23 January, 2011

Believe It Or Not?

At this point in January most of the population has given up hope on any and all of their new years resolutions. On one hand, this means that the gym will begin to go back to the sleepy environment that I know and love. On the other hand, that means frustration and disillusionment for many. One of the many things that leads the charge of giving up hope of any change is the confusion involved with diet and exercise. Who can blame someone in this position? There is literally a myriad of information, much of it contradictory, and all of it claims to almost miraculously offer results. Some of it has merit and some is complete bull shit so how can we tell the difference? I don't claim to have all of the answers but I can offer some sound advise. Past that it comes down to what you believe and what will work for you. The facts are as follows: Your body needs carbs, proteins, and fats. If it is not getting enough of any one of these sources of nourishment there will be consequences. In the past twenty five years there have been bestselling books that have recommended eating only, or excluding, each of these sources of nourishment. Looking at the Atkins diet or South Beach diet you will find great information on some aspects of nutrition. You will also discover gaping holes in the long term affects and efficacy of these as a lifestyle. Those aside, the best plan for a healthy body that will keep you capable of doing whatever you physically want without injury is to monitor how many calories you are eating and the source of said calories. Here are some Dos and Don'ts

1. Whole food will always win out as being best for you. This means that the closer the food is to its source, the better your body will be able to break it down and turn it into fuel.

2. Preservatives and packaging are not good for you. Not to get crazy here but generally anything that a human adds to or alters a about a food source is not a good thing. This includes corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and obscene levels of sodium that will help a foods shelf life.

3. The myths about carbs is that they are responsible for making us fat. This is not exactly the truth. Carbs are an excellent source of energy. The problem we run into is where the carbs are found. Carbohydrates found in vegetables are almost always very well balanced with proteins, fats, and vital nutrients such as vitamins as well as fiber. Carbs that are derived from grains, however, are not nearly as beneficial and can be problematic. This unfortunately begins to limit what foods are good for you and readily available. Stick with oats, brown rice, barley, or something made of these in combination if you are eating a grain rich diet(If you cannot live in a world with out baked goods).

4. Carbo-loading is not only ineffective, it is counterproductive. This statement may be the most controversial yet but in all of my research as well as personal experience it is not necessary(especially if you are eating well to begin with). The only two exceptions to this would be extreme endurance sports(marathons, triathlons) , or if you are about to undergo surgery. Other than that, it won't really help.

5. Protein is important, especially for muscle maintenance. Lean meats(chicken, lean lamb, wild game, duck, turkey, lean* grass fed beef) as well as dairy or vegetable sources(eggs, whey, soy, rice, almonds, yogurt) are the most effective proteins you can consume. If you have to supplement, I recommend a rice protein powder rather than soy or whey because it has less undesirable effects on your body as a whole.

There are a few tips and here is your workout!

5 min warm up
3x 15 push ups
3x 15 overhead presses
3x 15 inverted rows
3x 25 meter lunges
3x 15 single leg squats
4x 30 sec. planks
2x 25 negative crunches
5 min cool down



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