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Abolish Your Weight Woes

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Conventional weight loss wisdom makes trimming the pounds gained during the holidays sound so easy'burn more energy than you take in and you'll shed pounds. But for most people, that's an oversimplification. Diet and exercise are not the only factors that play a role in your weight.

Conventional weight loss wisdom makes trimming the pounds gained during the holidays sound so easy burn more energy than you take in and you'll shed pounds. But for most people, that's an oversimplification. Diet and exercise are not the only factors that play a role in your weight.

Take emotional eating, for instance. Your appetite may be driven by powerful mood swings caused by inherited deficiencies in the natural neurotransmitters that shape your moods, as well as by stress. Supplementation with amino acids such as L-glutamine can help to restore your neurochemical balance. Take 500 to 1,000 milligrams three times a day.

You may have an essential fatty acid (EFA) deficiency. If you're not getting enough EFAs, chances are that you'll crave the fattiest foods you can find your body's way of telling you that you need more good fat in your diet. EFAs are abundant in cold-water fish, such as salmon, and in plant foods like flax seed. Or you can take 2,000 mg of fish oil or flax seed oil daily, as part of your New Year's weight loss strategy.

Sugar Highs and Lows

Spikes in your blood sugar levels caused by eating simple, refined carbohydrates (as opposed to complex, whole-grain carbos) can hook you into an up-and-down cycle of cravings in a futile attempt to maintain blood sugar balance. Avoid all white versions of bread, rice and pasta. Take 300 mg chromium and 1,000 mcg biotin daily and 500 to 1,000 mg L-glutamine three times a day to help maintain your body's blood sugar levels while you balance your diet. New evidence suggests cinnamon helps regulate blood glucose levels.

If your thyroid isn't functioning properly, your body can't utilize energy from food as efficiently as it should. The energy that isn't burned up isn't simply lost, however. Your body recognizes that although it can't make use of this energy right now, it might need it eventually and stores it as fat for future use.

To find out how well your thyroid is working, take your temperature orally for three days in a row, first thing in the morning, even before you get out of bed. Shake the thermometer down before you go to sleep. (Any activity after you wake can raise your temperature.) If your temperature three mornings in a row is below 36°C (or 96.8°F), see a health care expert who can assess the severity of your thyroid problem and whether you need hormones.

Stimulate Your Thyroid

If you have a mildly sluggish thryoid, you can energise it.

Take L-tyrosine, the amino acid that the thyroid uses to make its hormones. Take one to four 500 mg capsules before breakfast and again at midmorning. You can also take 50 to 100 mg of thyroid glandular (a supplement made from animal thyroids that can be found at most natural food stores) before breakfast and again in midafternoon.

The B vitamins, vitamins A, C, and E and minerals like zinc, copper, selenium and iron, are also important for proper thyroid function. The best way to get these thyroid-energizing nutrients is to eat at least four cups of different-coloured vegetables every day. Or try this fresh vegetable-juice cocktail which provides high doses of all the main thyroid-energizing nutrients. Put a collard leaf, a handful of parsley, one celery stalk, a carrot, half a red pepper and one tomato into a juicer. If you don't have a juicer, use a blender. Drink one cocktail every day.

You may want to talk to a health practitioner about food sensitivities which can cause food cravings and weight gain. If you suspect food allergies, certain foods should be avoided. Wheat, corn, yeast, soy, egg and peanut products can trigger sensitivity-related binging and bloating in some people. Add vitamin C (1,000 mg, three times a day), B6 (100 mg a day) and magnesium (500 mg a day) to help stave off reactions. Above all, start by giving up sugar and refined (white) flour products anything you positively crave every day because there's a good chance of being sensitive to those items. Try to get vitamin B12 shots regularly.

One hidden problem makes you look fat. Some things antibiotics, birth control pills, too much sugar prompt intestinal yeast to multiply, causing myriad problems from yeast and fungal infections to weight gain. The outcome can be the distinct feeling and appearance of being overweight. Nearly nine million Canadians have a yeast or related fungal overgrowth. Yeasts also cause intense cravings, particularly for the sweet and starchy foods they feed on, causing you to overeat and gain real weight. Avoid foods that yeasts like: alcohol, fermented foods, refined starches and sweets. Emphasize foods that yeasts don't like: low-carb vegetables such as leafy greens and broccoli (as opposed to starchy vegetables); oncentrated protein; and essential fatty acids found in nuts, seeds, avocados, goat cheese, unsweetened yogurt or kefir and especially, fish.

Regain balance within your digestive tract by reforesting it with beneficial bacteria, Lactobacilli acidophilus and bifidus. In the morning, take two capsules on an empty stomach. Continue supplementation for three to six months. Also take anti-fungal measures: 100 to 200 mg of grapefruit seed extract, 1,000 mcg of biotin and 1,200 mg of garlic (or eat one to two cloves of raw garlic) daily.

Resolve now to remove the underlying causes behind your weight woes.

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