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Weight : Support Weight Loss Naturally

If you're trying to achieve a healthy weight, a variety of nutritional supplements can offer support. Combined with a balanced, whole-foods diet and regular exercise, the following supplements may be helpful for reaching your weight-loss goals.

5-HTP: The brain's level of serotonin, aka the "feel good" neurotransmitter, is a powerful controller of your appetite. It's common to be deficient in serotonin, and a low level can lead to depression and an increased appetite. If you're low on serotonin, 5-HTP can help restore healthy levels and support a normal appetite. 5-HTP has been shown to be effective for both weight loss and sugar cravings.

Chromium: Many people who are struggling with weight are insulin resistant, which makes a person more likely to store sugar as fat. For insulin to function properly, the body needs chromium. Whole grains are a good source of chromium -- just be sure to avoid overly processed refined grains. The refining process can remove up to 98 percent of the chromium naturally found in grains. Beans, nuts, and seeds are also good sources.

A high-quality multivitamin will contain chromium, but nutrition expert Patrick Holford recommends taking 200 micrograms twice daily for the first three months of a weight-loss regime to help maintain blood sugar control and reduce sugar cravings.

Whey protein: You may associate whey protein with building muscle, but this easily digestible protein can also help support weight loss by reducing feelings of hunger and promoting satiety. It also helps preserve lean muscle mass during weight loss.

One of the best strategies for weight loss is to take whey protein before or between meals. Research shows that consuming a small amount of whey protein prior to a meal helps improve blood-sugar control after the meal.

Green tea: Antioxidant-rich green tea can aid weight loss by boosting metabolism and reducing appetite. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends drinking two to three cups of green tea daily to gain its health-promoting ingredients. Also look for green tea extract in supplement form.

Fish oil: The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil have a wide variety of positive effects on health -- particularly heart health -- and research finds it may also be helpful for weight loss. In one study, both fish oil and exercise independently reduced body fat. But a combination of the two -- participants walked for 45 minutes, three times a week and consumed 1.9 grams of fish oil daily -- was even more effective.
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