Is there anything more exciting than the first two or three weeks of a new diet and exercise regimen? We are filled with a new sense of purpose, as we lug our gym bags through the front doors of the gym each day. Those first pounds of body fat, acquired through the dark months of October, November, December, and January (or maybe longer) seem to melt off with ease.

Eventually February turns to March, however, and suddenly some of the novelty begins to wear off. The first easy pounds are gone; the next ones, the pounds that stand between you and your lean, rock-hard Summer 2015 physique, are more stubborn and difficult to lose. As your progress slows, your energy and motivation may begin to flag. Welcome, friends, to the danger zone where the largest percentage of people looking to make significant transformations lose their way and start to back-slide.

Will you become a member of this defeated cohort? No you will not. Because your time is now, and we're here to help.

Reset, Refocus, and
Regain Momentum

If you find yourself stuck on a February plateau, rest assured that you're not alone. Many people hang in there for 8 to 10 weeks and then start to get frustrated and emotionally fatigued from making only limited progress towards their goals. This article is intended to help sharpen your focus and reset your motivation to allow you to continue to power through workouts, while keeping your diet clean and maximally supportive of your training efforts.

Let's talk for a moment about your original goals. Keep in mind that's it's important to set realistic goals based on the process and not outcomes. Too many people set goals that are not achievable (i.e. lose 30 pounds by Spring Break), which ultimately puts people on a path that will emotionally defeat them. Instead, make a goal to exercise a certain number of days per week versus losing one pound a week. Secondly, always strive to make your diet and workout better today than yesterday. Clean up little pieces of your diet each day and add a set or two each workout and/or complete another five hard minutes on the treadmill. Finally, do not let feelings of complacency set in. Do something every day, even if it is ten minutes on the treadmill. Some days you don't win, but pick your battles each day to win the war.

Protein's All-Important Role in
Maintaining Transformational Momentum

Enough mind speak, this article is really about discussing some nutritional tools that can help you tighten up your diet and trim calories in a number of areas. Physique improvement is governed by a number of things. Those things we can change include the amount, type and distribution of calories we consume across the day.

For starters, to lose fat you need to cut back the calories you consume, but if you cut back too much you may not be getting enough protein in your diet. When that happens, your body has no choice but to take the protein it needs from itself. Last time I checked, fat tissue contains very little protein, but muscle contains significant amounts of protein. In other words, bye-bye muscle!

High-quality sources of protein like those found in lean cuts of meat and superior supplemental sources like ProSource's NytroWhey Ultra Elite and Vectron should play a critical role in your weight loss efforts. In fact, research studies indicate that in a three-week time period when average men and women dieted and exercised to create a 40% shift in energy and consumed a diet that either met the RDA for protein (0.8 g/kg/day), provided 2x (1.6 g/kg/day) or 3x (2.4 g/kg/day) the RDA for protein, this impacted how much and what type of weight was lost (Pasiakos, Cao et al. 2013).

The results of this study are exciting because it gives us a great deal of information about how your body loses weight. For example, which group lost the most body weight? Actually, the group that consumed the RDA for protein (0.85 g/kg/day)! This group lost approximately 8 pounds, but a whopping 58% of this weight was fat-free mass while 42% of the lost weight was fat. Fat-free mass is any tissue in your body that is not fat, thus muscle and your organs are the primary contributors to this mass.

But what happens when you consume 2x or 3x the RDA for protein? When 2x the RDA was consumed nearly 6 pounds were lost, but in this instance only 30% of this lost weight came from fat-free mass, while a staggering 70% was lost as fat! Similarly, when 3x the RDA was consumed almost 7 pounds was lost, but 36% was fat-free mass and 64% was fat.

These changes highlight several key points to successful physique transformation. First, focus on body composition changes, not just body mass changes. Second, higher protein intakes (2x to 3x the RDA) when restricting calories through diet and exercise are important to help maximize fat loss and minimize fat-free mass lost. In both higher-protein diets, the participants consumed approximately 122 to 185 grams of protein each day (Pasiakos, Cao et al. 2013). While this amount can easily be met with protein-containing foods, doing so while keeping overall calories down across an entire day can be challenging. This is where high-quality supplemental sources of protein Vectron and NytroWhey Ultra Elite can help.

Super-Premium Proteins For a
Higher Rate of Body Repartitioning

Choosing a premier supplemental protein source is essential to attaining your physique goals. NytroWhey Ultra Elite contains a powerful combination of three cutting-edge protein technologies. Its Provon whey isolate is an ultra-pure CFM whey isolate that yields the purest, most potent, growth-factor-rich amino acid profile and maximum bioavailability, while the TherMAX hydrolyzed whey in NytroWhey Ultra Elite is subjected to advanced micro-processing to yield extremely low-molecular-weight di and tri-peptides for immediate amino absorption and assimilation by the body. Finally, Leuvon 590 Leucine Peptides feature a unique leucine-bound leucine-peptide technology, which provides bioactive muscle-growth triggering leucine in great amounts, up to four times that found in competing proteins. This is a powerhouse complex for supporting muscle tissue and the natural thermogenic activity associated with protein intake.

ProSource's Vectron, on the other hand, is of special interest to those seeking fat loss due to its advanced weight management system, Prolibra. In an independent, randomized, double-blind, 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 experienced 79% fat-loss compared to the control group at 51% fat loss. While all protein is thermogenic to some extent, results like that place Vectron at the head of the class for transformational power.

Add a Complete and Comprehensive
State-Of-The-Art Thermogenic To The Mix

Cutting calories through diet and exercise and staying sharp through the day can be challenging. BetaStax Elite from BioQuest is another high-potential tool that can help drive your motivation and power you through the ups and downs of body transformation.

The ingredients found in BetaStax Elite, in particular PureWay-Slim, have been researched and associated with support for reductions in body weight as well as waist and hip circumferences. To maintain these positive changes, continual efforts in your workout program and diet are required, but adding BetaStax Elite may help to jumpstart your body-changing efforts. Indeed, in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, test subjects supplementing with 250 mg of BetaStax Elite's key active ingredient PureWay-Slim (prior to two major meals daily) experienced significantly greater reductions in body weight and waist and hip circumferences compared to test subjects receiving placebo treatment.

BetaStax Elite contains other ingredients that continue to garner interest as weight loss support factors. Chlorogenic acid, a primary compound found in green coffee bean extract and a primary constituent of brewed coffee, has been reputed to help support weight loss (Vinson, Burnham et al. 2012). In addition, raspberry ketones have been linked to support for weight loss and fat oxidation. Cell culture studies demonstrate favorable changes in lipolysis and rates of fatty acid oxidation (Park 2010) while a recently published study in humans that included raspberry ketones in a greater combination of nutrients found significantly greater rates of weight loss and body composition changes (Lopez, Ziegenfuss et al. 2013).

BetaStax Elite also contains a complex of premium-grade energy factors which are just what's needed to help you re-energize and maintain focus during your spring workouts, ensuring that you get maximum production from each and every trip to the gym.

Conclusion
The time is now for you to sharpen your focus and build upon the improvements you have already made. The nutritional side of the equation is extremely important and challenging to manage each day. Nutritional tools like a high-quality source of protein similar to that found in NytroWhey Ultra Elite and/or Vectron, combined with a comprehensive thermogenic like BetaStax Elite will help you on your way to a leaner, more rock-hard physique. When warm temperatures are near and pool parties come calling, you'll be proud to show off your new and improved body.


Healthy weight management and substantial weight loss are best achieved by making lifestyle changes, such as lowering caloric intake and increasing exercise activity. When used in combination with a sensible diet and exercise program, the key ingredients in BetaStax Elite can support your weight loss program. Consult a health care professional before beginning any weight loss program. Read and follow all label instructions before using. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


References
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Duncan, M. J. and S. W. Oxford (2012). "Acute caffeine ingestion enhances performance and dampens muscle pain following resistance exercise to failure." J Sports Med Phys Fitness 52(3): 280-285.

Goldstein, E. R., T. Ziegenfuss, D. Kalman, R. Kreider, B. Campbell, C. Wilborn, L. Taylor, D. Willoughby, J. Stout, B. S. Graves, R. Wildman, J. L. Ivy, M. Spano, A. E. Smith and J. Antonio (2010). "International society of sports nutrition position stand: caffeine and performance." J Int Soc Sports Nutr 7(1): 5.

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Lopez, H. L., T. N. Ziegenfuss, J. E. Hofheins, S. M. Habowski, S. M. Arent, J. P. Weir and A. A. Ferrando (2013). "Eight weeks of supplementation with a multi-ingredient weight loss product enhances body composition, reduces hip and waist girth, and increases energy levels in overweight men and women." J Int Soc Sports Nutr 10(1): 22.

Park, K. S. (2010). "Raspberry ketone increases both lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes." Planta Med 76(15): 1654-1658.

Pasiakos, S. M., J. J. Cao, L. M. Margolis, E. R. Sauter, L. D. Whigham, J. P. McClung, J. C. Rood, J. W. Carbone, G. F. Combs, Jr. and A. J. Young (2013). "Effects of high-protein diets on fat-free mass and muscle protein synthesis following weight loss: a randomized controlled trial." FASEB J.

Vinson, J. A., B. R. Burnham and M. V. Nagendran (2012). "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 5: 21-27.

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

Frestedt JL1, Zenk JL, Kuskowski MA, Ward LS, Bastian ED. A whey-protein supplement increases fat loss and spares lean muscle in obese subjects: a randomized human clinical study. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2008 Mar 27;5:8. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-5-8.