Friday, February 17, 2017

This fitness guru recommends a snack that can actually help you lose weight.

I was checking out some fitness tips from Lana Ector, half of the mother-daughter duo responsible for Gymnetics fitness program.  They often coach women who are ready to create physical transformations in their lives.

Their meal recommendations contained commonly known fitness advice like avoiding white carbs, drinking lots of water, etc.  But there was one tip in particular that immediately caught my attention.
For snacks, they suggested that their clients enjoy either fresh fruit, a smoothie, or green tea.  Fresh fruit, I completely understand, but how on earth is green tea considered a snack?

My mind was racing as I tried to make sense of it all.  The very next move I made was to Google the words "green tea + appetite."  The reason why I chose the combination of these two terms is because fundamentally, we snack when we feel the sensation of hunger.  If Lana is suggesting that we drink a cup or two of green tea when hungry, there must be something about it that impacts our appetite.

My suspicions were correct.

Turns out that green tea is rich in a phytonutrient known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).  This wonderful nutrient has the power to reduce our appetites.  In fact, rats injected with EGCG derived from green tea lost their appetites and ate much less food after receiving injections consistently for 7 days.

How does this happen?

Well, EGCG has the ability to activate our leptin hormone.  Leptin is the master hormone responsible for controlling hunger and our ability to feel satisfied.  We want less of it in our bloodstream.  The more EGCG we have, the more our body tends to feel like it's starving thereby causing us to eat more.  Researchers also found that EGCG helped reduce abdominal fat in rats and the fat that lays just below the skin's surface. This sounds like answered prayer if you ask me.
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I track my eating via the MyFitnessPal app.  One thing I noticed after reviewing my entries is that I tend to reach for high calorie or high sugar snacks.  Although the amount of snacking I do has gone down, there's still lots of room for improvement.  I literally told myself the other day that I need to snack on lower calorie foods so I can save those calories for meals.

Days later, I attracted this solution into my life.

The study went on to explain that taking EGCG orally didn't produce the same type of results as when injected.  The reasoning for this could be that the digestion process may interfere with the EGCG absorption.  I take this to mean that green tea could be more effective for us when taken on an empty stomach.  Which is another reason why this might be a great "snack."

I'm not a fan of the taste of traditional green tea but I'll experiment with blending it with bamboo tea and maybe adding a few drops of flavored stevia.  Another option is to opt for matcha green tea (lattes), which I love.  Instead of getting one loaded with sugar from Starbucks, I'll transition to making them at home instead.  At the very least, I can take a green tea extract supplement instead.  Drinking green tea is not guaranteed to make you lose weight unless you're strategic.  Instead of consuming a high-calorie snack, you enjoy a cup a green tea instead.  This could potentially make a huge dent in the number of calories you take in daily which can ultimately impact your weight.

I'm going to fill a couple of my little juice bottles with chilled green tea to have on deck for when the next snack attack hits.






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