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Current Weight: 250 lbs. (74.49% of the way done!)






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Fad Diets: What about Acai Berry diets? A look at AcaiOptimum

Have you heard about the Acai diet? It claims to help you lose as much as 25-42 lbs. in just a month for some people. Let's take a closer look. Here is a quote from the fine print on their site.

"AcaiOptimum is an all natural dietary supplement for use as a weight loss aid. The AcaiOptimum Plan is an online program developed by a leading nutritionist and weight management experts who understand that an effective solution for weight loss includes a reduced calorie diet and activity plan for a healthy lifestyle. The testimonials on this website are individual cases and do not guarantee that you will get the same results. Typical weight loss results are 1 – 2 pounds per week."

If a person reduces their calories and increases activity, they should lose weight which could very easily be 1-2 pounds per week and they don't need a supplement to do it. Therefore, I'm not sold based on their typical results. I looked at the six ingredients they discuss on their site. The ingredients have been related to weight loss in one way or another. The one that was most interesting was Garcinia Cambogia. It is thought to inhibit the storage of carbs as fat causing them to be burned. However, this hasn't been proven. Here's what WiseGeek says about it.

The theory behind garcinia cambogia is that HCA inhibits an enzyme called citrate lyase that helps turns excess carbohydrates into fat. By inhibiting this enzyme, it is believed the body instead boosts carbohydrate oxidation, or simply put, burns the extra carbs. In extensive animal studies, garcinia cambogia was found to reduce food intake by suppressing appetite, as well as to decrease body fat. Human trials have been less clear. While some double-blind studies using garcinia cambogia and a placebo showed the HCA group as doubling or tripling weight loss over a 12-week period as compared to the control group, other studies showed a less promising result.

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published such a study that used a daily dose of 1500mg of HCA over a 12-week period on healthy, overweight adults. At the end of the study, the group receiving garcinia cambogia did not see statistically different weight loss from the control group. However, this study has been criticized by some, with the claim that the high-fiber diet used in the trial likely interfered with the body’s ability to absorb HCA. Unfortunately, the study did not test the subjects to see whether HCA was found in the cells where it becomes active.

Garcinia cambogia reportedly does not have any known adverse effects in healthy adults, but there are some people who are advised not to take it. According to experts, this includes children, pregnant and lactating women, those diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, and people with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia disease. In the case of Alzheimer’s patients, it is thought HCA might form acetylcholine in the brain, while diabetics could be affected by HCA’s tendency to lower blood sugar. Conversely, in healthy adults this latter effect can purportedly curb cravings for sweets and carbohydrates.

Garcinia cambogia is usually sold in capsule form, standardized to include a percentage of HCA, the active ingredient. Only brands standardized to 50% or greater HCA are generally recommended. For maximum effect, the daily dose is divided in three parts, taking one or more capsules 30-60 minutes before breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Some manufacturers claim garcinia cambogia must build up in the system before the full benefits can be realized. It has also been suggested that HCA might help people who have already attained their ideal weight to maintain it. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate garcinia cambogia. People who are considering augmenting a healthy diet and exercise regimen with herbal aids like HCA should see their physicians for personalized advice.
Regardless, every person needs to be careful of what supplements they use. Here's some of the comments from WiseGeek's site:
"...the first time I took it, it felt really good, it energized me and I lose my appetite. Though I had a headache and I feel like vomiting sometimes..."

"I have had nine month of stomach problems, enlarged pancreas, etc. after taking this. Do not take it! It is dangerous! I am otherwise very healthy- still having stomach issues."

"I lost weight with tenuate and garcinia cambogia and I now have problems in my heart beat and heart valves."

"Here in Denmark it has just been pulled back from the stores due to a non-acceptable neurotoxic risk of some sort. Maybe you guys should check up on it!"

I'm all for increasing nutrition from natural foods such as grapefruit, acai berries, kelp and other sources. They are great-tasting foods. However, don't be fooled by most of the supplements on the market, and be careful about what you put in your body.

Would you like to lose 1-2 pounds per week which is what this AcaiOptimum claims is typical on their program? You don't need the supplement. Simply eat healthier and increase your exercise. (Check with your doctor about what is appropriate for you.) Best of all, when you do it without the supplement, your lifestyle will change rather than you being dependent on buying a pill for the rest of your life just to maintain your weight.

Save your money, change your lifestyle, get healthy and live better -- naturally.


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CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING RELATED TO HEALTH AND FITNESS! I am under a doctor's care for my general health, and my workouts are overseen by a professional trainer. I consult with licensed dieticians about what I eat. I am blogging about my experience here in the hopes that it might inspire you to get healthy as well. However, you must realize that I am not a doctor. The views on this site are only my opinion or understandings about what I'm learning. In some cases, I'm just reporting about what I find from other sources. Therefore, before you do any type of exercise, change your diet or make other health related decisions, check with your doctor, trainer, dietician, nutritionist or other health professional.

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