Before going Primal
Transforming from a sugar-burner/carb loader into a fat burning beast was truly a life-changing experience in fact it not only improved my health, well being and performance, it completely changed all aspects of my life!
First of all what is a sugar-burner/carb loader?
A sugar burner is someone who consumes and burns glucose (aka-sugar) from processed foods, grains, wheat, breads, soft drinks, soda, pizza, sandwiches, falafel's, rice, chips, cookies, candy, bar food and juices which is pretty much what most of todays general population is eating and drinking. Carb loaders are typically athletes, runners, swimmers, bikers, cross fitters, workout aficionados, average teenagers and working person that relies heavily on carbohydrates for energy (fuel). Sad fact is that todays average everyday Joe is consuming anywhere between 150 to 300 plus grams of carbohydrates per day which is whats causing our obesity epidemic and annual increase in type II diabetes cases. This over consumption is an insult to our bodies because we simply did not evolve on carbohydrates or foods that are foreign to our bodies.
Did you know?
That 71% of todays foods are foreign to the foods our ancestors ate, so its no wonder why America is getting fat on fast foods, processed carbs, sugar, soda, grains, breads and frozen foods. These foods although edible are actually foreign to our body on a cellular level wreaking havoc on on not only our health, but our immune system and overall wellbeing!
Why do athletes and everyday Joe’s carb load and what are their sources of fuel?
Athletes obviously burn more calories per hour/day than the average person given effort and exercise routine, and carb loading before and after a training session and/or race event is how they fuel and then re-fuel their body to both perform and recover. The reason they may not be gaining weight is they are burning more than what they are consuming, but it doesn't mean there isn't havoc going on within their blood stream and arteries (more on that within my cholesterol articles)
Your average Joe on the other hand who over consumes food experiences what we call a blood sugar spike. When blood sugar rises a bell goes off within our body triggering insulin production. Insulin rushes into your bloodstream flushing everything out to protect you from the overflow/excess of sugar (glucose) in your system. So where does this excess go? Straight to your liver as triglycerides and/or fat cells which we all store in different parts of our body. A process which then leaves the blood stream empty causing the average Joe to become hungry again. This is why you can eat processed inferior foods all day but continue to feel hungry!
Foods a sugar burner/carb loader typically relies on for fuel include carbs such as: breads, pasta, grains, rice, oatmeal, potato's, waffles, pancakes, ice-cream, chocolate sub sandwiches, calzones as well as performance fuels loaded with sugars such as Gatorade, Gu, gummy’s, sports bars, cliff bars and fruit drinks.
Why is carb loading dangerous to those non-athletes?
To start there is weight gain and fat deposits around the waste which can lead to diabetes, but you also must consider celiacs disease, irritable bowl syndrome (IBS), high blood sugar (constant insulin production), high blood pressure, insulin resistance (which leads to diabetes), and digestive issues. The other major dangers are stroke and heart attack due clogged arteries!
Why is carb loading dangerous to athletes?
When over consuming carbs, we cannot see the flow of VLDL particles flowing through our arteries. We may look like the book of health but its the small VLDL particles that get lodged within our arterial which sends out an alarm from within. The body then sends out foam cells to cover and combat the issue. This eventually leads to what we call plaque buildup which occurs over time. Have you ever heard about long distance runners getting a heart attack yet they look like the picture of health? There is more to ones blood markers than just LDL and cholesterol.
Why was I carb loading?
Because I was an avid exerciser, body builder, triathlete, biathlete, extreme deep water scuba diver, standup paddle board and outrigger canoe racer for the past 30 years of my life AND thats what I was taught to do for many years as was everyone else. CARB LOAD and get 6-8 servings of grain in a day! Thats what is healthy, builds size and muscle.
Thats when I was introduced to a guy by the name of Mark Sisson and his blog called
Mark, a former world class ironman athlete, was talking about how he was suppose to be this body of health but in truth he was getting sick four (4) times a year given the foods he was consuming. As I watched one of Mark's video's and with every word he spoke something resonated deep within me, bringing up my constant belief that there had to be a better way to not only eat but to enhance performance. The further I delved into Mark’s articles I started to understand more about how and what our ancestors were eating in comparison to todays foods of convenience.
So four (4) years ago I made a conscious decision after a rather heated argument with my web designer to change my food intake and follow a program that went against the grain (no pun intended) of everything I previously believed in when it came to food, which eventually changed my life forever
So what was the problem you might ask about my food intake and being a CARB LOADER?
Well there are many but these are top’s on my list in random order!
1. Over-eating carbs triggers FAT STORAGE which is a problem because our body can only breakdown and store a specific amount of glucose within the liver and our muscle tissue. Once that storage is full (liver is filled with triglycerides) it doesn’t take much for the excess carbs (glucose) eaten to be immediately sent to you guessed it, areas on your body that tend to store FAT. Think of your liver and muscles as a tall glass of water, once the glass is completely full any excess consumption spills over which has to go somewhere. For some its the belly, others maybe back fat, legs, or butt, etc.
2. My stomach was always bloated, slightly distended, and sometimes gassy after most meals, especially after eating wheat, rice, breads, and pasta which opened my eyes to the fact that I was somewhat gluten intolerant. Having learned about GRAINS within my Primal Health Coaching course I now know the problems & digestive issues related to grains which can lead to an assortment of health issues like leaky gut.
3. My PERFORMANCE felt sluggish in all areas of life which included both personal & on the job performance which as a fitness coach wasn't sitting well with me. I found myself having to constantly eat just to keep my energy up because my blood sugar was never stable.
4. Eating a high carb diet was COSTING me a lot of money compared to my current primal way of life
5. Most importantly, I did not look and feel my best
What happened after going Primal?
Within two (2) months after kicking both processed foods and ditching grains to the curb I was 20 lbs lighter. My abs started showing and I was digesting food much better. My energy, focus and mood improved and immediately felt and looked much better while fitting into smaller better fitting clothes once again. One of the other key benefits was my sleep started to improve which helped with my daily performance and stress management.
While competing on the water and and during long distance outrigger canoe races my body performed effortlessly. I didn’t have to constantly re-fuel because I was now hardwired to burn FAT rather than SUGAR/GLUCOSE. Each and everyday I now possessed endless amounts of energy enabling me to compete in 32-41 mile long distance races simply by hydrating with water. I kicked all of the sports performance drinks, bars, Gu, shakes and other madness to the curb.
Becoming a FAT BURNING BEAST has changed my life where although having just turned 57 years young I feel like I’m living my 39th year of life again and consider myself to be in the best shape of my life! Still today and four (4) years later I am 30-35lbs lighter and find myself performing at a much higher level personally & professionally which benefits all aspects of my life. I've effortlessly maintained this weight because its become a lifestyle which also helps me motivate my clients because as they get to know me they witness first hand how food has not only changed my life but can change theirs also!
If you’re interested in learning more, drop me a line!
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In good health,