Fat Burning Herbs that Melt Away the Fat

You've cut the fat and sugar from your diet. You've read food labels and measured portions. And you've exercised regularly. But don't you wish there was an easier way to shed those excess pounds?

There is, experts say: adding certain herbs to your diet can control your appetite, cut calories and melt away fat effortlessly. They're a dieter's secret weapon.

Here's how to put them to work for you:

Garcinia Cambogia

Cooks in India have long prized this small orange fruit (also known as Malabar tamarind) as a spice that makes meals more satisfying and filling. And recently, researchers discovered it also melts fat!

Garcinia cambogia contains a chemical compound called hydroxycitric acid (HCA), similar to the citric acid in lemons and limes. When researchers at the Roche Research Center in New Jersey fed HCA to mice, the mice gained less weight and loss body fat.

HCA is said to decrease weight gain by inhabiting lipogenesis, the metabolic process that converts the carbohydrates we eat into fat. Instead, carbohydrates are converted into a form of glucose called glycogen, which decreases appetite. HCA also turns up our body heat, so we burn more fat. Raw garcinia cambogia is too acidic to eat, but you can find HCA made from garcinia in health food store diet formulas. A common dosage is 250mg., three times daily. It works best if taken one to two hours before a meal.

Gymnema Sylvestre

If a sweet tooth is sabotaging your diet, gymnema sylvestre is for you. Another exotic Indian herb, it helps conquer cravings by dimming the tastes of sugar, dietitians say. Nutrition researchers report that gymnemic acid resembles glucose, a type of sugar. Drinking a cup of gymnema tea (available at health food stores) before a meal coats your tongue with the substance, tricking your taste buds into finding real sugar bland. The effect last two to three hours, and dieters who have used it report that it reduced their desire for sugary, fattening snacks like doughnuts and cake.

Dandelion

This pesky weed is a dieter's friend, aiding digestion and cutting back on snack attacks. Dandelion leaves prompt the release of enzymes that break down carbohydrates, so our bodies are less likely to store them as fat. Dandelion has also been shown to help regulate blood sugar. That's good news for dieters because swings in your blood sugar level can lead to cravings and fatigue. Dandelion tea is available in health food stores. Experts suggest drinking three cups a day or taking the herb in pill form.

Ginger

If you like the way ginger tastes, you'll love what it does for your waistline. Studies show ginger turns our body heat and causes us to burn fat more readily.

Sprinkle on a teaspoon of ground ginger or add a tablespoon of fresh grated ginger to stir-fries or soups. Or sip one to three cups of ginger tea each day (available in health food stores). If you're pregnant, you should consult your doctor before taking these or other herbs.

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