Supplementation for weight loss

In last week’s column we investigated the most common problems with the most common weight loss plans. We learned that losing weight and becoming healthier do not always happen together. Many weight loss plans promote too much muscle mass breakdown, which in the long run leads to a less healthy body. We also learned that many of these plans are not based on a sustainable lifestyle. In fact, many are a temporary solution that leads to temporary results. Finally, we learned that many of these diet plans are based on artificial foods devoid of essential nutrients and plentiful in artificial flavours, colours, and sweeteners. In this week’s article we will discuss the most important nutritional supplements to help support healthy body composition changes and weight loss.


A good broad-spectrum multi is crucial for optimal health and weight loss. The vast majority of the foods we eat are deficient in the most important nutrients required for optimal health. When going through a weight loss program the demands on the body increase as do the requirements for vitamins and minerals. It is important to take a multivitamin that provides the optimal daily allowance for the vitamins and minerals.

Vitamin B5 is a B vitamin that plays a crucial role in burning fat and losing weight. It is important to ensure that Vitamin B5 is included in a multi. Chromium is a trace mineral that promotes optimal insulin balance. It is a key component of the glucose tolerance factor and helps prevent insulin resistance.

Essential Fatty Acids

Essential fatty acids are required by every cell of the body for the production of hormones and cellular membranes. Essential fatty acids from raw nuts, seeds, and cold water fish are the preferred source of fat in the body. However, when these types of fat are deficient or suboptimal the body uses whatever it can. High consumption of trans fats, hydrogenated oils, and saturated fats leads to altered cell membranes and hormone production. Optimal consumption of essential fatty acids and limited consumption of the unhealthy fats promotes healthy cells and a collection of 100 trillion healthy cells goes a long way to promote a lean healthy body.

Protein Powder

One of the keys to successfully losing weight and improving body composition is to increase lean muscle mass. The higher your lean muscle mass the higher your metabolic rate will be and the more fat you will burn. Optimal protein consumption is required to increase your lean muscle mass because muscle is made of protein. Optimal protein consumption is also important for balancing blood sugar. Protein consumption at each meal or snack promotes the optimal release of sugar into the blood and prevents insulin spikes. Carnitine is an amino acid that promotes the beta-oxidation (burning) of fat for energy. Protein powders are a great source of this amino acid and help provide easily digestible and high quality protein.

Green Tea

Green tea contains a nutrient called EGCG, which is a potent antioxidant. EGCG is also thermogenic and increases the body’s metabolic rate. Therefore, it can be an important nutrient to promote healthy weight loss. Green tea has much less caffeine in it than coffee and black teas. Therefore, drinking green tea is a wonderful way to support optimal health and promote weight loss.


Adaptogenic Herbs – Adrenal Support

High levels of stress, especially over many years lead to a high production of cortisol. This hormone leads to weight gain, specifically mid abdominal fat deposition. Cortisol decreases metabolic rate by inhibiting the activation of thyroid hormone and promoting the breakdown of muscle tissue. High cortisol production as a result of chronic stress takes a significant toll on the adrenal glands. As the adrenal glands burn out fatigue typically becomes a problem.

Adrenal support and adaptogenic herbs can play a vital role in the recovery of the adrenal glands. As the adrenal glands recover energy increases, making exercise and all the other aspects of weight loss more realistic to accomplish. If you feel like your energy has been taken away from you adrenal support may help you recover and successfully lose weight.

In next week’s column we will investigate the importance of detoxification for stimulating and supporting weight loss. We will discuss the use of acupuncture, neural therapy, homeopathic medicine, and intravenous therapies that promote optimal detoxification.

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About the Author

Dr. Brent Barlow is a Naturopathic Physician practicing at The Kelowna Wellness Clinic in downtown Kelowna. Dr. Barlow has been in practice in Kelowna since graduating from the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine in Vancouver in 2009.

Naturopathic Doctors are trained as primary care physicians, and primarily use natural medicine to treat disease and promote wellness. Dr. Barlow believes strongly in identifying and treating the causes of disease rather than focusing on the treatment of symptoms.

Naturopathic medicine utilizes diet therapy, botanical medicine, nutritional supplementation, acupuncture, spinal manipulation and other physical medicine treatments to treat the causes of disease. Dr. Barlow also trained in the specialized treatments of prolotherapy, neural therapy, intravenous nutrient infusions, and chelation therapy.

Dr. Barlow is in general practice and welcomes all individuals and families. As a naturopathic physician he is trained to treat all health conditions in the manner that best suits the goals of each individual patient. He also has special interests in natural treatments for pain management and digestive health.

To learn more about Dr. Barlow's treatments or to schedule a consultation, visit his website at www.drbrentbarlownd.com or call 250-448-5610.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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