Posts Tagged ‘carbs’

Gluten – Should It Be In Your diet?

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Should you eat Gluten

Gluten Fit Boy
One of the hottest topics in the nutrition world in the last 3-5 years has been gluten-free diet. As usual, the media and a general population acting like sheeple have once again blown something out of proportion.

People are needlessly following a gluten free diet just because they heard about it in the media or read about it on the Internet. Some of these people have even lost weight. But why? Most likely because they cut down on carbs altogether, or at least started eating healthier carbs.

But the question is, do YOU need to be a on gluten free diet? And the answer is, probably not. Here’s why

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The Truth About “Fast Carbs” Vs. “Slow Carbs”

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

What are the best carbs to help you build muscle or lose fat?
Lean man and woman
More than often, you’ll get this response: “Stay away from simple carbs and focus on complex carbohydrates, since they digest slowly and provide your body with a constant stream of energy”.

I can’t tell you how many “fitness-experts” give this response to their clients on a regular basis. Of course it seems to make sense, but there is actually some science suggesting otherwise.

Many people believe that as long as a carbohydrate digests slowly, it should keep your blood sugar stable and make it less likely for you to gain fat.

But the truth of the matter is that structuring your nutrition program around “slow-digesting carbohydrates” is actually not an effective way to get the nutrition you need.

There are actually 4 primary reasons why this is the case. Let’s go ahead and take a closer look…

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Gaining Lean Muscle with Complex Carbohydrates

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

Fit Cable ChickGaining weight and gaining lean muscle are two entirely different things. While increasing the amount you eat will almost certainly lead to you putting on weight, it will not automatically ensure that you gain lean, aesthetically pleasing muscle mass.

In order to effectively build muscle, you need to combine the right physical exercise with the right fuel for that physical exercise. It is, therefore, vitally important to pay attention to the nutrients you put into your body and to understand the role that carbohydrates play in the muscle building process.

Physical Activity and the Role of Carbohydrates

In order to build the lean muscle you desire, you need to engage in resistance training which specifically targets the major muscle groups in the body. Examples of these types of exercises include barbell curls, bench presses and squats. It is best to avoid working the same muscle groups in consecutive days and working out three to four times a week is ideal.

In order to perform efficiently, you also need to provide your body with the right kind of energy. Although proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals all combine to provide different things, carbohydrates in particular play a large role in muscle building.

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The Carb to Protein Ratio Diet

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009
Dr. John Berardi
John Berardi

Since the late 1990’s Dr. John Berardi has published 8 scientific abstracts; 15 scientific papers and textbook chapters; presented at nearly 50 scientific, exercise, and nutrition related conferences; and published countless articles online.

His first articles at Testosterone Magazine so many years ago, provided me with the basis for everything I know about nutrition today. Now I will turn some of that knowledge over to you in the form of Nutrition Tips written by Dr. Berardi himself.

Today’s Topic – The Carb to Protein Ratio Diet

I have written, on numerous occasions, about reducing your carbohydrate intake and increasing your protein intake to lose fat and maintain muscle mass when dieting. I have suggested how many carbs to eat in a day, how much protein to eat in a day, and how much fat to eat in a day. I have even provided 10 tips for getting shredded.

Despite these suggestions, time and again I am still asked how much protein, carbs, and fat people should be eating each day. Then when I give my answers, people still question me:

“Shouldn’t I be eating more carbs?”
“Isn’t that too much protein?”
“How many calories should I aim for?”

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Now I have a specific macronutrient layout for you to follow based on your bodyweight. The protein is a little lower than I usually recommend and the carbs are definitely higher than I recommend for most fat loss diets.

That being understood, this diet plan is based on a study at the University of Illinois and aims only at maintaining the proper ratio of carbs to protein for ideal fat loss and muscle retention.

For maintaining muscle mass, you can use the bodyweight column based on your current weight. For gaining muscle or losing fat you can use the bodyweight column based on your desired bodyweight.

I suggest if you have a really slow metabolism that you opt for a lower calorie total and if you have a really fast metabolism you opt for a slightly higher calorie total.

Check out this chart for some calories and macronutrient options:

Your Bodyweight kcal/day Fat grams* Carbohydrate grams Protein grams
330-375 lbs 4500 kcal 150g 450g 338g
290-330 lbs 4000 kcal 133g 400g 300g
250-290 lbs 3500 kcal 117g 350g 263g
210-250 lbs 3000 kcal 100g 300g 225g
170-210 lbs 2500 kcal 83g 250g 188g
135-170 lbs 2000 kcal 66g 200g 150g
100-135 lbs 1500 kcal 50g 150g 113g

*These numbers assume a diet that contains 30% fat.

To customize this chart for your own needs and to get more accurate numbers:

  • to gain muscle with a fast metabolism, start with your desired bodyweight and multiply by 14 to get total daily calories
  • to gain muscle with a slow metabolism, start with your current bodyweight and multiply by 13 to get total daily calories
  • to lose fat with a fast metabolism, start with your current bodyweight and multiply by 13 to get total daily calories
  • to lose fat with a slow metabolism, start with your desired bodyweight and multiply by 12 to get total daily calories
  • multiply total daily calories by .3 to get total fat calories, divide by 9 to get total fat grams
  • multiply total daily calories by .0751 to get total protein grams, multiply by 4 to get total protein calories
  • multiply total protein grams by 1.4 to get total carbohydrate grams, multiply by 4 to get total carbohydrate calories

None of the numbers from the chart or from the above calculations will be 100% exact. You will need to adjust calories and macronutrients based on your own bodily needs. For example, you may need to increase protein for gaining muscle or decrease carbs for losing fat, but those adjustments should be based on your results after the first couple weeks of dieting.

Be sure to exercise at least 3 times a week for 30-45 minutes per session to see optimum results.

Get Precision Nutrition
Get Precision Nutrition

Increasing your protein intake and decreasing your carbohydrate intake will help you to maintain (or even gain) muscle while losing fat on a weight loss diet. Don’t make the mistakes of the high carb dieters before you. Take advantage of our currently knowledge of macronutrient nutrition to burn fat faster than ever!

But don’t take my word for it. Let’s see what JB has to say about it:

Tip: The Ratio Diet

“Want to improve body composition, increase the ratio of fat lost to muscle lost during a diet, improve blood lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides), prevent wild fluctuations in blood glucose and insulin, and improve satiety when on a diet? Well, you’re not alone. In fact, Dr Layman and colleagues at the University of Illinois are also interested in helping you accomplish these goals.

In their recent studies, they have demonstrated a myriad of benefits associated with reducing the ratio of carbohydrate to protein in the diet from 3.5g of carbohydrate to every 1g of protein to 1.4g of carbohydrate to every 1g of protein.”

See Also

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So You Want to Eat Carbs with a Low Glycemic Index

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

What is the Glycemic Index?

Glycemic Index
Glycemic Index

All carbohydrates are not created equal. A food’s glycemic index, or GI, describes this difference in the way carbs act in your body, by ranking them according to their immediate effect on blood glucose (blood sugar) levels.

Carbohydrates that breakdown quickly during digestion, causing a rapid blood sugar response, have the highest GI.

Carbohydrates that breakdown slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the blood stream, have a lower GI.

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How Many Carbs Should I Eat in a Day?

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

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If you are looking for a pure protein powder, check out Optimum Nutrition. Optimum Nutrition protein powder comes in about 20 different flavors, and is available in 1 lb, 2 lb, 5 lb, and 10 lb containers.

Click here to order or learn more about Optimum Nutrition.

Everyone eats carbohydrates. You pretty much can’t get around it. We need carbs for energy after all.

But the questions still remain: how many carbs should I eat in a day?

Are there drawbacks from eat too little or too many carbs?

What are the side effects of eating carbs or abstaining from eating carbs?

Well once again, as with protein, it depends on what you do on a daily basis. Furthermore, ingestion of carbs should be focused more around the question:

WHEN should I eat carbs during the day?

As with how much fat to eat in a day and how much protein to eat in a day, it all depends on a couple factors:
High Carb Snacks

  • job
  • insulin resistance
  • activity level
  • target body weight
  • exercise goals
  • lifestyle

The most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans, as stated by the Department of Health and Human Services, suggest that roughly 50% of your daily calories come from carbs. Thus, a person who eats approximately 2,500 calories per day should take in about about 300 grams of carbs. This number is not altogether bad for the average American, but we have to take into consideration the sources of those carbs.

These are the kinds of carbs to avoid at all costs:
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

  • sugary snacks and pastries
  • sugar-sweetened soft drinks or fruit juice
  • candy
  • cookies
  • regular fried greasy chips
  • processed, packaged snack foods
  • high sugar kids cereals
  • processed white flour products such as white bread and pasta

These foods offer virtually no nutritional value, and they contain far too many calories. Some of these foods also contain saturated and trans-fats that are bad for your heart, and sugary foods can lead to such maladies as type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Specifically if you are already insulin resistant, you should avoid these bad carbs as they will just ruin your day by making you tired, slow, dumb, and hungry.

Instead choose these kinds of carbs:
Fruits and Veggies

  • fresh fruit
  • vegetables
  • whole wheat and whole grain products
  • beans, nuts, and other legumes

When Do I Need More Carbs?

People that exercise with high intensity or with prolonged endurance, can benefit from a high carbohydrate intake before exercise. It is feasible to consume a high carbohydrate meal before a marathon, or a moderately high carbohydrate meal before lifting weights or martial arts training. It is not a good idea to consume too many carbs in one sitting, but 50 grams is not out of the question if you are preparing for a physically draining event.

During and after exercise is also a key time to consume carbs. In fact this is the only time it is recommended to consume sugary carbs. I tend to sip on Gatorade during a workout and my post-workout drink contains about 40 grams of carbs in the form of dextrose. If allowed to choose, I would choose Biotest Surge as my post-workout drink of choice. This is a product that is specially formulated to replenish lost glycogen stores and restart protein synthesis after a demanding workout.

When Do I Need Fewer Carbs?

There is no need to eat carbohydrates at night. Ever. Some folks believe in consuming a high-carb meal the night before an event like a marathon, but I just don’t see it. I would say eat that meal in the morning if the event is in the late morning or early afternoon. The best time for a high carbohydrate meal is in the morning, when your body is prepared to uptake glycogen for energy for the day. Lunch should be a moderate carb meal as you don’t want to get that ‘bonk’ feeling in the middle of the afternoon. Also consider that if you don’t plan to exercise during the day then there’s really no need to gulp down many carbs at any point in the day.

Carbs and Fat Loss

If you are on a fat loss diet, then there’s definitely no need to eat more than 100 grams of carbs in any one day. I don’t necessarily support Atkins, but there are valid points to that diet. When I am in the middle of a hardcore cutting phase, trying to get as lean as possible in a given time frame, I will only consume 20-30 grams of low glycemic index carbs for breakfast.

For lunch I will try to avoid most carbs, opting for whole grain bread or a salad if necessary. My pre-workout drink is typically 1/2 a serving of Biotest Surge, I sip on Gatorade during the workout, then finish off with 1 serving of Biotest Surge after the workout. On non-workout days, I skip all of that and choose a protein bar, cheese, or a meat snack instead.

Dinner is always low carb during a diet. Soup, meat and vegetables, and salad are all great choices for low carb dinners. Appropriate snacks are meats, cheeses, protein bars or shakes, veggies, and other super-low carb foods. Typically in the midst of a diet phase, I eat around 75 grams of carbs on a non-workout day, and maybe 120-140 grams of carbs on a workout day.

The Best Protein Powder
The Best
Protein Powder

In conclusion, I recommend that if you are moderately active, you should derive maybe 30% of your daily calories from carbs. Sure, my opinion differs from specialist government agencies, but that’s only because I have seen low carb diets work. I have also seen Americans grow obese and suffer from a long list of carbohydrate induced diseases.

A 200 lb man on a 2500 calorie diet would probably eat maybe 180 grams of carbs in a day, all from unprocessed whole food sources. A 140 lb woman on a 1500 calorie diet might only eat 100 grams of carbs in a day.

Someone on a strict diet might limit themselves to 50 grams of carbohydrates a day regardless of sex or weight. Just remember to avoid those nasty sugary processed carbs so that you can stay healthy, avoiding energy crashes and adult-onset type II diabetes.

See also:
How many grams of fat should I eat?
How many grams of protein should I eat?