Debunking the Carbs Protein Hype

Exerpts from a Joint Position Stand of the American College of Sports Medicine, American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada

There is no evidence that athletes need a diet significantly different than the general population
- Carbohydrates should represenet 55-58% of energy (calories)
- Protein should represent 12-15%
- Fat should represent 25-30%
- Individuals who want to gain muscle mass should consume 1.6.-1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight
- Endurance trained athletes should consume 1.2- 1.4 grams per kilogram of body weight
- Consumption of higher amounts is not shown to be beneficial and could cause health problems
- Carbohydrates are essential to the recovery process, they replace muscle glycogen and facilitate the repair process
- The post exercise meal should contain a mix of carbohydrates, protein and fat
- Supplements should generally not be required if sufficient nutrients are being consumed in the diet.

Losing Weight, Keeping it Off

From a position stand by the American College of Sports Medicine
ACSM recommends that the public follow these general guidelines for losing weight and keeping it off: Consult with a trained healthcare professional, consider losing weight if BMI is 25 or above, reduce caloric and fat intake, exercise 2.5 - 4.5 hours a week, and use dietary supplements/weight loss drugs only under physician supervision.

-An "energy deficit" of 500-1000 calories a day is recommended
-An effective weight-loss program must include increased energy expenditure in addition to reduced dietary intake.
-Significant health benefits can be realized with a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week; there may be advantages to increasing to 200-300 minutes per week
-Even modest reduction of 5-10% produce significant health benefits
-If energy needs exceed energy intake, weight loss will occur
-Very low calorie diets (VLCDs), used in conjunction with dietary supplements and requiring medical supervision, may increase the magnitude and rate of weight loss but probably will not improve long-term weight loss

Exercise Can Help Control Stress

People who exercise regularly will tell you they feel better.

Here are four ways exercise controls stress, according to the American Council on Exercise:

1. Exercise can help you feel less anxious. Following a session of exercise, clinicians have measured a decrease in electrical activity of tensed muscles.
2. Exercise can relax you. One exercise session generates 90 to 120 minutes of relaxation response.
3. Exercise can make you feel better about yourself. That feeling of self-worth contributes to stress relief.
4. Exercise can make you eat better. And it's no secret that good nutrition helps your body manage stress better.

Activities you can choose from:
Aerobic activity - All it takes is 20 minutes' worth, six to seven days a week.
Yoga - Recent studies have shown that when large muscle groups repeatedly contract and relax, the brain receives a signal to release specific neurotransmitters, which in turn make you feel relaxed and more alert.
Recreational sports - require the kind of vigorous activity that rids your body of stress- causing adrenaline and other hormones.

Don't try exercising in your office. Outdoors or away from the office is the best place to find a stress-free environment. Even a corporate fitness center can have too many work-related thoughts for some people.

Click here to read the whole story from the American Council on Exercise

Fitness Articles for You