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The One Essential Supplement For Weight Loss

If you’ve followed my writing you’ll know that I’m not a huge supplement guy. There are individual cases where someone can greatly benefit from additional vitamins and minerals but in most cases you just need to eat more whole, natural, live foods. That’s why I’m such a big proponent of a Primal Blueprint diet.

When you eat natural foods you feed muscle and when you eat processed-refined foods you feed fat. It’s pretty much that simple. The catch is I’ve found it to be difficult always staying perfect with a Primal Blueprint diet. That’s why I depend on supplementation to help fill in the gaps. There is one supplement in particular that is non-negotiable in my opinion. It’s so important that I think it’s next to impossible to lose weight on a consistent, permanent basis without it.

 

My standpoint on supplementation

Before I tell you what this one supplement is I want to make sure I clearly explain my philosophy on taking supplements in general. Like I mentioned earlier, vitamin and mineral deficiency is a personal matter, everyone is simply different. The best advice I can give you is to have your nutrient profile evaluated by a physician who specializes in organic medicine.

Dr. Craig Koniver of Primary Plus Organic Medicine in Charleston provides this testing and I would highly recommend it. I’ve had it done on myself and found it to be very helpful in discovering what my unique needs are.

Instead of just taking a shotgun approach with taking a bunch of vitamins and pills you can find out what your body is specifically lacking and treat accordingly. I’ve long been a skeptic of multi-vitamins in the first place. For starters just because you take a multi-vitamin doesn’t mean you’re going to assimilate the vitamins and minerals into your cells. These products are synthetic and have very low assimilation rates. The end result can be you literally flushing your money down the toilet.

Synthetic versus Natural

Your body is smart and it recognizes what is synthetic and what is natural. A better choice than multi-vitamins is supplementing your diet with natural phyonutrients and antioxidants. A great product (and one that I use personally) is called Juice-Plus.

It’s not a vitamin but rather a whole food nutraceutical made from real fruits and vegetables. I find it hard getting in the recommended 9-13 servings of fruits and veggies on a daily basis so I use Juice-Plus as my “insurance policy.”

This is subject for discussion all by itself in another post for another day. If you’d like to learn more about Juice Plus click on this link or drop me a reply.

Back to the one supplement that you MUST be taking if you want to lose weight.

The ONE necessary supplement for weight loss

What is it? Omega-3 fats. If you’re overweight you might be thinking, “Isn’t too much fat already one of my problems?” I’m going to go out on a limb and tell you that you’re probably not getting enough fat. The key here is getting in the right kind of fat.

If you’re eating a lot of processed and refined foods you are likely deficient in essential fatty acids. This chronic deficiency just like any form of starvation can activate your “fat storing switches.” Your body stays hungry in the hope you will eventually eat the nutrients that it’s starving for.

It’s important that I clarify what I mean by “essential fatty acids.” This just means it’s a nutrient that must come from an outside source. It’s “essential” because your body can’t make it on its own.

The main type of essential fatty acids that we need on a daily basis are omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The problem is very few foods in our diet today have omega-3 fatty acids. The reason we’re lacking in omega-3s is because they’re easily corrupted. Too much exposure to heat, sunlight, and oxygen will destroy them as will most cooking and preservation methods. Hence the reason why processed-refined foods have zero omega-3 fatty acids.

Most of the fat we get in our diets comes from vegetable oils, meat, and dairy products. Meat and dairy products used to contain omega-3 fats but now they are mostly saturated fats. This is the result of feeding cows grain rather than grass.

Omega-3s are hard to find in the modern diet

There was a time when there was much less saturated fat in our diets. Our ancestors ate a diet that contained somewhere around a 1-1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. Today the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is closer to 20-1! This is a big problem and one of the leading causes of our obesity epidemic in my opinion.

The problem is this unnatural balance of fatty acids causes inflammation which is one of the key “fat storing switches.” If you want to reduce inflammation on a cellular level you must supplement with omega-3 fatty acids.

So how do you supplement with omega-3 fatty acids?

Like I mentioned it’s hard getting in enough omega-3s with food alone so I recommend you supplement with one or more of the following choices.

Flaxseed Oil
This is at the top of my list of recommended omega-3 fatty acid supplements. You can sneak it into yogurts, salad dressings, protein shakes, or take it straight off the spoon if you don’t mind the taste. You just don’t want to cook with flaxseed oil because it becomes rancid very easily when exposed to heat.

Flaxseed oil should be protected against heat, sunlight, and exposure to keep it in a natural state. For this reason I recommend “cold processed” flaxseed oils like Barlean’s (available at Whole Foods). I tend to stay away from flaxseed oil capsules since they’re not refrigerated.

Ground flaxseeds (linseeds) are also a good option because they contain omega-3s with the added benefit of protein and fiber. You can buy pre-ground flaxseeds, but as soon as you grind them up, the oils start to become rancid. It’s best to buy the seeds whole and grind them up (you can use a coffee grinder) and eat right after. You can sprinkle ground flaxseeds on your food for a nice nutty taste and texture. Just have to try the different options to see what you like best.

Fish Oil
This is another great way to get in some additional omega-3 fatty acids. Do your homework though and look to get a high quality fish oil. Here are some recommendations to help you make a good selection:

  • Choose fish oil capsules that contain oil from salmon, tuna, or other cold water fishes as these are the best choices.
  • Choose fish oil capsules that list the total amount of EPA and DHA on the label. This should add up to the total amount of oils in the product. If the numbers don’t match you’re being a sold a bunch of filler oils.
  • Choose fish oil capsules that come from the oil pressed from the flesh of the fish, not the heads, tails or internal organs.
  • Choose fish oil capsules that are guaranteed to be 100% pure with no toxins, heavy metals, or pesticides.
  • Choose fish oil capsules that have not been molecularly distilled. The distillation process alters the natural form of the oil through oxidation.

Additional ways to get more omega-3 fatty acids…

Eat more cold water fish

Once again try and choose cold-water fishes (tuna, salmon, herring, sardines, trout, anchovies, etc) on occasion as they contain the highest amounts of omega-3 fats. Minimize your consumption of “farmed” fishes as they contain less omega-3s. Also avoid frying your fish as this will pretty much destroy any useful omega-3 fatty acids.

Eat organic meat
I don’t do this all the time but it’s a good idea to choose organic meat now and then. The reason is simple. If the animal is not grass-fed, then all the fat is saturated fat and it won’t contain omega-3s.

Eat omega-3 enriched eggs
These are eggs that are produced by chickens that have been fed flaxseeds. This is worth the extra money in my book.

Use olive oil
This is a favorite choice due to high content of omega-3s. Use for salad dressings, the occasional piece of bread, and for cooking.

Bottom line

Omega 3 fatty acids are not only essential nutrients for you body but they’re also essential if you want to lose weight. The health benefits are numerous and too long to list in this post. Just know that if you want to turn off the “fat storing switches” you need to reduce inflammation, and one of the best ways to do this is through omega-3 supplementation.

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A simple yet highly effective strategy I use is to sneak a tablespoon or two of flaxseed oil in my diet every day along with taking some fish oil capsules. It’s not hard to do and well worth the effort.

I hope you found this post to be informative and helpful. If you have any questions leave me a reply and I’ll be happy to get back with you.

Train hard, eat primal, live strong…

Shane Doll is a certified Charleston personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts Personal Training Studios. You can receive a FREE trial of his Charleston personal training programs and experience the Shaping Concepts difference for yourself with no obligations.

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Category: Nutrition.