Dieting for life is not a solution
Although healthy lifestyle, avoiding Western diet, dieting and intensive exercise such as HIIT are the commonly used methods to lose weight, they are not considered a permanent solution for large parts of the population. In fact, all diets reduce the basal metabolic rate, making it more and more difficult to lose weight as the diet progressed.
Medication offers some help in losing weight by either reducing fat absorption in the gut or by reducing appetite. However, both types of medication have side effects which may cancel any benefits derived from weight loss and cannot be an ongoing permanent solution.
On the other hand, dietary phytochemicals (beneficial plants chemicals found in herbs, spices and vegetables) and other natural health products, offer great potential as an extra aid in losing and maintaining weight, which is beneficial to health and sustainable for life.
Phytochemicals to the rescue
In fact, several phytochemicals can boost fat oxidation, basal metabolic rate and even thermogenesis, thereby maximising the effects of healthy dieting and exercise.
The authors of this literature review study specifically mention polyphenols, such as citrus flavonoids, epigallocatechin gallate from green tea, resveratrol, capsaicin and curcumin, which "have been reported to increase lipolysis and induce fatty acid β-oxidation". Literally thousands of in-vitro, in-vivo and clinical studies report on the metabolic benefits of such phytochemicals.
Of course one cannot lose weight by only consuming phytochemicals, either in food or supplement form - that would be disingenuous to suggest. But they can be used to accelerate weight loss in combination with exercise and diet, and most importantly to help maintain weight loss for life, while at the same time protecting overall health - not just metabolism.
Source [Literature review]
Phytochemicals in regulating fatty acid β-oxidation: Potential underlying mechanisms and their involvement in obesity and weight loss.
Georgios Tzenichristos is the director of London's London-based LipoTherapeia clinic, which specialises in natural fat/cellulite reduction and skin tightening. Georgios daily follows all research on fat, metabolism, connective tissue and phytochemicals and regularly writes about those topics. To check all our recent articles visit lipotherapeia.com/metabolism.
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