Category: Body Fat

09 Mar 2016

3 Nutrition Scams And How to Avoid Them

Written by Daniel Carter

Thermogenic fat burners

Heat is one of the main contributing factors to metabolism. When you exercise, you naturally increase your body’s core temperature, thus boosting your metabolism naturally. Thermogenic fat burners purportedly cause your body temperature to increase in a similar fashion, whether or not you are exercising.

Find out the real truth about fat burning supplements before you spend a lot of money and time, which could be a waste.

The problem is that fat burners and other similar supplements will not get you anywhere if you are completely dependent on them. Regular daily nutrition habits and exercise is the biggest part of the battle. Decreasing the daily calorie intake along with regular exercise is the biggest part of fighting fat. Fat burner side effects enhance the results as a supplement. In other words, don’t eat like a sumo wrestler, and then take a fat loss supplement expecting it to cancel it out. It doesn’t work that way.

Most fat burners are supplements that usually contain different ratios of the same substances like caffeine, B vitamins, chromium, L-carnitine, and guggulsterone. They work similar to an energy drink to get you up and motivated to go to the gym and workout, which is the main thing that will help you lose that unwanted fat in the first place.

You have to work hard in the gym and eat nutritious low calorie foods to lose bad weight. If you use trustworthy fat burners properly, in conjunction with a caloric deficit and effective evidence-based exercise program, then you may be able to speed up the process. Different fat burners have different side effects and people may have different reactions. You must be very careful.


A cheap way to get fat burners into your system is through real foods. This way you’re not breaking the bank, and you also know exactly what you are putting into your body. Here are 5 fat burning substances that you should add to your diet:

  • Many people get their caffeine by throwing back a cup of coffee in the morning, or 7. It can also be found in green tea, and other teas. Either way, it’s a great way to get your metabolism jump started. Not to mention it will give you the energy to get to the gym or anywhere else you want to go to get a great workout. Studies have also shown that people who have taken caffeine before working out have oxidized fat a lot better than people who have not. That means that caffeine can help make your body use fat as an energy source before the glycogen stores in your muscles. Be careful because caffeine has a tendency to make you excrete more body fluids, so make sure you keep yourself hydrated well. If you take too much it can also make you jittery, sluggish, and even hinder recovery from your workouts.
  • Fibre can be found in many different plant foods like fruits and vegetables and grains. There is no fibre in meat. On average people in the U.S consume about 12g per day but 20-35g are recommended. Fibre rich foods will help keep you feeling fuller over a longer period of time, so you are less likely to snack on bad foods. It will also force your body to excrete waste from your intestines quicker so there is less time for your body to digest unwanted calories and fats. Fibre also can help control blood glucose, insulin, and cholesterol levels.  The best way to take in fibre is through real food. Fibre supplements are not as effective. Be careful when increasing your daily fibre intake. Start off slow to let your stomach and intestines get used to it. If you go too fast you can get cramps, bloating and gas.
  • Grapefruit, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper all have a component that can classify them as insulin managers. They have been shown to decrease insulin and blood sugar levels in the body by increasing glucose metabolism. Because these foods have properties that act like insulin, your body makes less and has a higher sensitivity. It is important to keep a high sensitivity to insulin to metabolize blood sugars efficiently. Extra blood sugars that are not used for energy are stored as fat in the body. Insulin managing foods help prevent diabetes which is a serious mismanagement of insulin in your body. Diabetics have a consistently high level of insulin and blood sugars. Diabetes and too much body fat usually go hand in hand. Studies have shown that these foods help lose fat and decrease insulin levels which can prevent serious health failures.  The bottom line is……grapefruit, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper are an extremely easy and cheap way to add natural fat burners to your diet.
  • Antioxidants keep cells healthy and prevent them from deteriorating. They also fight against free radicals and other unhealthy chemicals in the body. Fat cells are notorious for storing toxins and chemicals that we ingest. If you do not have enough antioxidants in your body to eliminate toxins, your body may store body fat as a protective measure. If you hit a plateau in your fat loss this may be a reason. Some popular foods that are high in antioxidants are turmeric, dark chocolate, red wine, and fruits like blueberries.
  • Resistant Starch can be found in many different beans like chickpeas, lentils, navy beans, butter beans, etc. They are digested in the colon as opposed to the smaller intestine. Studies have supported that by replacing a portion of your carb intake by foods containing resistant starch, it will make burning fat much easier. Because these starches are not digested in the traditional way, it forces the body to burn fat as its primary source of energy.  Even one meal a day with these resistant starches can have a positive effect on fat loss.

If you don’t want to spend a truckload of money at the supplement store on fat burners, it is possible to get the same effect through your daily meals.

Pre-workout supplements

When it comes to pre-workout nutrition and supplementation, the heated debates and contradictory claims continue to flood the market. There are plenty of reasons to be skeptical of pre-workout supplements — many of which aren’t FDA approved and have been linked to serious health problems. If you’re reluctant to put rogue supplements into your body, don’t!


Here are four natural alternatives that are just as effective:

  • Fruits – I know, it sounds too simple, but an apple is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants perfect for sustaining a strong workout. Apples also contain pectin fibre, which allows for a gradual sugar ingestion to keep you going throughout your workout. Also effective are bananas, which are packed with carbohydrates, potassium and magnesium to keep you from cramping.
  • Coffee- The “caf-fiends” out there will be smiling about this segment. Coffee has been known to have a bunch of fat-burning properties. Its high concentration of caffeine boosts metabolism and can cause fat cells to be used as an energy source rather than glycogen.
  • Smoothies – Smoothies are fantastic because you can blend one or more things from this list while exercising portion control. Add oats to a fruit-based smoothie for a carb energy boost without overdoing your fibre intake, which could otherwise lead to a gassy workout and mean looks from the person on the treadmill behind you.
  • Whole wheat foods- A small bowl of whole-wheat spaghetti or a slice of whole-wheat toast is a great source of both simple and complex carbohydrates. You can even slap on some banana slices for the potassium and magnesium.

Minimal carb diets

If you think you need to follow a low-carb diet to lose weight, think again. Carbohydrates are essential for health and vitality – you just need to know which ones to include in your diet, how much, and when.

Over the past 20 years many people have worked themselves into a frenzy over carbohydrates, eliminating them from their diet altogether and following a low-carb lifestyle. The term ‘carbophobe’ was coined to describe those people who became convinced that carbs were some sort of physique destroyer.

It’s true that a low-carb diet (one that omits or severely limits carbs) will trigger an initial drop in weight. This is attributed to a loss of glycogen in the muscles, a drop in the body’s water content and a loss of some lean muscle tissue.

This initial weight loss leads to a feeling of success, so people think a low-carb lifestyle is a good thing – that they’ve discovered a diet that truly works and that going low-carb will keep them at a low weight.

But the body is clever at adapting and balancing things out, so before you know it the lost weight returns, often with a few extra kilos. That’s why low-carb diets often fail.

Let’s take a closer look at carbs to better understand their role – why we need them in our diet for optimal nutrition, what occurs when our body doesn’t have enough of them and how to include the right kinds in your diet for maximum benefit. The belief underlying the recommendation to go ‘low carb’ is that carbohydrates in our diet cause weight gain. This is entirely misleading because weight gain comes from consuming too many calories – not from any specific type of food.

Calories can come in the form of carbohydrate, fat and protein, and both carbs and fats can be stored as body fat if we eat too much of them in our diet. They provide the only fuel source for many vital organs including the brain, central nervous system and kidneys. So having a diet that’s too low in carbs means certain organs and systems suffer.

Carbs are broken down into glucose during digestion. The pancreas then secretes a hormone called insulin to help transport the glucose from the blood into the cells. Without glucose our body becomes lethargic, our brain fails to concentrate, and dizziness and nausea can set in.

It’s clear that carbohydrates are an essential part of our diet and that by going low-carb, our overall health and vitality suffer and we’ll feel low in energy and mood. The key for maintaining a healthy balance (and sensible weight loss) is to choose smart carbs. You want to choose carbs that are the least processed – unrefined and closest to their natural state. These include many whole grains, such as oats, barley, legumes (beans and lentils), buckwheat and quinoa, and wholegrain products such as wholegrain breads and wraps.


Many other carbohydrate foods are also slowly released, due to certain characteristics of the food that slow the process of digestion and absorption. Good ones to include in a healthy diet are pasta, vegetables and certain types of rice, such as doongara, basmati and steamed brown rice.

Look for high-fibre options and products labelled “low GI” to add to your diet, as they will be released slowly into the digestive system, regulating insulin release.

Don’t spend money on supplements you don’t need, and don’t be afraid of carbohydrates. The main equation necessary is energy expenditure – it’s more about the when, and how, of carbs, than not at all. Call Revamp PT and together we can figure out exactly how much energy your body requires, and how to personalize your exercise and nutrition plans to really optimize your body composition goals.



Wolfram S, Raederstorff D, Wang Y, Teixeira SR, Elste V, Weber P. TEAVIGO (epigallocatechin gallate) supplementation prevents obesity in rodents by reducing adipose tissue mass. Ann Nutr Metab 2005; 49: 54–63.

Klaus S, Pultz S, Thone-Reineke C, Wolfram S. Epigallocatechin gallate attenuates diet-induced obesity in mice by decreasing energy absorption and increasing fat oxidation. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 2005; 29: 615–623.

Astrup A, Breum L, Toubro S, Hein P, Quaade F. The effect and safety of an ephedrine/caffeine compound compared to ephedrine, caffeine and placebo in obese subjects on an energy restricted diet. A double blind trial. Int J Obes 1992; 16: 269–277.

Belza A1, Frandsen E, Kondrup J. Body fat loss achieved by stimulation of thermogenesis by a combination of bioactive food ingredients: a placebo-controlled, double-blind 8-week intervention in obese subjects. Int J Obes (Lond). 2007 Jan; 31(1):121-30. Epub 2006 Apr 25.

Foster GD, Wyatt HR, Hill JO, et al. A randomized trial of a low-carbohydrate diet for obesity. N Engl J Med. 2003;348:2082-90.

10 Feb 2016

Most Accurate Body Fat Measurement? Dexa Vs Bio Impedance

December 1, 2015 Posted by Andy Campbell in HealthInstructional

When you begin a new nutrition and exercise program it can be motivating to have a body composition scan done at the start and at intervals throughout your program so that you can track the progress you are making and also to hold you accountable. We look at two of the most accurate body composition scans available to the general public Bio-impedance and DEXA scans.



Bio-impedance is a way of measuring body composition that is easy to use, quick, non-invasive and relatively inexpensive.

The machine that is used is much smaller than what is used for a DEXA scan and produces relatively accurate results making it popular in gyms and health clinics.






There are a number of different bio-impedance machines available. The user can either chose a hand held machine, stand on a platform while holding adjustable hand grips or can be lying down with electrodes attached to various points of the body.

The participant’s height, age, gender, weight and often other physical characteristics such as body type, physical activity level and ethnicity are then entered into the computer.




This is the most basic type of bio-impedance where a single 50 kHz current is passed between the various electrodes placed on the body.

This type of BIA is low cost, portable and easy to handle and is commercially available.

SF-BIA does not strictly measure total body water, instead it uses prediction equations and algorithms to make an estimate of fat-free mass and total body water.

These algorithms have been devised from generally healthy subjects so the one algorithm is not applicable for all subjects and there will be a choice of body types to choose from on the machine.



Multi-frequency BIA (MF-BIA) uses a range of seven different frequencies, to estimate fat-free mass, total body water, inta-cellular water and extra-cellular water.

Generally multi-frequency impedance does not give a more accurate overall body composition compared to single-frequency impedance, but it is does more accurately measure TBW and ECW because of the greater range of frequencies used.


Bio impedance Spectroscopy uses 256 frequencies and has the capacity to more accurately measure the difference between ICW and ECW, giving a more accurate estimate of body cell mass.

This means Bio-impedance Spectroscopy does not need to rely on statistically derived, population-specific prediction equations like the other Bio-impedance models do.


BIA is only accurate so long as the correct details are entered for the participant’s age, gender, level of physical activity, relative level of body fat and ethnicity.

Other factors that may affect the results of a bio-impedance test include eating, alcohol and fluid intake and physical activity performed on the day of the evaluation.

BIA results will also be inaccurate if the participant being tested is dehydrated, has excess water retention or is using diuretics.

So for these reasons participants are advised to avoid alcohol for at least 8 hours before the test and to not eat or drink any water for 4 to 6 hours beforehand.

Participants are also advised to avoid high or moderate physical activity on the day of the test.

The accuracy of some of the more commercially available devices is sometimes questionable so while they are great for tracking progress in body composition over time they are not the most accurate single measurement machines.


$30 – $60


5 minutes



A DEXA scan or Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry is a way of measuring bone mineral density where two xray beams with different levels of energy are aimed at the participant.

A DEXA scan is also the most accurate method for determining total body composition and body fat percentage.




The participant lies down on a flat surface and the machine passes over them. The DEXA scan machine sends two different x-rays through the participant’s body and the density of the body part being measured influences the amount of X-rays that pass through it to a detector. This information is then sent to a computer which creates an image of the body being scanned and determines which parts of the body are bone, fat, water, muscle ect. Depending on their density.


A DEXA scan is the most accurate measure for determining body composition. Participants are advised to fast overnight and avoid drinking any water before the scan as this can impact on the results.


Start around $80


Around 10-15 minutes for a scan

Written by Andy Campbell


  1. Ling C, de Craen A, Slagboom P et al. Accuracy of direct segmental multi-frequency bioimpedance analysis in the assessment of total body and segmental body composition in middle-aged adult population. Clinical Nutrition. 2011;30(5):610-615. doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2011.04.001.
  2. Donadio C, Halim AB, Caprio F, Grassi G, Khedr B, Mazzantini M. Single- and multi-frequency bioelectrical impedance analyses to analyse body composition in maintenance haemodialysis patients: comparison with dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Physiol Meas 2008; 29: S517-S524.
  3. Dehghan M, Merchant A. Is bioelectrical impedance accurate for use in large epidemiological studies?. Nutrition Journal. 2008;7(1):26. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-7-26.
  4. Van Loan MD, et al. Use of bioimpedance spectroscopy (BIS) to determine extracellular fluid (ECF), intracellular fluid (ICF), total body water (TBW), and fatfree mass (FFM). pp. 6770. In Ellis, K. (ed.) Human Body Composition: In Vivo Measurement and Studies. Plenum Publishing Co., New York. 1993.


Get the latest news, tips, and exclusive deals! Subscribe to the Revamp Newsletter now.