share with you the reasons why real foods and supplements can help you lose weight when you’re looking for reasons to stay motivated in your weight loss journey.

Please note: This post is meant for informational purposes only, and should not be taken as medical advice. If you have health challenges and consider taking supplements, please consult your physician or dietitian. 

Reasons Why Real Foods and Supplements Can Help You Lose Weight

They Improve Nutritional Deficiencies and Reduce Hunger

“Real” (i.e., unprocessed) animal foods and plants contain vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for your health. On the other hand, processed foods can increase your risk of developing health problems because they are low in micronutrients.

Not only that real foods can reduce your hunger. In a study published in the Nutrition Journal involving 786 participants, nearly 80% of them felt flutter after a meal when they maintained a high-micronutrient diet even if they were eating fewer calories as compared to those who were on a low micronutrient diet.

They Don’t Contain Any Refined Sugars

How Foods And Supplements Can Help You Lose Weight

Real foods don’t contain refined sugars. Take note that such a type of sugar is not the same as the natural sugars found in vegetables and fruits. 

These healthy foods may contain natural sugars, but they are also packed with nutrients, like vitamins, fiber, and water that are needed by the body for a balanced diet.

On the other hand, refined sugars are usually added to processed foods and these may be in the form of table sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. Have you ever checked how much sugar is in a ready-made pizza or in ketchup? You’ll be surprised.

Some supplements may also contain sugars or other additives, but you can do your research and choose to take natural supplements.

They Have Less Fat and More Protein

Protein is a very important nutrient for weight loss. So, if you’re trying to achieve a better-looking body, eating foods rich in protein can help boost your metabolism, change your weight-regulating hormones, and reduce your appetite at the same time.

While real food is an ideal source of protein because they are not heavily processed, you may consider taking protein powder as well to help you lose body fat, gain muscle, and increase strength so you’ll be able to exercise longer without getting easily tired.

My suggestion is you just read the ingredient list of the products you’re taking to make sure it does not contain unhealthy additives, such as refined sugar.

They Are High In Soluble Fiber

Foods, such as dried beans, oat bran, oats, rice bran, apples, potatoes, peas, strawberries, and citrus fruits, contain high levels of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is a dietary fiber that dissolves in water and body fluids. 

Once soluble fiber passes through the colon, it then feeds your good gut bacteria and healthy gut bacteria has been linked to many health benefits, like protection against diabetes and obesity.

They Have Antioxidant Properties

Real foods and some supplements contain polyphenols, which also contain antioxidant properties that protect your body against disease and improve recovery because of their anti-inflammatory properties. At the same time, antioxidant properties help you lose weight.

Moreover, the micronutrients polyphenols that naturally occur in plants can be divided into different categories: flavonoids, stilbenoids, and lignans. Plus, there’s that particular flavonoid that has been associated with weight loss. It’s the epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that is found in green tea.

They Reduce Your Intake of Highly Processed Foods

Worldwide obesity nearly tripled since 1975, according to the World Health Organization. Interestingly, the increase in obesity occurred around the time when highly processed foods also became widely available to the public. Highly processed foods are less satiating and may actually increase appetite.

A good example of this is the Swedish study that observed trends in obesity and highly processed food consumption in their country between 1960 and 2010. 

It was found out that there has been a 367% increase in the consumption of highly processed snacks, like candies and chips, 315% increase in soft drinks or soda consumption, and 142% increase in consumption of ultra-processed products.

They Don’t Contain Artificial Trans Fats

Of all types of dietary fats, trans fat is considered to be the worst for your health and they are commonly found in processed foods or fast packaged foods, including anything battered and fried.

Trans fats may also be found in various food products, such as stick margarine, frozen pizza, microwave popcorn, baked goods, such as pies and cookies, non-dairy coffee-creamer, and fried foods, including fried chicken, french fries, and doughnuts.

Moreover, a trans fat diet has been linked to abdominal obesity, heart disease, and inflammation. You should avoid trans fat form as if your life depends on it.

They Can Help You Resist Sugar Cravings

Sugar cravings are an army of meanies grabbing hold of you and torturing you until you feed them with sweets. However, once you give in too often to this craving, you’ll set up yourself for negative health outcomes.

Eating more real foods and taking supplements may help your taste buds and decrease your sugar cravings over time. This is because your taste preference can change, depending on your diet. 

They Can Help You Eat More Slowly

Many people eat their food carelessly and too quickly. Sadly, this can lead to weight gain as well as other health issues. 

But despite knowing that eating slowly is generally a good habit and can provide various benefits, like losing weight, this piece of advice is still often overlooked.

By eating more real foods, it can help slow down your eating because they typically have a more fibrous and firmer texture that requires chewing more. This simple act of chewing can even make you feel fuller even with a small amount of food, which eventually helps you lose weight.

They’ll Help You Make a Lifestyle Change

Maintaining a diet rich in real foods benefits you for the long term. This is because it shifts your attention to making healthier food choices that will be better for your health, not just your waistline.

By eating nutrient-dense foods, you are making a lifestyle change that will lead to many health benefits, like boosting your mood, preventing disease, protecting the heart, repairing tendons, and building strong bones.

Most Commonly Used Supplements for Weight Loss

How Foods And Supplements Can Help You Lose Weight

Now that I've shared with you the reasons why real foods and supplements can help you lose weight, let's proceed with knowing which supplements or herbal remedies are commonly used for weight loss.

Still, it is best if you talk with your doctor first before you try any of these supplements. This is especially true for those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have medical conditions, like diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure.

Green Tea Extract

How can it help with weight loss:

Technically, a green tea extract is not a mineral or vitamin, but it is one of the supplements in the market that is worth considering.

Green tea is thought to lessen fat production and absorption as well as increase fat oxidation and energy expenditure.

Effectiveness:

A 2012 study showed that green tea supplements can reduce body weight by an average of 2 pounds.

Side effects:

Green tea extract is generally considered safe. Clinicians, however, recommend people to take it with food to lessen any potential risks.

B Vitamins

How can it help with weight loss:

B vitamins, including (B-1)thiamine, (B-2)riboflavin, (B-3) niacin, (B-5) pantothenic acid,  (B-6) pyridoxine, (B-7) biotin, (B-9) folate, (B-12) cobalamin are necessary to have a fully functioning metabolism.

B-1, for instance, helps the body cells convert carbohydrates into energy. In short, low levels of these vitamins could mean that your metabolism will not be working at its best, making weight loss even harder.

Effectiveness:

Vitamin B helps the body break down carbs, increases your energy so you can work out more, helps control blood sugar and boost good cholesterol, and helps relieve stress.

Side effects:

It is unlikely that you get too much vitamin B from your diet because it is water-soluble, meaning it will be excreted in your urine daily. But an overdose of B vitamins is possible. Symptoms of a Vitamin B overdose may include vomiting, blurry vision, excessive thirst, nausea, abdominal cramps, and skin conditions.

Vitamin D

How can it help with weight loss:

Vitamin D -- also referred to as the happiness vitamin -- can potentially suppress the storage of fat cells in the body and reduce the formation of new fat cells. Additionally, it can increase the serotonin hormones in the body. Such neurotransmitters affect everything from sleep regulation to mood.

Effectiveness:

Research shows that calcium intake combined with vitamin D can assist in weight loss.

Side effects:

Although rare, vitamin D intoxication can happen when blood levels reach above 150 ng/ml (375 nmol/l). In contrast, you won’t consume too much vitamin D through sun exposure and diet alone.

Garcinia Cambogia Extract

How can it help with weight loss:

Garcinia cambogia extract is a small green tropical fruit that is also called the Malabar tamarind. The active ingredient in this fruit is hydroxycitric acid or HCA, which is believed to block an enzyme that the body uses to make fat.

Effectiveness:

Animal studies show that Garcinia Cambogia extract can block the fat-producing enzyme and increase serotonin levels in the brain, potentially helping the body fight cravings.

Side effects:

Keep in mind, however, that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration FDA warned to stop using weight loss supplements that contain Garcinia Cambogia as it may interact badly with prescriptions for psychiatric conditions, pain medicines, and diabetes medicines.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

How can it help with weight loss:

The main dietary sources of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) are the milk and meat of grazing animals, like cows, sheep, and goats. Nevertheless, they can also be derived from CLA supplements and people take them for purported benefits in boosting metabolism, stimulating the breakdown of body fat, and reducing appetite.

Effectiveness:

A meta-analysis in humans showed that CLA causes weight loss of about 0.1kg per week for up to six months.

Side effects:

CLA may cause digestive side effects and when taken over the long term, may have harmful effects in the body, like contributing to fatty liver, increased inflammation, and insulin resistance.

Glucomannan

How can it help with weight loss:

Glucomannan is a type of fiber that absorbs water. When it does, it becomes gel-like and sits in your gut to promote a feeling of fullness. Because of it, you eat fewer calories.

Effectiveness:

Taking glucomannan with a healthy diet may help people lose about 8 to 10 pounds in 5 weeks, as what happened in three human studies.

Side effects:

It may cause soft tools, flatulence, bloating, and may interfere with other oral medications when taken at the same time.

Consume Real Foods And Safe Supplements For Sustainable Weight Loss

How Foods And Supplements Can Help You Lose Weight

People trying to lose weight are often advised to exercise more and eat less. Yet, this advice is not always effective. Some are even failing to reach their weight loss goal. For long-term success, it is not only about calories in vs. calories out. It also depends on good, sustainable habits and the type and quality of the consumed nutrition

For this reason, incorporating supplements into a healthful and balanced diet may help stimulate one’s metabolism and burn fat naturally.

It may seem simple, and because of this I strongly recommend taking a closer look at your nutrition and especially replacing highly processed foods with real foods. I guarantee it will bring you great benefits towards a healthier and fitter you! 

 

This is a guest post written by Nathan Lloyd. Nathan is a personal fitness coach and trainer with a Master’s degree in Health and Exercise Science. He is passionate about helping his clients become the happiest and healthiest version of themselves. When he's not coaching clients online or in person at ONE Boulder Fitness Gym, he writes about his favorite gym equipment at ExpertFitness.org.

 

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