April 1, 2009
Ben: Welcome to the Ben Greenfield Fitness.com podcast, your free weekly audio exposure to cutting edge fitness, nutrition and wellness information. My name is Ben Greenfield and I’m an exercise physiologist, certified personal trainer and nutritionist. Each week I’ll be bringing you information that goes outside run of the mill exercise and diet advice. So whether you’re an Ironman triathlete or you’re just trying to lose a few pounds, enjoy this week’s podcast episode from www.bengreenfieldfitness.com.
Ben: Hey podcast listeners, do I sound a little bit more distant? A little bit perhaps farther away than I usually sound when I’m recording? That’s probably because my headset once again has broken. I may have to invest in something just a little better than that $40 headset from Best Buy. I’m recording right now while sitting in my closet on my little Mac Book internal microphone because that’s really the only way I have to get this podcast out to you. See the extent that I go to, to actually make this work? So I apologize for any slight drop in quality of the sound. But either way I have a jampacked episode today. So what we’re going to do is we have special announcements, then we’re going to go on to our Listener Q and A. I’ve got a special product review and then we’re going to finish up with what I think is a fantastic talk by a doctor who specializes in nutrition and fat loss. So let’s go ahead and move on to this week’s content from www.bengreenfieldfitness.com.
Drew asks: Ben, this is Drew. I just had a question on cross country. I was just wondering if I want to be – should I be looking to be boosting my testosterone levels or if that’s going to end up hurting me more that way? So thank you.
Ben answers: Great question Drew. Let me start by saying that any type of sports performance is going to require the presence of testosterone to enhance lean muscle, burn fat and put your body in a situation where you have good performance and a strong immune system. So you should never be attempting to reduce testosterone. However I was recently listening in to a lecture that was on something called andropause. I wanted to actually indirectly reference that lecture because Drew’s question made me think of the fact that there are a lot of people who generally over the age of 50 actually are going through this andropause or this decrease in testosterone. And that should be a much more serious concern especially for athletes than trying to reduce testosterone. If you’re running cross country, I would just say make sure you don’t spend a lot of time in the gym because muscle takes a little more energy to cool and they take a little bit more energy to carry around because they’re heavier. However if you’re older and you’re concerned about losing testosterone, you really can’t necessarily stop that natural decline in testosterone after age 50 but what you can do is set up your body to be in a situation where you’re taking away some of the risk factors that occur when that drop in testosterone occurs. Namely when your body quits producing the hormone testosterone, it actually steps up production of one of the things that’s produced by testosterone and that’s called DHT. Now it’s not exactly clear why this body has this response to the drop off – the natural drop off in testosterone – but DHT is what can cause the male prostate to enlarge. So when you get prostate growth, that can eventually lead to something called benign prostate hyperplasia. You may hear about that called BPH and that’s when you get extreme difficulty with urination, erectile dysfunction, all those problems that the aging man would love to avoid. Kind of a double whammy is another hormone that increases with age, called prolactin, can increase the conversion of testosterone to DHT. So for you guys out there, there are some things that you can do nutritionally from a lifestyle perspective to make sure that you put this off for as long as possible and your body is in an ideal state to take care of itself when it does occur. First of all, avoiding high amounts of sugar or stress, caffeine, smoking and alcohol should go without saying. That has a profound effect on health generally but it will also help to maintain testosterone levels and decrease that production of DHT and potential enlargement of the prostate and prostate hyperplasia risk as you age. There are a few nutritional remedies out there. Flower pollen extract is one, and the idea behind this is that can actually increase zinc levels in your prostate and it improves the clearance of this DHT. Vegetables, in particular certain vegetables called phytosteriles – those can reduce the amount of inflammation in your prostate. You turn around your Heinz ketchup bottle and look at the lycopene in that. I wouldn’t recommend drinking the Heinz ketchup bottle, but tomatoes are one of the prime ingredients of that. Those have a really great anti-prostate cancer effect and then one other interesting nutritional supplement that’s called saw palmetto extract. That and flower pollen extract are obviously harder to get your hands on than whole food supplements but those are great in terms of giving you some enzymes responsible or prohibiting enzymes responsible for that DHT production. I personally consume flower pollen extract, saw palmetto extract and zinc almost everyday and especially during periods of time when I’m spending a long time riding a bicycle. And I really don’t have any trouble in terms of a lot of the symptoms of an enlarged prostate or prostate inflammation. So I recommend, if you’re a male, do take care of yourself from that direction. Whether you’re young or old, you want to think preventively. So great question Drew. I know I kind of went off on a side tangent but great question.
Ronnie asks: I’m looking for a good energy drink. I do spinning classes but feel quite tired through the class. I am fit but recently legs struggle a bit during class.
Ben answers: My best piece of advice for you Ronnie is never mask fatigue or mask lack of recovery by just sucking down an energy drink. So number one, you want to take care of your body and I would recommend skipping a workout, getting some sleep over sucking down whatever – Rockstar, Monster or Red Bull and then just getting through the class and basically ignoring that fatigue. Now that being said, if you do have good amounts of sleep and your stress is under control then you can bump up your performance a little bit with energy compounds, most of the ones out there have kind of a common ingredient profile: caffeine, B12, taurine, those types of things. And all of those will give you a little bit more of focus, enhanced performance, some of it can actually speed up the fat burning process. I take one in particular that has another compound called theanine in it because that actually keeps you from getting the energy crash that occurs after you consume a lot of those other energy drinks. And it actually crosses the blood brain barrier and causes a release of dopamine so you fee pretty good as well. That supplement is called Delta E and it’s basically powder that you add to water. That’s what I would basically recommend so number one recommendation is don’t mask fatigue with an energy drink. Number two recommendation is try and get a holistic an energy drink as possible, what I mean by that is don’t suck down a lot of crap in a can – artificial sweeteners, sugar, things of that nature. Try and get just those isolated compounds and you’re looking again – caffeine, B12, and taurine are three of the things that can bump up the energy levels. Then I have a great question from Bob. A little bit more involved. This is the last question.
Bob asks: Ben, I have a couple questions. I am a relatively new triathlete. I do Olympic distance and am also trying to lose about 20 pounds of body fat. Unfortunately, I am unemployed due to the economy and have limited funds. I have been struggling with feeling good on my workouts as well as with weight loss. My questions are: How does stress (such as the mental stress of being unemployed) affect workout and weight loss? And how would you prioritize a limited budget for weight loss/workout? For example will I get my most bang for the buck with supplements and a store bought workout plan, or would I be better off spending all the money on a personal trainer, etc. I know that is vague but would appreciate the guidance.
Ben answers: Let’s go ahead and first of all tackle your initial question which is how does stress affect your workout and weight loss? When a human being is stressed out, they do need to be concerned about weight loss because stress produces a substance called neuropetide-y in your body, and when mice are injected with this, they’ve actually been shown to become obese and metabolisms drop off. The other thing that happens is your appetite literally go out of control. Now the reason for that is that your body has one thing that really helps you control appetite craving. It’s a hormone called grelin. Grelin decreases when you’re stressed out or when you’re low in sleep. And then you have another hormone – I’m sorry, grelin increases so you increase appetite cravings. Another hormone called leptin, that one is responsible for helping you with appetite cravings while leptin actually goes down when you’re stressed out or low in sleep. Cortisol – your body’s stress release fat storage hormone – that one is going to go up. Testosterone – your body’s lean muscle building, fat burning hormone – that one goes down. You lose a little bit of your sensitivity in your brain to something called GABA. GABA produces a couple of chemicals that help you to feel good after you eat mainly dopamine and serotonin. When those are low, you got to eat a lot more to feel better. And so when you’re stressed out, it’s a lot easier to eat junk food. I’m sure some of you have experienced that you do crave some of those foods that aren’t that great for you when you’re stressed out or when you’re on low on sleep. Both of those have the same effect. So I would say that the mental stress such as of being unemployed will affect your workout. It will affect weight loss so one of your first goals should be to try and decrease stress. It’s an interesting cycle because exercise is one of the best ways to get rid of that stress. Yoga, which incidentally I’ll talk about a little bit later on in this podcast, is also great for stress relief as are breathing techniques. Now, in terms of prioritizing a limited budget for weight loss or workout – if you think about most gyms these days. There are many of the kind of small fitness centers. You can get memberships at those for less than a buck a day. So, if you don’t have a gym at home and you like the motivation of going to a gym, having other people there working out – that’s one of the best investments you can make. Most of us can find a way to find a dollar in a day that we can save somewhere whether it be on some type of food or coffee that we’re buying or maybe shopping a little bit for less expensive gasoline, that type of thing – try and free up that dollar a day. A gym is a great investment. Now as far as prioritizing other things for weight loss, ok let’s talk about nutrition supplements. If you are going to buy nutritional supplements, don’t get things that are going to fight against your goal. It’s a pet peeve of mine when I see people walking out of a GNC and they’ve got this big canister full of protein powder or weight loss powder but it’s got artificial sweeteners, colors, preservatives, sugars, all sorts of things in it that actually fight against your fat loss. So if you’re going to use weight loss supplements, make sure they are designed with your health in mind. So that you’re not driving down one aspect of your health while getting fit because eventually that will catch up with you. In terms of a personal trainer, a lot of personal trainers are trained to make you keep coming back for more. Now, you want to be able to use your personal trainer the same way you would for example your physician. Now I would hope your physician would like to heal you, would like to cure you, would like to take care of an illness you come to them with. A personal trainer – same thing. Your personal trainer shouldn’t say ok well you need to come to me in order to exercise. They should provide you with the knowledge that you need to go out and exercise on your own. To go out and eat a healthy diet on your own and then you should be able to use them as a consultant so that you can come back to them say once a month and have your program updated or learn more about nutrition or have them look over your nutrition log, that type of thing. Now I know there’s people out there who have some money to spend on a personal trainer and who like to have a personal trainer there for motivation to just tell them exactly what to do. A lot of us workout better when we have a drill sergeant in our faces. But if you’re on a limited budget, just make sure the personal trainer you choose is the type of person who’s going to treat you more like a physician-patient relationship. They’re literally going to give you information that helps you to cure yourself or to heal yourself and to learn to exercise and eat healthy on your own without having to have your trainer there all the time. So your trainer – if you’re doing something once a month, doing a consult with a trainer for $75 or $100. That’s an investment that will be well worth it in terms of saving money on health insurance, gaining optimal fitness and getting most bang for your buck where you’re working out. In terms of your question about store bought workout plan versus a personal trainer, think about it this way. The best exercise plan is the one that you’re not on. Your body adapts to workouts very quickly so you have to change up your workouts. Most of my clients are changing up their routines about every four weeks. Some of the clients that I work with face to face literally change their routines everyday. So, if you’re going to get a store bought workout plan, don’t spend 39.95 on some book that teaches you some workouts that your body is going to get used to within just a couple of months. What I used to do when I was on a budget for exercise – I would grab 3.99, 4.99 – one of the men’s health magazines or men’s fitness magazines and I would choose a workout from that magazine and I would make that workout part of my plan but just for three to four weeks or conveniently until the next magazine came out, and then I’d start into the next workout plan and through college I was able to stay in very good shape because I was always throwing curveballs at my body, giving it new things to try. So I’d recommend if you’re going to do anything like a store bought workout plan, just get an exercise magazine and believe it or not most of the workouts in there – they’re written by fitness professionals. If a fitness professional is at the level where they’re writing for Men’s Health, a lot of times they are going to have pretty decent advice. Occasionally you’re going to see stuff in there that might be stretching the truth a little bit in terms of the benefit it might give you. But for the most part, you can find a lot of good workouts in that type of literature. Now, I know that you out there in the audience probably have your own thoughts on this and at www.bengreenfieldfitness.com, one of the things that I really noticed lately is that it is a blog and one of the definitions of a blog – one of the characteristics of a blog is you’ve got sections for you to comment in and I would really like you, the audience – if you have feedback for the listeners who write in or call in with their questions, go ahead and log in to the comments page to the podcast. Leave your own feedback. Today I’d like to ask you what do you think? Do you have advice for Bob? How have you maintained a way to exercise on a budget during a recession? Do you have special techniques you’ve used? Special workouts you’ve used? Favorite body weight exercise? Favorite exercises you can do with no equipment? So go ahead and log in to bengreenfieldfitness.com and leave a comment in the shownotes to this podcast. So give Bob some of your advice. And then the other thing is if you have a question for me, you can email me [email protected]. You can call me and leave a voice mail for Ben Greenfield at 8772099439 or you can Skype me with the free Skype software. You simply download that from Skype.com and my username is “pacific fit”. That is in pacific elite fitness. That’s the personal training site that I run. www.pacificfit.net. But my user name for Skype is pacific fit. So, go ahead and leave me a voice mail and once again, this week, the first voice mail that I receive will get a free three month premium subscription to Training Peaks. That’s the world’s top online fitness logging and diet logging software. Check it out. That’s about a $50 value that you get just for calling in with your question. So let’s go ahead and move on to this week’s product review.
Ben: The folks over at Endurance Films recently sent me a copy of Yoga for Endurance Athletes. So I decided to try this out and I’m a little bit wary of yoga because even though it always decreases my injuries and helps me feel great, it de-stresses me – a lot of times I just don’t have time to drive to the gym and do an hour long yoga class. And when I first got this DVD I was like oh man, because it said two hours of yoga moves. But basically when you stick the DVD in, it’s actually really cool because it’s got about 20 different mini yoga routines that you can mix and match. You literally go through with your DVD remote. You check the sections that you want to do. I did a workout and it was IT bands, shoulders, hamstrings and then breathing and you can mix and match a workout that is basically as long as, as hard as or hits the sections of your body that you want to hit in a custom way. My wife and I went in and we did a really quick, really effective 20 minute yoga workout while our kids were taking a nap. We literally just selected the exact parts that we wanted to work by touching them on the DVD menu. Yeah, we did skip that 10 minute laying on the nap drill that comes after yoga. Not that I don’t see benefit in that but sometimes you just don’t have the time and you want to get the stuff that you feel gives you the most bang for your buck. And then it also comes with some pre-designed workouts like strength and balance. And then another really cool one I’m going to be trying out this week before my race is called Focus. And it just literally gives you laser focus. It dials in your breathing, your visualization, everything of that nature. So it’s called yoga for endurance athletes. I’m going to put a link to that in the Shownotes as well as a little video that is kind of like a trailer for the DVD and shows you more about it. But definitely check that out. Surf on over to the Shownotes for this podcast. Click on Yoga for Endurance Athletes. It’s one of the better investments you can make as we go towards what is going to be a heavy training or racing season for a lot of cyclists, marathoners and triathletes out there. So, now, the big moment. We’re going to move on to the lecture on fat loss that I’m really looking forward to getting to.
Dallas Clouatre: To start off, since I’m on the academic side of things, of course I have to start off talking about something difficult. We use a big word – morbidity and mortality. I have to add that I’ve always been favorably impressed by the emphasis on impact on health. Not the purely cosmetic, not what’s the flavor of the month but upon health. And this of course is important in terms of weight loss, weight gain because in fact as you can see on this chart, issues of mortality – if you’re worried about when you’re going to kick the bucket, I’m afraid you’ll certainly speed things along by putting on too much weight. So you’re bound to see a lot of people who need the product. More than half of all adult Americans are in camp to meet it, you’re bound to meet some of them. Now I don’t want to get too technical. But the primary issue for most people with weight gain is what’s called insulin resistance. What happens is once you reach about 15 lbs above your ideal weight, your body’s response to insulin starts declining. Now insulin is the hormone which your body produces in the pancreas which controls blood sugar levels. Of course it does a whole lot more than that. But nevertheless what we usually think about in terms of insulin resistance is well how much insulin does it take to control a given amount of sugar in the blood. You have to control the amount of sugar in the blood. Too much sugar does real nasty things. It thickens your arteries, it makes your blood real sticky. Things like this. So you have to use the insulin – unfortunately, too much insulin has its own downside. Now I don’t want to give you any simplistic notions as to why people gain weight. It used to be – probably everyone in this room can remember what used to be said that well if you just control the fat grams, you control the weight. How many people have heard this? The way you’re going to control your weight is just don’t eat fat. That’s what everyone says right? Now it’s really curious. I’ve always found this a very curious argument given that the percent of calories in the American diet for fat has been declining since 1955. This has been declining on a more or less yearly basis for a very, very long time. And the percentage of adult Americans who are overweight has been going up for a very, very long time. So eating a whole lot of fat may not necessarily be good for you. But it’s probably not the single most important reason why anybody carries weight. In fact, if you go to Europe and you look at the French and the northern Italians, well since about 40% of all calories in their diet comes from fat, and especially the southern French are not noted for carrying a whole lot of weight. They have about 40% of our heart disease rate. It’s not true that merely fat makes you fat. There are a few other things that do it as well. Now some of this data is hard to come by but for the latest year for which I had reliable data – about 1996 – of course all this data starts to trickle in, you’ve got to get it from various sources. So you’re always several years behind. The latest data which seems to be reliable is that we eat 152 lbs of sweeteners per man, woman and child. Let me see, how many days are there in a year? How many pounds? Half a pound of sugar? Per day? So you’re asking how can we actually eat that much sugar? I approached some experts about this and asked well is it really true that we’re eating this much sugar? What’s happening is that we are substituting sugar for starches. So think about the breakfast cereal you eat. You have just enough wheat in your flakes to act as a carrier for the sugar you’re putting on it. So Wheaties, well it should be Sugaries. Because most of this is in fact sugar. We just have enough of these – enough corn, enough rice, enough oats, enough wheat, whatever – to carry the sugar. This is where you get this figure. We’re substituting sugar for everything. Otherwise, how could you possibly eat this much sugar. What you’ll see here is there’s a very close correlation between the increase in sugar consumption especially sugar and soft drinks and weight gain. Now back to our friend insulin. Insulin performs lots and lots of roles in the body. Some of them happen to be in your brain. One of this is the satiety signal. The signal that you’re full. That’s insulin entering the brain and doing certain things. This should happen about 15 minutes after you start eating a meal, you should feel that you’re full. You should start seeing a satiety signal. The problem – when people become insulin resistant, this brain signal takes twice as long to appear. So you don’t know. You don’t get the signal that you’ve eaten enough calories because the signal takes twice as long to start appearing in the brain. We know this because you can do a thermal scan of the brain. You can tell where the blood is starting to hit and how long it takes. You can see what parts of the brain are warmer because there’s more blood flow there and people who are overweight, it takes about twice as long for the parts of the brain that control the satiety to start lighting up the screen. In the meantime, what you’ll find is that insulin is involved of course unfortunately – we talk about – promotes glucose uptake from the blood, well it also promotes glucose uptake by fat cells and storage. Again I don’t think most of you need a refresher course of why having a whole lot of fat in your blood is a bad deal. What has been increasingly found to be the real issue with heart disease is excess insulin reduces the aftermeal clearance of triglycerides. Often times you go to a doctor, someone – 50% of all heart attacks occur in people who don’t have any obvious problem. Well if you test someone right after a meal, you see a problem which is a little bit more obvious. Because insulin changes the clearance of blood fats. Insulin does a whole lot of other things. It inhibits fat from storage. So I like to say if you’re not burning it, you’re wearing it. So if you become insulin resistant – this is a big catch for anyone who is carrying extra pounds, no problem, is you have a lot of insulin out there trying to control your blood sugar levels, well at the same time it’s putting the storage into sugar. It’s also preventing you from getting at fat for fuel. Very major problem. If you don’t burn it, you wear it. So you increase the storage when you consume fats. In fact we can show that if we take something that really stimulates production of insulin, at the same time you have fat in a meal – you increase by 20 to 30% the uptake in storage of that fat. Then it does a whole bunch of other nasty little things, increases the production of insulin in the body. Even alters the structure of artery walls. And those of you who are into anti-aging, it reduces the circulation of certain anti-aging hormones produced by the adrenals. Unfortunately it’s not the case that just reversing insulin resistance is going to solve your problems. The problem is that just reducing insulin resistance – it’s a necessary first step but it doesn’t cause anyone to lose any significant amount of weight. Certainly not in the short term. You have to do a lot of other things which is why the Impax product was designed the way it is. Because you have to do something else. Well what you’ll find is that it’s a trap that we fall into when we want to lose weight so we think it should be easy. We have people saying well 10 lbs in 10 days. You’ve all seen these commercials right? You want to know how to lose 10 lbs in 10 days? I’ll tell you how to do it. 10 lbs in 10 days. You go to the store. You buy a whole lot of cans of vegetable juice and a whole lot of bottles of fruit juice and you live on fruit and vegetable juice for the next 10 days. You’re going to feel terrible but you’re going to lose 10 lbs in 10 days. You may also have a gall bladder problem at the end of this but of course you’ve lost 10 lbs in 10 days and I assure you in the next 30 days, you will have regained all of it back. Probably a little bit more as well. Ok, so losing weight is really easy to do. There is absolutely no mystery. I can give you a half dozen ways to lose weight. Not necessarily all of them ways I’d recommend by the way. Ok, so it’s easy to lose water weight. It’s easy to lose lean tissue. It’s very hard to get rid of fat. But fat is what you want to get rid of. You don’t want to lose lean tissue because the more lean tissue you lose, the harder it’s going to be for you to ever keep trim again. One pound of fat equals approximately 3200 calories. I wish I could tell you that starving yourself for two days and not eating 3200 calories will lose a pound of fat for you, but it doesn’t work that way. And in fact, on certain low calorie diets even at 800 calories a day which I think would be a low calorie diet – 800 calories – that after a period of time, some women were gaining weight at 800 calories a day. You think you’re going to fool your body? Don’t bet on it. Your body is going to protect you from yourself. No matter how foolish what you’re doing, your body is going to step in and protect you from yourself so I don’t advise this as a way of losing weight. Real weight loss means changing your body’s lean to fat ratio and increasing the calories burned in a permanent way. So, this is a short course on how to make a good weight loss product which does not consist of the diet to the stars, does not consist of the juice fasting program – what do they call that? And maybe the European way to do it or something like this. I forget the names. Oh yes, the Hollywood Diet. No. Well I suppose if you want to get into the bikini for something you’re going to do next week, yes it’s something you may consider. But keep in mind that you won’t be able to get into it the week after. I think they call this yo-yo dieting. So, first of all you’re going to have to take care of the insulin response. Because you’re going to have to start dealing with what’s blocking you from burning fat to begin with. So you’re going to have to deal with insulin response at some point. However, you’re also going to have to deal with thermic response to food. You have to increase your thermic response to food. This is important because 10% of all the calories that you burn during the day probably will come if you don’t have an insulin problem, will come from the additional heat produced by the body after meals. As much as 10% of all the calories that you’ve burned during the day should come in response to meat. And the problem here is that people who are overweight typically are not burning that additional 10% of calories which is why of course they’re putting on the weight. You have to deal with your thermic response to food somewhere along the line. Your base metabolic rate is going to have to increase. This simply means the number of calories you burn at rest even when you’re sleeping because most of the calories you’re going to burn are not going to be a response to exercise, most of the calories that you’re going to burn are always going to be in response to just existing. Ok, so if your general energy usage rate is real low, you’re not going to be able to lose weight. You’re going to have to do something to tell your body it’s safe to go burn calories. You got to do something. Fat production and storage has to be inhibited. On the other hand, you have to improve your body’s ability to get release fat. Unfortunately for all of us, as we get older it becomes harder and harder to release fat from storage to burn for fuel. It happens to everyone. Lean tissue has to be protected. Remember it’s easy to lose lean tissue. It’s real easy. It’s real easy to get rid of water. It’s just hard to get rid of fat. Thyroid function has to be improved. Probably there’s at least one or two of you in the audience who has some sort of thyroid problem because of medical reasons and typically what you discover of course is that you start gaining weight thereafter. It’s very common but those of you who’ve gone on weight loss diets – typically every time you’ve gone on a weight loss diet your thyroid function drops down a notch. Then you go through five weight loss diets, you drop down five notches. It’s not hard to predict what a result would be. Of course you have to support your adrenals and you have to support the antioxidant needs of the body because the fat stores most of the toxins of the body. Now, there are a lot of thermogenic products out there. Thermogenic simply means creating energy and typically we’re talking about energy that is produced without you going out and running around the block. We’re talking about the energy produced in response to the meal that you just ate. We’re talking about the energy your body uses up just to keep you on an even keel depending on how many calories you’re eating because your body is the instrument that’s going to regulate all this. You should have to regulate it by having portion control at each meal. Even diabetics can’t follow these portion control rules and it’s a life and death situation for them. Are you really going to weigh out every portion of every item of every meal? Of course not. So you’re going to want something that’s going to increase the energy expenditure of thermogenesis and unfortunately the truth of this is it’s going to take three to four weeks – anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you. Because there’s something called an uncoupling protein. You have to increase the amount of this in the cell. That’s why you weren’t getting the thermogenesis to begin with because you didn’t have enough uncoupling protein in the cell. It’s going to take the body three to four weeks to increase the amount of this protein – this little regulator. You see lots of parts with ephedrine and caffeine for at least the first month. Probably about 80% of all the calories that are restricted there are because of appetite suppression, because you’re whacking the central nervous system. You’re pulling out your nice little sledgehammer and you’re knocking it on the noggin. Kathunk, kathunk. Of course a lot of women in particular can’t take these products because you’re flying higher than a kite where they’re stripping you off the ceiling, something like this. Plus not to mention the fact oh of course you’re losing weight. You can’t sleep at night. Of course you’re losing weight. Can you spell stress? Ok, safe enhancement of thermogenics will show up as weight loss only after about a month. It’s just the way it is. I’m sorry I wish I could tell you it’s instantaneous. We all want instant gratification. Got computers. You click, you jump from page to page. You’ve got your little TV clicker so you can jump from channel to channel to channel. Well unfortunately your body doesn’t work by the same rhythm. And don’t watch the scale. Lean tissue as Brenda demonstrated weighs a whole lot more than does fat. It’s easy to lose water and lean tissue. It’s hard to lose the fat so what you’re going to see – scale watching just makes you nervous.
The chief thermogenic product in Thermofactor is something called Advantra-Z. Advantra-Z is an extract of bitter orange. It increases your body’s ability to release fat from storage and increases the burning of that storage of fat for fuel. It increases thermogenesis. For those of you who are athletes, it improves athletic ability by allowing you to get to your fat stores which after all are virtually unlimited so you can preserve that small amount of glycogen you’ve got in your muscles and liver. So it helps with physical performance. Even on a low calorie diet, which I don’t recommend – nevertheless even a low calorie diet, this Advantra-Z spares lean tissue. And it helps to build muscle. You’re actually weight training because you’re using fat for fuel rather than eating up your muscle tissue for fuel, it means that if you actually weight train you can put on muscle. Just to give you a quick idea of what’s in Advantra-Z – notice, no ephedrine. No ephedrine alkaloids. Exactly. No ephedrine. This is just for the use of those of you who are technically minded, enephrine and methylcharamine, ordinine, octopomine and taramine – a bunch of amino acid type compounds which have little or no effect on the central nervous system. It does exactly what you want. You asked for what’s called a beta 3 receptor and you get thermogenesis. This is where you want to be. This is why you use this in the product.
Now a very short course as to why you don’t want to use the other product. The unmentionable products. You have a bunch of receptors in the body. Some of them are called alpha receptors – constrict your arteries, raise your blood pressure. You have alpha 2 receptors – raise your blood sugar again by restricting the veins and unfortunately you also have this negative effect on releasing fat for fuel. They actually turn off your body’s ability to use fat for fuel. You have beta 1 and 2 receptors which influence cardiac function, your heart function. Again play games with your blood vessels, then you have the beta 3 receptors. 3 being the appropriate number here. Beta 3 receptors which increase your ability to burn fat for fuel and they activate thermogenesis. The problem either with beta 1 and 2, because they appear not to have any negative effect is that if you take something which activates beta 1 and 2, i.e. those unmentionable products – as a feedback cycle you eventually activate alpha 1 and alpha 2. So you want something that as much as humanly possible sticks with the beta 3 and doesn’t mess with these other receptors. So what you have of course is the product – and this is not the only item in your Impax product, by the way, we’ll get to the others. You’ll notice that Advantra-Z simply activates the beta 3. It does not activate the other receptors which is exactly the picture you want to be seeing. Why doesn’t it have the side effects? Well besides not knocking your adrenals — by the way your adrenal glands are just above the kidneys. I remember hearing back from some individuals in Hawaii and Asian medicine knows about this very well, who complained an ephedrine product a few years ago. They complained about ephedrine products… there kidneys seemed to be sore. Well it’s happening, of course. They were doing so much activation of the adrenals that a sensitive individual could actually feel the effect in the kidney region. You don’t want that. You also don’t want to put this in the brain. The nice thing about the beta 3 activation is you don’t have to get inside the brain to do it. Very important, because you get inside the brain, then you have all these problems sleeping at night and so on and so forth. You’re grouchy, your mate doesn’t want to be around you and so forth. Now you may be willing to pay a price to lose some weight but are you willing to pay this high a price? Now of course some real tactical stuff which you just need to see so that you know in fact the research has been done. Those of you who are at the trial group and lost all the fat tissue will recognize why it was working. The bottom line here is respiratory quotient just tells you are you burning carbohydrate for fuel or are you burning fat for fuel? After a meal, you want to be burning more fat for fuel. Because that’s what thermogenesis does. Typically you’re going to take some carbohydrate, you’re going to turn it – you use what’s called brow fat. Brow fat, well it’s a fat, it’s typically turning carbohydrate into a special type of fat and then burning it. What you want is a product that can turn the rest of what’s called the respiratory quotient. Now the bottom line is your Advantra-Z alone. The middle line is a meal and the top line is the meal plus Advantra-Z. Now what you see here is that the Advantra-Z does release fat from storage so you can get at it and it also improves the effect with the meal. Thermic effect of food. Remember 10% of all calories during the day, thermic effect of food. Bottom again is your citrus irrhathyium extract, your middle line is the meal alone and your top line is meal plus Advantra-Z. Ok, so you can see then in fact you’re increasing the percent of calories burned at a meal. You’re improving thermic response to food which is always depressed with weight gain. Your body produces all sorts of hormones in the adrenals and this chart simply shows that with this product, you get an increase in the amount of epinephrine in the blood stream or actually being released in the urine so you know what’s being produced for this effect, and an increase in dopamine. These are hormones your body produces itself. These are regulators your body produces itself in order to get a satiety or to create thermogenesis. So you want something that safely increases these levels without giving you all the side effects, and so when you look at calories burned, the white chart and the white bar is the one you want. This is the effect of a good thermogeneic product. You burn more calories with each meal. That’s why you’re taking it, and for those of you who just can’t resist because I know there are going to be some of you who want to get into the bikini next week, who just can’t resist and insist upon a 1000 calorie a day diet. The day eight, this is a bunch of women who were taking 1000 calorie a day diet. Day eight, that’s the first week. They’ve lost approximately 2 lbs without – this is just on diet alone. Now most of that quite frankly is going to be lean tissue and water. Then they start taking the Advantra-Z product. You notice that you double the amount of weight loss in the second week taking the product. This is on 1000 calories a day. We doubled the amount of weight loss by adding this product in. However, no single product does everything. Certainly not safely. For this reason, Thermofactor, we include a special green tea extract. Typical use for green tea is a first class antioxidant supplement and in Asia is viewed as improving the function of the liver and a blood cleanser. So what does the green tea add to this? Special extract, not just any green tea. You have to have a good powerful extract. You have to have a real extract to do this. But what do you do? You slow the absorption of carbohydrate which you want because carbohydrate remembers you’re insulin resistant. You’re producing too much insulin then you get this cascading effect on the body. You want to slow the absorption of carbohydrate so you even out your requirements for insulin. At the same time you want to increase how much energy you use even at rest. Just taking the green tea extract alone increases your body’s use of calories by about 4% and since it increases this as use of fat, not carbohydrate, it allows you to get leaner at the same time. Just the green tea extract alone would increase your energy expenditure by about 4%. That’s like an additional slice of bread after your evening meal, additional bagel. That’s what we’re talking about. You just got rid of it by taking the green tea extract. You just used up that bagel. Now, the nice thing is that there’s a synergistic effect with the Advantra-Z. It improves thermogenic effect of the other product, of the other compounds in Lean Factor. Finally tea contains an amino acid called L-Theanine which is actually moderately relaxing so it counterbalances. It’s one of the things that if you take the same amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee as you do in a cup of black or green tea, you get wired with the coffee. You may go out and take a nap with the tea. Tea and coffee don’t have the same effect. Same amount of caffeine, not the same effect. This is one of the reasons why. And just a little technical chart so you can see, caffeine is xanthine. Xanthine improves the impact of the Advantra-Z and this is simply a chart that shows you. These are the two nerve endings, nerve releasing, nerve recepting. And there you have it, our friend beta 3 receptor. So you want to increase this.
Now, Thermalfactor has a host of supporting ingredients. It contains amino acid, l-tyracine, which improves appetite suppression, supports adrenal function, supports the production of thyroid hormones. We include chromium to improve insulin binding on its receptor. Chromium isn’t important. It just doesn’t do what all these other ingredients do. We include vanityl sulfate because it has an independent insulin like effect. It doesn’t need insulin for this though, nice thing. Plus it actually has been shown to moderately inhibit the effect of insulin to store calories in fat. You don’t want too much of this. We put the right amount in. We include manganese because it improves thyroid hormone functioning. It also may help improve basal metabolic rate. Again this is the number of calories you burn just existing. And it supports carbohydrate metabolism. So what you have – you have the main character, you might call it the king. Then you have the king’s chief advisor, for example green tea, then you have all the foot soldiers. But even the king needs the foot soldiers. Let’s face it. The king doesn’t do everything. Normally he’s delegating all the time. So we’re going to delegate and so these are the other factors we’re delegating to.
Now along with the Thermofactor, we have Lean Factor. This is to answer a number of issues. One of them is well most people are going to go on a diet, have been there before. Probably why they’re back again. So repeated bouts of low calorie dieting are known to depress thyroid function. You’re going to have to do something to reverse this. Otherwise you’re going to gain the weight back. If you don’t reverse this, you don’t raise the set point of thyroid, you’re going to gain it back. Lean Factor helps correct the thyroid function. As we age the ratio of lean to fat decreases. Again, lean burn calories. Fat stores calorie. Real simple dichotomy. That’s the way it goes. As many of you have discovered that once you reach a certain age, typically somewhere between 40 and 50, you start putting on weight and it’s like there’s nothing you can do to stop it. Well once you cross a certain magic threshold you don’t have enough lean tissue to burn those calories you’re eating any longer. Then you just start putting on the weight. Unfortunately you need to eat a certain number of calories to get enough nutrients in your body. So you want to push back a little that ways so you can eat enough food to get the nutrients you need for good health. You got to eat a certain amount of food just to maintain basic nutrition. Then what Brenda’s so happy about of course is what Lean Factor does is it helps push you back in a direction of having the same ratio of lean to fat as you had in younger years. Now if you want to increase your lean tissue and keep your lean tissue, ultimately you’re going to have to go out and do some additional physical activity. But if you want to get back to that ratio of lean to fat which allows you to stay in equilibrium, Lean Factor helps there. You want to get an equilibrium. I advise going out and doing a little bit of exercise so you can increase the amount of lean tissue but Lean Factor is real good at getting you back to the ratio of where you were before you started putting on weight. And then of course, those of you who do exercise – body builders will love it. Very quickly, your cast of characters – one is called gugolipid – typically in Asia it’s used to control high cholesterol levels, high triglyceride levels. It’s a little gum resin we do a really nice extract of. What does gugolsterone do? Helps increase thyroid function, stimulates your basic metabolism. May prevent reduction of thyroid activity even on a low calorie diet. Helps reduce certain types of inflammation and improves the HDL to LDL ratio. These are all just sort of add ons that go with the weight loss. Another important factor is something called colius forscoli. Unfortunately a rather expensive item. Lots of uses, typically used for certain types of skin problems like eczema or asthma. So for psoriasis, angina, for high blood pressure. Again something that has lots of other effects.
So whereas the product you can go down to your local health food store and buy to raise your blood pressure, well here we have a product that has the same benefits with doing exactly the opposite. So, very nice item. It’s just been very expensive. Getting the right extract until recently has been very, very hard to do. The active ingredient’s called forscolin. This again is a technical explanation I don’t expect anyone here to follow, so what it does is it increases the amount of cyclic AMP. This is the primary regulator for your response to a whole slew of hormones. It’s like all these hormones to activate – your activation signal goes through this one little hole, this one little pin prick. So if cyclic AMP isn’t working right, which elevated insulin levels will interfere with this, it’s like you’re blocking a whole slew of this. You’re blocking thyroid for example. Forscolin protects against many of the effects of excessive metabolic stimulation. It improves the release of storage fat for energy. It helps inhibit the synthesis of new fat and helps to compensate. This is very important because most of the people who are going to be taking this product are obviously going to be more than 35 years old. I’m assuming this is the case. It helps to compensate for age related reductions in your response to fat releasing hormones. Again the thought here is you want to move back to where you were as a younger adult.
So let’s put all this together. No one product does everything. Keep this in mind. Advantra-Z for example does not handle insulin related problems. You need chromium manganese for that. So don’t expect one compound to do everything. So, the Impax products here –Thermofactor, Lean Factor – give you a coordinated system with lasting results. No yo yo rebound. The products are non-stimulating. They don’t affect the central nervous system. What this means is you don’t have to cycle. This doesn’t need cycling. Any ephedrine based product has to be cycled. Real fat loss takes time. Do not expect anything real to occur in less than three to four weeks. It doesn’t mean that you start losing fat. But don’t expect this to show up on your scale in any major way until after three to four weeks. Remember fat doesn’t weigh very much in comparison to muscle. If you’re losing fat but putting on muscle, the needle on the scale isn’t going to budge. Realize that with the product that Impax put together – this product was designed for health first. Give it time to change the fundamental mechanisms in the body. That’s going to take three or four weeks. Burn fat for fuel easily if you have real stable energy. I’ll give you an example of how important this is. You take a person who is lean, have them run a mile. They come back, they don’t want to look at food. You take a person who is 20 lbs overweight and they run a mile, they come back and they’re tired and hungry. Why? Because they couldn’t get at the fat they had stored for fuel. They used up all the glycogen in their system and their brain is screaming at them, eat that donut. Eat that donut. Eat that donut. So the early effect of Thermofactor and Lean Factor will be stabilized energy levels. You’ll have better control over your cravings. But this is only going to show up – you’ll start losing fat as fat right away. But it’s only going to show up in the scale probably three or four weeks down pike. Be prepared for this. We looked at this in terms of health first. Thank you.
Ben: So that’s all the content for this week from Ben Greenfield Fitness.com. I know that Dr. Clouatre talked about a couple of supplements in that lecture. I’ll put a link to a couple of those in the Shownotes to the podcast so you can find out more about those. And then next week, I’m actually going to be doing a little bit of a review of some iPhone fitness apps. I’m just getting my new iPhone tomorrow and I’m going to start right away into finding out how those of you out there with an iPhone can use it to enhance your fitness. So look forward to that next week, and remember if you want to leave our show a ranking in iTunes you can do so by clicking on the link in the Shownotes to the podcast that I’ll put right there at www.bengreenfieldfitness.com. It’s a great way to get the word out about the show. And it does me a huge favor because hey you know what I’m sitting in my closet right now in my bedroom at 11 p.m. giving cutting edge advice out to you. So do me a favor and leave us a ranking. Until next time, this is Ben Greenfield signing out from www.bengreenfieldfitness.com. Have a great and healthy week.
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