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There simply is no magic shortcut, and while this may seem obvious to some people it is overlooked far, far, too often. Now you’re probably wondering, if diet and exercise are the only ways to lose weight, why did you write this list? Because there are still natural remedies and recipes that will help you reach your ultimate goal. If you use these in addition to eating better and getting some exercise, they can speed up the process. There are many different contributing factors to losing/gaining weight, so the below remedies cover a wide range.

Before you go on you should have a simple understanding of the process your body goes through when dropping the pounds. Fat (along with protein and carbohydrates) is stored energy, plain and simple. Calories are the unit that is used to measure the potential energy in said fats, carbs, and proteins. Your body will convert fat to usable energy through a series of chemical processes, and any excess energy (calories) that you don’t need will be stored away. To lose weight, you must expend more energy (or calories) than you take in. When you are using more than you taking in, your body draws on stored fat to convert it to energy, which makes the fat cells shrink. It doesn’t disappear; it simply changes form, like water to steam. While this is the basic process, you also have to take into account genetic and environmental factors. How well the above process takes place does vary from person to person.

1. Cinnamon Tea

Blood sugar has a direct impact on your weight as it affects how hungry and how energetic you are (if you have energy you’re much more likely to exercise!)

If your blood sugar is balanced you are less likely to have a disproportionally large appetite, and your body will be more apt to use fat (energy) rather than storing it.

While debate about its effectiveness drags on, more and more preliminary studies are coming out showing that cinnamon can help manage blood sugar levels, so why not whip up a spicy cinnamon tea?

You will need…
-1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
-1 cinnamon stick
-8 ounces of fresh water

Directions
Place the cinnamon in a mug and cover with 8 ounces of boiling water. Steep for 15 minutes before straining. Drinking 1-2 times a day.

 

2. Green Tea & Ginger

Green tea has long been debated as a weight loss aid, and more research is needed to confirm or deny how well it works. While some studies have turned up nothing, others have identified three main components in green tea that could help manage weight-caffeine, catechins, and theanine. Caffeine is just an overall boost to your system, and speeds up a number of bodily processes, including metabolism related to weight (technically speaking, metabolism refers to any and all biological processes in a living organism needed to sustain life.)

Catechins are considered anti-oxidant flavonoids, and are superior in green tea rather than black tea due to a difference in processing (black tea is fermented.) While the mechanism is yet to be determined, in vitro and in vivo studies have shown that catechins can help lower the absorption of lipids (fats) via the intestinal track. Theanine is an amino acid in green tea that can encourage the release of dopamine, the chemical that makes you “happy” and relaxed. If you tend to eat due to stress, this may be useful. It also counters the caffeine so you don’t get all jittery. The ginger added to green tea will help improve digestion and add a little flavor-no sugar or milk in this tea!

You will need…
-1/2 inch of fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped OR ½ teaspoon ground ginger
-1 teaspoon of green tea
-8 ounces of fresh water
-Raw, organic honey (optional)

Directions
Place green tea and ginger in a strainer or sieve and cover with 8 ounces of boiling water. Steeping green tea for too long can leave it with a bitter taste, so don’t exceed 3-4 minutes. You can stir in a little raw honey if you really need to sweeten it, but avoid milk or sugar at all costs. Drink 1-2 cups daily on an empty stomach.

3. Rose Petal Water

The benefits of rose petal water are backed more by anecdotal evidence than anything, but that’s no reason to shrug off this mild yet refreshing drink. Rose petals act as a very gentle diuretic. Diuretics encourage your kidneys to put more sodium (salt) into your urine. This excess salt in turn draws water from your blood, decreasing the amount of water in your circulatory system. This is not “permanent” weight loss-just water weight-but the action encourages you to drink more and keep your system flushed clean and hydrated. Staying hydrated, believe it or not, can be hugely beneficial to losing weight.

 

You will need…
-Handful of fresh or dried rose petals
-Distilled water (roughly 1-2 cups)
-A pot with a tightly fitting lid
Note: Be sure, especially if using fresh rose petals, that they have not been treated with any sort of chemical (insecticides, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, etc.)

Directions
Place the pot on the stove, put in the rose petals, and add just enough distilled water to completely cover them. If some float to the top it’s not a big deal. Cover the pot with a tightly fitting lid and simmer until the petals lose most of their color, about 15-20 minutes. Strain the liquid into a glass jar and keep in the refrigerator for up to 6 days. Drink about ½-1 cup every morning on an empty stomach.

 

4. Ginseng

Ginseng is any one of 11 perennial plants with fleshy roots belonging to the genus Panax. While there are different kinds of ginseng, the two that you should use –also the ones that have had the most controlled double-blind studies done on them-are American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Asian or Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng.) While widely known as a stimulant to speed up a sluggish metabolism, that description doesn’t do it justice. Ginseng’s greatest quality is that it can help fight fatigue and boost energy as well as mental alertness (in a randomized double-blind study in 2010 290 cancer patients at the Mayo Clinic were given ginseng daily and it was found to fight even the crippling fatigue caused by chemotherapy.) This is huge when it comes to weight loss-without energy, it’s hard to exercise. Without exercise, it’s near impossible to lose weight-at least in a healthy way. In addition to boosting energy, there is tentative evidence that it can help manage blood sugar, which also affects energy levels as well as appetite.

You will need…
-1 teaspoon of chopped American or Korean ginseng
-8 ounces of fresh water
-raw honey/lemon to taste (optional)

Directions
Roughly chop the root and measure out 1 teaspoon per cup of water. Bring water to a boil and then pour over the ginseng, allowing it to steep for 5-9 minutes. Strain, add honey or lemon if you like, and drink 1-2 times daily.

5. Dandelion and Peppermint

Dandelion and peppermint tea is a fabulous drink that will help keep your liver healthy. The liver is an incredible organ. Not only is it the only way to truly detoxify your body, it is also plays a central role in many metabolic processes-a lot of which affect weight. In terms of fat metabolism, the liver is full of cells that break down fats and turn them into usable energy. These cells are also responsible for the flow of bile, which helps breakdown and absorb fats. In the metabolism of carbohydrates, the liver helps keep your blood sugar steady, therefore keeping energy levels up and regulating appetite. The list goes on, but the point is helping your liver helps your weight, as it plays a crucial role in managing fats and their absorption. Dandelion and peppermint both help your liver. Dandelion has hepatoprotection constituents, with hepatoprotection meaning an ability to prevent damage to the liver. Peppermint and dandelion both automatically stimulate the production of bile in the liver, helping with digestion and the absorption of nutrients. Mix these two together, and you have a powerful liver protecting tea!

You will need…
-1 teaspoon of dried dandelion leaves
-1 teaspoon dried peppermint leaves
-8 ounces of boiling water
-Lemon to taste (optional)

Directions
Pour a cup of boiling water over the dandelion and peppermint and steep, covered, for 5-10 minutes. Strain, add lemon to taste if you like, and drink a cup twice daily. You can also make this with fresh dandelion leaves/roots and fresh peppermint, just use a rough handful of the fresh leaves for the amount. If you do use fresh, be absolutely certain that there have been no chemicals applied to them- this is especially important for dandelion. If you use dandelion on a regular basis, I suggest growing your own.

Author : Brandon Salazar

Brandon Salazar has been listed as one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Business People”, Forbes Magazine’s “Names You Need to Know,” and is the 7th “most powerful” personality on Newsweek’s Digital 100 Power Index for 2012.