Leucine and Weight Loss

I’ve recently been asked by a friend about the new Lysine produce being advertised on television with a 70% weight loss average due to fat loss.  Here is the information I have on a product that in test studies lost 99% of their weight from fat loss.

Being overweight or obese is the number one health issue of our day. Excess weight is associated with many diseases, including diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, and osteoarthritis. Excess weight increases suffering, decreases quality of living, reduces life expectancy, and places a large burden on already burdened health care resources.1

Reversing the obesity epidemic will no doubt require advances on many fronts, including public health policy, consumer and physician education, and community engagement in supporting initiatives to help people become more active. There are literally hundreds of weight-loss programs, most of which do indeed lead to weight loss—but no attention is paid to what constitutes healthy and sustainable weight loss. Loss of water weight or muscle mass (as occurs in all programs) initially looks good on the scale, but fails in the long term to achieve the goal of permanent weight loss.

Since lean muscle mass constitutes the majority of metabolism2, loss of muscle mass is unsustainable in the long-term as metabolism will plummet along with weight loss, which leads to regaining of weight unless permanent changes in diet and lifestyle have occurred. Maintenance of lean muscle mass, therefore, is a key element of a successful weight-loss program.3

PROTEIN MAINTAINS MUSCLE MASS

Since the time of the Roman Empire, protein has been known to help build muscles. When amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) were discovered, it was clear that only certain types of amino acids led to muscle building. The branched-chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) were found to have the most effect on maintaining muscle mass, and eventually leucine emerged as the amino acid that has unique effects on protein synthesis.4

Leucine has been shown to have the following effects helpful for weight loss:

  • Leucine inhibits the breakdown of other proteins.5
  • Leucine increases metabolism (thermogenic effect).6
  • During a low-calorie diet, consumption of leucine helps maintain lean muscle mass so that weight loss can preferentially come from fat stores.7
  • Leucine stimulates a rise in plasma leptin and helps people feel full.8

Several long-term studies in obese participants who consumed a high-soy protein/low-fat diet suggested improved body composition by losing fat and preserving muscle mass.9 Leucine supplementation combined with exercise appears to be one of the most effective way for maintaining lean muscle mass for weight loss.10

http://www.shaklee.tv/v.ihtml/player.html?source=embed&photo%5fid=10782261

CONCLUSION

Excess weight continues to be a challenging public health problem. It is clear that increased protein content of meals during a weight-loss program not only increases satiety and modulates cravings, but also is the main metabolic messenger for the synthesis and maintenance of lean muscle mass.

The majority of leucine-related literature confirms the significance of leucine as a dietary modulator of muscle maintenance that is useful for weight loss and maintenance. The leucine content of a meal may be the critical factor for determining the quantity and quality of proteins necessary at a meal for stimulation of muscle protein synthesis and/or decreased muscle breakdown, and the maintenance of lean body mass and metabolism.

For More Information:

Contact me or check out the Shaklee180 line which features Leucine and sports nutrition.


  1. Wolf AM, Colditz GA. Current estimates of the economic cost of obesity in the United States. Obes Res. 1998 Mar;6(2):97-106. PMID: 9545015.
  2. Zurlo F, Larson K, Bogardus C, Ravussin E. Skeletal muscle metabolism is a major determinant of resting energy expenditure. J Clin Invest. 1990 Nov;86(5):1423-7. PMID: 2243122.
  3. Deibert P, König D, Schmidt-Trucksaess A, et al. Weight loss without losing muscle mass in pre-obese and obese subjects induced by a high-soy-protein diet. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2004 Oct;28(10):1349-52. PMID: 15303108.
  4. Layman DK, Walker DA. Potential importance of leucine in treatment of obesity and the metabolic syndrome. J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1 Suppl):319S-23S. PMID: 16365106. PDF
  5. Zanchi NE, Nicastro H, Lancha AH Jr. Potential antiproteolytic effects of L-leucine: observations of in vitro and in vivo studies. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2008 Jul 17;5:20. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-5-20. PMID: 18637185. PDF
  6. Tappy L, Jéquier E, Acheson K. Thermic effect of infused amino acids in healthy humans and in subjects with insulin resistance. Am J Clin Nutr. 1993 Jun;57(6):912-6. PMID: 8503362.
  7. Churchward-Venne TA, Breen L, et al. Leucine supplementation of a low-protein mixed macronutrient beverage enhances myofibrillar protein synthesis in young men: a double-blind, randomized trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Feb;99(2):276-86. PMID: 24284442.
  8. Lynch CJ, Gern B, Lloyd C, Hutson SM, Eicher R, Vary TC. Leucine in food mediates some of the postprandial rise in plasma leptin concentrations. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Sep;291(3):E621-30. Epub 2006 Apr 25. PMID: 16638821. PDF
  9. Deibert P, König D, Schmidt-Trucksaess A, et al. Weight loss without losing muscle mass in pre-obese and obese subjects induced by a high-soy-protein diet. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2004 Oct;28(10):1349-52. PMID: 15303108.
  10. Westcott W, Varghese J, DiNubile N, et al. Exercise and Nutrition More Effective than Exercise Alone for Increasing Lean Weight and Reducing Resting Blood Pressure. Journal of Exercise Physiology Online. 2011, 14(4). PDF

Obesity and Preventable Death

Really?  You can do that? Don’t we all die?

YES, we do, ALL, die, however, our time here on earth doesn’t have to be riddled with pain and suffering.  Simple changes, made over time, can significantly decrease our chances of suffering from obesity (which can be crippling) which in turn decreases our chances of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

I recently received an email from Public Health Corps with some very valuable information, so I thought I would share it with you in regard to this important topic.

Nowhere is immune to this epidemic:

We already know the health risks associated with obesity, don’t we?

  • High Blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Abnormal triglycerides and cholesterols
  • Metabolic syndrom
  • Cancer
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Reproductive problems…
  • See more at this link.

The list is surprisingly long, however, there is something that can be done. I know, I’ve done it, I have friends who have done it, and with work, commitment, and teamwork, you can do it too!

What is this epidemic costing us? How much of our tax dollars are going toward obesity related issues?

Obesity Epidemic Costs World $2 Trillion a Year, Study Says

Obesity Epidemic Costs World $2 Trillion a Year, Study Says

Here are the Resources I promised you in the title and photo!

YOU ARE CAPABLE of making the change for the better. Whether you do it alone, with a coach, or with a group of friends, YOU CAN DO THIS!

I am here to be a resource. Simply contact me via email or on Facebook at The Healthy Grease Monkey. I have many resources and tools for all budgets and needs.

May your 2015 be the healthiest year for you yet! One Change Counts! Make it today!

Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Cookies

My daughter loves Peanut Butter cookies.  I try to make them a step healthier.  Here is what we use for our recipe… Her reply – “Yum, mommy, these taste just like the other cookies! This recipe uses less sugar and a substitution of some protein powder to offset some of the empty carbs.

Ingredients

1 cup organic butter

1/2 cup packed brown sugarPeanut Butter-Oatmeal Cookies Nutrition
1/4 cup white sugar
1 cup peanut Butter
2 eggs
1/4 cup Protein Powder
1 1/4 cup organic all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt
1 cup oat meal (if you have a texture picky child, like mine, you can grind this into a flour)

Directions

 Preheat your oven to 350 degree F

Mix protein, flour, baking soda, sea salt and oats in a medium bowl – save to add to wet

In a mixer cream the butter, sugars and peanut butter until smooth.  Beat in the eggs one at a time until well blended. Blend the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined completely.

Drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet.  I used a medium sized Pampered Chef scoop to measure them out.

Bake 10-15 minutes in the preheated oven.  JUST UNTIL LIGHT BROWN.  Don’t over-bake.

Store in an airtight container, or give to neighbors.  😉

7 Tips to Cleaning when the Family is Sick

Its Christmas time, we are hustling and bustling and I keep seeing where more and more families are dealing with the flu and other illnesses. Why is that Christmas time is when people get sick? It’s just not fair!

I feel very lucky that our household has managed to avoid all the “creeping crud” so far this year.  We continue to take our supplements and eat with the purpose of boosting our immunity, knowing that occasionally we will still fight an illness.

When we do get sick with colds, stomach viruses, etc., I have a routine that I put into action to help decrease the chances of anyone else getting the bug.

  1. WASH YOUR HANDS – a lot! My 7 year old thinks its torture, but we constantly remind her to wash her hands.
  2. Hands AWAY from Your Face – CLB is a finger sucker. We work diligently to break this habit, and I can see the orthodontist in our future.  We must keep reminding her over and over until she gets it.  (Or doesn’t get it – in regard to the illness) (update: she has ceased the finger sucking!)
  3. Wash Bedding Daily – Its an extra hassle, but makes such a difference.  Don’t allow those bugs to multiply.  We ALSO wash her “blankie” daily as well.
  4. Change out Towels – I don’t always visit her bathroom, I have my own.  I am always amazed at the “colors” that have transferred to the towels in her bathroom.  When she is sick – we Wash them DAILY until she is better. Kitchen towels too – you never know who has wiped what with those babies. LOL
  5. WIPE it ALL DOWN – We use Basic G as our only germicide and disinfectant. No need to stress the body with additional neuro-toxic fumes, the body needs to focus energies on healing and not on eliminating toxins from the body. A microfiber cloth and a spritz of diluted G will tak care of it all! (doorknobs, light switches, sink handles, refrigerator handle, and toilet handles. Other items can be wiped down with a towel that has been spritzed with G: phones, remote controls, and gaming controls)  You can find the COMPLETE list of pathogens Basic G kills here on the bottom of the page. (We’ve found that Lysol and other “commercial” germicide products multiply our illnesses in the house by compromising our human immune system, so we steer clear and head for the more natural options, AND Basic G is much less expensive.)
  6. Receptacles for Gooey Tissues – We move a trash can to the ill patient’s “nesting area” or an empty protein canister (re-purposed) The last thing I want to handle is my hubby’s pile of slimy tissues!  A protein canister, a trash can, a grocery bag – something to “contain the cooties”!
  7. Once the sickness is gone, it is best to Replace tooth-brushes! During the ordeal, you can soak them in hydrogen peroxide or run ’em through the dishwasher.  I do know some folks who rinse them in a very dilute mixture of the Basic G then rinse them very, very well. (It is not labeled for this and I don’t, but I do know some who do.)

For some additional ideas and tips to stay healthy – here is an article I wrote this fall – “5 Tips for Avoiding the New Respiratory Virus +”

Couch-is-Satan.jpg

I also like to spray down the leather sofas with the Basic G whenever they get up off of it!  We spray down the cushions and the arm rests and wipe it down with a microfiber towel.  This is where most of the family “nests” during a “battle”.  🙂

Make it a GREAT day!

6 Tips to Survive Florida Festival Season – Eating Healthy at Taste of Bonita

It’s officially Festival Season in SW Florida.  Our Rotary club had our annual Taste of Bonita last weekend.  A full weekend of food, fun and music for all to enjoy.  I was there for nearly the entire event as I was “working” the event for our club.

The “problem” with an event of this type is that there is food to eat ALL weekend. The entire weekend is built around “eating” BUT, you can still make healthy choices and not sabotage all the good you’ve done all week.

When you are on your feet all weekend, that counts as exercise. 🙂  Here’s how I kept a healthy focus while surrounded by all the amazing attractions.

Saturday was the BBQ & Chili cook-off. I opted for a couple of chili options.  I asked the vendors how may veggies were in their chilis and how they were made.  I ate one beef chili, loaded with onions, peppers and tomatoes.  It was tasty, but my winner, and the people’s choice was Ted’s Montana Grill’s Bison Chili~!   WOW!  Great flavor, lots of veggies, AND… the meat was ground, grass fed bison – high in good omegas. (Beef that is good for your heart.)

Saturday night, I wasn’t as healthy, had to have a cheeseburger in paradise for the Caribbean Chiller’s concert. But the water and protein smoothee helped offset that.  I also threw away half the bun. (every small step counts)

Sunday, The BIG day. 25 local restaurants offering their wares.  I ate a Prime Rib slider from Fitzgerald’s Irish Pub/The Stage as my splurge, then opted for a fresh veggie salad (seen above) from the local farmer’s market stand and a fruit smoothee (sans agave) from Edible Arrangements. Veggies and fiber helped to fill me up.  I spent a lot of the day drinking lots of water to stay hydrated.

Here are your tips!

  • Eat a high protein breakfast before you head out. When you don’t sabotage yourself with an empty belly beforehand, its easier to make smart choices later.
  • Look at your options. Is there an option that would be just as tasty, or more, than the other options and provide more nutrition for your caloric intake?
  • Drink a LOT of water. This helps keep you filled up so you aren’t thinking you are hungry, AND keeps you hydrated on days that could be very warm in SW FL.
  • Check the menu before you head out.  Many events, like the Taste of Bonita, offer a menu of what is being served by most of the venues.  Scout out the menu for the healthy options.  I did this before hand, so I knew I wanted a whole fruit smoothee and the delicious and colorful salad and where to find them.
  • Dance! Many of these events have live entertainment, boogie down and burn a couple of extra calories.
  • Finally, don’t beat yourself up if you splurge.  Dance a bit more, enjoy yourself, and remember that next time you can choose to make a healthier choice. Have FUN!

Taste of Bonita1 edit

Kidney Stones? – New research shows surprising healthy solution

Author: Dr. Stephen Chaney

When you are the leader in the natural food supplement industry, people sometimes test your

products without you even knowing about it.

That was exactly what happen with a recent study comparing the effects of Shaklee’s Performance and Gatorade on the risk of kidney stone formation.

This was the ultimate independent study.

Shaklee didn’t initiate it. They didn’t support it. And, in fact, they didn’t even know about it until it

was published a couple of weeks after it was published (J.W. Goodman et al, Urol. Res., 37: 41-46, 2009).

Before I get into the results of the study, perhaps I should start with an explanation of why you

would even want to do that kind of study.

Let’s start with the problem – kidney stones. They are extremely painful, and they can damage the kidney – particularly if they form over and over again.

To a urologist the solution is simple – just drink two liters of water a day.

The problem is that you have to really, really, really like water to drink two liters a day, and most

people just aren’t that into water.

In fact, previous studies had shown that even when patients had a previous kidney stone and were told by their urologist to drink two liters of water a day, the beverage result was an increase of only 0.3 liters a day of water.

So this group of urologists asked what people were drinking instead of water.

The latest trends show that soft drink consumption is decreasing and consumption of sports drinks and energy drinks is increasing. And, there was absolutely no information on whether sports drinks increased or decreased the risk of kidney stone formation.

So they decided to look at two well-known sports drinks, Shaklee’s Performance and Gatorade, to see whether they would increase or decrease the risk of kidney stone formation compared to the consumption of an equivalent amount of water.

They looked at the effect of each sports drink on the amount of citrate in the urine and by how much they increased the pH of the urine because each of these decreases the risk of kidney stone formation.

They also looked at the effect of each sports drink on the amount of sodium and calcium in the urine because each of those increases the risk of kidney stone formation. Performance significantly increased the amount of citrate and the pH of the urine, while Gatorade had no effect on either of them.

Neither Performance or Gatorade had an significant effect on sodium or calcium levels in the urine.  Thus, they concluded that Shaklee’s Performance was superior to either Gatorade or water alone at decreasing the risk of kidney stone formation.

Now you might be tempted to say that this study was of more interest to urologists than the general public, but my guess is that if you have ever suffered through a kidney stone this study is of great interest to you.

But to me the more important conclusion is that, once again, independent clinical studies show the superiority of Shaklee products.

About The Author : Dr. Chaney has a BS in Chemistry from Duke University and a PhD in Biochemistry from UCLA. He currently holds the rank of Professor at a major university where runs an active cancer research program and has published over 100 scientific articles and reviews in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

*For more information on health and wellness as well as our full line of Sports Nutrition products including Performance, contact me at Tess@HealthyGreaseMonkey.com

Choices & Consequences = Our Current Health???

So, I’ve been preaching choices and consequences to my daughter quite a bit lately.  At 7 she wants what she wants and she cries if she doesn’t get it.  It frustrates me to no end, I don’t feel like we spoil her, we don’t buy her everything she asks for, she has responsibilities, and she is required to eat what is fixed for meals.

Today, she wanted to go to the park. I said okay and that we would ride our bikes there.  She was very excited.  (It is August in SW FL) As we prepared to leave she decided she would rather ride her scooter.  I discussed this with her and tried to focus on the consequences of this choice, that she would be required to bring the apparatus home after the park and that her bike would be easier than her scooter, yet she insisted. – Long story short – the mile home seemed like 15 to me! She kept whining and complaining that she was just going to die, that she couldn’t go on another step. We didn’t have a choice – we had to get home, plus, she had plenty of water for the journey.

CLB pouting at dinner

We get home and it is lunch time. Consequences—> She still has chicken and mixed veggies from the other night that she has refused to eat – so that is lunch.  She is now taking a nap in her room because she is just too exhausted to eat. LOL 

Why is this relevant to your life?

Our daily choices have consequences. Everyday we choose a soda pop, or a donut, or a bowl of cereal, or a 10,000 calorie sandwich from a fast food restaurant.  Our daily choices have consequences. 

Unfortunately, we don’t see those consequences so readily as having to eat the food we refused the night before or by having to get home on our scooter when we’ve decided we are done.

These consequences may take years or even decades to develop. Enter the current state of our national healthcare crisis.  Forget about the fact that no one can afford the care they need – WHY DO THEY NEED THE CARE IN THE FIRST PLACE?  Choices & Consequences

I saw a new YouTube video

yesterday that points this out clearly. 

I don’t typically like, what I call, scare monger tactics to make people see things, but this video stuck me hard.  Our choices have consequences.  I count myself lucky because I had friends who pointed me in a healthier direction.  Better Choices.

This video, clearly shows WHY I am so adamant about our children having recess and PE at school, WHY I protest teachers giving the kids candy or food for answering correctly or cooperating, WHY I stress that our daily choices make such a difference.

I was close to this in my 30’s.  Though not this big, I was struggling with my health, with depression, with pain, and the answer I was given at that time was to take prescriptions. SIX of them at one time – some to handle the side effects of the others.  I was miserable.  I thank my friend, Betsey, for opening my eyes to what nutritional choices could do and to how easy those choices could be.

What can you do?

If you are struggling with your weight, with pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, pain in your joints, the beginning of heart disease, lethargy, cravings and such, changing a few things gradually could have a synergistic effect and redirect your current path.

I would love to work with to show you what simple choices could make a HUGE impact on your health! HUGE (and I’m not trying to sell Kia’s here either. – local humor) 

Simple steps can begin to turn things around for you so that you don’t find yourself where this gentleman has found himself.

CONSIDER THE CONSEQUENCES BEFORE

YOU MAKE THAT CHOICE!