Essential for fat loss

Keeping Insulin level for fat loss results

Insulin is stored in the pancreas, and is released everytime you eat carbohydrates(which get broken down into sugar) with it’s main job being to ensure blood sugar levels do not get too high. It is a storage hormone essentially, and if you’re glycogen stores (the name for stored carbohydrates) are full, it will convert these sugars to fat. Therefore it makes sense to keep insulin levels to a minimum. To do this;

1)    NEVER eat carbohydrates by themselves, this includes fruits – always eat some protein or fats with it, to slow the sugar release in the body (small piece of goats cheese, few nuts, peanut butter, protein powder, ham/meat, eggs)

2)    Keep sugar intake and sugary products to a minimum or remove them – not only will they spike blood sugar levels, but they are fat storage in a hit. They will also affect energy levels, by raising blood sugar levels, giving you an immediate energy lift, then as insulin does it’s job and pulls things out, you’ll get the energy crash.

3)    You could try supplementing with Chromium or fenugreek which are known to balance out insulin levels. I’m experimenting with both at the moment, and will keep you updated with results.

Remember, carbs aren’t bad, it’s just how, and when you eat them.

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10 Exercise and Nutrition Myths

10 common Nutrition and Exercise Myths!

10. Women will get bulky from lifting weights

Women cannot get big and bulky for one very good reason…their bodies don’t produce enough testosterone to build the large bulky muscles. Testosterone is a key ingredient to putting on muscle mass, and the only way women can get this type of big bulky look is by taking steroids and hormone injections. This is why you see bulky female body builders. I know from personal experience how hard it is to put on muscle, and that is lifting heavy, regularly, consuming lots of protein and calories and being committed! Your 2 sessions a week with weights won’t get you big! So don’t be afraid to lift heavy weights if you’re a woman. Lifting heavy will make a woman strong, not manly. It will give you shape, and you more defined.

9. Carbohydrates make you fat Rubbish.

Excess calories make you fat. Gaining weight is basically consuming more calories than you are expending. This could be protein, fat, or carbohydrates. Carbs are needed as an energy supply, not just for your muscles, but your brain and bodily tissues. The main problem lies in that we eat too many carbohydrates. Nowadays, most processed/packaged food is high in carbohydrates, and often high in sugar. Once your muscles and liver is full (the main storage area for carbs) there is no where else for them to go, so the excess will be broken down and stored as fat. Look to limit your carbohydrates on non-exercise days, to natural ones (fruit, vegetables, small portions of rice) and you and you’re body will benefit from them. Aim to consume more protein and good fats and you will be on the right track.

8. 2 sets of 15 is all you need for each exercise

This often happens with a gym induction. You are put on all the gym machines, and are told to do 2 sets of 15, often with a weight you could perform 25 or more with. Yes, if you’re new to resistance work, work around the 15 rep range, but ensure reps 14 and 15 are getting challenging. After around 4-6 weeks, look to increase the weight so that you are performing around the 12 rep range. Once you have completed about 8 weeks, look to change the whole workout and add new movements.

7. If I exercise, I will get where I want to be without changing my diet.

If you think this, you’re heading down the wrong path! How would you expect to lose weight, put on muscle, get healthier if you’re still eating the same rubbish that helped you gain the weight in the first place?! The idea of exercise and balanced nutrition, is to get you and your body healthier, leaner, and in better condition. What you put into your body will determine this. Take this example – Look at builders and brick layers etc. Now, doing such a physical job day in, day out, all that lifting, they should have bodies of a greek Adonis? But what do they eat? Fry ups, pasties, crisps, all manufactured foods, and therefore they end up having a belly, high blood pressure, and probably a poor immune system. Let me make this clear, you will only get health and fitness results if you pay attention to your diet. I would go as far to say that weight loss, muscle gain etc is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. Yep, now you see the need for quality food?

6. Machines are safer than free weights

Again, gym inductions are often to blame. These machines are a waste of time. Firstly, they move in a specific range of motion, meaning you will work the same muscles in the same line every time. Secondly you are sitting down, so muscles from your core down are switched off. This not only means you are limiting your work capacity, but you are burning hardly any calories. Surely it is better to work for less time and be more productive? Ask for dumbbell and free weight exercises, and you will soon be sculpting a good looking body!

5. Running, or cardio is the way to lose fat.

No. Cardio exercise should be just one part of your workout routine. When adding cardiovascular exercise, you should look to perform intervals, whereby you work at and easy pace for a period of time, then put up the resistance or speed, and work hard for a shorter period of time. You often will have two to three times more rest period than work. The idea of interval training is you can train for less time, but burn more calories, as it ramps up your metabolism, puts a greater workload on your body, and will get you ‘fitter’ quicker than steady state cardio. Too many people stick to the cardio machines, spending hours during the week on them. Yes you will burn calories, but you’ll also burn muscle because of the long, slow intensity. This in turn robs you of body shape, and will slow your metabolism. In the business this is known as “skinny fat” – you may be slim but you’ll have a high body fat % as you have minimal muscle.

4. Targeting specific muscle groups is the best way to lift.

How many times have you heard “Today I’m doing arms” or “Monday is chest and back!”? How you plan a resistance training program depends on several factors, but the above is pretty much setout for bodybuilders and can workout for long periods (often through enhancements), have a long training background, and consume a good number of calories. This kind of training is not functional. It will not help to give you a generally strong body that will help in everyday tasks. You will see guys at the gym who follow this type of programme, with hunched over shoulders where their chest muscles are over tight from too much bench pressing, and other such muscle imbalances, which in time, will give postural problems. You should look to perform exercises which use multiple muscles and combine the 5 body movements – Walk or lunge, squat or bend, push, pull, rotate.

3. You need supplements to get in shape

Supplements should be used only for what they’re name implies: to “supplement” an already nutritious diet. Pills, powders, potions, will not give the results often portrayed by magazines and adverts, it will just burn a whole in your pocket. What supplements do I consider worth using? A good multi-vitamin and an omega-3 supplement is about it. A protein powder is about the only other if you are working out strenuously, to help build or maintain lean muscle. Natural wholesome food is what your body is designed to consume, and that is what will give you the best results – guaranteed.

2. Cutting calories down will help me lose weight

When you dramatically reduce calories, your bodies metabolism slows down. This is the engine to your body. Also, if you go too long without consuming a decent amount of calories, your body will start to release fat storing hormones called Lipoprotein lipases. These will float around your blood system, and next time you eat, they will grab the nutrients and store them as fat – your bodies last possible source of energy, as it thinks you are in starvation. Eat little and often, every 3 hours and you’ll keep your metabolism high. If you are going to cut calories in an attempt to lose weight, start by just 300 calories a day, possibly moving to 500 if you see no results are a week.

1. Crunches will get rid of your belly fat

One of the most over rated exercises for sure! In a very broad sense, getting rid of fat is a simple factor of expending more calories that you take in. And doing a crunch, which moves the body through a minuscule range of motion, is not going to expend many calories. Plus you’re not going to see any benefit from them if you have a layer of fat over the top. Eat Clean, lift weights, perform intervals and you’ll start to get where you want to be!

Increase your protein intake for better results!

skewers

Too many people eat, too many carbohydrates! Carbs aren’t bad – they don’t make you fat, excess calories in any form do, but generally as a nation, we eat too many carbohydrates.

Carbs get broken down into sugars and stored in the liver, and the muscles for our daily energy needs. Once your carb stores are full, the excess sugars have only one way to go, and get stored as fat. Therefore, if you do not have an active day/job, you should really look to cut back on carbs, and consume more “good” fats (oils, coconut, nuts, avocado, olive oil, fish oils) and protein in particular. Protein(meats, fish, eggs, protein powder) gets broken down into Amino Acids, which is a lot harder to store as fat, but also uses around a 1/3 of the total calories, during the breakdown phase of the protein. It will also keep you fuller for longer, which is why you should add more to your diet, aiming for some in every meal, especially breakfast.

Sometimes it is hard to get a source of protein in, especially for breakfast, which is why I recommend a having a protein supplement. It is derived from milk, and is a natural source, supplying around 25g protein (not far off a chicken breast) per drink. Granted, some brands taste foul, but I use the following brand (no commission!) and would honestly recommend purchasing some, so you can take it at breakfast and times during the day, when you find protein consumption difficult (including directly after your workout) http://www.myprotein.co.uk/bulk-powders/protein-powders/impact-whey-protein/

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