Why Is My Clean Lean Protein Sweet?

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Nuzest’s Clean Lean Protein is a premium pea protein powder that is 100% natural —  it does not contain any artificial ingredients, flavours, colours or sweeteners.

So why does it taste sweet?

Other than the Natural variant – there is something that makes our Clean Lean Protein softly sweet.

 

THAUMATIN – A SWEET TASTING PROTEIN

 

The ingredient that gives Clean Lean Protein its sweetness comes from a natural plant source. Called thaumatin, it is actually a mixture of proteins that have been isolated from the skin surrounding the seeds of the West African katemfe fruit.

So essentially, thaumatin is a plant-based protein (just like pea protein) that happens to have a naturally occurring sweet taste.

In the United States, thaumatin is approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) as one of three non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) of natural origin. Over in Europe, the plant-based sweetener is one of 11 NNS approved by the European Food Safety Authority for use in food and drinks[2]. This means that these governing bodies consider thaumatin it be safe for consumption by humans, especially for diabetics.

 

ALL NATURAL GOODNESS

As a protein, thaumatin contains only four calories per gram while having a sweetness that is 2000 times higher than sucrose[3].

Although its calorie count is the same as that of carbohydrates, this natural plant-based sweetener doesn’t spike blood sugar levels when it is metabolised. In comparison, sugar (especially refined sugar) is a carbohydrate that causes spikes in blood sugar levels very quickly.

Besides having a low glycemic index, the natural sweetener is essentially a macronutrient that is required in large amounts by the body to maintain the health of muscles, bones, cartilage, skin, and blood[4]. Thus, it will not have hazardous effects on the body when taken in large quantities.

So, rest easy when nourishing your body with Clean Lean Protein — all you’re receiving is just natural protein goodness.

 

Reference:

  1. Safety evaluation of thaumatin (Talin protein): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6686588
  2. Non-nutritive dietary sweeteners for diabetes meellitus: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6485995
  3. Natural sweeteners in a human diet: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26400114
  4. The Benefits of Protein: https://www.webmd.com/men/features/benefits-protein#1

Protein

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Proteins

Introduction

Proteins are one of the three key macromolecules which are essential in the human diet, the other two being that of carbohydrates (sugars) and lipids (fats). In this trinity, it could be argued that proteins rank chiefly. Indeed, the origin of the word protein is the Greek word “proteios” which means prime or primary. This is an apt etymology, as proteins form the most fundamental component of human tissues. A diet without protein is a non-sustainable one for the reason that proteins confer the body with nitrogen, sulphur and hydrocarbon skeletons – essential organic components that cannot be provided by carbohydrates or lipids.

Proteins are responsible for a plethora of vital bodily processes and have a myriad of specific roles in various organ systems. As complex macromolecules, proteins are themselves comprised of smaller functional units known as amino acids. Amino acids are bound to one another by peptide bonds, and form long linear chains which are dubbed “polypeptides”. Most proteins which are consumed in the human diet via animal or plant sources comprise of about 20 different amino acids. This is important, as the proteins themselves have no nutritional value until and unless they are digested by enzymes in the small intestine into amino acids or shorter peptide chains [1].

Functions of Proteins

Proteins are essential in the synthesis of DNA and RNA. DNA and RNA are nucleic acids which provide the basis for our genetic code. Without this genetic code, cellular proliferation cannot occur, and our cells would be unable to reproduce and grow. Proteins are also essential in the synthesis of vital neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin – dubbed the “happy chemicals” that contribute to overall wellbeing and happiness.

Much of the biological properties of a specific protein depends on its physical interactions with other molecules. For example, in the context of our bodily defence mechanisms, protein-based antibodies (also known as immunoglobulins) readily bind to foreign pathogens such as viruses or bacteria to label them for destruction by our white blood cells [2]. In the same vein, proteins are also required for the synthesis of key enzymes. Enzymes are remarkable molecules which catalyse biochemical reactions in the human body to either form or break bonds in cells. These molecules are capable of expediting a chemical reaction by a factor of a million or more! [3] The controlled catalysis of millions of biochemical reactions that occur within the powerhouse that is the human cell, is what makes life itself possible.

Protein Dietary Requirements

The metabolism of proteins is intrinsically linked with total energy levels; this is because the transport of amino acids, detoxification of ammonia (a waste product of protein metabolism), and the excretion of nitrogen-based metabolites require energy. The consumption of daily dietary protein should, therefore, be considered in the context of intake of other energy sources (e.g. sugars and fats). Indeed, although proteins are one of the three energy sources utilizable by humans, they are rather energy inefficient compared to carbohydrates and lipids. Proteins are utilized by the human body for the various functions delineated above, more so than for an energy source.

The daily dietary requirements of amino acids and proteins are affected by 4 main factors. First, are dietary factors such as the content and proportion of proteins, total energy intake, and level of processing of the proteins. Second, are the physiological characteristics of the human, such as age, sex, genetic makeup, hormonal balance, pregnancy and lactation, as well as a level of physical activity. Third, are pathological characteristics of the human, such as trauma, cancer, diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and infections. Last but not least, are environmental factors such as the ambient temperature, presence or absence of toxic pollutants, sanitation and personal hygiene.

Taking all these factors into account, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of protein in healthy adults with minimal physical activity is 0.8g of protein per kg body-weight per day. Dietary protein is assumed to be of high quality – this is denoted by a 75% efficiency, meaning that at least 75% of the protein is utilized by the body.

In individuals who undergo moderate to intense physical activity (e.g. endurance training or strength training), the American Dietetic Association recommends that the RDA be 1.3 – 1.6g of protein per kg body-weight per day. Evidence also suggests that the inclusion of high-quality plant-based proteins can stimulate muscle growth [4].

protein, plantprotein

 

Plant Protein vs Animal Protein

There is no doubt that protein is an essential nutrient in the human diet. Increasing research efforts have been directed recently into examining the purported health benefits of plant-based protein as opposed to animal-based protein. Both animal and plant-based foods are excellent sources of protein. While animal-sourced foods (e.g. meat, dairy, eggs and seafood) contain higher quantities of overall amino acids than plant-sourced foods (e.g. what, corn, vegetables, beans, peas, soy, nuts etc.), current evidence supports the notion that cardiovascular risk can be mitigated with a diet which incorporates more plant sources of protein instead of the typical animal-based protein diet [5].

Very few studies have assessed the post-protein ingestion muscle synthesis response to animal proteins versus plant proteins. It still remains to be seen if the age-old belief that animal protein promotes the synthesis and growth of muscle more so than plant protein is true. What is conclusive however, is that plant protein intake is associated with higher skeletal muscle mass in select populations (particularly in the elderly) [6]. A clinical trial conducted just 4 years ago also showed that pea proteins which were orally supplemented, promoted muscle thickness gains protein during strength training in a double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled trial [7]. There was no statistically significant difference in muscle gains seen between individuals who were supplemented with pea protein, and individuals who were supplemented with whey protein.

plant protein, protein, plant-based protein

 

References for Further Reading

  1. Wu, G., Dietary protein intake and human health. Food Funct, 2016. 7(3): p. 1251-65.
  2. Schroeder, H.W., Jr. and L. Cavacini, Structure and function of immunoglobulins. J Allergy Clin Immunol, 2010. 125(2 Suppl 2): p. S41-52.
  3. Agarwal, P.K., Enzymes: An integrated view of structure, dynamics and function. Microbial cell factories, 2006. 5: p. 2-2.
  4. van Vliet, S., N.A. Burd, and L.J. van Loon, The Skeletal Muscle Anabolic Response to Plant- versus Animal-Based Protein Consumption. J Nutr, 2015. 145(9): p. 1981-91.
  5. Richter, C.K., et al., Plant protein and animal proteins: do they differentially affect cardiovascular disease risk? Advances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.), 2015. 6(6): p. 712-728.
  6. Miki, A., et al., Protein Intake, Especially Vegetable Protein Intake, Is Associated with Higher Skeletal Muscle Mass in Elderly Patients with Type 2 Diabetes. Journal of diabetes research, 2017. 2017: p. 7985728-7985728.
  7. Babault, N., et al., Pea proteins oral supplementation promotes muscle thickness gains during resistance training: a double-blind, randomized, Placebo-controlled clinical trial vs. Whey protein. J Int Soc Sports Nutr, 2015. 12(1): p. 3.

 

Plant Protein vs Animal derived protein – Going head to head

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Plant based protein is the biggest story in today’s protein market. By incorporating plant-based proteins into diets it is possible to decrease or fully eliminate meat consumption. Due to this more and more are adopting vegetarian and vegan lifestyles. However, many people are still focused on consuming “high quality” meat products either for taste preferences, or because they believe meat is nutritionally superior. We want to set out the challenge of answering the underlying question “what is the difference between plant protein versus animal protein?”

Amino Acids in Plant Protein and Animal Protein

Protein is made up of amino acids. A total of 20 amino acids are needed by the human body. Of the required 20 amino acids, 9 are considered “essential,” meaning they must be obtained through the diet. The other 11 amino acids can be synthesized in the body.

Animal proteins tend to deliver all of the amino acids you need in one food. But what is not commonly known is that you don’t have to get all amino acids in one meal to experience the benefits. For years, it was believed that plant proteins were somehow inferior to animal protein. The premise was; plant proteins could only be “incomplete” proteins – meaning they lacked one or several of the the essential amino acids. In order to be “complete,” one would have to diligently plan meals to get a full range of amino acids. This is where the whole “you need to eat rice and beans together for complete protein” idea comes from.  Since this time, science has entirely debunked the myth that you need to consume all amino acids simultaneously to reap the protein rewards. We now know that you can consume various forms of plant foods with different amino acid profiles separately (spaced out throughout the day, across a few days, etc.) and still get adequate use of dietary protein.  Eating a robust, varied diet complete with various plant-proteins, you can get a full range of the amino acids that your body needs, even as a vegan. The Nuzest Clean Lean Protein has a complete panel of amino acids.

Animal Protein, Plant-Protein, and Chronic Disease

The World Health Organization (WHO) currently classifies red meat as a Group 2A carcinogen, meaning that it is probably carcinogenic to humans (meaning they believe red meat might cause cancer) Processed meat is classified as a Group 1 carcinogen, meaning, it is cancer-causing to humans based on sufficient human data. Limiting intake of red and processed meat could be beneficial in lowering cancer risks.

Furthermore, epidemiological studies of various dietary habits have shown that vegetarian and vegan diets are usually protective in terms of cancer risk and that fruit and vegetable consumption is linked with lower risk of cancer. Additionally, plant foods usually are full of free-radical quenching antioxidants, which can help protect your body from harmful oxidative reactions and are often rich in fiber. Other large observational studies have connected red meat consumption with cardiovascular disease and processed meat with increased risk of cardiovascular-related deaths, as well as increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes.

The amount of red and processed meat you consume makes a difference!

You don’t have to go fully vegan in order to benefit from the wide ranging benefits of plant-based foods. Even if you love meat, cutting back on animal proteins from processed and red meat sources may be beneficial against these diseases, especially if you replace meat with nutrient-rich plant foods such as legumes, nuts, beans, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables.

Protein and The Environment: Is Meat Sustainable?

It is accepted that meat is simply less environmentally friendly. Producing just one kilogram of beef (or 2.2 pounds) emits a hefty 26 kilograms of carbon dioxide. Lamb emits even more carbon dioxide: roughly 39 kilograms of CO2 per kilogram of meat. Livestock also emits methane (another greenhouse gas) from burps, farts, and poop.

To complicate things further, even ‘healthier alternatives’ such as grass fed livestock tend to emit even more greenhouse gases compared to factory-farmed livestock due to efficiency in terms of land-use and resources.

Plant proteins typically produce far fewer carbon emissions. For example, a kilogram of lentils emits 0.7. kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2), a strikingly lesser amount than livestock production. Furthermore, they tend to have a much smaller water footprint, making them an overall more sustainable food choice.

Even if you’re a fan of meat, swapping some animal protein for plant-based protein will not only be beneficial for your health, but it will also help shrink the overall carbon footprint you produce. To add more plant-based protein to your diet, check out Nuzest Clean Lean Protein or other products in the Nuzest lineup.

We have a range of amazing Clean Lean Protein Smoothies, Smoothie Bowls and other recipes for you to follow! Check these out here.

* Original article posted by Nuzest USA https://www.nuzest-usa.com/need-know-plant-protein-vs-animal-protein

The Importance of Protein in an Active Lifestyle

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I think by this stage almost everyone knows that they ‘need’ protein, but in my lectures and workshops I still get questions like, “but won’t protein make me bulky?”, or, “won’t eating too much protein give me big muscles?”. And while most of us know that we do need to be eating ‘enough’ protein, less know how much ‘enough’ is and why it’s important!

What is it?
Protein quite simply is the building block of most of the structures in the body. ‘Protein’ is the name given to groupings of amino acids. Protein is broken down to these amino acids which are then used to create enzymes, muscle tissue, bone matrix and many other structural components of the body. All cells require protein.

Quick Fact: Over 98% of ALL the cells in your body are replaced every year!

Why do we Need it?
It helps us to become and remain lean! Protein has a higher ‘thermic effect of feeding’ (TEF) rating than either carbohydrates or fat. This means that when a higher proportion of your diet is protein your metabolic rate (and consequently fat loss) is going to be higher.

Improved Lean Body Mass
An optimal protein intake will allow us to maintain a higher lean body mass. This helps to give us the lean, fit looking physique that many desire (but not ‘bulky’!) whilst also improving metabolic rate further and helping to decrease fat stores and maintain leanness.

Improved Alertness and Focus
Amino acids supply the raw material for the excitatory neurotransmitters such as epinephrine, nor-epinephrine and dopamine. When we do not have enough of these amino acids we are more likely to suffer mental fatigue and physical fatigue.

Bone Structure and Health
Protein provides the matrix for bone and connective tissue. Ample protein helps to provide the structure for healthy bones!

How Much do we Need?
The recommended daily intake (RDA) for protein is based on the activity level of sedentary individuals and is measured by looking at the amount of protein taken in and compared with the amount excreted. It is approximately 0.8 grams per kilo of bodyweight.

What the RDA Doesn’t Take into Account
RDA and DRI (Dietary Reference Intakes) are ‘necessary’ amounts for baseline health. In other words – survival. But the optimal amounts we need in order to thrive may be much different!

As long ago as 1975 Gontzea et al have shown that a level of 1.5grams per day per kilo of bodyweight were insufficient when exercise was undertaken and other studies have shown that Tour de France athletes were only able to maintain a positive nitrogen balance at an intake of 1.8g per kilo per day.

Levels up to 3g per kg bodyweight per day (over 3 x the RDA) have been demonstrated to increase lean body mass, reduce fat mass and improve performance.

Most people will do well to get at least the RDA level with additional protein if and when able but overall quantity should be less important though, than eating good quality protein consistently.

The key ‘take home’ point is to eat quality protein at every meal.

Examples of Good Clean Green Plant Based Sources Would be

  • Sprouted lentils, chick peas or mung beans
  • Nuts or seeds (almonds, Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds)
  • Tempeh or other fermented protein foods.
  • One 25g serve of Clean Lean Protein provides 22g of high quality protein.

NEW Clean Lean Functional Protein

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Premium European Golden Pea protein is combined with functional ingredients from centuries-old Eastern medicine to help you perform at your peak.

Introducing our new Clean Lean Protein Functional Flavours range. Your favourite Pea protein isolate enhanced and flavoured with ingredients that have been used for centuries in Eastern medicine to treat conditions from inflammation to low energy and fertility.

FUNCTIONAL INGREDIENTS

Three unique flavour combinations have been developed using sustainable European Golden Pea protein + functional foods, herbs and spices + natural flavours; all sweetened naturally with an extract from the West African Katemfe fruit (Thaumatin).

Protein is essential for energy, cell repair and immunity and Clean Lean Protein Functional Flavours are a delicious way to nourish your body. All you need to do is choose a flavour to suit your daily requirements.

Chai, Turmeric + Maca

TURMERIC: A powerful anti-inflammatory used for centuries in Indian medicine.

MACA ROOT: Nutrient-dense and claimed to enhance fertility and energy.

Coffee, Coconut + MCTs

COFFEE: This powerful antioxidant promotes and enhances physical performance.

MCTs: Medium Chain Triglycerides are linked to weight loss and better cognitive function, occurring naturally in coconuts.

Vanilla Matcha

MATCHA: This green tea with slow-release caffeine is high in antioxidants and has been used in Eastern medicine for its brain-boosting effects (due to high levels of L-Theanine).

HOW TO USE

Clean Lean Protein Functional Flavours is a ready to make protein smoothie. No need to add anything other than water or your choice of milk (e.g. rice, almond or coconut). You don’t even need a blender, simply shake and go!

WHO IS IT FOR

Clean Lean Protein Functional Flavours is suitable for all ages, lifestyles and common dietary requirements. It’s founded on clean nutrition with nothing artificial – no fillers, added sugar or other nasties.

THE SUSTAINABLE CHOICE

Nuzest operate with the environment in mind. Golden peas provide a sustainable protein source using less water and less land than animal proteins. The isolation process is water-based, the water is then purified and recycled. Any waste goes to animal feed and biofuel.

INDEPENDENTLY TESTED & FREE FROM COMMON ALLERGENS

Ingredients are blended in Australia under strict GMP standards. The finished products are then tested to ensure they are safe and free from Gluten, Dairy and Soy.

Get Lean, Add Protein

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Protein is for everyone trying to get in better shape. Protein is not just for body builders.

After a workout, we need protein so that our muscles can repair themselves. Increasing muscle, means getting more toned.

In fact, women need not worry that protein will make them bulky. Protein supplements are an excellent way to become leaner. Taking protein won’t give you the physique of a professional body builder. These guys and gals get super ripped through a lot of hard work, it just isn’t going to happen without you actually aiming for that. Lean muscle (hello, protein) is the building block of just about every hot body out there. Not just that, even lifting weights won’t make you bulky. However, protein and weights will give you a slinky, sexy bod.

How much muscle you build will depend on whether you are lifting weights. Any extra protein that isn’t used through physical activity, will be stored as fat. This will depend on your total carb/fat consumption and how many calories you are burning. The muscle you add will largely depend on what type of training you’re doing physical training and how much.

As a rule of thumb, you should consume one gram of protein per pound of body weight. So, if you want to be in the best, sexiest shape of your life, focus on the protein. Nuzest clean lean protein is a way to increase your protein intake without any nasty GMOs, gluten, sugar or dairy. It is a vegan supplement and it is made only from the finest pea protein. So, it helps those of us with a busy lifestyle ensure we are meeting our daily protein needs.

Protein also helps you feel full longer. Ever wonder why that side salad at lunch left your craving a slice of chocolate cake at 3 p.m.? It’s hard to adhere to a healthy diet when you are hungry. Protein fills you up with less calories, so you will feel fuller longer and have less cravings.

Both men and women need protein, if you burn too many calories and don’t have enough protein to replace it, then you will break down muscle. So, even if you are skinny, you won’t be tone without muscle.

Protein won’t make you fat. In fact, healthy proteins and fats have a positive impact on your hormone levels, brain, energy and mood. Protein provides essential amino acids and these serve as the building blocks for life. Without these amino acids our body resorts to breaking down its own muscle in order to meet this demand.

So, take your training up a notch by adding protein. You won’t regret it.

5 Ways to Get Fit Faster in a Group Fitness Class

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The health benefits of group workout classes will quash all your fitness excuses of getting fit & losing weight.

Going to a group exercise class is a great way to have fun with others who are also getting fit! If you haven’t tried group fitness classes, what are you waiting for?

The good news is that the benefits of group classes go far beyond just enjoying people’s company as you sweat and move. Working out in a group has several physical, psychological and social benefits for anyone looking to get leaner and fitter faster while having fun. Here’re 5 reasons why joining group fitness classes is one of the best ways to get fit.
1. Motivation

It’s one thing to decide to start exercising to get healthier, but to actually do it is the real challenge. Working out in a group can motivate you to show up at the gym because you wouldn’t want to bail on your workout buddies. It also motivates you to return repeatedly to the class, and share the energy and experience with everyone in the group exercise class.

2. Social Support

If you feel shy about stepping into a gym to work out alone, sign up for group fitness classes with friends to work out together and be one another’s source of support! Have your friend track your progress and egg you on when your motivation wanes.

In addition to strengthening the bonds with your friends, you’ll also meet other like-minded souls in the group fitness class. Say hello to and congratulate your new friends for a job well done after each group fitness class, and you’ll end up with new workout mates in no time. This makes group exercise classes a fun social occasion that is also mentally empowering at the same time.

Fitness asian

3. Happiness Boost

A study conducted at Oxford University in 2009 showed that athletes who trained for 45 minutes in a group showed higher endorphin levels than athletes who trained solo for the same amount of time. The study noted that these elevated endorphin levels were present in people who do synchronised activities—such as dancing, listening to music, and even laughing—together.

Some theories put forth from the study for this occurrence suggest that the surge of endorphins facilitates social bonding, and enhances cooperation and generosity among those who participate in the same activity. So raise your happy hormone levels by working out in group fitness classes.

4. Variety

Typically, big gyms offer a plethora of group exercise classes—on days when you want to take things easy, join a calming yoga class; if you feel on top of the world, dance it out with others in a dynamic dance class. Whatever your mood is, you can always find a group workout class that you fancy.

Additionally, group fitness classes are designed to target various muscle groups within a particular time frame, usually ranging from 30 to 90 minutes. No matter which class you choose, you can be sure of a good workout. Above all, the wide variety of classes will ensure that your fitness routine remains an exciting one.

5. Comprehensive programme

Each group fitness class has a programme structure that begins with a warm up, followed by a unique combination of fitness components ranging from power to agility, cardiovascular strength, balance and flexibility, then finally a cool down at the end. By attending a variety of group fitness classes, you ensure that you are constantly developing all your physical abilities, which helps you track your progress and personal improvement over time.

 

This story was originally published by our friends at SOULSCAPE.

How to Burn Fat More Efficiently

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We’ve learned that fat burning is a system we’ve developed to allow us to use energy over long distances. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors, whose genes we share almost unchanged, would roam their environments on the hunt for food for hours or even days on end. We would not be around today if they cold only hunt successfully if they could refuel on bags of potato chips or cans of coke every few hours. They would genuinely be running on empty, using fuel that they had previously stored. Someone who gets lost in the desert and is unable to hunt successfully will die, usually after a few days without food and water. But it’s not the lack of food that causes death, it’s the lack of water. Most of us can function, given water, for well over two weeks without food. That’s because we burn first of all our fat reserves, and then we that runs out, we start burning protein as muscle tissue. What’s ingenious about it is that we also generate another fuel when we burn fat called ketone bodies. These ketone bodies – or ketones for short – are actually are brain’s favourite fuels. If you keep burning fat, and continue to not eat over many days, the levels of ketones in your system can get so high they kill you. That’s why for many years ketones were thought of as bad compounds because they were known to occur at very high levels in people who were starving to death. To keep ketones as low as possible, you need to shut down your fat burning system. The best way to do that is by taking in lots of carbs.

Now, think about all those overweight people in the gym who you’ve seen working out on treadmills and cycling machines who never seem to lose weight. Chances are they’re working out for under an hour at a time and they’re also downing glucose- or sugar-laden energy drinks or energy gels to keep them going. Their diets might also be low fat and high in refined and processed carbs like white bread, pasta, pizzas and white rice.

What we now know is that we need to back off eating carbs to encourage our bodies to burn fats. This is one reason that there’s been so much interest in law carb diets, as well as ones that increase the amount of healthy fats. These kinds of diets are often referred to as Low Carb High Fat or LCHF diets. But it’s not just a question of what you’re eating, it’s also about how much and when you’re eating.

When we start exercising aerobically our bodies normally rely on the most readily accessible fuel. It’s actually not fats, carbs or protein. It’s a compound called glycogen that’s stored in our liver and muscles. If we’re replenished with glycogen from a good meal with plenty of complex carbs from vegetables, starches or grains the night before, most of us will have a reserve of some 500 – 800g of glycogen. This will be sufficient to act as our main fuel for around 60 to 90 minutes of moderate intensity exercise. So if you’re going to do some aerobic work in the gym and stop after just 30 minutes, you will have barely started to burn your fat reserves, irrespective of whether the machine in the gym tells you you’ve been in your fat burning zone for that half hour. You’ve burned part of your glycogen reserve that will be replete if you down an energy drink or another carb source after your workout.

What the fat burning zone inscribed on your treadmill, stepper, rower or gym bike is telling is however is right if you’re prepared to stay in this low to moderate heart rate zone for some time. This fat burning zone is approximately 60-70% of your maximum heart rate, which is roughly 220 minus your age, although it can be considerably higher than this if you’re very fit. But how many people can manage over an hour of aerobic work in the gym. Three or four times a week. Not many as it happens.

That’s one reason why, when it comes to burning fat, getting outdoors and doing a long walk or cycle ride makes a lot more sense for many people. But it requires time – something not many of us have in abundance. But perhaps you can manage this once or twice a week if you really try, ideally not on consecutive days.

Such is the flexibility of our bodies’ systems that there are also other ways of burning fat. Intermittent fasting is one of the best ways of getting there. It’s a somewhat fancy term referring to a pattern of eating that involves eating both less as well as less often than a normal Western person might typically eat. There’s actually nothing odd about this way of eating – our ancestors almost certainly ate this way. They certainly didn’t eat three meals a day with snacks in between. They would go through cycles of feast and famine – and it’s important to realise we are supremely well-adapted to famine because if we weren’t, we’d not be here today. And bizarrely, it’s now the excessive feasting that’s much more likely to kill us than the famine…

One of the most useful rules with intermittent fasting is to try to cut down on your meal frequency by avoiding eating within five hours of your last meal. Another point involves cutting out snacks between meals, as well as all refined and processed carbohydrates like white bread, white pasta and white rice. Doing a couple of training or exercise sessions on a completely empty stomach (other than water) will also help you shift towards being a better fat burner. As will engaging in very short bursts of high intensity exercise, with rests of the same or double the duration in between. This is called High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT and you’ll find plenty of information about it on the internet, such is its popularity given its proven role in triggering mitochondrial function and fat burning. Depending on what your fitness goal is, you can adjust the pattern of your HIIT sessions to deliver different results.

With a personal trainer with extensive experience in HIIT, there are even HIIT regimes suitable for people with serious diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity. It may seem a bit tough, but think of it as short and sharp, with good rewards. Get it right and your metabolism will become super flexible, using whatever fuels are most efficient. You’ll generate ketones at low levels (nutritional ketosis) to keep your brain super sharp and you’ll even burn fat while you sleep!

When you’ve finished a bout of training over 20 or 30 minutes, make sure you consume around 20 grams of good quality protein to help your body recover and your muscles to grow stronger following the exercise trigger you’ve delivered to them. It’s a good idea to get this protein in within a 30-minute window of completing your activity. If the activity has involved long periods of endurance, you might also want to add some complex carbs and branched chain amino acids to the mix, as well as a good quality multi-nutrient product with plenty of good quality vitamins and minerals, botanicals, probiotics and other micronutrients that help support your multiple body systems.