Dr. Gray's Straight Talk

Honest and blunt healthcare discussion and advice.

Posts Tagged ‘carbohydrates’

How Many Calories Should You Eat

Posted by Dr. Gray on Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Article by: Dr. Josh Sonsiadek

You don’t have to count calories, but that doesn’t mean calories don’t count. They really do. You know the absolute equation that in order to burn stored body fat for energy, you must create a calorie deficit. But if you plan correctly, you will not have to meticulously measure everything you eat like you are trying to complete an organic chem lab experiment.

When you plan your meals correctly results happen without counting calories. The key is to plan approximately 6 small nutrient rich meals that are low in what we refer to as empty calories. The purpose of meal planning is that cravings, appetite, hunger, and the body’s needs for nutrients are met in the right amounts, combinations, and at the right times of the day. When you work at this, it becomes almost second nature or habitual.

For those who need to know numbers as far as the amount of daily calories in a meal plan that consists of 6 meals per day: in women it should be just under 1,600 calories per day and just under 2,000 in men. The most important key is not just the number of calories but the percentage of protein, carbohydrate, and fat that make up those calories you put into your body. On the average if meals are prepared for proper nutrition it should be about 38 % from protein, 44 % from carbohydrate, and 18 percent from fat. Most fast-food diets have this equation reversed, where fat levels and carb levels dwarf protein. So you could see that a person could eat 2,000 fast-food calories, but would not be as healthy as someone who ate 2,000 calories keeping the proper protein to carb to fat ratios.

Many people are overweight or obese not because of what they do over a day… It is the way they have been eating over the months and years. That is most likely due to poor planning, or should I say no planning. Most of us eat as if we are shooting from the hip hoping that if we take some fat burning pill that we will magically lose the weight. There are some supplements that work quite well, but they cannot control the body’s absolute desire to have it nourished through food. We cannot win the fight against food, but we can plan our meals so we give the body what it needs.

My mentor Dr. Rolla Pennell took me under his wing when I had just graduated Chiropractic school, and he said one thing to me that I have heard in my mind everyday for the last 10 years and that is, “son if you don’t remember anything I teach you always remember this,” When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
So if you want to be healthy and achieve your goals in weight loss, nutrition, business, sports, or anything in life you must plan.

Specific questions on how to plan your meals can be directed to josh_sonsiadek@yahoo.com.

*This note is for educational purposes only and is not offering a diagnosis nor promising a cure for any conditions. Please contact your physician before undertaking and changes to your diet*


Posted in General Health, Nutrition | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Carbs Are Not Necessarily The Enemy

Posted by Dr. Gray on Thursday, August 13, 2009

Article by Dr. Josh Sonsiadek:

Ever since I have studied Nutrition and Biochemistry this has been the subject that has generated the most arguments without a doubt. I have patients that come up to me all the time and tell me that they are going to stop eating carbs so they can shed weight. Many diet programs advocate that you don’t eat carbs, and it’s true that is one way to lose a lot of weight in a hurry.

No-carb diets allow patients to shed weight quickly because for every gram of carbohydrate we consume, we store 3 grams of water. Storing water is a good thing because it keeps us hydrated and satiated (full). The problem with no-carb diets is that it is like taking a sponge and wringing the water out. You lose water weight, but as soon as you eat carbs again – and everyone does because you need the energy and can only go so long without them – then the sponge will fill up with water again. Unfortunately the weight will just come back on as quickly as it came off. That is not the only problem… no-carb diets may leave your body deficient in many vitamins and minerals not to mention fiber.

The real enemy is not the carbs themselves, but may be in the timing and amount in which we consume them. To understand this we must look at how carbohydrates are utilized and metabolized by the body. Unlike fat stores, which can expand to an infinite level, your stored glycogen levels (stored form of carbs in your muscles) has a limit on its capacity. A good example of this would be the gas tank in your car. If your car has a 20 gallon gas tank and you put in 30 the extra 10 would just spill to the ground. Well that is the same with carbohydrates and your muscle’s ability to store glycogen. So the problem is not the carbs, it is the storage capacity of your muscles to store extra glycogen. If you have excess carbs they overflow to the bloodstream then into the liver, and then these extra carbs get converted to fat. The other thing that happens with eating excess carbs is that it raises your blood levels of a very important hormone known as insulin. When the glycogen tank is full, insulin will put both your muscle and your fat cells in growth mode. Not so bad for your muscles, but terrible for the belly.

Low glycogen levels which can be achieved with the correct eating strategies and exercise, changes your body’s response to insulin. Insulin will still signal the body to make muscle, but shuts off fat cell growth. What essentially is done is that your body tries to work on refilling the glycogen tank. If the glycogen tank is not full then insulin can’t command the fat cells to grow. When the glycogen tank is not full the body is also forced to turn fat into the body’s primary fuel source and you begin to burn fat cells.

How do we keep track of all this stuff? Remember that eating carbs is not the problem, it is the timing and amount in which the carbs are consumed. If you eat when the glycogen tank is full then insulin will cause fat cells to grow. If you keep glycogen levels low then insulin will be constantly trying to replenish the tank, and this allows us to burn fat cells. This is done not through a no-carb diet , but it is done through a low-carb diet. The benefits of lower carb diets is that it tends to speed fat loss, regulates appetite, and decreases rate of heart disease.

This approach may not work for everyone. Certain endurance athletes may need more carb intake than others.

*This note is for educational purposes only. Before taking on any types of dietary changes please consult your physician*

Posted in Nutrition, Stretches & Exercises | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

%d bloggers like this: