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The Fit 5: Eating Right

Our fitness expert answers your questions about what and how to eat to stay healthy and lean.

For all of our fans who shoot us questions on the Men's Fitness Facebook and Twitter Pages, this one is for you. Each week, we will tap into our pool of editors and experts to help with any questions or challenges you are having with your fitness regimen. This week, Rob Sulaver C.S.C.S., founder and owner of Bandana Training, answers questions about the do's and don'ts of dieting. You can also catch Sulaver on Twitter @BandanaTraining.

1) Protein vs. Fat — asked by John Paitrew 
Is it true that too much protein turns into fat?
“Sure, too much of anything turns into fat—it's how your body stores energy and your body wants to store energy. But as a general rule, protein isn't your enemy. In fact, it's more metabolically costly to digest—which makes it a friend. A good friend. A strong, lean, delicious friend.”
2) When to Eat — asked by Teri Ryan
Is it better to eat more frequently throughout the day? Why?
"Generally speaking, yes. It controls hunger, manages blood sugar levels, and gives the body a good excuse to be lean. (I can already hear the proponents of IF angrily typing their response.)"
3) Abolishing Fat — asked by Adam Holand
What happens if I completely remove all fats from my diet? 
"You would donkey-punch your hormone profile, suppress your brain and nervous system function, trample on your ability to manage hunger, become deficient in fat soluble vitamins (and Vitamin D deficiency is already a big problem), and slowly transform into a troll. Okay, I lied about that last part.  But fat is an essential part of a healthy diet. Plus...no more peanut butter? Who wants that?"
4) Clarifying the Glycemic Index — asked by PJ Khal
How much of an impact does the glycemic index of foods have on my body?

 

"Glycemic index is a measure of how quickly and significantly a certain food raises your blood sugar. Managing your blood sugar is exceptionally important for healthy, lean, feel-good living. Therefore, understanding and appreciating the GI is definitely a step in the right direction. But the story gets a little more complicated than that for a few reasons. One of which is this: the GI is based on a standardized amount of carbs (50g), not a standardized amount of food. Some foods are very carb dense. It's easy to eat a lot of carbs from bread for example. Other foods are less carb dense. It's not as easy to eat a ton of carbs from carrots. Carrots have a relatively high GI, but won't disturb your blood sugar much because of their lower carb density. To understand this more, read up about Glycemic Load, which is the GI multiplied by the serving size of food and is perhaps a more realistic number."

5) Fad Diets — asked by Ravij Nuey 
Which "diets" have the most ridiculous claims and lack of evidence?
“Lots of diets have some degree of crazy talk. I've heard of some juice cleanse program that use salts to induce emesis (vomiting)—it's pure malarkey. The body has remarkable detoxification mechanisms at work. These can and should be helped along with fiber and antioxidants, but not eating and vomiting your face off for 10 days isn't a step towards health and vitality in my book."

 

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