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Nutrition

“Cookie Cutter” Low Carb Diet Plans Explained

Most diet plans, including low carb diet plans, are best taken with a grain of salt, because although one may work for your best friend, it may not work for you. For those with serious weight problems and have co-existing issues such as hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels) or as some of us hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels) etc., the popular diet plans usually will not be able to cater to individual needs. We are all individuals and as such we need to feed ourselves as individuals, having said this some diet plans will be more beneficial for the general population than others.

Assortment of simple carbohydrates food


To assess which particular diet plan will be beneficial, you can follow these guidelines. They are very much common sense points and provide a good framework which many nutrition professionals would broadly follow, and within which you can divide the scammy diet plans from those that can offer you safe and healthy diet ideas.

  • Diet offers sufficient balance and a variety of carbohydrates, protein, and fats.
  • Diet does not exclude one particular food group, and encourage excessive consumption of another.
  • Diet encourages exercise to complement sensible eating habits.
  • Diet encourages awareness of portion sizes.
  • Diet does not encourage unrealistic quick weight loss.
  • Diet is backed up with medical research data.

In addition to these points, I’ve broadly outlined the low carb diet plans, which seem to be occupying the minds of dieters and researchers alike, as well as the research for and against pertinent to the low carb diet plans.

Low Carb Diets

A lot of the diet plans these days center around low-carb diet plans. These low-carb diet plans are considered by some diet fads, others consider it the new wave in healthy eating. Diets such as The Atkins Diet Revolution maintain that obese people are insulin sensitive and carbohydrates make them gain weight. Low carb diet plans such as The Zone lay down the specific proportions of carbohydrates, protein, and fats that should be consumed in order to lose weight and while fats are reduced, the main source of energy comes from the consumption of protein.

Low carb diet plans such as Sugar Busters, believe that sugar is your body’s most heinous weight loss enemy and since carbohydrates are the foods that are processed into sugars, carbohydrates should be limited. The Scarsdale Diet also is a low carb, high protein diet and offers a 2-week crash dieting plan.

close up of diet plan and food on table

Popular diets such as the South Beach Diet and the Carbohydrate Addicts Diet are also low-carb diet plans that have become popular with dieters who have tried and failed at the Atkins diet. All these diets see themselves as the world’s answer to the obesity problem.

To be fair, there are significant and many research papers that support and argue against the low carb revolution, as yet the wider medical community has not fully made its mind up as to whether the diets are something that is favorable in the long term.

Recent research by Layman et. al., and Saris have found that low carb and high protein diets provide little benefit to dieters. Researchers found that when protein was moderately increased and carbohydrates proportionately decreased, insulin levels stabilized but no significant weight was lost. Saris in his review concluded that it is probable that a low carb, high-fat diet will increase the likelihood of weight gain.

While there is a lot of evidence against the low-carb philosophy, there is also a lot of evidence to support it. Research published in May 2004, found that when patients on a low carb diet were compared with patients on a low-fat diet, those patients who had consumed a low carb diet had a greater weight loss, decreased triglyceride levels, and increased levels of HDL’s – in other words their cholesterol levels had improved. To put the icing on the cake research has just been published to support the long-term efficacy of eating a low-carb diet.

Despite the evidence to support low-carb diet plans, mainstream medicine still does not recommend them. The main point of contention with the low carb, high protein diets is that they don’t offer balance and variety and could prove dangerous for people at risk of heart disease. Particularly with low carb diet plans such as the Scarsdale diet, they are not realistic and cannot be maintained in the long term causing yo-yo dieting and no one wants that

Categories
Nutrition

What To Eat Before a Leg Workout

You’ve probably heard that eating before a leg workout is important and when it comes to what to eat, you need the right balance of protein and carbohydrates. This article looks at the foods that are best for pre-workout with tips on how to make them healthier.

What to Eat Before a Leg Workout

Fitness female model lying on legs workout machine.

It’s important not just to be eating before your leg workout, but what you eat before it too. The more protein you consume, the greater your performance levels will be during and after your session. You need the right balance of protein and carbohydrates to help refuel and repair the muscles.

The best pre-workout foods include lean meat, egg whites, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, oats, fruit, and lean meats. These foods will also help with your weight management. Protein is only digested once and eaten; carbohydrates are stored in the body for a while so can be consumed again a few hours later. They also keep you feeling full for longer.

natural protein food on table

Pre Leg Workout Food Tips


Pre-workout Suggestions:

Some foods are better than others at being pre-workout fuel. Keeping these things in mind will help you get the most out of your leg workout.

  1. Eat smaller meals that are high in carbohydrates in the hours before training and then again just before your session begins – say 40 minutes beforehand if it’s something you can time.
  2. If you train in the morning, then eat a balanced breakfast and lunch before you go to bed.
  3. If you’re training after lunch, have an early dinner.
  4. Consume carbohydrates such as pasta or cereal but avoid fat.

Making Your Food Choices Healthier

Although it’s a good idea to consume these foods just before your session, there are other ways of improving them that make them even more effective.

Pre-workout Suggestions:

  1. Use whole-grain bread and pasta rather than white versions.
  2. Serve your sandwiches on whole wheat bread and use lean meat rather than processed meat.
  3. Add chopped almonds or other nuts to your yogurt or cereal for an added protein boost.
  4. Add a handful of raisins to your cereal or yogurt for sweetness in the absence of sugar.
  5. Buy low-fat milk and buttermilk for healthy protein options and keep the portion size small if you’re trying to lose weight.
  6. Eat fruit rather than drinking milk if you like the taste and prefer healthy options.
  7. Prepare your eggs or any other meat substitute by boiling or frying until it’s done.
  8. Use low-fat cheese products and stay away from butter in your recipes.
  9. Add dried fruit to your cereal for a sweet crunchy addition to fill you up after eating a small portion of meat.
  10. Make your own yogurt by blending and then straining it through a cheesecloth or coffee filter for the best result.

It’s also worth keeping hydrated with water or low-fat milk before you exercise.

Female Runner Drinking Water

Always try to drink at least two 8 ounce glasses of water before working out because your body needs an adequate amount of fluid to regulate temperature and lubricate the muscles. It will help you to have better workouts too. Your body can become dehydrated much quicker when it’s hot outside, so always keep yourself hydrated during the summer months.

Water is important for many reasons during weight loss, but it’s also vital when you want to maintain your leg workout regimen. Keeping hydrated helps with weight loss as the body needs water to work properly, so people who are dehydrated will find they have less energy.

It’s recommended you drink 12-16 ounces of water before exercise and then another 8 ounces every 15 minutes during your session. If you’re going to be exercising for more than 30 minutes, then aim for about 25 ounces of fluid per hour.

Pre-Workout Tips: A few simple tips before you start your leg workout will help you perform better and get results quicker.

  1. Stay away from sugar, caffeine, and alcohol for at least 3 hours before a workout because the body can’t use them effectively when exercising and it will only make you tired or give you a bad workout.
  2. Eat something small about 20-30 minutes before you work out, but don’t eat too much because it will weigh down your stomach and make you feel sluggish.
  3. Always warm up thoroughly before you start exercising because it’s important to avoid injury and get the most out of your workout.
  4. Don’t talk on the phone because it’s important to focus on what you’re doing when exercising.
  5. Try to have fun and enjoy the process if possible; it will help keep you motivated.

I hope this article helps you in some way!

Categories
Blog Nutrition Recipes

A Morning Smoothie to Help You Stop Constipation

Chronic constipation can be hard to stop or elimination, since the colon have become weak.  In most cases it will have to be retrained on how to have a bowel movement.

For those of you that have mild constipation, here is a morning smoothie that will help activate your colon.  This smoothie is packed with nutrients that your body will use to regenerate your colon and body.

I have been making this smoothie for a few years.  I make enough to drink right away and to put into my thermos to drink around 10am

Blueberry smoothie in a glass

When I make this drink I just start putting things in the blender without measuring. You can do the same and make adjustments as you go.

  • One peeled banana 
  • 4-5 strawberries or other types of berries, or fruits 
  • One tablespoon of lecithin granules 
  • One-two teaspoons of flaxseed oil 
  • Half and half almond milk and apple juice 

In a coffee grinder, grind up around a teaspoon or less of the following: 

  •  Brown sesame seeds – are high in lecithin, vitamin C, E, and Calcium. They improve liver function and help in constipation.
  • Sunflower seeds – are high in protein, Calcium, and iron. They are one of the best natural foods which feed the entire body. 
  • Flax seeds – are high in fiber and provide bulk for your stools. 
  • Almonds – use around 6-7 or more. They are high in Calcium, Phosphorus and have some B-vitamins. Only eat a few. They are high in calories. 

After grinding the seeds, place them in the blender and blender everything for about 3-4 minutes. If you need a little sweetness, you can add a small amount of honey. I find this drink plenty sweet without any honey.

Brown flax seeds for a smoothie
Brown flax seeds

Sometimes I will add the powder of a few acidophilus capsules.

If I don’t add the almonds, I just put all the tiny seed into the blender without grinding them up.  The blender will break them up.

This is a powerful smoothie to give you morning power and to activate your colon to get moving.