For Optimum Performance and Conditioning Fuel Your Muscles with…Fat!

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)

 

PS-Just a reminder…When it comes to achieving optimal health, fitness and performance, the INTRAFITT Program is second to none because its concepts and applications favorably impact each and every aspect of our triune existence (mind, body & spirit).  This simply means that not only will you feel, look and perform at your very best on a physical level, you will also achieve a heightened ability in your cognitive thinking as well! Send me an email with any questions: gladiator@intrafitt.com or visit me at www.intrafitt.com

 

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Type II Diabetes and Emotional Stress…Part 2

Hi, I’m Will Smith AKA Thunder of the American Gladiators.

My interest in competing and winning championship titles began to wane as my interest in the scientific discipline of diet and exercise neuroendocrinology intensified. This particular scientific elective was initially the result of my younger brother’s diagnoses and longtime struggle with Type I Diabetes. My determination to research and develop a diet and exercise related curriculum that would improve my brother’s ability to play sports and live a normal life (while also enabling him to achieve optimal levels of health, fitness and performance, minimize the use of insulin and reduce his risk of developing further cardiovascular related diseases and complications) would eventually become my obsession and is known today as the INTRAFITT Individualized Nutrition and Exercise Program.

I refer often to the following article and I am sharing it with you in several parts.  This is Part 2.

Introduction

Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a serious and common metabolic disorder. The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated the number of persons with diabetes worldwide at more than 220 million (WHO, 2009). These figures are expected to rise to 366 million by 2030 (Wild et al., 2004). Besides, diabetes mellitus is associated with a two- to four-fold increased risk of coronary heart disease and also an increased risk for microvascular diseases such as retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy. Patients with type 2 diabetes also have a doubled risk level for co-morbid depression compared to healthy controls, hampering the quality of life of patients (Pouwer et al., 2003; Schram et al., 2009). Moreover, a considerable number of depressed patients suffer from high levels of diabetes-specific emotional stress (Pouwer et al., 2005; Kokoszka et al., 2009). Important factors contributing to the increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes are obesity, physical inactivity, and an increase in the number of individuals older than 65 years (Wild et al., 2004).

Interestingly, stress has long been suspected as having important effects on the development of diabetes. More than 400 years ago, the famous English physician Thomas Willis (1621-1675) noted that diabetes often appeared among persons who had experienced significant life stresses, sadness, or long sorrow (Willis, 1675). One of the first systematic studies testing Willis’s hypothesis was described in 1935, by the American psychiatrist Dr. W. Menninger, who postulated the existence of psychogenic diabetes and described a “diabetic personality” (Menninger, 1935). Almost thirty years later, P.F. Slawson et al. described in the Journal of the American Medical Association that 80% of a group of 25 adult diabetes patients gave a history of antecedent stress mainly in terms of losses, 1-48 months prior to the onset of diabetes (Slawson et al., 1963). However, this study had several important limitations, including a very small sample size, a retrospective, uncontrolled design, and a high risk of selection bias. More recently, numerous studies have been performed, elucidating the role of emotional stress as a risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes. The majority of these studies focus on depression. However, there is growing evidence that other forms of emotional stress contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes as well.

The aim of this review is to provide an overview of studies on the relationship between different forms of emotional stress and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus, involving depression, anxiety, life events or traumata, general emotional stress, work stress, and sleeping problems. The different pathways, limitations of these findings, and implications for future research will also be discussed.

Any questions or concerns on this article, please email me at gladiator@intrafitt.com.

Type II Diabetes and Emotional Stress

Hi, I’m Will Smith AKA Thunder of the American Gladiators.

My interest in competing and winning championship titles began to wane as my interest in the scientific discipline of diet and exercise neuroendocrinology intensified. This particular scientific elective was initially the result of my younger brother’s diagnoses and longtime struggle with Type I Diabetes. My determination to research and develop a diet and exercise related curriculum that would improve my brother’s ability to play sports and live a normal life (while also enabling him to achieve optimal levels of health, fitness and performance, minimize the use of insulin and reduce his risk of developing further cardiovascular related diseases and complications) would eventually become my obsession and is known today as the INTRAFITT Individualized Nutrition and Exercise Program.

I’ve written this article in several parts and today I am bringing you Part 1 of the Series.

Abstract: According to the World Health Organization, approximately 220 million people worldwide have type 2 diabetes mellitus. Patients with type 2 diabetes not only have a chronic disease to cope with, they are also at increased risk for coronary heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy.

The exact causes of type 2 diabetes are still not clear. Since the 17th century, it has been suggested that emotional stress plays a role in the etiology of type 2 diabetes mellitus. So far, review studies have mainly focused on depression as a risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Yet, chronic emotional stress is an established risk factor for the development of depression.

The present review provides an overview of mainly prospective epidemiological studies that have investigated the associations between different forms of emotional stress and the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Results of longitudinal studies suggest that not only depression but also general emotional stress and anxiety, sleeping problems, anger, and hostility are associated with an increased risk for the development of type 2 diabetes. Conflicting results were found regarding childhood neglect, life events, and work stress. It is important to emphasize that publication-bias may have occurred, resulting from “fishing-expeditions,” where authors search their data for significant associations. Publication bias may also be caused by the tendency of reviewers and Editors to reject manuscripts with negative results for publication. It is therefore essential that research groups, who aim to conduct a new epidemiological cohort study, prospectively describe and publish the design of their study. Future research should focus on identifying mechanisms linking different forms of stress and incident type 2 diabetes.

Part 2 of this article to follow. Email me any time at gladiator@intrafitt.com

For your very own Individual Nutrition Plan click here NOW!

In good health,
Will AKA THUNDER of the American Gladiators

Hydration & Hunger…Is there a Link?

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Often times, people will neglect to drink adequate amounts of water throughout the day, either because they are not thirsty or perhaps they simply do not care to drink water and may prefer to drink coffee, tea or colas instead.  Although drinking the latter beverages in moderate amounts may not introduce health problems, it should be noted that the body performs best when there are less chemicals, additives and preservatives (which are often times found in processed beverages) in the foods and beverages that nourish it.

New scientific evidence now suggests that thirst can be mistaken for hunger.  In the hypothalamus of the brain, there is a region referred to as the satiety center (the center of the brain that is triggered when blood sugar levels are within normal ranges) which when activated causes a feeling of fullness and satisfaction.  There is also a hypothalamic region referred to as the feeding drive, that when triggered causes hunger and a subsequent desire to eat.  Throughout the course of the day, physiological circumstances send vacillating stimuli to these sensory mechanisms in the brain causing us to feel either hungry or full.  There is now evidence that suggests a direct correlation between the thirst drives and the feeding drives in the brain.  Even in cases of mild to moderate dehydration, sugar cravings and food cravings have been observed.  In fact, recent speculation indicates that nearly 40% of the American population suffers daily from a false sense of hunger due to moderate levels of dehydration.  Other research has shown that even mild dehydration may slow the metabolic rate by as much as 3-5%.

Other metabolic aberrations linked to dehydration include:

  • Increased back and joint pain in up to 80% of the people suffering from these symptoms
  • Increased sugar cravings especially in the evening
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Decrease in motor skills, concentration and retention
  • Increased risk of colon, breast and bladder cancer

Remember, the recommended water intake for normal sedentary individuals is a minimum of 96 ounces or three quarts per day.

It will behoove you to drink water…so don’t delay!

In health & honor,

Will Smith AKA Thunder of the American Gladiators

Just a reminder…When it comes to achieving optimal health, fitness and performance, the INTRAFITT Program is second to none because its concepts and applications favorably impact each and every aspect of our triune existence (mind, body & spirit).  This simply means that not only will you feel, look and perform at your very best on a physical level, you will also achieve a heightened ability in your cognitive thinking as well! Send me an email with any questions: gladiator@intrafitt.com

PS- Take advantage of our Fit & Lean Forever Program on special now.  Use finallyfit for $99 discount.  It’s only $.27 a day with 365 day access to all your meal plans and exercise protocols.  You can even talk to me if you wish. http://www.intrafitt.com/programsproducts.aspx?category=180

Look forward to hearing from you!

Water and Human Performance

water

I promised you a little more information on the subject of Water and how it relates to Human Metabolism and Performance…so picking up from our last blog…I want to explain that during periods of highly strenuous exercise, the body can lose as much as four and one half pounds of fluid.  An endurance athlete may lose as much as 4% of his entire body weight to the loss of water primarily in the form of sweat.

When preparing to exercise, three factors should be strongly considered: 1) the temperature of the exercise environment.  2) the hydration level of the body prior to exercise.  And, 3) the relative humidity of the exercise environment.  Although the first two reasons listed are fairly obvious, considerations regarding pre-exercise hydration, the third reason may need further explanation.  If you have spent any amount of time training and/or competing on the eastern coast of the United States during the summer months, you should have a pretty good idea of how humid it can get.  Relative Humidity is basically the measure of water vapor in the air.  Although this may not seem like an important factor in exercise performance, it is quite possibly the most significant limiting factor when exercising on a humid day.  For example when there is a relative humidity of 100%, the air is considered to be completely saturated with water.  As a result, the body’s cooling mechanisms are severely affected due to the fact that sweat cannot evaporate efficiently.  When this happens the body’s internal temperature can reach dangerous levels, and may result in hyperthermia.

The primary reason to consider proper hydration and rehydration before, during, and after exercise is the need to maintain proper blood plasma viscosity and to encourage normal circulation and cooling of the body.  When an individual begins sweating profusely there is a subsequent decrease in the blood plasma levels.   As a result, blood viscosity increases and therefore increases the workload of the heart which cold potentially result in a heart attack.  In order to help prevent these conditions,  aside from drinking water throughout the entire exercise session, it is recommended that 2-3 cups of water are ingested prior to exercise.  By properly hydrating the body before exercise, the body’s ability to sweat is increased thereby delaying the onset of dehydration while enabling a more subtle rise in body temperature.

“The recommended water intake for normal sedentary individuals is a minimum of 96 ounces or three quarts per day.  For physically active individuals, the minimum recommended water intake is twice that of the sedentary person or six quarts per day!!!”

ifitt billboard

Just a reminder…When it comes to achieving optimal health, fitness and performance, the INTRAFITT Program is second to none because its concepts and applications favorably impact each and every aspect of our triune existence (mind, body & spirit).  This simply means that not only will you feel, look and perform at your very best on a physical level, you will also achieve a heightened ability in your cognitive thinking as well! Send me an email with any questions: gladiator@intrafitt.com

PS- Take advantage of our Fit & Lean Forever Program on special now.  Use finallyfit for $99 discount.  It’s only $.27 a day with 365 day access to all your meal plans and exercise protocols.  You can even talk to me if you wish. www.intrafitt.com

In health & honor,
Will Smith aka/Thunder of the American Gladiators

WHY ARE WE STILL FAT?

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You think you have been eating the right foods; low in fat, high in complex carbohydrates and fiber. You have even committed to exercising three, four, five, maybe even six times per week…but when you look in the mirror, you just don’t have the look you want. Well, you’re not alone.The compulsive desire of Americans to be “thin and beautiful” results in the spending of more than $50 billion dollars each year on diet programs and related products. Furthermore, for the last decade, the American population has been informed that a “healthy diet” should consist of 60% carbohydrates, 10% protein, and 30% fat. Ironically, the United States is now considered to have the highest percentage of overweight and obese individuals in the world! Is it possible that these so-called “healthy diets” combined with info-miracle weight loss programs are the very reasons why Americans are repeatedly unsuccessful at getting in shape –and more importantly staying in shape?

Let’s start with the facts!

In recent years, the Health Science Industry has uncovered an abundance of substantial and conclusive evidence indicating that the foods we eat combined with the type and amount of exercise we engage in each day has a tremendous effect on the regulatory systems of our bodies which directly control and influence the rate at which we build muscle and burn fat!

Research says the food we eat triggers a powerful hormonal response, which determines whether we burn excess body fat as fuel or store as energy. The reason high carbohydrate meals and/or snacks make losing body fat more difficult is directly related to the hormonal effects that carbohydrate rich foods have on the regulatory systems of the body! When foods rich in carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, breads, cereal, fruit, & other refined foods, are eaten in disproportionately high amounts, they encourage a tremendous release of insulin (a fat storing hormone).

One of insulin’s principle functions is to store body fat and inhibit its breakdown and release to be used as an energy source. Insulin also plays a major role in lowering blood sugar, which in turn increases sugar and food cravings, thus causing this perpetual cycle to repeat itself several times throughout the day.

The Magic Pill

It would be great to wake up some day and learn that science has revealed the “Magic Pill”…you know, the one that everybody in the world is determined to some day find enabling them to achieve the body they’ve always dreamed of. Unfortunately, this will never happen because it is not a formula or ingredient found in a pill that the body needs in order to burn fat and build muscle efficiently, it is machinery, or more specifically metabolic machinery that enables the body to breakdown fat and use it as a source of fuel. Metabolic machinery consists of INTRA-CELLULAR components such as mitochondrion, fat burning enzymes, capillaries etc.. which can only be manufactured by the body as a result of engaging in regular and consistent daily exercise combined with eating the proper amount and types of food at each meal throughout the day. This may seem like a difficult task, however, it is really very easy to do once you know how.

Individualized Nutrition & Exercise Guidelines

It is no secret that we are all individuals with very different and unique nutritional requirements, food preferences, fitness goals, etc. As a result, we each need to adhere to very specific nutrition and exercise guidelines that will enable our bodies to perform optimally on a day-to-day basis. Once we become compliant to the proper number of calories and ratio of complete protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats, combined with the proper amount and type of exercise, we will easily be able to achieve and maintain our desired health & fitness goals!

Reprogramming Our Bodies

Since we know there is NO MAGIC PILL and never will be, it is important to understand the reality associated with achieving and maintaining any desired health & fitness goal. The fact is, it does take time and effort to get in shape and stay in shape. If it were anything else but hard work, everybody on the planet would have the look they want!

Respect Yourself and Others Will Do The Same

If you’ve ever been in the presence of someone like Clark Bartram, Monica Brandt or some other famous athlete of fitness model, you can’t help but respect the amount of tireless effort and tenacity that these individuals put forth each day of their lives in order to achieve and maintain their desired health & fitness goals. Unlike someone who has gained a tremendous amount of wealth or fortune, athletes maintain a level of accomplishment, commitment and respect that money will never buy.

It is time to decide for yourself whether or not you want to put forth the effort necessary to achieve your ultimate health & fitness goals. If you do decide to commit, the only thing standing between you and your ultimate body is your level of compliance everything else you need in the way of information and guidance can be found at

If you decide NOT to commit, remember that yet another day of potentially looking, living and feeling better has passed you by and you may never have the chance to make it up!

In Summary

Although there are perhaps many reasons why we are still fat, there is simply NO REASON why we shouldn’t begin to optimize our eating and exercise habits so that in time, our bodies begin to reprogram themselves to be fit and lean for the rest of our lives!

Remember “Commitment is doing the very thing you said you would do long after the mood you said it in has gone!” 

Questions? Email me at gladiator@intrafitt.com  Need an individual nutrition and exercise program…visit www.intrafitt.com

In health and honor,
William Smith aka Thunder of the American Gladiator Days!

Now What? I HAVE REACHED A FITNESS PLATEAU by Thunder aka Will Smith

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I think I reached a Fitness Plateau! What causes those Fitness Plateaus and How to Overcome those Plateaus.  Well, ever wonder if your diet and/or exercise program could be working better than it is?  Maybe you should be eating fewer calories or less fat.  Maybe you should be exercising longer and/or harder.  Or maybe, there is a new supplement or product on the market that will yield the exact results you are looking for.  Now, if you could just find it.

If you’ve ever hit a fitness plateau, or think you have, there is no need to worry, you are not alone.  In fact, if you ask anyone who has been exercising for any length of time, they will probably tell you that fitness plateaus are inevitable and are perhaps the single most reason why people turn to a “Quick Fix” mindset or just abandon their efforts altogether.  Nevertheless, it is important to understand the difference between a “true” fitness plateau and the body’s intermittent biological adaptations.  Look at it this way, the human body is very much like an automobile, if you want to increase its power and efficiency, you need to modify the engine.  This may mean increasing the size of the engine and its fuel burning capabilities.  Similarly, this would be the same as increasing your lean muscle tissue and the fat burning enzymes contained within.

Your next question may be, how will I know if I’m increasing my body’s lean muscle tissue and fat burning enzymes effectively?  Simple, all you need to do is pay attention to your energy, strength and concentration levels throughout the day and pay attention to how soundly you sleep throughout the night.  Consistent levels of energy, strength and concentration, combined with a lack of sugar and food cravings, are a direct indication that your blood sugar is being properly regulated.  When this happens, your body begins to RE-Program itself to be fit and lean for the rest of your life.  If on the other hand, you find yourself skipping breakfast, snacking late in the evening, craving sugary foods and/or feeling tired and lethargic before, during and/or after exercise, your blood sugar is most likely irregular.  Under these conditions, it is probable that your body is being programmed to store fat efficiently while using various protein structures of the body as an energy source to fuel the brain and nervous system.  Therefore, if you seriously aspire to achieve and maintain optimal levels of energy, strength and concentration throughout the day, while increasing muscle tone and eliminating food and sugar cravings, there is only ONE alternative.

You must learn and apply the Six Elements of Fitness.  I will talk about that next time.

I can be reached at gladiator@intrafitt.com or call us at 704-781-0400.  Our Fit and Lean Forever Program is only $199.  Use coupon code finallyfit for discount.  I guarantee you results.  Look forward to hearing from you.  http://www.intrafitt.com/programsproducts.aspx?category=180

In health and honor,
Will Smith aka Thunder of the American Gladiators

 

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