HARDGAINERS’ ARSENAL FOR PACKING ON MUSCLE MASS

This article is dedicated to the ‘hardgainers’. You know those guys who cannot get any muscle size no matter how much they eat, no matter what they do. I have 10 tips that can help.
As always, see your primary healthcare provider before starting any fitness regimen. This site and the advice given here does not replace sound medical advice or opinion. Now the list.

1) 60 Minutes or less. Keeping your training under an hour will defeat the killer of many hypertrophic hopes and dreams- you guessed it, overtraining. Overtraining is a killer. Destroyer of gains due to overzealousness. Keeping your training under 60 minutes is a sure way to make overtraining irrelevant to you.
2) Become a member of the ‘Clean Your Plate Club’. Yes… eating has everything to do with building muscle mass. No matter what you eat, for the hardgainer- eating is and should be a habit. Without those extra calories, how will you gain that extra muscle mass you long after?
3) Stop relying on supplements. We all know that suplements are great. Supplements get the job done in ways that you couldn’t on your own. In this case, however, lay off most (not all) supplements. It’s a safe bet to only focus on supplements that will help with your gains (more on that later).
4) Take it Easy. Aside from this being a truism of life, this shuld be a goal for those of you seeking to put on muscle mass. Cutting out stress triggers (situations, people) will help your central nervous system do its job better and more effectively.

5) Overload on Calories. For the hardgainer, caloric intake is the name of the game. In fact, it is something that will dominate this article (as it dominates the hardgainer’s thoughts). Eat, eat, eat some more.
6) Think Progress. As mentioned above, your workouts should really be under an hour if even that. The main thing is to make sure you are progressing at a workout.
Now some things will work for a while and you may see some results. But if you want to gain weight, you’re better off focusing on progressing in either the number of reps or an increase in weight lifted within your main program.
7) Rep Range: The Right Mix! Keep the rep range between 6-8 repetitions. Outside of that, you risk overtraining (that will decimate any gains you have made).

8) Use a Mass Gainer. Remember me saying earlier about how most supps are not to be relied upon? This is why. You have mass gainers that are made just for increasing appetite or simply packing on extra pounds. Mass gainers are fantastic for hardgainers because it will slow metabolism somewhat. Metabolism is the hardgainer’s ‘frenemy’.

9) Hit the Buffet. Once a week…. hit a buffet line. Load it up, eat, eat and eat some more. Besides, buffets are cheap and you can eat all you want.

10) Slow it Down! Lastly, is a concept powerlifters and strength athletes have been using for the longest. Slow the pace of your reps down and use frequent breaks in your sets. Also you need to focus on the big presses ( e.g. bench press and squats). The concept of slowing your rep pace down will have an effect of building big muscle, just not lean muscle. The breaks will give the muscle time to grow. Visualization is another great trick you need in your ‘gainer arsenal’.

In closing, the hardgainer has the metabolism the rest of us want. The rade-off for the hard gainer… a great metabolism, but he cant gain muscle weight/size/mass for anything. These tips will get the hardgainer on the road to mass and strength, just as he has dreamt of.

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TOP FIVE WEIGHT LOSS HACKS THAT WORK

NOTE: THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR SOUND MEDICAL ADVICE. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR PRIMARY CARE PROFESSIONAL FOR THE BEST WELLNESS REGIMEN THAT FITS YOUR NEEDS.

 

This article is for those either approaching or are enduring plateaus in their weight-loss regimen. This article is also for those who are interested in finding new ways to lose weight. Here are my top five weight-loss hacks you can do, at home. And they work.

  • DRINK MORE WATER. This will fill your stomach, clear your skin and help with metabolism. This is the absolute best thing you can do for your body in general.
  • GET SOME SLEEP. Studies have shown consistently that those who get less sleep are more likely to be overweight. Getting proper rest will enhance your life (better moods, better brain function for starters).
  • SWITCH OUT YOUR CONDIMENTS. You like ketchup, tartar sauce, stuff like that? A great (and tasty) alternative would be substituting these sauces for salad dressings and other low-calorie dipping sauces and marinades. You might discover a new favorite.
  • Stop Drinking SODA. Aside from obesity, diabetes and several other debilitating diseases that have been linked to soda consumption, you can definently use a break from the soda addiction. Try drinking more water. It’s calorie-free, not addicting and there’s no crash when it wears off. Just try it. Your brain and your body will love you for it.
  • ENTER INTERMITTENT FASTING (IF). This popular weight-loss method does work. The methodology of it is simply eat what you’d normally eat in a smaller time frame. See the attached IF planner for more.

In closing, these tips are not the be-all end-all for weight-loss and fitness, but every little bit does help. Never be afraid to experiment, try new things and basically go for it!! Only thing stopping you is you. This is “thinking person’s fitness: some assembly is required”.

 

RESOURCES

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/13/lose-weight-do-nothing-without-diet-exercise_n_7260710.html

https://lifehacker.com/top-10-simple-weight-loss-hacks-you-can-implement-right-1695542566

https://youtu.be/Zu6vI0Nge9U

8 Habits of Successful People

These days, we all read about the successful ones- entrepreneurs, trust fund babies, athletes, entertainers and the like. Regardless of how they started out, I can guarantee you most of them had some difficulty climbing that ladder of success, with some overcoming extreme difficulties (cultural, internal and others) to get to where they are today. This list is nowhere near comprehensive, but it should prove useful as a starting point (or to at least jog your memory).

NOTE: This article (and this site) is no substitute for sound medical advice. Please consult your primary care provider for all things health/wellness related.

  1. Keep it Moving. Constant movement, especially exercise, keeps the feel-good endorphins pumping, which keeps you pumping on the uptick.
  2. Think! Deep thought and meditation works wonders.Take a few minutes and reset, set your mind at ease.
  3. Eat! Hydrate! Eating and hydrating within the first hour of wakefulness lends to you being less stressed, more focused and yes, more productive throughout the day.
  4. Fake It Til You Make It. Yes, it sounds cheesy, but it does work- you’re laying the foundation in your heart of hearts. The words you use create your reality. Throughout history, various faiths attest to this tactic.
  5. Create a routine. We all have (and cultivate) habits over time. This is your chance to make a positive impact on your life.
  6. Expect Excellence. From yourself. If you really get down to the bare bones of it all, your expectation of yourself should supersede the expectations you have of others. Basically focus on nothing other than yourself. There’s no shame in it.
  7. Work Your @$$ Off. Without this, everything else is a waste of time. Having a work ethic, hard work… sets the table for everything else. Having this foundation makes success possible. Hard work and keeping your vision in front of you at all times will usher you into the place in life you’ve always wanted to be.
  8. Attitude. It’s really not about having “the right attitude” (whatever that is). It’s about having an emboldened sense of being, a healthy self-image and a thirst for success. Something that this world cannot tame, quench or stop in any way. The dreams and visions take time to be established, so throw in some patience and a KILLER INSTINCT to the mix as well.

I hope you all take this to heart, even if it’s just a passing fancy. From time to time, we all need to self-evaluate and reinvent ourselves.

THE BASICS ALWAYS WIN.

The Total Self: Carbs for Weight Loss

 

NOTE: This article (and this site) is not a substitute for sound medical advice. Please consult your primary care provider in regards to diet and exercise.

With the advent of popular diets dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, people have developed a love-hate relationship with carbs. With recent 21st century diets, namely the immensely popular Keto diet, carbs have become supposedly anathema to the average fitness enthusiast everywhere. This article focuses on the 10 best carbs for weight loss.

1) Barley. One of the original “superfoods”, this ancient grain can keep you fuller longer, preventing overeating and regulating metabolism.
2) Whole Grain Breads. This pick does somewhat fly in the face of “conventional diet wisdom”. A recent Penn State study revealed that people who had whole grain products in low-calorie diets (12 weeks) lost a significant amount more belly fat than those who ate processed/enriched breads.
3) Chickpeas. This dynamic member of the legume family called “pulses” are a godsend for those seeking a way not to overeat.
4) Pears. This fruit is not only tasty, fibrous and filling, but it is also a natural stimulant. Studies have proven that adults who eat 30 grams of fiber daily (the average medium pear has 6 grams of fiber) lost on average 5 lbs a year.
5) Quinoa. This popular ancient grain has nearly twice as much fiber as its peers (i.e. wheat). Quinoa is a “complete protein”- you get the amino acids like you would in a steak without the saturated fats.
6) Black beans (frijoles). Packed with soluble fiber, these tasty beans help cut the visceral fat around the heart and waist. This reduces the risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
7) Sweet Potatoes. Packed with 27 grams of carbs, this tasty vegetable increases the levels of the important hormone adiponectin. Adiponectin lowers blood sugars and helps stabilize metabolism. Plus sweet potatoes are fat free and has fewer calories and sodium than white potatoes.
8) Oatmeal. This celebrated staple of many meal plans has been around forever, having its origins dating back to the Mediterranean Basin (ca. 1250 B.C.). Just don’t eat it with artificial sweeteners and fillers. Use natural sweeteners like coconut sugar, almond butter, cinnamon and/or cane sugar.
9) Teff. Termed “The New Quinoa”, teff is bringing Vitamin C, iron and protein. It also is packing calcium in the mix, with one cup (cooked) having as much calcium as one-half cup of spinach.
10) Kamut. This ancient grain has a lower fat content than oatmeal. It’s high in B6 (enhancing metabolism) and also contains the entire RDA of selenium along with a dose of Vitamin E for good measure- both proven and trusted antioxidants.

These (10) carbs are fantastic. Whatever your nutrition goals are, you cannot go wrong with any combination of these. Please read/view the related articles/videos below for more information. As I always say, knowledge is a crucial element. Without knowledge, you could not tell the good from the bad.
THE BASICS ALWAYS WIN.

RESOURCES
http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/1063356/kamut-versus-oatmeal
http://www.redbookmag.com/body/healthy-eating/g2573/16-best-carbs-to-eat-for-weight-loss/?slide=15

HACK

In all my time writing, lifting and working out, I have always placed a heavy emphasis on knowledge. Knowing how a thing came to be is big for me to understanding the true value of an exercise. In this fitness game we all love, there are several iconic exercises that come to mind, especially for you lifters out there:
Bench Press. Coined “the granddaddy of all weight training exercises”, this venerable exercise started out in the early 20th century as a floor exercise by Russian-British athlete George Hackenschmidt (who benched 315 the first time he did the exercise).
Hack Squat. Not nearly as popular, but just as effective, this was also invented by Hackenshmidt (the name Hack was obviously a play on his name).
Note: This article is not a substitute for sound medical advice. Please consult your primary care provider for all help with fitness regimens and diet.
I thought that this would be a bit of a fun history piece on an icon of nt only sports, but fitness as well. George Hackenschmidt (1877-1968) was a Russian-British athlete, author and vegetarian advocate. In his lifetime, he participated in over 3000 wrestling matches and was involved in probably the most iconic wrestling rivalry ever: Hackenschmidt/Gotch. He was billed as the first “World’s Heavyweight Champion” and was credited with inventing the Bear Hug (a wrestling hold). He was a writer of some note, penning several books such as “Fitness and Your Self”(1937), “The Complete Science of Wrestling” (1909) amongst others. He was also a strict vegetarian (and an advocate of the lifestyle) with a strict diet limited to fruit, nuts and vegetables. He drank 11 pints of milk per day, avoided smoking and caffeine.
Aside from the history tidbit, I have provided a pretty good video you can watch on Hackenschmidt (SHOUT-OUT TO NICK’S STRENGTH AND POWER for the inspiration), plus a short biography on him.
In closing, I can truly say that being knowledgeable is a big part of the basics. Knowledge, being studious and acting on the knowledge are also part of the basics.
THE BASICS ALWAYS WIN.

RESOURCES:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George/Hackenschmidt

BENEFITS OF OMEGA-3,6,7 AND 9

 

 

NOTE: This article is not a substitute for sound medical advice. Please consult your primary care provider for the best plan that will work for you.

 

With health problems related to a high-fat diet garnering most of the spotlight when it comes to nutrition, it can seem weird to be told that there are fatty acids that we have to have in order to stay healthy. However, omega fatty acids are essential compounds, which humans cannot synthesize ourselves. Instead, we have to ingest them as part of a healthy diet.

While there are a range of fatty acids with varying structures and functions, there are two of primary importance to health that are referred to as ‘essential fatty acids’. These are the omega fatty acids alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) and linolenic acid (omega-6). [1] Both are involved in the regulation of the cardiovascular and immune systems.

Most people are familiar with omega-3 from taking cod liver oil / fish oil (or witnessing other people’s grimaces when they did). Happily, these essential compounds are found in a range of food types that can easily be incorporated into most diets.

What Are Omegas Good For?

The list of health benefits of consuming omega fatty acids, particularly omega-3, is long and well-known, as well as the medical support for these claims. For example, reviews have claimed that there is little to no evidence to suggest omega-3 prevents cancer.

Aside from that, there are indicators that reveal that a strong intake of omegas can and will have far-reaching benefits such as:

  1. Lowering Blood Pressure. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce blood triglyceride (fat) levels and stimulate blood circulation.
  2. Improving Rheumatoid Arthritis. There is preliminary evidence that omega-3 from fish oil may reduce symptoms such as joint swelling.
  3. Improved Mental Health. Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to have a positive effect on depressive symptoms in those with bipolar disorder.

 

Omega 6 To 3 Ratios: The Delicate Balancing Act

The “ideal ratio” of omega-6 to omega-3 intake is 2:1 and it has been suggested that in “hunter-gatherer” days it was 1:1. Unfortunately, modern diets tend to include far more omega-6 relative to omega-3. A lower estimate of the typical ratio is 15:1. [6] This may not sound like a problem at first – but there is evidence to suggest that having a skewed ratio of the two essential omega fatty acids can negate the beneficial effects of both, even leading to new health problems. [7] The two are metabolised by the same enzymes, so if there is a flood of omega-6 in the body, omega-3 may not be available to the body in the required levels, even if sufficient quantities are consumed.

A 2002 scientific study reported that a ratio of 2.5:1 reduced rectal cell proliferation in patients with colorectal cancer, whereas a ratio of 4:1 with the same amount of omega-3 had no effect. [8]

The food with the highest amount of omega 3 compared to omega 6 is krill oil, with 1:12 – which will offer a superb “counterbalance” as supplementation to our diet that is too high in omega 6.

The worst? Corn oil is listed as having 46:1 Omega-6 to omega-3.

Major dietary sources of omega-3:

  1. Fish (particularly sardines and mackerel)
    2. Soy beans
    3. Tofu
    4. Walnuts

Major dietary sources of omega-6:

  1. Poultry
    2. Eggs
    3. Avocado
    4. Nuts
    5. Cereals

Omega 7

Most people are aware of 3 and 6, but chances are that you’ve never heard of a new category of omega-7 fats, which includes palmitoleic acid (found in macadamia nuts, sea buckthorn and some other natural sources. Omega-7 has been found by researchers to protect against metabolic syndrome. [9] However omega-7 sources often contain higher levels of less beneficial fats which may even be harmful – so it is suggested to supplement with a purified omega-7.

 

Omega 9

Omega 9’s are also not as discussed as 3’s and 6’s. The 9’s are considered “non essential” to get from your diet – however some of the Omega 9’s (but not all) are considered valuable for health. In particular: Oleic acid (found in olive oil, poultry fat, lard and macadamia oil), may have health benefits. Nervonic acid (found in salmon, nuts and seeds) maybe beneficial for brain function. [10]

Note:

Of course, the main thing when making any decisions regarding your health and diet is to consider your needs and other factors. If you have an existing medical condition, it is always best to check with your primary healthcare provider whether supplements or changes to your diet are safe, even with regards to essential nutrients.

 

REFERNCES

1] E. Whitney and S. Rolfes (2008) Understanding Nutrition (11th ed.). https://www.amazon.ca/Understanding-Nutrition-Eleanor-Noss-Whitney/dp/0495116696

[2] C. MacLean et. al., “Effects of omega-3 fatty acids on cancer risk: a systematic review.” JAMA: the Journal of the American Medical Association, 2006. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16434631

[3] P. Miller, M. Van Elswyk and D. Alexander, “Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid and blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” American Journal of Hypertension, 2014. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24610882

[4] Rheumatoid Arthritis: In Depth (NCCIH): https://nccih.nih.gov/health/RA/getthefacts.htm

[5] P. Montgomery and A. Richardson, “Omega-3 fatty acids for bipolar disorder.” Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online), 2008. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18425912

[6] A. Simopoulos, “The importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids.” Biomed Pharmacother, 2002. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12442909

[7] http://www.gbhealthwatch.com/Science-Omega3-Omega6.php.

[8] The importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids. (Biomed. Pharmacother. 2002). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12442909

[9] Omega-7 Protects Against Metabolic Syndrome. http://www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2014/4/Omega-7-Protects-Against-Metabolic-Syndrome/Page-01

[10] PaleoLeap – Omega 9 Fats. http://paleoleap.com/omega-9-fats/

http://www.herbs-info.com/blog/benefits-of-omega-367-and-9-plus-top-omega-3-food-sources-put-this-on-your-fridge

SHADOWBOXING VS. RUNNING: A COMPARISON

SHADOWBOXING VS. RUNNING

NOTE: This article is not a substitute for sound medical advice. Please consult your primary care provider for any and all health/wellness relating questions.

The other day, I was talking to a buddy who is wanting to get back in shape. His asking my advice about cardio is what inspired me to write this. This article is an appeal to all to consider shadowboxing as a viable cardio option (either in addition to or in place of running). First and foremost, shadowboxing is more about visualization and creating a mindset of success than weight loss. It creates discipline and gets your mind and body in good shape. It is a great alternative to running. Here’s why:
Shadowboxing is low-impact on your joints, thus eliminating debilitating pain from running.
Shadowboxing also sculpts, tones and develops the upper body in ways that running simply can’t (e.g. developing the major and minor muscles of the upper body and trunk).
Shadowboxing also creates a sense of empowerment and self-confidence- in the case that you would need to, that you could hold your own in a fight. You get a better sweat going in a shorter period of time, plus you can pace yourself a little better in shadowboxing in place of running.

Running has been around since man learned he can get to where he wanted to go faster (or to escape dinosaurs trying to eat him). Running is almost unbeatable in its weight-loss potential. It’s also unmatched in its overall health benefits. Running can…
Strengthens bones and tendons
Improves heart health.
As you can see, both shadowboxing and running have great benefits. In my opinion, both shadowboxing and running can be used to give “the 1-2” to fat and health problems. Or you can use them separately as standalone exercises that will get you in shape. It takes a while and it takes faith in yourself, time to prepare and to begin. Both shadowboxing and running takes guts and mental fortitude. It’s not pretty most of the time. It hurts. It is inherently challenging. It’s not supposed to be easy. Then again, anything worth having or worth fighting for is not going to be easy at all. You can find a few free workouts online if you’re interested, starting with the links below.
In closing, no matter which one you choose, you will be better off if you are active and doing it. You will be better off for making health a priority. For those of you who follow and read my columns, blogs and articles… here it is.
Be disciplined, hungry and humble enough to learn more about you and your body. Don’t rely on articles, gadgets and trends to get it done for you.
Be astute and savvy enough to take workouts and diets and tailor them to your needs. It’s your body… it’s your life. Take ownership of your health.
Reading, doing and preparing are just three of the basics that will help you win in life.
THE BASICS ALWAYS WIN.

SOURCES

http://www.indiatimes.com/health/healthyliving/running-top-20-health-benefits-of-running-236529-4.html
http://www.forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=1406809111&pagenumber=1
http://www.organicfacts.net/running.html
http://www.greatist.com/fitness/30-convincing-reasons-start-running-now
http://www.sharpenbody.com/benefits-of-shadow-boxing/
http://www.westcountryboxing.com/boxing-advice
http://www.benefitsofrunning.org
http://www.menshealth.com/fitness/fighter-fit-shadow-boxing

Cutting Carbs Is a BAD IDEA

Ask someone how to lose weight quickly, and chances are, they’ll respond with “cut out carbs.” The reason behind that is the fact that cutting out carbs does cause fast weight loss. But that doesn’t mean fat loss, and cutting out carbs could be causing your health some harm. Fitness Expert Kente Bates gives you the skinny.

There’s no two ways about it, if you get rid of all the bread, pasta and potatoes from your diet, that scale will go down. Add so-called junk food to that restricted list, and the losses will be even greater. If you take it to the extremes of banning even “healthy carbs” like fruits and certain vegetables too, then you’ll drop kilos at a rate of knots.

And voila – all of a sudden you’re a weight loss guru. One guy mocked my assertion on hard work, gleefully and mockingly sneering “cutting carbs is all it boils down to”.

What most on the cutting carbs bandwagon fail to see… while cutting carbs does usually bring about weight loss, this doesn’t necessarily mean fat loss. And no carbs should cost you your good mood and high energy levels.

While there may be instances where you may need to cut down your carbs, there should never be any reason to take them out completely. Low-carb diets aren’t sustainable, and cutting them will end up making you fat.

Let’s look at why.

What are carbs?

We all know what foods contain carbs, but few of us actually know what carbs are – that is, one of the three main macronutrients, the other two being protein and and fat.

Your body uses carbohydrates as its main source of readily available energy. It can use protein and fat to make fuel, but this process takes far longer and is much less efficient. In other words, your muscles, organs and brain love the stuff.

When you eat carbs, they’re either used (more or less) immediately for energy, or they’re stored as glycogen in your muscle cells and liver.

Why a low-carb diet might seem like its working 

Ninety-five per cent of us will have tried cutting carbs before, and within this 95%, almost all of us will have seen weight loss in the first week or so*. While this seems epic, don’t fret – because weight loss isn’t fat loss.

CREATING A CALORIE DEFICIT CAUSES WEIGHT LOSS, NOT THE FACT YOU’RE NOT EATING CARBS.

When you cut carbs from your diet, your body turns to its stored carbohydrates (the glycogen in the muscles and liver we mentioned earlier). At any one time, you can have as much as 500 grams of stored glycogen, and each gram of glycogen holds around three grams of water with it. This means if your body has to use up all its glycogen for energy because you’re not eating carbs, you can lose up to two kilos (0.5 kilos from glycogen and 1.5 kilos from water) within a few days. But this is not fat loss.

The general public eat a crap-ton of carbs! Think about it – your typical breakfast might include toast, cereals or juice, sandwiches, wraps or bagels at lunch, plus sugary coffees, chocolate bars and fruit throughout the day, then some kind of starch with dinner. That’s a lot of carbohydrates.

By suddenly cutting these out, you’ll put yourself into a calorie deficit where you’re consuming fewer calories than you burn – and it’s creating a calorie deficit that causes weight loss, not the fact you’re not eating carbs.

The perils of swapping bread and potatoes for butter and pistachios 

Most people who cut carbs replace their starches and sugars with low-carb vegetables and proteins. That’s great. What’s not so great is when a low-carb diet turns into a high-fat diet because you’re swapping out your starches for high-fat foods such as coconut oil, nuts and seeds, avocados and full-fat cheese.

IT’S SURPRISINGLY EASY TO GAIN FAT WHEN GOING LOW-CARB, PLUS YOU’LL FEEL TIRED, IRRITABLE AND HUNGRY.

There’s nothing wrong with these foods per se, fats are far more calorie dense than carbs (containing nine calories per gram, whereas carbs have four calories per gram). So swapping out carbs for fats can be surefire way to reverse any calorie deficit and turn it into a surplus, undoing any work.

Two slices of bread, 100 grams of cereal, a medium sweet potato, a banana and a flapjack bar come in at 800 calories altogether. But the same calories from fats is a much smaller volume of food. In fact, 100 grams of mixed nuts and 1 and-a-half tablespoons of olive oil is all you’ll get for the same 800 calories.

The mistake low carbers make is to drastically ramp up their fat intake, and while it’s true you can eat a little more fat if you’re cutting carbs, it’s much easier to over-eat fat than carbs. And if you go into a surplus of calories, you’ll gain fat.

When you add in the fact that you’ll feel like crap for the first week or two of going low carb, and that low-carb diets are insanely difficult to stick to long-term, it’s safe to say that such a drastic approach is not a good one.

Why carbs are crucial

You can survive without any carbs in your diet, but there’s a difference between survival and getting what you want- results.

If you want to lose fat optimally, maintain your strength and energy, and lose weight and keep it off, carbs are critical. That doesn’t mean you can stuff your face with muesli, chips and spaghetti though. You need the right amount of carbs – and preferably at the right times.

How much should you be eating?

Your carb intake should be based on your activity level, as carbs are your main source of energy, the more active you are, the more you need. The best way to do this is to base your carbs off your total calorie intake.

For weight loss, men need roughly 24 to 30 calories per kilo of bodyweight per day, while women need 22 to 26 calories per kilo. The more active you are, the higher your multiplier, so guys training hard four or more times per week for instance should go for 28 to 30 calories per kilo. Within that, you can tweak your carbs to your total calorie intake.

While no food should ever be banned completely, it makes sense to choose more nutrient-dense carbs and ones that are higher in fiber – so whole-grains like brown rice and quinoa – as well as white and sweet potatoes, fruits and vegetables. These should make up at least 80% of your carb intake, then you can have 20% leeway for more junk-style carbs.

Carbs can be eaten at any time, but for optimal results, eat most around your workouts. Before training they’ll be used for energy so you get a better session, and post-workout they aid recovery.

Carbs: your new best friend 

You will lose weight on a low-carb diet (at least in the first few days, which includes a large portion of water). But that alone doesn’t make this the best dieting approach. In fact, it’s surprisingly easy to gain fat when going low-carb, plus you’ll feel tired, irritable and hungry, all of which mean a low-carb diet isn’t only unnecessary, but potentially damaging to your long-term health and fat loss too.

Look at carbs as a macronutrient that will need manipulating from time to time, depending on your goals and activities. Don’t jump on the bandwagon of quick weight loss- always think for yourself. Get to know your body and what works best for it. Are you on the go all the time, training hard virtually every day and looking to get stronger and build muscle? Then carb up!! Carbs are not a bad thing!!

Are you on a fat loss quest, a little on the lighter side, and maybe not so active day-to-day? You can still eat carbs, you just may want to ease back on them slightly.

As always, the extreme approach doesn’t work. What works is a method that’s based on you – your goals, your body type, and your preferences. Knowing your body, label reading and hard work to achieve your goals are the way to win. These are the basics. THE BASICS ALWAYS WIN!!

KETO DIET: THE BASICS

 

Keto Diet: The Basics and free Keto Diet ebook

In the past few years, the Keto Diet, along with ketones have exploded in popularity due to the discovery and exposure of them on several health shows, such as Dr. Oz and The Doctors. Just as with anything else, some people love and swer by the Keto Diet, while others are not as trusting, souring on the diet as a whole. This article is about the basics of the Keto Diet, a few pros and cons and a free ebook link.
NOTE: This article (and this site) is not a substitute for sound medical advice. Please consult your medical care provider for any and all health-related questions.
Here are the basics of the keto diet:
This diet (and its many varieties) boasts of turning the body into a “fat burning machine. It is based on getting the body in a state of ketosis, or a survival mechanism that burns fat when food intake is low (akin to surviving starvation).
On this diet, the consumption of high-carb foods will produce glucose (easiest molecules in body to use as energy). Glucose is processed by insulin to mainline the glucose throughout the body via the bloodstream. Fats are stored as they are not needed- the glucose is the preferred energy source. Cutting carbs will induce the body into a state of ketosis, hence “Keto”.
The idea of a properly maintained Keto diet is to get the body in a constant state of ketosis or fat burning primarily through cutting carbohydrates.

BENEFITS OF THE KETO DIET

The Keto Diet in all of its forms offer quite a few health benefits. Here are a few of them listed (you can look up the rest via the links provided at the end of the article).
Brain health and brain function
Weight loss/maintainence
Greater proportion of weight loss will come from abdominal area
Reduction of Blood Pressure
Reduction of Blood Sugars and Insulin
Appetite Suppression

With its burgeoning popularity plus its benefits, the Keto diet will no doubt become more popular as time goes on. On the other hand, experts critically pan the Keto diet, citing it is unsustainable for sustained weight loss. One sticking point the experts will point to is the excessively high fat content of the diet itself (upwards of 70-plus percent) is diametrically opposed to the longstanding USDA recommendations that fat content of all food top off around 30-35%. There is no evidence that the Keto diet will lend to sustained weight loss, primarily for those battling diabetes and heart disease.
All in all, the Keto diet is not going anywhere. Please do your due diligence and determine if the Keto diet is right for you.

 

SOURCES

http://www.ruled.me/guide-keto-diet/
http://www.thedailymeal.com/healthyeating/keto-ranked
http://www.lowcarbdiets.com
http://www.reference.com/ketogenicdiet-benefits
http://www.ketodietebooks.com/freeebooks.aspx
http://www.thedailymeal.com/healthy-eating/keto-ranked-worst-diet-healthexperts/010418
http://www.charliefoundation.org