Your Weight Loss, Diet and Nutrition Guide To…SUGAR


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That’s Too Heavy For You!


How many times have you seen someone at your gym load up a barbell or machine with enough weight that would make a strongman jealous when they have no business doing so? The set up was perfect; the intensity levels were at an all-time high and then the trainer proceeded to bang out a few half reps finishing up with a couple quarter reps to really burn it out. That person then got up, looked around for approval, felt good about the lift then added even more weight. Here’s the thing; everyone wants to be able to say they can lift X amount of weight on certain exercises. It all comes with the idea of commanding respect from your fellow lifters and establishing your dominance. However, when you do things such as using more weight than you can properly handle not only are you setting yourself up for embarrassment or 2 faced comments, you are also putting yourself at risk of injury. Instead, be confident in who you are and what you are doing, use the appropriate weight to initiate whatever it is you want to have happen, take your time to build up to those impressive lifts and be safe about it. Your credibility and health depends on it.     cropped-wallpaper.jpg

Controlling Carbs


Strength and Nutrition

The Pros of Carbs

1. Carbs are muscle sparing. In other words, they preserve and

prevent the breakdown of lean calorie burning muscle tissue.

2. They provide energy to the brain and the body.

3. They help spark our metabolism and keep it elevated to prevent

metabolic slowdown and keep fat-burning hormones at optimal levels.

4. They fuel vitally important metabolic processes in the body that can

help us exercise harder and recover faster.

5. They stimulate insulin, which leads to a very anabolic/muscle building

environment (this is kind of a catch 22 as you’ll read in a second).

The Cons of Carbs

1. Carbs spike insulin levels and elevate blood sugar. It’s almost

impossible to burn body fat in the presence of high insulin levels.

(hence – the catch 22 above)

2. Consuming too many carbs over lengthy periods of time can lead

to a lot of fat spillover…

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Controlling Carbs


The Pros of Carbs

1. Carbs are muscle sparing. In other words, they preserve and

prevent the breakdown of lean calorie burning muscle tissue.

2. They provide energy to the brain and the body.

3. They help spark our metabolism and keep it elevated to prevent

metabolic slowdown and keep fat-burning hormones at optimal levels.

4. They fuel vitally important metabolic processes in the body that can

help us exercise harder and recover faster.

5. They stimulate insulin, which leads to a very anabolic/muscle building

environment (this is kind of a catch 22 as you’ll read in a second).

The Cons of Carbs

1. Carbs spike insulin levels and elevate blood sugar. It’s almost

impossible to burn body fat in the presence of high insulin levels.

(hence – the catch 22 above)

2. Consuming too many carbs over lengthy periods of time can lead

to a lot of fat spillover (see chart below), which leads to excess fat storage.

Think obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc.

3. Carbs (especially processed carbs) are the most abused nutrient

from both a health and fat loss perspective.

4. Excess carb intake creates a lot of water retention, which leads to a

soft look so it makes you look and feel bloated.

5. Processed carbs hide nasty fillers and chemicals that can potentially

lead to severe health challenges. We call these obesity additives.

Additionally, grain-based processed carbs such as cereasl, breads, and

most pastas contain “anti-nutrients” and gluten that can block fat-loss and

potentially lead to various types of autoimmune diseases and internal

inflammation.

QUICK-AND-EASY SPINACH AND GARLIC ON ONE PLATE


One of the most common issues that dieters face with their goals is finding the time to incorporate healthy and nutritious foods into their daily lives. Daily obligations and stresses can be difficult to keep up with while also trying to incorporate cooking and preparing the foods that the body needs for performance and overall wellness. 

Spinach and garlic are both amazing super foods in their own right. When combined, garlic can offer exceptional flavor and texture to spinach which can be helpful with feeling more inclined to incorporate this green vegetable into your meal. Moreover, research suggests that garlic is great for immunity boosting while spinach is loaded with vitamin B6 which is necessary for energy and the recreation of cells to help our bodies recover.

Fortunately, we’ve found a tasty dish that incorporates both these ingredients while being fast and simple to prepare. This Spinach Garlic Pasta is loaded with green tier items when using 100% whole wheat penne and takes just minutes to prepare.spinach-and-garlic-pasta

Ingredients:

1 (16 ounce) package angel hair pasta

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed

1 tablespoon olive oil

 

Directions:

1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute. Add the spinach and the cooked pasta. Mix well, and cook for approximately 2 minutes, stirring often. Serve

 

Adding sliced chicken or shrimp can help create the extra protein our bodies need for a well balanced meal. It also helps enhance the flavor profile created with garlic and olive oil combined into one plate.


Remember, you really don’t need a tremendous amount of time to eat well. You simply need the appropriate knowledge, drive to get you where you want to be with your food intake goals.

 

Fitness At Any Size


Exercise Does Not Have an Age or Weight Limit
Fitness happens at any size and any age. Fitness happens at the gym, in the house, in the park, at the office or on a sidewalk or street. If the gym intimidates you, find another gym; or find a workout in the park; or use an exercise routine you find online such as the numerous routines offered by +Neila Rey  or other fitness experts.
 
A family friend exercised religiously into his late 90s. He was active, energetic and more vibrant than most twenty year olds. Age was merely a number for him.  Are you using it as a handicap?
 
Your weight is merely a number also. It is only an impediment to exercise if you allow it to be. Start slow as the extra weight may make exercises more difficult; start with greater emphasis on form as your weight may make you more prone to injury; but start. You will be amazed at how just twenty to thirty minutes of exercise will change your outlook on the day and your life.

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#exercise #fitness #weightloss #health

Carb Intake


If you have been training for a while you know how your body responds to a certain exercise or supplement. Knowing how your body reacts is important because you don’t want to waste your time and effort on something that doesn’t work. It’s the same with a diet as well. You become aware of how your body reacts to any changes you make in what you eat or drink. If you drop the amount of carbohydrates you eat your body can become sluggish and your muscles respond differently. My favorite way to keep my body from adapting  is to cycle my carb intake. I may eat 200 grams of carbs one day and 350 the next and so forth. I also make sure to consume the majority of my carbs as complex one such as Yams, whole grain foods, and brown rice. I eat very little simple carbs like sugar or fruit juice unless it’s early in the day or I have just finished my workout. After a strenuous workout is when your body is in need of lots of nutrition. Your body continues to work hard for hours after a workout so you gotta make very sure you feed it. My favorite thing is a big protein drink that already has what my body needs. Plenty of carbohydrates and protein!

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Water With A Kick


Water is great for you; but you may crave some flavor with your liquid. Juice, soda, sports drinks, even coffee are flavored water. Unfortunately, the flavor comes at a price. How do you add some taste to your water without adding too much sugar and extra calories? Add fruit. Try the suggestions here or comment with your own healthy water concoctions.

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Is A Carb A Carb?


Are 50 grams of sugar more fattening than 50 grams of rice? Are whole grains always better than refined grains?

Should you limit your fruit intake to avoid fructose overconsumption? Sure enough, not all carbohydrates are created equal. There are many methods in use to classify carbs and even terms for specific kinds of carbs.

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Take sugar for example. Sugar is widely believed to be excessively fattening. That is, many people believe that calorie per calorie sugar is more fattening than other carbs. Others point out all carbs end up as glucose in your body and cite the truism that a calorie is a calorie. Those arguments are often countered by theories involving insulin and the ‘a calorie is a calorie’ slogan doesn’t mean all calorie sources have the same effect on your body composition. Foods differ in their effects on your metabolism and their ease of absorption, which is one of the reasons why protein is less fattening than fat, calorie per calorie.

Before I get to the juicy parts, it’s important to first briefly discuss a few methodological issues. To make an informed decision, it helps to go beyond the “jacked bodybuilders mainly eat rice and people eating sugar are always pudgy couch potatoes, so rice is better than sugar” kind of reasoning. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the research done on the effects of different carbs on body composition is methodologically flawed. Many studies don’t control for the intake of other macronutrients, not even protein or total energy intake, and use ad libitum (Latin for ‘as much as you want’) eating protocols. Much of the research on sugar is done on rats. Instead, we want studies that compare groups of people that are identical in all respects except the source of the carbohydrates in their diets and then look at if these different diets result in different body composition changes.

Simple vs. Complex Carbs

One way to distinguish carbs is by the simple/complex classification. According to the MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia, “The classification depends on the chemical structure of the food, and how quickly the sugar is digested and absorbed. Simple carbohydrates have one (single) or two (double) sugars. Complex carbohydrates have three or more sugars.” Examples of simple carbs include fructose (fruit sugar), lactose (milk sugar) and sucrose (table sugar). Complex carbs, sometimes called starches, include legumes, potatoes, rice and grain products. Note that the simple/complex distinction is completely arbitrary.

Both diets contained the same amount of calories and carbohydrates in total. There were no differences in fat loss or muscle retention. The diets were also identical in their effects on blood lipids. In support of these findings, other studies have found that diets containing different amounts of sugar resulted in the same body composition changes. In a different kind of study, replacing part of a diet’s complex carbs by simple carbs did not result in any changes in body composition. A recent meta-review of the literature on the effects of fructose on body weight concluded that substituting fructose for other iso-caloric carbs does not cause weight gain.

The Glycemic Index

A possible explanation for the above findings is that the arbitrary simple/complex classification of carbs does not achieve what it’s intended to do. As the GI Group reports, “Terms such as complex carbohydrates and sugars, which commonly appear on food labels, are now recognized as having little nutritional or physiological significance. The World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization recommend that these terms be removed and replaced with the total carbohydrate content of the food and its GI value. The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating. Foods with a high GI are those which are rapidly digested and absorbed and result in marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Low-GI foods, by virtue of their slow digestion and absorption, produce gradual rises in blood sugar and insulin levels.” An interesting hypothesis.

Does the glycemic index of a diet determine its effects on body composition?

A study comparing weight loss diets with the same energy content and macronutrient composition but a different glycemic index (and therefore load) found no changes in muscle retention or fat loss between groups.
Moreover, the glycemic load of the diets didn’t affect appetite as measured by perceived hunger, fullness, compliance and ad libitum food intake. Even markers of health were unaffected, including blood pressure, heart rate, fecal patterns (yes, they measured this), glucose and insulin metabolism (!) and blood lipids.

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A meta-analysis and systematic review also supported these findings and concluded that the effects on health markers were dependent on their initial values. Low glycemic load diets are good for your health if you’re initially unhealthy (like obese or diabetic), but in healthy populations there was no effect. This is an example of a ceiling effect. You can’t fix what isn’t broken, so if you’re already healthy, eating ‘healthy’ foods at some point stops making you even healthier.

What about exercise performance?

Nope, not even endurance exercise performance is affected by the GI of the food eaten before the training session. Neither do beta-endorphin levels, rate of perceived exertion, heart rate, ventilation, lactate, respiratory quotient and substrate oxidation rate. For anaerobic strength training, the GI of the carbs you eat makes absolutely zero difference in the gym. The whole ‘needing carbs for energy’ thinking is in your head anyway.

The Insulin Index

You could object that the insulin index is really the measure we should be concerned about, but many of these studies implicitly also studied this. Replacing grain products with sugar or white rice with brown rice, as was done in some of these studies, increases not just the glycemic index and load, but also the insulin index. In general, the glycemic and insulin index correlate strongly, with most differences being attributable to the fat and protein content of the foods instead of the carbohydrate content. As such, the above conclusions about the glycemic index also hold for the insulin index. All of this may sound too good to be true for some, but sometimes you really literally can have your cake and eat it too. You can get shredded without limiting yourself to rice as your only carb source. Eating sugar won’t make your six-pack fade away into a tumorous gut if you watch your calories. And you certainly shouldn’t avoid eating fruit or dairy because too much fructose or lactose will make you fat.

Take Home Messages

For your body composition, it doesn’t matter if a carb is classified as simple or complex or if it has a high or low glycemic or insulin load or index. Only the total amount of carbs in your diet matters and this only matters because carbs contain calories.For your health, the source of carbs is only relevant if you’re unhealthy. If you’re already healthy, it generally doesn’t matter.

Before you go tell everyone I said it’s ok to stuff yourself with candy, please remember that this article only deals with carb sources at the level of macronutrients. Different carb sources contain not only different macros and different types of carbs, but lots of other stuff as well, notably micronutrients. I cannot stress this enough. Calories from sugar may not differ from calories from sweet potatoes, but sugar still contains empty calories, whereas sweet potatoes are packed with other stuff that’s good for your health. The sugar content and the insulin index of foods is normally irrelevant for bodybuilders

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Sprint For Gains


Sprinting is the anabolic—or muscle building—form of cardio which develops your cardiovascular health, while keeping strength and muscular growth. It reduces impact by reducing running time (as compared to traditional long-distance running), but it should be extremely intense.

Sprinting should complement your training program, but not make you so fatigued that the rest of your training suffers. While you can sprint on a track, cycling can also be an option if your goal is to gain muscle mass, since it doesn’t burn as many calories as running. You can get a lot of quality anaerobic work on a prowler or sled, if you have access to that special equipment.

Avoid doing cardio on the same day as a heavy lifting session (or at least not on the same day as a lift you care about), and make sure you get enough sleep and calories to maximize recovery.

You can see great benefits from one or two sessions of sprint intervals or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) each week.

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