MotivatedFit Dream Body Without Struggle In Just 9 Weeks - Norbert Simonis PDF EBOOK

MotivatedFit Dream Body Without Struggle In Just 9 Weeks PDF EBook Download Free Special Report
TASTY Fat Loss & Muscle-Gaining Recipes
Ground Turkey Omelette
Indonesian Chicken
Chocolate and Banana Protein Bars
Asian Tuna Salad
Protein-Fortified Rice
Curried Chicken
Spicy Turkey Chili
Protein Waffles
Chicken Kabobs
Chicken and Spinach
Cheesey Scrambled Eggs
Breakfast Zucchini Pie
Beef Chop Suey
Whole Oat Flax Loaf
Homemade MRP
Beef and Bean Stew
Chocolate Brownies
Spicy French ‘Un-Fries”
Spicy Beef Chili
Poached Salmon with Cucumber
Turkey Meat Loaf
Vegetarian Chili
Tuna & Cheese Melts
Strawberry and Banana Oatmeal
Homemade Chocolate Protein Bars
TASTY Fat Loss & Muscle-Gaining Recipes
Abbreviations & Units
Several common abbreviations are used in the recipes to for different measurements. These are:
tablespoon (US)
The units are standard US measurements. The following table can
be used to convert these to metric units:
1 cup
1 tablespoon (US)
1 teaspoon (US)
1 ounce
1 pound
~ 240 ml (236.6)
~ 15 ml (14.8)
~ 5 ml (4.9 ml)
28.3 grams
453.6 grams
TASTY Fat Loss & Muscle-Gaining Recipes
Ground Turkey Omelette
Serves Ingredients
8 large, fresh egg whites
2 large whole eggs
2 small, raw onions, diced
3 oz. ground, raw turkey
1 1/2 cups canned kidney beans, drained (any type)
1 c. chopped green bell peppers
1 c. chopped red bell peppers
1 c. raw mushrooms, sliced
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 dash ground black pepper.
1 tsp. hot pepper sauce.
1 tsp. ground turmeric
3 cloves raw garlic, minced
1 tsp. worcestershire sauce
Saute’ turkey, vegetables and spices - except turmeric - in a non-stick
skillet w/1 tsp olive oil until tender. In mixing bowl, whip the eggs,
egg whites and turmeric together. Pre-heat 2 tsp olive oil in a second
skillet, then add 1/4 egg mixture and cook until omelet is formed.
Repeat to make 4 omelettes. Place 1 omelette on plate, top with 1/2
of the turkey mixture, then place 1 omelette on top to form a
sandwich. Repeat to form 2nd sandwich. Serve hot.
The perfect omelettes
you’re served in restaurants are flipped.
Flipping an omelette is
a skill that takes some
practice to master. If
you’ve never done it
before, you may have
a mess on your hands.
A simpler solution is to
use a rubber spatula to
gently lift up the layer
of cooked eggs, and let
the uncooked, liquid
portion slide underneath. Hold the pan
underneath the broiler
for a few moments to
completely set the top.
Nutritional Information
Calories (Per Serving): 508
Protein (g): 42
Carbohydrates (g): 50.5
Fat (g): 17
Carb - Protein - Fat % Ratio: 39 % - 32% - 29%
TASTY Fat Loss & Muscle-Gaining Recipes
Indonesian Chicken
Serves Ingredients
8 oz. boneless raw chicken breast, broilers or fryers
1 c. chopped raw onion
1/2 c. raw jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced
5 c. raw cabbage, shredded
2 c. raw red bell pepper, sliced
2 c. lowfat (1%) milk
4 tsp. cornstarch
5 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves raw garlic, minced
2 tsp. peeled, raw ginger root, chopped fine
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. dried coriander (cilantro, Chinese parsley)
1 tsp. curry powder
Combine onion, jalapeno pepper, spices, milk and chicken in a
non-stick skillet. Poach (lightly simmer) until chicken is done. Mix
cornstarch with a little water to dissolve the add to pan an cook for
3-5 minutes. Add oil to a separate pan and cook cabbage and red
peppers in oil until crisp-tender. Divide cabbage between 2 plates
and top with chicken and sauce. Serve immediately.
Nutritional Information
Calories (Per Serving): 476
Protein (g): 39.5
Carbohydrates (g): 45
Fat (g): 16.5
Carb - Protein - Fat % Ratio: 37% - 33% - 30%
Jalapeno peppers get
their heat from capsaicin and related compounds. The heat from
hot peppers is measured
in “Scoville Units” - fiery Jalapenos can rate
up to 10,000 SU! Fortunately, most of the
heat is concentrated in
the seeds - so you can
control the heat level
by removing the seeds,
or limiting how many
are added to the dish.
Exercise caution when
cutting/seeding Jalapenos - wash your hands
thoroughly after handling, and keep your
hands away from your
TASTY Fat Loss & Muscle-Gaining Recipes
Chocolate-Banana Protein Bars
8 Bars
2 large, ripe bananas (about 300 g)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
3 large raw egg whites
4 oz. nonfat milk
2 1/2 c. (200 g) old-fashioned rolled oats
1/3 c. Splenda
1 tbsp. olive oil
60 g chocolate Designer Whey (or equivalent brand/flavor)
Mix ingredients in a large bowl. Pour into non-stick cake pan. Bake
at 300o F for 25 minutes or until firm. Let cool slightly before cutting.
We have made these into 8 small bars, but you could easily make into
4 larger ones, with double the protein (e.g., 23 g protein per bar).
If you don’t want the fat replace the oil with unsweetened applesauce.
It will taste just as good and still retain the moist but firm texture.
Nutritional Information
Calories (Per bar): 190
Protein (g): 11
Carbohydrates (g): 28
Fat (g): 4.6
Carb - Protein - Fat % Ratio: 57% - 22% - 21%
bars are often made
with cheap protein
blends, such as soy and
Many are low in fiber
and need to be fortified in order to offer
any vitamins and minerals at all. Making
your own is easy, and
is considerably less expensive than what you
can buy in a store.
Bars like these make
excellent snacks and
can also be used as a
a part of a quick meal
TASTY Fat Loss & Muscle-Gaining Recipes
Asian Tuna Salad
Serves Ingredients
1 12 oz. can of light tuna in water
3 green onions
1 large or 2 small celery ribs
5 whole water chestnuts
1 oz. whole raw almonds (about 24)
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tbsp. soy sauce
5 - 6 drops sesame oil
1/2 tsp. sugar
Drain tuna and flake into bowl to break up chunks. Put almonds into
a skillet, and toast over low heat until lightly browned and fragrant.
Finely chop green onions and celery and add to tuna. Coarsely
chop water chestnuts and almonds and add to mixture. Drizzle tuna
mixture with olive oil and toss. Add soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame
oil and sugar. Mix salad thoroughly and chill.
Nutritional Information
Calories (Per Serving): 323
Protein (g): 52.2
Carbohydrates (g): 6.5
Fat (g): 14
Carb - Protein - Fat % Ratio: 7% - 58% - 35%
Making food ahead of
time can take the sting
out of preparing and
eating meals a day.
Cold salads made from
leftover meat, poultry
or fish work especially well for meals that
need to be eaten away
from home: just scoop
into a container, toss
into a cooler with some
“blue Ice” packs, along
with some pre-cut veggies, whole grain crispbreads, etc., and you’re
good to go.
This tuna salad has a
complex blend of flavors
and a nutty crunch.
It’s great in lettuce
wraps, and takes only
a few minutes to toss
TASTY Fat Loss & Muscle-Gaining Recipes
Protein-Fortified Rice
Serves Ingredients
1/2 c. (50 g) raw broccoli, chopped or diced
1 small stalk (25 g) of raw celery, diced
6 egg whites
1 c. (100 g) sliced raw mushrooms
1/4 c. long-grain, raw, brown rice
1/3 c. water or broth
1/4 c. pace chunky salsa
2 tbsp. lite soy sauce
1 c. raw spinach
1/3 c. (50 g) grams raw onion, chopped
salt to taste
Lightly steam the broccoli to a crisp-tender texture. In a pan
coated with cooking spray, add soy sauce, chopped onion, sliced
mushrooms, steamed broccoli, chopped celery and spinach. Cook
on medium heat until spinach is cooked. Add water/broth, soy sauce
and rice and simmer until liquid has cooked away. Once all the
ingredients are cooked add in the 6 egg whites and stir until the eggs
are completely cooked. Top with salsa.
This makes a very large meal for one. Or can be split and served with
a side dish.
Nutritional Information
Calories (Per Serving): 380
Protein (g): 33.1
Carbohydrates (g): 54
Fat (g): 1.8
Carb - Protein - Fat % Ratio: 59% - 36% - 4%
“Vegetarian bodybuilder” is an oxymoron to
some - although some
vegetarians have been
able to attain impressive physiques. One of
the best-known vegetarian bodybuilder was
Bill Pearl, whose book,
“Keys to the Inner Universe” is considered a
Even if you’re not a
meatless recipes can be
staples in your culinary
repertoire. Vegetarian
recipes are frequently
innovative, and feature
an array of whole foods
that are often missing
from obsessively-meat
centered diets.
TASTY Fat Loss & Muscle-Gaining Recipes
Curried Chicken
Serves Ingredients
5 oz. boneless raw chicken breast, diced
1/4 c. canned chicken broth, condensed
4 tsp. cornstarch
5 c. raw mushrooms, sliced/pieces
4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 c. red bell pepper, chopped (large pieces)
2 c. snow pea pods
1 c. plain, lowfat yogurt (12 g protein per 8 oz. serving)
2 tsp. curry powder.
Put 2 tsp. oil and diced chicken in a non-stick saute pan. Cook
chicken until browned and done, then add chicken broth, yogurt,
curry powder, and cornstarch, stirring constantly. Heat until thick
sauce forms, then simmer for 5 minutes. While chicken is cooking,
put 2 tsp oil, mushrooms, bell pepper, and snow peas into a second
skillet. Cook until vegetables are tender. Place an equal amount
of vegetable on 2 plates and top with equal amounts of chicken
mixture. Serve.
Ready-to-cook, boneless, skinless chicken
breasts are a mainstay of muscle-building diets as they’re low
in fat, high in protein,
and simple to prepare.
Chicken is also extremely versatile, and
can be prepared in a
variety of ways without being boring.
Nutritional Information
Calories (Per Serving): 373
Protein (g): 32
Carbohydrates (g): 35
Fat (g): 13
Carb - Protein - Fat % Ratio: 37% - 33% - 30%
TASTY Fat Loss & Muscle-Gaining Recipes
Spicy Turkey Chili
Serves Ingredients
6 oz. boneless raw chicken breast, cubed
3.5 cups turkey breast (Honeysuckle White), cubed
2 14.5 oz. cans (822 g) cajun-style stewed tomatoes
16 oz. tomato sauce
4 oz. Old El Paso green chilies, chopped
1 medium raw onion, approx. 2 1/2” diameter, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp. Mccormick/shilling chili seasoning
salt to taste
Combine all ingredients in a large sauce pan. Simmer for 30 - 60
minutes. Remove from heat and serve hot with shredded cheese.
Nutritional Information
Calories (Per Serving): 319
Protein (g): 43
Carbohydrates (g): 33
Fat (g): 3
Carb - Protein - Fat % Ratio: 40% - 52% - 8%
Chili is a perennial favorite, and whole cookbooks are devoted to
the topic. Some versions are extremely
complex and can take
hours to cook properly.
But it also lends itself
to quick versions like
this one.
Chili can also be assembled and cooked in
a crock pot. Put it on
in the morning, and it’s
ready for dinner when
you walk in the door
after work.
TASTY Fat Loss & Muscle-Gaining Recipes
Protein Waffles
Serves Ingredients
3 egg whites
1/4 c. oat flour
2 scoops vanilla whey protein powder
(assumes roughly 4g carbs, 45 g protein, 2 g fat)
1 tbsp. applesauce
1 packet artificial sweetener
dash of cinnamon
Whisk all ingredients in a bowl. Spoon batter into a pre-heated waffle
iron (Add some nonstick cooking spray). Cook until golden brown
and serve with sugar-free syrup or unsweetened sliced strawberries.
Nutritional Information
Calories (Per Serving): 199
Protein (g): 35
Carbohydrates (g): 8
Fat (g): 3
Carb - Protein - Fat % Ratio: 16% - 70% - 14%
Making oat flour is as
simple as a container
of old-fashioned rolled
oats and a blender.
Whole oat flour is an
effective substitute for
wheat flour in a variety of recipes: waffles,
pancakes, muffins, etc.
Oats are a source of
beta-glucan: a soluble fiber that has been
shown to help reduce
cholesterol levels. As
such, oatmeal/oat bran
are among the few
foods that the FDA allows health claims for
on product labels.
TASTY Fat Loss & Muscle-Gaining Recipes
Chicken Kabobs
Serves Ingredients
6 oz. boneless raw chicken breast, cut into chunks
4 c. raw, red bell pepper, cut into large pieces
3 c. raw broccoli florets
6 c. raw mushrooms, whole
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
4 c. tomatoes, cut into pieces
5 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. ground basil
1 1/2 c. chicken broth, condensed
1 tsp. ground oregano
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
Combine oil, chicken broth, vinegar, basil, oregano, and garlic in
baking dish to create a marinade. Prepare eight skewer kabobs:
on each skewer, place chicken, bell pepper, broccoli, mushroom,
and tomato - repeating the process until all the ingredients have
been placed on each skewer. Place skewers in marinade and
brush to cover. Tightly seal with foil and bake in preheated
350 degree oven for 20 minutes, remove foil and continue
baking 10-15 more minutes. Place on 2 dinner plates and serve.
Kabobs are one of those
flexible recipes where
subtitutions and variations can easily be
made. For example,
you can substitute
lean beef, firm fish like
salmon, pork tenderloin, - even tofu. You
can use different vegetables, different marinades, or cook them
under the broiler or on
an outdoor barbecue
grill. Use your imagination to create endless variations on the
Nutritional Information
Calories (Per Serving): 500
Protein (g): 43
Carbohydrates (g): 54
Fat (g): 17
Carb - Protein - Fat % Ratio: 40% - 32% - 28%
TASTY Fat Loss & Muscle-Gaining Recipes
Chicken and Spinach
Serves Ingredients
6 oz. boneless raw chicken breast, diced
1 c. raw spinach
3 c. raw onion, sliced
1 c. raw shallot
4 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 dash ground black pepper
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
4 sprigs raw parsley
salt to taste
Put spinach, onion and garlic in a non-stick skillet with 2 tsp of oil
and cook until tender. Just before the vegetables are finished, add
pepper and nutmeg. Remove from heat and set aside. In another pan
cook diced chicken in 2 tsp oil until lightly browned. Add spinach
mixture to chicken and heat through. Simmer entire mixture for 3-5
minutes. Place on 2 dinner plates and garnish with fresh parsley.
Spinach is rightfully
known as a “superfood”
- calorie for calorie, it’s
one of the most nutrient dense foods there is.
it provides substantial
amounts of vitamin K,
pro-vitamin A (betacarotene), manganese,
folate, magnesium, vitamin C, iron, and potassium. Spinach is
also a good source of
lutein, along with a carotenoid called neoxanthin, which has anticancer activity.
Nutritional Information
Calories (Per Serving): 311
Protein (g): 24.5
Carbohydrates (g): 30.5
Fat (g): 11
Carb - Protein - Fat % Ratio: 38% - 31% - 31%
TASTY Fat Loss & Muscle-Gaining Recipes
Cheesey Scrambled Eggs
Serves Ingredients
1/4 c. 4% cottage cheese
4 large egg whites
2 whole eggs
1/8 c. 2% natural reduced fat mozzarella cheese, shredded.
1/2 c. (30 g) raw mushrooms, sliced
1/2 oz. (15 g) black olives, sliced
1 scallion (10 g), chopped
1/2 tsp. pepper, red or cayenne
salt to taste
1 c. raw spinach
1/2 of a raw cucumber (150 g) w/peel, sliced
Blend or beat the egg whites and whole eggs together. Add cottage
cheese, salt, red/black pepper. Use a cooking spray like Pam in a
non-stick pan to cook the eggs. Preheat the pan, pour in the eggs.
When the eggs start to cook, add chopped olives, scallions, and
mushrooms. Just before you remove the eggs, melt in the
mozzarella cheese. I eat the eggs on a bed of baby spinach and
sliced cucumbers.
Nutritional Information
Eggs are considered one
of nature’s most perfect foods, and they’ve
been used as the standard for evaluating the
protein quality from
other food sources. Although eggs have gotten a bad rap for their
data has shown that
dietary cholesterol has
less impact on serum
cholesterol than was
Most people who eat
eggs on a regular basis
find they don’t increase their cholesterol levels.
Calories (Per Serving): 356
Protein (g): 38
Carbohydrates (g): 12
Fat (g): 16.5
Carb - Protein - Fat % Ratio: 14% - 44% - 43%
TASTY Fat Loss & Muscle-Gaining Recipes
Breakfast Zucchini Pie
Serves Ingredients
6 large egg whites
3 small raw onions, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 dash ground black pepper
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tbsp. raw parsley, chopped
5 c. raw zucchini, chopped or coarsely shredded
2 cloves raw garlic, minced
2 tbsp. fresh basil, finely chopped
1 tsp. ground oregano
2 oz. part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
Add 1/2 tsp. olive oil to a medium non-stick skillet and cook all
vegetables and spices except turmeric until tender. In mixing bowl,
whip all eggs and turmeric. In a second skillet, heat 1 tsp. olive oil,
add 1/2 egg mixture and cook until omelet is formed. Repeat until
2 omelettes are made. Place 1 omelette on plate and fill with 1/2
of the vegetable mixture. Repeat for 2nd omelette. Sprinkle with
cheese and serve hot.
Egg whites are a good
source of practically
fat-free protein and
can be used as a substitute for whole eggs
in a number of different recipes. Liquid egg
whites are also available, and are more convenient than separating
the whites from whole
eggs. Egg substitutes
such as “Egg Beaters”
can also be used they’re 8% egg whites,
with some added color
and thickeners to resemble whole eggs.
Nutritional Information
Calories (Per Serving): 390
Protein (g): 32
Carbohydrates (g): 37.5
Fat (g): 14.5
Carb - Protein - Fat % Ratio: 37% - 31% - 32%
TASTY Fat Loss & Muscle-Gaining Recipes
Beef Chop Suey
Serves Ingredients
7 oz. beef eye of round, fat trimmed and thinly sliced
3 c. raw danish cabbage, coarsely shredded
2 large stalks raw celery
2 c. raw mushroom, sliced or pieces
1 1/2 c. soybean sprouts
2 c. canned water chestnuts, sliced
1 1/2 c. raw onion, chopped
2 tsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 c. canned beef broth
Place 1 tsp. olive oil and beef in a non-stick pan and cook until beef
is done. While the beef is cooking, add 1 tsp olive oil to another
pan and add cabbage, celery, mushrooms, sprouts, water chestnuts,
vinegar and onion. Cook until entire mixture is hot, then add soy
sauce, beef stock and cooked beef. Cook for 5-10 minutes to blend
flavors. Place equal amounts on two plates and serve.
Stir-frys make quick,
meals. This is another
very flexible dish, that
can make use of different
of meat, fish, poultry,
vegetables and nuts/
seeds. A stir fry combo can be turned into
a “rice bowl” entree by
the addition of some
cooked/steamed brown
Nutritional Information
Calories (Per Serving): 472
Protein (g): 37
Carbohydrates (g): 50
Fat (g): 17.6
Carb - Protein - Fat % Ratio: 40% - 29% - 31%
TASTY Fat Loss & Muscle-Gaining Recipes
Whole Oat Flax Loaf
1 Slices
1 3/4 c. water
1 tbsp. bakers yeast
1 tbsp. raw honey
2 tsp. sea salt
2 tbsp. nonfat dry milk powder
2 tbsp. olive oil
4 c. whole oat flour
1/4 c. flax seed freshly ground.
Dissolve yeast in warm water, Add honey, salt, milk powder, oil and
2 cups whole oat flour. Stir well. Add ground flax seed and remaining
flour. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic. Shape
and put in oiled loaf pan. Let rise until doubled in bulk. Bake at 350F
for 45 to 50 minutes until done.
Alternatively, if you have a bread machine, use bread machine
yeast and just follow the general bread making instructions for your
machine. With mine you just mix the ingredients as instructed in the
machine, allow to rise and then let the machine do the rest.
Nutritional Information
This is an excellent
bread to use for dipping
oils. I use equal parts
extra virgin olive, flax
oil and garlic and herb
spices. This is fantastic
with the bread fresh
from the oven (or machine).
This bread - as well as
other baked goods made
with ground flax seed
- should be refrigerated to protect the flavor and freshness. The
oil in flax seeds will go
rancid quickly when
exposed to light and
Calories (Per Serving): 173
Protein (g): 6.5
Carbohydrates (g): 24
Fat (g): 6
Carb - Protein - Fat % Ratio: 55% - 15% - 30%
TASTY Fat Loss & Muscle-Gaining Recipes
Homemade MRP
Serves 1
2 scoops VPX Micellean protein or equivalent casein/whey blend
50 grams of Quaker old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 tbsp Udo’s Choice oil or flax seed oil (7grams)
1 c. water (or more, for desired thickness)
Simply add all the ingredients to blender and blend thoroughly for
around 30 seconds. Add ice cubes before blending to chill and
thicken the blend if desired.
Nutritional Information
Calories (Per Serving): 428
Protein (g): 45
Carbohydrates (g): 35
Fat (g): 12
Carb - Protein - Fat % Ratio: 33% - 43% - 25%
This home made MRP
is superior to the
maltodextrin-filled, off
the shelf MRP’s and has
the distinct advantage
adjustable depending
on your current diet
and/or macronutrient
addition of a banana
(or other fruit) adds
additional carbs and
texture if required. The
protein sources used are
whey/micellar casein
blends which offer a
slow and fast acting
protein - which is ideal
for general day-to-day
TASTY Fat Loss & Muscle-Gaining Recipes
Beef and Bean Stew
Serves Ingredients
1 1/2 c. raw onion
3 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. red or cayenne pepper
1 c. canned kidney beans
6 oz. beef eye of round, trimmed to 0” fat and chopped
1 c. canned beef broth
1/2 c. canned tomato puree
1 c. Pace picante sauce
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground basil
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. ground oregano
salt to taste
In sauce pan, cook beans and onion in 2 tsp of oil until onion is
tender, then add tomato puree, picante sauce, beef broth and spices.
Continue to cook vegetable mixture under medium heat until hot.
While the vegetables are cooking, add remaining oil to a non-stick
skillet and stir fry beef until cooked. Add beef to vegetables and
simmer for 5 minutes. Place equal amounts on 2 plates and serve.
Nutritional Information
Beans are a vastly
underrated source of
low-GI carbohydrates
Beans are very nutrient-dense as well: a cup
of cooked black beans,
for example, provides
0 - 0% of the recommended daily intakes
of iron, thiamin, folate,
magnesium, manganese and fiber. Beans
also contain more protein than most plant
foods. Plant proteins
are limiting in certain
essential amino acids,
but in the context of
a mixed diet, they can
still make a significant
Calories (Per Serving): 422
Protein (g): 37
Carbohydrates (g): 43
Fat (g): 13
Carb - Protein - Fat % Ratio: 39% - 34% - 27%
TASTY Fat Loss & Muscle-Gaining Recipes
Chocolate Brownies
0 Squares
2 large egg whites
1/2 c. honey
6 heaping scoops (200 g) chocolate protein powder
1/2 c. nonfat milk
1 c. natural peanut butter
2 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
Mix the peanut butter and honey in a bowl, microwave on high for
100 secs. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix together. This is
tough to mix and it takes time. If you don’t have the tools you may
want to cut the oatmeal a bit to make it easier to work. Preheat oven
to 320o F. Smooth into 13x9 tray and bake for 20 minutes. Oven
times may vary, use the toothpick test. Cut into 20 equal bars and
wrap and store in fridge.
There’s nothing like a
brownie when you need
a chocolate fix. Fortunately, these also provide some protein and
nutrition from whole
oats and peanut butter. Just goes to show
you that eating “clean”
doesn’t mean you have
to give up desserts or
treats completely.
Nutritional Information
Calories (Per Serving): 170
Protein (g): 12
Carbohydrates (g): 15
Fat (g): 7
Carb - Protein - Fat % Ratio: 36% - 28% - 37%
TASTY Fat Loss & Muscle-Gaining Recipes
Spicy French ‘Un’ Fries
Serves Ingredients
2 large potatoes (approx 4” long)
2 servings of Mazola cooking oil spray
1/2 tsp. fresh ground chili pepper
1 tsp. Lawry’s garlic salt
Cut potatoes lengthwise (like French Fries). Preheat oven at 375o F.
Combine garlic salt and red chili pepper (adjusting amounts to suit
your taste). Arrange the potato strips in a single layer in a glass baking
dish. Coat the potatoes with the vegetable oil spray. Flip them over
and spray the other side. Sprinkle with garlic salt and red pepper
seasoning. Bake for one hour. Note: A serving of the spray oil is a
2.5 second spray.
Nutritional Information
Calories (Per Serving): 53
Protein (g): 4
Carbohydrates (g): 10
Fat (g): 1.5
Carb - Protein - Fat % Ratio: 67% - 25% - 8%
fries are not only high
in fat, they also contain harmful transfats, from the partially-hydrogenated
oils that they’re cooked
in. And if that’s not
all, recent studies have
shown that acrylamide
- a neurotoxin and
mutagen - is formed in
foods like french fries
and potato chips that
have been fried at high
Making your own
“fries” is a safer and
more healthful alternative to commercial
TASTY Fat Loss & Muscle-Gaining Recipes
Spicy Beef Chili
Serves Ingredients
2 14.5 oz. cans (822 g) cajun-style stewed tomatoes
1 c. tomato sauce
4 oz. Old El Paso green chilies, chopped
1 raw, medium onion, chopped
24 oz pre-cooked extra lean (4% fat) ground beef
60 g Lawry’s chili seasoning
1/4 tsp. ground cumin seed
1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
salt to taste
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and serve hot with shredded cheese.
Nutritional Information
Commercial chili in the
United States is almost always made with
beans. But to true
chili afficionados, chili
is made strictly with
meat - beans are not
allowed! More traditional chili is made with
shredded beef and pork,
but lean ground beef is
more convenient - especially when you don’t
have the time to let the
meat simmer for hours.
Calories (Per Serving): 343
Protein (g): 40.5
Carbohydrates (g): 32.5
Fat (g): 37.5
Carb - Protein - Fat % Ratio: 21% - 26% - 54%
TASTY Fat Loss & Muscle-Gaining Recipes
Poached Salmon with Cucumber
Serves 8
32 oz. Atlantic wild-caught salmon
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
1 raw 7-8” carrot, sliced
1 tsp. bay leaf, crumbled
1/2 medium raw cucumber, peeled and chopped
8 oz. fat-free sour cream
1/2 small raw onion, chopped
1 medium (approx. 2 1/2”) onion, chopped
2 cloves
1 black peppercorn
salt to taste
Arrange the salmon steaks in a large skillet. Pour the lemon juice over
the salmon. Fill the skillet with 1 inch of water. Add sliced carrot,
thinly sliced onion, cloves, bay leaf and peppercorn. Bring to a boil,
then reduce heat and cover. Simmer gently for 20 minutes, or until
fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove fish to warm platter, and serve
with carrots on side as garnish. Mix peeled, chopped cucumber,
1/2 chopped onion and sour cream together and serve as a sauce.
Salmon is an excellent
source of high quality
protein and essential
fatty acids.
It is less expensive to
buy farmed salmon.
Farmed salmon, however, has been found to
contain higher levels of
environmental contaminants. Wild-caught
salmon contains fewer
pollutants than the
farmed varieties, making it worth the added
Nutritional Information
Calories (Per Serving): 196
Protein (g): 26
Carbohydrates (g): 5.7
Fat (g): 7.3
Carb - Protein - Fat % Ratio: 12% - 54% - 34%
TASTY Fat Loss & Muscle-Gaining Recipes
Turkey Meatloaf
Serves Ingredients
4 large egg whites
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 c. ketchup, unsweetened
4 oz. Quaker old-fashioned oatmeal
1 c. boiled unsalted onion
2 dashes ground black pepper
8 oz. medium tomatillo salsa
1 lbs. raw, extra lean ground turkey
1 “Cup A Soup” - vegetable soup, Spring Mix
Mix all ingredients - except ketchup - until well-blended. Place in
meatloaf pan and cover the top of the meatloaf with ketchup. Bake
in a pre-heated oven at 350o F for 1-1/2 hours.
Ground, white meat
turkey is a tasty,
low fat alternative to
ground beef. It can be
used in any recipe you
would normally use
ground beef for.
Make a double recipe
if you wish: leftover
meatloaf makes g good
filling for a sandwich
or wrap.
Nutritional Information
Calories (Per Serving): 164
Protein (g): 16.5
Carbohydrates (g): 9
Fat (g): 7
Carb - Protein - Fat % Ratio: 22% - 41% - 37%
TASTY Fat Loss & Muscle-Gaining Recipes
Vegetarian Chili
Serves Ingredients
16 oz. tofu burger mix
1 c. chopped onion
1 c. bell pepper, chopped
1/2 c. sliced carrot
3 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
16 oz. tomato sauce
16 oz. canned kidney beans
2 tbsp. chili powder
3/4 tsp. cumin seed
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
salt to taste
Use 1 package vegetarian burger mix (enough to make four burgers).
Cook the four burgers according to package directions. Chop onions,
green peppers and garlic. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a
large pot. Crumble the burgers with your fingers and add to chili
sauce. Simmer for 30 minutes and serve.
Nutritional Information
Calories (Per Serving): 360
Protein (g): 30
Carbohydrates (g): 62
Fat (g): 3
Carb - Protein - Fat % Ratio: 63% - 30% - 7%
Tofu is a light, proteinrich food made from
milk. It’s fairly bland
by itself, but takes on
the flavors of the foods
that it’s cooked with.
Tofu is a good source
minerals such as selenium, iron, copper,
manganese and magnesium. Tofu coagulated with calcium salts
are also good sources of
this valuable mineral.
Although it’s not a
complete protein, soy
protein has its virtues. Soy protein has
been shown to improve
serum cholesterol and
triglycerides in clinical
TASTY Fat Loss & Muscle-Gaining Recipes
Tuna & Cheese Melts
Serves Ingredients
6 oz. can of water-packed tuna, drained and flaked
1 egg white
2 tbsp. oatmeal
2 tbsp. of diced onion
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. part-skim mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Blend all the ingredients (except the mozarella) in a bowl. Pre-heat a
pan and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Divide the mixture and
form into 2 patties. Cook one side until brown (not long) then turn
- when the second side is nearly done, sprinkle cheese over it. Place
under a broiler for about 1 minute tops to melt the cheese. Serve as
part of a sandwich, or with a salad and serving of French ‘Un-Fries’.
Nutritional Information
Calories (Per Serving): 138
Protein (g): 25.5
Carbohydrates (g): 4.5
Fat (g): 2
Carb - Protein - Fat % Ratio: 13% - 74% - 13%
Canned, water-packed
tuna is a bodybuilding
staple: it’s an excellent
source of high-quality, virtually fat-free
protein. And there’s
no real cooking needed
- just open a can or
foil packet and you’re
set. But it can be drytasting, and boring to
Tuna & Cheese melts
are one way to help
make tuna more interesting, that are simple
and quick to prepare.
TASTY Fat Loss & Muscle-Gaining Recipes
Strawberry & Banana Oatmeal
Serves Ingredients
1/2 c. steel-cut oats
1/3 c. oat bran
3/4 c. frozen or fresh strawberries
1 medium banana, sliced
1 1/2 scoops strawberry or vanilla whey protein powder
water (as needed for cooking - follow package directions)
¼ tsp. salt
dash of cinnamon (big dash)
Pre-cook oats the night before to minimize morning cooking time.
Again in the morning, bring the oats to a simmer and add the banana,
salt, cinnamon, and oat bran. Keep stirring and simmer until you
have the desired consistency (10 minutes or so), remove from heat,
and stir-in the strawberries and protein powder.
Nutritional Information
Calories (Per Serving): 380
Protein (g): 25
Carbohydrates (g): 57.5
Fat (g): 5.5
Carb - Protein - Fat % Ratio: 61% - 26% - 13%
Steel-cut oats are an
alternative to rolled
oats. Instead of rolling the grain flat, the
whole oat groat is sliced
using steel blades. This
produces a hot cereal
with a more interesting texture than rolled
Oat bran is an especially rich source of
beta-glucan, and is
somewhat higher in
minerals than regular
TASTY Fat Loss & Muscle-Gaining Recipes
Homemade Chocolate Protein Bars
8 Bars
2 1/2 c. (200 g) oats
1 scoop (30 g) whey powder (use chocolate flavor)
2 tbsp. natural peanut butter
3 large egg whites
2 medium bananas (300 g), mashed
1 tbsp. honey
7 tbsp. (approx. 100 ml) nonfat milk
1 tsp. cinnamon
These bars are popular with the members
of the “Muscle Building Nutrition” forum. They’re simple to
make, and - no surprise - don’t last very
long. Best to make two
batches at a time!
Preheat your oven for 5 minutes at 180o C (355o F). Mix the oats,
the whey and the cinnamon. Add the peanut butter and stir in
throughly. Add the egg whites, mashed bananas and the honey.
Add the nonfat milk slowly, while mixing thoroughly.
Spoon the mixture into a greased lined cake tin and level with a
knife. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven
and allow to cool slightly before cutting to reduce stickiness. Cut
into 8 bars.
Nutritional Information
Calories (Per Serving): 154
Protein (g): 9.5
Carbohydrates (g): 21.3
Fat (g): 3.4
Carb - Protein - Fat % Ratio: 25% - 55% - 20%
Water & Hydration
Folks are quick to ask about the “best” diet or whether a certain food is “good” or “bad,”
but rarely do people ask about the importance of drinking enough water and properly
hydrating their bodies. How important is hydration?
Let’s put it this way, water makes up nearly 60 – 70% of the human body, and fluid
losses of just 0.5 – 1.0% of bodyweight can negatively affect cardiovascular function
and endurance. Thirst isn’t typically perceived until 2 – 3% of body water is lost, and by
that point, physical performance and cognitive function are likely to be compromised.
What’s more, researchers from the University of Utah found that a similar level of
dehydration (2 – 3%) can depress metabolic rate. In one study, participants were
given either four, eight, or twelve 8-ounces glasses of water a day. On the fifth day,
the researchers found that the folks drinking only four glasses of water per day
were modestly dehydrated and their metabolic rate had decreased significantly. The
participants who drank eight or twelve glasses of water were adequately hydrated, had
more energy, were able to concentrate better, and burned calories at an accelerated
rate (compared to the folks who drank four glasses per day).1
Not only that, water intake may have a direct positive impact on your fat loss efforts by
something that researchers refer to as “pre-loading,” which simply refers to drinking
water before meals.
In one recent randomized control trial published in the journal Obesity, researchers
in England set out to examine the effects of preloading water on weight loss. All
participants received the same counseling on the importance of regular physical activity
and healthy eating habits, and yet the researchers found that folks who drank 16 ounces
of water 30 minutes before their three main meals lost 5 TIMES more weight (than folks
who preloaded only once per day or not at all) over the course of 12 weeks.2
In another study published in the journal Obesity, researchers from Virginia Tech found
that when folks combined water preloading (i.e., 16 ounces prior to each daily meal)
with a reduced-calorie diet, they lost 64% more fat than participants who followed the
same reduced-calorie diet without the water preload.3
In addition to weight management, drinking enough water and optimally hydrating may
improve physical performance, boost energy levels and cognitive function, and relieve
constipation. Overall, drinking water and properly hydrating are very important for your
health, metabolism, and performance, and research suggests that properly timing your
water intake may even have a beneficial effect on your weight loss efforts. Based on the
available evidence, it seems that drinking 16 ounces of water before your meals and
between 64 and 96 ounces daily is a good starting point.
While eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day is a good general guideline, it should be
noted that everyone has a different requirement, which is influenced by body size,
activity level, climate, food intake (e.g., fruits, vegetables, and soup contain water), and
more. Thus, a good indicator of hydration is urine color, and speaking generally, the
color of a hydrated person’s urine is very light yellow.
Although it may be boring and
predictable, clean, filtered water
is indeed the foundational “fatburning” beverage. In fact, as
you’ll see in the list provided
below, the overwhelming
majority of the benefits that can
be obtained by drinking these
fat-burning drinks comes down
to the fact that they increase
one’s consumption of water and
often by displacing other caloriecontaining drinks (e.g., juice,
soda, sports drinks, alcoholic drinks, specialty coffee drinks).
This is a concept known as “dietary displacement,” which can be positive or negative.
Positive dietary displacement involves “displacing” non-nutritious foods/drinks with
nutritious ones; on the flip side, negative dietary displacement refers to eating/drinking
more non-nutritious foods/drinks, skipping out on nutritious ones.
Detoxes & Cleanses
A number of the “fat-burning” drinks that will be covered in this report are often included
as part of a detox diet or cleanse. With that in mind, we thought it would be important to
delve into this topic to cover some of the common misconceptions and uncover some of
the “dirty truths.”
There’s no doubt about it, the promises of detox diets and cleanses are alluring:
“Jump start your weight loss”…
“Eliminate impurities”…
“Drop 21 pounds in 10 days”…
“Expel toxins”…
“Revitalize and re-energize your body”…
“Whisk away polluting nasties”…
“Fast, easy weight loss”…
“Purify the body”…
“Lose weight like the celebrities”…
“Flush away toxins”
But do these plans work? Can they provide the health boosts they guarantee? Are they
the perfect recipe that the proponents would like you to believe? Or, are they a recipe
for disaster and self-sabotage, contributing to a vicious cycle and reinforcing poor eating
habits and relationships with food? I have a feeling that if you asked Teddy Roosevelt
about these “quick fixes,” he might say, “Nothing worth having was ever achieved
without effort.”
One of the most challenging aspects of assessing the various detox diets and cleanses,
which are typically characterized by severe food and calorie restriction, is that you’d
be hard-pressed to find a specific scientific definition of either, which are typically
interchangeable terms. In the Detox Dossier, an investigation by the Voice of Young
Science (VoYS) into 15 different products and special diets that are widely promoted
as detoxes, a group of researchers found that no two companies use the same
definition for “detox.”4,5 Not only that, the VoYS found that no program or company
could name the supposed “toxins” targeted by its detox, and the proponents
provided little—and in most cases, no—evidence to back up detox claims.
The VoYS concluded, “No one we contacted was able to provide any evidence for
their claims, or give a comprehensive definition of what they meant by ‘detox.’ We
concluded that ‘detox’ as used in product marketing is a myth. Many of the claims
about how the body works were wrong and some were even dangerous.”
In a study published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, researchers
from Australia conducted a thorough review of the currently available research to
assess whether there was any evidence to support the use of detox diets for weight
management or toxin elimination. They concluded, “Although the detox industry is
booming, there is very little clinical evidence to support the use of these diets.
To the best of our knowledge, no randomized controlled trials have been conducted to
assess the effectiveness of commercial detox diets in humans.”6
While the detox industry promotes “purification,” “cleansing,” and “elimination,” it’s
incredibly important to point that the human body has evolved highly sophisticated
mechanisms for eliminating toxins. The liver, kidneys, gastrointestinal system, skin,
and lungs all play a role in the excretion of unwanted substances—without chemical
intervention. For example, the liver and kidneys both serve as exceptionally effective
“detox” organs, converting toxic chemicals into less harmful ones and promoting the
excretion of unwanted chemicals.
With that being said, just because the body is equipped with the machinery it needs
to “cleanse” and “detoxify” itself and to do so remarkably well, that does not mean that
exposure to pollutants, pesticides, food additives, etc., is not a big deal. That point
should not be lost; however, it is to say that these approaches do not appear to be
effective solutions or quick “fixes.”
Some might consider highly-restrictive plans like these (i.e., detox diets, cleanses) to
be “quick fixes,” but truth be told, they’re not really fixing anything. In fact, they quite
possibly may be making things worse. You see, this type of approach lends itself to
weight cycling, which is more commonly referred to as “yo-yo dieting.” Numerous
studies have provided evidence that weight cycling increases one’s risk of insulin
resistance, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.7–9 While very-low-calorie diets
(VLCD) like these may lead to significant short-term weight loss, VLCDs do not lead to
greater long-term weight loss compared to more moderate reduced-calorie diets.10
Even more, this cyclical pattern of long-term calorie restriction can lead to significant
reductions in metabolic rate that rival that of life-threatening malnutrition and
starvation.11 In other words, chronic dieters—who are often the type to gravitate
toward extreme approaches such as detox diets and cleanses—are at risk of a reduced
metabolic rate.
You see, through a process termed adaptive thermogenesis, the body is quite adept
at making compensatory adjustments to help match calorie expenditure with calorie
intake.12 In the face of dangerously low energy supplies and stores, this form of energy
conservation is a biologically meaningful survival mechanism.11,13,14 However, most
people who engage in these restrictive diets generally aren’t trying to get themselves
ready for some sort of apocalypse involving a food shortage.
Studies show that the degree of metabolic adaptation is proportionate to the degree
of energy restriction. In fact, intense energy-restrictive diets like these trigger the body
to suppress its resting metabolic rate (RMR) by as much as 20%.10,15
It’s also noteworthy to point out that a significant percentage of the short-term weight
loss associated with VLCDs is fat-free mass (e.g., muscle mass, glycogen, body water),
not body fat. This is important for a number of reasons related to health, performance,
and metabolism. For instance, muscle is “metabolically active,” burning calories even
at rest and accounting for about 30% of total metabolic rate.16–18 Further, the dreaded
combination of reduced RMR and muscle mass may also predispose one to weight
Simply put, it’s the cleanse that needs cleansing. These plans do little to teach
folks how to eat or help them overcome individual limiting factors (e.g., creating
a healthy food environment, preparing healthy food choices, cultivating a healthy
relationship with food). Not only that, programs like these that heavily restrict calories,
specific foods, and food groups make folks more prone to over-consumption of highcalorie, highly palatable foods through the activation of hunger hormones and food
reward pathways.21 That’s right, “junk food” becomes even tastier, and an even greater
amount of it is craved by the body to satisfy its “needs.”
Along those lines, rather than resorting to an extremist approach that does nothing
to promote good nutrition behaviors, teach you how to eat, encourage a healthy
relationship with food, or promote a healthy food environment, focus on making
changes that support long-term healthy habits. That’s not to say that some of the
“fat-burning” drinks discussed in this report can’t complement healthy eating habits;
indeed, they can. However, this is just a reminder that there is no “magic bullet,” and
despite the enticing claims made, detox diets and cleanses rarely live up to their
1. Lemon Water
Lemon water is all the rage. If you believe everything that
you read, then you’ll wonder why you haven’t joined all the
celebrities in guzzling down this miracle drink that “cleanses,”
“detoxes,” “boosts the metabolism,” “melts fat,” “alkalizes the
body,” “raises your IQ,” and the list goes on and on. But, does
it live up to the hype?
According to the scientific evidence, the answer is a
resounding no. There is virtually no scientific evidence to
substantiate any of these outrageous claims.
Sure, when lemon water is accompanied by a massive caloric deficit (e.g., juice
fast), you can expect to lose weight. As surprising as it may be, the weight loss is
not the result of the lemon water; it’s a byproduct of not eating anything. (Please see
introduction for more on detox diets and cleanses.)
At its simplest, lemon water is a glass of water mixed with the juice of one half of a
lemon, and along those lines, it provides all of the benefits (e.g., weight loss, digestive
health, physical performance, cognitive function) that drinking regular water does. With
that in mind, adding some lemon water can indeed be a flavorful alternative to plain
water with only a negligible addition of calories and sugar.
Although the nutritional characteristics are sometimes overstated, lemons are an
excellent source of vitamin C, and like other citrus fruits, lemons are also a good source
of phytonutrients, which possess a variety of health properties (e.g., antioxidant, antiinflammatory).
Lastly, some may say to drink lemon water (or other “fat-burning” drinks) cold, as
it is purported to burn extra calories, while other suggest warm water, as a means
to improve digestion. Unfortunately, there’s very little—if any—evidence to support
either of these suggestions; thus, the temperature of the water is unlikely to make any
significant difference.22
2. Mint Citrus Water
Similar to lemon water, mint citrus water is a tasty,
refreshing, low-calorie, low-sugar alternative to
plain water, and since it is also mostly water, it too
provides all of the health benefits that you can expect
with drinking regular water. For the citrus part of the
drink, you can use lemons and/or limes, which are
also an excellent source of vitamin C, and they also
contain phytonutrients that help the body manage
oxidative stress.
Peppermint has documented use dating back to 79 AD when the Greeks and Romans
used the leaves as decoration during their feasts as well as to add flavor to their sauces
and wines. Peppermint has long been used in folk medicine and aromatherapy, and
peppermint oil, derived from the leaves of peppermint, has been used for its soothing
qualities to alleviate digestive discomfort and freshen breath through the day.
In addition to soothing digestion, there is also evidence that simply smelling peppermint
may improve appetite control and reduce caloric. In one randomized, cross-over study
published in the journal Appetite and conducted by Bryan Raudenbush at Wheeling
Jesuit University, 40 volunteers sniffed peppermint every two hours for five days. For
another five days, they did the same with a placebo. When they sniffed the peppermint,
they consumed 1,800 fewer calories (over the five days)—about 360 fewer calories
each day.23
Here’s a simple recipe for lime and mint water.
2 limes, sliced
4 – 5 fresh mint leaves
24 oz. water
Place lime and mint in a 32-ounce Mason jar.
Add water and cover with lid.
Let sit overnight or at least 30 minutes before drinking.
3. Cinnamon & Honey
While cinnamon and honey may both possess some
unique health benefits, claims surrounding the “hot
water, cinnamon, and honey” diet, detox, cleanse,
miracle, etc., are overstated and unsubstantiated by
scientific research. Please refer to the introductory
section covering detoxes and cleanses for a more indepth and critical analysis of this type of diet fad/scam.
With that being said, as stated, both cinnamon and honey do indeed provide potential
health benefits. For instance, studies consistently show that cinnamon powder (provided
in amounts ranging from 1 – 6 grams) is markedly effective at acutely improving
carbohydrate tolerance and individual glycemic response.24–26
In one randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, participants were either given a
standardized cinnamon extract or a placebo twice daily for two months. At the conclusion
of the study, the participants taking the cinnamon extract experienced an improvement in
carbohydrate management that was nearly five times greater than that of the placebo, and
their post-meal glycemic response (after a carbohydrate-containing meal) also decreased
an impressive 12%, which was four times greater than the placebo group.27
In another randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, participants were either
given a standardized cinnamon extract or a placebo twice daily for 12 weeks. The
participants taking the cinnamon extract significantly improved carbohydrate tolerance,
and even though this wasn’t a weight loss study, they significantly improved body
composition (i.e., decreased body fat, increased lean body mass).28
One way in which cinnamon appears to work is through improved insulin sensitivity.
In one study, healthy lean young men took 5 grams of cinnamon powder (about two
teaspoons) or a placebo before undergoing an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT),
which involves drinking 75 grams of high-glycemic carbs. After taking the cinnamon, the
participants significantly improved their glycemic response and demonstrated improved
insulin sensitivity. What’s more, when the participants took the cinnamon 12 hours
before the OGTT, they still experienced the same significant benefits in glycemic control,
suggesting that the benefits of cinnamon appear to be both immediate and sustained for
up to 12 hours.29
Another one of the ways that cinnamon exerts its effects is by inhibiting the activity of
certain carbohydrate-digesting enzymes (e.g., alpha-amylase, alpha-glucosidase).30–32
By inhibiting these enzymes, cinnamon has the potential to reduce or slow down the
digestion of dietary carbohydrates (i.e., carb “blocking” effects). In a 2014 randomized,
double-blind, placebo-controlled study, French researchers found that participants taking
a cinnamon extract decreased post-meal blood sugar by 21% after 60 minutes and 15%
after 2 hours (compared to the placebo group).30 They found that this improvement in
carbohydrate metabolism was achieved without additional insulin secretion, supporting
the notion that cinnamon “seems to specifically inhibit” carbohydrate-digesting enzymes
(e.g., alpha-amylase).
In addition to its impact on glycemic control and carbohydrate management, cinnamon
may also exert additional anti-obesity effects. In a study published in the journal
Scientific Reports, researchers from Switzerland found that certain compounds in
cinnamon may increase fat burning and reduce production of ghrelin.33
Ghrelin is often referred to as the “hunger hormone.” It is produced in the GI tract and
functions as a signaling compound in the nervous system stimulating hunger.34 Ghrelin
is released when the stomach is empty, and levels go down after eating.35 In addition
to stimulating hunger, ghrelin also “turns on” reward centers in the brain, increasing the
pleasure and reward response to eating and reinforcing the consumption of rewarding,
tasty food.36–38
It’s important to note that there are numerous forms available. Although short-term
trials have not demonstrated any adverse outcomes with Cinnamon cassia use, its
high coumarin content is a concern during prolonged use.39 Coumarins are naturallyoccurring plant compounds that are considered to be moderately toxic.40 Thus, while
Cinnamon cassia has been used in numerous human trials (and shown to be both safe
and effective), when purchasing cinnamon powder (e.g., from the grocery store), “true”
cinnamon (i.e., Ceylon Cinnamon, Cinnamon verum, or Cinnamon Zeylanicum) is likely
a better option, as its coumarin content is negligible.
Raw honey contains myriad enzymes (e.g., glucose oxidase, diastase, invertase,
phosphatase, catalase and peroxidase) and antioxidants. It’s important to note that the
composition and physicochemical properties of honey are variable depending on its
floral source. Research has also shown that honey possesses antibacterial, antiviral,
antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antimutagenic properties, it has antitumor and
antidiabetic effects, and it expedites wound healing.41 In some cultures, honey is used
as an anti-aging supplement, and there’s some research that suggests that honey may
improve certain biomarkers of cardiovascular health (e.g., blood pressure, blood lipids).
In healthy subjects and people with carbohydrate intolerance (i.e., impaired glucose
tolerance), studies have shown that honey reduces blood glucose and is more tolerable
than most common sugars or sweeteners. What’s more, studies have shown that
honey markedly increases the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut. This prebiotic
effect is attributable to the oligosaccharide carbohydrates found in honey, and this has
implications for various aspects of health (e.g., digestion, cognition, mood, etc.).42
While this concoction may not be the “miracle” that some proponents may lead you to
believe, cinnamon, honey, and water do possess numerous health benefits and may be
used as part of an overall healthy weight-loss program. If you’re interested in giving it a
try, here’s one popular recipe.
1 cup hot water
2 parts Ceylon cinnamon (e.g., 2 tsp)
1 part honey (e.g., 1 tsp)
Steep cinnamon in hot water for 30 minutes.
Once the water has cooled, add the honey. (It is suggested that hot water may
destroy the enzymes in honey.)
Drink half of the mixture before bed, put the remainder in the refrigerator, and
drink it in the morning.
4. Ginger & Lime
Ginger is well-known for its beneficial effects on
digestion, and it has been used as a remedy for
constipation, belching, gas, stomach discomfort,
indigestion, nausea, and vomiting. Ginger
possesses powerful antioxidant properties and
free radical scavenging capabilities, including
the ability to inhibit lipid peroxidation.43 Research
has also shown that supplementation with ginger
may exert an anti-inflammatory effect by reducing certain pro-inflammatory biomarkers
(e.g., TNF-α, IL-1β), which mediate a variety of inflammatory conditions.44
What’s more, ginger may also support weight management. Animal studies have
shown that ginger possesses anti-obesity properties, decreasing body weight and
blood glucose and attenuating adverse changes in hormones (e.g., leptin, insulin) when
rats are overfed with a high-fat diet (designed to induce obesity). This led one group
of researchers to conclude that ginger may be a “promising adjuvant therapy for the
treatment of obesity and its complications.”45
In a recent randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial published in the journal
Phytotherapy Research, a group of researchers from Iran found that supplementation
with ginger powder (2g/day) for 12 weeks resulted significant reductions in appetite
and waist and hip circumferences in group of obese women.46 This led the authors to
conclude that “ginger consumption has potential in managing obesity,” and a recent
clinical trial supports this assertion.
In a subsequent randomized controlled trial published in the European Journal of
Nutrition, this same research group found that women who supplemented with ginger
powder (2g/day) for 12 weeks significantly reduced body weight and improved insulin
sensitivity compared to a placebo group.47
One unique way by which ginger may promote weight loss is through activation of
brown adipose tissue (BAT), which leads to increased metabolic rate and calorie
expenditure (i.e., increased calorie burn).48 Simply put, BAT is unique in that it burns
body fat (i.e., white adipose tissue) to produce heat (i.e., thermogenesis), and as a
result, BAT thermogenesis is regarded as a novel, intriguing anti-obesity target.49,50
Combining ginger, lime, and water is a refreshing way to hydrate while taking advantage
of the myriad potential health benefits associated with ginger consumption. The
following recipe is a simple, albeit tasty, one!
12-ounce glass of water, room temperature
Juice of 1 lime
½-inch knob of ginger root
Add the lime juice to the glass of water.
Finely grate the ginger using a zester and add to glass of water.
5. Fresh Veggie Juice
While juicing is not nearly the be-all, end-all that
many would like for you to believe, it is a way
by which you can increase your consumption of
fruits and vegetables. Of course, there are myriad
health benefits associated with regular fruit and
vegetable consumption, including weight loss and
weight management.
However, there is no strong scientific evidence to support the marketed benefits
associated with juicing, and certainly, there is no evidence to suggest that juicing is
superior to eating fruits and vegetables.51 In fact, one may argue that some of the
benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption may be reduced given that juicing strips
away most, if not all, of the dietary fiber, which promotes a healthy digestive tract and
regularity, slows gastric emptying (i.e., reduces glycemic response), promotes satiety,
reduces calorie intake, and enhances weight loss.52,53
That said, juicing does result in a concentrate of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals
(i.e., phytonutrients), which may be the real source of super powers associated with
fruits and vegetables. It’s these phytonutrients, which give fruits and vegetables their
vibrant colors, that act as potent antioxidants that scavenge free radicals and help
manage oxidative stress.
For instance, you may have heard of resveratrol, which is a phytonutrient found in
the skin of red and purple grapes, or maybe anthocyanins, which are the colorful
antioxidants found in berries that give them their rich color. Perhaps you’ve heard of
EGCG, which is a well-known phytonutrient found in green tea, beta-carotene, which
gives carrots and sweet potatoes their bright orange hue, or lycopene, a powerful
phytonutrient found in tomatoes.
The list goes on and on. In fact, various fruits and vegetables each contain a unique
lineup of these phytonutrients, and it’s estimated that there may be over 4,000 different
In addition to providing direct antioxidant protection and health-boosting effects, these
bioactive phytonutrients are likely the driving factor behind the weight loss benefits of
fruits and vegetables. That’s right, these phytonutrients exert powerful fat-fighting super
powers by improving carbohydrate tolerance, boosting fat burning, improving appetite
control, and crushing cravings.
In one study published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, researchers
from the University of Florida examined the relationship between phytonutrient intake on
body weight in 54 young, healthy participants, who were divided into two groups: normal
weight and overweight-obese. Despite the fact that the folks in both groups consumed
about the same number of calories daily, the overweight-obese adults consumed
fewer phytochemicals, providing evidence that phytonutrient intake is inversely
associated with body weight and fat.
In a subsequent study published in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism, researchers
tracked the eating habits of over 1900 study participants over the course of three years
to determine if phytonutrient intake had an impact on weight management. Once again,
they found that participants who consumed fewer phytonutrients gained more weight over
the course of the study, leading the authors to conclude that higher phytonutrient intakes
could have favorable effects on prevention of weight gain and reduction of body fat.54
In yet another study published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, researchers
analyzed the dietary intake of over 2500 study participants, and they found that those folks
who consumed the most phytonutrients had lower body weight and less belly fat.55
Indeed, juicing can be a healthy way to increase fruit and vegetable consumption and
promote overall health and weight management, and one benefit is that most people
will tend to include a wider variety of vegetables (and subsequently, a greater array of
phytonutrients) with juices. With that being said, juicing is not a miracle cure, claims
associated with juicing are largely unsubstantiated by research, and it does not make up
for otherwise poor food choices and eating habits. Further, it’s important to be wary of
the makeup of fresh juices. Juices can be a concentrated source of calories and sugar,
particularly those that contain multiple sources of fruit.
6. Turmeric Tonic
Turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) is the most
popular spice in Indian cuisine and a major
ingredient in curry powders. Turmeric has a
long history of medicinal use, especially to
promote a healthy inflammatory response.
Curcumin, a potent antioxidant that gives
turmeric its yellow pigment, has been the
subject of nearly 3,000 scientific studies and is regarded as one of the best investigated
botanical constituents in biomedical literature.56,57
While the health-promoting properties of turmeric—and more specifically, curcumin—
are principally related to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties (i.e., ability to reduce
several key biomarkers of inflammation, including pro-inflammatory cytokines, enzymes,
and transcription factors), experimental evidence supports the activity of curcumin in
promoting weight loss and reducing the occurrence of obesity-related health conditions.58
Inflammatory stress can also result from excess body fat. That’s right, body fat (i.e.,
adipose tissue) is much more than an innate depot for excess energy storage. It is
a dynamic tissue that secretes a large number of hormones and chemicals (e.g.,
cytokines), many of which have a pro-inflammatory effect and favor an inflammatory
environment.59–61 As a result, obesity is commonly recognized as a state of increased
oxidative stress and inflammation.
Along these lines, recent research shows that curcumin directly inhibits a number
of these pro-inflammatory compounds secreted by adipose tissue. What’s more,
curcumin also induces the expression of the hormone adiponectin, which is a key antiinflammatory, fat-burning hormone that is associated with enhanced insulin sensitivity.
It’s through these unique mechanisms of action that “curcumin reduces obesity and
curtails the adverse health effects of obesity.”58 In one recent randomized controlled
trial, researchers from Italy found that when overweight participants combined a healthy
diet and regular physical activity with curcumin supplementation they lost 12 times more
body fat—including twice as much belly fat—compared to the placebo group.62
Supplementation with curcumin has been shown to substantially reduce levels of key
pro-inflammatory biomarkers of biological aging (e.g., C-Reactive Protein, IL-1ß, and
IL-6), as well as reduce joint discomfort and improve physical function, feelings of
wellbeing, and quality of life.63,64 What’s more, recent research demonstrates that when
curcumin is combined with regular exercise and a balanced diet it leads to significantly
greater improvements in strength, endurance, cardiovascular fitness, general fitness,
fatigue resistance, and cumulatively (and very importantly) contributes to attenuating
age-related losses in muscle mass compared to diet and exercise alone.65
In short, curcumin supplementation has been shown to help people feel, live, and move
better, healthier lives, and that’s precisely why we wanted to share a couple recipes that
include this supernutrient from turmeric. This first recipe combines the power of turmeric
with ginger, lemon, and honey, as well as coconut water, which is a good source of
electrolytes and may support rehydration after exercise.
2 cups coconut water
2-inch knob turmeric OR 1 tsp dried turmeric
1-inch fresh ginger root
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ tsp salt
1 – 2 tbsp honey
Place coconut water, turmeric, and ginger root in a blender and blend well.
When the turmeric and ginger are finely shredded, strain the liquid through a fine
mesh sieve into a jar.
Add lemon juice, salt, and honey to taste. Serve, preferably with food containing
fat along with black pepper for enhanced absorption (of turmeric).
7. Lemon Ginger Tea
with Turmeric
We’ve already taken time to extol the
potential health benefits of water, turmeric,
ginger, lemon, and honey, and here’s
another tasty recipe that combines all of
them into one “fat-burning” concoction.
12 ounces of water
1 tsp fresh grated turmeric (or, ½ tsp turmeric powder)
1 tsp fresh grated ginger (or, ½ tsp ginger powder)
Juice of ½ lemon
Pinch black pepper
1 tbsp raw honey
Combine turmeric, ginger, and water in a saucepan.
Turn the heat to medium-high and simmer for 5 – 10 minutes. Do not let mixture
come to boil.
Strain the hot liquid and pour into a cup or mug.
Stir in the lemon juice and honey.
8. Coffee
Coffee is one of the world’s most consumed drinks, trailing
only water and tea, although the latter is often debated.
Despite its popularity, coffee seems to be a somewhat
contentious beverage, as it is frequently considered
“unhealthy.” However, there’s seemingly more research
to suggest the opposite, as there are a multitude of health
benefits associated with regular coffee consumption, and
amongst them is an increase in metabolic rate.
Research over the past several years suggests that coffee consumption may protect
against type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver cancer, and liver cirrhosis. It’s
important to point out that studies suggesting these benefits are observational in nature,
which means that they don’t necessarily prove that coffee caused the effects. Here’s a
sampling of some of the health benefits associated with regular coffee consumption:
Research suggests that regular coffee consumption is associated with a
substantially lower risk of type 2 diabetes.66
Some studies have shown an inverse relationship between coffee consumption
and Alzheimer’s disease, suggesting that coffee may have protective benefits
against dementia.67 Recent reports estimate that moderate coffee consumption
may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s by as much as 20%.68
Studies have shown that coffee drinkers have a significantly lower risk of
developing Parkinson’s disease.69
Recent research on coffee and mortality performed by scientists from the
Harvard School of Public Health found that people who regularly drank coffee
had a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease than those who rarely
drank coffee.70
Often, people think of coffee just as a vehicle for caffeine, which we’ll discuss more in just a
moment. But it’s actually a very complex beverage with hundreds and hundreds of different
compounds in it. In fact, a cup of coffee contains all of the following essential nutrients:
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
Niacin (Vitamin B3)
Thiamine (Vitmain B1)
Even more, coffee is loaded with antioxidants. In fact, studies show that coffee is
the single greatest dietary source of antioxidants—outweighing even fruits and
vegetables—amongst many cultures.71
Of course, coffee is synonymous with caffeine, and there may be a host of benefits—
including metabolism-boosting advantages—associated with caffeine consumption. For
instance, coffee consumption increases alertness and energy levels, and studies have
shown that coffee consumption can improve performance on mental tasks.72,73
In addition, studies have found that coffee can improve mood, feelings of well being,
reaction times, vigilance, and cognitive function.74 Caffeine is also widely studied from a
sports performance standpoint, and it has been shown to significantly improve physical
performance and reduce perceived levels of exertion (i.e., makes tasks feel easier)
when taken before exercise.75
From a metabolism standpoint, studies show that coffee consumption significantly
increases metabolic rate.76 In fact, consuming as little as 100mg of caffeine, which
you can get from a single cup of coffee, is enough to boost metabolic rate, and it
appears that repeated/greater doses lead to an even more pronounced effect.77 What’s
particularly interesting is that this increase in resting metabolic rate is accompanied by
greater oxidation of fat. Simply put, coffee and caffeine appear to boost metabolic rate
and increase fat burning.
While there are many health and metabolism benefits associated with regular, moderate
coffee consumption, it’s important to assess and consider your tolerance to caffeine.
Individual differences in caffeine metabolism apply, and genetically, some folks are
“slow” caffeine metabolizers, which makes them more sensitive to the stimulatory effects
(e.g., jitters, feeling wired) of the compound. Lastly, it goes without saying that caffeine
is not a sleep aid, and it is generally recommended to avoid caffeine consumption after
2pm, or at the latest, within 6 hours of bedtime.
9. Green Tea
According to researchers, Camellia sinensis, which
is the plant species whose leaves and buds are used
in the production of tea, exerts several “anti-obesity
effects.”78 Although various types of teas (e.g.,
oolong, black, green) all come from the Camellia
sinensis plant, green tea leaves are processed (i.e., fermented) differently, which leaves
them with a higher concentration of beneficial polyphenols called catechins. It’s these
compounds, which also have noteworthy anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties,
that seem to have quite a potent effect on the metabolism and fat burning, and what’s
more, they may also suppress appetite and decrease the absorption of calories.79,80
Studies consistently show that green tea extract (standardized for the catechin
epigallocatechin gallate, EGCG) increases the body’s use of fat for fuel, and these
effects are independent of caffeine/stimulants. It does so by inhibiting enzymes that can
shut down important fat-burning hormones (i.e., norepinephrine), thereby stoking the
body’s fat-burning furnace.81
In one study measuring 24-hour calorie expenditure and fat burning, healthy men
supplementing with a green tea extract providing 90mg EGCG three times daily
experienced a 4% increase in metabolic rate and 3.4% decrease in respiratory
exchange ratio (RER), which signifies that they were burning more fat to meet the
increased demand in calories.82 The participants taking the green tea extract were even
burning more fat during sleep, and overall, over 41% of their daily calories burned came
from fat—31% more fat burned than the placebo group.
In another study, participants taking a green tea extract daily (providing 400mg of
EGCG ) for 4 weeks showed a 25% increase in fat burning, and what’s more, they lost
over 1.5% body fat during the one-month trial.83 In a 12-week study, participants taking
a green tea extract (providing 270mg of EGCG daily) experienced a 3.3% increase
in metabolic rate, a 4.6% decrease in body weight, and a 4.5% reduction in waist
In yet another study, participants taking a green tea extract standardized for EGCG
combined with a modest reduced-calorie diet lost over twice as much weight as the
placebo group after just 8 weeks. The participants taking the green tea extract also
experienced a 2-fold greater increase in metabolic rate compared to the placebo group.85
In other words, green tea can help make a good fat loss program even more effective.
In addition to increasing metabolism, calorie expenditure, and fat burning, researchers
also suggest that green tea extract can help control energy balance by suppressing
appetite. In rats, researchers from the University of Chicago found that injections of
EGCG significantly reduced food intake and body weight.86 In a human study published in
the International Journal of Obesity, participants consumed 8% fewer calories at a meal
4 hours after taking a standardized green tea extract when compared to the placebo
group.87 Not only did the folks taking the green tea extract eat less, they also experienced
a significant increase in metabolic rate, an effect that was maintained over the course of
the 8-week trial and was accompanied by a significant reduction in body fat.
Researchers suggest consumption of 2 – 4 cups (i.e., 500mL – 1L) of green tea per day
to reap these fat-burning and health promoting benefits.88
In addition to green tea, there are a number of other types of tea that may promote
weight loss, including Yerba Mate, Oolong tea, Rooibos tea, Honeybush tea, White tea,
and Purple tea. Another type of tea that may boost fat loss is Puer tea (also Pu’er or Puerh tea), which is type of fermented tea that originated in Yunnan Province in China and
has been shown to enhance weight loss, decrease belly fat, and improve blood lipids
(e.g., cholesterol).89
10. Red Wine
Over the last several years, the health benefits of moderate red
wine consumption have become increasingly clear. Like many
of the other dark, rich-colored fruits, red wine (i.e., grapes) is a
rich source of antioxidant polyphenols (e.g., anthocyanins).90
One of the best-known polyphenols found in red wine is
resveratrol. A number of studies have demonstrated the antiinflammatory activity of resveratrol and its ability to promote
a healthy inflammatory response.91 Like oleocanthal (found in
EVOO) and a number of other polyphenols, resveratrol seems
to exhibit its anti-inflammatory activity mostly through inhibition of the COX enzymes,
which has the potential to promote a healthy inflammatory response.92 Resveratrol also
seems to modulate the body’s inflammatory response by reducing both the production
of inflammatory molecules as well as the formation of free radicals.93
Another means by which resveratrol may exert its health benefits is by mitigating the
effects of advanced glycation end-products, which can be consumed exogenously
(i.e., food) or produced endogenously.94,95 AGEs play a role in accelerating the aging
Resveratrol has also been purported to prevent obesity, and a number of studies have
demonstrated the anti-obesity super powers of this polyphenol. For instance, research
has shown that resveratrol decreases the synthesis of fat and reduces the uptake of fat
by the body’s fat cells. In addition, resveratrol increases the body’s ability to burn fat for
fuel (in the muscles and liver).97
Interestingly, resveratrol has been shown to “brown” white adipose tissue (i.e., body fat),
and along these lines, it also seems to increase metabolic rate and calorie expenditure
via activation of brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis. Simply put, BAT is unique
in that it burns body fat to produce heat (i.e., thermogenesis), and as a result, BAT
thermogenesis is currently being investigated as an anti-obesity target.49,50
While resveratrol seems to be the most popular antioxidant associated with red wine,
the beneficial effects of red wine cannot be solely accounted for by this polyphenol due
to its low concentration and bioavailability.98 In a recent study published in the journal
PLoS One, researchers from Hungary demonstrated that malvidin, the most abundant
anthocyanin polyphenol in red wine, possesses potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
activity, and the effects of malvidin “at least partially account for the positive effects of
moderate red wine consumption.”99
This is important to note because it highlights that a combination of red wine
polyphenols—not a single compound—may be needed to derive the touted health
benefits. Thus, moderate amounts of red wine—1 glass (i.e., 5 ounces) per day for
women and 1 – 2 glasses per day for men—may be optimal. It’s important to note,
however, that drinking alcohol in excess appears to increase the body’s production
of pro-inflammatory molecules, according to researchers from the University of North
11. Kefir
While not as popular as yogurt and cheese,
kefir is a complex fermented dairy product
created through the fermentation of milk
by a large, diverse community of lactic
acid bacteria and yeasts (i.e., kefir grain),
and it has been consumed and associated
with health benefits for hundreds of years,
beginning with communities in the Balkans, in Eastern Europe, and in the Caucaus.
Kefir (pronounced either as KEE-fur or kuh-FEER) is traditionally made with cow’s milk,
but it can also be made with milk from goats, sheep, buffalo, or soy milk.
Unlike other fermented foods, which may contain a handful of different strains of
probiotics, kefir is a dramatically more robust source of probiotics. In fact, kefir may
contains DOZENS of different strains of probiotics, including various species from the
Lactobacillus, Lactococcus, Streptococcus, Leuconostoc, Oenococcus, Acetobacter,
and Bifidobacterium families as well as various healthy yeast and fungal species.101
Research on kefir has shown that it can promote immunity, improve cholesterol
metabolism, alleviate allergies, and facilitate wound healing, and it also has powerful
antimicrobial (e.g., antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral) properties.
Not surprisingly given its robust probiotic makeup, kefir has been shown to preferentially
modify the composition of the gut microbiota. For instance, multiple studies have
shown that kefir increases the amount of beneficial microbes (e.g., Lactobacillus,
Bifidobacterium) in the gut while simultaneously decreasing harmful microbial species
(e.g., Clostridium perfringens, Salmonella, Helicobacter, Staphylococcus, E. coli,
Listeria). In addition to regulating microbial composition, kefir can also favorably alter
the activity of the microbiota (e.g., enhancing immune and inflammatory response).101
Kefir’s ability to preferentially modulate the gut microbiota is critical because a healthy
gut flora—which involves optimizing the balance of “good” to “bad” bacteria—is critical
to digestive system health and function, overall health, immune system function, mental
health and wellbeing, metabolism and weight management, respiratory (i.e., lungs) and
integumentary (i.e., skin) systems, and more.
When the gut flora is in a healthy balance (often called probiosis), it provides immense
support to digestive system and immune system function, metabolism, skin health,
mood, and more. For instance, you may have heard of the gut being called the “second
brain”; you see, the gut houses its own entire nervous system called the enteric
nervous system (ENS), which communicates directly to the brain, and vice versa.
This intimate connection is termed the “gut-brain axis,” which influences satiety, food
intake, regulation of glucose and fat metabolism, insulin secretion and sensitivity, bone
metabolism, and more.102
However, when the gut is unbalanced and unhealthy (often called dysbiosis), a
number of issues can ensue. Dysbiosis describes the state of an unhealthy imbalance
of bacteria in the gut flora, characterized by excessive levels of pathogenic (i.e., “bad”)
bacteria, inadequate amounts of commensal (i.e., “healthy”) and probiotic bacteria,
and/or reduced bacterial diversity. Fundamentally, gut dysbiosis destroys the mutually
beneficial relationship between humans and microbes (often called symbiosis).
In fact, research suggests that gut dysbiosis has been linked to countless different
human health issues, including digestive-, skin-, metabolic-, and mental wellbeingrelated issues. Even more, gut dysbiosis is connected to obesity, weight gain, and
difficulty with weight management.103–108 For example, gut dysbiosis can increase the
number of calories you absorb from food.106
Speaking of which, in a recent randomized controlled trial published in the European
Journal of Nutrition, researchers from Iran set out to assess whether there were any
weight loss benefits associated with kefir consumption when combined with a nonenergy-restricted diet in overweight and obese women. All of the women followed the
same diet, and it’s important to reiterate that this was not a calorie-restricted diet. After
8 weeks, the women who added kefir to their nutrition plan lost significantly more weight
and inches (from their waistlines) compared to the control group, who followed the same
diet without kefir.109
Nowadays, there are a number of companies that specialize in the development in this
functional food, and more than likely, you can find any number of them at your local
grocery or health food store (in the refrigerated dairy section). You can also make your
own kefir at home; all you’ll need is some kefir grains (which can be purchased online
and at select health food stores), whole milk (or dairy of choice), a glass jar, a coffee
filter (or tight weave cloth), and a strainer.
12. Protein Shakes & Smoothies
When it comes to improving overall health, performance,
body composition, appetite control, and satiety, there is
arguably not a single more effective, well-established
dietary factor than optimizing one’s protein intake.
Research has shown that consuming diets higher in protein
are not only safe for otherwise healthy individuals, they
may provide a host of benefits. Higher protein diets may:
Accelerate fat loss and spare lean body mass while following a reducedcalorie diet.
Attenuate weight regain and contribute to long-term weight maintenance.
Optimize 24-hour muscle protein synthesis and facilitate the maintenance
or building of muscle mass.
Boost metabolic rate.
Preserve metabolic rate after weight loss.
Increase satiety and improve appetite control.
Improve carbohydrate metabolism and glycemic regulation.
Increase calcium absorption.
One way by which high-protein diets may improve weight-loss outcomes is through
increased satiety and improved appetite control. High-protein meals boost satiety,
which means that protein-dense foods are much more likely to make you feel full and
satisfied.110 What’s more, diets rich in high-quality proteins improve appetite control, as
well as reduce daily food intake.111 In a recent study published in the Nutrition Journal,
researchers from the University of Missouri found that consuming higher protein, dairybased snacks (e.g., yogurt) improved satiety, appetite control, and limited subsequent
food intake when compared to higher fat and higher carbohydrate-based snacks.112
All foods that you eat require calories to be burned in order to digest, absorb, and
assimilate their nutrients. This is referred to as the Thermic Effect of Feeding (TEF), or
what we like to call The Thermogenic Burn.
There is a general consensus in the scientific literature that protein stimulates
dietary-induced thermogenesis to a greater extent than other macronutrients (e.g.,
carbohydrates, fat).113 In fact, protein-rich foods are estimated to boost metabolic rate by
as much as 30%, whereas as fats and carbohydrates are typically estimated to be in the
5 – 10% range.110
In other words, protein-rich foods have the greatest thermogenic burn of all,
boosting the metabolism THREE to SIX TIMES more than carbs or fats. This
means that you burn more calories each day when you consume a high-protein diet,
and it also means that protein-rich foods provide less metabolizable energy (than carbs
or fats)—meaning your body is less likely to store calories from protein as fat.114
One of the easiest, most convenient, most versatile (and most delicious) ways to add
more protein to your diet is by using a protein supplement. Specifically, milk-based
protein supplements (e.g., whey, casein) are generally considered to be superior due to
their protein quality and amino acid profile (e.g., leucine), and they are frequently used
in studies to establish key baselines (e.g., muscle protein synthesis).115,116
Complete milk proteins from dairy is composed of 20% whey protein, which is rapidly
digesting, and 80% micellar casein, which is digested much more slowly.117 While
whey is commonly regarded as the “gold standard” of protein (and for good reason),
research suggests that a “time-released” combination (e.g., whey, casein, and/or milk
concentrate) may be superior for appetite control (i.e., satiety), body composition,
performance, and recovery.
In a recent study conducted by Dr. Daniela Jakubowicz, professor of medicine at Tel
Aviv University, and colleagues, study participants who consumed a protein shake
containing 49 grams of high-quality protein first thing in the morning lost 145%
more weight than a group consuming a normal amount of protein at breakfast—despite
consuming the exact same number of calories! Only group consuming the protein shake
at breakfast experienced significant reductions in the hunger hormone ghrelin.118
This last part is important to note. Ghrelin stimulates the appetite, promotes food
intake, and may facilitate weight gain.119 Previous studies have shown the greatest
(and most sustained) reductions in ghrelin after eating protein-rich meals (compared to
carbohydrates and fats).120,121 Additional studies have shown that supplementation with
protein shakes leads to weight loss, reductions in ghrelin and appetite, and
improvements in other appetite-related hormones (e.g., GLP-1, which suppresses
Drink Your Way Trim
It bears repeating that the best “fat-burning” beverage is clean, unfiltered water, and
for the most part, the majority of benefits associated with the drinks detailed above are
likely to be derived from proper hydration and positive dietary displacement (i.e., adding
more water and/or replacing sugar-sweetened beverages).
All of these drinks can be included as a part of an overall healthy weight-loss program,
but by themselves they will not make up for poor food or lifestyle choices. What’s more,
we recommend extreme caution when faced with the latest detox, cleanse, or diet
fad, particularly those that are centered around severe caloric restriction for prolonged
periods of time, complete elimination of certain food groups, etc. These types of
programs do very little to reinforce healthy eating habits, promote sustained weight loss,
or support overall health. In fact, most will do the exact opposite.
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Dennis EA, Dengo AL, Comber DL, et al. Water Consumption Increases Weight
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15. Knuth ND, Johannsen DL, Tamboli RA, et al. Metabolic adaptation following
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19. Faria SL, Kelly E, Faria OP. Energy expenditure and weight regain in patients
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