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How To Lose Your Beer Belly
A beer belly used to be a mark of the great Australian larrikin. Someone who enjoyed a bit too much of all the good things that life had to offer. A loveable lout more concerned with having a good time with friends than worrying about his health. However, with increasing rates of obesity-related diseases killing men off in our thousands, plus increasing pressure on men to conform to a particular body image, it is no longer 'OK' to be lugging that extra weight around your midriff section. Whilst we don't mean to suggest you should lose that beer belly to bow to societal pressures of what a man's body should look like, we
condone dropping excess body fat in the name of increasing your health and extending your life expectancy.
3 Important Tips: Losing Your Beer Belly
1. Drink in moderation
Excessive alcohol can lead to midnight kebabs and $5 pizza slices (don't act like you don't know what we are talking about). However, alcohol consumption can have several other effects on our bodies that can hinder weight loss / contribute to weight gain. Firstly, alcohol can mess with our metabolism. Our livers are responsible for metabolizing fats to use them for energy. When we drink, our livers are
workinghard trying to process and metabolise the alcohol we have just had. This can mean less of the fat we have eaten is used for creating energy. Further, many common mixers that we consume with alcohol contain high levels of processed sugar. This causes a very interesting problem - our body has an amazing ability to assess what food we need for energy production, and what food is excess. It will take that excess unused energy source and store them for later use in the form of body fat. This is particularly true for processed sugars in drink mixers - our body can only use so much of the huge amount of potential energy that the sugars provide, so most of it gets stored for later use in the form of body fat. This can cause weight gain.
That's right... there are no miracle cures for the beer belly. Combining a mix of cardiovascular (think jogging, swimming, aerobics classes) and resistance training (think bench press and squats) can produce the optimal mix of fat-burning exercise. Cardiovascular exercise (aim for 45 minutes at a time) forces your body to tap into it's fat stores to create the energy needed to complete that exercise. Resistance training, on the other hand, can help your body use up more energy for hours after you leave the gym. Weight training can leave your metabolism high and your body using alot of the food you eat to repair itself. Furthermore, a person with higher muscle mass uses more energy in a day than a similar person with less muscle mass, meaning adding some muscle mass can help turn more of the food you eat each day into energy energy rather than fat.
3. Overhaul your diet
Chances are if you have a beer belly then your diet may be more to blame than beer itself. Consider a complete overhaul of your diet, and try the following tips:
Reduce your portions – no need to feel bloated after every meal.
Drink 8 to 12 glasses of water, spread throughout the day. Proper hydration is a key prerequisite to help you metabolise food.
Cut down on sugary, fatty, fried and processed food (white bread, chips, pizza, fast food, cool drinks, chocolate bars, cake, etc.).
Eat more wholegrain cereals, breads and pastas rather than their white alternatives. Wholegrain foods release their energy more slowly, meaning less chance they will be stored as fat by your body.
Eat more raw and fresh fruit and vegetables.
Choose lean, low-fat meats and grill or roast rather than fry them.
Eat five balanced, smaller meals throughout the day rather than three large ones – it’ll improve your metabolism.
Eat more soluble fibre (unpeeled apples, oats, cherries etc.). It iwll help you feel fuller for longer.
What about Fat Burning Supplements?
All we can say is "Buyer Beware". There are some products - such as our
SlimRight Green Coffee Bean
products - that
aid weight loss and fat metabolism when used in conjunction with good diet and exercise. At the same time, there are other products whose only weight loss effect is emptying your wallet. If you are going to try a metabolism boosting supplement, try to protect yourself from fraudsters by
buying Australian products from Australian retailers
rather than buying overseas brands online. Overseas products are not as heavily regulated as Australian products, and their quality and efficacy cannot be guaranteed. The tight regulatory guidelines Australian weight loss products must comply with helps protect consumers.
Looking to drop a few kilograms?
Check out our range of
products to help weight management
Sleep and Weight Loss
A growing body of research shows there is a distinct relationship between sleep and weight loss. In fact, sleep is showing to be a critical factor in not only weight loss, but also in helping reduce obesity related diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and more. Let's take a look at the research into the relationship between sleep and weight loss to help you better understand how sleep might effect your weight loss efforts.
The Relationship Between Sleep And Weight Loss
1. Obese people sleep less
It is still unclear as to whether obesity causes poor sleep, or poor sleep causes obesity, but more than 30 studies have shown that there is a distinct link between obesity and poor quality of sleep.
2. Fatigue Makes you hungry.
Some of us get to the end of a long work week and binge by eating a whole pizza by ourselves or drain a bottle of wine. Our body craved that tub of ice cream and, due to our fatigue, we succumbed. What's interesting is that this phenomenon is actually reflected in research - it's not just you (and me). Fatigue makes our body less effective at metabolising fat. This is already bad for weight loss, but the resulting effect of slowing fat metabolism is that we develop a craving for easily digestable macronutrients (i.e. more fats and simple carbs such as sweets, chips, fast foods etc ).
3. Too Much Sleep Is Also Bad
A study from Quebec showed that people who were sleeping 5-6 hours a night gained more weight than people getting 7-8 hours sleep. This is no surprise given what we have already established - poor sleep is linked to weight gain. What was more interesting ab out the Quebec study was that people who slept 9-10 hours a night
gained more weight than the people who slept 7-8 hours a night.
sleep seems to also be somehow related to weight gain and obesity. The conclusion of the study was that 7-8 hours sleep a night is generally best for people trying to lose weight.
4. Obese Kids and Sleep
The above relationship between sleep and weight loss are also observed in research involving children. Given this, it is important to make sure you kids are getting enough shut eye of a night time. There are a number of ways to help your child get settled at night, including
increasing their intake of Omega-3 DHA
. Talk to your health professional if your child is having trouble sleeping throughout the night. ------ This article was provided by our online partner Health365. For more information on
getting better sleep
managing your weight
, visit www.health365.com.au.
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Lift Heavy To Get Lean
Many women (and men) exercise to lose weight and get toned. After many weeks and months of working out with light weights and high repetitions, they have enjoyed limited results and get disheartened. The solution may be to lift heavier weights and do fewer repetitions.
Heavy Weights Don't Cause Bulking
For many women we talk to about our range of sports supplements, such advice sets off alarm bells. They are concerned that if they lift heavy weights and use protein powders they will bulk up, get square shoulders and start to look like body builders. The reality is that numerous reps of lighter weights that many women do to 'tone' is more likely to give you that body builder physique than lifting heavier weights at smaller repetitions.
Protein Powder Doesn't Cause Bulking
Other women's fears of protein powders making them bulk up are also unfounded. Protein powders are an excellent way to retain a trim figure, increase energy and do not necessarily lead to 'explosive muscle growth' (contrary to what some of the advertisements in some magazines might promise). Unless you take supplements and eat a diet specifically designed specifically to help you bulk up, 95% of women will not bulk up, tending to build curves in the 'right' places instead.
What the professionals say
Registered sports scientist Habib Noorbhai says this lingering myth over women bulking up from weight training is a very common misconception. “Strength training has a variety of benefits for women, one of which is preventing the earlier onset of bone and joint-related diseases such as
and fibromyalgia. “Performing low to moderate intensity weight training will ensure increase in strength gains, assist in the loss of body fat and assist with activities of daily living.” He adds that “vigorous intensity weight training can initially lead to a minimal gain in lean muscle, but generally low to moderate intensity weight training combined with cardio, and following a healthy eating plan is the secret to getting toned and losing body fat”. We have to agree. We are lucky enough to have an in-house gym at Nature's Way HQ. Many of us have recently started to focus less on the treadmill and bicep curls and more on lifting heavy. We use whole-body exercises like squats, dead lifts and power cleans in conjunction with circuit training and clean diet. We have certainly not noticed any bulking, are happy with improvements in strength and body shape and can also report a reduction in body fat.
So where do you start?
There is an inherent risk in starting to lift heavier weights. Unless you are already experienced at weight training, we strongly recommend enlisting the services of a personal trainer or - ideally - a strength coach who can teach you proper form to avoid injury. Once you have learned the basics of safe lifting, you can start to increase the load and train with a friend or alone, however that initial expert guidance to help you refine your form and build a baseline of strength is highly recommended to help avoid serious injury..
What Is the Best Time To Take Protein?
This commonly asked question has no universal answer... The best time to take protein depends on you and your specific health goals. Check out our protein timing cheat sheet below: these general guidelines will help you answer one of the most commonly asked questions in sports nutrition...
What Is The Best Time To Take Protein?
1. If you Take Protein In The Morning
BENEFIT A: WEIGHT LOSS
Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that taking protein early in the morning gives a feeling of fullness and reduces appetite and snacking. Take a
low carb protein shake
in the morning to reduce hunger and help boost your metabolism. Better yet, blend a scoop of
in with some almond milk, blueberries, spinach and a banana for a great superfood breakfast.
BENEFIT B: SUPPORTS STRENGTH AND MUSCLE MASS
Catabolism is relatively common among athletes. It is caused by over-training and under-eating. In short, catabolism happens when your body needs a food source for energy, has none to draw on, so starts to use your muscles as fuel. Needless to say, this is bad for an athlete. A 2006 study from Victoria University showed that taking protein first thing in the morning increased both overall muscle mass AND strength for athletes when compared to a control group who had no protein with breakfast. Worried about bulking up after your breakfast shake? You need not worry - unless your diet is rich in carbs and your fitness regime is designed to help you build muscle, you are unlikely to bulk up after a protein shake for breakfast.
2. If you TAKE PROTEIN THROUGHOUT THE DAY
BENEFIT: MORE ENERGY
Find yourself nodding off mid-afternoon? The reason could be that your diet lacks long-lasting energy. Try splitting your 3 (large) main meals for 5 smaller ones, eating every 3 hours. Make sure your 5 meals contain protein. If not a shake, then a tin of tuna or a fistful of nuts can be an easy way to grab some protein in a meal.
BENEFIT: WEIGHT LOSS
A 2005 study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that participants who got 30% of their daily energy intake from protein felt less hungry and lost more weight.
3. If you Take Protein Before Training
BENEFIT: MORE EFFECTIVE WORKOUTS
Many proteins contain high levels of branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s). These help maintain muscle glycogen stores. Glycogen provides energy to the body... more glycogen means more energy. A pre-workout snack of a protein shake plus a complex carbohydrate like brown rice or oats 45 minutes before exercise can give the energy needed to go harder during workouts. Alternatively, try our
Brown Rice Protein with Chia and Pea
before training for a shake that delivers pre-workout carbs and BCAA's and for fuel plus readily absorbed brown rice protein for recovery.
4. If you Take Protein After Training
BENEFIT: RECOVERY AND GROWTH
A 2001 study published in American Journal of Physiology showed that post exercise is when your muscles are crying out for amino acids the most and are therefore most likely to absorb protein. The benefits of a post-workout protein hit for muscle growth and/or recovery are well documented. Give your muscles the fuel they need to recover by consuming protein after your workout. A 2013 study from the University of Tampa studied the effectiveness of brown rice protein vs whey protein in helping post-exercise recovery. The study noted that "there were no differences between the two groups". Given that whey contains lactose (which can cause bloating, wind, nausea and diarrhoea in some people),
brown rice protein
is an ideal post-workout protein.
5. If you Take Protein Before Bed
BENEFIT: RECOVERY AND MUSCLE GROWTH
A 2012 study from Maastricht University Medical Centre in the Netherlands revealed that protein supplements taken directly before bed time do, in fact, get digested or used by your muscles while you sleep. This can boost overnight recovery and muscle growth. ------ This article was produced by our online health partners, Health365. For more information on a range of
exercise and fitness related topics
Why You Need Fibre In Your Diet
Increasing your fibre intake may - at first - seem like a bit of a ..
SlimRight Detox 'n Burn triggers thermogenesis for fat burning, and supports your body's natural detoxification process. Use Detox'n'Burn in conjunction with a healthy, calorie controlled diet / weight loss program, like the
SlimRight 1,2,3 Weight Loss Program
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