Lose weight naturally

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MEDICINE CABINET

BEFORE LOSING WINTER'S LAYERS, shed the season's extra pounds. Confront unhealthy eating habits, exercise daily for at least 30 minutes, and try these natural weight-control aids suggested by NATURAL HEALTH advisor Elson Haas, M.D., author of The New Detox Diet, and herbalist Linda Page, N.D., author of Healthy Healing.

1. Studies show that people who eat breakfast are less likely to overeat during the day. A high-fiber, low-fat bowl of oatmeal with apples and raisins fills you up for a while, so you won't nibble before lunch.

2. "Expert dieters drink eight glasses of water a day," says Page. Water curbs appetite, promotes digestion, and supports good hydration. Add a packet of Emergen-C to help your body deal with the stress of dietary change.

3. Sea vegetables like kelp and dulse are high in iodine, which keeps the thyroid gland from becoming sluggish, one cause of weight gain. Add 2 tablespoons of chopped, dried seaweed to salads and soups.

4. Keep your stomach from grumbling with daily doses of St. John's Wort (900 milligrams), 5-HTP (300 to 600 mg), and evening primrose oil (3 grams). These suppress hunger and help lift your mood by stimulating serotonin, says Page.

5. "The liver is your body's chemical plant for fat metabolism," says Page. Optimize this detoxifying organ with bee pollen and sarsaparilla, and regenerate liver cells with 200 to 400 mg of milk thistle extract a day.

6. Changing your eating habits can lead to a day or two of detox symptoms like irritability, anxiety, and headaches, warns Haas. Freshwater algae is a protein-rich superfood that can help support your body: Take 2 to 3 grams of spirulina or Chlorella.

7. Dieters who consume dairy products and calcium experience greater weight loss, according to a study at the University of Tennessee. Take calcium with an equal amount of magnesium (up to 1,000 mg a day) to calm the body and enhance sleep.

8. Green tea contains caffeine and antioxidant catechins to promote thermogenesis, the process by which the body converts fat into energy. Enjoy a cup after each meal.

9. Spice up your life with horseradish, ginger, cinnamon, and cayenne to boost your metabolic rate. One teaspoon of mustard can increase your metabolism significantly for up to three hours, says Page.

10. While saturated fats are difficult for the liver to metabolize, omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats found in coldwater fish, nuts, and flaxseed oil that healthfully satiate and provide valuable energy.

11. Insulin released as a result of high blood sugar signals the body to store fat. Curb your sugar cravings with 300 mg of the herb gymnema sylvestre. It binds to sugar receptors in the mouth, lessening sugar's sweetness, says Page.

12. Free-form amino acids provide an array of weight-loss support. Supplements that may energize metabolism include L-Carnitine (500 to 1,000 mg), L-Glutamine (1 to 3 g), L-Tyrosine (1 to 2 g), and L-Phenylalanine (1 to 3 g), says Haas.

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By Rachel Dowd

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