Straight up Gainster ! – The ins and outs of good nutrition

As I am sure we have all experienced, diets have a start and they have an end, and the end is usually somewhat premature. The reason for this is that the majority of diets out there in the media are not maintainable. They ask too much of you and place nothing but restrictions on what you can and cannot eat. Nutrition on the other hand is simply the fueling of your body via the nutrients that you digest.

As such, in nutrition there is no such thing as a banned food; there is simply always a better choice. While yes, a fruit salad is a better choice than a slice of cheesecake, sometimes you just need a slice of cheese cake! Nutrition understands this more than a diet does. The diet restricts you to rigid guidelines and dictates what you eat, whereas a more balanced view of what goes into your body shows that consistency wins out over rigidity. What does this mean? Quite simply that one bad decision does not throw off a week of good clean eating, but one bad thing can destroy a diet. We are going to explore what I believe to be important pieces of basic knowledge regarding your body and how to effectively fuel it throughout the day. I hope that you find this informative, and encourage you to play around with the concepts I talk about within your own lives. Learn to enjoy the act of eating not just for the taste of good food, but for how much better you feel by making a better decision.

So, how do you make the best decisions regarding your nutrition? We start by upping your knowledge. The body works through uses a relatively simple process to absorb food into the system. The mouth chews our food and begins the process of breakdown. What we eat then hits our digestive system and works its way through different stages of breakdown and absorption until it is defecated or urinated as waste. It is through this process of digestion that we receive the full benefit of the food that we eat. While the food we eat provides us with the macronutrients that we need for daily bodily health, we also absorb nutrients, minerals and other substances that are beneficial to the body. As such, the body wants to be provided with food that it knows how to handle and is very dense in nutrients and minerals, rather than processed food which do not have a very high nutrient density.

So now that you are schooled up on the science of good nutrition, let’s take a bit more of an in-depth look at some of the public concerns regarding good nutrition:

Calories in vs. Calories out? –

Variety is the spice of life, and there are a huge amount of different foods out there. Whatever macronutrient you are looking to chow down on, you can get anything you want to fill this section of your diet. But, should you? Look, the fact of the matter is that we all know what I mean when I say phrases like, “eat clean”, and “good choices”, but what people don’t really understand is that this is by far one of the most important aspects of nutrition. The choices you make in your food selection are going to be the first step that you take in your nutritional and athletic success. If we look at this from a physics standpoint, 600kcal of carbs is 600kcal of carbs, regardless of the source. Unfortunately, physics is wrong – well to an extent.

Make good choices with your carbs

Make good choices with your carbs

The law of thermodynamics (energy in vs. energy out), when applied to the body works, only if you look at the body as a furnace. The body is not a furnace. It is a living ecosystem which is subject to development based on outside influence, and as such, it process’ macronutrients based on the quality of what goes into the body. The key thing to remember is calories are what you need to live, and provide you with the energy to refuel and develop. Being in a major calorie deficit is going to negatively affect your ability to perform and, taken too far, can be very bad for your health. As such we don’t want to deprive your body of calories, but they need to come from good clean sources. Thankfully, these are found in abundance in nature. The reason for this is that, as far as the body is concerned, there is one hell of a difference between 600kcal of carbs from sweet potato as opposed to Haribo. This is due to hormonal responses of the body in response to the food you eat. So when we make food choices, we need to make sure that we make the best choices, not just for our goals, but also the moment in time that we need a specific macronutrient.

Nutrient timing –

So, if we work on the premise that the body is an ecosystem that is constantly reacting, we understand that there is a great deal going on in our body which we can take control of. So let’s put this into the context of training. There are two hormones that we need to keep in mind before we delve into this – insulin and glucagon. When you start exercising the fuel mobilizing hormone glucagon gets to work, freeing up all of the fuel that you have stored in your body to allow your muscles to contract, relax, and move in a way which allows you to act out the motor patterns relevant to your sport or activity. This is your glycolytic system in full effect! With me so far? Ok, cool! So, when you are done using up your bodies fuel stores, doing whatever it is that you are doing, the fuel storage hormone insulin kicks in.

This is the optimal time to take in the two macronutrients that are essential to refuel and rebuild. The protein you take is synthesized at a higher rate due to the rise in your bodies’ insulin levels, which causes your protein to be broken down into amino acids at an accelerated rate and sent where it needs to go, namely your muscle fibers to induce the act of muscle growth – Hypertrophy. However, because the bodies’ insulin levels have elevated, this is the best time to get carbs inside you without the fear of excess fat storage. Once again, this is due to insulin’s function as a storage hormone, which allows for a fast absorption of carbs into the muscles and liver to be stored as glycogen. As such, the best choice of carbohydrate is a high GI carb such as fruit or white rice to allow for maximal absorption in the shortest amount of time possible. I would not advise this during any other time than post workout, unless you are particularly lean or require an exceptionally high amount of carbs.

gainz-gainz-everywhere

The reason for this being, that insulin production is not just triggered by a metabolic demand, it is also triggered by the food we eat. So when we eat carbs, we trigger an insulin response, and the higher GI the carb source, the higher the insulin. If insulin does what it does best, which is store stuff, but your muscles and your liver are already full of glycogen, then what is it going to do? Well, it’s going to do the only thing that it can do, store said sugars in adipose tissue. Yep, that’s right, as fat. So what is the take home message from this section? Base the majority of your carb intake around your workouts. Whether you front load, back load, or intra-load, it does not matter so long as you work within a time frame which allows you to take advantage of your bodies’ primed anabolic state which will allow for the greatest amount of carbohydrate uptake.

Goal Orientated Nutrition –

It sounds silly, but give me a chance to explain. It sounds like the simplest thing in the world, but so many people try to eat for multiple goals, i.e. ‘I want to put on mass so I will eat loads of calories, but I don’t want to get fat so I will take in minimal carbs’. This is madness, and is in fact counter-productive. You need to pick one goal and eat towards it. If you need to gain strength, take in more carbs post workout to allow for a higher rate of central nervous system regeneration and energy refueling. If you are trying to put on mass, take in even more carbs post workout with a high GI source first, followed by a low GI source in your next meal to give your body some extra raw materials to work with. This is all part of a process that will ultimately allow you to optimize your goal.

Note I say goal, not goals. You need to prioritize one goal, one eating protocol, and track your progress based on how close you are to getting to that goal, not how far you are moving away from the status quo. If you are prioritizing strength, stop worrying about your physique. You are moving towards a strength goal, and once you are there, you can prioritize your physique from a whole new place of strength.

Train Strong.

Live Strong.

Be Stronger.

5 Easy tips for getting leaner!

The fact is, weight loss is easy. Getting lean and in shape, now that is a different game entirely.

Eat less, do more, and you will burn off weight. It really is as simple as that. However, as any good lifter knows, losing weight is not the same as getting lean. The act of weight loss is simply defined as mass being taken from your body and broken down into energy, but this is not always a good thing.

They are lean, not skinny. Know the difference.

They are lean, not skinny. Know the difference.

The common thought is that we need calories to live and function. If we do not get enough of them we starve. If we eat to many of them, we get fat. Seems simple doesn’t it? While this thought is largely correct, as with all things, if it seems to too good or too easy to be true, then it probably is. Losing weight is the unbiased break down of mass, and that includes muscle tissue. This is the last thing that we want, and here’s why.

Muscle is the most metabolically active tissue in the body with a caloric demand of 50Kcal per Lb, and that is just at maintenance level. We want your body to be as metabolically active as possible and to have as much active functional muscle as possible to make sure that your metabolism is as high as possible. The moment you start losing muscle, you are literally losing cylinders from your metabolic engine and this is why fat loss tends to stall when you simply reduce calories.

Now, by contrast the act of getting leaner is the reduction in the level of the bodies adipose (skin level) fat cells. This is done via proper fuelling of the body, dependant on its activity level and the gentle decrease of calories. This is far more maintainable from the standpoint of you and I as average people but does require the insight of a fitness professional, or more research into how to properly fuel your body. Alternatively you can click here to receive a free nutritional e-book.

To make life a little easier, I have put together a few top tips that I think will help you get leaner, rather than just lose weight.

1 – Train for hypertrophy!

As we said, muscle is the most metabolically demanding tissue in the body and as such having as much of it up and working is what we ultimately need in order to raise your base metabolic rate. This means that you are going to be burning more calories at rest, leading to a greater number of calories burnt daily, month, and annually. To do this, make use of traditional hypertrophy training programs such as 3 x 10, 5 x 8 etc. This greater volume when matched with proper nutrition on your training and non training days will lead to an increase in muscle and number of calories burnt per session.

nickauger

The greater the muscle, the greater the calories burnt.

2 – Increase your protein intake

Protein is the building block of life. It provides 4kcal of energy per gram. Protein is stored in the body as muscle and is only used for energy production when carb stores are deleted. Proteins need to be broken down into amino acids and converted into glucose by the liver if they are to be used for energy production. This process is known as gluconeogenesis.

Protein is synthesised into your body in order to begin the repair or development of your cells. As such your protein intake is one of the primary factors in your bodily development, and should be included to one degree or another in every meal. Protein is also highly thermogenic regarding its nutritional density. It takes calories to digest food to get more calories. Protein has a huge caloric requirement for breakdown relative to its size and if you are working out the majority of the broken down amino acids will be put to work building more muscle. To start make sure you are taking in 1.2 – 1.5g of protein per lb of lean bodyweight and adjust as necessary.

3 – Address food quality before calories

Jumping straight into calorie counting is one of the worst ways to get yourself into trouble when trying to lose weight as it is highly inaccurate, and mentally draining. This is not to say that calories are not important, because they are. However, addressing issues of food quality are the first port of call when looking to get people losing weight. Educating yourself on what it means to eat according to your goals is going to to create a long lasting understanding of good nutrition, and good nutrition is for life. Diets are not.

4 – Don’t dive bomb your calories

Dropping your calories should be the last thing that you address when you are going down the garden path of weight loss. Managing your calories is something that should be done in relation to your macronutrient needs, and once that is addressed then we can start thinking about dropping calories. However, this should be done at a slow rate. As with prescription medication, we want the maximal response from the minimum dosage. Dropping your calories substantially will lead to a point of plateau from which your metabolism will start to take a dive, and in response your body, being the survival machine that it is, will start to take break down the surplus muscle tissue and the metabolic demand that goes along with them. Keep your calories as high as possible, for as long as possible, so long as you are still meeting your goals.

To look like a healthy athlete, you have to eat like a healthy athlete

To look like a healthy athlete, you have to eat like a healthy athlete

5 – Don’t go it alone!

This is the most important aspect of the whole journey. Make sure that you have a support network. Getting lean is a long process and can be stressful if you go it alone. The reason why weight watchers and other programs of that nature are so successful is that they bring you into a community that creates a sense of society and accountability. Get a group of friends, a page on facebook, or hire a trainer, because the more support your have, the more accountability you have to those around you and as such you are more likely to stick to game plan rather than go native with a box of Reese’s Pieces.

These are some tips that I hope will make things easier for you on your journey to a leaner, sexier you!

If you passed up on the e-book at the start of this article and would like to rectify that, click here.

To find out how you can get strong and realise your inner athlete just click the link below.

http://bit.ly/1rvbFHQ

Good luck and, remember:

Train Strong.

Live strong.

Be Strong.

UNCOMFORTABLY ENERGETIC!!!!

Ever heard someone talk about any of the following things:

Phosphocreatine?
Blood Lactic?
Anaerobic?
Aerobic?
Lactic threshold?
ATP?
ADP?
Adenine?
Adenosine?

If so, where you left dumbfounded, did you feel like a rabbit caught in the headlights of bullshit? If so, don’t worry; it’s not your fault! It’s the Internet’s. However, I digress. With the ease with which people can put down their opinions on everything under the sun on the Internet, it becomes very hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. As such, I will be providing you with a basic, introduction to the various energy systems of the body, and all that this entails. I have taken all of this knowledge from various textbooks, so this should be up to date correct.

anaelacticphospho what now?!

Ok, so here we go! Right, so, the body is like a car, it requires fuel or its not going anywhere. This fuel is the food we eat, which in essence is broken down into the macronutrients of Carbohydrates, Proteins, and Fats. Each energy source is metabolized differently to generate useable energy. The only energy unit however, that is useable by the body is adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the bodies’ energy currency, and is used in one of the three bodily energy systems, which are the phosphocreatine system, the aerobic system, and the lactic system. We’ll get onto these later.

First things first, we get energy from foods, but all these foods are metabolized in different ways.
 
Carbs
Carbs! Yes, fruit and veggies are carbs, get over it!

So, carbs have 4 kcal per gram. The NHS nutritional guidlines state that 60-65% of your caloric intake should be carbohydrate however, this prescription is based on an out dated understanding of how foods are metabolised and is slowly being stamped out in the minds of the public and our health officials thank God. All carbs are in essence sugar waiting to happen; besides the molecular structure the only thing that separates a gummy baby from a sweet potato is the time it takes the body to break down these foods into usable sugar, i.e. glucose.

Carbs are not easily stored within the body, with small amounts being stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen, which can be reverted into glucose when needed. Glycogen stored in the muscles can only be used in the muscles and cannot be released in the blood for use elsewhere. Carbs should be taken pre and post work out and limited the rest of the day, with the amounts of carbs varying depending on your goals… that’s right, I am saying you should limit carbs!

The reason for this being that Glycogen has a relatively large chemical structure, as it is made of many glucose molecules. When activity levels start to increase, or are anticipated to increase, adrenaline, and glucagon (a fuel mobilizing hormone) send messages for the enzymes within the muscles cells to work to break the glycogen apart, via a process called glycogenolysis.

Fat
Fats. Yummy yummy fats!

Fat provides the greatest amount of energy per gram at 9kcal per gram. Fat is stored in the body both underneath the skin and around the organs. The same hormones that stimulate the break down of glycogen into glucose stimulates that breakdown of fat in the adipose tissue into fatty acids to be used for energy production. This is known as lipolysis. Now, the funny thing about fats is this, not only are these vital for hormone production, testosterone levels, the fitter an individual, the more efficient they are at extracting energy from fat. Fat needs a great deal of oxygen to be metabolized effectively. The cardiovascular adaptations that occur with regular cardio vascular training improves the abilities of an individual to take up oxygen and deliver it to the working muscles making it easier for the body to use fat as fuel even at higher intensities. This is a useful survival mechanism, because which carbs run out quickly, there is an abundant supply of fat to fuel ongoing activity. A fit individual can spare the carbs until it is really needed and maintained activity, using fat as the main fuel. Some carbs are still needed to aid the metabolism of fat as it acts as a metabolic primer.

Protein
Meat is Murder! Tasty, tasty murder!

Protein, the building blocks of life and the key to you becoming the a more optimally functional human being. I am not going to do this section to death, as everyone seems to know a fair bit about protein. It provides 4kcal of energy per gram. Protein is stored in the body as muscle and is only used for energy production when carb stores are deleted. Proteins need to be broken down into amino acids and converted into glucose by the liver if they are to be used for energy production. This process is known as gluconeogeneis.

This is where magic happens!

Ok so, those are the fuel sources. Muscle glycogen is stored to fuel muscular activity, such as weightlifting, and muscle glycogen is stored for use by the brain. If there is no glucose remaining in blood and the liver glycogen store is running low, carbs must be ingested or it must start to be made internally. Amino acids are used for this through the break down or protein.

The demand of ATP synthesis varies depending on the intensity of the activity. The more ATP is required the quicker it needs to be synthesized. If it cannot be synthesized quick enough, then intensity of activity must lower, even at its fastest, it takes a minimum of 10 seconds to synthesize enough ATP. The body will use a mix of fat in the form of fatty acids and carbohydrates in the form of glucose to synthesis ATP. Fat can only be used in the presence of oxygen. Without oxygen, only carbohydrate can be used. As already mentioned, there are plenty of fat stores, but fat takes a relatively long time to metabolise.

 
ENERGY SYSTEMS!
 

The only source of energy that can be used directly by the body is ATP. It is made of one adenosine molecule and three phosphates, which are attached through high-energy bonds. Energy is produced when the bond between the second and third phosphate is broken. The by products of this are Adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and phosphate. ATP is really unstable and cannot be stored in the muscle. ADP and phosphate are stable. To maintain energy supplies ATP must be constantly re-synthesized, meaning energy is needed from somewhere else to reattach the phosphate that has broken away and allow the cycle to continue. There are three energy systems that perform this function.

The energy systems used to re-synthesized ATP will be depend on:

The intensity of the exercise / activity
Duration of the exercise
The type of exercise / activity

Phosphocreatine –

Muscle glycogen provides the initial fuel for movement when exercise starts. Straight away the body starts to metabolize fat and increase the flow of blood to the muscles being used, in order to provide the fat and oxygen required if activity is to continue. This process takes a minimum of 20 seconds, by which time the small amounts of glycogen held within the muscles has been completely used up in approximately 1-2 seconds.

Maximal intensity exercises have a huge glycogen demand

Within the muscle there is a store of creatine phosphate. Although this cannot be used directly, it can be converted very quickly when catalysed by the anaerobic enzyme creatine kinase. Only one chemical process is required to separate the phosophate from the creatine, so that phospate is added to the ADP to create more ATP.

Creatine phosphate is generated in the liver, but is also sourced from the meat that we eat. When muscle demands it, either more is synthesized in the liver, or more is taken from within the bloodstream. At best, a muscle can store no more than roughly 20 seconds worth of the stuff. The more the creatine phosphate is used, the greater the ability to sore it and the greater the amount of creatine kinase is made readily available. High intensity training involving repeated short bursts of explosive movements is likely to be the most effective way of achieving this.

Fast twitch muscle fiber’s (fast glycolytic) will use the phosphocreatine system for energy production. Their low aerobic ability means that they need to use an energy system that can provide energy without the use of oxygen (anaerobically). Their suitability to short bursts of intense activity also means that the best energy system for them to utilize is the phosphocreatine system.

The phosphocreatine system fuels short bursts of very high or maximal intensity activity. This should be reflected when one tries to improve the efficiency of the phosphocreatine system. By alternating maximal efforts with long recovery periods using interval training, this energy system can be effectively overloaded to bring about adaptation.

For example, a max effort squat would use all the muscular stores of creatine phosphate. A long recovery is then required to allow the body to refuel these stores, roughly 6 minutes. Therefore only allowing the body 3 minutes allows for a gradual depletion of the bodies creatine phosphate over a number of maximal efforts.

Lift heavy, often, with good technique.
The Lactic System

Once all available creatine phospate has been used, intensity of activity must lower, as no other system is able to re-synthesize ATP as quickly. If activity is continued then the next fastest system is the lactic system. The lactic system is also used if an activity is started at a less intense rate than required for the phosphocreatine system. The body continues to metabolize fat and increase the flow of blood to the muscles involved, to provide the fat and oxygen required if the activity is to continue. The lactic acid system is more efficient than the phosphocreatine system at generate ATP, producing a max of three ATP molecules per molecule of glycogen via a process called anaerobic glycolysis The process of anaerobic glycolysis takes longer than the phosphocreatine system, due to the more chemically complex nature of the glucose molecules, which causes a rapid depletion of the bodies glycogen stores.

Two variables limit the ability of the lactic system to continue working. Firstly that glucose stores run out pretty damn quick. The second is that the system produces more of its waste product, lactic acid… duh, than the body can handle. This leads to all those nasty cramps and vomiting that we sometimes experience when we feel the “burn”.

Why does it hurt so much to be this fast?!

The build up of lactic acid in fact prevents further ATP generation. The muscles continue to try to contract, but with each contraction less ATP is generated. Once intensity of exercise decreases, lactic acid is dispersed into the blood and taken to other muscles or the liver. The speed or recovery is related not to only the intensity of activity that is continued but also to each individuals personal abilities. Total recovery from an over load of the lactic system is approximately 30 minutes. An individual will first reach the aerobic threshold. This is the point at which energy production begins to shift in favor of anaerobic pathways, but lactic acid concentrations have not yet reached a level that will inhibit performance, which lets be honest, sucks.

The point at which lactic acid is being produced faster than it can be removed is known as anaerobic threshold. This threshold is also known as the point of onset blood lactate accumulation (OBLA). To improve the lactic system interval training is an effective method of improving the lactic acid system. By alternating work efforts that create a lactic build up with periods of recovery to remove the lactic acid by product we can begin to increase the anaerobic threshold and point of OBLA. Fartlek (speed play), cruise intervals, HIIT are all good methodologies to follow to improve the lactic acid system.

The Aerobic System

Once the lactic acid has prevented further generation of ATP, intensity of activity must be lowered. The aerobic system then takes over. Aerobic production of ATP is by far the most preferred method. As long as there is sufficient oxygen present, the body always selects the aerobic system. Not only does this utilize fat as well as carbs, leaving more carbs in the tank, but it also is able to generate more molecules of ATP. Aerobic (with oxygen) glycolysis generates up to 38 molecules of ATP for each molecule of glycogen.

Aerobic glycolysis takes place in specialized muscle cells called mitochondria. Mitochondria are essentially cell batteries and are found within muscle fibers. The point at which intensity of activity increases so much that the body is no longer able to get enough oxygen to get to the working muscles is known as the aerobic threshold. Again, to a certain extent this is genetically set. Appropriate training, in the form of interval training with peaks just about the aerobic threshold, can improve the aerobic threshold by enabling the body to transport and work with oxygen at a higher intensity.

When glucose is broken down in the presence of oxygen it is converted into pyruvate. This process is known as glycolysis. In the absence of oxygen the pyruvate becomes lactic acid and eventually inhibits further muscle contraction. As long as oxygen and carbohydrates are present the aerobic energy systems can last indefinably. The by products of aerobic production are CO2, water and heat. The body easily removes all these, so it presents no limiting factors. The aerobic energy system will at the time be using a combination of fats and carbs to produce ATP. Protein can be used when glycogen stores have been depleted. The proportion of fat and carbs used is determined by the intensity of the activity. As intensity increases a greater proportion of ATP synthesis will come from aerobic glycolysis until anaerobic threshold is reached. However, the maximal effective duration of the Aerobic system is only two hours.

So there we are boys and girls, a brief insight into the world of energy systems. I hope you enjoy.

Train Strong.

Live Strong.

Be Strong.

Rogan

For any information or questions regarding the blog, or for any information regarding my services as a Personal Trainer, please contact me via my Facebook Page, Twitter, Email, or in the comment section below.

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Email: rebellionstrengthhq@gmail.com

Start fat. Eat fat! Lose fat?

I am so sorry for the delays on my blogs. I have been kind of out of it, and have been researching and experimenting on a few different ideas. Needless to say, I have decided to take a stab at writing another blog about nutrition, with a twist. Any one who has known me from Adam, knows that I was a very fat kid, in fact I weigh less now than I did when I was 14, and that’s not because I was a super hench 14 year old kid. I have tried pretty much every diet under the sun, Atkins, Dukan, paleo, high carb, low carb, Cabbage. Ok I was kidding on the last one, but I have tried quite a few diets and the one thing that stuck with me is this. Nutrition is not a moment in time, its a life long commitment. However, there is a part of me that does love exploring new ideas, and I think that it is important to experiment with different nutritional ideas in order to find out what works for you.

Now, one thing that I know about myself is that I retain water like a sponge. So high carb for me is a damn site lower than what most people consider to be a high carb diet. As such, I use fat as a primary fuel source. Or at least I thought I did. The subject of this blog is going to be my research into dietary fat and how it can be used as a primary fuel source, and even help with fat loss.

So… fat… its good for you?
So, first things first, lets look at a few different things. Fat, or lipids, are long chain hydrocarbons found in plants and animals, which can be mono or poly saturated/unsaturated. The first thing to know about lipids is that they constitute the ideal cellular fuel because each molecule carries large quantities of energy per unit weight, e.g. 1g of fat contains roughly 9 calories. More than double that of Carbs and Protiens. Now, as I stated earlier, fats are ultimately the best/preferred fuel source for skeletal muscle system, and key organs such as the heart, liver and brain. It is not the lipids themselves that are the fuel, its ketone bodies. When the body has an excess of dietary substances, whether it be fat or carbohydrates, they are stored as adipose tissue, a.k.a. those annoying love handles that you can’t seem to shift. What dictates whether our bodies are filled with glycogen or not is what we eat, and the ability of our liver to facilitate the break down of what we eat into glycogen, which is then stored in the liver and muscles.

This is where the magic happens!
 

What happens when the livers glycogen stores are filled the body is forced to store what is considered to be excess as adipose tissue. Excess carbohydrates are converted to fat in the liver through a process called De Novo Lipodosis (DNL). DNL does not significantly contribute to a gain in adipose tissue, so long as muscle and liver glycogen stores are not filled. Ketosis is supposedly the natural state of the body. It is a state in which the body is forced into a state were it is forced to oxidize, or ‘burn’ adipose tissue and fat, either via an absence of carb’s, or an extreme calorie deficit. Obviously low calories are not the focus of my diet, not any athletes diet, so what we are focusing on is the ability of the body to use fat as a primary fuel source. When carbohydrates are removed from the diet, insulin levels decrease, and glucagon levels increase, which causes a breakdown of fat and adipose tissue into free fatty acids (FFA). Insulin acts as a storage hormone, which is responsible for the moving of nutrients out of the blood stream and into targeted tissue. Glucagon on the other hand is a fuel-mobilizing hormone, which stimulates the break down of glycogen. The increase in glucagon is what leads to a depletion of the bodies glycogen stores and leads to a need for an alternative fuel source, namely FFA’s. The accelerated burning of FFA’s in the liver is what ultimately leads to the production of ketone bodies, an alternate fuel source derived from the burning of FFA’s, and ultimately leads to the state that we call ketosis.

YUMMY!

So, in layman’s terms, ketosis is the end result of a metabolic shift in the insulin/glucose ration from a glycogen based metabolism to a fat burning metabolism. But wait, there’s more! So before you run off and get rid of all your carb’s and start a meat cleanse… mmm meat, be warned that your body is amazing at getting what it wants, and what it wants is glycogen. So before you start getting your meat sweats on, remember that true ketosis is not achieved in the human body simply by eating nothing but meat, because the body can get glycogen from meat. “Hang on! but protein doesn’t have sugar in it! Does it?”, I hear  you all saying. Well guess what, the body does not need a glucose based food (all form’s of carb’s), to get glycogen. Gluconeogenesis is the process by which the body breaks down protein into separate amino acids and creates glycogen.

So let’s look at how all this science stuff actually plays out into dietary sense. Lets be honest, we are always being told that carb’s are the enemy, and in this case its true… sort of. I like to think of them more as a back up, with fat being the soldiers actually on the front lines. Dr Mauro DiPasquale created a system known as the “ANABOLIC DIET”, which suggests a 60:35:5 ratios between fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Ultimately this means that you should follow a 5-6 day protocol of the suggested ratio, with a 1-2 day carb up which is supposedly, when combined with weight training creates an anabolic effect leading to a growth in muscle tissue and a decrease in adipose tissue. I have been following this protocol for roughly a month with a 24 hour fast thrown in once a week. I spent some time working out a few kinks here and there, because like all diets, training protocols etc, it doesn’t always work for everyone in the manner in which it is originally set out. For example the first time I had to carb up I did it for one day, and I ate clean and it was fine, I put on 3lbs of water and glycogen which disappeared the following day and a night. However, the second time I had to carb up I had had a really hard week, I felt washed out so I went for it, and consumed everything in sight for two days, cereal, porridge, bagels, rice crispy treats, you name it I ate it. This resulted in me gaining 10lbs, however, I did feel awesome afterwards, you know… once I worked passed the frenzy of panic and realized that its just water and glycogen, and that it would be impossible to gain 10lbs of fat in two days. So I started this little ketogenic experiment at 178lbs, and I now this morning weigh 173lbs, that works out at just over 2lbs a week when you take into account the mistakes I made along the way, which is pretty much par for the course in terms of my expectations, but what really fascinated me was the fact that I was never hungry,  my cardio has not suffered, I am getting stronger despite my lack of equipment, and I look more jacked after my carb up and this stays with my through the week, I don’t look flat like I suspected I would due to the lack of muscle glycogen.

I am keeping my calories at roughly 2,500 and my sample diet, which was in fact what I ate couple of days ago:
Breakfast:
– 3 X whole eggs
– 2 X rashers of bacon
Snack 1:
– 2 X chicken wings
Lunch:
– Rump steak 350g
– Steamed green beans 50g
Snack 2:
– When Protein shake: two scoops post workout
Dinner:
– Roast chicken leg 240g
– Steamed green beans 50g
– 80g Blue berries with double cream
* I also put cream in my coffee through out the day so I roughly used 100ml
cals: 2334
fat: 159g
carb: 31g
protein: 190g

I lost an lb over night despite chugging loads of water through out the day and roughly 3 pints of aqua before I went to bed. The system works! However, despite the fact that I am enjoying this diet so much, and am reaping the benefits, there are a few things I need to discuss critically. First off, Dr DiPasquale used animal testing results when human studies were available. Secondly, the book itself actually has very little to substantiate its claims in terms of putting down the good hard science, but this is more to do with DiPasquale’s writing style. Thirdly, the protocol is split into a weight loss, weight maintenance and mass gain phases, which suggests eating up to 5-6000 calories a day. Now the thought of eating that much fat makes me ill, like violently ill. Fourthly, if you have lead a high carb lifestyle in the past then the metabolic switch around is going to be rough for you. Luckily I did not suffer with this as I have led quite a high fat low carb lifestyle prior to his, but DiPasquale says that you may get sugar cravings, mood swings, constipation, but as long as you cut your carb’s down slowly over a period of time which allows your body to acclimatize to the metabolic shift then these side effects can be mitigated.

I’m just sayin…
However, despite all this the proof is in the pudding, the diet does work, at least for weight loss, I am skeptical about the mass gaining concept for a number of reasons, but primarily due to the fact that the diet as a whole reduces insulin levels which are crucial for muscle gain, but I will probably try it one day. DiPasquale is not the first to suggest a high fat low, carb diet, Atkins, Zumpano and Duchaine to name but a few, however most if not all have been criticized by  science, funnily enough not for their claims about weight loss and the importance of a high fat diet, but rather because of their research methodology.

While a few being supported by those who actually followed their protocols. So where do I stand on this whole high fat, low carb diet thing? Well, in all honesty, I am on the fence. I think that there is no such thing as bad food, only bad food relative to your goals. Am I going to tell a powerlifter who needs to eat 8,000 calories a day to remain on weight and competitive not to chuck down cream and steak, happy meals, pizzas etc? Hell no! I am not going to tell someone not to alter what works for them. I don’t understand why you would want to do that to your body, but I also don’t know what its like to squat a grand, I don’t know what its like to bench 600lbs. If this is what they need to do, to get to the places that they want to be in their sport, as long as they are not breaking the law and not killing themselves, go for it. with out getting religious, “There but for the grace of God go I.” These men, and women, are smart athletes who know the risks of what they do to their bodies both nutritionally and physically and they have deemed the risk worth it. Isn’t it funny that more people seem to have a problem with the way that you eat than you do?

So lets look at the facts, fat is a better fuel source for the body as it as a greater potential energy than carb’s. It increases testosterone and GH levels. It has been the primary fuel source of Paleolithic man, and the contemporary Inuit’s. Fat, does not make you fat, refined sugars and high fat in combination with excess carbohydrate and glycogen makes you fat. Just as with the paleo diet and its assumption that everyone is gluten intolerant, they just don’t know it yet, its very easy to say that these high fat diets are a load of nonsense because they fly in the face of conventional knowledge, cause I will let you in on a dirty little secret, most ‘conventional’ knowledge is wrong. Some key examples being (and anyone will who trains will get these) if a woman lifts weights she will turn into a Bulgarian shot putter (no offence to the Bulgarian shot putters), that you can get jacked and keep your abs all at the same time. Cover models looks like that year round, and my personal favorite, I honest to god heard this once, “you don’t need steroids to look like Jay Cutler”. Regardless of what the fitness industry wants you to believe, Cutler did not get to that size because of genetics, good diet, and nitrotec.

This…
does not equal this…
this does!

I have had the pleasure of meeting a number of athletes within the world of strength sports, and from theym I have learnt that nutrition and weight training is mostly science, with a handful of mysticism thrown in. I know a guy who has thrived on the GOMAD (Gallon of milk a day) style of bulking. Now I couldn’t do that, but for whatever reason, this guy can. So I urge you, before you start making all of these accusations about high fat diets, firstly, try it, you might like it. Secondly, look at the science and see if it supports the claims of the diet. We have public libraries and the Internet so it’s really not that hard. Thirdly, don’t be a lemming. Tweak the diet according to your needs, as long as the basic science is correct it’s a case of making it work for you. Your goals are important. They are part of the reason why you are training, dieting etc, so find ways to make science work for you and your goals. Sometimes you have to accept that you may have to get a little instinctual and throw caution to the wind to get what you want.

“Madness is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results” – Albert Einstein 

Train Strong.

Live Strong.

Be Strong.

Rogan

For any information or questions regarding the blog, or for any information regarding my services as a Personal Trainer, please contact me via my Facebook Page, Twitter, Email, or in the comment section below.

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Email: rebellionstrengthhq@gmail.com

Welcome to the Rebellion

Right, first things first, I want to get something of my chest. I cannot stand the fact that we are living in society in which we are told that it is acceptable to be mediocre. Am I saying that I am angry with people who are not elite level athletes? HELL NO! Because then I’d be angry with myself, and honestly verbal self flagilation is not my style, but I digress. What angers me are people who let themselves get overweight, unfit, and unhealthy with bad food, bad habits and bad company, because to want better goes against the grain. To train hard, to say that you are better than this and deserve more, to take command of your reality and actively try to alter your situation makes you the outcast.

I changed my situation massively. I used to be dramatically overweight, unfit, and just generally not the strongest version of myself. However, when I started to change, I rebelled from the mindset that I had. I rebelled against the thought that I wasn’t good enough and that I could never change. I want you all to realise that you are good enough, that there is nothing you cannot do if you are willing to work hard enough to achieve it! Remember my friends, the juice is always worth the squeeze. So this is what this blog is about, waging our own personal Rebellion against the trend, daring to be all that you can be and going that extra mile in the pursuit of everything that you ever wanted. There are going to be some things said on this blog that you may not like, some things you may not agree with, but everything will hopefully make you think, make me think, and lead us all towards a greater drive to become all that we can be.

So, welcome to the Rebellion

Train Strong.

Live Strong.

Be Strong.

Rogan

For any information or questions regarding the blog, or for any information regarding my services as a Personal Trainer, please contact me via my Facebook Page, Twitter, Email, or in the comment section below.

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Twitter

Email: rebellionstrengthhq@gmail.com