Q: I recently lost 23 pounds and can’t wait to go on a cruise with my husband. I plan on having a great time – and that’s going to include eating a lot more than I usually do. Do you have any tricks I can use to avoid gaining back the weight?
A: Your first line of defense against vacation pounds is conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).
This omega-6 fatty acid has been shown to stimulate fat burn and promote the creation of metabolism-revving lean muscle. Conjugated linoleic acid helps maintain lean muscle mass and fight sarcopenia. The one area that has seen extensive clinical trials involving CLA is weight management. There are over 100 studies showing that CLA has a positive affect on those who are looking to reduce body fat and maintain lean muscle mass.
As people age, they experience “sarcopenia”, a degenerative loss of muscle mass and strength.
While sarcopenia is a natural process that comes with aging, it can be slowed and even reversed by CLA. In fact a study concluded that (muscle) increased in people taking conjugated linoleic acid. And, although the increase in muscle was very slight, the onset of the increase began very soon after taking the CLA supplements.
That will help ensure that any extra calories you consume on your trip (pina coladas included) will be burned for energy instead of stored as fat. CLA is so effective, in fact, that subjects in a study who took CLA daily shed 88 percent more body fat over 8 weeks than those who didn’t take it. Wow!
In addition, researchers have also determined that CLA can decrease body fat mass. It does this in four distinct ways:
CLA decreases the amount of fat that is stored after eating
CLA increases the rate of fat breakdown in fat cells
CLA increases the rate of fat metabolism
CLA decreases the total number of fat cells.
This is an INCREDIBLE benefit. Less fat cells!
These four fat fighting mechanisms actually operate two separate ways. CLA works on the adipocytes (the principle site where fat is stored) and the skeletal muscle cells (the principle site where fat is burned for energy). A study concluded that CLA may be more effective at protecting against fat mass regain following weigh loss.
In their conclusion, the researchers wrote “CLA supplementation among overweight adults significantly reduced body fat over 6 months and prevented weight gain during the holiday season.”
CLA also balances blood sugar and curbs the output of hunger hormones to keep cravings at bay.
To get the perks, take 1,200 mg of CLA at least once a day throughout your trip. Many women find they come home slimmer than when they left! Conjugated linoleic acid helps to fight and break the yo-yo effect. This is when one successfully looses 5, 10, even 25 pounds only to put the weight back on.
Conjugated linoleic acid’s safety is not in question. So while conjugated linoleic acid is not a magic bullet for weight loss, it is a safe and viable option for those who are looking to prevent weight gain and maintain lean muscle mass. And if you want to keep the pounds from piling up next holiday season, embarking on CLA supplementation plan now makes a lot of sense.
As an added BONUS, CLA has potential anti-cancer properties. Studies have demonstrated that even small amounts of CLA have been shown to slow the growth of a wide variety of tumors, including cancers of the skin, breast, as well as cancers of the lung, prostate, and colon. Now THAT'S a bonus?
I’m taking 3 CLA per day. My favorite is a large-sized pill, but it does a BIG job.