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Optimize Fat Loss, Muscle Support and OverallWellness with Stacks for Men and Women


Lean and Hard Stack for Men


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Summer is here . . . and the living is easy.

Sometimes, too easy.

We've all been there. A day in the gym turns into a day at the beach. Your typical lunch of baked chicken breast and steamed vegetables becomes pork ribs and potato salad at your friend's BBQ. A casein shake and early to bed is transformed into a night in the clubs.

It's one of life's ironies. All winter long you work hard to achieve your ideal summer beach body . . . and summer itself seems to undo your handiwork. But it doesn't have to be that way. In fact, maintaining your peak physique until Labor Day just requires a little due diligence in the form of a flexible training program and ramping up supplementation to counter the inevitable dietary detours that occur in summer's social whirl.

Make Time to Train
With regard to training, no one's social calendar is so full that he or she can't get to the gym four days in a week. If you can't, then you probably don't have a physique or figure that you're trying to maintain anyway. The key in the summer is to be flexible.

If you workout Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evening at 5pm like clockwork, that's probably not going to work over July 4th weekend. Instead, you might want to substitute in an intensive, super-focused 30-minute workout before work. Or even fifteen minutes of super-intensity exercise at lunch time. ProSource.net always has you covered for varied, versatile, productive sample workouts of every sort, from superstar trainers like Josh Bryant, Todd Bumgardner, and Patrick Striet. Got a full day of activities planned? Check out Maximum Results in Minimum Time. Got just 15 minutes? Check out Fitter in 15!

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Summer Supplement Stacking to
Burn Fat and Maintain Muscle

Guys, July may not be the month in which you're going to put on 15 pounds of rock-hard muscle. Likewise, ladies, you may not be attaining your long-sought goal weight on Labor Day. But that's not what you're trying to accomplish. What you're seeking is a smart, sensible regimen that maximizes energy, burns fat, supports muscle, and maintains the overall wellness that is the hallmark of a terrific physique or fabulous figure.

Fortunately, ProSource has you covered here as well. Our Lean and Hard Stack for Men addresses each and every vector of fat loss, muscle support, and wellness for the summer male, while our Weight-Loss and Wellness Stack for Women does the same for women. Both achieve this goal by focusing first on fat-loss with the category's most powerful thermogenic supplement, the new, amplified version of BetaStax. And, because maintaining maximum muscle mass is essential to burning fat, ProSource's Vectron helps you do just that while also shedding more fat via its unique fat-loss mechanism. Finally, we've got two superior, wide-spectrum multis to maintain the peak wellness you must manifest for a truly phenomenal physique or figure, one created specifically for men, one for women. Let's take a closer look.

Unleash a Perfect Storm of Fat-Destroying,
Workout-Energizing Thermogenic Power

Long days and nights of summer celebration will leave you weary, listless, and vulnerable to flab. If you want to avoid this fate in the summer of 2014, your timing is perfect, because there's a breakthrough evolution of a fat-loss legend newly arrived on the scene.

BetaStax Elite, a reinvention of the all-time best-selling product in its category here at ProSource, contains a super-comprehensive matrix of weight-loss factors, including a powerful new diet-support super ingredient designed to further target key mechanisms of serious metabolic enhancement and weight-loss support. Of course, BetaStax Elite also contains the key transformational mechanism that revolutionized the diet-support category -- an exclusive PureWay-Slim technology that delivers clinically validated and significant reductions in body weight, waist and hip circumferences in as little as two weeks.

Like the original, BetaStax Elite is also the category's premier energy stimulating thermogenic. With its proprietary Liquid SpeedCap technology, BetaStax Elite yields a truly awe-inspiring surge in energy and focus beginning within just minutes of a single dose. BetaStax Elite will help men and women achieve fat-loss results beyond anything previously possible, while the co-factors in these extraordinary summer fitness stacks expand the focus to include muscle maintenance as well.

World's First Clinically Validated Weight-Loss
Protein Provides Targeted Muscle Support

The bane of summer is empty calories. And the antidote to empty calories is high-quality protein. If you know you're going out later to a venue where you'll be hearing the siren song of junk calories, supplementing in advance with superior aminos is your best bet for suppressing counter-productive cravings. Make that protein an advanced sports nutrition technology that also attacks excess fat while maintaining muscle, and you've got a powerful advantage. You need muscle to burn fat, and Vectron is a powerful tool for attaining both results.

For the goal of fat reduction, no other protein supplement has been proven as effective as Vectron by ProSource. Vectron's patented fractionated protein formula called Prolibra is formed from partially hydrolyzed whey and is fortified with a state-of-the-art blend of minerals that work synergistically to support lean muscle, while promoting fat loss. Indeed, in a 12-week clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, subjects taking Prolibra retained twice as much lean muscle while at the same time experiencing 79% fat-loss compared to the control group at 51% fat loss. Taking Vectron twice daily before meals has been shown to reduce blood glucose after meals and maintain muscle mass even under conditions of significant fat loss. All in all, Vectron supplementation results in healthy levels of blood sugar, decreased appetite, and decreased fat storage, all the while maintaining muscle tissue that is key to burning fat.

Overall Wellness is Essential
All the calorie management and exercise in the world will have minimal effect if your basic bodily processes are breaking down. That's where a comprehensive, wide-spectrum multivitamin, mineral, and antioxidant complex plays a key role. And, because the nutritional needs of men and women can vary in several important ways, ProSource has formulated two multis, both intended to support high-intensity fitness lifestyles, one for men and one for women.

ProSource's Vital Men's contains a complete spectrum of 23 vitamins and minerals in high potencies, plus antioxidant co-factors alpha lipoic acid and citrus bioflavonoids. Along with the full complement of basic nutrients, Vital Men's also includes nutrients important for men such as Korean ginseng for focus and cognition, as well as PABA (para aminobenzoic acid) to help potentiate norepinephrine levels for energy enhancement. Odorless garlic is also added for powerful free radical scavenging and helping maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

Sexual support components in Vital Men's formula include raw oyster for healthy sexual function, plus saw palmetto, nettle root, pumpkin seed extract and lycopene for prostate protection. The idea behind a comprehensive men's formula such as Vital Men's is twofold: provide basic nutrient needs while also helping support specific issues important to men such as prostate health, sexual support and cognition enhancement.

ProSource Vital Women's also contains the complete spectrum of vitamins and minerals, while targeting specific areas such as bone health, supporting menstrual cycles and strengthening hair and nails. Along with a full spectrum of B complex vitamins for energy support, Vital Women's approach also includes calcium, magnesium and boron to help reduce risk for osteoporosis, plus biotin to enhance nail and hair strength, growth and texture.

Potent amounts of vitamins A, C and D are added plus a comprehensive mineral blend and vitamin E in the highly bioavailable d-alpha tocopherol form. In addition, horsetail herbal extract is added to support calcium absorption, citrus bioflavonoids are included for antioxidant protection and royal jelly powder is provided for immune system enhancement. Finally, Dong quai and black currant are added for hormonal support.

And there you have it, all the supplementation you need to look and feel as good on Labor Day as you did on Memorial Day. Let the excesses of summer come calling. With the Lean and Hard Stack for Men or the Weight-Loss and Wellness Stack for Women, you've got the edge you need to stroll the beach, boardwalk or dance floor with confidence!

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A Guy's Guide for Hitting YourPhysical Peak as Summer Begins


Okay, guys, this one's for you. Summer is the season when all your hard work in the gym culminates and can be appreciated. This is especially obvious for those of you who take the time and effort to plan a proper diet and supplement regimen in the weeks leading up to summer break. With the best season of the year just around the corner, now is the time to put the finishing touches on your male physique before hitting the beach.

For those of you who want to peak and stay this way for the entire summer, you must eat like a champ, train and sleep like a champ, and think carefully about what supplements to take. In this article we have put together 5 simple supplemental steps aimed at getting you into the best shape of your life and maintaining that condition for the entire summer.

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Feel it!
Micronutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are essential to normal cellular function and nutrient absorption, giving you a greater sense of wellness and overall health. As well, they support growth and development of various tissues in the body including bones and muscle. Vitamins act as catalysts for many important internal processes and under increased metabolism from heavy training the vitamin requirements needed to catalyze cellular reaction increase. In bodybuilding, the body undergoes intense training coupled with strict dieting; creating an environment that may deplete nutrient levels and limit intake of micronutrients in the body, leading to deficit. Furthermore, strength athletes tend to have greater amounts of lean mass, making the need for vital micronutrients greater to meet their higher metabolism.

The R&D team at ProSource has developed Super Mega Max, the ultimate full range daily multiple designed exclusively for bodybuilders and hardcore athletes. The formulation is super charged with a blend of B-Power Energy factors that among other B vitamins contains an exceptionally high amount of B12 (100 times the potency compared to another leading brand) and provides superior antioxidant protection via lycopene, quercetin, N-acetyl-cysteine, calcium, and CoQ10. Its ultra-potency continues with a remarkable 20,000 IUs of beta carotene, 400 IUs of vitamin D and 200 mcg of chromium. It also has MSM and boron to help support healthy joints and an isomer blend of natural vitamin E, shown to be many times more powerful than synthetic forms.
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Build it and Keep it!
One of the toughest metabolic conundrums we face as high-level athletes is how to maintain hard earned muscle mass, while attempting to reduce body fat. Lucky for us ProSource introduced Vectron, the industry's most potent protein supplement designed specifically to support fat loss! Vectron is an innovative product that contains a patented fractionated protein formula called Prolibra. The protein complex in Vectron is formed from partially hydrolyzed whey and is fortified with a state-of-the-art blend of minerals that work synergistically to maintain lean mass, promote fat loss, and normalize blood glucose. These claims are backed by a 12-week clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, where subjects taking Prolibra while undergoing a modest calorie-reduced diet retained twice as much lean muscle while at the same time experienced 79% fat-loss compared to the control group at 51% fat loss.

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Burn it!
No physique refinement program should overlook incorporating a high quality fat burner to help get rid of those last few pounds of stubborn fat hiding your abs. Based on clinical data, the current leader in this category is BetaStax Elite from BioQuest. Using a multi-dimensional approach to fat loss, BetaStax Elite is a synergistic combination of clinically dosed ingredients that increase energy and make dieting and fat loss easier.  

Although you have likely heard that BetaStax Elite works better than any other product in the fat burner category, we would like to highlight two of the main ingredients that make this dietary catalyst stand out. First, BetaStax contains PureWaySlim, an innovative and novel bioactive matrix of fat loss agents. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, it was reported that taking 250 mg of PureWaySlim (same as a dose of BetaStax Elite) resulted in significantly greater reductions in body weight and waist and hip circumferences when compared to placebo treatment in as little as two weeks! Subjects not only lost fat, but also had remarkable elevations in plasma Cholecystokinin (CCK) after meals. CCK is a neuropeptide that mediates the feeling of "fullness" after a meal by binding to receptors in the brain. Having high levels of CCK while dieting makes caloric restriction less onerous and increases your chances of fat loss success!

BetaStax Elite also contains a novel botanical agent that supplies a standardized dose of chlorogenic acid, an innovative compound that elevates fat metabolism in the liver and suppresses fat absorption. Beyond elevating fat metabolism, there is an abundance of research suggesting that chlorogenic acid inhibits glucose-6-phosphate translocase, which essentially blocks the absorption and utilization of consumed carbohydrates. This means that less of the fat and carbohydrates that you eat get absorbed and stored (as fat) in the body.   

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Test it!
Keeping your testosterone levels high is essential to muscle building and fat loss (not to mention libido). Unfortunately, the stress of intense exercise and caloric restriction can blunt your testosterone levels, hinder maximum performance and gains, and make you a dud in the bedroom. Although some would jeopardize their health and opt for synthetic testosterone injections several times per week, this is unnecessary with today's advanced and natural testosterone boosters.   

Of all the T-boosters available, the one that stands out in terms of research and potency is AndroTest by ProSource. ProSource's R&D team is comprised of Ph.D. level scientists who use the most stringent state-of-the-art laboratory procedures and certified Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs). To produce AndroTest they use only the most potent raw materials and the industry's most advanced and comprehensive multiple-extraction method. In sharp contrast to conventional extraction methods, this process reduces the involvement of solvents and high heat, which yields significantly higher purity, and reduces thermal damage to active compounds. With such stringent levels of quality control, AndroTest is the only full-spectrum protodioscin-rich botanical super compound standardized (and guaranteed) to contain a minimum of 80% total steroidal saponins, 60% total furostanol saponins, with 40% protodioscin and 28% steroidal glycopeptides. That is up to 40 times more potent than typical test-boosting products! Clinical and case studies using AndroTest have documented increases in bioavailable free-testosterone levels up to 85% over clinically normal reference values, in as little as seven days! 

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Polish it!
Once you have your mass up and your body fat down, its time to put the finishing touches on your physique. Whether you are getting ready for the beach, a photo-shoot, or a bodybuilding competition, subcutaneous water retention can make you look bloated and flabby instead of fabulous. In the past, you would have had to settle for water and sodium restriction or even harmful diuretic drugs to overcome simple water retention. However, thanks to the scientists at BioQuest, there is Razor Ripped, the most innovative way to reduce excess water retention, allowing you to naturally and gently reveal your polished physique in 72 hours or less. Razor Ripped uses a unique formula of botanical diuretics, caffeine, and green tea, which not only tighten your skin, but also turn up your metabolism and enhance vascularity.

So, there you have it, 5 easy supplemental steps to reaching a zenith this summer. Employed together with an intense training program and healthy diet, you will feel and look your best during the greatest season of the year.

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A Science-Based Approach forGetting Lean and Staying Lean


Summer is around the corner, and what better time is there to be serious about getting lean and looking your best? Regardless of where you are starting, if you start now you could be trim, lean, confident, and in the best shape of your life by summer.  However, you'll need to go beyond the overly simplistic "eat less and exercise more" advice.  That's equivalent to saying get rich by spending less and making more money.  Sure it makes sense on the surface, but you need a detailed plan that works for your financial metabolism.  The reality is, you have it within your biology to be healthy and lean, and it's not as hard as you might think.  Here's how to reprogram your body's metabolism.  

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Americans Continue To Get Fatter
First, let's take stock of the current status quo.  Obesity rates have continued to climb for the last few decades.  The latest statistics indicate that 72 percent of adult men and 64 percent of adult women are overweight, as defined as body mass index equal to or more than 25 kg/m2, and approximately one-third are obese with a BMI equal to or more than 30 kg/m2.  Besides low energy and the negative psychological aspects associated with being overweight, obesity is linked to the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and increased morbidity.  The unremitting high prevalence of obesity in the United States coupled with limited success of traditional counter-measures (i.e., eat less, exercise more) has led to considerable frustration among many individuals and healthcare professionals.

Why Exercise Alone is Not the Answer
Let's start right off dispelling one of the most common myths about the positive effects of exercise on weight loss.  The truth is exercise is a rather lousy weight loss tool, but it is a great wellness tool.  The strongest evidence showing weak effects of exercise comes from studies done in identical twins under highly controlled conditions where all food was provided and exercise carefully monitored.  In one experiment twins were fed a caloric level to maintain body weight.  Then on top of that they were required to exercise for 2 hours per day for 3 months.  This created a daily energy deficit of over 600 kcal for each person in the study.  That equals an energy deficit of more than 58,000 kcal total.  If it takes a deficit of 3500 kcal to lose one pound of fat, these subjects should have lost more than 16 pounds.  The most striking finding was the wide discrepancy in weight loss among the twins ranging from 2 to 18 pounds. Think about how disappointing it would be to lose only 2 pounds after diligently exercising for 2 hours per day.  Even more striking was the discovery that the weight loss within twin pairs was very similar.  Since identical twins share the same DNA, this study clearly shows that your genetics plays a huge role in your weight loss response to exercise.   

If Exercise is Not the Answer for Everyone, What Is?
The previous example is not meant to downplay the importance of exercise, since exercise does promote many positive health effects and resistance training is necessary to build muscle.  But it does highlight the fact that exercise has weak effects in promoting weight loss and underscores the importance of paying attention to diet composition.  Many experts will say all you need to do is eat less than you expend to lose body weight.  This is exactly the wrong way to look at the situation.  If you are trying to lose weight, what you really need to do is lose body fat.  Although you may view that fat as unhealthy and unsightly, it actually represents your body's largest fuel tank.  And that fuel can be used in a positive way.  Wouldn't it be a neat trick to mobilize that fat and convert it into a reliable and consistent form of energy your body used all day long?  That's currently not the case since access to that fuel tank is being blocked by eating the wrong foods.  The trick to unlock the flow of fat from your fat stores is to keep the hormone insulin in check.  

Keeping Insulin Low
Insulin has many functions in the body, most notably increasing blood sugar uptake into cells, but here are three additional functions of insulin that emphasize why you will benefit from keeping this storage hormone low.  

First, of all the various mediators that regulate fat breakdown, insulin is the most important.  Fat, or more specifically fatty acids, are primarily stored as triglycerides in fat cells (i.e., adipocytes).  A triglyceride is simply three fatty acids attached to a single glycerol molecule.  In order to access those fatty acids you have to release them from glycerol.  This process of fat breakdown is called lipolysis.  Insulin potently blocks lipolysis.  In other words insulin prevents fatty acids from being released from fat cells.  The relationship between insulin and fat breakdown is not linear.  Small increases in insulin cause a major inhibition of fat breakdown.  
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Thus, when you raise insulin levels by consuming fast acting forms of carbs, it puts the breaks on fat breakdown both at rest and after exercise.  

A second factor relates to oxidation (i.e., burning) of fat which occurs mainly in muscles.  More specifically, fat oxidation occurs in specialized energy-producing structures called mitochondria.  Once a fatty acid enters the mitochondria it is committed to being burned and therefore this is the rate limiting step in burning fat.  Fatty acids can only enter mitochondria by a specific transporter.  Like fat breakdown, this mitochondria transporter is under tight control by insulin.  Insulin potently inhibits this fatty acid transporter and thereby blocks fat burning.    Thus, when you spike insulin levels, it inhibits both fat breakdown and fat burning.  

Third, insulin's effects are not limited to suppressing fat breakdown and oxidation; it also promotes storage of fat.  The insulin response to a high carbohydrate meal functionally blocks access to fat for fuel and at the same time promotes conversion of carbohydrate into either glycogen or fat.  Insulin does this by increasing the activity of key enzymes that control synthesis of fat in the liver and uptake of fat into fat cells.  Therefore, over time repeatedly spiking insulin contributes to accumulation of body fat.

Bottom line, keeping insulin low is the key to shifting your body's metabolism toward burring fat as the body's primary fuel.  Finding the level of dietary restriction of sugars and fast acting starches required to enable the preferential burning of body fat is the essence of a successful weight loss program.

Diet from an Evolutionary Perspective
If restricting carbohydrates seems unbalanced or even extreme, consider the fact that as humans we are well suited to respond in a positive way to carbohydrate restriction as in high energy levels, better satiety, and enhanced ability to lose body fat and maintain health.  This stems from more than 2 million years of evolution when most of us were exposed to very little carbohydrate.  Therefore, this favorable response to low carbohydrate intake is a highly conversed trait.  Now that most of us are exposed to a lot of carbs, many of us struggle to maintain a healthy weight and show signs of metabolic dysfunction.  The ability to respond favorably to increasing amounts of carbohydrate is a trait that fewer and fewer people possess (i.e., it's a less conserved trait).  In other words, if you try a low fat/high-carbohydrate diet, there is a good chance you may not respond in a positive way, no matter how much drive and determination you put into it.  This is not your fault.  It's not a problem with you; rather it's the wrong diet for your body's metabolism.  Chances are if you have failed on a high carbohydrate diet, the right diet for you is one lower in carbohydrate.  

What if your weight loss stalls?
Many people get frustrated after losing some weight and then hitting a plateau.  Don't panic--here are four possible reasons why this may be happening.  First, it's important to understand that body weight fluctuates a lot from day to day mainly because of changes in hydration status.  Since our bodies are more than half water, any changes in water balance, even a few percent, can translate into several pounds on the scale.  Thus it's best to average your weight over several days and not get hung up on any one measurement.  Exercise can also cause muscle injury and swelling which is associated with gain in water weight. 

Another reason the scale weight may not reflect true fat loss is because fat takes up more space than an equal amount of muscle due to its lower density.  If you are adding muscle while losing body fat, your weight gain will also slow.  Thus, you should evaluate your progress by inches lost and how your clothes fit. 

It's also important to realize that like most physiologic processes weight loss is not linear.  Rather, your body tends to alternate between rapid and slow phases.  In general as you get closer to your target weight, your body starts to defend against further weight loss.  If you have 50 pounds to lose, the first 30 or 40 will tend to come off relatively easily because you're further away from your goal weight. That last 10 to 20 pounds will usually take longer, and require more discipline, as the body senses the approach of its natural weight.

Practically Speaking
The level of dietary carbohydrate restriction required to maximize fat loss varies from person to person, but most people will find they get the best results when carbohydrates are kept below 50 grams per day.  You might think this translates to an exceedingly boring diet, but the truth is just the opposite.   Consider the two example meal plans at the end of the article.  Each meal plan provides 2500 kcal and less than 50 grams carbohydrate per day.  Here's just a sampling of the many foods you can eat copious amounts of while keeping carb below 50 grams per day.  I think you'll agree this is hardly unappetizing or boring.

  • Avocado
  • Bacon
  • Broth
  • Butter (consider buying Irish butter)
  • Cheese (hard)
  • Cream (heavy or whipping)
  • Eggs
  • Fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, and herring)         
  • Fruits (berries, olives, tomatoes, lemons, limes)
  • Mayonnaise (made with olive or canola oil, not soybean oil)
  • Meats (beef, chicken, pork)
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Oils (olive, canola, coconut, high oleic safflower)
  • Pork rinds
  • Salami
  • Salmon
  • Sausage
  • Sour cream
  • Vegetables
  • Yogurt (Greek, whole milk)

A Few More Helpful Pointers
It's important to get enough protein, but not too much, because excessive protein can hamper the fat burning process.  There is no need to exceed 2 grams per kilogram body weight.  Also, you need to get over any fear of fat.  When carbohydrates are low, fat becomes an important component of the diet for fuel and satisfaction.  It's important to emphasize monounsaturated and saturated fats, as they are the best fuels.  There's no need to fear any harmful effects of fat, even saturated fat.  We have shown the body preferentially uses saturated fat for energy on a low carbohydrate diet.  Thus, it doesn't accumulate in your body.  

Low Carb Friendly Supplements
ProSource's Vectron is ideal for women who are looking to cut back on carbs (and carb cravings), while also supporting the muscle tissue essential for turning stored fat into energy. Vectron contains Prolibra, a weight-management system that has been validated in independent clinical testing. Indeed, in a randomized, double-blind, 12-week clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, test subjects showed significant improvements in the ratio of lean mass to fat while taking just 24.4 grams of Prolibra per day compared to a control group taking an isocaloric placebo.. The subjects taking Prolibra retained twice as much lean muscle with 79% fat loss compared to the control group at 51% fat loss. That's an outcome that will have you well on your way to achieving your perfect figure! 

Another dietary addition to keep in mind is a good source of omega 3 fats, specifically EPA and DHA.  These fatty acids have received enormous attention over the last couple decades, owing to a myriad of health benefits associated with their intake.  Most Americans eat significantly more omega 6 fats relative to omega 3, and this imbalance may set them up for greater inflammation and health problems. 

In addition to promoting general health, omega 3 fats in combination with exercise enhance insulin sensitivity and maximize fat loss.  The minimum dose to start is 500 mg of EPA plus DHA per day, which is equivalent to about one serving of fatty fish every other day.  A more optimal dose for most people may be closer to 1 gram per day of EPA and DHA. If you are at high risk of heart disease, stroke or inflammatory condition, then 2 grams per day may result in better effects. 

ProSource Omega Fusion is a perfect solution, as it contains purified omega 3 fatty acids along with antioxidants.  This important but often neglected detail is key to achieving optimal potency because omega 3 fats are highly prone to degradation. The synergy provided by this protection translates into greater net anti-inflammatory and bioactivity per unit dose administered. ProSource's Omega-1250 and ProSource's Flax Fusion are two more great sources of healthy fatty acids.

The Time is Now
You can achieve a slim, lean body by summer and it's as easy as avoiding the foods that block your access to body fat while feeding your body with plenty of delicious low-insulin-stimulating foods and supplements that keep you in fat burning mode all day long.  I'm confident you'll enjoy the process and be so impressed with the results that you'll want to continue this lifestyle so you can feel and look good year around.

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Meal Plan #1
Breakfast (Cheese Omelet and Canadian Bacon)
Scrambled eggs 2 large +  1/4 cup Egg Beaters + 1.5 Tbsp Butter
Shredded Cheddar Cheese 1 oz
Grilled Canadian Bacon 2 oz

Snack
Oil-Roasted Almonds 1/8 cup (20 g)
Oil-Roasted Sunflower Seeds 1/4 cup (34 g)
Strawberries .6 whole (72 g)

Lunch (Cheeseburger with sautéed mushrooms and peppers)
Hamburger (70% lean/30% fat)..3 oz (85 g)
American Cheese 1 oz
Iceberg Lettuce 1/2 cup
Red Tomato 2 slices (40 g)
Red Onions 3 slices (42 g)
Sauted Sweet Bell Peppers 1/4 cup, boiled (34 g) + Boiled Mushrooms 1/4 cup (39 g) + 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Snack
Celery 2 stalks  + 3 Tbsp cream cheese(43.5 g)
Hood Calorie Countdown Milk  1.5 cup

Dinner (Pork chops and Cauliflower "mashed potatoes")
Pork Chops 3 oz
String beans 1/2 cup, boiled (67.5 g) + 1.5 Tbsp Olive Oil
Cauliflower 1/2 cup, mashed + 1.5 Tbsp Butter
Shredded Cheddar Cheese 1/4 cup

Nutrient Breakdown:
Protein: 131 g
Carbs: 47 g , Fiber 14 g
Fat:  204g

Meal Plan #2
Breakfast (Fried eggs with cauliflower hash browns)
Fried eggs 2 large
Cauliflower, chopped 1/4 C
green pepper chopped 1/4 C
Butter 0.5T
Palm oil .1T
Turkey Bacon . 2 slices

Snack
Cheddar Cheese  2 oz
Pork Rinds 1oz

Lunch - (Tuna Salad on bed of tomato and cucumber slices)
Tuna, Light, canned in oil .3 ¼ oz
Celery .2 stalks diced
Mayo 2 T
Almonds, slivered .1/8 C
Tomato 3 slices
Cucumber sliced 1/8 C

Afternoon snack
Celery .2 stalks + Almond butter..2 T

Dinner (Buffalo Style Chicken Salad with Creamy blueberry dessert)
Roast Chicken breast 4 oz
Hot sauce  . 1 t + Butter .2 T
Blue cheese dressing 1.5 T
Romaine lettuce shredded 1.5 C
Tomato 2 slices
Almonds, slivered . 1/8 C
Dessert: cream cheese 1/3 C, heavy cream 3 T, lemon juice 1 t, frozen blueberries unsweetened 1/4 C

Nutrient Breakdown:
Protein: 128 g
Carbs: 44 g, 13 g fiber
Fat: 205 g


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Christina Cores Overcomes Adversity onHer Way to An Astounding Transformation


Sometimes the first step along the journey to losing significant weight is to set down all the emotional baggage you're carrying. That's what Christina Cores learned as she embarked on the long, hard journey from a miserable 240 lbs to a trim, vital 118 lbs. Exercise and proper diet are indispensable to an amazing transformation like Christina's, but taking a good, long, honest look at yourself and your lifestyle is usually a good place to start.

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Taking Comfort in Food
You'd never know it to look at her today, but the girl who now turns heads wherever she goes once had trouble climbing a flight of stairs. Looking back on her life, Christina now knows that her first steps toward the obesity that plagued her teenage years began at the tender age of seven. That was the year her parents got divorced and the aftermath of this emotional experience took a toll on her eating habits.

"For a while, I lived with my grandmother as things were settling down," Christina remembers. "She loved to cook and she could bake, too. Soon, eating became my escape, as I tried to fill the void with food. I was steadily getting bigger and bigger each year."

Then, at age 15, Christina faced three life-changing scenarios that would cause any teen with a history of emotional eating to further spiral out of control: her father passed away, she moved to a new town, and she started high school. Upon reaching 240 pounds and finding herself out of breath while walking up the stairs at school, Christina realized she needed to make a drastic change to help herself before it was too late.

"Everything about being overweight bothered me," she admits. "The way I saw it, I could not do all of the things the other kids could do, because I saw myself as being fat."

The First Steps on the Journey Back
So, Christina began her transformation by educating herself on ways to lose weight and change her lifestyle. After seeing the success of several family members who were adopting low-carb eating strategies, Christina became a convert to that methodology. She eliminated as many carbohydrates form her diet as possible for six months, switched from soda to water, limited her sodium intake, avoided processed foods and learned to read food labels. Christina then began slowly reintroducing such healthy carbs into her diet as whole wheat toast and oatmeal.

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Of course, the other half of the low-carb equation is an increase in protein intake to support the muscle growth that makes fat loss possible. Here, Christina had an important ally in two key products . "I was eating plenty of chicken, fish, and lean beef," Christina recalls, "but it's important to have healthy proteins to snack on during the day, when you're on the run, and bad carbs are calling out to you from every fast-food outlet and mini-mart. Supreme Protein bars helped me stay on track. Supplementing with a high-quality protein also helped me reduce my carb intake." A protein product that both supports existing muscle and offers unique fat-loss properties can be ideal. One such protein, ProSource's Vectron, contains Prolibra, a weight-management system that has been validated in independent clinical testing. Indeed, in a randomized, double-blind, 12-week clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, test subjects showed significant improvements in the ratio of lean mass to fat while taking just 24.4 grams of Prolibra per day compared to a control group taking an isocaloric placebo.. The subjects taking Prolibra retained twice as much lean muscle with 79% fat loss compared to the control group at 51% fat loss. Those are results worth celebrating!

The Final Piece of the Transformation Puzzle
But Christina realized that while diet alone might make her thin, it wouldn't yield the fit and toned physique she was hoping for. It was time to add exercise into her weight-loss plan. So she started a workout that combined cardio and strength-training moves. Later, a women's workout center gave Christina a regimen to follow, with variations she could swap in and out as she progressed. She then joined a gym, where she was able to broaden her training program without the limitations that at-home workouts placed on her.

"I noticed that working out turned into a fun regimen," says Christina. "I had originally thought I would be tired and fatigued, but it actually worked the opposite way! It gave me energy and strength. Watching my transformation in the mirror gave me the visual that reinforced everything I was doing."

It took Christina two years to lose the weight, but her scale has steadily read 118 pounds for five years. Now 22, Christina works at a fine dining restaurant that specializes in meals that have under 475 calories per serving. She no longer needs to fixate on her caloric breakdown each day because she knows how to listen to her body and make smart choices.

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"My diet largely consists of chicken, yogurt, oatmeal, protein shakes, nuts, multigrain, whole wheat bread, eggs, peanut butter, fruits and veggies," says Christina. "And again, I couldn't have done it without proper supplementation to help me stay full longer and satisfy my sweet cravings. They are also responsible for giving me that extra energy I need at the gym."

A Lesson Learned
While Christina feels that she's "basically" the same person she was before her transformation, she takes pride in the fact that she's armed herself with the knowledge she needs to keep herself in shape. "I can feel a strong sense of confidence as I no longer take my body for granted," she explains. "It is now clear to me that all of my hard work was for a reason.  I am glad that with my success, others are able to take tips and advice from me so that I can help them with their transformation as well."

In fact, that's the direction Christina plans to take her career over the next several years , as she's hoping to find a job in the health and fitness field so she can help others do what she's done.

 

Christina's Workout Regimen

www.christinacores.com

"LIKE" Christina on
CARDIO
Treadmill : Total of 30 Minutes
[10min] Jogging @5 .0
[10min] Run for 1 min @7 .0 / fast walk for .30sec @ 4 .0 / the next 8.8 min is split with the above format
[5min] Incline of 15 for 5min @4 .2
[5min] Jogging for 2min @ 5.0 /Run for 1 min @ 7.0 /Walk for 2min @ 3.0
Stairmaster
15min @12.0
ARMS
Free weights
Range from 5-12 pounds (3x's a week)
LEGS
Leg Extensions
100 pounds 3sets of 12 (2x's a week)
ABS
Crunch Variations
10-15 min (every workout)

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The Facts on Cardio-Related Weight Gain,Plus Strategies For Targeting Fat Loss


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We all know the type. Every gym has them. She's the woman breezing along on the elliptical trainer for what seems like hours. Or the guy trudging on the treadmill. Day in, day out, there they are, on the road to nowhere. Maybe they're even working in a little interval pacing. Fast, then slow. Fast, then slow.

Gee, you think, if cardio really helps you burn fat, then that woman (or guy) should be a cartoon stick figure by now.

But they're not. In fact, both the woman who barely looks winded after 45 minutes on the elliptical and the guy whose T-shirt is soaked with sweat after 30 minutes of jogging, always look the same. Or maybe they're getting fatter.

Usually, these thoughts occur to you when you're doing your own time in purgatory. One of your three-times-a-week 30-minute stints on the treadmill. No, you're not Leisure Time Louise over there, watching CNN and checking her phone. Or worse, Try Hard Tommy, all red in the face. But you've heard about the "skinny fat" syndrome that afflicts aerobic exercisers. You've heard about cortisol build-up and its connection to fat gain.

And the thought nags at you. Am I wasting my time on this machine?

It's a valid question. Before we address it with the help of some experts, let's set one thing straight. Aerobic exercise is important for overall wellness and cardiovascular health. Nobody wants to be that bodybuilder who gets winded walking up a flight of stairs.

General wellness and cardiovascular health are essential to you as a bodybuilder, even if they're not your primary reasons for being in the gym. You're there to build muscle and attain the kind of physique that makes people go quiet when you enter the room. But fat loss is a part of that, so let's take a closer look at the science of losing fat in the gym.

"Extended periods of aerobic exercise train the body to be small, fat and slow,"

Fat Loss and Cardio
It stands to reason, if you're expending a great deal of time and effort thumping away on a treadmill, that you should be burning at least some calories stored away as fat. And yet, if you've ever participated in, say, a charity long-distance run, you've seen a lot of people who just don't look that great. Long-distance running is going to burn muscle tissue, that's a given. But a lot of runners also complain about "skinny fat" syndrome, an outcome in which their body mass is very low and yet they still have noticeable excess fat. We asked Todd Bumgardner, co-founder of Beyond Strength Performance and a strength athlete with a Masters of Science in Exercise Science, about this seeming paradox.

"Extended periods of aerobic exercise train the body to be small, fat and slow," Todd says. "Hormones, and the associated physiological mechanisms, respond accordingly. To meet this adaptation, the body gets rid of muscle mass and stores fuel in the form of body fat, rather than storing fuel as glycogen in the muscles and in the liver. Appropriate amounts of high intensity strength training and other forms of anaerobic exercise can help you overcome this, but you really have to manage your cardio intelligently."

Josh Bryant, a renowned trainer with a Masters of Science in Exercise Science and several published books on exercise, agrees. "Excessive aerobics can decrease immune system efficiency, increase cortisol production and put a serious halt to any sort of strength or muscle gains," he says. "All of these outcomes will increase body fat and certainly won't help you progress toward your training goals."

Cortisol and Fat Loss
Josh's point about cortisol comes with some caveats. Cortisol production has been linked in the popular imagination with excess fat gain for some time now, and for a while, there were even a sizeable number of diet products which claimed to modulate cortisol levels to target fat loss. (Many of those discredited products are gone now.) The truth about the connection between cardio exercise, cortisol production, and fat gain is a little more complicated.

Chad Kerksick, a professor of Exercise Science at the University of New Mexico, weighs in on the topic, suggesting, "Like many other things, elevated levels of cortisol are somewhat necessary to encourage the breakdown of things your muscles can use for fuel.  Chronically increased levels, however, which result from high amounts of exercise and less than adequate nutrition is not a good thing and over time can limit recovery and support an overall increase in inflammation throughout the body."

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Todd Bumgardner also sees the issue as a bit of a gray area. "In truth, people should be worried more about spikes in cortisol that come from extraneous life stress than cortisol that comes from exercise," he says. "It's the other stuff that typically gives people heart attacks, increases visceral fat and kills them. Constantly being in "fight or flight" mode and the accompanying increase in stress hormones (such as cortisol) limits insulin sensitivity and promotes the storage of visceral fat. This constant state of sympathetic nervous system arousal is what's truly concerning about cortisol.

When it comes to exercise, however, it depends upon intensity. Low-intensity aerobic exercise is great for decreasing sympathetic nervous system activity and improving the function of the parasympathetic nervous system, the system that reduces the stress response.

High-intensity, prolonged cardiovascular exercise, however, can elicit a strong cortisol response. If this type of exercise is predominant over strength training, and is accompanied by a stressful life, high cortisol levels can lead to insulin resistance that accumulates visceral fat."

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How Much Cardio Is Too Much Cardio?
Here, at last, we arrive at the meat of the matter. If we can all agree that some cardio is necessary, both for overall wellness and as a physique enhancing tool, but too much cardio is counterproductive, then where is the sweet spot? How much time should you be spending on that treadmill, elliptical, or rowing machine? Josh Bryant brings the facts:

"Studies show the ill effects of muscle hypertrophy, anabolic hormonal deficiency and decreases in strength have some commonalities," he says. "What it comes down to is that intense cardiovascular exercise for more than 30 minutes at above 75 percent max heart rate intensity, with a frequency of three times or greater per week, will be counterproductive to strength and muscle gains.  

"The best way to attack this is a couple days a week of low intensity steady state cardio. Brisk walks of 20 to 30 minutes will suffice. Very low intensity cardio like this will actually enhance your ability to recover! This coupled with a two, short, intense interval days will get the job done. If you are taking short rests between sets like circuit training or Peripheral Heart Action training, you can get away with very little extra cardio."

Todd Bumgardner prefers to address the issue by way of body type. "I know this isn't the answer that everyone wants to hear, but it depends. It really depends on somatotype. Ectomorphs, or naturally skinny people, should cut cardio completely while trying to add muscle. You need to use all their calories toward gaining mass.

"Mesomorphs can include some cardio into their mass building programs. These are the people that can put weight on, or lose it, at will. You'll want to include some low-intensity, short duration cardio into your workout programming.

"Endomorphs, those of you that are typically larger and carry more fat mass, can include a bit more cardio than mesomorphs. But if you're concerned with body composition, you'd do well to worry more about diet than cardio exercise.

"Most folks are a combination of two somatotypes rather than a distinct embodiment of a single somatotype. Experimentation, then, becomes the means to finding a balance of cardiovascular and strength training.

"The best policy, though, is to keep the goal the goal. This is a lesson from renowned strength coach Dan John. If you want to add muscle, cut out everything else and train to gain healthy muscle. Lift heavy things and eat the appropriate amount of good calories."

Three Bodybuilding Strategies for Targeting Fat Loss

 Keep It Short and Focused.
People who include cardio training in their workout programs would do best to include a short duration (ten to fifteen minutes) of low-intensity aerobic training directly after their strength training session. Heart rate should be around 120-130 and movement should be continuous. Keep total cardio training time around thirty minutes per week.  This will promote recovery without destroying the caloric surplus necessary for adding muscle.

 Add a Powerful Fat-Loss Catalyst to Your Regimen.
There are a number of highly effective, physique-enhancing thermogenics out there that will not only help you facilitate fat loss, but they'll also amp up your workout and sharpen your focus and intensity as well. One of the best, BetaStax Elite from BioQuest, works simultaneously through a multitude of biochemical pathways to fundamentally "hardwire" your metabolic processes for maximum fat-loss. In fact, in a comparison of clinical studies, BetaStax Elite's key active ingredient, PureWay-Slim, achieved more weight loss in two weeks than other leading weight-loss compounds achieved in eight weeks. Try getting that kind of result on a treadmill!  

Pairing your thermogenic with a non-stimulant fat-loss catalyst for synergistic effect can pay dividends, too. ProSource's Green Coffee Bean Extract is rich in chlorogenic acid, a compound that has been shown to modulate blood sugar levels, thereby helping to provide powerful non-stimulant diet support. ProSource's Tonalin CLA, Super 7-Keto, and Ultra-GTX are other non-stimulant options with peerless reputations for supporting fat loss.

When it comes to burning fat while maintaining muscle, it pays to consider a cutting-edge protein with body partitioning efficacy as well. Of particular interest in this category is ProSource's unique physique-enhancing protein Vectron. Vectron contains Prolibra, an advanced weight management system clinically proven to help improve the ratio of lean muscle to fat. In an independent, randomized, double-blind, 12-week clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, test subjects showed significant improvements in the ratio of lean muscle to fat while taking 24.4 grams of Prolibra per day compared to a control group taking an isocaloric placebo. The subjects taking Prolibra retained twice as much lean muscle with 79% fat-loss compared to the control group at 51% fat loss. No other protein complex has been clinically proven to achieve this type of body composition improvement in a 12-week period. The Prolibra group also lost 6.1% fat. Again, you'd have to spend a lot of time on an elliptical to get that result!


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 Vary Your Attack.
Doing the same things in the same way every day is not going to get the job done. When it comes to cardio, changing things up will not only keep your body from adapting to the routine and conserving fat. It will also help you retain your sanity.

You really don't even have to run. Walking, rowing, bicycling, anything that gets your heart rate up will do the job. Recently, we here at ProSource were talking to Mark Wahlberg, an actor with one of the most well-recognized, ultra-ripped physiques in Hollywood. Mark doesn't run at all. "I don't like to run," Mark told us. "Running, treadmills, that stuff, I don't do much if I can avoid it. I play a lot of basketball. I do some boxing, rope skipping. That's how I stay lean. That's what works for me."

If it works for Mark Wahlberg, it'll work for you.

How much cardio do you do in a typical training week? Do you find it to be an effective fat-loss tool? Let us know in the comment field below!

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The Most Powerful Matrix of Natural Weight-Loss Factors Ever Created?


If you're an athlete who takes his physique and performance goals seriously (and we know you are, or you wouldn't be here), you're probably familiar with the constant blur of activity surrounding some of the most-hyped brands in the thermogenic category. Some of these products seem to be "reformulated" every few months or so. You may find yourself wondering  why they need to be re-invented so often . . .  and what, besides the package design, is really changing.

The research and development innovators at BioQuest do things differently. In 2008, they introduced their flagship weight-loss catalyst BetaStax, the product that marked the beginning of a new post-ephedra age of truly effective and transformational thermogenic weight loss. BetaStax revolutionized the diet-support category with its patented PureWay-Slim technology so far advanced beyond the pedestrian ingredients found in competing fat burners that those products (and their manufacturers) still haven't caught up. Most, in fact, are gone.

Over the ensuing years, BetaStax has earned itself devoted legions of fans among athletes seeking the ultimate physique-ripping, performance-energizing advantage. Indeed, original BetaStax is one of the best-selling weight-loss/energy supplements we've ever carried here at ProSource (only surpassed by the legendary Xenadrine RFA-1). Every day, word of mouth continues to spread, bringing enthusiastic new converts to the BetaStax brand.  

Of course, all of this unprecedented success leads to a bit of a paradox. How do you improve on perfection?

For years, BetaStax has remained true to its original formulation, a steady, dependable rock in a stormy sea of competing products forever flip-flopping about, adopting well-hyped ingredients, then dropping them once they're discredited. (Anyone remember Hoodia gordonii? How about PEA? Didn't think so.)

Meanwhile, the BioQuest research and development team has been diligently working at the vanguard of thermogenic science, investigating the most promising new technologies that will advance this supplement category to the same unparalleled degree that BetaStax changed everything in 2008. And now, at last, the culmination of those efforts has arrived in the form of new BetaStax Elite.

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A New Evolution of the
Gold Standard Fat-Loss Catalyst

Building on their unrivaled success with original BetaStax, the new Elite formula has even more clinically validated metabolic power, expanding BetaStax Elite's effectiveness far beyond that of any other fat burner to date.

Using a multi-dimensional approach to fat loss, BetaStax Elite is a synergistic combination of clinically dosed ingredients that promote:
  • Satiety, or increased feeling of fullness after a meal
  • Decreased fat and carbohydrate absorption
  • Appetite suppression, or decreased feelings of hunger
  • Lipid mobilization and utilization, or increased fat metabolism
  • Increased metabolic rate and energy
In contrast to competing fat burners, BetaStax Elite uses clinically effective dosing of its main ingredients, which is clearly indicated on the label. This comprehensive and synergistic approach makes BetaStax Elite the ultimate diet and training companion, which will help you quickly achieve the lean, defined physique you have always wanted. This is where BetaStax truly stands apart from its competitors.  Instead of spritzing in a little bit of whatever is being hyped by the media, BioQuest researchers put the power of real science backed by rock solid clinical evidence into their products.  

Upgraded with a Powerful New Diet-Support Super Ingredient
The primary ingredients in BetaStax Elite are clinically validated to directly and indirectly promote fat loss and dieting success. Key among them is an exciting new technology in the form of a advanced botanical compound that supplies a standardized high potency clinical strength dose of bio-active chlorogenic acid.

This innovative fat-loss mechanism has been shown to significantly elevate fat metabolism in the liver and suppress fat absorption. Furthermore, there is an abundance of research illustrating that chlorogenic acid inhibits glucose-6-phosphate translocase, which is involved in blocking the absorption and utilization of consumed carbohydrates. This means that less of the fat and carbohydrates that you eat get absorbed and stored (as fat) in the body.

This improvement to the BetaStax formula works along an entirely new fat-loss vector, ramping up fat burning through yet another scientifically established pathway, making BetaStax Elite clearly one of the most multi-dimensional nutritional approaches to fat-loss available today.  And to maximize this new mechanism BioQuest formulated this upgrade utilizing the most bio-active form of chlorogenic acid available.  

Non-Stimulant Fat-Loss Action Via a Powerful Natural Phenol Clinically Linked to Fat Oxidation
Recent satisfied users of the original BetaStax will remember that the BioQuest research and development team DID make a significant change to the formulation in 2012, with little fanfare but to great overall effect. BetaStax was upgraded with the addition of Razberi-K, a potent non-stimulant mechanism of transformation.

BetaStax Elite contains the most potent form of the raspberry ketone (4-(4-hydroxyphenyl) butan-2-one) known as Razberi-K. In several studies raspberry ketone supplementation has been reported to prevent fat accumulation, even with diets rich in fats and carbohydrates.

These findings are supported by research, which has shown that most of raspberry ketone's weight loss benefits are due to augmented fat metabolism and inhibited small intestine absorption of dietary fat (by suppressing pancreatic lipase activity). The raspberry ketone in BetaStax Elite is the perfect synergist for the novel botanical extract (containing chlorogenic acid), together promoting potent decreases in fat absorption and metabolism.

The Clinically Validated PureWay-Slim Weight-Loss
Technology That Revolutionized Diet-Support Science

The breakthrough technology that forever separated original BetaStax from the competition by a wide margin, PureWay-Slim is a bioactive matrix of fat loss agents that has helped countless athletes achieve their physique goals. And, unlike so many ingredients that have been hyped to the skies by less scrupulous manufacturers, this exclusive patented matrix is supported by a firm foundation of clinical science.

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 50 healthy volunteers were randomly assigned to take placebo or 250 mg of PureWaySlim. Weight, waist and hip circumferences, basic metabolic profiles, blood glucose, and lipoprotein levels were measured at baseline and then at 2 and 4 weeks. It was reported that the consumption of 250 mg of PureWay-Slim (prior to two major meals daily) resulted in significantly greater reductions in body weight and waist and hip circumferences when compared to placebo treatment.

Further, clinically significant weight-loss results were apparent within the first TWO WEEKS of supplementation and continued throughout the duration of the study.  Results of that magnitude observed in such a short time is extremely rare in the world of human clinical research and is a true testament to the power and potency of this formulation.  The scientists further reported that subjects who took PureWay-Slim also had remarkable elevations in plasma Cholecystokinin (CCK) levels at 60 and 120 minutes post-meal. CCK is a neuropeptide that mediates satiety (the feeling of "fullness" after a meal) by binding to receptors in the brain. Having high levels of CCK while dieting makes caloric restriction a breeze and increases your chances of fat loss success! Each serving of BetaStax Elite contains the exact clinical strength 250mg dose of PureWay-Slim utilized in the study.

A Unique Matrix of Premium-Grade Energy Factors
There's always been more to BetaStax than state-of-the-art diet support. Indeed, a significant portion of the athletes who regard BetaStax as an indispensable element of the daily supplement regimen have no need or desire for fat loss at all. These athletes value BetaStax (and now BetaStax Elite) for its highly synergistic complex of energy factors ideal for ramping up performance potential.

Long-time fans of BetaStax have always been enthusiastic in their praise of an energizing complex that delivers an exhilarating rush of energy, motivation, and even feelings of well-being within minutes of taking a dose thanks to its innovative LiquidSpeedCap technology. This smooth and powerful energy surge is a welcome alternative to the jitters and energy crash that accompany competing products which rely on megadoses of yohimbe and other harsh stimulants. In this way, BetaStax delivers both dramatic diet support benefits AND an amped-up infusion of energy that is guaranteed to help make your workouts a first-class effort every time.

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Feel its Surge of Thermogenic
Power Within Just Minutes

The amazing two-week results in clinical testing associated with its key weight-loss matrix are just part of a bigger, more exciting BetaStax story. BetaStax has always been distinguished by its unique capacity for generating REAL thermogenic power you can actually FEEL working and see in the mirror week by week.

New BetaStax Elite harnesses that remarkable power and takes it to an entirely new level. With its proprietary Liquid SpeedCap technology, BetaStax Elite triggers a truly awe-inspiring surge of energy and focus within minutes, even as its synergy of thermodynamic ultra-weight-loss catalysts goes to work, providing powerful metabolic support for a reshaped physique.

As you can see, the new BetaStax Elite formulation represents the most comprehensive and well thought out fat burning formula of its kind. The research team at BioQuest have once again proven to be leaders in supplement innovation with their latest addition to the fat burner supplement category.  

One brand name has always been the standard bearer for science-based innovation and clinically validated efficacy in the weight-loss category. Now, new BetaStax Elite, powered with yet another bio-active clinical strength metabolic stimulant, is poised to revolutionize the weight-loss category as completely as original BetaStax did when it took the diet supplement category by storm in 2008.


PureWaySlim Supplementation: Positively Impacting Human Health. Dario Pancorbo M.D., Carlos Vazquez M.D., and Mary Ann Flecther Ph.D., University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA

Vinson JA1, Burnham BR, Nagendran MV.Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, linear dose, crossover study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a green coffee bean extract in overweight subjects. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2012;5:21-7. doi: 10.2147/DMSO.S27665. Epub 2012 Jan 18.

Morimoto C, Satoh Y, Hara M, Inoue S, Tsujita T, & Okuda H (2005). Anti-obese action of raspberry ketone. Life Sci 77, 194-204.



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CLA Makes an Excellent Non-StimulantAlternative for Weight-Loss Support


As spring approaches and the temperatures rise, so too will your desire to shed a few pounds before you put back on the swimsuit. A long-term approach to weight loss typically involves a lifestyle change that means modifications to both your diet and exercise program. The overwhelming factor that controls your long-term ability to lose weight is the balance you maintain between the calories you consume and the calories you burn. Certainly, a number of other factors contribute to this outcome, but routinely studies come back to making sure you first have tilted the weight loss scales in your favor. 

And before you say to yourself, "everyone knows that and I'm already doing that," consider that most people underestimate the amount of calories they consume by 25% to 30% (Lichtman 1992) and alternatively people overestimate how many calories they are burning when they exercise by 20% to 25% (Buchowski 1999, Walsh 2004). This creates a situation where people do not fully understand the true magnitude of the changes they need to make to facilitate weight loss.  Having said all this, many people who go down the weight loss path consider specialized diets, drinks and various dietary supplements to help them achieve their weight loss goals.

A number of potential dietary supplements exist and some are suggested to help with weight loss by increasing the metabolic activity of your body and these are often referred to as stimulants or thermogenics. Many people are sensitive to stimulants, however, and as a result they look for non-stimulant alternatives.  In this respect, conjugated linoleic acids have been a popular non-stimulant weight and fat loss alternative for several years (Whigham 2007).

For starters, conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) are a group of specialized fats that are found in the milk and meat of animals that ruminate. Rumination is a unique digestive process and cattle are the largest example of an animal that ruminates and also an animal that we consume both the milk they produce and meat.  Research on CLA has explored a number of potential areas of benefit, but the research conducted on changes in body composition is of the greatest interest.

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CLA and Animal Studies
A massive amount of research exists illustrating the impact of CLA on body composition changes in various laboratory animals. Mice are extremely responsive to CLA administration illustrating significant reductions in various fat stores (60% reductions!) found throughout their body (Park 1997, West 1998) while similar outcomes have been published using pigs and hamsters (de Deckere 1999, Dugan 2004, Simon 2005). A number of studies have been published in humans as well and a recent meta-analysis concluded that CLA administration was responsible for a modest but significant reduction in fat mass (Whigham 2007). Within this paper, a number of studies were analyzed and several general conclusions were made regarding how much CLA should be consumed per dose, how long it should be taken and what impact CLA use has on body-fat changes.

Impressive Human Research
Several large human studies over the course of several months have been published using CLA. For example, one study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition had 180 male and female overweight study participants complete a double-blind, placebo-controlled study over a one year period (Gaullier 2004). Study participants were assigned to one of two CLA groups and a third group was assigned to a placebo. All study participants had their body composition measured using DXA, a superior method of determining body composition changes. The CLA daily dose was 3.6 grams of CLA and when CLA was administered, body fat mass was significantly lowered by 7% to 9% when compared to the changes seen in the placebo group. These changes occurred independent of any changes in diet or exercise.

Another study was published in the Journal of Nutrition and followed 134 study participants for a total of two years. The goal of this study was to determine the extent to which CLA use facilitated weight loss and changes in body composition in addition to determining if using CLA invoked any adverse events or negative changes in markers of health (Gaullier 2005). All study participants supplemented with 3.4 grams of CLA and as reported in the previous study and many others, significant losses of body weight and body fat occurred in both CLA groups after two years, but the majority of changes occurred during the first six months of the study. Adverse events and changes in health markers were closely monitored during this study and the authors concluded that CLA use was not associated with changes in adverse events. The study found that total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) was reduced (Gaullier 2005).

A third study published in the British Journal of Nutrition had a large number (118) of obese adults complete a six month double-blind, placebo-controlled study that required study participants to ingest 3.4 grams of CLA or placebo each day (Gaullier 2007). No changes were made to the diets or exercise programs of all study participants as they were instructed to keep everything the same except the addition of their assigned supplement. After three months, CLA led to a significant reduction in body fat mass and these results were even greater after six months of taking CLA. Body composition was determined using DXA and three additional findings were made that are worthy of discussion. 

First, in all study participants who consumed CLA, more fat loss was found to occur in the legs than in other parts of the study.  Second, the men and women who had the highest body mass index levels (a marker commonly used to assess obesity status) actually lost significantly more fat mass than other study participants who had lower levels of obesity.  Third, women tended to lose more fat than men did (Gaullier 2007).  Again, the study authors reported that various safety parameters all remained within normal ranges and reported adverse events did not differ across the groups.  (A quick note, it is tempting to conclude that CLA could be used to "spot reduce" or preferentially reduce fat from various parts of the body, but this is the only study using CLA to report such a finding and caution should be made when interpreting these results in that manner.)

Adding Exercise to the Mix
One question remaining from the previously discussed studies is "What happens if an exercise program is added?" Four studies have been published in this regard: one showed no effect of adding CLA (Kreider 2002) while three others showed a positive effect, but one of the three positive studies lacked necessary research control (Thom 2001) and won't be discussed. Canadian researchers had 67 subjects randomly ingest either CLA (5 grams/day) or placebo for seven weeks while completing a three-day-per-week resistance training program. A crossover approach was used and when CLA was provided greater increases in lean mass and greater losses of fat mass were found to occur when compared to the changes seen in placebo (Pinkoski 2006).

The same research group published a second study that required 69 study participants (52 men, 17 women) to ingest a combination of CLA (6 grams/day), creatine (9 grams/day) and whey protein (36 grams/day) or placebo while completing heavy resistance training. The study was conducted over a five week period and required each study participant to complete a 6 day per week resistance training program. The authors reported that when CLA was added to creatine and protein, greater increases in upper-body and lower-body strength were found in addition to greater increases in lean tissue mass. The authors concluded that the addition of CLA, creatine and placebo may be an effective combination to stimulate losses of fat mass and increases in lean mass (Cornish 2009).

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CLA Dose and Duration
This article has attempted to highlight some of the studies published using CLA in humans over the last decade. A large majority of the studies conducted only supplemented for several weeks (6 – 12 weeks), but positive changes were found to occur through one year of CLA use. In a large majority of the published studies, 3-4 grams of CLA have been used as an effective dose (Whigham 2007). Pinkoski and Cornish both supplemented with higher amounts of CLA and reported meaningful changes in fat mass and lean mass (Pinkoski 2006, Cornish 2009). In their excellent review of the literature, Whigham reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that seemingly greater effects may occur with dosages up to around 6 grams/day (Whigham 2007). While the literature reports these potential positive outcomes, each person should understand that higher doses of CLA use may not be tolerated equally by all individuals and adverse outcomes may result, even though many studies using 3.4 grams of CLA for several months to a year have no reported no changes in adverse outcomes (Whigham 2007).

Conclusion
Several animal and human studies are available to support the use of CLA as a non-stimulant weight loss and body composition aid. ProSource Tonalin CLA contains the same combination of CLA used in all of the published studies and each capsule contains 1g of CLA. ProSource CLA also contains 100% Tonalin brand CLA, which has long been the gold standard in this category, and remains the most highly purified and potent form of this key weight-loss support supplemdent.

For those looking for a way to lose weight, CLA use has been shown in a number of studies to be effective. Two published studies reported that when combined with heavy resistance training, greater improvements in strength and body composition have been reported with CLA. Clearly, if CLA were to be combined with ProSource Creatine and any member of the NytroWhey protein family, along with resistance training, greater improvements in strength and body composition could result.

Are you stimulant sensitive, but looking to lose excess fat? What supplement strategies are you employing to achieve your goal? Let us know in the comments field below!

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Defining Low-Carb IntakeFor Achieving Optimal Fat Loss


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There are a lot of opinions regarding low-carbohydrate diets in terms of what level of carb restriction is optimal, should you jump or ease into carb restriction, and are occasional carb loads helpful or harmful?  Here's my take on these issues.

Defining Low Carb
There remains a lot of confusion around this question because there are no agreed-upon definitions for "low-carbohydrate" or "carbohydrate restricted" diets.  Although specific values have been proposed for low carbohydrate diets (e.g., less than 130 grams/day) and very low carbohydrate ketogenic diets (e.g., less than 50 grams per day), these absolute thresholds do not account for the principle of individuality, that is, the level of carbohydrate tolerance will vary from person to person, and even within a person over time.  Because of inter-individual variability, it is more helpful to define a low carbohydrate diet a little differently.  From the clinical perspective, a low-carbohydrate diet might be defined as the level of carbohydrate intake below which signs and symptoms of carbohydrate intolerance occur.  From the metabolic perspective, one would operationally seek carbohydrate levels that allow nutritional ketosis (blood ketone bodies > 0.5 mM) or optimal fat burning to be achieved.   

At one end of this range, someone with early signs of metabolic syndrome or pre-diabetes might permanently get rid of their metabolic problems by holding total dietary carbohydrate intake in the range of 100-125 grams per day.  At the other end of this spectrum might be a type-2 diabetic who, on a "balanced diet" providing 300 grams per day of carbohydrate, requires multiple medications to keep fasting glucose values even marginally controlled under 150 mg/dl.  For this person to achieve an optimum initial response that allows reduction (and hopefully withdrawal) of diabetic medications, clinical experience has shown that holding dietary carbohydrate at 20-to-25 grams per day is often necessary.  For many type-2 diabetics, a few weeks at this level allows them to reduce or stop both insulin and oral medication while at the same time achieving better overall glucose control.  A few months later, following substantial weight loss, some individuals might be able to increase daily carbohydrate intake above 50 grams per day and still maintain excellent glucose control, whereas others might need to remain below the 50 gram level to keep their type-2 diabetes in complete remission.

A more practical and effective way to determine how low in carbs to go is by measuring blood (not urine) ketones.  Inducing a state of nutritional ketosis and maintaining it long enough to fully adapt requires a conscientious effort to restrict carbohydrates for two or more weeks.  The level of carbohydrate restriction required to optimize fat burning and fat loss varies from person to person, but the most consistent effects will be achieved at levels of carbohydrate below 50 grams per day. But some highly insulin sensitive individuals may be able to achieve this threshold consuming 70 grams or more per day, whereas others may need to keep carbs between 25 and 40 grams per day.  You can measure blood ketones from a finger stick and see quantitative results in a matter of seconds using handheld glucometers like Precision Xtra.

In summary, how much you choose to limit your dietary carbohydrate intake should be driven by your personal experience.  As a result, the amount of carbohydrate that you decide to eat might vary considerably depending on your individual metabolic condition and the level of benefit you wish to derive.  

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[Editor's Note: Anyone who has been on a carb-restricted diet before can testify to the tiredness and lack of vitality that you can experience at certain times of the day (particularly, it seems, in the late afternoon, which is often just before your workout). Carbs play a role in fat gain, it's true. But they are also a source of energy, and cutting back on them is bound to have consequences. Athletes on carb-restrained regimens often turn to thermogenic supplements to boost their energy level, especially before their workouts. Having broached this topic, this is a terrific moment to share some exciting news with our readers.

Athletes concerned with fat-loss have long depended upon BetaStax to gain the ultimate transformational and performance edge in pursuit of their physique goals. Indeed, original BetaStax is the all-time best-selling weight-loss/energy supplement here at ProSource. Now, those long-satisfied BetaStax enthusiasts have a terrific reason to celebrate as a new, more powerful version of BetaStax, upgraded with state-of-the-art thermogenic co-factors for even more phenomenal results, makes its debut.

BetaStax Elite contains the highly synergistic complex of energy factors that made the original version essential to the pre-workout regimens of athletes looking to ramp up their performance potential. At the same time, BetaStax Elite augments that original formula with exciting new support factors, among them a remarkable thermogenic agent particularly rich in chlorogenic acid, a compound that has been shown to provide powerful diet support. This dramatic, amped-up infusion of energy is just what you're looking for when you're cutting back on carbs, and you'll get it from new BetaStax Elite!]


How Fast to Cut Back?
This is a great question, but the answer is not as clearly spelled out by objective research as we would like.  Some people advocate easing into carbohydrate restriction slowly by cutting back by one food category at a time (e.g., first sugars and juices, then refined carbs, then starchy vegetables, etc).  Others take the plunge all at once.  To date, no one has done a study with a large group of subjects to see which strategy yields a higher proportion making an effective transition into nutritional ketosis.  

What we do know is that it takes a couple of weeks to keto-adapt, and you don't accomplish much towards that goal until you are making substantial amounts of ketones.  The other concern with easing into a low carb diet is that once you are eating less than the 150 grams of carb needed to feed your brain with glucose, but still more than the 50 gram threshold below which ketosis is dependably operating, your brain's fuel supply becomes pretty tenuous.  If there's not enough glucose to meet the brain's 600 Calorie daily energy habit, and blood ketones remain below the 0.5 millimolar threshold where they can begin to pitch in, your body's only two options are to burn up protein or binge on carbs.  In my experience, taking the plunge is better.  That does not mean that this transition will be easy, but perhaps easier that trying to slowly slide your metabolism between two distinctly different fueling strategies.     

As to what happens when you are faithfully restricting carbs and then indulge in a high carb meal or a whole weekend of insulin-stimulating carbs, that's a topic for another article.  The take home message here is that restricting carbs needs to be more than a casual endeavor and it needs to be tailored to the individual, rather than following arbitrary guidelines designed to hit the average person, after all no one wants to be average.

Have you ever tried a serious carb-reduced diet for a significant period of time? What were your results with it? Let us know in the comments field below!

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A Targeted Supplemental ApproachTo Honing a Rock-Hard Physique in 2014


It's that time of the year again, when the cold, the reduced sunlight, and our once-again-packed work schedules conspire to undermine our dietary and training schedules. We all know that this is a recipe for some seriously unwanted fat gain, yet most of us inadvertently put on five to ten pounds over the winter.

Unfortunately there are no magic pills on the market that completely circumvent fat gain in the face of over-consumption and reduced exercise. However, there are some supplements and strategies that might help curb your indulgences, motivate you to get into the gym, and keep you looking svelte. So let's highlight some of the key supplements and show you how you can use them to keep your cravings low and your metabolism high over the winter -- all with the goal of making a fat loss resolution unnecessary in January of 2015.

Fat Burners
Any article aimed at circumventing fat gain or increasing fat loss will start with recommendations for fat burners. The most innovative supplements in this category are those that incorporate unique multidimensional formulations that suppress appetite, combat fat gain, and promote lipolysis. Most importantly, their effectiveness should be documented in the form of real science, specifically in the form of validation of fat loss results in reputable clinical trials.  

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BetaStax
BetaStax, the flagship transformational catalyst from BioQuest, has received some of the industry's best reviews in the fat burner category. The key to its success is its no-nonsense, science-backed formulation of key compounds. The most novel ingredient in BetaStax (and the key to its unrivaled effectiveness) is PureWay-Slim, a bioactive matrix of fat loss agents.

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 50 healthy volunteers were randomly assigned to take placebo or 250 mg of PureWay-Slim. Weight, waist and hip circumferences, basic metabolic profiles, blood glucose, and lipoprotein levels were measured at baseline and then at 2 and 4 weeks. It was reported that the consumption of 250 mg of PureWay-Slim (prior to two major meals daily) resulted in significantly greater reductions in body weight and waist and hip circumferences when compared to placebo treatment.

Furthermore, dramatic results were apparent within the first two weeks of supplementation and continued throughout the duration of the study.  The scientists reported that subjects who took PureWaySlim had remarkable elevations in plasma Cholecystokinin (CCK) levels at 60 and 120 minutes post-meal. CCK is a neuropeptide that mediates satiety (the feeling of "fullness" after a meal) by binding to receptors in the brain.

BetaStax also contains a highly bioactive matrix of energy factors that provide a revitalizing rush of energy and motivation ideal for getting you out onto the gym floor physically and mentally prepared for a productive workout. Elite athletes everywhere benefit enormously from the smooth and powerful energy surge BetaStax triggers, while enjoying a reprieve from the jitters and energy crash that accompany standard stimulant products. In this way, BetaStax delivers both dramatic diet support benefits and an amped up infusion of energy to beat the winter blahs.

Zycor
Also from BioQuest comes Zycor, a fat burner that takes on a completely new angle for fat loss. They key ingredient here is Meratrim, which was recently investigated in two randomized and double blinded placebo controlled clinical trials. In these studies, the formula was shown to significantly decrease adipogenesis (fat accumulation) and increase lipolysis (fat burning). More specifically, subjects, who were put on a modest 2000-calorie diet and walked 30 minutes per day, were given either Meratrim or a placebo. After only two weeks, those subjects who received the supplement lost 4.5 lbs -- and after 8 weeks they lost 11.5 pounds. Compared to those who received the placebo, this translated to 2.7-fold greater weight loss at 2 weeks and 3.5-fold greater weight loss at 8 weeks.

As well, those who took Meratrim had a 4.7" reduction in waist and 2.5" reduction in hip circumferences. The main effect of this supplement seems to be due to its unique ability to increase blood adiponectin levels -- suggesting enhanced fat metabolism. As well, those who took Meratrim had significant reductions in blood glucose, triglycerides and cholesterol and LDL/HDL ratio.

BioQuest's R&D team has also added green coffee extract that has been standardized to chlorogenic acids, which have been linked to the modulation of the utilization and/or absorption of consumed carbohydrates, as well as a number of other potent fat-loss and focus-enhancing catalysts. Like BetaStax, Zycor has earned itself a considerable amount of industry praise and consumer loyalty in recent years.

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Non-Thermogenic Fat-Loss
If you're already taking a thermogenic, you may want to consider stacking that diet product with a technology that works via a non-stimulant pathway. Athletes have long valued CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), a versatile and popular body-toning lipid that has been the subject of a significant amount of scientific research focused on its ability to help support repartitioning (reduction of the abdominal area while enhancing muscle tone).

In fact, a study conducted in Sweden reported that CLA supplementation in humans increased fatty acid metabolism and decreased body fat levels with no effect on body weight. Due to the fact that there was fat loss but no change in body weight, it follows that CLA supplementation also increased lean mass in this study. In support, another study that looked at CLA for fat/weight loss and subsequent lean mass gain reported that subjects who took CLA had increased resting metabolic rate, as a result of increased lean mass, as well as decreased body fat. Although there have been a few mechanisms proposed for CLA's effects, recent evidence has shown that these fatty acids can mediate increased insulin release and sensitivity, which helps to regulate blood glucose and muscle growth. In addition, it is postulated that CLA works by blocking enzymes associated with fat storage.

The Tonalin brand of CLA has long been the gold standard in this category, and ProSource Tonalin CLA contains a full 1600 mg per serving of highly potent and pure material standardized for 80% Tonalin CLA, the highest quality available.

Further fat burning support can be provided via raspberry ketone, a powerful antioxidant botanical. Raspberry ketone (4-(4-hydroxyphenyl) butan-2-one) supplementation has been shown to prevent fat accumulation even with diets rich in fats and carbohydrates. This is supported by animal research, which has shown that most of raspberry ketone's weight loss benefits are due to augmented fat metabolism and inhibited small intestine absorption of dietary fat (by suppressing pancreatic lipase activity). ProSource's RaxBeri-K product contains the highest-quality raspberry ketones in a 100mg serving.

A protein supplement for fat loss?
The importance of protein supplementation in the management of body fat cannot be overstated. In fact, research has unequivocally established a dose-response relationship between protein intake, metabolism, and body-weight regulation.

Vectron
For the goal of fat reduction, no other protein supplement has been proven as effective as Vectron by ProSource. Vectron is an innovative product that contains a patented fractionated protein formula called Prolibra. The protein complex in Vectron is formed from partially hydrolyzed whey and is fortified with a state-of-the-art blend of minerals that work synergistically to support lean mass, promote fat loss, and normalize blood glucose.

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These claims are backed by a 12-week clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, where subjects taking Prolibra while undergoing a modest calorie reduced diet retained lean mass while at the same time had 28% greater fat-loss than the control group (with the same diet). Taking Vectron twice daily before meals has been shown to to reduce blood glucose after meals and maintain muscle mass even under conditions of significant fat loss. All in all, Vectron supplementation results in healthy levels of blood sugar, decreased appetite, and decreased fat storage, all the while maintaining muscularity.

Now that we've identified some key players in the winter war on fat gain, let's put them together in a plan of attack, shall we?

The simple 3-step winter fat-loss stack
So, now you may be asking--how do I use these supplements to overcome winter holiday fat gain?

  • STEP 1: Take one dose (1 or 2 capsules) of BetaStax or ZyCor 30 minutes before breakfast and another dose 30 minutes before dinner

  • STEP 2: Mix one scoop of Vectron in 8oz of cold water and drink 20 minutes before breakfast and have another shake 20 minutes before dinner

  • STEP 3: Enjoy a lean muscular physique all winter long

Is your physique ready for the beach in 2014? What's your strategy for staying rock-hard and fit as the summer months approach? Let us know in the comments field below!

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The Facts on Cardio-Related Weight Gain,Plus Strategies For Targeting Fat Loss


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Every gym has that guy. You know the one. Day in, day out, slogging along on the treadmill or the elliptical trainer. Maybe they're even working a little interval pacing in. Fast, then slow. Fast, then slow.

Man, you think, if cardio really helps you burn fat, then that guy should be a cartoon stick figure by now.

But he's not. Every day, he's working it like crazy, his T-shirt soaked with sweat, red in the face. But he always looks the same. In fact, he could be getting fatter.

Usually, these thoughts occur to you when you're doing your own time in purgatory. One of your three-times-a-week 30-minute stints on the treadmill. No, you're not Leisure Time Larry over there, watching CNN while he jogs to nowhere. But you've heard about the "skinny fat" syndrome that afflicts aerobic exercisers. You've heard about cortisol build-up and its connection to fat gain.

And the thought nags at you. Am I wasting my time on this machine?

It's a valid question. Before we address it with the help of some experts, let's set one thing straight. Aerobic exercise is important for overall wellness and cardiovascular health. Nobody wants to be that bodybuilder who gets winded walking up a flight of stairs.

General wellness and cardiovascular health are essential to you as a bodybuilder, even if they're not your primary reasons for being in the gym. You're there to build muscle and attain the kind of physique that makes people go quiet when you enter the room. But fat loss is a part of that, so let's take a closer look at the science of losing fat in the gym.

Fat Loss and Cardio
It stands to reason, if you're expending a great deal of time and effort thumping away on a treadmill, that you should be burning at least some calories stored away as fat. And yet, if you've ever participated in, say, a charity long-distance run, you've seen a lot of people who just don't look that great. Long-distance running is going to burn muscle tissue, that's a given. But a lot of runners also complain about "skinny fat" syndrome, an outcome in which their body mass is very low and yet they still have noticeable excess fat. We asked Todd Bumgardner, co-founder of Beyond Strength Performance and a strength athlete with a Masters of Science in Exercise Science, about this seeming paradox.

"Extended periods of aerobic exercise train the body to be small, fat and slow," Todd says. "Hormones, and the associated physiological mechanisms, respond accordingly. To meet this adaptation, the body gets rid of muscle mass and stores fuel in the form of body fat, rather than storing fuel as glycogen in the muscles and in the liver. Appropriate amounts of high intensity strength training and other forms of anaerobic exercise can help you overcome this, but you really have to manage your cardio intelligently."

Josh Bryant, a world-record-holding powerlifter with a Masters of Science in Exercise Science and several published books on training, agrees. "Excessive aerobics can decrease testosterone production, decrease immune system efficiency, increase cortisol production and put a serious halt to any sort of strength or muscle gains," he says. "All of these outcomes will increase body fat and certainly won't help you progress toward your training goals."

Cortisol and Fat Loss
Josh's point about cortisol comes with some caveats. Cortisol production has been linked in the popular imagination with excess fat gain for some time now, and for a while, there were even a sizeable number of diet products which claimed to modulate cortisol levels to target fat loss. (Many of those discredited products are gone now.) The truth about the connection between cardio exercise, cortisol production, and fat gain is a little more complicated.

Chad Kerksick, a professor of Exercise Science at the University of New Mexico, weighs in on the topic, suggesting, "Like many other things, elevated levels of cortisol are somewhat necessary to encourage the breakdown of things your muscles can use for fuel.  Chronically increased levels, however, which result from high amounts of exercise and less than adequate nutrition is not a good thing and over time can limit recovery and support an overall increase in inflammation throughout the body."

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Todd Bumgardner also sees the issue as a bit of a gray area. "In truth, people should be worried more about spikes in cortisol that come from extraneous life stress than cortisol that comes from exercise," he says. "It's the other stuff that typically gives people heart attacks, increases visceral fat and kills them. Constantly being in "fight or flight" mode and the accompanying increase in stress hormones (such as cortisol) limits insulin sensitivity and promotes the storage of visceral fat. This constant state of sympathetic nervous system arousal is what's truly concerning about cortisol.

When it comes to exercise, however, it depends upon intensity. Low-intensity aerobic exercise is great for decreasing sympathetic nervous system activity and improving the function of the parasympathetic nervous system, the system that reduces the stress response.

High-intensity, prolonged cardiovascular exercise, however, can elicit a strong cortisol response. If this type of exercise is predominant over strength training, and is accompanied by a stressful life, high cortisol levels can lead to insulin resistance that accumulates visceral fat."

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How Much Cardio Is Too Much Cardio?
Here, at last, we arrive at the meat of the matter. If we can all agree that some cardio is necessary, both for overall wellness and as a physique enhancing tool, but too much cardio is counterproductive, then where is the sweet spot? How much time should you be spending on that treadmill, elliptical, or rowing machine? Josh Bryant bring the facts:

"Studies show the ill effects of muscle hypertrophy, anabolic hormonal deficiency and decreases in strength have some commonalities," he says. "What it comes down to is that intense cardiovascular exercise for more than 30 minutes at above 75 percent max heart rate intensity, with a frequency of three times or greater per week, will be counterproductive to strength and muscle gains.  

"The best way to attack this is a couple days a week of low intensity steady state cardio. Brisk walks of 20 to 30 minutes will suffice. Very low intensity cardio like this will actually enhance your ability to recover! This coupled with a two, short, intense interval days will get the job done. If you are taking short rests between sets like circuit training or Peripheral Heart Action training, you can get away with very little extra cardio."

Todd Bumgardner prefers to address the issue by way of body type. "I know this isn't the answer that everyone wants to hear, but it depends. It really depends on somatotype. Ectomorphs, or skinny hard-gainers, should cut cardio completely while trying to gain muscle. They need to use all their calories toward gaining mass.

"Mesomorphs can include some cardio into their mass building programs. These are the guys that can put mass on, or lose it, at will. When envisioning them, think linebacker. These fellows can include some low-intensity, short duration cardio into their mass programming.

"Endomorphs, those that are typically larger and carry more fat mass, can include a bit more cardio than mesomorphs. But if they are concerned with body composition, they'd do well to worry more about diet than cardio exercise.

"Most folks are a combination of two somatotypes rather than a distinct embodiment of a single somatotype. Experimentation, then, becomes the means to finding a balance of cardiovascular and strength training for building mass.

"The best policy, though, is to keep the goal the goal. This is a lesson from renowned strength coach Dan John. If you want to gain mass, cut out everything else and train to gain mass. Lift heavy things and eat the appropriate amount of good calories."

Three Bodybuilding Strategies for Targeting Fat Loss

 Keep It Short and Focused.
Bodybuilders who include cardio training in their mass programs would do best to include a short duration (ten to fifteen minutes) of low-intensity aerobic training directly after their strength training session. Heart rate should be around 120-130 and movement should be continuous. Keep total cardio training time around thirty minutes per week.  This will promote recovery without destroying the caloric surplus necessary for muscular hypertrophy.

 Add a Powerful Fat-Loss Catalyst to Your Regimen.
There are a number of highly effective, physique-enhancing thermogenics out there that will not only help you facilitate fat loss, but they'll also amp up your workout and sharpen your focus and intensity as well. One of the best, Zycor from BioQuest, works simultaneously through a multitude of biochemical pathways to fundamentally "hardwire" your metabolic processes for maximum fat-loss. In fact, its key active ingredient, Meratrim, has been shown to generate significant results in as little as two weeks. In the combined results of two preliminary, randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled studies on Meratrim, Zycor's ultra-potent main ingredient, subjects lost an average of 4.5 lbs in a mere 14 days. Subjects also achieved significant reductions in waist and hip size, which further underscores the fact that this formula is specifically attacking body fat. Try getting that kind of result on a treadmill!  

Pairing your thermogenic with a non-stimulant fat-loss catalyst for synergistic effect can pay dividends, too. ProSource's Green Coffee Bean Extract is rich in chlorogenic acid, a compound that has been shown to modulate blood sugar levels, thereby helping to provide powerful non-stimulant diet support. ProSource's Tonalin CLA, Super 7-Keto, and Ultra-GTX are other non-stimulant options with peerless reputations for supporting fat loss.

When it comes to burning fat while maintaining muscle mass, it pays to consider a cutting-edge protein with body partitioning efficacy as well. Of particular interest in this category is ProSource's unique physique-enhancing protein Vectron. Vectron contains Prolibra, an advanced weight management system clinically proven to help improve the ratio of lean mass to fat. In an independent, randomized, double-blind, 12-week clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, test subjects showed significant improvements in the ratio of lean mass to fat while taking 24.4 grams of Prolibra per day compared to a control group taking an isocaloric placebo. The subjects taking Prolibra retained twice as much lean muscle with 79% fat-loss compared to the control group at 51% fat loss. No other protein complex has been clinically proven to achieve this type of body composition improvement in a 12-week period. The Prolibra group also lost 6.1% fat. Again, you'd have to spend a lot of time on an elliptical to get that result!


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 Vary Your Attack.
Doing the same things in the same way every day is not going to get the job done. When it comes to cardio, changing things up will not only keep your body from adapting to the routine and conserving fat. It will also help you retain your sanity.

You really don't even have to run. Walking, rowing, bicycling, anything that gets your heart rate up will do the job. Recently, we here at ProSource were talking to Mark Wahlberg, an actor with one of the most well-recognized, ultra-ripped physiques in Hollywood. Mark doesn't run at all. "I don't like to run," Mark told us. "Running, treadmills, that stuff, I don't do much if I can avoid it. I play a lot of basketball. I do some boxing, rope skipping. That's how I stay lean. That's what works for me."

If it works for Mark Wahlberg, it'll work for you.

How much cardio do you do in a typical training week? Do you find it to be an effective fat-loss tool? Let us know in the comment field below!

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