Getting in the Game
Garcinia and other weight-control aids can help a man work himself into shape.
by Lisa James
Slimming down, generally seen as a woman’s concern, has increasingly become a man’s concern, too. A 2012 Gallup poll found that while men trail women 41% to 55% in their likelihood to worry about weight, the male percentage is up 20 points since 1990—and that the gender gap regarding weight worries has narrowed in recent years.
The Gallup pollsters have also learned that just over half of all American men, compared with nearly two-thirds of all women, have attempted to drop pounds. That may change, however, in the light of recent research showing that excess weight, especially weight carried as belly fat, can kill everything from a man’s mental edge to his sex life.
Shedding weight through a sensible diet-and-exercise plan is easier for men than women. What’s more, some supplements are now tailored to men’s unique weight loss needs; these formulations include ingredients such as garcinia that help inhibit fat buildup.
More Mass, Faster Loss
Many women think it’s unfair, but it’s true: A man’s greater muscle mass and weight allows him to shed pounds faster. What’s more, some research indicates that men’s brains are also less likely to fixate on food.
That said, the basic science behind fat deposition holds true for both genders. Food is broken down into its basic constituents, including fats and glucose, within the intestines, which then pass into the body. Cells will burn some of these substances for energy. Others will be turned into fatty acids by a compound called citrate lyase; these fatty acids are then stored in adipocytes, or fat cells. More fat stored equals greater weight gain—and tighter clothes.
Garcinia cambogia, a sweet-sour fruit used for centuries in Asian cooking, contains a substance called hydroxycitric acid. HCA has been found to inhibit citrate lyase, which restricts fatty acid production. Besides limiting the deposition of body fat, it is believed that interfering with citrate lyase may also increase both immediate energy reserves and satiety, which helps control overeating.
Garcinia has shown promising research results. In lab studies, it has helped fight belly fat creation, as well as liver fat accumulation, in mice fed a high-fat diet; garcinia has also decreased body fat and inflammation markers in rats (Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research 2/1/15). In a randomized, double-blind study reported in Current Therapeutic Research, 39 human volunteers took either garcinia extract or a placebo; after 16 weeks, those in the garcinia group showed reduced abdominal fat.
Some nutrients help make garcinia more effective. High blood sugar levels can translate into more body fat; the trace mineral chromium helps cells take in glucose to burn as fuel. Another nutrient, the fatty acid CLA, also appears to promote greater cellular energy production.
Other herbs are also helpful. The herb Coleus forskholii fosters a decrease in body fat and an increase in lean mass. Herbs such as guarana, green tea and cacao fruit stimulate one’s metabolism, while the herbs rhodiola and eleuthero fight stress and help improve exercise performance.
Men are becoming aware of how excess weight affects not only appearance but also the ability to lead a vital life. Weight loss agents such as garcinia can help men step up their game.