Published January 21, 2013
When it comes to winning at weight loss, the right supplements can make all the difference.
When you’re eating the right foods and exercising correctly, supplementation can give you that extra push in the right direction. With so many supplements and fat loss pills on the market it’s important to know you are making safe choices and not wasting money. I’d love to hear your favorites.
Here are my top 5, with winter weight loss in mind.
1. L -Glutamine: When taken on a regular basis, this helps steady your blood sugar and knock out those late night chocolate cravings.
Sugar is four times as addictive as cocaine, so it’s no wonder giving in to sugar cravings is one of the biggest stumbling blocks for dieters, according to Dr. Julia Ross, in the treatment of eating disorders and addictions, executive director of the Recovery Systems Clinic in California.
Sugar cravings typically disappear within a month, so if you don’t dive back into the sugar you can stop taking L-Glutamine after about four weeks.
Let your sugar cravings be your guide. Aim for 500 milligrams three to four times a day: With every meal and an extra dose when your cravings usually hit, typically mid-afternoon or late at night.
2. Vitamin D: The easiest way to get vitamin D is through sunlight. During the winter months our bodies don’t see much of it, which can lead to vitamin D deficiency. Adequate vitamin D levels help the body respond to insulin, which lowers the chances of the food you eat being stored as fat. Low levels of this critical vitamin have also been found to interfere with leptin, a hormone that signals to the brain to stop eating when it’s full.
Tthe optimal range of vitamin D in the blood is 50 to 70 ng/ml, according to Dr. Joseph Mercola, a doctor of osteopathic medicine and founder of The Natural Health Center in Schaumburg, Ill.
The only way to know the most effective dose is through a blood test to determine if you’re deficient and by how much.
3. Omega 3: Studies have shown that dieters taking omega-3 fish oils lose more body fat while increasing lean mass than their dieting counterparts. This essential fatty acid can help regulate insulin levels, allowing fat to be used for energy, which results in fat loss.
Omega 3s also help reduce inflammation and improve the body’s blood flow to muscles during exercise, increasing the overall benefits of your workout. Fat-burning benefits are noticed with as little as one gram per day. Consult with your doctor to establish the right dose for you.
4. Probiotics: These are tiny bacteria that occur naturally in a healthy gut. The healthy bacteria can quickly be outnumbered by unhealthy bacteria due to stress, daily environmental chemical load or prolonged antibiotic use. Having an unhealthy gut will influence neurotransmitters and lead to changes in mood, energy and motivation. Low motivation and energy levels will quickly hinder your weight loss goals. Probiotics also improve digestion to help your body absorb nutrients effectively, resulting in a quicker metabolism and higher energy levels.
5. Coconut Oil: This tropical saturated fat has been found to boost thyroid function, increase metabolism and promote lean body mass. Coconut oil is a rich source of medium chain fatty acids. These are easily digested, immediately burned for energy and have been found to enhance athletic performance. Coconut oil also boosts your metabolism and helps your body use fat for energy. One to two tablespoons a day of unrefined, expeller pressed coconut will get you closer to your beach body. It’s also an excellent natural moisturizer, which we all need more of in the winter months.