Menopause and Dryness – Hand in Hand

Menopause Treatment for Dryness

Expert’s Name: Carrie Pierce

It’s well documented that a natural ‘drying out’ process occurs in a woman’s body as she moves through the peri menopause and Menopause process.

Fluctuating hormone levels have a role to play in this issue- and the essential fatty acids assist the body in the manufacture and distribution of crucial sex hormones, carrying molecular messages between the cells and serving to provide prostaglandin balance.

Prostaglandins are hormone-like in their nature and are understood to serve as messengers and regulators within the body cells and tissues.

So, just what the heck does all this scientific mumbo jumbo mean to Y-O-U?!

Simply put, this:

  • Peri menopause begins around the age of 35 in most women.
  • During this time of hormonal shift, skin, hair and nails begin to suffer and other worrisome and bothersome symptoms set up shop. A woman may begin to experience ongoing -and worsening- dryness issues.
    Her skin might become sensitive-with itching and flaking occurring regularly where there was no problem before.
  • Chronic dry skin stems from 2 basic causes: deficiencies in key nutrients and ongoing, uncorrected hormone imbalances.

The Essential Fatty Acids we discussed in Part One of this article series work to combat both these root causes, by feeding the skin at a cellular level, allowing skin cells to nourish and rejuvenate themselves.

Keeping your diet free from excessive sugars by eating low glycemic foods and trans fats also works to have a positive impact on overall skin health by stopping the formation of AGE’s (Advanced Glycation End products) otherwise recognized as the telltale crosshatching affect of older skin.

So how does one go about ensuring that they consume enough of the EFA’s to positively impact both skin AND hormone health?

Omegas 3 and 6 can be obtained from food sources and supplements.

Excellent sources of Omega 3s are:
Seafood/Flax seeds/raw nuts-especially walnuts/eggs and canola oil.

Excellent sources of Omega 6 are:
Borage Oil/Evening Primrose Oil- aka as : ‘the King’s Cure-all’, ( yet given its many uses for easing menstruation, hot flashes and other rather severe female-hormone- related issues, perhaps it should be known as the Queen’s Cure-all instead…) Sunflower, canola and safflower oils/eggs and soybeans.

Now that we’ve discussed why these EFAs are crucial to health and beauty-especially during Menopause- let’s look at the proper ratios:

  • Studies show a healthy balance of Omega 3 to Omega 6 is crucial.
  • The typical American diet has a ratio of 1:20 (Omega 3 to Omega 6), and it’s now thought this ratio should be closer to 5:1 or less.
  • Omega 6s are known to be possible inflammation-producers and as such need to be properly balanced with Omega 3’s which are shown to reduce inflammation within human tissues.
  • When Omega 6 predominates in a diet, such as a diet rich in animal fats and corn derived products, skin and hormonal issues appear to be made worse.

The bottom-line to all of this is- simply put: good skin starts with good nutrition. PERIOD.

Vaginal dryness, dry eye, joint pain and/or thinning hair, skin and brittle nails are all signs of EFA deficiency- in most cases- and should be discussed with your health care provider.

Adding the right ‘Beauty Fats’ to your diet can make all the difference- and your entire body –from head to toe will thank you!

The Menopausal Hot Flash

What is a Hot Flash and Hot Flash Treatments

Expert’s Name: Robin Pruitt

Hot flashes can range from a mild inconvenience to a miserably uncomfortable burden. They’re annoying, inconvenient and can deprive you of sleep. I’ve heard it said that some women actually enjoy the warm sensation, but I’ve never met a woman who felt that way! I personally don’t enjoy them at all.

But sometimes I choose to have one.

The physiology of a hot flash isn’t entirely clear, but it is the result of the body’s efforts to deal with hormonal fluctuations and imbalance. We can do some things to aid the hormonal balance, but short of taking prescription drugs or hormone replacement therapies we can’t change the fact that menopause is a time of intense hormonal fluctuation.

On the other hand, although we may not always realize it, we have total control over the food we eat—after all; nothing goes in our mouths unless we raise the fork or glass to our own lips. And it turns out that this can make a huge difference in how we feel going through menopause.

Our bodies are very responsive to what we feed ourselves. When we consume the Standard American Diet filled with hormone-laden beef and dairy products, conventionally grown produce grown in depleted soils and sprayed with toxic pesticides, and processed foods containing an assortment of chemical additives and preservatives, then wash all that down with sodas sweetened with the unnatural sweetener high fructose corn syrup or chemical artificial sweeteners, our bodies must work overtime to sift the available nutrients out of the substances we eat and filter out and dispose of all the chemicals.

And that’s before adding a flood of excess hormones to the system. During menopause, a changing variety of hormonal substances courses through our bodies, taxing an already challenged eliminatory system. Like Lucy on the chocolate candy assembly line, sometimes there’s just more “coming along” than the system is set up to handle. A hot flash is like an overflow signal.

Hot Flash Triggers
During this physically challenging time we can ease the chemical burden on our bodies by limiting our intake of processed foods, choosing organic foods whenever possible, and drinking lots of filtered water. It also helps to pay attention to possible relationships between particular foods or situations and the occurrence of hot flashes. Common trigger foods include caffeine, spicy foods and alcohol. Heat, stress and smoking are common non-food triggers. However, we are all individuals, and you may have individualized triggers. For instance, one woman I know can count on having a hot flash if she eats potatoes.

So, why would I choose to have a hot flash? Well, one of my triggers is coffee, but occasionally I enjoy a really good cup of coffee. It often comes with a hot flash chaser, but because I know that, I can decide when the delicious pleasure of a good cup of coffee outweighs the discomfort of a hot flash.

The point is that if you take steps to reduce the quantity of chemical additives that your system has to deal with and develop an awareness of the foods most likely to overwhelm your system, you can have a choice about how you feel.

And that can make you feel better about everything.

Hot Flash Remedies

Hot Flash Remedies

It’s Hot in Here! – Treatments for Hot Flashes

Expert’s name: Elizabeth Swales

Perhaps the most common symptom of Menopause is the hot flash. Annoying and irritating, this symptom is among the least understood of all Menopausal indicators. While we may not fully understand why we have hot flashes, also known as hot flushes, we can certainly help prevent them, but in order to do this, we must first understand what menopausal hot flashes are and what we can do about them.

What is a Hot Flash?
Hot Flashes are common Menopausal symptoms consisting of a red, flushed face, momentary feelings of increased body heat, and sweating. These feelings occur when blood vessels around the surface of the skin dilate. While most women will experience hot flushes throughout menopause, the exact duration varies from woman to woman. Some women will be plagued by hot flashes throughout their lives, while others will experience this sensation for a short period of time during menopause and perimenopause.

How Can I Avoid Hot Flashes?
While there are steps that you can take to stop hot flashes, it is impossible to prevent them completely. The following natural steps will help you to avoid more severe and frequent hot flashes and night sweats.

1. Avoid Common Triggers – There are a number of common activities that can trigger menopausal hot flashes, buy avoiding the things on the following list you can help reduce the number of symptoms you experience:

  • Stress
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Spicy Foods
  • Tight Clothing
  • Heat
  • Cigarette Smoke

2. Keep Your Room Cool – By keeping your surrounding area cool you can in turn keep your body temperature more moderate. Use fans in the afternoon and wear light clothing to keep yourself cool; especially to avoid hot flashes at night.

3. Deep Breathing Exercises – Try practicing a deep breathing exercise. Breathe in slowly and deeply for fifteen minutes to moderate your stress levels. This exercise is also effective at the onset of a hot flash.

4. Exercise Daily – Exercising regularly provides and number of health benefits including reducing the frequency and severity of night sweats.

5. Cool Pillows – Ensure that you keep your pillows at a low temperature; this will help regulate your body temperature. Did you know that there are specially designed pajamas that are made to keep you cool too?

Turn the Heat up, I’m a Little Chilly
Menopausal Hot Flashes are irritating and can be insufferable. Unfortunately, it is impossible to prevent them all together, but by taking steps to prevent the onset of frequent hot flashes, you can avoid some of the frustration. By keeping a moderate body temperature and avoiding the pitfalls listed above you can start looking forward to your transformative years and engage yourself in the changes that are happening inside of you.

Is Wealth in your Health?

Is Wealth in your Health?

Why Should Women be Healthy?
Expert’s Name:  Suzanne Monroe

 

What’s Your Why?

What’s your why for enjoying a healthy diet? Determining your true motivation for why you want to be healthy adds feeling and emotion to your goal, making it easier to achieve. Most people are not motivated my numbers on a scale, but they can picture themselves having more energy and feeling great. Focusing solely on your weight will leave you always stepping on the scale and analyzing the results with your calculator. How boring, right? Health is so much more than a number! Here are just a few very important reasons that might make your personal “Why Be Healthy List”. Can you connect with any of these?
Why Be Healthy List
  • Increased energy to do what you love.
  • A sense of balance and awareness with your life.
  • Ability to choose what you eat, instead of being controlled by cravings.
  • Feeling more comfortable in your own skin.
  • Serving as an example to others.
  • Living longer and with more joy.
The Key to Healthy Eating During Menopause

Counting calories doesn’t work! It’s just another way to fit food into the “numbers game”, but you’ll miss the bigger picture. Food is your fuel, not a mathematical equation. Food nourishes you on a deep level and goes far beyond a point, an ounce, a calorie or a fat gram. Learning to listen to your body and discover what truly nourishes you is the key to healthy eating. Freeing yourself from the endless cycle of number crunching, willpower and deprivation is the way to truly balanced eating. And once you get there, you’ll never look back. Take it from me, I used to be a calorie counter. Now I know how to choose food in a whole new way that gives me energy. When clients come to Real Life Food to lose weight, they soon discover their true motivation was something else – the weight was just a side effect of the real motivation to increase energy, end menopausal weight gain and symptoms, curb late night cravings, learn how to manage stress, or achieve balance in life – just to name a few!

Menopause is a time for not only physical changes, but emotional changes as well. When our emotions are out of balance, be it irritability, sadness, anxiety or stress, we may be led to make poor food choices. The fuel you choose can either alleviate your emotional state, calming you, grounding you, giving you long lasting energy; or it can aggravate and intensify your emotional state. Once you understand own personal “Why” you can use it as motivation to overcome any emotional or physical obstacle that may be trying to keep you from your health goals. Start with determining your own Why and let that serve as the foundation to help you reach your goals. It’s so much more fun and meaningful than dieting and counting calories!

Nutrition Labels: What Really is Important

Nutrition Labels: What Really is Important

The Keys to Food Labels
Expert’s Name: Lisa Enslow

Ladies, get out your reading glasses and keep them handy at the supermarket. Reading labels is the best way to make sure you are eating the most nutritious and health promoting foods you can. At first glance, a standard nutrition label looks like information overload. Focusing on a few key points in the nutrition label will help you quickly decide if that particular item is right for you. The goal is to be better informed and healthier, not to spend all day in the supermarket reading labels! This is also a skill that improves with practice. The more you do it, the better you will get at judging the quality of an item quickly. It’s also a great behavior to model for your children. Have them select a yogurt based on the criteria you’ll learn in this article. It’s never too early to get the kids involved in making healthier choices for themselves.

Focus on These Points

*Serving Size and servings per container: All of the nutritional data refers to amounts in a single serving. In many packaged foods the serving size is MUCH smaller than you would imagine. That Snapple Iced Tea that you grab from the cooler at the deli actually has 2 servings in it. Boxed cereal serving sizes are also often much smaller than any person would pour into the bowl.

*Dietary Fiber: Fiber helps fill you up, slows down the metabolism of sugar, and helps in your digestion and elimination. Look for foods with at least 5 grams of fiber per serving. You’ll find a huge variety of fiber amounts in bread. There are many types of bread available today with 4 grams of fiber per slice, which is great!

*Fat: Beware of foods with trans fats, as these are promoters of heart disease and interfere with your metabolism. Saturated fats should be limited as they are not as heart healthy as unsaturated fats.

*Sodium: Current recommendations are for less than 2300mg of sodium per day, and 1500mg for those with health problems or family history of hypertension. Canned foods and jarred sauces are often high in sodium. A comparison of different brands will lead you to choices with less sodium. In addition there are some items being sold as “low sodium” such as soups.

*Sugar: The less the better. Choose foods with less than 5 grams per serving. Again, comparing labels among different brands is very enlightening. You can spend 10 minutes in the yogurt section alone!

*Ingredient List: Ingredients are listed according to their ranking in the product by weight. The first item is the main ingredient. Look for products with ingredients that you recognize as food, not chemicals. And in general, the shorter the ingredient list the better the food.

Food with No Labels!

The easiest and most healthful way to shop is to buy food that has no label to read! A banana, a bunch of broccoli, brown rice or quinoa from the bulk grains section of the market…these items do not have a nutrition label at all.   Making sure that the bulk of your shopping cart is filled with non-labeled items is a great way to save time and eat more healthfully.
Raw Food – Is it Right for You?

Raw Food – Is it Right for You?

Diet and Menopause – Raw Vegan
Expert’s Name:  Robin Pruitt

It is well known that antioxidants are beneficial to our health. Antioxidants significantly decrease effects of free radical damage, which accumulates with age. Specifically, research has revealed evidence that free radicals contribute to menopausal symptoms, so bolstering our antioxidant defenses may prevent or minimize some of those symptoms.

Raw Food and Antioxidants

A diet with a high percentage of raw foods provides a wealth of antioxidants. An easy way to increase your supply of antioxidants from whole food sources rather than relying on supplements is to adopt a habit of making a meal out of a salad. A well constructed salad delights the palate, provides abundant nutrition and has enough substance to be satisfying and to see you through to the next meal.

Leafy greens provide the base for a good salad—no surprise there. But the first step to building the perfect salad is to rethink the lettuce. Forget about iceberg lettuce; it has inferior nutritional value and flavor compared with other varieties. Instead, choose darker green varieties—that vibrant green color is nature’s way of pointing us toward the most nutritious choices. Romaine lettuce is a great start for the Perfect Salad, but avoid the prepackaged hearts of romaine—they’re paler and therefore likely to be less nutritious, and don’t save any labor since they still need to be washed. Go for the darker outer leaves of individual heads of romaine.

Next, layer on a rainbow assortment of shredded or chopped vegetables; use possibilities that are beyond the usual tomato and cucumber include shredded beets, zucchini, red cabbage and carrots, as well as radishes, green onions and red bell peppers.

Raw nuts and seeds add protein and healthy oils along with textural contrast and staying power to your Perfect Salad. Nuts and seeds don’t need to be roasted to be delicious. When raw, their delicate healthy oils are undamaged by heat and oxidation. Walnuts and pumpkin seeds are great choices. Both supply alpha-linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 fatty acid. Additionally, pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, which supports healthy thyroid function.

To me, there is something deeply satisfying about a salad with avocado. A few slices of avocado can add substance without heaviness and a creamy texture that contrasts well with the crispness of most other salad ingredients. The healthy fats and high fiber content of avocados provide a satisfying richness and help give the salad staying power.

Fresh or dried fruit helps to brighten the flavor and add vitamins and phytonutrients. Raisins, currants, grapes, dried cranberries, dried apples, dried pineapple chunks, sliced strawberries or pears, mango or papaya cubes, mandarin orange slices—the list goes on. When the salad is dressed and tossed, the fruit will release juices and flavor that add another dimension to the dressing.

You’ve now constructed a very colorful salad—proof that your salad provides a bounty of the powerful antioxidant carotenoid. But guess what: you’ll get almost none of their benefit if your salad is fat-free! That’s because some fat must be present to release and help assimilate the carotenoids and fat-soluble vitamins in the salad. For a simple dressing, just use a high-quality olive oil and balance it with an acid element, either citrus juice or the vinegar of your choice. Experiment with the many flavored vinegars that are available. If you prefer an oil-free dressing, be sure to include some nuts, seeds or avocado in your salad as a healthy fat source to ensure the full absorption of nutrients.

As a final touch, you can sprinkle in some additional seasonings. Possibilities include Italian seasoning blend, cayenne pepper, kale or dulse powder for micronutrients, nutritional yeast for cheesy flavor and a source of vitamin B12, and of course salt and pepper to taste.

I have found that magic happens when I toss the salad and dressing together in a large mixing bowl, and then transfer it to a serving bowl. That way, all the salad ingredients can mingle and become united by the dressing. Letting the tossed salad sit for just a few minutes before eating will allow the flavors to blend to perfection.

Yum! Now I’m hungry for my own Perfect Salad. I’ll see you in the kitchen…

Hefty Friends, Bad Influence

Hefty Friends, Bad Influence

Expert’s Name: Gail Edgell
Are overweight friends making you fat

You have to love this study that was just published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity found that if you “hang out” with healthier, active friends, you are more likely to adopt those habits.

In other words, if your friends are always going to fast food restaurants on a Friday night, it is hard for you to say no.

I must admit, if my husband drives up to our local ice cream shop, I am more likely to get something.  I doubt very much if I would every go their by myself.   So perhaps misery does love company.

But on the other hand, if someone stopped at a fast food restaurant, would I get something. All I have to say is that I have to be very hungry.

So what are you thoughts?  Do you think your friends influence your decisions?

Reference: timesofindia.indiatimes.com.

Menopause Diet: Fighting the Battle of the Bulge

Menopause Diet: Fighting the Battle of the Bulge

Expert’s Name:  Gail Edgell
Menopause bloating and weight gain

 

 

Yep, you hit 40 and something happened to your body.  All of the sudden you have a pot belly.  Where did this come from?

It can be due to a number of reasons exhausted adrenals or even a decrease in production of estrogen.  The list goes on and on.

At one time or another, I am sure you thought about getting liposuction.  Perhaps, only for a moment, but I am sure it has crossed every woman’s mind.

Well a new study has surfaced that I do not find surprising.  The results were published in the Obesity journal.  After women had liposuction, if they regained the weight in returned in different areas.

I have personally observed this in my own personal training clients.

So you might ask why.  The easiest explanation is that when a person has liposuction fat cells are removed.  Therefore, when they gain the weight back the remaining fat cells that are elsewhere get bigger.  If they continue to gain lots of weight, fat cells will eventually multiply.

As most of you know liposuction is a risky procedure.  There are many complications associated with it.  But I think the lesson to be learned here is if you choose liposuction, diet and exercise must accompany it.  Or perhaps have liposuction done to your whole body.  Just joking!

Remember, there is no easy menopause diet or weight loss solution.

Reference: nytimes.com/2011/05/01/weekinreview/01kolata.html?src=recg

Weight Gain vs. Menopause

Weight Gain vs. Menopause

Is Weight Loss Impossible During Menopause?
Interviewer: Gail Edgell

 

Gail Edgell: All of a sudden, women hit 40 or 45, and things start to change. They gain a lot of weight around the waist. What is really happening?

Dr. Chilkov:    As we age, our metabolism slows down, and there are many changes in our hormonal balance. We have to look at changes in estrogen, insulin and thyroid function as well as changes in lifestyle. Women can get more sedentary as they age because of the demands of life.

All of these factors will cause an increase in body fat. It’s lovely to be thin for cosmetic reasons and vanity. But really, we want to have low body fat and more muscle mass. High body fat increases our risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and depression. So many health issues are made worse by having a higher percentage of body fat. That should be our motivation for being leaner and thinner.

 

Gail Edgell: What can women do, starting in their 40s, to really combat this issue? Does it change as they are going into their 50s and 60s?

Dr. Chilkov: The bottom line is having a lifelong normal weight. Maintaining a normal fat-to-lean-body-mass ratio is a lifestyle. Then we deal specifically with metabolic issues with herbs and nutrients.

You have to include the lifestyle factor of regular exercise. If you want to maintain your weight, you want to exercise an hour three times a week. If you want to lose weight, you have to do that every day. You want to have a healthy diet and proper stress management — stress hormones cause your body to store fat. And you want to have adequate rest, so you aren’t swimming upstream against your own physiological factors.

There are a number of herbs and nutrients that we can use to help our body burn more fat, even while we are sitting. Let me introduce some of those.

The first one that I want to discuss is CLA; that is an abbreviation for conjugated linoleic acid. This is a type of fatty acid that promotes fat loss and muscle growth. It occurs in some foods — for example, it is very high in cottage cheese. I prescribe 1,000 milligrams, twice a day, in a capsule as part of a weight-loss program. It increases the burning of fat. That is how it helps us lose weight more efficiently. We are going to promote fat loss, but we also are going to promote muscle growth. Why is that important? Muscle has a higher metabolic rate, so it keeps us lean. If you have more muscle mass, you can eat more calories and still stay thin. You want to be using things that not only burn fat but also build muscle. That is a real key to staying lean.

CLA is used in treating other health concerns. It’s used in cancer care, in treating cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It’s not just used as a weight-loss supplement.

A lot of people have heard a lot about Green Tea and weight loss. It is a useful herb for weight loss because it, too, will improve fat metabolism. Green Tea also reduces appetite. It has a little bit of caffeine and the main medicinal component, ECGC. The decaffeinated form is not as effective for weight loss as the natural caffeinated form. It can be taken in capsules, or it can be taken as a beverage tea. When you take Green Tea in capsules, you want a fat-soluble capsule; it is much more effective. Green Tea really, really increases thermogenics, or energy expenditure (calorie burn), that can boost your metabolism by 4 percent a day.

Green Tea also helps keep blood sugar stable. That is why it reduces appetite. Keeping blood sugar stable is a big component of weight loss. If your blood sugar drops, your body will produce the stress hormone cortisol. That is a fat-storage hormone. Keeping your blood sugar stable during the day by eating small, frequent meals and not waiting too long to eat really makes weight loss much more efficient.

Green Tea is a fabulous antioxidant. It protects your cells from damage. Green Tea is also wonderful in cancer treatment and cancer prevention. There are many benefits to using Green Tea besides weight loss.

 

Gail Edgell: I know you spoke about Green Tea in a hot-tea formula, or a tea-bag formula. I know that there are hundreds out there on the market. What kind of Green Tea should people be purchasing?

Dr. Chilkov:    When you buy teas, herbal medicines or nutritional supplements, you want to buy the absolute highest quality. Buying a cheap brand is not the best way to get a real therapeutic outcome.

 

Gail Edgell: Are there other supplements that women can possibly take?

Dr. Chilkov: There are two more that I wanted to discuss. One is carnitine. Carnitine is the main amino acid in our muscle. It is also very important for our brain. But carnitine is required for fat metabolism. Sometimes vegetarians have trouble with weight loss because they are carnitine-deficient. They have very little carnitine in their diet because carnitine primarily comes from flesh foods.

Carnitine is another supplement that increases fat-burning and builds muscle. There are certain groups of people who really want to be careful about losing too much muscle — for example, the elderly, people who have chronic illnesses, and people who have cancers. When we want to build muscle, we put carnitine in the body. We can also use it when we want to lose fat. Carnitine enters a pathway in the cell that is part of the energy factory inside the cell. If you push that forward, you are going to burn more fat. Carnitine is required for that pathway in our cells. Without carnitine, we cannot burn fat for energy. Therefore, carnitine will benefit people who are suffering from fatigue as well as obesity. Carnitine is also helpful in treating some forms of depression.

About 800 to 1,000 milligrams three times a day is the dose I recommend. Carnitine can be taken in a powder form or a capsule form. Some supplement companies even make it in a liquid form, which I have found is useful in children.

 

Gail Edgell: Is there a possibility that individuals can overdose on these? I know that you have been making some recommendations — for example, 800 to 1,000 milligrams of carnitine three times a day. If people were to take more than that, what would happen? Are they urinating it out?

Dr. Chilkov:    There’s really not a lot of benefit from taking double or triple the doses. You want to stay in a therapeutic dose range, where you are going to alter your metabolism in a healthy way. I want to emphasize that what we want is healthy weight loss. And at the end of the weight loss, we want a healthy woman. If you lose weight in a healthy fashion, you will also keep it off. That will relieve you of yo-yo dieting.

 

Gail Edgell: You said that you had one last supplement to recommend?

Dr. Chilkov: I have one more that is not well known. It’s Coleus forskohlii, which is a plant. The main active constituent in that is called forskolin. Again, it increases your metabolism and thermogenesis — fat-burning, calorie burning and energy expenditure. The other thing about Coleus is that it will stimulate your thyroid. Of course, that will increase metabolism and weight loss as well.

Coleus also has another benefit in that it regulates insulin and blood sugar. I want to say a little bit about that because regulating insulin and blood sugar is another key to weight loss. CLA, which I mentioned at the beginning of this talk, also does that. You asked me why we gain weight around the middle as we age. The reason that happens is because a syndrome called insulin resistance develops. Insulin, the hormone that unlocks the door for sugar to go inside the cells, starts to become less efficient. We start to store our calories as fat rather than burn them as energy. When you use something like CLA or Coleus, you’re counteracting that pattern. That pattern develops more in people who abuse sugar and eat too many sweets. By limiting carbohydrates and sweets, you stop yourself from developing this fat storage around your abdomen due to insulin resistance. If you have a history of diabetes in your family, you are going to be much more prone to something like this.

Coleus is also a slight mood elevator. That, of course, will affect food cravings, our motivation to exercise and eat right. By dealing with things that affect our mood, levels of stress, anxiety and depression, we will be able to engage in healthy choices that cause us to be lean and to lose weight. I think it’s important to include things in your plan to address that aspect.

 

Gail Edgell: Did you say that Coleus forskohlii comes in a supplement form or liquid?

Dr. Chilkov: Typically, you will see it in capsule form. You will see weight-loss products that contain all of these ingredients. There are a number of good products out on the market, or variations of these. These four things that I have talked about can be used individually or together.

To summarize, what you want to do in a weight-loss program is make sure you are eating a diet that is appropriate for you. You do not want to be on an extreme low-calorie diet. You want a good balance between your proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fat. (Older women do better by limiting their carbohydrates. They will lose more weight by doing this because of the insulin relationship.) You want to have regular exercise. You want to make sure that you get adequate rest, keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day, and manage your stress well. If you do all of those things, you will become lean.

 

Gail Edgell: Sounds easier than it really is, right?

Dr. Chilkov:    If you set up some structure for yourself and stick with it, this is not extreme. This is very doable.

 

Note: This article is an edited transcript of an audio interview. Changes have been made.