Fat-Burning Boosters: What Will Work For You?
There are so many new fat burners on the market – but newer doesn’t always mean better. Before you go out and spend your hard-earned money on some hot new herb you can’t even pronounce, be sure that you have done your homework.
The first thing that you should be concerned with is: Will it hurt me? The next good question is: If it works for me, can I live on it? If you can’t live on it, you probably shouldn’t take it at all. If it does work, but you have to stop taking it, why bother at all? Whatever gets you to your goal is also what KEEPS you there, so you need to be able to do it consistently. The bottom line is that a fat burner should improve your health as well as help you lose fat.
What Consumers Should Know Before Taking Supplements
Always look for a Silver Seal that states that the supplement is manufactured at a ”FDA Inspected GMP Certified Facility” (GMP stands for Good Manufacturing Practice). This means that when a supplement is manufactured, the ingredients are checked on the way into the facility to be sure that everything that is supposed to be present in the supplement is there and is of high quality. Only then are the ingredients escorted into the facility. Once the supplement is made, it is then rechecked on the way out of the lab to be sure that everything that was previously checked made it into the supplement. In other words, it proves that what the label says is true.
Note: You will notice that it is very hard to find a supplement with the FDA GMP certified seal. This process costs a lot of money so most supplement companies aren’t GMP certified. The supplement fraud on the market today is exactly what motivated me to create my own line. I always have my products GMP certified and checked (I am giving them to people like Martha Stewart as well as countless other celebrities so I need to make sure it will not hurt them.)
Be on the lookout for stimulants. Many stimulants have been taken off the market, but companies still use them by disguising them and calling them something different. Look for things like ephedra, gotu cola (above 5mg), straight caffeine or mahuang. These supplements can KILL you. Don’t freak out if your supplement has a little caffeine. A small amount is good for fat loss and won’t hurt you; extra-large doses are the ones you need to watch for. Be careful not to use these while consuming other sources of caffeine or you will over-stimulate your nervous system – and that is horrible for fat loss! ALWAYS consult your health-care professional before starting a supplement program.
More is not better when it comes to taking supplements. It is possible to take too much of anything. This is why it is so important to do your homework and get help from a specialist who can look over your whole diet and lifestyle to be sure that you get the right nutrients in the right amounts. If the nutrient is stored in the fat cells (such as essential fatty acids) and you still have fat on your body, then you have a stored amount of that nutrient and there is no need to take more. Taking more only adds to that storage and can stop or slow your weight/fat loss. (Marketers will always tell you otherwise.)
Some of us, however, do need additional nutritional support, but I always suggest that people use less and keep it simple. The bottom line is that you need to know how much of each different nutrient is the right amount. Not too much or too little.
Top Supplements for Weight Loss
- Multivitamin/Mineral. It needs to be complete, and it should have all of the essential vitamins and minerals in it. Check the US RDAs (recommended dietary allowance), and make sure that they are high enough if you are trying to lose weight. Not getting enough of the right nutrients can stop weight loss as well.
- Whey Protein Shake. Many of us need more of the right kind of protein. Unlike most foods, a good whey protein shake (not soy or milk based) will increase your metabolism 25 percent. If you’re trying to lose body fat, this is THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP in the process. Drink a shake for breakfast!
- Fat-Burning Boosters are important if you have a sluggish metabolism or feel anxious, stressed or depressed. Look for L-Carnitine from a good source. Quality and amount are key here. I suggest layering the L-Carnitine with B vitamins as well as other ingredients to help cleanse your body and make you feel good.
- Calcium is great for weight loss. But I don’t mean drink more milk! If you are trying to lose weight, you can’t afford the extra calories. However, you still need to get the right amount of calcium; that is usually somewhere between 1200-1500 mg. Most multivitamins will not have that amount (it can interfere with the absorption of other nutrients and cause stomach upset as well as diarrhea). It is a good idea to have some type of extra calcium on hand. I love calcium chewables; they taste great and also satisfy a sweet tooth!
Fat burning is a very complex process and it takes time and consistency. Food is 90 percent of your success, so keep your focus on cleaning up your diet, and don’t think for a moment that any supplement is going to do it for you! You have to eat clean and exercise, and only use supplements to SUPPLEMENT your diet.
When you use a high-quality supplement and you have dosed it according to your body’s specific needs, you will then begin to see results. If you don’t feel or see a difference, your supplement may be junk. You get what you pay for – NOT ALL supplements are created equal.
Build Your Metabolism Before You Boost It
Summer is finally here, but if you are like many of us, you may not be feeling ready to bare your skin. Luckily, you can be beach ready in as little as two weeks! The key to losing weight is building up your metabolism so that you can boost it!
A huge mistake people make when attempting to lose weight is that they try to boost their metabolism before they build it. Many people begin using supplements as the first step in their weight-loss program; however, if their metabolism isn’t built strong enough, these supplements won’t work.
Here is the secret to creating a metabolic bonfire that will quickly melt fat from your mid-section: Researchers have discovered that people who diet and exercise shrink their abdominal fat cells twice as much as those who only diet. This means that you need to combine both diet and exercise in order to build your metabolism. Not all exercises will work for melting fat; in fact some exercises will slow down your fat loss or even cause you to gain weight if they are not specifically designed to boost your metabolism. You want a program that melts fat!
Here are three steps to building a metabolic bonfire that melts fat fast!
Metabolic Building Step 1
Eat clean and eat often. What counts as a clean food? Clean foods are the best foods for building your metabolism. Lean proteins such as turkey and chicken breast, white fish, egg whites, high-quality whey protein shakes and leafy green veggies are all fantastic examples of clean foods.
To figure out how much protein you should eat per day, you should aim for eating one gram of protein per pound of lean body weight or per pound of your goal weight. If you want to weigh 120 pounds, aim to eat 120 grams of lean, clean protein every day spread over 5-6 mini meals. Be sure you’re weighing and measuring your foods so that you do not overeat.
Aim to eat 6-8 half-cup servings of veggies every day in order to burn fat while you sleep! More is better when it comes to veggies, but keep cheese and oils out of your veggies if you want it to burn fat!
Metabolic Building Step 2
Choose the correct supplements. Always choose high-quality supplements and remember that you get what you pay for. I suggest using “supplement multitasker.” Instead of taking multiple capsules for different supplements, such as white kidney bean extract, ketones or forskilin, take them together so they are perfectly balanced. Taking blended supplements helps you stay consistent with your supplements and that is what gets results! It is also much less expensive in the long run. Supplement multi-taskers work well because they work in harmony and are always at work building your metabolism, lowering blood sugar, enhancing thyroid function, and curbing cravings.
Metabolic Building Step 3
Exercise intelligently. Build and boost your metabolism by exercising 3 times a week for 30 minutes with workouts that are geared to help you build your metabolism. Most of the commercial workouts that you find at your local gym or on TV are geared toward the 20-something’s that want to add muscle. If you are over 30, then you need a very specific workout that is designed to not only tighten and tone your muscle, but also that create a fat-burning environment. For more information on metabolism-boosting exercise,click here.
5 Ways to Supercharge Your Metabolism
Keeping your metabolism supercharged is the answer to keeping the extra pounds from making it to your stomach, hips and thighs. If your metabolism is in high gear, it will burn the extra calories instead of storing them as fat.
I am NOT saying that you can eat whatever you want and still lose weight. In fact, the opposite is true: You need to eat and exercise a specific way to keep your metabolism supercharged.
There are a few tricks to getting your metabolism to speed up. Some will see and feel results overnight and some “slow burners” may take a week to see the correction. Don’t quit and stay strong!
Here are five things you can do to supercharge your metabolism:
Drink more water. Not drinking enough water can slow your metabolism down by 3%. How much should you drink? Divide your body weight in half and that is your number in ounces to aim for every day. For example, if you weigh 120 pounds, you need to drink 60 ounces of water as a starting point.
Replace one to two meals with a protein shake. This will boost your metabolism by 25%! It will offset some bad eating days while supplying your body with the nutrition that it needs to stay healthy and burn fat. Look for a high-quality whey protein shake with low carbs and no fat, keeping calories under 160 per serving and protein at 25 grams.
Eat green! Eating greens will keep you fuller longer. Eating green vegetables makes your body burn more just to digest them – and if you don’t slather them with butter, you can actually burn more calories to digest them than they contain, so you end up with a caloric deficit! We all want that! Try green peppers, celery and broccoli, as well as all of the lettuces. Dip in salsa for lean eating – not creamy dips!
Fill up on fiber. Not eating enough fiber can kill your diet. Fiber keeps us feeling fuller longer. Aim for 30 grams per day. Try adding a serving of psyllium husk to your protein shake to keep you feeling full, plus it makes the shake thicker!
Workout smart! Long cardio sessions that are not too intense will burn more fat than working too hard. If you work too hard, you may not be able to work out long enough; just when your body is ready to start burning fat, you stop and so does the fat burning. Studies are also proving that when people work out too hard, they actually get hungrier and they went to eat more and not less – and that is the worst thing for fat loss!
Eat Chocolate, Cut Cravings and Feel Better
Being hungry and craving sweets are two of the main reasons people fall off their diets. In many cases, the real reasons for cravings sweets or thinking we are hungry is because we don’t feel good. I refer to this as a funk, and in some cases, depression. There is a scientific reason for this. The good news is that knowing why you crave comfort foods can also help you resist them. The solution is getting you to feel better and properly nourishing your body to stop cravings before they begin. So, what’s behind the cravings? It all starts with serotonin.
Produced by your brain, serotonin is the “feel good” hormone. When your brain produces enough of it, serotonin can help you feel calm, confident and happy. Sunshine stimulates our brains to produce plenty of serotonin, but during the short days of fall and winter, our brains need extra stimulation to produce enough serotonin. This may be why we crave things like bread, crackers, cereal and sweets, especially chocolate, because they stimulate serotonin production.
There are other things you can do to boost serotonin, even if you have craved the wrong foods your whole life. Be patient if you’re someone who has always craved the wrong things or can’t stick to a diet – this can be fixed!
6 Ways to Boost Your Serotonin and Stop Cravings
- Place 6 drops of oxytocin under your tongue within 1 hour of waking to help combat the stress hormones that are making you crave the wrong foods. You will feel better right away and may even want to exercise. Oxytocin blunts the secretion of the stress hormone cortisol and that will help melt fat around your waist.
- Exercise every day to boost your endorphins and support serotonin production. Your workouts will help you stay grounded because you will feel better instantly! The best kinds of workouts are not slow weightlifting workouts but metabolic-boosting workouts. And you don't have to kill yourself either!
- Eat your greens! Meeting your body’s nutrient requirements is the secret to your success. Aim for 6 servings of vegetables per day. They are full of fiber and are unlimited free foods that will help stop cravings and keep you feeling full so you don’t overeat on the wrong things!
- Drink yourself happy! No – not alcohol. A high-quality whey protein shake with at least 1000mg of glutamine can boost your brain power and help you feel better fast without stimulants. This is one of the most important life-changing steps that everyone can do every day to not only help you lose weight but to keep it off. The glutamine in the shake can help ease depression. If you could only use one supplement, I suggest the protein shake. Look for 24 grams of protein, no fat, low sugar and low carbs.
- Meditate or pray daily. Cultivate a habit of prayer or meditation every day to quiet your mind and reduce stress. If you’re having trouble, grab a good book to read each day. Even 5 minutes can make a big difference. One of my favorite books is Turn It Around by Pastor Frank Santora. Just like the title says, you can turn it around and sometimes all we need is faith! Remember that our physical lives are not separate from our "spiritual" lives; in fact, they are one. Almost always, we neglect this crucial step because we are busy or too tired, and it’s the most important step to our health and well-being!
- Eat chocolate every day! Choose chocolate that is at least 70% cacao. Dark chocolate also boosts the feel-good hormones and you’re less likely to overeat dark chocolate because it’s not full of sugar like milk chocolate. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and gives us a feeling of doing something good for ourselves.
Fat-Loss Tricks That Actually Work
No matter what type of diet or fitness program you choose, the fact of the matter is you still have to eat less calories than you burn off if you want to lose weight. The truth is you don’t even have to step foot into a gym to lose weight if you follow this rule. Now, trust me – I am not suggesting that you don’t exercise because exercise will keep the weight off. But, I am saying that even when life gets busy and you don’t get into the gym, you will still lose weight if your calories are on track.
You need to know these three numbers if you are serious about burning fat:
- Calories - Multiply your goal weight by 10 = Total calories per day (Example: Your goal weight is 120 pounds; 120 x 10 = 1200 calories per day)
- Carbohydrates need to be kept at 100 grams or less per day to lose weight and reduce body fat.
- Fat - Eat less than 20 grams per day to lose weight and body fat!
How do I do this you ask? Here are five easy ways to push your body into the fat-burning zone before you enter the gym!
- Replace your favorite breakfast with a clean whey protein shake; this will increase your metabolism 25% and keep it burning strong all day. Be sure your shake is under 160 calories, low carb and no fat! Look for 24 grams of protein max.
- Have a large tossed salad with 3 ounces of chicken breast or tuna fish for lunch. Your best bet is to have a shake and a salad (no animal protein) if you really want to lose fast!
- Instead of your favorite snack foods, have a piece of fruit instead to cleanse and detox your body.
- Swap the starch out at dinner for an additional vegetable. This is easier to do than you think! Go for grilled fish with a salad and vegetable – or better yet, have three vegetables!
- Try to eat between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. – not before or after. This is a very easy yet extremely effective way to get your body to burn stored fat for fuel.
Each one of these simple swaps can cause you to lose 1-2 pounds in the first week, the safe and healthy way. Try to follow this cleansing program for 1-2 weeks, depending on how much weight you need to lose. Many professional models and actresses follow this system Monday through Thursday to keep their weight in check and their bodies running clean and healthy! Don’t forget to do 60 minutes of cardio a day to get your fat-burning engines running in high gear!
Lose Pounds by Valentine's Day
If losing weight is one of your resolutions for 2012, then get ready for a new year and a new you with my Slimmer by Dinner Meal Plan. Following a plan actually makes our lives easier by removing temptations and hard decisions so you’re not thinking about food all day. Anyone can do this anywhere and anytime, and the best part is that it’s guaranteed to work even if you’re severely metabolic resistant or have thyroid problems.
In fact, this plan was created for people with hypothyroidism and have the hardest time losing weight. That means if you’re not hypothyroid, you will lose weight even more quickly. Expect to flatten out your stomach, tighten up jiggly areas, and lose inches – not just weight.
Are you ready to get started? Here are three things you will need to do to lose weight fast:
1. Prep your body to burn fat first thing in the morning and all day long by drinking a protein shake for breakfast, along with:
- 1 cup of black coffee
- At least 700mg of L-Carnitine if you need extra metabolic support
Repeat this for lunch as well for best results.
2. Have two snacks per day! A high-protein bar (must be low-fat and low-carb) and a green apple are snacks that cause weight loss, so don’t skip them! If you’re a frequent snacker, try splitting the protein bar into thirds or at least in half and use it as your “need-to-chew” food that will keep you on track!
3. Eat “green and beige” for dinner. While fish is always best, my favorite recipe when I’m trying to lose weight and I need comfort food is the Turkey Meatball and Salad Soup (which you can find on my website). Remember, any cold salad can be tossed into a pan and heated for a warm, yummy, filling dinner. All I do is add some garlic powder and 2 minutes later, my dinner is done and I feel full and satisfied!
5 Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
“I'll start my weight-loss program after the holidays.” So many people say it, but that attitude can kill you. Literally. Every time you indulge in high-fat foods you damage your veins and metabolism, often permanently. For many overweight people the havoc wreaked by a poor diet can take years to correct.
To avoid such lasting problems, employ these 5 tricks to rev up your metabolism and force it to burn fat even when you’re not eating perfectly (say, when you’re surrounded by cookies, cakes and eggnog).
Energy Drinks: 3 Natural Alternatives
What would you say if I told you that your energy drink contained a half-cup of sugar, excessive levels of caffeine, unidentified stimulants, red food dye and taurine, among other health-harming ingredients? Many of the most popular energy drinks contain ingredients you wouldn’t put in your car – so why would you put it in your body?
Energy drinks are supposed to provide mental and physical stimulation for a set amount of time and are mainly used during periods of strenuous physical activity and to quench thirst. Unfortunately, energy drinks do not hydrate the body and can actually cause dehydration. Energy drinks can also cause serious health problems, such as increased blood pressure, stomach problems, panic attacks, anxiety, and cardiac arrhythmias. They can even cause tooth erosion.
One of the major concerns of consuming these energy drinks when you’re tired is that it masks the symptoms of fatigue. When we do this, we push our bodies past what they are capable of doing and place dangerous strain on the heart muscle. Even drinking too much coffee can place this strain on our bodies and our hearts. Masking fatigue by using stimulants like energy drinks or drinking strong coffee makes us feel worse in the long run. When we crash, we feel even more tired and weaken our immune system, as well as stressing our adrenal system. Headaches, nausea, as well as severe irritability are a few of the symptoms that can be felt when coming off these types of drinks. This is what makes them highly addictive – the only way to feel better is to drink another one or take more supplements.
So, what should we do when we are tired and not feeling good? We need to step back and assess why we are so tired in the first place. The solution is in the problem! Most people are tired and lack energy due to poor sleep and/or because they aren’t getting enough of the right nutrients that make us feel good and keep our energy levels balanced all day.
3 Things You Can Do to Increase Your Energy
1. Get enough protein. Sixty percent of women do not get enough protein in their diets and that is often the number-one reason for fatigue! Reaching your body’s protein requirements is not easy and it’s a lot of work. Most of us need to consume 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body weight. If you want to weigh 120 pounds, you need to consume 120 grams of protein per day from lean sources such as egg whites, fish, turkey and chicken breast, or non-fat cottage cheese. I suggest that all women drink a high-quality protein shake every day to satisfy their body’s nutrient requirements.
Protein shakes make your life easy. You don’t have to think, plan or cook – just drink and go! Be sure to look for a high-quality whey protein shake that is under 160 calories and has no fat, minimal carbs and under 5 grams of sugar. Make sure the whey protein you choose is geared for health and weight loss and NOT weight gain, so you can add it to oatmeal or make a delicious shake for breakfast.
I also recommend that the shake have at least 2000 mg of glutamine already added to it. Glutamine is an awesome brain booster that can help ease depression and keep you alert for hours without the crashes that come with energy drinks. I adore my chocolate whey drink every morning in a small cup with very little water; I eat it like fudge brownie batter – yet it’s virtually sugar-free, contains no fat, and is absolutely delicious! If I dont want it cold, I make it like “healthy hot chocolate” or add it to my oatmeal. I always struggle with meeting my protein requirements and having a whey protein shake makes reaching my daily numbers do-able because I can add it to my coffee or to baked goods, such as health muffins. Whey has also been known to decrease blood pressure and increase energy, strength, and also ease depression.
2. Sleep more. Plan your life around your sleep schedule to get as much sleep as possible. It’s as simple as planning your activities so that you are home in enough time to relax and get sleepy. There is nothing more powerful as a good night’s sleep! Getting enough rest is the very best way to slow aging and feel great! Aim for 7-8 hours each night and create a sleep pattern so you go to bed at the same time every day and wake up at the same time every day, even on your days off. It will be well worth it – I promise. This step is extra important for anyone who struggles with depression and anxiety. If all else fails and you can’t sleep well due to stress or hormonal changes, take 3 mg of melatonin 30 minutes before bedtime or six drops of oxytocin to ease anxiety and help you sleep deeper. All healing happens when we sleep, so make it your priority!
3. Drink water! We all need to consume a minimum of eight glasses of water daily to hydrate our bodies. If we are even a little dehydrated, our metabolism can slow down up to 3%! Fill a large water pitcher full of cold water, and add slices of lemons, limes or oranges to make it more appealing so you’ll drink more. Not only does it look great, but it’s less expensive than buying bottled water, which helps our Earth at the same time. Get out your favorite glass and leave the pitcher out in front of your face so you’re called to it everytime you walk by.
Taking care of your health is the best way to prevent fatigue so you never need to buy those garbage drinks again!