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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 06-13-11, 01:26 PM   #1
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Interesting exercise study

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/...rticle2055780/

It seems like some people dismiss outright any link between exercise and weight loss, or the body's regulation of weight. Here's an article with some interesting findings and possible explanations.

From the article "Another possible explanation relates to appetite. At high levels of exercise, numerous studies have found that appetite tends to closely match energy requirements. But this relationship breaks down at lower levels of exercise. If you feed someone a 200-calorie snack early in the day, for example, heavy exercisers will unconsciously adjust their appetite to eat 200 fewer calories over the rest of the day. Sedentary subjects, on the other hand, will eat just as much as they normally would have."
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Old 06-13-11, 02:11 PM   #2
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I find that I've always dismissed diet as a pointless exercise. I consider dieting as a whole a fad, and will continue to do so.

Most people want to sit in front of the TV and lose weight. Let me make this perfectly clear:



This is what I expect from not giving a **** about my diet and riding my bike to work. Okay, and maybe some jackknifes.

This is what SlimFast tells you will happen if you sit on your ass for 16 hours a day, as long as you have 2 SlimFast shakes every day. This is what the Atkins fad is about (Atkins was a brilliant man, and he pointed out that overconsumption of starch leads to mass storage of fat; people are stupid and surmised that eliminating all starch would make them skinny without negative health effects). This is what the celebrity juice detox whatever diet crap is about. This is what Weight Watchers is about. This is what that mail-order month-of-meals is about.

It's all a farce.

On a side note, I've noticed that when I started biking my food intake tripled; but now that I've built some muscle mass and gained massive endurance, my food intake has gone way down. I think I eat less than I used to. I binged on half a 12 inch pizza and couldn't drink down a glass of Tang ... too full. Normally I'd just sit and eat the whole thing, biking or not. 1/4 slice is enough.

Likewise, I don't eat huge lunches, and I don't get hungry as fast anymore. Don't know why, but eh, don't care. I eat when I'm hungry and I eat what I want to eat.
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Old 06-13-11, 04:54 PM   #3
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Whoa, I didn't expect cycling to do that either, I mean, all your chest hair fell out and your skin got all shiny!

But I kid...ya, people will say that it's just about calories and that exercise does nothing because you just eat more. That can happen of course, but people talk about it like it's a given.
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Old 06-13-11, 04:55 PM   #4
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Also "dieting" as such could be a fad, but of course it's worth it to change harmful eating habits.
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Old 06-14-11, 02:40 AM   #5
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Body composition is a function of diet, supported by exercise.

In other words; you can't out train a bad diet.
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Old 06-14-11, 05:27 AM   #6
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This is what SlimFast tells you will happen if you sit on your ass for 16 hours a day, as long as you have 2 SlimFast shakes every day.
it's possible if you add one of these to your ass-sitting routine:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9_amg-Aos4
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Old 06-14-11, 07:41 AM   #7
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I call BS. Sorry.
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Old 06-14-11, 08:40 AM   #8
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no need to be sorry....

What do you think is B.S.?

The study definitely isn't a slam-dunk. The conclusions are just "possible explanations"

Of course nobody on BF is going to deny the positive health effects of exercise. I'm wondering, if two people were to maintain the same amount of calorie deficit, one only by eating well, the other by eating well and exercise, how would they differ in the longrun?
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Old 06-14-11, 08:52 AM   #9
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I posted to the wrong thread. lol
Sorry again.
The article isn't that far off IMHO.
Though I doubt my appetite ever matches my calorie expenditure. It seems to know no bounds.
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Old 06-14-11, 09:52 AM   #10
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Pretty sure my appetite matches my appetite, so I'd never lose much weight if I just met my appetite. The trick: ignore your appetite sometimes. This is definitely harder for some, but I often don't get a choice. I wake up, eat a bit, gun it to work on my bike at about 20 mph (about a 30 min ride), eat a second breakfast, and then I'm sometimes with clients for 6 hours straight. Am I hungry during all this? Somewhat, and sometimes I'll snag an apple from the fruit bowl to hold me over. The point: ignoring food cravings won't kill anyone, but I am lucky in that, situationally, there is not enough food within reach to satisfy me, and that I am not addicted to eating, nor do I often eat for reasons other than actual hunger.

There are 3 foods I will wolf down if they're in arm's reach. I'm talking 1000+ calories in a sitting. Chocolate, ice cream, and pizza. Easy fix for me: don't buy the first two at the store, so they aren't always present and inevitably eaten in one go. As for the 2nd: eat something else, but give in occasionally.

Not that I ever try to lose weight (I'm still young enough that my build won't permit me to put on more than a few pounds), but my weight does fluctuate a fair amount with the seasons. At the end of cycling season, I'll be 6'1" and about 158. This is down from the end of winter at 170; my bodyfat definitely drops several % points, from about 13% (confirmed by DEXA), into the single digits, but I also lose some lean mass from my upper body. I do continue lifting in the summer, but it's mostly corrective, and for strength and power maintenance.

I frequently see clients who make definite fitness gains, but who make less than stellar headway into their weight loss goals. The trouble is that people see exercise as the only part of their solution, even after counseling. Actively controlling diet is quite a lot of work for many people, since their habits have been ingrained since they were children; quite simply, it does not come naturally to most, and most are not motivated enough to make actual lifestyle changes beyond adding exercise to the mix. In they're mind, they're already doing a lot, when they're really not even really meeting minimum exercise recommendations on a regular basis. it takes an active mindset to accomplish anything in terms of calorie restriction, for most people, and most people are not willing to put forth the effort.
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Old 06-14-11, 12:31 PM   #11
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I don't have chest hair, thank god.

My skin is already all shiny after a bike ride; that's why I take a shower. XP

When I started riding, I weighed 155. In two weeks I weighed about 142, and now I still weigh 142 but my body shape is changing. Bigger legs, smaller gut. My food intake spiked up, but now has gone back down. My posture improves drastically when I ride my bike; any ab exercise and even push-ups seems to make me naturally stop slouching and stand up straight when I walk.

Dieting won't do that. Your metabolism will change, you'll become slower, less energetic. It works great for vegetarians, who become immensely sickly the vast majority of the time; many who I've known are successful pescatarians or poultrarians or whatever they want to call themselves, eating fish or chicken. The very few pure vegetarians I've met are extremely vocal about the health benefits of vegetarianism; but when I did my digging ages ago, I found a lot of anecdotes from people who have horror stories about getting massively sick (hence my fish and fowl eating type), as well as documented studies that reveal that a large percentage of the population that tries vegitarianism completely fails it even with "proper diet" (beans) and supplementation, and even worse for vegans!

Your body gets sick if you don't give it what it wants. It's just that simple. If you "successfully" reduce your calorific intake, you'll become slow, weak, tired, enough that you can keep your output below your input and stay fat. If you become more active, you'll eat more; you'll eat more than you put out some days, and less other days. Your body will continue to operate efficiently, though, because it's used to varying loads, and it stores up what it can to handle it.

Sure, making a daily ritual of eating an entire cheesecake will turn you into a giant jiggly blob; but other than that, you're far better off when active than not. I am still eating pizza, but my intake is limited: where I'd eat a whole 8 inch pizza before, I'll eat half of it now. This is not because I'm "dieting," but because eating the whole thing makes me sick. My hunger patterns have changed; I get hungry at different times, but I get less hungry. Before I started cycling, I would eat the whole thing over 2 hours; after I started cycling, I'd eat the whole thing in an hour and start looking for more food; after 3 months of high physical activity cycling, I'm eating a lot less food overall, and now can't get the whole thing down without sickening myself.

If I decided I wanted to get rid of the lard on my belly and just diet it away, I would have become extremely sick. Hungry all the time, weak, tired, probably in pain as my muscles and joints deteriorate from malnutrition. When I started exercising, I needed the extra food, even though it was three times as much as I normally eat. At this point, a lot of muscles have grown: legs got bigger, arms are bigger, blood vessels everywhere, heart is stronger, everything is denser besides being just larger, the works. It's no surprised I suddenly ate a lot more and then stopped eating so much. I needed the protein and the sheer food mass for structural support, and now I don't need all that anymore.

Chocolate, ice cream, and pizza are kind of addictive due to ... chocolate ... sugars, and fats. I loathe ice cream, and only occasionally stock it, and it takes forever to eat it all; it's cold and I gain more energy from hot foods. But I get how the mechanism works. Consumption of sugars and fatty foods is typically higher than necessary due to a complex endorphin reaction in your brain: it's literally a scaled down version of cocaine. Despite all natural regulation, you will over-consume these things.

Given this, my only "diet" has ever been to "not guzzle purified fat." Healthy, unhealthy, whatever. I eat a full English for breakfast, with bacon and black pudding and eggs and bread and mushrooms and a tomato and baked beans, all fried in lard and butter. You know what I don't eat? Half a dozen donuts and a half a pound of Jimmy Dean sausage with 85 grams of saturated fat in it. Believe it or not, my breakfast is far better... also it won't leave me hungry in an hour and looking for a box of Honey Buns. Also my grandfather used to pour bacon grease (from a pound of bacon) over his pancakes ... let's not do that.
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Old 06-14-11, 12:49 PM   #12
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I could sure go for some bacon fat dribbled ice cream right now.

I know a Hungarian dude who lets bacon fat harden and spreads in on his bread.
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Old 06-14-11, 01:19 PM   #13
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it's possible if you add one of these to your ass-sitting routine:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9_amg-Aos4
We had one of these. they are fun hahah.
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Old 06-14-11, 02:48 PM   #14
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Do remember that muscle weighs more than fat so you may not see a reduction of total weight due to build up of muscle at certain points. Muscle also increases metabolic rate which means you will burn more calories even at rest whereas, as pointed out above, strictly dieting will push the body into "starvation" mode which decreases the metabolic rate and can cause the body to actually hoard calories.

Thus to truly "loose weight" one must combine exercise with diet. To keep that weight off one must do a "lifestyle" change meaning that eating habits have to change.

And this whole thing about "good calories" and "bad calories" is silly. A calorie is the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water 1 degree centigrade. The calorie measure used commonly for the energy content of food is actually a kilocalorie or 1000 real calories. This is the amount of energy required to raise 1 kilogram of water (about 2.2 pounds) 1 degree centigrade.

Where people tend to confuse things (and where diet books are flat out wrong) is the form in which the calories are obtained from food. There are carbohydrates (complex/simple), protien, and fat. Carbohydrates and proteins perform the same basic function. They provide the body with energy and essential ammino acids, lipids, etc.


However each is not created equally in terms of caloric density. A gram of fat contains 9 calories. A gram of protein has 3.5 calories. A gram of carbohydrate has 4 calories. Thus different foods contain different amounts of energy. For example a small piece of chocolate can have many more calories than a similarly sized piece of lettuce. However, since calories are a measure of energy, there cannot be, as some diet books claim, different types of calories. A fat calorie has the same amount of energy as a protein or carbohydrate calorie. But since the piece of chocolate is more caloricly "dense" than a similar sized piece of lettuce, because of its fat content, you can gain more weight (take in more calories) from consuming a pound of choclate than a pound of lettice.
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Old 06-14-11, 10:07 PM   #15
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A surprisingly good article from The Globe And Fail. Thanks for the share.
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Old 06-14-11, 11:08 PM   #16
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Exercise is king, and nutrition is queen. Put them both together and you have a kingdom.

-Jack Lalanne.

I recall reading where of the two, Jack considered exercise more important. I certainly won't argue with him!
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Old 06-15-11, 08:36 AM   #17
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I recall reading where of the two, Jack considered exercise more important. I certainly won't argue with him!
He is biased; however, my immensely powerful secret skill of "Logic" agrees. Organisms evolve basically to continue existing; however, the continuous reproduction of DNA and its support structures requires energy. Plants get energy from the sun, using light to excite an electron off a Chlorophyl molecule to power an endothermic reaction that strips the carbon off carbon dioxide and bonds it with water, producing sugar (shorthand CH2O, technically (CH2O)6, C6H12O6). The reverse reaction is exothermic, and thus sugar is fuel used later by the plant.

Every organism that cannot use environmental energy (heat, light, etc.) to produce chemical energy storage seeks what we call "food," but what is most basically "Fuel," which means "an energy source." Diet was never important; every animal, every protozoa, every bacteria seeks energy. Humans, like anything else, must eat to live. We don't eat because we need beta carotine and vitamin C and calcium; those happen to exist in abundance in a varied diet, and we shove whatever we find down our throats to collect the sugars and proteins and fats. As complex structure required certain things, those certain things became necessary; but the nutritional needs of an organism are satisfied by the food sources that they typically find in the environment the organism evolves in.

In other words, as long as you don't live entirely on cheesecake, you're fine.

The argument for exercise is far more complex. It has to do with homeostasis, which in turn impacts hormesis and metabolism, which impact how your body deals with toxins, damage, and foods. A very basic argument might cover something like how an abundance of food requires much less muscle, while a cycle would be fatal and thus fat storage protects you and muscle growth kicks in when you start to have to work for your food. This ... does not account for the negative health effects of becoming fat and lazy; although it doesn't much matter when life is good, predators are low, physical activity is minor, and you can breed like rats. "Survival of the fittest" only matters when you need to be fit to survive long enough to breed. You can imagine how complex this would get.

I guess animals evolved to supply variable fitness as their needs change. A fat, unhealthy human won't live long; but he only has to hit about 15-20 to breed, the girls only have to reach 14-16, pop out 2-3 babies, and the tribe (humans are community animals) raise the children. If the environment is full of predators and/or scarce on food, however, you'll need to live longer (predators cull the population, while extended life increases breeding opportunities) and you need to be stronger and faster to do that (so you can get your hands on the scarce food before others or before it runs away, and evade predators).

In the Garden of Eden, it's survival of the fattest.

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Where people tend to confuse things (and where diet books are flat out wrong) is the form in which the calories are obtained from food. There are carbohydrates (complex/simple), protien, and fat. Carbohydrates and proteins perform the same basic function. They provide the body with energy and essential ammino acids, lipids, etc.
Actually, fat is harder to derive energy from, but easier to store. You ever notice your arms are real flabby if you're not doing push-ups or weight lifting or whatnot? But you have good muscles under there ... and when you start working them out, your arms become lean. Working a muscle doesn't burn fat from that part of the body; six thousand sit-ups won't burn your belly fat. This is a fact. So why do you get lean and tone?

Three reasons, of course. The first and most obvious is the reduction of fat overall; the second, and also somewhat obvious if you think about it, is that the muscle becomes bigger and thus the same mass of fat will spread thinner around it. The last is more complex.

When your muscles need to work a lot, they become fat storage cells. Normally your body builds storage cells that retain a lot of water and fatty acids, giving you a saggy gut or flabby arms or packing a bunch of crap around your heart (and squeezing it instead of just cushioning it happily). Besides making you fatty and flabby, these cells... store fat. When you need to burn that fat, your body needs to find certain proteins--in your immediate diet (excess protein becomes urea and gets urinated out) or by deteriorating your muscles and recycling the proteins--to break down that fat. Lipolysis. The fat is then somehow chemically altered so it becomes a transportable energy source, which gets brought to the muscle for use. I'm unclear on the details; it is, obviously, difficult.

When your muscles store fatty acids inside them, however, you can literally "burn" the fat. Oxygen comes to the cell and combines with fatty acids to release heat, just like when you burn tallow candles or glucose. That little bit of heat is used to break down ATP, releasing more heat and activating other things in your muscles to make them contract. Direct energy source.

When you consume proteins, on the other hand, your body uses them for building structure. RNA, DNA replication process, building of new cells, lipolysis, all kinds of processes use proteins or require new proteins (cell walls contain a lot of proteins for various purposes). Proteins are basically very tiny construction tools: they have a physical effect on chemicals, stretching them to weaken chemical bonds or attracting them together to force reactions, or simply contracting from stimulation and moving certain chemicals around (i.e. sodium-potassium pump). You can break them down for energy, of course; but if not needed, your body rejects the excess protein, turning it into urea and then your pee turns yellow (yes, vitamin B pills also will turn your pee yellow ... it's not exclusive).

Glucose, of course, creates an immediate toxic blood glucose concentration spike. Your pancreas recognizes this and immediately releases insulin, causing the liver to bind glucose into glycogen. Then your pancreas releases glucagon as your blood sugar levels drop, turning the glucagon back into glucose, which your liver releases into the blood. Glucose is thus an immediate energy source which gets stored in a temporary hold for immediate use, unlike fat which gets bound up for long-term storage. Given both, your body will use glucose immediately and begin storing fat unless the demanded energy output is higher than the throughput possible by glucose regulation (even under load, you will release insulin until your blood glucose levels are sane, then start pumping out glucagon; you can only turn glycogen into glucose so fast, though).

Thus sugars (starch, sugar) are the most essential energy source because you can use sugars immediately, and you will use sugars to power the processes that turn proteins and fat into energy or store fat for long-term use (this mean that you need to intake a small amount of sugar (and protein) to burn fat; don't exercise hungry, give yourself an ignition charge at least). Protein is the least essential energy source; it is an essential structural component required for repairing existing structures and building new structures, but you can derive energy from it. Fat is an extremely essential energy source, providing an over-capacity control (when you can't physically burn sugar fast enough) and long-term storage.


You are correct in that it is silly to say that one is bad and the other is good. Cholesterol is critically important, even "bad" cholesterol; so is sugar. The interactions between these energy sources are complex, and cannot be simplified in that way.
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Old 06-15-11, 10:42 AM   #18
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A surprisingly good article from The Globe And Fail. Thanks for the share.
The mop and pail?

I much prefer the Toronto Star...
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Old 06-15-11, 11:40 AM   #19
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I much prefer the Toronto Star...
I'm more of a National Post man myself. I'll peruse the Star only if I'm looking for a good belly laugh.

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Exercise is king, and nutrition is queen. Put them both together and you have a kingdom.

-Jack Lalanne. .
Agreed!
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Old 06-15-11, 01:26 PM   #20
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I'm more of a National Post man myself.
Ya, how could I tell.

Actually, all of the big newspapers have quite a range of different voices and perspectives, though their editorials are consistent. I don't like the Globe editorials usually. I like picking up the National post once in a while. Their editorials won't make me laugh, though maybe cry on occasions...

Anyway, in conclusion, exercise is good.
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