Saturday, 31 October 2015

Can You Lose Weight With Energy Drinks?

The energy-drink buzz might make you feel as though you're torching calories at warp speed, but these beverages are no quick fix for weight loss. In reality, the best way to lose weight is to reduce caloric intake and increase physical activity -- something that no food or drink can do for you.

A Slight Kick

Energy drinks do provide a slight metabolic boost -- meaning they speed up calorie burning -- because they contain caffeine. The effect is minimal, however, and Columbia Health reports that caffeine from energy drinks may cause you to burn fewer than 100 extra calories per day. For perspective, you need to burn 3,500 more calories than you eat to lose 1 pound of body fat. Relying on energy drinks alone, you'd need well over a month to accomplish this.

Sugar Content

Any calorie-burning boost will diminish quickly if you consume sugar-sweetened energy drinks. One major brand of energy drink contains 116 calories per 8-ounce can, most of which come from sugar. Adding these to your diet may result in weight gain, not loss -- particularly if you don't compensate with increased physical activity.

Diet-Beverage Data

Sugar-free energy drinks may contain as few as 12 calories per 8-ounce can, but that still doesn't mean they'll help you lose weight. Diet beverages have links to weight gain, according to NPR, possibly because of the way your body responds to them. These drinks contain artificial sweeteners that trick your body into releasing natural sugar-processing hormones. Over time, you may start to release fewer of these hormones, which may affect your appetite as well as blood-sugar management.

Energy-Drink Safety

Energy drinks sometimes cause side effects, mainly due to high caffeine content. Caffeine can cause jitteriness, sleeplessness, heart palpitations and other adverse reactions, especially in high doses. Energy drinks typically contain 80 to 100 milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce serving; moderate caffeine intake is set at 200 to 300 milligrams of caffeine per day, according to MedlinePlus, so drinking more than two to three energy drinks daily isn't advisable. People who have low tolerance for caffeine may experience side effects from consuming just one energy drink.



Friday, 30 October 2015

Amino acids and their significance for fat burning

Amino acids, vitamins, minerals and trace elements play a significant role in weight loss.

Whether we gradually put on weight or stay slim generally depends on our hormones. And herein lays the key to weight loss: the systematic supplementation of certain amino acids allows us to stimulate the body to produce enough fat-burning hormones – in a natural manner and in harmony with the body's needs. 
One important fat-burning hormone is the growth hormone (somatotropin, STH). We produce this hormone while we sleep. It stimulates protein synthesis and boosts fat oxidation. Overweight patients generally have lower STH concentrations, which often hinders weight reduction. Unfortunately, the growth hormone is very expensive (approximately GBP 400–650 for a monthly ration) and must be injected under close and competent medical supervision. It is thus safer to simulate our bodies to secrete this hormone naturally. Certain amino acids have been shown to do this in many cases if sufficient quantities are taken on an empty stomach at night.

Amino acids capable of this are:

  • Arginine
  • Glutamine
  • Methionine
The synthesis of the growth hormone also requires vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and zinc.

Studies have shown that obese patients may have a carnitine deficiency.

In this case, carnitine substitution (food supplementation) is certainly worthwhile. Carnitine is a biocarrier (transport substance), which is synthesised in the liver – and its precursor in the kidneys – from the two essential amino acids lysine and methionine. It acts as a carrier molecule that transports long-chain fatty acids through the inner mitochondrial membrane. Long-chain fatty acids can only pass through the membrane if they have been esterified with carnitine, whereas medium- and short-chain fatty acids can pass without this carrier (transport molecule)

Carnitine as a fat burner

Carnitine transports fatty acids more quickly and throws them into the metabolic furnace. This means that the body is burning fat instead of storing it. Owing to its fat-oxidising effect, carnitine is also used for weight reduction and is often referred to as a “fat burner”.
Carnitine is synthesised in five steps that also involve the essential co-factors vitamin B6, vitamin B12, niacin and folic acid. A deficiency in any of these substances may limit carnitine biosynthesis.
Professor Luppa from the University of Leipzig wrote about the fat-burning capabilities of l-carnitine in his essay from 2004, “in regards to the prevention of obesity, it can be said that current measures to improve the breakdown of fat are more effective than the propagated restrictions on fat intake in the diet. However, the precondition is the optimal functioning of the fat metabolism and its regulation. L-carnitine plays a decisive role as an essential co-factor in both cases. A deficiency in l-carnitine reduces the breakdown of fatty acids in the mitochondrial matrix due to its function as a carrier. L-carnitine is also important in regulating fat and carbohydrate metabolism for it is a substrate of the carnitine palmitoyl transferase (CPT).”
Furthermore, “restrictions in the availability of l-carnitine are not only recognisable in the adaptability of the lipid metabolism as the carbohydrate and protein metabolisms are also affected. As a consequence, reduced blood sugar levels and increased protein degradation can occur.”

There was clear evidence that carnitine can increase fat oxidation in certain cells of the body.

Furthermore, work by two scientists from Switzerland and the USA has now proved that the administration of carnitine can boost mobilization of fatty acids from the adipocytes (fat cells) and also increase oxidation of fatty acids in these cells.
Moreover, sufficient data has been obtained from seven animal models which all clearly prove that carnitine supplementation during a calorie-reduced diet can lead not only to a significant decrease in the body fat compared to a placebo, but also to a simultaneous increase in fat-free muscle mass.

Carnitine facilitates weight management

A 2013 clinical study has attracted a great deal of attention. It showed that dietary supplementation with 500mg L-carnitine per day, in combination with motivational training, already ensures significant weight loss in overweight individuals. Study participants were able to lose an average of 400g of body fat within four weeks, without changing their diets or level of exercise. Waist circumference measurements showed an average decrease of 1.3cm.

Glutamine counteracts fat storage

Glutamine can be converted to glucose in the kidneys without affecting the glucagon and insulin counts. Therefore, it also contributes to the energy supply while being able to bypass insulin-induced fat storage.
It counteracts the storage of dietary fats and thus helps regulate weight. One study showed that supplementation with glutamine in a high-fat diet resulted in a loss of body fat. Furthermore, glutamine can reduce cravings for sugar and alcohol.
The B-vitamins and zinc are also important for fat burning. Vitamin B is very helpful when trying to lose weight, as almost all of the B-vitamins stimulate the body’s ability to break down fat. Moreover, they are also a nutritional source for the nerves, a factor which should not be underestimated, especially by those who wish to lose weight. The B-vitamins riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), biotin (B7) and cobalamin (B12) are responsible for controlling the metabolism and stimulate the breakdown of body fats. They are particularly effective and fast in regards to fat burning. Vitamin B2 is important as it quickly converts proteins, carbohydrates and fats to energy. The trace element zinc has similar properties for it supports the body in processing fat and carbohydrates and it is indispensable for a functioning protein metabolism. Amino acids can therefore only fulfil their important tasks for the lipid metabolism with a sufficient supply of zinc.



1Rudman, D., Feller, A.G., Cohn, L., Shetty, K.R., Rudman, I.W. & Draper, M.W. (1991) Effects of human growth hormone on body composition Hormone research, Volume 36 supplement 1, (pp. 73-81)
2Merimee, T.J., Lillicrap, D.A. & Rabinowitz, D. (1965) Effect of arginine on serum-levels of human growth-hormone Lancet, Volume 2, issue 7414, (pp. 668-670)
3Welbourne, T.C. (1995) Increased plasma bicarbonate and growth hormone after an oral glutamine load,The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 61, issue 5, (pp. 1058-1061)
4Kasai, K., Kobayashi, M. & Shimoda, S.I. (1978) Stimulatory effect of glycine on human growth hormone secretion, Metabolism, Clinical and Experimental, Volume 27, issue 2, (pp. 201-208)
5Evangeliou, A. & Vlassopoulos, D. (2003) Carnitine Metabolism and Deficit – When Supplementation is Necessary? Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology (pp. 211-219)
6Müller, D.M., Seim, H., Kiess, W., Löster, H. & Richter, T. (2002) Effects of Oral l-Carnitine Supplementation on In Vivo Long-Chain Fatty Acid Oxidation in Healthy Adults, Metabolism, Vol. 51, issue 11, (pp. 1389-1391)
7Wutzke, K.D. & Lorenz, H. (2004) The Effect of l-Carnitine on Fat Oxidation, Protein Turnover, and Body Composition in Slightly Overweight Subjects, Metabolism, Vol. 53, issue 8, (pp. 1002-1006)
8Reda, E., D'Iddio, S., Nicolai, R., Benatti, P. & Calvani, M. (2003) The Carnitine System and Body Composition, Acta Diabetol, issue 40, (pp. 106-113)
9Odo, S., Tanabe, K. & Yamauchi, M. (2013) A Pilot Clinical Trial on L-Carnitine Supplementation in Combination with Motivation Training: Effects on Weight Management in Healthy Volunteers, Food and Nutrition, Volume 4, (pp. 222-231)
10Prada, P.O., Hirabara, S.M., de Souza, C.T., Schenka, A.A., Zecchin,H.G., Vassallo, J., Velloso, L.A., Carneiro, E., Carvalheira, J.B., Curi, R. & Saad, M.J. (2007) L-glutamine supplementation induces insulin resistance in adipose tissue and improves insulin signalling in liver and muscle with diet-induced obesity,Diabetologia, Volume 50, issue 9, (pp. 149-159)
11Bowtell, J.L., Gelly, K., Jackman, M.L., Patel, A., Simeoni, M. & Rennie, M.J. (1999) Effect of oral glutamine on whole body carbohydrate storage during recovery from exhaustive exercise, Journal Of Applied Physiology, Volume 86, issue 6, (pp. 1770-1777)

Does caffeine help with weight loss?

Caffeine may slightly boost weight loss or prevent weight gain, but there's no sound evidence that increased caffeine consumption results in significant or permanent weight loss.
Caffeine is found in many beverages, including coffee, tea, energy drinks and colas; in products containing cocoa or chocolate; and in a variety of medications and dietary supplements, including supplements aimed at weight loss.
Although research about the connection between caffeine and weight isn't definitive, there are a few theories about how caffeine might affect weight, including:
  • Appetite suppression. Caffeine may reduce your desire to eat for a brief time, but there's not enough evidence to show that long-term consumption aids weight loss.
  • Calorie burning. Caffeine may stimulate thermogenesis — one way your body generates heat and energy from digesting food. But this probably isn't enough to produce significant weight loss.

Some studies looking at caffeine and weight were poor quality or done on animals, making the results questionable or hard to generalize to humans. In addition, some studies found that even decaffeinated coffee may contribute to modest weight loss, suggesting that substances or factors besides caffeine may play a role in weight loss.
The bottom line: Be cautious about using caffeine products to help with weight loss. When used in moderation (400 milligrams or less) by healthy adults, caffeine is generally safe. But too much caffeine might cause nervousness, insomnia, nausea, increased blood pressure and other problems.
Also keep in mind that some caffeinated beverages, such as specialty coffees, are high in calories and fat. So instead of losing weight, you might actually gain weight if you drink too many of these.


Thursday, 29 October 2015

10 Moves That Target Cellulite

Firm your butt and smooth your thighs in less than 5 minutes a day

So long, cellulite

We slather on creams to smooth it, wear jeans in 80-degree heat to hide it—and yet, about 80% of women over age 45 don’t do the best thing to actually make cellulite disappear: strength train.
Because cellulite is simply fat, many people—experts included—have claimed that the only way to lose cellulite is to lose body fat. But the most current thinking on cellulite goes a layer deeper, to the muscle that ultimately gives fat its shape. "As women age, they lose muscle," says Wayne L. Westcott, PhD, Prevention advisor and fitness research director at Quincy College. "As that muscle layer becomes thinner, weaker, and less firm, that overlying fat layer now doesn’t have a stable base. The fat crinkles and wrinkles and goes in any direction because there’s not a solid, smooth foundation underneath it."
Westcott's way of thinking explains why you can spend hours on the elliptical and your cellulite won’t budge: Even if you lose body fat, the remaining fat is still sitting on the same weak muscle tissue, giving the fat the same lumpy texture. "Cellulite is a two-fold problem, so we need a two-fold solution," Westcott says. "Strength train to get the muscles firm and strong, and lose excess body fat."  
We asked Los Angeles-based fitness expert Doris Thews for the most efficient lower-body moves ever. Each exercise works nearly every part of your lower body—butt, hips, and thighs. In fact, they’re so efficient that tagging on just one of the following exercises to your regular workout 3 to 4 times a week can transform your entire lower body. Unless otherwise noted, complete one to three sets of each exercise.

Clockwork Lunge

1. STAND with hands on your hips and feet hip-width apart.
2. TAKE a big step forward with your right foot and lower down until your right leg is bent 90° and your left knee is nearly touching the floor. Push back up to starting position.
3. TAKE a big step to the right with your right foot, bending the right knee and keeping the left leg straight. Return to the starting position.
4. TAKE a big step back with your right foot. Lower until left leg is bent 90° and right knee is almost touching the floor. Return to starting position.
REPEAT with the left foot, stepping to the front, then to the left side, then back. That’s one set. Do 15 sets.

Plié Squat With Alternating Heel Raise

1. STAND with feet about 3 feet apart, toes pointed out.
2. LOWER down until thighs are nearly parallel to the floor. Push yourself back up to standing. That’s one rep. Do 15 reps.
3. REPEAT the same move, but raise the right heel as you lower down. Do 15 reps.
4. REPEAT the same move, but raise your left heel as you lower your body down. Do 15 reps.

Alternating Abduction Squats

PLACE a weighted stability ball about one foot in front of you. (A Swiss ball works, too.)
1. RAISE your right leg and touch the top of the ball with your foot. Use your foot to swipe the ball to the right side, landing with your feet shoulder-width apart.
2. SQUAT: Bend at your knees and lower your body down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Push yourself back to standing.
REPEAT using left side
NOTE: If you don’t have a BOSU ball or Swiss ball, do the same motion but without the ball. Raise your knee up to about hip-height, swipe your leg out to the side, and land with feet shoulder-width apart.

Adduction Curtsy Lunge And Squat

PLACE a weighted stability ball about one foot in front of you.
1. TOUCH your left foot to the top of the ball. Swipe the ball to the right, moving right leg across your body.
2. LAND with right foot crossed in front of your left, like a curtsy.
3. STAND up as you raise your left leg to touch the top of the ball. Swipe the ball to the left and land with your feet shoulder-width apart.
4. BEND knees to lower down, then raise back up.

Squat With Calf Raise

1. STAND with feet hip-width apart. Bend at the knees and hips to lower down until thighs are parallel to the floor.
2. STAND up, then lift your heels and shift weight onto the balls of your feet. Lower your heels to return to starting position. Do 15 reps.

Brazilian Lunge

1. STAND with left foot about 3 feet in front of right foot, right foot resting on top of a BOSU Balance Trainer (a sturdy chair or bench works, too).
2. BEND knees to lower into a lunge, left knee bent at 90° and right knee lowering toward floor.
RAISE your body back up (don’t move your feet). Do 15 reps on each leg.
3. + 4. CHALLENGE: Touch your arms to the ground when you lower down. Raise your arms and jump, keeping feet in a split position, to come back up.

Hip Bridge

1. LIE on your back with knees bent and feet on top of a BOSU Balance Trainer (if you don’t have a BOSU, keep your feet on the floor).
2. RAISE hips so that knees, hips, and chest are in a straight line. Squeeze butt muscles and keep knees in line with hips. Hold for about 3 seconds, then lower hips to the starting position. Repeat 15 times.

Swiss Ball Hip Lift And Hamstring Curl

1. LIE on your back with legs extended and heels on top of a Swiss ball or weighted stability ball.
2. LIFT hips up so that feet, hips, and chest are in a straight line.
3. BEND your knees to pull the ball toward you. Straighten your legs to push the ball away. Lower your butt down. That’s one rep. Do 15 reps.

Boot Strappers

1. STAND with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend at the waist to touch your toes. (It’s OK to bend your knees slightly.)
2. BEND knees and lower your butt until it nearly touches the floor. Allow heels to lift if needed.
3. KEEP your hands on your toes. Lift your butt up so that you’re in a toe-touch position again.
4. BEND knees and lower butt to the floor again. This time stand all the way up. That’s one rep. Do 15 reps.

Straight-Leg Deadlift

1. STAND with feet hip-width apart. Hold 1 weight in each hand, palms facing your body.
2. HINGE at hips to lower torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor, keeping legs straight.
RETURN to the starting position. Repeat 15 times.


Women using energy drinks to lose weight worries experts

"I honestly hate most energy drinks, they're all sugar and caffeine and can become addictive, from what I hear, but sometimes my energy is so low I have to have SOMETHING - but I don't want to eat, because that usually ends in a binge/purge."

This is the sad logic of one girl seeking advice about energy drinks to suppress her appetite on an anorexia forum. 

On a separate eating disorder forum, girls discuss ways to give their exhausted bodies a jolt of energy.

"Drink a lot of fluids and also even though they aren't good for you, i find that zero energy drinks are awesome for giving you a boost of fake energy," advises one user, while another reminds that filling up on fluids of any kind will help keep her full.
Workshopping ways to avoid eating or consuming calories is common among women trying to lose weight

The latest method -  using energy drinks to replace meals -has caught the attention of experts. And they are worried.

Associate Professor Ross King, of Deakin University first came across the trend during his work treating eating disorder patients as a psychologist.

This lead him to conduct a small study of 97 women with eating disorders which found  about  a third were using energy drinks instead of eating. 

"We know people with eating disorders do abuse caffeine, so this provides a new avenue for them to use energy drinks as a way of replacing meals and creating a sense of fullness,"  King told the ABC.

"Because they're physically compromised, I think that's raised a real concern about issues around energy drink abuse. It adds another risk factor to their physical health."

Previous studies have found those with eating disorders tend towards excessive consumption of caffeine, artificial sweeteners, and fluids.

One 2011 study from the International Journal of Eating Disorders found that individuals with eating disorders turn to energy drinks "as a means to increase energy levels and suppress appetite". This is despite the fact that "the medical repercussions of the misuse of these substances can be significant".

Caffeine overuse can lead to anxiety, tremors and withdrawal headaches. Artificial sweeteners, often used in zero-sugar drinks favoured for their low calories, can cause abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhoea, while excessive fluid consumption can result in electrolyte imbalances and seizures.

And this is in your average person.

For an individual with an eating disorder, who is restricting nutrients and possibly also abusing laxatives or vomiting in addition to taking energy drinks, the potential for complications are greater.


Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Eat Eggs for Weight Loss

Going to work on a couple of eggs might be the way forward if you want to shift those pounds. According to new research from the Rochester Centre for Obesity in America, eating eggs for breakfast could help to limit your calorie intake throughout the rest of the day, by more than 400 calories.
In the study, 30 overweight or obese women ate either an egg-based breakfast (2 eggs) or a bagel-based breakfast, containing the same amount of calories and almost identical levels of protein. The researchers recorded the women’s eating habits and found that just before lunch, the women who had eaten eggs for breakfast felt less hungry and ate a smaller lunch as a result. Better still, over the next 36 hours the group eating the egg-containing breakfast consumed, on average, 417 calories less than the bagel-eating group.

Weight Loss Resources says…

This study suggests that eating eggs for breakfast makes you feel fuller for longer so that you eat less at your next few meals. This is great news if you’re trying to lose weight as it means you may find it easier to cut calories without feeling hungry. In fact, based on these results you could expect to lose up to 2lb a month, simply by eating eggs for breakfast!
Eggs are packed with a variety of nutrients including protein, zinc, iron and vitamins A, D, E and B12, but contain just 85 calories each. Old advice to limit eggs to just a few each week has also been abandoned. According to the Food Standards Agency, there’s now no limit to the number of eggs you can eat in a week as part of a healthy balanced diet. If you fancy starting the day with eggs we suggest you avoid frying them and combine them with wholemeal toast and a glass of vitamin C-rich unsweetened orange juice, which will help the body make the best use of the iron in the eggs.

Use the tools in Weight Loss Resources free

Weight Loss Resources provides tools and information to control your weight by getting your calorie balance right and learning what works best for you. You can access the calorie database and keep an online food diaryTry it Free for 24 hours.
Are you a huge fan of eggs and bacon for breakfast? Well cut down on the bacon and add a couple more eggs and your good to go! Eating eggs is so the way to go! They're both yummy and healthy! Just make sure you get 'Cage Free' eggs ok guys. Do your bit to help.