It's that time of the year again, when the cold, the reduced sunlight, and our once-again-packed work schedules conspire to undermine our dietary and training schedules. We all know that this is a recipe for some seriously unwanted fat gain, yet most of us inadvertently put on five to ten pounds over the winter.
Unfortunately there are no magic pills on the market that completely circumvent fat gain in the face of over-consumption and reduced exercise. However, there are some supplements and strategies that might help curb your indulgences, motivate you to get into the gym, and keep you looking svelte. So let's highlight some of the key supplements and show you how you can use them to keep your cravings low and your metabolism high over the winter -- all with the goal of making a fat loss resolution unnecessary in January of 2015.
Any article aimed at circumventing fat gain or increasing fat loss will start with recommendations for fat burners. The most innovative supplements in this category are those that incorporate unique multidimensional formulations that suppress appetite, combat fat gain, and promote lipolysis. Most importantly, their effectiveness should be documented in the form of real science, specifically in the form of validation of fat loss results in reputable clinical trials.
for a chance to win
BetaStax, the flagship transformational catalyst from BioQuest, has received some of the industry's best reviews in the fat burner category. The key to its success is its no-nonsense, science-backed formulation of key compounds. The most novel ingredient in BetaStax (and the key to its unrivaled effectiveness) is PureWay-Slim, a bioactive matrix of fat loss agents.
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 50 healthy volunteers were randomly assigned to take placebo or 250 mg of PureWay-Slim. Weight, waist and hip circumferences, basic metabolic profiles, blood glucose, and lipoprotein levels were measured at baseline and then at 2 and 4 weeks. It was reported that the consumption of 250 mg of PureWay-Slim (prior to two major meals daily) resulted in significantly greater reductions in body weight and waist and hip circumferences when compared to placebo treatment.
Furthermore, dramatic results were apparent within the first two weeks of supplementation and continued throughout the duration of the study. The scientists reported that subjects who took PureWaySlim had remarkable elevations in plasma Cholecystokinin (CCK) levels at 60 and 120 minutes post-meal. CCK is a neuropeptide that mediates satiety (the feeling of "fullness" after a meal) by binding to receptors in the brain.
BetaStax also contains a highly bioactive matrix of energy factors that provide a revitalizing rush of energy and motivation ideal for getting you out onto the gym floor physically and mentally prepared for a productive workout. Elite athletes everywhere benefit enormously from the smooth and powerful energy surge BetaStax triggers, while enjoying a reprieve from the jitters and energy crash that accompany standard stimulant products. In this way, BetaStax delivers both dramatic diet support benefits and an amped up infusion of energy to beat the winter blahs.
Also from BioQuest comes Zycor, a fat burner that takes on a completely new angle for fat loss. They key ingredient here is Meratrim, which was recently investigated in two randomized and double blinded placebo controlled clinical trials. In these studies, the formula was shown to significantly decrease adipogenesis (fat accumulation) and increase lipolysis (fat burning). More specifically, subjects, who were put on a modest 2000-calorie diet and walked 30 minutes per day, were given either Meratrim or a placebo. After only two weeks, those subjects who received the supplement lost 4.5 lbs -- and after 8 weeks they lost 11.5 pounds. Compared to those who received the placebo, this translated to 2.7-fold greater weight loss at 2 weeks and 3.5-fold greater weight loss at 8 weeks.
As well, those who took Meratrim had a 4.7" reduction in waist and 2.5" reduction in hip circumferences. The main effect of this supplement seems to be due to its unique ability to increase blood adiponectin levels -- suggesting enhanced fat metabolism. As well, those who took Meratrim had significant reductions in blood glucose, triglycerides and cholesterol and LDL/HDL ratio.
BioQuest's R&D team has also added green coffee extract that has been standardized to chlorogenic acids, which have been linked to the modulation of the utilization and/or absorption of consumed carbohydrates, as well as a number of other potent fat-loss and focus-enhancing catalysts. Like BetaStax, Zycor has earned itself a considerable amount of industry praise and consumer loyalty in recent years.
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If you're already taking a thermogenic, you may want to consider stacking that diet product with a technology that works via a non-stimulant pathway. Athletes have long valued CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), a versatile and popular body-toning lipid that has been the subject of a significant amount of scientific research focused on its ability to help support repartitioning (reduction of the abdominal area while enhancing muscle tone).
In fact, a study conducted in Sweden reported that CLA supplementation in humans increased fatty acid metabolism and decreased body fat levels with no effect on body weight. Due to the fact that there was fat loss but no change in body weight, it follows that CLA supplementation also increased lean mass in this study. In support, another study that looked at CLA for fat/weight loss and subsequent lean mass gain reported that subjects who took CLA had increased resting metabolic rate, as a result of increased lean mass, as well as decreased body fat. Although there have been a few mechanisms proposed for CLA's effects, recent evidence has shown that these fatty acids can mediate increased insulin release and sensitivity, which helps to regulate blood glucose and muscle growth. In addition, it is postulated that CLA works by blocking enzymes associated with fat storage.
The Tonalin brand of CLA has long been the gold standard in this category, and ProSource Tonalin CLA contains a full 1600 mg per serving of highly potent and pure material standardized for 80% Tonalin CLA, the highest quality available.
Further fat burning support can be provided via raspberry ketone, a powerful antioxidant botanical. Raspberry ketone (4-(4-hydroxyphenyl) butan-2-one) supplementation has been shown to prevent fat accumulation even with diets rich in fats and carbohydrates. This is supported by animal research, which has shown that most of raspberry ketone's weight loss benefits are due to augmented fat metabolism and inhibited small intestine absorption of dietary fat (by suppressing pancreatic lipase activity). ProSource's RaxBeri-K product contains the highest-quality raspberry ketones in a 100mg serving.
A protein supplement for fat loss?
The importance of protein supplementation in the management of body fat cannot be overstated. In fact, research has unequivocally established a dose-response relationship between protein intake, metabolism, and body-weight regulation.
For the goal of fat reduction, no other protein supplement has been proven as effective as Vectron by ProSource. Vectron is an innovative product that contains a patented fractionated protein formula called Prolibra. The protein complex in Vectron is formed from partially hydrolyzed whey and is fortified with a state-of-the-art blend of minerals that work synergistically to support lean mass, promote fat loss, and normalize blood glucose.
for a chance to win
Now that we've identified some key players in the winter war on fat gain, let's put them together in a plan of attack, shall we?
The simple 3-step winter fat-loss stack
So, now you may be asking--how do I use these supplements to overcome winter holiday fat gain?
STEP 1: Take one dose (1 or 2 capsules) of BetaStax or ZyCor 30 minutes before breakfast and another dose 30 minutes before dinner
STEP 2: Mix one scoop of Vectron in 8oz of cold water and drink 20 minutes before breakfast and have another shake 20 minutes before dinner
- STEP 3: Enjoy a lean muscular physique all winter long
Is your physique ready for the beach in 2014? What's your strategy for staying rock-hard and fit as the summer months approach? Let us know in the comments field below!