The warm weather is here, and it’s time to bare more of your skin as bikini season is set in motion. Are you ready? If you’ve procrastinated on your diet and never got around to going to the gym this spring, you’ll need to take a more intense approach to tighten, tone, and reduce in time to show off your efforts. Keep reading for some tips to help kick-start your summer weight loss.
Weight loss is never an easy goal to achieve, especially if you’re one of the 66 percent of Americans defined as overweight or obese. If you’ve got more than a couple of pounds to shed, getting and keeping off excess weight is a daily challenge, especially if you feel deprived when you’re on a diet.
Can drugs help?
Drugs may seem like an easy solution, but don’t be so sure: in recent years, many popular weight loss drugs have been dogged by controversy. Fen-phen, a combination of fenfluramine and phentermine that worked together to suppress appetite and create a feeling of fullness, was pulled off the market in 1997 after it had been linked to an increased development of heart valve complications. And Alli, the latest non-prescription weight loss aid that came on the market in late 2007, has unpleasant side effects including loose stools and oily discharge.
What’s a weight-conscious individual to do? If increased exercise, reducing portions, and switching to low-fat, low-calorie foods and low-sugar foods aren’t working as well as you’d like, consider these alternative solutions:
Chromium. This mineral assists in the breakdown of carbohydrates and can help burn fat.
Guarana. This extract, taken from the seeds of a plant native to Brazil, is a natural stimulant that may also speed up the body’s ability to burn fat.
Hoodia. This herb, made from an African cactus, has been ingested for centuries by bushmen in the Kalahari desert to keep from feeling hungry during long hunts. Today, it is commonly sold in pill or powdered form and used to suppress the appetite.
Green Tea. Brewed traditionally or taken in extract form, anitoxidants known as catechins are found in abundance in the tea leaves and stimulate fat-burning in the body as well as help burn excess calories.
And remember: healthy weight loss is aided by a balanced meal plan and regular exercise—not crash diets and excessive physical activity! Take good care of yourself, and you weight loss will be easier to maintain.