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How exercise effects fat burn.

Posted on October 7, 2013 at 10:57 PM Comments comments (24)
Many are under the impression that their workout turns them into a fat burning machine 24 hours following their workout. It’s a widely held belief that regular workouts result in accelerated fat-burning around the clock.
 
Not so fast, at least not for moderate-intensity workouts. According to Edward Melanson, PHD, and associate professor of medicine at the University of Colorado
“ Moderate duration exercise of and hour or less has little impact on 24-hour fat oxidation.”

http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/news/20090528/24-hours-of-fat-burning-from-exercise
 
Most studies regarding fat burning—from exercise—have been short-term studies, which spanned only several hours and looked at people who were in an unfed state. Melanson’s team looked at a more true to life scenario where they followed the subjects over a 24-hour period; they exercised and ate normally or they did no exercise and ate.
 
It’s not that we don’t burn fat through exercise; it’s that we replace the calories with the food we eat. Exercise increases your body’s ability to burn fat, but if you replace the calories, you’re back to square one.
 
This information shouldn’t dissuade you from exercise; however, it should let you know that you need to be more realistic about calories and calories out.
 
Melanson's team evaluated fat burning in 10 lean, endurance-trained participants, 10 lean but untrained people, and eight untrained and obese people during exercise conditions and sedentary conditions.

Participants were fed a diet that was 20% fat, 65% carbs, and 15% protein for three days before each session and on the day they exercised or did not exercise. On the exercise day, participants rode a stationary bike at a moderate intensity for one hour, burning about 400 calories.
When Melanson's team measured calorie expenditures, they were higher in each group when they exercised compared to when they did not, not surprisingly, but they found that burning of carbohydrate, not fat, seemed to increase in the 24-hour period after exercising.In the journal report, Melanson reports additional fat-burning studies, including one that compared seven men ages 60-75 with seven other men ages 20-30, with no differences in fat burning between groups for the 24 hours after exercise or no exercise.

Why don't we become long-term fat burners after a good workout?  The most likely reason is that we eat, and what we eat affects fat burning. For instance, eating as little as 240 calories of carbohydrate during the hour before exercise can reduce fat burning during exercise, and the boost in fat burning during exercise can be "blunted" for up to six hours after eating a meal, says Melanson, citing other research.

To maintain their low body fat, endurance-trained exercisers may simply eat less fat than they burn habitually, he says.The study findings are ''dispelling the myth that you can create a 24-hour fat-burning situation after exercise," says Pete McCall, an exercise physiologist and spokesman for the American Council on Exercise. But, he tells WebMD, the findings were limited to exercisers who did moderate-intensity exercise, and for an hour or less. "These results might not apply to different forms of exercise or higher-intensity exercise," McCall says.

Still, he says, the research results might be a crucial wake-up call. "The point of this study, I think, is [that] he is trying to get people out of that mind-set: 'I just worked out and I can eat whatever I want.'" At least for people trying to lose weight, McCall says, that's certainly not true.Melanson says that the take-home message from his research depends on whether you are trying to lose weight or just maintain. "If you are using exercise to lose body weight or body fat, you have to consider how many calories you are expending and how many you are taking in," he says. The goal is a negative fat balance.

"If your body mass index is below 25, you shouldn't be concerned about losing more body fat," he says.
 

Hormones that affect weight loss

Posted on June 5, 2013 at 8:01 PM Comments comments (12)
Hormones that affect weight loss:
 
Insulin
 
Insulin is a protein chain or peptide hormone that is produced by the beta cells of the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. The role of insulin is to lower blood sugar, deliver nutrients into cells that need it, and to store fat.  
 
  • Insulin causes the liver, muscle, and fat tissue to take up glucose and turn it into glycogen in the muscles and the liver.
 
  • Insulin also prevents utilization of fat as an energy source. In absence of insulin, or when insulin levels are low, the body doesn’t take up glucose and fat is used as an energy source. 
 
  • Insulin controls other systems in the body as well, and regulates amino acid uptake of the body’s cells.
 
  • Insulin has several other anabolic effects throughout the body as well.
 
 
Glucagon 
 
Glucagon (also a peptide hormone) is secreted the by alpha cells of the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. It’s role is to raise blood glucose levels. The pancreas releases glucagon when blood glucose levels are low.
 
  • Glucagon causes the liver to convert glycogen into glucose, which then is released in the bloodstream.
 
  • High blood glucose levels stimulate the release of insulin, which then in turn allows the glucose to be taken up, and used by insulin dependent tissues.
 
  • Glucose and insulin keep blood glucose levels stable.
 
Cortisol
 
Cortisol, also known as hydrocortisone, is a steroid hormone (or a glucocorticoid) produced by the zona fasciculate of the adrenal cortex. It is released in response to stress and low blood glucocorticoids.
 
  •  It’s main functions are to raise blood glucose levels through gluconeogenesis, suppress the immune system, and assist in metabolizing proteins, fats and carbs.
 
  •  It also decreases bone formation.
 
  •  Release is controlled by the hypothalamus of the brain
 
  • Activates anti-stress and anti-inflammatory pathways.
 
  • In several studies, cortisol has been shown to (somewhat) suppress lipolysis or the breakdown of fat.
 
 
Leptin
 
Leptin plays a major role in regulating energy intake, expenditure, appetite, metabolism, as well as behavior. It’s one of the most important adipose-derived hormones.
 
  •  Functions by binding to the leptin receptor.
 
  • Leptin tells the brain that the body has had enough to eat, thus producing a feeling of satiety. Leptin may make it easier to avoid the temptation of higher calorie foods.
 
  • Leptin’s ability to manipulate bone mass was first recognized in the year 2000. Leptin can affect bone metabolism.
 
  • Leptin receptors are in the hypothalamus and the hippocampus.  Leptin deficiency has been proven to alter brain proteins and neural functions in obese mice.
 
  •  In humans, low circulating plasma leptin has been linked to cognitive changes associated with anorexia, depression, HIV and the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Is A Calorie Just A Calorie ?

Posted on May 30, 2013 at 6:04 PM Comments comments (6)
Is a calorie just a calorie? Well, yes and no. It’s true (in order to lose weight) that you have to eat less calories than you need to maintain your current weight, and--it’s also true--that if you consume more calories than you require to maintain your current bodyweight, you will gain weight; however, it’s not entirely that simple. The types of foods you eat can also effect how much weight you lose, or how much weight you gain.  The ratio of macronutrients in your diet, meaning the amount of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, can also have an affect on your weight loss goals.
 
First, the amount of carbs that are consumed can effect satiety levels. Satiety levels  will effect how much we eat, so a high amount of carbs in our diet can prevent or hinder weight loss. The amount of protein in our diet also plays a part. Protein is needed to build and maintain muscle. Muscle—being the most metabolically expensive tissue in the body—is a big factor is the speed of one’s metabolism. The more muscle one has, the more calories they burn throughout the day, even at rest. Fats are calorically dense. Fats have 9 calories per gram where carbs and fats have 4. Now the obvious way that fats can derail your weight loss is that too much fat consumption will often mean too many calories, but fats can thwart your weight loss goals in other ways.
 
One interesting thing about fat is that the body is more efficient at storing it. That makes sense because that’s is the main purpose of fat: it’s stored energy.  When storing 100 calories of fat, your body will burn 2.5 calories. When converting carbohydrates to fat, and then storing it, your body burns 23 calories, so limiting you fat intake, in a sense, gives you a bigger margin of error, or at the very least decreases fat storage.
 

Clean food versus Dirty Foods

Posted on January 10, 2013 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (19)

There’s this concept in the fitness industry regarding food, or society for that matter, and that concept is clean eating. What is clean eating? How do clean foods differ from dirty foods? Foods that are widely considered clean are: veggies, whole grains, fruits, and lean cuts of meat. Dirty foods are typically fatty foods, or food that are high in sugar. 
 
Most people would consider a burger, whether it has vegetables on it or not, as a dirty food, but they would consider steak a clean food. Most people would consider a baked potato a clean food, but French fries would be considered dirty, or junk food, by just about everyone, but why? Burgers are made out of beef, just like steak. Fries are merely sliced potatoes. How can the name, or how the food is cooked, make it a “dirty food?”  A potato will have the same amount of vitamins in it whether it’s baked or fried. The only difference is the calories. The higher amount of calories CAN lead to obesity. Notice I emphasized the word CAN. Foods like French fries don’t have to lead to weight gain.

Now another question regarding burgers and fries is saturated fat. Saturated fat isn’t unhealthy.  The notion that saturated fat is harmful is merely a hypothesis that has never been proven. Saturated fat was first indicted (scientifically) in a highly influential paper called “ Atherosclerosis” in 1953 by physiologist Ancel  Keys, Ph.D. He wrote that while the death rate, in the US, was decreasing, the number of deaths attributed to heart disease was doing the opposite.  His explanation for this was a comparison of fat intake and heart disease mortality in six countries: The U.S., Canada, Australia, England, Italy, and Japan.  The US had the highest fat intake and the most deaths from heart disease. Conversely, Japan had the lowest intake of fat and deaths from heart disease.  The other countries fell somewhere in between. Keys referred to this correlation as a “remarkable relationship” and started to publicly link fat intake with heart disease. This was eventually referred to as the diet-heart hypothesis.
 
At the time, many scientists were skeptical of Key’s claims. Jacob Yerushalmy, Ph.D.( founder of the biostatistics graduate program at the University of California at Berkeley) pointed out that while the data from the six countries supported the diet-heart hypothesis, statistics were available from twenty-two countries. When those countries were analyzed the apparent link between fat intake and heart disease vanished.
 
You’ll notice that Keys didn’t take the caloric intake of each population into account. The US has the highest amount heart disease, but the U.S. also has a high rate of obesity. Now, is that because of fat intake or caloric intake overall ? It’s well known that the US is one of the fattest nations on the planet.  In just the last twenty years portion sizes in the U.S. have increased by 20%.
 
The problem is that most people carry on their daily lives with no concern as to how many calories they consume. Couple this with becoming accustomed to larger portions, and it’s no wonder that fatty foods are considered dangerous. People simply consume too many calories. This is the real culprit obesity and heart disease, and not whether I baked my potato or sliced it up and tossed it in the deep fryer. Most people don’t measure, count calories, or weigh their food. That’s the problem. They eat until their hearts content and pray to whoever their God is, if they pray at all, that it’s not too many calories. When they go on a diet, they avoid calorically dense food in the hopes to lose weight. If they lose weight, it’s by accident.
 
Look at weight loss programs like Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem. Their whole motto is you don’t have to give up the foods you like to lose weight. You can still have burgers, fries, pizza, cake or whatever else your heart desires. Now, why isn’t the CDC all over them for promoting unhealthy eating, and subjecting people to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes just to make a buck? It’s because all those problems come from eating TOO MUCH food. You can have all of those goodies that you like; you just can’t eat them indiscriminately. If you can fit a burger into your caloric needs, dig in. If you want to have some dessert and you go over you caloric needs; well if you’re keeping track of the amount of calories you’re taking in, you can make the proper adjustment to the amount food you take in the following day, or you’ll have a clear picture of how many extra calories you need to burn off during your next workout.
 
A lot of people scoff at measuring their portions and tracking their calories, but tracking my calories allows to me to be even be more flexible with my eating when I’m dieting, and with apps like My Fitness Pal it gets even easier to count your calories.
 
 
 
 

Building Muscle

Posted on July 2, 2012 at 11:17 AM Comments comments (29)
 Building Muscle is simple, but it’s not easy. It takes time and dedication to your workout regimen and your diet. Many people have the dedication to their workout down pat; however, diet is where their dedication falls short, and with appearance, whether you’re trying shed body fat or gain muscle, 80% of your results will come down to your diet. Here’s the first thing you have to know: you cannot gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously. It’s impossible. If you don’t eat enough calories, your body will lack the nutrients to build muscle. Many people overlook this fact and think that if they lift, they’ll simply get bigger. It’s not going to happen unless you’re a totally untrained individual, and those gains won’t last for long, about three to six months at the most.

 
You must be in a caloric surplus; meaning you’re eating more calories than you’re body needs in order maintain your current weight. If you’re not in a caloric surplus, you’re not going to get any bigger. It doesn’t matter how much of your diet is protein. Your body has the ability to turn protein into glucose via glucogenises to satisfy it’s energy needs, so you need to be in a caloric surplus so your body can utilize as much dietary protein for protein synthesis as possible.
 
 
One common mistake that people make when trying to build muscle is loading up on protein thinking that more protein equals more muscle. Wrong, more calories equal more muscle because more protein is available for protein synthesis; less protein (dietary protein or actual muscular tissue) is being converted into glucose. What you really need to increase when attempting to build muscle is your intake of carbohydrates. They’re protein sparing; they also will give you the energy you’ll need to fuel the intensity of your workouts.
 
Here’s the thing: you’re always losing and gaining muscle, even when you’re bulking. If you go for a long period of time without food, like sleeping for an example, your body still needs energy. Where do you think that energy is going to come from ? It’s going to come from you ? You’re probably thinking, what about body fat ? Why can’t my body just use body fat and for energy ? It can, and it will, but the process of turning fat into glucose isn’t as easy of a process for the body as turning protein ( in this case muscle mass) into glucose, and some parts of your body, like your brain, run on carbs, not fats, so muscle loss is inevitable.
 
Building muscle is similar to running a business. If you make more than you spend, you’ve made a profit. If you’re at a positive protein balance, that means you body is taking in and synthesizing more protein that it’s turning into glucose, and you’re gaining muscle. Now remember, to do this you have to be at a caloric surplus. Ideally, you want to get in a gram of protein per pound of body weight, and make sure you’re taking in 100 to 300 calories above what it takes to maintain you weight.
 
Oh, I almost forget. You have to be prepared to put on a little fat. Putting on muscle without any fat gain what so ever is either impossible or it’s extremely difficult. Since you are taking in more than your body needs, fat gain is inevitable. What you want to do is eat clean foods like chicken breast, lean cuts of beef, eggs, and fish along with healthy sources of  carbs such as sweet potatoes, rice, oat meal, broccoli, and pasta. Supplements can assist you in getting enough calories (without eating junk food) throughout the day. It can be difficult at times to get in all those calories with whole foods. Sometimes you lack the time; sometimes you lack the appetite.
 
Remember, after you're satisfied with the amount of size that you’ve gained, you’re going to want to see all of the gains that you’ve made, and the cleaner your diet is while bulking, the less work you’ll have to do you to shed the all the fat you’ve gained during your bulk.