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Nutrition Diet, supplements, weightloss, health & longevity

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Old 12-21-2003, 12:17 AM   #1
DG
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I've noticed over the last couple of months that alot of people here are fans of the Zone. Im just wondering why. I'm open to all ideas, but I have a strong background in fitness and nutrition and I can't seem to find much research that supports the claims of the Zone. In fact, most reliable and peer reviewed research is in opposition to the zone and states that this diet is not sufficient enough support athletic endeavors, much less improve them. Studies show that endurance is negatively affected on bicycle ergonometers for athletes on this diet. I've also come to the conclusion that the premise of the Zone "changing hormonal activity, resulting in vasoactive eicosanoids that permit oxygen delivery to the muscle (The Zone)" is based on selective research and anecdotal reviews, not sound scientific evidence. The diet is low in calories, which is why you lose weight. Studies also show that the key eicosaniod produced in the Zone is not even found in skeletal muscle. Right now, I'm convinced that the Zone is more ergolytic than ergogenic. If anyone can prove me wrong I might give it a shot, but until I see hard scientific evidence I'll stick to what I know.
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Old 12-21-2003, 12:34 AM   #2
Robert Wolf
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DG-

The athletes version of the diet is dramaticly different than that recomended for weight loss.

Fat, typically in the form of n-9 mono-unsaturates are added to put the calories into a realm which as Coach puts it "supports performance but not fat gain".

This thread is worth gold IMO:

http://www.crossfit.com/discus/messages/23/422.html

Bottom line is if your nutritional protocol is not making noise about insulin control and hormonal tinkering it is missing the boat.

Regarding "proof" I recomend you try it for a month (along with the workout of the day) and compare the results with current or previious endeavors. Even if there were 100 citations at pub-med stating this is "THE DIET" you will not know if that is true for you untill you try.

There are now literally hundreds of pages on this site regarding this topic. Peruse them and see what you find.
Robb
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Old 12-21-2003, 05:42 AM   #3
Dale S. Jansen
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testimonial; my wife weighed 112 at 5'4" prior to two childred. she got stuck at 135 following birth of 2nd. she tried portions, p.t. etc. no weight loss. after reading the zone, she virtually eliminated what i call the four whites(bread, pasta, potatoes, rice).well, hello 114 with lot more lean muscle. #2. for a couple of years i was running borderline high b.p.(as high as 142/90. yikes! doc wanted me to go on a statin. yikes! again. i cut way back on the 4 whites and now run around 112/64.
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Old 12-21-2003, 05:46 AM   #4
Dale S. Jansen
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p.s. i eat about 3-3500 calories a day. usually do a xfit onworkdays as well as select off days coupled with cycling, running(with and without weighted pack). please note that my wife tried calorie reduction. this was ineffective. also, changes mentioned in above post took place over 1 year. dale.
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Old 12-21-2003, 02:41 PM   #5
J. D. Hernandez
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Info for all,

I've got every Zone book ever written (except the soy zone), already read them, and don't need them anymore. If anyone is intrested in a trade of some sort just email me at either musclehed4life@yahoo.com or jherna2@lincoln.navy.mil.

Thanx
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Old 12-21-2003, 06:52 PM   #6
DG
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Where can I find the paramenters for the athlete's versions of the ZONE. Here's a simple question--If carbs are so bad, simple, complex, whatever...then why is carbo-loading one of the only proven effective ergogenic aids?
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Old 12-21-2003, 08:40 PM   #7
David Wood
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DG:

I'm really NOT the guy to be arguing about diet, since I'm not nearly as well-read in this area as many others on the board. (Nor is my personal diet all that good; my wife makes these obscenely good chocolate-and-peanut-butter cookies at Christmas time, I had 3 last night).

But, I'll make a couple of possible guesses at answers to your (perfectly legitimate) question about carbo-loading.

(1) Maybe carbo-loading only works (i.e., improves performance) for a relatively narrow set of parameters: moderate-duration aerobic exercise, and for an athlete eating a regular carbohydrate diet over many months preceding.

Part of the premise of diets that sharply restrict carbohydrate is that the body can be "trained" (can adapt) to using fats as a preferred source of energy for sustained work performance. Most advocates of this will argue that this allows for greater long-term endurance anyway (glycogen stores seem completely depleted after about 90-120 minutes of sustained exertion, hence "the wall" at mile 20 for most marathoners . . . even *with* carbo-loading).

It would be impossible to do a true "double-blind" comparison of performance between two sets of identically-trained athletes, one set on a high-carbohydrate diet, the other on a more restricted carbohydrate diet (e.g., Zone) . . . but it would be interesting to try it anyway. (It would take six months or more to demonstrate anything, though).

(2) Even if carbo-loading is an effective way to improve performance in low-intensity endurance exercise lasting up to an hour (which is a fairly limited kind of improvement, if you ask me), that doesn't mean that a high-carbohydrate diet is the best choice at (almost) every meal over many years . . . which is the SAD (standard American diet).

Incidentally, I (personally) think it's a mistake to go for the total zero-carb approach . . . but like some of the folks who posted above, I have aggressively reduced the "four whites" (bread, pasta, potatoes, rice) (and sugar, for that matter) and felt much the better (and 8 pounds lighter) for it. I still eat oatmeal regularly, occasional bread (when socially unavoidable), and those cookies.

Dave
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Old 12-22-2003, 12:49 AM   #8
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Dave: A couple of things 1) it doesn't take months to carbo load. It takes 1 week if done correctly. It should start 1 week prior to a competition with a glycogen depleting event (1+ hour), and a build up over the week before your event.

2) Yes, athletes that benefit from CL are those engaing in aerobic activity but, it's for those engaging in prolonged aerobic activity, intended to postpone fatigue in events lasting over 90 minutes.

3) As far as your body being trained to fats as a fuel source- at rest 60% of your energy comes from fat metabolism and that may be even higher when glucose is low (overnight). I think you might be refering to ketosis which are byproducts of excess fatty acid metabolism, which is not a good state to be in. Ketone bodies produce energy during starvation or fasting and excess accumulation can lead acidosis, comas and even death. But i'm not sure what you are refering to. If the the body has the choice, it's going to use carbs for higher intensity exercise and more fat for the lower intensity. It will use whatever it has to if it can't draw from the sources that it is programmed to. You really can't change that.

Fat may appear to be a more efficient fuel at 9 calories per gram and carbs at 4/g. But know this, MORE OXYGEN IS NEEDED TO METABOLIZE FAT. From 1L of oxygen we get 5.05 cal from carbs, and 4.69 cals from fats. Therefore carbs are a more efficient fuel source. Also metabolic pathways for carbs are three times faster than those of fat. The body will always choose the path of least resistance. You cant change that, ever.

4)90-120 mins to exhaustion---The results of carbo loading are seen after 90-120 minutes of exercise. MUSCLE GLYCOGEN stores can be depleted in as little 30 minutes. However, you have enough glycogen stores in your liver, blood and fat to run another 800+ miles. (still have not figured out a way to really tap into those)

5) A true double blind experiment may be impossible, i agree with you here. But a few years ago a team tried to do the Tour de France on some low carb weird vegan diet, they didn't finish. (not really relevant here) There are credible sources that show the effects of carbo-loading.

z) As far as the losing weight goes let me ask you this: Before you started your new diet did you keep an accurate log of the energy you took in and the energy you expended? If you did, how does it compare. Also, each gram of glycogen is bound to 3 grams of water. If you store an addtional 400g of glycogen thats about 3.5 pounds of water that goes along with it. The same is true if you don't store the glycogen. This could account for alot of the weight "lost" on low carb diets. Long live cookies.

Doorgunner11

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Old 12-22-2003, 06:39 AM   #9
Kevin Roddy
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DG - I'm not going to argue the main points in your statement, but I would like to poke at a few other things.

On Ketosis - There's a whole other thread going on about ketosis right now. The main problem, ketoacidosis, which you stated, is mainly a problem for diabetics. For a healthy, non-diabetic person, this problem does not exist.

Water loss on low-carb diets - Of course. The people who do, promote, and even study low-carb diets know that water loss is inevitable. That doesn't mean that fat will not be lost either.

Unfortunately, I'm not too up-to-date on the information regarding carbo-loading, so I can't help you there. :blush:
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Old 12-22-2003, 07:53 AM   #10
David Wood
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DG: Thanks for your patience with me. I know carbo-loading can be accomplished in a week or less (some folks recommend a 3-day carb-depletion phase, followed by 3 days of loading, and some say just the loading is necessary).

What I was trying (unsuccessfully) to speculate about was that carb-loading is probably most effective for athletes that are generally "adapted" to carbohydrates as a source of fuel, and a "fat-adapted" athlete might experience a different outcome. (This is pure speculation, mind you.)

The issue about whether "adaptation" to fat as a fuel of choice is even possible seems to be unproven scientifically (your presentation in point 3 above is pretty much the textbook version of our "official" understanding of physiology . . . but lots of people who try the various incarnations (no pun intended) of the low-carb diet experience greater energy, even in prolonged endurance work. I suspect it may come down to individual variations in metabolism.

I certainly didn't keep careful track of calories either before, or after, the changes I described above. About all I can say is that I've been eating to comfortable satiety all the way through, and "working out" all the way through. The changes were to adopt a CrossFit style of exercise (brief, intense, anaerobic training using Olympic lifts and other full-body work), and dropping the "four (or five) whites" from my diet. That's it, but that was enough to improve my fitness substantially.

Dave
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