As saying goes “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”, but we all know that lots of things taste just as good…melted butter on a croissant, an authentic Italian pizza with melted cheese, hot chocolate chip cookies, grandma’s old-fashioned pancakes. One the best parts of vacation is experiencing the most delicious meals your destination has to offer. The purpose of holidays is to escape from everyday routines, relax and enjoy yourself. Many of us struggle with food guilt during the holiday season, but the constant worry about making the “right” food choices can easily make our vacations more stressful than they should be.
But don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with these “anti-fat” ingredients to help negate the harmful effects of high calorie eating and help you enjoy the holidays without guilt!
CLA – Conjugated linoleic acid
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a naturally occurring dietary fatty acid that has been found to reduce weight gain and decrease fat mass. According to a study from University of Wisconsin-Madison, supplementing with 3.2 grams of CLA per day significantly reduced body fat over 6 months and prevented weight gain during the holiday season. 1
L-carnitine is one of the most popular fat burning supplements, but did you know that this can be one of the most effective weapon against excess carbs? In a study led by researchers at University of Nottingham, L-carnitine supplementation prevented an 18% increase in body fat mass associated with high amount of carbohydrate consumption. L-carnitine supplementation was associated with a greater energy expenditure and fat oxidation during low-intensity physical activity, and an adaptive increase in expression of gene networks involved in muscle insulin signalling and fatty acid metabolism. 2
The main active ingredients of the small, pumpkin-like fruit of Garcinia cambogia is called hydroxycitric acid (HCA). It has been shown that HCA inhibits the actions of citrate cleavage enzyme, suppresses de novo fatty acid synthesis, and decreases body weight gain. In a study published in Current Therapeutic Research, japanese researchers found that supplementing with Garcinia cambogia (containing 1000 mg of HCA per day) reduced abdominal fat accumulation in subjects, regardless of sex, thus may be useful for the prevention and reduction of accumulation of visceral fat. 3
It may sound surprising but vitamin C is not just for winter time. A study conducted by researchers form University of Navarra, tested the hypothesis that food supplementation with an antioxidant molecule such as vitamin C could prevent fat deposition induced by a high-fat diet. The found that ascorbic acid dietary supplementation reduced body weight and the retroperitoneal and subcutaneous fat depots in cafeteria diet-induced obese rats, without affecting food intake. 4
1. Watras A, Buchholz A, Close R, Zhang Z, Schoeller DA. The role of conjugated linoleic acid in reducing body fat and preventing holiday weight gain. Int J Obes. 2006;31(3):481–7.
2. Stephens FB, Wall BT, Marimuthu K, et al. Skeletal muscle carnitine loading increases energy expenditure, modulates fuel metabolism gene networks and prevents body fat accumulation in humans. The Journal of Physiology. 2013;591(Pt 18):4655-4666. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2013.255364.
3. Hayamizu K, Ishii Y, Kaneko I, et al. Effects of garcinia cambogia (Hydroxycitric Acid) on visceral fat accumulation: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Current Therapeutic Research, Clinical and Experimental. 2003;64(8):551-567. doi:10.1016/j.curtheres.2003.08.006.
4. Campión J, Milagro FI, Fernández D, Martínez JA.: Vitamin C supplementation influences body fat mass and steroidogenesis-related genes when fed a high-fat diet. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2008 Mar;78(2):87-95. doi: 10.1024/0300-98126.96.36.199.