Tuesday, January 05, 2010

That would explain it... knowledge is power

I've been frustrated at times when unable to get as lean as I desire. A common problem, I know, but I couldn't figure it out. I mean, I track everything (xmas vacation excepted) and couldn't understand why I wasn't getting the results I wanted.

This morning I was reading Joe Friel's "The Cyclist's Training Bible" (4th ed., p. 251) while Erik was out with the driving examiner and came across the effects of insulin in the nutrition section. Lo and behold, though I think I've been told/read this in different ways, today is the first day it really sunk in and I understood how it might be impacting me.

To make it rather simple, when I eat something high-carb, the insulin level in my blood rises for a couple of hours. During this time the insulin prevents my body from using stored fat and focuses my system on moving fat in the bloodstream to storage locations. Additionally, because there's a surplus of energy, my body starts working to turn those extra carbs and proteins into fat. When I do this routinely, my body develops a distinct preference for carbs over fats and the net result may be an inability to lose the fat.

As an athlete I work to eat in a healthy manner and don't let my body run on empty very often, in fact, I often have a little bite to eat every couple/three hours. Thus, it could very well be that I maintained a high enough carb intake that my body didn't have to tap the fat stores much. Thus, I'm going to switch things up and see what happens. Supposedly, high carb diets often yield cravings and hunger... I know a bit about those.

That's not to say that high glycemic foods have no place in your diet. They do -- right after your workout to optimize the restocking of carbohydrate levels in your liver and muscles. But in general, aim for lower glycemic-index foods.

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