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Natural Weight Loss

How to Lose Weight Naturally


Updated May 16, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Natural Weight Loss
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If you're trying to shed pounds, it's possible that certain hidden factors might be messing with your weight loss efforts. Take a look at several problems shown to thwart weight loss and the natural approaches that could serve as your solutions. Also, find out which natural remedies and therapies are most promising for weight loss.

Weight Loss Approaches


  • Bitter Orange - Bitter orange is purported to help treat constipation, indigestion, heartburn, loss of appetite, and nasal congestion, as well as promote weight loss.

  • Capsaicin - Capsaicin, a natural substance sourced from chili peppers, is said to speed up metabolism and reduce fat tissue, as well as curb overeating by taming appetite.

  • Chia - Find out whether chia — yes, the same sprouts found in your Chia Pet — can help you slim down and stay healthy.

  • Chitosan - Often marketed as a natural weight loss aid, chitosan is a dietary supplement made from the shells of crustaceans (such as crabs, shrimp, and lobster).

  • CLA - Proponents claim that CLA can reduce fat while building muscle, as well as keep cholesterol in check.

  • DHEA - Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a steroid hormone that's produced by the adrenal glands.

  • Fucoxanthin - Fucoxanthin is a type of carotenoid found naturally in edible brown seaweed such as wakame and hijiki, which are used widely in Asian cuisine. It is also found in much smaller amounts in red seaweed.

  • Hoodia - Much of hoodia's popularity stems from claims that the San Bushmen of the Kalahari desert in Africa relied on hoodia for thousands of years to ward off hunger and thirst during long hunting trips.

  • Hydroxycut - Find out why this weight-loss supplement may not be safe.

  • Probiotics - By consuming these live microorganisms, proponents claim, overweight people can correct bacterial imbalances thought to contribute to weight gain.

  • Psyllium - One popular natural remedy for weight loss is psyllium, a plant that produces seeds rich in fiber.

  • Spirulina - Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae available in dietary supplement form.

  • Triphala - A blend of three botanicals, triphala is a popular remedy in ayurveda (the traditional medicine in India).

  • Vitamin D - Some research suggests that running low on vitamin D might increase your risk of obesity, while taking vitamin D supplements may help promote weight loss and weight maintenance.

Diets and Food

  • Green Tea - If weight loss is one of your top health goals, green tea may help.

  • Oolong Tea - Several studies indicate that oolong tea may help promote weight loss.

  • Shirataki Noodles - What are shirataki noodles? I've heard they're the latest diet food but find it hard to believe that eating noodles could help with weight loss. Isn't it counter-intuitive?


  • Acupuncture - Some proponents of acupuncture suggest that the needle-based alternative therapy can help promote weight loss.

  • Hypnosis - Hypnosis is a mind-body technique often purported to promote weight loss.

  • Yoga - In the quest for weight loss, many people turn to yoga (an age-old mind-body practice that combines physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation).

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