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Old 05-06-2012, 09:50 PM   #1
Larry Bruce
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Energy balance

Wonder what you guys think of the concept of energy balance for athletes?
It's being promoted by Dr. Bernardot who is a PHD and RD, and current or former nutritional "coach" with several US Olympic teams (cycling, gymnastic).

It's a constant theme here that athletes aren't eating enough and I think that's what he is trying to reverse. But he takes it a step farther and says that you shouldn't go + or - 400 calories away from your energy requirements on an hourly basis. Or at least try to keep that time in those "red zones" as tiny as possible. In fact he's marketing a calorie tracker called nutritiming for that too.

It makes sense that athletes at key times shouldn't be trying to diet or bulk but train and perform, so having the nutrients available as needed is essential.

At the same time if someone is trying to cut or bulk he also wants them to stay in that 400 range too. That part seems a bit paranoic. Probably not many in the cyling or gymnastic teams need to lose 5 or 10 pounds! A 600-800 deficit doesn't seem large for my 18% bf, but may be for someone with 8 or 10%, no? What do you think?
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:31 PM   #2
Jared Ashley
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Re: Energy balance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Bruce View Post
Wonder what you guys think of the concept of energy balance for athletes?
It's being promoted by Dr. Bernardot who is a PHD and RD, and current or former nutritional "coach" with several US Olympic teams (cycling, gymnastic).
I think that if he is or was being paid to coach several Olympic atheletes and teams, then he knows more about sports nutrition that I do, and odds are nobody else on this board can say otherwise.

Also, I think I'm not an olympic gymnast or cyclist, so his advice is likely irrelevant to my needs.
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:47 AM   #3
Larry Bruce
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Re: Energy balance

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Originally Posted by Jared Ashley View Post
I think that if he is or was being paid to coach several Olympic atheletes and teams, then he knows more about sports nutrition that I do, and odds are nobody else on this board can say otherwise.

Also, I think I'm not an olympic gymnast or cyclist, so his advice is likely irrelevant to my needs.
Yeah, he definately has the cred. So he wasn't referring to you or me when he wrote:
Quote:
Clearly, a negative energy balance is necessary for weight
loss to occur, but the magnitude of the daily energy deficit
should be sufficiently subtle (perhaps j300 to j400 calories)
so that normal appetite controls are maintained and body
composition is improved (Figure 3). It helps, of course, to have
a regular exercise program to provide a motive for the body’s
muscles to sustain themselves, but the exerciser should beware
of creating too large an energy deficit or the tissues meant to be
enhanced through exercise may be diminished (14,27,28).
in http://nutritiming.com/docs/ACSMHFJ_July07_Benardot.pdf ?
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:02 AM   #4
Dimitri Dziabenko
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Re: Energy balance

All of this is so context dependent, prescribing the same diet and deficit to everybody is a mistake.

For athletes already near their desired bodyweight, it certainly makes sense not to cut too hard or performance will go down the toilet.

Not trying to stir anything but since Olympic athletes are pretty much all on drugs (the ones that win are for sure), normal nutritional rules need not apply.
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:32 AM   #5
Chris Mason
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Re: Energy balance

Most sports, CrossFit included, have a power to weight concern. It is therefore incumbent on the athlete to consume sufficient total caloric intake to fuel their training and optimize recovery from the dietary perspective, but not in excess to the point they add body fat.

I certainly agree large caloric deficits are not a good idea as lean muscle tissue is catabolized and energy for training inordinately suffers.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:32 AM   #6
Jared Ashley
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Re: Energy balance

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Originally Posted by Larry Bruce View Post
Yeah, he definately has the cred. So he wasn't referring to you or me when he wrote:

in http://nutritiming.com/docs/ACSMHFJ_July07_Benardot.pdf ?
Sure, that quote would be appropriate for anyone who is trying to lose/cut weight safely and effectively. Honestly, I would call it common sense.

Anyone who says they can run a 800 calorie/day defecit (almost 2 lbs a week!) for a prolonged period without losing lean mass is just plain wrong, I don't care how much fat they're carrying. It's a difficult balance for most people to run even a 400/day defecit unless their food and exercise is closely monitored.
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:16 AM   #7
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Re: Energy balance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jared Ashley View Post
Sure, that quote would be appropriate for anyone who is trying to lose/cut weight safely and effectively. Honestly, I would call it common sense.

Anyone who says they can run a 800 calorie/day defecit (almost 2 lbs a week!) for a prolonged period without losing lean mass is just plain wrong, I don't care how much fat they're carrying. It's a difficult balance for most people to run even a 400/day defecit unless their food and exercise is closely monitored.
Closer to 1.5 pounds a week - 5600/3500 = 1.6. Figure there would be a few refeeds in there. But yeah the higher the deficit the higher the risk.
With a higher deficit pretty much all high intensity work should be cut out except weights a few times a week.

I've done deficits up to 1000 cals 2x week using IF, with little activity. However did not find it to be very effective even when restricting activity to the non-diet days. Unfortunately. May try the usual low daily defict and moderate activity level.

I kind of wobble about high intensity while on a moderate deficit.
A little perhaps 15 or 20 minutes a few times a week *i would imagine* could
be ok but not sure ...
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:20 AM   #8
Dimitri Dziabenko
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Re: Energy balance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jared Ashley View Post
Sure, that quote would be appropriate for anyone who is trying to lose/cut weight safely and effectively. Honestly, I would call it common sense.

Anyone who says they can run a 800 calorie/day defecit (almost 2 lbs a week!) for a prolonged period without losing lean mass is just plain wrong, I don't care how much fat they're carrying. It's a difficult balance for most people to run even a 400/day defecit unless their food and exercise is closely monitored.
A really obese person with a large protein intake can pull it off without the loss of essential lean mass. Inessential stuff gets lost though, which is fine anyways.
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:13 PM   #9
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Re: Energy balance

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Originally Posted by Dimitri Dziabenko View Post
A really obese person with a large protein intake can pull it off without the loss of essential lean mass. Inessential stuff gets lost though, which is fine anyways.
I'm curious what you mean by "inessential" lean mass?

I do agree that a very obese (in the realm of 50%+ BF) can run a larger defecit safely. They will still lose lean mass, but may not appear to get weaker because after all it suddenly requires so much less muscle just to get through their daily life. They may even get stronger via newbie gains, though that's going to be neurologic rather than hypertrophy.

Someone who's that obese probably doesn't qualify as an "athelete" though... so I guess that's the exception where the quote may not apply.
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:31 PM   #10
Dimitri Dziabenko
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Re: Energy balance

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Originally Posted by Jared Ashley View Post
I'm curious what you mean by "inessential" lean mass?

I do agree that a very obese (in the realm of 50%+ BF) can run a larger defecit safely. They will still lose lean mass, but may not appear to get weaker because after all it suddenly requires so much less muscle just to get through their daily life. They may even get stronger via newbie gains, though that's going to be neurologic rather than hypertrophy.

Someone who's that obese probably doesn't qualify as an "athelete" though... so I guess that's the exception where the quote may not apply.
Basically connective tissue. As you get obese your body compensates by building up extra tissues to support that mass. This usually goes away as you drop weight.

A sumo wrestler might have 300lb of LBM, which is more than his body can naturally carry if he diets down. That's why bulking to obesity and then cutting weight doesn't work well unless you take roids to raise the biological limit of how much muscle your body carries.
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