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When most of us think about what's required to lose weight the first thing that comes to mind is — not eating. Calorie restriction, that is. Counting calories and consuming less of them.
With apologies to Weight Watchers and any number of other supervised, celebrity-approved weight loss plans, that’s just not the way to go about it. For one thing, unless you’re going to become a desert hermit, it’s not sustainable. Your body can afford to wait out a short season of deprivation and then throw wide the gates of fat accumulation the minute you go back to your old calorie-plus lifestyle.
Strict dieting also deprives you of many of the nutrients essential to bodily processes that ensure the utilization of fat for energy. Fat doesn't just disappear. You have to burn it. And you need a wealth of different vitamins, minerals and enzymes to facilitate that burning. This is why diet regimens that depend on low-cal / low-nutrient foods never work.
Food is Your Ally In Your Weight Loss Battle
To be clear, you're going to have to cut back some on daily calories to lose fat. But that's just half the challenge. The other half is getting all the healthy nutrition required to power the bodily processes -- digestion, energy production, fat mobilization, muscle maintenance -- you're counting on to get lean and stay lean.
That includes, dare we say it, carbs. Any diet advice you ever read is going to tell you to go easy on the carbs. But guess what? Fifty percent of your daily caloric intake is still going to be carbs. Your optimum intake is 50% carbs / 30% protein / 20% healthy fats. Your body needs carbs for energy. The key is to consume carbohydrates intelligently.
That means avoid any sort of processed carbs and sugars (especially the added sugars so common in typical heat-n-eat meals, baked goods, sauces and snacks) and lean toward whole food sources of carbs like leafy green vegetables, whole grain breads, brown rice, beans, sweet potatoes, fruit (in moderation), oats and quinoa.
Prioritize Eating During the First Half of Your Day
Just as importantly, try to front-load your carb intake earlier in the day. This increases the likelihood that those carbs will be used as fuel rather than stored as fat. Oatmeal or a slice of high-fiber bread is ideal at breakfast; your lunch should always include a side salad or some veggies. Consuming carbs before and after a workout is also strongly advised as carbs will provide a ready source of energy beforehand and help with recovery afterwards.
This carb strategy applies to your overall eating habits as well. Eat a decent sized breakfast that combines low-glycemic carbs and protein like eggs, ham or bacon. Make lunch your biggest meal of the day, as your body's circadian rhythms dictate that it is at its most efficient in terms of digesting food, burning calories and regulating hormones during midday.
Make your dinner portions smaller and try to eat as early in the day as possible. This enables you to unlock some of the benefits of intermittent fasting. If you eat dinner at 7pm and don't eat again until 7am, that's twelve hours of fasting. Intermittent fasting has been linked to decreased belly fat, increased short-term metabolism, and more efficient insulin secretion and hormone regulation. It has even been associated with better brain health and (perhaps) expanded lifespan. Needless to say, late-night snacks (which are often nutritionally lacking) are just body fat waiting to happen.
Variety is the spice of life, and there are some foods you should consider adding to your diet that support processes integral to fat loss. Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and herring are rich in healthy Omega-3 fats which decrease cortisol production, a marker of fat gain. Eggs are little protein powerhouses that have been shown to reduce hunger and promote feelings of fullness for several hours. Chili peppers contain capsaicin, which can help boost metabolism during times of caloric restriction. Coffee has the same effect. White beans such as cannellini beans may act as alpha-amylase inhibitors, which means they can slow down the absorption of carbohydrates. Any sort of high-fiber food, from almonds to broccoli to celery, has a thermogenic effect because the energy required to digest them diminishes their overall caloric impact. Of course, when it comes to thermogenic superfoods, one reigns supreme.
Whey Protein is the Perfect Weight-Loss Food
When it comes to maintaining your ideal physique, extra dietary protein does everything you need it to do. It's naturally thermogenic because it requires extra energy to digest. High protein intake has been shown to significantly boost metabolism and increase the number of calories you burn. It promotes a feeling of fullness, decreasing junk-food cravings. And it supports the muscle tissue you need to burn fat.
The RDA for protein intake is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass each day, but many studies indicate that higher intakes of protein (as much as 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass per day) is effective at limiting the loss of muscle while restricting calories. That's a lot of protein, so supplementing with a high-quality protein formula once or twice during the day is highly recommended for keeping fat utilization at optimum levels.
Choosing the right protein for you is of utmost importance. ProSource's newly reformulated NytroWhey Ultra Elite is ideally suited for fat loss by virtue of several adjustments to its nutritional profile that make it simpler, more natural, more digestible and more bioavailable. The last traces of gluten and soy have been removed, fiber content has been reduced and healthy fats sourced from sunflower oil have been added.
NytroWhey Ultra Elite, of course, is most famous for its unsurpassed matrix of protein technologies designed to exponentially increase protein synthesis, support recovery, and drive significant growth. The ultra-premium-grade, cold-processed CFM whey protein isolate in NytroWhey Ultra Elite is loaded with critical growth catalysts primed for rapid-action muscle support. For even faster uptake, advanced whey protein hydrolysates yield extremely low-molecular-weight di- and tri-peptides for super-swift absorption into muscle tissue. And its state-of-the-art leucine peptide technology is designed to more efficiently transport leucine to muscle tissue, making it a muscle-building powerhouse of unprecedented power and productivity.
Drink More Water
There's an old axiom that says you should never drink your calories. (We'll give protein shakes a pass here, since they're really a meal.) Fruit juices, for example, are just sugar water with most of the fiber removed. Don't even get us started on sodium and/or sugar-laden energy drinks or sodas. Pure sparkling water is the way to go, and the truth is, most Americans just don't drink enough water. In fact, 75% of Americans are walking around chronically dehydrated.
This is bad news, because dehydration inhibits digestion, causes fatigue, and slows your metabolism, all of which facilitate excess fat gain. How much water should you be drinking each day? Eight 8-oz glasses of water a day. That's a half gallon. Yes, you can do it.
Consider an Advanced Thermogenic Weight-Loss Technology
Once you start losing weight, your body is going to start feeling some of the consequences. First of all, you've lost some muscle along with the fat, which is the beginning of the slippery slope toward decreased metabolism. Your energy levels are tanking, especially right before your late-afternoon / early evening workout. Your focus and intensity is flat-lining, and this also is manifesting itself in less than stellar workouts. Here's where you can turn to advanced supplement science to give you a boost.
An advanced thermogenic formula like BioQuest’s BetaStax® Elite 3.0 is just what you need to keep your transformation on track. People looking to trim excess fat have always valued BetaStax® Elite because it delivers real results powered by real science. A new reformulated version of that BetaStax® Elite now offers twice the weight loss power, due to an advanced key ingredient that has been shown -- in independent, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical research -- to deliver weight loss results four times more effectively than diet and exercise alone. Indeed, test subjects lost an average of 11.2 pounds at the conclusion of the 16-week study, as compared to control subjects who lost a little more than two pounds [1 Kudiganti, et al.].
BetaStax® Elite 3.0 also contains a matrix of energy catalysts which have been shown to help optimize mental alertness, reduce sensations of fatigue and provide the energy needed to train at a high level. It's a valuable tool that will help you sustain your weight-loss efforts just when you need it most.
Manage Stress and Prioritize Rest
When you're not eating, you should be doing everything possible to live a calmer, more peaceful life. Extended periods of mental stress have been linked to negative effects on Body Mass Index (BMI), specifically with regard to the release of the hormone cortisol. Elevated cortisol levels correspond with the production of insulin, which in turn transports sugar from the blood to your muscles. When that sugar goes unused in the absence of physical activity (other than worrying) the body will store the accessed carbohydrate as excess fat.
How can you avoid stress? Try spending more time outside in nature. Simple breathing or relaxation techniques work as well, as do mediation and yoga.
And then there's sleep. Sleep is the great panacea. It is the time when we repair all the organs and tissues we've damaged during the day; it supports a healthy metabolism and even affects the production of leptin, which send signals of fullness to the brain.
Adopt a Lifestyle You Can Live With
One final caveat. If you're not living a life you love, it's not going to last. That means choosing healthy foods you actually enjoy and adopting a daily regimen that is built for the long haul. You're not on a crash diet. If your lifestyle is sustainable, losing a half pound a month will get you to your goal. And you'll be more likely to make that goal your new normal for years to come.
Venkateshwarlu Kudiganti, Raveendra Ramamurthy Kodur, Sushma Raveendra Kodur, Manjunath Halemane, Dheeraj Kumar Deep. Efficacy and tolerability of Meratrim for weight management: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in healthy overweight human subjects. Lipids Health Dis. 2016; 15(1): 136.
Use products as directed with a sensible nutrition and exercise 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.
The articles featured herein are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Specific medical advice should only be obtained from a licensed health care professional. No liability is assumed by ProSource for any information herein.