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Hoodia: A Big Fat Fraud? August 10, 2009

Posted by ozsomesuccess in Law of Attraction.
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You may have heard of Hoodia because Oprah promoted it on her show – the miracle plant from Africa that shuts off the appetite center in the brain.

Well, I tried it, and it didn’t do squat for me. I felt no appreciable difference in my hunger levels, nor in how long I could last before needing to eat again.

A lesser known substance, Caralluma fimbriata (not to be confused with Fettucini Carbonara), is a cactus from Asia that is supposed to operate in a similar way. You may recognize it as “The Cactus Diet.” This time, when I heard about it, I did some online research FIRST . . .  and discovered how many people were just as disappointed with this as they had been with Hoodia. So I didn’t buy.

Why do things like this work for the tribal peoples among whom they were first discovered, but they don’t work for us modern, urbanized Americans?

Think about it. Hoodia and Caralluma are used by (respectively) African and Indian indigenous tribal people, to keep them from being hungry on long hunts, so they can stay focused on tracking and capturing their prey, no matter how long it takes.

They are TRIBAL people. Hunters and Gatherers. Worlds apart from us.

They don’t live like we do. They eat because they are hungry. In America, we DON’T eat because we’re hungry – we eat for every OTHER reason EXCEPT hunger!

Hunter-Gatherers don’t have the means to produce a cornucopia of processed foods, which in this country are made largely from Grains. “Emotional Eating,” so common here in the States, is probably unknown among them.

But we – when we “emotionally eat,” to soothe our frazzled nerves, to boost our sagging moods, what do we usually turn to? Pastries. In some form. Pies, cookies, muffins, brownies, pizza, pasta, cereal, etc. All of which give us a temporary endorphin rush, only to bring us crashing down a couple of hours later, which makes us crave these “comfort foods” even more.  

“Appetite suppressants” like Hoodia and Caralluma don’t work for us because they do nothing to address the Neurotransmitters we need to keep ourselves feeling mostly happy, and eager to tackle any challenge.

Julia Ross, in The Mood Cure, explains: Foods containing Wheat, Rye, Oats, and Barley (think “WROB”) all contain gluten “which can irritate, inflame, and rupture the lining of the digestive tract, to the point that nutrients from food don’t get absorbed well (or sometimes at all). Depression can result because the nutrients responsible for regulating our moods can’t be absorbed.” The gluten in pastries literally WROBs you of nutrients that could be put to better use in synthesizing feel-good brain hormones like serotonin and focus/concentration hormones like the catecholamines. (My apologies to the jazz radio station in Mississippi with those call letters.)

And if you’re an O blood type (as I am), it’s no wonder that appetite suppressants will fail you: Of the four blood types, Os have the fastest digestion. When someone with an AB blood type eats a steak, it takes them 24-36 long hours for their systems to process it. But for an O – that steak is gone, completely digested, in 8-12 hours. That’s why Os are hungry all the time, and do best when they are able to “graze” on small meals throughout the day. Appetite suppressants don’t stand a chance against this – you can’t cheat your genes.

If you want to control your appetite to lose excess fat, you have to have plenty of neurotransmitters working for you. If you don’t feed them, any attempt at weight loss will fail in the long run.

Now, I’m not a doctor, so I can’t legally prescribe anything. All I can do is tell you my experience, and what’s been working for me. And what’s been working is: I’ve ditched all gluten-containing foods . . . and replaced them with FISH. Especially the oily fish: Salmon, Herring, Mackerel, Sardines. They are giving me the Omega-3 EFAs and Vitamin D that my brain needs to manufacture the neurotransmitters. (Vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin” = a sunny mood.) Now, I don’t crave pastries anymore – and I’ve lost 6 inches from my waist in 2 months!

In my soon-to-be-released book, And God Said, Let There Be Money, I discuss several strategies for managing both the Anger and Anxiety that often act as money-repellants in your life. There will be a special section in which I explain more about nutritional strategies for managing Anxiety, especially when sheer Force of Will alone is not enough.

No other “Law of Attraction” book I’ve seen goes into the bio-chemistry of Attraction like this. The information on Raw Cacao (yes, you can have chocolate without the pastries), by itself, will blow your mind, and supercharge it too!