Continuing with Part 1: Much like stoking a furnace with coals in order to burn body fat efficiently, a constant and steady supply of muscle glycogen must be available at all times. So how do we access and convert stored body fat into the primary fuel source for muscular contractions? It all starts with diet. As indicated in the American Dietetic Association, eating disproportionately high amounts of carbohydrate rich foods (at any one meal) can trigger an excessive release of insulin. This in turn leads to increased fat synthesis and storage even without an over consumption of calories and despite physical activity.
Interestingly enough, a number of diets including The Complete Scarsdale Diet, The I Love the New York Diet and the Zone have all purported that dietary nutrient ratios should consist of 40% carbohydrate, 30% fat and the remaining 30% derived from protein to achieve effective weight loss. Although the 40/30/30 food ratio has gained a tremendous amount of recognition, especially in the athletic community it has had very limited success towards effective long-term weight management. This may be due in part to the short-term adherence to the diet plan combines with a somewhat restricted food variety and a reduced calorie intake that may not support the energy demands of the brain and nervous system.
In summary it appears that carbohydrate intake is consequential in two separate ways: 1) If disproportionately high amounts of carbohydrates are eaten at any one meal and/or throughout the day, the breakdown of body fat may be greatly inhibited (regardless of a low calorie intake). Consequently the availability and therefore the utilization of free fatty acids to the muscles may also be greatly reduced. 2) If carbohydrate intake is restricted at any one meal and/or throughout the day, not only will the brain and nervous system suffer but the body’s ability to burn fat may also be dramatically decreased therefore compromising strength, performance and conditioning.
In health and honor,
William Smith (aka) Thunder of the American Gladiators)
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