Diet and Exercise Tips for the Fit Life

The Benefits of OPC-3

Filed under: Supplements — Tags: , , , — Living Fitness @ 6:54 pm September 1, 2011

Isontonix® OPC-3 is a souped-up version of a pine bark extract called OPC, or oligomeric proanthocyanidins. The creators of the OPC-3 antioxidant, Market America, have added a few other bioflavinoids to the mix—primarily red wine extract and grape seed extract, rounded out with extracts from bilberry and a blend of citrus fruits. These bioflavinoids help promote collagen renewal for increased firmness of the skin and joint cartilage. The supplement is said to reduce stress, increase cardiovascular health, prevent damage from free radicals, and offer a number of other benefits.

Antioxidant Benefits

One of the key benefits of OPC-3 is the prevention of damage from free radicals to the body’s healthy cells. Free radicals are unstable molecules that have an uneven number of electrons. In attempting to bind with stable molecules by taking an electron, they make stable molecules unstable, destroying the health of those molecules. This results in tissue damage that can cause cancer and accelerate the aging process. As an antioxidant, OPC-3 can safely interact with free radicals and stop the destabilizing chain reaction from occurring.

Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

OPC-3 is also an anti-inflammatory supplement used to reduce stress and menstrual cramps, as well as improve blood circulation, skin complexion and eye health. The anti-inflammatory properties are also useful for pain relief, being used for joint pain, general cramps and abdominal pain. OPC-3 is also claimed to prevent cardiovascular disease glucose imbalances and elevated cholesterol levels.

Taking Isotonix OPC-3

Bottles of Isotonix OPC-3 are sold online and in health food stores in 30-serving and 90-serving sizes, with an average cost of $30 and $70 respectively. The recommended loading dose is two to three capfuls (servings), while the long-term maintenance dose is two capfuls. Each capful of the Market America product is 3.4 g, containing 25 mg of each of the five extracts.

Unlike the older OPC powdered product that was developed in France, OPC-3 is sold exclusively in liquid form. Antioxidants taken in liquid form tend to be more easily absorbed by the body than tablets or powder-based supplements. Though antioxidants are most easily absorbed in whole foods (i.e. a well balanced diet), it would be extremely difficult to get the same concentration that would be consumed by taking OPC-3 on a regular basis.

HCG Diet Blog Roundup: The 4 Best HCG Blog Resources

Filed under: Diets — Tags: , , — Living Fitness @ 10:43 pm August 1, 2011

Finding an hCG diet blog that isn’t a thinly disguised shopping cart is even more challenging than finding objective hCG diet reviews or an hCG diet forum that isn’t overrun with spammers. Originally, the plan was to find a half-dozen authority sites on the diet from experts that (1) were extremely informative and (2) weren’t constantly pitching products. Plan A didn’t work out, since, to be completely honest, there was no hCG blog that truly fit the bill. Plan B, on the other hand—to find personal blogs where it was clear that the blogger actually had experience with the diet and could provide some advice—turned up a few good resources.

The Best HCG Diet Recipes. The main site is exactly what the title states: a collection of hCG diet recipes. Whether or not they’re the “best”, they definitely look fantastic. The blog section of the diet is a post-by-post account of the blogger’s progress with the diet, and she’s quite frank about her wins and setbacks, as well as those of her boyfriend, who also is on the diet. While the hCG diet is often touted as being easy to maintain, blogs like this illustrate that resisting temptation on any diet is a challenge. But even with an occasional surrender to cravings, she still managed to lose 22.4 pounds in 27 days. This site by “Dee Lish” (her persona) is a first-rate personal hCG diet blog.

Amie’s HCG Experience. This hCG blog, updated under late 2009, is an absolute must-read if you’re looking for a thorough first-person account of a dieter who logs her experience right from the beginning all the way through Phase 2, Round 2. While she was on the diet, Amie would post a new update every two to four days, and most posts cover stats, events (what she ate, what she should’ve eaten, family issues) and her emotions; a few even include before-and-after pictures. On Round 2 alone, Amie went from 160.4 pounds to 142.8. What the blog lacks in design it makes up for in content—and has no advertising whatsoever.

HCG Blog. A lot of this site has an “Under Construction” feel to it. The link to the hCG diet recipes section, for instance, has no recipes as yet. Many personal diet blogs aren’t as fleshed out as blogs that are more clearly commercial (Dee’s blog is a noteworthy exception). What does distinguish the site is that it’s one of the few hCG blogs to chronicle the blogger’s entire 40-day diet—not each day, but an average of one post a week, beginning from the time of ordering hCG to Day 40. The blogger, Alex, lost 18.4 pounds in total, and her boyfriend, Nathan, lost 19.2 pounds.

Kims HCG Diet Blog. Kims HCG Diet Blog (the apostrophe is omitted in the blog title) was actually updated by Kim’s husband, Jeff, who posted his wife’s verbal accounts of her progress over an eight-week period in early 2009. This isn’t an extensive blog, but a good one to review in a short session. Despite cheating on the diet a few times, she lost 27 pounds between January 5 and February 14. While is doesn’t have a tenth of the posts that Amie’s blog has, it has all the same integrity, full of honest self-assessment, and devoid of advertising.

In Search of Real HCG Reviews: The 4 Best HCG Diet Reviews

Filed under: Diets — Tags: , , — Living Fitness @ 7:50 pm July 21, 2011

Most hCG diet reviews come from sites that (surprise!) sell hCG products. It’s a hard task to find any reports from sites that aren’t dedicated to advocating the hCG diet, making their objectivity questionable at best. The following four hCG diet reviews are from sites that aren’t about the diet. Three of them are first person accounts rather than doctors’ theoretical opinions. The fourth is a critical review of the many studies that have been conducted over the years.

The Controversial Diet that Really Works. Erin Flaherty of Marie Claire magazine published Alison Edmond’s account of her experience with the diet. After researching the diet, Edmond remained skeptical of the theory, but decided to take a chance by enrolling in a Studio City weight loss clinic. 45 days and $1250 later, she lost 25 pounds. This is a great resource for anyone considering dieting with the help of a clinic, especially since she seems to reflect the disposition of the average person adopting the diet—cautious, but open-minded.

Simeons Protocol Review – HCG Diet. AnabolicMinds.com’s forum member badfish51581 has written one of the most informed personal case studies of the classic Simeons protocol, distinguishing it from Kevin Trudeau’s adaptation. Badfish lost 31.5 pounds on the diet in 30 days using a 125 IU injection of hCG daily. Meals for each day consisted of one apple, 100 grams of chicken in salad, another apple, then 100 grams of chicken in a broth. He doesn’t rule out possible placebo effects, but he does insist that he has able to distinguish between psychological cravings and actual hunger pangs, and strongly believes that hCG significantly reduced his appetite without suffering from fatigue.

I Started the HCG Diet. Beauty Bets blogger Elizabeth Dehn made three blog entries about her experience with the diet immediately after starting it. While this hCG diet review isn’t particularly extensive, or even complete (it trails off after the second week), it’s noteworthy for its candor and its real time reporting of progress rather than retroactive assessment. While she did lose four pounds in the first seven days, she attributed this to the calorie restriction rather than the hCG itself. She experienced more hunger and fatigue than most hCG dieters would admit, and increased her calorie intake from 500 to 800 (which “slowed down the weight loss process to a screeching halt”). The final entry, concludes with her giving into cravings and, presumably, ending the diet.

HCG Diet An Evidence Based Review. Rather than go on the diet himself, Joe Cannon of Supplement-Geek.com decided to review nearly 50 years’ worth of scientific studies, providing a synopsis of six individual studies and two meta-analyses. The individual studies included anywhere from 20 to 202 patients each. One meta-analysis compiled and analyzed data from 358 patients between six individual studies, while another meta-analysis reviews an unreported number of patients between 24 studies. Only one of the individual studies concluded that dieting with hCG performed better than dieting with a placebo. Homeopathic hCG drops are handled in a separate research based review with even more negative conclusions—again, not a first person account, but well-vetted third party data. Not everyone wants to read negative reviews of the hCG diet, but everyone can benefit from multiple perspectives.

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