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Posts tagged ‘Lose weight’

How to lose FAT properly

Before I start this blog I first want to explain a couple of terms that are quite important.

  1. Basal Metabolic Rate– this is the amount of energy you burn at rest every day just to maintain normal body functions such as breathing, circulation, digestion and so on. Basal Metabolic Rate usually accounts for the largest part of your total daily calorie expenditure-about two thirds!  This is very important and something people forget!
  2. Lean Body Mass–  Is the total weight of all your body tissues excluding fat. This includes not only muscle but also bone and other fat-free tissues. Since muscle is the largest component of lean body mass, tracking your LBM can tell if you´ve lost or gained muscle. Muscle burns more than fat so if you have a higher lean body mass your basal metabolic rate is going to be higher.
  3. Activity Level– The more active you are, the more calories you burn. If you sit behind a desk all day and relax on the sofa all night, you don´t burn much.
  4. Weight–  The bigger you are, the more calories you require to sustain and move your body.
  5. Age– metabolic rate decreases with age
  6. Gender– Men burn more than women.

TOTAL DAILY ENERGY EXPENDITURE– is the total number of calories your body burns in 24 hours, including basal metabolic rate and all activities. To calculate TDDEE you have to add basal metabolic rate + activity level + weight + lean body mass+ age+ gender.

Ok, now that we have cleared up these terms let´s talk about how to lose fat properly. Most people don´t realize there is a great difference between losing fat and losing weight. They are completely different things and while losing fat is usually great, losing weight on the other hand can have horrible consequences if not done properly. I have already established in my other post that, to lose fat, you have to create a calorie deficit. So, what people usually do is they go on these horrific diets and create a caloric deficit and lose weight. But the problem is that the body doesn´t know the difference between starvation and diet, it thinks it´s the same thing. So, the body protects itself. First thing it does is it burns muscle because muscle consumes more calories and the body doesn´t want that when in a calorie deficit. In other words, you have lost weight but just ruined your BASAL METABOLIC RATE, which is how you burn most of your calories. On top of that you now weigh less, which you may think is better, but remember the more you weigh the more calories you consume. So once you get off the diet and start eating ¨normal¨ your basal metabolism rate is going to be slower than before. Other horrible things that diets do are:

  1. It can increase hunger – The body wants to protect itself so it is going to tell you the whole day that you are hungry
  2. Diets decrease your energy and work capacity – Less energy, the less you move around, the less calories you are going to burn
  3. Diets can decrease thyroid hormone – Thyroid levels help regulate your metabolic rate, so it is not good if we mess with that
  4. Diets increase cortisol – Cortisol is the stress hormone and is also a catabolic (muscle wasting), big NO NO.

That is why diets usually don´t work!! What works is a lifestyle change, meaning you eat more properly and you exercise more.

I´ll finish by giving some tips on how to lose fat:

  • Build muscle or at least don´t lose the muscle you already have
  • If you go in a calorie deficit, eat more protein and fiber
  • Eat natural whole foods
  • Move more
  • Instead of seeing how much weight you have lost, check how much fat you have lost

Seems quite simple, no?

References

Tomiyama JA, Mam T, Vinas D, Huner, M J, DeJager I, Taylor E S. Low calorie diets increase cortisol. PsychosoMed May 2010:72(4):357-64.

Mann T, Tomiyama AI, Lew AM, Westling E, Chatman, Samules B. The search for effective obesity treatment. Should medicare fund diets? American Psychologist 2007; 62:220-33.

Korkeita M, Rissaren A, Kaprio I, Sorensen TI, Koskenuvo M. Weight loss attempts and risk of mayor weight gain: a prospective study in finnish adults. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1999; 70: 965-75

Wadden TA1, Mason G, Foster GD, Stunkard AJ, Prange AJ.Effects of a very low calorie diet on weight, thyroid hormones and mood. Int J Obes. 1990 Mar;14(3):249-58.

 

 

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Bread – Does it make you fat?

I will admit it, I love bread and I cannot eat without bread. You give me a plate of pasta and there is no bread and I won´t enjoy it. You give me the best steak in the world with fries and there is no bread and I will be disappointed. I will still eat the steak  and the pasta  but it´s not going to be the same. Bread for me is sacred, it´s one of the best things there is.  And that is why I eat with a fork (spoon)  in one hand and bread in the other and I love it. So when people tell me they are going on a diet and give up on ¨bread¨, I gasp and say two things, ¨you are crazy¨ and ¨how the hell can you get the pasta on your fork without the help of a piece of bread? ¨ 😉

Bread always gets a bad rap and whenever people want to lose weight, the first thing they take out is ¨bread¨. So, I wanted to find out if bread is really that bad and if it´s really the thing that is causing you to gain weight. And luckily they recently did a study on that. The study is called ¨the evaluation of the usefulness of a low-calorie diet with or without bread in the treatment of overweight/obesity¨. So, what they basically did in this study was divide 122 women into 2 groups. One group was called the intervention group (COULD EAT BREAD, N=61) and the other group was called the control group (NO BREAD, N=61). Both groups received a low-calorie diet of 1500 kcal, with a total caloric distribution of 55% carbohydrates, 21% proteins and 24% fat. The BREAD group was given a diet that included bread while the NO BREAD group was given other sources of carbohydrate, such as pasta, rice , potatoes and legumes.  Both groups also received a Nutrition Education Programme and the same physical activity guidelines to be carried out at least three times a week, with 30 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity. And what they found out is that both groups of women significantly reduced their body weight, waist circumference , BMI and body fat percentage. But the intervention group (BREAD) had a better evolution of dietetic parameters and a GREATER compliance with the diet with fewer dropouts.

So what does all this mean?  Well, that a calorie is  a calorie, and if you are losing weight because you are not eating bread it is because you are consuming fewer calories, not because of the bread in itself. You could do the same thing if you just restricted another food. In fact, according to this study a low-calorie diet with bread is better than a low-calorie diet without bread.  So, in conclusion, do whatever you want but please don´t mess with ¨the bread¨.

References

Kohen-L V, Candela-G C, Fernández-F C, Torres P A, Puig-G J, Bermerjo L. Evaluation of the usefulness of a low-calorie diet with or without bread in the treatment of overweight/obesity.Clin Nutri 2012. Aug,31(4):455-61.

A calorie is a calorie.

People always come to me saying that they cannot lose weight, that they have tried everything from exercise to diet but still can´t get rid of those extra kilos. They say that they have  a ¨slow metabolism¨ or some other excuse and they are basically lying ( click here). Lying to themselves and to the  people around them because, listen closely I´m going to tell a secret, to lose weight you have to eat less and move more. Yes, that´s right, eat less and move more, don´t believe me, look at the studies (1-4).

People don´t understand but you can actually lose weight eating ¨junk food¨ as long as you are in a calorie deficit. You see, there is no evidence that junk food is more fattening that healthy food if both foods have the same number of calories (5) because a calorie is a calorie.  Well ok, consuming  proteins causes a greater energy expenditure than consuming fat or carbohydrates (6), but still for the sake of simplicity a CALORIE is A CALORIE. If you want to lose weight create a calorie deficit, meaning burn more than what you are eating. And that is exactly what John Cisca did a couple of months ago. He lost 37 pounds in 90 days eating just McDonald’s, it´s a true story (click here). And how did he do it, you ask?? That´s right – by creating a calorie deficit.

Even after explaining this to people you will still hear (at least I do), that ¨I exercised and  I ate less and still I didn´t lose weight¨. So what do you do with these people? First, you tell that in almost 100 years of weight loss research, there hasn´t been a single human that didn´t lose weight when they were in a caloric deficit, so they probably aren´t the exception. Second, you explain to them that people are horrible at counting calories and most of the time eat more than what they think (excellent video – you have to watch  both parts) and also move less (burn less calories) . If they still don´t believe you (which some actually won´t), smile and walk again.

Now there are some exceptions to this rule,people who have a thyroid problem will have a problem losing weight(7) and also some medication can hinder weight loss;

  1. Paxil- used for anxiety
  2. Depakote- used to treat bipolar disease
  3. Prozac- It is associated with weight loss in the first 6 months but after it causes the opposite effect. It´s used for depression
  4. Remeron- Anti-depressant
  5. Zyprexa- used for bipolar disease
  6. Allegra-Zyrtec
  7. Deltasone- Treats asthma and inflammatory bowel disease
  8. Thorazine
  9. Elavil- Anti-depressant
  10. Diabines, Insulate- Type 2 diabetes drugs
  11. Insulin- stops protein breakdown.
  12. Tenomin- Beta-bolcers, drugs used for high blood pressure

* if you are on a medication NEVER stop unless you have talked to your doctor first.

 

Hoped you like it, until next time

References

  1.  Buchholz AC, Schoeller DA. Is a calorie a calorie? Am J Clin Nutr.2004;79(5):899S-906S
  2.  Schoeller DA. The energy balance equation: looking back and looking forward are two very different views. Nutr Rev. 2009;67(5):249–254.
  3. Schoeller DA, Buchholz AC. Energetics of obesity and weight control: does diet composition matter? J Am Diet Assoc. 2005;105(5 Suppl 1):S24–8.
  4.  Westerterp KR. Physical activity, food intake, and body weight regulation: insights from doubly labeled water studies. Nutr Rev. 2010;68(3):148–154.
  5. Surwit RS, Feinglos MN, McCaskill CC, et al. Metabolic and behavioral effects of a high-sucrose diet during weight loss. Am J Clin Nutr. 1997;65(4):908–915
  6. Westerterp KB. Diet induced thermogenesis. Nutr Metab (Lond),2004 Aug 18;1(1):5
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK28/

 

Protein: part 2

Hey guys, so in the first part of proteins, I talked about what they are and why they are so important. I also mentioned that we should be consuming a little bit more than the recommended daily intake, especially if we exercise. Now, I will explain why that is.

You see, your body is constantly building up and tearing down tissue. When there is tissue growth it´s called anabolism, and when there is tissue breakdown, it´s called catabolism.  When we exercise, especially resistance exercise (that is with weights), we are creating tissue damage, in other words CATABOLISM. To recover from that ¨catabolism¨, the body uses hormones and nutrients (proteins) to recover itself and build up more muscle (1). If we don´t have proteins at that moment, the body breaks down tissue (catabolism) somewhere else to get those amino acids……. in other words you could be losing muscle tissue!! The opposite of why most of us train and also really bad for those who want to lose weight.

When we consume proteins, that stimulates protein synthesis (build-up), and can reduce protein breakdown (catabolism) (2). But how much should we consume? Well, according to a recent study the greater the amount of protein individuals consumed, the greater the overall anabolic response. And when individuals consumed 80% of their daily protein in a single meal, it caused a greater overall anabolic response for the day than when the protein was split up over several meals (2). With all this said, there is still no consensus on how many grams of proteins you should consume per day but you should take into account a couple of things:

  1. If you are consuming a caloric surplus (taking in more calories than you are spending) you will require less protein.
  2. If you are in a caloric deficit (to lose weight, you consume fewer calories than what you burn), you will need more protein, so that you don´t lose muscle (4) Mettler et al. 2010)
  3. Women are better able to preserve lean mass (muscle) compared to men during times of reduced caloric intake (3)
  4. And lean individuals in a caloric deficit need more proteins than overweight individuals (4). So, if you weigh 80 kilos and have a lot of muscle, you will need to consume more  proteins than an 80 kg man who is ¨overweight¨ or has very little muscle.

With all this said, the ¨experts¨ recommend taking in between 0.70-1 gram per pound (5).

Now let us get to the topic if too much protein is bad for the kidney.  Within wide limits, there is no evidence that a diet high in protein has any detrimental effect on those with normal renal function(6-8). Now, if you have problems with your kidneys you should NOT be on a diet high in protein. Also, a recent study done in a Spanish university said a diet high in proteins increases the changes of experimenting renal dysfunction (click here). However, this study was done in rats and they were on a diet where the proteins represented 45% of that diet!! The normal recommendations are that proteins should represent just 10%,  45% is 4 times the recommend averages! So of course, I don´t think that is healthy. On top of that I don´t know how much the rats where exercising.  With all this said, I still think that people who want to lose weight should be on a diet high in protein, also those that exercise or are active. On the other hand, those who are  couch potatoes have no reason to be eating more proteins.

Hope you guys liked it. Till next time!

References

  1. Kumar V, Atherton P, Smith K, Rennie MJ. Human muscle protein synthesis and breakdown during and after exercise. J Appl Physiol 2009, 106(6):2026-39.
  2. Wolfe R, Deutz N. Is there a maximal anabolic response to protein intake with a meal. Clinical Nutrition.2013.
  3. Lemon PW. Beyond the zone: protein needs of active individuals. J Am Coll Nutr.200 Oct;19
  4. Mettler, S., Mitchell, N., & Tipton, K. D. Increased protein intake reduces lean body mass loss during weight loss in athletes. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 2010.42, 326-337.
  5. Schoenfeld B. The Max Muscle Plan. Human Kinetics.2013
  6. Lowery LM, Daugherty A, Miller B, Bernstein E, Smurawa T. Large chronic protein intake does not affect markers of renal damage in healthy resistance trainer. The FASEB Journal.2011;25:983.25
  7. Lowery LM, Devia L. Dietary protein safety and resistance exercise: what do we really know?. J Int Soc Sports Nutr.2009 Jan12;6:3
  8. Martin WF, Armstrong LE, Rodriguez NR. Dietary protein intake and renal function. Nutr Metab (lond),2005

 

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