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Fat-Fighting Amino Acid

There are a lot of marquee amino acids out there that get star billing for helping you in the gym: beta-alanine, valine, arginine, and of course leucine (the Tom Hardy of leading amino acids). A new supporting actor has burst on the scene lately. A Chinese study found that histidine can help reduce body fat levels. Over 12 weeks, overweight subjects took two grams of histidine after breakfast and another two grams after dinner.
At the end of the trial, the group who consumed the amino acid lost about four and a half pounds of body fat, while the placebo group actually gained two pounds. It seems that histidine improved insulin sensitivity and squelched certain inflammatory agents in the blood. Histidine supplements are inexpensive and easy to find. It is also plentiful in such healthy foods as alfalfa, beets, endive, garlic, radish, spinach, and turnip greens.

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Is Twitter Ruining Your Diet?

Are you tired of the nonstop inspirational messages tossed around on Instagram by social media fitness celebs? Don’t be. There’s a method to their maddening cheerfulness. Scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology claim that they can predict an individual’s weight loss success based on what they post on Twitter. They found that the people who posted the most upbeat and optimistic messages, and stuck mostly to health and fitness topics, were more successful in their fitness goals. C
onversely, those who posted negative or fearful messages were not as successful. They came to their conclusion after reviewing more than two million tweets and more than 100,000 MyFitnessPal entries from close to 700 individuals. The lead researchers believe that modifying social media behavior can be a proactive step to ensure greater success in your fat loss efforts.

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Ditch The Diet Drinks

A strategic use of a diet soda to get you through a sugar craving may keep your diet on-track, but a new research review indicates that diet sodas don’t actually help you lose weight. A collaborative project headed by researchers at the Imperial College London’s School of Public Health found that consuming diet drinks might cause people to eat more calories by stimulating their sweet-sensitive taste buds. (They also found that much of the research showing a link between diet sodas and weight loss was financed by food and beverage companies.)
Many nutrition experts disagree with this finding and believe that zero-calorie beverages can help people manage calorie intake. The bottom line seems to be that they are better than a full-sugar soda, but the smartest plan is to wean yourself off that sugary taste.

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Fat Loss Strategies

There is more than one way to skin a fat cat. A recent study published in the Journal Of Sports Science And Medicine compared a low-carb weight-loss plan versus a traditional “clean eating” strategy. Over 12 weeks, one group ate only 30 gram of carbs a day for the first four weeks and then added an extra 10 grams each week for the next eight weeks. They did not count calories.
The other group stuck to a daily calorie deficit of 30 percent below their maintenance needs. They ate a combination of 15 percent protein, 30 percent fat, and 55 percent carbs. Both groups trained with weight for the entire 12 weeks. At the end of the experiment, the body-fat percentage and waist circumference decreased by similar amounts in both groups. The low-carb group added more muscle while the other group gained more strength. However, neither of those improvements were statistically significant.

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The Right Crash Diet

Ketogenic diets seem to be the new hot thing … again. A form of ultra low-carb dieting (usually fewer than 20 grams a day, or five percent of total calories), ketogenic diets are difficult to maintain, but one recent study shows when they might best be utilized. Information published in the European Review For Medical And Pharmacological Sciences shows that when you have two weeks to lose five pounds, keto is your best bet.
In the experiment, two groups of healthy participants went on a low-calorie diet (about 800 calories a day) for three weeks. One group received only five percent of their calories from carbs, while the other consumed 20 percent of their total calories as carbs. Both groups ate plenty of protein and about 35 to 40 percent fat. At the end of the experiment, the low-carb group has maintained significantly more muscle than the higher-carb group. While ketogenic diets are not recommended for long-term use (they can hamper production of anabolic hormones), they can be your best choice for fast fat loss.

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