Saturday, October 22, 2011

John Is Fit

John Is Fit

Excellent Eating After Exercise

Posted: 21 Oct 2011 06:38 AM PDT

This is a guest post by Denis Faye.

Whether you're trotting up the stairs to your apartment after a ten-mile jog or pounding out that last set of curls, there's nothing like that post-workout feeling. You've busted your tail and now it's time to relax.

Or is it? A little couch time might seem in order, but that doesn't mean the work is done. After a hard workout, your body becomes super receptive to nutrients, so you've got about an hour here when proper eating is crucial. Don't slack off now. Hit the kitchen for your recovery snack!

When Nietzsche said, "That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger," he could have been talking about a good workout. First of all, exercise burns through your blood sugar as well as your glycogen, your body's back-up sugar supply. Meanwhile, it drains your electrolytes and fluids and causes micro-trauma to your muscles. That last one typically happens more often with weight training, but just about any intense exercise breaks down (and subsequently builds) muscle to some degree. Just look at a swimmer's shoulders or a jogger's legs if you doubt this.

It may seem like a whole lotta bad to happen at once, in truth, the combo is a good thing. To replenish the blood sugar, you need carbs. To fix the muscles, you need protein. When you consume the two together, they can work in tandem to do good things.

But before I go any further, let's talk about sports nutrition theory. In short, it's a Wild West science. Every day, new research comes out that completely blows the doors off of accepted protocols. What I'm about to explain comes largely from the work of Drs. John Ivy and Robert Portman, as reported in their book Nutrient Timing: The Future of Sports Nutrition. Their theories are currently the accepted standard for recovery foods. There have since been plenty of other studies that cast doubt on their work. While I've read scores of them and I have yet to be swayed, that could change any day. In the meantime, I encourage you to read this post, then read Nutrient Timing, then with that foundation, explore other research and make your own choices.

Also be mindful that this protocol pertains to intense exercise. If you're just playing a little foosball or walking around the block, there's no need for specialized, timed eating. However, when it comes to a serious workout, because your body is in a state of depletion, the rules of nutrition shift a little. Usually, you want to take in your carbs with some fiber, or at least with a balanced amount of fat and protein, to slow absorption. That way, you avoid sugar spikes and the result insulin issues can lead to things like type 2 diabetes. But post exercise, it's okay to get unregulated carbohydrates in there quickly. You're not going to cause a sugar spike because you're out of blood sugar. You're just refilling the tank.

And while you're at it, throw in some protein. Protein is comprised of amino acids, which are the building blocks for muscle. If you can get some in there fast, it can jump-start the recovery process. The trick, however, is to get enough for it to work without overwhelming the carbs and slowing absorption. The magic balance is a source of much controversy, largely stemming from the fact that many people find the concept of unregulated carbs hard to, ahem, swallow. According to Portman and Ivy, and in my experience, 4-to-1 carbohydrates-to-protein works pretty consistently. That said, you might want to experiment between 2-to-1 and 6-to-1 to see what works for you.

As for what to put in this recovery cocktail, there are no shortage of supplements on the market that hit these numbers, but there are also several (semi) real food sources that work, including non/low-fat chocolate milk, fruity yogurts, and apple juice with a little protein powder added. Just remember to avoid fiber and fat because they'll slow absorption.

How much of this you take depends on your size and how hard you blasted it. The general range is 100 to 250 calories. Drink/eat it within the first 10 minutes of wrapping up and allow 30 to 45 minutes for it to absorb before eating anything else.

If your primary reason for working out is to burn fat, and you're still interested in a recovery snack's effect on your muscles, I say go for it. Yeah, I know the current thinking that fasting for an hour post-exercise will "augment lipid mobilization" or burn extra fat, but there's a loophole. According to the latest research (, those lipids will mobilize as long as your post-exercise calories are lesser than the calories you burned, so considering a solid 60 minute workout can blow through 400 to 800 calories, a little 100-200 calorie replenishment shouldn't be a problem.

The final two pieces of the recovery puzzle are electrolytes (specifically potassium, sodium, magnesium, and chloride) and water, all of which you'll lose when you sweat. Most liquid-based recovery supplements cover these bases, but you can also recharge those vital minerals with a banana – usually in amounts that far exceed most sports drinks.

As for rehydrating, I hear there's a new thing out there called "water." You might want to research it.

Hmmm… Bananas? Yogurt? A cool glass of water? Man, post-exercise nutrition by eating after exercise is starting to sound delicious. Maybe it's not the arduous task I thought it was. I'm going for a jog right now.

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Post from: John Is Fit - Personal Weight Loss Blog

Excellent Eating After Exercise

News Flash: Starving Yourself Makes You Hungrier

Posted: 21 Oct 2011 05:28 AM PDT

This is a guest post by Trina Cleary.

Ever been on a weight loss diet and felt like you were losing your mind, rather than fat? Well, you probably were.

A recent study published in Cell Metabolism shows that dieting can force the brain to consume small parts of itself for energy. How's that for a visual to convince you that healthy eating is a better choice than dieting?

The brain cells being eaten are responsible for regulating appetite. As these brain cells break down more of the free fatty acids that signal your body to eat are generated.

The result, that starving yourself makes you even hungrier, is no surprise.

Yet diet books and fad diets abound. And despite the glut of fat-free, low-calorie and sugar free foods, obesity rates are at an all time high. A much more effective, enjoyable, and sustainable approach to weight loss is to simply eat a balanced and abundant diet of healthier foods.

Diets might trick you, but they can't trick your body.

When you reduce your food intake, your body puts itself on alert, preparing for what it thinks is a dangerous impending famine. It gets the sense that food may be scarce, so it is smart and drastically slows down its rate of metabolizing food and fat stores. This way your body is able to make the most of the food it is given and to protect its energy stores. Your body would much rather break down muscle tissue than let go of its fat reserves, which are a precious gold mine of secure future energy.

A diet that has you losing a lot of weight rapidly is probably first draining you of water stores, and secondly eating into your muscle tissue. It is physically and scientifically impossible to lose more than 2 lbs of actual fat in one week.

Keep in mind that if you go on a diet then return to more normal eating habits, the food you consume has a higher chance of being stored into fat as your body is nervous that a famine may happen again. Sensibly enough, your body wants to make sure it has enough fat stored up to protect you.

A diet not only puts your body in a state of anxiety, but your mind as well. There is nothing like telling yourself that you can't or shouldn't have something to make you want that certain something even more. It is a much healthier option, both physically and emotionally, to quit "dieting" and focus on all the healthy foods you can have. This empowers you to eat with a mentality of abundance as opposed to restriction.

Eat a healthy diet instead of "dieting".

You can lose a lot of weight by shifting to a diet absolutely filled with delicious foods all day long, as long as most of those foods are natural whole grains, veggies and fruits. A study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that overweight people who avoided high-fat food and increased the amount of fruits and veggies that they ate actually lost 20% more weight than those who just cut out the high-fat foods.

Also, a diet filled with whole foods inherently contains a lot of fiber and water. This helps you to clear out any accumulated toxins that have been stored in your intestines. These toxins can account for a constantly bloated belly and many of the pounds that you may have been carrying around for years.

When you consume food, your body has a choice to convert it either into fat or use it for immediate energy. Which it decides is determined by chemical reactions that are activated by enzymes, which are largely determined by a precise balance of vitamins and minerals.

If your body is even slightly vitamin or mineral deficient, this can interfere with sensitive chemical reactions, making it more likely that your body chooses to store the food as fat. Eating a healthy diet filled with whole foods can also help you lose weight because your chances of being nutritionally deficient are much lower than if you are on a restricted regimen or a diet filled with empty diet foods.

When wanting to lose weight, you have to be realistic about whether the program you choose is something that you can actually sustain for the long term. If you can't picture yourself maintaining and enjoying what you consume, your plan will probably not last too long. What's the point of putting yourself through a rigid diet only to gain back the weight down the road?

By making a commitment to whole foods you can enjoy the process of losing weight as well as gaining better health. You can also ensure that your weight loss efforts will be maintained for years to come.

Have you given up on "dieting" yet?

Post from: John Is Fit - Personal Weight Loss Blog

News Flash: Starving Yourself Makes You Hungrier


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