How can you lose fat faster and more enjoyably? Part 3

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In part three of this series we are going to look at how you can add supplements to your zone 2 training to help you get the most out of it.

Even if you are doing everything you can to improve your health and lose fat efficiently you might still be feeling that there is something beneficial that could speed up your process. This is the point at which supplementation might help. Although do remember that supplements will not do the work for you, they are just here to help with what you are already doing.

There are several supplements that can potentially enhance endurance performance, fat oxidation (burn), or energy levels during zone 2 training. Here are some supplements to consider.

Caffeine is a popular pre-workout supplement that can help improve alertness, focus, and perceived exertion during exercise. It can also contribute to appetite suppression and the thermogenesis effect. Caffeine can increase the body’s production of heat which results in higher caloric expenditure and can potentially promote fat loss. Via lipolysis, caffeine can enhance the mobilization of free fatty acids and thus promote fat oxidation and utilization as an energy source. Studies have shown that caffeine can also increase fat oxidation, particularly when consumed before exercising in a fasted state.

L-Carnitine is an amino acid that plays a crucial role in transporting long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria (the body’s powerhouse) where they can be oxidized and converted into adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The mechanism by which L-Carnitine aids fat oxidation involves binding to fatty acids and forming a compound called acylcarnitine which can then be transported across the inner mitochondrial membrane, where it is converted back into L-Carnitine and a free fatty acid. The fatty acid is then oxidized in the mitochondria to produce ATP while the L-Carnitine molecule is free to transport another fatty acid. Supplementing with L-Carnitine may help improve fat oxidation during endurance exercise, although research results have been mixed. L-Carnitine does has several different types though, each of which offers slightly different properties. L-Carnitine L-Tartrate (LCLT) is the most common form that is found in supplements. It has high bioavailability and is often used for improving exercise performance and recovery.

Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) comprising of leucine, isoleucine, and valine, may help delay muscle fatigue and promote muscle recovery during prolonged exercise. While BCAAs are not directly involved in fat oxidation they can still help support endurance performance during zone 2 training.

Beta-Alanine is a non-essential amino acid that helps increase muscle carnosine levels, buffering hydrogen ions, and delaying muscle fatigue during high-intensity exercise. Although its primary benefits are geared towards high-intensity workouts it may also provide some benefits during longer, low-intensity endurance sessions.

Electrolytes play an important role in maintaining proper hydration, and electrolyte balance is crucial for optimal endurance performance. Consuming an electrolyte supplement during prolonged zone 2 training sessions can help replace lost sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, ensuring proper muscle function and preventing cramping. You do not only sweat out water, for example when you sweat you are also losing minerals. So if you do not replenish the loss of minerals it could lead to quicker fatigue, cramps, and even injuries.

Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) are a type of fat that can be rapidly absorbed and converted into energy. Some studies have shown that MCT supplementation can increase fat oxidation during endurance exercise. The most abundant MCT oil sources are in coconut oil, or you can buy MCT oil itself too.

One things that I did not mention here is actually one of my favorite supplements for muscle gain, fat loss, and brain function — creatine. It will take a whole article to look at all of the benefits of creatine. I will be writing that very soon!

Again, remember that supplements should not replace a balance diet with a well rounded exercise and nutrition plan. Supplements should only complement that.

References:

“The effects of caffeine intake on weight loss: a systematic review and dos-response meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials”; PubMed; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30335479/

“Coffee, diabetes, and weight control”; The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/84/4/682/4633022

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competition history

Ayda competes regularly in fitness competitions and is currently preparing for the 2023 North American championships.

NPC North American Championships, 2022
NPC North American Championships, 2022
NPC North American Championships, 2022
CPA Toronto, 2021

You’ve probably heard so many people say “I love what I do”, BUT in my case I can truly say it from my heart. I’ve competed in sports all my life, but it wasn’t so long ago that I really understood that actually I can only ever compete with myself.

“You are perfect, until compare yourself with someone else”

I started contest prep in 2011, and since then I didn’t stop competing. In some competitions I got first place, in some it went not so well, but every competition that I prepared for taught me something more about myself and helped me take the correct direction, which I believe has shaped my work and my life in such a positive way.

When I competed in my first bikini competition I had just moved from my home country Turkey to Canada, and was getting used to the Canadian lifestyle — and, of course, the language too, which was the hardest part for me. I always wanted to do a fitness or bikini competition, but when I was still in Turkey the work and cultural differences made it so hard to do.

So I was in Vancouver BC, working at Steve Nash Fitness Club, and one of my co-workers, who was a competitor herself, asked me “why you are not competing?” I started asking myself and questioning if I could do it? I’d never done anything like it before… Maybe you’re asking yourself the same questions right now! Of course I told myself “absolutely, I can’’. And my competition journey began!

Each show that I competed in gave me more knowledge about my body, and how I can improve. Of course, it’s not easy to correctly identify what’s missing with training and nutrition, and this learning process and all of the experiences pushed me to learn more… I’ve been a personal trainer since 1993, but I wanted more and began my nutrition studies. I finished my Comprehensive Nutrition and Sports Nutrition degrees.

And yes, I am still competing! You can see a list of all of the competitions that I’ve competed in further down this page. And right now, AGAIN, I am getting ready for my next show…!

I’ll warn you right now, it wasn’t easy at all. The easiest part was the training, which was already part of my daily life. But posing, dieting, supplementation, getting a bikini, finding a trainer… This was much tougher, not the mention the cost for the registration, jewelry, tanning, hair and make-up, they cost a lot too. 

But I wouldn’t let anything stop me, and right after my first show — WBFF in May, 2011 — I immediately started looking for the next show to compete in. I was hooked!

I am so happy to be able to help other competitors who are willing to work and improve their mind and health at the same time. My goal is to create healthy and happy bikini competitors, who want to challenge themselves and put in the work that needs to be done to reach their goals. There is really no easy way to get there… But there is a smart way.

I look forward to working together and sharing my knowledge with YOU to get you in the best shape of your LIFE!!!!! 

AYDA HAS COMPETED IN

Bodyzone

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