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Creating a Ripped Regimen
For Multi-Pathway Fat Loss
There are few forces in nature more tenacious and unrelenting as the human body’s physiological programming to hang onto (or regain) fat. This capacity served us well when we were primitive hominids, living in caves, but isn’t nearly as desirable today. When you think of the vast majority of diets that end in failure or fat regain, you can get a fair idea of the challenge that awaits anyone seeking a classic “ripped” physique.
Fortunately, the goal is not unattainable in the least. The simple mantra (“Consume less calories than you use.”) hasn’t lost any of its wisdom over the years. Eat smarter, eat better, get more physical activity. There are also a wide variety of different fat loss supplements available to you, many more than when I started out on my own fitness journey, and much more to come in the future.
One thing that I stress with clients is that everyone is different and different supplements work differently for different people. It is also important that when building a fat loss stack, you put together a supplementation protocol that will help enhance fat loss via a variety of different mechanisms. In this article, I'll outline for you 11 different supplements that can aid in fat loss and show you how you can stack them all together. I’ll show you which supplements work well together and which may counteract each other’s benefits. You can then build the stack that works best for you, your body, and your budget.
Also known as Coleus forskohlii, this supplement is derived from a perennial plant that grows in tropical areas of India, Burma, and Thailand. I think forskolin is a great supplement as it works to increase cAMP. cAMP is known as a secondary messenger in the body and works as the middle man for many different important processes such as fat burning, (cAMP activates lipolysis) and thyroid function (the binding of thyroid-stimulating, hormone-increasing cAMP within the cell). Five different studies have found forskolin to be effective at reducing fat and body mass. Forskolin is not a stimulant (which is great for people who are sensitive to stimulants) and is best taken away from meals, as insulin (which is released when you eat carbohydrates and/or protein) is a major suppressor of cAMP. [Editor's Note: Forslean® brand Coleus forskohlii is widely recognized as the industry’s finest and that’s what you’ll find in ProSource’s Forslean® Coleus Forskohlii.]
2. Green Tea Extract (EGCG)
EGCG is the antioxidant found in green tea that has a fat-burning effect. EGCG (epigallocatechin galate) can increase thermogenesis or heat production through extra calorie burning and the use of stored fat as energy. Some research also shows that EGCG can modulate the early-stage growth of new fat cells. However, research also shows that green tea extract taken by itself may not be as effective in supporting fat loss as when it is paired with caffeine. Fortunately, green tea comes with caffeine if you drink it naturally. However, if you are taking a green tea supplement, be sure that you are taking it with some sort of caffeine. Many diet supplements contain both EGCG and caffeine as well, which brings us to our next entry.
3. BioQuest BetaStax® Elite
[Editor’s Note: BetaStax Elite contains an ideal ratio of caffeine and EGCG, but that’s really just the beginning of BetaStax Elite’s highly synergistic approach to diet support. First and foremost, BetaStax Elite contains PureWay-Slim®, a remarkable compound that has been shown to deliver 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, the PureWay-Slim® blend found in BetaStax Elite achieved more weight-loss in two weeks than other leading weight-loss compounds achieved in eight weeks. BetaStax Elite doesn’t stop there, either. BetaStax Elite also contains the most potent form of the raspberry ketone (4-(4-hydroxyphenyl) butan-2-one) known as Razberi-K. In several studies raspberry ketone supplementation has been reported to modulate fat mobilization, even with diets rich in fats and carbohydrates. Chlorogenic acid is present in BetaStax Elite as well. Sourced from unroasted green coffee beans, this compound has been shown to slow the release of glucose in the bloodstream after a meal, thereby helping to support the maximum utilization of fat as energy, as opposed to using carbohydrate or lean muscle tissue. Put it all together and you’ve got weight-loss power of a unique and unprecedented efficacy!]
ZMA is a hybrid supplement that contains bioavailable forms of both zinc and magnesium. Both minerals can be readily depleted with intense exercise (I have yet to have a client test with sufficient levels of zinc via an oral zinc test). Reductions in zinc due to intense exercise have been shown to yield decreases in thyroid function. Magnesium is needed for approximately 300 reactions in the body and can help regulate blood sugar levels. ZMA should be taken prior to bed, as magnesium is a relaxant and many people report that it can help with sleep. [Editor's Note: The gold standard in this category has always been SNAC Systems ZMA, and you’ll find that ProSource brand ZMA is 100% formulated from this premium source.]
5.Conjugated Linoleic Acid
[Editor’s Note: Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is a naturally occurring Omega-6 fatty acid found primarily in meat and dairy products. It is valued for its unique capacity to effect body repartitioning via a combination of excess fat reduction and lean-muscle support and, importantly for our purposes here, it is a common non-stimulant ingredient in diet-support products. In a study reported in the Journal of Nutrition, researchers found that CLA supplementation to obese subjects can alter body composition in as little as 12 weeks. In this study, subjects made no other lifestyle changes other than consuming either CLA or a placebo. There were 2 groups of CLA that consumed a low dose (3.2 g/day) or high dose (6.4 g/day). Body composition measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry revealed that subjects in the high dose CLA group had a significant increase in lean body mass of one and a half pounds, and they lost about half a pound of fat. The increase in lean body mass with CLA occurred despite no changes in diet or exercise training. It should be noted that of all the sources of CLA available to athletes, Tonalin CLA is far and away regarded as the industry gold standard. ProSource Tonalin CLA is a highly potent and pure premium-grade material that's standardized for an unprecedented 80% Tonalin CLA.]
6. ProSource Vectron®
Increasing protein consumption has long been viewed as an excellent strategy for attaining physique enhancement. Of course, not all proteins are equal to the task. ProSource’s Vectron® is a specific type of whey protein isolate coupled with a mineral complex that has been shown in a clinical trial to enhance weight loss. Indeed, this technology (trade-named Prolibra®) was spotlighted 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. Remarkably, the Prolibra® group, using just 24.4 grams per day, lost 6.1% fat. Protein enhances satiety (the feeling of fullness after a meal) while also reducing the levels of food cravings in our brains. Per the research, Vectron is best taken (1 scoop) 10-15 minutes prior to a meal, twice per day.
Proper post-workout recovery from intense exercise is essential to your fat-loss efforts. Branched chain amino acids are 3 unique amino acids that bypass your liver after they are absorbed and can go straight to your muscle where they can be used as fuel, stop muscle breakdown, or build more muscle. One research study showed that when glycogen-depleted study participants (as people commonly are during a fat-loss phase) took BCAAs before a high intensity training session, the fat burning effect of that exercise session was enhanced. BCAAs have also been shown to decrease muscle soreness, another added bonus when your calories are low and your ability to recover is reduced. When supplementing with BCAAs, look for a supplement that features the recognized 2:1:1 leucine-to-isoleucine-to-valine ratio, and is sourced from the most reputable suppliers of amino acid content. ProSource’s Mega BCAA passes these tests with flying colors.
8. BioQuest AndroCept
AndroCept is a specific form of carnitine. L-carnitine L-tartrate is a compound which has been investigated in a number of clinical trials. Carnitine is used by the body to move fat into cellular mitochondria so that it can be burned off as energy. However, supplementing with carnitine doesn’t seem to lead to enhanced weight loss (this may be due to carnitine’s poor solubility). But where AndroCept will help you is with recovery. When you are in a fat-loss phase, your calories are low and your training intensity is high. This is a recipe for reduced capacity to recover from your training sessions. A study completed at the University of Connecticut found that supplementing with a superior form of L-carnitine L-tartrate (as found in BioQuest's AndroCept) reduced muscle damage from weight training.
This is probably the most widely used fat burning supplement, however its fat-burning effects are negated when it comes packaged in a 400-calorie Frappuccino. Caffeine works in a similar but slightly different fashion than forskolin and it may actually make forskolin more effective. Caffeine blocks the enzyme phosphodiesterase, which breaks down cAMP. This allows cAMP to stay around longer and have more of an effect. Taking a supplement like forskolin, which increases cAMP, with caffeine, which inhibits the breakdown of cAMP, should get you better results. ProSource’s Extreme Caffeine is further supercharged with 250mg of L-Tyrosine for added focus and performance enhancement, and 200mg of calcium.
Fish oil supplements are generally not seen as fat loss supplements but they have a wide range of effects that include optimizing processes that aid in fat loss. DHA (one of the omega-3 fats in fish oil) has been shown in cell studies to modulate the growth of immature fat cells. Another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that supplementing with fish oil enhanced the weight-loss effects of exercise. This is thought to be due to the ability of fish oil to lower your resting heart rate, so when you exercise you would need to work harder to hit prescribed heart rate targets and thus burn more calories. Omega-3 supplementation has also been shown to stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system. Stimulating your parasympathetic nervous system helps fight stress (which can lead to overeating) and is an important part of balancing the adrenaline frenzy that people can get into when dieting (as cutting calories leads to increases in adrenaline-related hormones, which is why some people can have trouble sleeping during a fat loss phase). [Editor's Note: ProSource Omega-1250 is molecularly distilled from deep sea, cold water sources. Both the process and the source serve to ensure the purest, most potent fish oil possible.]
New research has highlighted a novel role for glutamine in fat-loss diets. One study, published in Nutrition, found that 30g of glutamine (15g twice a day) in test subjects led to greater decreases in fat loss and waist circumference compared to the placebo group. It also lead to greater improvements in blood sugar control. Another study, also published in Nutrition, found that high dose glutamine supplementation yields a shift in the bacteria in study participants’ digestive tracts – shifting from a bacteria profile of an obese individual to that of a lean individual. The impact of the bacteria in your gut on metabolism, metabolic rate, and even immune function, is one of the hottest areas of research today. Quality control is everything in an amino acid supplement. Each batch of ProSource L-Glutamine is tested and certified to be 100% pure by an independent analytical laboratory using the HPLC (high pressure liquid chromatography) method of analysis.
How to Stack the Supplements
Here is how you can put all of these supplements together.
Mix and match to create the stack that best suits you!
Upon Waking: 25mg forskolin, 200mg caffeine, 15g glutamine
Prior to Breakfast: 1 serving Vectron, 2-3g fish oil, 1 serving AndroCept (2 capsules)
Prior to Lunch: 1 serving Vectron, 1 serving BetaStax Elite
Prior to Afternoon Training: 5-10g BCAA, 25mg forskolin, 200mg caffeine, 400-500mg green tea extract (40-50% EGCG)
Post Training: 15g glutamine, 1 serving AndroCept (2 capsules), CLA (2 caps)
Prior to Bed: 20g micellar casein, 1 serving ZMA
Read more about BetaStax Elite here.
Read more about Vectron here.
Read more about ProSource CLA here.
Read more about ProSource Forslean Coleus Forskohlii here.
Read more about BioQuest AndroCept here.
Read more about Omega-1250 here.
Disclaimer: The information discussed in this article is not intended to be interpreted as specific product endorsements by the author or the organizations with which he is affiliated.
Use as directed with a sensible diet and exercise program that includes reduced caloric intake and increased physical activity. Consult a health care professional before beginning any weight loss program. Read and follow all product label instructions and warnings thoroughly before use. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.