Monday, July 28, 2008

A Weight Loss Supplement that Actually Works--With NO Side Effects--Hallelujah!

I will admit it, I am a slave to the "diet." I try to convince myself that I "just want to be healthy" (which I do, of course), but most importantly I really want to shed those baby pounds that are stubbornly sticking to my belly, butt, thighs...OK, everywhere! I have tried pretty much everything to lose weight over the years. I have tried all the diet pills (including those ultra naughty ones with ephedra) and have done most of the work-outs. One of my biggest problems is my lack of time to exercise. I am a realist; I know that if I just worked out every day for about an hour doing high impact cardio that I would probably lose the weight in no time. But I just don't have that kind of time on my hands (what mother does?). So I try to squeeze in a half hour of some kind of exercise--my favorites being yoga and pilates for their gentleness on my knees--and I try to eat sensibly. The last component of my diet is always some kind of supplement because I tend to do a lot of research on natural ways to enhance or support your weight loss. In my extensive research and experience over the years, I find that I lose weight best while following a low-carb, low glycemic index diet (which pretty much means almost no sugar and no white refined carbs). As for the supplements, cinnamon is supposed to help with maintaining blood glucose levels, which in turn helps in the body's ability to process sugar properly. I just recently learned about raspberry ketones, which help with cravings and sugar processing. But the best thing I found recently was Tonalin CLA.

According to the Tonalin CLA web site:

CLA stands for conjugated linoleic acid—a fatty acid known for promoting good health. CLA is already in the foods we eat. But there’s less of it now. Beef and dairy used to be our biggest source of CLA. But diets have changed over the past 30 years. We eat more low-fat dairy now. And cows eat more grain than grass. These changes have drastically reduced the amount of CLA we all consume.

Today, the recommended daily dose of CLA is 3.4 grams. To achieve that level through your diet, you would have to consume more than 4 gallons of ice cream, seven pounds of beef, or almost 4 gallons of whole milk. Every day.

Fortunately, scientists developed a proprietary process to convert the linoleic acid of pure safflower oil into CLA (conjugated linoleic acid)—making it easy to take advantage of CLA’s many benefits. Be sure to ask for TONALIN® CLA, the highest form of all CLAs available."

I did my own research and found Tonalin CLA to be getting good reviews on multiple other fitness/weight loss web sites. included CLA as one of their recommended weight loss products (and they are VERY picky about what they endorse!). Below is their full review.

CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) Review

cla - conjugated linoleic acidCLA, or Conjugated Linoleic Acid, is a non-essential fatty acid found primarily in meat and dairy products. CLA is found in the highest concentrations in the meat of animals that chew their cud. Cows and sheep are good examples of such animals.

There is some decent data indicating that CLA, taken in doses from .7 to 4.5 grams daily, can decrease body fat mass in obese and overweight people (the optimal dose seems to be about 3.2 grams daily -- see Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 May;85(5):1203-11). CLA appears to work by inhibiting the action of the enzyme lipoprotein lipase (LPL) -- the enzyme that is responsible for transferring fat from the blood stream to the fat cells.

There is also some evidence that indicates higher doses of CLA can increase lean body mass. This contributes to an elevated metabolism, which is a good thing for weight loss! (J Nutr. 2007 May;137(5):1188-93.)

Unfortunately, it's impossible to get the beneficial effects of CLA directly from meat and cheese.


This fatty acid is available naturally in very low concentrations. In other words, you'd need to consume a huge amount of high-fat foods to obtain a reasonable amount of this supplement. By doing this, of course, you'd negate any positive benefits.

That's why it's necessary to supplement with CLA. Research has shown that CLA has great potential as a diet aid -- helping to prevent additional weight gain, and spurring on lean muscle growth.

In fact, several double-blind, placebo-controlled studies (see above) have confirmed that CLA reduces fat and preserves muscle tissue. And that's not all!

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) Benefits...

  • Displays powerful anti-carcinogenic properties.
  • Helps diabetics control blood sugar levels.
  • Acts as an anti-oxidant.
  • Encourages muscle growth
  • Regulates and controls fat metabolism
  • Improves good cholesterol levels
  • Reduces the incidence of heart disease
  • Accelerates fat weight loss

Even better, side effects associated with the use of the conjugated linoleic acid supplement are extremely rare, and when they do occur they're usually mild (often manifesting themselves as mild gastro-intestinal maladies).

Considering the controversy surrounding stimulant based fat burners, the CLA supplement represents a healthy and effective alternative. We especially like CLA for those who are sensitive to stimulants, or for seniors.

Dosage should start at a minimum of 3 grams per day for women, and 4 grams for men up to 200 lbs. Men over 200 lbs. will experience greater results with 5 grams per day.

When you're looking for a quality CLA supplement, look for the "Tonalin™" name somewhere on the label. While not absolutely necessary, Tonalin is the patented form of Conjugated Linoleic Acid that was used in the studies determining the effectiveness of this supplement.
I purchased Tonalin CLA on e-bay for $18 with free shipping from Club Natural, a well-known and reliable e-bay seller. You can find it in various other places, such as, where they sell Primaforce Max CLA for about $16 a bottle plus shipping. Basically, for under $20, you can get started with CLA.

OK, now for my review. I started taking CLA about three weeks ago. I take 1200 mg three times a day, with each meal. Within a few days, I could notice a difference in my belly. It felt slimmer and tighter somehow. Taking the CLA was the only thing that I had changed, so my interest was immediately peaked. Over the next couple of weeks, my clothes started fitting better and my arms started looking much more toned. I hadn't exercised once this entire time! (I have been very busy, don't look at me like that!) But seriously, I had lost about five pounds and my body looked and felt like I had lost much more. I am attributing this to the CLA, since it was the only new thing in my diet regime. The very best part is that I have had absolutely NO side effects whatsoever. One of the worst things about other diet supplements for me has always been the jitteriness, insomnia or (worst of all) explosive diarrhea! CLA did none of this, but also has seemed to curb my cravings for sugar and carbs (my two diet nemeses).

I would like to add that this is NOT a paid advertisement and I am not receiving anything from this company for promoting this product. I just know so many women (especially moms) who are struggling to lose weight and could use a leg-up any way they can get it. Yes, we should all be exercising and eating lots of fresh veggies and whole grains, but at the end of the day, sometimes that is just not enough.