The truth about sports, nutrition and pain!

Posts tagged ‘CALORIES’

¨Hitting the wall¨

You probably have heard of this expression before if you are a runner and may have even experienced it yourself. ¨Hitting the wall¨ usually happens around the 29th to 35th kilometer. The runner´s pace slows down considerably, the legs become very heavy and thinking often becomes hard and confused (now that I think about it, this last thing happens to me quite often). This happens because we basically run out of available energy.

The runner´s primary sources of energy during prolonged exercise are carbohydrates and fats. We have lots of stores of fat, around 70.000 to 75.000 kcla, even in a lean adult, but the fat metabolism requires a constant supply of oxygen, and delivery of energy is slower than that provided by the carbohydrate metabolism. The carbs reserves (glycogen), on the other hand, are quite limited and have only around 2.000 to 2.400 kcla, which happens to be enough energy to get us to kilometer 29-30. Since the body is much less efficient at converting fat to energy, running pace slows and the runner suffers from fatigue.To make things even worse the brain, which  only accounts for 2% of your weight and consumes 20% of your energy, gets its fuel source only from carbohydrates!!  So now next you ¨hit the wall¨you will know why that is. Hope you liked it. Till next time

References

Kenney L, Wilmore J, Costill D. Physiology of Sport and Exercise sixth edition, Human Kinetics,2015.

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Cardio or Lifting Weights, what is better for losing weight?

This is a classic question I always get asked and one where people always get surprised when hearing my answer. Which is that for losing weight I put more emphasis on weight training.

Running is great and something I love to do but I do not run to lose weight. I run for other reasons, like to improve my cardiovascular condition, to disconnect  and to prepare myself for future races. Because, like I have stated various times in my blog, the body is the best machine you will ever have. It is designed for efficiency, meaning that if you do the same thing over and over again, the process will become easier. So, this is good if your aim is to try to win a race but it is not good if your goal is to lose fat. For example, did you know marathon runners spend 30% less energy running a marathon than a normal person (1). Even do you are doing the same distance, the marathon runner is still burning or spending 30% less, how can this be? Well, it could be for various reasons like running technique and weight, but the most important one is that the metabolism has become more EFFICIENT.  So if you run everyday for 40 minutes, your body is going to get more efficient and you are going to burn fewer calories. That is why I sometimes tell people who only run to lose fat that, instead of just slogging away to lose 300 calories, they can just eat 300 fewer calories per day and get the same result.

Weight training is different because, first, you are creating muscle. Muscle will elevate your metabolism, remember, most of the calories we burn throughout the day are not thanks to the sports we do but because of our metabolism. Also, every time we do weight training we create mini-micro tears that need to be repaired. This process requires energy, meaning we are burning calories.  And let us not forget that strength training  is considered anaerobic training because it is high in intensity. Exercises high in intensity have been shown to accelerate metabolism for up to 72 hours after the workout due to the effects of excess post exercise oxygen consumption (2).

In conclusion, running is a great activity and something that I usually recommend people to do and of course it can help in losing weight but, if you ask me, weight training is even better for this task.

 

Hope you liked it.

References

  1. Hargrove T. A guide to better movement.  Better movement 2014. p 22-24.
  2. Heden R, Lox C, Rose P, reid S, Kirk EP. One-set resistance training elevates energy expenditure for 72 h similar to three sets. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2011 Mar;11 (3):477-84.

Now with weight training

I will explain that later but first I want to explain some terms.

Aerobic –  meaning your body gets its energy through the use of oxygen. When you are in aerobic the body´s prefer source of energy is ¨¨. Basically during the whole day we are in ¨aerobic¨, so we are burning fat the whole day. So, technically it is a myth when you hear people say ¨to burn fat you have to run more than 40 minutes¨, because you are burning fat throught out the day.

Anaerobic- without oxygen

 

Is food addictive part 3?

Last week I did two blogs on how certain foods can be addictive and how we have a hereditary predisposition for wanting to eat foods with lots of calories. I also mentioned how we really don´t have strong instincts to engage in physical activity because, before in the past, physical activity used to occur automatically every time we needed to hunt. No one would just go for a run and waste precious calories, we needed all the calories we had. Now, everything has changed. It´s easy to get food and we barely move, and those are two of the reasons why obesity is a WORLD WIDE EPIDEMIC.

Well, in this third part of ´is food addictive´, I’m just going to mention some facts that most people don´t know and should, and that I consider pretty important. So let´s start off.

  1. Did you know that the last 10,000 years of our history only represents 1% of  human history? The body changes and adapts over time but it usually takes thousands of years for that to happen. Agriculture first arrived 9,000 years ago, if you think about it, in terms of human evolution, that´s not a long time ago.
  2. Before agriculture we were hunter-gatherers. Fossils records show that Paleolithic hunter-gatherers lifespan averaged 26 years, but with the invention of agriculture the lifespan went down to 19!!! (1)
  3. In Greece and Turkey, near the end of the Paleolithic hunter-gatherer era, men averaged 5´9 (175cm) and women 5´5 (166cm). By 3000 BC, with agriculture a way of life, the average height had dropped to 5´3 (161cm) for men and 5´ (152cm) feet for women (1,5). This could be because the Paleolithic hunter-gatherers ate hundreds of plants and animals, supplying lots of complete proteins and vitamins. Farmers ate mainly three crops, wheat, rice and corn, because they were the easiest to cultivate, harvest and store without spoiling.
  4. Human milk matches the exact proportions of amino acids and fats used for brain circuits and contains antibodies to prevent infections. Cows milk contains very different proportions of amino acid and much more fat. Babies fed on breast milk average 8.3IQ points higher by the age of 8 than those fed on milk-based formula.(3)
  5. Predators consistently have larger brains than herbivores. You require more cunning to catch prey than to find the next leaf. Omnivores, who must switch between these tasks, tend to have larger brains yet.
  6. Brains and nervous systems are for mobility; plants don´t have brains, animals do. Exercise especially generates neurons in the hippocampus, an organ associated with memory, and these new neurons have been demonstrated to enhance learning. What I´m basically stating here is: MOVE, it will make you smarter.
  7. Dieting, in the long run, almost never works! Maximal weight loss is typically achieved at around 6 months, followed by weight regain.(2)
  8. Evidence has been building up that if you consume less calories, far below that needed to maintain normal weight, but still consume vitamins, protein and other important nutrients, your lifespan could increased by up to 65 percent.. (8)
  9. They have done studies with a low-calorie diet on different animals such as rats, yeast, worms, flies, spiders, fish and several types of rodents, and have seen the lifespan of the animals increase from 25 to 65 percent.(6-7)
  10. The people who live the longest come from Okinawa, Japan. Their diet consists of a higher percentage of fresh vegetables than in most places, and fish and soy make up virtually all the protein. Okinawans consume 40 percent fewer calories than Americans and 17 percent fewer calories than the average Japanese.  (9)
  11. There have been studies that have demonstrated the effect of larger portions on consumption. Did you know that the standard serving portion size for almost everything is larger than it was a generation ago? We sometimes see this in restaurants, especially in the USA, were the servings are huge. The problem with huge serving sizes is that we eat more than we are supposed to. They did a experiment on people, where people were invited to a lab for a ¨taste test¨of soup. Some of  the participants got a bowl that had a tube connected to the bottom of the bowl, so that it was always full. The other participants ate from a normal bowl. All the participants thought they had a ¨normal¨ bowl. Those with the ¨bottomless¨ bowl ate 40 percent more!!

CONCLUSIONS ON ´IS FOOD ADDICTIVE´

Certain foods are addictive, we have a hereditary predisposition for storing fat and we don´t have a strong instinct to engage in physical activity. On top of that we have changed drastically the way we eat, especially the last 80 years. Remember, and I know I have stated this a couple of times but it´s quite important, the last 10,000 years only represent 1% of the human evolution. Before agriculture we were hunter-gatherers and ate hundreds of plants and animals. The animals we ate were animals that were in the wild and had a high content of protein. The animals we eat now, are in farms, fed ¨shit¨ food, and given hormones to grow as fat and as quick as possible.  Another problem is that we eat much more than what we are supposed to. Just bear in mind that the people who live the longest on the planet are the Okinawans and they eat quite less than the average American or Japanese. Also, let´s not forget that the bigger the serving the more we eat (compare the dishes you have now with the ones your grandparents have).

So, with all this said, I think I found a solution to the problem. Instead of moving more, eating well and drinking better……… just buy smaller dishes !!! 😉

My next blog will finally be about sports. It will talk abou the myth of high repetitions. I think we have all heard that if you want to lose weight and tonify you have to do more repetitions, but is this true??  We will see in my next blog…. until then .

      References.
      1. Deirdre B. Waistland. The Evolutionary Science behind our weight and fitness crisis. W.W. Norton & Company. New York, 2007. pg 11.
      2. Mann T, Tomiyamas J, Westting E, Lew A-M, Chatman J. Medicare´s Search for Effective Obesity Treatments. American Psychologist, 2007;220-30.
      3.Lucas A. Breast Milk and Subsequent Intelligence Quotient in Children Born Preterm. Lancet 339,1992; 261-4.
      4. Reuters, ¨Researcher Links Obesity , Food Portions.
      5. Angel. Paleoecology, Paleodemography and Health.
      6. Lawler F-D. Influence of Lifetime Food Restriction on Causes, TIme and Predictores of Death in Dogs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 226, 2005; 225-31.
      7. Delaney M, Walford L. The Longevity Diet: Discover Calorie Restriction. Marlowe & CO. New York, 2005.
      8.

www.calorierestriction.org

    9. Wilcox B. How Much Should We Eat? The Association Between Energy Intake and Mortality in a 36 Year Follow-Up Study of Japanese-American Men. Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences 59,2004; 789-95.

Is food addictive part 2?

In our last post we talked about how certain foods can be addictive by producing chemical changes in our brain. We also saw that eating refined fatty meals makes us stop producing Leptin. Leptin is a hormone which signals the body to stop eating, but we also saw that the reverse can also happen. Meaning that if you stop eating the junk food and start eating healthy, the levels of those hormones return to normal, so there is hope. But what is eating healthy?

10,000 years ago, which may sound like a long time but it equals to only 1 percent of human history, most humans lived like hunter-gatherers. Back then we used to eat a lot of meat (this meat, contrary to what we eat now, contained much more protein), fish, fruits, leaves and seeds. We ate more than one hundred species of plant- most rich in vitamins, fiber and other nutrients. Fats and sugar were rare but we developed a craving for them because they contain lots of calories, which was important back then to survive. Thanks to our diet, and because we were always on the move, people were lean but whoever could store fat had an advantage. So we developed a predisposition for carrying fat on our bodies as well as wanting it in our foods. The problem is, back then it was difficult to get too much of these foods, now it´s the complete opposite. So not only do we get ¨addicted¨ to these foods when we eat them, we also have hereditary predisposition for wanting to eat them.

So I guess I´m not saying anything new about what is healthy eating. I think most people know what is healthy and what is un-healthy, the problem is people don´t do it. And now we know some reasons why that is. It´s the same thing with physical activity, most people know they have to move more but they don´t do it. They always use excuses like they don´t have enough time or that something hurts, ironically most of these problems are improved by exercise. Biologically we need exercise, but we don´t have strong instincts to engage in it. Before, physical activity used to occur automatically while trying to catch or find out food, now it´s not like that. Back then no one would just go for a run, that would be wasting precious energy and calories, you needed all the energy and calories you could have. Those extra calories could make the difference between life and death.

This blog just gets worse and worse, not only do we have a hereditary predisposition for wanting to eat foods with lots of calories, but once we eat them we get addicted to them – and to top that off I just said that we don´t have strong instincts to engage in sports!!! No wonder we are loosing against obesity and getting fatter and fatter every day. But there is hope, I have seen it, even done it!! You can fight back …… I won´t tell you what you have to do because I want to keep the secret to myself but I´ll give you a hint: It has to do with eating and moving.

In my next blog, we will continue with the third part of ¨is food addictive¨ by mentioning some interesting facts that most people don´t know. Until next time I leave you with the second part of ¨The men who made us fat¨ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owekbSp7wU0.

Does eating late make you gain weight?

Most people out there think that eating food quite late or just before going to bed is going to make you gain weight, but that´s really not true. You gain weight because of calories not because of ¨TIME¨. The thing is, that most people have had their share of calories during the day and that extra meal you are going to eat before going to bed is going to add to the already enough calories you have consumed during the whole day. So let me put up an example to clarify things.

Imagine your body consumes or burns 2,000 calories (2.000 in Europe) a day. This means that if you  eat  more than 2,000 calories a day you will probably gain weight and if you eat less than 2,000 calories you will lose weight. So now imagine you have not been eating anything during the whole day and just before going to bed you decide to have a burger, with bacon , fries and everything you can imagine. If that meal you are going to eat has 1,500 calories, you are still going to lose weight because you still have a 500 calorie deficit when you go bed. Now this doesn´t mean I recommend that you have a heavy meal before going to bed, and i usually never recommend this to my clients. But I want people to understand that CALORIES make you gain weight not time.

Now once this is clarified I do want to state that the body has a biological clock that helps time our sleep patterns, alertness, mood, physical strength and blood pressure. Usually we experience a 24-hour pattern of light and dark, and our clock uses this signal to align biological time to the day and night. What this means is that under normal conditions our blood pressure decreases, body temperature drops and we get tired, meaning our metabolism slows down. Which is one of the reasons why I don´t recommend eating heavy before going to bed.

So in conclusion: CALORIES make you gain weight not time, but eating heavy meals at night is usually not a good idea.

I have done 3 blogs about diet, so now I will change topics and start talking about sports, in particular about cardio training. So until next time.

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