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Friday, May 3, 2013

How to Win the Battle Of The Bulge


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By DENNIS R. SPARKMAN, PH.D.
Despite the daily medical warnings about the possible health effects of excess bodyfat, Americans are mostly concerned with their cosmetic appearance, especially the abdominal area. This preoccupation with the old spare tire has lead to the boom in the sale of the many abdominal exercise contraptions that promise to give you washboard abs. Still, Americans have gained an average of 10 pounds in the last decade--so much for the abs of steel.
What we are learning about losing visceral abdominal fat (VAT), or the old spare tire, is that it is easier to put on than get off. Studies have shown using obese women that for every kg of bodyfat lost, there is a 2-3% reduction in VAT when they used dieting alone. The role of exercise alone is conflicting as VAT in women appears to be resistant to exercise-induced weight loss, while significant results have been seen in men who exercise. The combination of diet and exercise was not different to that of diet alone in either men or women.
Dietary supplements may be able to enhance a person's ability to lose weight. Nothing is better to help with taking off pounds than diet supplements containing ephedrine and caffeine. The combination of these two compounds helps increase metabolism and decrease appetite. It also increases fat loss and decreases muscle loss. These compounds can reduce lipogenesis, which further prevents fat accumulation. One added benefit of these compounds is that they help maintain serum HDL levels during weight loss.Although some reports on the safety of these two compounds have been the subject of controversy, ephedrine has been used safely for more than 5,000 years as a herbal dietary supplement. When used responsibly, these two compounds are safe and efficacious allies in helping people lose weight in combination with exercise and diet.
Since the FDA-approved weight loss drugs Fen-Phen and Redux have been voluntarily recalled due to their causing heart-valve defects and pulmonary hypertension, overweight people need a safe and natural alternative to aid in weight loss. As the best way to lose weight is to avoid consuming excess calories and keeping active, supplementation with thermogenic herbs will help ensure that the body turns up the metabolism to help burn away those excess calories that would otherwise be stored as fat.
Ross R., Effects of diet and exercise-induced weight loss on visceral adipose tissue in men and women, Sports Med1997; 24; 55-64.
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