3 Ways to Test Your Ketone Levels

how to test your ketone levels

A ketogenic diet can be an immensely powerful tool in boosting mental acuity, losing overall body fat percentage, performing well athletically, and combating diabetes.  One thing that is often overlooked, however, is tracking the levels of ketones in your body.  Keeping tabs on your ketone levels and documenting them is paramount to fully taking advantage of any ketogenic diet, once you’ve entered a state of ketosis.

There are three different types of ketones in the body:

  1. Acetoacetate
  2. Acetone
  3. Beta-Hydroxybutyrates

Ketone bodies are created when your body no longer has as high of insulin levels due to cutting carbohydrates out of a diet, for the most part.  Minimal carbohydrates with an emphasis on complex, slow-digesting carbs is the name of the game while on a ketogenic diet.  As you adapt to the diet, though, your body will begin to use the ketones more effectively, creating inaccurate results on a ketone test.  Initially, though, using ketone tests is effective in ensuring you are in a ketogenic state. Here are the 3 primary ways to test your ketone levels as you are initially entering into ketosis:

1) Urine Strips to Test Ketones

Some of the benefits of using this style of test are how affordable they are, how readily available they are at most local pharmacies, and how effective they can be in measuring ketone levels effectively.  Plus, they are fairly simple and easy to use, you just pee on them.  In the very beginning phases of this diet, the urine strips are the best method to use, and only when your body is processing ketones better does their efficacy fade away. 

2) A Blood Ketone Meter

This method is by far the most accurate and effective method but requires you to sacrifice a minuscule amount of blood to use it.  It is most effective in testing what is known as BHB bodies of ketones.  These ketones are known as the clean, pure, positive energy ketones. 

When thinking about this test, it is very similar to how one would test glucose in a patient suffering from diabetes.  A small prick on your finger, put the droplet of blood on a test strip, then use a device to measure the number of ketones.

This test is not for everyone, however.  If the sight of blood makes you woozy, then I’d advise against it.  Also, this method is fairly expensive, costing anywhere from ten to twenty dollars per test.  This method is the most effective, though, and is not affected by over-hydration the same way urine is. 

3) Breath Testing for Ketone Levels

When your body effectively metabolizes BHB ketone bodies it creates acetate ketone bodies.  While not as direct as the blood meter test, measuring acetate, or acetone, ketones can achieve close results to what your true blood ketone level is.  Breath acetate is measure with a device similar to a Breathalyzer, as seen with law enforcement officers while on a drunk driving call. 

This method is expensive, but you only need to by the ketone breath monitor once and it is reusable, contrary to the other aforementioned methods. 

Exogenous Ketones: Everything You Need to Know

exogenous ketones

Since they hit mainstream media in 2014, exogenous ketones have emerged as one of the most popular nutritional supplements in the market. However, just like any new supplement, there’s plenty of misinformation so it’s a must for you to find reliable data. This article has done much of the legwork for you and goes right to the meat of the matter as it pertains to the definition, types, and benefits of exogenous ketones.

First, Let’s Lay the Definition

Ketones serve as fuel for the mitochondria, a cellular organelle that generates energy for physiologic purposes. Ketones are important because they are the body’s alternative fuel source to glucose.

Exogenous ketones are produced in laboratories and transformed to supplement form for human consumption. In contrast, ketones produced by the liver are more appropriately referred to as endogenous ketones.

There are three ketones that your body synthesizes when you’re on a keto diet: acetone, eacetoacetate, and beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB). The one present in exogenous ketone supplements is BHB.

Exogenous ketone supplements provide the body with an instant supply of ketones, even if you are not in a state of ketosis prior to ingestion. They increase blood ketone levels even in the presence of insulin, a hormone that inhibits ketogenesis.

If you’re new to ketosis and don’t know a lot about it, it is basically a metabolic state wherein your body utilizes ketones instead of glucose for energy.

Types of Exogenous Ketones

Ketone Esters – these refer to the raw ketone (BHB) that is not linked to any other compound. They can be used faster and are potentially more effective in raising blood ketone levels because the body does not need to cleave BHB from other compounds. However, there are some trade-offs. For instance, the taste is almost unbearable and gastric discomfort commonly occurs.

Ketone Salts – this is the type of exogenous ketone wherein the ketone body (usually BHB) is bound to a salt (generally sodium, calcium, potassium or magnesium). Ketone salts don’t increase ketone levels to very high levels but their taste is more manageable and the likelihood of encountering gastric distress is lessened to a greater degree. This is actually the type of exogenous ketone supplement that is recommended by most nutrition experts.

These naturally derived compounds are also sometimes referred to as “BHB Mineral Salts” or “Ketone Mineral Salts.” All commercially available ketone supplements are exclusively made from ketone salts.

MCT (medium chain triglyceride) Oil – this and other medium to smaller chain fats can also be used to raise blood ketone levels, although this is achieved via indirect pathway. While BHB from ketone salts or esters can be readily used for energy, MCTs must be transported to cells to be catabolized. The break down yields ketone bodies as the by-product, and this is the only time when MCT can be utilized for energy.

One of the major drawbacks to using MCT oil is that it does little in increasing blood ketone levels. It is also calorically dense, which means it is not a good option if you wish to burn fat and keep calories low.

Why Use Exogenous Ketones?

There are instances when going on a full keto diet is not realistic. It can be very restrictive and tough for a lot of people to follow. Some may feel low on energy. In these scenarios, it’s good to consider taking exogenous ketones as a means to reaping the benefits of ketosis.

If you’re an athlete, it’s likely that you’ll need carbs to perform at your peak. You will never be able to reap the full benefits of being on a state of nutritional ketosis because you’ll never be completely in such state. You’ll need carbohydrates to power your workout, but at the same time, you may need ketones to sustain prolonged physical exertion. This is where supplementation with exogenous ketones will prove beneficial.

If you happen to be a normal individual who’s following a ketogenic diet, there are often occasions when you eat foods or engage in certain activities that kick you out of ketosis. If you consume too much carbohydrates or proteins, you can take exogenous ketone supplements to quickly get you back into ketosis.

When to Use Exogenous Ketones

Obviously, exogenous ketones are best used in combination with a ketogenic diet to accelerate your body into ketosis and keep it there. But are there other benefits?

Weight Loss / Fat Burning

This is a widely known benefit that a lot of people are after when they consider trying a keto diet. Taking exogenous ketones won’t make your fat stores disappear like magic, but it will certainly get you into ketosis fast. Once you start taking exogenous ketones, your body will adapt and learn that it needs to use ketones for energy. When you’ve already used the exogenous ketones for fuel, your body will look for other sources of ketones. It will then turn to adipose tissue or fat. This is where you get to reduce fat stores and ultimately drop some pounds.

In relation to this, a recent study has shown that the hunger hormone called ghrelin was considerably lower after taking a ketone ester. It was concluded that exogenous ketone supplements also have the ability to delay the onset of hunger and lower your desire to eat.

Get Back Into Ketosis Fast

As previously mentioned, not a lot of people can comply with a strict low carb, high fat diet. If you’ve done ketosis before, you’re aware that when you get kicked out, it could take at least 2-3 days to get back in. Now there is an effective solution! You can take exogenous ketones to ramp your body back into ketosis quickly and effortlessly.

Taking exogenous ketones immediately after a meal tells your body that you prefer using ketones for energy in lieu of carbohydrates. Instead of going on a low carb diet for days, you can just take exogenous ketones to get back into ketosis. This is very convenient because you won’t have to go through the “keto flu” phase where you get to experience all the awful side effects. More about this in the succeeding section…

Avoid the Dreaded “Keto Flu”

When your body makes the shift from using energy from carbs to ketones, you may experience a lot of nasty side effects including bloating, feeling low on energy, irritability, fatigue and headaches. The rationale behind these is that your body is ‘in between’ burning carbohydrates and burning ketones. It has yet to become adept at burning ketones and synthesizing them from your fat stores.

During this stage, you can use exogenous ketones to ease the transition. You are essentially supplying it with an alternative energy source to get rid of all the unpleasant side effects. Without supplementation, your body will struggle in finding an efficient energy source.

Mental Productivity

The brain is protected by a highly selective barrier which filters blood components that can pass through. Since your brain utilizes 25 percent of the energy that your body expends throughout the day, you must see to it that it is adequately fueled. Note that glucose cannot pass directly across the so-called ‘blood-brain barrier.’ This is quite ironic because glucose is the brain’s primary energy substrate. Glucose molecules have to be actively shuttled across the barrier by proteins called GLUT-1.

When you ingest carbohydrates, blood glucose level fluctuates, and so does the amount of energy that can cross the blood brain barrier. This explains the condition known as brain fatigue or mental fog.

You may have noticed feeling mentally foggy after indulging in a meal that’s super rich in carbohydrates. What you experienced is the dip in energy and a plethora of metabolic processes trying to transport glucose throughout your body. An effective way to avoid this is to take exogenous ketones.

Ketones are small enough to readily cross the blood brain barrier. This means you can have a continuous supply of brain energy, with no processing required. If you are not always in a state of nutritional ketosis, you won’t have a constant supply of ketones. This is the time when you can take exogenous ketones to get “on demand” fuel to your brain.

Endurance Exercise

When you subject your body to a higher level of physical performance, it relies on different energy systems with varying types of fuel. If you engage in workouts that require speed, your energy is typically coming from carbohydrates, specifically from glycogen.

However, the amount of stored glycogen that can be used for sudden, explosive movements is limited. Once your body runs out of glycogen, it can either synthesize more or start generating energy from fat. These two processes both rely on using oxygen for energy.

Here’s the catch: if you take exogenous ketones, your body can use it immediately and with lower oxygen utilization to produce energy. This works perfectly if you are doing endurance exercises, where a huge limitation is the amount of oxygen that can be utilized for energy.

Improved Athletic Performance

Exogenous ketone supplementation has been shown to improve energy efficiency and fuel sparing mechanisms. Remember that exogenous ketones can induce acute ketosis that can last for several hours. Moreover, this is possible without the need to deplete muscle glycogen stores. This is important because low muscle glycogen is mostly responsible for impairing physical performance.

The ‘carb-sparing’ effect from exogenous ketones, specifically BHB, inhibits the catabolism of muscle glycogen. This results in lower levels of lactate, a byproduct that is detrimental to physical performance because it causes muscle fatigues and soreness. The bottom line is that the less glycogen you use, the lower your lactate level would be and the longer you can perform at a high level.

Further, if you increase the intensity of your workout, for instance, fat oxidation reaches a certain limit and muscle starts burnings carbs for fuel. However, when taking exogenous ketones, your body won’t make the switch, indicating that ketones are being utilized instead. This is significant because exogenous ketones make your body less reliant on fat for fuel. Note that fat takes longer to process to produce energy than glycogen. This is precisely the reason why fatty acids are not the preferred fuel during intense physical activity. This can be beneficial for keto-adapted athletes engaged in strength training or high-intensity cardiovascular workout.

Future Applications and Research

The current research on exogenous ketones mostly focuses on health benefits and longevity applications. These synthetic compounds are showing a lot of promise with regard to cancer prevention and protecting neural tissue from degradation. The latter has far-reaching implications for the prevention of degenerative brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, epileptic seizures and Parkinson’s disease. Hopefully, future research will also concentrate on diet, weight loss and athletic performance so the full benefits of exogenous ketones can be realized in these fields.

The Ketogenic Diet vs Paleo Diet vs Atkins Diet

keto vs paleo vs atkins

The Keto, Atkins and Paleo diets are often grouped together as the ‘low carb fad diets.’ They have some similarities as well as significant differences. For so many years they have remained at the forefront of diet trends, but is one superior? Is one better suited for your body chemistry? Can you use them as a short-term strategy to kick-start better health and weight loss? In this article, we will delve into each type of diet and see if we can come up with some definitive answers.

The Ketogenic Diet

The keto diet is focused on the concept of ketosis and restricting carbohydrate intake. Out of the three diets covered in this article, it is the most technical but still it has amassed a large following. A lot of people prefer it because of its unconventional approach.

As a mainstream diet therapy, it is aimed primarily towards those who wish to achieve dramatic weight loss. However, it has also been shown to help in improving medical conditions like type 2 diabetes and cognitive ailments like Alzheimer’s. The Keto diet was actually developed in the 1920s to prevent and treat seizures. But today, it is best known as a rapid weight loss and fat burning regimen.

The reason Keto is more effective in promoting accelerated weight loss than most diets is that it prods the body to burn fat more efficiently by entering a state known as nutritional ketosis. It is a metabolic state wherein glucose – your body’s main fuel source – is not readily available for energy. As a result, your body turns to its secondary energy source: fat.

For your body to be able to burn fat instead of glucose, you must reduce the number of carbs you eat down to approximately 5% of your diet. At the same time, you need to increase your fat intake by as much as 70%. The significant lack of carbohydrates will force your body to burn fatty acids as fuel. This explains how rapid weight loss occurs.

Note that your body will burn as much glucose as possible when you’re first switching into a keto diet. It will turn to its glycogen stores and burn all that until it doesn’t have enough fuel from carbohydrates. Eventually, your body kind of starts to learn and switch over to burning fat. That’s when everything sort of accelerates, but during this process a lot of people feel pretty crappy for a few days until their bodies learn to burn ketones. Don’t confuse that initial poor feeling with the thought that the keto diet is not working. That’s to be expected because your body is going through a pretty major shift.

The Good:

  • The high-fat, high-protein foods will make you feel more satisfied.
  • You will lose weight fast, however, the initial loss is mostly water, but keep going and there’s a big payoff.
  • Protein is very limited, so your liver won’t end up processing it.
  • Your good cholesterol level will rise and the bad triglycerides will go down.
  • Your blood pressure will go down as well (but there’s a downside to this – see cons).
  • Some studies showed that the keto diet can improve the condition of women with PCOS (Polycystic ovarian syndrome), improve acne, reduce cholesterol, and decrease seizures in epileptic children.

The Bad:

  • Ketosis can cause the body to catabolize muscle tissue for energy, making the diet inappropriate for those who want to build muscle. 
  • You cannot eat any fruit.
  • The keto flu: as previously mentioned, you may feel grumpy while your body adjusts to using ketones for fuel. (This can last from 2 -14 days).
  • The limited amount of fiber can cause constipation.
  • If you start with normal blood pressure, you need to make sure that it doesn’t go too low. Some nutritionists recommend drinking broth (for sodium) in the afternoon.
  • You need to watch out for dehydration. You may have to take a sodium and potassium supplement.
  • If you’re on medication for diabetes, hypertension, or other medical conditions, it’s advisable to talk to your doctor before trying Keto.
  • You’ll need to buy ketone urine testing strips to ensure that you stay in ketosis.
  • Being in a state of ketosis causes bad breath, and since the stinky odor does not come from your mouth, brushing won’t help.


The Atkins Diet

This is regarded as the granddaddy of the low-carb diets that took the world by storm in the 1970s. By 2004, when it was dubbed as the “Steak and Eggs Diet,” reports claimed that one out of 11 adults was on Atkins. The popularity and the nickname stemmed from the belief that you can eat limitless amounts of fat and protein, and as long as you don’t consume any carb, you’d still lose weight.

Since then, Atkins has evolved, but the concept remained the same: all kinds of carbohydrates cause spikes in blood glucose levels, and such spikes prompt the body to store fat. During the first phase of the diet, you’ll need to restrict your carb intake to just 20 grams. After induction, you will gradually add more fiber and nutrient-rich carbs back in, but only to a certain point. By the end of the diet, your daily carb allowance increases to 100 grams for maintenance. This is too high for you to stay in a consistent state of ketosis.

The Good:

  • Satiety: you won’t get hungry!
  • Eating fat and protein makes you feel more satisfied than indulging on carbs, so at least for the short term, you won’t feel deprived.
  • You’ll lose weight fast, although some of it will be water weight.
  • Atkins is somewhat easier to sustain because you’ll be allowed to gradually add some carbs back in.
  • You can indulge in a variety of snack bars, frozen meals, and shakes, which make compliance more convenient.
  • There’s empirical evidence that Atkins helps improve cholesterol and glucose levels.

The Bad:

  • The initial dramatic weight loss is mostly water, so you can’t expect to keep losing at the same pace, and once you eat carbs again, it will come back on.
  • Consuming too much protein can cause serious liver issues. This may also prevent you from going into ketosis, so you won’t lose weight.
  • Eating very limited amounts of carbs can, at first, make you feel grumpy and lethargic because your brain is taking time to adjust from processing glucose to ketones.
  • The line of foods and snacks that you are allowed to take often contain artificial sweeteners and other processed ingredients.
  • Atkins has gotten a bad rap because it makes it easy for you to pack in the unhealthy fats. It’s up to you to choose healthy fats to incorporate into your diet.


The Paleo Diet

The Paleo diet is probably the easiest of the three to understand. The concept is that our modern diet, which is loaded with refined foods and sugar, causes many diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. The solution? Eat like our Paleolithic ancestors did and discard all processed foods, including dairy. If a certain food item was not available to a caveman 3 million years ago, then it should not be on your plate!

So basically, your diet will consist of meat, fish, eggs, and fresh fruits and vegetables. This is consistent with the notion that such food sources are ideally suited for humans instead of agricultural products and refined foods that came much later in our evolution. Some experts believe that our hunter-gatherer ancestors, in spite of their shorter life expectancy, were actually much healthier than we are. Give it a little thought and you’ll realize that they could very well be right! 

Unlike the Atkins and Keto diets, Paleo doesn’t eliminate all carbohydrates. However, you can’t have grains, legumes, sugar, or dairy. Nutrition scientists actually consider the Paleo as more low-glycemic than low-carb. This is not in line with the traditional dietary advice of the FDA, which recommends that majority of our daily food intake should come in the form of carbs.

The key in the Paleo diet is controlling your sugar cravings by eating maybe one or two apples, and that’s it. You can’t go hog wild and gobble dozens of bananas just to claim Paleo status because that won’t help your waistline. If you’re not sure as to what foodstuffs to avoid while on Paleo, take a look at this guide below:    

The Good:

  • Paleo focuses on the consumption of whole, nutrient-dense foods. You’ll be eating protein, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats (such as those from avocado, seeds and nuts).
  • There is no need to give up sweets, as long as they are natural like honey and maple syrup.
  • You won’t have to deal with counting calories, carb intake, or anything else.
  • It has been shown that low-glycemic diets lower blood sugar and cholesterol while reducing visceral fat.
  • It is higher in fiber and other nutrients than Atkins and Keto.
  • People with gut problems may find that eliminating dairy, wheat, and processed foods also gets rid of digestive discomfort.

The Bad:

  • Paleo is restrictive and hard to implement.
  • You’ll need to shop for ingredients and cook for every meal because it is difficult to eat out while on Paleo.
  • Be prepared to dig deep into your pockets: free-range poultry, grass-fed meats, and organic produce can get expensive.
  • Since there is no dairy, you’ll need to ensure that you’re taking in enough calcium.
  • Weight loss, if any, may be more gradual compared to Atkins and Keto.


Stacking Them Up

Below is a three-way comparison table that you can use as a guide when choosing which diet may be appropriate for you:

Ketogenic Diet

Atkins Diet

Paleo Diet


weight loss

weight loss

better health

Carb strictness








Flu-like side effects




Key benefits

effective fat loss

easier way to ketosis

more food choices

Main drawbacks

strict dietary constraints

not always effective

not focused on weight loss


One of the most significant gains that you’ll make with any of these diets is that you are cutting back on the trans-fats and harmful additives found in processed foods. You are also ridding yourself of your cravings for sugar. Note that it’s going to be tough and you are bound to experience keto flu in the beginning. It’s your body’s way of resisting change, but once it gets used to processing ketones instead of glucose, you’ll feel a lot better – healthier and more energetic.

One way to minimize the effects of the keto flu is to start with Paleo, switch to Atkins and then move to Keto when you are already used to low carbs. This way you can reap the benefits from all three. 



There is really no ‘one size fits all’ diet. Bear in mind that all three of these diet fads are not meant to work for life, and experts advocate Real Food For Real Life because they are well aware that in the long run, most folks will stick to an eating lifestyle that does not restrict what can be consumed, as long as they are doing it correctly. The Keto diet, and even Atkins, can work for you if you wish to lose a lot of weight fast. However, you must be cautious about the potential long-term risks. Paleo seems to be a safer long term eating lifestyle as long as you ingest all the necessary vitamins and minerals. It has also been proven to be effective for short term use, particularly among athletes. For these reasons, the Paleo diet is perhaps the one that is best to maintain on a long-term basis.

An Intermittent Fasting Guide for Women

intermittent fasting for women

Intermittent fasting or ‘IF’ has emerged as a popular method to get lean and lose weight. It has also been reported to boost energy levels, improve cognitive function, and increase motivation and stamina. Some even claim that it can protect against cancer. All these have roused the interest of health buffs and fitness enthusiasts the world over.

Although intermittent fasting does appear to offer some encouraging health benefits, its efficacy seems to be gender dependent. But in general, the effectiveness of IF boils down to human biology. While brief periods of fasting are regarded as safe for most people, the extended fasting times that come with IF can prove detrimental when it comes to a woman’s hormones. They can cause reproductive problems, trigger early menopause and may aggravate pre-existing medical conditions.

In this article, we will discuss the best methods for women so you can reap the positive aspects of IF without jeopardizing your health. Before we delve into the details, let’s take a closer look at what intermittent fasting is all about, how it really works, and the pros and cons of this diet trend.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is a means of managing the timing of food intake to set periods spent in which the body is in a fasting state which prods it to use a different fuel source –  fat. Aside from this, blood glucose levels drop, growth hormone is produced, hunger regulating hormones (i.e. ghrelin and leptin) are normalized, the digestive system gets a rest, and detoxification becomes a focus.

The fasting state means taking a break in between meals. Such break is similar to evenings spent not eating but slightly longer, for instance 7 pm to 11 am instead of 7 pm to 7 am only. This implies that you are going 16 hours with no food in your system. It may seem incredibly difficult to accomplish, especially if you love to eat at night, but consider this: if you normally have dinner at around 7 pm and don’t eat anything till 10 am the following day, you are actually fasting because you’re going 15 hours without food. In essence, simply avoiding late night snack may be all you need to make IF a part of your daily routine.

Note that the type of fasting depends on your body, individual preferences, and what you are trying to achieve. A lot of people just skip breakfast, prolonging the period between dinner and their next meal. Others go for the more extreme challenge involving a multiday experience.

How Intermittent Fasting Works

In order for you to clearly understand the concept and principle behind intermittent fasting, you first need to know the difference between the fed state and the fasted state. When you eat regularly every few hours, you are in a ‘fed’ state, at which time your body is actively digesting, absorbing, and assimilating the nutrients from the food you eat. Note that accelerated fat burning is not the top priority here. Majority of us are in the fed state during the day, aside from the time when we are sleeping. The reason why IF can deliver certain health benefits is that it allows the body to go into the fasted state, which is the time when fat burning can accelerate.

As aforementioned, intermittent fasting means going without food for a period of 12 to 16 hours. This timeframe is referred to as your fasting window, during which you only ingest liquids like water, black coffee, herbal tea or broth. Some experts suggest taking supplements and drinking low-calorie green vegetable juices while fasting to maintain consistent mineral and vitamin intake. Others recommend that only water should be consumed. Just like other topics in the health and fitness realm, the rules surrounding intermittent fasting are quite subjective and will depend on who you ask.

If your fasting period is less than 24 hours, you will have an eating window. This would be the time assigned before you start your fast. For those doing intermittent fasting, the eating window is anywhere between 6 and 12 hours. By far, the most commonly observed fasting times are 12, 14, 16 and 18 hours. For instance, if you will practice a 12-hour fast, your eating window will be 12 hours. You may begin your eating window at 7 in the morning and end at 7 in the evening. You’ll break the fast the following day at 7 am.

While some IF fasting methods appear to be more intense than others (some lasting for more than 48 hours), the real beauty of intermittent fasting lies in the fact that women get to select and experiment with how long they fast. This does not only allow them to dictate how IF can fit in their lifestyle, but they also get to determine the fasting sweet spot that will help them feel best physically.

The Pros and Cons of Intermittent Fasting

A number of medical studies have proven that IF offers the following health benefits:

  • Increases energy
  • Increases lean muscle mass
  • Increases cell stress response which can boost resistance against certain diseases
  • Provides sustainable weight loss
  • Reduces oxidative stress and inflammation
  • Makes the body less insulin resistant and lowers diabetes risk
  • Improves cognitive function, concentration and memory
  • Strengthens the immune system and improves cardiac health
  • Boosts the production of neurotropic growth factor which is a protein that stimulates neuron growth, helping to make you more resistant to neurological stress and thus making you less prone to neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s. 

Now, there’s a flipside to this that must be given serious consideration. Although intermittent fasting does offer certain health benefits, women’s bodies are known to be sensitive to signs of food deprivation, so IF is an entirely different animal. When a woman’s body senses that it’s headed towards starvation, it will automatically speed up the production of leptin and ghrelin – the hunger hormones that tells the body that it is hungry and needs to eat. Moreover, if there’s no ample food, the body will shut down the system that enables women to conceive another human being. This is the body’s innate way of safeguarding a possible pregnancy, even if a woman is not pregnant or attempting to conceive. It is not that you are deliberately imposing starvation upon yourself, but your body does not recognize that and it’s not aware of the difference between intermittent fasting and starvation. This is the reason why it activates a defensive mechanism. Hence, some of the cons owing to hormonal imbalances triggered by IF may lead to the following:

  • Fertility issues
  • Amenorrhea or irregular menstrual periods
  • Shrinking of the ovaries
  • Metabolic stress
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Anxiety and depression

Since the hormones of women are so interconnected, when one is negatively impacted the others are also thrown off balance. It is like a domino effect. As the body’s ‘messengers’ that regulate almost every function – from digestion to energy production and metabolism – you certainly don’t want to disrupt their normal rhythm. Having said all these drawbacks, you may be deterred from practicing intermittent fasting. But you can still do it if you take a more relaxed approach. When done within a shorter timeframe, IF can still help you lose weight and deliver health benefits without causing hormonal imbalance.

Options for Intermittent Fasting

The 5:2 Diet – Also referred to as the “Fast Diet,” it involves restricting calorie intake to 500 calories per day for two days a week while eating normally during the other five days. For instance, you may eat regular meals from Monday to Friday and eat 500 calories per day on Saturday and Sunday. This technique was popularized by Michael Mosley, a British physician and journalist, but there hasn’t been much research to support it. However, since food intake isn’t restricted during the fasting days, it can be an effective means to get used to fasting without shocking your system.

The 16/8 Method – Also known as the ‘lean gains method’, this is the most common type of intermittent fasting. It is a brief IF routine that is specifically used to target lean muscle mass and body fat. In essence, it means eating during a window of 8 hours per day – such as from 10 am to 6 pm – and refraining from eating during the remaining 16 hours. Experts claim that this is an easy diet technique that has helped a lot of women lose weight. Those who have tried 16/8 say they had been more productive during fasting hours because they spent less time stressing over food and more time directing their energy into important tasks throughout the day. Moreover, they didn’t have to restrict themselves to 500 calories, as demanded by other diet regimens, so long as they eat healthily during their 8 hour timeframe.

Alternate-day Fasting (ADF) – As the name suggests, you will fast every other day, but eat anything you want during the non-fasting days. This means you only restrict what you eat half of the time. It is a very effective weight control tool, especially among middle-aged women, and can help in lowering your risk of developing heart disease and type II diabetes. In addition, combining alternate-day fasting with endurance exercise can lead to twice as much weight loss compared to ADF alone and about six times as much weight loss than endurance exercise alone. With regards to diet composition, alternate-day fasting appears to be equally effective whether it is a low-fat or high-fat diet. Finally, studies revealed that a lot of women find ADF much easier to follow than conventional, daily calorie restriction.

Supplements to Take While Fasting

Intermittent fasting is effective, but it is by no means easy. If you’re among those who are trying to adopt this new eating strategy, consider taking supplements to help optimize the results. Here are the top supplements to take for women using IF as part of their diet regimen:

BCAAs: During the fasted state, you can’t take anything with calories. This can be very difficult especially if you are having a bad day and feel craving for food. It can also result in unnecessary muscle breakdown just to support the needs of the body. Branched chain amino acids can resolve both of those concerns. BCAAs will be zero calories and prevent muscle catabolism when consumed. They will also help satiate you till you reach your eating window. 

Multi-Vitamin: It is tough to get three meals during your eating window. The diet makes you restrict calories and this means a restriction of meals. You may miss out on some essential muscle building nutrients. Hence, taking a multi vitamin on a daily basis will be crucial to staying healthy while practicing intermittent fasting.

Pre Workout: If you fast and workout, you will definitely need some supplements to keep you going. You’ll need that extra boost of energy in the gym while you are in a fasted state. You just have to be careful and find a pre-workout supplement that has zero calories. 

Fat Burner: Most women who use intermittent fasting opt to do so to lose weight. The latest studies show that fasting can actually speed up your metabolism by approximately 20 percent. You can take a fat burner if you wish to augment this process and stay energized. It will also keep your energy level high while inducing more fat loss. 

*do not take a fat burner or other stimulants if you choose to do an extended fast


6 Benefits of Taking BCAA Supplements

benefits of bcaa

If you are serious about your fitness and overall health, you have perhaps come across BCAAs – an acronym for branched-chain amino acids. There are a lot of good reasons why BCAAs come up in discussions about building muscle and getting more out of your workouts. In this article we will discuss the benefits and why BCAAs must be a major component of your fitness strategy.

What are BCAAs?

The branched chain amino acid group consists of leucine, isoleucine and valine. They comprise 35 percent of the amino acids that make up skeletal muscles. All three are essential amino acids not synthesized by the body but are needed for survival. This means they must be ingested through diet or by taking supplements. They can be found in protein-rich foods, with high concentrations in beef, chicken, fish, eggs, and whey protein.

BCAA formulas and supplements have been around since 1996, but they have been primarily used for treating liver disorders like cirrhosis and hypoalbuminemia. Today, they are mostly used by athletes and bodybuilders to boost power output and energy levels. While leucine appears to play an essential role in moderating the health benefits of branched-chain amino acids, taking leucine alone is not the most effective way of supplementing BCAAs. Isoleucine and valine are equally important and the most effective supplements in the market today feature a 2:1:1 ratio of leucine to the two other BCAAs.

BCAAs and Muscle Protein Synthesis

One of the primary roles of BCAAs is to induce cellular uptake of amino acids and stimulate protein synthesis. Note that muscle is made of protein so bodybuilders use BCAA supplements to maximize muscle gain from their workout routines. This is typically achieved by combining BCAAs with resistance exercises. The combo triggers the ‘mammalian target of rapamycin’ or mTOR signaling pathway which is crucial in muscle building.

The BCAAs’ protein synthesis stimulating property is also of paramount importance for individuals on a low calorie diet. Those trying to lose weight usually have to deal with loss of muscle mass as well as fat. BCAAs help in preserving muscle when caloric intake is restricted, resulting to more fat being burned and subsequently, a higher lean muscle to fat ratio.

Improved Endurance and Reduced Fatigue

Majority of amino acids can only be metabolized in the liver. BCAAs are an exception because they can be directly metabolized in muscle cells and then used to provide energy. It has been shown by scientific studies that loading up muscles with BCAAs prior to exercise can improve endurance and performance. The possible rationale behind this is that BCAAs increase the amount of fuel that can be converted by muscle cells into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which subsequently provides the needed energy for muscular contractions.

Branched-chain amino acids are also capable of reducing the mental perception of fatigue. BCAAs do this by competing with tryptophan for transport across the blood-brain barrier. Note that tryptophan serves as a precursor of hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) or serotonin, a neurotransmitter that’s responsible for the feeling of tiredness and fatigue. Hence, high levels of BCAAs can lead to less serotonin being synthesized and thus a lower perception of fatigue, which in turn translates into improved endurance during training and fitness workouts.

Prevention of Muscle Loss During Endurance Exercise

Aside from improving endurance, BCAAs have been shown to be effective in preventing muscle loss during long-duration exercise. For instance, it was discovered that trained athletes who engaged in a 24-hour long exercise test that involved 12 cycles of cycling, running and kayaking experienced a considerable amount of muscle protein degradation and exhibited signs of metabolic stress associated with muscular damage. Moreover, there was a significant drop in plasma level concentration of BCAAs through the course of the test, which is associated with muscle loss. Experts suggest that providing simultaneous nutritional support of BCAAs will prevent the breakdown of muscle fibers by increasing the energy-burning pool so amino acids don’t have to be released from muscle tissue.

Decreased Muscle Soreness and DOMS

Multiple studies involving both trained and untrained individuals show that BCAAs are capable of reducing delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) in response to endurance and resistance exercises. As such, BCAAs are now considered as the gem of workout supplements because they allow the body to train more often at higher intensities by reducing post-workout soreness and preserving the integrity of muscle cells.

Increased Testosterone and Decreased Cortisol

Studies have revealed that taking BCAA supplements has a positive effect on the hormone balance in the body. In particular, BCAAs appear to boost the levels of testosterone while concurrently decreasing cortisol levels. This is perfect for those who want to lose weight and build muscle mass. Testosterone stimulates protein production and muscle gain while cortisol serves as the body’s primary response to stress, and one of its major functions is to increase the amount of glucose in the blood. It achieves this by shoring up the level of free amino acids produced by the catabolism of muscle protein. The liver then converts the free amino acids to glucose.

While cortisol plays a crucial role in the body’s ‘flight or fight’ response, its effects are detrimental in the long run. A decreased level of cortisol and an increased level of testosterone lead to the effects that most people want – an increase in muscle mass and the loss of body fat.

Increased Insulin Release

Recent clinical studies have spurred a lot of excitement regarding the potential use of BCAAs in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The metabolic disorder is characterized by insulin resistance, which results in the disruption of the blood glycemic balance. Regulating glucose levels in the blood is one of the main functions of insulin, a hormone secreted by the beta cells of the pancreas. High blood glucose is the stimulus for insulin secretion. There is always a low level of insulin in the blood, but the amount increases as blood glucose rises. Similarly, as the level of blood glucose falls, the amount of insulin secreted by the pancreas goes down. Insulin is very important because it affects the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins. Multiple studies have proven that BCAAs, specifically leucine, prompts the pancreas to produce and release insulin. BCAAs have also been shown to exert a stabilizing effect on blood glucose levels.


Branched-chain amino acids have a lot of known and proven health benefits aside from simply serving as the building blocks of proteins. These amino acids are beneficial to athletes and bodybuilders because they stimulate protein synthesis and prods the body to build muscle tissue. They have the capability to improve endurance during training and exercise. BCAAs are also of utmost importance to those who wish to lose weight because they help in preserving lean muscle while on a calorie restricted diet. Finally, BCAAs help in keeping glucose levels constant and striking a balance between anabolic and catabolic hormones.

L-Arginine vs AKG Supplements

L-arginine vs akg

L-arginine is the natural form of arginine that is found in food, although manufacturers are capable of synthesizing it to produce L-arginine dietary supplements. On the other hand, L-arginine alpha-ketoglutarate or AAKG, is a nonessential amino acid that plays a crucial role in making nitric oxide in the liver. It is also manufactured as a complex dietary supplement containing alpha-ketoglutarate which is a salt derived from glutaric acid.

About L-Arginine

L-Arginine is regarded as a semi-essential amino acid, because while the body normally produces sufficient amounts of it, supplementation is sometimes required. The body uses L-arginine to synthesize proteins, enzymes and biochemicals like creatine. It is also used by cells lining the blood vessels to produce nitric oxide and stimulate vasodilation, thereby increasing blood flow. Although a small quantity of nitric oxide is constantly produced, its levels can rise by as much as a thousand fold in order to boost oxygen and nutrient delivery throughout the body.

About Alpha-Ketoglutarate (AKG)

Alpha-ketoglutarate serves as an intermediate in the citric acid cycle, which is the body’s primary means of producing energy and raw materials. AKG ingested as a supplement enters the citric acid cycle, producing energy or other products like L-glutamine which is a major component of muscles. L-arginine alpha-ketoglutarate or AAKG combines the benefits of both substances. It breaks down in the intestines into AKG and L-arginine and is essentially the same as taking both separately.


Physicians prescribe L-arginine supplements for the treatment of cardiovascular disorders like angina, hypertension and congestive heart failure. It has likewise garnered widespread attention for its use in treating patients suffering from impotence (i.e. erectile dysfunction), cataract, type 2 diabetes and peripheral blood flow problems like intermittent claudication.

AAKG is less commonly used for clinical purposes, as manufacturers prefer to market the supplement to athletes, specifically bodybuilders and weightlifters. AAKG can increase short term nitric oxide levels which results in a muscle growth environment in the body. This is achieved by increasing the rate of blood flow to working muscles, which in turn leads to increased glucose uptake, oxygen and nutrient delivery, power output and muscle velocity. AAKG also amplifies muscle-growth signals for faster gains in lean mass and to accelerate both fast and slow twitch muscle fibers for greater strength and increased endurance.

In addition, L-Arginine prods the production of growth hormone or somatotropin, a chemical produced by the anterior pituitary gland that promotes growth and plays an integral role in metabolism. Growth hormone is popular among athletes because it helps in building lean muscle mass and increasing strength. When used in conjunction with your fitness program, AAKG can support myodilation or the expansion of muscle tissue.

Another benefit of AAKG is its function as a precursor in the production of creatine and glutamine. Daily AAKG supplementation has been shown to increase the creatine and glutamine stores of the body. This may result to improvements in strength, stamina and recovery times. Some athletes take alpha-ketoglutarate to improve peak performance because it helps the liver in breaking down the by-products of muscle exercise like ammonia.


L-arginine is most effective when used to increase the levels of nitric oxide for the treatment of congestive heart failure. Its efficacy is supported by three small double-blind, placebo-controlled studies. As for AAKG, supplementation has been extensively researched in different laboratory settings. A study conducted in 2006 and published in the “Nutrition” journal revealed that trained men taking AAKG managed to increase their one-repetition maximum (1RM) for bench press after two months. However, the validity of the result has been questioned because the men did not show any increases in aerobic capacity and body mass to accompany the reported strength gains.

It may well be that AAKG supplements are more impressive when integrated into an overall amino acid supplement to increase blood flow and help build muscle. What is certain is that there is a significant increase in nitric oxide synthesis whenever arginine is released into the bloodstream. When more nitric oxide is present, enhanced work capacity, extended muscle pumps and improved recovery times are more likely.


There is no standard dose for L-arginine. Studies have utilized various quantities for different conditions. A common dosage is 2 to 3 grams taken three times per day, but higher and lower doses have also been tested. Those with burns, infections, protein malnutrition, rapid growth, and other conditions may require supplemental arginine.

L-Arginine alpha-ketoglutarate supplements are sold in pills, tablets or powder. The recommended dosage is 2 or 3 tablets taken once or twice a day on an empty stomach. Most physicians suggest taking the tablets in the morning and at least half an hour before workouts. In powder form, the recommended dose for AAKG ranges from 1500 to 3500 milligrams. Experts believe that it is more beneficial to mix the powder with creatine-based products.


L-arginine is considered safe to take since it is the natural form of arginine that you can normally obtain in foods like dairy products, meat and poultry. According to experts from New York University, most people can tolerate arginine in doses of up to 20 grams per day. However, L-arginine supplements may stimulate acid production in the stomach, alter potassium levels and interfere with herpes treatment. Moreover, due to potential alterations in blood flow or pressure, it is imperative that you only take L-arginine supplements with your physician’s supervision, especially if you are pregnant or have cardiac, renal or endocrine disorder. Rare but serious side effects that required hospitalization have been reported in a very small number of people. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience allergic reactions, bleeding, persistent headache, or changes in vision.

AAKG supplements are also generally regarded as safe to take, though some have been found to contain additives and contaminants. According to registered dietitian Ellen Coleman, in most cases such contaminants are the consequence of poor manufacturing processes, but there are instances when they are deliberately adulterated with chemicals such as anabolic steroids to boost the performance of the product. Again, it is always advisable to seek your physician’s advice before starting L-arginine and AAKG supplementation.

The Ultimate Cellulite Diet Plan for Women

Many dieters like to oversimplify things into calories in vs calories out. While its true that if you expend more calories than you take in you will lose weight, the type of calories you consume have a MAJOR impact on your overall body composition. If two people of equal body weight both consumed the exact same number of calories per day, one consisting primarily of proteins and healthy fats, and the other consisting primarily of carbohydrates, you would see a very dramatic difference in body composition (and overall health) over time.

A few specific dietary changes can reduce cellulite in many women.  A simple reduction in bad fats and sugars can do wonders for improving body composition and regulating estrogen levels.

Cellulite Diet Plan

Here are a few of your key diet goals when it comes to reducing cellulite:

  • Replace bad fats with good fats, and eliminate trans fat completely.
  • Replaced refined carbohydrates with lean protein and high fiber complex carbohydrates.
  • Drink at least 2 liters of water every day and avoid sugary drinks.
  • Take a multivitamin daily as well as flax or fish oil capsules.

Fast food, canned foods, and refined carbs all load the body with chemicals, trans fat, and sugars that convert to fat, slow down metabolism, and increase water retention which makes cellulite more visible. By removing these foods from your diet and making some simple adjustments (no weight loss required) you will see significant improvements in your body composition and a reduction in cellulite with no exercise required.

Common Misconceptions

All carbohydrates are the same. This is a big one. Just like fats, not all carbs act the same in the body after being consumed. Refined carbohydrates, or “simple” carbs, make up the majority of the carbohydrates in the American diet, and as far as the body is concerned they are equivalent to sugar. They are digested quickly, causing insulin levels to spike up, and provide a fast source of energy, but they quickly convert to body fat after the initial spike because the body has no need for all the extra calories. Some common sources of simple carbs that may surprise you include fruit juice, most bread, white rice, cereals, and potatoes. These carbohydrates provide little nutritional value other than calories.

The next time you go shopping, take a look at the ingredients list in your favorite food products. If you see the words “bleached”, “refined”, or “processed” what you’re really eating is essentially sugar. Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, are digested slowly over time and provide a sustained release of energy without the insulin spike. This is primarily due to the fiber content. Examples of complex carbohydrates include quinoa, brown rice, whole grains, and many green vegetables. Not only do simple carbohydrates lead to increased fat storage, they are also unhealthy for the heart and can lead to diseases like type 2 diabetes.

Eating meat is bad for you. In recent time, eating meat has become demonized for a number of reasons and it is commonly thought that a vegetarian or even vegan diet is a healthier alternative. While it is true that some meats are unhealthy when consumed in large amounts (particularly fatty red meats), protein is an essential part of your diet and most people consume too little in comparison to bread and grains. Protein contains branch chain amino acids, which are the building blocks of just about every part of your body. Your muscles, skin, brain, and even your blood can benefit from a high protein diet.

While there are other sources of protein besides meat, many of them do not contain a full amino acid profile, which means the body cannot fully utilize them for rebuilding muscle and tissue. Some plant-based protein sources have also shown to have negative effects on the body. Soy protein, which is the staple of most vegetarian diets, has shown to cause estrogen imbalance in people who consume too much of it. And as we discussed previously, excess estrogen is one of the primary culprits behind cellulite. A diet high in lean proteins like fish and poultry helps build muscle and keeps you feeling fuller than a diet high in carbohydrates, which leads to lower overall calorie consumption.

Eating fat makes you fat. This is one of the most common dietary myths of all time. While it is true that certain fats are bad for you, there are many types of dietary fat that can improve your heart health, give you sustained energy, and keep your body functioning properly. Your brain, skin, organs, and muscles all need essential fatty acids to perform at their best.

Contrary to popular belief, fat is a great source of energy because the body digests it slowly over time without spiking your insulin the way carbohydrates do. Not only that but including healthy fats in a carb-heavy meal can slow down the digestion of the entire meal, meaning a sustained release of energy with less of it being stored as body fat.

Many of the healthiest societies on earth consume high amounts of fat in comparison to the typical American diet, which is heavy on carbohydrates. This is not to say that consuming excessive amounts of fat is healthy, but research is showing that dietary fat is not what we once thought it was, and that the FDA recommended diet which is composed primarily of grains may be the culprit behind many of America’s obesity and a slew of other health problems.

But which fats are good and which are bad?

Bad Fat vs Good Fat

Fat is as essential to your diet as protein and carbohydrates. Without healthy fats, your body simply can’t function. For example, many vitamins require fat in order to dissolve into your bloodstream and provide nutrients. However, fat is more calorically dense than protein or carbs, and the the excess calories from eating too much fat of any type can lead to weight gain.

All foods and oils contain a mixture of fatty acids, but the predominant type of fat they contain is what makes them “good” or “bad.”

What are Bad Fats?

There are two potential types of bad fats; saturated fat and trans fat. While not all saturated fats are bad, both of these types of fat have potential to harm your heart and both can lead to rapid fat storage in the body. Most of the foods that contain these types of fats are solid at room temperature, such as:

  • processed butter
  • margarine
  • shortening
  • nut oils
  • certain vegetable oils (like canola oil)

Saturated Fat

This type of fat is primarily animal-based and is commonly found in fatty meats and dairy products. Some typical sources of saturated fats include:

  • fatty cuts of beef, pork, and lamb
  • dark chicken meat and poultry skin
  • high-fat dairy foods (whole milk, butter, cheese, sour cream, ice cream)
  • lard

Health experts are still at odds on the health effects of saturated fat, but studies have shown that diets high in saturated fat can increase blood cholesterol levels which increases your risk of heart disease.

Trans Fat

Trans fat is short for “trans fatty acids,” which appear in foods that contain partially hydrogenated oils. These are the worst fats for you and have no nutritional value. They quickly turn into body fat and contribute to heart disease, among many other health problems. You can find trans fat in:

  • fried foods (french fries or any deep-fried fast foods)
  • butter or margarine (stick and tub)
  • vegetable shortening (canola oil is the most “sneaky” offender)
  • baked goods (cookies, cakes, pastries)
  • processed snack foods (crackers, microwave popcorn)

Like saturated fat, trans fat raises bad cholesterol and surpasses good cholesterol. But it also quickly converts into body fat, not unlike refined carbohydrates. Good fats can provide a slow burning, steady source of energy to your body whereas trans fats are quickly turned into excess body fat.

What Are Good Fats?

Monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat are healthy fats that can provide sustained energy to your body over longer periods of time, similar to complex carbohydrates. As a general rule of thumb, healthier fats tend to be liquid when they’re at room temperature.

Monounsaturated Fat

This type of helpful fat is present in a variety of common foods. Research has consistently shown that eating foods that contain monounsaturated fat can decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease and also help reduce your overall body fat percentage. Some of these foods include:

  • nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans)
  • certain oils (olive oil,  peanut oil, soybean oil)
  • natural peanut butter and almond butter*
  • avocado

*Most peanut butters contain partially hydrogenated oils, which are the worst type of fat you can ingest. When shopping for peanut butter (or any other “butter”) keep an eye out for anything hydrogenated.

Polyunsaturated Fat

Plant-based foods and oils are the primary source of this type of fat. Like monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat can decrease your risk of heart disease and are easily used for energy in the body, rather than being stored as excess fat.

A specific type of this fat, called omega-3 fatty acids, have been shown to be particularly beneficial to your heart, skin, and muscles. Omega-3s not only lower your blood pressure, but can improve the function of your heart, organs, muscles, and skin. The following types of fish contain omega-3 fatty acids:

  • salmon
  • herring
  • sardines
  • trout

For those who don’t like fish, you can also find omega-3s in flaxseed, walnuts, or fish oil capsules. In addition to omega-3 fatty acids, you can find polyunsaturated fat in the following foods, which contain omega-6 fatty acids:

  • tofu*
  • roasted soy beans and soy nut butter*
  • walnuts
  • seeds (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds)
  • certain vegetable oils (sesame oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil)
  • soft margarine (some margarines also contain trans fats, however)
  • according to recent research, a diet high in soy proteins can cause an overproduction of estrogen. Therefore, consumption of soy products should be limited. Estrogen imbalance is one of the key contributors to cellulite.

Healthier fats are an important part of your diet, but it’s still crucial to moderate your consumption of them, because all fats are more calorically dense than protein and carbohydrates. Try replacing unhealthy fats with healthy fats whenever possible but don’t take this as a green light to eat as much fat as you like.

Food Substitutions

In today’s fast paced world, we often consume a lot of bad calories without knowing it because convenience foods are usually overly processed. But by making a few simple substitutions to your weekly shopping list, you can make a big difference without much effort and without having to stop eating the foods you love. The goal here is to improve the nutritional value of the foods you’re already eating.

Replace butter with a butter substitute. Butter and margarine are the most common sources of trans fats.  Several decades ago, scientists discovered that if they injected vegetable oil with hydrogen, it would turn solid and stay that way, even at room temperature. Trans fats tend to harden inside your body, where they jam up your arteries, making it difficult for blood and oxygen to circulate. Not only is this dangerous for your heart, but it can also cause skin tissues to weaken, making skin rippling all the more pronounced. Replace butter and margarine with a substitute with no trans fat like Smart Balance or unprocessed grass-fed butter. Believe it or not, grass-fed butter is a good source of fatty acids like CLA. Conjugated linoleum acid actually supports weight loss and is commercially sold as a fat-burning supplement.

Replace sugary drinks with low calorie options.  One of the leading causes of obesity in America and worldwide is sugary drinks like soda, juice, and sports drinks. Has your cellulite gotten progressively worse each passing year? That’s because your body is producing less collagen. This is a natural part of aging and there’s no way to completely reverse the effects, but cutting back on sugar will help A LOT. If you absolutely need a caffeine fix, drink plain black coffee or tea.  But remember, consuming too much caffeine increases the production of cortisol in the body which is one of the hormones that can contribute to cellulite. Try to limit your caffeine intake as best you can. If you absolutely need a soda, drink a diet soda sweetened with Sucralose.

Replace fatty meats with lean meats. A high protein diet is good for your muscles, skin, and hair, but fatty meats like beef and pork are loaded with saturated fats which are bad for the heart. While lean fish and poultry are usually the better choice, there are often alternatives to fatty meats like bacon, sausage, and burgers that taste just as good with far less calories.  For example, replace pork sausage with chicken sausage.  Replace hamburgers with turkey burgers or 95/5 lean beef.  Replace regular bacon with turkey bacon. These replacement foods often taste just as good as the original and won’t slow you down.

Replace processed breads and grains with unprocessed whole grains. If you see the words “bleached,” “refined,” or “enriched” on your bread, pasta, or other grain based products, that means it’s been processed, making it nutritionally equivalent to eating sugar. In general, try to avoid foods that contain white flour. You may not think of things like white bread as an indulgence like you would ice cream or cake, but the body converts refined carbohydrates into sugar and then glucose. This makes it nutritionally equivalent to eating a pile of sugar, a nutrient that damages collagen, making cellulite look far worse than it actually is.

Replace peanut butter with natural peanut butter.  Peanut butter can be a tasty source of good fat and protein.  Unfortunately, most peanut butters are made with partially hydrogenated soybean oil.  Hydrogenated oils contain trans fat and should be avoided whenever possible.  Many other common food products use hydrogenated oils as well.  If you see that on the ingredient list, get rid of it.

Replace canned or packaged meals with fresh, whole foods. A standard serving of deli meat contains almost 1/3 of the daily recommended intake of sodium. Canned foods can be even worse. And processed cheeses often contain nearly half a gram of salt in a quarter-cup serving. So what does this all this have to do with cellulite? High sodium foods like deli meats, bacon and cheeses cause water retention. Retaining water not only makes you look bloated and makes cellulite more visible, but it raises your blood pressure which can cause heart problems.

Replace salad dressings with organic, fat-free options. Most people think salads are good for you, regardless of what you put on top of them. Unfortunately, most salad dressings are made primarily of unhealthy, bad fats and are loaded with calories. Some brands may try to confuse you with the serving size, but rest assured you are consuming way more fat and calories than you thought. Next time you’re shopping for dressings, look for fat-free alternatives or dressings made with pure olive oil.

Avoid fast food completely. Ok, this one isn’t a replacement. Fast foods need to be cut from your diet not just because it causes cellulite, but because is is terrible for your overall health. Fast food restaurants cook their food in unhealthy oils that are loaded with trans and saturated fats and use loads of preservatives to keep food looking “fresh” for long periods of time.  If you have no choice, many chains now offer a low calorie menu. When ordering, be sure to tell them to hold all dressing like mayo and sour cream. This can eliminate hundreds of calories without sacrificing the entire meal.

You can still eat the foods you like in most cases, as long as you make some simple healthy replacements and you will see results.  This program doesn’t even require you to to reduce your calorie intake, but rather your goal should be to make the calories you do consume healthier.  This can greatly improve body your composition, regulate problem hormones, and improve your overall health even if you don’t exercise at all.

Remember, fat isn’t the enemy.  In fact, good fats like Omega 3’s are a more efficient form of energy than carbohydrates.  They are heart healthy and provide sustained energy throughout the day, as compared to simple carbs which are almost immediately stored as body fat after they are consumed.  Again, try not to associate dietary fat with body fat as many people still do these days.

Once you get in the habit of swapping out the bad fats and refined carbohydrates for lean proteins and whole grains, it becomes second nature and you won’t even miss the junk.  You’ll also notice you have a lot more energy, more sex drive in the bedroom, and a leaner, tighter looking body.

10 Foods That Fight Cellulite

Below are the ten best foods you can eat to fight cellulite. These are nutrient packed foods that help rebuild muscle, damaged collagen, and other critical tissues in your body that wear down as we age and make cellulite worse. Add these to your diet and watch your skin glow, your cellulite shrink, and your booty look better than ever.

#1 Lean Fish

Lean fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel have the highest amounts of omega-3 fatty acids you’re going to find and are packed with nutritious protein. If you’re concerned about toxins in fish (particularly mercury), the FDA says up to 12 ounces a week is fine. Some fish contain more toxins than others, so its best to eat a variety and not just tuna. In addition, studies show adding fish to your diet can also help reduce the inflammation associated with psoriasis and even eczema.

#2 Nuts, Grains, and Seeds

A handful of walnuts (~1 ounce) gives you about the same amount of omega-3 as 3.5 ounces of salmon. Flax seeds sprinkled on your meal (or taken as a supplement) also offer a nice supply.

Sunflower seeds are also full of cellulite-busting nutrients including vitamin E, potassium, and zinc. They are a good source of selenium, with one cup providing more than a third of the recommended daily intake. Furthermore, sunflower seeds are a good source of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is crucial for the proper absorption of zinc from the intestines, and also plays  an important role in the metabolism of proteins and helps strengthen and repair connective tissue. However, keep in mind that seeds and nuts are high in calories, so they should be consumed in moderation.

#3 Olive Oil

Your skin needs healthy oils for proper lubrication, and olive oil is one of the healthiest (and tastiest) options. Use olive oil in place of salad dressings, cooking oils, butter, and other fats in your recipes.

#4 Fruit

While all fruits are great for healthy skin, they are also high in sugar so you need to choose wisely. Bananas are one of the foods with the highest potassium-to-sodium ratio, which makes them a good snack for women with cellulite. Sodium increases water retention which causes bloating and raises blood pressure, while potassium has the opposite effect. Furthermore, bananas are known to promote healthy blood flow in the body. Healthy blood circulation ensures that skin cells receive the nutrients they need.

#5 Veggies

Veggies are my favorite source of carbohydrates because they are lower in sugar than fruits and are packed with powerful antioxidants. Generally, you want to go for vegetables with deeper, darker colors as these tend to contain the most nutrients. Dark leafy greens like spinach and kale are must haves.

#6 Whole Grains

While bread, in general, should be avoided when possible, the key here is to replace white flour and other refined baked goods and cereals in your diet with whole grains. Refined carbohydrates are not only nutritionally empty and bad for your heart, they are linked to an inflammatory reaction that can be harmful to skin.

#7 Tea

Be it white, green, or black, studies show the polyphenols found in tea have anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial to skin. One study published in the Archives of Dermatology found drinking 3 cups of tea a day cut eczema symptoms for 54% of those who tried it. Tea is the best replacement for coffee, soda, and other sugary caffeinated drinks because it provides an energy boost without all the negative side effects. Brew a big batch of green tea at the start of the week and throw it in the fridge. Whenever you’re craving a sugary soda or juice, have some tea instead and watch your cellulite melt and your health improve.

#8 Buckwheat

Buckwheat is a slow-burning, easily digestible whole grain that, in addition to being a complete protein, is also rich in B vitamins, lysine, and fiber. B vitamins help convert calories to energy and Lysine is an amino acid that helps repair body tissue and collagen. The next time you’re craving bread, go for one that uses buckwheat flour rather than white flour.

#9 Eggs

Egg whites are an excellent source of lactose-free lean protein and are very low in calories and fat. The egg yolk, on the other hand, is a highly debated nutritional topic because it is high in cholesterol and fat. Today, most nutrition experts agree that egg yolks aren’t nearly as bad as we once thought, because dietary cholesterol has very little influence on your actual cholesterol levels, and the yolks are a highly concentrated source of many important vitamins and minerals, including iron, iodine, zinc, and vitamins A, D, E and B12.

In addition to providing protein and a slew of vitamins and minerals, eggs can help you lose weight. Research conducted at the Rochester Centre for Obesity in America found that eating eggs for breakfast could limit the calorie intake throughout the rest of the day by more than 400 calories. This is because eggs can make you feel full for longer.

#10 Rosemary

Rosemary is a spice that stimulates circulation, making it beneficial in the treatment of cellulite. It also improves the digestion of fats and contains rosmarinic acid, a plant polyphenol that can help protect tissues from free radical damage. In addition, it is a source of ursolic acid, which facilitates collagen and elastin synthesis, strengthens the capillaries, and fights free radical damage. Rosemary can be used to flavor fish, roast meats, or add to sauces.

Sample Cellulite Diet Plan

Below is an example of a day worth of cellulite fighting meals. You’ll notice it is heavy on lean proteins and fiber-rich vegetables and comes out just under 2,000 calories. Your total calorie intake for the day may be higher or lower depending on your current height, weight, body type, etc but the macro ratios (protein/carbohydrates/fat) should remain in this range for best results.

Breakfast: Vegetable Frittata: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 4Â5″ glass or ceramic pie pan with cooking spray. Blend 1/2 cup liquid egg substitute, 2 tablespoons grated carrots, 3/4 cup leftover vegetables (such as broccoli, asparagus, or zucchini), and 2 ounces reduced-fat cheese. Pour mixture into pan and bake until firm, about 20 minutes. 1 slice 100% whole wheat toast with 2 teaspoons jam.

Snack: 1 cup low-sodium V8 juice or green juice

Lunch: Tuna Sandwich: Mix 3 ounces drained water-packed tuna with 1 tablespoon reduced-fat mayonnaise and 2 tablespoons finely chopped celery. Spread on 2 slices 100% whole wheat bread with lettuce and 2 slices tomato.

Snack: 1 cup low fat Greek yogurt

Dinner: 4-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast, roasted Brussels Sprouts and Potatoes: Rub 4 ounces small red potatoes and 1 1/4 cups fresh brussels sprouts with 2 teaspoons olive oil and 1 clove garlic, minced. Bake at 350°F 25 minutes. Glazed Carrots: Combine 1 cup steamed sliced carrots with 1 tablespoon orange juice and 1 teaspoon honey.

Snack: 1/4 cup mixed nuts combined with 2 teaspoons semisweet chocolate chips


NUTRITIONAL INFO: 1,800 cal, 130g pro, 185g carb, 62g fat, 18g sat fat, 34g fiber, 2,000mg sodium

Try to focus on eating 6 smaller meals per day rather than 3 large ones, and include some healthy protein and fiber in each. This will not only keep you feeling full all day, but it will ramp up your metabolism like crazy, helping you burn more calories while at rest. This is a simple way to get rid of excess body fat while rebuilding important muscle and collagen tissues, no exercise required.


In closing… the goal of an anti-cellulite diet is not necessarily to cut calories and try to lose a lot of weight. We simply want to improve the quality of the calories we are consuming so that we can improve muscle tone, regulate problem hormones, and rebuild damaged collagen. A diet higher in lean proteins and good fats will achieve this in short order, but also offers a number of other benefits like healthier blood lipids, more energy, and better skin. Also, try eating 6 smaller meals per day rather than 3 large ones, and include some healthy protein and fiber in each. This will not only keep you feeling full all day, but it will ramp up your metabolism like crazy, helping you burn more calories while at rest. This is a simple way to get rid of excess body fat while rebuilding important muscle and collagen tissues, no exercise required.

The Top 5 Best Streaming Workout Programs for Women

best streaming workout

Fitness classes are quite taxing because they command a lot of personal dedication, but their outcome is absolutely worth their weight in gold. With such classes in high demand, a number of companies are making heaps of money by kicking folks out of bed and making them hit the gym. However, there’s a more practical and more affordable alternative: streaming workout programs from the comfort of your home. If you set aside motivation issues, they are an excellent way to do workouts without going to the gym. As a matter of fact, more and more fitness facilities are jumping on the bandwagon and adopting this concept. You won’t be compromising on quality as some of the experts have provided options to stream their videos at any time. There are lots of free trials too! Below are five of the best streaming workouts that the web has to offer…


1) Tracy Anderson Video Streaming Subscription

tracy anderson video streaming

This one needs little introduction: If you love Gwyneth Paltrow’s amazing physique, you may want to go directly to the source – world renowned multi-platform fitness pioneer and author Tracy Anderson. For years, she has been training Hollywood’s A-listers, but her classes are exclusive, cost prohibitive, and almost impossible for the lay person to get into. The good news is that she has recently started offering a streaming version, which will take you virtually into her training room! Tracy films her Master Class every week so you will get the same routine as what transpires in her studio classes. You can even install the cardio fly floor in your bedroom or garage for the full experience.

Price$90 per month (minimum subscription of 3 months)

Mobile Appnone

Free trialnone

Number of videosthere’s a one-hour long live class every Wednesday


2) Peloton


peloton streamingPeloton is a high-end bicycle manufacturer that now offers live spinning classes straight from its New York City studio. The principle behind the workout is remarkable especially for spin fans: purchase a bike and you’ll be given exclusive access to live and on-demand spin classes taught from the touch screen mounted on your bicycle. As for the pricing, you can download the iOS application and pay $12.99 a month for access, or as aforementioned, purchase a Peloton bike for $2,000 and subscribe for a full-year streaming at $39 a month. Note that the app subscription will not track your ride metrics, but if you can’t afford the bike, it is a cost-effective way to tune into the spinning classes.

Price$39 per month for full streaming; $5.99 per week or $12.99 per month for the app

Mobile AppiOS only

Free trial 14 days for the app

Number of videos3,000+ and live classes


3) Booya Fitness

booya fitness

This is one of the largest streaming workouts available today, and it offers an option for any budget because of its flexible membership schemes. Booya Fitness has collaborations with other fitness programs, like Beyond Barre and David Barton Gym. As such, it features a wide selection of workouts from chair exercises to burlesque dancing to kickboxing. But on the whole, the workouts are classified into four categories including boot camps, cardio, yoga, and strength/toning. Booya has a rotating daily featured video that’s free for all users and subscribers can avail of themed workout plans by shelling out a few more bucks a month.

Price$9.99 a month

Mobile Appnone

Free trial30 days

Number of videos60+


4) FitFusion by Jillian Michaels

fit fusion

FitFusion is perfect if you are a fan of workout celebrities like Tara Stiles, Billy Blanks, and Mike Donavanik. In essence, it’s like the Netflix of fitness videos that brings together more than 20 top trainers in everything from dance to yoga to prenatal workouts. The subscription scheme is quite unique because you can purchase videos outright or opt for a monthly all-access. And if all you want is Jillian’s shred videos, there is a rental and download plan. For a few bucks, you can rent any workout clip and for a few bucks more, you can already download your preferred video.

Price$9.99 a month

Mobile AppAndroid and iOS

Free trial14 days

Number of videos260+


5) Ballet Beautiful

ballet beautiful

The brainchild of Mary Helen Bowers, an American celebrity fitness guru and former New York City Ballet dancer, Ballet Beautiful successfully brings ballet-inspired exercises to the public. It has grown considerably within a short period, which is not surprising at all because Bowers’ physique does the advertising itself. Her streaming workouts are short but potent, covering everything from swan arms to ball exercises in just 20 minutes or less. But what really sets this program apart is its technology: the workouts are interactive since the instructors can view subscribers in their homes via Skype and provide real-time feedback.

Price: $280 a month for the live classes, $39.99 Custom Workout Monthly Subscription or $9.99 for individual streaming videos.

Mobile Appnone

Free trialnone

Number of videos30 prerecorded and two new videos per month

Bowflex TreadClimber TC200 Review

bowflex treadclimber tc200

The Bowflex TreadClimber TC200 is a revolutionary combination of three pieces of cardio equipment with features from a treadmill, an elliptical, and a stair climber. It represents the latest top-of-the-line product in the TreadClimber family and includes a Goal Tracking feature to help set, monitor and achieve your fitness objectives. It is essentially a newer version of the TC20 and an upgraded variant of the TC100. As the premium option in the product range, the Bowflex TC200 is certainly not the cheapest of its kind in the market, but if you’re looking for the best TreadClimber with top-notch features, this is your best bet. It is what you can consider a light commercial grade equipment with high-quality parts, and it is backed by an excellent warranty and guarantee.


Design and Features

The primary objective behind the design of the TreadClimber TC200 is quite simple. Take the finest features from the most effective calorie-burning cardio equipment in the market and combine them into a single piece of innovative machine.

In principle, this is more cost-effective because the TreadClimber is priced roughly the same as a top-rated treadmill or elliptical. The question is, how does it measure up in practice? Bear in mind that it is not an equipment designed for runners. Even though the belts boast a higher top speed than the previous TC100, they are still restricted to 4.5 mph, which is a long way off traditional treadmills with belt speeds of 12 mph and higher.

The TC200 was developed specifically for walking workouts, wherein you can utilize a combination of incline and resistance levels to regulate the intensity of your exercise routine. This makes the TreadClimber perfect for all fitness levels. It allows you to enjoy impressive muscle tone and rapid calorie burn that are normally reserved for runners.

Use the console to control the speed of the belts, anywhere between 0.5 and 4.5 mph. You can also adjust the level of the hydraulic cylinders on both sides of the frame. This will alter the movement of the treadles to which the belts wrap around. In essence, the treadles function in the same manner as the running deck on a treadmill. The primary benefit with the TreadClimber is that tread elevates to meet your foot, thereby providing a lower impact workout similar to elliptical pedaling. This is further supplemented by what Bowflex calls its ‘Easy Step’ Shock system.

This hybrid fitness machine allows you to take short strides that replicate climbing and elliptical training. You can also power walk with a maximum footpath of 58 inches. The stride length changes with the automated incline. The different incline settings make it easy for you to concentrate on toning muscle groups in the lower body like the glutes and calves.

Depending on the angle you choose for your workout, the rate of calorie burn with the TC200 can be up to 2.5 times quicker than it is on a conventional treadmill at the same speed. Built-in customizable programs offer interval training and workouts for distance, time, and calorie goals. In addition, you will receive free access to the four Motion Traxx workouts online. Up to four users can save profiles in the console and workout data can be transferred via Bluetooth to a Bowflex mobile app and then shared with fitness apps.

As for safety, there is a Safety Key port that will protect you in case you lose your balance and fall. One end of the key is attached to your clothing while the other is connected to the console through a short lanyard. The rationale behind such setup is that if you move too far from the console, the Safety Key will detach and the belts will immediately stop moving.


The Good

The Bowflex TreadClimber TC200 is a low-impact alternative to conventional cardio trainers. This three-in-one hybrid fitness equipment can replace a treadmill, elliptical and stair climber- all with higher calorie burn and lower joint impact for comfort, endurance and safety. The TreadClimber lets you reap the benefits of running without exceeding 4.5 mph. It has four built-in programs, four online programs and a coaching technology that provides workout guidelines for optimum results. Wireless telemetry shows heart rate data and a color-coded indicator helps you perform your exercise routine at the best intensity level. The TC200 has been upgraded with Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity for monitoring workout stats. It is a premium fitness machine that is durable, easy to assemble, compact for home use and sold with a three-year warranty and a money-back guarantee. Also commendable are the transport wheels, a built-in USB charging port and water bottle and tablet holder.


The Bad

The BowFlex TreadClimber TC200 is ideal for walking but cannot be used for running because the top speed is only 4.5 mph. Also, some may not take to the split track or treadle design, especially those with smaller physique because the treadles may seem far apart. The TC200 costs more than a high quality elliptical and it has fewer bells and whistles than most treadmills. It is bigger, heavier and costs $1,000 more than the TC100.


The Bottom Line

The Bowflex TreadClimber TC200 is the top-rated model in one of the most advanced and sophisticated product lines to hit the fitness market in a long time. It is a high-quality alternative to treadmills, ellipticals and stair steppers. It is comfortable to use, gentler on the body, effective in blasting calories, and equipped with mobile data sharing and helpful training programs. Its biggest potential downside for shoppers is the MSRP of $3,299, which explains why its predecessor is more popular. However, it fits your budget it is a worthwhile purchase.


6 Stair Climber Benefits You Need to Know

stair climber

The stair climber machine is truly your stairway to a stare-worthy physique. Think of it as a miniature escalator that delivers a low-impact workout but burns tons of calories by engaging the largest muscles in the body. It also strengthens the core and tones the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves.

There’s a variety of exercises that you can perform using this fantastic piece of equipment. To get you going, here are four stair climber workouts:

Single Step, Double Step. Climbing one step at a time works out your quads, which should start to burn after about two minutes. Try to keep your arms by your side to make it more physically challenging. The double step means you’ll skip one step and then alternate legs. This effectively targets your glutes and hamstrings. Do both steps to get a full leg workout. It is recommended to try five sets of alternating between single step and double step for two minutes at a time.

Squats. Stand with your feet approximately shoulder-width apart, then start the stair climber at a slow speed. Squat down then hop onto the next stair. Make sure that you bend your knees when you land. Keep your hands on the siderails to maintain your balance.

Leg Lifts. Kick your right leg back and hold for one second. Step up one step and then alternate legs, this time kicking back and stepping up with the left. Keep your leg straight and don’t arch your back.

Crossover Steps. Step up with your right foot and place it on the next step where your left foot would normally land. Next, step up with your left foot and place it on the next step where your right foot would normally land. The idea is to move laterally, crossing one leg over the other as you climb to the next step. This exercise is great for toning your butt.

Once you have mastered the machine and wish to try a more advanced workout, you can try climbing while holding dumbbells. Always remember to keep your back straight, look straight ahead, and only use the handrails to maintain balance, not to take any weight off your legs.

Now that you’re familiar with the stair climber and its uses, let’s get to the meat of the matter: the benefits of using stair climbers.


Cardiovascular Conditioning

Climbing stairs increases heart rate and breathing, thereby accelerating oxygen uptake of the working muscles. If you perform stair climbing on a regular basis, it can decrease the time it takes for oxygenated blood to reach the working muscles, improving your cardiovascular endurance. This will ultimately improve your overall ability to sustain extended periods of daily activities.

In addition, stair climbing can significantly improve VO2 Max which pertains to the maximum amount of oxygen that your body can utilize during aerobic workout. Note that oxygen intake is the most important limiting factor in exercise. The more oxygen you can take in, the longer you’ll be able to exercise. When you use the stair climber, your heart and lungs need to work hard in order to supply the oxygen that the body needs to sustain your workout. So the more you push into the training zone, you’ll achieve greater improvement in your VO2 Max and cardiovascular endurance.


Low Impact and Versatile

Stair climbers offer an easy and low impact exercise that is gentle on your back, knees, and ankles. Stair climbing is an effective technique of exercising for individuals who are pregnant, overweight, dealing with injury or just commencing an exercise program. Even though the activity is low impact, you don’t have to sacrifice intensity. The stair climber’s versatility allows even fitness enthusiasts to integrate the workout to their fitness level without any serious pounding on the joints. Most motorized stair climbers come with various workout programs like aerobic training, interval training, sprints, and hills to optimize the workout and keep you motivated. The machine is also ideal for incorporating into a circuit workout. Use it in conjunction with other cardio equipment to give yourself a full-body exercise.


Muscle Conditioning

Stair climbers are great for providing resistance to the abdominals, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves enabling you to sculpt your lower body. Motorized stair climbers will also allow you to control the resistance of the movement. It is recommended to choose a stair climber with independent pedal action that forces you to push down and then raise the leg, thereby activating both the front and back side. You are essentially targeting the lower body with rapid repetition and variable resistance style of training that moves the legs through a full range of motion. Moreover, stair climbing concentrates on areas where women tend to accumulate fat. Using the stair climber allows you to work every major muscle of your legs about 120 times a minute. This means you are performing mega high repetition sets, which is a very effective way to gain lean and fat-free muscle.


Core Strengthening

When you’re using a stair climber, the steps just keep coming at you, so after a while you’ll likely feel like slouching over to have a break. However, if you stay upright with your core engaged, you are effectively strengthening your abdominals and muscles of the lower back. The hip action involved is also engaging the intercostals and external obliques. This all adds up to an effective core exercise while you are working the rest of the body.


Weight Loss

Stair climbers are effective calorie burners and they are reportedly four times more efficient than the conventional treadmill. The number of calories that you can burn actually depends on your weight. The heavier you are, the more calories you’ll burn because your body is moving against higher resistance with every step. For example, a 68 kg person will burn 91 calories in 10 minutes, while a person weighing 81 kg will churn through 109 calories during the same period.

An hour of working out on the stair climber will allow a 68 kg person to burn 546 calories. It has been found that in order to lose a pound of fat, a deficit of 7,000 calories is required. This means that a daily workout for an hour will make that person lose half a pound of body fat per week.

Stair climbers also train the larger muscles of the body which helps increase your resting metabolic rate over time. The resistance increases lean muscle tissue, thereby raising the number of calories you burn at rest. Moreover, stair climbers increase the number of mitochondria within cells. This is important because, these “powerhouses of the cell” contain all the enzymes involved in aerobic energy production and controlling fat burning at rest.



There is only a handful of cardiovascular exercise equipment that can match the multiple benefits offered by stair climbers. From boosting your VO2 Max to strengthening muscle to losing weight, stair climbers do it all. So if you haven’t added this amazing piece of fitness machine into your exercise regimen, it’s about time to step up to the stair climber challenge!