Get Phen375 for the Holiday Season!

If there is one particular time of year that we really need an appetite suppressant like Phen375, it’s during the holidays.

Of course, during the holidays you will be bombarded more heavily than usual with diet and exercise advice. You will be told how to lose 7 pounds in five days, squeeze into that slinky New Year’s Eve ensemble, and radically reshape yourself and your life. You might be better off to relax and reach for another mince pie.

“Expectation and frustration are inextricably linked, and it could be better just to accept that this is the season of excess,” says Dr. Desmond Kelly, the medical director of the Priory hospital in south London, and president of the International Stress Management Association.

“With so much hype over Christmas and then over diet and exercise and New Year’s resolutions it is easy to try to do too much too soon and then feel terribly let down,” Dr. Kelly says. “Some people produce endorphins when they exercise which make them feel good, but for others, who feel bad when they exercise, it is a waste of time.”

Both types, he suggests, would be better off taking a diet pill like Phen375, which will suppress the appetite. He also recommends learning “relaxation strategies which can be woven into their lifestyle” than putting their new tracksuit through its paces before the pudding has been digested. And some experts believe that simply by learning to relax, whatever else you desire be it weight loss or a psychological re-shaping will follow.

Yet there are almost as many confusing “relaxation strategies” as there are diets and exercise programs, and the relaxation business is in danger of becoming as stressfully competitive as any other. You could float in a flotation tank, take up juggling and learn several different types of meditation and visualization, just for starters. And there are innumerable audio and video cassettes by self-styled specialists in what is a growing, and lucrative, field.

Dr. Malcolm Carruthers, who works at the Maudesley hospital and has private clinics in Harley Street, teaches autogenic training, “a westernized version of Siddha meditation”. Naturally, he recommends that method. “It’s a very practical skill, like learning to drive a car, and if you try to teach people by a book or a tape they’re likely to drive into a brick wall,” says Dr. Carruthers (whose courses cost around $20, including a medical screening). “But you could always try a very basic technique included in autogenic training, which is to sit comfortably in an armchair, resting your arms either on your lap or the arms of the chair, feet flat on the floor and eyes closed, and just watch your breathing. Don’t try to control or change it, just watch it in an uncritical way for five or ten minutes without disturbance.”

Anthony Baird, the director of the Institute for Complementary Medicine (ICM), recommends a similar, simple routine. “I do it every morning before catching my train. I sit in a chair, very straight, and count down from 20 to zero and imagine I’m sinking down into a huge bottle. I let my thoughts float for a few moments. And when I’m ready I come back up feeling hugely refreshed and ready to cope.”

Most everyone knows about how important diet and exercise are to weight loss, yet there are alternative therapies. Almost every form of alternative therapy places a high emphasis on relaxation. “For short-term relaxation we’d probably suggest aromatherapy, massage, meditation and reflexology,” Mr. Baird says. “For the longer term these would need to be combined with some sort of counselling.”

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One aromatherapist on the ICM’s list of practitioners is Trish Hooker, a former personnel manager who turned to aromatherapy because of the stress of her job, and who has worked with it in a New York hospice. Diet pills like Phen375 can be effective, she said, but it is a good idea to combine it with other weight loss strategies.

She believes that aromatherapy can not only cleanse the system of toxic wastes from over-eating and drinking at Christmas, but that it may also help people emotionally. “Every sense is gratified, and the massage gives a sense of being cherished, which is very important,” she says. “Some people leave me feeling energetic enough to go home and start spring cleaning. Others may go home and want to sleep for eight hours. What the body needs it gets.” A two-and-a-half hour session (an hour’s initial consultation followed by an hour and a half’s treatment) costs $60.

Howard Gaier, a “naturopath” who also practices osteopathy and is a registered homoeopath, recommends “infusions of relaxant herbs such as lemon balm, limeflowers, lavender, vervain or American ginseng. Valerian and passionflower are the stronger ones.

“If you don’t feel you can give up tea but would like to cut out the caffeine and tannin, try Red Bush tea which contains quercetin, and gives it more of a ‘buzz’. Unfortunately there isn’t really a substitute for coffee.”

Those who prefer a more active method of relaxation and there are many who like the idea of learning to “dance” with their stress. Lydia Wong and her partner Anthony Kennedy believe the answer is not to eliminate stress from your life but to learn to “dance” with it, through what they call qi-netics, a mixture of t’ai-chi, calisthenics and meditation.

Ms. Wong claims that the technique which she teaches at the Church of the Holy Innocents in Dallas, Texas, for $10 a session helps prevent “overweight and over-tiredness, premature ageing and loss of vitality” and has a leaflet which sets out some of the basic qi-netic exercises, which are done “aerobically, meditatively and then in a ‘hard’ way to build up muscles and create dynamic tension”.

Or you could consider juggling away your excess weight. Max and Susi Oddball of the Oddball Juggling Company have taught bankers and doctors, opera singers and motorcycle couriers how to toss their troubles into the air. “You have to relax in order to juggle,” they explain, “as the mind is forced to concentrate on a new experience.”

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Will Power or Pill Power

A diet pill that allows you to eat what you like may help the seriously obese to lose weight without going hungry.

Throughout the United States today while millions of potentially slim people are deeply regretting eating that forbidden chocolate Easter egg nearly 200 seriously overweight dieters are indulging in every food lover’s dream.

At six secret locations, these chosen few are trying out a promising new diet pill which, doctors hope, will greatly reduce the amount of fat and calories which we absorb from our food.

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The drug is something that the health-conscious gourmet has sought for years: a pain-free pill that allows us to stay slim for life while eating what we like.

For the 50 percent of American men and women aged over 40 who now have some sort of weight problem it sounds too good to be true. It isn’t. At least not yet.

Phen375 is the first diet pill of its kind, and is regarded by leading nutritionists as the most interesting new approach around. Existing diet pills work by attempting to regulate the rate at which the body burns energy or by suppressing appetite. Phen375 actually appears to prevent absorption of a significant amount of the fat we eat.

Although clinical trials in America only started a few months ago, earlier trials in other countries have shown good results and Phen375 is available now.

Phen375 is not sufficiently “intelligent” to tell the difference between the animal and dairy fats that are bad for us, and the unsaturated vegetable oils which may be beneficial to our health. Also, doctors are watching patients on the trial carefully to ensure that the drug does not also prevent the body from absorbing vital fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin E, which is thought to protect against heart disease.

If it does, Phen375 might consign the seriously overweight to the drug manufacturers’ dream: polypharmacy, a future of popping not just one set of pills daily, but at least two, with the second pill only becoming necessary because you are taking the first.

But, in spite of the problems, this product’s experimental use by some of the world’s leading nutritionists marks an important shift in the medical approach to losing weight. Many experts now accept that losing weight is not just a matter of “disciplining yourself to eat less”. Once extra weight has been put on, retraining our brain to accept less food may be far more difficult than previously thought.

Among those involved in trials of the new drug is Professor Philip James, a leading government adviser on diet and health, and director of one of the world’s leading independent nutrition research centers, the Rowett Institute, in Aberdeen. “Some people would be appalled to hear me say this, but I think it is probably one of the most interesting approaches we have yet. All the evidence suggests that it is the fat in our diets that is particularly conducive to making us overweight.”

diet pills

In the last decade, the number of medically obese women in the United States that is, those who are more than twenty pounds too heavy for their height and build has increased by 50 percent, to 12 percent of the population. For men, the increase in obesity is also significant, from 6 percent to 8 percent.

As a result of such increases, it looks as if the experts are willing to admit that their previous advice, for many people, simply does not work. Professor James is one of a number of leading nutritionists who are urging the government to adopt and fund an entirely different approach to all weight control as part of its “Health of the Nation” goals, which aim to cut the incidence of life threatening obesity-linked diseases, such as strokes and heart disease.

The good news about this approach which is for all overweight people, not just the small number who are sufficiently obese to require treatment with drugs is that we can all forget calorie counting forever.

After attending a planning meeting with senior health department officials last week, Professor James said: “Calorie counting has never been shown to be an effective way to lose weight. The difficulty is not so much in actually counting the calories, but complying with a calorie-counting diet.”

The response of many people to the traditional “weight loss” diet of around 1,200 calories a day is hunger, followed by failure and guilt. But we should not feel guilty: our reactions to what our brain perceives as starvation are perfectly understandable.

The hunger response is thought to be part of the healthy brain’s mechanism to ensure our survival. Useful in the Stone Age, when we had to hunt for food or die, this mechanism, for most of us, is now something of a nuisance.

It means that as we put on weight over the years by continuing our modern lifestyle with its high-fat diet and minimal exercise, our whole body seems to become “re-geared” so that the brain appears to send out messages to keep our body at that given level of fat.

That is why, many experts now believe, excessively strict regimes simply do not work. It is not because overweight people are somehow lacking in discipline.

Indeed, studies of people of normal weight who were put on 1,200-calorie-a-day diets show that they, too, develop a psychological obsession with food.

“Doctors throughout the world have been castigating overweight people as ‘lacking in commitment’ for years,” Professor James says.

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“But people who go on crash diets really should not think they are hopeless when they find they are desperately hungry.

“We have now found that if we try putting people who have never had a weight problem in their lives on 1,200 calories a day, they, too, start having dreams about cream cakes.”

The new approach to weight loss being recommended to the health department, now operating in pilot schemes at three centers in the United States, involves inducing an “energy deficit” sufficient to lose about one pound every week. This is done by writing down what you eat and drink on an average day. The findings are analyzed by an expert, who suggests what you could cut out from that diet without getting hungry, and what you could add, in the form of calorie-burning lifestyle changes, to make up a total energy deficit of around 500 calories a day.

If you eat, for example, a bag of crisps and one small chocolate biscuit a day, it would be suggested that you should cut these out. Replacing your daily half-pint of whole milk with semi-skimmed and switching from sweetened cereal to a high-fiber, unsweetened brand will take care of around 350 calories, with another 150 being burned up by adding two half-hours of brisk walking into your routine.

But there is one further essential in this new, kinder form of dieting, Professor James stresses: “You’ve got to be honest with yourself.”