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Everyone wants to look and feel great and part of that includes maintaining or getting to a healthy weight. We know that eating right and exercising regularly are fundamental components to healthy weight management, but what else can help? In this article I will discuss a few useful strategies and supplements to consider to get to or help maintain your healthy weight.

Eat the Right Fats.

It may sound counter-intuitive, but it’s true. Certain fats promote inflammation (not good) and certain fats reduce inflammation (healthier). Anti-inflammatory fats can assist with proper weight and fat distribution in the body. These fats include omega-3 fats and conjugated linoleic acids (CLA’s). A 2013 Spanish study tracked the weight of healthy overweight people.

The control (placebo) group received olive oil and the testing group received a CLA supplement. After six months, the people in the CLA group showed a significant reduction in weight, waist circumference and total body fat. Similar studies have been conducted with similar beneficial results for omega-3 fish oils.

Herbs that Assist Metabolism.

The healthiest herbs to use to support your metabolism include green tea and white tea and their extracts. These plants have been consumed for over a thousand years and have a long track record of safety. Recent studies have verified the range of their benefits.

A 2013 study was conducted in Israel and published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. The researchers monitored the weight and other blood tests on two groups of seniors. Both groups did the same daily walking exercise whereas one group consumed green tea and vitamin E. After 3 months, the researchers noted that the green tea + vitamin E group had improved exercise capacity, significant weight reduction and improved insulin and blood sugar levels.

Herbs that Improve Stress and Hormonal Health.

One of the difficulties in losing weight is balancing the effects of stress on your metabolism. We know that ongoing stress increases the stress hormone cortisol, which leads to weight gain or difficulties losing weight. Consuming herbs that calm the cortisol stress response can be of benefit in weight loss. Ashwagandha is a herb that promotes overall energy, improves mood, sleep and balances stress hormones…a recipe for improved health and weight.

Traditionally, ashwagandha is used as a rejuvenating tonic for the hormonal system and for the body overall. Studies have found that ashwagandha can improve muscle strength and reduce total body fat percent. Other herbs that may be beneficial in a similar way include rhodiola and ginseng. Consult your naturopath and herbalist for specific recommendations to suit your needs.

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Dr. Rahim Habib ND
About the Author

Rahim Habib is a registered naturopathic doctor with over 15 years of experience in general family practice. He has a special interest in helping patients comprehensively detoxifying their bodies for preventative and therapeutic benefit. He also has a special interest in children’s health, assisting kids in their learning and behavioural health with conditions such as ADHD, Autism spectrum, asthma, allergies and childhood obesity. He also helps adults with chronic conditions, such as thyroid disorders, infertility, inflammation, obesity, autoimmunity, dementia and cancer care. He is the director of the Four Seasons Naturopathic Clinic for Detoxification and Healing and can be reached at 905-597-7201 or www.FamilyNaturopath.ca.