Health – Weight Loss and Nutritional Supplements

The Department of Health says that 60% of Americans are overweight, 30% of all kids are either overweight or at risk, 85% of the population does not consume the recommended minimum of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Our lives are longer but the days seem shorter – and weight / diet related ailments from Type 2 diabetes to high blood pressure and cholesterol are epidemic. The number one reason for doctor’s visits? Fatigue. Is it any wonder we have a so-called health care crisis! How can you and I pull away from this? A simple, low cost program of complex carbohydrates and lean protein, with a little bit of exercise. Given our lifestyles the best way to achieve this is with a mix of meal replacement shakes, nutritional supplements, healthy meals and snacks. And the occasional walk around the block. In previous articles I have addressed weight loss myths, what the body needs nutritionally, and meal replacement programs. In this article, the focus will be on nutritional supplements – what they are and how incredibly important they are to balanced nutritional program.

What are they? When our mothers told us to eat our fruits and vegetables, they were right. They are an essential part of our diet, providing a wide range of vitamins and minerals that serve an array of important functions in the body. The U.S. Department of Health recommends eating at least five portions of fruits and vegetables a day. Yet, only one in seven or less than 15% achieve this quota. In fact, one-third of American adults eat only two servings of fruits and vegetables a day and are four times more likely to choose a processed snack instead. On any given day, about half the population eats no fruit at all. Supplements can bridge this gap. Supplements are not a remedy; cannot cure or treat any disease or ailment – I simply don’t understand where this fiction comes from. They “supplement” and round out your diet. In conjunction with a balanced health program you can find a major change in your entire body from weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, erectile dysfunction, energy – the list goes on. Supplements are classified as food, not drugs. You eat them just you would a carrot. As food they are varied in type, purpose, quality, etc. – that’s why it’s always good to deal with a personal wellness coach as part of your program. There’s a saying in the supplement business – pills are for sick people and tablets are for well people. If they’re so great – why isn’t everybody on them? Mainly because doctors and the health care system don’t make money off supplements – they make money off tests and drugs. Literally the healthcare is not designed for prevention – their business is built on the concept of treatment. Other than the generic multivitamin they try to remain mum. Hope that doesn’t surprise or shock anyone – it’s not their job to prevent – that’s your job.

Regulation This is a question that comes up often and appears to be but of a mystery. Two reasons I think – one, because many supplements come in tablet form. Two, misunderstanding of the legal use of the word “approved”. Supplements are regulated by the FDA in the same way that any food is regulated. Supplements are not drugs – they do not claim to cure or treat – by law they cannot. One of the FDAs mission is to “approve” drugs for sale – it does not approve food within the legal use of the word. In real life does the word apply to supplements and other food the way regular people use it – yes. The laws that govern food are the mega dosing law and labeling law.
The Mega Dosing law prohibits a manufacturer from putting too much of any one ingredient in a product. It is complemented by Labeling laws – so if a person has a condition that would prevent them from using the product, this must be indicated on the label. Within each of these laws are standards and definitions that provide practical instructions for manufacturer compliance whether it’s broccoli or herbal tea.

Quality Although Supplements are food, just like any other product there are major variations in quality. Whether it’s leather, furniture or hot house tomato vs. home vine grown – there are quality differences. Most of the supplements you buy at grocery stores are consumer grade products and what you see on the label is not always what’s in the container – when it says 100% — it can have as little as 30+% in that one tablet as still meet the requirement as long it meets other requirements. This is similar to other food grading systems – juice vs drink, cheese, cheese food, processed cheese, etc. The next big quality level is pharmaceutical grade or a quality level that says 98% of it says on the label is in each tablet. This is what you want to look for when you want to get supplements. These are normally found at nutritional specialty stores or direct marketing companies like Herbalife. Core Supplements for weight loss We eat food for fuel. When we burn it for energy to run our bodies, the process creates heat. Nutritional supplements products assist the body’s engine to burn fuel efficiently, helping our metabolism stay revved and functioning well. At the core of a long term successful program you need a minimum of three things:

Meal replacement shake – nutritionally balanced for carb, protein and vitamin and mineral needs – this is the simplest, most flexible and lowest per meal cost way to los
A pharmaceutical grade multivitamin taken 3 times a da
A supplement for activating the cells in digestive system to aid in nutrient absorption
How to use the Core supplements You should take the meal replacement shake 2 times a day to reduce weight but it is important to take your supplements 3 times a day. Why? Throughout the day your body undergoes stresses that rob it of vital vitamins and minerals. By taking the multivitamin 3 times a day – you are constantly replenishing your system and your energy levels stay up, mood swings are milder, etc. A consumer grade vitamin you take in the morning with breakfast – you go the bathroom and away goes the multivitamin. Second, in our digestive system are these little tentacles called villi – these guys wave around and as food passes by it collects there and the body absorbs the nutrition. The first thing you notice is that not all food gets caught so if it doesn’t get caught it becomes fat or we eliminate it. The second thing is that with the typical American diet, over time the villi become flattened and less able to absorb nutrition. With certain supplements along with the meal replacement shake you wake the villi back up and they absorb the targeted nutrition more effectively. How fast depends entirely on the existing state of the digestive system but if you drink or smoke, etc. it will take longer because they are more clogged.
Antioxidant Enhancers There’s a lot of talk about antioxidants in products. Why? Antioxidants protect our bodies from free radicals that can cause damage to cellular membranes. Antioxidants also boost our immunity, help make our muscles stronger and support bone and skin health. All existing research and common sense supports the notion that healthy aging and antioxidants go hand in hand. Since eating the recommended daily servings of antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables is not always realistic, using supplements to help out only makes sense. Start today and get yourself on a good nutritional program you can stick with. So get in the habit of eating plenty of produce each day. Your mom was right – it’s one of the biggest favors you can do for your body.