If you want to lose weight, it’s simply a matter of burning more calories than you consume. Most of us have heard that statement many times. And, taken word for word, it’s absolutely true.
If you take in less calories than you expend, you’ll burn stored energy for fuel. So you’ll lose weight, and all will be well, right?
While this rationale is sound and simple, it’s straight out of the old school. I’m not saying it’s wrong, but it’s definitely outdated, incomplete, and vague.
First of all, the term “lose weight” is not specific enough for what most of us want to achieve. Many of us actually don’t want to lose weight at all. We want to lose FAT. And we want to lose that fat while maintaining or even gaining lean muscle mass.
Second, calories in vs. calories out is no longer the accepted formula for successful fat loss. Scientists have discovered not only are total calories important but meal timing and what we eat are key factors too. So are the type and timing of exercise. And further scientific evidence shows supplementation may help. But, trying to decide what type of supplements are right for you can get very confusing and bordering on mind-boggling. In order to help clear up the confusion, this articleoffers a crash course in which supplements might help you lose fat faster without sacrificing hard earnedmuscle!
Phosphates are in many foods. However,a recent study revealed that a specialized blend of phosphates in a specific daily dose (1,200 mg of calcium phosphate, 600 mg of potassium phosphate, and 300 mg of sodium phosphate) may not only support the metabolism, it may actually increase resting metabolic rate. In this study, phosphate-supplemented subjects burned significantly more calories even while resting.
Scientists believe phosphate may also help neutralize the production of lactic acid, which is responsible for the burning sensation you feel when you’re working out intensely. The idea is if you can postpone that big burn, you may be able to postpone that big crash and get more reps in. What’s more, other studies suggest phosphates may increase the ability of blood to move oxygen to working muscles, whichwould again enhance endurance as well as improve production and use of glycogen to help support the metabolism during low calorie diets.
Xylitol is a low-glycemic carbohydrate,which means it does not cause your blood sugar levels to rise like most carbohydrates,thus helping to ensure an even energy supply and stable blood-sugar levels.This unique carbohydrate has been shown in scientific studies to help the body burn fat for fuel over and above even blood sugar.
In scientific studies, caffeine has been shown to help liberate fatty acids from bodyfat stores, thus possibly increasing your body’s ability to burn fat.31 It may also increase strength and focus during a workout and is often used for this purpose. Effective doses range between 100 and 200 mg, 2 to 3 times per day.
Synephrine, also known as Citrus aurantium, is a calmer chemical cousin to ephedrine. This supplement may offer many of the metabolic-enhancing effects of ephedrine without the side effects (such as the jitters). About 15 to 20 mg, in combination with caffeine and tyrosine, may be helpful.
Tyrosine is vital in supporting the formation of neurotransmitters (messengers that carry signals between brain cells). As much as 90% of your brain’s neurotransmitters are synthesized directly from tyrosine. That’s important to you because neurotransmitters carry the messages that tell your muscles to flex and contract. The stronger the signal, the stronger your performance. Another big plus: tyrosine may promote alertness without unwanted central-nervous-system side effects, unlike ephedrine.Research supporting U.S. Patent #5,096,712 shows the addition of about a half gram of tyrosine to any type of
central-nervous-system stimulant (including caffeine and synephrine) may enhance the effects of that compound.
Yohimbe Bark Extract
Yohimbe is an herbal extract from the bark of an African tree. It has gained a reputation for its ability to support male sexual function because of its vasodilating properties. Studies suggest yohimbine, the active compound in yohimbe, may increase blood flow to erectile tissue, thereby supporting male sexual function. Studies also suggest yohimbe (standardized for yohimbine, to supply three to eight milligrams per dose) may decrease fat synthesis and increase fatty-acid mobilization from fat stores in women.4,20 What’s more, yohimbe appears to support arterial health by decreasing platelet aggregation inthe bloodstream. The bottom line: this versatile herb may offer powerful health benefits for both men and women.
Cordyceps sinesis is another compound which has some stimulating effects, similar to that of a strong cup of coffee. Studies on this compound indicate it seems to mimic the effects of adrenalineas well as have potent beta-adrenergic activity. About 500 mg of cordyceps (standardized for 7% cordyceptic acid) per dose could increase the fat-burning effects of exercise.
St. John’s Wort
A growing number of sports nutritionists believe one of the main reasons for burnout or over training is depressed levels of specific neurotransmitters in your brain, such as dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine,and norepinephrine. Studies suggest St. John’s wort may extend the active half-lives of some neurotransmitters. So your brain can amp up the signals that tell your muscles to recover and grow.By supporting the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain, St. John’s wort may decrease food cravings and help you avoid those dreaded binges. Experts recommend using about 600 to 900 mg aday of a quality extract (standardized for 0.3% hypericin).
HMB was a popular supplemet back in the early 1990’s and was introduced to the bodybuilding market by the now defuncted magazine Muscle Media. HMB has proven itself in the laboratory and in the real world of bodybuilders and champion athletes. In fact, it’s one of the most thoroughly studied sports supplements today. HMB is a patented amino acid metabolite discovered by research scientists at Iowa State University. Studies show when intensely trained athletes supplement with HMB, they may gain significantly more mass and strength than athletes using a placebo. Endurance athletes may also significantly boost their stamina. HMB appears to up-regulate your ability to build muscle and burn fat by minimizing protein breakdown during intense exercise. Researchers believe this may tip the balance of protein metabolism in favor of new muscle growth and increased endurance. So, if you’re working out hard and cutting calories, supplementing your diet with three grams of HMB per day could help.
Creatine is perhaps the best supplement ever to hit the sports nutrition market. But, it’s not just for athletes who are trying to bulk up. Creatine has other actions which may help support fat loss along with muscle growth. For instance, a recent study shows creatine may significantly enhance the metabolic rate, 2 which helps your body burn more calories. Creatine may also superhydrate or volumize your muscle cells to further stimulate protein synthesis and decrease protein breakdown. Make no mistake, volumizing isn’t about water retention, which happens outside the cell. Your muscles really are getting bigger, fuller, rounder from the inside out. This could enhance muscularity and create an improved environment for muscle growth. A volumized cell may also be more resistant tobreakdown. After a loading dose of five grams four times a day,a maintenance dose of five grams a day will likely get the job done. Although, I personally take 40 grams a day without all that fancy laoding and maitenace nonsence.
Glutamine and Taurine
If you weight train, chances are you need more L-glutamine than sedentary folks. Glutamine is the most abundant free amino acid in muscle tissue. It plays a crucial role Meal-replacement powders (MRP’s) are a class of supplements specifically designed to provide high-quality, low-fat nutrition. Some take it a step further to help provide metabolic support. When considering an MRP that may support your fat-loss efforts, you may want to find one which includes phosphates, soy-protein isolate, and xylitol. Optimally, the MRP you choose should also contain the amino acids glutamine and taurine, which may provide cell-volumizing and anti-catabolic characteristics to help support muscle mass during calorie restriction. These amino acids may go a long way towards helping preserve muscle mass.Although you can get a lot
of these nutrients in whole foods or by buying each supplement individually, combining these nutrients in the right dose can be difficult.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s)
We all know that saturated fats are bad news, but there are some vitally important unsaturated fats your body absolutely must have for overall health and optimal athletic performance.EFA’s are considered the good fats. Unfortunately, your body can’t produce them, and they’re processed out of many foods. So it’s easy while on a low-calorie regimen to cut the good fats too low. An imbalance in EFA intake can suppress vital growth hormones, weaken connective tissues, slow recuperation, and weaken the immune system. EFA’s are necessary for numerous biochemical reactions in the body.And they’re critical in the formation of prostaglandins,7 hormone-like substances that play a role in a number of functions, including steroidhormone production. In particular, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re getting enough omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, along with EPA, DHA, GLA, and CLA. Omega-3 and omega-6 are the main essentialfatty acids involved in hundreds of metabolic processes. The others, however, are more specialized and may offer specific benefits in a fat-loss program.For instance, clinical research shows CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) may help enhance fat metabolism while supporting muscle in numerous animals.26 More research is underway in humans to help discover the mechanism of CLA’s effects. Although a fatty acid supplement is a convenient way to get your EFA’s, especially during a dieting phase, you can find these valuable fats in whole foods as well. Omega-3, DHA, and EPA, for instance, can be found in high concentrations in many cold-water fish such as salmon. Omega-6 is the most common unsaturated fatty acid and is found in all vegetable-based oils. CLA is a bit hard to come by, but it can be found in small quantities in cheese, whole milk, and cooked ground beef. If you decide to try one of the many supplements that contains a variety of essential fatty acids, look on the label to make sure it contains bothomega-3 (such as fish oils) and omega-6 (such as flaxseed oil) fatty acids, as well as DHA and EPA. CLA may, of course, be an added benefit. in protein metabolism, cell volumizing, and anti-catabolism, which means it could help prevent muscle breakdown. Under periods of stress like intense workouts glutamine may become conditionally essential. That means your body may not be able to make enough. Fortunately, studies show that supplementing with L-glutamine is an effective way to replace these declining levels. What’s more, one study shows that as little as 2 grams of free-form L-glutamine may boost your levels of growth hormone by as much as 400%! Taurine is another important amino acid that can act as a strong anti-catabolic agent. Somewhat like creatine and glutamine, it seems to have potentialcell-volumizing.
Your metabolic system is always seeking balance, so when you start to lose weight, your body may actually fight back. A recent study shows when you lose 10% of your bodyweight, your metabolism drops by 15%.17 It’s as if your body’s forcing you back to your original weight. That’s why boosting your metabolic rate may be such a critical factor in getting and staying lean. Exercise and proper nutrition are a must, but supplementation may help. By combining compounds such as caffeine and synephrine (or adding L-tyrosine, yohimbe, and St. John’s wort), it may be possible to create a fat-burning stack as one more weapon in the battle of the bulge. For instance, a combination of synephrine and caffeine may help accelerate calorie expenditure and enhance fat metabolism. It may upgrade the body’s thermodynamic (heat-producing) processes and help free fatty acids from body fat stores to be used as fuel.
Taking a fat-burning stack 30 to 60 minutes before exercise and/or a meal may work best. However, avoid taking such a formula after 5:00 p.m. as it may keep you awake past your bedtime. There are a number of thermogenic support supplements on the market that might help with fat burning, but when finding the supplement that’s right for you, remember to read the label and look for quality ingredients. Again, it’s important to buy from a reputable distributor.
L-Carnitine is an amino acid found in many foods, particularly meat. It’s also produced naturally in your body. It has become popular among bodybuilders because it may ensure optimal metabolism of fat especially when fat loss exceeds 11/2 lbs per week. Studies suggest athletes may need more L-carnitine than they can produce. That could spell trouble for your performance because L-carnitine plays such a key role in supporting energy metabolism. By transporting fatty acids across cell walls into the mitochondria (the powerhouse of cells), L-carnitine provides your muscles with the fuel they need to make energy.L-Carnitine could be especially important during times of intense exercise because it may also help reduce post-exercise lactic-acid levels and increase maximal work output.29 Studies show it may even
help preserve muscle glycogen during exercise,16 so you may not tire as fast! Experts recommend 400 mg 3 times a day with meals.
Hydroxy Citric Acid (HCA)
HCA is a natural acid extracted from the rind of the Garcinia cambogia tree. Recently, it has become popular with bodybuilders as a natural weight-management tool. Scientists believe HCA works through a powerful one-two punch. First, HCA may partially inhibit the action of an enzyme responsible for producing fatty acids from dietary carbohydrates.This means you may be less inclined to store excess carbs as bodyfat. Second, HCA may help suppress appetite. The bottom line: decreased body fat storage plus decreased appetite equals the potential for a leaner, better physique.
I hope you find the compiled list useful in acheiving your goals.
Well, that is it for now.