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Get Ready for Summer!
How Do I Pick the Best Weight-Loss Diet?

Summer is around the corner, and for many people thoughts turn to feeling slimmer for those summer clothes. But how to choose which diet is right for you? First, seek guidance from your healthcare practitioner. Then decide what kind of diet meshes with your lifestyle and personality. The better the diet fits you, the greater your chances are of reaching your weight-loss goal, so ask some questions before you pick:

How does food fit into my day?

Before you jump into a diet program with both feet, consider your lifestyle so that you set yourself up for success:

  • Are you a parent who prepares all the meals? Consider diets that arenít disruptive to your routine. Too many restrictions will sabotage your best intentions. Adapt a diet that wonít have you doing double duty at mealtime.
  • Are you a single, active professional? Access and time to exercise at gyms, studios, and nearby parks will be a boon to any diet you choose. Sustain your energy levels by choosing a diet that isnít too low in calories or fat.
  • Do you travel extensively for work? Think ahead to what you can realistically eat on the road. Narrow food choices or nutrient-balancing diets will make eating out an arduous task. Incorporate exercise routines into your daily plans whether itís booking a hotel with a gym or packing running shoes for each trip.

How do I best like to eat?

Rather than deny your innermost urges, let your personality take center stage when finding the right diet:

  • Are you highly organized and detail-oriented? You might lean toward nutrient-balancing (The Zone) or low-fat diets that give you precise guidelines to follow.
  • Do you work best with outside motivation? Support-group weight-loss programs, such as Weight Watchers, work for many people who succeed when fellow dieters are there to cheer and reinforce their diet goals.
  • Are you an avid snacker or a three-meals-a-day person? Diets with prepackaged foods parse meals out in neat, calorie-counted packets; this might work for people who feel their snacking calories add up to too much. Three-squares-a-day people might find that nutrient-balancing diets or low-carb, high-protein diets sustain them between meals.
  • Are you a vegetarian? High-protein diets that emphasize meat and dairy rule out the vegetarian crowd, while low-fat, high-fiber diets more closely approximate an herbivoreís eating patterns.

How can I get in enough exercise?

Choosing an exercise routine that you enjoy will help you lose weight and keep it off, so try to work in a workout that you can stick to:

  • Do you like to work out alone? Try running, cycling, or swimming.
  • Do you need the motivation of a gym? Take up weight-lifting, exercise classes, or hire a personal trainer.
  • Do you like the camaraderie of team sports? Join a rowing, soccer, or other team.
  • Do you crave adventure? Take up kayaking, rock climbing, or other outdoor fun.

Regardless of which diet you choose, aim to lose weight slowly, 1/2 to 2 pounds (0.25 to 0.9 kg) per week. Eat smaller portions and take in fewer calories than you expend. Donít skip meals in an effort to cut calories. Make eating moderately and sensibly your lifelong diet!

A Closer Look at Weight-Loss Supplements

Whether youíre struggling to lose your last 5 pounds or embarking on a more ambitious plan to shed 20 or more, start with the basics: consume fewer calories, exercise more, donít skip meals, and start your diet with a stamp of approval from your healthcare provider. Combining these recommendations with the moderate use of safe, natural supplements may help you in your quest toward a slimmer self.

5-HTP Take under medical supervision: 600 to 900 mg daily for no more than 12 weeks 5-HTP has been shown to reduce appetite and to promote weight loss.
7-KETO 100 mg twice per day 7-KETO has been shown to promote weight loss in overweight people.
Borage Oil 5 grams (providing 890 mg of gamma-linolenic acid) per day In one study, supplementing with borage oil helped reduce the amount of weight regained by obese people who had previously shed pounds.
Calcium 800 mg daily In a study of obese people following a low-calorie diet, those receiving a calcium supplement lost significantly more weight than those given a placebo.
Chitosan Refer to label instructions Chitosan is a fiber-like substance that may reduce fat absorption. One study found it to be an effective weight-loss aid.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid 3.2 to 4.2 grams daily Though the evidence is conflicting, some studies have shown CLA to be effective at helping people lose body fat.
Fiber (All Forms) 5 to 7 grams daily Several trials have shown that fiber supplementation from a variety of sources accelerated weight loss in people who were following a low-calorie diet.
Green Tea An extract supplying 270 mg of EGCG and 150 mg of caffeine per day Green tea extract rich in polyphenols may support a weight-loss program by increasing energy expenditure or by inhibiting fat digestion.
HMB 3 grams per day or 17 mg per pound of body weight per day HMB may improve muscle growth and overall body composition when combined with an exercise program in people who are not already highly trained athletes.
Hoodia Read details for information One study found hoodia to be effective at curbing appetite.

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