It’s a month or so after the new year has started. 2019! January was a big shit-show, but if your month has been good, with no new upsets, then awesome! You’ve been going to the gym and hitting the weights and the cardio centers. One month of following your workout plans! So here are the top 5 supplements for weight loss that you can take to lose weight without losing muscle mass.
But you still don’t see some tangible changes in your weight. You start puzzling over it. You’ve been following everything right. The diet, the workout plan, ignoring all the temptations of home-delivered food and cooking your own healthy meals instead.
You start worrying about why you aren’t seeing any results, and then you start worrying if you will ever lose all that extra winter weight. And then it is a downward spiral from there; you eat ice cream, relishing the taste and can’t help but finish the whole tub. You don’t go to the gym for a couple of days. Then you start worrying. And BAM! You’re back to old ways.
STOP! Take a breath. A deep one. And let it out slowly. There is one more thing that you can try that you haven’t tried: supplements.
BCAA stands for branched chain amino acids. They are mainly composed of leucine, isoleucine and valine. They are amazing because they are some of the most common amino acids found in the body. They are like the building blocks of our body.
BCAAs also help in boosting the immune system and improves the overall health and fitness of our bodies.
So take it and see the changes in your body! BCAAs are mainly safe and if you feel any uneasiness like nausea, vomiting, headaches, stop taking it and consult a doctor immediately.
So what do they do? They reduce the breakdown of the muscle fibres post a heavy workout and they help in the synthesis of new muscle fibres. So what does this help in?
Muscle gain! You lose fat and gain muscle mass instead. Also, post-workout fatigue is reduced dramatically as the old muscle fibres are not being torn down completely.
It also increases testosterone, one of the most important hormones that helps in losing weight and gaining muscle.
BCAAs also help in the production of serotonin, which is the “feel-good” hormone of our body. It helps reduce our cravings for sweet stuff and also makes working out an enjoyable experience. Yes, all those people who put up statuses that exclaim the joy of working out are just high
Now this is probably the most common protein powder that you must have seen out there. You must have been heard about it from your trainers, friends and colleagues about how it is the best supplement to gain muscle mass. Well, I am here to tell you that they are not wrong.
Whey is a milk product and it contains many essential amino acids like leucine and cysteine. They are essential for growth and muscle gain. This ensures that you burn fat without losing out on muscle mass, and that you might also gain muscle mass by using whey in your regular diet.
There are many types, but go for the whey protein concentrate. It contains about 70-80% proteins and some lactose and fat, all of which are essential to weight loss and muscle gain. Also, on a side not, whey concentrate tastes the best.
So what does it do? It increases the insulin levels, thereby acting on the ingested carbs and fat and utilising them for energy. It increases the level of anabolic hormones, which helps in losing fat and gaining muscle mass.
It also depresses the hunger hormone, ghrelin, thereby reducing appetite and reducing intake. Also proteins are just more filling than other foods on the whole, so it reduces your appetite by giving you a sense of fullness.
This must look like good news to all the coffee addicts reading this. Yes, caffeine is good for losing weight. But be careful, as your body might get sensitized to it and its effects might not be so potent if used excessively. As they say, too much of a good thing is a bad thing.
So how does caffeine help in weight loss? It increases your basal metabolism rate, or BMR for short, which increases the rate at which you burn your carbs and fats and utilise the energy provided.
It also acts by inhibiting the action of adenosine, resulting in the release of dopamine and norepinephrine, which is like a kick-start to your body. It makes you hyper, basically.
Also epinephrine/adrenaline signals your body to break down fats and release them into the blood as fatty acids. Fatty acids provide more energy than its equivalent weight in carbs or proteins. But you need to burn of the excess fatty acids released into your blood circulation or it might lead to atherosclerosis (fatty plaque formation in your arteries, leading to many heart problems and diseases).
Caffeine also causes the blood vessels to dilate, thereby increasing the blood flow to your muscles and increasing the amount of exercise that you can do, leading to more fat loss.
Caffeine might also reduce appetite, thereby making you burn more calories than you intake. Which helps to lose weight in the long run.
While you might think that these are extracted from raspberries, and you are not the only one who has thought that, you are mistaken. They are manufactured synthetically and are not extracted from anywhere.
They are what give raspberries, blackberries and kiwis their pungent aromas and their citrus-y taste. They have long been used as flavouring agents and have only recently been associated with weight loss.
Ketones are molecules that are formed when fats are broken down for energy purposes (see keto diet). So they are molecules that promote the breakdown and utilisation of fat for our daily energy requirements. Read our article on TOP 10 PROTEIN RICH FOODS to lose weight without losing muscle
How? Thy act in two ways.
One, they make the fatty tissue more susceptible to the action of adrenaline, thereby helping in the burning of fat.
Two, they activate adiponectin, a hormone which promotes the breakdown of adipose tissue or fatty tissue.
But what you have to keep in mind is that this has not been widely researched and only animal trials have been conducted. What they have found is that ketones reduce the rate at which you gain fat, but don’t necessarily prevent the gaining of fat. You need to add this to a regular lifestyle of exercise and dieting for it to be effective.
5.Green tea extract
Green tea contains many beneficial compounds such as caffeine, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), catechins and other minor antioxidants. They together have a synergistic beneficial effect on your body.
Caffeine has already been explained as to how it helps in weight loss. It increases your BMR and promotes fat burning. It is in a lower concentration in green tea extract, but there is enough of it to have a mild effect on your body.
Catechins are antioxidants, and the most abundant and most important one of them is EGCG, which acts by boosting your metabolism and increasing your BMR.
EGCG also increases the amount of epinephrine in your body, thereby increasing the fat mobilisation and utilisation, thereby helping you to lose weight while conserving your muscle mass at the same time.
Green tea also allegedly helps in weight loss by reducing your appetite. This helps in weight loss by making you consume fewer calories and making you burn more calories than ingested.
So here we have the supplements for weight loss that help in losing weight but not at the cost of your muscle mass. But we have to stop and ask ourselves this serious question. Is it worth it? Most of these supplements have not been extensively researched and studied. We don’t know what will happen on long term consumption of these supplements.
Wouldn’t it instead be easier to be patient and do what you were doing before? Eating healthy, working out, being positive and stress free. These methods have been proven to be healthy in the long run. So why not rely on this method? Be safe, be healthy and lead a happy life free of the tension that might arise because of the uncertainty of putting what you’re in your body.
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