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    Calories and Cardio

    carbohydrate-glucose-insulin

    Written by former body-building champion turned holistic nutrition expert Joanne Lee Cornish, this a very helpful little book. It’s not a diet book; she makes clear that everyone is unique: different metabolic rates, different levels of glucose tolerance and, of course, different ages. If you are looking for a diet, see a professional in person, or give Joanne a call to go over your personal situation.

    The book explains the relationship between aging hormones, food and their combined effect on the body. The single most important take away here is something we keep bringing up at AGEIST: low glycemic/low carb diet is essential. Yes, total calories are important, but even more important is how much of what we eat is being turned into glycogen and how quickly.  Carbohydrates are turned into glucose, which our muscles use for fuel. But anything that is not stored in the liver or the muscle fibers, and not immediately burned, is turned to fat via insulin. Cruciferous vegetables are great, high-sugar orange juice not so great. Want to gain some weight fast? Eat pie before bed.

    She makes clear, it is impossible for the body to convert fat to energy if there is insulin present in the blood stream. Insulin will shut down the process. If, for instance, you grab an energy drink before spin class, you will not be burning any fat, in fact, you may be adding to your fat stores. Thus, a carbo-loading marathon runner may not lose their fat, and can actually be adding to it. Whereas someone who gets a limited number of daily calories from carbohydrates and walks everywhere does lose weight.

    Age complicates matters, especially for women. But the bottom line is still the same: build more lean muscle, eat less food that converts quickly to sugar, exercise. This is not about looking cute at the beach. Fat is also a hormone disrupter, a fat-creating-more-fat feedback machine, magnifying dramatically the adverse hormonal effects of age.

    It requires diligent work as we deal with our aging bodies, but if we don’t, say hello to type II diabetes and the very unpleasant effects of metabolic syndrome. The fact is, lifestyle-related diseases are avoided by making simple daily choices.

    David Stewart
    David Stewart
    David is the founder and face of AGEIST. He is an expert on, and a passionate champion of the emerging global over-50 lifestyle. A dynamic speaker, he is available for panels, keynotes and informational talks at david@agei.st.
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