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exercise for calorie loss? NO!

Posted by Chad on October 4, 2010 at 9:01 AM Comments comments (0)

Exercise for:

  • It improves musculoskeletal insulin sensitivity.

              (insulin works better at the muscle)

  • It reduces stress, thereby reducing cortisol release.

              (appetite decreases)

  • It makes the TCA cycle run faster, detoxifies fructose, improving hepatic insulin sensitivity.

               (TCA cycle makes enzymes that store fat!  Exercise burns off fructose before these enzymes are released--a "higher metabolism")

If you think you can burn off a cookie, or a steak, or a big mac by exercising until you do, you are mistaken.  Calories in = calories out might work, but not for the reason you think.


So, what do you think?  Take a look at this video, which gives you the scientific account of how weight is gained, then lost.  It's long, but I promise it will give you a better understanding of why  exercise is important IF you decide to eat anything with fructose...or anything that your body breaks down into sugar!!


Paleo eating is not so bad after all, right?


Learning about the science, from a science guy who puts into lay terms, is awesome!




Fitness Myths busted? I don't think so...

Posted by Chad on August 18, 2010 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Below is a link to a yahoo article about fitness myths busted.  Well, they may have busted one or two, but otherwise, they were wrong on more than one ocassion!  My reponses to their "busting" are in red below!



1. Walking is not as effective as running.

Sure, you'll burn about twice as many calories running for 30 minutes than walking for 30 minutes. But if a runner and a walker cover the same distance, they burn about the same number of calories. So if you're willing to take the 'slow route,' you'll likely lose just as much weight. In fact, studies have proved that how long you exercise matters more than how hard you exercise.


WRONG!  For every study that shows how long you exercise is more important, there are several more that suggest that intensity is the key!  Anecdotal evidence shows the same.  If you want results with something--be it your body, career, parenthood, etc.--you have to have give intense effort.  Enough said.



2. Exercise increases hunger

It's a common misconception: If you burn hundreds of calories during a workout, you'll end up eating more. But research shows that exercise has no effect on a person's food needs, with the exception of endurance athletes who exercise for two hours a day or more. In fact, research shows that exercise often suppresses hunger during and after the workout.

WRONG!  Your body does need more fuel when you move more.  So those folks trying to lose weight have to watch out for their cravings/hunger pangs.  You are trying to lose weight, so teach your body to use the fuel source it already has, by paying attention to this newfound hunger from more exercise (movement) and letting your body learn how to burn the fuel it has!  This is done with patience and a little trial and error to see how many calories (a mis-use of the term) you need to consume.  More below...



3. It doesn't matter where your calories come from

Calories are not created equal. First, some foods (in particular, proteins) take more energy to chew, digest, metabolize, and store than others. Others (such as fats and carbohydrates) require fewer calories to digest and store. Second, different food types have different effects on your blood sugar. Refined carbohydrates (think white bread, cookies, and fruit drinks) raise blood sugar levels dramatically, which encourages fat storage, weight gain, and hunger. Fibrous foods like apples, as well as proteins, raise blood sugar less, making them friendlier to your waistline. Finally, foods that contain a lot of water, such as vegetables and soup, tend to fill the belly on fewer calories, so you'll stop eating them way before you stop eating more calorie-dense foods.

Ok, this one they got right, for the most part.  If you want to lose weight, the cells have to release stored energy (fat) from fat cells.  To do this, there can be very little insulin in the bloodstream.  Which macronutrient causes the most insulin release?  Carbos.



4. Diet alone is enough for sustained weight loss

You'll lose weight in the short term by slashing calories, but experts say exercise is what keeps pounds off for good. Exercise burns calories, of course. It also builds muscle, which takes up less space than fat. Muscle tissue also requires more calories to sustain it than fat tissue does. In other words, the more muscle tissue you have, the more calories you'll burn at rest. In fact, some studies suggest that over the long term, if you had a choice of eating consistently less or exercising consistently more, exercise would be the better weight-loss choice.

WRONG!  Ok, maybe they got it a little bit right.  Eighty percent of weight loss is food consumption related.  What you take in.  You can't out-train a bad diet, simply put.   Having said that, movement is essential to keeping your mobility.  Movement is essential to keeping your brain from wasting away as well.  Movement is essential to lift heavy objects to build muscle.   HOWEVER, movement is not AS essential for weight loss.  Your food and drink consumption is where that comes into play.  Once you reach your target weight and body fat percentage, then the muscle you have built can help you stay there.


5. There is no best time for exercise

If you're simply walking to get healthy or take off some weight, it doesn't matter when you do it, as long as you do it. But if you're an athlete looking for the best-quality workout, choose the late afternoon, when body temperature is highest. Muscles are warm, reaction time is quick, and strength is at its peak. If you push yourself harder as a result, you will burn more calories.

WRONG!  This is a misrepresentation of the truth.  Yes, based on our circadian rhythms, they are correct.

If you are looking for peak performance, maybe the late afternoon is your best time to train.  What if you have to work out in the early morning?  Well, guess what, that's ok too--especially for weight loss!  When you workout first thing in the morning, without having eaten, it brings to light your DNA experience of having to work to find food.  Think of your workout as work to find food.  Once you find it, eat it, because you don't know when your next meal might be!  So maybe this article is wrong about their first statement above as well?!?


Also, keeping your DNA in mind, thousands of years ago, your ancestors didn't know when their "workout" was going to be, they just had to move to survive.  Imagine them telling the predator or comepeting clan or tribe to "wait to attack until this afternoon, when my strength is at its peak, and I'm warmer."  I don't think so...I'll take a warrior who can "workout" at any time of day versus a modern athlete who can only workout in the afternoon.  Don't you think?



Don't worry so much about fitness myths, or what the media tells you.  Just go do it!  If you've forgotten what to do, take another look at this post from earlier this year:





one right after another...

Posted by Chad on August 13, 2010 at 9:04 AM Comments comments (0)

I am tired of them.  That is, tired of having to explain the misgivings, mis-information, and the misguided efforts of all these compaines touting the next big thing!  You know them:  Ultra Cleanse this, Isa this and Iso that.  All companies that offer multi-level marketing, pyramid scheme, whatever you want to call it.  (If you want actual company names contact me.)



They are all the same.  Each of them have contacted me directly or indirectly wanting me to sell their product, and I ain't buying.  Each one telling me they are better than the other.  Well, I'll tell you what's better after I rant a bit.



They are packaged, and re-packaged as the same old ingredients with lines such as:

"It's all natural." 

Oh yeah, what the hell does that mean?


"I lose 10 pounds in the first 10 days!" 

Oh yeah, do you think that's a GOOD thing?"


Does anyone know what GABA does?  Look it up.  "Drugs that act as agonists of GABA receptors (known as GABA analogues or GABAergic drugs) or increase the available amount of GABA typically have relaxing, anti-anxiety and anti-convulsive effects.[25] ."  Our body makes it, so why do we need it supplemented?  I'll tell you, because all of these products have enough vitamin B12 and caffiene and/or derivatives of stimulants that it BETTER have a calming supplement, or else you'll think you are bouncing off the walls.  I'll give you a hint:  you actually are, you just don't know it.


What is better?  Eat real food people!!  Please.  This is how we get our vitamins and minerals.  If you want something to stimulate your brain how about this knowledge...


YEP!  Exercise stimulates the brain.  My good colleague Keith Norris over at Theory to Practice

gives this article as well:–-here’s-how/



If you need more proof that exercise stimulates the brain's BDNF, GABA, and countless other proteins, neurotransmitters, etc., you can find my past blogposts in the Mindful Conditioning file.


Eat real food, lift weights, do some intervals, do some steady state activity, do something FUN--it's our life as humans, meant to be.





the skinny on nutrition and CVD

Posted by Chad on August 3, 2010 at 9:48 AM Comments comments (95)

Cardiovascular disease.  How does nutrition play a role in this leading cause of death?  Steven and Chris at this website

have written several good posts about fitness and health related posts I have linked to here on my blog in the past

This one is as good a post about food as I have seen.  Here is an excerpt from that post:

"As we examined before simple and refined carbohydrates are very bad in most cases. Simple sugars are absorbed into our bodies via cotransport (symport) from the intestinal lumen into the blood stream. This requires no energy and is very quick.

A quick spiking in carbohydrates into the bloodstream leads insulin spiking to drive the sugars into tissues such as muscles for energy and fat cells for storage.

(a diseased heart)

As we explained before, oxidation of these sugars are extremely inflammatory.

This inflammation is strong enough to increase the levels of C-reactive protein, TNF-alpha (tumor necrosis factor-alpha), and other markers of inflammation strongly. Unfortunately, I am not going to go in depth to discuss these factors, but you can research them in pubmed or google at your leisure.

Clearly, this is one of the ways that the arteries themselves start to become inflammed.


Starches, however, found in most vegetables are more slowly absorbed. This causes less of an insulin spike, and less inflammatory reactions in the body.


I intentionally left wheat and other grains out of the starches. While they are more slow absorbing, a lot of wheat products are highly inflammatory in the gut. This is not just true of celiac patients – most people have some sort of sensitivity to gluten even if you are not aware of it. I would suggest everyone at least try gluten free eating to see if your health improves especially if you have intestinal issues or other inflammatory conditions such as asthma.


Fruits, as mentioned before, are mostly composed of simple sugars, but they do have a lot of anti-oxidants to counter the effects of the sugar. They are at best, neutral, and at worst (if consumed extensively) possibly detrimental by stimulating inflammation. Kurt Harris, one of the strong proponents of very low carbohydrate Paleo eating, has said that fruits have evolved to contain anti-oxidants BECAUSE of the inflammatory nature of carbohydrates in the body. Something interesting to think about.



In general, if you are going to eat carbohydrates stay away from anything processed. And stick with fruits and vegetables. Mostly vegetables."



Now, did they mention eating "Paleo" or any other philosophy of eating, no.  But what this post has to say is a good place to start.  You will need to tweak your nutritional intake based on how you feel, but to each their own...  n=1, remember?



Oh, Earth Fare is doing this thing where if you bring in your "bad" products with bad ingredients, they will replace them with good products with real ingredients.  Something to check out.




food, it's content, and does it sustain us?

Posted by Chad on July 18, 2010 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

"We can measure the nutrient and toxin content of a food, and debate the health effects of each of its constituents until we're out of breath. But in the end, we still won't have a very accurate prediction of the health effects of that food. The question we need to answer is this one: has this food sustained healthy traditional cultures? "

Trowell and Burkitt

Western Diseases: Their Emergence and Prevention.


So, in all the science behind what is good for you, and what is not, what is beginning to get lost is the simple fact of what sustains life across cultures, across time--time being thousands of years.  Shouldn't that be most important?



Finally, on your point about us becoming more diseased, I also think you are right. We as a species are most likely devolving, but very slowly and (in my view) due to Darwinian forces. In a population of billions, people develop genetic diseases all the time through stochastic mutation, many of whom survive to have children due to medical interventions, and pass the defective genes to the next generation.  Selection pressures for health-promoting traits are very weak among modern humans.

Ned Kock



"From an evolutionary standpoint, the idea that fruits can be unhealthy is somewhat counterintuitive. Given that fruits are made to be eaten, and that dead animals do not eat, it is reasonable to expect that fruits must be good for something in animals, at least in one important health-related process. If yes, what is it?

Well, it turns out that fructose is a better fuel for glycogen replenishment than glucose, in the liver and possibly in muscle, at least according to a study by Parniak and Kalant (1988). A downside of this study is that it was conduced with isolate rat liver tissue; this is a downside in terms of the findings’ generalization to humans, but helped the researchers unveil some interesting effects.

The Parniak and Kalant (1988) study also suggests that glycogen synthesis based on fructose takes precedence over triglyceride formation. Glycogen synthesis occurs when glycogen reserves are depleted. The liver of an adult human stores about 100 g of glycogen, and muscles store about 500 g. An intense 30-minute weight training session may use up about 63 g of glycogen, not much but enough to cause some of the responses associated with glycogen depletion, such as an acute increase in adrenaline and growth hormone secretion.

Liver glycogen is replenished in a few hours. Muscle glycogen takes days. Glycogen synthesis is discussed at some length in this excellent book by Jack H. Wilmore, David L. Costill, and W. Larry Kenney. That discussion generally assumes no blood sugar metabolism impairment (e.g., diabetes), as does this post.

If one’s liver glycogen tank is close to empty, eating a couple of apples will have little to no effect on body fat formation. This will be so even though two apples have close to 30 g of carbohydrates, more than 20 g of which being from sugars. The liver will grab everything for itself, to replenish its 100 g glycogen tank.

In the Parniak and Kalant (1988) study, when glucose and fructose were administered simultaneously, glycogen synthesis based on glucose was increased by more than 200 percent. Glycogen synthesis based on fructose was increased by about 50 percent. In fruits, fructose and glucose come together. Again, this was an in vitro study, with liver cells obtained after glycogen depletion (the rats were fasting).

What leads to glycogen depletion in humans? Exercise does, both aerobic and anaerobic. So does intermittent fasting.

What happens when we consume excessive fructose from sodas, juices, and table sugar? The extra fructose, not used for glycogen replenishment, is converted into fat by the liver. That fat is packaged in the form of triglycerides, which are then quickly secreted by the liver as small VLDL particles. The VLDL particles deliver their content to muscle and body fat tissue, contributing to body fat accumulation. After delivering their cargo, small VLDL particles eventually become small-dense LDL particles; the ones that can potentially cause atherosclerosis."

Ned Kock

So, in other words, don't eat so much sugar, of any kind!  The accumulation of it's excess is bad in numbers of ways, not just diabetes...

Now, find your local farmer's market, treat yourself to some veggies, some fruit--because it's in season--and some grass fed beef!


fat--where does it come from?

Posted by Chad on June 15, 2010 at 9:21 AM Comments comments (0)


"Cortisol levels go up a lot with stress. And modern humans live in hyper-stressful environments. Unfortunately stress in modern urban environments is often experienced while sitting down. In the majority of cases stress is experienced without any vigorous physical activity in response to it.

As Geoffrey Miller pointed out in his superb book, The Mating Mind, the lives of our Paleolithic ancestors would probably look rather boring to a modern human. But that is the context in which our endocrine responses evolved.

Our insatiable appetite for over stimulation may be seen as a disease. A modern disease. A disease of civilization.

Well, it is no wonder that heavy physical activity is NOT a major trigger of death by sudden cardiac arrest. Bottled up modern human stress likely is."

Ned Kock, a well respected researcher and college professor who blogs on the applicaton of his expertise on human health. 


Drop and give me 20 at the office!


As our DNA evolved over thousands of years, when we were "stressed out" it always involved a flight or fight response, as in an effort of survival--building shelter, protecting the tribe or family, or simply playful running, jumping, or climbing.  Now, cortisol is released while sitting in a chair in an office, and as the author above states, without physical response.  So, when we are "stressed out" at work, should we at some point drop down and do 50 push up?  50 burpees?  100 squats?

Maybe we've unlocked the answer right here!!

Make cortisol work in your favor, not against you and your health!





law of averages?

Posted by Chad on May 25, 2010 at 9:11 AM Comments comments (0)

“The average,” says Arthur, “is always misleading and may not exist.”

The obsession with the bell curve and the average has corrupted us. We tend to think of stable models not just of the human world but also of the human body. Almost all dietary and fitness regimes are based on a homeostatic view of the body – meaning it is a self-regulating system that maintains itself in a continuous, stable condition. The average is the ideal. So we are told to eat regular meals consisting of a balance of the food groups and to take regular exercise, dominated by steady aerobic activity like cycling or jogging. This is all wrong. "

Welcome to Arthur Devany's world.  A math and economics guru who has turned to the world of fitness to offer his thoughts and ideas and came up with Evolutionary Fitness.


His ideas aren't that far off from the mainstream...that is if you live in 1850!!  Or more like 2000BC.  Here is another aspect of this idea from Lights Out:

"In reality, running, jumping, or stairmastering is, to your body--which still responds with ancient subroutines--a "fear" response that throws your cortisol into the stratosphere.  High cortisol is a blood sugar mobilizer, so it throws your blood sugar up again; when your blood sugar goes up, insulin this:

  • running, jumping, running = being chased
  • chase = stress response
  • stress = cortisol release = blood sugar mobilization
  • blood sugar up = insulin up = insulin resistance = fat storage and hypertension

...obviously, stopping for a low-fat power frapp at Starbucks on your way to the gym to work out in bright artificial lights at night, and then exercising like hell for an hour or so probably is not really accomplishing what you hoped for.

By the time you get home, you've been awake for 16-18 hours.  You're beyond tired and the lights are still on.  At this point your psyche kicks in to try to save you and put you to sleep by telling you to look for a 'snack'.  Your mind will now send you to the fridge for sugar, or worse, a drink.

The same light illuminating your way to that last piece of cake started the whole process--from the need to exercise to the 'need' for a sweet midnight snack.

You're not hungry, you're just too tired, but inside your body knows that the cake will send your insulin up to turn the serotonin into melatonin and--finally--put you to sleep.


A good ten years of the behavior we just described and you may not recover."



Frightening.  They just described half the people I know.  And what is the obesity rate in this country, over half?  When playing baseball, when the other team was gaining the momentum, I used to say "stop the bleeding...somebody has got to make a play to stop the bleeding."

Well, somebody, has got to stop the bleeding.  Before it's too late!  Will you?



stress and weight gain (or lack of weight loss)

Posted by Chad on May 11, 2010 at 1:28 PM Comments comments (0)

In 1998's January 12th issue of the US News and World Report, the head of the Harvard School of Public Health Nutrition, Walter Willet's answer was, "it was just a hypothesis to begin with."

What was the question?  The interviewer was wondering why the country's change to low-fat, high carb eating had NOT cured or changed the direction of the number of diseases in this country.  With disease increasing each year, in 1998 and 2010, we are still not eating as much meat, we are eating less fat than we did before the 1970's, yet we still are gaining weight and getting sicker.  The answer according to Mr. Willet back then was an astute...we don't know.

"In our unnatural world of endless summer and sugar, this leptin "overdrive switch" gets flipped.  All you have to do is get 20 pounds overweight for the leptin streaming from you expanding fat base to cause the leptin receptors in your brain to retreat, creating leptin resistance and causing the fat to get fatter.  Fat people are always hungry because their negative feedback loop is broke:  their leptin receptors are burned out, and there is no longer a curb on their appetite for sugar."  Taken from Lights Out:  Sleep, Sugar, and Survival.

An interesting concept.  These authors are not only saying that we eat carbohydrates too often, but at the wrong time of year--that is, ALL year!  In the vein of 'humans are animals too,' they look at our consumption based on what was available 2000+ years ago.  Fruit and other carbs were eaten mainly in summer and fall, when they were present.  We ate them to 'fatten' ourselves up for winter, when food was more scarce in most climates.

"No other substance that you can eat provokes an insulin response.  These different paths for dietary fat and sugar are always and have always been dictated by the interaction of hormones responding to environment and stress levels."  -again from Lights Out

Now, here is another interesting concept.  When we are continually 'stressed out,' insulin is released as well, thinking that we are in a life or death situation.  What happens when insulin is released into the bloodstream?  ANY carbohydrate not immediately needed for energy is stored--in fat cells!!  Making us heavier and heavier.

Talk about a negative feedback loop.  The good news is, we can STOP it!  Tricking our bodies into utilizing fat as fuel!!  We all know how to do that, right?  If not, look at my older posts!!


sugar, baby, sugar...

Posted by Chad on April 21, 2010 at 3:58 PM Comments comments (2)

...will be the downfall for us, eventually.  IF WE DON'T STOP EATING SO FREAKIN' MUCH OF IT. 

There, I said it, now for more science behind it.  This is taken from another blog I read called Zeroing in on Health  Problem is, that sugar, or substitues that are just as bad or worse, are in E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.  Our palates have become sugar craved, with more and more research showing that our brain's repsonse to sugar is the same that happens with cocaine, and other drugs.  Wow!  Talk about an addiction!



It is slow in coming, but the public is finally starting to believe that fat is not the be all and end all of weight loss and health.  Most of our civilization diseases can be traced back to too much sugar.  This article is written by a nutritionist who writes for yahoo.  She has lots of good things to say and is worth reading.

Even my father was told this past year he needs to eat like a diabetic...guess what, his vitals are improving...everything!  Go figure.

Tell all your relatives, friends, and enemies, eat less sugar!  It will cost us less in healthcare in the long run if we do!!!!!!!!



how do we get fat?

Posted by Chad on April 2, 2010 at 8:35 AM Comments comments (92)

What a basic question.  If we knew that , then would we be such an obese society?  Well yes, to put it bluntly.  We KNOW how it happens, for the majority of us:

Net change of fat = fat stored - fat burned

BAM!  That's all we need to know right?  Notice it is not necessarily a carlories in vs. calories out equation.  Take a look at what Lyle McDonald   has to say about the science of fat gain:

"For example, one popular book bases one of its many incorrect theseson a 1980 report suggesting that the obese ate the same number ofcalories as the lean.  Ergo, obesity was caused by something else.  The problem is this, the data set is wrong.  A fact we’ve known for nearly 30 years but that the author was somehow unable to become aware of in his ‘5 years of dedicated research’.

Study after study after study over the past 30 years shows that the obese systematically under-report their food intake (by up to 30-50%) and over-report their activity (by about the same).  So when they say they are only eating 1800 calories per day, they may be eating 2400-3600 calories per day.  And their activity isn’t nearly what they think.

And when you put those same folks in controlled metabolic ward conditions and control their food intake and/or activity output…voila, the energy balance equation holds.  It’s only when you believe the (incorrect) self-reported data that it doesn’t.

And make no mistake I am NOT saying that the obese are lying aboutt heir intake, not consciously anyhow.  Most people simply suck at knowing how much they are actually eating.  Leave them to self-report it and they almost always screw it up.   If you’re mistaken enough to believe the self-reported values, you reach even more screwed up conclusions about things."


So, part of our problem is we don't know what a portion is!  That's the fundamental problem here.  Know what a portion is, and we got this thing licked!  Sort of!  Here is another piece from Mr. McDonald:

  • Excess dietary fat is directly stored as fat
  • Excess dietary carbs increases carb oxidation, impairing fat oxidation; more of your daily fat intake is stored as fat
  • Excess dietary protein increases protein oxidation, impairing fat oxidation; more of your daily fat intake is stored as fat

Got it? 

All three situations make you fat, just through different mechanisms.  Fat is directly stored and carbs and protein cause you to store the fat you’re eating by decreasing fat oxidation."

Again, it is a little complicated, these processes that he mentions in the science of why and how this happens.  But this is the point--we CAN fix this!!  Just what is a serving size?  Look it up.  It's everywhere, and soon, it will be more clear on labels as well.  However, if you are eating REAL food, there may not be a label, so look up how many ounces of meat is a serving, veggie is a serving, etc.  It just may save your life.

Don't be lazy, look these things up, it's easy on any search engine.