* Try metabolic typing. This dietary method is based on the idea that no single, universal diet is right for everyone because each of us processes foods differently. There are three metabolic types - protein, carbo and mixed - and substantial research has gone into devising tests to determine what type you are. Once this is known, you can eat to obtain the best from your body and mind. For more information, contact The Metabolic Typing Education Centre UK on 01625 824 887 or visit www.metabolictyping.co.uk.
* Behavioural therapy. This form of treatment seeks to identify and modify the eating, activity and thinking habits that contribute to a person's weight problems. Such an approach recognises that body weight is affected by factors other than eating habits such as genetic, metabolic and hormonal influences. Behavioural therapy has been found to help obese individuals develop a set of tools for regulating their weight (Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am, 2003; 32: 981-1003).
* Get yourself tested for food allergy/sensitivity. Weight gain could be due to the body's inability to break down and utilise certain foods efficiently. If you are sensitive to a food, your body can react by storing it instead of burning it for energy. To further complicate matters, once a food allergy develops, that particular food becomes mildly addictive - you feel compelled to eat it.
* Get a pyruvate boost. This naturally occurring compound helps to break down glucose, and combining exercise with 6-10 g/day of pyruvate may speed up your metabolism. In a review of the literature, pyruvate consistently resulted in weight loss (J Am Pharm Assoc [Wash DC], 2004; 44: 59-67).
* Try bee pollen. There is anecdotal evidence that the diuretic properties of bee pollen contribute to its weight-loss effects. However, it may also help to regulate weight by reducing hunger and food cravings.
* Take chromium supplements. This mineral is reported to increase lean body mass, thus decreasing the percentage of body fat. This, in turn, may lead to weight loss (Nutr Rev, 1998; 56: 266-70).
* Regulate your mood. If you eat more when stressed, add tryptophan-rich foods to your diet. These include chicken, tuna, kidney beans, chickpeas and sunflower seeds.
* Join a support group. Improve your chances for long-term weight loss by joining a group that can help you adjust to your new diet and exercise habits. One American study found that having support partners was very helpful in the treatment of obesity (J Consult Clin Psychol, 2005; 73: 341-3).
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