Once the previous year has been ushered out, it’s a time-honored tradition to make New Year’s resolutions.
It should not be surprising that weight loss is a common New Year’s resolution that people make. In fact, it is the most common such resolution, with more than 21 percent of people doing so.1 Add in another 5 percent of people who make working out at the gym their top resolution, and more than a quarter of people have some sort of fitness or weight loss goals as their New Year’s resolution.
Obviously, these resolutions often result in an increase in new gym memberships in January. More than 12 percent of gym members join in January, and this peak usually lasts until March.2 Sadly, 67 percent of those gym memberships end up going unused, often after the month of March.3
What can you do to help your patients keep that weight loss resolution and ensure that their gym bag doesn’t end up just gathering dust in their closet?
Recent research on the extract from the rind of an exotic citrus fruit called Garcinia cambogia may hold promise in terms of keeping your patients on track for their weight loss goals to last beyond the first few months of the new year.
What is Garcinia cambogia?
Garcinia cambogia is a fruit native to Southeast Asia, whose rind, like many other plants native to that region, is traditionally used in regional cooking.4 However, one of the rind’s active ingredients, hydroxycitric acid (HCA), may also have added benefit in terms of being able to help with both stimulating weight loss and lowering cholesterol. It is thought to do this by both increasing the body’s natural abilities to burn fat, as well as cutting appetite levels.
Garcinia cambogia helps boost fat burning by blocking production of an enzyme known as citrate lyase, which allows the body to manufacture fat.4 In terms of cutting your appetite, Garcinia cambogia is thought to levels of a chemical in the brain called serotonin.5 Higher serotonin levels send signals to your brain that you feel full, so that you eat less at one sitting.
Considerations and possible side effects
A number of small studies have found Garcinia cambogia to be safe, with only a few patients reporting mild side effects, including dizziness, dry mouth, headache, upset stomach, or diarrhea.4-5 As with many herbs and supplements, your patients may need to be cautious about taking Garcinia cambogia if they are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Patients who take prescription medications for diabetes must also be cautious, as Garcinia cambogia may also lower blood sugar to dangerous levels.4-5
Bottom line for weight loss goals
Although Garcinia cambogia may help your patients to burn fat and reduce their appetite, it is not a magic pill that will work on its own. As with any weight-loss supplement, a fitness routing of regular exercise and a balanced diet are also key components to not only lose weight safely, but keep it off for good.
Garcinia cambogia can provide patients who are already committed to sticking to their weight loss resolutions with an added boost to their efforts. However, they must already be motivated in the right direction.
- New Year’s resolution statistics. Statistics Brain. Accessed 1/8/2016.
- It’s gym season from now until March. S. News & World Report. Accessed 1/8/2017.
- Gym membership statistics. Statistics Brain. Accessed 1/8/2016.
- Garcinia cambogia: Weight loss fact or fiction? Healthline. Accessed 1/8/2017.
- Garcinia cambogia: Safe for weight loss? Accessed 1/8/2017.