According to the Centers for Disease Control, 62% of adults in the United States are overweight or obese. Consequently, over 100 million Americans are currently on diets, and revenue brought in by the U. S. weight loss industry tops $20 billion. People continue to the hunt for a magic pill or potion for shedding extra pounds, but a few ingredients found in any grocery store offer some of the best ways to lose weight naturally.
A study published in The British Journal of Nutrition showed encouraging results for women looking to lose weight. Researchers asked 125 overweight men and women to follow a 12-week diet plan and an additional 12 weeks of maintenance. Half of the participants also took daily probiotic supplements, and the other half took a placebo.
Results showed that women subjects who took probiotics lost almost twice as much weight as women who took a placebo. During the maintenance period, women taking probiotics continued to lose weight, while women taking the placebo plateaued. Surprisingly, the probiotics had no effect on the weight of the male subjects.
A long-term study from the University of Massachusetts shows that simply adding fiber to the diet makes one of the easiest and best ways to lose weight. Researchers asked 240 overweight people with metabolic syndrome (high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol) to go on the American Heart Association (AHA) diet or to add at least 30 grams of fiber to their regular daily diet in the form of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
After one year, both groups lost similar amounts of weight, and the people in the fiber group showed similar reductions in blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels as the people in the AHA group. This study shows that making one easy change (adding fiber to the diet) works as well as a strict eating plan for promoting weight loss and better overall health.
A number of studies show the fat and weight-reducing effects of green tea, especially when combined with exercise. A study on mice at Penn State University showed that those who consumed decaffeinated green tea and exercised regularly showed significant reductions in body weight and better overall health.
A group of mice on a high-fat diet ingested green tea extract and engaged in regular exercise for 16 weeks. Following the research period, these mice showed an average reduction in body mass of 27.1% and an average reduction in abdominal fat of 36.6%. Additional health benefits included reductions in blood glucose, plasma insulin levels, and insulin resistance, all factors which relate to diabetic health.
With a growing number of overweight people, weight loss has become a multi-billion dollar industry. While special vitamins and costly exercise equipment boast big results, sometimes the best ways to lose weight are simple and inexpensive. Find probiotics, fiber, or green tea at any grocery store or your favorite natural supplements website.