Healthy Eating

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by rygon, May 19, 2006.

  1. Socrastein

    Socrastein The Boxing Philosopher

    You're looking at the issue through a straw here, not seeing the whole picture. Energy expenditure is not limited to the workout itself. Depending on what you're actually doing during that 30 or 60 minutes, you might burn a significant amount of calories long after the workout itself is over. If you spend 15 minutes doing a hard anaerobic sprint workout and you spend 1 hour jogging at a slow pace, there's a good chance that you burned more calories while jogging. However, when you're done jogging, you're basically done burning energy. When you're done sprinting, your body has only just begun to burn calories, and your metabolism will be elevated for a day or two afterward as your body replenishes it's glycogen stores.

    Again, that's only one part of the issue. Going 8 or more hours without eating (sleep) is already bad enough from the perspective of muscle catabolism, but skipping breakfast and going 12 or more hours without anything is going to signal your body to slow down its metabolism, decrease lipolysis, and increase muscle catabolism. When you break the fast you halt your muscle breakdown and raise your metabolism back up from the reduced rate brought on by sleep. Not to mention, the earlier your consume your calories, the more likely they are to be burned. Unless you eat one ginormous breakfast, it's pretty much a given that everything you eat is going to be burned up by the end of the day. If you skip breakfast and pack your calories into the latter part of your day, you're more likely to store them as fat, because by the time you go to sleep you've got lots of carbs, fats, and proteins floating around in your system and a zero activity level.

    Not to mention the obvious problem with skipping breakfast - you won't have any energy for the first part of your day.


    The carbs in fruit are monosaccharides, simple sugars. Regardless, fructose is great for you, and is very low GI. Carbohydrates are more complicated than "simple" and "complex", as Garrett touched on already.
  2. Garrett

    Garrett Valued Member

    I totally agree with you here, I was making a simplistic statement as i didn't have research articles handy to back up my claims. In theory, if energy expenditure is kept the same, you will will lose the same amount of fat. But there are several studies now that show that high intensity exercise will burn more fat, even when less energy is burned. As you stated, their reasoning was because your metabolism is elevated for 24-48 hours after the exercise, increasing overall fat burnt in comparison to low intensity, reasons including glycogen replenishment, catecholamine, growth hormone, testosterone and IGF-1 release. So really, high intensity is always the go, unless you have some cardiovascular disease which would put you at risk of complications (ie heart attack).

    Your second points about nutrition though i don't agree with.
    I have a degree in dietetics and exercise science and practice as a sports dietician, so i'm pretty certain on a lot of the points I make here. Although i don't have the links to research to back a lot of it up, i promise i have seen relevant research.
    Research has shown that your bmr after a night fasting (ie asleep) is higher.
    In the first 2 days of starvation, there is a small absolute increase in BMR relative to values obtained from overnight fasting.
    This is one article, there are others. Sleeping does not slow your metabolism. The article above shows a 10% increase so in reality your bmr remains relatively constant day to day. The only way to change your bmr, is to gain or lose significant amounts of weight.
    This is a good read on 'starvation mode' for those interested:

    You burn calories constantly throughout the day. Your bmr makes up 60-80% of your daily energy expenditure. Your body will still use all of your dinner over the course of a night. For a person with a BMR of 2000 calories, you burn energy at 85ish calories an hour, just sleeping.
    It really is simply a matter of, energy in being less than energy out to lose fat. If you are performing some kind of exercise whilst dieting, your lean mass will stay about the same and your fat mass will drop.

    This is a common theme used by breakfast companies.
    An 'average' 80kg person, with 20% body fat will have about 16kg of pure fat on them. Thats 592000 kJ or 141000 calories. You could theoretically live on that fat for 55+ days (you would of course run into organ problems before then due to protein catabolism, but you get my drift). You have plenty of energy stored in your body. Thats what fat is for. Missing breakfast is not going to leave you deprived of energy. It may leave your stores of glycogen in your liver short, but luckily, the glycogen stores in your muscles are still full, even after an overnight fast (glycogen in your muscle is only used when you perform physical activity, it cannot be used like liver glycogen to supply other parts of the body). You might feel hungry, but hunger doesnt mean you lack energy.
  3. Socrastein

    Socrastein The Boxing Philosopher


    I was misinformed, and I thank you for taking the time to explain the facts and even link me to some research on the subject. It appears you have to dig a little deeper than normal into the breakfast topic to find the truth :)

    My apologies for ignorantly rebutting your claims.
  4. NaughtyKnight

    NaughtyKnight Has yellow fever!

    So true mate.

    Fruit is soo easily digested aswell. Its like a nutrient cocktail you can slam, and in 20mins your fully recharged. A post workout shake of freshly squeezed oranage juice, blended banana, and 3 eggs is amazing.
  5. Garrett

    Garrett Valued Member

    No need to apologise mate. Theres a lot of misinformation being thrown around and not everyone has the time or the will to dig through research to look for truth.
    Its my job, so i have an advantage in this case and i just hope people learn things from my posts.
    Its good to see people like yourself though doing a bit of research and making educated decisions on your lifestyle choices instead of believing everything you see advertised. Keep up the good work.
  6. NaughtyKnight

    NaughtyKnight Has yellow fever!

    Got agree Soc. Some great information there posted by Garrett.
  7. Socrastein

    Socrastein The Boxing Philosopher

    I was rereading this and had a question, hope you don't mind.

    What about the metabolic effect of non-excercise activity thermogenesis? While it's true that the base metabolic rate stays constant whether awake or asleep, activity level plays a large role as well, and it doesn't stay constant whether you're awake or asleep - when you're asleep, your activity level is essentially zero, right?

    After 8 hours of sleeping, your BMR only used up less than 700 calories. People who eat all their food later in the day aren't going to burn that up while they sleep.

    As well, those studies that you linked did say that fasting didn't decrease the BMR, at least not for a few days, but they also said that during fasting protein oxidization increases. So I don't think it's as black and white as "energy in vs energy out", because somebody who crams all their calories at the end of the day is going to lose a significant amount of muscle mass over time compared to someone who spreads those same calories out throughout the day, and is sure to eat as soon as they wake, because they avoid the increased protein oxidization that accompanies short-term fasting.

    Is that right?
  8. Garrett

    Garrett Valued Member

    Originally I was speaking about fat gain/loss, which is simply energy in/energy out. Your total amount of fat mass that you have on you now, is the total energy expenditure over the course of your entire life (including energy required for growth, movement, and general living) minus the total amount of energy you have ever eaten. The left over is the amount of fat you have on your body.

    This is true, however it is the same for any meal. If you have a lunch that comes in at 1000 calories, you probably won't use it before you eat again at dinner (unless you go for an hour long run). So the excess will be stored as fat. The same goes for any meal, if you eat a large meal, any excess will be stored as fat, to be used later when needed. That's what fat storage is for, and its not a bad thing, except when you have too much fat of course.

    Protein is a slightly different story.
    I agree with what you're saying, but i don't think it would make a significant amount of difference to muscle.
    Of course the whole situation has to be taken into account. If the person is only dieting, then over a large time period, maybe several months, they would lose muscle mass by not eating breakfast. However if they were exercising whilst dieting (which is what i suggest everyone does if they plan on losing weight) then muscle mass will remain pretty much constant, regardless of whether they eat breakfast or not.

    I'll explain why.
    Protein catabolism occurs all the time, all throughout the day, regardless of if you've just eaten or not. However most of the time, that catabolism is matched or surpassed by protein synthesis ensuring that overall you don't lose muscle mass. I can't remember the exact time frame, but I remember reading that your skeletal muscle will be completely turned over every 3 months or so ie every protein will have been broken down and replaced within that time frame. (Your body does lots of stupid energy wasting things like this. It will also be breaking down glucose and fat, whilst at the same time, storing glucose and fat for later.)
    By exercising, you increase protein synthesis. Lifting weights will increase synthesis the most. Endurance training very little. So by exercising you increase protein synthesis above the normal, which counters any catabolic effects.

    I went on a bit of a tangent, back to the point, the protein catabolism increase is minimal, even after a 12 hour fast. If exercising, the increase in protein synthesis would outweigh the catabolism, so you end up with no muscle loss.
    If you werent exercising, and missed breakfast everyday, then you may see some muscle loss over a long period of time. For a professional bodybuilder or competition weight lifter trying to get as much muscle as possible it will make a difference. But for your average joe bloggs trying to lose weight, its not going to be significant.
  9. Socrastein

    Socrastein The Boxing Philosopher

    Thanks for clearing that up.
  10. Nurofen

    Nurofen Valued Member

    I personally just keep the fat content in mind when I'm choosing what to eat, I'm far more concerned about the vitamins + minerals, fiber, carb content and general quality of the food I eat.
    Sure I'm not the world's healthiest person but I work out enough with enough intensity that it doesn't matter that much, means I can have a nice steak, mushroom sauce with chips and salad and I'm not fazed by it. Mind you I do eat extraordinary amounts of salad.
    I have a bad habit where I'll stay up late and then eat something and go to bed within the hour but I'm breaking that.

    BTW I must be doing something right, I can bench my bodyweight, do handstand pushups and need to fight off the ladies with a big stick.
  11. Garrett

    Garrett Valued Member

    Why is that a bad habit?
    A massive meal before bed may impair sleep. In those with reflux problems it can cause discomfort, and some people find they sleep lighter immediately after a heavy meal.
    However eating a high GI carb meal around 4 hours before bed will actually make you sleepy. A snack within one hour of sleeping has no effect on sleep.

    This study has details
    Afaghi A et al (2007). High-glycemic-index carbohydrate meals shorten sleep onset. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol 85: pp 426-30.

    Or a link to a summary of it here

    Eating before bed will not just 'go to fat' as people would have you believe. All of what you eat before bed will be used to keep you alive while you asleep.

    I do it all the time. I have trouble sleeping on an empty stomach. If i eat more than 2 hours before bed my stomach is grumbling again so i have a small snack.
  12. Celeste

    Celeste New Member

    I have to say, this is a really interesting thread! But a lot of it is about how to lose weight and increase your metabolism, but what sorts of foods do you suggest for someone who isn't trying to lose weight and already has a high metabolism?

    I'm getting ready to move out on my own and I'll be cooking for myself, so I want to change my eating habits, to gain more energy, but I'm afraid that my weight will end up dropping. ^^;
  13. Garrett

    Garrett Valued Member

    If you're worried about losing weight, keep a rough count on how much energy you are eating each day and see if its close to what you estimate you are expending.
    Be sure to include lots of fruit and veg in your diet. 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of veg everyday is about what most guidelines suggest.
    Lots of carbs, preferably low GI. Carbs are important if you are a heavy exerciser for keeping your glycogen stores in your muscle full.
    Keep your meat lean. How much meat you have is really up to you. I love my meat and usually have some with lunch and with dinner. But its up to you.
    Protein requirements are a lot lower than people expect. 1g/kg/day is plenty for most people. But more won't hurt you.
    Try and keep fat to a minimum. This is easy if you avoid fast and processed foods. If you like cooking with oils, make sure its canola or olive oil, as these are mostly unsaturated fats.
    Fish is also great for unsaturated fats and a decent source of protein.

    As long as you are eating as much as you are expending, you won't lose weight.
    It will be very much a trial and error thing. Keep an eye on your weight over a few weeks. If it drops, eat more (healthy things of course).
  14. g-bells

    g-bells Don't look up!

    make sure to keep up your caloric intake by consuming clean and healthy meals frequently through out the day
  15. Celeste

    Celeste New Member

    Thanks guys, that actually helps a lot! I thought for sure that eating healthy ments shedding pounds. (Shows how much I actually know about this sort of thing. lol) I'm definately going to be experimenting with different foods. Should be interesting...
  16. Keikai

    Keikai Banned Banned

    how many calories roughly burned in a 45min weight workout, not overly intensive but moving to the next exercise quickly with varied exercises, squats, lunges, etc?

    An estimate would be nice!! :D
  17. DaveSlater

    DaveSlater Valued Member

    this is a really good article on insulin and its effects - it has seriously made me think about my diet and puts the whole Protein/Carbs/Fat ratio into perspective with regards your long term health

    cant speak for the rest of the site as i've not really had chance to read it yet

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