Many of us struggle to maintain an ideal weight at some stage throughout our lives. It could be due to our diet, a lack of exercise, hereditary issues, hormonal issues, or a combination of reasons. As we age and our metabolism slows it also becomes increasingly more difficult to shed and keep off those unwanted inches. Maybe you are eating a healthy diet and exercising every day, but still that stubborn fat just won’t go away. It’s in cases like these where a little help from a supplement can help.
The world market is flooded with a myriad of products to aid weight loss. Today we are going to be looking at one in particular: Garcinia Cambogia. What is it exactly, and does Garcinia Cambogia really work for weight loss?
What Is Garcinia Cambogia?
Garcinia Cambogia is a fruit native to Indonesia and resembles a small pumpkin. It is generally green to a pale yellow in colour. Fruit rind and extracts from Garcinia have been used in cooking for many years; especially in India where it is used in curries. It is also used in recipes in many other countries throughout South-East Asia. Sri Lankans have been known to use it as a substance to cure fish.
The active ingredient in Garcinia Cambogia that is purported to aid in weight loss is called hydroxycitric acid (HCA), and you will see the letters HCA plastered over every bottle of Garcinia Cambogia pills that is for sale. The concentration of HCA determines how effective it will be for your weight loss goals.
As a weight loss supplement Garcinia Cambogia gained considerable recognition in 2012 when featured on the popular American TV show, Dr Oz.
How It Works To Reduce Body Fat
Reports and research indicate that the active ingredient in Garcinia Cambogia, HCA, boosts fat-burning and also serves as an appetite suppressant. It does this by raising serotonin levels in the brain, making you feel less hungry. The supplement blocks citrate lyase, which is an enzyme your body uses to create and store fat from sugars and starches.
It is reported that Garcinia works particularly well on preventing unused carbohydrates being stored as body fat deposits. Many a person’s diet is often a little high in carbs, and carbohydrates that aren’t burnt as energy can quite readily be turned into body fat. So basically the enzyme is blocked from storing fat and instead converts it into energy for your body to burn. As there is less fat being stored and less fat being produced to replace any inches you lose from regular exercise, the body fat is burned off quicker and kept off.
Garcinia Cambogia also has an effect on the way the body uses glucose, making the cells more effective at burning the sugar for higher energy levels. It is for this reason that some people with diabetes have taken a keen interest in the supplement as well, and not just those seeking to shed extra kilos.
As a further side note, there is evidence that Garcinia has a positive impact on reducing cholesterol levels as well, by raising the levels of the good cholesterol and lowering the bad.
Is It Safe To Use?
As with taking any sort of supplement or medication, a degree of caution should be exercised. For example, if you are on some sort of medication it is always a good idea to do some research on combining that medication with the consumption of HCA. If you are unsure, either consult your doctor or nutritionist, or just don’t take the HCA. Find an alternative.
HCA could react negatively with certain drugs, or those with certain medical conditions. Here is a brief cautionary list:
- Blood-thinning medications
- Pain medication
- Psychiatric prescription drugs
- Those taking medication to treat diabetes
- People on asthma meds
- Cholesterol medication
- People with liver or kidney problems
- Pregnant women
Just my personal opinion is to not take HCA supplements for extended periods. It does block a natural body enzyme from doing its job and I’m sceptical about the long-term health affects of that. Take HCA in blocks, say for two or three months, shed some body fat, then give it a rest for a few months. If required, then take another course for another couple of months.
How to Take Garcinia
How many capsules to take per day really depends both on the strength of the supplement (how much HCA is actually in the mix), and what your weight loss and exercise goals are. To really be effective it is recommended to at least take the minimum dose specified on the bottle, and there is often no harm in doubling or tripling this dose if required. You need to ingest enough of the active ingredient HCA for it to be able to effectively do its job.
It is best to take Garcinia Cambogia supplements on an empty stomach. Having them with food runs the risk of the HCA binding with other ingredients and becoming inactive. As a general rule, drop the pills at least 30 minutes before eating breakfast, and the same at dinner time.
Experiment with the dosage and times of the day that you take it, but be patient and give it time to have an effect. Chances are for the first few weeks you won’t see any real change, even with your appetite. It takes time to start doing its job, so give it time and don’t get disheartened if you don’t shed that stubborn body fat in the first week.
My Personal Experience
When you look at various sites that ‘hard sell’ Garcinia products you will read a lot of hype about how Johnny lost this much weight in the first week, then more weight in the second week and so on. Ignore all that. It’s basically just sales BS. No weight loss product on earth works that instantly with such dramatic results. If it did it would probably be a highly toxic and dangerous substance to take. True and effective weight loss is a subtle process that happens over time, and can only be achieved and maintained with a degree of determination and discipline.
I have personally used Garcinia Cambogia to help burn off some stubborn inches of fat around my waistline. It did help, but it didn’t happen overnight.
I was going to the gym virtually daily doing cardio and weight training, walking for miles every day, keeping carbohydrates and junk food to a minimum and basically eating a balanced and relatively healthy diet without going overboard with it. All this trimmed me down and toned me up, but there was one problem area I still wasn’t satisfied with – my waistline. No matter how much exercise I did, not matter what I ate or refrained from eating, I just couldn’t for the life of me get rid of those few unwanted inches. They were stubborn and just wouldn’t budge. It was at that point that I decided to turn to some supplements for help.
I didn’t use HCA at first. I tried a variety of other fat burners, spent a bunch of cash and all for no result. Through the recommendation of a friend I was introduced to Garcinia Cambogia and decided to give it a try. Nothing else had worked and, apart from a few more dollars, I didn’t have anything to lose by giving it a go.
I gave it time, I experimented with the dosage, and gradually I finally started to see a difference in my waistline. I was getting more definition there, my shorts were fitting better, the top button wasn’t feeling so tight anymore. I didn’t get ripped abs by using HCA – that requires a lot of discipline and dedication – but what I did end up with was a fat-free waistline and flat stomach. That was what I wanted and I was happy. It took about 3 months to achieve this, after which I ceased taking the Garcinia supplements as my daily exercise routine was now enough to keep the fat at bay.