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The Truth About Carbohydrates by Michael Brummer

With all the pressures and misinformation regarding low-carb diets, here's the truth regarding the consumption of carbohydrates:

1)  Carbohydrates provide glucose for the brain and energy for working muscles.
2)  You should get 45 to 65 percent of your daily calories from carbohydrates.
3)  You should NOT eliminate or drastically reduce carbohydrates for non-medical reasons.  Doing so will hurt mental and physical performance.
4)  It is the type of carbohydrate that should be of concern rather than carbohydrates themselves.  You should get most of your carbohydrates from foods that are complex versus simple carbohydrates.

Here is a list of of complex and simple carbohydrates to help you understand which carbohydrates are better for you to consume (this is not a complete list of all food choices):

Select Most Often (Complex Carbs):
Brown rice
Cracked wheat
Wheat berries
Whole grain barley
Whole grain cornmeal
Whole grain bread
Whole wheat crackers
Whole wheat pasta
Whole wheat tortillas
Wild rice

Select Moderately (Simple Carbs):
Corn tortillas
Flour tortillas
Most ready-to-eat breakfast cereals
White bread
White sandwich buns and rolls
White rice

Select Least Often (Simple Carbs):
Brown sugar
Brown rice syrup
Confectioner's sugar
Corn syrup
High fructose corn syrup
Malt syrup
Raw sugar

If you focus on eating more complex versus simple carbohydrates, you will have the glucose necessary for your brain and muscles to function properly and you will also decrease your chances of getting diabetes.  Enjoy some complex carbs today!!!

Michael Brummer, Certified Personal Trainer

In the Zone: The Secret to Burning Fat

Ever wonder how hard you need to workout in order to burn fat and see results? You must be in what's called your "target heart rate" zone. In order to calculate your target heartrate, subtract 220 from your age, then multiply that number by 60% and 80%. These two numbers represent the target heartrate zone you must be in when you're participating in any cardiovascular exercise.

For example, I am 39 years old. I subtract 39 from 220, which gives me 181. Then I multiply 181 by 60% and 80%, which gives me 108.6 and 144.8. These two numbers are my target heartrate zone, which means my heart must beat between 108.6 and 144.8 beats per minute in order for me to burn fat.

The simplest way to test your heartrate is, after you've been exercising for about 15 minutes, to place your pointer and middle fingers beside the side of your neck until you feel your carotid artery. Then count the number of times your heart beats for 20 seconds and multiply that number by 3. This number will equal how many beats per minute your heart is beating and whether or not you're in your target heartrate zone.

Another way you'll know you're in your target heartrate zone is how much you're sweating while doing your exercise. If you're sweating profusely from your forehead, chest area, back, etc., then you're definitely in the zone! So have fun and remember, if you need to burn fat and want the best results, be in your target heartrate zone!

- Michael Brummer, Certified Personal Trainer