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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 03-03-04, 07:01 AM   #1
jlvantassel
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Confused on body's fuels and eating.

Maybe I'm thinking too much about this but I could use a little help understanding some things please.

Unused carbs are stored as fat by the body. The body uses fat as primary fuel in most activities(assuming daily activities and aerobic activity). In anaerobic it uses mostly carbs(mostly sugars from muscle).

Diets consists of high fiber foods and good fats and protiens with olive oil usage over other oils. Understand that body needs certain fats for things other than fuels. Trying to maintain good proportions and body doesnt seem to send any signals of missing anything. Winter activity limited to spinning 3 days, walking 10 miles or so a week and nautilus and cybex equipment. I am 47, thinner side and very lien.

The questions start to come concerning fat and cholesteral mostly.
1) When the body is looking for fat to burn before any other fuels does it go after stored fats or consumed fats first?
2) Is unused consumed fats turning to cholesteral?
3) For endurance (I cycle and backpack some) should I just be concerned of keeping the diet balanced or is there a benefit from eating more of one thing over another?
4) Is there anyway I can help to increase blood flow to legs and feet?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts including "dude you are just thinking too much about this!"
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Old 03-03-04, 11:29 AM   #2
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The body looks for carbs first. Once it's depleted the carb storage, it then goes to fat metabolism. The important thing to remember is that with those low carb diets, when there is a lack of carbs, fat metabolism cannot easily take place, so instead of going to fat metabolism, the body will begin to break down muscle instead. So make sure you have enough complex carbs so that your dieting will actually be worth something!

Once you consumre fat and everything is broken down that you're using, the rest is stored as fat. That doesn't mean that it all goes to the gut- fat is used by the body also as an insulating layer, to protect the vital organs like the kidney and liver, and is also used to generate heat (for instance). Fat soluble vitamins also need fat to dissolve in. So don't just cut out ALL the fat in your diet either. Instead, just limit your fat intake, and try to aim for the good fats- polyunsaturated and unsaturated fats. Cut out as much saturated fats, and cut out all trans fat.

Blood flow to the legs and feet... I don't know about that, honestly. I'd defer to Cbhungry to see what she might think on the matter. I don't think it has to do with the amount of fat you consume, though.

Sorry so short- I'm out of town and computer access is scarce. I'm sure others will chime in and help out here.

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Old 03-03-04, 02:32 PM   #3
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Unused carbs are first stored in the muscle as glycogen(or stored sugar)and only when the muscles are fully topped up stored as fat.During aerobics you are using a combination of fat and carbs (granted tilted towards fat at lower intensities)and once you run out of stored carbs you will burn both fat and muscle more tilted towards muscle the lower your bodyfat levels (for survival purposes).So for endurance purposes the idea is to eat enough carbs to keep your muscles topped up but no more.This will allow maximum fatburning without muscle loss even when exercising at a low intensity where you will still eventually deplete you stored carbs.
As to your questions 1)I believe the body usually choses the readily available source of energy over breaking down a stored source.But I find consuming some fat actually helps the body get in a fatburning mode and utilize stored fat as well.2)I don't think fat intake is affecting cholesterol metabolism but rather the transport lipoproteins ie excess saturated fat will increase ldl the so called "bad cholesterol" while increasing unsaturated fat in particular omega 3's will increase the "good" or decrease the "bad" lipoproteins.3)For endurance I think you generally want a balanced diet but as I hinted initially you want to increase the carb content as the activity level goes up to keep carb stores topped up(no more no less particularly for a lean endurance athlete keeping carb stores topped is important)to maximize performance and protect muscle.4)increasing your leg muscles and vascularity (ie aerobic capasity)will increase the blood flow to them.As to diet perhaps individual nutrients such as vitamin e found in many fat sources which can increase blood flow can help.
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Old 03-03-04, 03:34 PM   #4
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Thank you both for the very helpful answers. Really cleared up a couple things and helps to know I might be on the right track so far. I'll know better when the weather breaks and I start getting out again.
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