Lactobacillus Gasseri, A Key Probiotic for Optimising Weight Loss and Trimming the Waistline

bede30901626bf4748835074145ebc6c - Lactobacillus Gasseri, A Key Probiotic for Optimising Weight Loss and Trimming the Waistline

image2 - Lactobacillus Gasseri, A Key Probiotic for Optimising Weight Loss and Trimming the WaistlineLactobacillus gasseri is a key probiotic strain which has been shown to optimise weight loss and refine body shape.

The ability of the microbiota to boost the immune defences, both preventively and curatively, is widely recognised and documented. But its role doesn’t stop there. There’s increasing confirmation of the importance of its quality and activity in supporting weight loss. This growing scientific evidence demonstrates the link not only between microbiota quality and weight gain or weight loss, but also between microbiota and type 2 diabetes, and microbiota and obesity: it seems a revolution in the treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes is on the way.

Lactobacillus Gasseri Supplements for Activating Weight Loss

A Japanese study in 2010  highlighted the benefits of the probiotic strain Lactobacillus gasseri, found naturally in breast milk, on weight loss and loss of intra-abdominal fat. On average, subjects supplemented with L. gasseri for 12 weeks saw average decreases of 4.6% in abdominal fat, and 3.3% in subcutaneous fat. Their weight fell by 1.4% and their waistline decreased by 1.8%.

These results were confirmed in a more recent study.

The probiotic strain Lactobacillus gasseri:

  • rebalances and maintains gut flora;
  • boosts the immune system;
  • facilitates digestion and the elimination of fats;
  • improves metabolism to store less fat;
  • promotes weight loss

Start a course of L. gasseri supplementation.

Do All Probiotics Offer the Same Weight Loss Benefits?

The answer is no, each strain has specific effects. While there is a confirmed link between weight and the microbiota, it nonetheless depends on the particular species of bacteria and on the individual.

In 2012, a team at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) reviewed 82 studies into the effects of lactobacillus on weight in humans and animals. They concluded that certain probiotic strains tend to make us gain weight while others, including Lactobacillus gasseri, may reduce intra-abdominal fat, amongst others. Among the key results, it’s notable that taking:

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria was associated with significant weight gain, both in humans and animals, while
  • Lactobacillus gasseri bacteria was associated with weight loss in obese humans and in animals.

Quick Recap on Probiotics

Probiotics are living microorganisms, usually bacteria, which when administered in sufficient quantities, exert beneficial effects on the host’s health, improving in particular the quality of the microbiota, and boosting the immune system and general well-being.

To be effective, probiotics have to be ingested in sufficient amounts and have to withstand the stomach’s acidity in order to be able to act in the gut. It’s important to take them without food: for optimal effects, the active ingredients need to reach the gut and colon as quickly as possible and not remain in the stomach with the alimentary bolus.

For Effective, Lasting Weight Loss and a Slimmer Waist

It is yet more proof that it is too simplistic to think that reducing your food intake and increasing your energy output is enough to achieve sustainable weight loss; it’s well-known that low-calorie diets are not the solution as they lead to the yoyo effect.

To lose weight as well as inches off your waist, you need to:

  • take back control of your diet (vegetables with every meal, avoid refined sugar, stay well-hydrated …)
  • get moving again
  • take care of your digestive system, especially your microbiota, and give it a boost by supplementing with lactobacillus gasseri for its probiotic effect and weight-loss benefits

To quickly get your lactobacillus gasseri ‘treatment’ up and running, the  Supersmart laboratory offers Lactobacillus gasseri  at a dose of 6 billion CFU per 2 gastro-resistant capsules, to be taken on an empty stomach.

Efficacy of Weight Loss Probiotics: The Latest Scientific Research

As a result of their many benefits for weight loss, ‘slimming’ probiotics are increasingly the subject of new scientific studies. One research team recently evaluated the efficacy of the strain Lactobacillus gasseri in combatting excess weight and obesity. Their 12-week randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involved 90 volunteers aged 20-75 who were overweight or obese. At the end of the study, the researchers observed a number of significant improvements among those subjects taking the Lactobacillus gasseri. They included in particular:

  • a significant decrease in visceral adipose tissue;
  • a reduction in waist circumference.

Published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in April 2018, these findings are very encouraging and support the anti-obesity potential of Lactobacillus gasseri.

Lactobacillus Gasseri: Its Benefits for the Balance of Gut Flora

In addition to its weight-loss benefits, the Lactobacillus strain of probiotics offers other advantages for our health. Scientifically-studied for several decades now, this probiotic strain plays a key role in maintaining the balance of our gut flora.  As noted by scientists from Inserm (the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research), this intestinal microbiota is directly involved in many of the body’s essential functions:

  • digestion of food and absorption of the nutrients it contains;
  • regulation of metabolic pathways such as absorption of fatty acids;
  • immunity, ie, the body’s defence system against pathogens.

According to the Inserm scientists, there may be a link between an imbalance in gut flora and the development of obesity, as well as of certain types of cancer, inflammatory diseases (Crohn’s disease, haemmorhagic rectocolitis) and neuropsychiatric diseases (depression, anxiety, bipolar conditions …).

In other words, by helping to maintain or restore balance to the gut flora, supplementing with oral Lactobacillus gasseri probiotics may offer significant preventive and curative potential.

Lactobacillus Gasseri Probiotics from Supersmart: Innovative Capsules for Superior Efficacy

As pioneers in Europe’s nutritional supplement market, Supersmart has considerable experience in the field of probiotics. The result of many years’ research and unrivaled expertise in formulation, Supersmart’s Lactobacillus gasseri supplement offers a number of significant advantages. Alongside an optimal dose, it capitalises on the latest innovations with its delivery in DR Caps™. These have the particular feature of forming a protective barrier for the probiotics. Lactobacillus gasseri in DR Caps™ are referred to as gastro-resistant; in other words, the capsules protect the probiotics against harsh stomach acids, enabling the gut flora to benefit fully from their effects.

It’s worth noting that the efficacy of Lactobacillus gasseri probiotics can be further enhanced in different ways. For instance, in order to get the most out of the product’s optimal dosage, it’s best to keep it refrigerated after opening. It can also be even more effective when prebiotics such as fructo-oligosaccharides are taken at the same time. These nourish and promote the growth of probiotics in the gut flora.


The brand was one of the very first in Europe to market dietary supplements.

Since 1992, we have offered a printed, mail-order catalogue, and have made our famous “Smart Drinks” available for sale in pharmacies.

In 1996, the website made its first appearance on the world wide web.

Initially, the company imported products from the United States. But we very quickly developed our own formulations and packaging in order to offer our customers even greater value-for-money., an International e-commerce website and a top European leader commercialising a wide and diverse range of high quality supplements.

Our Amercian website is and our office is situated in Miami.

7 Health Principals to Help Teenagers Lose Weight

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Loose Weight Image Design 1 - 7 Health Principals to Help Teenagers Lose Weight

Obesity is a growing concern in the Western world. More children and teenagers are suffering from being overweight and it’s leading to a range of health problems. Some turn to eating disorders, while others yo-yo diet constantly. Being overweight and obese doesn’t just affect the physical health, but the mental health and self-esteem.

Encourage your teenager to lose weight is important. You can help them eat healthier and reduce their calorie intakes while boosting their fitness levels. But how do you help teenagers that think the world is against them? How can you give them a boost when their hormones are spiking, and they have no idea how to do it all?

Sometimes it’s all about looking at the health principals. These are the seven you’ll want to focus on to help teenagers lose weight.

Focus on an Adequate Number of Calories

There’s no point in telling teenagers to reduce the number of calories they eat. Many will take it too far and eat far less than their bodies need to survive. Others just don’t understand how many is too many. While they reduce their calorie intake, they don’t reduce it enough for their metabolism.

Wanting your teenagers to eat enough is essential. So, let them know about the minimum number of calories their bodies are going to need. On average, the body needs at least 1,200 calories just to survive daily. This doesn’t include the calories needed if they are active and do a lot of exercises! This is an adult too.

Of course, this is on average. Your teen isn’t likely to have the average body. The number of calories your child’s body will burn depends on age, gender, and weight. Children are still growing, so their metabolisms are much higher.

Don’t drop anything less than 13 calories for each pound in weight. This will offer the support for growing, as well as the daily tasks. So, a child that weights 200lbs will need around 2,600 calories. That’s lot more than the recommended 2,000 calories to maintain a healthy weight and the 1,200 calories that experts say is the bare minimum.

If your teenager does exercise, the number of calories may need to increase a little. This will depend on whether your doctor is worried about the weight loss.

Don’t Focus on Quick Weight Loss Results

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Too many people want to lose weight and lose it right now. It’s understandable considering the amount of focus is put on weight and looks. But this isn’t something you want to encourage your teenager. To help teenagers lose weight healthily, put the focus on a healthy and slow weight loss.

Don’t encourage losing any more than 2lbs a week. This is already a lot, especially for teenagers. Losing more than 2lbs a week consistently means they are going to impact their health negatively. They aren’t getting the calories mentioned above. They can impact their growth and build while losing more water and muscle instead of just fat.

And that’s not all! Fast weight losses are bad for the metabolism. If you encourage too much, the metabolism will go into a starvation mode. It slows down believing that you don’t need to burn as many calories to survive. The limited calories your teenager once ate will cause weight maintenance or gain. This can lead to reducing the calories further and affecting the health negatively even more.

It’s a never-ending cycle. The metabolic rate is one of the hardest things to speed up again. In fact, your teenager is likely to struggle with a slow metabolism for the rest of their life, no matter what they do.

Losing weight quickly is also detrimental to the energy levels. Remember your teenager needs a specific number of calories to get through the day. The body is doing so much to help your teenager grow and develop. By reducing the calories and losing a lot of weight in a short space of time, you cause a dip in the energy levels. Teenagers are more likely to suffer dips in cognitive function and that can affect their school work.

The mental health is also going to take a dip, as losing weight is tiring and hard. Putting the pressure on to lose a lot of weight in a short space of time can seem impossible and teenagers are less likely to stick with the diet. When they know they can lose a little each week and remain healthy, their determination is supported.

Focus on a Healthy Diet

Losing weight isn’t just about reducing calories. There should be a focus on getting the right types of foods in the diet. This means focusing on food groups that will help to support the growing body of the teenager. Some of this will be the same as for you, it’s just the amounts that differ!

Teenagers need to get the right vitamins and minerals. Calcium, vitamin D, iron, and folic acid are all extremely important. They help with the development and strength of the bones, boosting the oxygenated blood flow, improve the cognitive development and improve hormonal balance within the body.

Your teenager will get up to a lot throughout the day. Having strong bones and muscles is essential. The imbalance in hormones can make it much harder for the body to absorb all the nutrients the body needs. That’s why you need to encourage more through the diet and even through health supplements.

With a healthy diet, your teenager will find it much easier to enjoy food and lose weight. The healthiest foods are among those with the lowest calories!

Don’t forget about the fat content in foods. Your teenager needs fat, which means whole fat milk and yogurts are good for them. Don’t push them onto a low-fat diet just yet—studies show that low-fat foods aren’t necessarily the best for helping to reduce weight anyway as they contain more sugars.

Low-carb diets are not good for teenagers. There is absolutely no need for teenagers to cut out all carbs from their diet. In fact, they need carbs for energy! The best option is both health and balance in the foods they eat.

Discourage Refined Sugar from the Diet

While low-carb diets and low-fat diets aren’t necessarily, look out for diets that encourage low refined sugar intakes. Sugar is the biggest reason for health problems and obesity in the Western world.

Your teenager likely has a high sugar diet without you really considering it. They drink fruit juice, enjoy candy bars now and then, drink soda and eat cookies and cakes. Even if you limit the intake to once a day, the sugars are affecting your teen’s overall health. In fact, they’re affecting your overall health.

There’s no need to get any sugar other than natural sugars. And you want to get these natural sugars with other food groups, especially starches and fiber. That means fruit juice is a no-no, especially daily. Keep it as a one-off now and then.

You’ll know that sugars cause the blood’s glucose levels to spike. You may have heard that the glucose levels lead to insulin spikes and eventually lead to Type II diabetes. This is a growing concern in children and teenagers, as more sugars are introduced to the diet at a young age. Refined sugars are just full of empty calories. The foods offer no nutritional benefits, and that includes fruit juices! All the vitamins and fibers have been removed from the juice so you’re just drinking sugary water.

When you get more sugar, your metabolism takes a hit. You increase the chance of various health problems, including metabolic syndrome and heart disease. The sugars can also affect the hormones, making the teenage years worse. And of course, the sugars are high in calories, making weight loss harder.

By discouraging refined sugars and empty calories, you can increase the weight loss efforts. Not all sugars have to be banned but opt for natural ones through whole fruits, milk, and even a small amount of dark chocolate. The small sugar intake will help to boost weight loss efforts, improve the health, and minimize the sugar cravings daily.

Encourage More Exercise the Right Way

Boost activity levels in your teenager for healthy weight loss. This isn’t just about increasing speed or the number of repetitions that are done in an exercise, but about doing the exercises correctly. 13-15-year-olds don’t need to worry about the number of bodyweight exercises they do but should focus more on performing the exercises properly and well. This will help to develop the muscles to build on that in their later teenage years.

Start with more aerobic exercise than bodyweight and strength training. Teenagers burn more calories daily than adults, so need around 60 minutes of exercise daily. This can be hard to fit in, which is why there is a focus on schools keeping physical education in their curriculums; it’s often the only way children get the exercise into their day.

Don’t focus on the calories burned when exercising or on the intensity put in. Focus on the amount of quality exercise they do. Find something they enjoy doing regularly, whether it’s a team sport or just going for a run on their own.

Consider all the health benefits of exercise. Focus more on the feeling after a workout and the way they feel good. You can even lead by example and get out there with your teen.

If your teenager hasn’t exercised in a long time, jumping straight into an extensive routine can be dangerous. Encourage improving the activity a little at a time. Start one week by walking to school one day a week and then increase that by a day each week. Soon enough your teen will forget that they were ever dropped off at school!

By focusing on form and slow increases, your teen will develop the muscles in the right way. The joints and tissues are protected, helping to decrease the chance of injuries. This will help to protect the mental health, as teens are likely to view exercise as the enemy.

Look More at Good Body Image

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Being overweight is hard in high school. Other teenagers are mean, and they will pick up on the slightest thing. Having a good body image is essential, especially when it comes to tackling the weight outside of school.

As teens try to lose weight, there is the risk that they will give into eating disorders. Anorexia, bulimia, and even binge eating are all major problems for teenagers and they can go months without being diagnosed at first. Some aren’t diagnosed for a long time. This isn’t a case of “getting over it” and changing the way they eat. Eating disorders are a mental health issue and require a lot of work on all sides for sufferers to change the way they view food and calories.

The best thing you can do is encourage a healthy body image right away. Girls and boys can suffer from self-esteem and confidence issues. They can body develop poor body images, looking at the way they believe they should look through magazines and on TV. Spend time discussing the images in magazines and how they’re airbrushed. It’s also worth talking to teens about how models and celebrities look after their bodies.

Encourage your teen to be the best version of themselves that they can be. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be thin. However, focus on health and avoid comparing against others too much.

Find a Good Support Network

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When it comes to teenage health, have a support network is essential. This is especially beneficial when it comes to healthy weight loss. Your teen is not the only one struggle to lose weight daily and enjoy school because of their weight. It’s important to find groups, whether in person or online.

The support groups don’t need to have the exact goals in mind. While some teenagers will be more interested in being fitter, others want to lose weight or just improve their body image. All three can work together, as they tend to all involve similar methods to ditch the obesity.

Peer support is important, but it’s also worth getting support from those in positions of authority. Your teen will need to know guidance counselors, doctors, and sometimes therapists are on the side. They need to know you’re there to support them or that other family members are available. This can mean simply asking how the healthy eating plan or exercise is going. Feeling like you’re acknowledging their hard work will help them continue for themselves; they feel good about it and want to continue that feeling.

Losing weight as a teenager isn’t about cutting calories. You want to focus on the health principals. This will help to support physical, mental, and emotional health. It’s possible to avoid eating disorders and low confidence levels while boosting the number of nutrients your teenager gets daily. You’re setting your teenager up for success in the future.

7 Smart Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

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The holiday seasons are just around the corner. This is the time everyone on a diet or attempting to even consider losing weight panics. It is a perfectly normal response. The holidays are the time for people to gather together, eat, and drink everything in sight.

Plus, you just must look at how unhealthy Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners can be. They are full of fattening sides, sugar-filled desserts, and bubbly alcohol. Is it really that surprising that we have this worry that we are going to pile on the pounds? Is it that surprising that most people will wait until the New Year to lose weight?

It is time to avoid the weight gain. You can do it without sacrificing the fun in the holidays. Allowances can be made for certain days of the year. The rest of the time, you can stick to a healthy eating plan and avoid the excess pounds in a short space of time. Here are seven smart tips that will let you avoid the holiday weight gain but still have fun the whole time.

Choose Smart Snacks the Majority of the Time

Choose Smart Snacks the Majority of the Time - 7 Smart Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

One of the biggest issues with the holiday season is the snacking. Companies push all types of festive theme treats and snacks. We see chocolate boxes created in a larger size purely for “sharing,” when they know that we’ll just end up eating everything ourselves. There is the focus on grazing throughout the day, but people forget about all the extra calories they end up consuming.

While there is no need to completely avoid snacking, it is worth being smarter about it. Do not just graze for the sake of it. Chances are that you are not snacking because you are hungry, but because you are bored.

Before you even think about grabbing a candy bar or the slices of Christmas treats, consider whether you are hungry. Is it time for a meal? If so, do not snack and make yourself a healthy meal instead. Could it be just a craving because of boredom or because you are thirsty? Try grabbing a glass of water first and then see if you are still hungry.

Find something else to do to avoid the boredom eating. Do not give the feelings, whether happy or sad. By cutting down on the snacking, you will reduce the calories you consume to help keep them within a manageable range.

But you do not just want to ban all snacks, do you? Of course not! Snacking is a part of the festive season; at least it seems that way. When you do snack, think about the type of snacks you are eating. Focus on healthier alternatives to the sugar-laden sweets, chocolates, and cookies. Opt for more filling snacks like nuts and seeds, fruit segments and vegetable sticks. The smarter snacks will help to fill you up while adding more nutrients to your body.

Also become more mindful of your snacking. Do not just pour a bowl of nuts and eat them until they are gone. You will only need a handful of nuts to fill you up as a snack. Pull that out of the packet and store the rest for later. Avoid snacking when watching the TV as you are more likely to eat more than you really need to!

Keep an Eye on Your Portion Sizes

Did you know it is not quite the type of food that we eat that causes holiday weight gain? It is the amount of food we consume. This includes both unhealthy and healthy food! You can snack on all the fruits and vegetables you want, but you will eventually consume too many. The extra calories will be stored, just like they are when you consume too many snack foods!

Our portion sizes are continually growing. Plate sizes have increased by at least 3 inches in the last few decades. Psychologically we feel like we need to fill the plate, or we are not eating enough. This then leads to overeating and consuming far more calories than our bodies need.

It is time to take a step back and really consider your portion sizes. There are high chances you are serving way more than you should and your body would be satisfied with a little less. Start by changing the size of your plate. Opting for a slightly smaller one will help you fill the plate with less food, so you still get that psychological feeling that you are eating plenty.

Practice mindful eating whenever you eat a meal during the holiday season. When you have eaten half of the food on the plate, put the cutlery down and listen to your body. Does it really need more food? Give yourself time to consider whether you are still hungry or if you are satisfied. If you are still hungry, eat half of the food left on the plate and repeat.

There is nothing wrong with not eating everything on the plate. As you learn more about the amount of food your body needs, you will be able to reduce the amount of food you cook so you do not waste it all!

Reduce the distractions when you do eat. Many people in the holiday seasons will sit around the TV while they eat a meal. The movie or TV show is taking up their attention, rather than focusing on the amount of food they eat. It is possible to eat too fast and cause problems for your digestion. You also end up eating more than you need without realizing.

What about seconds? There are high chances that you do not actually need to eat them. Just because the food is there does not mean it has to be used. Opt for storing the food in the fridge or freezer instead. You can reheat most dishes you make, offering easy and quick meals towards the end of the festive season.

Keep Your Stress Levels to a Minimum

Keep Your Stress Levels to a Minimum - 7 Smart Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

The holidays are full of stress. You want to get the dinner just right. You need to brace the shops with all the other Christmas shoppers. It is a struggle to get everything done that you need, especially when work puts on extra pressure to wrap up for the year. Stress is considered a normal part of the holiday season but that does not have to be the case.

The stress is causing your weight gain for a variety of reasons. When you are stressed, you will increase the amount of cortisol and adrenaline in the body. The immune system’s inflammatory response can be kicked started, causing a dip in the metabolism and pain. As the metabolism slows, your body burns fewer calories, but you do not counter that by eating less food.

At the same time, those who are stressed are more likely to eat more. You have likely heard of the term “stress eater.” People gain pounds within moments because of their eating decisions when stressed. You are more likely to consume junk food to help feel good when stressed. This does not actually work. All you do is increase the negative hormones further, so you create a difficult cycle.

Handling your stress in a different way is important. Try to make healthier choices when it comes to snacking. Opt for yoga and meditation to help manage your stress levels.

The main aim should be to reduce your stress. This will not just help avoid weight gain, but you can also improve your health. Stress raises the blood pressure and causes many other health problems. Learn how to manage how stressed you feel in situations that you cannot control, such as deep breathing and exercise. You will be surprised at the difference in the way you feel!

Opt for More Protein and Fiber in Your Meals

Having a balanced diet is important, especially during the holidays. Most of festive food is high in carbs. Sure, you get protein from the turkey, but think about the refined carbs in the cookies and cakes. Consider the carbs in potatoes and stuffing. We are surrounded by carbohydrates and we know they are not the healthiest way to get our energy.

While getting some carbs is important, we cannot overlook the fact that some metabolize in the blood and cause major health problems. They also lead to weight gain. We are not filled as well as we would be with other food groups, so we end up snacking more.

It is time to get more protein and fiber in your festive diets. Both are excellent for breaking down into the body slower, helping you burn calories over the course of a day without the physical need to snack. When you feel full, you are not going to feel like you are missing out on the festive fun.

Protein is especially beneficial for weight loss because it helps to build more muscle. The metabolism needs to work harder when there is more muscle, so you end up burning more calories throughout the day. You do not just need to eat meat for protein. You can get excellent sources through quinoa, soy, and other similar plant-based foods.

Fiber will help to improve the digestive system. The festive season can cause trouble for this part of the body. We tend to forget about the fiber count in foods, so we can be left constipated and bloated. When we eat more fiber, our bodies push the waste out better and help improve the absorption of nutrients in our meals. Not only do we feel full and reduce our weight gain, but our immune system is further supported. You can get more fiber by eating more fruits and vegetables during the day. Nuts and seeds, whole grains, and legumes are also excellent sources.

Do not forget about the healthy fats. Fat is not the major culprit in weight gain that it is always been made out to be. The fat does not turn into fat in your body. It is a crucial component in a healthy body. Of course, you want unsaturated fats rather than saturated to protect your heart and arteries.

When you get more fat in your diet, you will support the health of the liver. This helps to boost the metabolism, especially if you have a lower carb diet. Fats will also help you feel fuller, so you do not consume as many calories through the day. Your diet only needs to be around 10% fat. There are more calories in a gram of fat than the other macronutrients, which can lead to overeating and weight gain.

Savor Your Desserts and Alcohol

Savor Your Desserts and Alcohol - 7 Smart Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

If fat is not the reason for weight gain, what is? Well, the sugar industry will not admit it, but it is sugar (especially refined sugar) that causes the weight gain issue. When we eat sugar, our whole body is affected. The metabolism must store the calories from other sources while its deals with the sugars in the bloodstream. You end up with sugar crashes, which leads to more sugar cravings. Sugar is more addictive than heroin!

So, does that mean you need to avoid all desserts? Not at all! What it means is you need to choose your desserts a little better. While Christmas cake, ice cream, and cookies may be popular, there is no need to consume them with every meal. You can get dessert in a much healthier way.

Look out for sugar-free dessert recipes. Find ways to use natural flavorings to create that sweet taste without affecting your health. You may be surprised to find that the desserts are not just better for you, but leave you feeling more satisfied after eating them. They do not cause the crash later that leaves you craving more of the delicious food.

When you do eat dessert, savor each bite. It is tempting to demolish it in one sitting, just to go back for seconds. Before you know it, the bowl of ice cream is gone, and you are stocking up on more sugar. Be more mindful of each bite you take, so you give your body chance to feel full and satisfied. You will consume fewer calories, so you do not gain as much weight over the holiday season.

Likewise, reduce the number of liquid calories you drink. This is not just actually about alcohol, but alcohol is one of the biggest problems. We tend to drink more over the Christmas period and it is no surprise that drinks driving increases during this time of year.

Alcohol is full of empty calories. Even wine and beer are not going to be favorable to your waistline. Our bodies do not recognize the calories in drink form, so end up pushing you to consume more. The sweet taste of most drinks will also encourage more drinking. Not only are you putting your liver at risk, but also your weight. A glass of wine with dinner is fine, but keep the excessive drinking to a least.

And watch out for sodas, sweetened drinks, and similar beverages. They are also packed with empty calories. They offer no nutritional benefits but will be packed with calories and chemicals that can make it harder for your body to absorb necessary minerals for a strong and healthy body. Have a drink now and then, but do not make it a regular thing.

 Get in More Exercise

The last thing you want to think about is exercise over the holiday period, but it could be one of the best things you do. This does not mean you have to push for your gym to open on Christmas Day. Nor do you need to create a training plan that will help you get buff in the New Year. You just want to get a little more active to burn a few extra calories.

Exercise is a wonderful way to boost happy hormones and reduce the stress levels. This will help to curb the snacking and emotional eating, so you can focus on healthier snacks and meals. The exercise will also help to burn more calories throughout the day, helping to create a calorie deficit so you lose weight.

At the same time, you build muscle. Muscles will burn more calories, helping to further that calorie deficit. You will also feel better mentally. It is not just the stress hormones that a removed, but the other negative hormones. It is easier to bypass the winter or Christmas blues and find more enjoyment, reducing the snacking and cravings.

Exercise will also give you something to do. You curb the boredom to curb the snacking.

Get the whole family involved. Go out for snowball fights, enjoy a walk in the park, or build a snow sculpture. You will be surprised at the workout you get. And yes, even shoveling the drive will count!

Plan and Stick to It

Plan and Stick to It - 7 Smart Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Finally, it is all about a plan. Create a plan to handle the Christmas period and you will find it much easier to work with. Weight gain will be the last thing on your mind because you are taking active steps to boost your metabolism, reduce calorie intake, and still enjoy the time.

The tips above will help you create this plan of attack. You can set out recipes for the holiday season, both on the day and around the big day. Plan out the snacks you will buy and make. Try to avoid the calorie-filled, sugar-filled snacks and opt for something healthier for the whole family. You are supporting the overall health and not just the waistline.

Of course, now you need to stick to it! This is often the hardest part, especially when one day goes wrong. Do not worry if you do not stick to the healthy eating plan for the day. One difficult day does not mean the whole holiday season is a write-off. Get straight back to the plan the next day and work your way through it without the guilt.

Planning will help to manage the stress. You know what you need to do and when. It is easier to manage the gift buying, recipe making, and dinner preparation when you have a plan of attack to follow.

Make This Holiday Season Successful for Your Weight

There is no need to give in to the idea that the holiday season is a time to gain weight. For many people it is, and it may have been something that happened to you in the past. However, with a few changes, everyone can either keep or lose weight throughout the festive periods. It does not matter whether you are a meat eater or vegan. There are recipes that will help to keep you feel full, bring in the festive cheer, and reduce the excess calories you consume.

Try this year to create your festive plan. This is not just about the meals you will make, but the way you will tackle every element of the season. Keep the stress to a least, opt for healthier and smarter food choices, and listen to your body. You will find the season far more enjoyable than you ever thought possible!

5 Healthy Weight Loss Diet – Eat And See The Difference!

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Set21 FI - 5 Healthy Weight Loss Diet – Eat And See The Difference!

Not all diet that you eat has the same effect on your body. All calories are also different and have a different metabolic reaction in the body as each food undergoes a breakdown process in the body. There is a diet that aid quick healthy weight loss and most of these are natural food too. Using these essential weight loss ingredients, you can cook up interesting healthy weight loss foods for a faster, healthier and tastier weight loss process.

Here are our 5 healthy weight loss diet from the dieter’s food list for your quick reference:


1. Green Leafy Vegetables:

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Leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and swiss chards all those super foods have numerous properties that make them the perfect diet food for the weight watchers. Loaded with fibres and essential nutrients they are low in empty calories and carbohydrates that slow down your weight loss process.


2. Boiled Potatoes:

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It is a misconception that potatoes are in general bad for your weight loss. The truth, however, is the cooking of potatoes that makes it healthy and unhealthy. Boiled potatoes are a nothing but a storehouse of energy that the body needs to burn more calories. It is also a highly fulfilling food that makes you feel full faster and stays satisfied longer.


3. Beans And Legumes:

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Rich in protein foods are the best diet to lose weight naturally. The high fibre content found in beans and protein also helps the body’s metabolic function improving digestion and keeping you full longer.


4. Apple Cider Vinegar:

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Known for its deep cleansing properties, research and studies have proved apple cider vinegar to be one of the best food for healthy weight loss. It eliminates the body of toxins providing a deep cleansing. Having apple cider vinegar just before meals can make one feel fuller faster. It also helps in preventing sudden sugar spikes in the blood which causes excess glucose in the blood stream thereby causing an increase in weight.


5. Whole Grains:

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Say no to gluten and shake hands with whole grains like millets, oats, and barley. Each of these grains has immense nutritional properties and are rich in fibre. Replacing your regular rice and wheat with these healthy weight loss superfood can help you attain your weight loss objective faster.


Could Your Recent Weight Gain Actually be a Symptom of Hashimoto’s Thyroid Disease?

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hashimotos thyroid disease symptoms - Could Your Recent Weight Gain Actually be a Symptom of Hashimoto’s Thyroid Disease?All thyroid disease is not alike. One particular type of thyroid disease is actually an autoimmune condition where your body is attacking itself. This autoimmune thyroid disease, known as Hashimoto’s Disease, occurs when inflammation in the body causes an uncontrolled immune response. This results in the body’s immune system attacking its own healthy tissues. Along with the current obesity epidemic, hypothyroidism seems to be escalating wildly at the same time. Since a low functioning thyroid causes general weight gain, the two are intimately connected. Low thyroid function is not easily detected or diagnosed in its early stages. Hypothyroidism, when left untreated, may contribute to weight gain as well as various other debilitating symptoms, and could lead to serious health problems. It is therefore important for you to recognize the early symptoms since they may indicate the presence of an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

What Is Hashimoto’s Disease?

Hashimoto’s disease is a common disorder in which the thyroid gland is attacked by the body’s own immune system. This may lead to hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid, under persistent immune attack, is unable to provide enough hormones for the needs of the body. The thyroid gland is responsible for producing hormones that control the body’s metabolism, including how fast the body burns calories from food.

What Is an Autoimmune Disease?

Your immune system is your body’s defense against external and internal invaders that can cause harm to the body. Its function is to clearly distinguish between friendly and unfriendly invaders and to eliminate those that are a threat. When autoimmunity occurs, the immune system becomes dysfunctional. Instead of fighting an infection or allergen, your immune system becomes confused and directs a hostile attack on the joints, gut, skin, thyroid, brain and often against the entire body.

Many conventional drugs, when used selectively, are able to help individuals deal with the symptoms, but they are not a long term solution. These drugs should be used as an interim intervention to cool off inflammation while the root cause of the disease is found.

What Are the Symptoms?

Symptoms of Hashimoto’s can often be silent in the beginning stages of the disease, but eventually the following symptoms will become evident:

–              Fatigue and poor stamina

–              Weight gain

–              Lower voice tone

–              Depression

–              Cold or hot feelings

–              Dry skin and hair

–              Constipation and diarrhea

–              Anxiety, fidgetiness, or panic

When the thyroid cells become unable to convert iodine into hormones, a person will slowly develop hypothyroidism and may experience some or all of the following symptoms:

–              Anemia

–              Chest pains

–              Brain fog (sluggish thinking, forgetfulness, lack of a zest for life)

–              Exhaustion

–              Graying hair, hair loss, weak brittle nails

–              Low basal temperature, cold and heat intolerance

–              Headaches, migraines, frequent colds or flu, slow recovery from infections

–              Low libido, infertility, miscarriage, severe PMS

–              Tenderness, muscle cramps, tired aching muscles

–              Sleep disturbances

–              Restless leg syndrome and ankle reflexes

–              Slowed speech

–              Seasonal exacerbation of symptoms (cold or hot weather)

–              Severe weight gain

Less frequent symptoms include excess ear wax and increased blood pressure.

How is Hashimoto’s Disease Treated?

Although there is no cure for Hashimoto’s, medication can be used to regulate hormone levels and restore normal metabolism. Types and strengths will depend on your weight, age, severity of symptoms, other health problems and other medication which may interact with synthetic thyroid hormone medication. A TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) test will monitor your thyroid function to determine the dosage. It may take many months for symptoms to subside.

It can also be extremely useful to reduce inflammation in the body. This might mean eliminating gluten or other possible foods or environmental toxins that produce inflammation.

Other treatments include:

–              Improving gut health

–              Acupuncture

–              Lymph massage

–              Contrast hydrotherapy

–              Stress reduction, good sleep, exercise

–              Homeopathy

–              Chiropractic

The Role of Chiropractic in Treating Hashimoto’s Disease

In some cases an imbalance in the spine may lead to thyroid dysfunction or be the cause of a weak immune system. Chiropractic belief is that all cells and tissues are controlled by the nervous system and an imbalance can cause health issues. Therefore many people who suffer from a hypothyroid condition will benefit immensely from receiving chiropractic care to help achieve overall optimal health as chiropractic is all about balancing the interaction between the nervous system and every cell and tissue of the body, including the thyroid.

An imbalance in the nerves that serve the thyroid gland may result in a malfunction. This should be looked at particularly if you are on a nutritious diet, exercising well, controlling stress levels and still having problems with your thyroid. If the nervous system is out of balance, it often results in a weakened immune system, which makes the body more prone to chronic diseases which in turn may trigger autoimmune response dysfunction.

A nervous system that is out of balance can also make a person more susceptible to stress which sometimes causes a leaky gut. The leaky gut can then produce an autoimmune condition such as a thyroid dysfunction.

If you have Hashimoto’s and would like to find the root cause of the condition, it may benefit you to visit a chiropractor as part of your healing program to determine whether an imbalance in the nervous system could help alleviate some of your symptoms.

If you are at all concerned about your symptoms, talk to your medical practitioner first in order to determine whether there are other factors to consider regarding your condition.

In most cases Hashimoto’s can be well managed with medication, lifestyle changes and functional medicine, as well as natural remedies and holistic treatments. A successful outcome will involve: a clinical assessment, a treatment plan that integrates detoxification, improvement in receptor site sensitivity, thyroid gland support, and effective conversion of T4 cells to T3. As each person will react differently, there is no treatment plan that will fit everyone. An individual with Hashimoto’s has to actively take part in the healing process by doing everything possible to calm down inflammation, detoxify the body, eat a nutritious diet and get support from health care professionals as well as family members to restore their health.

What Kind of Weight Loss Boss Are You?

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Help Scale - What Kind of Weight Loss Boss Are You?

Ever wonder why some people are successful at losing weight, while other seemingly similar people struggle?

Of course, a number of factors conspire to determine any particular person’s success rate. But there is one that exerts very strong positive or negative influences on all the other factors and the overall success of your program.

You might never have thought about this “super factor”, but you have complete control over it.

It’s you.

Or at least it’s your “inner voice”. The one you hear commenting on just about everything you do. In a way, that voice is like a boss, assessing how well or poorly you perform every task.

What’s Your Inner Boss Like?

Imagine a real life boss that spoke to you the way that you speak to you? How long would you stay in that job? How easy would it be to accomplish the herculean task of changing your eating habits and lifestyle under a boss like that?

Good inner bosses are like good real-world bosses; they get better results. They are understanding instead of being hyper-critical; they remove obstacles instead of creating them; they develop situations that help you achieve your highest measure of success instead of setting you up for failure.

How to Be a Better Boss

It may not be simple, but becoming a better boss to yourself is far easier than trying to get results under the old boss

Everyone Makes Mistakes: If you “cheat” on your diet, it doesn’t mean you have failed. Even calling it “cheating” isn’t really fair. You are making huge changes in your life, no one should blame you for being human, not even yourself.

  • Set Yourself Tasks and Goals You Can Achieve: If your real-life boss wouldn’t give you an impossible task, then why would you do so to yourself? If you find yourself stressed by reducing the amount of food you eat, then keep eating the same amount of food, just try to eat healthier food.  If exercise is difficult, just add a little extra activity to your day.
  • Get the Help You Need: Has your place of work ever hired temporary staff when there’s a lot of extra work that the regular staff can’t do? Well guess what, your body’s going through more changes than ever before, and it’s doing more work than ever before to help you get to where you want to be. So you need to give it the extra help it needs. A nutritional counselor will help you and your body get the extra nutritional help it needs to get the job done properly.

What happens when you become a better boss? You get the results you’ve always wanted.

Click here to see our programs.

The Link Between Thyroid Disease and Weight Gain

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thyroid disease symptoms weight gain - The Link Between Thyroid Disease and Weight GainIt seems as if more women than men wonder about the connection between weight gain and thyroid disease. For many of the people who are concerned, the answer is that there can be a connection, but it is not always a simple one to diagnose. Metabolism is the rate at which a body burns fuel, and thyroid function and metabolism are closely connected.

It is pretty obvious that a malfunctioning thyroid gland could cause either unexplained weight gain or weight loss. However, the correct functioning of that thyroid gland could also be impacted by other body systems. These systems include neurotransmitters, adrenal glands, and even reproductive hormones. That means it might be possible to detect symptoms of a malfunctioning thyroid, but it is important to find out if there are underlying problems or if the problem is with the gland.

Why Does An Under-active Thyroid Gland Matter?

People who suffer from an under-active thyroid gland also have a low resting metabolism, or basal metabolism. An underactive thyroid results in a condition that doctors call hypothyroidism. Some of the primary symptoms that alert doctors to this problem are difficultly losing weight or unexplained weight gain.

Everybody with hypothyroidism does not gain weight. The people that don’t gain weight generally already eat a very sparse diet or have a very high activity level.

When people who suffer from an unexplained weight gain do try to diet, their metabolism rate keeps falling even more as calories get reduced. Even women with normal thyroids will notice that their metabolism tends to fall as they diet, and this is one of the things that makes dieting difficult.

The more a person diets, the less the body wants to give up stored fat. This is a survival trait from the times of feast and famine. The real goal of dieting is to trick the body to give up stored fat.

However, people who already have thyroid problems have an even bigger problem. Diets are bound to make them tired, give them brain fog, and even make them achy. Because of this, they are likely to consume more calories to make themselves feel better,leading to more weight gain. They then feel like a failure because they can’t lose weight.

Thyroid Problems And Weight Gain: A Mostly Female Problem

It would not be correct to suggest that men cannot suffer from thyroid problems. However, these issues seem to be associated with weight gain in women more frequently. Also, the majority of thyroid issues do stem from problems with the actual gland. But they may not really present themselves as symptoms until a whole-body hormone imbalance begins to develop. Very often, menopause, thyroid issues, and weight gain appear all together at the same time.

But women might also be more prone to developing the symptom of weight gain because many of them spend their entire lives in a cycle of yo-yo dieting. They lose a little weight, fall of the diet, and then gain that weight back and even more. This actually puts more stress on thyroid glands, and it might be why this is mostly considered a female problem.

Also, women are more likely to hold stress inside. Stress is an emotion, but it affects people in a physical way. It can affect the function of brains, adrenal glands, and of course, the thyroid. Some symptoms of a hormone imbalance might be a craving for sweet food. In the short-term, sweets can provide energy and a sensation of well being. But that good feeling never lasts.

Also, women already experience monthly cycles. This is even true of women after menopause. The end of the monthly menstruation cycle is not the end of a monthly hormone cycle. It is just the end of the ovulation cycle.

How To Get Thyroid Problems Diagnosed

If you suffer from an unexplained weight gain or are having extreme difficulty when trying to lose weight, it’s time to speak with a medical professional. Your doctor might order a test to measure TSH in your blood. Even if your readings come out in the normal range, you can still have problems. In these milder cases, a diet that is rich in selenium and the correct balance of carbohydrates and protein can help. In other cases, the doctor may offer you prescription hormone replacements in the form of a pill. Always let your doctor know about any physical symptoms that are causing you problems.

Everything You Need To Know About Almonds for Weight Loss

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ALMONDSFINAL - Everything You Need To Know About Almonds for Weight Loss
Last Updated: 30th September 2016

Almonds have long since been considered a health food and their reputation for aiding weight loss is certainly well deserved.

Although regularly consuming small portions of all nuts can help to contribute towards a healthy and happy body, eating raw almonds for weight loss is by far the most successful way to wave goodbye to those unwanted pounds.

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Most people shy away from including almonds in their diet plans when they are trying to lose weight because of their relatively high-calorie content.

It is automatically assumed that all high-calorie foods are detrimental to diets.

However, this is a common misconception and studies have shown that using almonds for weight loss is an effective way to assist in shedding fat.

Why Should You Eat Almonds?

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Although almonds are made up of a whopping 72% fat, the majority of their fat content comes from the monounsaturated fats that contribute towards a healthily functioning body.

Consuming almonds is an excellent way to top up your “good” fats as they provide a quality source of the essential fatty acids needed to maintain a healthy heart and cholesterol levels.

Evidence from research indicates that regularly eating foods that are high in monounsaturated fats, such as almonds, avocado, and olive oil, can contribute towards successful weight loss.

One study found that individuals who followed a controlled diet incorporating a small portion of almonds lost more weight than those individuals who followed the same diet but with added complex carbohydrates in place of the high fat snack.

The people following the diet enhanced with almonds consumed a daily total of 39% fat whereas the diet enhanced with complex carbohydrates had a daily total of just 18% fat, completely dispelling the myth that high-fat foods are detrimental to weight loss.

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The International Journal of Obesity conducted a similar study which found that a restricted diet enriched with almonds improved the abnormalities contributing to metabolic syndrome in individuals.

The study concluded that the combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity that results in metabolic syndrome were all eased by the simple inclusion of a small portion of almonds in the daily diets of the participants.

The group of participants were put on calorie controlled diets with one-half consuming a small portion of almonds and the other consuming the equivalent amount of calories from complex carbohydrates on a daily basis.

Although both groups did lose fat on the restricted diets, it was found that the weight reduction over the 24 week period was significantly greater in those individuals who had consumed almonds than in those who did not.

The findings suggest that eating almonds in moderation can play a crucial role in combating not just obesity, but other health problems that are associated with being over.

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Carbohydrates make up just 15% of each almond’s total nutrients meaning that they are an ideal addition to the diet of anyone who may be following a low carb diet such as the paleo diet.

It has been suggested that opting for a low carb diet which incorporates foods high in monounsaturated fats can reduce the risk of heart disease by helping to decrease the stubborn “bad” fats that encircle vital organs and can be found in the area surrounding the stomach.

Many individuals opt for snacks that are high in carbohydrates such as chips or muffins when they are on the go simply because these are the foods that are most widely available.

Most people do not realise how detrimental to weight loss this high carbohydrate convenience foods really are and rely on them to stave off hunger pangs when they strike.

Why not try using almonds for weight loss yourself and keep a small packet of them handy for those times that you need a quick snack on the go?

Almonds for Muscle Building

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Almonds have the highest protein content out of all the nuts and this, when combined with the quality source of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids that they provide, can contribute toward losing fat and achieving a lean look.

The amino acids found in almonds are the building blocks of muscle and are crucial when it comes to growing and maintaining the muscle mass needed in order to achieve the toned look that many people desire.

The combination of the high protein and fat contents in almonds also provide a boost in energy levels meaning that eating almonds can benefit you when participating in physical activity as they can help to enhance performance.

In addition to this, it has been suggested that almonds act as an appetite suppressant due to their ability to stabilize blood sugar levels.

Evidence suggests that the high levels of the monounsaturated fat present in almonds can leave people feeling fuller for longer, meaning that they are less likely to reach for that unhealthy cookie while in between meals.

The Nutritional Content of Almonds

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Almonds are by far the most nutrient dense nut and are absolutely bursting with the vitamins and minerals required to maintain a healthily functioning body.

They provide an excellent source of Vitamins E, K, B16 and B12 in addition to Riboflavin and Folate to name just a few.

Almonds also contain high levels of a multitude of minerals including Iron, Zinc, Potassium, Calcium and Manganese, all of which play a key role in aiding cellular processes in the body and help activate energy productively.

This means that simply including a small handful of almonds in your daily diet is enough to guarantee that your energy levels will soar, leaving you less likely to experience that mid-afternoon slump that can so leave you reaching for a sugary quick fix.

The seemingly endless health benefits of almonds do not end there though as, in addition to providing a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids, almonds also provide an excellent source of fiber.

Just 20 almonds per day provide 3.5 grams of fiber meaning that the tasty nut makes an ideal addition to the diet of anyone who struggles with digestive issues such as bloating and constipation.

Almonds and Heart Health

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In addition to easing the health problems associated with metabolic syndrome, it has also been suggested that including a small portion of almonds in an individual’s daily diet can prevent the onset of heart disease.

One report in the Journal of the America Heart Association examined a study that took place over a six-week period and concluded that regularly consuming almonds decreases the level of “bad” cholesterol in the body.

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In the study, a group of 48 individuals consumed a calorie controlled diet with one-half eating a small portion of daily almonds and the other half instead eating an isocaloric muffin substitute.

Although the two variations of the calorie controlled diet did not differ in terms of saturated fat or cholesterol levels, it was found that those individuals who had consumed almonds had decreased levels of non-HDL, or “bad” cholesterol, in the body.

It was also found that, although both groups lost weight, the group whose diet included almonds lost more weight than the carbohydrate group, particularly around their stomachs and legs.

These findings reinforce those from previous studies and indicate that the regular consumption of almonds is a simple and easy way to not only reducing body fat but to also prevent heart disease.

Almonds for Aesthetics

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In addition to having the ability to help reduce fat and maintain muscle in the body, the regular consumption of almonds is thought to provide a variety of beauty benefits.

Regularly eating almonds provides the body with an excellent source of Vitamin E which, not only helps to keep your heart healthy but is also imperative when it comes to both the protection and appearance of your skin.

The mixture of tocopherols and tocotrienols found in almonds help to protect the skin’s collagen and elastin proteins, meaning that regularly eating almonds can assist your skin in protecting itself from free radical damage.

The collagen and elastin proteins in the body are what keep skin firm and taut, therefore, by eating small portions of almonds and strengthening these proteins, your skin will adopt a more youthful appearance.

There is also evidence to suggest that eating almonds can help to defend your skin from damage caused by the environment.

Almonds provide a quality source of up to twenty different antioxidant flavonoids that work in conjunction with Vitamin E to protect your skin and keep it looking in great condition.

Almonds do not only contain the antioxidants and vitamins essential to keeping your skin looking great, but they can also contribute towards the improved condition and overall appearance of your hair.

Nutrients such as Copper, Manganese and Magnesium have all been linked to healthy hair, and high levels of each of these minerals can be found in almonds.

With fat loss, a healthy heart, youthful looking skin and shiny hair guaranteed, why wouldn’t you start to incorporate regularly a handful of almonds into your daily diet?

How to Include Almonds in Your Diet

In order to use almonds for weight loss and achieve the maximum health benefits from this delicious high-fat snack, you should aim to eat one handful of plain almonds each day.

Unfortunately, that means that salted, dry roasted or other processed varieties of the nut just won’t cut it.

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A pre-packaged bag of almonds in your handbag makes an ideal snack for times when you are away from home and hunger strikes.

Snacking on almonds will enable you to keep those hunger pangs at bay between meals without giving into

easily accessible and convenient junk food.

If the thought of eating plain almonds each day fills you with dread and you find yourself craving the salted or dry roasted variety, why not try making your own version of jazzed up almonds for when hunger cravings strike.

Try tossing a handful of almonds in some raw, organic maple syrup or honey and placing on a baking tray before sprinkling with chilli flakes and roasting for around thirty minutes.

This twist on the healthy snack will ensure that your taste buds are satisfied without compromising the nutritional value of the almonds.

Other ways to incorporate almonds into your meals include throwing a handful into salads, stir fries or even trays of oven roasted vegetables for added crunch.

Almonds also work well when chopped up and added to homemade muesli or smoothies, and they also make delicious toppings for yogurt when combined with mixed berries or chopped banana.

You could even include almond butter spread in your diet by purchasing a tub of natural almond butter; just ensure you check the labels to find one with nothing added to it.

This delicious spread is similar to peanut butter and can be used to top some wholemeal toast or even added to porridge to make a satisfying and nutritious breakfast.

You could also try spreading two tablespoons of almond butter over sliced apple or banana for a delicious and filling snack between meals.

Other ways you can reap the health benefits of almonds while minimizing your waistline include incorporating almond milk and almond flour into your daily diet.

Try substituting regular flour for flour made from ground almonds when making pancakes or baked goods and swap full-fat milk for almond milk poured over cereal and added to hot drinks.

Incorporating almonds into your daily diet plan assists in the fat loss helps keep your health hearty and provides an energy boost enabling you to reach your optimum performance during workouts.

Almonds have a multitude of nutritional benefits that positively impact the human body from the inside out.

Tocopherols and tocotrienols are true forms of Vitamin E found in almonds which are proven powerful. These two protect collagen and elastin which are vital for firm and young-looking skin.

With the guarantee of weight loss, endless additional health benefits and so many delicious ways to incorporate almonds into your daily diet, why aren’t you already on the way to the store to pick some up?

Share with us in the comments below, how often do you use almonds in your diet?

The Myths Of Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss

31ec6b81d9c3fb0ccc790873e3ee79ba - The Myths Of Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss
Last Updated: 7th October 2016

Losing weight is something that many women around the world want to do. Intermittent fasting for weight loss is becoming more important. There are many benefits shared and statements made to show how it works. Do intermittent fasting weight loss programs really work? Are they good for your body?

There are also other statements made to show that this type of diet doesn’t work; that it’s dangerous for you. Are they really right or could you try the diet temporarily?

It’s time to work out the truth from the lies. Here’s a look at all the myths of intermittent fasting to help you find the best weight loss plan for you.

What Is Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss?

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Before we even get started with the myths and truths, it’s important to understand what intermittent fasting really is. Does this mean eating or drinking nothing at all for an entire day? Should you only fast for a certain number of days or for a full week or month? Just how does the diet work?

The main benefit of intermittent fasting for weight loss is that it encourages people to eat fewer calories. Dieters find it easier to create a calorie deficit, without feeling like they are cutting everything out. While they eat at different times to normal, they will still get a healthy amount of calories into their day.

There are different types of fasting diets to try. One of the most common right now is the 5:2 diet, which changes to 6:1 while maintaining weight. A person will eat 500-600 calories for two days of the week but the other days they can eat a normal amount. The two days can be hard, but they are realistic, and people are less likely to binge because they can normally eat during the rest of the week. When it comes to maintenance, they will eat 500-600 calories for one day a week and the rest of the week eat normally.

Another intermittent fasting diet is the Eat-Stop-Eat diet. On this one, people will follow a normal diet but include a complete fast for 24 hours once or twice a week. They will only drink water during this time, and the followers get to choose when they do the fasting. Many will choose from dinner to dinner since they find it easier to cut out breakfast and lunch during the days.

The 16/8 diet has also become popular. People will eat all their calories during an eight-hour window, usually between noon and 8 pm. The rest of the time, they don’t eat anything.

People don’t eat more during the hours they can. The aim is to stick to a normal calorie amount for their weight and gender, so they reduce their weekly calories.

These aren’t the only intermittent fasting diets available, either. There are so many fasting ideas out there, and they all work effectively. It’s all about finding your favourite for your weight loss needs.

It Is Possible to Lose Weight!

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Image Source: Good Move Project

These diets do make it possible to lose weight. There are many myths that state they don’t, but studies have shown that they do work. This is only when the diets are followed properly.

The benefit is that people are able to control their hunger pangs. They know that no food is a completely off limit, but that they get to have their meals at a set time. It can also help those who have plans that they need to work around or prefer to have strict schedules for their diets.

Some of the health benefits noted have been a reduction in insulin responses. Because there is less glucose from the food, the body doesn’t have the need to release as much insulin during the day. This leads to a lower risk of diabetes.

There are many other health benefits, including hormone regulation and confidence boosts.

It’s worth making a note that the diets aren’t easy. If losing weight were easy, there wouldn’t be any overweight people in the world. This isn’t a miracle cure, and you will need to have the motivation to follow the plan.

Why So Many Myths?

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Image Source: Slideshare

If intermittent fasting for weight loss is so good, why are there so many myths? Why are people so insistent that this isn’t something worth following?

There are many reasons, but the main one is the constant statements; often by people who look like they should know the truths. Bodybuilders will often complain that they’re hungry or “experts” may claim that their diet is better for you. Marketers of other diets will say just how bad fasting for long periods of time.

The more someone is told something, the more they are likely to believe it. This is especially the case if they are told by people they trust and respect or are told the same thing by multiple people not even in the same friendship group.

Many of the myths are told to promote something else. People will claim that one diet is better than the other because they are promoting a specific diet. They don’t want to focus on any potential reasons not to try that diet. Celebrities and bodybuilders endorsing certain products for money will also make sure they promote their product and focus on the myths of the intermittent fasting diets.

There are also mixed results from studies. These mixed results are usually due to limitations in the studies that are taken into account by the people reading the studies. Many will take the studies at face value, rather than comparing how the different studies were carried out and the type of people doing the studies.

This problem has been noted with numerous myths. Researchers have looked into why the studies come out with different results and assess the limitations involved. It could be that people in the studies weren’t following a healthy diet plan or that they had medical conditions that affected their ability to lose weight.

It doesn’t help that people aren’t interested in actually reading through the studies. They don’t want to make their own conclusions and will listen to the media or the endorsements instead; often selecting the most damaging or scariest of points to work on their agenda.

You’ll Get Fat Skipping Breakfast

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Image Source: Dailymail

Part of intermittent fasting involves skipping breakfast. There will be many people telling you that this is dangerous and will just make you fat. Breakfast is often spouted as the most important meal of the day.

According to those against intermittent fasting weight loss, skipping breakfast will lead to being hungrier throughout the day. Your body already goes through a long fasting period during the night, and it needs food to start your day. If you don’t eat breakfast, you’re more likely to gorge on food later, and that will lead to weight gain.

The truth is there are some studies that show skipping breakfast leads to weight gain. There are also studies that show skipping breakfast helps to lose weight.

Those who skip breakfast in a general day are less likely to be health conscious with the rest of their meals. They’ll snack on high calories foods. Those who are skipping as part of a weight loss diet will stick to healthier meals when they do eat.

The main difference in the studies is when they involve children and teenagers. Those who eat breakfast are more likely to do better in school because they find it easier to concentrate.

This is one of those myths that depends on the individual. There are some truths, but if you’re following a fasting diet for your weight loss efforts, you will usually find that you lose weight.

Fasting Will Slow Your Metabolism

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Image Source: NF Tips

This is another common myth, and can be backed up by those following crash diets. If the body doesn’t get enough food, the metabolism slows down to counter the fewer calories it is getting. Rather than burning the calories your body has stored, it will adapt to survive on less.

It’s important to remember that this is an intermittent fasting diet. Rather than consuming calories throughout the day, the calories are being consumed in set sittings. There isn’t change to some calories, so there is no need for the body to slow the metabolism down.

Even not getting the full calories for 24 hours won’t change much. There are plenty of people who will eat less for 24-48 hours without even meaning to in cases, simply because they don’t feel hungry. Their metabolic rates don’t decrease because of this. It takes weeks of starvation for the body to go into what is dubbed “starvation mode.”

Some studies show that it will take 72 hours for the metabolism to drop by just 8%!

You End Up Really Hungry

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Image Source: Life Vessel

If you don’t continuously eat throughout the day, you’ll end up hungry. This is a common belief, and it is time to work out the truth behind it.

Some people may find that they feel hungrier by switching from constantly eating to intermittent fasting. This is normal because it is a change to the system. However, it really depends on the type of food that you eat when you are allowed to eat. If you use your calories up smartly, you can get food that leaves you feeling fuller for longer, so you don’t feel the need to eat as much.

Hunger could also be in the head. People look at the time and think that they need to eat, so they feel hungry. Others will feel hungry because they are thirsty. It can lead to overeating the calories because your body isn’t actually crying out for food!

There are people who will have a quick snack, but usually not something that will keep them full.

Those who do feel the need to snack regularly may find intermittent fasting for weight loss much harder. This will come down to the individual, and some will binge later because they have not been able to eat when they’ve felt hungry. Others will find going hours without food easy, despite the start of feeling hungry.

Smaller Meals Throughout the Day Are Better for You

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Image Source: USA Today

This myth links to the skipping breakfast and feeling hungry myths. There are believes that eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day is better for you than eating larger meals at intermittent intervals.

Studies don’t show this at all. It all comes back to the calories. Eating all your calories in one sitting and eating them spaced throughout the day still means you get the same amount of calories throughout the day. It doesn’t change anything about your body! You won’t see a reduction in your metabolic rate and your body will still burn the calories.

This will depend on the person, though. It’s worth remembering that element about hunger. If you are one of those that really struggles with hunger pangs, then you may find it much harder to have larger meals at intermittent intervals. You may find that eating smaller meals throughout the day is easier for you.

But this is on an individual basis. There’s no truth behind the belief that small meals are better for the masses.

Another reason for this myth is the belief that the health deteriorates without regular food. This is often because people start gorging on unhealthy foods when they feel hungry. Gorging is going to be bad, but sticking to the intermittent fasting plan is not going to have an adverse effect. Think about the food that passes your lips and makes healthy choices and you will find your health benefits.

You’ll Lose Muscle’

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Image Source: The Science of Eating

The body goes into starvation mode and then eats at the muscle rather than the stored fats. That’s the reasoning behind this myth, but it is not truth.

It is easy to see where the myth comes from, though. The body can start to eat the calories in the muscles, but that is usually with extreme crash dieting to the point of barely getting any food. It also means the person isn’t doing exercise to protect the muscles in the body. As the weight gets so low, the body will start to get the calories from the muscles.

However, for the intermittent plan, the diet isn’t going to cause muscle loss. The diet doesn’t give your body a chance to do that! You’re also still getting plenty of protein to help build the muscle while you lose weight!

Intermittent fasting is popular with bodybuilders. If it meant a loss of muscle, do you think they’d really still stick to their diets? Wouldn’t they move to something that isn’t as damaging? The bodybuilders are able to keep their fat percentage low while having the energy to do the workouts they need to build their muscle.

You’re not cutting out exercise with this diet. You’re not reducing your calories so much that you’ll struggle to do it all. You’re just getting your calories at strategic points and not as often as you would with a normal eating pattern.

Your Brain Needs the Fuel Constantly

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Image Source: Japple Fitness

Remember above about breakfast? There are studies that show children and teenagers work better at school if they have had breakfast.

There are a few reasons for this, and those reasons have led to the myth that intermittent fasting leads to the brain not getting the fuel it needs. This diet can lead to poor concentration and memory loss.

The truth is that in a developing body it does need the fuel to help. Those children and teenagers who eat breakfast will get the energy they need for their initial start and find it easier to concentrate. Their bodies need extra calories compared to adults, often because they are much more on the go.

When it comes to adults, this is certainly not the case. Some people may find it easier to concentrate, but the brain doesn’t just stop working. You won’t be at risk of memory problems. If this were really true, the human race wouldn’t be as big as it is! Just think about the amount of people who have gone without food throughout history and have lived, reproduced and helped continue the race.

The belief in this myth is linked to the brain needing glucose (blood sugar). While it does need this, it can also get the energy from proteins. At the same time, the body is very good at regulating everything that it needs. It’s designed like this, so 24 hours of not eating are not going to affect it negatively! You’ll still have the same amount of glucose to keep the brain working.

The biggest reason people believe this is because they focus on hunger. They get it in their head that they can’t function properly, and this creates a placebo effect. If they got out of that mindset, they would be able to keep going throughout the day. Like many of the other myths, this is very individually dependent, but the science is on the side of the diet.

While the glucose levels within the body will remain stable, there will not be the same response by the body. The pancreas won’t release as much insulin, so instead of the myth against the brain, there is the truth that the body benefits from less insulin. There is a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

The Health Is Negatively Affected

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Image Source: Authority Nutrition

One of the biggest myths told is that the health will be affected. You may hear the phrase “that can’t be healthy,” and it’s not because you’re not eating that much. It’s the type of food you’re eating.

There is a belief that those who fast will gorge on food when they are allowed to eat. They’ll get all the food that they haven’t been allowed throughout the day, and eat too many calories. They’ll also make the choice of chocolate over fruity goodness, so won’t get the nutrients the body needs.

However, this isn’t the case. Those who are on a specially-designed intermittent diet for their weight loss will make sure they get their nutrients. They will follow a healthy eating plan in the hours that they can eat, so they focus on good food that fills them up and gives them energy.

The diets don’t cut out water from the diet. People are allowed to drink when they need to, and this can often help to deal with hunger pangs. Their bodies aren’t starved of water for hours at a time.

There’s No Calorie Deficit

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Image Source: Greedy Health Junkie

One of the biggest lies out there is that you won’t create a calorie deficit, but you’ll still lose weight. This is a myth that surprisingly a large amount of people believe. If this were the case, the diets would be miracle cures, and there wouldn’t be anyone overweight!

As mentioned above, the diets do create a calorie deficit. They just do it in different ways to normal crash diets or healthy eating plans. For example, the 5:2 diet only creates a deficit over two days. You go back to eating normally the rest of the week. However, that calorie deficit is a large amount, at around 1500-2000 calories each day. This isn’t enough to create a starvation mode, though!

The aim of the other five days on this diet is to follow a healthy plan and not overeat the calories. That way the weekly calorie deficit is created to help lose weight one week from the next. If a person has overeaten on calories throughout the week, the fasting won’t create the deficit, and there wouldn’t be a weight loss at the end of the week.

All intermittent fasting diets are like this. They all require a healthy eating plan when someone is allowed to eat. This doesn’t just help to create the calorie deficit but also ensures people get all the nutrients they need throughout the week.

You Won’t Lose Weight Because You’ll Gain Muscle

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Image Source: Muscle Research

This is one of those strange myths that shows people haven’t really done their homework. Fat and muscle are two different elements of the body. Neither can change into the other. You can build muscle while you lose fat and muscle can become flabby and look similar to fat, but fat will not turn into muscle!

The idea that you won’t lose weight because your body will just turn muscle into fat is ridiculous. Even the idea that you’ll lose fat and gain muscle isn’t completely true.

You will need to do exercise to build and tone muscle. Yes, you can do that on these diets, and you will build some muscle throughout, but it isn’t going to replace your fat completely. It takes longer to build the muscle.

The problem really is the scales and the way they measure your weight. They take an overall look at your weight, which can take into account fat, muscle, water retention and more without separating them. If you suddenly increase your exercise amounts, it’s not going to be a sudden growth of muscle, but your body is countering for the amount of exercise you now do. Follow that plan for a couple of weeks and it will all even out so you go back to losing weight.

A pound of muscle and a pound of fat will be the same. The difference is the amount of space the two take up in the body. Unless you’re training for a marathon or fitness competition, there are slim chances that you will see the amount of muscle take up the same space as the fat.

You’ll Gain the Weight Back Afterwards

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Image Source: Surgical Weightloss Wisdom

When it comes to crash diets, you’ve likely followed the plan and then just gained it all back again. This is common, and there is a reason for it: you go back to eating the old way. Crash diets don’t help you change your habits.

Those who have followed long-term diets will also find sometimes that they gain weight. They get complacent or decide that they don’t want to stick to the maintenance program for the rest of their lives. It’s not the diet that hasn’t work but their mindset and decisions.

The same applies to intermittent fasting weight loss plans. If you don’t stick to the maintenance plans, you will end up gaining the weight afterwards. However, there are maintenance plans because they are lifestyles that you can stick to for the rest of your life. This indicates that they are healthy and helpful for you.

Those who have found they gained the weight again likely didn’t stick to the plan. It may have been a choice they made because they wanted to follow an older plan or it may have been a lack of maintenance. One truth in all this is that maintenance is harder than weight loss because it goes on for much longer. The problem is people would rather blame the plans than their own actions.

The diets do work for the long term. They are designed to help you lose weight and keep it off in the long run. You just need to have the motivation and determination to succeed at that.

One Plan Didn’t Work so the Others Won’t Either

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There are many different types of intermittent fasting plans. Many believe that since one didn’t work then, the others won’t either. After all, they all have the same idea regarding food and calorie deficits, right?

This is completely wrong. Some diets will be easier for people to stick to while others have elements that people focus too much on that they hate. Having two days where you eat nothing at all may seem too drastic compared to reducing your calories to 500 for two days a week. Likewise, eating only 500 calories for two days may seem too hard for those who would prefer to eat in an eight-hour period seven days a week.

You can only consider yourself and your preferences. Look at your current eating patterns and try the different diets, with the one that sounds most favourable for you first. Weigh them all up against each other and make sure you do put the effort in.

At the same time, you will need to have the determination to succeed. Too many people go into diets believing that they won’t work and then find them very hard to stick to. They find any reason for them not to work. If you go in with a negative mindset, you won’t find that they do help you lose weight and keep it off afterwards.

Should You Follow an Intermittent Fasting Diet?

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With all those myths considered, is this something that you should follow for your weight loss? It’s not as easy to say yes or no. This really will depend on you as an individual.

Now that you’ve learned the truth behind the myths, it’s up to you whether you believe that this is a diet that you can stick to. There aren’t any tough restrictions on the type of food that you can eat, but on the times that you can eat them. You will need to be tough on yourself about sticking to lower amounts of calories on certain days if you’re following the likes of the 5:2 diet or sticking to only eating during certain hours of the day.

Overall, you could find that the diets are good for your health. While you reduce the times that you’re eating, you’re not cutting out nutrients or calories completely. You’re just taking them in at different times of the day. It can just get very tempting to snack.

If you need to eat regularly for medical needs (such as taking medication), this is likely not going to be a weight loss plan for you. However, skipping a meal and having your calories later will not affect a normal healthy person. You’d not going to go into starvation mode, and you won’t make your brain stop working!

It is a diet worth considering. There are pros and cons to all weight loss programs, but most of the cons of this one are surrounded by myths.

Just always remember that you should choose the diet that works best for you. The effects may vary, but make sure that you don’t compromise your health while going through options.

Making The Perfect Protein Shakes For Weight Loss

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Protein Shakes Image Design 1 1024x562 - Making The Perfect Protein Shakes For Weight LossIf your goal is weight loss, protein shakes are DEFINITELY a good way to go! They’re the perfect addition to any diet and workout program. In fact, they can help to make your diet more effective, not to mention a whole lot easier.

Below, we’re going to get into the complete guide to making awesome protein shakes for weight loss. We’ll look at why protein shakes can help you lose weight, what you can use to make them, and when to have a protein shake. By the time you reach the end of this page, you’ll know everything you need to make that perfect protein shakes for weight loss.

Why Protein Helps with Weight Loss

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When you think of protein shakes, no doubt your mind flashes to a heavily muscled bodybuilder gulping down an entire blender full of liquid. But that’s not all protein shakes are good for! In fact, there are A LOT of reasons you should be drinking protein powder for weight loss:

More Muscle—  Yes, protein powder will help you to build muscle. However, it doesn’t have to be those massive, swollen muscles you see on career bodybuilders. There are many protein powders that target lean muscle mass, helping you to build sleek muscle rather than sheer size. The more muscle you have, the faster you burn fat. Increasing your muscle mass is the key to better weight loss— not just now, but in the long term!

Faster Metabolism—  Increasing your muscle mass will speed up your metabolism drastically. Muscle burns a lot more calories than fat, so increasing your lean muscle mass will force your body to burn more energy. Once you’ve torched the calories you already ate, your body has to tap into your stored fat. This leads to not just weight loss, but fat-burning! Protein shakes will give you a metabolism boost that can lead to serious long-term, sustainable weight loss.

Feel Fuller—  Have you ever finished a protein shake and thought, “What can I eat next?” Of course not! Protein shakes are incredibly filling. But more than that, they’re satiating. When you have a protein shake, you occupy your digestive system for a few hours, but you also trigger the appetite hormones that tell your body you’re satiated. You’ll find that having a post-workout protein shake is the best way to recover from an intense training session, and it can keep you full until your next meal.

Controlled Calorie Intake—  When you’re hungry, you can go all out and eat WAY too much. We’ve all done it! But with a protein shake, you know exactly what you’re putting into your body. Your average scoop of protein powder contains between 100 and 160 calories, and you know what’s in the milk, fruit, and other ingredients added to your protein shake. It’s much easier to stick to your healthy calorie intake when having a protein shake. Much less risk of overeating!

As you can see, protein shakes are EXCELLENT for weight loss. They’re not just good for bodybuilders and athletes, but they can be an awesome option for anyone who is trying to shed those last few pounds.

What to Use for Your Protein Shakes

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Now that you know the “why” it’s time to get into the “what.” Specifically, what the heck should you be putting in your protein shakes?

There are so many ingredients to choose from, and it can be tough to decide what makes a good protein shake. Thankfully, we’ve done the research to find out what your best protein shake choices are.

The Protein

There are so many different types of protein to choose from:

Whey protein is fast-acting and easy to digest, but those with lactose intolerance can’t handle it.

Egg white protein is slower-acting, great for those with lactose intolerance, and packed with nutrients, but it doesn’t have as good an amino acid profile as whey protein.

Soy protein is vegetarian and vegan-friendly, but there is the risk of phytoestrogens (which decrease testosterone).

Pea protein is also 100% vegan/vegetarian and far less likely to be GMO, but it’s not as easily digestive or bioavailable as whey protein.

Each protein has its pros and cons, and it can be difficult to choose the one that suits your needs best.

For most people, whey protein is the best option. Unless you’re vegetarian/vegan or you have to avoid lactose, it’s the protein that has the best nutritional profile, the highest amount of amino acids per serving, and delivers the best results. It’s also the best-tasting!

Flavor is another thing to think about:

Vanilla flavored protein powder is one of the most common options, and you’ll find it’s usually a fairly mild-tasting protein powder. It mixes well with just about any fruit, and it tastes great with most liquids.

Chocolate-flavored protein powder is good for those who don’t like the “chalky” texture of vanilla-flavored protein powders. It also has a stronger flavor that will hold up when mixed with water or almond milk.

Citrus-flavored protein powder usually comes in either orange or lemon flavors, and it’s usually mixed with sports drinks or juices. It’s a great option if you want to make green smoothies and veggie-heavy protein shakes.

Unflavored protein powder is great for mixing with juice, water, soups, and stews. However, it tends to be more expensive and is never truly “flavorless.”

Of course, you can find all sorts of crazy flavors: double chocolate, cookies and cream, caramel, cappuccino, and the list goes on. These flavors tend to be hit and miss—either they’re absolutely delicious, or they’re nowhere near as good as the basic chocolate or vanilla.

The flavor of your protein powder will affect the types of protein shakes you make. But that’s not the only thing that matters.

The Liquid

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The liquid you use for your protein shakes is almost as important as the protein powder itself.

Water— Tasteless and containing ZERO calories; water is the perfect option for those who want to lose weight. However, most protein powders taste pretty gross when mixed with water.

Milk— This is the liquid of choice for those who want to enjoy their protein shake. It’s a bit higher in calories (120 or so per cup), but it hides the “powder” taste of the protein. It’s also the best to ensure your digestive system can easily break down and absorb the whey. On the downside: lactose.

Nut Milk— Almond and cashew milk are the two most popular “milk” options for the lactose intolerant. They’re best when mixed with a strong-flavored protein powder, as the protein powder helps to hide the “faux milk” flavor.

Soy Milk— Yet another good option for mixing with most protein powders! Soy milk actually adds more protein to the mix, so it’s a good way to improve the amino acid profile of your protein shake.

Yogurt— If you’re going for more of a smoothie than a protein shake, you’ll definitely want to try yogurt. It’s higher in fat (good for fat-burning) and calories than milk, and it’s a bit thicker. However, it’s also a tad sour, so it pairs beautifully with most fruits–even citrus fruits!

Juice— If you have a citrus-flavored or flavorless protein powder, you can make yourself a smoothie or juice-based shake. It’s great for those who want to add more veggies or fruits to their daily diet!

The Added Ingredients

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Once you’ve chosen your type of protein powder and the liquid you want to use, there are a lot of ingredients you can add to your “perfect” protein shake:

Fruit— Most protein shakes tend to have some kind of fruit in it: strawberries, blueberries, bananas, pineapple, oranges, mango, and the list goes on. Fruit provides an extra dose of natural sugar, along with vitamins and antioxidants. However, remember that too much sugar is bad for you, and it could actually set back your weight loss. Limit yourself to one serving of fruit per shake!

Veggies—  For those who are trying to lose weight, adding veggies to your protein shake is a great way to go. Not only will you increase your fiber intake, but you can get more of those fat-burning nutrients found in dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale. However, veggies don’t mix well with milk-based protein shakes. If you want your shakes to taste good, you may want to add veggies into a shake made with juice as the base.

Grains— Oats make an awesome addition to your protein shake. It provides a bit of carb to restore your energy after working out. However, remember that grains provide carbs, which you want to try to limit to lose weight. Add no more than a spoonful or oats, granola, or other grains into your smoothie.

Seeds— Amaranth, flax seeds, and chia seeds are just a few of the awesome seeds you can add into your smoothie. Seeds are packed with not only protein, but also fiber, minerals, and antioxidants. A spoonful of seeds can make your protein shake A LOT healthier!

Nuts— Nuts contain healthy fats (Omega-3 fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats) that will promote weight loss and improve your heart health. However, they’re also high in calories thanks to all that fat. Adding a spoonful of peanut butter, almond butter, or even raw nuts into your shake will make it more of a meal than a snack. However, if you’re having a protein shake as a meal replacement, adding nuts will be a good way to get more fiber and healthy fats!

Spices— Nothing adds delicious flavor to your protein shakes like organic vanilla extract, cinnamon, cloves, and pumpkin spice. Best of all, these spices contain zero calories and A LOT of flavors. You won’t need them thanks to the fact that your protein powder is already flavored, but they can add a bit of variety to your protein shakes.

Dark Chocolate— Because YES! Who doesn’t love chocolate? Dark chocolate is bittersweet, meaning it were low in sugar and packed with antioxidants. It makes an excellent addition to any shake, and it will do wonders to improve your cardiovascular health.

You have the list of ingredients, so it’s up to you to mix and match them according to your weight loss goals and diet allowances. The beauty is you have SO MANY options so you can make a different protein shake every day!

When to Drink Your Protein Shakes

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You shouldn’t be drinking protein shakes just because they’re delicious, but they should serve a purpose. The time of day you drink them will determine what that purpose is:

Morning— It’s a well-known fact that a protein-heavy breakfast is the best way to kick off your day! Not only will it give you lots of energy for the work morning, but it will keep you full–preventing you from snacking mid-morning.

60 minutes before a workout— If you want more energy to push yourself hard, have a protein shake an hour before your workout. It will provide the fuel your muscles need to hit those weights or the running track harder.

Immediately after a workout— Post-workout protein shakes speed up repair and recovery and stimulate the growth of new muscle tissue. This is potentially the BEST time of day to have your protein shake.

Lunch— Instead of eating lunch, why not substitute it for a protein shake? It’s rich, tasty, and the perfect way to fill up without overdoing it on calories. Protein shakes are a good meal replacement, especially if you mix in a lot of other ingredients (fruits, nuts, seeds, grains, etc.).

Just before bed— Having a small protein shake before bed will give your body the nutrients it needs to make repairs overnight. Just make sure to choose a slow-acting protein (like casein), as that will deliver amino acids in a steady stream rather than a sudden burst (like with whey protein).