Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I gained weight over night!

Posted by PicasaThis is me and Phil Heath, the night of my competition in October, shortly after he won second place in the 2010 Olympia, we make a pretty good looking couple huh?
We both have very full, round, healthy looking muscles don't you think? There is a reason, and it's what we ate.
I have heard so many times from friends "Oh I went out last night and I had pizza (or pasta, or fries, or cake, the list is endless) and I now weigh three pounds more than yesterday!!!!
They really think they gained weight!  Oh I fall for it too, it's that nasty scale! Stay away from it!
You cannot gain three pounds overnight, sorry, it ain't gonna happen, ever! You may weigh more, but it's a temporary situation, honestly.
You must ingest over 3,500 extra calories to gain one pound. So...thinking about what you ate in one day or night, do you think you ate enough to gain three pounds? Nope, didn't think so.....
There is this sneaky little thing called GLYCOGEN and it can make or break you!

Where does it come from? Carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates can be thought of as molecular necklaces with carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen atoms strung together in chains. These necklaces are broken apart during digestion by digestive enzymes and converted into individual beads or molecules of blood glucose, also known as blood sugar. Assisted by the hormone insulin, blood glucose is ushered into cells to be used by various tissues in the body.

Several things happen to glucose. Once inside a cell, it can be quickly metabolized to supply energy, particularly for the brain and other parts of the nervous system that depend on glucose for fuel. Or it may be converted to either liver or muscle glycogen, the storage form of carbohydrate.

When you exercise or use your muscles, the body mobilizes muscle glycogen for energy. Blood glucose can also turn to body fat and get packed away in fat tissue. This happens when you eat more carbohydrates than you need or than your body can store as liver or muscle glycogen.
You can generally store about 1600 calories of glycogen in your muscles and liver. On average, about 1,200 calories of glycogen are stored in your muscles, and 400 calories in your liver.

The amount of glycogen stored in your muscles is directly related to how much carbohydrate you eat and how well trained you are. Diets containing 60 to 65 percent or more of carbohydrate allow for the greatest storage of glycogen in the muscles on a daily basis.
The more glycogen you store in your muscles, the longer you can train or work out. So to maintain an active lifestyle, your diet should always be high in carbohydrates (the RIGHT ones though).

Back to why you weigh more though. For every gram of glycogen your body stores away in the muscles, it also packs away 2.6 grams of water!
Just sleeping for several hours can deplete your stored carbohydrates anywhere from 140 to 260 calories (depending on your size and fat free mass).
What exactly counts as a carbohydrate?

Fruit, Vegetables, Breads, Cereals, Milk, Soda, Fruit juice, Grains, Pasta, Legumes, sweets. Maye we should name what is NOT a carbohydrate!
So, look at what you ate the day or two before the "weight gain", was it high in carbohydrate?  You may just be packing a little extra energy and water. It will go away as you deplete the stores and/or reduce the carbohydrates in the next few days.

If you are a competitor and are carb cycling, don't go getting freaky on me! Your weight WILL fluctuate as you cycle through the carbs. 
 What's the best way to figure out what is going on with your body? Write down what you eat, everyday. Everything. Be honest, if you aren't, the only one you are cheating is yourself.
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