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Weight Loss: Is There a Quick Fix?

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It is estimated that over $40 billion dollars is spent on weight loss annually, and that figure keeps rising. There have been countless pills, diet and exercise fads, and even natural remedies such as green tea extract, the acai berry and now african mango extract that look promising at first glance for weight loss, but do they really work and is it safe? These are questions you need to ask yourself before taking part in something that may not work and can potentially be harmful.

Let’s take a closer look into the newest weight loss quick fix. A study recently published in the online journal Lipids in Health and Disease found that study participants lowered their LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and lost an average of twenty-eight pounds by taking an extract made from the African mango (Irvingia gabonensis). Studies suggest that the African mango may reduced body fat production by affecting genes and enzymes involved in metabolism. What’s most appealing about these findings is that not only did participants lose the weight and lower cholesterol, they were told to make no changes in their diet or exercise routine. Sound too good to be true? It probably is.

First off, a sample size of 102 participants is not large enough to make the generalized assumption that everyone will see these results. In fact, personal testimonials of people who took the extract after the study reported varying results. From what I’ve read, many individuals experienced no weight loss at all and others even gained weight after taking the extract. This actually makes sense. It’s important to understand that each one of us has different biochemical needs to make our bodies work optimally, which is called metabolic typing. Some people need to eat more protein than carbohydrates, for others the reverse is true, and some need a balance of both. The old saying “One man’s meat is another man’s poison.” is true in more than just the figurative sense. I’m hypothesizing here but it could be that the people who lost weight had metabolic types that complimented the addition of the oil in this extract to their diets, while those who gained weight didn’t. As we’ve said in the past, when it comes to food and exercise, there is no “one size fits all.”

You also have to research potential side effects, both short term and long term. Since these studies are recent, I’m sure the answer is simply “We don’t know.” That’s pretty scary if you ask me. The truth is, you need to be healthy to lose weight, and to be healthy you need to identify and reduce stress in all its forms so your body can work the way it’s intended to. This means you need to find out how your body converts food into energy (metabolic typing) and also just as importantly look at your lifestyle (in the form of sleep, exercise, hydration, toxicity, the health of your digestive system, and so on) so you can make the necessary changes to create a healthy environment so you CAN lose weight, and feel much better than you will with any of the quick fix solutions out there. As with anything else in life, losing weight and reaching your wellness goals is a journey that encompasses not just the physical but also the emotional and spiritual part of you. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have right now, look forward to all of the things you will learn about yourself along the way.

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