Exercise vs Diet vs Both
- 04-03-2005, 04:00 PM
Exercise vs Diet vs Both
Didn't know whether to post this in Diet or Exercise but here it goes:
Tell me if this makes sense:
Let's say you have a guy who's eating about 1600 cals a day to diet (he's a little guy: 6'2", ~160lb, ~10% bf)on a 40/40/20 split. It seems to me that if you plan on dieting and you want to maintain your LBM and your metabolism you should eat exactly how many calories your body must have to stay the same without any extraneous physical activity (your basal requirement). This way your body doesn't sense a lack of incoming energy and slow down metabolism. Now you take this same guy with his same diet and you get him running ~200m sprints about 10 or more times a day, 3 days a week. This way his body sees that every bit of energy it has coming in will be getting used and then some. Since his activity is akin to weight lifting (high intensity, anaerobic) his body knows that it will need to preserve muscle mass for this regular activity (see Loki's articles on sprinting in Mind and Muscle Mag. for the physical and hormonal changes that will take place), so what's to keep his body from tapping into visceral and subcutaneous body fat stores to make up for this negative energy balance?
My dieting problem is basically this: it seems more advantageous to keep your calories the same as your BMR so that your body doesn't slow down your metabolism, and to simply cause a caloric debt by incrementally inducing more intense physical activity more often. What is the advantage to simply reducing calories over increasing activity because there is a difference between caloric debt from decreased food and caloric debt from increased activity? Why reduce calories and increase activity? Wouldn't that be too taxing?
Hope all that makes enough sense to be able to answer.
- 04-03-2005, 04:54 PM
Your problem is a little confusing but im gonna guess you're trying to figure out wether to decrease calories or increase activity to increase fatloss. Most would probably say in general not picking one or the other but a balance between the two that your body(and schedule, some people just have the time to do cardio/sprints all the time) prefers. I would probably do it your way and if it doesn't cut it start switching your 40/40/20 balance around to higher protein to help preserve muscle, eat more complex carbs, and start adding sesathin, gxr, lx, etc... Sprinting seems like a great fatloss method, if you're gonna try this keep a short log or post your results on it. I bet Lean One could offer some solid advice on this subject for you.
04-03-2005, 05:44 PM
Some good questions here. As you say ultimately the net energy balance is theoretically what causes weight loss. So what is the best way to go about creating that negative balance...
Personally I think your idea of maintaining near BMR caloric intake and creating the deficit via increased activity is a good place to start. Not only will the activity encourage maintenance of lean body mass but the higher caloric intake (vs less than BMR) makes it easier to obtain the micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc) required for metabolism.
One thing to note though is that HIIT may be efficient at burning energy while preserving lean mass it will be, also akin to intense weightlifing, hard on the CNS.
04-03-2005, 05:53 PM
My question is just that I don't understand why you would lower calories. At first glance that sounds like a newbie question, but it makes sense to me that it would be counterproductive to keeping muscle and losing fat to lower caloric intake and exercise at the same time. I'm just wondering if my theory makes sense to just continuously (or progressively) increase exercise and keep calories the same rather than exercise more and lower calories to keep muscle and lower VAT and SAT.
If I can be honest, I really just want to get to Bruce's level in Enter the Dragon and even though I have The Art of Expressing the Human Body I can't figure out how he got that lean and remained incredibly muscular in the ways he wanted (back and forearms). The only clue the book gives (because he never kept a diet log of any kind but basically ate like a traditional Chinese (lots of vegetables, rice, and meat in that order); and there's no mention of his lowering calories as his goal wasn't to look like he did in EtD) is that by the time he was getting ready for EtD and was filming GoD he was doing circuit training on a Marcy circuit trainer. I figure ~200m sprints are as close to whole body circuit training as I can get without using a Marcy.
For instance, take a look at Olympic sprinters like Michael Johnson who run 200m and 400m (personally I feel like 200m is better as you cannot put forth >100% effort with 400m sprints but you can with <300m). Those guys are cut and buff as can be, but I'm pretty sure they eat and eat some more because it doesn't matter what they look like, they just eat for performance.
04-04-2005, 10:54 AM
Moreover, how do we know that the body doesn't react to a 50 calorie decrease the same as a 500 calorie decrease in incoming energy? Less is less, no matter how much less. What study shows that the body doesn't flip out the same way with both debts and initiate the starvation response?
Come on guys, nobody want go after this?
04-04-2005, 11:52 AM
04-04-2005, 01:42 PM
Almost relevant, but in each study I think they lowered calories. I'm really just wanting to get some scientific opinions on this. I'd like to know what some of the Avant guys think as they always seem up for Advanced Theory and discussion.
04-04-2005, 06:20 PM
04-04-2005, 06:30 PM
My deal is just that everybody keeps preaching, "Lower calories, but not too much or your body will think you're starving," but what study shows that 'this' is the point where your body will think it's being starved? It seems safer to just continuously up the exercise and take supps like LX (I'm surrently on this). Again, I point to Olympic sprinters: buff and cut while eating for performance (probably isocaloric (gotta have a good deal of fat and carbs for hormones and energy respectively (with carbs helping hormones to some extent) and protein for muscle growth, duh))
04-05-2005, 12:32 AM
I hope this makes sense to you when we say drop calories and increase activity levelsOriginally Posted by TheCrownedOne
1)To lose weight over the long run you must burn more calories than you are consuming.
2)Cut your calories to the point where you're losing 1-2 lbs a week
3)It shouldn't be too taxing because most athletes/BBers don't cut calories as long as Jared from Subway does, it's just a temporary phase. Using refeeds while cutting can also be used if you're concerned w/dropping too many calories
04-05-2005, 01:06 AM
Lower limit to caloric intake while maintaining net loss X is taking in enough macronutrients/micronutrients to maintain optimal metabolic processes and fuel appropriate physical activity.
Upper limit of caloric intake while maintaining net loss X might be determined by maximum amount of appropriate physical activity performed before recovery limits are exceeded.
I dont think that Olympic sprinters are a good example. I doubt that many of them are clean - Winny should help you out.
04-05-2005, 10:16 AM
I understand the method behind lowering calories (maybe a newbie to this board, but not a newbie to this stuff), but I don't understand it's advantage over simply increasing physical activity to compensate for said drop in calories were the drop performed.
Also, I figured some sprinters use. I would look to boxers but they have to make weight. I guess the only example I'm able to fall back on is Bruce. He ate whatever was prepared for him by his wife Linda (except his protein shakes as he did most of those himself). The thing with Bruce was that if he wasn't eating, sleeping, or writing, he was training his ass off. I figured I could just go out and buy a heavy bag and practice on it all day, but it seems like that would up cortisol too much. But in his case that's what he did and look at him in EtD. The only thing he took besides vitamins that I suppose could be considered a supplement was lecithin granules. And when you look at the foods that he ate and the amounts thereof, it seems like he was eating maybe basal calories then burning almost that same amount through training alone.
So what if you eat only for your BMR then burn off that exact same amount of calories through intense exercise (eat say 1600 and burn almost that much)? Would your body just tap into fat to make up for what it needs? I just don't understand why my fat is still sitting there if I'm exercising at high intensity and eating perfectly. This is very frustrating.
04-05-2005, 12:48 PM
Your metabolism will downregulate very quickly if you go too low on cals (believe me, I've been there!). Eating at BMR and training hard virtually guarantees that your metabolism will shut down (and you'll feel like absolute **** as a result---no sex drive, depression, et cetera). Up your cals to maintainence (calculated based on your activity level) minus 500 or so, and your weight loss will probably resume.Originally Posted by TheCrownedOne
04-05-2005, 01:06 PM
Then you have to look at your numbers:Originally Posted by TheCrownedOne
What are your current stats?
What is your diet like (# meals,total cals, macro breakdown)?
04-05-2005, 01:13 PM
04-05-2005, 03:20 PM
I didn't really want to go here but since you asked here are my stats (bear in mind that I've never wanted to get big, hence the repeated Bruce Lee references):
Supplements: Just started Lean Extreme yesterday at 3 caps a day.
Meal 1 - Cereal (my own blend of 4 tbsp Unprocessed Wheat Germ, 1/4c Wheat Bran, 1/4c Uncle Sam cereal, and 1c fat-free milk)
Meal 2 - Cereal and 1/4c Salmon
Meal 3 - Cereal
Meal 4 - 1/2c Black beans, 1/4c Salmon, and 1c FF Milk
Meal 5 - 1/2c Black beans and 3/4c Fat-free Cottage Cheese (this I love)
Meal 6 - 3/4c Salmon (sometimes I'll eat 3 medium eggs here instead of the fish giving me almost the same fat per serving but less protein)
Also I take about 15g of lecithin granules a day (97% phospholipids from www.bulkfoods.com). The calories here are hard to quantify as phospholipids don't really contribute much to energy. No matter what though they give about 135 calories.
Sometimes I'll change up the order, but I try to keep it so that I get one meal without Salmon then one meal with salmon and so on.
The breakdown of the diet is as follows, more or less:
Calories - ~1500 (not counting the lecithin)
Carbs - 140.5g (37%); Fiber - something like 35 grams
Protein - 161.25g (43%)
Fat - 31.75g (20%)
As far as exercise goes I usually sprint Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 200m anywhere from 8-12 times. I haven't tried doing them all at once (like sprinting, walking back, sprinting, walking, etc) as I have some weirdass pain on the inside of my left leg, about 4 inches above the ankle bone, that only hurts after I run, not during. Because of certain circumstances I'm not able to train with weights except for some squats I do at the end of my running days (usually a 4x4, 1-0-3 tempo)
04-05-2005, 04:00 PM
04-05-2005, 09:31 PM
Hate to say it but if you want to figure out why YOU are not getting results then you have to look at what YOU are doing and not what should be done in general.Originally Posted by TheCrownedOne
My $.02 on your program:
- Too much milk and cereal, where are fruits and vegs?
- Carb timing? When do you exercise, when do you eat your carbs?
- No resistance training besides squats? Bruce Lee did resistance training (even pushups, chins, etc.) and did not get big. You need to tell your body to burn fat and not muscle.
- Your BMR should be around 2000kcals/day. If you are not losing weight on your 1635kcal diet then you must be eating more than you calculate.
- 10x200m sprints and 4x4 squats three times per week will not get you into Bruce Lee-like condition. Bruce was an exercise addict.
As said, I dont like the idea of eating below BMR rates. I read yellowjacket's post and the concept of 500kcal below BMR seems risky for malnutrition.
In short I think your program needs an overhaul. Maybe sign on with someone like Bobo or look up some training diaries for martial artists.
04-05-2005, 09:55 PM
I've been weight training for about 3 years, and only within the last month have I been unable to go to the gym (and won't be able to until further notice). I've tried so many different training schemes, basically just copying what I've read, but about 6 months ago I just had this epiphany and figured out how to train and get results easily. Problem is that I must be predisposed to getting heavily muscled (as my dad was/is a big guy). I'm pretty sure I'm a meso which explains a lot. I can't go to the gym and train because I'll get big and with my plans right now that can't happen. In all honesty, I've got every part of my body in the aesthetic condition I want and high intensity sprinting is maintaining that.
On Mon, Wed, and Fri I'll run the 200 three times consecutively, then run it again three times after my next meal, then I'll eat on schedule again and run whatever I have left. I eat my meals in the order they're listed, but sometimes I'll switch them up for variety.
As far as fruits and vegetables, I don't write them into my diet, but every day I'll throw some blueberries in my cereal or have an apple. I do the same with vegetables (usually broccoli)and eat them every now and again. One of the reasons for the large amount of milk is the calcium. Dairy calcium can make a big difference in fat loss, and wheat bran (its fiber and its oxalates) can inhibit the absorption of calcium as can the oxalates in the blueberries.
I'd try Bobo but doubt he could tell me much to do that I don't already know. There are only so many different ways of doing cardio and diet manipulation. Not to sound conceited (as I have great respect for Bobo), but that's what I feel to be true. All you can really do is change up your calories and ratios once you know the correct foods to eat, and I definitely have no problems there.
But all this is focusing on me and getting off target. All I have to do is stay consistent and it'll happen (I was just expressing my frustration in that other post).
04-08-2005, 12:05 AM
I avoid milk like the plague when I'm cutting. It puts fat on way to easily. Take calcium pills if your calcium deficient.
04-08-2005, 12:28 AM
04-08-2005, 12:22 PM
Exactly. Lactose is a disaccharide (It is formed by one molecule of Galactose and one molecule of Glucose coupled by a Beta linkage) so not too much to worry about there (as long as you give the sugar something to do). I don't drink fatty milk as that is one of the only places in nature you're likely to find trans-fatty acids (from what I've read anyway), and the calcium from pills has nowhere near the effect of dairy calcium when it comes to fat loss.Originally Posted by Beelzebub
04-08-2005, 01:33 PM
04-08-2005, 02:10 PM
It's technically a sugar but it's actually not high GI. It won't spike insulin levels like most sugars do.Originally Posted by scott72
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