Supplement Overhaul

New routine.
I've been doing some serious research as of late about the supplements that I am taking.  I've received several inquiries regarding supplements and I have realized that there isn't a lot of rhyme or reason to what I put in my body, which is downright silly.

image via
I started with the Raspberry Ketones for several reasons, the largest being that a low carb diet is dependent on ketone production and it made sense to help that process along.  Not only are they expensive, but I don't feel like I'm getting very good results from them, so I'm going to let them go.  I'm switching from a B Complex vitamin to a multivitamin, which includes Vitamin B and a myriad of other important things.  I'm keeping the fish oil, Glutamine, and fiber, but I'm going to pay more attention to how much I should be taking and at what time of day.  I'll be posting updates on how I'm feeling, if the supplements are working, etc, as we go along.  Let me reiterate that I am not a doctor and I am not a licensed nutritionist.  Please consult with your health care professional before adding any supplements to your diet.  

Women's Multivitamin
A good multivitamin is crucial for getting all of the vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to function efficiently.  The main difference between a general multivitamin and one specifically for women is that a women's formula will include more iron to make up for what we loose during our menstrual cycles each month.  Centrum or One a Day are both good multivitamins, but I've found the Centrum to be less expensive and y'all know that I am cheap.  This multivitamin can be taken once a day with breakfast.

Whey Protein
This strawberry flavor is not as good as I thought it would
be.  I prefer the chocolate and awesome boyfriend likes
vanilla.  You might have to sample a few to find one that
tastes good to you.  
There is a common misconception that protein will make you gain weight, and should be used by body builders who are trying to bulk up.  This is not true.  If you walk away from this article with one thing let it be this: You need to supplement your diet with protein.  Our lean muscles need protein to function, and if you aren't getting enough, you can't build any more lean muscle.  Lean muscle is what replaces the fat when you are losing weight, so a good protein supplement is crucial for weight loss.

There are varying opinions out there about exactly how much protein we should get in a day, and it depends on your level of physical activity.  A general rule of thumb is that you should be getting one gram of protein for each pound of lean body weight.  Think about how much you weigh when you are in your best physical shape- not your supermodel skinny weight, your weight when you are running and lifting weights like a champ.  For me that is about 140 pounds.  There's no way I'm eating 140 grams of protein each day from regular food, so I need to supplement.  At present I'm having 2 scoops of protein powder in the morning before/with breakfast (about 50 grams), and another 2 scoops after my workouts.  Some mornings I'm still hungry for breakfast after I have the protein and some mornings I'm not.  If I'm still hungry, I eat and if I'm not, I don't force myself.

Fish Oil
I think I purchased a 60 capsule twin pack at the grocery
store.  The best way to buy fish oil is in bulk online.  If you
search on Amazon you can get a huge bottle of 400 caps
for something like $10.  
I spent a lot of time debating over this one.  Most experts agree that we do need to increase our intake of essential fatty acids (EFA's).  There seems to be some disagreement over exactly what that looks like.  Some folks believe that fish oil alone is enough, while others believe that we need to supplement that with flax seed oil or other Omega-3s.  To be completely honest with you, the deciding factor on this for me was the giant bottle of fish oil capsules in my freezer that I didn't want to throw away.  What will change is that I will be increasing my dosage.  I was taking one capsule in the morning and another one before bed.  The bulk of my reading said that fish oil should be taken with every meal.  Moving forward, I'll be taking three fish oil capsules each day- one with breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Thermogenic Fat Burner
Fat burners are very controversial, and I have to again insist that you talk to your doctor before adding a thermogenic supplement to your diet.  Thermogenics are only safe for people who are in generally good health, not pregnant or nursing, no heart problems, and don't consume a lot of caffeine.  I am planning on cutting out coffee completely because I am adding this supplement.

You can see here that one green tea capsule is 150 mg,
which means I have to take 3 at a time to get the right dose.
At that rate, this bottle will last about a week.  The good
news is that a bottle this size costs around $3.00 at Walmart.
Thermogenics come in many forms, but the ones most people are familiar with are things like Hydroxycut, Redline, or SlimQuick.  Thermogenics work by stimulating your central nervous system and speeding up metabolism.  Now, before all you naysayers start commenting that those weight loss pills don't really work, let me tell you that are absolutely right.  There is not such thing as a magic pill that is going to make pounds just drop off.  Thermogenics are designed to be used as a supplement to diet and exercise.  Adding a fat burner to your regimen but not changing your behaviors will leave you in exactly the same shape you were in when  you started.  If you are thinking about adding a fat burner to your diet, I highly recommend you read this article, which goes into the science behind thermogenics at length.

The thermogenic fat burner I'll be taking is a combination of caffeine and green tea extract.  This is sometimes known as the cheapskate combo or the college student combo because both caffeine and green tea extract are very inexpensive.  Because I am both cheap and a college student, this seems appropriate.  I will be taking 450 mg green tea extract and 200 mg caffeine twice a day.  The first 'stack' will be with breakfast, around 9:30 AM, and the second 'stack' will be mid afternoon, around 3:00 PM.  I may increase or decrease dosage after the first week or two depending on how my body reacts to the supplements.  You can find more information about different fat fighting supplements, including how much and when to take, in this article from Muscle and Fitness.

I bought this bottle at GNC, but this tends to be the
most expensive place to buy supplements.  Once it's gone
I'll look for a cheaper one online and keep you posted.  
Glutamine is important for muscle recovery after a workout.  When you are exercising, especially strength training, your body is using Glutamine, and it's important to replenish it after exercise.  Glutamine also helps stimulate the development of lean muscle, which ultimately helps burn fat.  Glutamine should be taken immediately post workout or before bed on rest days.  Studies have also shown that Glutamine helps the body fight sugar cravings by stabilizing blood sugar.  I'll be taking Glutamine according to package instructions which is 1500 mg (2 capsules) post work out or before bed.


Fiber is good for digestive health.  Not only does it help keep things moving, it also helps with bloating that is sometimes associated with a low carb diet.  If you are eating a lot of meat, eggs, cheese, etc, I highly recommend that you take fiber with every meal.  I am already taking fiber in the morning and at night.  I'll be adding a third dose with lunch.

One week's worth- pack on Sunday evening and grab one each morning on the way out the door.

Cheat sheet.  

And that's all folks.  Is your head swimming yet?  This new regimen is the result of several weeks of research, reading, and talking to specialists.  Supplements can help you achieve your weight loss goals, especially if you have hit a plateau.  I encourage all of you lovely readers to do some research on your own and try to find a regimen that is tailored for your body.  And of course, if you have questions please feel free to submit them to lifelovelowcarb@gmail.com or leave them in the comments field below.


  1. How are all these supplements currently working for you?

  2. They make me feel good, and definitely help with my appetite and energy. This routine was making me a little bit jumpy so I cut back on the green tea. You can see the routine I'm currently using here: http://lifelovelowcarb.blogspot.com/2012/09/supplement-update.html

    The thing that I'm really flexible on is the protein. I usually have one in the morning on the way to work, and then another in the afternoon if I'm hungry, but I'm not super strict about it. I just eat/drink it when I need a boost. You can get a 6 pound bag of protein at Costco for like $50.

    I've added a B12 vitamin in the morning. I guess I need to update with that.

    1. What level mgs is your B12?