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  1. #1
    Air
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    Calorie is just a calorie

    Thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by article
    Diet, exercise take off equal pounds, study finds

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Eating less and exercising more are equally good at helping take off the pounds, U.S. researchers said Friday in a study that challenges many of the popular tenets of the multibillion dollar diet and fitness industry.

    Tests on overweight people show that a calorie is just a calorie, whether lost by dieting or by running, they said.

    They found there is no way to selectively lose belly fat, for instance, or trim thighs. And their carefully controlled study added to evidence that adding muscle mass does not somehow boost metabolism and help dieters take off even more weight.

    "It's all about the calories," said Dr. Eric Ravussin of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, part of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

    "So long as the energy deficit is the same, body weight, fat weight, and abdominal fat will all decrease in the same way."

    Ravussin said the study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, is one of the few done under controlled conditions that can actually demonstrate what happens to a human body while dieting and exercising.

    Ravussin's team has been testing volunteers for another reason -- to see whether taking in fewer calories helps people live longer. Strict diets have been shown to help animals from worms to dogs live longer, but it takes longer to study monkeys and humans.

    They tested 24 people, 12 who ate a calorie-restricted diet, and 12 who dieted and also exercised five times a week for six months.

    The dieters ate 25 percent less than normal, while the exercisers reduced their calorie intake by 12.5 percent and increased their physical activity to lose an extra 12.5 percent in calories.

    An additional 10 volunteers acted as controls. All food was provided by the university in carefully measured portions for most of the study.

    The volunteers in both groups lost about 10 percent of their body weight, 24 percent of their fat mass, and 27 percent of their abdominal visceral fat. Visceral fat is packed in between the internal organs and is considered the most dangerous type of fat, linked with heart disease and diabetes.

    The distribution of the fat on the body was not altered by either approach -- helping prove that there is no such thing as "spot reducing", Ravussin said in a telephone interview.

    This suggests that "individuals are genetically programmed for fat storage in a particular pattern and that this programming cannot easily be overcome," he added.

    Ravussin has published other studies that also dispute the idea that exercise builds muscle that helps people lose weight.

    "If anything, highly trained people are highly efficient, so they burn fewer calories at rest," Ravussin said.

    Dieting alone also did not appear to cause the volunteers to lose muscle mass along with fat, Ravussin's team found.

    "There is a concept that if you exercise, you are going to lose less of your muscle," he said. But his team found no evidence this is true.

    Ravussin believes exercise is crucial to health, however.

    "For overall health, an appropriate program of diet and exercise is still the best," he said.

    His team found some small suggestion that cutting 25 percent of calories by either diet or diet and exercise might extend life.

    "We found that 2 of the biomarkers of aging were improved -- core temperature was 0.4 to 0.5 degrees C less," he said. "Insulin, which has been shown to be a biomarker of aging, was reduced," Ravussin said. That finding was published in the Journal of the American Medical Associaton last April.
    Last edited by Air; 12-11-07 at 02:17 PM.

  2. #2
    Air
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    Off the bat though I'd say 25 people is a really small sample size.

  3. #3
    Banned. Turboem1's Avatar
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    I feel like there are to many variables when testing on humans since we aren't wild animals. I think our brain is to advanced compared to other animals thats studies do not really work unless the person doesn't know (which is illegal).

  4. #4
    Air
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turboem1
    I feel like there are to many variables when testing on humans since we aren't wild animals. I think our brain is to advanced compared to other animals thats studies do not really work unless the person doesn't know (which is illegal).
    Well...it's not illegal or unethical unless you don't disclose the deception at the end. The deception also must be part of what you're studying.

    [Ahh, Human Subject Committee proposals...]

  5. #5
    Senior Member ronjon10's Avatar
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    I buy this. I've been losing weight (dropped about 30 pounds so far) and I started tracking calorie intake vs calorie burn for the last 10 pounds. The results track closely with the 3500 calories burn to drop 1 pound. I have a lot more faith in this theory than any fad diet (low fat, atkins etc) I've ever come across.

    I can't speak to the muscle part.

    What seems debatable?
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  6. #6
    Air
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    The 3500 hasn't worked for me. Been tracking since May and the only correlation was more about the miles on my bike. When my calories alone were low I still gained weight (my rant was lost).

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    When muscle tissue grows new cells are created, which require energy to sustain. People generally don't gain fat cells, on the other hand, except in utero, in early adolescence, or for women when they are pregnant. Fat cells, unlike muscle cells, are like balloons that fill up with fat. They do not require additional energy because there are no more cells (I'm not a cellular biologist, but I believe cells contain mitochondria - the power plant - which takes energy from the food we eat so the cell can survive). This is commonly why it is said that muscle is a metabolically active tissue while fat is not.

    That being said, it doesn't make sense to me that adding muscle mass doesn't increase metabolism. It's only logical that it would increase base metabolic rate: the more mitochondria, the more calories burned.

    Maybe the MDs or cellular biologists out there can help out with this one...
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  8. #8
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    I would tend to agree with it.....it does make sense in some areas...healty people are more effeciant seems believable.....you would think if someone can make 150 watts and maintain a lower HR they would burn less calories...than say ME...

    Now I would also think that someone healthy doing a lot of work...using all of their muscles would burn more calories than me. Even if we were doing the same output....

    I have always not believed the loose muscle mass crap people spat...

    Intresting article though...

  9. #9
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hopperja
    When muscle tissue grows new cells are created, which require energy to sustain. People generally don't gain fat cells, on the other hand, except in utero, in early adolescence, or for women when they are pregnant. Fat cells, unlike muscle cells, are like balloons that fill up with fat. They do not require additional energy because there are no more cells (I'm not a cellular biologist, but I believe cells contain mitochondria - the power plant - which takes energy from the food we eat so the cell can survive). This is commonly why it is said that muscle is a metabolically active tissue while fat is not.

    That being said, it doesn't make sense to me that adding muscle mass doesn't increase metabolism. It's only logical that it would increase base metabolic rate: the more mitochondria, the more calories burned.

    Maybe the MDs or cellular biologists out there can help out with this one...
    You are essentially correct. Adipose tissue is a storage site and is composed of lipid chains and water. If you want to burn it, you need to either reduce calories while maintaining protein intake to prevent muscle mass cannibalization as much as possible, or jack up the basal metabolic rate through exercise, or a combination of the two (which is actually the optimal method for muscle tissue loss prevention.).
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  10. #10
    Senior Member ronjon10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Air
    The 3500 hasn't worked for me. Been tracking since May and the only correlation was more about the miles on my bike. When my calories alone were low I still gained weight (my rant was lost).

    Gotcha, I guess I can't actually speak to losing without exercise since I've been riding lots for 3 months and was in the gym for a couple months before that. However, with the exercise thrown in, the 3500 cals/pound lost has been good.
    just being

  11. #11
    Senior Member garysol1's Avatar
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    Also.....After a hard hour or two of exercise my heart rate stays elevated for some time.
    Elevated heart rate = free calorie burn

  12. #12
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    I basically agree with the findings. If I had 5 hours a day to exercise, I would be eating alot more fatty foods and I'd still lose weight.
    Juan

  13. #13
    fishologist cohophysh's Avatar
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    I found it quite interesting too...all we have heard is adding muscle increases metabolism...hmmm does anyone know where this thought process came from...it does make sense that the more muscle the more energy is burned to maintain..just trying to look at both sides
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  14. #14
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cohophysh
    I found it quite interesting too...all we have heard is adding muscle increases metabolism...hmmm does anyone know where this thought process came from...it does make sense that the more muscle the more energy is burned to maintain..just trying to look at both sides
    Exercise stimulates Endorphins, Epinephrine and Norepinephrine as well as gonadotropins and androgens like testosterone in men. All these combine to increase your body's ability to burn energy. The increase in pulmonary capacity increases O2 saturation in the blood. The increased metabolism increases your circulation in several ways...
    1) Increase in clearing triglycerides (lipids in the bloodstream) and cholesterol excess out of the blood stream.
    2) Natural stimulation of cell building in the muscle tissue, increasing the caloric burn during the process
    3) Better sugar management
    4) Stimulates production of EPO to manufacture blood cells for O2 carriage. (Yes, your body makes EPO)
    5) Exercise tends to keep the body operating primarily in the lipid/protein metabolism, which releases 5X the latent energy as the glucose/glycogen metabolism does.
    6) Back to oxygenation, the body is more able to stay in the Kreb cycle for cellular metabolism. This produces a greater amount of ATP.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hopperja
    When muscle tissue grows new cells are created, which require energy to sustain. People generally don't gain fat cells, on the other hand, except in utero, in early adolescence, or for women when they are pregnant. Fat cells, unlike muscle cells, are like balloons that fill up with fat. They do not require additional energy because there are no more cells (I'm not a cellular biologist, but I believe cells contain mitochondria - the power plant - which takes energy from the food we eat so the cell can survive). This is commonly why it is said that muscle is a metabolically active tissue while fat is not.

    That being said, it doesn't make sense to me that adding muscle mass doesn't increase metabolism. It's only logical that it would increase base metabolic rate: the more mitochondria, the more calories burned.

    Maybe the MDs or cellular biologists out there can help out with this one...
    Wrong. But the general idea is there.

    When you gain muscle mass, the muscle fibres of the muscle cells get larger and stronger. You do not gain new muscle cells when you gain muscle mass. This is why people have permanent damage from heart attacks, because when muscle is damaged you cannot grow new muscle cells to replace the dead ones.

    The idea is sort of correct though.

    When muscle fibres grow larger they also develop a larger amount of mitochondria relative to the size to supply the larger muscle with the required higher amount of energy. There are probably a slightly higher amount of mitochrondria in larger fat cells than normal sized ones because even though they are not very metabolically active, a larger cell still normally needs more energy. However, the difference in number of mitochrondria between different sized muscle cells is much more than two different sized fat cells, because, even at rest, muscle is still a lot more metabolically active than fat cells.

    So, the moral of this is...don't get liposuction.

    The article overall makes sense, in terms of what we know about human metabolism. However, it is always going to be better to use a combination of excercise and changing of eating habits to lose weight because of the overall health benefits that both provide.

    Although, as someone said, sample size was a bit low, and each persons background had to be taken into account as well. The said they found that the non-exercising group did not lose any muscle mass. In this case it would depend on what activities they were doing before the study as well.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member I_Bike's Avatar
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    This discussion is very interesting, thanks Air!

    I don't know what to think. In order to lose weight I need to eat under 2K calories a day and burn at least 4 to 5 hundred six days a week at 70% MHR – that will get me about 8 to 10lbs. a month loss. If I go over 2000, I'll plateau. Is it a result of heredity of the various medicines I must take? All my siblings are overweight… So it’s a bit confusing when I read a study like that.

  17. #17
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    I'm a bit confused, too. I no longer have a thyroid. A year ago I was not riding my bike to work every day, and my dosage was 175mcg. I began riding in April. By July, my endocrinologist reduced my dosage to 150mcg, and in October she took me down to 137mcg. I haven't had a dosage that low since I was 20. I've continued to lose weight even after the dosage reductions, and I haven't changed my diet all that much from a year ago. If anything, I'm consuming more calorie-dense protein and fat, since I seem to feel very poorly if I consume a low-fat diet with the increase in exercise. I'm not exercising all that much with 35-50 slower, urban miles a week. When I asked my endocrinologist what was happening, she told me I was gaining muscle, which uses T4 more efficiently, so I didn't need as much. She told me I was losing weight at the rate I have (50 lbs since April) because of my muscle gain.

    Ah, I'm not going to puzzle too much over it, though I enjoy learning about the science. What I'm doing is allowing me to achieve my goals, which is the important part.

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