The Scoop on “Fat Burners”

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I have decided to share a little bit of what I’ve learned over the weeks and months as I have studied about fat burners and weight loss.  Here are just a few things that come to mind.

First and foremost, there is no magic bullet.  You simply will not lose weight if you eat more calories than you use through exercise, etc.  Anything to tells you something different is selling you a load of you-know-what.  For a “fat burner” to truly be effective it has to somehow keep you from eating as much or interfere with the absorption of food.

And therein lies the problem.  How can a supplement keep you from consuming more calories?  Well, one possibility would be for it to block the absorption of certain nutrients.  But this isn’t really an effective way when you think about it.  Most of the “carb blockers” and other types of supplements seem to be nonsense as far as I can tell.

There is another possibility: appetite suppression.  This is where a supplement like the ECA stack (ephedrine, caffeine, aspirin) comes into play.  It is a stimulant that will drastically reduce your desire to eat for a few hours after you take it.  I have tried it and it really does seem to be very effective.

Isn’t it dangerous?  Well, I did a little research on that as well.  It really depends a lot on the person.  If you’re the kind of guy who gets jittery after half a cup of coffee you may not be able to tolerate something like this.  But if you have a decent tolerant for stimulants and no blood pressure issues it may be worth a try.  I have found that the longer I use the stack, the less I feel nervous or anxious.  But the beauty of it is that it still keeps working, even if you don’t feel as “wired.”

Ephedrine/ephedra got a bad reputation years ago because people started suing supplement companies over it.  But when you look at the actual evidence the ECA stack has a pretty good safety profile.  Like a lot of other things, mass panic sets in and people thing something is dangerous when it really isn’t.  But again, it really depends on whether or not you have pre-existing conditions that might make it more dangerous for you.

PS: Those ladies who are reading this and looking for a good workout may want to check out Ferruggia’s Bikini Workout.  It’s really great and I think you’ll find it to be a really good value for your money.

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Crash Diet: the Pros and Cons

Crash Diet: the Pros and Cons

I recently tried a new experiment for losing weight. I started off by researching various dietary methods and narrowed it down to a few different approaches. I carefully considered the benefits and drawbacks to each way and I finally made my decision.

fruit_and_vegetablesI went with a “crash diet” approach to weight loss written/designed by a guy named Brian Flatt: http://musclereview.net/3-week-diet-review/.  I’ll share with you some of my experiences with this and the pros and cons based on what happened with me. I’ll start with the pros of a crash diet:

Pros:

  1. Being absolutely focused on one single fitness goal. Before I tried this I’d always say I wanted to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. But what happened is I often didn’t too much of either. I discovered that by focusing everything I did on one goal that I’d get a lot more accomplished. I did indeed drop weight/fat more quickly than I thought possible.
  1. Keeping things strict and knowing there was no room for cheating. When you follow a “crash diet” approach you can’t go down that treacherous pass of just having “one cookie” or “one potato chip”–a path that usually turns into consuming a lot of calories and blowing your diet. Keeping such a strict diet actually helped me to stay on track.
  1. Fast results. Say what you want, but all of us would like to lose weight more quickly if it is possible to do it safely. And I found that seeing the numbers go down quickly and regularly really helped me to stay motivated.

Cons:

  1. The strict diet and my social life. It was really hard for me to go out with friends while on a crash diet. There just wasn’t any “room” for it, so my social life did suffer just a little. I usually compensated by meeting friends for coffee (and I had a low-calorie or no-calorie coffee).
  1. The temptation to overcompensate once the diet was over. I did kind of want to go crazy once the 3-4 weeks were finished and I could go back to a more “normal” way of eating. I tried to overcome this by slowly introducing new foods to my eating plan.
  1. Lower energy. My energy levels weren’t great, though they did improve as I got further into the weight loss process.

These are just a few pros and cons based on my experience. Everyone is different and you may find that a much different approach is better suited for you. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find a way to reach your own fitness goals, whatever they are. And don’t forget to check with your doctor before starting a new diet or exercise plan.