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An Introduction to Dieting

Right or wrong, the fact is that January is when people tend to kick off their attempts to diet, get fit, etc.  Many gripe about this, we can quibble about the relative merit’s of using what is fundamentally an arbitrary date as a starting point but that doesn’t change the reality: the holidays are over and January is when dieting starts (as well, Fat Loss Happens on Monday).  For that reason, among others, I’m going to republish a version of something I originally published in 2015.

This is actually an excerpt from the Women’s Book which I’d note has now been split into two volumes (Volume I is one nutrition, fat loss, etc. and Volume 2 will be about training) of which the first is nearing completion (I promise).   However, it’s undergone enormous rewriting since I originally published it, including the addition of a completely new section.   So I’ve unpublished the original to republish the updated version in two parts over the next two weeks.… Keep Reading

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A Guide to the Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load

Every so often the idea that carrots or some other fairly innocuous food is bad due to a high Glycemic Index (GI) comes through the fitness industry.  I can recall seeing it 3-4 times over my career.  Invariably this is an overreaction due to not really understanding what the Glycemic Index really represents.  So to help clear it up I want to look at the GI concept in some detail along with a related concept called the Glycemic Load (GL).  And while I’ve done a full guide to dietary carbohydrates before, I want to start with a quick precis on how carbs are classified in the diet.

Classifying Carbohydrates

How to classify different carbohydrates in the human has been a topic for decades if not the better part of a century (I’m sure it goes back further than this but I’m not sugar historian) and to make this article make sense, I want to blather about the different types of carbohydrates.… Keep Reading

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How Do I Carbohydrate Load for Endurance Events?

Even though I loved lifting weights since I was 15, I have probably been more involved in endurance sports than anything else over my varied athletic career.  So I do get questions related to endurance activities and they do interest me.  So today I want to look at the question: How do I carbohydrate load for endurance sports?

Specifically, I want to answer the following question:

What does the science say regarding the proper protocol for carbohydrate loading before a goal endurance event like a full marathon? As usual, internet articles are all over the place: some say 2 days, some a week or more, some say keep calories the same but higher carb percentage, some say to jack it up to 5-7 g/lb.

So there’s actually several questions to address here.   Before getting to them, let me, as usual, start at the beginning.

What is Carbohydrate Loading?

The concept of carbohydrate loading is fairly simple. … Keep Reading

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Excluding the Middle

This is an article that both does and doesn’t say much.  It’s something that I’ll likely link back to a lot in the future so I might as well just put it down once.   Want I want to talk about is the common habit of excluding the middle, more formally called “the false dilemma”,  the “either/or fallacy” or a whole host of other things.  It’s one of those things that I see people using all the time in Internet arguments.

Excluding the Middle

The idea here is that people have a tendency to play this cute little game where a given situation can either be exactly one thing (their preference) or exactly one other thing where that other thing is some ludicrous stupid-ass extreme example that they use to attempt to prove their preference simply by how extreme (and dumb) it is.  But compared to something stupid, anything is better by comparison.… Keep Reading