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Are Carbs Bad For You?

pasta

If you’ve ever taken part in one of those popular diet plans, raise your hand if you’ve ever heard the phrase, “carbs are bad for you.”

Now i’m not sure why carbs are always to blame when it comes to trying to lose weight, because last time I checked, unhealthy eating is usually the reason for that.

But for some reason, attacking carbs tends to be the easy thing to do.  One could make a strong argument that carbs are essential to your diet.

Especially if you are someone that is new to exercise and thinking about being active.

What Are Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are one of three types of macronutrients that are found in food, the others being protein and fat. Pretty much everything you eat contains at least one of these three nutrients so it’s easy to understand how important it is to your diet.  There are three different types of carbs found in food: sugar, starch and fiber.

Sugar! – Our favorite part when it comes to eating food.  Sugar can be found in most foods that we eat, whether it is naturally from foods like honey, milk, fruits or unnaturally from something like table sugar.

Regardless of where your sugar comes from, you want to make sure you are managing your sugar intake as too much can be bad for you.

Starch – is a type of sugar usually found in foods that come from plants.  Such as potatoes, rice, pasta and bread.  The great thing about starch is that it provides a slow and steady release of energy throughout the day.

Which is why you will hear about how long distance runners like to carb load the night before a marathon on foods like pasta to get them ready.  It gives them the energy they need to last through the whole race.

Fiber – is great at slowing down your digestion, thus causing you to feel fuller for a longer period of time.  It is suggested that you maintain a proper diet that consists of fiber especially if you are someone that is trying to lose weight.  Fiber is usually found in vegetables, whole grain bread, carrots, celery and many others.

Why You Need Carbs

loaf of bread

Energy Duh! Carbs provide a great source of energy for your body to use for any activity that is done during the day. Although protein and fat can be used as energy in replacement of carbs, making sure carbohydrates are the main source of energy in a healthy and balanced diet is vital.

During a workout, if you ever notice yourself losing energy, taking something high in carbs will help give you that boost you need.

That is why it is always important to make sure you have the proper fuel to get through any intense workout.

Carbs provide that boost needed to power through those tough workouts.

All Carbs Are Not Your Enemy

When eating certain foods, you want to make sure you are consuming the right kind of carbs.  You want to make sure you stay away from refined or processed carbs like white bread, potato chips, french fries and of course soda.

Even diet soda if you are thinking about cutting corners.  Click here to learn why diet soda may be more harmful to you than you think.

Should You Cut Down On Carbs

When deciding if you should cut down on carbs, it depends on your activity level.  I will preface this next statement by saying that weight management is more about calories consumed vs calories burned.  

So if you are someone that currently is not active when it comes to exercise, then you might want to manage your carb intake as the calories can add up quick.  

If you are someone who is active, you will need a lot of carbs to maintain energy through your workouts and any other activities you perform during the day.  

Carbs can be a great source of energy as stated earlier, and if you are very active, your body will burn those carbs very quickly.  So I wouldn’t worry too much about consuming too many carbs during the day as long as you keep yourself active.

I hope you found this article helpful and as always, make sure to leave any comments below on how you make carbs a part of your healthy diet.

Is It Bad To Eat Before Bed?

So it’s late at night and it’s about that time to go to sleep.  You’re belly starts to grumble and you’re thinking to yourself, that pizza in the fridge would be real good right about now.  But you think to yourself and ask the question, is it bad to eat before bed?

is-it-bad-to-eat-before-bed

Well, the answer to this question isn’t as simple as saying yes or no.  Many people are told that if you eat before bed, then it will lead to weight gain.

I will try to go over some of the reasons why that may not always be the case.

The Big Debate

When trying to discover the truth to this, it really depends on the individual.  Most people fear that eating late at night leads to weight gain, but if you really think about, the body doesn’t know what time it is.  There are many healthy people that eat late at night and it has no affect on their weight.

At the same time, if you asked people who are overweight, how often do they have a meal before going to bed, many of them would probably say yes.  So you can see why it may be easy to get confused as there are supporting evidence for both sides.

Sleep And Metabolism

One reason eating before bed could prove costly is from studies showing how metabolism does slow down during sleep.  Which would suggest that a slow metabolism could lead to weight gain.  There are many theories for why this happens.

Some would say that the body needs energy to build muscle and repair itself from the stresses put on the body throughout the day.  So it needs to conserve energy so that it may focus on doing just that.

Based on this information, it is easy to conclude that if metabolism slows down during rest, then you should not be eating right before bed.  Unfortunately it is not as simple as that, as bad habits seem to be more of an issue.

Developing Bad Habits Can Lead To Weight Gain

Many diet plans suggest that you shouldn’t eat after a certain time at night because it can lead to weight gain. This isn’t because your metabolism slows down, but because the wrong type of food is usually chosen late at night.

Add to the fact that while you are eating, you are most likely watching television.  This all creates bad habits, which can lead to weight gain.  

Those that live a sedentary lifestyle, tend to not be as active and consume the wrong types of food.

If you are someone that is active and choose healthier options, then eating a late night snack may not affect you as much compared to someone making unhealthy food choices.

What Should You Eat Before Bed?

For most people, it should be ok to have a light snack before going to bed.  Where people tend to get into trouble is when they make a large meal or some type of dessert the late night meal of choice.  

Although eating right before bed doesn’t necessarily cause you to gain weight, eating foods that are high in sugars and fats will cause your calorie intake to go up.

Avoid Junk foods

Try to stay away from foods such as chips, ice cream or cake.  These foods are high in sugar and empty calories.  They can also trigger cravings which will cause you to overeat, and therefore have you exceed your daily calorie needs.  If your sweet tooth is calling and you are in need of something to eat, try going for maybe a banana or apple.

Stick to Whole Grains

Try having a peanut butter sandwich before going to bed since you are combining good complex carbs along with protein and healthy fats.  

This will provide your body with good energy as you fall asleep and may even help you sleep better through the night.

Conclusion

Although eating before bed will not necessarily cause weight gain, forming bad habits will.  It is more about what you eat rather than when you eat as the body is unaware of what time it is.  

If you find yourself hungry and you really need something in your belly before heading off to bed, then make sure it is light and healthy.

I hope you found this article helpful in your choice for what to eat during those late nights.  As always, don’t be afraid to share below your thoughts on how you fight those late night cravings.

4

Should You Eat Before You Workout?

You ever have that awkward moment where you’re hungry and you’re about to exercise in a couple of hours, but you’re not sure if you should have a big bowl of pasta or an apple. Well knowing what you should eat before you workout can be crucial.

What you eat before you exercise could be the difference between you owning your workout, or your workout owning you.  Making sure you are putting the right fuel in your body is key to you having the right amount of energy to get through your workout and not passed out near some machine.

Depending on which article you read, you will have people saying that working out on an empty stomach will help you burn more fat.  

Maybe some people exercise better on an empty stomach, but like most living things, having energy is required to get through an intense workout and the only way to do that is by providing your body with the right type of fuel.

Avoid Working Out On An Empty Stomach

Some may argue that working out on an empty stomach helps you burn more fat.  I don’t know about you, but would you drive a car without gas?  So when we are talking about the human body, it tends to have less energy when it lacks fuel.  So it doesn’t make much sense for me to workout out when my energy is at its lowest.

The purpose of working out is to exert as much energy as possible to burn as much calories as possible.  It’s kinda hard to do that when the body doesn’t have much energy to begin with.  Some symptoms that can occur as a result of working out on an empty stomach are:

  • Light-headedness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Lack of Concentration
  • Nausea

So if you have any of these symptoms occur while you are working out, a good question to ask yourself is, what did I eat before coming to the gym?

Workout Intensity

What you should eat depends a lot on how intense your workout will be. The more intense your workout is, the more important it is to give your body the right type of fuel necessary to get through the workout.

If your workout consists of light jogging, then you could possibly get away with not needing much in your stomach since it requires little energy.

But if your workout involves something intense like kickboxing, then I would highly recommend you fuel up since it requires a lot more energy.  So making sure you have the right fuel for the workout is important.

Importance Of Having Proper Nutrients

Once you have decided on the intensity level of your workout, making sure you have the right nutrients in your body to help get you through the workout is key.  

Understanding which nutrients are better for your body when it comes to exercise is important because it could be the difference between a good workout or a bad workout.

Your body needs quality carbs, lean protein, healthy fats and fluids for proper hydration. These nutrients are necessary to give the body the energy it needs to power through any workout.

Keep It Light

smoothie

Unless you want to see what you ate on the mat of a gym, I suggest you try to keep it light.  Eating a big meal before working out is a mistake you will quickly learn from.  So when deciding what you should eat before working out, here are a some suggestions:

  • Protein Bar
  • Protein Shake
  • Banana
  • Caffeine
  • Apple
  • Oats
  • Whole Grain Bread
  • Eggs

Focus more on snacks rather than trying to eat a big meal which can make you sluggish and even cause vomiting.  Snacks like the ones shown above, should give you enough energy to get through your workout, but not too much to upset your stomach..

When To Fuel Up

A good time to fuel up is about 30-45 minutes before your workout. As mentioned earlier, depending on the intensity of your workout, you may be able to even get away with having a banana or a protein bar 10-15 minutes before working out.

The goal is to make sure that whatever you are putting in your body will give you enough energy to get you through the workout.

There you have it.  Tips on how to fuel your body when it comes to working out and as always, don’t forget to share below how you fuel up before a workout.

8

Burn Fat With Green Tea

In this fast paced world we are living in today. We are always looking for a quick fix, especially when it comes to our health.

There are so many fat burning products out there claiming to burn fat quick, that sometimes we forget to think about how we may be sacrificing our health to achieve this fat burning process. Regardless of how unnatural the process may be, we forget about the natural ways.

One of the popular ways is green tea. You are probably asking yourself, is it possible to burn fat with green tea?

If coupled with a healthy diet and regular exercise, then yes, green tea can help in the process of burning fat.

Now don’t think of green tea as this magical potion that once you drink it, the fat will start melting right in front of your eyes. Like everything else in life, the work and effort has to be put in for results to show itself.

The Hype With Green Tea

When deciding to live a healthy lifestyle, it’s all about creating healthy habits. Not to say that if you drink green tea you will be healthy, but it sure does seem like most healthy people drink green tea. Green tea has been known to have many benefits if consumed daily.

It carries many anti-oxidants which helps aids in the fight against cancer growing cells. Which we know is formed by uncontrolled growth of cells. So if there is a way to help burn fat and help prevent cancer growing cells from forming in your body, you have to take it right?

Lose Weight Naturally

Some studies have shown that drinking green tea is a great way to help you lose weight naturally and lower your risk of becoming obese. One way this is possible is by boosting your metabolic rate. Increasing your metabolism as we all know, helps in the calorie burning process, thus causing you to burn fat and lose weight.

However, some studies have shown there not to be much statistically significant increase when it comes to weight loss, so this should be taken with a grain of salt. I do recommend asking some of your healthy friends if they drink tea and decide if it is something you may want to try.

Hot Tea vs Iced Tea

Although both has it health benefits whether you drink it hot or cold, studies have shown that hot water helps draw out the natural flavor and nutritious compounds in the water.

More antioxidants are released due to the hot water, thus giving you the full benefits of green tea. Also according to the Tea Association, Drinking fresh hot tea, allows for maximum antioxidant consumption.

Add Flavor To Your Tea

If you are having trouble consuming tea due to it not being flavorful enough for you, instead of using unnatural sugar, try using honey. Honey is an amazing substitute to some of the sweeteners used these days and has great health benefits.

One being that it is an anti-inflammatory and is great for the skin. Although, be careful adding honey to boiling water as it destroys all the nutrients honey provides for the body. So if your tea is lacking that flavor you so desire, try adding some honey to it.

Please share below how you make Green Tea a part of your daily fitness life.

High Fat Foods That Are Good For You

Why Fat is Important

Finding fatty foods that are actually good for you can be a little tricky.  Especially when the term “FAT” has certain stigma about it.  But I’m here to tell you that not all fat is bad fat and that some fat is needed for good health.

The stigma against fat is so strong that nowadays you will see foods that are marketed as fat-free.  A big reason for this obviously is the thought that foods that contain fat, will make you “fat”.  When in reality, excess calories is the cause for people being overweight.

Just know that not all fat is against you and that you can still have your FAT and eat it too!

All forms of natural food have some fat in it.  In Fact, the reason it is in certain foods is because plants and animals tend to use it as a way to store energy.  Especially during times when there is a shortage of food supply or in the case of plants, sunlight.

Just like animals, it is important for people to put the right fats in their diet to survive.  But just like anything in life, too much of anything is never good for you.  So it is important to make sure to put a healthy amount of fat in your diet.

BENEFITS OF FAT

  • Awesome source of energy – our body absorbs the fat we consume from natural foods and helps provide the boost we need to function
  • Great looking skin and other tissues – All parts of our body need some form of fat
  • Helps brain function properly – Our brain is made up of large amounts of essential fats
  • Helps with the transportation of vitamins A,D,E and K through the bloodstream where needed
  • Essential fatty acids that are body is unable to produce, but necessary for growth and cell development
  • Storage of Energy – any extra calories that we consume but is not used right away will be stored for future use

Good Fats vs Bad Fats

To give you an idea of what fats you should be consuming vs the fats you should stay away from.  There are four major types of fats:

Good fats:

Monounsaturated fats

Polyunsaturated fats

Bad fats:

Trans fats

Saturated fats

Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are considered good fats because they are good for your heart and cholesterol.

Monounsaturated fats

  • Avocados
  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Olives
  • Nuts
  • Peanut Butter
  • Sunflower oil
  • Peanut oil

Polyunsaturated fats

  • Soybean oil
  • Corn oil
  • Walnuts
  • Sunflower,sesame, and pumpkin seeds
  • Faxseed
  • Fatty fish
  • Soymilk
  • Tofu

Saturated fats and trans fats are considered bad because they increase the risk heart disease.  It’s always the stuff that taste amazing that hurt you in the end.

Saturated fats

  • High fat meat (beef, pork and lamb)
  • Whole fat dairy products like milk and cream
  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Ice cream

Trans fats

  • Baked pastries, cookies, doughnuts, muffins, cakes
  • Packaged snacks
  • Fried foods
  • Candy

 

Please leave your comments below