I knew nothing about nutrition and weight loss when I started my weight loss journey on December 28, 2016, at an obese 240 pounds.
Since that time, I have immersed myself in reading good books on weight loss and researching the internet where I’ve found all kinds of helpful information. I’ve ‘increased in knowledge’ and gotten ‘wise counsel.’
In regards to supplements, it’s imperative that we know how they can help us and separate the good from the bad.
Recently, I had a lady try to join my Christian Weight Loss group on Facebook. I looked at her profile and found that she was selling “magic pills” called “New You.”
Even though some online reviews are favorable to this product, I’ll say, “No thanks!” I’ll not waste my money on magic pills sold in a pyramid marketing plan.
I’ll just continue to exercise and build endurance by walking a mile or more every day. Yesterday, I walked 2 miles on the track. I went from 233.2 to 232.2 this morning. A loss of one pound!
Sometimes, my weight goes up a little. Sometimes, it goes down a little. But overall, the belly is shrinking!
I’m doing it the old fashioned way by eating small portions of healthy food, walking, and taking tried and proven inexpensive vitamin and mineral supplements I can buy at my grocery store or Walgreens.
No magic “exercise in a pill” for me. I’m not stupid. I’ve done my homework. I’m not going to be taken in by snake oil sales people who stand to profit by peddling their nonsense to gullible and desperate people wanting to lose weight and get healthy.
“Exercise in a bottle?” You’ve got to be kidding!
It may seem hard to believe, but dietary supplement manufacturers (unlike pharmaceutical companies) don’t have to prove that their products work or even that they’re safe. They don’t have to get approval from the FDA before selling them to the public. In 1994, Congress passed a law called the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, which determined that supplements should be regulated as foods, not drugs.
That means the rules are less rigorous, which has been a boon to the industry. Before 1994, there were about 4,000 dietary supplements on the market. Today they number approximately 85,000. Some 180 million Americans spend more than $32 billion a year on nutritional supplements, many of which are in the weight loss category.
“The law basically said manufacturers can do whatever they want in terms of safety and advertising,” said Dr. Pieter Cohen, assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, who has studied the dangers of nutritional supplements extensively. “That allowed the industry to grow to where it is now.”
So, my take on supplements is caveat emptor, buyer beware.
Your body is the most incredible creation in the entire world! We have to be mindful what we put in it. All the money in the world can’t replace it. It’s God’s awesome gift to you and me. It’s a suitable place to house His Spirit. We are merely stewards of this stunning gift that God has given us.
If you purchased a Lexus today, you would treat it with the respect and care that such a fine machine deserves. How much more then should we honor, respect, and care for our priceless body?
By giving our body the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals it needs through healthy eating, exercise, and the right supplements, it can function at peak performance. We will bring honor to God by properly caring for and nurturing our body which is the temple He created to house His Spirit on this earth.
There are safe, natural supplements available in the vitamin section of your grocery store or at a discount online at Puritan’s Pride. . My wife buys most of our supplements from Puritan Pride. https://m.puritan.com/
I recommend the following supplements:
Fiber slows the passage of food through our digestive tract, decreases the absorption of sugar and starches into our stomach, and expands and fills up the stomach giving us a full filling by tuning down our appetite. Moreover, soluable fiber helps us lose weight and maintain level blood sugar. When my blood sugar is low, I feel that I can eat everything in the pantry and the refrigerator! Soluable fiber helps prevent low blood sugars which in turn, helps prevent the desire to binge.
Both the American Heart Assocoation and the National Cancer Institute recommend 30 grams or more of fiber each day. But, the average American only consumes between 12 to 17 grams daily. A fiber supplement helps make up the deficit.
In addition to a fiber supplement, fruit is a good source for fiber. I always eat some kind of fruit after each meal such as pineapple chunks, blueberries, and raspberries.
I also regularly eat Fiber One cereal which is is the best cereal on the market. It packs a whopping 14 grams of dietary fiber, one gram of soluable fiber, and 13 grams of insoluble fiber. Insoluable fiber cleanses the colon as it passes through, and we poop it out.
I use either 2% milk or Kefir on it. Kefir is a probiotic that goes back thousands of years. It is available in your grocer’s milk section. Probiotics help make the good bacteria in our gut which is necessary for proper digestion.
I add a little fruit on top of my Fiber One cereal too. Usually, I add 1/4 cup or more of blueberries that are cleansing antioxidants taking out the toxins that cause chronic and systemic inflammation which can lead to heart attack, cancer, arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and other serious problems. So, fruit on top and fruit on the side for me.
The third supplement we take is CoQ10. It stands for Coenzyme Q10 which is a natural antioxidant that is synthesized by our bodies.
The antioxidants in CoQ10 help our body to consistently perform well by removing the highly reactive oxygen based free radical chemicals that occur in us due to both natural and man-made causes. Eating unhealthy processed and fast food is a major cause of free radicals.
Free radicals can damage cells and interfere with our DNA. Free radicals form when oxygen interacts with certain molecules. Once formed these highly reactive radicals can start a chain reaction, like dominoes. Their chief danger comes from the damage they can do when they react with important cellular components such as DNA, or the cell membrane. Cells may function poorly or die if this occurs.
Scientists have been researching these free radicals for years, and the general concensus seems to be that free radicals not only contribute to cellular breakdown, but they also play a key role in the aging process. They contribute to many other health problems too like heart disease and cancer.
Fortunately, God created our body to produce natural antidotes to free radicals by internally producing antioxidants. They are abundant in youth, but their levels and effectiveness decline with age.
Supplementing our daily diet with the CoQ10 vitamin once a day with a meal is especially beneficial for senior citizens like me.
1. Heart Health. For every cell in your body, the source of energy that keeps it going is called ATP (Adenosine triphosphate). It is the biochemical way that stores and uses energy.
The heart consumes more energy in the form of ATP than almost any other part of the body. However, over time, free radicals can cause oxidative damage to the heart leaving it weaker.
CoQ10 benefits the heart because it makes the heart’s muscle cells more efficient at producing and using energy. It also benefits the heart as an antioxidant because it prevents muscle weakening due to oxidative damage. In fact, low levels of CoQ10 have been shown to correlate with congestive heart failure.
If you are taking a statin based drug like I take to lower your cholesterol, that drug also depletes CoQ10 levels. CoQ10 supplements are a good way for statin users to boost their CoQ10 levels.
If your doctor is like mine, he did not mention the effect of statin drugs on our antioxidant defense mechanism. Fortunately through my wife’s research, we found out that we needed to boost our body’s antioxidant defense with CoQ10.
2. Energy Benefit. If you’ve been feeling like you you’ve run out of gas, it could be from deficiencies of CoQ10 which are known to cause chronic fatigue. This is because low levels of CoQ10 inhibit our body’s ability to make the ATP, which powers our every action. CoQ10 aids in 95% of the bodies energy production! While there are other causes for feeling sluggish, without a good supply of CoQ10 in our body, we will definitely feel lethargic.
3. Fights Aging. If you are getting on up there in the Senior Citizens category like me, we may find that we get exhausted easier than we once did at a younger age. CoQ10 supplements can restore our body’s levels of the energy enzyme back to optimal levels thus fighting one of aging’s effects.
Another age-fighting benefit of Co10 stems from its status as a strong antioxidant. CoQ10 is known to cleanse the body of the types of free radicals, which are known to damage cellular walls causing many of the bodily malfunctions that come with getting older.
4. Helps with high blood pressure. The book is still out on this benefit, but there is strong evidence that suggests that CoQ10 supplements can help with the treatment of high blood pressure. However, it can take up to three months for a change to be seen in blood pressure. From one study, it was found that CoQ10 supplementation that the systolic blood pressure (the top number) decreased by an average of 12 mm Hg and the diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) decreased by an average of 6 mm Hg.
My doctor put me on Enalapril because my blood pressure’s bottom number was consistently 90 or higher. I have been taking it for years. Like all medications, enalapril has side effects which can include: Blurred vision, confusion, dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position, sweating, unusual tiredness or weakness, and kidney problems. That’s why my physician regularly runs kidney function tests on me because I am a T1 diabetic and take Enalapril.
I have discussed with my doctor coming off Enalapril by taking CoQ10. The Enalapril is responsible for my normal blood pressure now. My BP reading today at a self testing kiosk was 117/70. Perfect!
However, my doctor is not ready to take my off Enalapril. He advised me to continue taking the drug and the CoQ10 supplement.
In addition to the CoQ10 supplement, there are many foods containing it such as salmon, tuna, herring, beef, chicken, peanuts, pistachios, and many fruits and vegetables. A quick Google search on CoQ10 food will be helpful in establishing a healthy CoQ10 food diet.
In conclusion, with all the benefits of CoQ10, you might consider adding this vitamin to your diet as part of your weight loss plan since it’s been proven to help the heart’s muscle cells became more efficient at producing and using energy. And energy burns calories! More calories out than calories in results in weight loss. It also benefits the heart by fighting antioxidants formed by free-radicals which cause weakening in our heart muscle.
Another great weight-loss supplement is green tea which is available in the coffee and tea section of your grocery store.
Green tea has been used for thousands of years as both a tea and an herbal medicine. It’s been called the healthiest beverage on the planet!
1. Green tea has a massive range of antioxidants which remove harmful free-radicals.
2. Green tea is a great metabolism booster. With an increased metabolic rate calories are burned off faster even while we sleep!
3. Green tea has positive effects on some fat burning hormones. The substances in green tea increase levels of hormones that tell fat cells to break down fat. This releases our unwanted fat that wants to hang around our middle into the bloodstream and makes it available as energy. The effect of green tea is even stronger when we exercise!
4. Several studies show that green tea can boost metabolism and help people burn about 3-4% more calories each day. In one study of 60 obese individuals, the group taking green tea extract lost 7.3 lbs and burned 183 more calories per day after 3 months.
Slow metabolism frustrates weight-loss. If you’re not losing weight eating small portions of healthy food and exercising, you could have a frustrating slow metabolism. Green tea can speed it up and send you down your weight loss road again.
Overall, it seems that green tea exerts its effects primarily by increasing “calories out” making our body burn more fat.
5. Green tea also helps reduce stubborn, harmful visceral fat. This is belly fat that also builds up around the organs. It causes inflammation and insulin resistance which work against weight loss and has been linked to all sorts of serious diseases including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
In the past 10 years, many Americans have turned to omega-3 fish oil supplements, which have benefits for healthy people and also those with heart disease.
Omega-3 fish oil contains two acids and other essential nutrients that are important in preventing and managing heart disease.
Findings show omega-3 fatty acids benefit our body by lowering blood pressure, reducing triglycerides, slowing the development of plaque in the arteries, reducing the chance of abnormal heart rhythm, and reducing the likelihood of heart attack and stroke.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that everyone eat fatty, coldwater fish at least twice a week such as salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, lake trout, and tuna. These fish are especially high in omega-3 fatty acids.
While foods are your best bet for getting omega-3s in your diet, fish oil supplements are also available for those who do not like fish.
So, talk to your doctor to see if they’re right for you. If you have heart disease or high triglyceride levels, you may need even more omega-3 fatty acids. Ask your doctor if you should take higher doses of fish oil supplements to get the omega-3s you need.
How much omega-3 fish oil is safe?
The AHA says taking up to 3 grams of fish oil daily in supplement form is considered safe. Don’t take more than that unless you discuss it with your doctor first.
There are many other supplements besides these that complement a healthy eating and exercise plan to restore our health and help lose weight. I recommend researching, reading, and talking with someone at a health food store. My wife buys several of our supplements from our local health food. She has found the owner and employees quite knowledgeable.
Two books I recommend by Don Colbert, MD, and a nutrition and weight loss authority, are I Can Do This Diet and Reversing Inflammation. These two books wiill increase your learning and are wise counsel (Proverbs 1:5). You can order them from Amazon.
None of these supplements are magic weight loss pills. For example, you can’t just drink green tea morning, noon, and night and expect the pounds to fall away. But combined with eating right and exercise, supplements definitely aid in making the pounds drop off.
You can subscribe to my blog by entering your email address in the place provided at the end of this article.
Do you take supplements? If so, which ones? There is a place for comments too at the end of this article for you to share. Comments are welcomed and appreciated.
Thanks for reading!