Carbohydrate TimingIlovecarbs

High levels of insulin and insulin resistance puts fat burning on the back burner.  If you can limit your carbohydrates so that you are only eating them during the time periods when your insulin sensitivity is at its highest (low insulin), you will make your goal of losing fat a whole lot easier.  When are these time periods?

(1) Your first meal of the day – After a night of not eating, your insulin sensitivity is higher than normal. This is because your body has been using the glucose in your blood and the glycogen stored in your liver to maintain body functions throughout the night. Upon waking, your body’s stores of glycogen are lower – resulting in a lower amount of insulin needed to store the carbohydrates you’re about to eat.

(2) Your pre-workout meal – Most people don’t think of insulin sensitivity being high just before your workout. And really, it isn’t. However, during exercise, your insulin response is muted. Your pre-workout meal is a great time to get in some carbohydrates and some much needed energy for your workout.

(3) Your post-workout meal – Your post-workout meal is the time when your insulin sensitivity is at its highest, and it’s a great time to implement nutrient timing principles. While you work out, your muscles use glycogen to fuel your exercise. So much so, that after your workout, your muscles just soak up the glucose in your blood. Your muscles are so starved for glucose that they are able to take the carbohydrates you eat and convert it into glycogen without any real need for insulin.

Knowing that these 3 time periods are preferred for carbohydrate intake, we can then start to formulate a diet plan. Depending on your carbohydrate demand and your goals, I would prioritize my carbohydrate intake like this:

Carbs post-workout only

Carbs post-workout and first meal of the day

Carbs pre and post-workout, and the first meal of the day

If you have a stubborn metabolism and have trouble losing body fat, eat the majority of your carbohydrates post workout. This meal should consist of protein and carbohydrates and very little fat. The remaining carb-less meals should consist of protein, healthy fats, and veggies. Planning your meals this way enables you to get all the benefits from the 3 macronutrients (fat, carbs, and protein).

It also puts you in a prime metabolic state to mobilize fatty acids. Nutrient timing is your answer to successful fat loss. By eating your carbohydrates at specific times of the day, you enable your body to remain in a fat burning state for a longer period of time.  If your energy is low and you feel you need more carbohydrates, add additional ones first thing in the morning.  If you workout early, then add them post-workout and before 2pm.  For those high energy, high volume exercisers, you could probably get away with all three, pre and post workout as well as first meal of the day!!!

If you think drinking 3 glasses of milk a day or eating your morning yogurt will prevent, cure, or treat osteoporosis, think again. There are so many other factors to consider. First, let’s discuss the common causes of osteoporosis:

1) Genetic history – Did you inherit weaker bones from your parents? Some studies estimate that 80% of our skeletal strength comes from our parents.

2) Vitamin and mineral deficiency – not just calcium but many others play a role in the whole process of bone health.

3) Soda consumption (even diet) – The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who consume just one soda daily have 5-7% less bone material than women who limit soda to just once a month.

4) Lack of fruits and veggies – a wide array of rich nutrients buffer the breakdown of bone. The British Journal of Nutrition reported that post-menopausal women who ate 5 servings of fruits and veggies daily were between 200-400% better in terms of their bone mineral density loss.

5) Lack of weight-bearing exercise – technology has impacted how much we sit.

How much calcium do you need? Most recommendations say for women ages 19-50 about 1000 mg/per day. For 50 + or post-menopause, 1200 mg/per day. But, like I said earlier, it is not that simple. The vast majority of the world population consumes much less calcium than we do in the US and have less cases of osteoporosis.

Too much calcium can actually inhibit the absorption of another key mineral the body needs for bone health, magnesium. Magnesium aids in bone formation and helps regulate calcium transfer as well. Most of us need more of this mineral. To do so, eat more leafy greens, seeds, nuts, and fish. On the same note, Vitamin D, is absolutely essential for bone density and quite possibly more important than calcium. If you don’t get daily sunlight, supplement by taking Vitamin D3. An added benefit would be one with magnesium included.

I cannot understate how important diet is in the balance of minerals and calcium absorption. The body is always trying to maintain homeostasis (balance). The typical American diet, rich in processed food increases acidic levels throughout the body. In order to get a balanced PH level, the body breaks down certain vitamins and minerals to stabilize, one of which is calcium. Other factors that wreak havoc on calcium uptake are excessive caffeine, alcohol, and chronic stress.

In order to get better bone health one must improve nutrition, increase activity level, and maintain proper hormone regulation. Start by changing your diet from highly acidic to more of an alkaline based. Include large amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables. Most of these have good amounts of potassium that help regulate the acidic load. Choose limited dairy products (milk based) and cut back on red meat as both will increase acid levels. Also, begin a strength training program. Weight training will overload not only the muscles but the bones as well. This overload will help lay down new bone and increase bone formation. Incorporate weight training a minimum of 2-3 times a week. Be active and walk daily for heart health, bone health, and mental health. Grab a pair of 3-5 lb dumbbells to carry with you. This will also help overload to form new bone. To reduce stress and balance hormone levels, get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep each night. Stretch, meditate daily or engage in Yoga a few times a week to lower cortisol levels. Cortisol (stress hormone) will also inhibit calcium uptake and prevent bone formation.


Are you self aware of your body? Most of us don’t understand that what you tolerate you accept, but it is reality. Think about it for a minute. You get used to the way you feel and consider it to be normal. My dad tells me he has knee pain, back pain. He says the pain is part of life and you learn to deal with it. Tolerate it! I disagree. Many of our bodies are locked. The joints and tissues have aged and begun to lose integrity.

One reason the joints are locked is due to fascial restrictions. Fascial restrictions often occur in response to injury, disease, inactivity, or inflammation (stress or poor diet), causing fascial tissue to lose elasticity and become dehydrated. When fascia loses its elasticity and becomes dehydrated, fascia can bind around the traumatized areas, causing a fibrous adhesion to form. Fibrous adhesions are known to be painful, prevent normal muscle mechanics (i.e. joint range of motion, muscle length, neuromuscular hypertonicity, and decreased strength, endurance and motor coordination) and decrease soft-tissue extensibility. In other words, you get tight, lose flexibility, and decrease muscle efficiency. In time, the lack of proper joint mechanics will takes its toll on the body causing pain and structural dysfunctions.

What do you do about it? There are many treatments plans to choose from. I’d like to mention what works for me and many of my clients, use of a roller. Foam rolling is a form of fascial tissue release. Most foam rollers are just a basic foam cylinder, others are more dense and have PVC pipe wrapped with a rubbery cushion. You can also use a tennis ball, racquet ball, or lacrosse ball. It all depends on what the individual person can handle with regards to tenderness. 

One of my clients walked in the other day while I was rolling on the roller. She says, “Are you in pain?” This is a typical question I get from time to time. Think of using the roller as preventative maintenance. It is not just for rehabbing an injury or reducing the symptom of pain. Breaking up the knots on a regular basis will not only prevent injury but will allow you to have more efficiency during your training. This efficiency will be increased strength, improved range of motion, and enhanced force production. I recommend using this fascial release technique prior to any sporting activity, workout session, and first thing in the morning upon waking. The last one especially if you are a bit older and your joints have been locked up for quite some time.

I’ll link a video or two below for those of you who haven’t used one before. You can purchase a roller online or at your local sporting goods store. I’d start by focusing on rolling the major joint areas. These include the hips and glutes, upper back areas and shoulders. Also, I’d suggest rolling out the lower leg and calf region. You can find many videos on foam rolling via Youtube. Add rolling as a supplement to your flexibility program.

Hey all, it’s that time of year again, Happy New Year! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. I thought I’d start off the year right and get one in the books.  Some of you have surely set out on a mission to get healthy, lose weight, and get in shape. This happens every year at this time.  I’m not a big fan of the New Years Resolution but they happen and I’ll deal with it. Although, my business does see a slight increase so it does help the pocketbook, whick I like. 

I’m a firm believer in a lifestyle change to get healthy and in shape. It’s a process that takes time, patience, and alot of consistency.  Making changes doesn’t happen overnight.  If you go into this gauging your success based on a number on the scale, you Will Not Succeed!  You need to develop a passion for your health and fitness.  You don’t necessarily have to like going to the gym or enjoy eating lots of vegetables.  But, if you are passionate about being healthy, then you will incorporate some of these into your daily regimen, every day for the rest of your life.


So, here a few tips to guide along the way:

  1)     Choose an obtainable goal. To say you are going to look like a super model is not realistic  for most of us, but promising to include more daily physical activity in our lives is very possible.

 2)     Avoid choosing a resolution that you’ve been unsuccessful at achieving year after year. This will only set you up for failure, frustration and disappointment.  If you are still tempted to make a promise that you’ve made before, then try altering it.  For example, instead of stating that you are going to lose 30 pounds, try promising to eat healthier and increase your weekly exercise.

 3)     Create a game plan.  Write a comprehensive plan.  All successful businesses start with a business plan that describes their mission and specifics on how they will achieve it.  Write your own personalized plan and you’ll be more likely to succeed as well.  Make your health your own business that you work on day to day.

 4)     Break it down and make it less intimidating.  Instead of creating one major goal, break it down into smaller pieces.  Setting several smaller achievable goals throughout the year, will help you to reach your main goal. Then, if you aren’t able to reach your final goal, you will have many smaller, but still significant, achievements along the way.  For example, if your goal is to complete a 10K race, your smaller goals could be running a 5K in less than 30 minutes and adding strength training weekly to help with your endurance.

 5)     Get Support for Motivation and Accountability.  Just be sure to set limits so that this doesn’t backfire and become more irritating than helpful.  You want people to help  you but not too pushy.  You just need a little kick in the rear on occasion.  For example, if you resolve to be more positive ask them to gently remind you when you start talking negatively.

 6)     Reward yourself with each milestone. If you’ve stuck with your resolution for 2 months, treat yourself to something special.  But, be careful of your reward type.  If you’ve lost 5 pounds, don’t give yourself a piece of cake as an award.  Instead, treat yourself to a something non-food related, like a pedicure or a massage.

 7)     Get professional assistance.  Everyone needs help and sometimes a friend just isn’t enough. Sometimes you need the help of a trained professional.  By hiring a fitness professional, the chances of injury and burnout will be diminished.  Research studies have shown that assistance from a fitness professional greatly improves peoples success rate.  Just make sure you do your homework and find the most qualified person.  Ask around, get reviews.  Training with a friend also reduces the total cost of the fee.

 8)     Limit your number of promises. You’ll spread yourself too thin trying to make multiple changes in your life.  This will just lead to failure of all of the resolutions.  Stick with what you can attain and don’t make promises you can keep.

It’s that time of year again.  Thanksgiving is upon us, Christmas and New Years are right around the corner.  Holiday festivities, parties, gatherings, and lots of processed, unhealthy food awaits.  You’ve been working hard all summer to get the physique you’ve been longing for.  Maybe you’re healthy lifestyle just started.  What steps do you need to take to insure a positive outcome? First and foremost, I would set the bar low.  Instead of continuing to try and lose weight and reduce body fat, I would suggest going for maintenance.  There are too many temptations out there to overcome.  Telling yourself that you will remain at or near a certain number until the end of the year will bode well for your confidence and allow you to pick things back up where you left off starting in January.  Doing otherwise, could set you up failure and derail your motivation.  Take these tips and begin your holiday journey:

  • Get/Stay Moving – If you are consistently going to the gym 3-4 times a week then continue doing so. If you have to miss because of a party, schedule another day/time.  If you are not currently exercising, get the blood flowing and make the commitment.  Start small, be consistent. And it doesn’t have to be structured exercise. Maybe do some extra cleaning around the house.  Take a long walk with a friend!
  • Limit Alcohol to a minimum – For many people, the holidays are a time for drinking and toasting.  The expectation is enjoy a few extra cocktails.  This is not the case if you are trying to maintain.  Have a little fun but take into consideration all the hard work you put in the previous 10 months of the year. And alcohol reduces the amount of fat your body burns.

Wine 4 oz glass:  62 – 160 calories
1.5 oz liquor shot:  115 – 200 calories
Gin and tonic:  280 calories
Frozen creamy drink:  800 calories
12 oz can of beer:  140-200 calories
Alcohol + carbonated drink:  200 calories/12 oz
Eggnog + jigger of rum:  343 + 97 calories
Seltzer with a splash of lime:  0 calories

  • Fruits & Veggies – Aim for seven-a-day.  Making sure you eat seven or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day is a great way to help fill-up your stomach but not your calorie level.  When compared to other snack foods like chips, crackers and cookies, gram for gram, fruits and vegetables contain fewer calories and tons more nutrients.  What’s more – the fiber in fruits and vegetables fill you up faster than traditional snack foods.  Pack your refrigerator with bags of cut-up vegetables and whole or cut-up fruits.  Grab a bag while on the go or at work.  Make a pact with yourself that you’ll eat your five-a-day before you snack on any cookies or other holiday treats.  You’re sure to take in fewer calories overall.
  • Keep the Serving dishes off the table – This has been shown to reduce caloric intake.  Think about it, if the food is right in front of you, it is much easier to grab and eat.  But, if you have to get up and walk into another room to grab your serving, you may think twice about it.
  • Control the risk for temptation – Controlling even the slightest chance of coming in contact with ‘tempting’ foods is one way to effectively reduce your intake.  While you won’t be able to control all situations, focus on the many ones you can.  For example, do you keep candy or cookies at your desk or workspace?  Do you frequent the dining room table or pantry where you store all your holiday goodies?  Make a mental note of tempting places and try to control them. For example, make a pact with co-workers that goodies will be kept solely in the break room, not at the front desk or in various offices.  Mentally plan out how you will avoid tempting situations.
  • Limit to one-a-day – While you can’t control every situation, you can control how much food goes into your mouth.  If you are constantly bombarded with holiday parties and displays of desserts or candies you can still effectively help prevent overeating and weight gain.  One way is the one-a-day method.  Allow yourself one small serving of a cookie or piece of candy each day during the holiday season.  Remember that you may have to compensate for it later in the day by reducing your total caloric intake or by burning a few extra calories while exercising.  If you aren’t confronted with holiday foods that day, just skip your one-a-day – but don’t compensate and double-up on your serving the next day.
  • Eat Slow and Take Breaks – Studies have shown that people who scarf down their food eat up to 52% more before they feel full than those who chew small bites for at least 9 seconds.  They are also over three times more likely to be overweight according to a study in the British Medical Journal.  That’s because it takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain you’ve had enough so you get way more into your stomach.  So, chew your food a bit longer.  People who chew each bite 50 times usually feel full and stop eating after consuming less food.  Take lots of breaks and eat mindfully.  Instead of living to eat, eat to live.  Be present.  Put down your utensils or crescent roll or that drumstick between bites.  As you slowly chew your food, savor the flavor.  Breathe deeply and count to 20.  Take a sip of your beverage.  If you’re eating with others, talk to them.  You’ll get full and fully satisfied eating much less food.
  • Get More Sleep – Sleep is a major factor in weight control.  This is the time when all of your systems regulate, especially that of your hormones.  Inadequate sleep wreaks havoc to your hunger hormones.  You will not have enough discipline and willpower to overcome these hormones, trust me.   People who sleep too little, 5 hours or less each night, gain nearly 2½ times as much abdominal fat as those who sleep 7-8 hours.  This needs to be consistent as well.  Naps in the middle of the day don’t count.  Don’t take this step too lightly!

For some other Holiday Eating Tips from a previous post and a funny way to look at things, click on the link below. But, I assure you, these will probably not work that well 🙂 LOL

Start today and begin to better your health and fitness by making a commitment to yourself to change.  It only takes a few simple steps to make a difference.  Maybe you are stuck in a rut, maybe you have been hitting the fitness thing for awhile and have hit a plateau, whatever the deal just make one change for the better.  This change could be with regards to your nutrition.  A change to your activity level or workout.  Everyone is eligible.  No one person is Perfect!

The change in your diet can be a simple one. You can start with adding a serving of fruit or vegetables to each and every meal and snack.  That is it.  All you have to do is have a half cup of cooked vegetables or a cup of raw or leafy green vegetables or a medium sized piece of fruit.  Another step would be to eat 80% of your meals at home.  That means cooking your meals and not using pre made dinners or take-out meals.  If 80% is more than you are ready for then start with 50% of your meals, or just pack a healthy lunch for work everyday.  Any step, even a small one is a step in the right direction.

Steps to your activity level to becoming fit and strong can be simple too.  If you have not been working out then just make a commitment to walk 10 minutes a day and build from there.  If you cannot make it 10 minutes yet, then do what you can.  If you’ve been walking regulary, challenge yourself to get in a certain number steps each day.  You just have to start somewhere and work towards improving your time or distance.  Maybe you want to get in a workout and going after work is not cutting it.  How about waking up early each day this week and going before work? I bet your body will feel better for it.  Your energy levels will increase. 

Your change doesn’t have to be just diet and fitness.  Find ways to reduce stress, to get more sleep, or even spend time with loved ones.  All of these changes will make your body more healthy and will increase your longevity. 

But, whatever it may be, just choose one this week and challenge yourself.  Then, next week or in a couple weeks, choose another.  Even if you cannot see results right away you can start feeling better about yourself and the body that you are in. A few small changes can lead to big results over time.  Just make manageable changes and stick to them consistently.  If you do that you can start feeling better today.

What drives you? What drives you to be you, everyday? What drives you to get up before anyone else to get to bootcamp, to go to the gym, or to make a healthy breakfast, before anyone else? What drives you to push past your comfort zone? What drives you to crank out those last 3 reps or that last 30 seconds? What drives you to work harder than anyone else? What drives you?

Achievement is not defined by inches and pounds lost. It is defined by the journey. The journey YOU take to get you to where you want to be. It is defined by the sacrifices and hurdles you must overcome to get you to where you want to be. It is about drive. It is all about drive, nothing more and nothing less. So what drives you? Is it the 20 lbs you want to lose once and for all? Is it your quest for a healthy, younger looking body? Is it the fact you want to be the best at something? What is it?

On a personal level, for me, I am driven not by money, not by material possessions but by my inner determination to be healthy and to be a model promoter of fitness and health for others around me in bootcamp, at my studio, and in the community.  It is in me to eat healthy, to be disciplined and to go the gym 4 days a week to workout. I do this every week, no if, ands,or buts.  It is part of me and in some ways defines me. This drive keeps me alive physically, mentally, professonally and spiritually. Without it I wouldn’t be who I am today.

So what drives you?