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Herbs Used for Natural Weight Loss

There are many herbs that can help you lose weight.  Each does this job in different ways ways and have different effects on the body. You need to read the labels of the herbs that you buy and make sure that you really do understand what kind of side effects can occur before you take anything.


Take hoodia for example. This is vegetable found in Africa which cuts your thirst and hunger so much that you can actually become malnourished and dehydrated if you take it for too long. Your body forgets what it needs to do to stay healthy.  Other herbs are classified as being thermogentic meaning that they speed up body functions such as heart rate, breathing and digestion. These are the “fat burning” herbs. Many of these have caffeine in them. These include green tea, dandelion and nettle.  If you need a pep up these are good substitutes for the coffee with cream and sugar.


The herbs have the most side effects are the herbs known as the diuretics.  Believe it or not both green tea and dandelion are part of this group of herbal diuretics which can seriously dehydrate you if you take too much.  You do look thinner taking these herbs but the effect is temporary. As soon as you stop taking them you gain the weight back when tries to gain back the water it lost.


Many weight loss herbs have the side effect of diarrheal. Watch out for  uva ursi, birchbark and buchu. The United States Food and Drug Administration warn of side effects including cramping, diarrheal and other problems.


Ma Huang  also known Herbal Phen Phen is a herb to be careful. This drug causes an overstimulation of the central nervous system, an increase in blood pressure and an elevated heart rate. The FDA  warns that this causes heart murmurs, depression, anxiety, heart palpitations, heart attack, dehydration, seizures, chest pain, stroke, dissociation, and psychosis.


Safer choices include cayenne and seaweed. Both kick start a low metabolism.


Keep in mind that before you take any kind of herb it is very important for you to talk with your doctor first. Some conditions simply don’t respond well to even the safest of herbs for weight loss. For instance although green tea is generally considered to be healthy it is not the beverage you should drink if you suffer from anxiety because it is super-charged with caffeine.

It would take four hours in the gym to lose the same 700 calories that you would burn by bathing in infrared light rays for just half an hour!



Handling Sugar, Fat and Salt Cravings

Many people who are addicted to overeating are addicted to either sugar, fat or salt. This is because these are three things that give stimulate the pleasure centers of our brains and calm us.


Battling a Sugar Addiction

To get rid of a sugar addiction you need to substitute it with foods that are still sweet but a bit better for you in terms of calories and nutrition. Vegetables such as squash, sweet potatoes and yams can help satiate the yearning for sweeter and creamy foods. Another good substitute is fruit, which has less calories than cake or ice cream.


Sometimes the urge to eat rich creamy things can indicate a shortage of calcium..  To help cut down on cravings for ice cream or cheese try taking calcium supplements, eating calcium rich foods like oysters, broccoli or Swiss chard and drinking low fat skim milk to balance the body out.


Fighting Fat Addiction

People who crave fat might have an anger issue or a bit of an oral fixation.


Craving fat is very primal as neoprimitive man used to eat the flesh of slaughtered animals that were still warm. This still awakens the pleasure centers of our brains. This is why stuffing warm fatty foods in our mouths helps calm us down. Fat also has nutritionists and dieticians call “mouth feel.”  Foods that are good for us often lack the satisfying feeling that fat has orally.


There are very few snacks that mimic the taste of fat but sometimes eating avocado, low fat butters and dipping bread in olive oil can have the same sort o mouth full. Muffins cooked with dates instead of butter might also have the same richness as fat.


Substituting for Salt

Sometimes overeaters crave salt because their bodies need more sodium. One remedy for this is to include more vegetables in your diet as vegetables contain a healthy form of sodium. A good substitute for high sodium dishes such as Chinese food or French fries is sushi. Both the seaweed and the raw fish are composed of healthy amounts of sea salt.

Drinking an excess of cola, coffee or alcohol can cause a shortage of sodium in the blood. If you are craving a bag of salty, greasy potato chips at the end of the day the culprit might actually be that martini you had last night or those two cups of coffee you had in the morning.


Many cravings have no physical basis at all. The key is to stop seeing food as a magic bullet to cure emotional problems and address your personal issues so that you do not develop chronically unhealthy eating habits that can undermine your weight loss.