Meal Supplements

I am a big fan of meal supplements and if they are not too detrimental to my health, I would prefer to consume them exclusively. Is there a problem with this approach? For me, it is so much easier than cooking, planning, etc actual meals.


With that in mind, what are the best meal supplements? What should I be aware of when taking meal supplements this frequently?

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Jun 03, 2010
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Why You Should NOT Have Meal Replacements For All Your Meals
by: Steve

Hi Sarah,

Thanks for your question.

There are many reasons why I don't believe you should only have meal replacements as your source of food:

? Nutrient deficiencies.
No matter how many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants the manufacturers put in your chosen meal replacement it will not even come close to providing your body with the nutrients it needs.

You see, there are so many essnetial nutrients that our bodies need every day, most of which haven't even been discovered yet and these can only come from eating real food.

? Creates bad habits.
Simply having meal replacements as your meals means you don't have to take the time to prepare proper meals for yourself and your family.

I realise that cooking and preparing meals is a real chore and is not something that most people enjoy doing. However, it is absolutely essential if you are serious about getting the best results.

Perhaps put some music on whilst cooking, put a TV in a suitable place so you can watch it whilst cooking or get your partner to help you so you make it a 'team effort'!

In fact one of my favourite things to do is to spend time in the kitchen with Annie preparing our evening meal together. Having a nice glass of red makes it even more enjoyable!

? Human body functions.
The human body has been designed to digest and process whole foods. Engineered meal replacements may certainly have their place as a convenient meal/ snack but they should never be used to replace whole foods in the diet.

This rule applies to all supplements. They are designed to 'supplement' the diet, not to make up for a bad diet.

I hope this helps.

Regards,

Steve.


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Fitness

by Sarah
(MO, USA)

I read that a low calorie diet and strength training is the only true way to lose weight. The article stated that cardio can actually hurt weight loss as it increases appetite and burns less calories.
Is this true?

Hi Sarah,

Great to hear from you and thanks for your question.

I agree that a low calorie diet and strength training is one way to lose weight but I certainly don't believe it is the only 'true' way to lose weight. By 'true' way to lose weight I am assuming that you mean that the weight being lost is almost exclusively fat and does not include substantial losses of water, lean tissue or carbohydrate.

I believe that you can lose fat almost exclusively by using a combination of good nutrition without having to follow a low-calorie diet, which are hard to stick to long term, in combination with strength training, aerobic exercise and the correct supplements.

In fact, I have had clients eat more overall calories than they had previously but by manipulating the macronutrient profile of their meals were still able to lose weight!

Also, I don't think cardio can hurt weight loss if it is controlled. Whilst it may burn fewer calories than high-intensity weight training and doesn't promote as much post-exercise calorie expenditure, it does burn calories directly and stimulates beneficial aerobic adaptations in the body, which can assist the fat-burning process, i.e. increases oxidative enzyme levels in tissues.

Plus, if cardio is done after a weight-training session you can burn even more fat because you have decreased the levels of carbohydrates in your body!

Of course I do agree whole-heartedly that excessive amounts of cardio can hurt weight loss because of the resulting catabolic hormones (cortisol) it stimulates as the exercise continues. This is particularly noticeable in aerobic exercise sessions that last longer than an hour.

As far as appetite is concerned I honestly believe that any form of exercise helps to regulate the appetite rather than increase it per say. Furthermore, since weight training may stimulate an increase in tissue formation I would hypothesise that it is likely to increase appetite more than aerobic exercise.

I hope these thoughts help to clarify this matter.

Thanks again for a great question and if you have any other questions or comments, please let me know.

Regards,

Steve.

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Use of the elliptical for weight loss

by Nat
(India)

Which is more beneficial for weight and fat loss, using the elliptical on a lower resistance or higher resistance? Is it true that using it on a high resistance causes your thighs and lower body muscles to grow (bulk up). I'm interested in reducing my thighs.

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May 22, 2011
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Elliptical and weight loss
by: Steve

Hi Nat,

Great to hear from you and thanks for your question.

I think you're better off increasing the resistance as much as you can without the accummulation of lactic acid (the burning feeling) in your muscles. This will help you increase your calorie/ energy expenditire and therefore, will help you burn fat faster.

It is not likely to increase the size of your thighs unless you are increasing the intensity of the exercise significantly.

If you did that you wouldn't be able to exercise for very long so I wouldn't worry about that at all.

The most important thing is that you perform the exercise consistently and make it a regular part of your lifestyle.

All the best.

Regards,

Steve.

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Thyroxine / Thyron

by J C Lancaster
(Perth Western Australia)

I have no working thyroid as I was told by my doctor in 1992. Since then I have been taking thyroxine eutroxsig 150mg per day. I cannot lose weight. One doctor even said try harder! I have gained over 30kg. I am now 68 years old and as you know we gain as we get older. The six meals per day sounds like my next option.

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Jul 02, 2013
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Thyroid issues
by: Steve

Hi JC,

Nice to hear from you.

Since I am not a medical practitioner I can provide you with medical advice. However, I would consider discussing the following issues with your doctor:

1. Getting a full thyroid test done. This should include tests for TSH, T4, T3, and rT3. See what the results are when they come back. It's possible that you have very low T3 and possibly high rT3 and that's why you've put on weight.

2. Getting additional tests done to find out the possible cause of your thyroid issues in the first place. It may be too late now, but if you have an auto-immune condition, heavy metal toxicity, or another cause, this should be picked up in the tests.

3. Consider using a thyroid-support product, like Thyron. It is fine to use when taking thyroid medication because it simply provides your thyroid gland with the nutrients it needs to function well (if it still works even just a bit).

4. Go to the gym. One of the primary reasons we tend to put on weight as we age is simply because we lose muscle mass. You must lift weights!

Do not start having 5 or 6 meals a day unless you need them! As you start exercising and metabolism speeds up, your appetite will increase and you will need to eat more frequently. Until then, just stick with having 3 or maybe 4 meals/ snacks a day.

I hope this helps.

Regards,

Steve.

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11 year old with unstable sugar

by Teri
(Cuyahoga Falls )

Can an 11 year old boy who has high insulin levels and who also has blood sugar levels that can fall to 40 take the gi factor? He is overweight but worksout 5 times a week and weighs 129lbs and is 5ft tall.

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Jun 05, 2012
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gi factor for kids
by: Steve

Hi Teri,

Great to hear from you.

There is no problem with your son using GI Factor. It will certainly help him stabilise his blood sugar levels and therefore, lower his insulin levels.

Unfortunately though, we have discontinued its production. Nevertheless, we do have another product, MultiSpice, that contains cinnamon along with a range of additional herbs.

Cinnamon is also a glucose disposal agent and may be beneficial for your son.

I hope it helps.

Regards,

Steve.

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chest workout

by Tea
(Lebanon)

What is the best way to get a bigger chest from a workout?

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Nov 01, 2010
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How to grow your chest muscles
by: Steve

Hi Tea,

Thanks for your question.

There are several steps you need to take to increase your chest size and each step is essential. If you are serious about getting the best results then you need to take each step. Missing out just of these steps will halt the entire muscle-building process.

In order to build muscle you need 3 main components:

1. A stimulus
2. Adequate nutrition
3. Rest and recuperation


The stimulus involves you performing some exercise. Preferably going to a gym and lifting weights. You should select a variety of exercises that target the different actions of the chest muscles (pecs).

The actions of pecs you should duplicate in the gym are: horizontal adduction, flexion and adduction of the humerus (there is no need to perform internal rotation). By incorporating exercises that use these actions you will be able to stimulate the maximum number of muscle fibres in your pecs.

The exercises that use these actions include: bench press, incline bench press, dumbell flyes, cable crossover and dips.

Select 3-5 of these exercises and perform 2-4 sets per exercise. I normally suggest performing 4 sets on the first exercise to fully warm up the muscles and then once they are warm simply performing 2 work sets on the other exercises.

I find it is best to use a weight that will have you reach a point of momentary muscular failure somewhere between 8 and 15 reps.

Of course, structure your weekly training sessions so you hit every major muscle group, including legs!

Step 2 involves ensuring you have adequate nutrition. This means following the nutritional recommendations on this site, i.e. 5-6 meals a day, balanced macronutrient ratio for each meal, etc.

However, you will simply need to increase your overall calorie intake slightly in order to provide a mild excess of calories from which to allow your body the extra calories it needs to build muscle.

Make sure you don't skip any meals and consume plenty of protein with every meal.

The final step involves allowing your body an adequate amount of time to rest and recuperate from the training session and then utilise the nutrients from your food to build the muscle.

Many young guys are so keen to build muscle that they often forget about allowing their body adequate time to rest. It is so important that you don't do that. Your body builds muscle during periods of rest not during training sessions!

Well Tea, I hope this information helps you build your chest muscles. Please keep me informed and let me know how you go.

Also, if you have any other questions, please feel free to send them through.

Regards,

Steve.

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Exercises

by Louise Campos
(Albuquerque,NM, USA)

I would like to know what kind of exercises I can do to flatten my stomach and tone down my thighs. I don't have a big stomach. I went from 115 to 130 and I would like to be back at 115 but it seems that no matter what I do I can't lose that little pouch women get.

If I knew what to do and how many times to do them I think I could probably lose it in no time. I don't have work out equipment and I can't afford to go to the gym. I have work out tapes but they don't seem to help. Can you please give me an idea on what I can do here at home.

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Apr 16, 2011
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How to flatten your stomach
by: Steve

Hi Louise,

Great to hear from you and thanks for your question.

There are plenty of things you can do to flatten your stomach and tone down your thighs.

Firstly, I recommend examining your current nutritional habits. This is probably the most important aspect of helping you lose body fat from the areas you mentioned. Here are some quick tips:

- Eat small, frequent meals (5 small meals a day)
- Control your intake of carbs (eat more fruits and vegetables and less refined, grain-based carbs)
- Have a portion of protein with every meal
- Limit your alcohol intake
- Limit your intake of high fat and high sugar foods (save these for your Treat Day)

Next, perform cardio 5-6 days a week. Preferably first thing in the morning before breakfast and after taking a thermogenic fat burner. It doesn't really matter how long you do the cardio for or what type of cardio you do, the most important thing is that you make it a permanent part of your lifestyle.

Finally, there are some great toning exercises you can do at home. Simply read the article titled, 'Workout Routines For Women'.

I hope this helps.

Regards,

Steve.

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HORMONE THERAPY

by Sarah
(Lincolnshire)

Can T3 / T4 thyroid hormones cause impotence?

Many Thanks

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Sep 06, 2011
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Thyroid Hormones
by: Steve

Hi Sarah,

Thanks for your question.

I am not aware of thyroid hormones causing impotence. However, I will do some research and find out for you.

Regards,

Steve.

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lose weight

by PV
(Delhi)

Hi,

My age is 23 and weight is 70kgs. My belly is too heavy and I look like I am pregnant. I feel so ashamed. I want to lose my weight fast but I can't stop eating pranthas. How can i lose weight, at least 20kg. I am able to do anything to lose the weight. Please tell me some tips.

I hope you will help me.

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Dec 27, 2010
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Lots of weight loss options
by: Steve

Hi PV,

Thanks for your question.

There are so many options available for your to lose weight. Consider making changes in the following areas: nutrition, supplementation, resistance exercise and aerobic exercise.

I suggest modifying your current nutritional habits first. You can still have parathas (toasted flat bread, often with garlic butter) but ask yourself, 'how much am I having and do I need to reduce my intake?' I strongly recommend doing so because they are a very concentrated source of carbohydrates.

You may also want to increase your meal frequency, have smaller meals and have protein with each meal.

Exercise is also essential. You may want to consider exercising every morning before breakfast in order to help your body access and burn fat more effectively. Perhaps have a thermogenic or a strong coffee before the exercise session too.

I also strongly recommend having fish oil supplements, a multivitamin and antioxidants every day.

There is plenty of information on this site that can help you achieve your weight-loss goal quickly and easily. Simply spend some time reading the articles and select the principles that suit you and your lifestyle best.

I wish you all the very best with achieving your weight loss goal PV.

Regards,

Steve.

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On presciption weight loss medication and still gaining weight.

by Sandy M
(Plano, TX)

I had lost 92 lbs! Started this on March 31, 2009 and was only 15 lbs away from my goal weight within 18 months. I kept it off for 1 1/2 years. I was living in Arizona at the time.

In May 2012 we moved to Plano, TX, just north of Dallas. Shortly after our move I noticed I was packing the pounds back on, 40 lbs within 2 months! I was NOT happy about this. I travel a lot for work and everytime I leave Texas, I seem to be able to shed a few of those pounds. But, right after I return home I gain them and a few more back!

This has started affecting my mental state of mind. I am more active, not a LOT more, but still more active than I was when I lived in Arizona. What could possibly be causing this? I am 46 years of age, I do take thyroid medication (I have had it rechecked within the past 3 months), I have also had a blood screening for many other medical issues that could possibly be a factor and they all came back to be normal. Any help you may give would be greatly appreciated.

Respectfully submitted,

Sandy M

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