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Archive for August, 2011

If a person is serious about losing weight as well as gaining muscle weight, it is important to keep in mind the effects of alcohol on their body.

Moderation is usually considered as having 1-2 drinks per day. If the aim is building muscle, it likely that moderation will not do much harm, and may even have some health benefits such as increased HDL. However, excessive alcohol consumption will compromise the results you’ll get from a diet plan and training program. Hangovers tend to be result from dehydration; alcohol dehydrates the body since it draws water from the cells and increases water loss through the kidneys. For example running requires water within the body to keep you cool. If lack the proper hydration you are risking over heating such as heat exhaustion, muscle cramps, or even heat stroke.

Alcohol consumption hinders the body from the absorption of the proper nutrients for muscle growth during weight lifting. Alcohol tends to suppress the body’s ability to burn fat. The main reason is that oxidation of the alcohol takes top priority over the oxidation of other macronutrients such as carbohydrates, protein, and fats. In other words, while your body is busy metabolizing alcohol it cannot properly utilize the fats, carbohydrate and protein. As long as the alcohol is in your system, your body will simply convert most of the calories you normally eat into body fat.

Due to alcohol beverages being high in calories, some people may think it’s a good way to gain weight. However, due to the lack of nutritional value it provides, it just isn’t worth it if you are serious about seeing good results and your health.

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Imagine yourself walking around in your favorite supermarket. What do you see? You stroll through the candy aisle or down past the cupcakes. You might even see the words, “Fat Free.” The funny thing is, this is completely true but totally misleading. These products might be completely fat free because they are loaded with empty calories. They are 100 percent sugar and processed carbs: exactly what you should avoid if you want a lean physique.

Grocery stores and food companies are hoping you will see words like Fat Free, Juice Drink, Chocolate Drink, Real, Flavored, or Lightly and think they are healthy or that it is ok to eat. Never be fooled by misleading labels. If a product says fat free, it is most likely loaded with sugar or some chemical to imitate sugar, or sodium to make it taste better.

Always read the ingredients. If a product has 17 ingredients and it is something basic, don’t buy it. The more ingredients something has, the unhealthier it likely is.

Be sure to avoid anything that reads “Juice Drink” or “Juice Cocktail.” Those words are code for sugar drink.  They are tricking you by adding sugary juices to get you hooked. Look for juices that are single-fruit juices or avoid them. Your best bet is drinking water and NOT drinking your calories.

If a package claims the food it contains is “Real” think twice before buying. If chicken nuggets contain 17 ingredients, it’s not real. Also, look out for the word “flavored.”  Strawberry flavored or cheese flavored usually means fruitless or cheeseless.

The FDA allows food companies to claim their product has zero trans fats if there is less than .50 grams per serving. It may seem insignificant, but .49 grams can add up fast. Look out for words like “partially hydrogenated” and “shortening.”  You will most likely find these ingredients especially in the snack aisle with popcorn, chips, and cheese curls. But then again, you should even be in the snack aisle.

Another word to look out for is maltodextrin. This is a fat substitute but again is loaded with carbs and sugar. “Lightly” is another trouble word. This word gets tossed around like a frisbee at the beach. What “Lightly” really means is 15 grams of sugar from 4 different sources.

Like I said before, don’t let the food company’s trick you. The next time you go to the food store, take some time to read some labels. If you find you have been tricked, choose a healthier product. It is the small things that make the biggest difference.

Remember, you are what you eat!

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