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How To Increase Your Metabolism for Weight Loss

woman made of fireDo you ever feel like your body is your worst enemy? You try and try to lose weight by diligently following every diet that promises you will shed the pounds. It just seems like the fat just sticks to you, going nowhere. You feel like a failure, and you want to give up on the chance of ever being thin.

It may not be you at all, but that your body needs its metabolism jumpstarted. There are three things to consider where your metabolic rate is concerned. First of all, you are always burning calories since your body’s processes (like breathing, heart rate, etc.) need energy to work. Energy is also needed to digest the food you put in your stomach. Then you have the energy that is needed for activity. Your resting metabolic rate (RMR) is what your body burns at rest. Having your RMR burn at a higher rate will be the key to losing weight. A higher metabolism allows you to burn calories at a faster, more efficient rate. The pounds will start to come off like they should with a balanced, healthy diet and moderate exercise. But how does one “jumpstart” their metabolic rate?

First of all, the worst thing you can do to cause your metabolism to nosedive is crash dieting. Reducing your calories per day to ridiculous lows (less than 1000 calories a day) will make resting metabolic rate sluggish. You need to eat no less than 1,200 calories a day if you’re a woman and 1,800 calories if you are a man.

Put more carbohydrates in your diet and less fat. Fat contains 9 calories per gram versus the 4 calories per gram in carbohydrates, so as you can see, the calorie count can go up very quickly the more fatty foods you eat. You can find many low-fat versions of your favorite foods at the supermarket.

Learn to graze. The concept of eating smaller, more frequent meals is new for many people but has been shown to improve the metabolic rate. Do not overeat and starve the rest of the day. Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner on smaller plates. Then add two small snacks in between the meals.

Be more active. Exercise will in itself increase a person’s ability to burn calories. Adding muscle mass will raise the metabolic rate since muscles need calories to sustain itself. The more muscle tissue, the higher your metabolism will be.

Choose foods that take more effort to digest. If you eat vegetables and fruit in their natural form, the body will have to work harder to break it down. Just think about a raw carrot slice soaking in warm water. It will not break down much at all this way. Using energy to boil it, you can get it soft and press it flat. Now think of how the body needs to use enzymes and hydrochloric acid in your stomach to break apart the carrot in tiny particles. The energy expended is calories burned.

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Is Garcinia Cambogia Extract Up to the Hype?

garcinia cambogia fruitGarcinia Cambogia Extract is the latest weightloss supplement that is growing rapidly in popularity. Doctor OZ called it “a revolutionary fat buster”. So what is Garcinia Cambogia and what has everyone so excited? Garcinia Cambogia is a pumpkin shaped fruit found in Southeast Asia that has been consumed by its people for hundreds of years. Garcinia Cambogia contains an active ingredient called hydroxycitric acid(HCA). HCA is a dual action fat buster. It works by increasing the breakdown of fats in the body and suppressing appetite. It can also be a great product for people who need to watch their blood sugar as it improves post-meal insulin sensitivity.

Here are a few of the ways that Garcinia cambogia extract can help you achieve your weight loss goals:

Appetite suppressant and mood enhancer
It helps suppress a person’s appetite by increasing serotonin availability. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter responsible for happy moods. This is another reason why Garcinia cambogia extract can help emotional eaters.

Blocks fat production
The great thing about Garcinia cambogia extract is that it discourages fat production in the body. HCA has been found to inhibit the synthesis of fat cells by blocking an enzyme that produces these fatty acids. Instead of storing carbohydrates as fat, your body uses them for energy.

Improves lipid levels
It has been found that Garcinia cambogia extract helps normalize blood lipids. This is done by inhibiting enzymes that are responsible for the production of cholesterol and triglycerides. Not only do you lose weight, your cholesterol levels will be improving.

Manages stress hormones
By improving mood, Garcinia cambogia extract may decrease levels of cortisol, one of the hormones that causes your body to store belly fat. Cortisol becomes worse with stress so controlling the levels will facilitate weight loss.

When shopping for Garcinia cambogia extract, you should look for the following to ensure you are buying a quality product:

  • Make sure that your getting pure Garcinia Cambogia Extract (GCE). If you see that it has fillers, binders, or other inert ingredients, you know that you are not getting the pure extract. Also beware of proprietary blends that do not list the exact amount of each ingredient.
  • It should contain 50% hydroxycitric acid or HCA. If it does not have at least this percentage, don’t buy it. This may also be listed as Super Citrimax®.
  • Make sure potassium is listed in the ingredients. Potassium helps your body absorb the HCA. If it doesn’t have potassium don’t buy it.

The recommended dose for Garcinia cambogia extract is between 500 mg – 1,000 mg before each meal, for a maximum of 3000 mg per day. Do not exceed 3000 mg per day without consulting a physician.

Expect to lose anywhere between 9 – 12 pounds in three months without diet or exercise. If an individual incorporates a low-fat diet and moderate exercise, they can expect to lose up to three times what they would lose with diet and exercise alone.

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Eight Supplements to Enhance Your Fat Burning

pile of pills and capsulesEveryone needs a little help now and then. So if you are exercising your butt off and still not seeing the results you desire, you may want to check out some of the supplements on the market that can boost your metabolism and give your workout the extra edge it needs. The following ingredients have been found to stimulate your body to burn fat and make your workout much more efficient.

This supplement works to get your fat cells to release their excess fat. You will need to take 5-20 mg of yohimbe 2-3 times a day. It is best to take a dose between 30 minutes to 1 hour before working out.

Carnitine is an amino acid compound that facilitates the transport of fat into the mitochondria of the cells. The mitochondria is where energy is used up within its cell so when you take carnitine, you will be maximizing its fat-burning properties. You may take 1-2 grams of carnitine in the form of L-carnitine, and it is widely available at any health store.

Green Tea Extract
Green tea extract can be purchased in powder form as well as in capsules and in tea bags. It contains catechins which help the body lose fat by increasing the calories burned. It is recommended to take around 500-1,000 mg of green tea extract 2-3 times per day. For optimal calorie burn, take before working out.

This supplement has been found to increase the body’s metabolic rate, thus burning more calories. The suggested dosage is about 5-20 mg 2-3 times a day; take one dose 30-60 minutes before your workout.

Capsaicin is the chemical in peppers that produces the burn you feel when you eat them. It has been found that it can raise adrenaline levels in the body. This will increase your ability to burn fat as it boosts your metabolism. Take 40,000-80,000 units, 30 minutes before meals to avoid stomach irritation. Take one of the doses before your workout to maximize the benefits.

Olive Leaf Extract
Olive Leaf Extract contains an important chemical called oleuropein. It is known to boost the amount of calories and fat burned. It has other health benefits as well, such as anti-inflammatory properties and decreasing the risk for heart disease. The dose used to burn fat is 500-1,500 mg, 2-3 times per day with meals.

Conjugated linoleic acid may help prevent fat from attaching to your body, especially abdominal fat. If you are looking to bulk up, it will also enhance the ability to build muscle. Suggested dosage to reduce fat is between 1.8 to 7 grams per day.

Astaxanthin is shown to increase fat burning as well as a person’s endurance when working out. The antioxidant helps the body burn fat more efficiently and has many health benefits as well. It is recommended to take 4 mg of astaxanthin with food. One dose before working out will optimize fat burning.

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Are Green Coffee Beans the Answer to Weight Loss?

green coffee beansGreen coffee bean extract is the new kid on the block where weight loss supplements are concerned. It is touted by Dr. Oz as an effective way to burn fat without changing your lifestyle. He did his own trial on green coffee bean extract and provided evidence of weight loss in each of his subjects. So how does this supplement work to burn fat and help people lose weight?

Green coffee beans are beans that have not been roasted like the ones we see at the local supermarket. When they are not roasted, they are found to have a higher content of an element called chlorogenic acid. It is thought that this chemical is what provides the health benefits in green coffee bean extract. It somehow manipulates the body to regulate its blood sugar and metabolism to lose weight. Caffeine is another ingredient in the bean that plays a part in weight loss in this product.

A study by the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania involved 16 test subjects taking the green coffee bean extract in varying doses over a period of 22 weeks. Each dose was given 30 minutes before each meal. They were told not to change their eating habits or activity from the norm. The results were they lost on average 17 pounds, or approximately 10 percent of their total body weight. Many of the participants experienced a 16 percent decrease in total body fat. It was determined that the subjects consumed around 2,400 calories a day and burned about 400 calories with activity. This is impressive because that many calories consumed each day usually will not show any weight loss under normal circumstances.

As a side benefit, green coffee bean extract has been found to be effective in reducing hypertension because of its concentration of chlorgenic acids. It is believed these chlorogenic acids facilitate improved blood vessel function that in turn improves blood pressure. You may also experience better blood circulation. So it is possible by taking green coffee bean extract that it may help prevent many diseases related to poor arteries such as heart and brain disorders.

Be sure that you check the label when you purchase green coffee bean extract. For weight loss, it is generally recommended to take a dose of 200 mg to 400 mg, three times daily. This will provide a total daily dose of 600-1200mg. Take note of the serving size. For example, if the serving size is two capsules, then the amount of extract in each capsule will be half what is listed in the supplement facts panel. Next look at the number of capsules in the bottle. Make sure there is really enough for a 30 day supply. If you need to take 6 capsules per day to get an effective dose, and there are only 60 capsules in the bottle, it wont last very long.

It should contain at least 45% chlorogenic acid, which may be listed as either GCA(green coffee antioxidant) or Svetol®. If you don’t see this on the label, don’t buy it. Ensure that the product is pure and there are no fillers, binders, or other inert ingredients.

Green coffee bean extract is a powerful tool in your weight loss management, especially when combined with low-fat meals and moderate exercise.

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The GI Index: The New Way to Shed Pounds

glycemic impact graphYou may have heard about the glycemic index (GI). If you haven’t, it is basically a measure of how fast a food causes a raise in blood sugar levels after consumption. Each type of food produces a different effect when it comes to how much it raises a person’s glucose levels. The GI gives an approximate value to correspond to each food. The higher this number, the more that food causes the blood sugar level to spike. The highest number given is 100, which equates to pure glucose. Anything rated above a 60 is considered high on the glycemic index. You can use the guide at the University of Sydney website for specific foods:

If you have decided to lose weight using the glycemic index, you will want to focus on foods that are on the low end of the chart. Low GI foods are more likely to fill you up and keep you full, partly because they keep your blood sugar stabilized. When you don’t have the fluctuations in blood sugar, you won’t be ravenously hungry. In addition, they have vitamins and minerals that our body needs.

An easy way to know if a food is low in the GI is determining the source of the food. The more natural the food (vegetables, fruit), the lower it is on the GI. The more processed the food (white flour, sugar), the higher on the chart it will be. Another good way to know if a food has a high GI is its color. For instance, if it is white, it is bound to be high on the chart. Even white potatoes are guilty of this, so you may want to opt for sweet potato or other vegetable instead. You can still enjoy a high GI food if it’s consumed with a low GI food. For instance, you may want to partake in a slice of bread. Eat it with an apple and this will help control any spikes in glucose. Or you may want a banana for breakfast. It’s a fruit that has a higher GI so you may want to eat some cooked bulgur with it.

Foods that are higher in fiber tend to have a lower GI. The fiber content in vegetables and fruit slows the release of glucose into the bloodstream. They also will make you feel fuller longer and prevent you from overeating. Protein foods are low on the GI scale just because they don’t contain carbohydrates. Legumes, for instance, have both fiber and protein so they are great for consumption. Fats also don’t cause a rise in blood sugar but you want to choose healthier sources. Omega-3 fats and monounsaturated fats found in olive oil, fish, and nuts are best. Fats are also high in calories, so you should limit them as much as possible.

Your diet should contain mostly low glycemic foods to benefit. You will still need to watch calories because overdoing it will not cause any weight loss. As a side note, if you are eating low GI foods, you won’t be hungry!

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The Skinny on Rasperry Ketones

Bowl full of raspberriesRaspberry ketones have been the new rage in the weight loss market within the past year. They are the part of the berry that produces the fragrant berry scent. Raspberry ketones are generally made synthetically due to the high cost of extracting them from the actual berry. And don’t think you can get enough of the ketones from eating raspberries. You would have to eat 90 pounds of the berry to get 100 mg of raspberry ketones!

This weight loss supplement works partly because it is similar in structure to capsaicin and synephrine, extracts that share the same actions in reducing weight. Raspberry ketones are found to be very effective in promoting the secretion of a hormone called adioponectin. This hormone promotes the fat burning that occurs in the body. Adioponectin also helps protect against type 2 diabetes and the buildup of plaque on the vessel walls, all of which can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease. So by taking raspberry ketones, you can quite possibly keep diseases, such as strokes, at bay and maintain a healthy heart.

In a groundbreaking study, mice were fed a high-fat diet for ten weeks to see if the raspberry ketones had any effect on their adipose (fat) tissue. The group of mice given the supplement was shown to have maintained their body weight, even lost weight, though they consume a high percentage of fat in their diet. Another significant finding what the researcher found when checking their livers. The fat surrounding the liver had been reduced with the consumption of raspberry ketones. Blood work reflected lower cholesterol readings as the result. Additionally, their triglyceride levels had decreased. Because of this, there is a chance that taking the supplement would help decrease the risk of liver or heart disease.

And if that wasn’t enough, the researchers found an increased sensitivity to insulin in their test subjects. This is good news for anyone who has trouble regulating their blood sugar. If you are diabetic, you may want to see if raspberry ketones can help in getting your glucose readings under control.
(Note: monitor your blood sugar very carefully when taking raspberry ketones.)

To take raspberry ketones, one needs to take 100 mg at breakfast and 100 to 200 milligrams with lunch. They are available in pill form or in a liquid with a dropper, which is good for people with difficulty swallowing pills. There are some that are combined with other extracts or ingredients to enhance the effectiveness, such as green tea, African mango extract, and L-Carnitine. It would be best that the bottle has at least 100 mg of raspberry ketones.

People who have tried raspberry ketones say that their skin is more radiant, probably due to the antioxidants the product contains. You will find that you will feel better while using raspberry ketones and will lose weight with little effort. By exercising and watching your diet, you will get the maximum benefit from the supplement.

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How to Eat Out Without Cheating On Your Diet

Girl frowning at menu.It is a harsh world for a dieter to live in. We are constantly surrounded by fast food, whether we are at work, at the mall, or driving past billboards and restaurant signs. Images of mouth-watering bacon cheeseburgers threaten to ooze onto the highway. O.K. You get the picture. We continually have to fight our inner demons to avoid eating foods that made us what we are: fat.

In this day and age, restaurants and eateries are realizing that we want and need options; healthy options. For those who turn a blind eye, we can eat at their establishments, too, with a little planning ahead. Let’s start with fast food fare. Sandwiches, namely chicken, can be purchased grilled. However, you will need to tell them to hold the mayo and ask for a low-fat sauce, like honey mustard. There are restaurants that offer fruit in the shape of French fries or in a cup, like applesauce. Places, like Mickey D’s, offer to show the total calories for each menu item, which is helpful for those who count calories. If you are watching carbs or fat, you can go online to many fast food websites to check the nutritional value of most of their meal items.

Your family wants to go out for Mexican food. What is low calorie on that menu? Chips are bad as they are fried but the salsa low in calories and nutritious. Ask for warm corn tortillas (not fried) to dip in the salsa. They are less in calories and fat than flour tortillas. A dish with grilled chicken or beef fajitas with lettuce and tomatoes will be perfect for about any weight loss plan.

Italian food is comprised pasta, breads, and pizza, it seems. When ordering pasta, choose marinara sauce. It is lower in fat than a sauce laden with meat. Avoid creamy sauces as they are high in fat content. Traditional Italian pizza is thinner than American-made so you can order one of these with vegetables. You can even have Italian sorbet for dessert at 100 calories a scoop!

So steak is what you fancy. Well, it is probably best to avoid the appetizers as many steakhouses offer fried potato skins, fried onion rings and anything else they can fry. When ordering, go for mashed potatoes or grilled vegetables as the side to your meat. If you want a baked potato, you may want to ask if they have a low-fat sour cream or butter. As far as your steak goes, avoid the Béarnaise sauce as it is loaded with butter. Some steak places will deliver hot rolls to your table. You should order a salad with low-fat dressing to keep your mouth busy so that you are not partaking in the bread basket.

There are places like Applebee’s that make it easy to order healthy from their menu. They have a section where healthier selections can be made and sometimes will include Weight Watchers Points. So you can still eat out with your friends and family without compromising your diet. You just need to be prepared.

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What is CLA and Why You Should Be Taking It?

Beef and cheeseCLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) should be included in everyone’s daily nutrient regime for improved overall health. It is a naturally occurring fatty acid that is found in meat and dairy products. However, you would need to eat lots of beef and cheese to benefit from CLA. Fortunately, there are supplements that contain the right amount of CLA needed without consuming extra calories and fat. One of the primary perks of conjugated linoleic acid is its ability to help people shed pounds.

In a study found in the Journal of Nutrition, it has been established that CLA is effective at reducing body fat while preserving muscle tissue. It does this is by regulating thyroid hormones so that your metabolism increases, thus burning more calories. Additionally, it helps boost your energy levels so that you are apt to be more active. In the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, research was done where one group of overweight people used CLA and lost 9% of their body fat in one year, without changing their eating habits or lifestyle. For example, if a person had a starting weight of 167 pounds, they could see a reduction of approximately 15 pounds without diet or exercise! It is recommended that a person needs to take around 3400 grams of CLA per day to benefit.

Other Weight Loss Benefits
CLA is found to have is that it stimulates muscle growth and discourages fat cells from getting bigger. Additionally, since CLA influences thyroid hormones, abdominal fat will start to come off more easily.

Stave off Diabetes
Good news for those with diabetes! In another study, it was discovered that CLA can improve insulin levels some diabetics. Insulin resistance is a risk for some hypothyroid patients, and lowering it can also help prevent adult-onset diabetes and make it easier to control weight.

Lower Cholesterol and Triglycerides
Many people have issues with their cholesterol and triglycerides when overweight. The supplement will help reduce those readings closer to normal. These lab values will improve as you drop off the weight and thyroid hormones become regulated with CLA. You will want to eat healthy and be active to experience the maximum effects of CLA.

Who doesn’t want a healthy immune system to fight off all those viruses that we come in contact each day? CLA helps improve it by enhancing thyroid function. It has been found that conjugated linoleic acid plays an important role in lowering cholesterol, hence, decreasing the risk of heart disease.

Cancer Preventative
An exciting discovery has been made as far as CLA and its potential to prevent cancer. In a study done at the University of Wisconsin, it had been noted that CLA seemed to interfere with the growth of malignant cancer tumors. Separate studies have shown it to have protective qualities in the prevention of breast cancer.

Conjugated linoleic acid can be most commonly found under the brand name “Tonalin.” You will find it in pill form or as a syrup. Look for a product containing 80% CLA. It is advised to take 3.4 grams (3,400 mg) per day with meals to see maximum results.

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Control Your Eating With Meal Replacement Products

Meal replacement dinnerIn this world of fast food and convenience, it is hard to fix wholesome, fortifying meals. This poses an even bigger problem when you are trying to lose weight. There are dozens of products that are available that can replace one or even all of your meals and still get the nutrition you need. Meal replacement is very easy since you don’t need to do a lot of planning for your meals. You may elect not to prepare your food either, saving time from needing to calculate calories in the homemade dish. Most programs are around 1,200 calories a day (if you’re a woman). Men can have about 1,500 calories a day. If you are thinking that this way of eating is for you, here are some handy tips on how to be successful with meal replacement products.

You can choose one brand name and use all of their products. Usually a daily meal planning guide will accompany the food. Choosing from a combination of product brands is fine, too. You may like the chocolate peanut butter bar from one line of products better than another line. If you do decide to “mix and match,” you will need to know how many calories you want to stay within each day. It is easier to commit to the same company product so that you follow their meal suggestions especially formulated for weight loss.

Some meal replacement programs will allow one meal a day that you fix on your own. It is usually pretty simple: 3-4 ounces of a lean meat and low-carb vegetables. Other programs will have you strictly on shakes, bars, and powdered meals like soup. If you need much structure, this will provide it.

Meal replacement programs may be successful because you will not feel deprived. You can have chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry-flavored shakes and bars that taste similar to a regular candy bar. There is even a program with cookies as the replacement meal! If you want more variety, some programs will let you incorporate fruit into the meal planning. More times than not, bread or pasta meals are not part of the program. Only non-caloric beverages are allowed as well.

When deciding on the meal replacement plan that best fits your lifestyle, there are some things to consider. How committed are you to this program? Some programs can be very expensive so you want to make sure you are serious about it. How long do you anticipate doing meal replacements? If you are doing it for more than one month, you may want to consider a plan that includes real food and one prepared meal a day so you don’t become bored with the program. Do you need the flexibility? You may want to purchase the meal plans by the week rather than pay by the month.

Meal replacements are a good way to control the amount of food you eat each day and keep track of your caloric intake. Keep in mind that after you lose the weight, you will still need to watch what goes into your mouth so you are able to maintain your new body.

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The Amazing Acai Berry! What You Need To Know About This Natural Superfood

Hands full of acai berries.The acai berry is a valuable product you will need to check out. It has a powerhouse of antioxidants and nutrients that benefit anyone who consumes it. Let’s see why the acai berry is so highly valued in the health market and how it can benefit you and your family.

The acai berry contains a substance called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants with many protective properties. They play a role in fighting stress as well as protecting the body’s cells from oxidative free radicals. A wonderful benefit derived from anthocyanins is its anti-inflammatory effects. Studies have shown that anthocyanins may act as a pain reliever. You may be able to take fewer aspirin or other analgesic medication while using acai berry supplements or eliminated them totally. The supplement may alleviate symptoms such as depression and anxiety as well. Here are some other benefits of acai berry:

Weight Loss
The Acai berry is popular for its weight loss benefits. It aids in flushing out toxins and waste from your body, therefore, helping the body burn calories more effectively. You will see your energy level increase, and you will become more active, burning more calories. Anyone who takes it will experience a boost in metabolism as well. The fiber content in the acai berry makes you feel full quicker and helps sustain the feeling of fullness longer.

Heart Disease
The antioxidants in acai berries counteract free radicals in the body that cause heart disease and cancer. The mix of fatty acids, dietary fiber and its antioxidants, acai berries offer a powerful trio in promoting cardiovascular health. Ailments that are caused by poor circulation are alleviated as acai berry supplements are known to improve the blood flow.

Increased Immunity
Acai berries will help your immune system by flushing out impurities and allowing your body to function better. The berries also boast of many vitamins and minerals that make the cells of the body healthier and function more efficiently.

Reduced Cholesterol
Free radicals in our body can wreak havoc on our blood vessels. Microscopically, they can cause tears on the inner surfaces of our arteries. Bad cholesterol molecules then tend to attach to these damaged surface areas on our blood vessels. The cholesterol then hardens and accumulates over time. The blood vessel becomes narrower leading to the risk for heart attacks or strokes. By taking an acai supplement, its powerful antioxidants will combat these free radicals and prevent blood vessel damage. The improved blood flow will help with mental clarity as well.

Facilitates Muscle Production
Acai berries have fatty acids that work to add fuel to muscle. In turn, they improve the muscle regeneration process. This is important in weight loss since muscle burns more calories. The more muscle mass, the higher your metabolism.

Anti-Aging Benefits
It is touted that red grapes are good for it anti-aging benefits, but did you know that acai berries have 10 times the anthocyanins? With its concentration of the antioxidant, the acai berry has improved ability to combat those pesky free radicals that cause premature aging.

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