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Key to Weight Loss

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Losing weight can be challenging. Keeping it off can be even more difficult. The key is your metabolism and the higher your lean body mass, the higher your metabolism will be.

Losing weight can be challenging. Keeping it off can be even more difficult. The key is your metabolism and the higher your lean body mass, the higher your metabolism will be.

Calories derived from carbohydrates are the ones to watch for because the body converts carbohydrates into energy by first turning them into glucose. This effect causes the pancreas to release insulin, which stabilizes sugars by carrying the glucose to the cells for energy. The leftover glucose is converted into glycogen (a source of energy for future use in the liver and muscles). This is fine but when there is too much to be stored, the body converts glucose into triglycerides, which is the most common fat found in the body.

In addition, carbohydrates are categorized as either high or low glycemic index-how fast carbohydrates break down into glucose in the blood. High glycemic carbohydrates convert into glucose quickly, which leads to a rapid rise in insulin blood levels. This factor is associated with many healthconcerns such as obesity and cardiovascular disease.

The low glycemic carbohydrates cause a very small insulin response, with minimal fat storage. Examples of low glycemic carbs are vegetables, legumes, fruits (which are rich in vitamins), and some grains if not cooked for too long. In order to stay in a low glycemic range avoid high index carbohydrates such as pastas, enriched breads, refined sugars, and starchy vegetables (e.g., potatoes or yams).

Food for Thought

During the late 1980s, food manufacturers began meeting the demands of the low fat diets by filling them with high carbs, refined sugars, salt, artificial flavouring, and preservatives. This was brought on by the 1988 US Surgeon General's recommendation to change the Food Pyramid in hopes of lowering the nation's health concerns regarding cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity.

As a result, the adverse effect occurred in the early 1990s when more adults were having problems with weight and other health concerns. Luckily by the late 1990s some scientists, biochemists, and nutritionists recognized the ill effects of this behavioural eating, which resulted in obesity and other health concerns in the US and Canada.

Whey to Go

My experience over the last 16 years as a natural body builder and former fitness trainer has shown me that adequate amounts of proteins combined with low glycemic carbohydrates provide your body with constant energy. Proteins are essential for hormones, skin, blood cells, immune system, and muscle repair and growth. They are found in a wide range of foods including meats, fish, legumes, and poultry. However with today's lifestyles getting busier, finding a rich source of protein can be more challenging than a workout itself.

For this reason, the value of supplementing with soy or whey proteins can be your bridge to success. They are good, lean sources of protein safe for vegetarians and people with dairy allergies. There is no match to whey because of its rich source of branch-chain amino acids (the building blocks of muscle). One of the amino acids found in whey, but not in high amounts, is glutamine. This amino acid plays an important role in bone formation, growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestine, aids in muscle growth, and prevents muscle atrophy in bed-ridden patients. It also increases the body's ability to stay in a catabolic state (a positive stage for muscle that allows the cells to receive nutrients). There is no known toxicity but as a precaution for people having cirrhosis of the liver, kidney problems, Reye's syndrome, or other disorders that accumulate ammonia in the blood-they should consult a physician.

Fats that Make you Thin

Finally, the body does not produce essential fats like the ones found in flaxseed, sesame, and olive oil. These fats are liquid at room temperature unlike saturated fats. They are important to the body in many ways. They allow the body to release stored fats, increase cellular energy, help stabilize sugars in the body, and protect lean muscle tissue. Including these fats in your diet is essential for achieving successful weight loss.

The key to maintaining your efforts of weight loss is to provide your body with healthy carbohydrates that are low in glycemic index, while ensuring an adequate amount of proteins that will keep your metabolism going and allowing your body to burn more calories.

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