Tag Archives: carbohydrates

Sep. 30.

Welcome to the Sweet Side

Welcome to the Sweet Side


What is sugar?

Sugars come in the form of carbohydrates. There are two basic categories: complex and simple.

Complex: Have 3 or more sugars linked together. Complex, usually contain fiber and more micronutrients, causing a slower rise in blood sugar levels.

Simple: Have 1 or 2 sugars linked together. They are quickly absorbed in the blood stream and first to be used for energy. They will cause a quicker rise in blood sugar levels.

A list of sugars:










How is sugar used in the body?

Sugar enters the body via the blood stream. Once blood sugar levels rise the pancreas starts to produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that communicates to cells to absorb glucose and use it for energy. As cells take in sugar the blood sugar level will drop. This will then signal again to the pancreas to produce glucagon; glucagon communicates to the liver telling it to release stored sugars. This process insures the body is getting adequate energy along with the brain.

Sugar is needed because insulin is needed. Without insulin the body will not use glucose for energy.

The glycemic index indicates how fast various carbohydrates enter the blood stream. The higher the number the faster it enters the blood stream. Fifty-five or below is considered low on the GI index, on behalf of Tour de Pizza we would like to mention how low pizza is on the glycemic index!


Who should watch sugar intake?

Most Americans eat 22 teaspoons of sugar a day, equaling 350 extra calories, by the end of the week that’s 2,450 extra calories!  Sugar intake probably should be monitored by most Americans. Also those with type 2 diabetes, for their bodies either ignore the insulin or don’t produce enough of it. Type 1 diabetes the body does not produce insulin.

If you do not have health concerns where you are recommended to watch your sugar intake, moderation is key. A Few cookies a day or a small cup of ice cream will not hinder your fitness goals.

When is best to indulge?

It makes sense to most to eat sugar in the morning, allowing it to be used all day for energy not causing fat gain. This may actually have the opposite effect.  In the morning you are just waking from a fast, making the body more sensitive to insulin. Whether you eat a donut before bed or at breakfast, glucose and insulin are the same to the body, the only difference is the body may be slightly more sensitive to the insulin in the morning, after fasting through the night.

Pre and post workout are good times to use insulin to help with recovery and performance. Eating a larger amount of glucose pre workout will help fuel you muscles during the workout since blood glucose is readily used for muscle contraction. Sucrose is ideal for it is made of both glucose and fructose. This may be because mixtures of sugars absorb quickly and cause the greatest break down of carbohydrates for energy (oxidation), which will in turn increase performance. Post workout sugars will fill glycogen stores that were burned while training; promoting a faster recovery and avoiding an energy crash after exercise.

Artificial sweeteners and hunger

Without diving too deep into this topic, artificial sugars and natural sugars need to be balanced in ones diet. If the body is too low in sugar it will cause hunger and most times a fat craving causing excess calorie consumption. High carbohydrates diets are less likely to provide excess energy (calories) than those of high fat diets. High carbohydrate diets are also more sustainable over a long period of time.


Too much or too little of anything can be harmful and/or toxic.

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Oct. 09.

Meal Timing…Does it Matter?

Meal Timing… Does it Matter?


Eat 6 meals a day and don’t eat before bed, if only weight loss or more importantly increasing your metabolism were that easy! To start with the basics:

Three important times to eat the majority of your calories.

  1. Your mother has told you from the beginning of time not to skip breakfast; science proves she was right! The American Heart Association has stated that eating breakfast is proven to help with the chances of obesity. Why? Breaking the fast of the night will help you from feeling starved by mid-day and over indulging. Eating well balanced also helps with satiation. Fats will help you feel fuller quicker, a protein source will help slow down the carbohydrate digestion and a carbohydrate especially a fibrous or viscous fiber sources, will help satiation as well as keeping your blood sugar level.
  2. Pre workout is the next best time of day to eat the majority of your calories. Your body needs fuel much like a car. Carbohydrates or glycogen are the body’s main substrate in exercise. Filling glycogen stores pre exercise will help with fatigue in long duration training when max oxygen is taken in by the skeletal muscle and with strength increases. Fatigue is when the body has used up all the glycogen stores.
  3. Post workout is the third most important time to get in those calories. During training your body has glycogen stores that deplete. If these stores are not replenished, glycogen will be synthesized into a lipid (fat.) Overtime will this cause fat accumulation? It is possible, the body’s survival mechanism will trigger it to protect itself after every glycogen depletion therefore immediately beginning to turn the next digested carbohydrate into a lipid.


How many meals?

Meal frequency recommendations are depicted by body type, goal and lifestyle. I think it is near pointless to tell a client to eat 6 meals a day when their career clearly does not allow that freedom; if my goal is to help make a lifestyle change. You can lose weight and build muscle eating 4 or 5 balanced meals a day if the 3 meals above are not skipped.

Meals, late night!

Somewhere in history someone said it hinders your results to eat before bed, this is false! It is not recommended you fast all day the binge at night. It is not recommended you sit on the couch at night and eat paying no attention to how much you are consuming. But you can eat late at night! Your growth hormone is highest while you sleep. Growth hormone is that hormone we all wish didn’t decline with age, it is highest in growing kids. It is produced by the pituitary gland and it would use that food you ate before bed to help build and repair lean muscle and convert and burn fat for energy.

Eating balanced is just as important as living balanced!

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May. 01.

Carbohydrate Conspiracy -The Intro

Carbohydrate Conspiracy

An introduction to carbohydrates and their role in weight loss and metabolism.

“No matter how big the lie; repeat it often enough and the masses will regard it as truth,” John f Kennedy. One of America’s greatest presidents was right on the money with this phenomenon that occurs over and over in history. In the fitness industry,  low carbohydrate diets, supplements and low carbohydrate weight loss programs have been that lie that has spread till everyone believes it’s the only way.

The carbohydrate conspiracy is deeper than the belief that only low carbohydrate diets help individuals lose weight; it is now spread to the idea of good and bad carbohydrates, gluten free diets, ideas such as fasted cardio (not eating before completing cardio) and not eating carbohydrates at night. So where is the knowledge or science to back these ideas? I followed low carbohydrate diets when I was younger but the moment I heard there was a healthier way to eat freely and lose weight I was a research junkie until I found out enough information to do this with my own body!

Me, eating 300gram of carbohydrates a day and getting leaner!

Me, eating 300gram of carbohydrates a day and getting leaner!

First let’s take a look into this seemingly evil macro-nutrient called carbohydrates. A carbohydrate comes in four different molecular strands, each strand containing 3 elements carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. The simplest family, are the simple carbohydrates, monosaccharides and disaccharides. These most individuals would probably consider “bad” carbohydrates. They are usually referred to as “bad” carbohydrates because people do not seem to think you can lose weight and still eat such things as milk, fruit or honey. Now, for most Americans who are non active limiting these sugars which are also found in soft drinks, is best for their health if they are going to continue to be inactive. The second family of carbohydrates are the complex carbohydrates, these are usually thought of as “good” carbohydrate, if carbohydrates are considered “good” at all by people pursing weight loss. “Good and bad” carbohydrates is more an opinion than fact considering all complex carbohydrates are made of bond sugar molecules anyway!


Figure 2

How are these used by the body? Glucose is most readily used by the body and is preferred for brain function and red blood cells. Muscle requires about 2/3rds of your glycogen stores (glycogen is the form of glucose before cells break it down.) Low carbohydrate diets will not kill you but they do not adequately provide what your body needs. The body can break down fat and use it for energy; the brain will use ketones (chemical from broken down fat) but the it will choose to only function at a certain percent since it is not readily being supplied glucose in a simpler form. The muscles of the body can also use protein and convert it to glucose but then again, it is not preferred and will not provide optimal function nor will it only break down protein that is ingested. The body can only synthesize so much protein in a day the rest is stored as fat. If the body needs more glucose than is being ingested it will break down muscle (not excluding any of the 3 muscle types.) High fat and protein diets also cause a loss of water therefore people mistake it for fat loss. In reality, when glycogen is being lost by the body there is also a significant amount of water loss that goes with it!


100% Energy! 100% Strength!

I decided to test my body’s efficiency through strength gains  because my training regiment required 100% of my strength at every lift! I was power lifting and pulling a 75lb sled once a week and tracked both my strength gains and time for each. Eating 300 grams of carbohydrates a day (and getting leaner) my PR  (personal record) for deadlifting was 295lbs. My sled pulling was tracked by time it took me to go approximately 75 yards. My deadlift during the 3 weeks of low carbohydrate dropped to 245! And my sprint dropped to only pulling 50lbs just so I could go the same distance. The burst of energy I receive from eating more carbohydrates was because each cell in my body conducts a process called glycolysis. Through glycolysis carbohydrates are broken down and combined with the presence of oxygen where ATP is formed;  ATP being the first form of energy your body uses when doing exercise such as sprinting. ATP then in turn raises the bodies internal temperature, essentially making metabolism increase.(See Figure 2) Eat around my husband and I and you will witness first hand how eating can increase our bodies internal temperature we often get hot and even sweat!  Again why would anyone want to lose weight through being weak, hungry, foggy thinking and not performing optimally?

5 reasons low carbohydrate diets are a failure in the long term:

  1. Not having a proper balance of macronutrients throws the body’s hormones carb dogoff, causing moodiness and cravings which will cause individuals eventually to fail.
  2. Can anyone do low carbohydrate their WHOLE life? I highly doubt it, therefore why start.
  3. The number one reason why America is overweight is because we are inactive and over eat FATS! (Asian countries eat over 80% of the diet from carbohydrates, while still maintaining a lower obese population)
  4. Eventually individuals will notice their brain functioning to be foggy. If your diet is affecting your school or work, I don’t think it is worth it!
  5. Low carbohydrate diets will never allow control! Atkins, the low carbohydrate diet that began this low carbohydrate craze in 2003 is known, to take of weight fast (no studies found that it was fat and not muscle) but also has the FASTEST known rebound compared to any other diet. In my experience, it has also caused individuals to yo-yo with their weight.

Lastly, carbohydrates maintain and most effective at keeping muscle mass alive and strong, lose muscle and the body’s resting metabolic rate decreases.

What do some accredited health institutes say about carbohydrate intake? The Harvard School of Public Health states that individuals should consume 6-11 servings of whole grains and/or pasta a day! The Federal Institute of Medicine states that adults and children should consume 130grams of carbohydrates a day! Each of my clients actually meets that recommendation!


**Want to see the results of higher carbohydrate diets? Please look to our Transformation and Facebook page for amazing results!

Carbohydrates= energy= stronger metabolism

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Apr. 03.

Introduction to Nutrition

Introduction into Nutrition

Marketing, Media and the age of DIETS can get confusing and conflicting..Lets start with the basics!

Weight loss, muscle gain, fat gain or maintaining weight are done by a equation of calories in to calories out, a law known as thermodynamics. Though your nutritional and cardiovascular needs may vary slightly, your body type, genetics and body composition do not influence fat loss as much as poor nutrition. Eat big, meaning eat more calories than you expend you will get big! “Eating big” having no relevance to carbohydrates but calories in general. Eat less calories than you expend you will get smaller, not meaning leaner, tighter or more fit…just smaller!

As a trainer I often hear how women do not want to get big. I realize they feel the need to tell me because I do carry around a lot of muscle but my muscle has little to do with lifting weights. Muscle has to do with eating, if I did not eat and lifted, I would not grow. If you “eat big” (more calories than your body expends) and lift weights you will build muscle. If you eat less than your body needs, which majority of people do and lift you will not gain muscle quickly; actually your body over time will do the opposite of what you want and you will gain fat and loose muscle.

One confusing but backed by science tip: Remember the body is made for survival! If you workout and do not eat enough the body will believe you will never feed it and it will shut down it’s metabolism and burn muscle for energy! Eventually resulting in more fat gain!

A few basic tips to begin weight loss:

  1. Evaluate your eating! Is there a time of day you over eat portions?  Are you eating from ALL food groups (yes, even carbohydrates)? Are you eating fibrous foods? Tracking your eating habits for a week or two is a great way to start to improve areas that need worked on.
  2. Are you thirsty or hungry? Though different hormones are released in response to being thirsty and hungry you may not know the difference! Tip: Before reaching for another snack try drinking a glass water!
  3. Are you like this hamster who runs on his wheel everyday but feels like his weight loss is getting no where!? If you are doing cardio every day or at least 3 times a week and not loosing fat, something definitely needs adjusting! Cut back on the cardio, let your diet and body’s metabolism work for you!


All topics will be discussed in detail in later posts. All the knowledge I share in future posts is not my own. I am in constant research and have learned from many knowledge doctors and athletes as well as nutritional and anatomy courses. My own experiences though challenging have taught me first hand about the body. I have overcame anorexia and over came a damaged metabolism from competing and dieting improperly in the past.

Start to change health hindering habits today! Take this week to being making small changes. Week by week join in on the blog posts, ask questions, stop by our studio and get motivated! If someone else can make the changes so can you!

Nutrition is not about diets!

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