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Need to get thin, now! |

Young Star

Need to get thin, now!

Hi There, Marc!

Do you know whether xenadrine works or not? If not, what other alternative supplements or medicines can you recommend? I have been overweight for more than a year. I go to the gym regularly to do cardio, but it’s still not enough to get me in shape. Anyway, I really hope you can help. I desperately need to lose 15 lbs. to fit into a dress. I feel the pressure to look better. I have lots of weddings to attend, one of which, I will be part of the entourage. Argghs!! And everyone seems to notice my weight. I get hurt every time I’m told that I have to lose weight. As if I’m not trying! Thanks! – Desperate Miss

Ah, the old dress-fitting weight loss program. It sometimes amazes me how stressed out people can get about fitting into a smaller size dress for a special occasion like a wedding, even if it’s not theirs. From the sounds of it, you’ve made a commitment to getting into shape by going to the gym and doing cardio often, but maybe that’s not quite enough? People who don’t see immediate results sometimes look for that extra edge that will tip the balance. In your case, you’re looking for that edge in pill form.

Xenadrine, for those of you who have never heard of it, is a metabolic enhancer along the same lines as Ripped Fuel and Hydroxycut. By metabolic enhancer, I mean they raise your metabolism so that your body burns fat at a faster rate, and makes your body feel more energized and giving you extra strength and endurance for exercise at the same time. It also manages to suppress your appetite somewhat. Sounds pretty good, huh? Well, nothing in life comes easy, and these products have been known to come with some pretty serious side effects if you don’t know how to use them properly.

Metabolic enhancing pills used to contain an active ingredient called Ma Huang. Of course there were other ingredients such as Ginseng, Green Tea and Guarana (a type of caffeine), but Ma Huang was the one that really produced the enhancing effect. Ma Huang is a plant rich in ephedrine, which is what reacts with the body to give the aforementioned energizing and fat burning effect. It is usually standardized in these pills at about 20mg per dose (usually 2 pills).

Now the packaging that they come in usually has a few warnings written on the label, but not everyone reads that closely. Some of the more important warnings concern anyone who has a heart condition of any sort. One of the side effects of ephedrine is that it raises your heart rate, sometimes so much so that people get heart palpitations or in extreme cases, a heart attack. No laughing matter. It’s also dangerous for pregnant women and kids, and has been known to occasionally produce muscular twitches and dehydration.

The dehydration can usually be kept in check by drinking a lot of water, but you should be warned that you’ll be making an awful lot of bathroom breaks, and sweat more than usual too. First time users often complain about a weak bladder, feeling warm all over and increased heart rate, as well as a certain nervous energy and insomnia. Now I’ve mentioned the bad side effects, but sometimes that’s not enough to deter people from taking these pills, as in all honesty, they do make you lose weight. So, if you’re going to take them anyway, here are a few guidelines that should at least make it safer.

Read all of the warnings on the bottle and abide by them. Apart from reading the directions, take a lot less than what they suggest. Some bottles suggest taking three doses a day (6 pills or 60mg of ephedrine). This is way too much! You need to remember that these supplements are made for the US market and cater towards the 250-pound football players, not the 100-pound Filipina. Start with half a dose (1 pill) and see how you feel for that day. If you think you can handle it, you can move up to a single dose (2 pills), but do NOT exceed a single dose in a day. Also, as mentioned earlier, do not under any circumstances take this if you have a heart condition of any kind or high blood pressure, etc.

You should also not take these pills every day. If you really need to lose weight fast, then cycle your doses. Maybe two days on and one day off. Your body can only take so much ephedrine so be careful how often you take it.

Be wary of taking other metabolic enhancing products at the same time. These include caffeine products such as coffee, tea or colas. It may also include something as seemingly harmless as a cough/cold over-the-counter medication, especially the non-drowsy formulas. This is because a lot of these products contain pseudoephedrine or phenylpropanolamine, both very close cousins of ephedrine.

Rehydrate. A lot of weight loss or metabolic enhancing supplements are diuretics, meaning they make you shed any excess water from your body. If you’re retaining water, then this is one of the ways of cutting down a lot of weight. However, losing too much water is dangerous, and can cause dizzy spells, headaches and fainting. This means that by the end of the day, you’ll be able to recite off by heart the graffiti on those banyo walls as your bladder feels like it has shrunk to rabbit size. While sometimes annoying, it is important to keep drinking some liquids to keep your body balanced.

Lastly, try to have a checkup with the doctor to see if you have any liver, kidney or heart problems. Better be safe than sorry!

Now for this, or any other weight loss supplement to work, you need to couple it with some other factors. You’re already doing the cardio workout which is important, but don’t forget to do some weights as well to balance it out as your body will burn up excess fat faster if you do both rather than just one.

Of course, added to that is your diet. There is only so much that exercise and metabolic enhancers can do. So if you’re chowing down on a four-course meal of crispy pata, chicharon, longaniza and rice every night, then maybe you can just buy a tent for a bridesmaid’s dress instead. Adjust your diet so that you eat less fat (all that fried junk) and carbs (like rice), especially in the evenings. If you’re really serious about slimming down in a hurry, switch to fruit and vegetables, and have five small meals a day instead of three big ones. If you have to skip a meal, skip dinner as your body burns less food when you sleep.

Once you’ve lost weight, don’t feel the need to keep using ephedrine products. Proper diet and exercise are a much healthier way to keep the extra pounds away. Good luck with the dress!! – Marc
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