Tag Archives: green tea

The Skinny on Weight Loss Supplements – Which diet pills work?

If you’re like me, then you have tried EVERY diet pill and weight loss supplement in the book!  Some were relatively safe – Apple Cider Vinegar, which tastes horrible.  Some were not so safe – Xenadrine, which made my heart flutter.  Nonetheless, as a fitness and wellness professional, I’ve come to understand which supplements are safe and which ones are risky.  I’ve also learned which ones are effective and which ones are wastes of money.

You’ve probably heard of popular weight loss pills like…popular-diet-pills

  • Hydroxycut
  • Quick Trim (from the Kardashian’s)
  • Xenadrine (popular in the early 2000’s)
  • Stimmurex
  • The list goes on and on…

All of these pills are “thermogenic” compounds. Simply put, they are a combination of basic vitamins and TON of caffeine.  Overall, they try to raise your body temperature.  However, simply being hot (literally) doesn’t make you lose weight.  If it did, people who live in warm climates would be significantly smaller than people who live in cold climates – as a native Texan, let me tell you, that ain’t true!

When caffeine is used in moderation, it can provide you with more energy to workout and, as a result, you may burn more calories and lose weight.  But just taking thermogenic compounds by themselves, without significantly increasing your exercise intensity or daily activity, will not lead to weight loss!  All these pills are going to give you is INSOMNIA!  And guess what, sleep deprivation is a leading cause of weight gain.  So, no need to waste your time or money on any of these thermogenic compunds.

The bottom line is that you should NOT trust all of the claims that weight loss pills make and you should not go BROKE buying supplements. When used effectively (in combination with a healthy diet), vitamins and supplements are a great way to fuel your muscles and replenish your body of essential nutrients.  The most effective supplements can be purchased over the counter at a local drug or nutrition store.  Here’s a list of weight loss supplements that I personally recommend:

Weight Loss Supplements

Also, here’s an informative table that that provides a good overview of popular weight loss supplements, pills and products.

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/weight-loss/HQ01160

Product Claim Effectiveness Side effects
Alli — OTC version of prescription drug orlistat (Xenical) Decreases absorption of dietary fat Effective; but weight loss is even more modest than that with Xenical Loose stools, oily spotting, frequent or hard-to-control bowel movements; reports of rare, but serious liver injury
Bitter orange Increases calories burned Probably ineffective Similar to ephedra: raised blood pressure and heart rate
Chitosan Blocks absorption of dietary fat Probably ineffective Uncommon: upset stomach, nausea, gas, increased stool bulk, constipation
Chromium Decreases appetite and increases calories burned Probably ineffective Uncommon: headache, insomnia, irritability, mood changes, cognitive dysfunction
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) Reduces body fat Possibly effective Upset stomach, nausea, loose stools
Green tea extract Decreases appetite, and increases calorie and fat metabolism Insufficient evidence to evaluate Dizziness, insomnia, agitation, nausea, vomiting, bloating, gas, diarrhea
Guar gum Blocks absorption of dietary fat and increases feeling of fullness Possibly ineffective Abdominal pain, gas, diarrhea
Hoodia Decreases appetite Insufficient evidence to evaluate Insufficient information available

But above all of these, LIQUID GRIT is my highest recommended weight loss supplement! xoxo, Brit

liquidGRIT

Packing the (nutrition) PUNCH

Lindsey KrasnaGuest Post by Linsdsay Krasna, GRIT by Brit Registered Dietician

So I was en route to Brit’s weekly NYC Turbo Kickboxing class Sunday morning… adrenaline pumping (burpeeees here I come!)… when I realized, mid-subway ride, that class was cancelled for Spring Break! Ahh man… what’s gal to do? I decided to take this incident as a sign that perhaps instead of kicking butt today, I should savor the opportunity to “rest butt”…… and put my energy into a long overdue nutrition blog post!

I’ve been taking Brit’s Turbo Kickboxing class for a little over a month now, and if I had to pick one thing that keeps me coming back (besides the exceptionally awesome instructor, of course), it would be the efficiency of this workout. Her class is a high-energy hour-long conglomerate of heart-pumping cardio, leg/arm/core-work, and plyometrics… all choreographed to a kick-a** beat. And the best part is, it’s so fun, you don’t even realize how hard you’re working! (That is, until the next day, when you attempt to get out of bed and your aching shoulders and thighs are cursing you). Seriously though, Brit’s class packs the punch (no pun intended… well, maybe it was intended a little bit).

This got me thinking: how could I encourage readers pack their punch, nutritionally?

And Walla! See below for a few strategies and examples of my favorite food combos that will help you get most bang for your “nutritional buck.” Enjoy!

1. FAT + FRUIT effect

apple and peanut butterCombining mono- & poly-unsaturated fats with fruit (and veggies!) actually helps to boost the absorption of fat soluble vitamins found within in the produce, such as Vitamins A, D, E, and K. Not only that, but the addition of the dietary fat gives a thrill to your taste buds that plain fruit or veggies just can’t do for you alone.

Ideas:

1) apple and peanut butter

2) salad with avocado

3) steamed or baked veggies drizzled with olive oil

4) carrots and hummus dip

2. Two halves DO equal a whole

Brown-Rice-and-BeansShout out to my vegetarians! Getting adequate quality protein can be a challenge for non-meat eaters… but not to worry! Herbivores can still easily meet their protein needs by consuming a combination of two complementary proteins.

Ideas:

1) rice and beans

2) pita and hummus

3) cereal and milk. Additionally, for those down with dairy, low-fat Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are A+ sources of high quality protein.

3. Upping the ante w/ IRON

tomato baked chickenWhen iron-rich foods are eaten with acidic/citrus foods, a synergistic effect occurs in which the body more readily absorbs the iron. Just ask Popeye!

Ideas:

1) spinach salad with strawberries

2) OJ with iron-fortified cereal

3) chicken cooked in tomato sauce

Wednesday “Get Right” Workout

Hey Gang!  As usual, I hope this message finds you joyous and well.  Here is the workout I did this morning before work.  It was efficient and effective.  Try it for yourself and let me know how it goes.  Have a WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY and CHOOSE to have a great day.

Lots of luv,

Brit

Cuttin’ Back on the BOOZE

This weekend I celebrated my 28th birthday!   I’m not gonna lie, I brought in my new year of life with great friends, family AND a few cocktails.   But now, at the start of my 28th year, I’m making a personal commitment to significantly reduce my alcohol consumption.  The time has come to face to the music: when striving to maintain a healthy lifestyle, body weight and overall wellness,  it’s in our best interest to cut down to 1 drink per day for ladies, 2 per day for gents. (This does NOT mean we can save up our daily budget to consume 7 drinks in 1 day). In fact, when looking to drop quick pounds, it’s best to ELIMINATE ALCOHOL ALTOGETHER!

Not only is booze high in calories (most carries 100-300 calories per drink), the real damage happens from the chemical effects that alcohol has on our mind and body. These are the FACTS:

  • Alcohol dehydrates us and consequently slows down our metabolism
  • Alcohol is “empty carbs” – no nutritional value so our bodies are forced to store it as fat
  • Alcohol has a negative impact on athletic performance so we get less out of our workouts
  • Alcohol increases our appetite making us more likely to binge eat

That said, I brainstormed some ways to help me consume less alcohol this year.  Hopefully these tips work for me – see if they work for you.  Enjoy!

5-minute Healthy Breakfast Ideas

The week before last I worked from home – yay!  On Thursday morning, I made and ate breakfast immediately after I woke up.  I was so proud, I took a pic of my breakfast and posted it on Twitter 🙂  This got me thinking, “I’m going to commit to eating breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up for the next 5 days.  Not only that, I’m going to take a picture of my meal and post it on Twitter for accountability.”  Well, turns out that what our parents say is TRUE, breakfast IS the most important meal of the day.  Studies show making breakfast a daily habit can help you lose weight – and keep it off.  Personally, I felt the following changes/benefits that week:

  • I wasn’t starving at lunch which helped me make better food choices
  • My digestion was more “regular” 😉
  • My energy level was higher during the day, especial during my workouts
  • I felt lighter and leaner

Based on my fitness experience and nutrition knowledge, I have created a formula for what I consider to be a complete “GRITTY” breakfast:

GRITTY Breakfast = complex carb (whole grains and/or fruit) + protein + KICK  

FYI – a “KICK” is little bit of caffeine to get my body going full speed. Remember all the benefits of Coffee that we learned about earlier?

Below, are pics of all of  my breakfast meals that week.  All were prepared in less than 5 minutes, making them excellent options for those of you rushing to work in the morning.  Try out the breakfast challenge for yourself.  You may just take on a new healthy habit!

Thursday

Greek yogurt + mixed berries + 1 crumbled crunchy granola bar + hot green tea

Friday

Quaker instant oatmeal + 1 large orange + black coffee

Saturday

1 Van’s whole wheat waffle (comes frozen, just put in toaster) + peanut butter + strawberries + hot green tea

Sunday

2 crunchy granola bars topped w/peanut butter + 1 apple + hot green tea

Monday (up in the air, breakfast at the airport before a 6am flight…the life of a consultant)

2 small apples + 1 small bag of almonds (not pictured) + black coffee

Drinks “weighing” you down?

Brit’s beverage epiphany: About this time last year, I had just finished working out and as I was leaving the gym, as usual, I bought a Gatorade.  For some reason, this day I read the nutrition facts: 200 CALORIES IN 1 BOTTLE?!?!  Geez, I just rode the elliptical for 45 minutes and I burned 450 calories. So drinking this Gatorade basically means I’m going to wipe out almost half of my work out!  From that moment on I decided – “I’m OFF Gatorade, yall can keep those.”  As a matter of fact, I’m done “drinking” calories.  If I have to budget my calories, I’d much rather spend them on eating some good food – AMEN?

The facts: You have to burn 3,500 calories more than you consume to legitimately lose 1 pound.  The drinks on my “BAD LIST” carry anywhere from 90-220 calories, so if you consume about 3 a day, you could pack on an extra 600 calories!  That equals about 1 whole hour of moderate/high intensity cardio at the gym!  Or potentially an extra pound every week,  assuming you don’t burn it off.  Is it really worth it?

Commentary: Below is a list that I put together for myself to help me weed out “bad drinks.”  I kept it realistic and included some alcohol and juice options on the “GOOD LIST” even though they aren’t calorie free.  At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself, “What do I want more, this Dr. Pepper or my long term fitness goals?”  Just making simple adjustments to your daily habits, like committing to only “GOOD LIST” drinks, can help you drop quick pounds.  Try it out and see for yourself  because  you work too hard to let your drinks weigh you down 🙂

2-week plan to nix 10 pounds

I put this plan together to help me get ready for a wedding, during which I wore a very curve hugging bridesmaid dress.  I had great results, so I thought I’d share with you guys.  If you need to lean up really quickly, below is  my official 14 day plan to get it right and tight.  I like it because each element is actually a healthy habit as opposed to starving myself or taking diet pills.  It worked for me, see if it works for you!

EACH DAY DO THE FOLLOWING 5 THINGS: