Fat-Burning Nutrients Help Some Lose Weight
by Pamela Buttazzoni
tudies show that Chromium Picolinate helps to reduce body fat while preserving or even increasing lean muscle mass.
Obesity is a condition of civilization and there seems to be no easy answer or quick fix, according to Carolyn Dean, M.D., in Dr. Carolyn Dean's Complementary Natural Prescriptions for Common Ailments.
"You have to explore the emotional and physical reasons for being overweight and work on both areas," she explained. "On the physical, nutritional side, food allergies often play a part. You may be eating foods to which the body is allergic; this can lead to excess fluid retention, your body's way of diluting the antigen-antibody toxins. Therefore, food allergy testing may be helpful for those who have "tried every diet in the book."
She added that small, frequent meals are important for weight loss rather than starving through the day and making up for it with one large meal at night. If you only eat one large meal a day, you may actually gain weight because the body is designed to metabolize, digest and break down what it needs in the few hours following the meal, she said. Therefore, if one large meal is consumed, only a portion of the food will be metabolized and utilized and the excess will go into fat storage.
Make sure you get enough exercise, Dean continued. Most people are unable to lose weight- and keep it off - unless they are on a good exercise program of vigorous walking, swimming or bicycling, she added.
"When people go on fasts or diets they often feel so sick within two or three days that they quit the program, and all their good intentions fly out the window," she said. "Like caffeine or cigarette withdrawal, when you stop eating foods you are addicted to, the body starts flushing the poisons or toxins from those foods out of your system. She went on to say that, as these toxins are released, especially from fat cells where they are stored, you could feel miserable with headaches, cramps, diarrhea and fatigue. So any diet must be started slowly, she continued. You must drink lots of water to flush out poisons and, above all, avoid constipation. You are actually detoxifying your body, she added.
Writing in The Longevity Factor: Chromium Picolinate, Richard A. Passwater, Ph.D., stated that, while excess body fat is not consistent with a youthful lifestyle, the good news is that Chromium Picolinate helps us look younger and trimmer while increasing life span.
"Many scientists were surprised to learn that Chromium Picolinate was found repeatedly to reduce body fat even without dieting or exercising," he said. "This has even been confirmed in several animal studies, so the results can not be attributed to psychological factors."
He noted that Chromium Picolinate could produce gradual but steady and persistent loss of body fat. When the benefit of Chromium Picolinate is complemented, as it should be, by a reduction in dietary fat and an increase in exercise, the fat loss is proportionally accelerated, he said.
"It is not unreasonable to expect that Chromium Picolinate will help dieters lose weight for several reasons," Passwater said. "However, the studies that show that Chromium Picolinate in and of itself would produce gradual weight loss were surprising. And remember that nine out of ten people do not get the minimum amount of Chromium recommended."
As Passwater explained it, Chromium deficiency increases fat production because it slows the burning of food for energy. The non-fuel food calories are then converted to fat and stored in fat tissues. Chromium deficiency upsets the appetite control center and can cause a "false hunger," he said.
This is when hunger persists even after the blood sugar level is high enough to stop hunger ordinarily, but because insulin is insufficient in Chromium deficiency, the blood sugar doesn't get into the brain cells that control the appetite. And a Chromium deficiency can also contribute to wild swings in blood sugar levels that can result in serious mood changes, he added.
He reported on a study in which those taking Chromium Picolinate averaged a loss of 4.2 pounds of fat and a gain of 1.4 pounds of muscle, for a net improvement of 5.6 pounds. Those taking 400 mcg per day, of Chromium Picolinate averaged a 27% better response than those taking 200 mcg per day, he said.
To prove that the results weren't psychological or induced by bias, Passwater said, the studies were repeated with animals.
One study at Louisiana State University found that Chromium Picolinate - but not inorganic chromic chloride - reduced fat measure at the tenth rib by 21 percent and increased muscle by seven percent.
A second study at Virginia Polytechnical Institute confirmed that feeding Chromium Picolinate reduced fat while increasing muscle, Passwater added.
"In addition to taking Chromium Picolinate," Passwater continued, "reduce your fat intake, and drink more water, at least eight glasses a day. A lot of what you sense as being hunger is really thirst. Your body may be telling you that you need more water and since you do not drink enough water by itself, your body will signal you to eat more food, which may be 50 to 90% water. Getting water in food, however, also, increases the number of calories consumed."
Passwater advises that you keep a diary of what you eat. You will find that you eat more snacks than you thought. So use this information to reduce your snacks, especially bedtime snacks. Also keep track of the total number of grams of fat you eat each day, and try to cut at least 15 grams of fat from your daily diet.
"Eventually try to limit your fat calories to 25% of your total dietary intake," Passwater advises. "You can do this without reducing your total calories by substituting high carbohydrate foods for high-fat foods. The 25/25 diet - 25% fat, 25 grams of fiber - works well for trimming your body, and it is a general, all-purpose healthful diet.
He went on to say that dietary fat, according to recent research, does not appear to reduce hunger in proportion to calorie value and it is quickly stored in fat tissues. In fact, fat is not taken into the glucostats in the appetite control center. Carbohydrates turn off hunger via the glucostats of the appetite control center, whereas fat does not, he said.
In addition, he said, Chromium & insulin work together after a high-carbohydrate meal to temporarily increase metabolism in what is known as "carbohydrate-mediated thermogenesis." This is why equal-calorie meals do not always produce the same amount of body fat. High carbohydrate meals produce more energy and less body fat than the same number of calories from a high fat meal.
"Weigh yourself only once every two weeks," Passwater suggested. "Take your vital measurements once every month. Daily fluctuations in water retention and other non-fat related effects could discourage you. Let the "feel" of your clothes tell you that you are trimmer and leaner." Building muscle tissue not only burns calories while you exercise, but muscle burns more calories all day long. And Chromium helps to build muscle tissue, he added.
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Important Notice: No claims are made as to any specific benefits resulting from the use of these products. We are NOT licensed medical practitioners and our information is for educational purposes only. No statement should be taken as medical advice.
Pamela Buttazzoni is the owner of Buttazzoni Vitamins & Herbal Remedies.