Dr. Oz’s Five Weight Loss Tips for Women Over 40.

Carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine

I was excited to read Dr. Oz’s acknowledgement of a role for hormones in weight loss:  “Hormones can really slow your weight loss efforts.”

So the top five weight loss tips must cover hormonal balancing, right?

Here they are quickly and then individually.

1) Konjac Fiber 2) Raspberry Ketones 3) L-Carnitine 4) White Kidney Bean Extract and 5)  exercising smarter, not harder.

Ok, I don’t see anything specific for women, and nothing for over forty, and nothing directly to do with hormones.  But I could be wrong, so let’s break this down tip by tip.

First Konjac Fiber.  It just sounds sexy and exotic.  Like CognacWikipedia offers the alarming story of possible choking on Konjac candy:  “Some products formed a gel strong enough such that only chewing, not tongue pressure or breathing pressure, could disintegrate the gel.”

But who cares?  Will it help me lose weight?  Evidently, yes, according to a small study of twenty obese patients.  Konjac fiber broken down into Glucomannan did help patients lose over five pounds when consumed before every meal, that was in 1984.

If it works so well, why aren’t we seeing more studies?  Well, in 2007 they repeated the study, this time with a placebo group who just dieted.  The results were that both groups lost weight, and the Konjac root didn’t make any real difference.

So not really that helpful?  Or maybe helpful when you don’t want to diet?  You decide.

2) Raspberry Ketones.  I’ve talked about these little beauties before.  But I did a good faith check online.  Medline still shows no human studies, and the one animal study gave an image of weight gain prevention rather than fat loss.

3) L-Carnitine  is a great thing to think about, because it is involved in multiple body processes.  And it did help fat cats burn up extra weight.  But it also helps wasting cancer patients hold onto their weight.  According to a nice synopsis of Carnitine’s effects in the body, “Because L-carnitine and its esters help reduce oxidative stress, they have been proposed as a treatment for many conditions.”  But Carnitine’s effect on weight loss hasn’t got human studies to back it up.

4)  White Kidney Bean Extract – studied primarily for it’s effect on blocking the amylase enzyme.  Without that enzyme, your body can’t break down and absorb carbohydrates.  Sort of a “let them eat cake and still lose weight” fantasy, but does it work?  Only if you goose the numbers.  The difference between white beaners and placebo were significant when both were dieting, but the beaners did better if a lot of carbs were involved.  Another study found the same thing.  So if you want to eat a cake, bring along your extract so it passes right through you (no word on the side effects of not properly digesting your own carbs were presented).

5)  “Exercise smarter, not harder.”  Isn’t that a franchise slogan?  It should  be.  What we’re really saying here is that too much exercise can make you so hungry you stop dieting.  So don’t overdo.

What does any of this have to do with being an over-forty woman?  Nothing.

Since you’ve read this far, let me give you five tips for over-forty women.

1)  Get your hormones checked and rechecked.  Things like thyroid levels can bounce around like a ping pong ball during perimenopause, which can last for years.

2)  Learn to balance your hormones.  Diet and lifestyle can take you far, but if you need help to make the transition into the second half of your life, then get help.

3)  Keep track of what foods annoy, and be aware of overdoing by combining things.  (Alcohol and cake, prescriptions and fried food).

4)  Sleep and relaxation are mandatory, not optional.  If you want your hormones to stay in control, you have to make your rest a priority.

5)  When in doubt, flush it out.  Don’t be afraid to take a few days to alter your diet and routine dramatically when things are slowly going downhill.   Too often you end up dragging for weeks before you realy crash.

Thanks for reading!


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