Shari Duncan

Supplementation

from Green Tea to Ephedra… Fat Burners are NOT all Created Equally.
Shari

by on Apr.09, 2010, under Natural Bodybuilding, Supplementation, Weight Loss

Supplementation with fat burners can help you achieve your desired results- BUT only with a disciplined diet and regular exercise program.

I am often asked to recommend a fat burner by those struggling to get lean quick, and I often hesitate before doing so.  Fat burners and thermogenic supplements can assist with desired fat loss but remember, they are called SUPPLEMENTS for good reason.  There are no magic pills and there is much debate on their effectiveness.  There are many natural products

Green Tea~ a natural choice

Green Tea~ a natural choice

available such as green tea and guarana that contain fat burning and thermogenic properties, as well as chemically enhanced weight loss pills that may work more quickly but may also produce undesired side effects and/or become addictive.   Most natural fat burners can be found in health food stores.

A good fat burner contains certain herbs and chemicals that will do three things:

  • Burn stored fats resulting in increased energy
  • Stimulate the metabolism to “burn” stored fat
  • Suppress the appetite

With the correct lifestyle, fat burners can provide significant benefits. But they also can be misused. If you choose to supplement with a fat burner, avoid these common mistakes:

1)      DO NOT exceed recommended servings.  In fact, I recommend that first time users take less than the recommended daily serving initially to assess tolerance.  Most fat burners contain caffeine and/or other stimulants that may produce undesired feelings of nervousness, or jitters.

2)      Fat burning supplements are intended to be taken short term to stimulate the metabolism.  Even if the product you choose consists of all natural ingredients, you will develop a tolerance to it over time. Once your body gradually becomes accustomed to these stimulants, it will cease to respond.    Remember, that they were designed to assist you in reaching a short term goal and not to be incorporated as part of your daily diet long term.

3)      No two products are exactly the same.  No two metabolisms are the same either.  Basically, this means that what may work wonders for your best friend, may not be the best choice for you and your body. If you decide to incorporate an fat burner/thermogenic, you should approach it with an open mind and find the product that works best for you.

Fat burning supplements may very well be a worthwhile investment if you research and choose your products carefully and only use in conjunction with a healthy program of diet AND exercise to maximize the results.

The best weight loss supplement for you will be dependent on your individual goals and the path you wish to take in order to achieve those desired results.

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The SKINNY on F A T S
Shari

by on Mar.30, 2010, under General HEALTH, General Nutrition, Supplementation, Weight Loss

You got to EAT FAT to LOSE FAT!

Dietary fats supply the body with the most stable sources of energy fuel and since they contain more calories per gram than protein & carbs they burn more slowly making you feel fuller longer.  When you cut out fat, you replace the calories with faster burning carbohydrates which not only make you feel hungrier sooner, the “wrong” carbs  will play havoc with your glucose (blood sugar) levels.

Fat cells are necessary for hormone regulation, storing energy, and providing cushioning for our internal organs. The problem is not in the presence of fat but the amount. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Dietary Guidelines recommend that adults get 20%-35% of their calories from fats. At a minimum, we need at least 10% of our calories to come from fat. The key is to understand which fats are healthy and which are not so you can begin losing weight safely and successfully.

Healthy Fats in Foods:

The healthy fats are the mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated. The fats to avoid are trans fats and saturated fats as they put your body at risk for many diseases. To help you distinguish the “good” from the “bad, remember that saturated fats are solid at room temperature.

Fats to eat each and everyday...

Fats to eat each and everyday...

  • Monounsaturated fats are found in avocados, peanuts, natural peanut butter, olives and olive oil (extra virgin).

  • Polyunsaturated fats are found in fish, walnuts, pecans, almonds, soybean oil, sunflower oil etc

Omega-3 Fats:  the body does not manufacture Omega 3 fats, which means we must consume them either in the foods we eat or with supplementation.  Omega 3’s burn fat by helping the body respond to a hormone called Leptin which tells the brain to suppress the appetite, increases thyroid output – which in turn increases metabolism   Food sources for Omega-3 are: Salmon, tuna, herring, sardines, flaxseed, pecans, walnuts and hazelnuts.

Omega 3’s are also known to boost brainpower, ward off depression and decrease inflammation.

Other Good Omega-3 sources

  • ground flaxseed
  • oils (like flaxseed oil, linseed oil, canola oil, walnut oil, wheat germ oil and soybean oil)
  • green leafy vegetables (like lettuce, broccoli, kale, spinach and purslane)
  • legumes (like mungo, kidney, navy, pinto, lima beans, peas and split peas)
  • citrus fruits, melons, cherries

Omega 6 oils are common in the diet and are not usually necessary to supplement. Raw almonds or sunflower seeds are a good source and a few can be eaten daily to ensure their supply.

CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) – Helps to burn fat and gain lean muscle at the same time. It is also found to boost

CLA - Supplement with this fat to help burn fat

CLA - Supplement with this fat to help burn fat

immunity and halt cancer growth. CLA also promotes cardiovascular health by preventing the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries and around the heart.

CLA is found only in various meats & milk products – But remember CLA is a fat  & will not be found in skim milk or non-fat yogurts (where fat has been removed).  Consider also that the fat burning benefits of CLA  may be offset by the higher amounts of bad fats in many cuts of meat. So if you are staying away from full-fat dairy products and fatty cuts of beef, you might consider taking a CLA supplement.

Studies have shown that CLA helps people to lose weight because it’s a good fat. Consuming it accelerates the body’s metabolic rate while slowing the body’s conversion of dietary fats into body fat.   .

The recommended daily dose of CLA is 3-7 grams. If you supplement with CLA, be sure it contains 80% CLA to receive the optimum fat burning results.

_  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

The American Heart Association’s Nutrition Committee strongly advises that healthy Americans limit their intake of trans fat to less than 1 percent of total calories.

­­- – –  – – – – – –  – – – – – – –  – – – – – – –  – – –

Based on current data, the American Heart Association recommends that consumers follow these tips:

  • Choose a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole-grain, high-fiber foods, and fat-free and low-fat dairy most often.
  • Keep total fat intake between 25 and 35 percent of calories, with most fats coming from sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as fish, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils most often.
  • Use naturally occurring, unhydrogenated vegetable oils such as canola, safflower, sunflower or olive oil most often.
  • Look for processed foods made with unhydrogenated oil rather than partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated vegetable oils or saturated fat.
  • Use soft margarine as a substitute for butter, and choose soft margarines (liquid or tub varieties) over harder stick forms. Look for ”0 g trans fat” on the Nutrition Facts label.
  • French fries, doughnuts, cookies, crackers, muffins, pies and cakes are examples of foods that are high in trans fat. AVOID THEM!!
  • Limit the saturated fat in your diet. If you don’t eat a lot of saturated fat, you won’t be consuming a lot of trans fat.
  • Limit commercially fried foods and baked goods made with shortening or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. Not only are these foods very high in fat, but also that fat is likely to be very hydrogenated, meaning a lot of trans fat.
  • Limited fried fast food. Commercial shortening and deep-frying fats will continue to be made by hydrogenation and will contain saturated fat and trans fat.

Something to take away from this blog:

When the body gets enough  –  (and healthy sources) of fat through diet, it will not feel the need to hoard fats by enlarging adipose tissue….hmm.   Food for thought.

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PROTEIN POWDERS – Deciphering all those Labels
Shari

by on Mar.20, 2010, under General Nutrition, Natural Bodybuilding, Supplementation

The need for adequate protein in the human body is second only to the need for water …

and is one of three macronutrients used by the body for energy.

You are working out and trying to eat better,  & you recognize that protein is necessary if you are serious about achieving results. Sometimes it’s tough to get enough protein each day from whole food sources though. But  increasing your daily protein intake while on a resistance training program will help to increase lean muscle mass.  Protein foods are also  thermogenic which means it takes more energy to digest protein. Our bodies must work 30% harder  digesting protein foods then to digest and process carbs and fats.

There are so many protein powder supplements available and choosing the right one can be confusing at best.  All proteins are not created equal. Hopefully this will provide a little insight to help you determine which form (or combination) of protein supplements will best meet your specific needs

The most common types of protein powders used are:

  • Casein
  • Egg
  • Soy
  • Whey

WHEY Protein:

Whey comes in three popular forms: Whey Protein Isolate, Whey protein Concentrate, and Hydrolyzed Whey. Whey is derived from milk and is the most commonly used protein supplement. It contains nonessential and essential amino acids, as well as branch chain amino acids (BCAA). Whey is easily absorbed by your muscles and is extremely safe to use. Whey protein is not appropriate for those who have a milk allergy or who cannot tolerate lactose.

Fast digesting proteins, such as whey act quickly to help regulate bodily nitrogen levels and are recommended as a post-workout protein source.

Concentrate Versus Isolate:

Whey concentrate is whey in its natural form while isolate protein goes through an additional filtration process to produce a finer powder that allows for quicker digestion. Most whey products found on supplement shelves are made up of whey concentrate, mixed with a small portion of whey isolate.  Generally isolates are 90%+ pure protein.  Whey concentrates contain 70-8o% protein.  Comparing the two, whey protein isolate is more expensive than whey protein concentrate because of its higher quality and BV (biological value). Whey protein isolate contains more protein and less fat and lactose per serving.

Whey protein isolate is the highest yield of protein currently available that comes from milk. Because of its chemical properties it is the easiest to absorb into your system. With its high concentration, it appears that an isolate protein would be the obvious choice over a concentrate. But the isolate is more expensive and ts extra concentration may not justify its extra cost. This is an individual decision.

Regardless of what type of whey you select, whey in all forms is quickly digested and therefore the best time to capitalize on wheys quick absorption is to consume it is during or immediately after training.

Hydrolyzed Whey (also called peptides), are powerful proteins that are more quickly absorbed than any other form.

Assorted fast, slow, and timed released blended proteins available in many flavors.

Assorted fast, slow, and timed released blended proteins available in many flavors.

These proteins are potentially the most anabolic for short-term protein synthesis. Supplement with hydrolyzed whey 15 minutes prior to a workout, during a workout and/or immediately after a workout.

CASEIN Protein:

Casein makes up 80% of total milk protein and is slowly digested. It has a “thick” taste compared to whey and is considered an efficient source by those trying to build muscle.  A slow digesting protein provides a long term stream of protein and amino acids, meant to assist in keeping a positive nitrogen balance for longer periods of times. A slow digesting protein is a great choice for in between meals or before bedtime.

SOY Protein:

Soy protein is derived from soy flour. Of all the vegetable proteins, soy is the most complete protein. Similar to whey protein, soy protein has two types, the concentrate and the isolate, with the isolate being the purer, more expensive form. It is a fast digesting protein that has an average amino acid profile. Because of this, it is not the most desirable protein source for those looking to build muscle. Soy protein is ideal for those who have dairy allergies.

EGG Albumin:

Really is the Incredible Edible..and most complete protein source

The "Incredible Edible"..really is a most complete protein source

Egg protein is made from the egg white. It is considered the most perfect source of protein because it is complete in essential amino acids, branch chain amino acids and glutamic acid. The body completely and easily absorbs it, and it is fat free.  Because of its characteristics, egg protein is used as the standard against which all other proteins are measured. It is popular in bodybuilding circles because of a higher essential to non-essential amino acid ratio, and because egg whites contain less cholesterol then egg yolks. Eggs are often considered the king of natural food proteins because of their high essential amino acids levels. Egg protein is the best alternative for those that are lactose intolerant.

Protein Blends:

Protein blends combine several types of proteins such as whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, egg protein, casein protein, and soy protein. When choosing a blend, you receive the full spectrum of proteins with the varying rates of absorption from the different types of protein, which make them a good all around choice for most individuals.

Using a blend creates an anabolic effect from the whey and an anti-catabolic environment from the casein. The best time to consume this type of “timed release” or “sustained release” protein is outside of the six hour post workout window.

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BCAA’s: For Maximum Performance and Recovery
Shari

by on Feb.06, 2010, under Supplementation

Among the most beneficial and effective supplements in any sports nutrition program are the branched chain amino acids.

So, what do Branched-Chain Amino Acids do?


Amino Acids are the BUILDING BLOCKS of PROTEIN

The branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. BCAAs are considered essential amino acids because the body cannot make them.  We must get them from our diets from complete protein foods or combinations of incomplete vegetable foods.  They are called branched-chain because their structure has a “branch” off the main trunk of the molecule. Branched-chain amino acids constitute approximately one-third of skeletal muscle protein.

A Recommended Source for BCAAs

A Recommended Source for BCAA's.

The essential branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s) are of special importance for athletes because they are metabolized in the muscle, rather than in the liver. In order to get energy, the body can actually break down muscle to get these BCAAs. Therefore, by supplying them during or after a workout, muscles and other tissues are spared from breakdown, which is a natural part of metabolism. Literature suggests that of the three BCAAs, leucine appears to play the most significant role in stimulating protein synthesis.

BCAAs are needed for the maintenance of muscle tissue and appear to preserve muscle stores of glycogen (a carbohydrate used as fuel during exercise).  There is evidence that supplementing with BCAA’s reduces muscle breakdown during exercise, increases protein synthesis, regulates blood sugar levels and aids in fat loss. Additionally, BCAAs have been studied for their potential role in delaying central nervous system (CNS) fatigue, especially in athletes.

Where are Branched-Chain Amino Acids found?

The largest amounts of BCAA’s are found in meat and dairy products.  Whey and egg protein supplements are other sources of BCAA’s

Individually, the three BCAA’s can be found in the following foods:

§          LEUCINE: meat, nuts, beans, brown rice, soy flour and whole wheat.

§          ISOLEUCINE: chicken, eggs, fish, meat, rye, almonds, cashews, chickpeas, lentils, soy protein and most seeds

$           VALINE:  meat, mushrooms, peanuts, dairy products, grains, and soy protein.

Most diets provide an adequate amount of BCAAs for most people, which is about 25–65 mg per 2.2 pounds of body weight.

However, it is recommended for those participating in intense training programs supplement with 5 grams of leucine, 4 grams of valine, and 2 grams of isoleucine per day to prevent muscle loss and increase muscle gain.

My recommendations for BCAA supplementation:

The ingredients in Core-ABC are ideal for maximizing exercise performance and aiding in recovery.

Maximize performance & aide in recovery.

http://www.scivation.com/products/xtend.htm

http://www.corenutritionals.com/coreabc.html

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Oatmeal Peanut Butter PROTEIN “Muffies”
Shari

by on Dec.06, 2009, under Healthy Snacks, Recipes, Supplementation, Whey Protein Recipes

Satisfies your sweet tooth, but with NO SUGAR!…   Made with wholesome oats, high fiber coconut flour, natural honey, and added protein.

  • 1/2cup unsweetened applesauce (use more if needed)

    Peanut butter "muffies" made with added protein

    Peanut butter "muffies" made with added protein

  • 1-2 Tbsp honey
  • ~2Tbsp Splenda (or Splenda Blend – white or brown)
  • 1 cup all natural peanut butter
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup low carb baking flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 heaping scoops protein powder (vanilla or chocolate – or try a scoop of each!)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • dash salt and cinnamon to taste

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix first 5 ingredients very well in large bowl.

Blend in protein powder, oats, flours, salt, cinnamon, baking soda and powder.

Shape into small balls; placing 2-3 inches apart on cookie sheet.          pbcookies 002

Dip a fork into flour and flatten slightly in pan.

Bake for approximately 10 minutes.
“Muffies” should set and brown slightly but don’t let them get too hard.

Recipe yields about 3 dozen, depending on size of Muffies.

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