Carb Cycling and Endomorphs

Your body needs carbohydrates to survive; they are the body’s energy source. Eating the right carbs (aka complex carbs) are very important to a healthy lifestyle.

Complex carbohydrates are found in whole grains (don’t confuse whole “wheat” with whole “grains”), legumes, and starchy vegetables contain sugar but in complex form, which takes the body more time to break down and use, therefore providing your body with more consistent energy. Complex carbs also include more vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Simple carbohydrates are the easy-to-digest, basic sugars. Some of these sugars are naturally occurring, such as those in fruits and milk, while refined or processed sugars are often added to candies, baked goods, and soda (fructose, glucose, syrup, etc). The processed sugars give you a boost of energy and then have your body feeling sluggish shortly after (aka the crash).

Be sensible with the simple and complex carbs you choose to eat as part of your balanced diet. Which leads to our next discussion; carb cycling.

My body type is an endomorph. I carry my weight (read “fat”) in my lower abdomen in the form of subcutaneous (the easier to lose fat that lies just under the skin) and visceral fat (the really difficult to lose and dangerous fat that wraps around the internal organs and can cause serious health issues) as well as in my hips, butt, and upper thighs. I am very much pear shaped (small on top, small waist, but bigger hips/butt/thighs).

Endomorphs tend to be more sensitive to carbohydrates (cravings, process sugar rapidly, and the body turns carbs to fat quickly). Also, the endomorph body automatically conserves any extra calories as fat much quicker and for longer than other body types.

An endomorph would benefit greatly from carb cycling. Carb cycling is alternating the amount of carbohydrates on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Carb cycling is beneficial for people who are training for marathons or muscle building as well.

Monitoring the macros is vital to a successful carb cycle plan. A typical weekly carb cycle plan may include two high-carb days, two moderate-carb days, and three low-carb days. Protein intake remains consistent, but the fat intake will change based on the carb intake (i.e. a high-carb day normally means a low-fat day and a low-carb day equals a high-fat day; all fats should be healthy fats).

Carb cycling requires a little more strategy, planning, and monitoring than a typical nutrition plan. Endomorphs can track their macros and use proper weekly meal planning to ensure their carbohydrate intake is different each day and keeps their body guessing to limit the body from holding onto the carbs and storing as fat.

A great place for endomorphs to start are macro rates of 40% carbs, 30% protein, and 30% fats; working towards 30% carbs, 35% protein, and 35% fats. Also, all carb-dense meals should be consumed immediately before or after exercise.

A healthy carb cycling plan:

  • Low carb days: 50 – 80 carbs total
  • Mod carb days: 90 – 110 carbs total
  • High carb days: 150 – 160 carbs total

Don’t forget:

  • Be sure to eat more complex carbs than simple carbs, even on mod and high carb days.
  • Carb cycling is helpful for all body types and all levels of fitness/health. Be sure to research your body type and/or fitness goals for more help for your specific needs.
  • Endomorphs need to exercise in moderation when the goal is to lose weight. Don’t overdo it (it won’t help, in fact, extreme exercise plans will stall your body and put your body into starvation mode) but also don’t just sit; always be moving. Walking for 30 minutes every day is extremely beneficial for weight loss and alternating 2-3 HIIT sessions will jump start your body to burn fat.
  • Monitor your macros and plan your meals for great success.

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New Year. New Me (and You)!

Resolutions can be daunting and overwhelming. When making a resolution for the year, may I suggest breaking it up into more manageable and smaller goals.

I have been so focused on moving into a house and my career that I have neglected my health. I thought I was happy but now my health is definitely suffering. I had turned into a workaholic and didn’t focus on me or my family for several months. I became very sick (severe dehydration, exhaustion, significant weight gain even though I wasn’t eating, migraines for weeks, and the list goes on; so badly I was hospitalized). This was my wake-up call that I needed a better work-to-life balance; I needed to take care of myself.

I knew that I had to get back on track with my healthy eating and exercise but most importantly I had to work normal hours and separate work from my home life. I work from my home office and I was so focused on being the best at work I forgot to be the best mom for my daughter and the person for myself. In November, I announced my new working hours and I am dedicated to finding a better job that is less toxic and an overall happier place to work. Your mental well-being is essential to a happy life and a successful healthy lifestyle.

On the healthy living side of my life, I started very small and incorporated more healthy foods into my diet, started drinking more water, got up from my desk once in awhile to walk a tiny bit and stretched, and forced myself to eat little bits throughout the day to avoid the major late dinner binge eating.

This first week of January has been dedicated to planning, self-motivation, listing my long-term and short-term goals, finding my passions again.

  • I got a really neat planner that has you list your monthly goals, notes, lists, dreams, etc. I can map my goals, use the notes and lists to create meal plans, and write out everything I have going on in the month (or discover what I want to do this month) through one planner. I need schedules, routine, and accountability.
  • I researched my body type and discovered carb cycling which I plan on incorporating into my existing nutrition plan.
  • I further researched gut health (if you are new to Hippie Food & Sweatpants please read for further insight into my battle and wins with intestinal issues as well as the amazing importance of a healthy gut).
  • Hippie Food & Sweatpants got a face lift! I am going to be more diligent about writing (because I love writing and I miss being on this blog). Stay tuned for more content!

I cannot wait to share this journey with you! Stay tuned for more adventures with Hippie Food & Sweatpants. Here’s to an incredible 2019!

 

 

 

Lost So Much. Gained More.

What an adventure these past eight months have been; divorce, relocation to Arizona, new job, a totally new life. I have lost so much and gained so much more.

My health and fitness have taken a backseat to an emotional roller coaster. Rather than focus on physical health, I was focusing on my mental health. I have processed every single emotion available in this world and ended on a calm, happy version of myself. I was forced to change; my world was literally flipped upside down and inside out, and I am now open and accepting of change, I am more resilient and flexible. I do not worry about every single little thing anymore; rather I allow myself to worry about the important things for a short time, then I let it go and keep moving forward.

I relied on family and friends (including my dog), lots of reading (the Bible, articles, blogs), watching motivational videos, and music (I am a firm believer that music has healing properties). I created a better relationship with God and worked through all the past hurt and anger (from birth to present day). I allowed myself to grieve and most importantly I allowed myself to heal.

At the end of that ridiculously long, dark tunnel there was a light. I worked extremely hard to see that light, to stand in it, and relish that wonderful light called hope. This process made me live breath to breath, then moment to moment, and finally day to day. I am still a planner but I don’t worry about the future anymore, rather I anticipate the fun adventures I plan.

When I let it all go and moved forward, I felt all those chains (all that negativity) fall right off; I literally feel lighter. I finally know, for a fact, that I deserve happiness and happiness looks good on me.

Make sure you are taking care of yourself, especially your mental and spiritual health. Get your head and soul right. Your physical health will be easier to manage when you do; I promise. The psychological hurdles you avoid will directly impact your overall physical health:

  • Cortisol is the negativity hormone that holds on to all your fat, especially the really bad visceral fat.
  • Your metabolism will slow down to a snail pace.
  • Sleep will be impossible so your body will never recharge and rest.
  • Stress and depression will make your body hurt and you will make yourself sick.

** If you are suffering from depression or having suicidal thoughts, please contact 1-800-273-8255 now. You are enough. You are worth this amazing life. **

I believe that we are who we choose to be. Nobody is going to save you. You have to save yourself. Nobody is going to give you anything. You have to go out and get it, fight for it. Nobody knows what you want except you. Never give up, ever. Create the life of your dreams.

Every day of your life is a special occasion because you are alive, so start acting like it!

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Phase One Complete!

My apologies for this delayed post. I finished the first 8 weeks of my incredible lifestyle change. I am so proud of all that I have accomplished. Check out my “Before and After” on the Progress page.

I visited my doctor for my follow-up on May 15. My results were promising and most importantly, I do not need medications at this time. However, I must continue with my healthy lifestyle of a low-cholesterol diet and exercise.

The Good News: My good cholesterol went up to above average! My triglycerides lowered by 50%! My total cholesterol went down 30 points!

The Bad News: My bad cholesterol still went up. My doctor feels this is genetics coming into play. However, continuing my healthy living should keep me off medications for awhile. I will be reassessed in six months.

The next phase of my healthy living adventure will be building muscle tone and definition as well as getting rid of more belly fat. I will stay on the same nutrition plan (low cholesterol diet). My fitness plan will include running and some kind of circuit training that involves weights; I am going to use Jillian Michaels videos and my rec center for running and extra weight training. I look forward to more changes!fitness-motivation-posters

Going Strong

As I finished up the past two weeks, I am so proud that I am still going strong. I am eating healthy and exercising. I have had a couple cheat meals over the past two weeks and I haven’t worked out every day these past two weeks but I feel amazing.

I am actually starting to crave healthy foods over the junk I used to eat. When I had the cheat meal, I was ridiculously sick and my body was so mad at me for eating the cheese tots and chicken fingers. I immediately got back on track and my tummy tea works so well. I can tell that my stomach is shrinking because I don’t eat as much in one sitting. Also, moderation is easy now; I can eat one or two Doritos and not have the intense desire to eat the whole bag.

Every day brings its challenges but I am so happy that I am able overcome and keep moving forward.

I am amazed by the emotional side of this journey. At the end of the day, this isn’t about the pounds and the inches lost (bonus!), the cheat meal(s), missing some workouts; this is about building yourself up, gaining confidence with each choice you make, with each mile you push yourself to finish. I have not been this happy in a looong time. I don’t let life just throw me around anymore. I don’t let my personal obstacles beat me down anymore. I rise up, above the negativity, and stand confidently; knowing that I am worth it. I am an incredible woman. I am enough.

Progress!

I have been at this low cholesterol nutrition plan and exercise for three weeks now. I have to give myself a huge pat on the back because things are going very well.

I did not think I would be as successful but the Beachbody Challenge Group is such a fantastic and supportive group of women, which greatly helps in my accountability because I do not want to disappoint them. The first week, I had a few headaches and I was a little irritable; however, I survived and things are much easier for me.

I think my stomach is shrinking because I do not eat very much and moderation is becoming more natural. Portion sizes are easier to manage and my body is not craving food like it used to, which  is fantastic.

I did not lose much weight last week but I did have two cheat meals and did not exercise very much. I continue to lose inches and some of my pants are loose on me now. Not only do the numbers look good, I just feel amazing. I am happy, I have higher energy, my libido is coming back, I am at peace, and have more patience. I just feel…so good.

As I go into week four, I am planning on jogging/running on the elliptical 12 miles per week and getting 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar into my diet per day. I heard these measures (on top of my low cholesterol nutrition plan) will help blast the belly fat (which I have a lot) so I am excited to make these additions and see what happens at the end of the week.

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A Shocking Trip to the Doctor

What a difference a day moment makes…

My employer offers discounted rates on our health insurance if we (my husband and I) go in for a thorough annual physical. Two weeks ago I completed my physical. Last week my blood work results came in and I received a phone call from my doctor. Everything looked really good except my cholesterol.

My total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol are very high. Combine these results with my family history of heart attack, heart disease, and stroke, it does not look good for me at all. It is so bad that my doctor wanted me on multiple cholesterol lowering medications immediately. I requested to change my diet and start exercising more, a chance to lower my cholesterol naturally. I have been given three months to lower my cholesterol. I have until June 30, 2017 to lower my cholesterol or I will be placed on medication. Challenge accepted.

I have joined a Beachbody Challenge Group and the group of women I am virtually working with are amazing and help keep me accountable. It makes this process fun.

I am on a low cholesterol diet and exercising daily. I have to diligently watch my saturated and trans fat levels as well as my sodium and cholesterol intake. Also, I make sure to get the good fats (poly and mono-unsaturated fats, omega-3’s) in my diet and take my omega-3 pill.

It is definitely a change. I really miss cheese. and fried foods. and baked goods. and delicious processed foods. But I am staying strong. This isn’t going to be easy but I know I can beat this with hard work and a positive attitude.

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