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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 07-22-06, 10:44 PM   #1
twahl
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Koffee - Help! Fat? What diff. does it make?

I'm asking in general, but I know Koffee can help, and rather than call I thought I'd ask here since others could benefit.

Tell me about fat and why it matter what your percentage of calories come from fat.

I understand that fat isn't carrying nutrition, but if you are needing a certain number of calories, what difference does it make whether the calories come from fat or other sources? I'm not defending fat, just trying to understand what the difference is in how we process it, or it's value, when it comes to looking at it from a strictly caloric perspective. Or am I missing the big picture in that if you get the right nutrition, you pretty much have to have the calories from non-fat sources to balance things out?

For what it's worth, I'm down to a hair over 190 from 205 in about a month and a half. Counting calories in and out, trying to maintain about 1000 calories per day deficit.
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Old 07-23-06, 09:00 AM   #2
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With that question your about to get a few replies from our resident political and emotionaly motivated 'pro fat' crowd . Then the majority of folks who follow the common theory wont reply since they dont want the confrontation that always ensues.

Google will get you the answers you want
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Old 07-23-06, 10:47 AM   #3
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wow, a pre-emptive strike! amazing! and you call others emotional... whew....

anyway, back to the facts:

your body uses the following engergy sources, in the following order:

alcohol
carbs
protein
dietary fat
body fat

so, it only stands to reason that if you want to get rid of body fat, you should avoid drinking, limit carbs, and dont eat TOO much fat.
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Old 07-23-06, 11:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfreddy
wow, a pre-emptive strike! amazing! and you call others emotional... whew....

anyway, back to the facts:

your body uses the following engergy sources, in the following order:

alcohol
carbs
protein
dietary fat
body fat

so, it only stands to reason that if you want to get rid of body fat, you should avoid drinking, limit carbs, and dont eat TOO much fat.
Sounds like backwards thinking to me. If your body uses energy from those sources in that order, sounds to me like the fat is the last to be used, and therefore the most likely to be stored in the body as body fat.

I am assuming for purposes of discussion here that since this is a cycling based forum, the people reading it aren't couch potatoes. Couch potatoes do well to avoid carbs because they aren't doing anything to use the energy generated from them, but for those that actually get off the couch...low carbs is a bad thing.

I appreciate the alcohol information though, sound like a bagel and a beer is good cycling fuel!

Mothra, you are affirming the conclusion that I was beginning to come to, that fat is densely loaded with calories, so that you don't burn them as quickly as you put them in. Add that to mrfreddy's information on the order in which you use things, and the fat has a lot of calories that are the last to be used, again making them the most likely to be transformed into body fat.

For what it's worth, I have been trying to keep my fat percentage (as a percentage of total intake calories in a day) under 30% and the pounds are literally melting off. Most days I'm under 25%, and I'm not feeling any lack of energy or any other negative effects, and I'm averaging something like 2.5 lbs. a week over the last several weeks.

Not trying to start a debate, just trying to learn how fat is used as opposed to other sources of calories.
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Old 07-23-06, 01:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twahl
I understand that fat isn't carrying nutrition
Thatís not quite true. The fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids come from fat/fatty foods. Fat also increases the vitamin absorption of other foods. For example the vitamins in a salad are less absorbable without the dressing; and the fats in fish and nuts are required.
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Old 07-23-06, 01:57 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by twahl
Sounds like backwards thinking to me. If your body uses energy from those sources in that order, sounds to me like the fat is the last to be used, and therefore the most likely to be stored in the body as body fat.

I am assuming for purposes of discussion here that since this is a cycling based forum, the people reading it aren't couch potatoes. Couch potatoes do well to avoid carbs because they aren't doing anything to use the energy generated from them, but for those that actually get off the couch...low carbs is a bad thing.

I appreciate the alcohol information though, sound like a bagel and a beer is good cycling fuel!

Mothra, you are affirming the conclusion that I was beginning to come to, that fat is densely loaded with calories, so that you don't burn them as quickly as you put them in. Add that to mrfreddy's information on the order in which you use things, and the fat has a lot of calories that are the last to be used, again making them the most likely to be transformed into body fat.

For what it's worth, I have been trying to keep my fat percentage (as a percentage of total intake calories in a day) under 30% and the pounds are literally melting off. Most days I'm under 25%, and I'm not feeling any lack of energy or any other negative effects, and I'm averaging something like 2.5 lbs. a week over the last several weeks.

Not trying to start a debate, just trying to learn how fat is used as opposed to other sources of calories.
but if you restrict carbs to almost nil, your body is forced to burn fat. and if you are very active, [edit: and/or eat a limited amount of fat] you'll burn thru your dietary fat and you'll start buring body fat for fuel.

add to that the fact that any unused carbs are turned directly to fat.

there are some drawbacks to this approach:

1) it takes a few days/weeks to adjust from burning carbs to fat.

2) there may be a slight performance disadvantage at the vey highest levels of effort.

3) certain knuckleheads will following you around preaching the low fat orthodoxy, in spite fo the fact that most of what they claim has no basis in fact or science...
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Old 07-23-06, 03:44 PM   #7
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Fat carries nutrition. Try living on a no fat diet. It also carries fat soluble nutrients
like E.

You are doing good. Just keep it up. If you want, work on improving the qulaity of your diet with whatever you need, like more fruit or Omega 3 fatty acids.
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Old 07-23-06, 04:28 PM   #8
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Fats are important because they transport A, D, E, and K vitamins, fatty acids are used to build and maintain cell membranes, and of course it produces energy for working muscles. Ingested fat also replenishes IMTG storage in your body. Lastyly, foods which contain Omega-3 fatty acids are of course usually extremely healthy for you.
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Old 07-23-06, 07:37 PM   #9
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I think, based on what you guys are saying, that I have the right idea. I'k keeping my fat intake under 30% of my calories...aiming under 25%...I'm not going extreme, just trying to keep it reasonable.
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Old 07-23-06, 07:49 PM   #10
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25% is about right in the summer, 30% in the winter.

Its not necessarily how each of those foods are used, but how and when they are digested. Simple sugars (and alcohol) and digested very quickly, so are absorbed first. Then complex carbs, then proteins, then fat much later, as in hours. Sugars and carbs will give you the energy you need right now, but won't last long, protein gives your body (muscles) what they need to construct and reconstruct/repair, and fat gives you energy to keep you going later in the day or warm at night.

Think about the biology of a caveman: he'd eat nuts and berries and fruit as he found them to keep himself going, but it didn't do well at keeping him warm at night. But he knew that if he ate a big hunk of meat, he'd sleep well.
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Old 07-23-06, 08:26 PM   #11
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Instead of putting effort into lowering your fat content below 30%, spend that effort eating good carbs, good, protein, good fat. Less refined, less processing, more vegies, more fruit. Lean cuts of meat, brown bread instead of white bread, etc, etc.
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Old 07-23-06, 08:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfreddy
3) certain knuckleheads will following you around preaching the low fat orthodoxy,...
Being followed implies actually moving off the couch. You dont have that worry.
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Old 07-23-06, 09:06 PM   #13
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That's pretty much what I'm doing to reduce fat intake. I fix a couple of snacks for the day for between breakfast and lunch, and in the afternoon. Typical snack items: banana, 1 oz. pretzels, broccoli with a little dressing, cup of grapes, apple, Special-K bar. All of these come in at 100-150 calories with little fat. I use 1000 Island dressing when I use it, lower fat than most. The snacks make a smaller sandwich adequate for lunch and encourage me to eat less at dinner time. Sandwich for lunch usually consists of 1 slice of whole-grain bread, 4 slices of lunch meat, half a slice of cheese. Typically <200 calories and about 5 grams of fat. Breakfast is usually half a whole grain bagel with some Philly = 230/10, and some fruit or a smoothie, adding 70-100 calories and no fat. I'll drink diet tea or water throughout the day, so before dinner I'm typically taking in somewhere around maybe 700 calories with 15 grams of fat, or 135 calories from fat, so that's less than 20% fat.

Dinner time...always veggies, maybe in form of salad, a 2 oz serving of pasta with a light sauce or rice, and meat. I try to keep beef servings of lower fat higher quality cuts, and around 3-4 oz. More often it's boneless/skinless chicken breast meat, 1/2 a breast serving so it's about the same size, 3-4 oz. more often than not the meat is cooked on a George Foreman grill.

I rarely touch white bread any more, unless it ends up being that I eat fast food. When I do, I hit the grilled chicken and replace the fries with fruit if possible, and drink either unsweet tea or sometimes a diet soda.

I've really found this to come easy, the key has been the snacks, they keep me from getting hungry during the day. In the midst of all this I'm wearing a pedometer and making an effort to increase my steps every day. This past week I rode 5 days out of 7, nothing long but enough to burn some calories, about 70 miles total. I weigh in daily in the morning and average my weight each week, using the average to determine what's going on. At 190, my scale tells me I'm at 25% body fat (I'm a little shy of 5'-10") which according to some charts is "obese". I hardly feel obese...but whatever. That calculates out to 142.5 lbs. lean body mass...so if my goal is say 15% body fat I should be shooting for about 170 lbs. I am doing lower weight/higher rep weight training as well, so the lean mass might go up slightly as I lose weight. As I approach 40, I'm not looking to build that I'll be fighting to keep from turning to flab.
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Old 07-24-06, 09:17 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfreddy
wow, a pre-emptive strike! amazing! and you call others emotional... whew....

anyway, back to the facts:

your body uses the following engergy sources, in the following order:

alcohol
carbs
protein
dietary fat
body fat

so, it only stands to reason that if you want to get rid of body fat, you should avoid drinking, limit carbs, and dont eat TOO much fat.
I've heard that if you don't eat properly, your body will use your muscles as an energy source as well. Is this true? If so, where does muscle fit into this order?
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Old 07-24-06, 10:28 AM   #15
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As animals, we produce cholesterol. On top of that eating fat or cholesterol increases the plaques in your arteries. This can ultimately lead to atherosclerosis, heart attacks, strokes, and death. We need fat in our diets. It does have nutritional value. But, too much just clogs up the works.
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Old 07-24-06, 10:53 AM   #16
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I've heard that if you don't eat properly, your body will use your muscles as an energy source as well. Is this true? If so, where does muscle fit into this order?
my understanding is that as long as you consume enough protein, and fat, you dont need to worry about this. unless you're on a low fat diet, it shouldnt be an issue.
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Old 07-24-06, 10:55 AM   #17
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On top of that eating fat or cholesterol increases the plaques in your arteries. This can ultimately lead to atherosclerosis, heart attacks, strokes, and death. We need fat in our diets. It does have nutritional value. But, too much just clogs up the works.
so we've been told all these years, but the shocking truth is that this is just not true, it has all be based on incredibly bad and sloppy science.
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