While many people turn to artificial sweeteners in a misguided attempt to whittle their waistlines, those fake sugars are likely to have the opposite effect. According to researchers at Yale, artificial sweeteners are actually linked with an increased risk of abdominal obesity and weight gain, possibly because they can trigger cravings for the real stuff and spike insulin levels in a similar fashion to real sugar.
Bars have come a long way when it comes to taste, but they are nothing more than high protein candy bars. They are a great tool for gaining weight or every once in a while when you are in a pinch. Otherwise do not use them, be aware that this “net impact carbs” and other labeling tricks are a scam. Companies have replaced sugar with other sweeteners which do not count as carbs on the label. As a result you end up with a bar “low in carbs” but sky high in sweeteners that will cause more havoc with insulin levels than real sugar. I have yet to find a bar high enough in fiber and low in sweeteners to allow people to lose body fat when eaten regularly.
“Research has shown that [drinking caffeine] before exercise can enhance athletic performance,” Jim White, RD, ACSM, dietitian, personal trainer, and owner of Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studios tells us in What to Drink Before a Workout for Optimal Fat Loss. Plus, a study published in the journal Sports Medicine reveals that the natural energy source can help you train stronger for longer in workouts ranging from 60 seconds to even two hours. Just remember to skip the added sugar and creamer in your coffee to avoid packing pounds onto your frame.
Losing fat doesn't have to be complicated, but it can be so confusing with so much advice coming at you from all angles. Fitness coach Yiannis Fleming (@mrsportofficial on Instagram), who helps thousands of people on their weight-loss journeys, wants to make things simple. With a degree in sport science and a Stanford diploma in health and nutrition, he recently shared a post explaining four tips to help with fat loss.
"Refined grains like white bread, crackers, and chips, as well as refined sugars in sweetened drinks and desserts increase inflammation in our bodies," says Patton. "Belly fat is associated with inflammation, so eating too many processed foods will hinder your ability to lose belly fat." Natural foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are full of antioxidants, which have anti-inflammatory properties and may therefore actually prevent belly fat, Patton says.
High-intensity interval training (or HIIT) boosts your metabolism, burns calories, and builds muscle: a triple threat belly fat cannot reckon with. “High-intensity interval training is when you perform an exercise at or close to your maximum ability for a short period of time and then take a brief respite and do it again. HIIT should usually be done on a 2:1 interval, meaning if you did an exercise for one minute, you rest for 30 seconds and then repeat,” explains Dr. Alex Tauberg, DC, CSCS, EMR. “This can be a great way to flatten that stomach when you don’t have too much time to work out.”
There’s a reason everyone harps on about protein: Not only does it help keep you full, but it’s also responsible for repairing the tiny tears caused by strength training in your muscles. This helps them grow bigger and stronger, nudging out body fat in the process. As a general rule of thumb, aim to get at least 70 grams of protein throughout the day, says Dr. Cheskin. (These high-protein foods can help you reach that goal.)
Resistance training clearly plays a role in fat loss, but you're better off ditching the straight-sets approach. One aspect of training that many competitors change when cutting is how they arrange their workouts. "I find incorporating circuits, dropsets, and supersets really does the trick for me," says Canadian Nick Opydo. "Keeping your heart rate high and taking shorter breaks is essential when trying to shed fat."
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