Tag Archives: Nutrition

Make Your Diet Work For You


There are millions of people in North America who are considered to be overweight, and many are actually obese. Being overweight or obese is never a good thing, and can lead to a lot of health problems,  including heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes, just to name a few. Unfortunately weight loss is not the easiest thing in the world to accomplish, and for many of us it is a lifelong battle to maintain a healthy weight.
Finding Your Ideal Diet
If you have decided that it is time to go on a diet to lose weight, you are probably wondering which diet is the best for you. Every day we are bombarded with new fad diets, each one guaranteed to “melt fat”. I agree, some of these diets do just that, but some are extremely low in calories. The problem with these low calorie diets is as soon as you go off the diet and eat more food again, the weight you lost will come right back. The best way to lose weight and keep it off, is to follow a balanced diet with all of the nutrients we all need to stay healthy, and also making sure that you are eating enough so that you do not feel hungry. This is one of the first things that make people want to go off their diets – they feel deprived and starved, which can lead to binge eating.
If you are not sure how to go about getting started on a healthy and well-balanced diet, you should speak with a registered and well educated nutritionist. A nutritionist will know exactly what you need, and this will help you with your new diet that will keep you  satisfied while helping you to lose weight and keep it off. No matter what type of diet you plan to use, it is important to first discuss it to  make sure that you are getting all of the proper nutrients you need.
Treat Meal
Make sure that when you are on a diet, that you allow yourself the occasional treat. This will help to keep you from binging and keep you feeling sane. There are all kinds of healthy foods that also make delicious treats, such as fruit, unsalted nuts, and even dark chocolate which is loaded with healthy anti-oxidants. If you use your imagination, you can come up with healthy treats that taste naughty!
Keep Going!
With great snack options, a positive mind and a balanced lifestyle, you should have no problem at all with sticking to your diet, and you will see those pounds fall off in no time. The key is to never give up and to never get discouraged if a mistake is made.


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Remain a Fat Burning Machine On and Off Season

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Come competition time, the aim for all competitors is to become as lean as possible, while maintaining a hard physique. Although achieving this type of appearance should be relatively easy, there is one factor that often negates progress in even the most diligent: a slow metabolism.

A slow metabolism is the one thing a competitor does not want to be cursed with, when the main goal is to lose body fat.

Maintain a Healthy Weight Off Season.

The metabolism is adversely affected when one consumes a large amount of food for a certain period of time. In fact, the term yo-yo dieting stems from many peoples attempts to lose weight, while reverting to bad eating habits, when they should be sticking to a more sensible diet.

The body will simply adapt to maintaining a low metabolic rate if it has to continually adjust to a sharp decline in calories for a certain period of time, followed by engorgement for another period of time. This has obvious implications when it comes to losing weight during competition season. Attempting to lose fat at a rapid rate can also result in losses in protein, and loss of muscle protein means a decrease in metabolism. In my opinion, it is very important to keep a high protein diet, along with supplements like glutamine and branched chain amino acids during dieting to avoid muscle loss.

Another problem with drastic weight loss, is an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL). LPL is a fat storing enzyme that increases when calories are dropped at a significant rate. When your body produces too much LPL and you start to pile on the fat, you will possibly need to diet harder to lose this fat after, which may further increase LPL and making fat loss next to impossible.

Your best bet is to maintain a sensible eating plan during off-season, so when pre-contest rolls around, calories do not have to be severely restricted to lose weight.

Eat Smaller Meals

Eating smaller meals more frequently helps to keep the metabolic rate constantly heightened, and helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. A constantly stimulated metabolism means fat-burning over a longer period of time.

Stabilized blood sugar prevents the hypoglycemia that occurs when one eats a huge meal and feels tired and lethargic soon afterward, due to low glucose levels to the brain. The body is more likely to store fat when in a hypoglycemic state, due to spiked insulin levels.

Train Aerobically

Competitors serious about fat loss should engage in aerobic activity both off-season and pre-contest, to keep the metabolism high. Aerobics, or what we all like to call cardio, has a great effect on fat-loss. Cardio stimulates the metabolism, metabolizes fat directly as a fuel source, and burns carbohydrates. In turn, this will all help to lower the fat-storing potential of these macronutrients.

Cardio can however deplete the body of protein if done too often or for too long. Therefore, if you feel like you are losing muscle pre-contest, it might be a good idea to cut back on cardio to the point where fat, rather than muscle, is being utilized. Depending on the individual, cardio sessions 4-5 times per week for 40-minutes should be sufficient.

Train with weights

This should be an easy one for competitors: training with weights. Weight training builds muscle and muscle stimulates the metabolism to a significant degree. Individuals with more muscle tend to have more efficient metabolisms from the fat-burning effect that comes along with muscle.

Eat Protein

Protein plays a very important role in the fat burning process. Protein stimulates the metabolism far more efficiently than either carbohydrates or fat, due to the energy demands of amino acids.

In fact, studies show that eating a meal high in protein will stimulate the metabolism by as much as 30%, as opposed to fat or carbohydrates which increase it by around 4%. Protein will heighten the metabolic rate for around 12-hours after eating.

Eating sufficient protein shouldn’t be a problem for most competitors, as it is a fundamental requirement in terms of muscle building, and should be an established part of their nutritional plan.

Always eat breakfast

Breakfast has always been the most important meal of the day to most of us, and for good reason: it kick starts the metabolism and helps to negate the possibility of “indulging” later in the day.

Skipping breakfast will keep the body in starvation mode because it has essentially been fasting over an 8 hour sleeping period. When starved for too long, what can happen is the body will need to hang on to every available calorie, and fat loss will be the last thing to occur.

In conclusion, achieving your best body depends on a number of factors, including a functioning metabolism. A slow metabolism can decrease anyone’s chances of losing sufficient body-fat come competition time.

Rather than blaming a slow metabolism on genetic factors, follow these guidelines as best as possible, lose fat, look and feel great!


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