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natural warmth, are at particular risk of packing on pounds due to an overly cold environment. “When the body is cold, it adapts by laying down insula- tion, which is fat,” he says. Even without eating extra calories, if we’re constantly cold at work, as 31 percent of women are according to a recent CareerBuilder survey, we tend to gain about a pound or two per year, says Hedge. Other research, conducted at Northwestern University, in Illinois, shows that workers exposed to more light in the morning weigh about 1.4 pounds less on average than those toiling in windowless cubicles. The suspected reason is that morning light triggers a cascade of hormones that positively impact appetite and metabo- lism. Another study, by Ohio State Uni- versity researchers, found women that experienced a stressful event at work or elsewhere and then ate a fat- and calorie-laden meal the next day burned 100 fewer calories from that meal than non-stressed workers. What to do: At work, move the


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desk toward a window or at least take a walk every morning. Bring a space heater, extra sweater or hot tea fixings. After an ultra-stressful workday, eat especially healthfully that night.


Lisa Marshall is a freelance health writer in Boulder, CO. Connect at LisaAnnMarshall.com.


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Natural Slimming Supplements


Ashwaghanda root: While research is scarce, this Indian herb is traditionally believed to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol (which can boost belly fat storage). It’s also believed to boost conversion of the thyroid hormone T4 to the more metabolically active thyroid hormone T3. Doctor of Naturopathy Natasha Turner recommends 500 to 1,000 milligrams (mg) twice daily.


Chromium: This mineral plays a key role in enhancing insulin’s action in the body. Numerous studies by U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers and others suggest that taking chromium supplements can stabilize blood sugar, po- tentially reducing the cravings and energy slumps that come with glucose spikes and dips. Research on chromium’s impact on body composition and weight has been mixed. Turner recommends 200 to 400 micrograms (mcg) daily.


Curcumin: This golden spice, found in turmeric, curbs painful joint inflammation from over-exercising, and has been shown by Tufts University and Columbia University researchers to improve fat metabolism in mice.


L-carnitine: Helps the body use fat for fuel more efficiently and also can be used as an energy booster before cardio or strength training. Dr. Pamela Wartian Smith recommends 500 to 1,000 mg daily.


Omega-3 fatty acids: In addition to being potent anti-inflammatory agents, the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA have been associated with greater weight and fat loss when added to a diet and exercise program, according to studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and the International Journal of Obesity.


Prebiotics: These undigested fibers provide food for good gut bacteria to keep the digestive system and metabolism on track.


Probiotics: These are generally believed to promote healthy gut bacteria so that the body metabolizes food more efficiently. One recent study in the British Journal of Nutrition followed 125 obese men and women throughout a 12-week diet, followed by a 12-week maintenance period, and found that the women taking probiotics containing the bacterial strain Lactobacillus rhamnosis lost significantly more weight during the diet than women that didn’t; plus, they continued to lose weight during the maintenance period. The men studied did not show similar results.


Selenium: Selenium is critical for the conversion of inactive T4 to active T3 that the body can make use of. Smith recommends 100 to 200 mcg daily.


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