natural remedies for fitness and training

Natural Remedies for Weight Control,

Fitness and Training...Page 3

Fitness

and Training

Natural remedies for weight control, fitness and training,  including thermogenic weight loss products, fat blockers, starch blockers, cellulite products, amino acids, anti-oxidants and vitamins.

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Thermogenic weight loss products.


Disclaimer

Information on this site is for educational and personal use only, and is not intended in any way as prescription or diagnosis. It is not a substitute for medical advice. If you have a medical condition, or take prescription medication, do not neglect good quality medical support.

The terms ‘treat’ and ‘treatment’, or similar, do not promise or imply cure.

Information given about products or their ingredients refers to research-based evidence; some sources of evidence are on the Links pages. It would be impossible to fit the information in these references onto each page.
Reference to ‘traditional use’ reflects well-documented common use, by ordinary people, over many years, often in more than one country. ‘Traditional use’ does not imply any research evidence or safety level, it is included for information only, and is not a recommendation.
No manufacturer or supplier has any financial interest in this website, or my business, nor do I have any financial interest in them. Although I sell Viridian products, they are also widely available elsewhere. Always read instructions on any product. Do not neglect medical guidance or treatment.
Please read Terms and Conditions
before using this website.



Sports Multis

Viridian Sports Multi

viridian sports multiThis is a top quality sports nutrient, suitable for both men and women. Other sports combinations are available.

Sports Multi is a high potency, balanced formula offering support for those involved in regular strenuous physical activities, such as aerobic exercise, weight training, circuit training, body building, running and professional sporting events. It also suits those who do heavy physical work.

Sports Multi supports energy release with Alpha Lipoic Acid, the full range of B Complex vitamins, CoQ10, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Magnesium, and Vanadium.

Sports Multi protects the body from free radicals generated during exercise, and keeps the immune system up to par, with Alpha Lipoic Acid, Beta Carotene, Vitamins C and E, CoQ10, Copper, Green tea, Manganese, Selenium, and Zinc.

Sports Multi assists muscle development and repair with BCAAs (branch chain aminos), Chromium, Manganese, and Zinc (for testosterone production).

Sports Multi aids cardiovascular function with B12, CoQ10, Vitamin C (for Carnitine production), Folic acid, Iron, Potassium, and Vanadium.

Sports Multi protects bone nutrition with Boron, Calcium, Vitamins D and K, Magnesium, Manganese, and Molybdenum.

Sports Multi includes thermogenic agents to increase fat-burning, with Chromium, Green Tea and MCTs (medium chain tri-glycerides). Warnings: none at recommended doses. Contains Iodine.

An entirely vegan product. Full ingredients per daily 2 capsules:

Vit B1 20mg
Vit B2 20mg
Vit B3 50mg
Vit B5 200mg
Vit B6 20mg
Vit B12 100mcg
Vit C 65mg
Biotin 200mcg
Choline 8mg
Inositol 20mg
Folic Acid 200mcg
Vit D 50IU
Vit E 150IU
Vit K 5mcg
Boron 500mcg
Calcium 12mg
Chromium 400mcg
Copper 1mg
Iodine 100mcg
Iron 10mg
Magnesium 25mg
Manganese 1mg
Molybdenum 50mcg
Potassium 25mg
Selenium 200mcg
Vanadium 50mcg
Zinc 5mg
ALA 20mg
BCAA 100mg
Beta Carotene 5mg
Other carotenoids 234mcg
Green Tea 50mg
MCT 50mg
Q10 10mg

Warnings: none at recommended doses. contains Iodine.

Please also see: Safe Weight Loss During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding?


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Nature’s Plus MegaForce

natures plus megaforceThis is a supplement for male bodybuilders and sportsmen!Other similar combos are available.

(Men only due to male-specific glandular extracts, and not vegetarian; women see Viridian Sports Multi, above).

  Contains really good doses of an enormous range of vitamins and minerals, also amino acids for muscle building, and endocrine extracts for glandular support. Anti-oxidant content is good, with selenium, zinc, and vitamins A, C and E, essential because strenuous exercise increases damaging free radicals. Also contains Chromium for burning off fat, and Ginseng for stamina.

Warnings: none at recommended doses. Contains Iodine. Most definitely not vegetarian.

Megaforce contains:

Vitamin A (as beta carotene) 25000 IU
Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid) 1000 mg
Vitamin D (as ergocalciferol) 400 IU
Vitamin E (as d-alpha tocopheryl ) 150 IU
Vitamin B-1 60 mg
Vitamin B-2 60 mg
Vitamin B3 (as niacinamide) 75 mg
Vitamin B5 (calcium pantothenate) 100 mg
Vitamin B-6 (as pyridoxine HCI) 75 mg
Vitamin B-12 (as cyanocobalamin) 100 mcg
Biotin 125 mcg
Choline (as bitartrate) 100 mg
Folate (as folic acid) 400 mcg
Inositol 100 mg
PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid) 60 mg

Chromium (as amino acid chelate) 100 mcg
Iodine (from kelp) 50 mcg
Iron (as amino acid chelate) 4 mg
Magnesium (as aspartate) 12.5mg
Manganese (as ascorbate) 10 mg
Potassium (as ascorbate) 90 mg
Selenium (as amino acid complex) 20 mcg
Zinc (as amino acid chelate) 5 mg
L-Cysteine (free form amino acid) 50 mg
L-Ornithine (free form amino acid) 50 mg
L-Methionine (free form amino acid) 30 mg
L-Glutathione 5 mg

Raw Orchic Concentrate 20 mg
Raw Pancreas Concentrate 10 mg
Raw Adrenal Concentrate 30 mg
Raw Spleen Concentrate 10 mg
Raw Thymus Concentrate 10 mg
Raw Dessicated Liver Concentrate
Raw Pituitary Concentrate 30 mg
Octacosanol 30 mcg
Bee pollen 50mg
Ginseng (Korean) 50 mg
Lecithin (from soy) 200mg

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Anti-Oxidant and Vitamin Support

Co-Enzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

CoQ10 fitness and strengthCoQ10 is an anti-oxidant made naturally in our bodies, but amounts unfortunately decline with age. CoQ10 is vital in cell energy production throughout the body, and is essential for the healthy function of the hard-working heart muscles: low levels are considered a cause of heart problems.

In athletes, studies show CoQ10 can improve performance by up to 13%. CoQ10 has been shown to improve physical fitness and strengthen the heart by up to 20%, even in those with no physical ailments.

It can be helpful if you suffer from low energy or constant tiredness, as some of us do in middle-age, or after an illness. Anti-oxidants protect muscles from the high levels of free radicals that develop during strenuous exercise.

CoQ10 protects LDL cholesterol from oxidising, reducing damageto arteries including coronary arteries. Studies show positive results in lowering high blood pressure. CoQ10 is helpful to those taking statins, tricyclic anti-depressants and some beta-blockers, as these can block natural CoQ10 production. It is also essential to gum health.

There are no restrictions on long-term use. CoQ10 is said to work well with Carnitine.
You may notice improvements in your general energy.

Warnings: none

Supplements: look for CoQ10 in an oil base, that is, in capsules, at least 30mg day. I

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Vitamin C

vitamin C protects musclesAnti-oxidants like Vitamins C and E protect muscles from the high levels of free radicals that develop during strenuous exercise.

Free radicals damage muscle and lead to inflammation, soreness and poor muscle recovery. Exercising in smoky or polluted environments also increases exposure to free radicals.

Vitamin C is of course necessary for many other processes in the body.

Warnings: physician’s guidance with liver or kidney problems.
Not more than 1g. day with warfarin or similar drugs.
Supplements: cheap vitamin C is widely available but the usual form, Ascorbic Acid, may be too acid for some. Some tablets contains a lot of unnatural fillers. Look for a time release formulation, and/or take your vitamin C little and often. Low acid formulations are kinder for those with sensitive stomachs.

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Vitamin E

Anti-oxidants like Vitamins C and E protect muscles from the high levels of free radicals that develop during strenuous exercise. Free radicals damage muscle and lead to inflammation, soreness and poor muscle recovery. Exercising in smoky or polluted environments also increases exposure to free radicals.

Vitamin E also protects LDL cholesterol from oxidising, reduces damage to arteries including coronary arteries, and helps protect against heart disease and stroke. Vitamin E works best in combination with vitamin C. If you are new to vitamin E, we recommend starting at 100iu. increasing if necessary after a month.

Vitamin E in its natural form is called d-alpha tocopherol.

Warnings: avoid with warfarin or similar anticoagulants.
avoid just before or after surgery, or childbirth, due to blood thinning.

Supplements: Widely available, but do get a natural vitamin E, and not a synthetic one. A lot of vitamin E is derived from soya, and most soya is genetically modified. Always start with a low dose and work up if you wish, because while vitamin E is good for high blood pressure, a sudden high dose can raise blood pressure.

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Viridian Anti-Oxidant Formula

viridian antioxidant formulaThis contains a range of anti-oxidants, with trace minerals and more.Other similar formulas are available.

A very convenient way to boost your daily anti-oxidant protection.


Viridian Anti-oxidant formula vegecaps contain:

Vitamin C as magnesium ascorbate 150mg
Grape Seed Extract 30mg
Mixed carotenoids including Lutein 5mg
Zinc 5mg
Selenium 100microg.
L-Glutathione 15mg
Alpha-Lipoic Acid 10mg
Also contains Copper, L-Cysteine, B2, B6, and Manganese.

Warnings: none at maintenance dose of one capsule per day, but see individual ingredients.

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Amino Acids

L-Carnitine

An important endurance nutrient, helpful to all sports enthusiasts and athletes. Carnitine improves exercise tolerance, and studies show it is beneficial in those with chronic lung problems or heart disorders. Several separate trials show performance benefits in marathon runners, rowers, walkers and cyclists. It aids muscle recovery after exertion, reducing lactic acid levels, pain and stiffness. It is especially helpful in those ‘weekend players’ who cannot exercise regularly.

Carnitine is an amino acid and anti-oxidant involved in energy production within cells, particularly helpful in metabolising fat. It is included in many amino-acid-based weight-loss supplements.

Carnitine is synthesised in our own bodies, but those who are elderly, recovering from illness, or vegetarian, may need extra (Carnitine is mainly found in meat and dairy products). Carnitine is concentrated in the heart muscle, and normal heart function depends on adequate Carnitine levels. It may be helpful in managing cholesterol levels, and helps reduce the effect of ageing on our cells.

It is said to work well with Co-Enzyme Q10.
The technical name for Carnitine is L-Carnitine.

Warnings: for maximum effect, take separately from protein, ideally 30-60 mins before or after protein meals.
pregnant or breastfeeding, use only under supervision.

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L-Arginine

arginine for fitnessArginine is an amino acid that occurs naturally in the body. It helps the blood supply to heart and muscles, lowers cholesterol, and appears to inhibit fat absorption. Arginine helps transport fat cells to the liver, where they can be broken down for energy. In trials, combinations of Arginine and Ornithine in weight training lead to decreased body fat, increased lean tissue, greater strength, and less tissue breakdown. It is used in the metabolism of protein, and the secretion of hormones including Growth Hormone.

Arginine is required for insulin production and blood sugar control, so may be useful in weight control.
Arginine is also used for sexual health.

The technical name for Arginine is L-Arginine. L-Ornithine converts to Arginine in the body.
Mix powders with a little juice or water.

Warnings:
avoid in cases of schizophrenia.
avoid if prone to, or suffering from, herpes infection.
avoid if pregnant or breastfeeding.
physician’s guidance with liver or kidney problems
Ideally take at bedtime on an empty stomach, followed by exercise before breakfast, to use the fat that has been stored in the liver.

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Thermogenics

Thermogenic products encourage the body to use dietary calories to produce heat instead of energy or fat. ‘Thermogenic’ means ‘generating heat’. There are only two ways the body can dispose of excess consumed calories; it must store them as fat or dissipate them as heat.

This is an important process, because it keeps calories from being stored as fat, and helps reduce the amount of fat that is already stored. There are increasing numbers of this kind of product on the market: I will discuss a few to give you an idea; ingredients are usually similar, and beware of the extraordinary claims made by some of these products!

Proper nutrition and moderate exercise will enhance the slimming effect. Please heed the health warnings: these are powerful products.

PLEASE ALSO SEE more thermogenics on Page 2
including Trimmers. Sida Cordifolia, Green Tea.

  • Some products use caffeine: while using them, avoid taking any extra caffeine (slimming products, tea, coffee, cola, Red Bull, and especially chocolate.).

  • As caffeine is a diuretic, take plenty of water.

  • Taking caffeine after 3.00pm may result in sleep problems.

  • Some products also contain the stimulant ephedrine.

  • I advise taking regular breaks from using these products; please read relevant instructions.

  • Do not diet with these products - you don’t need to!

Chromium.

Chromium is a little different from other, combination, thermogenic products. It is a naturally occurring mineral, and one that we all need. It is included in many multi- vitamin/mineral supplements. There is good research to back its use.

Chromium can help regulate sugar cravings, and is lacking in refined foods. Chromium is also essential for the manufacture of Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF), which helps regulate blood sugar. Chromium deficiency may be involved in weight problems and type 2 diabetes.

It works best with adequate levels of vitamin C and Folic Acid. Chromium is included in many fat-burning and weight-loss products.

Warnings: may enhance the effect of diabetes drugs: use only under supervision.
Supplements: Widely available: sometimes called GTF (Glucose Tolerance Factor) Chromium. V

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Body Supreme Extra Ripped.

Another thermogenic product, aimed more at the male/bodybuilding market, but similar ingredients to most weight loss products!

Body Supreme Extreme Ripped weight management system contains:

114mg Guarana and 102mg Maté, both containing caffeine to boost metabolism and fat-burning.
100mg Maça ( a stimulant, also a sexual stimulant)
75mg Citrus Aurantium (bitter orange, contains synephrine, a metabolic stimulant simialr to ephedrine)
37mg Tyrosine (helps suppress appetite)
along with green tea and ginger. Vegecaps.

Please note, although legal, the Caffeine content may result in a positive test in IOC drug tests.

Warnings: important
avoid if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Not recommended for long-term use.
not to be used with the MAO type of antidepressant.
avoid with heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid problems, or prostate enlargement.
not for use if under 18 years.
avoid with any product containing ephedrine, eg. cold cures, decongestants,, allergy or asthma. drugs – ask your pharmacist. Do not take with another slimming product containing ephedrine.
if you experience nervousness, trembling, nausea or sleeplessness, reduce dose or discontinue.
may increase sensitivity to sunlight/UV. Limit exposure and avoid tanning equipment.
And warnings above.


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Maximuscle Thermobol.

A popular thermogenic fat-burner for body-builders, containing a Caffeine blend, Synephrine and White Willow Bark to provide a useful alternative to the old (banned) ECA stack.

Thermobol is again aimed at the male/bodybuilding market, but both men and women can use all these products, with care of course.

Please note, although legal, the Caffeine content may result in a positive test in IOC drug tests.

Thermobol capsules contain:

Green tea polyphenols 80mg ( to increase thermogenesis)
Caffeine blend 150mg (from kola nut, guarana and coffee)
Coleus Forskolii 35mg (may regulate breakdown of fat and increase thyroid activity),
Citrus Aurantium 325 mg (bitter orange, contains synephrine, a metabolic stimulant simialr
Niacin (B3) 50mg to ephedrine)
Chromium 100 microg.
Bioperine (piper nigrum. Aids absorption of nutrients).
With Narangin , Horsetail, White Willow

Warnings: important
avoid if pregnant or breastfeeding.
high doses of vitamin B3 may cause harmless facial flushing.
Not recommended for long-term use.
not to be used with the MAO type of antidepressant.
avoid with heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid problems, or prostate enlargement.
not for use if under 18 years.
avoid with any product containing ephedrine, eg. cold cures, decongestants,, allergy or asthma. drugs – ask your pharmacist. Do not take with another slimming product containing ephedrine.
if you experience nervousness, trembling, nausea or sleeplessness, reduce dose or discontinue.
may increase sensitivity to sunlight/UV. Limit exposure and avoid tanning equipment.
And warnings above.


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Muscle-Building Products

Tropicana Testo-Boost

For men only! A testosterone-boosting combo of 200mg Carnitine, 120mg Saw Palmetto, and 900mg ZMA. ZMA is a scientifically designed anabolic mineral formula. It contains Zinc Aspartate plus Magnesium Aspartate and vitamin B-6, and is an all-natural product that has been clinically proven to significantly increase anabolic hormone levels and muscle strength in trained athletes.

A lot of research evidence supports the use of ZMA. Supplementing can significantly increase free testosterone levels and muscle strength. Vegecaps. Other similar products are available, including ZMA on its own.

Warnings:

do not exceed the recommended daily dose for long periods.
pregnant or breastfeeding, use only under supervision.
physician’s guidance advised with kidney or heart disease, heart medication,
or ACE inhibitors for high blood pressure.
rarely can lead to upset stomach – reduce dose.
best absorbed when taken separately from high fibre food.
for maximum effect, take separately from protein, ideally 30-60 mins before or after protein meals.

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Colostrum

colostrum for fitnessColostrum is the first milk of mammals. Supplements are made from cows’ colostrum.

Why on earth take this for training and fitness? It contains numerous immune-system compounds and growth factors. The growth factors found in colostrum have been shown to tone muscles, reduce body fat, return elasticity to the skin and increase bone density. Some athletes say colostrum is the most strikingly effective muscle-building agent they have used, even rivalling illegal steroids (I find that hard to believe).

Current research shows that colostrum slows protein breakdown, and stimulates glucose transport in muscle. This means that muscles become more efficient. As one manufacturer says: ’The benefits of colostrum are great news for everyone from the professional athlete to the weekend warrior’.

Colostrum is a natural source of interferon and immuno-globulins. Colostrum may also lower LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol).
No side effects have been reported.
The product is  freeze-dried to protect the enzymes.

Warnings: Individuals suffering from diabetes, prostatitis, dwarfism, obesity, hypertension, HIV or cancer, should consult a qualified medical practitioner.
Vegetarian, not vegan.


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Creatine

creatineEveryone who goes to a gym has heard of creatine, but what is it? Our bodies naturally make the compound, which is used to supply energy to our muscles. It is produced in the liver, pancreas, and kidneys, and is transported to the body's muscles through the bloodstream. Once it reaches the muscles, it is converted into phosphocreatine (creatine phosphate). This high-powered metabolite is used to regenerate the muscles' ultimate energy source, ATP (adenosine triphosphate).

Creatine can show gains in lean muscle mass in just 2 weeks. It enhances energy reserves in muscle cells, synthesizing muscle protein while minimizing protein breakdown. It super-hydrates muscle cells, bulking up muscles, and makes fibres bigger and stronger, so it increases strength, endurance, and muscle recovery rates. Creatine also accelerates fat loss, and helps build lean body mass.

Some experts recommend ‘loading’, ie. taking extra creatine for the first week. This gives quicker results, but is not necessary and gives no ultimate advantage. Some sources recommend ‘cycling’ creatine, stopping completely every so often and then re-loading. We do not know of evidence that this is necessary.

The best source is creatine monohydrate, this gives the best yield for weight. Powder is most quickly absorbed. Creatine is most effective combined with a high carbohydrate base, 30 minutes before training.

Micronised creatine mixes better and is absorbed more quickly.
Because creatine occurs naturally it cannot be made illegal.

Warnings: none known. Ensure adequate water intake. Consult a fitness specialist or doctor for long term use.

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Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

CLA is a polyunsaturated fat, related to the Omega 6 family. As CLA occurs mainly in red meat and dairy products, many health-conscious people may not be eating much of it. CLA can be helpful in weight-loss or training programs. It is taken before meals with water.

Theoretically, CLA works by inhibiting fat storage; as a result, fat stays in circulation longer, allowing muscles to use it as a source of energy. Supplementing with CLA can lead to an increase in muscle mass and a decrease in fat mass. It can be useful after pregnancy to aid weight loss.

Although studies (using both animals and humans) are not in total agreement, data has shown that CLA increases metabolic rate, muscle growth, immune function and the effectiveness of insulin. We advise that those with blood sugar/insulin problems, including polycystic ovaries or Syndrome X, should not use CLA.

Warnings: diabetics, use only under supervision.
Safe for breastfeeding, not in pregnancy.


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Recovery after Training

SEE ALSO Natural Remedies for Sports Injuries

L-Glutamine

Glutamine is an amino acid important for muscle tissue maintenance, helping to prevent muscle wasting and breakdown. It helps reduce inflammation, swelling and pain. Stressful exercise, such as heavy-resistance weight training, results in the body losing large amounts of glutamine.

Naturally found in proteins of all kinds, it is sometimes added to bodybuilding protein powders. Adequate glutamine improves protein metabolism, also benefits gut health and the immune system.

recovery after training with glutamine Be as healthy as this cool cat!

L-Glutamine is the technical term for Glutamine.

Warnings:
rarely can lead to upset stomach – reduce dose.
best absorbed when taken separately from high fibre food.
for maximum effect, take separately from protein, ideally 30-60 mins before or after protein meals.
avoid with severe liver disease
Supplements: Widely available. Prices vary greatly.

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Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM

glucosamineOne of the most popular health supplements of all, Glucosamine is a building-block for all muscles, tendons, joints, cartilage, skin, and even bone health. It also stimulates the production of synovial fluid in joints. It is anti-inflammatory, and may reduce pain.

While our bodies make some Glucosamine, we may choose to take more if there is extra wear and tear, injury, or as we get older. Glucosamine can help maintain the cushioning in joints that are used heavily, and so it may benefit sports people, bodybuilders, and those whose jobs involve physical work.

Glucosamine has been extensively researched for osteoarthritis and the results are very positive..

Most Glucosamine is derived from shellfish, but the vegetarian variety, Glucosamine HCl, is derived from algae or maize, and may be better absorbed.

Chondroitin may be added to improve cartilage structure, hold in water and nutrients, and support blood vessels. Chondroitin is derived from animal cartilage, either bovine or marine including shark cartilage (a despicable trade: avoid it);  there is no vegetarian version. Both Glucosamine and Chondroitin are important sources of Sulphur, necessary for the body to maintain any kind of connective tissue.

MSM is a mineral, an organic form of Sulphur. It may be added to improve the Sulphur content of cartilage. MSM also helps maintain skin collagen and elasticity, and may help auto-immune diseases.

Vitamin C may be added to supplements; it aids absorption of Glucosamine..

Warnings:
not for those with fish or shellfish allergy.
for maximum effect, take separately from protein, ideally 30-60 mins before or after protein meals.

Some Glucosamine products contain sodium, which would contribute to high blood pressure.  Some use vegetarian glucosamine. Chondroitin is an animal product.

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Footnotes

* Viridian herbal products contain a mixture of standardised extract and whole herb. The measure in milligrams combines these.


More Information and Support.

This page lists some natural remedies - there are many others.

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Fitness, training and weight control are such personal subjects. Over-the-counter products may assist you, but they are not really the answer. I would not recommend most of them for long-term use. Long-term solutions come from addressing underlying health, training  or emotional issues. For example, some of us train/diet compulsively when we are unhappy, while others give it all up and pile weight on! Consider seeing a therapist or trainer locally, who can advise and support you, and check out my Online Homeopathic Consultations.


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