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Exercise and Weight Loss

10 Feb

“I’m going to start losing weight”

“Great, what’s your plan?”

“I’m going to the gym again, I will probably do 30 minutes on the elliptical a day”

I have had this very conversation more times than I can count.  It’s almost gotten to the point where I can predict the future as I always know what the person is going to say.  Heck, I used to be the same way!  I thought exercise was the end all be all of weight loss and the only way to really look the way I wanted to.  Or maybe I thought it was just easier to exercise and still eat really terrible food.  Guess what.  You can’t out-exercise a bad diet.  I’m going to say that again.  You can’t out-exercise a bad diet!

Exercise has many benefits, but there are problems with relying on it to control weight. First, it’s just not true that Americans, in general, aren’t listening to calls for more activity. From 2001 to 2009, the percentage of people who were sufficiently physically active increased. But so did the percentage of Americans who were obese. The former did not prevent the latter.

Studies confirm this finding. A 2011 meta-analysis, a study of studies, looked at the relationship between physical activity and fat mass in children, and found that being active is probably not the key determinant in whether a child is at an unhealthy weight. In the adult population, interventional studies have difficulty showing that a physically active person is less likely to gain excess weight than a sedentary person. Further, studies of energy balance, and there are many of them, show that total energy expenditure and physical activity levels in developing and industrialized countries are similar, making activity and exercise unlikely to be the cause of differing obesity rates.

A couple new studies (like the one mentioned above) have come out confirming that diet is FAR more important than exercise when it comes to weight loss.  The funny thing is, we all kinda knew this, and we just didn’t want to admit it.  Its way easier to eat that piece of cake and say you will work it off later than it is to consistently say no to these damaging foods.  Plus, people constantly misjudge how many calories they really burn when they exercise.  Part of that is their treadmill and elliptical probably lies to them and part of it is misjudging how hard they are actually working.

Don’t get me wrong, exercise is amazingly important for overall health and wellbeing.  But if you are trying to lose weight, you need to understand the effects exercise will have on you.  First of all, it will make you hungrier!  Realize that, and feed yourself accordingly.  Just don’t “reward” yourself with an unhealthy treat after doing 30 minutes of exercise.  It will severely hurt your ability to lose any weight whatsoever.  Healthy carbs like sweet potatoes and green veggies after a workout will give you energy AND help you lose weight.

In order to lose weight we must start with our diet and it’s best not to complicate it.  Eliminate all refined sugars and stick to healthy proteins, fats, and carbs.   Chicken, turkey, all veggies, sweet potatoes, and fruits in the morning should be staples of your diet.

Help us spread the word!  The next time someone tells you their plan to lose weight solely relies on exercise, educate them that changing their diet is far more important!  Tell them to supplement their diet with occasional exercise, not vice versa.  Most importantly, don’t forget the mantra:  You cannot out-exercise a bad diet!

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Make the holidays your Boo!

17 Oct

Look, let’s get one thing out of the way. I am not ready to call Mid-October “The Holiday Season” either. I’m not ready to walk into a Target and be surrounded by songs about Christmas piping through the speakers and Christmas decorations everywhere I look. It’s happening though, whether we are ready or not, and one very important thing to take note of: we’ve already started eating like it’s the holidays.

This makes sense, our ancestors didn’t get to watch the snowfall from their hot yoga class, or head to work from their nice warmed home, to their nice warmed car, to their nice warmed office. These are (in the grand scheme of things) fairly new to us. So when the temperature starts to dip our normal human cravings for fat, sugars, and carbohydrates goes from bad to downright ravenous!

Take a deep breath…take one more…and put the candy corn DOWN. Despite your pesky desire to pack on weight this time of year, you can maintain a workout schedule, and eat the amazing bounty of winter fruits and vegetables available to you at your local market.

Craving something sweet? Oranges are about to be the best they are all year, and the vitamin C boost is going to keep your immune system running strong during cold and flu season!

Wanting all the pumpkin spice lattes? Find better ways to use this awesome squash! I recommend a pumpkin curry served over brown rice! Savory, sweet, and a little bit of spice this is a great way to pack in the pumpkin flavor.

Cruciferous vegetables like Kale, Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, and broccoli that are available year round lend themselves perfectly to your holiday feasts! Season them and roast them up! Served with your turkey this is a high protein, high fiber, nutrient rich meal that can’t be beat! While everyone else is jumpstarting their heart after eating their weight in gravy, you’ll be ready to go caroling!

When you’re at holiday parties (of which you will probably be at no fewer than 5) instead of starving yourself until you can’t take it anymore and gorge on holiday cookies and cream cheese pumpkin roll, breeze in there like you own the place and move right to the almost untouched fruit and vegetable plate. Fill up on this stuff first and after a few servings where you’ve curbed the hunger pangs from going straight from work to a party then you can reward yourself with some tasty carby treats. It’s OK to try everything, just remember hors d’oeuvre’s aren’t meals! Your body needs real food if you’re hungry – not sugary salty carbs!

This year, forget your New Years weight loss resolution; keep your body in shape right now! By keeping real whole foods at your disposal, you’ll be able to have a taste of all the holiday treats without going overboard. So, it may not even be Halloween yet, but….HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYBODY!!!

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When life hands you lemons – make yourself into a super fit hottie

03 Oct

Bad break up? Financial woes? General malaise and bummed out feelings? Time to wakey wakey eggs and bacy and get yourself to the gym, the trail, the bike, the yoga class, the ACTIVE LIFESTYLE you see on yogurt commercials.

This is no easy task, when life is kickin you while you’re down, the urge to lay in bed and watch Lifetime movies with a pint of double fudge brownie ice cream is pretty strong. What does it actually give you though? Think about it? If you need that for a few days go for it and go HARD, but maybe there is something that will make you feel genuinely better.

The first day is hard. Getting out of bed to put on your workout gear is like pulling teeth, you’re going to work out and you’re mad about it. I get it; we have all been there before. Half the time fitting a workout into your day when you’re feeling just fine is hard enough, doing it when you feel like a bum? Unheard of! Trust me though! This is when you NEED it the most!

When you work out, your body releases endorphins, and these guys are the secret happy cocktail you need to wrap your brain in warm fuzzies. Not only that, but you’re doing something good for yourself; lowering your cholesterol, improving your flexibility, burning calories. This is like a retail therapy trip for your body!

Days 2 through 4? No picnic either. One good workout does not bring the boyfriend back, nor does it pay your insane Verizon bill, and it certainly doesn’t fix whatever existential crisis you’re experiencing at this particular juncture. Give it time, get up and do it again, make it your ritual, give yourself this! Seriously, change the way you view it, you’re giving yourself something awesome! You’re doing this for you, and you deserve it.

The longer you keep with it, the better you’re gonna feel. Not saying you won’t have slumps where you don’t work out for a week or two, but you’ll remember that high you felt when you ran faster on the treadmill than you ever have before, or the upward dog you did in yoga that stretched you in all the right ways, and you’ll get back up and do it again!

Oh and when you run into that jerk ex of yours out? You won’t get the satisfaction of watching his jaw drop at the site of the hot new worked-out you. You’re too far ahead of the game at this point to even be bothered with that, besides, isn’t there a cute guy checking you out at the other end of the bar? Yeah, I’d say go talk to him…

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Laughter, Joy, and Weight Loss

18 Sep

A lot of the time when people start a new diet or exercise routine it’s because they are really dissatisfied with their current weight. They berate themselves day in and day out, and deny themselves some of the greatest pleasures like eating out with friends or being active outside of the gym setting.

If this isn’t your first rodeo with dieting you probably know what I’m talking about, and because this isn’t your first time you probably realize that this tactic of self blame and impossible standards didn’t help you actually reach any of your goals.

You may have heard about the chemical cortisol, which the body uses to regulate insulin and blood sugar, but it is also released when you are stressed out. Too much cortisol has been proven to cause weight gain! Not only does it cause weight gain, it causes weight gain in your abdomen, an area where too much fat storage has been known to have a direct correlation to heart attack and stroke. (Yikes! I know, my stress levels increased just typing that, but take a breath and calm down, there’s good advice right around the corner!)

When you beat yourself up and force yourself into rigorous diets and exercise routines you are often adding undue stress into your life and actually working against your goals. Now that doesn’t mean some lifestyle changes aren’t a good idea, of course they are, but moving forward with JOY is a huge step in the right direction.

Watch your calorie intake but never deprive yourself meals or the social aspects of meal time, if you are going out to eat, many restaurants offer lower calorie suggestions that are just as delicious. Plus, sometimes it’s OK to order that awesome cheeseburger on the menu, but maybe skip the soda, alcoholic drinks, and dessert that time around.

Sure spend some time at your gym, but don’t forget just being more active can change your life! On a sunny day ride your bike to the store, or take a stroll with friends. Get out and swim! Changing your life doesn’t have to be misery UNTIL you’re the size you want to be.

You’re beautiful now! A goal is great, but don’t forget you’re as awesome now as you will be a few sizes smaller, so don’t turn your life upside down to achieve a smaller size! Make changes towards a healthier happier you every day and I think you’ll be very pleased with the results!

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Green Tea may be the best date you’ve ever been on

12 Sep

I know you’ve heard about the power of Green Tea, it’s all over the place these days. A Google search will turn up massive results, with claims like WEIGHT LOSS! HELPS YOU RELAX! LOWER YOU LDL (BAD) CHOLESTEROL! REDUCE CANCER RISKS! GREEN TEA IS A GREAT BOYFRIEND WHO WILL NEVER CHEAT! OK I made that last one up…but you get the point, lots and lots of praise is being heaped upon our grassy flavored friend right now.

So a lot of this information is speculation, as in not a ton of clinical trials have been conducted and the research on Green Tea has largely been inconclusive. What is known, is that Green Tea contains antioxidants known as catechins, and no doctor is going to tell you that antioxidants don’t have benefits; just the extent of what they can do is what hasn’t been tested enough to slap a “FDA approved to treat the following conditions” label on it.

I like to work from the framework that science has proven the benefit of antioxidants already and that the catechins found in Green Tea are known to be good for you. It is the extent of their abilities that still need more testing. Green Tea is also in a unique position to help with weight loss due to its scientifically proven metabolism boosting and appetite suppressing qualities.

It’s recommended that you drink at least 1-2 mugs of this stuff a day, and up to 10. If you are caffeine sensitive 10 is a lot, but 7 can give you a big metabolism boost for weight loss, and a chemical called theanine found in Green Tea, which can lower stress and anxiety, can help with those caffeine shakes. Regardless, never drink more than your body feels comfortable with, I am VERY sensitive to caffeine and can’t do more than 2 cups before I’m unable to sleep at night!

So while Green Tea may not be the best boyfriend of all time, it is a fantastic way to add some healthy stuff into your daily routine! Just making a pot of tea is relaxing and a nice way to start your day! Get on the Green Tea train, and let me know how it works out for you on Twitter, or in the comments!

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Lose weight, boost your metabolism, and feel better in 20 minutes or less!

30 Aug

Wow! That is a lofty claim, in fact, I am glad you continued reading cause lets be honest: the internet is full of claims like the one above and more often than not the secret is under wraps till you shell out $$$ for the latest and greatest fat loss system.

It’s true though, and it can be backed up! Ever hear of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). It’s freakin’ fantastic, and can change your life. Let me start with the basics:

HIIT is a method of exercise where you alternate short bursts of aerobic exercise with a recovery period. The best part is you can have an awesome workout in 20 minutes!

Take a look at this treadmill workout:

Set the incline to 3 and begin with a 2 minute warm up at the lowest speed that will still get your heart rate up so lets say 4.5 mph (where I started)

at the start of the 3rd minute move your speed up .5 miles per hour (so 5 mph)

on the 4th minute go up .5 miles per hour (5.5 mph)

move up another .5 on the 5th minute (6 mph)

on the 6th minute, you guessed it – one more .5 (6.5)

on the 7th drop down to your lowest speed (4.5)

from minute 8-11 bring it up .5mph each minute

12th minute. drop it back down to your lowest speed (4.5)

13-16 bring it back up .5/mph per minute!

Now for your 17th and 18th minute CRANK IT UP another .5 mph (7 mph) go ALL OUT!

For your last two minutes drop back down to your lowest speed and cool down!

This workout is AWESOME SAUCE all around, start slower than 4.5 mph and work your way up, even at it’s most excruciating I KNOW you have 2 minutes of no holds barred all out running to give, even if you’re not going to make it up to 7.5 mph!

Another great HIIT workout? Go 2 minutes at your lowest speed then kick it up to your fastest speed for 30-40 seconds, drop back down to your lowest for another 2 and then crank it back up to your highest for 30-40 seconds. Repeat this cycle for 10-12 minutes or as many as 12 cycles, whatever pushes your body to where you can’t do another cycle, and you have crammed a whole days worth of metabolism boosting, calorie burning, hot body makin’ cardio into less time than it takes to watch a repeat of Friends!

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Does this stuff ACTUALLY work?

19 Aug

Can ephedra help me? It’s a question I hear A LOT. Simple question, it deserves a simple answer right?

This is the tricky part, this simple yes or no question doesn’t get a yes or no.

Ephedra extract, the extract from the Ma Huang plant’s leaves that are currently available on the market can work to maintain and lose weight.

It CAN work, and there are a few factors to consider.

Everyone is different, and everyone reacts to any form of medication or supplement differently. What works for someone may not for another, and lets be real: When it comes to treating obesity and helping folks lose weight, the jury is out! What is safe? What works?

A surefire way to lose some weight, maintain your current weight, and have a healthier life is simple. So simple you’ve probably heard of it a time or two. Eat right, healthy “real” (as in not processed) foods and exercise.

“Oh diet and exercise you say? Never heard THAT before” Hush now! I can almost see your exasperated eye rolling now!

It’s true, it has always been true, and it always will be the formula for maintaining a healthy weight.

Ephedra supplements CAN help though. Ephedra with a proprietary blend that often included caffeine and other metabolic boosters can provide you with the energy and appetite suppression you need to reach your goal weight!

Again, not everyone is the same, what works for Patty (she’s so thin, ugh don’t you just HATE her?!) may not work for Johnny (He was so cute in high school MAN what happened?!) but may work for you.

We aren’t going to sell anything and call it the “sit on your couch with a bag of chocolate covered pork rinds and lose weight” pill but we will say that if you are dedicated to changing your lifestyle, getting up and moving and improving your diet an ephedra supplement can help. Honest!

With that in mind, let me just throw this in here, not every ephedra supplement is going to work the same for every person (which is why we carry so many products on the site…seriously have you looked at our site? We got a TON of ephedra supplements). So lets say you try our number one Green Stinger cause everyone’s raving about it and the reviews look good, and you get the bottle and a week later you’re just feeling like you drank 3 pots of espresso and not losing a pound. Well guess what? You can send that baby right back and say, “This one gave me the energy…too much really, but none of the appetite suppression”. We got you covered, send it back and we’ll get another supplement out to you; we might even have a good recommendation if you don’t know what to go with after reading through reviews. Seriously easy, you can’t go wrong.

My point: ephedra can help, whether you are just getting started, or have hit a weight loss plateau. It’s just about maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle and finding the supplement that’s gonna work for you!

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Breakfast REALLY is the most important meal of the day

01 Aug

Get up and go. Sometimes that is literally the hardest part of my day. Maybe that sounds like I lead a charmed life, but it ain’t so!

I wake up with a pit in my stomach and I just cannot start my day. Spend another hour in bed, not actually asleep but not willing to get up. It’s not a good start (or a pretty sight for that matter; no really it’s kind of a horror movie).

I’m not a huge coffee drinker, and caffeine kind of aggravates my already sensitive stomach.

The only thing that works for me? I get my full 7-8 hours AND I eat my breakfast first thing.

“But I’m not hungry first thing in the morning!”

I know…I wasn’t either, for a long time. I literally had to train myself by forcing food down when I first woke up and no later than 45 minutes after waking up. Try something easy on the stomach. I recommend gluten free oats, or even better, some awesome overnight oats! Delicious, filled with fiber, protein, and good bacteria to get your digestion booted up first thing.

You get on this routine and I PROMISE you will wake up hungry and your morning blahs will pass quicker than you ever thought possible. And if you get enough sleep you may start waking up without the use of an alarm and eliminate the blahs all together!

You will be surprised how this affects your whole life. You will have an easier time maintaining a healthy weight, your stress levels will drop, your skin will get that glow. Everyone will be all “What’s your secret, oh tell me plleaaasssse” and you’ll be all like “IT’S BREAKFAST! YOLO!!!!!” Then you’ll like, I dunno, smash through a wall like the Kool-Aid man or something.

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Do you know the Chinese translation for Ephedra? If not, you are embarrassing.

26 Apr

We have written extensively about ephedra vs ephedrine and the Chinese origins of ephedra.  We at are curious people and wanted to know what the Chinese translation for ephedra was.  Why?  We have no idea, these are just the ideas that pop into our heads while looking out our beautiful Austin office building day dreaming about our next run in the park or boating adventure.

So according to Google Translate here are some common phrases that we use in everyday life talking to customers, each other, and the mirror.

Ephedra =  麻黃

Best customer service on Earth = 地球上最好的客戶服務

Our number #1 product is Green Stinger = 我們的頭號產品是綠色毒刺

Party on Wayne = 在韋恩黨

Obviously I have no idea if any of these translations are right so if any Chinese customers are out there and want to correct us feel free.   And if you want to get really crazy and submit a video of you saying the Chinese version of these four sayings I will give you a million dollars.  Just kidding!  But we will give you some kind of awesome prize pack for a video submission in Chinese because that would just make us awesome.  Next language on the agenda is Latin so brush up everyone.

JT Hart is a regular contributor to Ephedra Outlet. He is a confused individual that spends his time enjoying good beer and food while also competing in triathlons and obstacle races. He manages to stay in good shape by being smart about his exercise and even smarter about his eating. He also loves to travel and all things sports. Follow him on Google+

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Wristband Motivation

06 Dec

Everyone needs a little extra motivation right?  And who knows more about the motivation they need then the person putting in the effort?  That’s why we are asking you to come up with an amazing slogan, quote, or phrase to put on our brand new wristbands.  Not only will the winning quote go on our wristbands for thousands of people to read, but you will win a $100 gift card from

Some of you may be wondering why we are doing this.  We get hundreds of calls a month from people with very similar issues and similar goals.  They want to lose weight, and they are struggling to do it.  We have found one of the keys behind weight loss is motivation.  Motivation to go for a walk in during the sleepy winter months, motivation to say no to that second serving of dessert, or motivation to not go on that midnight binge.

We think these wristbands can have an amazing effect on your motivation level.  Don’t just wear it and forget about it though.  We have two ways to stay motivated using these wristbands.

  1.  Set up a schedule to read the quote on the wristband and remind yourself why you are trying to lose weight.  Maybe it’s to impress someone, do better at a sport, live longer, or just feel better (and you will!).  If you do this daily you are much more likely to avoid the pitfalls that keep you from losing weight.
  2. Make it a game.  Start with your wristband on your left wrist.   Make a commitment to your exercise and diet plan.  Every time you miss a workout or have an unscheduled cheat meal, move the wristband to your right wrist.  This signifies that you messed up.  Hold yourself accountable!  After your next workout or walk move it back to your left wrist and start over again.


We look forward to seeing your awesome suggestions to go on our brand new wristbands!  Make our decision tough for us and feel free to leave multiple suggestions.  Just leave a comment on this blog post containing your idea and you will be entered into the contest.

Ashlie Bales is a semi-regular contributor to Ashlie can be found traveling the world or sleeping in on the weekend. Sometimes both. Follow her on Google+