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Garcinia Cambogia 101: Health Benefits, Side Efects and Strategies For Losing Weight

Updated on March 27, 2014

Garcinia Cambogia May Be What You Have Been Looking For

Garcinia Cambogia is the new diet supplement of the season, thanks to Dr. Oz. When he speaks many people listen and take action. This fruit extract has been heralded as the new dietary supplement to help people lose unwanted pounds with little to no effort. While research studies still need to catch up with the craze for Garcinia, there is some current research that shows some promise that it may indeed be “the holy grail of weight loss” as proclaimed by Dr. Oz. Let’s hope he is right.

Where Does This Amazing Fruit Come From?

Garcinia Cambogia grows naturally in Southeast Asia, India, and parts of Africa. The fruit varies in size comparable to oranges to grapefruit. It looks like a small pumpkin with a greenish to reddish appearance. Although this fruit is new to the awareness of Westerners, it has always been a part of Asian culture in meal recipes such as curries. It was also noted for its filling properties. The apparent appetite suppressant quality caught the interests of scientist who decided to investigate the component properties of this tamarind fruit.

What they found is that when the fruit is allowed to dry and cure (thus becoming dark brown or black and shriveled) the rind can be used for its medicinal properties. Scientists discovered that the Garcinia extract is an HCA, hydroxycitric acid, that can apparently help one lose weight at a faster pace twice, even triple, the normal rate.

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What Does This HCA Quality Do For You?

Basically HCA blocks fat production in the liver and suppresses appetite. It also acts on the serotonin in your body. When your serotonin is at optimal levels you have a better sense of well-being therefore you are less likely to emotionally overeat or associate eating with feeling good. Serotonin also tends to improve your quality of sleep, which in turn helps improve your general mood.

The reduction in belly fat is due to the fact that you feel less stress with the increase of serotonin effectiveness. Belly fat is caused by cortisol, which is a hormone that is activated when the person is experiencing extreme stress. So, basically your weight loss as a result of taking Garcinia HCA is due to feeling better about yourself because of the way the HCA acts on serotonin.

What Are All The Benefits You Can Enjoy With This Supplement?

The components within the extract of Garcinia will help you with your mood that will eventually and sometimes quickly lead to the following list of benefits:

  • Appetite suppressant without the jittery effects of caffeine so often found in dietary supplements.
  • Control cravings for sugar, which is the “poor man’s” way to improve mood. With the increased uptake of serotonin, you crave less sugar.
  • Blocks fat production by positively changing the way liver converts the sugars you consume in virtually all foods. Yes, even the healthy vegetables, fruits, and dairies contain sugar that could be converted to fat, but the HCA prevents that from happening.
  • You will enjoy improved sleep quality with the increased effectiveness of the natural serotonin in your body. You can help things along by darkening your room and setting it to a slightly cool temperature. This will release melatonin that in turn triggers serotonin.

Dosages For Different Uses

If you are interested in merely suppressing appetite verses weight loss, there are different dosage protocols to follow. Most doctors recommend that their patients only take 500-1000mg per dosage about 30 minutes to 2 hours before meals, three times per day with a maximum of 3000 mg per day total.

  • To suppress appetite and reduce calorie intake take 1 caplet 30 min to 2 hours before meals for a total of 1500 mg per day.
  • To lose significant weight at a faster rate take 3 caplets 30 min to 2 hours before meals for a total of 4500 mg per day ( *note this is higher than the recommendation set by doctors)
  • If you wish to avoid night snacking and you have not exceeded the recommended amount per day you can take 1 or 2 caplets after dinner.
  • The wisest way to use this dietary supplement for longer term success is to consume a limited calorie intake of 1200 per day along with exercise to burn an additional 500 calories or more per day along with 1320 mg a day of Garcinia HCA. You will lose 14 lbs. at a safer rate that will be more likely to stay off over time.

How Do I Get The Real McCoy?

Whenever there is a new dietary supplement craze, everyone and their mother wants to get in on it while the getting is good so you really need to pay attention to the recommendation of nutritionists and doctors regarding which products will help you the most.

There are certain features to look for when you check the ingredients list. If you pick up a bottle with a mile long ingredients list and “boosters” or additional extracts, kindly put the bottle back on the shelf. Keep it simple. If you can read the ingredients list in plain wording you are ahead of the others looking for the same product by a mile. There are only three things you should find on the ingredients list. Everything else is filler or binders.

The ingredients you need include:

  • Garcinia Cambogia HCA: at least 50% hydroxycitric acid written as 500 mg.
  • Calcium: 50 mg
  • Potassium: 70 mg
  • That is all you need; nothing more. Think about it this way: When you add ingredients to an already good recipe, don’t the other ingredients have to be changed to accommodate the added ingredients? In other words, the more stuff added the less potent the caplets will be.

Pointers For Buying Online:

There are other factors to consider when purchasing your supplements. Visit a company’s website. Read the claims they make and check those claims against the facts you have learned about it. If the claims seem overblown, the chances are good they are not producing a quality product, but are instead simply jumping on the bandwagon to make a few bucks.

Read reviews of the company’s products and read several of them for that matter. Sadly, some companies pay for reviews that may shine a false light on them. Check for an overall track record regarding success rates among those who are using it to lose weight. Read more to learn about how quickly and accurately shipments were made. If a customer reports that she returned the product per the company’s stated guarantee, read on to learn if it was handled satisfactorily. A company that is honest is likely to produce a true product.

Consider the amount offered per bottle, too. Many companies sell bottles that only contain 30 to 60 caplets per bottle, which means that you will have to buy more product for a one month supply or join a “club” that will auto-ship more to you on a schedule. Fair warning here: Once you join a club like this it is very, very hard to get out. Instead, look for companies that sell enough quantity for a one month supply, which ideally should be 90 caplets per bottle.

Before deciding whether a product is working or not for your goals, try it for 3 to 6 months to give it an honest shot at success. It took longer than a few weeks to get into the shape you are in now so it will take a good while to lose the weight and get into your ideal shape or achieve you goals.

Side Effects And Warnings To Be On The Safe Side

Although Garcinia Cambogia has been around for thousands of years, it is only recently that scientists have figured out how to extract the dietary advantages intrinsic in the fruit. Granted, there have been a few studies to establish the possible benefits, there is still quite a bit more research needed to establish whether there are significant side effects. Reports of side effects have been mostly anecdotal so far, although there are some mild side effects already noted.

In some cases after a period of only 12 weeks users report nausea, digestive tract discomfort, and headaches. A case or two has been reported that individuals who used Garcinia HCA to lose weight developed dangerous hepatotoxicity, which is in the liver. That reported illness was not able to establish directly connection between the supplement and the liver condition.

Pregnant women or women who are nursing are at present advised not to take this supplement due to the lack of research on any potential effect on the unborn baby or the pregnant mother. Children under the age of 18 should not take this supplement due to the lack of information regarding any potential harm they may incur in their growing and still developing bodies.

So far there have not been any studies to establish any long term safety issues. Due to this supplement being a dietary aide it is not protected or even regulated by the FDA so any studies that are done will be done by the manufacturers or perhaps universities who decide to review the efficacy of Garcinia Cambogia.

Have We Finally Found The Magic Elixir For Weight Loss?

Well, no but we are mighty close. Of course you might be able to lose some weight without changing the foods you eat or exercising, but the amount lost might not be as much as you desire and it is less likely to stay off once you stop taking the supplement as a part of your daily regimen.

However, if you do elect to work out and change the way you eat along with taking the supplement and you are truly patient, you may have found the missing component you needed for successful weight loss with Garcinia HCA.

You don’t have to go crazy with a complicated exercise regimen to complement the effect of the supplement. Simply waking at a brisk pace for 30 to 40 minutes at least 3 times a week or every evening will help you gain some lean muscle. When you have more lean muscle you actually burn more calories. If you want to do a bit more, try a stationary bike for 20 minutes at a high enough rate to increase your heart rate and breath a bit harder than normal. When you increase your heart rate and breathe harder your body works like a fireplace bellows to fire up your metabolism and burn more fat.

Can you continue to eat anything you want and expect to lose weight? Maybe a wee bit will come off, but it will more than likely come back too. It really is not too hard to reduce your caloric intake. Small changes your meals will help you and you really won’t miss a thing:

  • Eat on smaller plate all the foods you like. Your eyes will perceive a full plate and you will still eat the foods you prefer. The chances are good that you will eat as much as 200 fewer calories in just that one meal.
  • Eat whole foods as much as possible. Understandably, we have become a society that prefers sweets and sauces and we have become unable to perceive the natural sweetness of natural foods. Eat a couple snacks or lunches per week of just natural foods and over time you will acclimate to the natural foods and crave less of the processed, sweetened foods.
  • When you do your grocery shopping challenge yourself to only buy those foods with 5 ingredients or less. This one trick alone will help reduce your caloric intake and chemical weight gaining components that are defeating you and your goals.
  • Good luck with all your hopes and aspirations to lose weight and feel healthy. You interest in Garcinia Cambogia is a step in the right direction. Carefully research the products you are interested in and give them time to work. You can do this!

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