07-16-2003, 12:32 PM
Regarding NHE, I'd add the following, which will reveal my paleo tendencies/biases.
The one slight flaw I see in the Zone diet, if followed strictly (and this is a very slight flaw, believe me) is that the Zone has you achieving the 40/30/30 ratio with every meal. Again, compared to the diet of most Americans, everyone would do well to have this kind of problem.
Having said that, though, I think the one drawback with the Zone approach is that it's highly unrealistic that we evolved on such a balanced, meal-in, meal-out diet. Far more realistic would be an approach (like NHE, for example) that has you achieving zone-like ratios over a period of weeks, even months. For example, in the summer season, more fruit intake would lead to a higher carb load, but in the winter (when fruit was less available or not available at all--prior to freezers, grocery stores, etc.) that carb ratio would decrease (if I recall correctly, Lights Out talks about winter-time diet differing from summer-time diet).
NHE fits in pretty nicely with the approach I've outlined above (varying the ratio on a day-to-day basis, but holding it pretty constant over a longer term).
For me, following a more NHE-like approach to eating has the added benefit of jibing nicely (philosophically) with the CrossFit approach to fitness. Variety, or lack of routine, is one of the cornerstones of CrossFit's approach to fitness. If I can achieve that same sort of variety or randomness with my diet, all the better (note that that doesn't mean that I should eat at McDonald's for variety--I just mean variety in the macronutrient ratios I get).
07-17-2003, 01:02 AM
Barry, David, Mike,
First off I apologize for the poor syntax in the first post. I was in a quite a rush and didnīt realize I posted with half the words missing. What I actually meant to say was that the site does convince me of the profound effect my diet can have on my hormones, but doesnīt give me a clue as to how to regulate them.
David, your CKD explanation really cleared things out for me. However, after reading about it I found how extreme the measures weīre talking about here really are. Under 20grams of carbs??!! How on earth can that number be attainable? And no fruit or veggies either? I donīt know if this just me, but I find that a diet of eggs, tuna, chicken, veal and cottage cheese all throughout the day is very hard to follow.
So since my approach to dieting is to ave no absolutes, and to mix and match as I please, would just cutting out complex carbs for five days and then loading up on them have the same hormonal effect?
Mike, I agree that a too structured meal plan isnīt what we should be looking for. But isnīt that what a CKD diet eventually do to you? The choices arenīt that many, and when combined with practicalities, (what I can bring, prepare and eat at this time, and at that place etc.)it makes those 5 zero carb days very strict and rigid.
I have never had a problem with carbs in my life, and frankly Iīm kinda turned off with this whole carb demonization just as I was turned off with the whole anti-fat and anti-red meat Ŧmovementŧ. To lose that extra 1-2% of body fat that I want, slowly, whilst keeping my muscle, I have thought that my first step would be to cut complex carbs in the evening. But being that I workout at night, everyoneīs screaming that cutting complex carbs from my post-workout meal is a big mistake.
Itīs good that we have all this variety of opinion and the healhy debate going on, but sometimes, itīs outright confusing! And even though my diet and fitness level are very important to me, I have never ever bought a nutrition book because:
A. I am reading too many other books at the same time
B. I donīt want to spend my time reading something and supporting its ideas when I know that seconds later, Iīll say again,:
-Interesting, but it is isnīt exactly science!
So iīll still be mixing, matching, trying different things, etc.
I like fiber, I like complex carbs, I feel good and workout good with them, and Iīd love it if the diet I want to use to burn fat would not exclude them.
Sorry for the rant-thanks for your time and advice:happy:
07-17-2003, 02:03 PM
I'm no expert, but I read a lot, and--at the risk of crashing the system, I've posted an article that made a lot of sense to me. I got the website from a Crossfit archive article, but just pasted the text, rather than copy the website, so I lost the URL. OOPS!! Lot of virtual paper I'm wasting. Sorry, but hopefully it's helpful. I've done Atkins-type approaches, and I can say I hate them. You have to be a lot more hard-core than I am, and have a lot more money (or be good at hunting, and have the time for it).
THE ZIGZAG DIET
Frederick C. Hatfield, Ph.D., MSS
International Sports Sciences Association
Return to Hatfield Home Page
Convention has it that there are three ways to lose weight: 1) dehydration, 2) fat loss, and 3) lean muscle weight loss. Fat loss is the ONLY acceptable route for you. Dehydration is never healthy or acceptable, and losing lean muscle is totally counter to everything that a healthy, fitness-oriented lifestyle stands for.
According to the same conventional wisdom, fat loss can only be accomplished three ways: 1) with aerobic exercise, 2) through reduced caloric intake or 3) through a combination of the two. There are many ways that fat can be shed. All, to date, suffer from the same persistent problem. How do you lose fat without also losing muscle? See, conventional wisdom is just that -- conventional. Losing fat and gaining muscle requires an UN-conventional approach. Since I’m sort of an unconventional guy, I took a look at the problem, and conducted some research which proved rather ground-breaking in the results I achieved. So how do you lose fat and GAIN muscle?
Don’t tell me, “Why with heavy weight training!” I know better, and so do the dozens of legitemate researchers who have tried and tried to find an answer short of drugs. And, PLEASE! Disregard all of the magazine ads that claim to have done it. They haven’t, and I know it! Certainly not I the (say) under six weeks that some claim, and certainly not to the extent that some claim. Check the research. You’ll see that weight training (bodybuilding) while on a calorie-restricted diet is capable of reducing muscle loss, and perhaps (among severely detrained couch potatoes) reverse the effect of disuse by adding a couple of pounds of muscle initially, but losing it during the ensuing weeks of sub-1000 calories per day dieting.
To illustrate, just picture any bodybuilder in the final stages of contest preparation. They look in the mirror two weeks out (all of them do), they don’t see all the striations they think they should have, and they freak. They amplify their aerobic work to levels beyond reason and reduce their fat and carbo intake to sub-survival levels. They lose 15 pounds of muscle in the last two weeks in order to lose one lousy pound of fat. All of them do it, always have. What’s startling is that many of them lose muscle despite being on anabolic steroids!
Is there a way to lose fat and, at the same time, increase the amount of muscle tissue you have? Not just for contest bodybuilders, but anyone? Fitness enthusiasts? Athletes trying to make weight? Even grossly fat people who have never trained before? Yes, so read on.
First, let’s explore some of the reasons why diets have almost always failed in the past.
Why Do Diets Fail?
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has come down hard on the weight loss moguls because of their FALSE CLAIMS of providing you with PERMANENT weight loss. The FDA has done so because 95 percent of the people who buy into the popular weight loss programs on the market today end up gaining all of the weight back (and usually more) within a year or two.
Why is this so? No fat-loss plan fits everyone. During the past 50 years there have been literally hundreds of weight loss strategies recorded or marketed in this country. This remarkable statistic gives vivid testament to the "thin is in" mentality most Americans have grown to espouse. And it's good that we feel this way. Most of us are painfully aware of the health risks associated with obesity, and woefully ignorant of how to avoid it. Of course, in bodybuilding an other sports, fat loss is elemental to improved performance.
Almost all of the weight loss strategies used thus far fall into the following categories:
- medical (drugs) therapies - surgical techniques
- psychological strategies - exercise techniques
- nutritional supplements - calorie restriction
- food (diet) manipulation - various therapeutic modalities
The truth be known: NONE has worked on a permanent basis.
None of the weight loss moguls has ever tried to PERSONALIZE everyone's fat loss strategy because it would be cost-prohibitive. Despite what the weight loss marketeers may have thought in the past, personalizing your approach is crucial to the success of your fat-loss efforts. The answer lies in taking an INTEGRATED approach, with each element uniquely matched to your specific situation:
- genetic (hereditary) factors - your medical history
- your unique biochemistry - your unique metabolism
- your current state of health - your financial status
- the environment you live in - your tastes in foods
- your current level of fitness - your unique psychology
- personal lifestyle considerations.
These are the ever-changing elements which in large part determine the permanency and effectiveness of your fat loss efforts. It's clear that most of these factors are inextricably interrelated. But how do you manipulate genetics? How do you augment your metabolism? How do you account for something as complex as your biochemical makeup? Part of the answer lies in understanding the nature of obesity.
What Causes Obesity?
What made you fat in the first place? In most people’s cases it’s pure slovenliness. There are many other causes too (see table below). In particular, the Traditional Chinese Medical [TCM] view is interesting.
The ancient Chinese -- always inscrutable -- have been observing and recording the symptoms of obesity for hundreds of years. They watch skin color, the color of your stool, your tongue, how you feel, your breathing, and dozens of other symptoms, recording for hundreds of years. These symptoms cluster into three distinct varieties of obesity. These observations and recommended treatments were recently put to a test at Xi Yuan Hospital in China. Xi Yuan Hospital is the headquarters of the China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Based on the clinical manifestations recorded by the Ancients, the researchers at Xi Yuan Hospital were able to treat obesity --on a permanent basis -- in 80 percent of the cases. Compare that astounding success rate with this country's industry standard of a 95 percent FAILURE rate!
Now, let's get back to shedding blubber and donning meat.
The Zigzag Diet Plan
Okay. Let me hit you right between the eyes up front. The answer is so simple, yet I’ve NEVER in all my years of being in this business, hearn ANYONE utter it. I claim it. Here it is:
· You can’t lose fat unless you’re on a negative calorie balance diet
· You can’t gain muscle tissue unless you’re on a positive calorie blaance diet
· You can’t lose fat and gain muscle unless you alternate periods of negative calorie balance with periods of positive calorie balance.
· It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to lose total body weight, stay at the same total body weight or gain total body weight. The zigzag rule applies to everyone. All the time.
The process if zigzagging is actually integrated into a more comprehensive plan which accounts for the factors noted earlier regarding personalizing and integrating your training efforts. There are five rules to the process, and they apply to everryone on Mother Earth, from cradle to grave:
Rule One: Always eat at least 5 meals a day (preferably 6 or 7). Two or three meals simply isn't often enough. Your blood sugar levels will be controlled (and thus your cravings), you'll get protein in small amounts throughout the day to support growth and recovery, and (most important) the enzymes that store fat will be produced in far smaller amounts, making your body far less capable of storing fat! Simply, by providing your body with a consistent and frequent supply of calories -- life-giving energy -- its need to store fat is significantly reduced. Conversely, when you eat infrequently, your body recognizes a “famine” situation, and the enzymes are produced in large quantities to “swoop down” on every calorie you consume in order to store it as fat in preparation for the “famine” to come.
Rule Two: Remember the 1-2-3 rule. In each of your 5 meals, approximately 1 part of the calories should come from fats, 2 parts from protein and 3 parts from carbohydrates. This is a guideline, not a hard-and-fast law. Just keep the fat intake down to a low level (do not eliminate fat, as some fat is essential for maintaining good health), consume enough protein to support growth and recovery, and carbohydrates commensurable to your energy output (carbos are your body’s preferred energy fuel source). Remember that protein and carbohydrates both have 4 calories per gram, while fat has 9 calories per gram.
Rule Three: When you sit down to eat, ask yourself, "What am I going to be doing for the next three hours of my life?" Then, if you're taking a nap, eat less than the average amount of carbos; if you're planning on being active, eat more than the average amount of carbos. For average between-meal activities, eat an average sized meal. Always keeep your protein intake up to an appropriate level. This simple system ensures that you'll never put fat on from eating excess calories, or cannibalize your muscles from eating too little.
Rule Four: Another thing to remember whether you're trying to lose fat or adding lean muscle is to "zigzag" your caloric intake. For example, if you want to lose fat, reduce your calories during the week, but "pig out" on Friday night and Saturday. This will 1) readjust your BMR upwards, 2) support lean tissue building, and 3) give you a psychological "lift." Remember, in Rule One you learned that your fat storing enzymes were no longer a threat, so you CAN pig out once in awhile! In fact, if you want to put on lean muscle, you MUST! There is no way you can maximize lean muscle mass while on a calorie-restricted diet.
Rule Five: Your reduced intake of cazlories makes it almost impossible to get all of the nutrients your body needs to remain healthy and active. So, it's important to supplement your diet with vitamins, minerals and other carefully selected substances to ensure maximum progress toward your fitness, health and fat loss goals. Also, no matter how hard you try, no matter how good a cook you are, or where you buy your food:
· You can't always eat 5 or 6 times daily;
· There are many instances where your body either requires or can make good use of certain nutrients in greater amounts than what can be derived from Mother Nature alone;
· A perfectly balanced diet cannot be maintained during periods of contest preparation or periods where there is a purposeful caloric restriction imposed;
· Periods of high-stress training require supernormal intake of many nutrients without a commensurable increase in caloric need;
· Periods of high-stress training creates a situation in which various benefits can be derived from nutritional substances not normally found in food or biosynthesized in the body in sufficient or significant quantities but which are either man made or derived from botanical sources
· Soil depletion, toxins in the food chain, overprocessing, overcooking, free radical formation in the body, and a host of other (sometimes medically related) factors all interact to make food less than totally nutritious.
· Because man has been able to improve on Mother Nature's original work in many of life's arenas, there are some "superfoods" available which are plain and simply BETTER than the normal diet for serious fitness training.
So, you MUST use nutritional supplements!
Where Your Calories Come From:
- 1 gram of fat equals 9 calories.
- 1 gram of protein equals 4 calories.
- 1 gram of carbohydrates equals 4 calories.
- It's clear that you should reduce your consumption of fat in order to decrease your body fat level, because fat is a highly concentrated source of calories.
- It's also clear that in order to gain muscle weight, you must reduce your consumption of fat in favor of more protein, because 1) fat can't become muscle, and 2) only protein can.
Will Cutting Calories Result In Fat Loss?
There are 3500 calories in one pound of fat. That means that by reducing your food by 500 calories per day, you should lose one pound of fat per week, right?
Actually, much of the weight you'll lose will come from muscle tissue, NOT fat! Why? Because your body tends to use ("excess") muscle tissue for needed energy before it reclaims fat deposits.
The answer is to TAKE YOUR TIME with fat loss, and either preserve or build muscle tissue by integrating scientific weight training, mild aerobics, dietary manipulation, supplementation and other technologies into your lifestyle. Follow the rules above!
Here’s an example of an all-too-common weight reduction strategy.
200 200 pounds & 30% body fat
170 170 pounds & 30% body fat
140 140 pounds Lean body weight
120 119 pounds lean body weight
week one week two week three week four week five week six
This poor soul actually lost 21 pounds of muscle and only 9 pounds of fat! He’ll yo-yo back up to 200 in no time (within 1-2 years according to information compiled during the Congressional investigation into the fat loss industry). However, in doing so, he or she will be 35 percent body fat instead of their original 30 percent. Why? Theey never regained all of the lean tissue they lost as a result of their crash dieting earlier.
NEVER attempt to gain or lose "weight!"
Instead, you should always strive to
gain muscle and lose fat!
To Gain Muscular Weight:
- Add 2 calories per pound of body weight to your daily caloric intake.
- The added calories should be mostly protein and some complex carbohydrates (no added fat calories).
- Spread these added calories equally among 5 meals per day.
- For example, a 150 pound person should add 300 calories per day to their diet; over 5 meals, that equals about a 60 calorie increase per meal.
- The additional 300 calories will, with intense weight training, result in a gain of approximately 1 - 2 pounds of added muscle per month.
- Reduce your caloric intake two days per week by 2 calories per pound of body weight, to ensure that excess fat is being removed (called "zigzag dieting").
To Lose Fat Weight:
- Subtract 2 calories per pound of body weight from your daily caloric intake.
- The reduced calories should come mostly from fat calories, and NOT protein.
- This caloric reduction should be applied to all of your 5 meals; NEVER skip meals!
- For example, assuming that you weight 150 pounds, and you're eating 5 meals per day (highly recommended), you should reduce each meal by 60 calories (total of 300 calories reduction over a full day).
- By reducing your daily caloric intake by 300 calories, you can expect to lose about 2 1/2 pounds of fat per month, assuming you're weight training for muscle mass preservation or increase.
- Increase your caloric intake two days per week by 2 caories per pound of body weight, to ensure that you're getting enough calories to put on lean muscle, and that upward BMR adjustments are being made (called "zigzag dieting").
To Stay The Same Weight But Become More Muscular:
- Follow the rules listed above, with the exception that your intake of calories remain equal to your daily energy expenditure (see calorie table in preceding pages).
- Alter your ratio of nutrients so that protein is maximized and fat is minimized.
- Carefully control your calories on a meal-per-meal basis, ensuring that you consume only enough calories to get you to your next meal (no more and no less). You NEVER eat for what you just did, ONLY for what you're about to do.
- Over the course of 6 months or so, this sort of fastidiousness will pay off with big dividends in more muscle tissue and less fat -- you'll begin to look and feel great!
The caloric expenditures listed in the table below are for people with about a 20 percent body fat level. The smaller your muscles are, the fewer calories you'll burn; the bigger your muscles are, the more calories you'll burn. But remember that strenuous exercises with weights (including, but not limited to, dumbbells and barbells, Nautilus-type machines, your own body weight, and other forms of resistance exercises) is the best way to increase your muscle size, thereby increasing your metabolic rate. This will result in far more calories being burned all day long -- even at night while you're sleeping.
ACTIVITIES AND THEIR
APPROXIMATE HOURLY CALORIC COST
FOR DIFFERENT BODY WEIGHTS
__________________________________________________ ______________________________ ___
If you weigh... 125 150 175 200 225 250 275 300
__________________________________________________ ______________________________ ___
Light Aerobics 154 204 254 304 354 404 454 504
Walking 2.5 mph 154 204 204 304 354 404 454 504
Gardening 168 218 268 318 368 418 468 518
Golf 195 245 295 345 395 445 505 545
Lawn Mowing 195 245 295 345 395 445 505 545
Light Calisthenics 222 272 322 372 422 472 522 572
Light Weight Training 222 272 322 372 422 472 522 572
House Cleaning 222 272 322 372 422 472 522 572
Walking 3.75 mph 249 299 349 399 449 499 549 599
Swimming .25 mph 249 299 349 399 449 499 549 599
Medium Aerobics 290 340 390 440 490 540 590 640
Badminton 297 347 397 447 497 547 597 647
Wood Chopping 344 394 444 494 544 594 644 694
Medium WeightTraining 392 442 492 542 592 642 692 742
Slow Jogging 426 476 526 576 626 676 726 776
Heavy Calisthenics 494 544 594 644 694 744 794 844
Heavy Aerobics 494 544 594 644 694 744 794 844
Heavy Weight Training 562 612 662 712 762 812 862 912
Medium Jogging 562 612 662 712 762 812 862 912
Cycling 13 mph 610 660 710 760 810 860 910 960
Fast Jogging 630 680 730 780 830 880 910 960
The caloric expenditures listed are for people with about a 20 percent body fat level. The smaller your muscles are, the fewer calories you'll burn; the bigger your muscles are, the more calories you'll burn. But remember that strenuous exercises with weights (including, but not limited to, dumbbells and barbells, Nautilus-type machines, your own body weight, and other forms of resistance exercises) is the best way to increase your muscle size, thereby increasing your metabolic rate. This will result in far more calories being burned all day long -- even at night while you're sleeping.
Remember that all forms of exercise result in sweating. So, drink at least eight full glasses of water daily.
Aerobic Training For Fat Loss:
"Aerobic" means "with oxygen." So, aerobic dance, step aerobics, Stairmaster training, bicycle ergometer training and the host of other low impact, high heart rate methods of training are all geared to make your body use more oxygen.
Why would you want to use more oxygen? Simply, it's 1) good for the heart muscle, 2) it's the ONLY way your body can burn fat for energy, and 3) it's good for longevity.
Beware, however! Aerobic training doesn't build muscle to any significant degree. And, since only muscle burns calories, you want more muscle far more than you want an aerobic capacity which rivals that of an elite marathon runner. Remember, the fat control strategy of choice is ALWAYS going to be to maintain a reasonable level of muscle mass so you can burn calories (and fat) all day long -- not just during aerobic training.
Research clearly shows that in order to maintain a reasonable aerobic capacity, you should train at about 60-80 percent of your maximum heart rate for about 30 minutes three times weekly. More than that, and you're probably training aerobically more than you need to.
Weight Training For Fat Loss:
Weight training -- often referred to as "resistance training" -- has one key advantage which is present only minimally in other forms of exercise. It builds muscle. Weight training involves reversing the effects of the years of disuse your body has just undergone from inactivity. Even mild weight training will result in muscular growth. Bigger muscles burn more calories than smaller ones. They also look better.
Note that "reversing the effects of disuse" means just that. It does NOT necessarily mean becoming huge or looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger!
There are many excellent systems of weight training. Perhaps the best one for beginners interested in getting rid of unwanted fat and improving general tone and fitness is the "circuit training" system. The grreat thing about this system is that you needn't belong to a gym or club to do it! You can easily perform this system of resistance training in your home.
The main objective of circuit training is completing all of the "stations" in the circuit in decreased time. Each station consists of one weight training exercise per bodypart.
One complete circuit for a total-body workout may look like this:
Common misuse of the term "cross-training" has limited its definition to aerobic-type activities (e.g., triathlon competition, wherein swimming, cycling and running long distances comprise the "cross-training" event). This is NOT cross-training in the scientific sense of the term.
So, let's set the record straight once and for all. The definition of cross-training will, from now on, be expanded to incorporate any form(s) of training designed to take you through the ATP/CP pathway of muscular energetics, through the glycolytic pathway of muscular energetics, on into the aerobic (oxidative) pathway of muscular energetics.
ATP/CP training is explosive, short-duration types of movement such as powerlifting, throwing, sprinting or shot-putting.
Glycolytic training involves pushing your anaerobic threshold with such activities as running 400-800 meters for time, forcing those last four or five reps out of each set in weight training, or playing an extremely fast-paced game of racquetball.
And, aerobic training involves pushing your oxidative capacity to the limit through high intensity long-distance running, swimming or cycling.
Then you put 'em all together. THAT is cross-training!
For general fitness, it's great. It'll provide a good level of fitness across the anaerobic-aerobic continuum.
For elite athletes, well, stick to your sport's requirements and you'll do much better. Athletes must convert their bodies into highly specialized "machines" that are capable of performing their sport to the utmost limits of human tolerances. All serious athletes MUST specialize!
DESIRABLE BODY FAT LEVELS FOR DIFFERENT SPORTS
SPORT MEN WOMEN SPORT MEN WOMEN
Basketball 7-12% 14-20% Tennis 8-13% 15-21%
Linemen 10-15% ---- Runners 5-10% 10-12%
Backs 7-12% ----
Track & Field
Gymnastics 4-8% 10-12% Jumpers 7-10% 10-13%
Throwers 8-12% 10-15%
Soccer 7-10% ---- Sprinters 4-8% 10-13%
Swimming 5-8% 10-15% *Wrestling 4-8% ----
*Weight- *Powerlifting 5-10% 10-15%
lifting 5-10% 10-15%
**Physique 4-8% 9-12%
* Athletes in the heavier weight divisions typically exceed these guidelines by 3 - 4 percentage points; to exceed them by more than this margin is pure and simple "slovenliness."
** Elite male bodybuilders are usually closer to the 8 percent level as opposed to the 4 percent level because (it's believed) they've put on extra "mass" via fat deposits in the muscles themselves. Their subcutaneous fat levels, however, remain extremely low in order to show "cuts" (muscular definition).
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