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“I’m barely eating anything and I can’t lose weight.” Sound familiar? It’s a common complaint among people who come to see Lisa Lynn, a fitness trainer who specializes in unblocking weight-loss barriers and has often appeared as a guest on The Dr. Oz Show. Phase 2, she says, solves the problem. A proprietary extract from white kidney beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), Phase 2 helps to stabilize ups and downs in blood sugar. This, in turn, reduces fat storage, controls appetite, curbs overeating, and leads to weight loss.
The Vicious Carb Cycle
Eating carbohydrates causes a sudden spike in blood sugar. “When our blood sugar skyrockets,” says Lynn, “Our fat cells open their doors and hoard the sugar.” That’s why some people feel as though just one bite of a donut makes their hips expand.
In fact, it’s often impossible to stop after that first bite because of this: After an initial spike, blood sugar crashes and cravings take over. A perfect diet of lean protein and non-starchy vegetables is one solution in theory, but is often unrealistic.
According to Lynn, signs of unbalanced blood sugar include weight gain despite lots of exercise, difficulty losing weight, belly fat, a puffy face, uncontrollable appetite or cravings, binging, and sometimes, mysterious aches and pains.
How Phase 2 Works
Our bodies produce an enzyme―called alpha amylase―that breaks down starch and enables it to be converted into blood sugar. Phase 2 blocks the enzyme, so that much of the starch is not digested and is instead eliminated.
While it’s natural for blood sugar to rise when we eat and then drop a few hours later, a rollercoaster pattern promotes weight gain. If you were to plot the effect of Phase 2 on a graph, it would make blood sugar variations look more like a gentle wave.
A review of research, published in Nutrition Journal, examined 10 studies that tested Phase 2 on nearly 500 people. In each study, Phase 2 produced significantly more weight loss than a placebo, without restrictive diets. In studies that measured blood sugar, Phase 2 significantly reduced the rise after a meal. There were no adverse effects.
Amazing Wellness Contributing editor Vera Tweed has been writing about nutrition, fitness, and healthy living since 1997.
How to Use Phase 2
Studies have used dosages from 500 mg–3,000 mg daily, in single or divided doses, before or with meals. From her experience with many clients, Lynn recommends following these guidelines:
Ideally, take Phase 2 within a half-hour before each meal, especially meals with starchy foods. Or take it with your first bite of food, so that the supplement blocks your starch-digesting enzyme when food hits your stomach. If you forget, taking Phase 2 within 45 minutes after a meal can still help.
Take Phase 2 before lunch and dinner, because blood sugar tends to rise as the day goes by. If you eat a protein-rich, low-carb breakfast, you don’t need to take Phase 2 with it.
Remember that Phase 2 is not a license to indulge in chips, donuts, cookies, or other high calorie, nutrient-poor foods.
How much to take: Before each meal, take 10 mg of Phase 2 per pound of body weight. To calculate your dose, add a zero to your weight. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, take 1,500 mg before a meal.
NATROL Carb Intercept with Phase 2 effectively blocks the enzyme that turns starch into simple sugars with 1,000 mg of Phase 2 per capsule.
THE VITAMIN SHOPPE Phase 2 Starch Neutralizer delivers unadulterated Phase 2 in 500-mg capsules for easy-to-adjust dosing.
LIFE EXTENSION Optimized Irvingia with Phase 3 Calorie Control Complex includes Phase 2 as part of a three-part formula of carb controllers that also contains African mango extract (Irvingia) and Phase 3 (another sugar inhibitor).