Archive for the 'abs' Category
My friend and LA-based nutrition expert & trainer, Joey Emont, recently posted on his facebook page something he titled, “A Low Carb Primer”. My clients hear me talk about eating low carb all the time but why exactly does it work? Mark Mcdonald, who founded Venice Nutrition, and Gary Taubes, author of “Why We Get Fat” both have helped thousands of people see the light by stating that regulating insulin – stabilizing your blood sugar – is the best and quickest way to lower body fat.
Joey’s short but concise reasoning is a great addition to anyone wanting to know exactly how to start eating low-carb and doing it correctly. With his permission, here is Joey’s “Low Carb Primer” in it’s entirety. Be sure to check out Joey’s Facebook page and let him know what you think!
A Low Carb Primer:
Seems like everyone these days are running to jump on the low carb bandwagon. You must know that for most individuals this WILL be the fastest and easiest way for people to lose body fat. In fact this approach works longterm for about 75% of the general population just based upon genetics, and food commonly available to the masses. Our “crap food” nation has really done a number on our ability to be sensitive to insulin, a hormone that gets elevated by carbohydrates. A travesty that unfortunately forces most of us to swing the pendulum back the other direction in order for there to be balance.
Granted your metabolism is relatively healthy (and I use relatively extremely loosely) ,you are not too toxic, and you have adequate digestive capacity;
Low carb works.
First off there is a 300-500 calorie metabolic (as yet unexplained) advantage in the literature that shows when individuals eat an excess of 300-500 cals over RMR, they still manage to loose bodyfat.
It also trains and forces your body to utilize the fats stored on your body for fuel.
That being said, these nutrition plans still have to be approached in the right way.
1. A low carb diet CANNOT be low fat as well if you want it to be sustainable moderate fat is fine but make sure not to eliminate all of it. Choose healthy fats from this family
2. Carbohydrates in the form of fibrous vegetables dont really count as calories and should be consumed in unlimited amounts.
3. Depending on how low carbohydrate you choose to go will determine how high or low your protein is. the lower the carbohydrate the higher the protein should be set at since carbs are protein sparing, you need the extra protein during this time. Set protein around 1-2g protein per lbs Lean body mass
One thing that will tend to happen on a low carb diet is you will have down regulation of many of the hormones that kept your metabolism humming along quite nicely all along.
For instance, after a while active form thyroid hormone T3 goes down lowering metabolic rate (some argue this isnt a problem because it’s just a sign your body is becoming more efficient). IGF-1 can also down regulate as well as Leptin (the mother hormone) which is the master governor of your metabolism.
This is why high carb “refeeds” must be included every so often. this “every so often” will be very different based upon your genetics, enzyme function, hormonal status, current bodyfat percentage, muscle mass etc… but a good general rule of thumb is this: if you are very lean you could have a refeed day every 5 days but for someone who is very obese a refeed day may not be necessary for a month or 6 weeks. everyone else will be somewhere in the middle (every 2 weeks etc…)
On your carb refeed day: choose to lower fats as much as possible, lower protein by 25% of normal and use starchy carbohydrates in the form of “gluten free” oats or sweet potato (other sources can be chosen as well but for the sake of simplicity…) at the level of 1.5-2g/lbs of bodyweight for the day. so for a 200 lbs male this number would be around 300-400 grams of carbohydrates for the day. for extremely active individuals this number could be even higher, or for heavier individuals this number may have to be a bit lower, experimentation is key.
This will restore metabolic balance and make the rest of your low carb days (which continue immediately the day after) work that much better, and keep your metabolism humming along.
this much controversial way of eating must be done right. but I guarantee you if you put some of these practices into play and really stick to it, you will find that fat loss comes quite easily.
One of the most difficult/easy exercises (at least I call it that) involves the transverse abdominis. The TVA is critical in balance/stability as it is the main stabilizer of the lumbar spine.
Lie flat on your back with your knees bent, feet flat, totally relaxed. There should be some space between your lower back and the floor (go ahead and reach under, see for yourself!) If you’re very overweight you might not feel this “gap” so much. Now simply press your low back flat against the floor. Your abs should contract (like you’re bracing to take a punch) and your hips should “tuck” underneath you (anterior pelvic tilt). Some of my female clients have said this resembles kegle exercises. Here you are using your TVA.
People in Orange County LOVE the beach! And they love having that “six-pack” to show off at the beach. The transverse abdomnis is NOT the muscles that comprise the “six-pack”. (Gotcha! Ha-Ha)
Once you have your back flat against the floor (slide just your fingertips under your low back as reference), lift your heels off the ground an inch and slowly extend your legs to fully extended KEEPING YOUR BACK FLAT ON THE FLOOR. You might only be able to go partly out before your low back leaves the floor. If this is the case, that’s as far as you can physically go at this point. Practice one leg at a time or increase the height of your legs if you want to use both legs until you can fully extend with both legs 1 inch off of the floor.
But once your back leaves the ground there is no need to continue extending the legs as the TVA cannot properly support the movement. The key is to keep your back flat on the floor.
After saying all that I don’t think it is critical to isolate the TVA all the time. If you’re doing squats, deadlifts and other key exercises on a regular basis your TVA is doing it’s job as a lumbar spine stabilizer while the arms and legs are moving.