Written By Jenny Logan DNMed. (Jenny is a Nutritional Therapist who has worked with clients in Health Foods Stores and Private Clinics for over 20 years.)
In my last blog post I had a look at the 5:2 diet – a program I suggest to many of my clients who are looking for a safe and effective way to lose weight. When following the 5:2 diet you eat normally for 5 days of the week. However – for the other 2 days you restrict your calories, for women you restrict to 500 and for men 600.
Whilst this diet can be incredibly successful and you don’t even have to THINK about being on a diet for 5 days of the week, there are a number of people that find those two low-calorie or ‘fasting’ days very difficult to manage. Which is why there has been a great deal of interest in a product called Glucomannan.
WHAT IS GLUCOMANNAN?
Glucomannan is a fibre which has been extracted from a plant called Amorphophallus Konjac. It has no calories, will pass through your system safely, and will be eliminated when you go to the toilet. It is not just useful for those on the 5:2 diet either – Glucomannan has even been approved by the European Food Safety Authority as a supplement which can support weight loss.
SO HOW DOES IT WORK?
Well, Glucomannan supplements have to be taken with water – this is because it actually works by absorbing the water, swelling in size and forming a gel. This gel the fills your stomach – making you feel full, even though you have actually consumed no calories! Taking this supplement before meals then will help you to eat less and feel full quickly.
The gel formed by the glucomannan then moves through the digestive system slowly – slowing down the rate at which your food is digested and absorbed. This means that it will reduce your appetite, making it easier for you to go longer between meals and making it less likely that you will overeat or ‘cheat’.
CLINICAL STUDIES SHOW IT WORKS!
There have been several clinical studies carried out on Glucomannan which prove that it is effective as a weight loss supplement. In one trial, 83 people used Glucomannan supplements for 60 days and noticed a significant reduction in weight and body fat as well as a reduction in their cholesterol – meaning that as well as helping you to lose weight, this beneficial fibre supplement may also help you to reduce cholesterol levels* and become healthier.
(* the beneficial effect from Glucomannan for lowering cholesterol is achieved with an intake of 4000mg per day)
HOW DO I TAKE IT?
The beneficial results of Glucomannan on weight loss have been noted on an intake of 3000mg per day. For those on a ‘normal’ weight loss diet this would mean taking 2 x 500mg tablets with 1-2 glasses of water half an hour before each meal, every day. This would help you to stick to your diet and prevent overeating.
For those using it to support them on the 5:2 diet, you will only need to take the product on your two low-calorie ‘fasting’ days. I would again suggest taking 2 x 500mg capsules 3 times a day with 1-2 glasses of water. If you are only eating twice a day on your fasting days – still use an additional dose in the middle of or at the end of, the day, to help you feel full and stop you falling off the 5:2 wagon.