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What herbs or over-the-counter products will increase my metabolism?

None. Many non-prescription weight loss products claim to speed up the metabolism, but none of them have been shown to increase the metabolic rate of people, let alone increase long-term weight loss. At present there are only a few compounds that have been scientifically proved to increase the metabolic rate and assist weight loss in humans. Because they act on the brain and can have serious side effects, only your doctor can prescribe them for you. Currently the safest way to lose weight for life is to eat less and move more.

What our readers say...

"Dear Dr. Amanda, I just wanted to say thank you for your very readable, helpful and fascinating book which has given me so much hope. I've loved finding out how my body works - and realising that I am not some freak of nature, that my body is designed just like most other people's bodies and that I CAN lose weight and keep it off once and for all. I have lost 16 kgs since June - and not regained any! My largest loss was 1.8 kgs one week, my smallest loss 0.2 of a kg another week. I know I shouldn't weigh myself weekly - it is probably the one thing I still struggle with. However, in all this time I have not once gained weight. My energy levels are through the roof. I am having a love affair with a very suave pedometer! I can't leave the house without it. I love forgetting something at the other end of the house - it's a great excuse to walk back and add steps to my daily total! My kids have pedometers too. I have gone from a size 20 to a size 14 - 16. I'd like to lose another 10 kgs and I really believe for the first time in my life that I can do it. I can't believe I used to think that it was ok to eat 10 rice crackers for a snack because they were great value at "only 1 point for 10". So why not eat 20 - for only 2 points! And I did, all the time. And then I'd be hungry again half an hour later. I now realise they are highly-processed high GI junk and only an elite athlete can get away with such a high GI carb-overload. You, on the other hand, really know what you are talking about. I am proof of that. Thanks again, and I will be seeing you at Oatley library on the 18th of October. Kind regards, J.S. "

- J.S., Kirrawee, NSW