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All About Weight Loss

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Today's lifestyle and dietary habits have lead to a marked increase in body fat levels. The most common goal for those undertaking exercise or dietary programs is to lose body fat. It can be referred to as losing weight but really it's the fat level we want to decrease.

There are three main causes for this increase in fatness and related diseases. Firstly we no longer partake in the daily physical activity of our ancestors. Secondly we eat significantly more refined carbohydrates than ever before. Finally the amount of saturated fat in our diets has increased dramatically, especially now with the fast food era. The lack of exercise simply means we burn fewer calories per day. However the increased amount of refined carbohydrate effects our energy levels and promotes the storage of body fat. Saturated fat serves little purpose and most usually ends up as excess body fat.

Most people believe that if they exercised and ate less saturated fat they would be less fat. This is true, however many people who exercise and eat low fat diets are still carrying more body fat than they desire or is deemed healthy. This can be due to their intake of refined carbohydrates.

Refined carbohydrates are carbohydrates that are processed heavily to achieve the end product. These include confectionery, white bread, white rice, white pasta and breakfast cereals. Traditionally most of these products have been supposedly good for us. We have been told that carbohydrates give us energy and should make up the majority of our diets. Both these points are relevant, but the effect of one carbohydrate on the body and another can be totally different.

If we examine our beginnings we can see that we weren't ever designed to eat processed foods. It is true that society has evolved; yet we remain similar animals to the generations before us. We were designed to eat fresh vegetables grown free of pesticide, steroid free meat and unrefined grains from rich soils. Without getting on my soapbox I would recommend you try some organic foods. You may not improve performance tomorrow, but you may feel better over a period of time. You will increase the micronutrients you get from your food.

An explanation of carbohydrate effects on the hormone insulin explains the negative effects simple carbohydrates can have on our body fat levels. Ingesting carbohydrates cause the body to release insulin. The higher the insulin level the more suppressed our fat burning ability. The difference is that refined carbohydrates absorb faster and cause a more rapid and dramatic increase in insulin levels. At this point the body finds it difficult to access fat stores for energy. Insulin promotes cell storage, therefore the cells will store fat and excess carbohydrate as body fat.

A great example of this is when people eat a large pasta and bread meal, often at lunch. Mid afternoon and they feel very sleepy. This is due to a massive rise then decrease in insulin levels. If they were to eat wholemeal pasta with a meat base the release of insulin will take a lot longer. As apposed to a fire hose being turned on the release of insulin is more like a dripping tap. Therefore energy levels are more stabilised and the body does not respond to an insulin surge and store carbohydrate as fat.

Therefore sugars and other refined carbohydrates are one of the main causes behind society's fatness. Try eating regular sugar free meals throughout the day and watch your energy levels stabilise. This may be contrary to what traditional so-called nutrition experts have recommended however it is obvious their recommendations aren't working. As a society we are fatter.

When people consult with us they are often in bad habits of eating less often than is optimal for body fat loss. This may sound contradictory, eat more regularly and lose body fat. However what many athletes have practised for years is very relevant to all of us. Eating more regularly is vital for energy stabilisation and speeds up the bodies' metabolism. The faster the metabolism the more calories required to maintain the status quo. In simple terms many athletes eat 5 - 6 times per day in order to regulate the bodies' ability to repair damaged muscle tissue and provide energy for training. The key factor here is that the fluctuations in hormones from food are decreased.

A perfect example of this is the number of people who miss breakfast. At which point their first meal may not be until after 11.00 am.. If you then consider that the last intake of food was at dinner the previous evening (8.00 pm) the body is in preservation mode and will store any food as a precautionary measure against starvation. Often we eat something with refined carbohydrate, a piece of cake or biscuit for morning tea or white bread or white rice for lunch and the body immediately stores any fat or carbohydrate.
Therefore it is vital to not skip meals and eat at regular intervals. In an ideal world we could eat a meal of similar caloric values and nutritional breakdown at each meal, however this is highly impractical. The problem is the next best alternative is to skew the dietary intake towards the earlier part of the day, eating like a king at breakfast a prince at lunch and a porper at dinner. Somewhat different to our current lifestyle and social demands.

The issue of carbohydrate metabolism has caused problems for some of the worlds most elite athletes. They are told of the need for carbohydrtaes to fuel their training. Often ingesting large amounts of refined carbohydrates, high in sugars to achieve the level of carbohydrate intake recommended. In doing so many of these athletes find increased in levels of body fat and fluctuations in energy levels. After working with many talented athletes we have seen first hand the rapid changes in body fat levels and energy regulation by moving the diet towards slower absorbing carbohydrate sources.

After all these explanations it can really be broken down into some simple principles:

" Eat less refined carbohydrates
" Balance protein and carbohydrate intake slowing the digestion of the carbohydrate
" Decrease saturated fats
" Eat more essential fats (omega 3)
" Eat smaller meals more often
" Don't go long periods without food

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Neither nor the authors of this publication assume any liability for the information contained herein. The Information contained herein reflects only the opinion of the author and is in no way to be considered medical advice. Specific medical advice should be obtained from a licensed health care practitioner. Consult your physician before you begin any nutrition, exercise, or dietary supplement program.

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