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Get back into shape quickly and naturally

(NC) As we put the long heavy coats and wooly sweaters away in storage until next winter, we often come to the realization that last year's spring-summer clothes just don't fit anymore. What's changed?

There's no denying that a long, harsh winter can wreak havoc on our diet and fitness routines. With the cold weather finally behind us, it's time to get outside and enjoy the warmer temperatures and get back in shape for swimsuit season. The Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) has some helpful suggestions to help get your beach body back.

When considering weight-loss goals, the research consistently shows that creating a negative energy balance is essential. This means that you should spend more energy—in the form of calories—than you consume. This can be achieved through diet and exercise, both of which will benefit and create better results especially when paired with certain supplements.

While a proper exercise regimen is essential to maintain your lean body mass, adding a protein supplement to that regime helps maintain your muscle mass and therefore assists in the fat-loss process. Protein is a vital macronutrient, essential for the transport of fuels to be burned for energy; it builds anti-bodies for your immune system, and helps muscles repair. Muscle repair and growth increases your resting metabolism, meaning that you burn more calories in every activity, whether sitting, standing, or at the gym. Supplemental protein, when needed, can also help because it has a high-satiety factor, meaning that it will leave you feeling fuller for longer. If you're vegan, try rice, hemp, or pea protein as a substitute for whey protein.

Recent studies show that maintaining healthy gut flora is also key to achieving your optimal size. Weight problems can potentially indicate an unhealthy digestive tract. Adding a probiotic to your regimen will help you shed pounds by maintaining a healthy digestive tract that is able to eliminate harmful bacteria, toxins and other waste products, helping to improve your overall digestive health. Probiotics also help improve your immune and cardiovascular systems.

Fibre is a nutrient that is lacking in many of our diets. The recommended daily intake is 25 to 30 mg per day, but some people are only getting a fraction of that. Fibre helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer, decreasing the chances that you will overeat during the day. It's also an essential nutrient for digestive health. You can very easily get the recommended amount of fibre by eating vegetables and whole grains. However, if you still have trouble getting the recommended daily intake, taking a daily supplement can be very helpful for maintaining overall digestive health and to help in your weight loss goals. 

Green tea extract contains caffeine, cathecins and thiamine, all of which have been shown to boost metabolism. Green tea extract can also lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Adding this supplement is a safe and natural way to speed up your weight loss.

When making significant changes to your fitness, nutrition, or supplement routines, it's always important to talk to your health care practitioner to ensure that these changes are right for you. To discover other natural health tips and to locate the nearest natural health retailer, visit chfa.ca.

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