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How to Find the Best Weight Loss Supplements

Finding The Best Weight Loss Supplements For You (Step-By-Step)

If you’re thinking about taking a dietary supplement for weight loss, your first priority should be to make sure you select the best supplement for your body, your health and your goals.

It’s important to remember that the best weight loss supplements are not necessarily the ones that promise to help you lose weight fastest or drop the most pounds. You also have to consider, for example, whether a supplement has been tested in clinical trials and is safe to take, especially over the long term.

The best weight loss supplement is one that works with your body’s natural responses, not against them, and one you can stick with for the long term.

Let’s look at some of the most common types of weight loss supplements to see whether they meet these criteria.

Will stimulant-based weight loss supplements work best for you?

Many popular weight loss supplements rely on caffeine or other stimulants such as green tea extract or ketones as their active ingredients.

Stimulants work to aid weight loss by artificially activating your body’s fight-or-flight response.

Caffeine, for example, stimulates your adrenal glands to dump large amounts of the hormone adrenaline into your blood stream. This is the same hormone that gives you a quick burst of energy when you are frightened or excited.

Taking weight loss supplements that contain stimulants is potentially dangerous and offers, at best, temporary results.

There’s a reason you don’t see many doctors telling their patients to drink more coffee. Too much of any stimulant can do serious damage to your health. Stimulants are also addictive.

For these reasons, we cannot say stimulants make the best weight loss supplements.

For more details on the health risks of stimulants like caffeine, and which weight loss supplements use them as active ingredients, read our previous post, Understanding Weight Loss Supplements, Pills, Shakes & Vitamins.

Now, let’s examine another popular type of supplement, fat blockers, to see if they meet our criteria of being “best for weight loss.”

Do fat blockers make the best weight loss supplements?

Fat blockers work to promote weight loss by blocking the enzyme that breaks down fats in your diet. So, a large portion of the fat you eat passes, undigested, through your intestines and out of your body.

That can sound like the best option for anyone looking to lose weight ― a chance to flush away the fat you eat without storing it around your waist.

But, the truth is, fat blockers interfere with your body’s normal digestive processes in several potentially harmful ways.

As we detail in our previous post, Understanding Weight Loss Supplements, Pills, Shakes & Vitamins, fat blockers can impede with the absorption of some vitamins, including A, D, E, K, so users run the risk of nutritional deficiency.

What’s more, the manner in which fats are flushed from the body can lead to stomach and intestinal discomfort as well as an urgent need to use the bathroom, and sometimes even embarrassing accidents.

At best, these types of weight loss supplements may help you lose weight in the short term, but we believe they do so in a way that is unhealthy and unsustainable.

Due to side effects and health risks, it’s our opinion that fat blockers are not safe or convenient to take for the long-term and, therefore, are not the best weight loss supplements.

However, there is one more type of weight loss supplement that we think is worth considering in our investigation of the best weight loss supplements.

Are Gut Sensory Modulation (GSM) supplements the best way to lose weight?

If you’ve never heard of Gut Sensory Modulation (GSM), you’re not alone. It’s a relatively new concept in weight loss. GSM is also the mode of action in our supplement, Lovidia.

The best way to illustrate how GSM works is to look at the taste buds in your mouth. Taste buds are a form of food sensors that tell your brain what you’re eating. When you chew something minty, your taste buds send signals to your brain that say, “This is minty.”

You also have food sensors in your gut, but rather than telling your brain what you’re eating, they send signals telling your brain how much you’ve eaten. When you’ve eaten enough, the food sensors in your gut send signals that say, “I’m not hungry anymore. Stop eating.”

In developing Lovidia, Ambra Bio researchers posited they could use nutrients to activate the food sensors in your gut. It’s called “nutrient sensing,” and it’s been shown in clinical trials to reduce hunger, making it easier for people to eat less and lose weight.

But perhaps the best thing about GSM is that it doesn’t rely on stimulants, fat blockers or any other potentially harmful substances. Instead, it uses nutrients, so there are no side effects, and you can use it long-term.

After considering these factors, it’s our opinion that GSM is the best mode of action for weight loss supplements, which is why we chose to use it in Lovidia.

You can read more about GSM in our previous post, Understanding Weight Loss Supplements, Pills, Shakes & Vitamins.

A final note: When it comes weight loss supplements, what’s best for one person may not be best for you.

In addition to the factors discussed above, there are a variety of personal factors that will determine which supplement will work best to help you reach your personal weight loss goals. These include:

  • Your expectations for losing weight
  • Your eating and exercise habits
  • Any special medical or health needs you have

Let’s examine each of these personal considerations, beginning with your expectations for losing weight.

You may ultimately want to lose 100 pounds, but you have to realize that losing such a significant amount of weight will take time ― and losing too much, too fast, is unhealthy. Most doctors say losing 1-2 pounds per week is a safe and realistic goal, so it’s best to steer clear of any supplement that promises rapid, drastic weight loss.

This brings us to your eating and exercise habits. There’s no magic pill that will help you find long-term weight loss success if you don’t adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes eating a balanced, nutritious diet and making exercise part of your daily life. The best weight loss supplements support good habits and help to promote gradual, sustainable weight loss.

Finally, you’ll want to understand how a weight loss supplement’s ingredients might affect any medical conditions you have or interact with medications you take. You’ll find a detailed review of the potential health concerns connected with various weight loss supplements in our previous post. As always, it’s best to talk with your doctor of health care provider before beginning a weight loss supplement plan.

We hope you’ve found this information helpful in selecting not only the best weight loss supplement, but the best supplement for you.

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Here’s Why You’re Not Losing Weight on a Vegan Diet and How to Fix it

Here’s Why You’re Not Losing Weight on a Vegan Diet and How to Fix it

 

You’ve probably heard that a strict vegan diet is one of the best approaches to eating for weight loss. As it turns out, there’s a fair bit of science backing this theory! Research points to an overall lower BMI for vegan dieters, as well as fewer health concerns linked to weight. Veganism is a path many people adopt as they search for a better way to approach changing their diet over the long term.

Despite a proven correlation to weight loss, however, many people become frustrated after going vegan. They’re not losing weight on a vegan diet—in fact, they might even be putting pounds on after the switch! It can be frustrating to make the switch to a plant-based diet, only to experience no change, or worse, negative change.

While simply adopting a vegan diet isn’t always enough to spur weight loss, there are a few common mistakes new dieters make that may be keeping them from shedding the pounds. Here are a few of the most common reasons you might not be experiencing vegan weight loss:

Your diet isn’t protein-rich

One of the biggest concerns of vegan dieters in general is getting the right amount of daily protein. Without meat, you’ll need to fill the void with beans, legumes, lentils and other protein-rich substitutes. The problem of getting enough protein is one vegetarian dieters will recognize and be more equipped to handle—however if you’re going from a regular diet to a vegan one, this is likely where your weight loss efforts are being stymied.

A lack of protein in your diet can negatively impact metabolism, leading you to feel lethargic and weak on a daily basis. This will also stunt your weight loss, as the body will start to conserve energy and maintain weight, rather than expend energy to burn fat stores.

Make it a point to add more lentils to your meals, eat almonds for a snack and get a daily dose of peas to ramp up your protein intake each day. If you’re still struggling, plant-based protein shakes are a good intermediate option as you learn more about crafting the right diet.

You’re eating way too much

Meat and other animal food products are filling! We feel full after eating a steak or an omelet, which tells us we should stop eating. On a vegan diet, you’re not likely to experience this feeling of “fullness” in the same way, despite getting enough to eat.

Not losing weight on a vegan diet is often the product of overeating—or, eating until you feel “full.” For example, if you’re packing on a huge lunch of fruit, grains and nuts, with portions that exceed your body’s dietary needs, putting a big dinner on top of this will really inflate your calorie count. You might be eating better, but you’re also eating more.

Remember, weight loss is a simple equation: calorie intake must be lower than calorie expenditure, creating a deficit for weight loss to occur. Tone down your portions and serving sizes if you’re not seeing the vegan weight loss you expect.

You’re drinking way too much

If you’re not losing weight on a vegan diet, the culprit might not be what you’re eating—it could be what you’re drinking!

Drinking anything other than water or unsweetened tea is the equivalent of bombarding your body with calories it might not be ready to process. The 136 calories and 33g of sugar in the average soft drink will take you about an hour of light walking to burn off. Or, that vegan plant-based smoothie you’re drinking as a snack might contain an extra 300-400 calories you’re not considering.

These sneaky calories add up fast and make it hard to lose weight, even with careful dieting. Switch to water only or start counting your liquid calories to see if it helps jumpstart weight loss.

You’re eating vegan junk food

Did you know that Oreo cookies and most potato chips are vegan? It just goes to show, even on a vegan diet it’s easy to indulge! But overindulging can seriously cramp your weight loss efforts. Consuming too many foods that are high in salt, sugar or fat can leave you far short of achieving vegan weight loss.

Try to eat more raw snacks like carrots or cucumbers, and when you have a sweet tooth, cut up an apple instead of reaching for packaged foods. Opting for foods high in fiber can also help you build on good dieting habits.

Take the right path to veganism

If you’re pursuing weight loss through a vegan diet, make sure you’re avoiding these common pitfalls! Starting a new diet and not seeing results can be disheartening—rather than give up, it’s better to reevaluate, identify problems and make adjustments that yield better results. The pursuit of vegan weight loss is no different. Developing good habits will result in positive changes for your body!

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How Fiber Helps Us Lose Weight and Burn Fat While Preventing Chronic Disease!

How Fiber Helps Us Lose Weight and Burn Fat While Preventing Chronic Disease!

 

How can you lose weight and burn fat more effectively while also dramatically lowering your risk of colon cancer, breast cancer, heart disease and diabetes….

More fiber?

Yes!!

Fiber has long been associated with grains. Whole grain sources of fiber have value, especially oats, oat bran, and barley, for example. It is also the fiber we get from vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds that provide the fuel for weight loss.

Fiber is a big key to weight loss for several reasons!

First lets breakdown our two sources of fiber.

Soluble fiber:

Soluble fiber dissolves in water forming viscous gels. This precious fiber gel bypasses the digestion of the small intestine and is easily fermented by the microflora of the large intestine. The best sources are fruit, especially high pectin fruit like apples, pears and plums. Avocado, artichokes, lentils, beans and veggies like broccoli, carrots and onions are also great sources.

Insoluble fiber:

Insoluble fibers are not water soluble. They do not form gels like soluble fiber. Instead they act more like a bulking agent in the gut, assisting in elimination and preventing constipation and the formation of certain gut conditions like SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) that often arise from chronic constipation or sluggish bowels.

Insoluble fiber comes largely from whole grains, but also from a variety of vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and seeds. But most foods contain a combination of soluble and insoluble fiber. Beets, flax seeds, cauliflower, and green beans are examples of balanced fiber sources.

Weight loss, especially fat loss depends on your GUT!

Taking in higher amounts of plant fiber increases nutrient absorption in the gut. It provides prebiotic support to the gut to make more good bacteria strains, including strains that aid weight loss like Lactobacillus Gasseri.

Fiber also reduces the bad bacteria that is associated with disorders like IBS, leaky gut, and certain autoimmune conditions that can contribute to weight gain.

Use fiber to lose weight by controlling inflammation, preventing disease and managing hormones

Soluble fiber and its gel-like quality provides a barrier to prevent harmful toxins that can increase cancer risk from making contact with the mucosal cell lining of the gut.

Both fiber sources increase binding between bile acids and toxins, medications, fat, cholesterol, and excess hormones to speed up transit time and emptying from the body. Higher fiber intake also increases antioxidants in the gut to control inflammation.

Excess hormones due to conditions like PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), Estrogen Dominance, and PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder) have a strong connection to increased body fat, especially in the midsection. If you can move toxins, excess hormones, and medications out of the body faster, create more antioxidant production, and mediate inflammation, you’ll see more weight loss, especially in the midsection.

Use fiber as a natural appetite suppressant

Fiber gives us a feeling of fullness longer while regulating our macro nutrient intake within a meal, especially fats and carbohydrates, better controlling and lowering insulin for reduced midsection visceral fat.

At the same time fiber also drives up the appetite suppressant hormone GLP-1 that the body produces, giving you a real physiological sense of fullness and satiety.

The Bottom Line

Many people make the mistake of turning a lower calorie weight loss diet into a low fiber diet. Don’t make that mistake!

Instead aim for high fiber intake that will speed up your weight loss and fat loss by supporting gut, hormones, fat and cholesterol metabolism, and blood sugar balance.

At the same time you make your weight loss plan a safe and beneficial plan for your overall health, driving down disease risk, instead of turning it up. High fiber foods are by nature low calorie so they can always work into a reduced-calorie weight loss plan.

Eat a variety of fiber sources daily and aim for 25 to 35 grams of fiber daily for maximum weight loss.

Best every day fiber sources:

apples, avocado, berries, pears, plums, artichoke, beets, broccoli, carrots, green beans, onions, oats, flax seeds, chia seeds, white beans, lentils.

Functional food fiber Rock Stars!

Aloe, acacia fiber, glucomannan, oat bran, Lovidia toasted oat fiber, soaked chia seeds/chia pudding.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257631/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3901975/

https://gut.bmj.com/content/65/11/1812

http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/28/9/2322B

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Couples Losing Weight Together: Dieting With Your SO – Should you do it?

Couples Losing Weight Together: Dieting With Your SO – Should you do it?

One of the most difficult parts of doing a lifestyle change can revolve around your relationship with your Significant Other. If you’re living together, but you’re the only one dieting, it can be a nightmare – especially if much of your couples time together revolved around food-related activities like dining out.

In my practice, I’ve observed that partners who diet together often have the easiest time adapting to a new lifestyle, as well as achieving the best results from weight loss.  There are probably a few reasons for this.

The biggest hurdles to dieting are often the temptations to “cheat” on your diet, or eat foods that are not part of the protocol.  One great way to eliminate the temptation is to rid your home entirely of all of these foods and then not buy them at the store – far easier when both of you are sticking to the same healthy diet.  But of course, when you have a spouse who is NOT dieting with you, you may get some push back on throwing out all of the junk. 

Another big hurdle is the daily cooking and meal preparation rather than relying on fast food/eating out.  If you and your SO diet together, you can share grocery shopping and cooking duties.  Plus, it can be an adventure to explore together what giant bags of precut veggies Costco or Samʻs might have week by week!

Diets can also cause mood swings. If your body was previously used to getting certain amounts of sugars and unhealthy carbs, you may go through withdrawals or major cravings for these items.  This can leave you in an emotionally fragile state for a few days when you start.  Of course, if your SO is also going through the same thing, chances are higher that the couple will be supportive of each othersʻ progress and listen to each othersʻ frustrations. 

Probably the biggest advantage though of dieting as a couple though, is the joy you get to share in getting healthier together, and bonding through genuine lifestyle change. 

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Optimizing Thyroid Health to Maximize Weight Loss!

Optimizing Thyroid Health to Maximize Weight Loss!

 

A big key to weight loss and keeping the weight off is optimizing thyroid function. I recommend women get their thyroid checked yearly and men at least every few years. Hypothyroidism is a very common condition and a major culprit in weight gain and in difficulty losing weight.

Symptoms of hypothyroid include:

  • fatigue
  • weight gain
  • Puffy face
  • trouble tolerating cold
  • joint and muscle pain
  • constipation
  • dry skin
  • dry, thinning hair
  • decreased sweating
  • heavy or irregular menstrual periods
  • fertility problems
  • depression
  • slowed heart rate
  • goiter

Reference ranges vary from lab to lab but generally 0.5 to 4.5 is considered a normal range. However subclinical hypothyroid with presentation of many hypothyroid symptoms can occur for many people once TSH is above 2.0 and even more significantly as it reaches above 3.0. Optimal weight loss and body composition correlates with a TSH that is below 2.0.  Making dietary adjustments and stress reduction can be helpful whether you have a long history of hypothyroid and are on medication but still having signs and symptoms of hypothyroid or your TSH is just a little above 2.0 and you want to get that thyroid edge back!

 

Top 5 essential food related steps to start optimizing thyroid:

  1. No soy. None, zero, zilch! Soy suppresses thyroid function. Soy contains goitrogens which largely block iodine absorption. Iodine is the thyroid’s biggest ally. My at-home alternative to soy sauce is coconut aminos, a great alternative and coconut is neutral to supportive to the thyroid, depending on the form.
  2. The average American is not consuming enough iodine. Iodine is key to thyroid health, as well as breast health. Make sure you are consuming weekly sources of naturally-occurring iodine from seafood, salt water fish, and seaweeds like arame, dulse, hijiki, kelp, nori and wakame. Here are some easy ways to make seaweed happen in your diet…think toasted seaweed snacks, a seaweed salad with sushi, Nori avocado or veggie rolls, condiment forms of dulse and kelp that you can sprinkle on food. You can also take kelp or mixed seaweed supplements. Avoid taking iodine as potassium iodine, this is not a plant source of iodine and for many it can make your symptoms and condition worse, especially if autoimmune thyroid/ Hashimoto’s is present.
  3. Take good care of your liver! Supporting your liver will help to support thyroid by improving overall hormone metabolism and aid in the conversion of T4 to the more active T3 hormone! Support your liver and improve T4 to T3 conversion by eating bitter greens like arugula, endive, dandelion, mustard greens, radicchio and watercress, as well as more common semi bitter and sweet greens like chard, kale, collard and spinach. Lots of leafy greens are also a good source of Tyrosine which also aids in conversion of T4 to T3.  Take alcohol, sugar, fried foods and white flour out of your diet to further support your liver.  Also, take a liver tonic supplement like milk thistle, dandelion and guggul, which can aid in reversing weight gain related to an under active thyroid.
  4. Three minerals your thyroid needs to function optimally are magnesium, zinc and selenium, especially selenium, maybe the most essential nutrient in converting inactive T4 to active fat burning T3! The best sources of selenium are brazil nuts and sunflower seeds, fish, sardines, halibut salmon, pinto beans and navy beans, additionally selenium can be found in all meats and eggs. The best sources of magnesium are leafy greens, especially chard, as well as avocados, nuts and fish like halibut. Zinc can be found abundantly in all meat, as well as in garbanzo beans, cashews, pumpkin seeds, spinach and mushrooms.
  5. Make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin D. Most people don’t get enough from the sun or from foods like fish, grass fed butter and pastured eggs. Consider supplementing with Vitamin D if your levels are below 30.

Also ask your doctor to run a TPO and TgAb test to rule out autoimmune thyroid/Hashimoto’s. This is different than primary hypothyroidism and needs to be treated differently.  This condition is on the rise and you want to know if you have it so you can be proactive! Paying more attention to immune modulation, gut health, vitamin D, and avoiding gluten are essential for reversing symptoms of Hashimoto’s and losing the weight for good!

References:

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/endocrine-diseases/hypothyroidism

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4480274/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4728861/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8834378

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/list-all/Zinc/

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Healthy Weight Loss Supplements

Healthy Weight Loss Supplements that Can Truly Help

When it comes to weight loss, you have lots of options. Unfortunately, most of them are unhealthy or deliver only temporary results.

From starvation diets to weight loss supplements with dangerous side effects, the road to reaching your weight loss goals is filled with potholes.

The key is to find a way to lose weight that’s healthy and sustainable. The good news is, losing weight in a healthy way is possible ― and there are healthy weight loss supplements that can help.

But before we dive into detailed talk about healthy weight loss supplements, there’s one basic question we need to look at…

What is healthy weight loss?

Healthy weight loss is simpler than you might think. Here’s an easy check list to help you gauge if your weight loss plan is a healthy one:

Healthy weight loss fuels your body with good nutrition. That means NO starving yourself, NO skipping meals, and NO radical food restrictions. It also means that any weight loss supplements you take are gentle, safe, and work with your digestive system, not against it.

Healthy weight loss is easy to live with. If your diet leaves you feeling hungry all the time, it is NOT healthy. Similarly, if a weight loss supplement causes you side effects like the jitters or stomach and bathroom issues, that’s not a healthy weight loss supplement.

Healthy weight loss makes you FEEL GOOD. When you’re losing weight in a healthy way, you should feel energized and upbeat, not tired, hungry or deprived. And a healthy weight loss supplement should similarly leave you feeling like your normal self, not anxious or uncomfortable.

These are some of the general characteristics of a healthy weight loss supplement. We’ll discuss specific supplements in a moment, but first, let’s review the fundamentals of a healthy diet plan for weight loss.

What are some healthy weight loss foods?

Any diet plan that starts off by telling you what foods you can’t eat is doomed to fail. A smarter strategy for lasting weight loss is to keep yourself filled up with healthy foods. That way, you’ll be less likely to reach for junk food; and when you do indulge, you’ll be less likely to overdo it.

With that in mind, the two “must-have” staple foods of any healthy diet for weight loss are lean proteins and complex carbohydrates.

Lean proteins include fish, turkey and skinless chicken. Other good sources of low-fat protein include soy/tofu and nuts.

While nuts tend to be on the fatty side, they mostly contain healthy, unsaturated fats that provide sustained energy, help lower cholesterol and support healthy metabolism.

The best source of complex carbs are vegetables. Besides being packed with vitamins and other essential nutrients, one of the reasons vegetables are so important to healthy weight loss is because they are good sources of fiber. Fiber takes up room in your stomach and makes you feel full without adding calories. It also works to slow the release of sugar in the bloodstream when you eat, which helps your metabolism burn fat and calories more efficiently.

Other healthy food sources of complex carbs are whole-grains, beans and seeds.

As for unhealthy foods … saturated and trans fats pack more than twice as many calories per gram as proteins or carbs. Because fats are so calorie-dense, they tend to slow down your metabolism.

Even worse is simple, refined sugars like those found in candy and soda. Sudden spikes in blood sugar have a terrible effect on your metabolism, so eating lots of them makes weight loss much more difficult.

Now that we’ve established the ground rules for healthy weight loss, we can look at some supplements to help in your quest to lose weight.

What are some healthy weight loss supplements?

As mentioned above as well as in other posts, protein is an essential nutrient for weight loss, and protein-based supplements such as protein shakes, powders and bars can all be part of a healthy weight loss plan ― when used in conjunction with exercise and a balanced diet.

Similarly, vitamin supplements also can help most people who want to lose weight in a healthy, sustainable way.

As the makers of Lovidia, we also believe Lovidia’s unique Gut Sensory Modulation mode of action makes Lovidia a healthy supplement for weight loss.

Looking at our checklist from the beginning of this article, you will see that Lovidia meets the criteria outlined for healthy weight loss supplements:

  • Lovidia does not leave you feeling hungry or deprived. Gut Sensory Modulation uses FDA-GRAS food ingredients to activate your body’s satiety signals, helping to naturally control hunger.
  • Lovidia works with your digestive system, not against it. Lovidia is not a fat blocker and does not interfere with absorption of vital nutrients.
  • Lovidia is easy to live with. Unlike common hunger-control supplements, Lovidia does not contain any caffeine or other stimulants. There are no jitters, dangerous or uncomfortable side effects.
    We examine Gut Sensory Modulation in greater detail in our previous post, Understanding Weight Loss Supplements, Pills, Shakes & Vitamins.

If you haven’t already read the post, we suggest you do. It provides an in-depth review of common weight loss supplement ingredients used in popular supplements, assessing evidence of each ingredient’s effectiveness based on clinical trials as well as potential dangers, health risks and side effects.

We hope this post is helpful in your search for healthy weight loss supplements. As always, we recommend you speak with your doctor or health care provider before taking any weight loss supplement, including Lovidia. We believe the more information you have about Lovidia, the better equipped you and your doctor will be to make smart decisions for your weight loss and your health.

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Maximizing Protein for Weight Loss While on a Vegetarian Diet

Maximizing Protein for Weight Loss While on a Vegetarian Diet

 

Protein is a very long established and well researched part of successful weight loss. Studies show greater weight loss, fat mass loss, and preservation of lean mass after higher-protein calorie-restriction diets than after lower-protein calorie-restriction diets. Reductions in triglycerides, blood pressure, and waist circumference are also reported. In addition, more satiety effect, including greater perceived fullness and elevated satiety hormones is reported after higher-protein meals. The satiety effect of protein is partly mediated by a synergistic effect of the satiety hormones GLP-1 and PYY released from the small intestine. This is most effective with meals that contained at least 25 grams or more of protein at one serving but also had the same results for protein replacement meals, like high quality low processed protein smoothies (see the recipe below).

Getting the weight loss and muscle preserving and building benefits of protein is possible on a vegetarian diet. Here are 5 areas where you can maximize your protein on a vegetarian diet.

  1. High protein white beans. White beans contain almost 18 grams of protein per serving. Other beans can also provide anywhere from 7 grams to 17 grams of protein.
  2. Quinoa, Teff and Amaranth are protein powerhouses averaging 8 to 10 grams of protein per serving with largely a complete protein profile similar to meat. Make sure to soak and cook these naturally gluten free “seed” grains well to unlock their macro and micro nutrient potential and render them easy to digest.
  3. Pumpkin seeds yield around 9 grams of protein per serving and pumpkin seed protein powder yields 19 grams of protein! Pumpkin seeds are also rich in zinc and omega 3’s which are also often only found in fish and meat sources.
  4. Lentils have 9 grams of protein per serving, nearly the same as 2 eggs, which weigh in at 10 grams. Many people find lentils easier to digest than beans, especially sprouted lentils.
  5. Hemp seeds have 6 grams of protein per serving and are easy to sprinkle into a smoothie or onto a salad. They are also rich in omega 3’s, which is important if you are not eating fish.

Other tips for maximizing protein through plant based foods include preparing veggie burgers that combine beans, quinoa and eating complete protein sprouted bread. Even a serving of broccoli provides nearly 5 grams of protein which can add up and get you to your minimum of 25 grams per meal. If you are not vegan I recommend high protein Greek yogurt, pasture eggs and grass-fed whey protein, these will provide you with between 10 to 24 grams of protein per serving.  Keep in mind that most plant sources of protein do not individually contain all 20 essential amino acids, but combining these different variety of plant proteins, including legumes, grains, seeds and nuts will naturally complete the proteins. We used to think this had to be done in one meal but we now know that is incorrect. All your incomplete protein intake will match up for the day; it doesn’t have to be done perfectly meal by meal, but the greater variety the better!

My favorite plant based morning protein smoothie recipe:

1 scoop of pumpkin seed protein (19 grams protein)

2 TB of hemp seeds (6 grams protein)

1 TB of almond butter (7 grams of protein)

1 cup berries (1 gram protein)

Filtered water, ice or your favorite seed, nut or oat milk

this yields a whopping 33 grams of protein, lots of healthy “fat burning” fats, vitamins, minerals and fiber while also staying low glycemic.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4424378/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25926512

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/food-beverages/legumes

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/cereal/teff-grain.html

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What’s Good for the Gut is Good for Weight Loss

What’s Good for the Gut is Good for Weight Loss

 

With advancements in science and a better understanding of the human microbiome we are learning just how important gut (health) microbiota is in influencing health and weight loss. People that have more diversity in their gut microbiota are leaner than people who have less diversity of gut flora. 
Our gut flora or microbiota contains tens of trillions of micro-organisms, including at least 1000 different species of known bacteria with more than 3 million genes, One third of our gut microbiota is common to most people, while two thirds are specific to each one of us. So, we are influencing our microbiota with every meal and forming the unique environment that can influence optimal weight. Here are 5 top tips to encourage a more diverse microbiota and with that, a leaner body.

1. Prebiotic foods: are certain high fiber plant foods that help act as a kind of fertilizer to help make more probiotics in the gut, some of these are:

  • Onions
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Artichokes
  • Yams
  • Beans
  • Chicory
  • Oats

2. Probiotic foods are created largely by fermentation and this process helps to produce good bacteria strains that feed our gut microbiota levels and diversity, these include:

  • Yogurts including dairy/coconut/almond
  • Kefir including dairy/non-dairy
  • Sauerkraut
  • Pickles
  • Bacterially fermented cheeses
  • Kimchi
  • Miso

3. Emphasizing omega 3’s and 9’s while decreasing omega 6’s in your diet is a sure-fire way to melt the pounds via the gut. Obesity has been linked to intake of inflammatory omega 6s and not enough anti-inflammatory omega 3s. This imbalance in fatty acids in the gut produce toxins called lipopolysaccharides (LPS) that trigger inflammation, insulin resistance or pre-diabetes and therefore, promote weight gain. Avoid corn, canola and soy oil and incorporate more olive oil, avocado oil for cooking and eat your seeds! Chia, flax, sunflower, sesame, hemp and pumpkin seeds as well as almonds and walnuts, snacking on these sources of healthy omega 3’s and 9’s will help you get lean and also support heart health.

4. Take probiotic supplements that contain certain bacteria strains. In a 2014 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition women on a weight loss program taking Lactobacillus rhamnosus over a 24-week period had double the weight loss of the placebo group not taking Lactobacillus rhamnosus…DOUBLE! That’s a great stat! Look for probiotics with Lactobacillus rhamnosus as well as lactobacillus Gasseri for extra fat burning support from your daily probiotic.

5. Avoid the things that can alter gut microbiota away from good bacteria and towards producing more “bad” bacteria that can cause GI distress and reduce diversity like excess sugar, red meat, processed meats like lunch deli meats, white flour and alcohol as well as overuse of certain OTC medications and overuse of antibiotics, especially without replacing with a probiotic following an antibiotic course.

http://www.gutmicrobiotaforhealth.com/en/about-gut-microbiota-info/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3427212/#R12

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16033867/

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/effect-of-lactobacillus-rhamnosus-cgmcc13724-supplementation-on-weight-loss-and-maintenance-in-obese-men-and-women/7C9810D79528C4ADC77A22EE45F9CA8E