Saturday, May 19, 2007

Hoodia The Safe Weight Loss Solution - Hoodia Diet

Many individuals complain virtual starvation is a necessary evil of dieting, and sticking to a weight loss plan is extremely difficult. Thus, when a product like Hoodia hits the market, someone probably becomes an instant millionaire.
With over 50% of North Americans fighting the battle of the bulge, the advent of a promising weight loss aid becomes an instant success. While the pounds seem to increase simply by looking at food, losing the weight is often an exercise in futility.

Many individuals complain virtual starvation is a necessary evil of dieting, and sticking to a weight loss plan is extremely difficult. Thus, when a product like Hoodia hits the market, someone probably becomes an instant millionaire.

Called Hoodia Gordonii, the plant responsible for the newest weightless craze looks like a desert cactus. However, the plant is actually a succulent found only in the Kalahari Desert: Any of various plants having fleshy leaves or stems that store water. Cacti and the jade plant are succulents.

Succulents are usually adapted to drier environments and display other characteristics that reduce water loss, such as waxy coatings on leaves and stems, fewer stomata than occur on other plants, and stout, rounded stems that minimize surface area (succulent). According to tradition, natives have been using the plant as a natural hunger suppressant for centuries.

Living in the Kalahari Desert is definitely not like living in a populated area. When people in North America get hungry, a fast food restaurant or a quick shop is virtually around the corner. Groceries stores cater to frozen meals ready in 5 minutes, and recipe books are filled with 30-minute meals. Conversely, people in the Kalahari have been in situations where food and water is not readily available, and traveling distances required going without for unbearable lengths of time. Supposedly, the natives learned Hoodia suppressed both appetite and thirst during difficult periods.

Introduced in North America in 2004, Hoodia claims to provide a natural way to curb appetites, so people can stick to weight loss plans.

Not hungry, individuals will be less likely to cheat or fall off the bandwagon altogether. In addition, since the product is totally natural, the supplement is presumed safe for human consumption, with little/no adverse side effects. With some dieting aids being pulled from shelves, after dieters have suffered severe health complications, all-natural aids are gaining popularity.

With little science to back up the claims of a safe weight loss supplement, the product is literally flying off the shelves. Internet sales are making savvy entrepreneurs wealthy, as a month's supply is often $35 or more. Based on word of mouth, individuals are assuming the dietary aid is nothing but a long-awaited miracle.

According to WebMD, "Because it is sold as a dietary supplement, Hoodia escapes the level of scrutiny the FDA gives prescription drugs and medications sold over the counter" (Doheny). So, the question remains: Does Hoodia really produce the desired results safely, or are individuals simply wishfully following the latest diet craze?

In search of an answer, 60 Minutes correspondent, Leslie Stahl, traveled to Africa to see the amazing plant, and find out if the plant's appetite suppressant properties are true. With a local aboriginal guide, Ms. Stahl is introduced to the dieting miracle in its natural habitat. After cutting off a stalk and removing the sharp spines, she is offered a bite of the bitter cucumber-like plant, to see if the plant really works. "Stahl says she had no after effects" no funny taste in her mouth, no queasy stomach, and no racing heart. She also wasn't hungry all day, even when she would normally have a pang around mealtime. And, she also had no desire to eat or drink the entire day.

"I'd have to say it did work," (Stahl). According to one research study, consumers of Hoodia actually consumed an average of 1,000 less calories per day. Combined with a proper diet and exercise, individuals could conceivably lose approximately 2 more pounds per week.

Therefore, regardless of the absent research statistics, proponents will continue to purchase Hoodia as fast as the supplement can be produced.

In summary, Hoodia is the latest craze in dietary supplements meant to help fight the battle over obesity among North Americans. Found in the Kalahari Desert, the spiny succulent plant has been part of the bushman's diet for centuries. In recent years, the appetite suppressant properties have found a home in pills and milk additives.

Supposedly completely natural, Hoodia consumers swear by its ability to reduce calorie intake, and keep dieters from cheating or giving up on a weight loss program altogether. While the jury is still out on Hoodia, people are willing to pay a hefty price to win the battle of the bulge.

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