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Any loving parent wants the best for their children, and for many that includes packing a lunch and snacks from home for school. But two new studies question if parents are packing the healthiest lunches and snacks possible, as studies suggest that in comparison, most school-made lunches and snacks are actually healthier.
In one study, researchers from Virginia Tech University looked at the nutritional components of more than 1,000 lunches from three elementary schools and compared those made by the school to those packed at home (1). Overall, the lunches from home provided more calories, total fat, saturated fat, and sugar than the school lunches. What’s more, homemade lunches lacked in protein, fiber, vitamin A, and calcium compared to school lunches.
“We assumed there would be differences between school and packed lunch, but not such stark differences,” lead author and Ph.D. candidate at Virginia Tech University Alisha Farris said in a press release. “I also think, for a long time, people have viewed packed lunch as the healthier option, but our results show that’s really not the case.”
Another study, from researchers at Harvard School of Public Health, compared after-school snacks that were either provided by the school or from home (2). It found that those from home included more sugary candy and beverages. On days when kids brought home-packed snacks they also ate more salty and sugary foods and consumed almost twice as many calories compared to days when they ate snacks provided by school.
These results echo those found by researchers at the University of Minnesota that kids today eat far more snacks than kids in the 1970s and that most kids eat high-calorie snacks lacking in nutrients (3). Left unchanged, unhealthy snacking habits may lead to nutrient deficiencies, obesity, and increased risk for chronic disease as a child ages.
Makeover for Snacks and Lunches
Instead of carb-and-fat-heavy peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or high-sodium lunch packs, parents ought to pack some of these popular Isagenix products in school lunch boxes:
IsaLean Bars® make an excellent high-protein centerpiece for a school lunch. With 18 grams of protein including whey protein, it can provide the highly valued branched-chain amino acids that are necessary for growing muscles.
Whey Thins also make a great alternative to chips or crackers. Providing 10 grams of protein in each bag, they can help satisfy that desire for a crunchy snack.
IsaFruits® is an easy-to-make drink mix that is delicious yet has only 1 gram of sugar. The product also helps provide a variety of spray-dried fruit powders to complement a child’s need for fruits and vegetables in their diets.
Rather than reaching for snacks and lunch items containing empty calories from sugar and fat, parents should be packing nutrient-dense items that can still taste good and that kids will like. Luckily for parents, Isagenix takes the guesswork, and time, out of packing healthy, nutrient-dense lunches and snacks for school.
Farris AR, et al. Nutritional comparison of packed and school lunches in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten children following the implementation of the 2012-2013 national school lunch program standards. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2014 Nov-Dec;46(6):621-6.
Kenney EL et al. Identifying sources of children’s consumption of junk food in Boston after-school programs, April-May 2011. Prev Chronic Dis. 2014 Nov 20;11:E205.
Hess J, Slavin J. Snacking for a cause: nutritional insufficiencies and excesses of U.S. children, a critical review of food consumption patterns and macronutrient and micronutrient intake of U.S. children. Nutrients. 2014;6(11):4750-4759.
Many have the idea that if they just eat salads all day the weight will vanish. However, for longer-lasting results, you need much better fuel than that!
When combined with resistance training, IsaPro® helps you build—and maintain—lean muscle, which is vital for healthy aging, athletic performance, and weight loss. We have a few pointers on when to take this protein-rich whey powder that will help you melt off fat and gain beautiful muscle for a leaner summer you.
After exercise, you want to get the right kind of protein—in the right amount—as soon as possible. For a period of time after a workout, the body is unusually sensitive to nutrients; muscle is hungry for protein that will stimulate its growth and repair.
With 18 grams of protein per scoop, the best part about IsaPro is that it is a protein-rich powder designed to be added to IsaLean® Shakes, oatmeal, or any other food. This allows users to benefit from the fat-burning and muscle-building powers of quality whey protein.
In order to burn that fat, you’re going to need to build muscle. Our Isagenix Corporate Wellness Coach Blake Shaver holds a bachelor’s degree in exercise and wellness from Arizona State University and is a certified personal trainer. Blake is known for incorporating IsaPro into his daily routine post-workout.
“Using IsaPro Chocolate post-workout helps fuel my muscles with the proper nutrition for a faster and more effective recovery,” says Blake.
Here are his top three workout recommendations to help you develop lean muscle and blast fat.
Directions: Flip the ball over onto its dome. Grip the sides of the platform or place your hands on top of it, and perform a pushup while engaging your core for a proper spine angle—hold your body in a straight line from your head to your feet. Perform three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions to the best of your ability.
Directions: Start with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Hold the kettlebell at the center of your chest with your arms relaxed. Perform a squat while maintaining a flat back; squat until your legs are close to a 90-degree angle. Push through your heels to return to your starting position. Perform three sets of 12 to the best of your ability.
Directions: Start with a split stance—one leg in front of another at roughly shoulder width a part. Lower your body while maintaining a flat back. Be sure not to allow your knee to go over your toes. Relax your back leg while bringing your knee to the floor (your knees should not touch the floor). Push through the heel of your lead leg to return to your starting position. Switch legs and repeat. Perform three sets of 12 to the best of your ability.
Key 3: Set Goals
We’re big believers in planning ahead and setting goals. Since taking IsaPro is recommended after workouts, we suggest that you not only plan a food budget to stay on track but also an exercise budget as well. We suggest creating a seven-day plan to track your workouts and help ensure success. Set a realistic plan for the week that makes sense for you and won’t leave you ready to quit after one workout.
The best way to build muscle and burn fat is a combination of cardio and resistance trainings. Plan the days when you’re hitting the gym for weight lifting or taking a bike ride outside to make the most of the summer sun. (Don’t forget to take rest days!)
Regardless, on rest days, you’ll want to know when you’re working out so that you can take IsaPro soon after your workout to build muscle which in turn helps blast that fat away!
Key 4: Forget the Scale—Measure Up!
If your pants feel loose, but the number on the scale has gone up—there’s no reason to fret! Muscle weighs more than fat, but the cool part? Muscle helps burn fat.
When you order the 30-Day System, it is accompanied with Isagenix measuring tape, so you can evenly measure the key parts of your body for total body loss—your arms, your thighs, your waist, and your stomach, which are the main areas to measure.
Our tip? Don’t get obsessive about it. Measure about once a week and then you’ll start getting a true understanding of what you’re losing.
Have fun building muscle and losing weight by fueling yourself with IsaPro!
If you are interested learning more or purchasing IsaPro Click Here!
Higher-protein diets based on sound nutrition and quality work on multiple levels.
Leading nutrition researchers have outlined how protein improves appetite, manages a healthy body weight, reduces cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors, and increases dietary compliance in a recent review paper (1).
In this overview of the literature, scientists from the U.S., Australia, and Denmark explored how diets based on properly dosed, high-quality protein sources, like those found in IsaLean Pro, to improve health.
Here’s what they found:
Metabolic and Appetite Advantage
Higher-protein diets have shown to successfully increase metabolism for the reason that 20 to 30 percent of protein consumed is used for metabolism and storage, whereas for carbohydrates it’s 5 to 10 percent, and for fat it’s only 0 to 3 percent (2). This better supports healthy weight loss and maintenance, because higher-protein diets prevent a slowing of metabolism by stopping a decline in resting energy expenditure, or how many calories the body burns simply supporting normal, non-exercise functions (3). The reason this happens is mostly due to protein retaining lean muscle mass.
Higher-protein intake also helps better control appetite and prevent overeating. In fact, several studies have shown that consumption of high-quality whey protein causes a greater reduction in hunger after a meal and higher levels of fullness compared to other protein sources (1).
The authors also found that quantity matters. The specific amount of protein per meal should hit the threshold of about 20 to 30 grams since this is what’s needed to stimulate protein synthesis (muscle building) (1). IsaLean Shakes fall within this range and offer the highest-quality undenatured whey protein.
Over the course of the day, the researchers found between 1.2 and 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day was optimal in promoting sustained weight management and cardiometabolic benefits. This results in approximately 90 to 120 grams of protein for women and 105 to 140 grams for men per day—an amount easily met by two shakes and a meal with lean protein such as chicken breast or fish.
Management of Healthy Weight
An average increase in protein intake of about 28 percent beyond normal recommendations also facilitates significant weight loss, the researchers found (1). Since the normal protein intake in U.S. adults is on average 88 grams per day, then the addition of only 20 to 30 grams would be enough to cause long-term improvements in weight management. Even by keeping calories the same, the increase in protein appears to be the critical component, not a reduction in carbohydrates or fat. Just think, this is one IsaLean Shake per day. Consumed over a long period of time this could equate to big results.
Worried About Too Much Protein?
The worry about too much protein is not warranted, as the authors noted: “The protein quantities proposed above are within the acceptable macronutrient range for protein and allow for the ability to meet the dietary guidelines for other requirements including fruit, vegetables, dairy, and fiber.”
Higher-protein diets based around quality and sound nutrition work on multiple levels. We have been recommending a daily protein intake between 1.2 to 1.6 grams per kilogram per pound of body weight (0.55 to 0.75 grams per pound) and about 20 to 40 grams per meal (depending on the individual) in conjunction with our high-powered nutrition since inception. The amount of high-quality protein per meal found in Isagenix products is meant for sustained and real lasting results. Indeed, over the long term, higher-protein diets don’t just help with losing weight; they improve health and prevent unwanted weight regain (1).
Leidy HJ, Clifton PM, Astrup A et al. The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2015;ajcn084038.
Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Nieuwenhuizen A, Tome D, Soenen S, Westerterp KR. Dietary protein, weight loss, and weight maintenance. Annual Review of Nutrition 2009;29:21-41.
Halton TL, Hu FB. The effects of high protein diets on thermogenesis, satiety and weight loss: a critical review. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2004;23:373-85
Have you or someone you know ever struggled to lose weight? You follow a system and all its instructions to a T, but the number on the scale is not to your liking. No doubt this is a frustrating occurrence and likely to get anyone down on their weight-loss efforts. A new study has shed some light on this conundrum, however, and it may simply be that different people respond differently to calorie restriction (1). That is, some will lose more quickly than others.
For the study, scientists from the National Institutes of Health conducted one of the most well-controlled interventions possible—a 77-day in-patient trial involving 12 obese subjects whose food intake was completely controlled, and calorie expenditure (aka how many calories they burned) and body weight and composition were meticulously measured.
Upon admission and throughout the trial, participants’ calorie needs based on energy expenditure was assessed. Moreover, energy expenditure was measured in response to both excessive calorie intake and fasting for 24-hour periods, and then for what the bulk of the trial involved, which was adhering to a liquid diet reduced by fifty percent of calorie needs. Also, exercise for fitness reasons was not allowed, and activity throughout the study was limited.
The researchers found at the end of the trial that despite the subjects following the same weight-loss protocol, there were some that lost significant weight, while others barely lost any.
Previous researchers have found similar results and this has led to what’s known as a thrifty phenotype, or a person whose response to calorie restriction does not lead to weight loss as quickly as a spendthrift phenotype. Basically, a spendthrift can lose weight easily while a thrifty person will not.
The scientists concluded that “we clearly determined that there is variation in the extent of weight loss in obese humans during a 50 percent caloric reduction that is not the result of a lack of adherence but is caused by real biologic inter-individual variation in energy expenditure responses to the same energy deficits, that is, thrifty and spendthrift phenotypes.”
Researchers point out how the reason for and identification of the two phenotypes has yet to be figured out. Possible influencers could be individual differences in nervous system activity, thyroid and appetite hormones, diet and weight-loss-and-regain history, and variable amounts of brown fat. Everyone has at least a little bit of brown fat, but it varies between individuals. Unlike white fat, which makes up the majority of fat in the body and stores calories, mitochondria-packed brown fat cells burn energy and produce heat.
If losing weight while following a system is a struggle, it may not be that anything is being done wrong, its more just a matter of time. One important factor to remember is that the number on the scale is not the only marker of health. Your energy levels and how you feel, how you’re able to perform daily and physical activities, how well you’re sleeping, and other health markers are all non-scale measurements that a healthy weight-loss regimen can improve. It’s also important to remember what the alternative is—even if you’re not seeing the scale budge as much as you’d like, is it better to give up and go back to old eating habits? Most likely not.
Weight loss is unfortunately not a fully-known and well-understood science yet. But always listen to your body and remember that the journey will be different for each individual. Stick with your balanced Isagenix weight-loss plan and sometimes the end goal may just require more time, patience, and persistence.
Reference: Reinhardt M, Thearle M, Ibrahim M et al. A human thrifty phenotype associated with less weight loss during calorie restriction. Diabetes. 2015.
In the athlete world, peak performance is a must. Athletes train constantly, pushing their bodies to the limits to perform at the highest level. Often, however, they are inhibited by their own bodies’ inability to counter the mental and physiological stress that their sport demands.
While a little dose of adrenaline and nervous energy can actually enable an athlete to perform better, larger doses can be harmful to performance.
Stress from everyday life, training, and competition isn’t going anywhere. So what’s an athlete to do?
Scientific evidence suggests Adaptogens, such as those included in Ionix® Supreme, e+™, and t+ Chai, are a great way to help moderate stress. Adaptogens can be used to boost endurance, stamina, and power under strenuous athletic conditions.
After another amazing group of students at the CTHOBY, these young leaders set their eyes on their goals and learn its Possible to create your dreams!
“Every year I’m amazed at the vision these kids have at such a young age” said Aaron Hairston after the leadership luncheon. “I am so thankful to be part of such an organization that inspires the youth of Connecticut!”
Learnmore about CTHOBY @ http://www.cthoby.org/about-hoby/
One of the main reasons people start running is to lose weight. But too often for a variety of reasons they’re unable to shed the unwanted pounds. If you’re looking to make running work for you, there are a few steps you can take based on scientific research to help ensure you get results.
This “runner’s conundrum,” as it’s often called, has a lot to do with the fact that runners generally overestimate how many calories they burn (1). They spend long hours and endless miles thinking they’ve burned up a ton of calories, yet don’t realize that the running itself doesn’t burn that much. Then, they follow that up with overeating – and underestimating how many calories they’ve eaten.
But through practices such as upping exercise intensity, practicing mindful eating, and sticking to a plan, experts say you can finally make running work for you.
Running, especially when done at varying intensities, or interval style, creates the greatest metabolic and caloric burning effect (2). Incorporating sprint interval training into your runs uses all of the body’s larger muscles and elevates oxygen consumption through the varying segments of peak running speed. This type of training positively affects cardiovascular endurance and body composition of both men and women; however, men were found torespond more favorably (3).
Sprint intervals will also temporarily increase your metabolism, which helps to shed more calories as you exercise. The downfall? You might be extra hungry after a run laced with sprint intervals. So combat this by eating healthy, complex carbs pre-run followed by post-run whey protein and water (4,5). The additional whey protein will increase your satiation (making you feel less hungry) and decrease your probability to overeat post-run.
A simple key to becoming mindful is slowing down, but not when you’re running, of course! When you slow down your eating, you become more in touch with how you are feeling while you eat (1). You get to check in and ask yourself questions such as, “Am I really that hungry? Do I really need to have that last piece? Have I had enough water? Would a run or walk be the best solution to de-stress right now?” Give yourself the time to feel, chew, and think while eating. Your body will be able to communicate more clearly when it is full. And, although we have the Internet tethered to our wrists, eat without your computer or television around you, and you’ll become aware of every nourishing bite.
Moreover, recent studies have found that individuals who are not mindful about what they’re eating tend to underestimate the calories they ate by 50 percent. On the other hand, those practicing mindfulness are found to be more able to conquer pathological eating behaviors like binge eating and also reduce their total caloric intake (1,6). Basically, all this proves that slowing down might just speed up results!
Try a Cleanse Day
You can also cleanse the pounds off. Isagenix-style Cleanse Days combine intermittent fasting and drinking the herbal beverage Cleanse for Life. Especially when combined with endurance exercise like running or cycling, a dietary regimen that includes Cleanse Days certainly can accelerate weight loss. Try here!
According to a study that paired alternate-day fasting with endurance exercise (stationary bikes and elliptical machines), the combination led to superior changes in body weight and body composition (7). Together cleansing and exercise helps to positively change body composition more readily than either alone. Try scheduling your Cleanse Days on your rest days or easy-run days and see how you feel. This might be the ticket to better weight loss for you.
Sticking to it
Running for weight loss takes serious dedication and the ability to stick with it. Yes, barriers such as inclement weather, injuries, and poor motivation exist, but runners can handle these hurdles by tweaking behaviors. To improve long-term weight-loss success, start with figuring out which foods are best for your body, how many calories you really need, and planning meals in advance (8,9). So when a rainy day comes along or if you do happen to get injured, you will be prepared for success without panic.
Finding an accountability partner or coach can help you too. This holds especially true for women and obese individuals setting out to lose weight, with studies showing that accountability partners improved their follow-through and helped them achieve their weight-loss goals (10). Need a Coach?
One Foot in Front of the Other
In sum, if you’re thinking that running is an excellent way to burn more calories, you are right. Now you have the tips, that when paired with a healthy lifestyle and convenient products like those from Isagenix, you can work to ensure your weight-loss success. And although you run to lose weight, don’t forget that running also improves muscle tone, cardiovascular endurance, bone density, and provides the release of endorphins that make you feel good (1, 11-13).
McDowell D. Get in the Lean Lane: Want to lose weight, get in shape, and run your best ever? Here are 50 ways to get there. Runner’s World. 2012.
Hazell TJ, Hamilton CD, Olver TD et al. Running sprint interval training induces fat loss in women. Applied Phys Nutri and Meta. 39(8), 944-950.
Ormsbee MJ, Bach CW, Baur DA. Pre -Exercise Nutrition: The Role of Macronutrients, Modified Starches and Supplements on Metabolism and Endurance Performance. Nutrients. 2014: May 6.
Beelen M, Burke LM, Gibala MJ. Nutritional strategies to promote post exercise recovery. J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2010: Dec 20(6):515-32.
Olson KL, Emery CF. Mindfulness and Weight Loss: A Systematic Review. Psych Med. 77(1), 59-67. 2015.
Bhutani S, Klempel MC, Kroeger CM, Trepanowski JF, Varady K. Alternate day fasting and endurance exercise combine to reduce body weight and favorably alter plasma lipids in obese humans. Obesity. 2013.(21)1370-1379.
Van Dillen SM, Noordman J, Van Dulmen S, Hiddink GJ. Setting goal and implementation intentions in consultations between practice nurses and patients with overweight or obesity in general practice. Public Health Nutr. 2015: 5:1-9.
Mastellos N, Gunn LH, Felix LM, Car J, Majeed A. Transtheoretical model stages of change for dietary and physical exercise modification in weight loss management for overweight and obese adults. 2014 Feb 5;2.
Venditti EM, Wylie-Rosett J, Delahanty LM, Mele L, Hoskin MA, Edelstein SL & Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group. Short and long-term lifestyle coaching approaches used to address diverse participant barriers to weight loss and physical activity adherence. Int J of Behav Nutri and Phys Activity. 11(1), 16.
Goode T, Roth DL. Factor analysis of cognitions during running: Association with mood change. J Sport and Ex Psyc. 1993: 15, 375-375.
Hansen M, Nielsen RO, Videbaek S et al. Does running with or without changes in diet reduce fat mass in novice runners?: A 1-year prospective study. Sport Med Phys Fitness. 2015: Mar 13.
Hopkins M, Gibbons C, Caudwell P, Hellström PM, Näslund E, King NA et al. The adaptive metabolic response to exercise-induced weight loss influences both energy expenditure and energy intake. Euro J of Clin Nutri. 68(5), 581-588.
It’s no secret that we at Isagenix pride ourselves in providing some of the highest-quality undenatured whey protein. With the release of our new Chocolate IsaPro, many wonder why the product is basically just whey protein and if it has a place in their plan.
While many see IsaPro as a recovery tool from intense exercise, there is more than one reason to take it. The whey protein we use in our products has some benefits that go beyond muscle-tissue building and weight loss. Here we review some other benefits, whatever your health and wellness goals may be, of taking whey protein.
Whey protein concentrate in its undenatured form has a special protein in it called alpha-lactalbumin, which is shown to improve mental performance and mood in stressful situations (1). Alpha-lactalbumin has the ability to help maintain healthy serotonin levels, which are reduced by prolonged stress. In a series of studies using whey, subjects had higher levels of the amino acid tryptophan, which is the precursor to serotonin biosynthesis (1). Whey protein also has the potential to increase a special protein called heat-shock protein, which increases a cell’s ability to tolerate stress (2).
Whey protein has the highest biological value (demonstrating optimal levels of essential amino acids for the body) of all dairy proteins. This basically means it has a superior essential amino acid profile. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and “essential amino acids” are the ones required in the diet because the body can’t make them internally. The biological value (BV) is the ratio of how much protein the bodies’ tissues can utilize. To put the BV into perspective, soy protein has a value of 74 while whey has a whopping value of 104 (3)!
Undenatured whey has bioactive peptides (chains of bonded amino acids) and amino acids generated during digestion that stimulate the release of specific hormones that regulate appetite—resulting in reduced food consumption and greater satiety or fullness (4). These hormones include cholecystokinin, peptide YY, and glucagon-like peptide-1.
Nutritionists Rie Tsutsumi and Yasuo Tsutsumi of University of Tokushima, Japan, recently investigated the immune-enhancing benefits of undenatured whey and found multiple proteins in whey that play distinct roles in health maintenance:
Beta-lactoglobulin binds vitamin A and helps increase the uptake of vitamin A in the digestive tract. It also facilitates the uptake of fatty acids.
Alpha-lactoalbumin has protective effects on the lining of the digestive tract and can inhibit growth of harmful bacteria.
Lactoferrin aids the absorption of iron in the digestive tract and can inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria.
Serum albumin binds and carries fatty acids.
Immunoglobulins A, G, and M support the immune system.
Lactoperoxidase and lysozyme also support the immune system but also have distinct antioxidant properties.
Tsutsumi and Tsutsumi also highlight whey as an effective tool for avoiding sarcopenia, or the muscle wasting that’s so common in the elderly.
Whatever your goal, including whey protein can be a useful tool for health and wellness. New research supports how whey goes far beyond simply building muscle. High-quality whey protein can support the health of the digestive system, the immune system, decrease appetite, and even normalize stress.
Markus CR, Olivier B, de Haan EH. Whey protein rich in alpha-lactalbumin increases the ratio of plasma tryptophan to the sum of the other large neutral amino acids and improves cognitive performance in stress-vulnerable subjects. Am J Clin Nutr 2002;75:1051-6.
de Moura CS, Lollo PCB, Morato PN, Carneiro EM, Amaya-Farfan J. Whey protein hydrolysate enhances the exercise-induced heat shock protein (HSP70) response in rats. Food Chem2013;136:1350-7.
Smithers GW. Whey and whey proteins- from ‘gutter-to-gold’. Int Dairy J 2008;18:695-704.
Tsutsumi R, Tsutsumi YM. Peptides and proteins in whey and their benefits for human health.Austin J Nutri Food Sci 2014;1:1002.