Overweight: natural ways to weight loss
Obesity is today an epidemiological problem in western countries as it is estimated that more than half of the population in Europe and the USA is overweight or even obese.
Obesity and Overweight: meaning
BMI is defined as the body mass index, which is calculated by dividing the patient's body weight expressed in kg by the height expressed in meters squared. BMI = weight (kg) / height (m) squared. Using the BMI a BMI value between 20 and 25 is considered ideal for both sexes. A person with a BMI value between 25 and 29 is defined as "overweight" (generally, the overweight each of us went to build it over the years or through dietary-food errors during the winter, unless there is thyroid hypofunctionality). If the BMI is between 30 and 34 we speak of mild obesity, if it is between 35 and 40 we speak of medium obesity, while for values above 40 we speak of serious obesity. For obesity there is another parameter to be evaluated: the distribution of body fat in the obese patient (to determine visceral obesity the waist circumference is determined to see if it exceeds 88-100 cm and / or a waist circumference ratio / hip circumference greater than 1 (0.9 for women).
Why you gain weight
Weight gain is determined by an imbalance between energy intake (food taken) and energy expenditure. Energy expenditure includes the following components:
- basal or resting metabolism (usually in the western world basal metabolism represents 70% of daily energy expenditure, while physical activity contributes 5-10%);
- energy cost for the metabolization and conservation of nutrients;
- thermal effect of physical exercise;
- adaptive thermogenesis (dispersion of energy in the form of heat) which occurs in brown adipose tissue.
How to lose weight: tips to start
How to lose weight? to lose weight, it is necessary to evaluate the causes of weight gain (there may also be psychological causes to solve!), reduce caloric intake and maintain new eating habits, therefore being careful not to return to old eating habits over time. So, let's start with the correct food!
Those who are overweight or with mild or moderate obesity, to lose weight the recommended therapy is to follow a wise balanced weight loss diet, richly vegetable at the beginning of the meal, strongly reducing the calories introduced with "modern" sweets, because they are rich in dangers more in the addition rather than in the basic components, of wine and alcohol in excess, of the right but not excessive movement. The balanced weight loss diet must be a low-calorie diet (caloric intake 500-1000 kcal lower than the patient's usual one) and hypolipidic (less than 30% fat content). The goal is to achieve a weight loss of 5-10% which, even if it does not return to the ideal body weight, will significantly reduce the incidence and severity of associated pathologies (type 2 diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, hypertension) , ischemic heart disease). If the attempt to change eating habits does not give the desired results, drug treatment is used.
Natural way to weight loss
Slimming drugs have so far shown important adverse effects, so much so that many have been withdrawn from commerce for safety reasons. Also for this reason, numerous plant extracts are now widely used in the treatment of obesity or overweight, for the most part sold as food supplements. Compared to drugs, in fact, herbal preparations make it possible to use the active ingredients at lower dosages, exploiting the synergy between the various substances of the phytocomplex and thus minimizing the probability of adverse effects. This is why it is good to also know natural remedies for weight loss.
To moderate excess appetite and to weight loss herbs generally mentioned are:
- satiating plants: they are plants rich in mucilage and / or rich in swelling fiber (alginic acid, carrageenan, guar gum, blond psyllium): these satiating plant-based substances are widely used as adjuvants in low-calorie diets and have the property of form a bulky and viscous mass in contact with the gastric contents, so as to cause satiety by mechanical means. Many of these substances slow down the absorption of glucose originating from the digestion of carbohydrates, helping to lower blood sugar in the phase following a meal, with an advantage for diabetics. However, they cannot boast the ability to reduce the absorption of fats.
- appetite suppressant herbs: feeding behavior is a complex function whose control is entrusted not only to gastric dilatation but also to the neuroendocrine system. Scientific studies have discovered for example that Griffonia seeds contain 5-hydroxy-tryptophan (5-HTP), a precursor of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine), a very important neurotransmitter involved in various physiological functions including sleep, appetite and mood and have shown that 5-HTP induces an inhibitory effect on the center of hunger at the level of the hypothalamus. In the subject there is an increase in the sense of satiety with a consequent decrease in appetite and decrease in body weight.
- stimulating plants (green tea, maté, Californian bitter orange, spirulina, green coffee ...). Some active ingredients that increase basal metabolic rate also act on the central nervous system: for example bitter orange, green tea and guarana contain alkaloids which cause an increase in energy consumption (peripheral metabolic effect) but also a reduction in appetite by stimulating the system central nervous system (central anorexant effect).
Scientific studies have confirmed, for example, the role of catechins on the regulation of body weight. Catechins, in particular gallocatechins, inhibit the synthesis of fatty acids (FAS) by inhibiting the PI3K (phosphatidylinositol-kinase 3) / Akt activation pathway. The catechins lower the insulin resistance and modulate the β-oxidation that transforms the fatty acids of the adipose tissue into energy. (Sae-Tan et al., 2011). Catechins improve energy expenditure with a thermogenic effect. (Türközü and Tek, 2017).
By thermogenesis we mean a particular metabolic process which consists in the production of heat by the body, especially in the adipose and muscle tissue. Since body weight is determined by the balance between calories introduced with food and those burned with physical activity and with various metabolic processes such as digestion, respiration, etc., by stimulating thermogenesis it is possible to obtain a certain control of body weight.
Minimum dosage of catechins to have an effect on body weight: 150 mg / day. For example green tea titrated 40% in epigallo catechin gallate increases the production of leptin, reduces the absorption of lipids, decreases the sense of hunger; cassia noname titrated 8% of total catechins inhibits pancreatic lipase, 30% reduction in ingested fats.
There are also active plants thanks to substances whose mechanism of action is absolutely original and not yet reproduced by commercial drugs. This is the case with isocitric acid, present in Garcinia cambogia and gurmarine, one of the active ingredients of Gymnema sylvestre.
For Garcinia, for example, it appears that hydroxycitric acid inhibits the enzyme citrate lyase so as to block the formation of acetyl-CoA, a substrate used in the liver and other districts for the biosynthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol, resulting in a reduction of the synthesis of fatty acids and a sense of satiety. Gymnema sylvestre contains gymnemic acids and partly saponins (Gimnesian), which, according to Capasso (1), can reduce the intestinal absorption of glucose, are able to stimulate the pancreatic secretion of insulin and can also promote the uptake and l tissue utilization of glucose, promoting the hypoglycaemic action.
- plants that accelerate metabolism, albeit moderately (iodine algae, which nevertheless stimulate the thyroid!).
Some of herbal remedies for weight loss with stimulating action mentioned above and that you can find on Erboristeria Como are: Peso balance, Primum dren mini drink with green tea, Garcinia, Bruciadren fast and Drenasel strong (belly, hips, buttocks).
In addition to these our herbal remedies for weight loss, there is also a specific product for the control of the sense of hunger, Famesel, clinically studied on nervous hunger and depressive symptoms, to which we will dedicate the next post.
Visit our herbal department for any clarification or for more information.
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