18. January 2016 · Comments Off on Don’t Let A Bad Diet Ruin Your Workout · Categories: Health, Physical Fitness

A Junk-Food Diet Is Counterproductive to Your Exercise Goals

Do you ever wonder if working out enough means you can let go of your diet? It turns out, the opposite is true – if you want to get the most out of your workout, you need to watch what you eat and make sure you don’t sabotage yourself and lose all the benefits you’ve worked so hard to achieve!

Eating a poor diet isn’t only a matter of “empty calories” causing you to gain weight without getting proper nutrition. Excess sugar and fructose consumption, which is common if you eat a lot of processed foods, is linked to insulin resistance, high triglycerides, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer.

This is also a driving factor in insulin resistance. According to Dr. Robert Lustig, professor of pediatric endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco (USCF), whatever organ becomes insulin resistant ends up manifesting its own chronic metabolic disease.

For example, when you have insulin resistance, you can end up with type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, heart disease or chronic renal disease.

In addition, refined fructose, typically in some form of corn syrup, is now found in virtually every processed food you can think of, and fructose actually “programs” your body to consume more calories and store fat.

Fructose is primarily metabolized by your liver, because your liver is the only organ that has the transporter for it. Since nearly all fructose gets shuttled to your liver, it ends up taxing and damaging your liver in the same way alcohol and other toxins do.

A Poor Diet Turns on Your Body’s Fat Switch

Further, dietary sugar, and fructose in particular, is a significant “tripper of your fat switch.” Dr. Richard Johnson discovered the method that animals use to gain fat prior to times of food scarcity, which turned out to be a powerful adaptive benefit.

His research showed that fructose activates a key enzyme, fructokinase, which in turn activates another enzyme that causes cells to accumulate fat. When this enzyme is blocked, fat cannot be stored in the cell.

Interestingly, this is the exact same “switch” animals use to fatten up in the fall and to burn fat during the winter. Fructose is the dietary ingredient that turns on this “switch,” causing cells to accumulate fat, both in animals and in humans.

Not to mention, avoiding sugar is especially important if you do high-intensity exercises, which will boost your body’s production of human growth hormone (HGH). Consuming carbs within a couple of hours prior to or after such exercise will effectively prevent HGH from being produced.

Eat to Exercise, Not the Other Way Around

What you eat can either add to or take away from your exercise benefits, and if you’re devoting the time to workout, you want to know how to harness your meals to support your efforts, not detract from them. As noted by sports nutritionist Susan M. Kleiner, R.D., Ph.D.:

“When it comes to sculpting your body and enhancing your performance, without a diet to support your training you are wasting your time in the gym.”

It helps to think of your food as fuel, and consider whether what you’re putting in your mouth will best keep your body in optimal working order. Remember, you cannot exercise your way out of a bad diet, but you can eat your way to a fitter and healthier body.

If you’re like most people, you’re probably eating too many carbs. Your body’s need for sugar is, biologically, very small. And when you consume more than you need, your body turns it into fat. If you are a competitive athlete and are not insulin resistant, you can tolerate more carbs.

You do not typically get fat from eating healthy fats—you get fat from eating too many carbs (sugar) or excessive calories. Hence, what you’ll find on my list of “fitness foods” below are primarily healthy fats, which is what you’ll want to replace the lost carbs with for energy, along with high-quality proteins and a couple of specific nutrients that are particularly beneficial for boosting athletic performance.
– via Mercola.com

Do You Eat Late?

One issue that’s hotly debated regarding how your diet affects your workout is less about what you eat and more about when. Does eating late at night make you gain weight? Maybe, maybe not. There appears to be evidence on both sides, but the study discussed below certainly gives an interesting take on the debate.

Everyone gets those late night munchies. Many of us have been told before that it’s not good to eat before bed because it will make you gain bad weight. There is a some conflicting evidence on how eating food late at night affects your fitness goals.

I’ll give you the bad news. One of the most popular studies done on this subject was done by Harvard researchers. They studied 420 people (half men, half women)  in a mediterranean town in Spain for 20 weeks. The study subjects all got the same amount of sleep and had similar digestive hormones, like leptin and ghrelin. Everyone consumed 1400 calories per day and they all did a similar amount of exercise. The one difference in their diet was the times at which they ate. One group ate the biggest meal of the day before 3 pm. The other group at the biggest meal after 3 pm. At the end of the study the group of people who ate the bulk of their calories earlier in the day lost an average of 22 pounds and had a higher insulin sensitivity, which decreases chances of diabetes. The group who ate later everyday lost an average of 17 pounds. This study supports the idea that the timing of your calorie consumption can effect weight loss goals, but it does not prove the cause and effect. There are still many skeptics out there.
– via SteadyStrength

Are you letting a bad diet sabotage your workout goals?

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