Before and After: It's Your Turn

Written by Steve Gillman

You've seen them a hundred times: "Before" and "After" pictures. Are you ready to berepparttar one inrepparttar 137993 photos? Don't wait until you lose more weight. You can have an "after" picture today.

You've probably noticed thatrepparttar 137994 photos from before and after a diet don't always show a great weight loss. Oh, many times they do, but what do they show just as often? They show a slouching, frowning man or woman inrepparttar 137995 first picture, followed byrepparttar 137996 same person smiling, with hair done and make-up on inrepparttar 137997 "after" picture.

Of course you are attracted torepparttar 137998 after photo! You want to be happy and attractive like that. That'srepparttar 137999 point of this sales technique. The point of this article, though, is to remind you that those "after" photos demonstraterepparttar 138000 importance of attitude, posture, clothing and make-up as much as weight loss.

The Evil of Carbohydrates?

Written by Brian D. Johnston

(May be reprinted freely if linked to

In recent years, carbohydrates have been labeled asrepparttar nutrition ‘bad guy’ because ofrepparttar 137992 increases in insulin that occurs during metabolic processes. The secretion of insulin is dependent primarily uponrepparttar 137993 concentration of blood glucose – an increase of blood sugar brings about an increase inrepparttar 137994 secretion of insulin. Therefore, one function of insulin is to lower glucose.

Conversely,repparttar 137995 body increases blood glucose levels by secreting another hormone called glucagon. If blood glucose levels remain high, and that energy source is not burned shortly after it is consumed,repparttar 137996 excess glucose is shuttled off torepparttar 137997 muscles for storage. Ifrepparttar 137998 muscles have reached their limit in storage capacity, andrepparttar 137999 body does not require extra glucose to sustain body activities,repparttar 138000 excess converts to fat.

Also, as insulin efficiently clearsrepparttar 138001 blood of excess sugar, blood sugar levels oftentimes dip below normal and will producerepparttar 138002 infamous ‘sugar blues’ or a 'downer', followed by a possible craving for more sugar consumption. Lastly, while insulin levels are high or active,repparttar 138003 body will not burn fat as energy sincerepparttar 138004 body is attempting to utilize as much blood sugar as possible. (Note that fat is not used as a primary energy source while eating an energy-sufficient, healthy diet and fat is used more heavily only during periods of fasting and extensive aerobic-type exercise.) Hence, ‘high-fat-low-carb’ advocates claim that we should not want:

1) Excess carbs to turn into fat (what do they think happens to excess fat and protein kcal?);

2) To feel groggy with low energy fromrepparttar 138005 insulin ups and downs associated with high carbohydrate (sugar) consumption; and

3) High carbs inrepparttar 138006 diet since they prevent us from burning body fat. Although these factors are true,repparttar 138007 extent or magnitude of their validity varies in accordance to a number of conditions, such as:

i) How active isrepparttar 138008 individual?

ii) How many kcal isrepparttar 138009 individual ingesting (including carbs) per meal?

iii) What comprises an individual's food and carbohydrate intake?


The more active a person,repparttar 138010 more carbohydrate he or she should consume. Also,repparttar 138011 greaterrepparttar 138012 physical activity,repparttar 138013 less insulinrepparttar 138014 body produces since muscles become insulin sensitive after exercise and glucose tolerance improves as a result. The Food Guide/Pyramid recommends about 50% of kcal inrepparttar 138015 average individual’s diet to be inrepparttar 138016 form of carbohydrate. Therefore, if a person is very active,repparttar 138017 amount should be increased to about 60% since nearly every activity uses a great deal of blood glucose and muscle glycogen for energy, but only a smaller percentage of fat. In fact, athletes who consume a high-carb diet (60%) can maintain higher-intensity exercise longer than those following a low-carb diet (<40%). If a person is relatively sedentary, then much less energy is required, and 30-40% will suffice.

The bloodstream holds about only a one-hour supply of glucose and muscles store about only a half-day’s energy needs. The ‘sugar’ requirements ofrepparttar 138018 nervous system (includingrepparttar 138019 brain, an organ that survives on nothing but sugar) forrepparttar 138020 average adult is approximately 100-150 g per day (and 100 g minimum to prevent ketosis, or 600 kcal). If a 90 kg/200 pound, moderately active man consumes 3,500 kcalories per day, this is equal to 17% of his total caloric intake... just for his nervous system. This does not take into accountrepparttar 138021 remainder of his requirements,repparttar 138022 energy required for metabolism of food, or his general activity levels such as work, sports, weight training, reading, housework, walking, etc.

Since this man is moderately active, about 55% of his kcal should be inrepparttar 138023 form of carbohydrate, or 1,925 kcal, or 481 grams. If he were very active,repparttar 138024 percent should probably be closer to 60%. That leaves 20% for fat intake, and 25% for protein intake.


Although national surveys indicate that we are eating less fat now than 20 years ago, we are also eating more kcal. Consequently, a reduction in fat and an increase in carbohydrates are hardlyrepparttar 138025 problem. Rather, it isrepparttar 138026 total number of kcal consumed that is of vital importance in fat gain. If total caloric intake is below maintenance levels, a person will reduce fat, even if 80% are inrepparttar 138027 form of carbohydrates. (In fact, Southeast Asian diets are 80-90% carbohydrate, yet these individuals, on average, are not considered overweight but underweight. Conversely, an Inuit [Eskimo] diet is only about 15% carbohydrate intake and most are overweight because ofrepparttar 138028 high fat/calorie intake.)

In regard to energy levels, one ‘pro-fat advocate’ recollectedrepparttar 138029 days when he trained for 2+ hours per day, while he consumed about 6000 kcal per day, and yet felt tired allrepparttar 138030 time. At under 200 lbs bodyweight, this person never considered in general how such a large quantity of food caused his insulin levels to go awry. He further attributed his depression and chronic fatigue to his state of hypoglycemia, butrepparttar 138031 American Diabetic Association has repeatedly stated that there is no evidence in connection to these symptoms, including nervous breakdowns, juvenile delinquency, and childhood behavior problems. Moreover, what most people experience after a meal is a change in blood plasma glucose concentrations and not actual hypoglycemia, which is a serious medical condition that requires medical treatment.

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