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Guest ExperimentB76z

Nutrition And Effective Weight Management

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Guest ExperimentB76z

Nutrition and Effective Weight Management

This is meant to be a work in progress, which will be developed as my own understanding of nutrition and basic biomechanics as they relate to what we do develops, and hopefully through the contributions other people will make. It is not meant to be a diet, but a source of information about nutrition so that you can make your own mind up about what you are eating. That said, there is an overarching principal to help people achieve their goals (whether that is to add muscle or cut fat, possibly both), and that is programming a diet based on individual goals and training needs and then sticking to those macros. This is a brilliant calculator which will work out your macros for you and this is a very helpful online food log, which makes tracking your consumption of macros easy. I'll explain more about the research behind the calculators below, but they are the only tools you need to jump straight in.

This is not a diet; it is an approach to organising dietary requirements to achieve goals without the trappings of rules on what you must and must not eat. However, the post will go into the information you need to help you decide what may be better food choices (hopefully providing a balanced point of view). There are several weightlifting centric diets that are discussed in better detail elsewhere in the forum. Some of the concepts in those diets may be covered in brief here as part of the overall discussion. I am not saying that you should use this approach instead of any of those diets, but your may find this approach easier to follow.

Introduction of Dietary Concepts

The premise of this approach works on the basis that managing macro nutrients is a fundamental part of achieving your goals, more so than the actual food you eat. In other words, broadly speaking you are fine to eat what you want providing that you eat to your macro nutrients, which are calculated to be specific to you (your age, height, weight, and so on), your training and your goals. However, this is not a license to eat junk food all the time, because that would completely ignore your micro nutrients and you would eat an excess of undesirables; like salt (a mineral not a macro) and unsaturated “trans” fats. That would be detrimental to your overall health and should not be done.

Excess calorie consumption / consumption of macro nutrients is broadly the real reason people are fat, fatter than they would prefer, or put on too much fat when trying to build muscle. This is as true for people who do not train as it is for those who do. It is not that simple, however. There is growing evidence to suggest that some people who cannot eat enough and some people eat too much have too much or too little of the appetite controlling hormone Leptin.

People are advised by governments to eat, “healthily”, and if they do, purportedly they will not be fat. This is not true. For a start there is no universal definition of healthy. For example, someone following a low GI diet will urge you not to eat white rice rice because it will purportedly make you fatter than the wholegrain alternative. Some followers of a Paleo diet will urge you not to eat rice at all, because humans have not evolved to consume grains and there will be undesirable consequences if you do. Less dogmatic followers of the Paleo diet will argue that white rice is fine to eat because the husk is removed and the husk is where the problem lies. Two different ways of eating rice, a third option not to eat it, and three very different points of view on what constitutes, “healthy”. And that’s just a single grain of rice, and not the full story either.

Accepting for a moment the fallacy that the universal definition of, “healthy”, is the definition perpetuated by governments in western modernity – wholegrain foods, fruit, vegetables, non processed meats, a couple of portions of oily fish a week and a little diary – even if someone does observe this diet without considering their macro nutrients they can still be overweight. Your macro nutrients are devised from your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (“TDEE”). If a person’s TDEE is 2500 kcals and they eat 2500 kcals of these purportedly healthy foods, but just one extra apple a day (a “healthy” choice) for a year, they will over consume approximately 17500 kcals and add five pounds / two kilos to their frame. So even if a healthy diet can be agreed, overconsumption of calories and therefore macro nutrients can have a negative effect on overall body composition. Eating a “healthy” diet can have “unhealthy” consequences. Obviously, it is easier to consume excessively with calories dense foods (burgers, fries and chocolate).

In terms of an overall philosophy for fat loss and building muscle, it seems that being lean is a better starting point and as a corollary that a conservative well managed, “bulk”, is superior because it avoids putting on extra fat. Lyle McDonald suggests a lower figure of 10% body fat and an upper limit of 15% for men, at which bulking may begin and cutting should start respectively (albeit after a brief two week period of normalisation in either direction). Essential body fat storage is between 3 and 5% for men and 8 and 12% for women. Athlete’s body fat composition ranges between 14 and 20% for women and 6 to 13% for men. Female fitness enthusiasts may have a body fat profile between 21 and 24%, men between 14 and 17%. Average figures range between 25% and 32% for women, and 18 and 24% for men. Beyond that and you are storing excess fat.

Putting aside other health issues relating to fat (some of which may not apply to people who partake in sports even if they do have a higher body fat percentage, due to diminishing visceral fat from exercise), excess fat can lead to decreased levels of testosterone. Testosterone is a highly anabolic hormone (anabolism is the metabolic process where proteins are broken down to repair muscle tissue) so the more testosterone you can produce naturally the better. Testosterone in men starts to diminish naturally as you get older. Between the ages of 40 and 70 testosterone may diminish by as much as 60%. Preserving natural testosterone through being comfortably lean is therefore likely to benefit overall body composition and realisation of training goals, as well as quality of life.

There is some suggestion that a better ratio of fat to muscle can be achieved when bulking with a leaner body composition. I have not found any science to back that up yet. That does not mean the theory is not true and there is some anecdotal evidence to support it.

Gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time is contentious. There is broad agreement that it may be achieved in novices or the overweight. There is little in the way of science to establish that it can be achieved naturally, but plenty of anecdotal evidence. The fact that it can be achieved with anabolic-androgen-steroids suggests that it may be possible, or more likely, in people with naturally advantageous hormonal profiles (teenagers). The fatter someone is the more energy the body has stored in reserve, so it may release those stores even if the body is in an overall deficit to build some muscle. Those are just my theories though and I have no science to support either. The problem in practical terms is defining who is a novice and what constitutes sufficiently overweight, and conversely who is not and therefore will not burn fat and add muscle at the same time.

There is anecdotal evidence to suggest that Carbohydrate Cycling, “Carb Cycling,” will allow you to burn fat and gain muscle at the same time. Though some proponents of the diet suggest it will only help minimise fat gain alongside muscle gain. Opponents of the building muscle / burning fat theory suggest that the hormonal changes necessary cannot be achieved quickly enough; you either need to be in a prolonged state anabolism to build muscle or catabolism (where the body breaks down cells for energy) to burn fat stores. This view is supported by current research, however; the absence of evidence to support the contrary opinion may only lie in the reality that not enough been done to study the effects of carb cycling.

If you are not lucky enough to burn fat and add muscle at the same time you will want to try a traditional, “bulk”. For the reasons given above, you may wish to get lean first. For the reasons I am about to give, “bulking”, is a bad description, albeit the mostly common used term. The traditional view says that anabolism requires energy, so you need to be in calorie surplus. If you are in calorie surplus not all that energy will go towards protein synthesis and building muscle (despite your best efforts in the gym), some of your calories surplus will be deposited as energy reserves in the form of adipose tissue (subcutaneous fat and visceral fat). I’m looking for evidence – if any exists – to determine what ratio of muscle to fat muscle may be achieved at different levels of calorific surplus and what manipulation of macros might have on that. There is anecdotal evidence to say that if you eat a more conservative surplus you will achieve a better muscle to fat ratio (for example a 300 kcal a day surplus as opposed to the traditional 500kcals a day). However, you may build less muscle consuming a 300kcal surplus than a 500 kcal surplus. It also seems sensible that building muscle with a calorie surplus would be one of diminishing returns, so you might deposit less adipose tissue with a 300kcals surplus than you would with 500kcals. There is definitely a ceiling to how much muscle you can add naturally, because, amongst other things, your body can only synthesise so much protein. While I do research into that, the general view is that 500kcals surplus is more than sufficient and anymore than that more just adds fat. Again, for a previously skinny teenager with huge amounts of natural testosterone, plenty of food and good program more is certainly possible. It is a shame these anomalies are perpetuated as possibilities for a wider audience by strength and conditioning coaches. They are not.

Though not strictly diet related; it is possible to gain strength without building muscle, or even while losing fat. This is as a result of improving the efficiency of the motor units in the muscles. Some strength may be lost if muscle tissue and consequently motor units are lost with the loss of muscle tissue. A person’s ability to lift weight and gain size will be genetically determined by the fibre composition of their muscles. Someone with more Type II fibres in their muscles will be able to lift more than someone with more Type I muscle fibres. The power lifts are not optimal for causing hypertrophy, nor are the set / rep structures traditionally used by power lifters to develop maximal strength.

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Guest ExperimentB76z

Calories – TDEE – Working Out Goal Specific Macros

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Guest ExperimentB76z

Macro Nutrients

Water

Protein

Carbohydrates

Fats

Alcohol (not a macro nutrient, but needs mentioning)

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Guest ExperimentB76z

Sources of Macro Nutrients, Health Benefits and Shortcomings

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The Glycemnic Index (GI), Tenants of Bro-Science and Nutritional Myths

The Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load

The first paragraph of this is well publicised (diet books), the remainder is not as well known, and will hopefully be useful.

The Glycemic Index is the measure of the effect carbohydrates have on blood sugar levels. The GI index was developed for people with diabetes to control their blood sugar levels. People were tested in a fasted state (12 hours) by eating 50 grams of the carbohydrate for several foods. Two measures are used; glucose or white bread will have the highest score of 100 (though white bread against glucose is 100 / 140). Generally, fruits, vegetables, and pulses have a low GI (less that 55), as does fructose, chocolate cake and ice cream. Sweet potatoes, wholegrain rice and sucrose have a medium GI (between 56 and 69). White bread, white rice, and breakfast cereals, all have a high GI (over 69 to 100).

However, and importantly, GI is only one half of the equation. The other is Glycemic Load, which estimates how much a person’s blood sugar will be elevated. It is essential to consider GL with GI. For example, watermelon has a high GI (72). However, there is very little carbohydrate in a serving, 5g in a 100g. To work out the Glycemic Load, multiply the GI by carbohydrates in a 100 gram portion (72 x 5) and divide by 100 = 3.6. A GL of less than 10 is considered low (so watermelon is fine and its GI is misleading), 11 to 19 inclusively are medium, and over 20 is high.

In essence, the Glycemic Index compares eating 100 grams of white rice with 421 grams of potato on blood sugar levels, but in practice your portions would be of a similar size. The Glycemic Load levels the playing field. You need to know both to determine the effect of what you are eating on your blood sugar levels.

There are several other salient detractors;

  • The Glycemic Index was created after testing people following a 12 hour fast. The response of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels reduces if you are not in a fasted state.
  • If you mix a high GI food with protein or fats, the GI response is diminished.
  • As noted above, both fructose and chocolate cake are low GI, but not particularly desirable staples for a diet.
  • The GI response of individuals to foods can change from day to day.
  • The GI response of someone with diabetes is different to someone without.
  • The two different Glycemic Indexes confuses the issue (one is based on white bread and the other glucose).
  • The GI of a food can change depending on how ripe it is, or between varieties (potatoes from Australia, for example, have a much higher GI than potatoes from the United States), or on how it was processed.

Although spikes in blood glucose have been linked to Type II Diabetes, obesity and lack of exercise are the greatest factors. Excess body fat is associated with 30% of cases in those of Chinese and Japanese descent, and 60-80% of cases in those of European and African descent. Those who are not obese have a significant waist-hip ratio.

Of the Glycemic Index, in her article for Diabetes Forecast, “The Glycemic Index debate: Does the type of carbohydrate really matter?”, Janine Freeman, RD, CDE concluded,

“Some studies show small improvements in A1Cs among people who are attentive to the glycemic index. But reducing calories, weight loss, and basic carbohydrate counting have been shown to be more effective in improving A1Cs among people with type 2 diabetes than basing diet decisions on the GI.

I don't suggest eliminating "high GI" foods in favor of "low GI" foods to gain better blood glucose levels for two reasons. First, there is not enough evidence yet to show that such an action actually will improve your blood glucose levels; and second, choosing foods based solely on GI will compromise healthy eating.

In normal healthy individuals the importance of the Glycemic Index is misunderstood and vastly overstated. GI is only half of the equation; it is complex, fluctuating and depends on unknown variables, nor will the GI necessarily represent the actual change in blood levels for multifarious reasons. Weight management and carbohydrate counting are considered to be more effective.

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Guest ExperimentB76z

The Role of Leptin on Weight Management and Other Info

Leptin is a hormone which is secreted by white adipose tissue (body fat) and it’s role is to suppress the effects of two feeding stimulates (neuropeptide Y and anandamide) and to promote the synthesis of a-MSH, an appetite suppressant. It was discovered in 1995 and it’s role on weight management is still theoretical.

White adipose tissue is body’s your energy store. It releases Leptin in response to consumption of food to let you know when you are full, and to regulate the amount of energy storage (fat) that you hold. An absence of Leptin results in uncontrolled food intake. However, an excess of Leptin does not necessarily lead to a the prevention of overeating; obese people have significantly higher Leptin levels than thin people (Leptin being produced by white adipose tissue, fat reserves), but that does not stop obese people over eating. Also, administration of Leptin to obese people did not cure their obesity.

While some people may be predisposed towards being obese if they have naturally low levels of Leptin, it appears the body can become desensitised to Leptin or Leptin resistant (explaining the increased levels of Leptin, but the body's overall inability to suppress appetite). Studies with rats who were fed a calorie dense diet, however, retuned to producing normal levels of Leptin and experiencing normal Leptin resistance when placed on a calorie restricted diet. It has been theorised that mammals may have a Leptin override mechanism to enable a glut to be consumed in times of plenty to ensure survival in times of scarcity. Importantly it appears that Leptin resistance can be reversed with calorie restricted diets.

Periods of fasting have been shown to decrease Leptin production. However, diets which include fasting have two discernable benefits, increased metabolism and a better ratio of fat to muscle loss through calorie restriction (or in other words, more muscle mass is preserved and more fat is oxidised for energy in diets which use a fasting protocol).

Two substances are worth mentioning, fructose and lectins. Fructose (a sugar normally found in fruit, but synthesised in high fructose corn syrup and found in equal quantities in sucrose, which is 50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose) does not produce a Leptin response. Tests have shown that fructose may even lead to Leptin resistance. However, the tests which were done in this connection were not carried out with a control, so Leptin resistance might still be a response merely to a glut of calorie dense foods, and not a particular response connected to the consumption (or over consumption) of fructose. In addition, lectins, which are sugar binding proteins found in beans, cereal grains, seeds and nuts, may cause Leptin resistance.

In summary, the role of Leptin is to control appetite, but it’s ability to do so may be limited due to Leptin resistance (which may be natural in any event). Leptin resistance appears to be the product of exposure to a glut of calorie dense foods, and may be exacerbated by consumption of fructose and lectins. Leptin resistance can however be reversed through calorie restriction (though it might seem hard at first, because of the bodies inability to use Leptin properly) and the eradication of fructose and lectins for the diet may be advisable, at least in the short term until normal Leptin sensitivity is restored.

This deserves a special mention. Eliminating fructose from the diet (in the form of high fructose corn syrup and sucrose, which is equal quantities of glucose and sucrose) where it is not packaged as it was intended to be, in fruit, would be advisable in the long term. The fluctuating and sometimes high price of sugar led to the creation of the fructose alternatives. It now premeditates everything, from soft drinks, to flavoured milk, to bread. The considerable majority of MacDonald's products are laced with fructose. Fructose of it’s self may not be damaging, and some studies have shown beneficial properties at reasonable quantities. However, excess fructose consumption (products laced unnaturally with fructose, as opposed fruit) should be avoided where possible.

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Vegetarianism and Strength Sports

I am not a vegetarian, but I struggle to see the merit in an argument against vegetarians becoming as strong as an omnivore, though it might take some supplementation. So after a short bit of research, which may get elaborated upon in due course;

Everything else being equal, the only reason that a vegetarian might not become as strong or as muscular as an omnivore - aside from individual genetics - is because meat contains something or things that other protein sources do not contain. Meat contains creatine and the vitamin B12. Eggs and dairy lack creatine, whereas vegetables lack both. Creatine and B12 are easily supplemented, though ovo-lacto vegetarians may get enough vitamin B12 though eggs and dairy. The only other factor is the quality of the protein.

Muscles are built from protein. Proteins are broken down by metabolic processes into nine essential amino acids (Branch Chain Amino Acids) to rebuild muscle. They are called essential amino acids because they cannot be made by the body and need to be ingested. Complete proteins contain all nine amino acids. Animal derived proteins are generally complete proteins, meat, milk, eggs, and cheese. However, plant based proteins, with a few notable exceptions like quinoa and soyabeans, are not complete proteins. Plant based proteins can be extracted and mixed to give complete proteins, for example rice and pea protein. So vegetarians, omnivores and even vegans have access to food sources with complete proteins.

Complete proteins are ranked according to the Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score, which ranks complete proteins according to the ability of humans to ingest it. Though it is not without it’s criticism*, the highest ranked foods are are caesin, egg white, soy and whey, which all rank before beef.

Meat is not generally associated with allergens, whereas many grains, pulses and milk are. However, unless meat sources are grass fed and organic, outside Europe they are likely to contain growth hormones, which have been shown to have adverse consequences in the health of humans who ingest the residues.

*The PDCAA ranking does not rank a combination of proteins which would complement each other, for example white bean protein and grain protein, which together would rank as a one (highest score). Proteins having a higher ranking than one are rounded down to one. Where the proteins are ingested cannot be ascertained. The first two are not detractors in the omnivore vs. vegetarian strength debate, and there is no evidence to support theoretical arguments either way for the latter.

The best sources of complete proteins are available to vegetarians and creatine and B12 (if necessary) can be supplemented, so on a macro and micro nutrient level, both athletes have the same opportunities.

Edited by ExperimentB76z
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Theoretically, a vegetarian could just get away with having 5-6 protein shakes a day, couldn't they? I'm pretty sure they've got a complete amino acid profile, or at least the more expensive ones do, so they could always get some from that.

That aside, isn't it just a case of them ensuring that their protein sources combine the correct aminos?

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The best sources of complete proteins are available to vegetarians and creatine and B12 can be supplemented, so on a macro and micro nutrient level, both athletes have the same opportunities.

I would like to add if a person who doesn't eat meat includes eggs and dairy in their diet B12 supplementation shouldn't be an issue.

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Thanks for making the effort with this thread.

That IF macro chart scares the shit out of me with the amount of protein I'm supposedly supposed to eat....

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I would like to add if a person who doesn't eat meat includes eggs and dairy in their diet B12 supplementation shouldn't be an issue.

Thank you, Amy. I have made amendments so it should be better. I'll probably do something on Vitamin B12 when I cover Micro Nutrients in a bit more depth.

Alex, yes they could. Vegetarians get a lot of dietary protein from the foods they eat (complete or not, but where proteins are incomplete other sources can and do make up the complete profile of amino acids) so I don't envisage the position of a vegetarian as being terribly different to the position of most weightlifters who haven't made the change to a natural high protein diet; supplementation with protein shakes will be required now and again to get the full complement of protein for optimal muscle synthesis. The great thing about tracking your macros is, you know if you need a supplement or not. If you don't need it, because your dietary protein is high enough for the day, you can save yourself money and calories by leaving the shake for another day when your protein intake is low.

Lazarus, no problem. It's helpful for me to be honest, in the same way my log is helpful. The protein content in the IF calculator is higher than it needs to be at 1g per 1lb of bodyweight. I will be covering protein in more depth when I cover macros, but you might want to check out this thread in the meantime. You don't need any more than 0.82g per 1lb, and approx 25% of that is an inbuilt safety margin. I think it maybe Lyle MacDonald who says you need as little as 0.65 grams of protein per 1lb (or thereabouts) and a similar figure is mentioned in a number of books on nutrition for athletes that I have.

Apologies for all the emphasis on need; there are pros and maybe cons of having a higher protein diet, depending on your goals, training and lifestyle; possibly age too if you have raging testosterone. The more sedentary you are, a higher protein consumption maybe a good idea. However, there is no harm in moderate carbohydrates if you would prefer and if you are less sedentary, more carbohydrates will become increasingly important.

Thank you, Mannix.

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Great indepth thread Rob, especially the vege info. After reading this I realised that I need to get more eggs into my diet. Cheers Vik

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Lazarus, no problem. It's helpful for me to be honest, in the same way my log is helpful. The protein content in the IF calculator is higher than it needs to be at 1g per 1lb of bodyweight. I will be covering protein in more depth when I cover macros, but you might want to check out this thread in the meantime. You don't need any more than 0.82g per 1lb, and approx 25% of that is an inbuilt safety margin. I think it maybe Lyle MacDonald who says you need as little as 0.65 grams of protein per 1lb (or thereabouts) and a similar figure is mentioned in a number of books on nutrition for athletes that I have.

Going with 0.65g per lb results in 167g of protein per day for me, which definitely sounds more manageable.

Subscribed and looking forward to more posts - also vote for sticky?

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Random real life example - My meat-free protein consumption ranges from .65 grams per body weight to 1 gram per body weight depending on the day. About 1/2 of that comes from animal sources (eggs & dairy - including protein shakes). I really don't know how a active vegan could get enough protein to make strength/muscle gains. I would love to meet one that had.

As far as Alex's concerns about complete proteins - It's really not an issue as long as a person eats a somewhat varied diet throughout the day. At one point, people believed that you needed to compliment your proteins at each meal. That isn't the case, but it usually happens anyway. See the small example below:

complementary-protein-chart.gif

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Random real life example - My meat-free protein consumption ranges from .65 grams per body weight to 1 gram per body weight depending on the day. About 1/2 of that comes from animal sources (eggs & dairy - including protein shakes). I really don't know how a active vegan could get enough protein to make strength/muscle gains. I would love to meet one that had.

As far as Alex's concerns about complete proteins - It's really not an issue as long as a person eats a somewhat varied diet throughout the day. At one point, people believed that you needed to compliment your proteins at each meal. That isn't the case, but it usually happens anyway. See the small example below:

Bloody hell, when I first read that bit in bold I didn't see the 'point' in front of the '65' and thought you were getting 65g/protein per pound of bodyweight...is this real life?!

That's the thing about the whole complete amino acid stuff - wouldn't a vegan be able to get at least some in, considering how varied their diet would have to be, as fruit and veg in small servings isn't filling? I suppose if you were going through plates upon plates of different vegetables, nuts, etc they'd eventually combine...but how would you know what foods contain what, and how to get enough of it all? I've gotta agree that it must be confusing, as well as incredibly difficult, for a vegan to get the right mix of stuff.

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That's the thing about the whole complete amino acid stuff - wouldn't a vegan be able to get at least some in, considering how varied their diet would have to be, as fruit and veg in small servings isn't filling? I suppose if you were going through plates upon plates of different vegetables, nuts, etc they'd eventually combine...but how would you know what foods contain what, and how to get enough of it all? I've gotta agree that it must be confusing, as well as incredibly difficult, for a vegan to get the right mix of stuff.

I don't think getting complete proteins would be a problem at all. It isn't the big deal that people make it out to be and I don't think there is any reason to focus on it. All foods have some protein. When that protein isn't complete it is usually just missing one or two aminos which are available from all sorts of other foods that the person is probably already eating. My concern for a training vegan is amount of protein. It would take a ton of calories to get to that 0.82 grams per body weight.

ETA: I think I would probably have to eat 3500 calories or more as a vegan to get enough protein. There would be considerable fat gain at that level.

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No problem, Vik. I'll probably expand on the vege info as I learn more.

Cheers, Lazurs. You're a big chap at 198 cm. It's no wonder you need so much protein. There are benefits to having more protein in your diet, especially if you are trying to shed a few pounds. Approximately one third of the calorific content of protein is used by the body just to break it down into amino acids and build cells. Fats and carbohydrates use less than 10% of their calorific content. So if you are cutting, by simply swapping some fat and/or carbohydrates for protein, you're net calorie consumption is less even though your gross calorie consumption may be the same.

There are some other interesting things about macros and the body's metabolic processes, but I really need to do my research before I comment.

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Very good thread Rob - full of information and I also have a keen interest in a few other areas you have titled but not yet done (Leptin for example)

I am going to pin this thread because it looks pretty sodding useful to me...and a lot of other people.

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Thanks, Neil. I should get some time to do some more this week, the next instalment being macros, what they are and how to calculate them to suit your goals. I'll work on Leptin and other hormones next!

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It now premeditates everything, from soft drinks, to flavoured milk, to bread.

I think you maybe meant 'permeates' here? Premeditates doesn't really fit. Unless you meant to put 'murder' instead of soft drinks, flavored milk and bread. :)

One (albeit anecdotal) thing I'll throw in there, which may be worthy of some research (on my part for sure, though I've just cut it out of my diet as much as possible): for years I suffered with extreme, almost constant gut rot (severe heartburn), which I was never quite sure what caused it, but thought it might be an excessive intake of soda (regular, HFCS-sweetened, at a rate of 8-12 cans per day...I was also 50 lbs. heavier then, but that's besides the point). I switched to diet soda and/or soda made with actual sugar. Heartburn almost immediately subsided. The different was not the soda itself, but the HFCS. Sports drinks with HFCS in them had the same effect (I remember in high school drinking All-Sport when it first came out, followed by a couple hours or more of uncomfortable hockey/baseball practices and/or games). Even foods made with HFCS (some candy bars) bring back that awful heartburn.

I've read a lot of places where they say "it's the same as sugar". I'd like to believe it, but sugar I have zero issues with; HFCS, on the other hand, is a complete thorn in my stomach.

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Really enjoyed the thread and thanks for the links - which I'm now putting to good use.

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No problem. I need to update it, a lot! And I will soon. Just been busy. But I have loads of really good info I want to get down.

BTG, I have done more research into HCFS, and it's not as insidious as I first thought. That's one bit I need to update. Best advice is just not to eat copious amounts of it!

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I wish. There's something fundamentally different in it, and it does not agree with me. I get heartburn from something as simple as a candy bar. The new Dr. Pepper 10 has 5g of HFCS. I drank one a couple months ago and promptly looked on the ingredient list since I could feel it almost instantly. Normally I have an iron stomach. For whatever reason, HFCS just sets me off, which makes me concerned about it. Do I think it's the reason why the country is becoming obese? No, but I can tell you it may be A "sugar", but it's NOT sugar.

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