Carbs – Tips, Types, and Timing

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I get a LOT of questions about carbohydrates. It’s understandable, considering
the myriad of different diets there are out there. Hopefully, this article will
help clear up some of those questions as well as give you a better understanding
of how and just importantly, WHEN you should be consuming them.

First off, cutting dietary carbohydrates to zero is NOT an option. A certain
amount of sugar is needed to maintain and build muscle. The process of building
muscle not only depends on the amino acids that we derive from protein, but also
the delivery system that is controlled by insulin, which can only be released upon
consumption of carbohydrates.

So, let’s look at the two main types of carbohydrates.

From a fat loss perspective, your best choice of carbohydrates are cruciferous, or
fibrous carbohydrates. These are found in green, leafy vegetables such as
lettuce, spinach, kale, broccoli, etc… They are low on the glycemic index, which
is a measure of how fast sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream. This means that
their metabolic impact is low. The nice thing about fibrous carbs is that it is
very difficult to overeat them.

fibrous-carbs

Secondary carbs would be safe, starchy carbs. These will cause an exaggerated
spike in blood sugar if eaten too frequently, in larger portions, or at less than
beneficial times, which we’ll discuss shortly. Remember that a spike in blood
sugar will release excess insulin, which helps convert and store excerss carbs as
fat. Examples of these are oatmeal, rice, quinoa, whole grain pasta.
starchy-carbs

 

So now we understand the difference between the two main types of carbs. Let’s
move on to the timing. The key to remember here is that carb timing along with
portion size will determine whether fat is stored or burned.

Starchy carbs are best eaten early in the day. Ideally, you should be eating 5-6
“meals” throughout your day, spaced as evenly apart as you can. This helps keep
your metabolism “stoked”, rather than the traditional 3 meals a day which allows
for long periods of time where the body can go into it’s starvation mode in where
it becomes more efficient at fat preservation. Eating your starchy carbs early in
the day will best assure that you’ll use them for energy for your activities
rather than for storage as fat when eaten close to your bedtime. My rule of thumb
is to stop consuming starches by lunch if you’re really serious about fat loss.

Now the exception to this is post workout nutrition. One of the best times to eat
starchy carbs is right after your workout. You have about a 1 hour window where it
is actually VERY beneficial to eat these higher glycemic carbs so that the release
of insulin is quicker and that they will go almost exclusively towards muscle
reparation and recovery.

Final thing to remember is that you ALWAYS want to include good protein at EVERY
feeding. Protein is essential for muscular development and repair, and it helps
slow the absorption of carbohydrates as well.

Monitoring and controlling your carb intake and timing goes a LONG way towards
helping your achieve a lower body fat index. When performed in conjunction with a
solid resistance training program and cardio, you’ll be amazed at the changes you
can make in your body.

Stay Fit Forever!

Tony

 

I’m In a Bad Mood….

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I’m in a bad mood…I haven’t posted an article or workout or even a recipe in three days and I’m feeling like I’m letting you down as well as being lazy. That I only average about five hours of sleep a night, train clients approximately forty hours a week, work out about eight to ten hours a week, spend about two to three hours a day researching material or making videos to populate the blog and the rest of my time trying to maintain a single parent household are all inconsequential, I still feel like I’m letting you down.

So, with that in mind, I’m writing tonight’s article. Some might call it a motivational article, while others might find it to be an accusatory observation. Regardless, I guess it’s my turn to rant, after all, it’s my blog, right?

Recently, I had a client (who subsequently is no longer with me) who after a month of training, showed up one morning and indignantly confronted me with, ” It’s been a month and I haven’t lost a single pound! What are you going to do about it!?”

Now normally, I’m a pretty laid back kind of guy. But every now and then, someone will use just the RIGHT combinations of words to activate the reptilian part of my brain which has an uncanny way of bypassing the “polite” filter and go straight into Jack Nicholson “The truth? You want the TRUTH? You can’t HANDLE the truth!” mode.

I began by pointing out that maybe canceling five out of the twelve sessions that we were supposed to have completed might have something to do with it. I also threw in that of the remaining seven sessions, that they were late for five of them. Twice, they had to leave early, and then just for giggles I added how they made a regular habit of breaking their fast on… Wait for it… McDonald’s hash browns and some funky orange drink that they have there! The response to this was, “You don’t understand, I have a lot of things to do! I work, I have to go to the grocery store, I have to pick up my child from school… blah, blah, blah…”  They lost me at, “You don’t understand…” because actually, I do!  I have to do all that sh*t too, plus MAKE time to work out!  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not implying I’m any better than anyone else, far from it… BUT, I realize that the responsibility to adhere to a healthy lifestyle rests on me.  No one else can make that decision for me.  I can get assistance, information, guidance, whatever… but if I don’t CHOOSE to follow along, I’m out of luck.
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I know some of you are thinking that I’m making this up, and I wish I was, but its the honest truth with no embellishments. The really sad part of this is that this client had been given all the resources and attention that I afford everyone that decides to train with me. That means that I take time to explain what they can expect from me and what I expect from them. It means that I’ve asked them to document a food diary so that we can figure out how best to manipulate their diet in a way that they can still enjoy food, while making choices that will help them achieve their health goals.

It means that I’m there, waiting for them at the specified time and prepared to give them a safe and productive workout and not just be a “counter”. It means that I’m going to continually try to challenge them so that they are always progressing towards whatever goals they have employed me to help them attain.

The way that I look at it, this is a partnership between a trainer and a client who both are working towards the same end. So, you can only imagine my frustration and disbelief when you rewind to, “what are YOU going to do about it!?”

Here’s the deal. Even if I was the most Uber trainer on the planet, it makes no difference unless you’re willing to accept your share of the responsibility for your health and well being. You can’t expect to cut corners, cheat on your diet, disregard instructions and show up when you feel like it.

What I ended up telling this client was this. “If this was a job, and I was your employer, I’d fire you. If you we’re late more often than not, called in sick or busy thirty percent of the time, I’d fire you. If you didn’t perform your job as it was outlined at the beginning of your employment, I’d fire you. If after calling all this to your attention at your “performance review”, you failed to make any adjustments, I’d fire you.

I guess you can probably figure out how this played itself out…

Ok, that’s out of my system now. Sorry, I didn’t mean to complain. I know how blessed I am that I can make living doing something I love AND go to work in a tee shirt and shorts. At the same time though, your health is ultimately YOUR responsibility. I think it’s fantastic that some of you would want to utilize a personal trainer to make your journey more effective and structured, but in the end, they are only facilitators. You are in charge of your time, your mouth, and your commitment. Like Spider-Man’s Uncle told him, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” And we all know how THAT turned out, right?

Stay Fit Forever
Tony

 

Ten Minute Brutal Body Blast Workout

Time…

There’s never enough to fit  in all the things that we’d like to be able to do.  It’s probably the one biggest obstacle that my clients say keeps them from working out on days that they don’t see me.

So, what I’m going to do is create a series of very short, very efficient, and very effective workouts that take no longer than 10-15 minutes to complete. They are great for when you just have a short period of time and want to get in the maximum amount of benefit rather than do NOTHING!

Remember, the only bad workout is the one that you DIDN’T DO!

Stay Fit Forever,

Tony

High Protein Banana Crepes – Video Recipe

Time for another video recipe.  This time we’re gonna make high protein banana crepes.  I really like pancakes and crepes, but unfortunately they’re usually very high in carbs and fat so they’re more of a cheat meal than regular, everyday fare.

Well, here’s my take on crepes.  These are so healthy, that you can eat them every day if you like.  This batch makes approximately 6 – 8″ crepes.  Each crepe has 14 grams of protein, 6.5 grams of carbohydrates and less than 1 gram of fat!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup oats

1/2 cup nonfat greek yogurt

1/2 cup banana whey protein powder

8 – egg whites (or 1 cup of Egg Beaters egg whites)

1 – tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Put all the ingredients into the blender and pulse until mixed.  It will be a soupy batter, not stiff.  Get your skillet pretty hot, then spray with non stick spray and turn the heat down to medium.  Pour just enough batter so that when you swirl the skillet around it just covers the surface.  When the edges start to dry a little and you see bubbles in the middle, it’s time to flip it.  Be careful as they are delicate!  Once flipped, you’ll have to be quick as these things cook REALLY FAST!

You may need to respray after two or three crepes to keep them from sticking.  Once they’re done, you can eat them a few different ways.  You can just roll them up and munch on them plain, or you can fill them with either diced fruit, whipped topping, peanut butter, or even the avocado chocolate pudding we made last week!  That’s how I like them.

OK, that’s it for now.  I hope you enjoy them.  Let me know how they turn out!

Stay Fit Forever!

Tony

Stability Ball Exercise Demo

StabilityballshotLast week I put up a video that showed a group of exercises that could be performed on the Bosu Ball.

 

One of my friends asked if I could do the same, only using a regular stability ball instead.  So here are some exercises that work most of the main muscle groups using a stability ball.

1. Stability Ball Pushups
2. Overhead Squats
3. Stability Ball Roll Ups
4. Stability Ball Pikes
5. Ball Passes
6. Bridge Hamstring Curls
7. Wall Squats & Holds

There are a bunch more exercises that can be performed on the stability ball, but this should get your started.

Stay Fit Forever!

Tony