Category Archives: Healthy Weight Loss

 

Can sipping aloe juice help you lose weight?

This summer, people aren’t just slathering aloe vera on their sun-scorched skin. They’re chugging it in hopes of losing weight, too.

aloe vera lose weight
Photo Source: www.foxnews.com

Aloe juice or aloe water—which can be found at health food stores—isn’t as goopy or neon green as the stuff from the drugstore, but it’s marketed as being equally magical.

Proponents claim that drinking aloe juice speeds up metabolism, promotes proper digestion, and helps you burn extra fat and calories. (And that’s after it does wonders for your skin, according to Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow.)

And while juicing aloe is a relatively new concept in the U.S., people in Latin America and the Arabian Peninsula have been using the stuff to relieve symptoms of diabetes, including high blood sugar, for a long time, according to a review published in Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects.

What’s in the Green Stuff?
Inside every green aloe vera succulent, you’ll find about 75 potentially active compounds including antioxidants (vitamins A, C, and E), enzymes, minerals, sugars, fiber, and amino acids, according to the Indian Journal of Dermatology. Some research even suggests that the goo has anti-inflammatory benefits, according to the Herbal Medicine review. And since inflammation is linked to weight gain and metabolic problems, it makes sense why some people would think this leads to weight loss.

However, if you look at the nutrition label on the back of an aloe juice bottle, you probably won’t find much of anything, said NYC-based dietitian Albert Matheny, R.D., C.S.C.S. For instance, many brands contain only carbohydrates and sodium. Often, the nutrition labels lists zero calcium, iron, protein, fat, or vitamins A and C. Some contain more vitamins, either from the aloe itself or other ingredients like lemon juice and honey. Plus, an eight-ounce serving of some brands contains up to 15 grams of sugar—and no fiber.

“It’s basically just sugar water,” Matheny said. However, he notes that thicker, gloppier aloe juice varieties generally contain more actual aloe and nutrients than the thinner, tastier ones.

Will It Help You Lose Weight?
So how did glorified sugar water get a rep for weight loss? As it turns out, lots of common aloe juices contain aloin, a potent natural laxative. That might explain why many people who drink aloe juice swear that it’s helped them lose weight, Matheny said.

“The aloe is probably not speeding up their metabolism or resulting in any real weight loss,” he said. “Laxatives, like aloin, don’t result in fat loss, just loss of water weight through going to the bathroom.” What’s more, aloin has been linked to abdominal cramps, diarrhea, red urine, hepatitis, electrolyte imbalances, and rebound constipation. Lovely.

Sip Safe
OK, so it’s probably not the magic weight-loss drink you’d hoped for. But does it have other health-boosting benefits? That depends on the nutrients in the exact bottle you’re buying (Matheny recommends looking for lots of fiber, vitamins, and other minerals on your nutrition label). But, it’s important to outline out a few times you should never drink aloe.

According to a review published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, women should never consume aloe while pregnant or breastfeeding. Theoretically, aloe can spur uterine contractions and, in breastfeeding mothers, could cause GI issues in infants. Plus, some people are actually allergic to aloe! If you’ve experienced skin irritation after applying aloe gel to sunburns or have a known allergy to aloe’s cousins, onion and garlic, don’t sip aloe juice.

Unless you absolutely loooooove the taste of green goo, you’re better of sipping these drinks that are more effective for weight loss.

This article originally appeared on: http://www.womenshealthmag.com

 

PCOS and Weight Loss: Why It Is So Hard

5 Reasons Why It Is Hard to Lose Weight if you Have PCOS

PCOS and Weight Loss

Have PCOS and struggling to lose weight? You’re not alone. Half of all women with PCOS are overweight. Advice from health care providers is to lose weight but those with this syndrome know, it’s not that easy. Here are some reasons that explain why it’s so much harder for women with PCOS to lose weight.

Your Body Is In Fat Storage Mode

Insulin is a hormone that we all need to survive. Insulin transports glucose (our body’s main source of fuel) from our bloodstream into our cells where it can be used as energy.

Since insulin is a growth hormone, too much of it promotes fat storage or weight gain, mostly in your midsection, resembling a “spare tire” above your belly button. If you are gaining lots of weight or can’t lose weight without significant changes to diet or exercise, excess insulin could be the culprit. Treatment options for PCOS are typically aimed at reducing insulin levels and involve diet modifications, exercise, and medications or supplements.

You’re Hungrier

Part of promoting fat storage, insulin acts as an appetite stimulating hormone. High levels of insulin could possibly explain why some researchers believe that women with PCOS may experience more hunger than someone without the condition. Strong, intense even urgent cravings are reported in women who are insulin resistant. If not managed, these cravings can sabotage even the beset eating habits, leading to higher calorie consumption and weight gain.

Eating often, including sufficient protein with meals, and avoiding sugary foods are all helpful ways to reduce cravings.

Impaired Appetite Regulating Hormones

Another possible factor that could make weight loss and weight maintenance difficult for women with PCOS is abnormal hormonal influences that regulate appetite and satiety.

Levels of appetite regulating hormones ghrelin, cholecystokinin, and leptin have been shown to be impaired in women with PCOS. Dysfunctional levels of these hormones may stimulate hunger in women with PCOS, resulting in increased food intake and difficulty managing weight.

Your Diet Is Imbalanced

If you’ve been watching your diet and still aren’t seeing the pounds come off, it could be the types of foods you are eating. A 2010 study compared a low glycemic index diet to a regular, healthy fiber diet in women with PCOS. Both groups ate the same amount of calories and consumed the same distribution of macronutrients (50% carbohydrate, 23% protein, 27% fat, 34 grams fiber). The only difference was the glycemic index of foods. The women with PCOS who followed the low GI diet showed a 3-fold greater improvement in insulin and had better menstrual regularity. These findings suggest that those with high insulin levels may be able to lose more weight following a low glycemic index diet.

Not eating enough fruits and vegetables can also impact weight loss.

A study published this year in the Journal of Hormone and Metabolic Research found that women with PCOS who followed the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan showed improvements in insulin and abdominal fat loss. The DASH diet consisted of 52% carbohydrates, 18% proteins, and 30% total fats, and rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products.

You Have Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Women with PCOS are at a much higher risk for obstructive sleep apnea compared with women without the condition. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when there is a blockage of the upper airway that causes a lack of oxygen during sleep. This results in daytime sleepiness, high blood pressure, and weight gain.

While excess body weight is a main contributing factor to sleep apnea, high levels of androgens (male hormones such as testosterone) seen in PCOS, are believed to play a role in affecting sleep receptors. Lack of sleep is associated with insulin resistance and weight gain. The more severe sleep apnea is, the higher the risk of impaired glucose tolerance, which is why it’s recommended that all women with PCOS get screened for obstructive sleep apnea and receive proper treatment if diagnosed.

Written by: Angela Grassi, MS, RDN, LDN from https://www.verywell.com/pcos-and-weight-loss-why-it-is-so-hard-2616492