Over the years I have had many, many clients and the most frequently asked question I get is how do I lose body fat? I want to be lean. In fact a lot of clients come to me desperate for answers. They say I have tried this diet and that diet, but nothing works, maybe for a while but they just go back to holding the same amount of fat and often even adding to it. When I look at my new clients current eating habits, on most occasions I see too many sugars in some form or another (and yes this does include fruit). Their current eating habits have too many carbohydrates and not enough macronutrients like protein and fat. So that brings me to the topic I will discuss today, carbohydrates.
It is very easy to go on the internet and read articles and find some great information on carbohydrates. But unfortunately a lot of people read some pretty complicated material that mentions hormones such as insulin, leptin, and cortisol which only serves to leave them scratching their heads in confusion. I want you to now look at me as the middle man. I am going to break things down in lay man’s terms. To me, optimising hormones to improve body composition is of the upmost importance. So if you have spent years over indulging in bad eating habits, yo-yo dieting or steadily increasing body fat, then you can bet your bottom dollar that your hormonal system is out of sync. When it comes to carbohydrates, the grand-daddy involved is insulin. When we eat carbohydrates our body releases insulin and unfortunately a constant stream of insulin in our systems, day after day, night after night, year after year, can cause our bodies to become resistant to this important hormone. This is not good! Someone who has optimum body fat levels has a metabolic system that works really efficiently in utilising carbohydrates. But on the other hand with somebody who has excess body fat, this usually indicates that their metabolic system is not as efficient at using them, plain and simple. What does this mean to me as a trainer? Well when I have a new client, in my eyes, if that person is sitting at 15% plus body fat then they have to improve their metabolic system, improve how insulin works in their body and ultimately control their intake of carbohydrates.
If I dramatically, through the use of safe protocols over time, bring their body fat down, then they will be able to enjoy more carbohydrates in their diet. So how can I make hormones such as insulin work more efficiently and improve client’s health, whilst at the same time helping them to significantly lose body fat? Well simple measures such as adding in weight training, increasing protein and fats, stabilising blood sugar levels and utilising carbohydrates when the body needs them most. Hopefully by this stage I have your attention. I know a lot of you out there are probably asking questions such as when does my body need carbohydrates?
What type of carbohydrates should I utilise? Can I include cheat meals? And the list goes on. So stay tuned for PART 2. I will be back to continue my discussion on this wonderful macronutrient – carbohydrates. In the meantime folks, get over to my Facebook page, Mark Doherty – Training and Nutrition Coach for lots of tips and advice.