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Can Green Coffee Bean HelpYou Shed Those Extra Pounds?

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If you're looking to lose unwanted extra fat, good news may be arriving in the shape of the humble green coffee bean.

Green coffee extract is obtained from ripe coffee beans before they undergo the roasting process. Research continues to point to major health effects of both green coffee extract and its major phenolic compound chlorogenic acid. As is the case with many plant extracts, experimental support is often generated first in animal experiments and then progresses to human studies if results are promising. In the case of green coffee extract, studies in mice first revealed that green coffee extract reduced body weight and body fat, primarily by decreasing absorption of fat as well as increasing fat metabolizing enzymes.

Clinical Studies Show Promising Weight-Loss Results
The mice studies led to several human studies that were recently summarized in a meta-analysis review. The results of this analysis in a total of 162 individuals indicated that compared to a placebo group, the average weight loss was 5 and half pounds greater with use of green tea extract at a daily dose of 200 mg/day.

An even more recent study not included in the meta-analysis provides further evidence in support of an effect on weight loss. Overweight men and women were supplemented with placebo, low dose (700 mg/day), and high dose (1050 mg/day) green coffee extract. Each subject received all three treatments for 6 weeks with a two week washout in between for a total duration of 22 weeks. Subjects gained 0.7 pounds during placebo, but lost 3.4 pounds of body weight during low dose, and 4.5 pounds during high dose green coffee extract treatment. No significant side effects were reported in this study, or in any of the other human trials.

The Key Active Ingredient
Looking a little deeper, the effects of green coffee extract appear to be due largely to the presence of chlorogenic acid, and possibly other polyphenolic compounds. Chlorogenic acid is known to activate a spectrum of antioxidant genes that protect against oxidative stress. Coffee enriched with chlorogenic acid results in a significant decrease in blood pressure and has even been shown to produce decreases in glucose absorption in humans. This latter effect may be due to inhibition of carbohydrate digesting enzymes in the gut. Chlorogenic acid is metabolized to ferulic acid in the liver. Ferulic acid has been shown in independent studies to be an effective treatment for high blood pressure. Ferulic acid also potentiates the action of nitric oxide and improves dilation of blood vessels.

Recent studies have tested whether green coffee extract raises levels of chlorogenic and ferulic acid in people. French researchers studied the pharmacokinetic profile after ingestion of green coffee extract in healthy men and women. Subjects consumed 2 capsules (400 mg) of decaffeinated green coffee extract containing 170 mg of chlorogenic acids. Blood samples were measured sequentially for 8 hours and urine samples collected to estimate bioavailabilty of various compounds in green coffee extract. The total bioavailability varied from person to person from as little as 7.8% to as high as 72% with an average of 33%. Several different chlorogenic acids were detected in blood after ingestion including caffeoylquinic, ferulic, caffeic, and isoferulic acids. The significant increase in ferulic acid is interesting because it has been shown to stimulate nitric oxide bioavailability and have a positive effect on vascular dilation and blood pressure. Thus the major compounds in green coffee extract are highly absorbed and metabolized in humans.

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Effective Chlorogenic Acid Supplementation
Chlorogenic acid is naturally present in coffee, but the amount is significantly reduced as part of the roasting process. Nonetheless studies are continually being published demonstrating positive associations between moderate coffee consumption and key health indicators. This may be due to the naturally present chlorogenic acid and/or other bioactive nutrients in coffee.

A more effective method of raising blood levels of chlorogenic acid is to consume capsules of green coffee extract. As is the case with any compound or supplement, the degree of quality offered by manufacturers ranges from poor to premium. ProSource's Green Coffee Bean Extract contains 400mg per dose of green coffee extract with an ultra-potent, standardized dose of 50% chlorogenic acids. The exact dose to maximize health effects likely depends on absorption, which varies considerably from person to person. General recommendations are to consume 400 mg of green coffee extract (at least 45% chlorogenic acid) two to three times per day.

Green coffee bean extract makes an excellent non-stimulant weight-loss option, perfect in synergy with a stimulant thermogenic or on its own for those who are sensitive to stimulants.

Are you trying to lose weight? How much would you like to lose? Have you tried a new supplement that has been helpful? Let us know in the comments field below!

Mubarak A, Bondonno CP, Liu AH, Considine MJ, Rich L, Mas E, Croft KD, Hodgson JM. Acute effects of chlorogenic acid on nitric oxide status, endothelial function, and blood pressure in healthy volunteers: a randomized trial. J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Sep 12;60(36):9130-6.

Shimoda, H., Seki, E. & Aitani, M. Inhibitory effect of green coffee bean extract on fat accumulation and body weight gain in mice. BMC Complement Altern Med. (2006); 6:9.

Vinson JA, 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.

Onakpoya I, Terry R, Ernst E. The use of green coffee extract as a weight loss supplement: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised clinical trials. Gastroenterol Res Pract. 2011.

E. Thom, “The effect of chlorogenic acid enriched coffee on glucose absorption in healthy volunteers and its effect on body mass when used long-term in overweight and obese people, Journal of International Medical Research, vol. 35, no. 6, pp. 900–908, 2007.

O. Dellalibera, B. Lemaire, and S. Lafay, “Svetol_, green coffee extract, induces weight loss and increases the lean to fat mass ratio in volunteers with overweight problem,” Phytotherapie, vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 194–197, 2006.

Farah A, Monteiro M, Donangelo CM, Lafay S. Chlorogenic Acids from Green Coffee Extract are Highly Bioavailable in Humans. J Nutr. 2008 Dec;138(12):2309-2315.

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Want to Rip Up?Ramp Up Your Protein Intake

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Here's some good news for people who want to lose some weight, put on some muscle and generally look and feel better. Research tells us that the best strategy to accomplish these goals is to combine some form of diet with a regular exercise program. Debates ensue over how much of what type of exercise, but at the end of the day you need to consistently follow an exercise program each week. Along with this tenet comes the understanding that you must be working at a pace that is challenging. Dare we even recommend, the exercise intensity you follow should make it feel difficult (don't do so without checking with your physician first). In other words, just because you are at the gym for two hours, does not mean you will accomplish your goals.

On the diet side, restricting your energy or calorie intake is a must. You can't get around it and there are very few tricks or secrets, as even crazy diets like the Lemonade diet or Peanut Butter diet are based upon the premise of restricting your energy intake. But there is a catch. Restricting your calories to a significant degree can wreak havoc on your muscle mass and eventually negatively impact your metabolic rate as well as your ability to recover from the stress of the exercise program you are following.

The Dietary Implications of Muscle Loss
Research studies routinely indicate that 25% or more of the total weight loss during some form of energy restriction comes from muscle mass (Weinheimer, Sands et al. 2010). As highlighted above, this loss of muscle has been shown to negatively impact further weight loss (you plateau with your weight loss) and can compromise your efforts to maintain your weight after you stop following the diet regimen.

Much attention and focus has been directed towards the difficulty this creates for an obese person trying to lose some weight, but the problems which result from restricting calories and losing muscle while you are following this kind of program are equally concerning for an active, exercising person such as an athlete or bodybuilder. Not only will losing muscle as a result of restricting your energy intake leave you tired, but the inevitable loss of muscle will limit the gains you make as a result of training and can decrease performance and increase susceptibility to injury (Johnson, Friedl et al. 1994; Tharion, Lieberman et al. 2005; Artioli, Gualano et al. 2010). Call this an unhappy triad of outcomes due to energy restriction for performance-minded folks.

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Protein to the Rescue
The RDA for protein intake is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass each day and several studies indicate that higher intakes of protein can be helpful to limit the loss of fat-free mass. But researchers, nutritionists, dietitians and health care practitioners all debate over how much protein is needed. For starters, many research studies have reported that nearly doubling the RDA for protein intake at a dose of 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass per day was effective at limiting the loss of muscle while dieting. For a man weighing 170 – 200 pounds, this equates to 116 – 137 grams of protein each day. If you break that up across four to five meals each day, each meal should contain somewhere around 25 - 32 grams of protein. This dose is practical as well as it equates to approximately three eggs, one scoop of a high-quality whey protein isolate like ProSource's NytroWhey Ultra Elite, one scoop of ProSource's Vectron with added leucine, or a 4 oz. piece of lean chicken, pork, or beef.

While we're on the subject of protein supplements, it should be noted that not all protein sources are created equal. 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. That's an ambitious claim, so I'll let the science speak for itself. 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.

NytroWhey Ultra Elite, with it's advanced Ultra Anabolic Protein Matrix composed of a premium-grade CFM whey isolate, as well as a rapid-action whey protein isolate, would also be a good choice for increasing your protein intake. NytroWhey Ultra Elite contains a unique leucine-bound leucine peptide complex (LBLP) designed to switch on anabolism when ingested. NytroWhey Ultra Elite boasts up to 4 times the leucine content of other premium whey protein products.

A Landmark Study Points the Way to
Emphasizing fat Loss Over Muscle Loss

Thus, it seems that diets with a higher protein intake do seem to do a better job of minimizing muscle loss while also stimulating just as much weight loss as other diet groups. Less information, however, is available to tell us more about how our muscle tissue responds to a situation where energy intake is restricted but more protein is delivered in the diet. A recent study published in FASEB Journal (The Official Publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology) sought to determine some of these changes and they used 39 healthy military professionals as participants in their study (Pasiakos, Cao et al. 2013).

The study itself lasted around four weeks and the first seven days were considered a weight maintenance period. During the remaining 21 days, all participants were assigned to consumed a diet that provided the same amount of protein required by the RDA (0.8 grams per kg body mass), another group ingested two times the RDA (1.6 grams per kg body mass) and a third and final group ingested three times the RDA (2.4 grams per kg body mass). With their protein intake controlled at different levels, all participants were required to ingest approximately 30% less calories than their estimated daily needs. In other words, active, healthy, military personnel followed diet that restricted their calorie needs by 30% and ingested either 1x, 2x or 3x the RDA for protein intake.

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In addition, all participants further increased their energy deficit by 10% through an increase in the exercise they completed, which means through a combination of diet and exercise they created a 40% deficit in their daily energy needs. As a result, all participants lost weight, approximately 7 pounds during the three week diet and exercise period. The most interesting aspect of the study, however, was not that they lost weight, but rather that the groups who ingested two or three times the RDA for protein lost significantly more fat and less muscle. These changes led to much greater improvements in their overall body composition.

To compare the weight loss results side by side you can see that when greater protein was ingested, more fat and less muscle was lost as a result of dieting, exercise and energy restriction. Remember all groups lost around seven pounds, but the following changes happened (Pasiakos, Cao et al. 2013):

  • 1x RDA: 58% of the weight lost was from fat-free mass, 42% from fat
  • 2x RDA: 30% of the weight lost was from fat-free mass, 70% from fat
  • 3x RDA: 36% of the weight lost was from fat-free mass, 64% from fat

A few additional points should be made. For starters, the amount of fat lost was NOT different between the 2x and 3x the RDA groups, but they BOTH lost significantly greater fat when compared to 1x RDA. Put another way, elevated protein intake to 2x the RDA appears to be important, but little to no additional improvements are seen when protein intake is further increased to 3x the RDA.

Protein is Your Dietary Best Friend When It Comes to Losing Fat and Supporting Muscle
The walk-away message from this is important. First, losing fat without losing muscle is very difficult. To lose weight, energy must be restricted from the body, but these losses oftentimes consist of a combination of both fat and muscle tissue. Second, increasing protein intake to a level where it doubles the RDA appears to be the most effective at stimulating losses of both fat and muscle. Certainly, food should be at the center of these dietary changes, but adding high-quality protein supplements like NytroWhey Ultra Elite and Vectron to deliver added amounts of leucine can work as well.


Artioli, G. G., B. Gualano, et al. (2010). "Prevalence, magnitude, and methods of rapid weight loss among judo competitors." Med Sci Sports Exerc 42(3): 436-442.
Johnson, M. J., K. E. Friedl, et al. (1994). "Loss of muscle mass is poorly reflected in grip strength performance in healthy young men." Med Sci Sports Exerc 26(2): 235-240.
Pasiakos, S. M., J. J. Cao, et al. (2013). "Effects of high-protein diets on fat-free mass and muscle protein synthesis following weight loss: a randomized controlled trial." FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.
Tharion, W. J., H. R. Lieberman, et al. (2005). "Energy requirements of military personnel." Appetite 44(1): 47-65.
Weinheimer, E. M., L. P. Sands, et al. (2010). "A systematic review of the separate and combined effects of energy restriction and exercise on fat-free mass in middle-aged and older adults: implications for sarcopenic obesity." Nutr Rev 68(7): 375-388.

What's the worst physical impact you experience when dieting? Lack of energy? Decreased focus and attention span? Inability to convert workout efforts into muscle gain? Something else? Let us know in the comments section!


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So Close and Yet So Far: Here'sHow to Re-Ignite Your Metabolism

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It wasn't supposed to be like this. When you first embarked on your fat-loss quest, you figured starting would be the most difficult part. Instead, you probably discovered the dirty little secret of the weight-loss game: At the beginning, it's easy. Change your diet and get serious about exercising regularly, and fat melts away, kinda like the butter on those toasty hot dinner rolls you now pass on at the restaurant. Depending on how much excess weight you need to shed, you can drop 10 to 15 pounds in mere weeks.

But after a few months with all systems clicking -- never missing workouts, eating clean, supplementing like a champ -- all that progress tends to stop cold in one big, fat, frustrating sticking point.

Blame it on genetics. More specifically, your metabolism. That's because, when you lose 10 percent of your total bodyweight, it tends to . . . well, get a little scared. Your inner caveman wonders if you're slowly starving to death.

To protect you from that untimely fate, your metabolism slows to a crawl, trying to save those last bastions of energy stored all over your frame. In other words, you start hoarding body fat, and seemingly no amount of further exercise and dieting can budge the scale further downward.

Once you've reached this point, it's time to reassess the situation. You need to determine whether you need to manipulate your diet, your training, or both, to appease your metabolism and coax it back into fat-burning mode. Here are 5 ways -- two training related, three diet focused -- to do just that.

Increase your cardio intensity to
burn more calories in less time.

When your workouts are done, are you sweaty? No, we mean it -- are you dripping, going back to the towel rack for seconds, and dreaming of a shower as soon as you step out of the cardio room?

Real aerobic training doesn't involve watching television, or reading magazines, or daydreaming through a workout. Think about it: You wouldn't be leisurely flipping through a Sports Illustrated while doing a set of squats. So why would you dial down the intensity and expect maximum results out of your cardio session?

From here on out, crank up the workload. Set some tough goals to go further and faster on the treadmill or rower or stair climber, whatever it may be, every time out. Ditch the long, slow, plodding runs and try interval training, which mixes bursts of all-out sprints with short recovery-speed exercise. For instance, over the course of 25 minutes on the elliptical, do 30 seconds of pedal-to-the-metal sprints rotated with 30 seconds of a steady (but not slow) "jog speed."

Tabata training may be in order too. In a study headed up by Michele Olson, Ph.D., principal researcher at the Auburn University at Montgomery Kinesiology Laboratory, subjects doing Tabata-style interval training -- specifically squat jumps for 20 seconds, followed by a 10-second break for 10 total rounds — burned 13.5 calories a minute, a torrid pace. In the research, presented this past May at the American College of Sports Medicine 60th Annual Conference, Tabata was shown to double the participants' metabolic rate for up to 30 minutes after the workout was complete.

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Find a more advanced workout
partner to hit the gym with.

"It's not you, it's me." Yes, it may be time to practice your break-up lines, because you might just need to say adios to your current training partner. It's not his fault -- in fact, he may be at the same exact fitness and strength levels as you. But that's the problem.

To make progress, you need to be challenged. You need to learn new things. And to do that, you need a role model, someone who's been in the iron trenches for longer, and has picked up lots of useful knowledge along the way.

And it's not simply intuition that can tell you this, it's research. One study published in The Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology followed eight women who regularly watched videos of computer-generated models. Strange enough, we know, but here's the thing: Those virtual people demonstrated good weight-loss habits, including shopping for lower-calorie foods, making smart portion-control choices when eating, and exercising.

After four weeks, the women admitted their virtual "role model" had helped them change behaviors, and the group averaged a four-pound weight loss in that timeframe. If that's what a computer-generated model can do, imagine what a real-life flesh-and-blood fitness fanatic can inspire?

Cut the carbs after 7 p.m.
A calorie is a calorie, right? Well, yes and no. Certainly, a gram of carbohydrate or protein provides four calories, and one fat gram is nine calories no matter when you ingest it. But it's what your body is more apt to do with that calorie when it takes it in that makes a huge difference in your results.

The premise is simple: When you eat in the a.m., you have all day to burn those calories off. You want to tilt your food intake more toward the front end of your day, never skipping breakfast -- since you want to "break the fast" you've put your body through overnight, and stop it from burning valuable muscle tissue for fuel -- and eating less as you approach bedtime, when activity comes to a halt.

A good rule of thumb for serious dieters is to cut out carbs altogether three hours before bedtime, provided you're not weight-training during that span, and finish up the night with a 20-plus-gram high-quality casein protein shake as you hit the hay. A super-premium micellar casein like BioQuest's Ultimate Casein contains a superior amino acid profile with added BCAAs and will set the stage for a powerful anti-catabolic, muscle support. That's added muscle tissue to turn that stubborn fat into fuel.

Portion control is key too, of course. Keep your meals small and frequent -- like every three hours frequent -- and you'll keep your metabolism elevated throughout your waking hours, versus eating two to three huge meals interspersed with periods of fasting, which sends your metabolic rate on a white-knuckle ride of spikes and valleys.

Spice up your menu.
If you're choking down bland, low-calorie fare, thinking you have to suffer at mealtime to reap the rewards of a leaner physique, this news is for you. According to research presented at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting and Food Expo in July, spices not only improve your dining experience, it might actually help you love your low-fat meals more than the full-fat versions of old.

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Here's the scoop: In the University of Colorado study, 150 people were fed three versions of a meatloaf and vegetable dish — standard full-fat, reduced fat, and reduced fat flavored with herbs and spices. The result? Subjects rated the spicy low-fat dish as the most delicious of the three.

The benefits of switching out fat for spices is obvious, but spicy cooking has another bonus: Spices like cayenne pepper, garlic, cinnamon and turmeric have been shown to have fat-fighting properties too.

Supplement your way to success.
If you're weight training, doing cardio and eating a clean diet, well-designed supplements can give you an incredible edge. Think of it like a nitric oxide boost in a street racer. The car may have plenty of power under the hood, but flip the switch and "bam!" -- it's hurtling toward the finish line as if it suddenly found an extra gear.

If your progress is plateaued and you're not taking supps, you'll want to add some to your daily regimen. If you have been taking some, it may be a smart time to switch it up.

As for which, you'll want a protein powder, preworkout booster, a wide-spectrum, premium multivitamin, a quality fish oil, and a thermogenic formula. And two very popular products at right now could be just the secret weapons you need.

The first is BioQuest's Zycor, which hardwires your body's metabolic processes to maximize your fat loss while providing a high-intensity energy surge. It accomplishes this feat by working simultaneously through numerous biochemical pathways, thanks to the thermodynamic compound at the heart of Zycor, called Meratrim.

Two preliminary, randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical studies revealed the benefits of Meratrim. Presented during the 29th Annual Scientific Obesity Meeting in Orlando, Florida, the two eight-week studies showed subjects lost an average of 4.5 pounds in just 14 days, and went on to lose an average of 11.5 pounds over the two months. In a sign Zycor attacks body fat, those taking Meratrim saw a 4.7-inch waist circumference reduction over the course of the studies.

ProSource's Vectron, meanwhile, is a protein powder scientifically engineered to preserve lean muscle during weight-loss programs. Its core ingredient is an elite fractionated protein complex called Prolibra, a specialized bioactive peptide matrix along with a special whey mineral complex designed to precisely target essential mechanisms of body transformation.

Like Zycor, the research on Vectron makes a powerful statement to its effectiveness. In an independent, randomized, double-blind, 12-week clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, subjects taking 24.4 grams per day of Prolibra retained twice as much lean muscle while seeing fat loss of 79 percent compared to the 51 percent loss among the control group. No other protein complex has ever been clinically shown to achieve this type of body composition improvement in a 12-week period.

If you're on your own quest to drop those last 10 pounds, and you decide to give Zycor and Vectron a try, let us know your results! Post your experience (and photos too) at our Facebook page,

How close are you to your goal weight? What are you doing to get there? Let us know in the comment field below!

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Stay Lean, Hard, and Amped All SummerLong With These Crucial Compounds

We're already deep into summer, once again. It's time to reveal more skin in the summer heat and show off how hard you've trained year-round. Your dedication and determination in the gym along with your diligent meal-planning are key to achieving a perfectly toned physique. Thanks to breakthrough science and research, however, there are dietary supplements that can help you achieve weight loss faster for summertime and continue to keep it off in the winter months. The following supplements made the list of essential ingredients and proprietary blends that will complement your summer workouts and weight-loss goals.

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Coleus forskohlii is a plant native to India with a long history of medicinal use since ancient times. Coleus forskohlii acts directly on a specific enzyme that activates cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), a compound in the body which promotes the breakdown of fat (specifically from adipose tissue) for energy utilization. The activation of cAMP induces a thermogenic response to food with a simultaneous increase in metabolism. Research has shown that twelve weeks of forskolin (the bioactive component of coleus forskohlii) intake provided favorable effects on the body composition of men, while women taking forskolin have also exhibited positive effects, with regard to weight regain. There is evidence to suggest Coleus forskohlii provides weight loss without sacrificing the integrity of lean muscle mass, making it an ideal supplement to shed fat and promote the ultimate summer physique. When shopping for Coleus forskohlii, make sure you search out the gold standard for this compound, ForsLean, as found in ProSource's Forslean Coleus Forskohlii.

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New BetaStax Elite has proven to be a runaway sales sensation here at ProSource, as customers new and long-established have embraced this reinvention of the perennial category leader. BetaStax Elite's powerful new ingredient is an advanced botanical compound that has been shown in studies to help elevate metabolism by helping to reduce the effects of glucose among other key diet support benefits to ultimately help deliver significant reductions in excessive weight. BetaStax Elite also contains the technology that revolutionized the diet-support category, in the form of an exclusive PureWay-Slim mechanism that delivers clinically validated and significant reductions in body weight, waist and hip circumferences in as little as two weeks. In fact, in a comparison of clinical studies, BetaStax' PureWay-Slim  blend achieved more weight-loss in two weeks than other leading weight-loss compounds achieved in eight weeks. Little wonder then, that this new higher potency "amplified" version of BetaStax has emerged as summer's "secret weapon" for physique transformation. New BetaStax Elite represents the most complete and comprehensive, multi-pathway offensive ever launched against excess body fat.

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Green coffee bean (coffea canephora robusta) has received recent attention in the media and with good reason. The name of this coffee fruit bean simply refers to its raw state. The caffeine in green coffee bean provides a number of health benefits, including a thermogenic response that increases metabolism and fat breakdown, translating to weight-loss support and weight maintenance. The weight-loss promotion of coffee, however, may be further attributed by chlorogenic acid. Due to the raw state of green coffee beans, its chlorogenic acid content is much higher than that of roasted coffee. The chlorogenic acid of green coffee beans also have a higher bioavailability, meaning it's absorbed and used more efficiently in the human body. Research has shown that chlorogenic acid may support weight-loss, promote fat use for energy, modulate hormones related to obesity and aid in glucose metabolism. Green coffee bean extract is also a potent antioxidant, making it a unique weight-loss supplement that may combat oxidative stress, optimizing your body's immune defenses. ProSource's Green Coffee Bean Extract contains an ultra-potent, standardized dose of 50% chlorogenic acids (200 mg).

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Razor Ripped by BioQuest is your optimal, quick-fix solution for shedding excess water retention for those last-minute pool party invites. Razor Ripped contains all-natural ingredients that eliminate extra water weight in just three days or less while boosting energy levels and metabolism. Research has shown the natural diuretic effects of the dandelion in Razor Ripped, while green tea, a potent thermogenic and antioxidant, has a long history of use, dating back generations in China and other Asian countries, as a diuretic. The green tea extract in Razor Ripped works synergistically with caffeine to further promote weight loss (in the form of fat) while further promoting diuresis. Razor Ripped contains additional, natural diuretic sources like vitamin B6, magnesium, uva ursi, parsley powder, and celery seed powder to enhance the diuresis of key ingredients, dandelion, caffeine and green tea extract. Whether you're stepping out on the stage or making it a beach day, Razor Ripped can ensure water retention does not get in the way of showing off the details of your musculature and ripped physique.
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Raspberry Ketone is a major, phenolic compound of red raspberry (Rubus idaeus) with a structure similar to other popular thermogenic compounds, synephrine and capsaicin. Research has demonstrated the ability of raspberry ketone to increase the breakdown of fat from adipose tissue for energy. Therefore, raspberry ketone intake may reduce body weight by decreasing fat stores, allowing your muscles and figure to shine brightly. Raspberry ketone separates itself from other thermogenics by also improving antioxidant capacity. Optimizing your body's antioxidant defenses is ideal for those long, active summer days and exposure to sun. ProSource's Razberi-K supplement contains only the highest-quality Raspberry Ketones in a 100 mg serving.

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Green tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages and has been well-examined in scientific literature. Renowned for its many health benefits, the popularity of green tea dates back to the times of ancient China. One of the primary components of green tea is epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a polyphenol with powerful thermogenic properties that increases caloric expenditure and the use of fat for energy. An abundance of research exemplifies the ability of EGCG to optimize health profiles. Long-term consumption of green tea and green tea extract, individually, has shown to have a positive effect on body weight and enhance body composition. Green tea also provides a significant antioxidant benefit. The antioxidant capacity of green tea is particularly important with regard to combating oxidative stress that can result in increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in adipose tissue. Centuries of green tea consumption for better health are now backed by an abundance of clinical research studies. Prosource's Ultra-GTX has long been an industry standard bearer in this important weight-loss category. Include green tea extract in your regular supplement regimen and open a new front in the battle against excess fat.

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Tonalin CLA is the highest-quality form of conjugated linoleic acid. Tonalin CLA is a staple supplement for those looking to lose weight and keep it off in the long run. Conjugated linoleic acid is a natural component of fats that are commonly consumed in our daily diets (found in meat and dairy products). CLA intake has exhibited a number of health benefits in scientific literature, including positive effects on heart health, the immune system and protection against cancer. Perhaps its most noteworthy benefit in the supplement industry is its effects on body composition. Studies have shown that the long-term consumption of CLA (within the dose range of 3.2 grams per day) elicits substantial body fat reduction in human subjects. CLA intake may also stave off the potential for weight gain among individuals who are susceptible to packing on the pounds in the off-season/winter. Tonalin CLA is a must-have in your supplement regimen to have a summer body year-round.

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ZMA (Zinc magnesium aspartate) is the ultimate complement to maintaining the beach body you've worked so hard for. ZMA is a formulation that contains zinc monomethionine aspartate, magnesium aspartate and vitamin B6. Zinc is an essential trace element that is required for biochemical processes. Zinc promotes healthy increases in testosterone levels, a hormone that is vital for lean muscle mass and good quality sleep. Magnesium is an element involved in cellular reactions (i.e. energy metabolism). Magnesium has demonstrated anti-catabolic effects, protecting the integrity of lean muscle mass and strength gains, by decreasing cortisol levels during exercise. Zinc and magnesium deficiencies are common among athletes and physically active people and may hinder immune defenses, performance measures and training adaptations (i.e. strength, muscle mass). Supporting research has shown ZMA supplementation to significantly promote anabolic hormones, testosterone and IGF-1, with increases in muscle strength among football players. Additional research has shown 8-weeks of daily ZMA (30 mg) intake to reduce markers of catabolism when undergoing a weight training program. By promoting good quality of sleep, recovery from workouts and an overall anabolic environment in your body, ZMA will ensure your physique reflects the hours of training you put in. As we've said, many times here at ProSource, when buying a ZMA supplement, always look for SNAC Systems ZMA, the industry gold standard, as found in ProSource ZMA.

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Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA)
are the three key essential amino acids of protein (leucine, isoleucine and valine). BCAA consumption provides an array of benefits for avid-exercisers, including: promotion of muscle mass gains and strength, reduction of muscle damage incurred from exercise (speeding up recovery from workouts and lessening soreness), immune system protection and endurance performance enhancement. Achieving a summer body means training hard in the gym without letting your hard work go to waste. Resistance training induces a dramatic increase in the activation of p70S6 kinase, a significant signaling pathway responsible for muscle protein synthesis (the building of muscle tissue). When BCAAs are consumed during a weightlifting session, the activation of p70S6 kinase increases even further, optimizing the hypertrophic effects you work hard for in the gym. Research has demonstrated the effects of BCAA intake (before, during and after exercise) to decrease exercise-induced muscle damage while promoting muscle protein synthesis. BCAAs are also beneficial as a readily available source of energy, with research demonstrating their ability to prolong moderate exercise performance in the heat for both men and women. The leucine component of BCAAs functions to promote anabolism while maintaining stable blood sugar levels and energy expenditure when training under a low-carb regimen and/or caloric restriction. BCAAs are an essential asset to everyone's nutrient-timing, providing valuable benefits on exercise performance while optimizing your personal aesthetics. BCAAs provided in a 2-1-1 leucine/isoleucine/valine ratio, in clinically indicated dosages (as found in ProSource's Mega BCAA) are your best bet.

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Is your energy lagging? Beta Alanine will give you the performance boost you need. Beta Alanine is a non-essential amino acid responsible for carnosine synthesis in muscle cells. Carnosine is a dipeptide amino acid, consisting of histidine and beta-alanine, found primarily in type II fast-twitch muscle fibers. Type II fibers are known for efficiently undertaking high intensity/short duration tasks (i.e. sprinting, weightlifting) and, subsequently, experience immense drops in pH from lactic acid accumulation as a result of sustaining these activities. Research has shown beta-alanine supplementation to significantly increase carnosine stores, which results in lactic acid buffering, allowing you to work out at higher intensities for a longer period of time. This means extra sprinting time or extra reps in the weight room. Research has also demonstrated significant gains in strength and muscle mass with decreases in body fat resultant of beta-alanine intake. In the end, enhancing your workouts with beta-alanine translates to favorable effects on body composition. When the days get long and the nights even longer, you need to support endurance with a top-quality product like ProSource's Beta Alanine.

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A Science-Based Approach forGetting Lean and Staying Lean

Summer is around the corner, and what better time to be serious about getting lean.  Regardless of where you are starting, if you start now you could be 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. 
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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.  

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
NytroWhey Ultra Elite is specifically designed to achieve maximal delivery of amino acids to muscle to ensure a positive protein balance.  Its state-of-the-art hydrolyzed whey is particularly rich in branched chain amino acids, making it a unique anabolic delivery system.  In addition, its advanced leucine-bound leucine peptide (LBLP) content is optimized for enhanced bioavailability. NytroWhey Ultra Elite contains up to 4 times the leucine content of other premium whey protein products, which is important because leucine is primarily involved in "switching on" anabolism when it is injested. Taken before and after exercise NytroWhey Ultra Elite will ensure the muscle is primed to grow.  

[Editor's Note: While we're on the subject of advanced proteins, ProSource offers a unique and highly efficacious leaning-out stack that has become an indispensable element in the supplemental regimen of both competitive bodybuilders and people looking to achieve their summer hard body. The ProSource Ultra Ripped Stack offers a comprehensive, multifaceted attack on excess body fat that involving fat loss, appetite control, diuretics, and proper protein supplementation. It starts with ProSource's Vectron, the first clinically validated fat-loss protein, 
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which contains a unique proprietary bioactive peptide matrix, plus whey mineral complex called Prolibra that was shown in a 12-week clinical trial to help provide significant improvements in the ratio of lean to fat mass. Vectron is unique to the protein category in its capacity for helping you decrease excess fat, while maintaining muscle mass.

The Ultra Ripped Stack then adds the advanced fat-loss catalyst Zycor, which provides both clinically validated weight-loss power and premium-grade energy factors for productive workouts. Finally, for when you're ready to hit the beach, the Ultra Ripped Stack provides BioQuest's Razor Ripped, a cutting-edge formula containing key electrolytes, vitamins and a compendium of powerful botanical agents designed to support water-weight loss from your body faster than any other product of its kind. These three supplements, in tandem, provide a remarkable synergy of physique-ripping power.]

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 Flax Fusion is another great source 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.

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

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

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

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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Diet, Exercise, Supplementation andRest, All Working in Perfect Synergy

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You have to know what perfection looks like if you are going to shoot for it. Visualization is a key practice for success, but visualizing your head on the body of pro builders will only get you so far - execution is essential. Most people wake up and go through their days without any idea if what they are doing is right, wrong, or what optimal even is. Start visualizing yourself executing your perfect muscle building day. I always talk with clients about picturing and imagining the perfect day. While the perfect day doesn't happen every day, you can always strive for it. Here's what a perfect muscle building day looks like, including a sample diet plan of 3500 calories.

7:00am: Wake Up

8:00-8:30am: Breakfast
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 3 slices turkey bacon
Supplements: Multi-vitamin, 2000 IU Vitamin D, 2-3 grams EPA/DHA, 2 grams Beta-alanine, 600mg Resveratrol, 2 capsules AndroCept

Notes: The multivitamin will help you cover all your nutritional bases that your diet might be missing. Supplemental vitamin D helps to ensure that your vitamin D levels are within the normal range as low vitamin D has been associated with low testosterone. The fish oil helps with muscle growth and fighting the excessive inflammation created due to intense training. Beta-alanine is one of the building blocks of carnosine, a powerful pH buffer in your muscles. The beta-alanine dose is separated throughout the day to minimize the tingling side effects that many people feel after they take it. Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant that is famous for its potential anti-aging effects but it can also help with blood sugar control. AndroCept contains L-Carnitine/L-Tartrate which has been shown to increase androgen receptors on your muscle cells as well as decrease micromuscular damage associated with intense training.
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10:00-11:30am: Back and Biceps
Pre-Workout Nutrition (30 minutes pre): 10 grams BCAAs, 2 grams Beta-alanine, 6 grams citrillune malate,

Notes: The BCAAs will increase protein synthesis while training. They also provide an alternative fuel source for your working muscles. Beta-alanine and citrulline malate are your two fatigue blockers working to increase blood flow to your muscles (citrulline via its conversion to arginine), buffer decreases in pH (beta-alanine), and drive the clearance of ammonia (citrulline) so that you can squeeze out as many extra reps as possible.
A1) Snatch Grip Rack Pull (bar at knees): 4 x 6

A2) Lat Pull Downs (use lifting straps): 4 x 6
B1) Supinated Grip Inverted Row: 4 x 6 (1 second squeeze at top)

B2) Prone Trap Raise: 3 x 10-12
C1) Straight Bar Curls: 4 x 6
D1) Zottman Curls: 3 x 12

D2) Alternating Seated Incline Curls: 3 x 12 each
*90 sec rest between A1) and A2), 45 sec rest all other complexes

During/Post-Workout Nutrition: 4 Scoops MyoZene

Notes: BioQuest's MyoZene is a highly insulinogenic post workout supplement that contains a blend of sugars which research shows increases your body's ability to burn them as fuel while you train. It also contains hydrolyzed whey and additional amino acids. This give you readily absorbable available amino acids that will be driven into your muscles to fuel their needs and maximize protein synthesis. The addition of creatine to MyoZene is strategic because this is your most insulinogenic 'meal' of the day. Insulin increases creatine transport into your muscles. By adding creatine (or using a product like MyoZene that already contains creatine) you will be maximizing creatine uptake.

12:00-12:30pm: Lunch
  • 8oz 95% lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice (cooked measure)
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
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Supplements: 2 capsules AndroCept, 2 grams beta-alanine

1:00-2:30pm: Nap
According to Harvard researchers this is the perfect time to take a nap during the day and making sure your nap is 90 minutes long means that you will reap the benefits of each phase of the sleep cycle including deep sleep, which is physically restorative sleep and also when tissue repair occurs.

3:00-3:30pm: Shake
  • 3 Tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 scoop chocolate NytroWhey
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1-2 cups water
  • 3-4 ice cubes
7:00-7:30pm: Dinner
  • 8oz Salmon
  • 8 spears asparagus
  • 6oz spinach (sauteed with beans and olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup great northern beans
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
10:00pm: Go to Sleep
Sleep Supplements: 1 Serving ZMA, 40 grams casein

Notes: Going to sleep at 10:00pm and waking up at 7:00am will give you 9 quality hours of sleep. 40 grams of casein has been shown to increase protein synthesis throughout the night. The zinc and magnesium found in ZMA are readily depleted as a result of hard training. Magnesium is also a relaxant so it will help you get the best night sleep possible.

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Lean Out With A Fat-Loss Protein,Cardio and Strength Training

The alarm clock rings at 6:45am and you're in your office by 8am. You've got forty-five minutes to gather your thoughts and take perspective on your day before your first meeting starts. And that's just the start of another crazy day. You're not getting out of the office by five today--but that doesn't mean you can't accomplish your fat loss goals.

We're all running on limited resources--we only have so much time and so much energy to expend in twenty-four hours. After a busy day, you still want to train, but you're not sure what is most productive for reaching your fat loss goals. One guru tells you to focus on cardiovascular and energy systems training. You hear from another source to skip the cardio and hoist the iron. Who's right? Well, both of them.
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Keeping the Strength

Building strength builds muscle. And muscle, it just so happens, is the most metabolic tissue in the body. I'm not sure that you need a crash course in metabolism, but the more efficient it works the easier it is to burn fat.

While training to lose fat, you're probably also restricting calories--your body is going to draw from wherever it can to meet its energy needs. That means potentially your muscles. Strength training in the three to five rep-range gives your body the stimuli to keep muscle on your frame. Otherwise, it's going to ditch it.

Besides keeping the muscle you've painstakingly built, cardio alone will only produce a smaller, more flaccid version of your current self. That's the last thing any lifter wants.

Maintain Muscle Tissue While Attacking the Fat

Fortunately, supplement science has you covered when it comes to the difficult task of shoring up muscle mass while peeling away the fat. An advanced fat-loss protein called Prolibra, manufactured by the experts in the field at Glanbia Nutritionals, has demonstrated a remarkable capacity for enhancing body composition in clinical testing. Indeed, 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 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.

Now I know what you're saying. Where can I get some of this Prolibra? Turns out, ProSource's Vectron is your ideal source for this highly advanced fat-loss protein matrix. Vectron is a terrific physique enhancement tool for people with busy lifestyles and high standards for protein supplementation.

Metabolic Stimulus

And now back to strength. I'm big on strength, so I'd love to tell you that it's all you need to lose fat--but I'm not here to lie to you. At times it takes a big metabolic disturbance to boost fat loss. Extended cardiovascular and conditioning focused workouts are great for meeting this end--but you don't have that kind of time. Since time is our most valuable resource, we've got to be strategic with our strength and conditioning blend.

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A Blended Strategy

We know need to keep the strength training so the muscle doesn't say farewell and to promote metabolism. At the same time you need a training stimulus that sets your metabolism on fire and turns you into a fat scorching furnace. I've already mentioned Vectron in this capacity, but I'd like to suggest that a fat-loss catalyst like BioQuest's Zycor makes an excellent synergistic addition to Vectron and your targeted exercise regimen. Zycor has been amazing athletes with its combination of weight-loss power and powerful energy-boosting performance enhancement. These two potent mechanisms of transformational action work in perfect tandem to help you experience productive workouts while ripping your physique down to a hard, chiseled core. It's well worth checking out.

So we've got a philosophy in place and also some supplementation. Now things get tricky. We have to blend the elements.

Strength Work: To keep already gained muscle we'll include three to five sets of three to five reps of a large, compound movement (i.e. squats, bench presses, deadlift variations). The rest periods during this part of the workout will be ninety to one-hundred twenty seconds and filled with a mobility exercise.

Assistance Work/Metabolic Training: Now we'll combine three to four assistance exercises into a circuit. We'll choose two upper-body and two lower-body; research shows that full-body training splits elicit greater fat loss than upper- and lower-body training splits. We'll complete the circuit three to four times and each exercise will be done for eight to twelve reps. Rest periods during this part of the workout are most important. You'll rest for fifteen to thirty seconds between each exercise, and subsequently rest for two minutes between circuits. Rest periods between circuits are filled with mobility exercises.

Finisher: We'll finish each training day with a short, powerful conditioning finisher. It will last for no longer than five minutes--keeping time conscious--but will elevate your metabolism for hours.

Below I've outlined a sample training day that follows this format.




A1) Snatch-grip Deadlift 4 x 5 90 sec – 120 sec
A2) Thoracic Spine Mobility Drill 4 x 5 During deadlift rest periods
B1) Romanian Deadlift 3 x 8 30 sec
B2) Dumbbell Bench Press 3 x 8 30 sec
B3) Dumbbell Split Squat 3 x 8 30 sec
B4) 1 Arm Dumbbell Row 3 x 12 30 sec
B5) Assorted Mobility Drills Sets of 5 Done at end of circuit before beginning next circuit
C1) Finisher: Airdyne Bike Tabata Sprints 1 x 1 End of workout

Additional Notes

As appealing as it seems, don't skip the mobility work between circuits. Not only will this work keep you healthy, but continuing to move during your rest periods keeps your body using free fatty acids.

Staunchly adhere to the rest periods--they are the bread and butter of the whole workout. Make them too long and you'll miss out on a dramatic, and productive, hormonal response. Shorten them a bit too much and your workout will lose necessary intensity.

Skip the finisher if you're on empty after the assistance training. If you can't work intensely during the finisher, it's not useful to meeting your fat loss end. Worse, you could wind up hurting yourself. If you're raring to go--get after it. But if you've morphed into a sweat-drenched, end-of-workout zombie, bag it.


You can meet your fat loss goals on a busy schedule. All it takes is a little extra planning and some trimming of the fat (pun intended). Take our above strategy and run with it--a busy day at the office is no excuse for not getting the body you want.

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Your Motivating Morning Routine:Hydrate, Activate, Detox, Energize!

Throughout my football career coaches often talked about setting the tone at the beginning of the game. And like football, life is about starting off strong.

Almost every morning I hear my college defensive coordinator's voice bellow through my mind.

"We have to go out there and set the tone early. Smack them in the mouth and let them know you mean business!"

Now that my football career has passed, I apply coach's tone-setting mantra to daily life. Each day we have an opportunity to win or lose--to make our lives better or stagnate and eventually slide backward. We can either smack or be smacked--there is no in between.

To start strong, and prime to attack your day, you need a system that rallies your inner troops and sets the tone for achievement. You need a motivating morning routine.

The Routine

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Chug and Roll
Every night before you go to bed, fill a large glass with water and place it on your night stand. Leave it there for the morning. After you get up--and walk across the room to turn off your alarm clock--chug the glass of water. In doing so, you'll give your metabolism a nice start and stay on the upside of the hydration curve.

On the same night stand where you keep your water you'll store your golf ball. As soon as you finish chugging, put the golf ball on the floor and roll each foot hard and fast for a minute. Be sure to give tender spots extra attention.

Our feet carry us through life--we have to take care of them. Plus there are around 150 nerve endings in the bottom of our feet. Rolling our plantar fascia first thing in the morning is fantastic for rousing the nervous system.

Take a Stroll
There's no coincidence that morning and movement are alliterative--each morning must be filled with movement. Once you've finished rolling your feet, lace up your shoes and get outside for a walk--moving at a brisk pace for five to ten minutes. Research has shown that movement soon after waking sets the metabolic tone for the rest of the day.

Early morning locomotion builds upon plantar rolling's effect on the nervous system. You'll feel yourself start to wake up as your feet start moving. This is the perfect time to collect your thoughts and take perspective on the day ahead. When the feet start moving, the brain starts working.

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The morning is your body's natural detox time--it purges your system of all the nasty toxins our environment, and our habits, expose us to. Although detoxification is a natural function, there's nothing wrong with giving the body a little help.

Start by drinking a glass of warm lemon water. Take half the juice of a lemon--fresh squeezed, of course, and add it to warm water. If you need sweetener, add stevia or a small amount of honey. Lemons, and all sour fruits, contain the compound d-limonene--a natural liver tonic. Good liver function promotes the solid function of all other human systems.

Take your detox to the next level by supplementing with ProSource's Super Detox. It contains herbal compounds that support endocrine function, scavenge free-radicals and, like d-limonene, support the liver.

You're A-game requires optimal functioning. If you're carrying around excess toxin baggage, optimal is unattainable.

Recently, there's been a surprising and counter-intuitive fad regarding breakfast. Articles in some muscle-building mags have been suggesting a morning fast instead, claiming breakfast is detrimental to mental acuity and physique goals. This is pure poppycock. Breakfast is still a good thing.

More than simple common sense, breakfast is about solidifying good habits and endorsing healthy routine. It's about taking the time to nourish your body before exposing it to the rigors that fill each day.

Think of breakfast as your pre-game meal. I know that my coaches never would have sent our team on to the field without sustenance. You shouldn't attack your day without it.

Keep breakfast filled with lean protein and healthy fat sources and you'll start your day sharp and satisfied.

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Stoke the Fire
At this point in the morning you'll have a furnace burning in your belly. It's time to throw two more logs on the fire.

Some coaches abhor stimulants. I disagree with these coaches--stimulants are productive and, for the most part, safe ergogenic aids. B ioQuest's new Zycor fat-loss/energy catalyst has been getting raves from within the bodybuilding community, and there's good reason for that. Zycor's ultra-bioactive, premium-grade energy factors are just the thing to get your day started. (And it's fat-loss mechanism comes in handy, too.) Likewise, ProSource's Extreme Caffeine is a great for ramping your furnace into a five alarm blaze. Caffeine coupled with ProSource's L-Tyrosine promotes intense and extended focus. You'll need it to mount your attack.

After you sharpen your gaze with caffeine and L-Tyrosine, take a few minutes to ingest a motivating quote. Peruse one of the many quote sites on the web or find one in one of your favorite books. Hold this quote in your mind for the rest of the day; and when it seems like the chips are down, conjure it to the forefront of your mind and fight off the weariness.

In lieu of a long conclusion, I'll defer to a profound quote from Mother Teresa. 

"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come.
Today is all we have. Let us begin."

 Go set the tone and make today incredible.

3 Support Factors That Are Crucialto Your Physique Development

Developing your physique is a matter of consistent, intense, training with proper nutrition, right? It would seem like that is the answer, but often times hard training and eating right do not deliver the gains you might expect. That is because, unfortunately, you may be overlooking some important intangibles. Here are 3 factors that play a crucial role in your physique development and how you can optimize them.

Your ability to build muscle and develop your physique directly relates to your body's ability to breakdown, digest, and process the foods that you eat. This makes optimizing digestion a vital piece of the puzzle. Many protein powders on the market today contain digestive enzymes to accelerate the digestion of the protein in the shakes.
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[Editor's Note: For overall nutritional purposes, ProSource's Super Enzymes product contains a comprehensive blend of the most effective digestive enzymes available, including betaine, pancreatin, papain, cellulose, bromelain, and papaya.]

Repopulating your gut with healthy bacteria will help you better extract all the possible nutrients from the foods you eat. Certain beneficial bacteria can counteract the anti-nutrient factors found in foods like beans and certain grains. Here are more ways to get more healthy bacteria in your diet.

Supplement with probiotics
Taking a supplement that contains a blend of beneficial bacteria is the easiest way to repopulate your gut with healthy bacteria. The key is to be consistent with your supplementation as bacteria have a quick turnover. In addition, you will want to keep your supplement in the refrigerator at all times because these are live organisms.

Eat foods with live cultures
Yogurt, cottage cheese, and fermented dairy products like kefir are all excellent ways to get both protein and probiotics.
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Fermented non--dairy foods like sauerkraut and kimchi are two more ways to get beneficial probiotics in your diet. Sauerkraut and kimchi both have another unique benefit as they are fermented cruciferous vegetables (sauerkraut being cabbage and kimchi being Napa cabbage). Cruciferous vegetables contain indole--3--carbinol which is a bioactive compound known for the binding and excretion of estrogens in addition to interfering with the synthesis of estrogen receptors. The side benefit of regularly eating these foods may be a lower impact of estrogen on your muscle building efforts.

Eat a high antioxidant diet
Antioxidants like anthocyanins found in red grapes, pomegranates, and blueberries are poorly absorbed by our digestive tract, but that does not mean that our bodies do not use them. Instead, they serve as rocket fuel for the good bacteria in our gut. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants is a little known why to optimize your gut and digestion. [Editor's Note: ProSource's AX-12 is a potent, wide--spectrum antioxidant designed with the needs of advanced athletes in mind. Its comprehensive formulation contains green tea, milk thistle, quercetin, curcumin, grape seed, and pine bark extract, all standardized for the highest recommended potency.]

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Sleep is where a bulk of your growth and recovery happens. I've written extensively about sleep in the past (click here to read Dream Big). But there are several key components to optimizing sleep that are worth reemphasizing.

1. Get Enough
Getting enough sleep is a make or break strategy when it comes to getting big and staying lean. Ample sleep optimizes leptin levels which regulate your metabolic rate. Sleep = growth,  so why skimp on it? You could probably get away with 7 hours a night, but 9 is much better. Researchers from Stanford found that increasing the amount of time you sleep by about 1 1/2 hours led to significant increases in performance (including sprint times) and focus, in college basketball players. Although this study was carried out with basketball players, it has direct application to physique athletes. If you are more explosive and focused in the gym, you'll lift more weight, and get bigger. Increasing sleep duration and quality is a really simple way to kick start muscle growth while improving nutrient partitioning.

2. Do Deep
While sleep duration is important the quality of the sleep you get is also very important devices like the Fitbit, Lark, and Zeo Sleep Manager allow you to easily quantify your sleep quality so you can see how you are doing. I like to use this simple 3 pronged approach for maximizing sleep quality and deep sleep. First -- Take ZMA before you go to bed. These minerals are often depleted during hard training and underdosed in multivitamins. More importantly magnesium can act as a relaxant helping you get to sleep faster. [Editor's Note: As we've said many times here at ProSource, the industry's gold standard for ZMA comes from SNAC Systems, who pioneered ZMA research and development in the 1990s. ProSource ZMA contains 100% ZMA sourced from SNAC Systems.] Second -- Supplement with tryptophan. Tryptophan has been shown to increase the amount of deep sleep that you get -- allowing you to maximize muscle growth. Finally, keep your room cool. When you move into deep sleep your body stops regulating its body temperature. By keeping your room cool and at a consistent temperature you will not experience temperature changes that can interrupt this important muscle restoring stage of sleep.

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Stress Management
Muscle building is a 24 hour a day endeavor and we are beginning to understand more and more how the effects of chronic stress can put the brakes on this. It is important to differentiate between the stress of a training session and the accumulation of life stressors. The former is good and a requirement for growth. The latter is bad and will inhibit your growth and physique development. When looking at stress and how it impacts muscle growth it is important to realize that all kinds of stress play a role -- work stress, stress from not getting enough sleep, physical stress, emotional stress, etc. All these factors have hormonal repercussions. In the short term your body is equipped to handle stress through hormones like epinephrine but epinephrine cannot be a long term solution for your body. A study from the University of Texas showed that students who reported the highest level of "life event stress and perceived stress" also exhibited the poorest ability to recovery from a lower body weight training session. Other research shows that people undergoing stressful events in their lives do not experience similar improvement in bench pressing compared to people with lower stress lives. Chronic stress impacts normal hormonal processes like testosterone production and potentially even insulin sensitivity. [Editor's Note: One good option for managing stress is L-Theanine, a stress-reducing neuro-nutrient that has the ability to help increase certain neurotransmitters that decrease nervous agitation. ProSource L-Theanine is formulated from Suntheanine, the highest quality source of L-Theanine available.]

The importance of proper sleep was covered above and it plays a significant role in your body's ability to manage and cope with stress. Other relaxation and attention focusing techniques like mindfulness meditation have been shown to reduce psychological stress and cortisol in just minutes per day.

If you find that your efforts in and out of the gym aren't delivering you the body you should have look at optimizing each of these areas and watch your process and muscle growth begin to accelerate again.

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Using Protein Timing to Fight Cravings for Junk Calories

There is nothing worse than irresistible cravings for foods you shouldn't be eating while you're trying to get and stay lean. What makes these cravings more difficult is deciphering the genesis of those cravings. But with the dietary protein tricks I'm going to show you, you will be able to hack your brain and biochemistry to reap time dependent benefits of protein.

Hunger 101

There are two different reasons why we eat. While trying to achieve fat loss, it is very easy to get them confused, but knowing the difference is essential.

Physiological Eating
This is eating because your body actually needs fuel, this is real hunger. When trying to "lean out" you're going to feel the hunger drive derived from physiological eating. Unfortunately this is part of the game. I'm going to show you some different tips and tricks to buffer these feelings but getting lean means that you will be a little hungry.

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Reward-Driven Eating
Reward-driven eating feels the same, you still want to eat, but the driving force behind those stomach rumblings are not physiological in origin. Instead they are driven by sight, smell, stress, thoughts, and memories. A classic example of this is mindless eating in front of the TV. Or impulse buying of junk carbs like a candy bar or French fries. Succumbing to reward-driven eating is the fastest way to get derailed from your diet. On the other hand, eating clean is paramount.

Most Important Meal of the Day

It is often been debated which is the most important meal of the day. Some say that it is your post-workout meal while others say that it is breakfast. While there may be no definitive answer to this debate if we are going to look specifically at controlling both physiological and reward-driven eating -- Breakfast is the champion and protein is the key.

Protein at Breakfast Decreases Reward-Driven Eating

Breakfast is traditionally a meal where carbohydrates are given a priority but protein is the shining star when it comes to reprogramming your brain to decrease your reward-driven eating sensations. A 2011 study published in Obesity showed that when people were given a high protein breakfast (~50 grams of protein) compared to skipping breakfast or eating a lower protein breakfast (~18 grams of protein) functional MRIs of their brains revealed responses unique to the high protein breakfast. Specifically what they found was that the areas of the brain associated with reward-driven eating were decreased or turned off for several hours following the high protein breakfast.  

Protein at Breakfast Decreases Physiologically Driven Eating

Protein has several characteristics that drive its satiating effects. These two main driving forces are the hormones glucagon and cholecystokinin (CCK). Glucagon is a hormone released from your pancreas in response to amino acids. It has the job of initiation the remove of energy from your liver (unlike insulin which is a fuel storage hormone). Glucagon released in response to a high protein meal can help ensure stable blood sugar levels yielding steady energy.

CCK is released from your small intestines in response to the presence of either protein or fat. CCK initiates the release of digestive enzymes but it also has a neurological effect and interacts with your central nervous system by sending satiety signals.

Research from Purdue University shows that the hunger dampening effects of protein are best sensed by the body at breakfast compared to other meals through the day. This study also reported that these effects were only seen in the men that were on a diet and not the ones eating a maintenance level of calories. This further stresses the importance and benefit of consuming ample protein while dieting or eating clean, especially at breakfast.

[Editor's Note: If getting lean while maintaining muscle mass is a priority (and we're sure it is, if you're reading this), then adding Vectron to your supplementation regimen is an ideal choice. Vectron contains an elite fractionated protein complex called Prolibra, a specialized bioactive peptide matrix along with a special whey mineral complex designed to precisely target essential mechanisms of body transformation. That protein complex has been validated in an independent, randomized, double-blind, 12-week clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, in which subjects taking Prolibra showed significant improvements in the ratio of lean mass to fat as compared to a placebo group. Vectron , combined with Dr. Mike's timing strategies, make a powerful one-two punch in the war against excess fat.]

The Wrap Up

I don't have to convince you that protein is important but paying a little extra attention to where you are portioning the protein in your diet is. Make sure that breakfast is a high protein meal and this will help combat both physiological and reward driven urges to make poor eating choices making it easier for you to stick to your diet and hit your fat loss targets.

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