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How to burn carbohydrates effectively
 
The goal here is to outline the best methods to get the body revved up and burning carbs.
 
It’s a tricky one as it’s very holistic – but I’ve done my best to keep it concise!
 
In this one I’m covering:
 
- The ultimate strategies to get the body using sugar effectively
 
- Key points about metabolism and how it affects sugar processing
 
-  The ultimate forms of exercise to help improve sugar use and storage
 
To help with explanation of the above I’m going to use two example individuals undergoing two forms of exercise:
 
- The runner, training 3 times a week to improve endurance
 
- The weight lifter, training 3 times per week to improve strength  
 
Of course – there are camps in the middle of these two – but these represent the extremes of each end of training in terms of the effect of exercise on the body.
 
The similarities between these two are that they both:
 
- Drastically improve our body’s ability to burn sugar (in all forms, complex and simple alike)
 
- Improve our body’s ability to store sugar in the muscles
 
- Burn calories
 
- Increase metabolic rate (this means you can both maintain and lose weight through consuming more food).
 
 These points pretty much cover the hugely positive effects of most forms of structured, consistent exercise.
 
But...
 
What form of exercise in the long term is best to consistently improve our body’s use of sugar, thus helping us get and/or stay lean?
 
 
It’s structured Resistance training (for girls and guys alike)... and here are the reasons why:
 
Benefit number 1:
 
Resistance training directly taps into glycogen (sugar) stores in the muscle and directly burns this for fuel.
 
At the end of a resistance training session (at the correct intensity) - the muscles are going to be pretty depleted of energy.
 
Have you ever gone to do something simple after an intense workout, such as open your fridge? If your muscle is quivering – this is what glycogen depletion feels like.
 
This means that they are crying out for nutrients. Consuming a high carbohydrate snack post workout will shuttle straight into your muscle to replenish the burned glycogen.
 
This is an incredibly efficient system of continuous depletion and replenishment– which directly improves the hormonal effectiveness of insulin release (very important to understand, especially in relation to weight gain - this will be covered in another article!)
 
Benefit number 2:
 
 Weight lifting (when combined with the correct nutrition plan) builds valuable lean muscle mass.
 
 Increased muscle mass soars up our body’s storage capacity of sugar.
 
Think of your skeletal muscle as a warehouse – if you increase the warehouse – you directly increase storage capacity.
 
What does this mean?
 
Economies of scale!
 
As lean mass is higher we can be more flexible with our diets – it means we can eat more of the foods we all love (when eaten in moderation) and reduce the likelihood of fat gain.
 
Benefit number 3:
 
Weight lifting and increasing muscle mass increases our resting metabolic rate.
 
Muscle retention (and growth) is the one of the largest determinants of metabolic rate (the amount of calories burned throughout the day).
 
Higher muscle retention and growth heightens our metabolism - thus heightens our on-going ability to burn off more sugars (as well as Proteins and Fats) before they begin to spill over into Fat gain.
 
Endurance training does not have this luxury – as its muscle wasting – which over time (especially when eating in a deficit) will crash your metabolism.
 
The beauty of a higher resting metabolic rate is also this...
 
That even when we’re not exercising – we’re burning more calories.  
 
This means we can eat more of the foods we love (in moderation) and still either lose fat or maintain existing leanness (depending on the plan).
 
That’s it for this one!
 
Much more to come and I hope you’re finding these insightful and most importantly – useful.
 
This is why I’m a huge advocate for weight training / resistance based workouts over other forms of exercise.
 
As always – any questions around this topic give me a shout.
 
Here to help!
 
Andrew
 
 

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