The Fitness Pro’s Guide to Better Sleep

The three prerequisites for optimal physical fitness is exercise, diet, and sleep. Of all the three variables, sleep often gets neglected by most fitness fanatics.

The importance of sleep cannot be overemphasized in any training regime. It is an essential factor that affects both your diet and your workout performance. For those who don’t know, sleep helps to keep your hunger hormones in check and help with your cravings and appetite.

Inadequate sleep or sleep deprivation has lots of consequences on individuals. Folks who sleep poorly at night, end up gaining as much as 38d calories on a daily basis than people who get adequate sleep. Also, inadequate sleep can also affect your immune system, and that means there is an increased likelihood that you may fall sick, become injury prone, and even have mild to severe amnesia.

Nobody is above the repercussions of inadequate sleep, not even the best fitness coach or trainer. In as much as you are a fitness coach and you are taking care of your clients, it is even more important you focus on your health as well so you can give your best every time.

This guide is created explicitly for fitness pros, strength coaches, and trainers, in a bid to assist them with their sleep challenges. Below are some of the reasons why fitness pros and coaches don’t do so well with sleep

 

• Too much coffee and occasional booze
Fitness trainers are often one of the busiest set of persons one could find. In order for them to get through their busy schedule, they often depend on caffeine and occasional booze to keep them awake all day.

Everybody knows caffeine and sleep don’t work together, and in as much as it keeps you active all through the day, t can deprive you of sleep not just for a night alone but as high as 3 to 7 nights depending on your body system.

Limit your caffeine intake, and if you need a pick me up, you can head outside and get some fresh air and sunlight.

• Crazy working hours
Several fitness trainers have crazy working schedules that see them work from as early as 4 am in the morning to as late as 10 pm in the night. Most trainers would say time is money, hence why they need to ramp up the extra work ours. But then again, it isn’t worth it if all the money you make, you end up spending it to treat yourself.

A simple solution will be to utilize the free time you usually get in the midafternoon to sleep. This time, clients don’t often come around for their training, you can pick up a quiet spot or a sleeping room and take a nap. Do this continuously, and your body will adapt to it.

 

• The superman feeling
Well, you think you are superman, so you can go all the distance by not sleeping adequately, well spoiler alert you are not.
Given the nature of the job you do and the amount of energy you utilize, you can’t carry out your daily routine on just a 4-hour a night sleep. You would only compound problems for your body in no so distant time.

It is recommended that you sleep a minimum of 8 hours every night (or close to that number) for you to function effectively and still maintain optimal health.
For you to be your best you need adequate sleep, even Superman gets to sleep adequately despite his busy schedule saving the world.

GOOD READ

3 FAT LOSS PRINCIPLES YOU NEED TO CONSIDER

FATLOSS2

Rigorous exercise regime and calorie deficit are two procedures that get thrown around a lot whenever Fat-loss is mentioned. They’ve been used by so many, people, and Fat loss coaches that it would seem that they are the only Fat loss principles ever known to man. Although both have their own roles to play in bodily transformation, they are not the only principles one can use to meet their weight loss targets.

A lot of factors play a specific role in helping you achieve your weight loss targets. Yes, calorie deficit and a rigorous exercise plan carried out continuously can have some telling results, but there are some fat loss principles, persons blatantly ignore, and guess what, these principles no one wants to tell you about, achieve more results and show a progressive change than you could imagine. Let’s take a look at some of these principles;

Learn how to cook
What most persons don’t know is that Homemade meals and healthy meals play a prominent role in any fat loss or body transformation programs. However, in order to get the benefits out of these meals, you need to know how to cook them in the first place. In learning how to cook, nobody is saying you have to become a master chef, no far from that, the idea is for you to know the fundamentals of cooking, and see the beauty in it, and chances are you will not be lured by those fast food cravings.

Relax and don’t pressure yourself
Female weight loss and general body transformation pressure usually come with its own demands. There is the strong desire to make swift progress, shed those extra body fats and look your best, but you don’t need to pressurize yourself unnecessarily. You don’t have to feel bad if you do not see the results you wish to see, if you put so much pressure on yourself, chances are you won’t even succeed in your weight loss pursuit.

 

Get your hands dirty and do the work
There is the work part that comes with weight loss that most people are scared of and some people just run from it. It is no wonder most folks are always searching the Internet looking for a quick fix weight loss program, or the next big supplement that makes you lose 2lbs in 5 minutes. All of those won’t work if you don’t put yourself in the position to work and give everything you’ve got.

 

Calorie deficit and Rigorous exercise plans are often passed around as the only weight loss principles, but although both are good at what they do, they are not the only weight loss principles in the world. Actually, there are fat loss principles no one wants to tell you about, and you didn’t know to exist. We’ve identified a couple of these principles, and they are sure to give you your expected weight loss results. Join menstrong.com today to get access to a complete meal plan and workout training system to help you with your fat loss goals. See you inside!

6 RANDOM THOUGHTS ABOUT NUTRITION

 

 

 

Avoid large portion sizes

American restaurants are particularly infamous for large portion sizes. Whenever eating out, it is best to eat until you are satisfied. Just because you have been served, does not mean you have to eat it.

“Healthy desserts” are not healthy

Gluten-free Desserts, vegan desserts or otherwise are not healthy. Just because they are marketed healthy it does not ensure that the calorie count is on the lower side of the scale. Vegan desserts are probably the biggest myth of keto diets.

What to do after a cheat meal?

There is no room for feeling guilty about cheat meals unless they are occasional. All you must do is back it up with hydration and high-intensity workout when you hit the gym. It is best to not hold the practice of gorging every week. A simple trick to achieve this is by practicing to eat the same thing on Monday as you would do during the weekend.

Relish Your Meals

Be grateful for the food on your plate. Chewing your meals properly and eating slowly also ensures proper assimilation and absorption of the nutrients during digestion.

Salads are complete meals

Salads with their fiber and protein content deliver a punch. With a lean cut of meat, lots of roughage and vegetables, they lower the frequency of hunger pangs during the wee hours that has the potential to derail your diet.

Pay Attention to your Food

Map the energy in your body after meals. Experiment and hit that sweet point. What kind of meals is making you energetic? Is it a salad? Is it a protein shake? Read your body’s reactions and plan your meals accordingly.

 

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Maximizing Muscle Growth and Body Fat Loss: Eating Before a Workout

If you want to lose fat or add muscle (or both!), you know that your performance in the gym is one of the most important factors to consider. Therefore, this leads to the question of what you should and shouldn’t be eating before a workout and this is an important question for many reasons;

  • Your pre-workout meal will give you the energy to push further in the gym
  • Muscle breakdown can be reduced
  • Fatigue can be reduced with the right meals and supplements
  • Testosterone production can increase

Ultimately, this is only four of the main benefits and steps that lead to greater results. So, what should you consume in the hours leading up to an intense workout?

Nutrition – First and foremost, your pre-workout meal is important because the experts always note how fitness is more about food than exercise. For the best nutrient absorption and digestion, we recommend separating protein and carbs. When taken together, the two can be hard to digest, and you want the nutrients hitting your muscles while in the gym. With poor digestion, you don’t get this benefit, and you could also cause cannibalization within the body; this is where muscle tissue is broken down.

We recommend eating carbs first since these are easier to digest; around fifteen minutes later, you can consume your protein. In terms of ideas, we like fruit since the carbs (fructose) can be used almost immediately for energy rather than being stored which is what happens with many sources of carbohydrates. While most people choose a banana post workout, this is actually a bad idea because this is the time where you need to replenish glycogen storage.

Finally, for nutrition, we recommend adding salt to your food because sodium boasts electrolyte properties. Not only does this control the level of water in your body, but it’ll also regulate muscle/nerve functionality and blood volume. With electrolytes, you should receive an added boost while lifting weights and performing cardio work.

Supplements – In addition to your nutrition and pre-workout meals, we also recommend spending time considering supplements. Of course, these aren’t a necessity, and you’ll get along perfectly fine without them, but they might just provide the added boost you need.

Creatine-Monohydrate If you haven’t heard of this product previously, it combines three amino acids; glycine, methionine, and arginine. With these in your body, you’ll see numerous benefits from increased strength to improved high-intensity performance. Furthermore, creatine will aid the production of ATP, and this is the main energy molecule in our bodies. Considering creatine is affordable, this is a great place to start.

BCAAs Standing for Branched Chain Amino Acids, BCAAs is another product that combines three amino acids but this time valine, leucine, and isoleucine. By blocking serotonin in the brain, your brain experiences less fatigue, and you can stay focused in the gym. Additionally, muscle loss and muscle breakdown are reduced while protein synthesis is improved thanks to both anabolic and anti-catabolic properties. 

However, these benefits are overshadowed somewhat by the main advantage of BCAAs; stimulated insulin production. As the cells absorb amino acids more efficiently, this leads to a more successful and rewarding workout.

Beta Alanine Finally, the third supplement we suggest is one you aren’t likely to have been recommended before; beta alanine. As a non-essential amino acid, beta alanine can be found in the muscles, and it boosts muscle endurance as well as decreasing fatigue. Therefore, it provides a huge benefit when lifting weights in the gym.

Conclusion – Now, you should have everything you need for a successful meal before working out as well as the knowledge to pair this with useful supplements to see real results in your muscle growth and body fat loss goals!

15 Powerful Fitness Tips

15 Powerful Fitness Tips 

Check out these 15 powerful fitness tips that you should know about if you’re looking for body transformation success.

15powerful-fitness-tips

15 Powerful Fitness Tips 

Check out these 15 powerful fitness tips that you should know about if you’re looking for body transformation success.

 

1. Mindset: Treat exercise as a pleasure and not a chore.  Rather than obsessing about what you’re eating or the exertions of a workout, focus on the results you’re working towards and how good it feels to be taking steps towards it.

 

2. Consistency: Make it your goal to do some form of exercise 6 days a week. Even if the activities themselves aren’t the same each time, consistently engaging in some form of workout is key. Schedules are a good way to stay on-track.

 

3. Connect: Being part of a team helps motivate you and be encouraged. By joining a group, or even just talking about your fitness journey with friends, you not only add accountability but you’ll feel more confident too.

 

4. Avoid Boredom:  Explore new activities and new challenges as your body becomes more fit so you stay interested.

 

5. Nutrition: Eat the right food and 3 square meals a day.  Your nutrition needs to be well-balanced.  Remember excess calories, even if they’re from food that’s fat free and high in protein will turn into excess weight.  No matter what the latest fad diet says, extra calories equal extra weight.

 

6. Avoid Diets:  Stick with eating plans you can maintain indefinitely.  Remember that this is about a lifestyle, not a quick fix. Having said that, it’s fine to look at different types of diets if you want to find ideas or foods to incorporate into your own plan.

 

7. Avoid Toxins: Limit alcohol to special occasions and try to minimize caffeine. A coffee in the morning is fine, but avoid other sources.

 

8. Hydrate: Take a water bottle with you at all times to drink from.  Water should always be your drink of choice.  You don’t need to drink more than your daily level, but most people don’t even get close. If you don’t like the bland taste, try adding lemon, lime, mint, cucumber, or a few berries to liven up the flavour of water without adding significant calories.

 

9. Journal: Keep a daily log of what you’re actually eating.  Or try a phone app like “pumpup app”.  Record everything.  This isn’t to encourage calorie-counting, but it will help you get a better grasp of the overall state of your eating habits.

 

10. Supplement if Needed: Sometimes it’s hard to get the needed vitamins and minerals from regular foods. If you need it, don’t be afraid to take supplements.

 

11. Intensity: The body responds the most when its limits are reached. Find your limits and work with an intensity that encourages the body to grow past them.

 

12. Recovery: Take a break!  It’s fine to go a day without workouts or even an occasional treat, but avoid going overboard. “Once a week” is a good rule of thumb to follow.

 

13. Stay in your lane: Don’t compare your body to others.  Everyone is built differently and responds to workout and dietary changes at a different rate.  Instead, work to be your personal best – everyday!

 

14. Stay on Track: Don’t get tunnel vision towards weight loss.  Embrace total fitness and don’t judge yourself solely by a number on the scale.

 

15. Sleep: Get your shut-eye!  Rest is integral to performance, and working out also means you’ll fall asleep faster and sleep sounder.

5 Great Tips For Healthy Eating

5 Great Tips For Healthy Eating

nutrition

 

Eating well and keeping to a balanced diet is an essential part to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Not only is it challenging at times to stick to a healthy diet, but it can also be difficult to work out your dietary requirements and what is good for you and what isn’t. There are schedules you can stick to in order to achieve any goals of being healthy, as well as many tips that will help to contain your urges for chocolate and takeaway. With the right advice you can throw away the bad eating habits once and for all! Before you think about the right foods to eat, you should ensure that you understand the importance of drinking water and keeping fit too. Otherwise, eating healthy will not pay off as well as you would like it to.

 

 

1. Adding to Your Diet

As well as taking away any excess fatty foods from your diet, there are also things that you may need to add to it. The best way to start is by living up to the expectations of having 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day. The nutrients in these foods are incredibly beneficial to our health as they help to boost our immune systems and can eliminate oxidants, which are free radicals that can harm the body and put us in risk of health problems. A good way of incorporating them into your daily life is to put them with a meal, rather than just eating them on their own! In terms of eating fruit, a piece of fruit makes a brilliant food for breakfast or an extra snack during lunch time.

 

 

2. Count Your Calories

If you never looked at the calories on your food before, you should now. As someone trying to eat healthy, you should know how many calories you are expected to eat a day. The average man is expected to take in around 2500 calories, whereas the average woman should look at having around 2000 calories. With each meal and snack you have, try not to extend your calorie allowance and find a way that suits you to keep track of them. You can find multiple calorie counters online and in stores. These calculate the foods you have had and let you know how many calories you have left for that day. Some of these calculators also have a feature that will tell you what your food calories are, for example, if you eat something that does not tell you how many calories it contains – you can search it and it will supply you with the details.

 

 

3. Snacking

Between meals, it is very common to get hungry or peckish, making it very tempting to snack on a packet of crisps or a chocolate bar. If you’re only slightly hungry, you should try drinking water or a thick smoothie as this can often cure mild hunger in a healthy way. However, if you really need to eat there are healthy choices that you can opt snack on whilst doing your system some good! These are:

● Carrot sticks

● Pine nuts

● Fruit

● Yoghurt

● Cheese snacks

● Granola

 

You should note that a lot of the time we are not actually that hungry, it can just be a way of our brain telling us we are bored.

 

healthye eating

 

You must avoid eating when you are bored as this can result in a high calorie intake if you are not keeping track of how much you eat.

 

 

4. Fish

Fish is one of the best foods for the human body. Fish is a brilliant source of protein and this will give you plenty of minerals and vitamins. Eating around 2 portions a week will decrease your chances of heart disease and give you lots of omega-3. Eating a lot of fish can also prevent you from having high blood pressure, it can also reduce your chance of gaining a mental illness. Studies have shown that those who eat fish at least once a week have an incredibly low chance of developing dementia or Alzheimer in the future. Not only does fish have significant health benefits, it also makes the skin much more smooth and can stop any aging lines from breaking out.

 

 

5. Portions

You should never allow yourself to over-eat until the point of bloating. Eating should make you feel satisfied rather that stuffed, being full can essentially make you gain weight quicker and can slow down the process of enzymes breaking up your food. You should aim to keep your portions reasonable so that your body can get used to these sizes.

Some may even find it works to their advantage if they eat smaller portions but regularly, this could be a good way of cancelling out any hunger during the day. Another important factor to your intake of food is how crucial it is to eat 3 meals a day. Skipping meals will make your stomach suffer and you will therefore make your working day harder, as you won’t have sufficient energy.

In your eating-well diet, you do not have to completely get rid of fatty foods that you enjoy, as long as you don’t eat them regularly it is fine to treat yourself! Eating healthy does not mean that your meals have to taste bad, there are thousands of recipes for delicious tasting food. Sometimes, the recipes can be so yummy that you won’t even realize they’re as healthy as they are!

Being a healthy eater and balancing it with regular exercise and a good intake of water will be sure to put your health in a good light. On a long-term basis, a healthy lifestyle will definitely work in your favor as you get older, as it will prevent you from getting illnesses and potentially improve how well you age.

 

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Do you like this blog entry? Can you think of any other tips for eating healthy? If you can, please leave them in the comments section.

This blog was written by Jennifer Smith on behalf of The Light, a retail and leisure complex containing a multitude of shops and restaurants.

Learn How to Eat Whatever You Want Towards Your Advantage | Part 2 of 3 – “Insulin”

Learn How to Eat Whatever You Want Towards Your Advantage | Part 2 of 3 – “Insulin”

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eat-whatever

 

When I was first getting into fitness I was about 14 and I went to this total meathead gym in Toronto. To thoroughly paint this picture for you, I was fat, hairless and generally awkward (lol). So one day when I was attempting one of my awkward prepubescent workouts the meathead of all meatheads approached me with an empty 2 litre coke bottle in his hand. I was terrified. I had never met this guy before and I had no idea why this large person would want to talk to me. I was sure he was going to try and bicep curl me or make fun of my man boobs or something. He also had red hair, and everyone knows you can’t trust people with red hair.

 

 

He told me that when he got to the gym he was so tired he had to leave and go buy this 2L coke. He proceeded to tell me that he “slammed” the coke and “crushed” his workout. I don’t actually think I said any words to this guy before he walked away. I just remember standing there after he dropped this pearl of wisdom on me thinking that he may be insane. Either way, as soon as I got home I ate a 16oz steak raw and yelled at my chest until my first chest hair popped out. Despite how ridiculous this whole situation was I am going to use it to illustrate a point on how we can make sugar work to our advantage! But first we need to review article number one of this series… P.S. – Don’t even think about not reading this just because that last sentence sounded boring. I have lots of super awesome things you need to hear!

 

My super awesome review of article one

If you read article one of this three part series then you would know that:

  1. All carbs end up as sugars as they are being digested
  2. Being insulin sensitive is when insulin does a good job of bonding to sugars (and other stuff) in the blood stream. Being insulin sensitive is a good thing but it is a misconception that insulin sensitivity means low body fat
  3. Insulin resistance is when insulin does a poopy job of bonding to sugars in the blood stream; this is a precursor to diabetes.

 

insulin-graphic

 

 

  1. High sugar consumption/insulin resistance does not always mean you’ll be obese it is VERY common though. 
  2. Low carb consumption makes us lean (assuming the rest of the body is operating as it should)

Note: Insulin sensitivity exists on both sides of the scale, this is because some people are blessed with the genetics of being able to eat high amounts of carbs without doing damage to the pancreas and its functions. We don’t like these people…

Long story short, most people need very minimal carbs to function well (there are exceptions). If you partake in this low carb lifestyle you’ll be lean and if you can go low carb for long enough then eating carbs can actually be like throwing kerosene on a fire that’s already burning bright (check my blurb on Leptin from Article #1 for more deets).

This isn’t good as it relates to my meat/red head friend. He is basically overflowing his liver with carbs. This, at a certain point, forces his body to store these sugars as fat. Not to mention that all the sugar will give him a big fat serotonin spike (that’s a sleep hormone), not exactly what you want before a workout.

 

 

The Good News

We have this super awesome gene/protein called GLUT4. GLUT4 acts as a transport for sugars into muscle cells (other cells too, but we don’t care for the purpose of this article). This is super duper awesome news! This means if we eat sugar GLUT4 will take that sugar into our muscle cells and not our fat cells!

“Big Red” is kind of on the right track with this but he should have left the coke for a post workout treat rather than a pre workout energizer.

 

The Okay News

The primary mechanism for stimulating GLUT4 is exercise. So if you eat your sugary cheat meal right after your workout then you can minimize the negative effects of your cheat meal. Personally, I have seen a normal cheat meal put 3-6 extra pounds on my body by the next day. If that seems extreme it’s because you’re one of the lucky ones, but if you are a “protein type” like I am you can probably empathize with these quick/large spikes in weight after a cheat meal. I have found that by having my cheat meals after my workouts my weight increases only 2-4lbs instead of 3-6lbs. That’s not exactly “science” for you but I’ve been doing this for a while and I really believe it makes a difference.

 

The Bad News 

Implementing this can be a bit of a pain. A lot of us have our set routines and if you like your Friday night pizza it may be a pain sneaking to the gym for a workout before you chow down. But trust me, you’ll thank yourself for changing things around when your waist line gets smaller and your muscles are full after eating some pizza.

 

Fun Facts/ Additional Research Based Support 

1) A study in 1993 showed an increase of muscle glycogen storage of 16% post workout (1)

 

2) I have found eating foods that stimulate insulin sensitivity to also be helpful when it comes to minimizing the effects of a post workout cheat meal. Foods like Cocoa, Green Tea and Cinnamon are my favs(5).

 

3) Taking a pre-workout supplement that is designed to increase blood flow throughout the workout will also help increase insulin sensitivity. Increase blood flow always means increased insulin sensitivity (2), but the sensitivity is useless without GLUT4. So don’t think that the random use stimulants to increase your blood flow will help to minimize the effects of a cheat meal.

 

4) Try and avoid Fructose (fruit sugar) based cheat meals as they have been shown to not have the same leptin response. Leptin tells us we are full, which is one of our bodies natural ways of keeping us from eating more, we should probably take advantage of this one. Here is a list of foods high in Fructose: http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-000011000000000000000.html. (ps- this website is generally awesome and helpful)

 

5) I have found workouts that direct large amounts of blood to specific areas work best. Heavy lifting(4) and long endurance cardio do not stimulate GLUT4 to the same extent as working a muscle in isolation. If you’re confused as to what to do then just do this workout.

 

A1-Leg Press (8-10 reps)

A2-Push Ups (10-20 reps)

B1-Walking Lunges (10 reps per leg)

B2-Lateral Raises (15 reps)

C1-Wall Sits (hold for over 40 seconds)

C3-Seated Row (8-10 reps)

D-Body Weight Squats (30 reps)

E-Go home and eat like crap

 

6) Please remember this is a strategy to minimize the negative effects of a cheat meal, this is not a hall pass to shovel food in your face.

7) If you have serious strength training goals this strategy could negatively affect your training. Whenever there is a large insulin release there is also a decrease in human growth hormone. Being carb depleted can be really helpful for those with long-term strength goals.

 

This is the final nail in “Big Red – BroScience” coffin… Poor Red had no idea that he was killing his gains! I’m pretty confident he had some vitamin ‘S’ to compensate though (that’s my cheeky way of saying steroids).

 

References

(1) http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4499&context=etd

(2)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11440894

(3)http://books.google.ca/books?id=hopeu51QMPIC&pg=PA5&lpg=PA5&dq=(Fujitani+et+al.,+1998;+Miller+et+al,+1984)&source=bl&ots=iIW3w4m6CN&sig=mOxSmPKT21yFxwbf8waVhrZ95l8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=oHHqUoyHH8Wq2gXktoGgDg&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=(Fujitani%20et%20al.%2C%201998%3B%20Miller%20et%20al%2C%201984)&f=falseArticle #1

(4)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10683091

(5) http://resultsfitnessstudio.com/2013/12/17/cheat-meals-for-fat-loss-guide-blood-sugar-basics-part-1-of-3/#sthash.WdHCBEF0.dpbs

(6)http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00421-004-1307-y

Learn How to Eat Whatever You Want Towards Your Advantage | Part 1/3

Learn How to Eat Whatever You Want Towards Your Advantage | Part 1 of 3

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eat-whatever

 

 

Last Saturday, my cousin Andrew and I went to Wendy’s. I had a triple Baconator with fries. Then I went home and watched Game of Thrones, while devouring two bags of Hershey’s Cookies ‘N’ Cream bite size chocolate thingys. I would tell you what Andrew had but I was too busy slipping into a food coma to remember. That was my cheat meal and I earned it because I ate like a caveman all week…

 

I am going to assume that you are probably reading this article with the intentions of cranking back some unhealthy delicious foods over the holidays! If you are like me then you obviously want to avoid having “more to love” by the time January hits and you’re forced to hit the gym harder than that Baconator hit my pancreas.

 

If your going to understand why these tips work then you need to understand how cheat meals can make us fat. I know, boring but just shush and keep reading.

 

When carbs get digested they have to be broken down into sugars before they can enter the blood stream. Complex carbs represent long chains of sugars bound together, while simple carbs represent smaller chains. Long and short chains of sugars have to be broken down into individual sugar molecules to be absorbed. Picture various groups of prison inmates (sugars), holding hands walking through a prison (your intestines). Then correctional officers (enzymes), are all like, “hey stop holding hands, that’s weird, you’re in prison.” The correctional officers eventually break the bonds between the inmates and send them to their cells, pun intended (Boom).

 

Once our sugar bonds are broken up in our intestines they enter the blood stream, and our pancreas is notified of the increase in blood sugar. In turn, insulin is released to combat this. Then a bunch of insulin goes and snatches up the sugar molecules and transports them into their designated cells (could be liver, muscle, fat or various other cells). In most circumstances insulin will look to drop off those sugars in your liver, however, once your liver is full they will have no choice but to juicify your love handles (in article number two I will touch on how we can get insulin to send sugar into our muscles). Now, our bodies have many mechanisms for making us fat, but in my opinion high carb consumption is the number one reason for obesity.

 

Tip #1 – The Obvious Tip…

 

Try to avoid processed food. A heck of a process goes into making bread, so try to avoid it. Brown rice, quinoa, wild rice, and Cous Cous don’t take much to get them ready to eat, so they are okay. If you’re overweight, cut complex carbs entirely and watch the pounds fly away. If you’re not overweight and you’re naturally skinny/lean (aka my stupid cousin Andrew), you can have some complex carbs. My personal opinion is that a VERY small amount of people would ever need more than 100 grams of complex carbs in a day.

 

Tip #2 – Insulin sensitivity increases with each sugar free meal

 

One thing I didn’t mention about our friend insulin is that if you have too much sugar circulating in your blood stream (especially over a prolonged period of time i.e. days/months/years) then you can become insulin resistant. It’s kind of like when I try and scare my parents. Occasionally I can scare them so good that they will accidentally swear; it’s honestly hilarious. But, if I tried scaring them ten times a day they would become resistant to my immaturity and I wouldn’t get to enjoy their swears. But in all seriousness, if this is what’s happening- you’re becoming insulin resistant- then you’re likely on track to becoming diabetic.

 

I like to think of our relationship with insulin as a really big teeter-totter. On one side sits insulin resistance, and on the other side sits insulin sensitivity. The more sugary food we eat the further we move towards insulin resistance, and eventually if we eat so bad, we can walk right past insulin resistance and hop off the teeter-totter leading to diabetes. But, with every good meal we eat we can walk toward insulin sensitivity, and eventually get a super power or something.

 

When you are “low sugar” for long enough your liver gets a chance to make room for some new sugars thus blitzing yourself with a cheat meal, in some instances can actually make you leaner. When you eat “low carb” for long enough your Leptin levels decrease, and one of Leptin’s roles is to metabolize fat. Guess what gives Leptin a boost… cheat meals! This does not mean pizza is now a healthy choice, it means it “can be” if your diet is on point. Earlier this year I went two weeks without a gram of sugar and I decided to have a gluten free pizza, which is awesome by the way so shut your mouth if you’re a gluten free hater, and I actually lost 2lbs the next day.

 

Moral of the story, with every carb free day that passes you will increase your efficiency when you finally decided to crank back some deliciousness. I’m pretty sure superman became superman from going carb free for a year and then having a Baconator, just saying.

 

Tip #3 – Fit Cocoa, Green Tea, and Cinnamon into your diet wherever you can

 

In a nutshell research says that these three guys can increase your insulin sensitivity. I have found moderate to high consumption of these puppies on my cheat days to be particularly helpful. If you want more detail check the sources :).

Green Tea (1,2)

Cocoa (1,3)

Cinnamon(4)

 

(1) http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/81/3/611.short

– favanols=high antioxidant/High Nitric Oxide(arginine-alpha-keto-glutarate (AAKG). ) bioavailability… Nitric Oxide bioavailability=”stimulated glucose uptake”

(2) http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf030365d

(3) http://advances.nutrition.org/content/3/2/217.full

(4)http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=1681080