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Introducing Lean & Fit – New Life Time Nutritional Products

By Tom Nikkola, CSCS, CISSN, Pn1

Personalized nutrition. Periodized exercise. Wise lifestyle choices. Strategic supplementation.

Each of these components of a fitness program plays a role in one’s success. We consistently strive to ensure our existing products and services are best-in-class, and modify them as needed. And, from time to time, we also introduce brand new programs and products.

This is one of those times.

Whether your goal is to lose your first 20 pounds, or the last 20, these new Lean & Fit line can make a great complement to your program.

Although the Lean & Fit line was designed for weight management, if you’re pursuing other goals you still might find value in one or two of these new products.

However, if you’re goal is fat loss, we have designed the new products as a 2-piece protocol to tie into your nutrition, exercise and lifestyle program. The goal of this protocol is to optimize metabolism and enhance satiety during the day, and improve sleep quality at night.

FastFuel Lean Complex

FastFuel Lean Complex joins FastFuel Complete and Dairy-Free FastFuel in our FastFuel suite.

We designed this formula to be a twice-daily, high-protein shake that includes a number of important nutrients, and vitamins and minerals.

Grass-Fed Whey Protein

FastFuel Lean ComplexHigh-protein diets consistently out-perform normal or lower protein diets for fat loss and for maintaining lower body weights after weight is lost.*

Increased protein intake contributes to better weight management for a number of reasons.* Protein is more thermogenic than carbohydrate or fat. Protein requires more calories to digest and absorb it than the other macronutrients.

Protein also increases satiety, leaving you feeling full longer than fat or carbohydrate can.[i]* As an added benefit, if you overeat one of the macronutrients, it’s better to eat too much protein, as opposed to fat or carbohydrate. Eating protein, even in significant excess, doesn’t seem to lead to gaining body fat.[ii]*

Higher protein intake is also important during weight loss to help preserve lean body mass and metabolic rate.[iii]* Those who simply reduce calories and neglect protein intake may lose muscle as fast as they lose body fat, resulting in a “skinnier but still fat” version of their heavier selves. The loss of muscle may also make it difficult to maintain the lost weight and it can disrupt blood sugar regulation.

A higher-protein intake is important not just for weight management, but for maintaining lean mass, helping to reduce the risk of developing insulin resistance, and for warding off the development of age-related disease.*

Whey protein has been shown to provide some unique benefits compared to other protein sources.

Whey protein contains a very high concentration of essential amino acids, making it the highest quality protein source available. These amino acids increase protein synthesis, decrease protein breakdown, and even support the development of neurotransmitters important for maintaining a normal mood.*

Whey consumption seems to cause a number of hormonal changes related to appetite.* Following whey consumption, cholecystokinin, leptin, and GLP-1 increase, and the production of ghrelin decreases.[iv]*

Whey protein has been shown to suppress appetite and increase satiety better than casein, soy and egg albumin.[v]*

Supplementing with whey was shown to decrease triglyceride levels in patients with diabetes.[vi],[vii]*

Life Time’s grass-fed whey protein comes from pasture-raised, grass-fed cows in southern Australia. It contains the highest concentrations of immunoglobulin, lactoferrin and serum albumin, whey factors that support immune function.*

Of course, being from southern Australia, these cows are not treated with growth hormone nor are they fed chemically-treated grass. We searched long and hard to find the perfect source of whey protein, and we’re excited to include it in FastFuel Lean Complex, as we have in FastFuel Complete.


Cynambra is a proprietary blend of two standardized herbal extracts, kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) and artichoke (Cynara scolymus). In a 2011 study, 20 overweight individuals supplementing with this combination over an 8-week period experienced a reduction in hunger scores and greater weight loss compared to the placebo group.*

Kidney bean extract contains alpha-amylase inhibitors and phytohaemoagglutinin. Alpha-amylase inhibitors decrease carbohydrate metabolism and lower the rise in blood sugar from carbohydrate intake.* They also tend to slow gastric emptying, making people feel full longer.*

Phytohaemoagglutinins stimulate cholecystokinin (CCK) and glucagon-like peptides, which also control appetite.*

Artichoke extract has been shown to influence carbohydrate and fat metabolism.[viii] Artichoke leaf extract has also been shown to help maintain normal cholesterol levels.[ix]*


SunFiber is a prebiotic fiber made from hydrolyzed guar gum, a water-soluble, carbohydrate-derived fiber from the seeds of the guar plant (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba). Research on Sunfiber shows it helps maintain normal blood sugar levels,[x] enhances nutrient absorption,[xi] and helps maintain optimal digestive function.[xii],[xiii]*

Water-soluble fiber also plays an important role in helping to feed good bacteria in the digestive tract.*

Vitamin and Mineral Blend

FastFuel Lean Complex includes complete blend of the most bioactive vitamins and minerals.

We know that many people just beginning their weight loss journey are new to using nutritional supplements. So for this product we believe it makes sense to include a good dose of micronutrients with each serving so taking an extra multivitamin wouldn’t be necessary.

FastFuel Lean Complex doesn’t provide the same amount of vitamins and minerals as the Men’s and Women’s Multivitamins, but it provides enough for those just getting started, so long as they use two servings per day.

For those who use FastFuel Lean Complex just once a day, or occasionally, we recommend the addition of a high-quality multivitamin.

When we say “most bioactive vitamins and minerals,” we’re not just using fancy marketing terms. We mean it.

FastFuel Lean Complex includes 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, the natural form of folate, not the cheap folic acid form. We use methylcobalamin, not cyancobalamin for vitamin B12. Most of the minerals are bisglycinate chelates, not cheap mineral salts, which are found in many supplements. The magnesium and calcium found in FastFuel Lean Complex is naturally occurring.

Enzymes and Probiotics

To further support good digestive health we’ve included enzymes to support the digestion of the protein, fat and carbohydrate.* We also added some probiotics to support healthy gut flora.*

Monk Fruit Inulin Stevia

As with the entire Life Time nutritional product line, there are no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners found in FastFuel Lean Complex. It is sweetened with three sources of natural sweetness: Monk fruit, inulin and stevia.

Use of FastFuel Lean Complex

We recommend two servings of FastFuel Lean Complex daily to complement an otherwise whole-food diet. When using it in a weight management program it can be appropriate to modify other foods in the diet to work FastFuel Lean Complex into the plan.

As mentioned above, two servings of FastFuel Lean Complex daily deliver a reasonable amount of vitamins and minerals in a shake. However, if you use just one serving per day, or use it as an occasional protein shake, then we recommend using a high-quality multivitamin product.

Lean Complex – Restore

Restore - Lean ComplexSufficient quality sleep is critical component to an effective, long-term weight management program. Inconsistent sleep times, limited sleep and reduced deep and REM sleep are associated with weight gain or difficulty losing excess weight.[xiv],[xv]*

Reduced sleep can negatively affect the balance of weight-regulating hormones like leptin and ghrelin.[xvi] Restricted sleep has also been shown to increase cortisol levels and disrupt glucose metabolism.[xvii]

Lean Complex – Restore is formulated to help calm the mind and enhance the quality and quantity of sleep.* We believe sleep is the most powerful thing you can do to nourish your body and enhance recovery from everyday stress.

Insufficient sleep contributes to insulin resistance, reduces fat metabolism, and increases carbohydrate cravings, so getting enough quality sleep is critical for a successful weight loss program.

To best support quality sleep, we formulated Lean Complex – Restore with two powerful ingredients: 5-HTP and PharmaGABA.*

Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (PharmaGABA®)

GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. It acts as a “brake” on an over-excited nervous system.* When GABA levels are low, the brain can be overly excited, making it difficult to relax or focus.*

As the concentration of GABA increases, it reduces the activity of the neural network, helping to calm the mind.*

We’ve found that many individuals (not just those who are overweight) deal with high levels of stress and racing minds, which makes it difficult to get good quality sleep.

Because GABA helps calm the mind and stimulates production of alpha brain waves, it is seen as a great way to support restful sleep.* An unpublished study showed that a dose “100 mg natural-source GABA (PharmaGABA) reduced sleep latency by 20 percent, while increasing the time spent in deep sleep by 20 percent.”[xviii]*

Synthetic GABA is commonly used in nutritional products, but seems to be an inferior form of GABA. A superior, natural form called PharmaGABA is derived from fermentation by the bacteria Lactobacillus hilgardii, the same bacteria used in fermentation to make the Korean dish kimchi.[xviii]

In a head-to-head study comparing standard GABA and PharmaGABA, the use of PharmaGABA was shown to reduce pupil diameter, heart rate and markers of stress.* Standard GABA did not produce these changes.

The primary reason we included PharmaGABA in Lean Complex – Restore was to support restful sleep, especially deep sleep.*

5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)

5-HTP is a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin.

The amino acid L-tryptophan is converted to 5-HTP, which is then converted to serotonin. 5-HTP, taken in supplemental form, has been show to increase serotonin production.[xix]*

Under normal circumstances, L-tryptophan is converted to 5-HTP, but stress, insulin resistance, vitamin B6 deficiency, magnesium deficiency and age can limit the effectiveness of the enzyme that converts tryptophan to 5-HTP.[xx]*

Supplemental 5-HTP is derived from the seeds of the Griffonia simplicifolia, an African plant.

Weight-loss programs can cause a reduction in serotonin production, due to calorie or carbohydrate restriction. A drop in serotonin can increase cravings for carbohydrates. Supplementing with 5-HTP was shown to improve serotonin levels and result in an unconscious reduction in carbohydrate consumption, as well as lead to greater weight loss.[xxi]*

Like GABA, 5-HTP has also been shown to improve sleep quality, especially increasing rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep.*

Use of Lean Complex – Restore

Lean Complex – Restore should be taken just before bedtime. Because sleep is so critical to achieving weight loss success, as well as maintaining general health or improving performance, maintain as regular a regular sleep schedule as possible.

We recommend first using Lean Complex – Restore on a weekend night when you don’t need to wake to an alarm. Use just one capsule and assess the effects. Some people may work up to two capsules, but we still recommend making adjustments on the weekend when you can get a full night of sleep, and hopefully wake up feeling great.

Putting it Together

As mentioned above, these two products were designed to work together as a supplement protocol, but they’re not intended to be the ultimate solution.

To realize the benefits these supplements have to offer, you should make the right nutrition choices on a daily basis, integrate exercise and other movement patterns into your week, and make wise lifestyle choices, like getting enough sleep.

Order online

If you need help with putting all these pieces together, and you live near a Life Time center, connect with us to schedule a consultation with a fitness professional.

If you don’t live near a Life Time, download the Core 3 Training E-Book and learn more about how we tailor our programs for our clients.


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[i] Pesta DH, Samuel VT. A high-protein diet for reducing body fat: mechanisms and possible caveats. Nutr Metab. 2014;11:53

[ii] Antonio J, Peacock CA, Ellerbroek A, et al. The effects of consuming a high protein diet (4.4 g/kg/d) on body composition in resistance-trained individuals. JISSN. 2014;11:19

[iii] Soenen S, Martens EAP, Hochstenbach-Waelen A, et al. Normal Protein Intake Is Required for Body Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance, and Elevated Protein Intake for Additional Preservation of Resting Energy Expenditure and Fat Free Mass. J Nutr. 2013;143:591-596

[iv] Sousa GTD, Lira FS, Rosa JC, et al. Dietary whey protein lessens several risk factors for metabolic diseases: a review. Lipids Heal Dis. 2012;11:67

[v] Miller PE, Alexander DD, Perez V. Effects of Whey Protein and Resistance Exercise on Body Composition: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. J Am Col Nutr. 2014;33(2):163-175

[vi] Mortensen LS, Hartvigsen ML, Brader LJ, Astrup A, Schrezenmeir J, Holst JJ, Thomsen C, Hermansen K: Differential effects of protein quality on postprandial lipemia in response to a fat-rich meal in type 2 diabetes: comparison of whey, casein, gluten, and cod protein. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;90:41–48

[vii] Pal S, Ellis V, Ho S: Acute effects of whey protein isolate on cardiovascular risk factors in overweight, post-menopausal women. Atherosclerosis 2010, 212:339–344.

[viii] Rondanelli M, Giacosa A, Orsini F, Opizzi A, Villani S. Appetite Control and Glycaemia Reduction in Overweight Subjects treated with a Combination of Two Highly Standardized Extracts from Phaseolus vulgaris and Cynara scolymus. Phytother Res. 2011;25(9):1275-1282

[ix] Bundy R, Walker AF, Middleton RW, et al. Artichoke leaf extract (Cynara scolymus) reduces plasma cholesterol in otherwise healthy hypercholesterolemic adults: A randomized, double blind placebo controlled trial. Phytomed. 2008;15:668-675

[x] Trinidad T, Perez E, Loyola A, et al. Glycemic index of Sunfibre (Cyamoposis tetragonolobus) products in normal and diabetic subjects. Int J Food Sci Tech. 2004;39:1093-1098

[xi] Yoon S-J, Chu D-C, Juneja LR. Physiological Functions of Partially Hydrolyzed Guar Gum. J Clin Biochem Nutr.2006;39(3):134-144

[xii] Takahashi H, Wako N, Okubo T, et al. Influence of partially hydrolyzed guar gum on constipation in women. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 1994;40:251-259

[xiii] Lampe JW, Effertz ME, Larson JL, Slavin JL. Gastrointestinal Effects of Modified Guar Gum and Soy Polysaccharide as Part of an Enteral Formula Diet. JPEN. 1992;16(6):538-544

[xiv] Bandin C, Martinez-Nicolas A, Ordovals JM, et al. Circadian rhythmicity as a predictor of weight-loss effectiveness. Int J Ob. 2014;38:1083-1088

[xv] Hampton T. Circadian Clock Dysregulation Linked to Obesity-Related Diseases. JAMA. 2014;312(1):19

[xvi] Taheri S, Lin L, Austin D. et al. Short Sleep Duration Is Associated with Reduced Leptin, Elevated Ghrelin and Increased Body Mass Index. PLoS. 2004;1(3):210-217

[xvii] Snitker S, Fujishima Y, Shen H, et al. Effects of novel capsinoid treatment on fatness and energy metabolism in humans: possible pharmacogenetic implications. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;89:45-50

[xviii] Monograph. Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA). Alt Med Rev. 2007;12(3):274-279

[xix] Trachte GJ, Uncini T, Hinz M. Both stimulatory and inhibitory effects of dietary 5-hydroxytryptophan and tyrosine are found on urinary excretion of serotonin and dopamine in a large human population. Neuropsych Dis Treat.2009;5:227-235

[xx] Monograph. 5-Hydroxytryptophan. Alt Med Rev. 2002:212-215

[xxi] Cangiano C, Ceci F, Cascino A, et al. Eating behavior and adherence to dietary prescriptions in obese adult subjects treated with 5-hydroxytryptophan. Am J Clin Nutr. 1992;56:863-867

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
The posts on this blog are not intended to suggest or recommend the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease, nor to substitute for medical treatment, nor to be an alternative to medical advice. The use of the suggestions and recommendations on this blog post is at the choice and risk of the reader.
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