Lean Weight Loss Science
What’s the Big, Fat Problem?
It should come as no surprise that nearly 3 out of every 4 Americans are overweight or obese (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019). This news isn’t very new. Americans, and much of the developed world, have been overweight for the last 50 years – about 30-35% of us in any given year since the 1960’s. Perhaps even more alarming; obesity and extreme obesity have increased from below 15% to over 40% of the population within the same time period. It’s no wonder so many of us have tried multiple weight loss programs, products, diets and supplements.
Losing body fat is difficult no matter the body composition. For those who are overweight, the abundance of hyperpalatable food, their busy schedules, and a world full of relaxing distractions make it nearly impossible to change to healthy habits. Even if you are already lean, forget the simple “eat less, move more” approach – you can only do so much. Those physiques you look up to on Instagram are doing everything, and we mean everything, to be the best. They have fully optimized diets, exercise plans (paired with a next level work ethic), genetics on their side, red light therapy, cryo chambers, supplements, advanced supplements, and everything else you see on social media in their toolbelt - whether they help much or not.
It's not all about appearances either. Being overweight has over 60 comorbidities, some very concerning, such as heart disease and diabetes, and many others such as depression, infertility, osteoarthritis, and more. Those that become obese earlier in life, before age 40, are expected to live 8 fewer years compared to their non-obese peer (Grover et al., 2015; Ryan & Yockey, 2017). Simply losing some weight helps to reduce comorbidities and to enhance both lifespan and health span.
Fat loss journey is hard, but for the immeasurable health benefits, we must continue our pursuit. One of the main reasons shedding pounds isn’t easy is the redundant, overlapping, and sometimes hard to activate metabolic pathways in our body. Understanding our biology and physiology goes a long way to figuring out the best ways to train, eat, and supplement for a healthier and leaner body that is well within your reach.
Hierarchies in Body Weight Control
Many have at least heard of the documentary, Super Size Me. If you haven’t, spoiler alert, Morgan Spurlock eats McDonald’s uncontrollably for a month and – surprise! – gets fat and unhealthy. However, Morgan didn’t have any rules one might call “healthy.” Of course, McDonald’s isn’t associated with good health, but relative to an otherwise uncontrolled diet with choices driven by taste alone, a controlled diet consisting of only McDonald’s food is relatively better. When limited to 2,000 calories per day, an overweight man can lose weight eating just fast food, as John Cisna did around 2015 and lost 60 pounds over 180 days (Carlton, 2015). This also meant restricting the menu to strategic selections like the salad, yogurt parfait, apple slices, oatmeal, small fries, and only having what the burger chain is known for, e.g., a Big Mac, once per day for dinner.
It's safe to say that’s far from optimal and not an approach we, or really anyone should, recommend. Nonetheless, it highlights the first rule of body weight control – calorie balance. “Calories in, calories out,” or CICO, is a phrase used to represent a basic mathematic approach to weight. If you eat more than you burn, you gain weight, and vice versa. This is very true. Unfortunately, it’s an incredibly oversimplistic view of the bodies intricate details of metabolism. Eating fewer calories (less calories in) also reduces metabolic rate (less calories out). The body likes to have energy, and it will continually adapt to its environment.
One of the more common scenarios in weight loss is the chronic low-calorie dieter. I’m sure most have tried this type of diet before. They are consistently calorie conscious and have restricted calories for many years, even decades. Nonetheless, they haven’t lost any weight, or in most cases, they’ve gained some weight over a prolonged period of time. What they’ve done is slowed their metabolism down to the point their body is unwilling to lose fat, its calorie reserve, because without it, it may literally starve.
Now their calorie intake is low, maybe 1200 calories, but their basal metabolic rate (BMR) has also slowed to 1200 calories and their weight doesn’t change and they trudge on with the frustration, thinking they are doing what they must. In our society, we go out to eat, celebrate holidays over food, and generally show we care by, for example, by sharing treats in the office. On such occasions, calorie restriction is more difficult, and using the prior example, maybe that person eats 2000 calories for a special event. Now they’re in an 800 calorie excess, above their 1200 BMR, and their body has been trained to store every extra calorie it can find. Not a great recipe for weight loss.
Consistently eating more calories will start to accelerate metabolism. Doing so within reason helps “retrain” the body by assuring it that it is okay to let go of that extra energy (fat) because we will be eating enough. What research has found works best, is a high energy flux – both high intake and high output. Or in other words, out exercising an at least adequate calorie intake (Melby et al., 2019).
Other factors include appetite and actual calorie absorption. Augmenting hunger hormones can help reduce desire to eat and the cravings for junk food. Leptin and ghrelin are the two main hunger hormones, and ghrelin is the one that tells our brain we are hungry. Reducing ghrelin can help lessen appetite. If those calories happen to be consumed anyway, absorption can be modified in the gut by some other foods that are relatively common, such as green tea and beans. These have enzyme inhibitors that can slow the breakdown of food into tiny parts that can be absorbed through the intestinal lining and into the body. If we prevent the food from breaking down into the parts, it doesn’t get absorbed, and the calories aren’t utilized. That’s not all, just the act of metabolizing food increases metabolism. Protein digestion is such a thermogenic process that about 20% of the protein calories are burned off just to break it down. This is called the thermic effect of food, or TEF (Ravn et al., 2013).
It's not all about metabolism. The source of calories in our diet is also very relevant. The body prefers to use one substrate at a time, and the two primary energy substrates are glucose (carbohydrate) and fat. High sugar diets make it more difficult to oxidize fat, including the preexisting body fat. Glucose and insulin affect CICO and make the model appropriately more complex. Imagine we have the refrigerator that stores glucose and protein that we can readily access. The freezer is our fat storage. If we consume a diet high in glucose, we will just put food in the fridge during our mealtimes and take out the food from the fridge when we exercise. We never touch the fat in the freezer. Insulin is one of the most important hormones in weight loss, as the presence of insulin (after a carbohydrate-rich meal) is the signal to open the fridge to store food. And once the fridge gets full, you guessed it, the excess gets moved to the freezer as fat. On the converse, we don’t ever open the freezer door to take out the stored fat until insulin levels get low. Essentially, high insulin signals to the body to store energy and low insulin signals the body to burn energy.
AMPK is the broad fridge door opener for pulling calories out, and it is inhibited by high carbohydrate diets (Canbolat & Cakıroglu, 2022). Protein is very satiating, contributing to appetite reduction, and it also increases protein synthesis, a very energy-demanding process. Amino acids from protein induce glucose transporter 4 (GLUT-4) translocation to the cell membrane, increasing glucose clearance from the blood and into metabolically active tissues, such as muscle, where glucose can be burned. For this reason and many more, diets higher in protein and lower in carbohydrate perform best for weight loss. Other strategies which focus on tipping the CICO scale, partitioning nutrients, and activating fat metabolism are also very effective means to accessing the stored fat in the freezer.
LEAN Weight Loss Support
LEAN was formulated to take advantage of important cellular proteins, such as AMPK, and to improve processing of energy nutrients to create and support a higher flux metabolism and continued body fat reduction. By directly and indirectly improving both sides of the caloric balance while also mitigating the effects of dietary sugars and facilitating fat oxidation, LEAN is a comprehensive approach to advance body composition to a new and leaner level.
Chromium is a micronutrient that only need be consumed in very small quantities, measured in micrograms. Those with higher BMI tend to have insufficient chromium levels, and that can be problematic for properly managing dietary carbohydrates. Ensuring that chromium levels are optimized supports chromodulin levels, which promotes proper insulin function and may help decrease the total amount of insulin needed to appropriately manage blood glucose levels (Hua et al., 2012).
Caralluma Fimbriata Stem Extract
Caralluma is a type of edible cactus that grows in India. Tribes would use it to suppress hunger and improve endurance. Daily consumption of Caralluma has shown a subjective reduction in appetite while also decreasing waist circumference (Kuriyan et al., 2007). Caralluma may reduce ghrelin synthesis to aid in hunger control (Astell et al., 2013).
Meratrim is a patented combination of Sphaeranthus indicus flower heads and Garcinia mangostana fruit rinds. Meratrim has been observed to reduce adipogenesis and fatty acid synthesis while increasing AMPK. Over a 16-week supplementation period, study participants consuming Meratrim daily lost an average of 5kg, or 6.7% of their initial body weight. Their weight loss and their waist circumference reduction were significantly greater than the placebo group, along with their gherlin levels (Kudiganti et al., 2016).
InnoSlim is a standardized blend of Radix Astragali and Panax Notoginseng. This herbal combo is also able to stimulate AMPK while activating GLUT-4; one study showed a reduction in blood glucose levels and blood lipid levels following six weeks of InnoSlim supplementation in human participants (Huang et al., 2022).
With coffee and tea as some of the most popular beverages worldwide, we are no strangers to caffeine. Not only does it help us feel energized, but it also contributes to a weight-loss advantaged metabolism by increasing epinephrine (adrenaline). Epinephrine increases BMR and stimulates lipolysis (the release of lipids from body fat storage) (Acheson et al., 1980). Caffeine also increases PDE-4 to support AMPK via an alternative mechanism to Meratrim and other ingredients (Dixon et al., 2011). A high caffeine intake increases thermogenesis and fat oxidation, leading to reduced body weight (Westerterp-Plantenga et al., 2005).
EGCG, epigallocatechin gallate, is the primary antioxidant polyphenol in green tea. Drinking green tea simultaneously with a meal reduces the amount of carbohydrate that is digested and absorbed into the bloodstream by inhibiting the starch-digesting enzyme alpha-amylase (Lochocka et al., 2015). Within green tea, EGCG is the strongest alpha-amylase inhibitor (Yilmazer-Musa et al., 2012). Green tea polyphenols have been shown to work synergistically with caffeine for increasing the TEF for enhanced weight loss (Thielecke et al., 2010; Zheng et al., 2004), and they also may suppress adipogenesis (Kim et al., 2010).
Advantra Z bitter orange extract containing p-synephrine is also synergistic with caffeine. P-synephrine is a beta-adrenergic agonist similar to ephedrine, which when combined with caffeine, works better than either alone for enhancing components of body fat reduction such as lipolysis and metabolic rate (Ratamess et al., 2016; Stohs et al., 2012)
Forskolin is the primary active in Coleus Forskholii. Forskolin increases cAMP by increasing adenosine (Costford et al., 2010; Litosch et al., 1982). It is another ingredient synergistic with caffeine for increasing cAMP. In supplementation trials, Forskolin has shown favorable body composition adaptations compared to placebo while also improving testosterone levels in men (Godard et al., 2005).
Fucoxanthin is a pigment found in brown seaweed. Its metabolites are stored in fat cells and are, therefore, thought to have long lasting effects on uncoupling protein (UCP-1). UCP-1 activation “browns” white fat, and what that really means is fucoxanthin can make fat cells more metabolically active (Maeda et al., 2005). Supplementation with fucoxanthin has translated to enhanced metabolic rate and weight loss (Abidov et al., 2010).
Choose LEAN for A Leaner You
Nobody needs to be a statistic when it comes to body composition. This supplement is meant to augment and boost the healthier dietary and exercise lifestyle changes you adopt. No, it’s not easy, but it’s worth it. LEAN was designed to help your hard work show up in the mirror and on the scale. LEAN works to control hunger cravings and to create a favorable caloric balance by disposing of excess sugars to better maintain a fat-based metabolism. LEAN can be the thing that tips the scale, showing you visible changes in the mirror, to keep you motivated to continue along your weight loss health journey to get to your leaner and healthier self.
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