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The Inside Pitch:  Managing obesity by trying to master the events on the outside which signal and influence eating behaviors is useful. However, in recent years, there has been a growing interest in the ways our bodies operate on the inside, apart from conscious attempts to manipulate the environment.  A decade ago, two of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />America's leading nutritional scientists, Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw, conducted an abundance of research concerning the effects of nutrition on body metabolism and obesity. A central theme of their work has been the principle of thermogenesis or stimulation of "good" (brown) fat cells to metabolize (burn) white body fat and produce heat. Essentially, this means that some of your fat cells are your "allies" in fighting body fat through thermogenesis!
One catalyzing agent which can induce thermogenesis is Ephedra Herb Tea. Initially, in many cases, the tea suppresses appetite and has minimal thermogenic effects. As a result, food consumption is reduced, and weight loss begins. Better yet, after two weeks, the appetite suppression greatly diminishes while the thermogenic effects increase dramatically. This means that a person can now eat more desired foods and still burn fat! To be sure, studies have shown this effect to more than double after three months of tea usage. Based on these and other promising results, Pearson and Shaw have incorporated Ephedra Herb Tea in the design of a product line for weight control and increased energy that has been quite successful in producing results. The products involve no drug use; are legal and safe, cause no loss in lean body mass and best of all, do not require any starvation diet--you can eat what you want and not exercise! However, the effects are greatly enhanced by engaging in some exercise, and by avoiding abusive consumption of high-calorie foods.
Why diets often fail...
Managing your weight by gaining control of the environment is sensible, but it involves work. It is much easier for most people, when considering losing body fat, to go for a severely restricted caloric diet. But many diets--particularly "crash" weight-loss programs--ignore certain genetic principles that are at work...
About 400 years ago, people didn't live long enough to die of obesity-related diseases (and you thought you had problems?). There was widespread famine, and those who were able to store fat survived through a principle Charles Darwin called, Natural Selection. This is the legacy we inherited: When few if any calories are forthcoming, the hunger and weight-controlling gland in your brain (hypothalamus) will "think there's a famine going on", and will, consequently, change your body's biochemistry so your weight loss "plateaus" despite the fact that you're on a starvation diet. At the same time, your body is "geared" for storing fat. As maintaining a low-calorie, starvation diet for a long time is stressful and next to impossible with the availability of delicious and tempting "forbidden foods" all around us, people who begin with the best of intentions often end up cycling between low and "normal" calorie diets (I know people who have dieted successfully...hundreds of times!). As you return to a normal diet, the increased calories inevitably become stored as fat-- lest another "famine" occur-- and become gained weight!
Another fascinating point is that during a low-calorie diet without heavy exercise, up to 25% of your weight loss will actually be lean body mass, not fat! In contrast, when you resume a regular calorie diet for reasons already mentioned, the weight that is gained is almost entirely fat. Accordingly, it’s often possible for someone who repeatedly diets to actually end up with less muscle mass than before starting, while the weight won't be any lower!  This is truly one of life's frustrations.
In contrast, of course, the objective of any weight management strategy, operating on the inside is the steady reduction of body fat and a relative increase in lean body mass. The Pearson and Shaw program is apparently capable of doing just that. Since there research was made public, there are many other programs that are equally viable (check with a nutritionalist of your choice).  While there have been many diet plans--some controversial--and conflicting opinions about the best way to lose weight, it is clear that no single method works for everybody.
The ideas that have been presented take into consideration the "whole" person, inside and out, and represent a comprehensive approach to weight control. Call it the Sitting Bull solution--surround the fat problem and then squeeze it from all sides. So, if you feel more like a sitting duck, climb out of that rut. Exercise these options and take the weight off you!