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Fat burning supplements: do they REALLY work?

Fat burners are the supplement industry’s fave buzz word, but do they work and are they safe?

Supplements in the stimulants category may enhance fat oxidisation depending on the goals of the exerciser (and who you’re talking to).

According to personal trainer David Bayens (primalpt.com.au), “The benefits of caffeine are well known for fat oxidation and training drive. Green tea extract is also excellent as well as anything that supports the thyroid such as iodine.”

Consider your overall health

If you do choose to use supplements, consider what they’re doing for your overall health, not merely your fat-burning capacity.

According to Mark Ottobre, owner and director of Melbourne’s Enterprise Fitness, supplements should be viewed within the context of optimising body systems that domino into fat burning.

“You improve someone’s health; you improve their ability to burn fat. You’re balancing a deficiency in something that is required for so many functions in the body. Why would the body worry about burning fat if you’re not healthy?” Bayens says carnitine can help to ferry fatty acids into muscle tissue to be used as energy during training.

Be wary of excess calories & sugar

Maston, on the other hand, does not recommend supplements. “…The increase of fat oxidation is minimal and negated by the fact it makes people hungrier and anxious,” she says.

Supplements nested in shakes and gels can also counteract a fat loss goal.

“Some of the supplements have calories in them adding to the total intake for the day. Supplements like this also often consist of sugar or artificially sweetened ingredients that also contribute to fat mass,” Maston warns.

Pre- and post-workout protein shakes

According to nutritionist Rosie Mansfield, fat burning can be manipulated with a strategically chosen pre- and post-workout protein shake.

The optimal shake to prime the body to burn maximum fat is “a low-protein blend of soy isolate and whey protein”.

Dietitian Duncan Hunter says intake timing also affects how much fat gets burned.

“The best time to have a protein drink is within 30 minutes of finishing exercise (for example, a full body workout or weights). If it is an easy walk, it is best just to go for a whole food snack or just eat your next scheduled meal if it is within the next hour or so.”

To ensure you’re not cancelling out your workout with calories, 
keep each shake to 
around 480kJ.


Fat burning supplements: do they REALLY work?

Posted in Diets, Nutrition, Personal Fitness Training, Training MethodsComments (0)

 How to stay slim in your 30s, 40s and 50s Can you beat age-related weight gain? We asked the experts for their diet and exercise tips for women in their 30s, 40s and 50s.What is the 'middle age spread'?The term 'middle-age spread' has been etched into ageing lore, yet unflattering connotations ignore the naturalness of physiological change. Expecting to weigh the same at 30 as 18 is folly according to clinical psychologist Louise Adams from Treat Yourself Well."Our body weight at age 18 is for many of us the lightest we have ever been," says Adams. "We may not have stopped growing at that point and may not have reached full maturity.

How to stay slim in your 30s, 40s and 50s

What is the ‘middle age spread’?

The term ‘middle-age spread’ has been etched into ageing lore, yet unflattering connotations ignore the naturalness of physiological change. Expecting to weigh the same at 30 as 18 is folly according to clinical psychologist Louise Adams from Treat Yourself Well.

“Our body weight at age 18 is for many of us the lightest we have ever been,” says Adams. “We may not have stopped growing at that point and may not have reached full maturity. Weight gain as we age is quite normal and body shape and size can change over our lifetime. Sticking to a weight from many years ago is unrealistic for the vast majority of us. It’s similar to remembering how your skin looked as a teenager and expecting the same in middle age.”

The other sticking point in weight expectations is that many of us expect that with enough weights training and self-control we can defy the effects of hormonal changes associated with mid life.

“I think we should be a bit more accepting of carrying a bit of weight as we get older,” says the University of Melbourne‘s Dr Joseph Proietto, a professor of medicine. “There are multiple studies that suggest that a little extra weight can be a healthy thing. In one study we conducted we looked at people who had stents put in their hearts for angina. We found that the underweight people died at a faster rate, and the overweight were better than the normal weight, the mildly obese were better than the overweight in terms of survival.”

How to stay trim – despite your age!

Dr Lavie encourages a paradigm shift from weight to fitness. “It’s much better to strive for fitness and be on the thicker side than to be thin and unfit,” he says. “Loss of fitness is a much stronger predictor of mortality than weight gain.”

He says the ideal is to exercise 40 to 45 minutes a day, five to six days a week, with plenty of strength work.

“Fitness gurus will tell you that strength training becomes more vital the older one gets, and they are right, for it supports muscle mass like no other form of exercise and can help increase not only strength but also bone mass,” says Dr Lavie.

“In most people, muscle strength peaks in our 20s and then gradually decreases. Recent research suggests that women on average will lose muscle mass twice as fast as men the same age, which can make a huge difference in their ability to maintain an ideal weight.”

Continued here:

How to stay slim in your 30s, 40s and 50s

Posted in Diets, Exercises, Training Methods, Weight lossComments (0)


A day in the life of a gluten-free guru


As a sports nutritionist, triathlete and self-confessed cashew butter addict from Melbourne, Stephanie Lowe is passionate about the health benefits of going gluten free. Her blog offers written posts and podcasts about everything from gut health to fat loss. It also offers delicious GF recipes and Lowe’s ebooks, including Free From Gluten and Real Food Reset. 

My food philosophy


“Real is best. Food that comes out of the ground, from a tree or from an animal is the most nutrient dense and whole source of nutrition. In fact, one of the biggest changes we can make to improve our health is to significantly reduce or eliminate our intake of packaged foods.”

Foods on high rotation in my diet

“Every meal I eat contains many non-starchy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and zucchini. It also contains a quality protein such as free-range eggs or grass-fed meat and good fats such as avocado and olive oil. My carbohydrates come from wholefood sources, such as berries and sweet potato. Eating this way offers me optimal nutrient density, blood sugar control, satiety and long-term health benefits.”

Foods I avoid

“I stay away from packaged foods and particularly avoid ingredients that promote inflammation in the body, such as gluten, refined sugar and polyunsaturated seed oils such as canola oil (because they are high in omega-6 fatty acids, which we have too much of in our Western diet). I believe that anti-inflammatory nutrition is the key to my good health today, and tomorrow.”

Why I became gluten free

“I stopped eating gluten nine years ago to help my mental state and heal my relationship with food, which wasn’t healthy. I was so inspired by the changes I experienced that I went back to university to study nutrition at a post-graduate level so I could educate others on the power of real food. Before this dietary change, I was eating gluten every day, whether it was a small amount through traditional soy sauce or in larger quantities in low-fat cereals and muesli bars.”

Health benefits

“Once I stopped eating gluten, my digestion improved, but the biggest change was the emotional impact – I felt calmer and happier. I really began to understand that with 90 per cent of serotonin receptors (our happy hormone) found in our gut, the food that we eat has a significant influence on our brain and mental health.”


“It can be tricky when waiters at a restaurant don’t quite understand gluten free, or perhaps don’t take your request seriously enough. The great thing is that in 2016 the awareness of gluten free is quite high and many restaurants code their menu GF, which makes ordering out very easy. Ten years ago it was much more challenging to cut out gluten, as many people didn’t even know what gluten was. Now, as long as you communicate what your dietary requirements are, most restaurants and cafes will go out of their way to assist.”

My transition tips

“The best way to approach gluten free is to focus on real food. If you fill your plate with non-starchy vegetables, quality protein and good fats, and choose wholefood carbohydrates, you are 99 per cent of the way there. Healthy, fresh food doesn’t come in a box, so there is really minimal need for the gluten-free products that are increasingly appearing on our supermarket shelves. Stick to whole and fresh foods instead.”

My day on a plate


» A berry smoothie with spinach, avocado, coconut milk, cinnamon and raw pea protein


» Shepherd’s pie with pumpkin mash or a three-egg omelette with a side of avocado and kimchi


» Grass-fed steak or free-range chicken with a rocket salad or steamed greens topped with grass-fed butter and Himalayan salt

Posted in Diets, Nutrition, Weight lossComments (0)

Paige Hathaway

Paige Hathaway

2 days 13 hours ago

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Paige Hathaway

2 days 16 hours ago

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