Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Breakdown

Since my first blog post 3 weeks ago I've made it to the gym more, eaten better (thanks to my fantastic girlfriend), avoided smoky bars, and overall I have much more energy!! From the various articles stroke blog posts all over the internet the key to loosing fat is to gain muscle that will burn calories long after your workouts over. I talked to some trainers at my gym and said the same thing.

A little bit about myself... I've always been active; wrestled for about 8 years growing up and played intramurals in college as well as lifted. I was probably in the best shape of my life freshman year. But once the gym visits slowed down and beer consumption kicked in, the belly started to fill out and that once flat stomach started to disappear. This picture was taken a few years back in Morocco, I like it because the water hides my small arms and the fact I'm sucking in my gut. One of my main goals right now, among other things, is to get that six pack back!! So what do I need to do first?? Increase my muscle mass and let my body work for me... 

I told myself that 2011, at 27 years old, I was going to be in the best shape of my life!! So I ran a marathon (finished in just over 4 hours), a mini-triathlon, and even signed up for kettle bell on the beach. But none of those penetrated my food pocket to expose my abs. Time to try something new!!

I wanted to understand how the body breaks down food and after reading various articles it seems like the place to start was the liver, which is the major distributor of nutrients to different part of your body... The liver breaks down carbohydrates to form Glucose or Energy. However, the liver will also breakdown any harmful substances that enter the body as a priority; various toxins, alcohol, and chemicals that are found in everyday food such as Mercury in Fish & High Fructose Corn Syrup in Soda. Even Diet Soda has artificial sweeteners that can be harmful. This function takes away from the liver's essential function of breaking down food to provide nutrients to the body.

HP Tip #2: Try to stay far away from the soda & processed foods!!

I will refer to the trusty Mayo Clinic and a personal Idol of mine... Lance Armstrong for support:

Despite the health risk identified by putting these consumables into your body, it takes away from another major function of the liver... The function I am trying to harness!! When you workout the primary energy source is Glucose, then it will draw from Glycogen previously stored by the liver. Once all of the G-energy sources are exhausted your body starts attacking stored fat which is turned into (darn another G-word) Glycerol which can be used as an alternate energy source!!

Now the beauty of this concept is that if your Metabolism is Strong and you Eat Healthy the liver will start breaking down the fat when its done working ie between meals and sleeping... Burn fat while you sleep? What a fantastic idea!! Your muscles can actually consume energy hours after the workout is over, one of the prolonged advantages of lifting compared to pure cardio workouts.

Obviously these processes are much more complicated than I expressed and apologies if I confused you. Honestly, I confused myself a little trying to digest (hehe) all the technical information which kind of seems like a foreign language to this engineer. However, here's the real scoop:

1 comment:

  1. Interesting and simply explained! I've heard that lemon water helps promote healthy liver function. If nothing else, its refreshing on a hot day!