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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Calorie Restriction Weight Loss Program For Longevity

Since the 1930’s studies show (in rodents, dogs, cows, mice, worms, spiders and monkeys at least) that by restricting calories, we can extend life. Calorie restriction also reduces the incidence of virtually all diseases of aging such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, auto-immune disorders, neurological decline and diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. (source)

calorie restriction

No tests have yet to be done on man, however, in 1991, quite by accident, 8 scientists sealed themselves up in a giant airtight terrarium in the Arizona desert for a 2 year experiment on self sustaining ecosystems called Biosphere 2 and quite quickly found that indeed, they could not grow enough food to support themselves.

Roy Walford, the team’s physician, had been studying calorie restriction diets for a number of years and convinced his fellow scientists to give it a try.

I don’t really think they had a choice.

When their project ended and they exited the bubble …

tests proved them healthier in nearly every nutritionally relevant respect than when they’d gone in

Walford is the author of The Anti-Aging Plan: The Nutrient-Rich, Low-Calorie Way of Eating for a Longer Life--The Only Diet Scientifically Proven to Extend Your Healthy Years, but himself passing away at the age of 79 from Lou Gehrig’s disease. Ironically however, caloric restriction may have accelerated the course of ALS for Dr. Walford, as mice genetically engineered to develop ALS experience faster disease course and shorter lifespan when placed on a calorically restricted diet

I’ve done my own bit of calorie restriction as part of an experiment of ABCDE, Anabolic Burst Cycling of Diet and Exercise I did back in 2003. ABCDE is about two week cycles of diet and exercise. Two weeks of double caloric intake plus 1000 calories along with heavy lifting 3x a week and no cardio. This is immediately followed by two weeks of lower calories (in my case, 1800 per day) along with cardio and light weight training just enough to keep the muscle built during the first phase.

The idea behind ABCDE was presented to my by Bill Phillips during an interview he did with the ABCDE designer and I followed this program for 2 months. In a way, I experimented with a version of the calorie restriction program.

Calorie Restriction Test

What would it be like to follow this program for 2 months?

That’s the premise behind a story done by New York Magazine writer Julian Dibbell who did an entire 2 months on a calorie restricted diet. Her account leaves her 20 pounds lighter, an improved sex drive, dreams of immortality and, well, hungry.

I’m not sure if it’s worth it really.

I enjoy food and I always have.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the junk food I ate when I was younger, but have now come to love whole foods, imported beer and great wine.

I’ve often said that the reason I train so hard is because I like eating. I love training hard for all the benefits it provides both physically, mentally and emotionally and then I get to eat more too.

Is calorie restriction something you do or would consider doing? Read the Ultra Extreme Calorie Restriction Diet Test and make up your own mind. Personally, I’d like the freedom of earning my food because of the work I put in.

But hey, that’s just me.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A Calorie By Any Other Name

Calories In Calories Out Joshua Carter
By Joshua Carter

Many years ago I had a discussion with a personal trainer colleague of mine. I was young and hungry, and he was definitely more established than I at the time. He had some really nice training programs that yielded some decent results. The thing was he didn’t know squat when it came to nutrition. His basic philosophy was "calories in , calories out." That is the basic methodology of many trainers and nutrition centers. It can work, to a point, but back to my story. He was saying that basically his clients can eat whatever they want, so long as the they burned more calories than they took in. He did not care what the macronutrient ratios were, just the caloric total. Ok, so I gave him a challenge. Pick any 2 clients, put them on a 2000 calorie diet. One client can only eat Frosted Flakes. The other client could only eat lean chicken and broccoli. Put them on the same training program and see who loses the most fat after 4 weeks. Not surprisingly he did not take the challenge. He insisted that it was all math, and that so long as the calories coming in were less than the calories being expended, the client would lose fat. I knew I would never change his mind, so I left it at that.

Now let me explain why I am right. Total caloric intake is only PART of the whole picture. Everyone is different. And everyone will have a different hormonal response to a given food. Let me give you an example. Let’s say Bob is a naturally lean guy. He can eat most whatever he wants and he stays all lean and muscley. Then there is Patrick. He is not naturally lean, has to watch what he eats and exercise regularly to keep his body fat at a reasonable level. If both men were to eat 150 g of pure sugar their bodies would both have very different responses. Because Bob is naturally lean, his body would secrete the perfect amount of insulin to put the carbs from the sugar where they need to go, or use them as energy. The likelihood that it will be stored as fat is very low for him.

Now Patrick is another story. He ate the same thing, but his body would respond by sending out too much insulin which could result in blood sugar swings and have a high likelihood of being stored as fat.

So what it basically comes down to is that calories are not the whole picture, simply a part of it. Because calories do in fact count. You cannot simply count calories and hope to create the body of your dreams. There is more to it. It also does not mean that you have to have an ultra complicated nutritional plan where everything is counted, measured, ratioed and tallied this way and that. It just means you need to make healthy, balanced choices. We are all different, what works for one might not work for another. Choose foods that are both calorically low, nutritionally dense and will have minimal impact on blood sugar levels.

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Secret To Burning Calories Even At Rest

The answer:

"Not to your bench press or lunges, but to the scale in the form of this highly sought after metabolic booster."

Listen for the Key Moment:
When it comes to weight loss strategy I say add weight to lose weight...

[Rob's Note:] It's all about muscle.. the metabolic engine isn't it. My mission is to inspire as many people to begin weight training as a solution to health and healthy weight loss. Male or Female and at any age.

On that note, I'm currently discussing a book about a in the . A friend who is 64, uses a scooter and is willing to give it a shot... weight training from her home, on her scooter, using dumbbells. She has an amazing weight loss story once weighing 414 pounds, but has used a low carb weight loss plan to shed over 100 pounds of that already. Her next step is to regain her strength and she's going to use dumbbells as a way to do that. She's a great roll model.

Ps. The greatest tip I can give anyone who has in their weight loss, is to increase food intake along with an increase in exercise. Read more about

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Night Time Eating And Weight Loss

Night Time Eating and Weight LossBy Tom Venuto, CSCS, NSCA-CPT

"Eat breakfast like a king, eat lunch like a prince and eat dinner like a pauper." This maxim can be attributed to nutrition writer Adelle Davis, and since her passing in 1974, the advice to eat less at night to help with fat loss has lived on and continued to circulate in many different incarnations. This includes suggestions such as:

"Dont eat a lot before bedtime"
"Don't eat midnight snacks"
"Don't eat anything after 7pm"
"Don't eat any carbs at night"
"Don't eat any carbs after 3 pm"
and so on.

I too believe that eating lightly at night is usually very solid advice for people seeking increased fat loss, especially for people who are inactive at night. However, some fitness experts today, when they hear "eat less at night", start screaming, Diet Voodoo!"

Opinions on this subject are definitely mixed. Many highly respected experts strongly recommend eating less at night to improve fat loss, while others suggest that it's only calories in vs calories out over 24 hours that matters.

The critics claim that it's ridiculous to cut off food intake at a certain hour or to presume that "carbs turn to fat" at night as if there were some kind of nocturnal carbohydrate gremlins waiting to shuttle calories into fat cells when the moon is full. They suggest that if you eat less in the morning and eat more at night, it all "balances itself out at the end of the day."

Of course, food does not turn to fat just because it's eaten after a certain "cutoff hour" and carbs do not necessarily turn to fat at night either (although there are hypotheses about low evening insulin sensitivity having some significance).

What we do know for certain is that the law of energy balance is with us at all hours of the day - and that bears some deeper consideration when you consider that we expend the least energy when we are sleeping and many people spend the entire evening watching TV.

I recently had the privilege of interviewing sports nutritionist and dietician Dan Benardot, PhD for our members-only fat loss support community, and he gave us a very interesting perspective on this.

Dr. Benardot said that thinking in terms of 24 hour energy balance may be a seriously flawed and outdated concept. He says that the old 24-hour model of energy balance looks at calories in versus calories out in 24 hour units.
However, what really happens is that your body allocates energy minute by minute and hour by hour as your body's needs dictate, not at some specified 24 hour end point.

I first heard this concept suggested by Dr. Fred Hatfield about 15 years ago.
Hatfield explained how and why you should be thinking ahead to the next three hours and adjusting your energy intake accordingly.

Although it's not really a new idea, Dr. Benardot has recently taken this concept to a much higher level of sophistication and he calls the new paradigm, "Within Day Energy Balance."

The Within Day Energy Balance

The Within Day Energy balance approach not only backs up the practice of eating small meals approximately every three hours, AND the practice of "nutrient timing" (which is why pre and post workout nutrition is such a popular topic today, and rightly so). it also suggests that we should adjust our energy intake according to our activity.

Let's make the assumption most people come home from work, then plop on the couch in front of the TV all night. Let's also assume that the majority of people go to bed late in the evening, usually around 10 pm, 11 pm or midnight. Therefore, night-time is the period during which the least energy is being expended.

If this is true, then it's logical to suggest that one should not eat huge amounts of calories at night, especially right before bed because that would provide excess fuel at a time when it is not needed. The result is increased likelihood of fat storage.

From the within day energy balance perspective, the advice to eat less at night makes complete sense. Of course it also suggests that if you do intense training at night, then you should eat more at night to support that activity.

Those stuck on a 24 hour model of energy expenditure would say timing of energy intake doesnt matter as long as the total calories for the day are in a deficit. But who ever decided that the body operates on a 24-hour "DAY".

Try this test (or not!):
Eat a 2500 calorie per day diet, with nothing for breakfast, nothing before or after your morning workout, 500 calories for lunch, 750 calories for dinner and 1250 calories before bedtime.

Now compare that to the SAME 2500 calorie diet with 6 small meals of approximately 420 calories per meal and then tweak those meal sizes a bit so that you eat a little more before and after your workout and a little less later at night.

Both are 2500 calories per day. According to "a calorie is just a calorie"
and "24 hour energy balance" thinking, both diets will produce the same results in performance, health and body composition. But will they?

Does your body really do a calculation at midnight and add up the day's totals like a business man when he closes out the register at night? It's a lot more logical that energy is stored in real time and energy is burned in real time, rather than accounted for at the end of each 24 hour period.

24 hour energy balance is just one way to academically sort calories so you can understand it and count it in convenient units of time. This has it's uses, as in calculating a daily calorie intake level for menu planning purposes.

Ok, but enough about calories, what about the individual macronutrients?
Some people dont simply suggest eating fewer calories at night, they suggest you take your calorie cut specifically from CARBS rather than from all macronutrients evenly across the board. Is there anything to it?

Well, there's more than one theory. The most commonly quoted theory has to do with insulin.

The late guru Dan Duchaine was once asked by a competitor,

"I want to get cut up for an upcoming contest. Should I eat at night?
I heard I shouldn't eat carbs after 6:00 pm."

Duchaine answered:

"It's true that insulin sensitivity is lowest at night. Let's discuss what is happening in your body that makes it dislike carbs at night. Cortisol, a catabolic hormone, is highest at night. When cortisol is elevated, your muscle cell insulin sensitivity is lowered."

More recently, David Barr wrote a tip on "lower carbs at night" for the bodybuilding website, T-Nation. He said:

"Even when bulking, you don't want to start scarfing down Pop Tarts before you go to bed. Our muscle insulin sensitivity decreases as the day wears on, meaning that we're more likely to generate a large insulin response from ingesting carbs. Stated differently, we're more predisposed to adding fat mass by eating carbs at night because our body doesn't handle the hormone insulin as well as it does earlier in the day."

Mind you, Barr is a not a "voodoo" guy; he is a respected scientist who also happens to be well known as a "dogma destroyer" and "myth buster". and Duchaine, although he had a shady past and some run-ins with the law, was nevertheless highly respected by nearly all in the bodybuilding world for his ahead-of-his-time nutrition wisdom.

As a result of this advice, word got out in the bodybuilding and fitness community that you should eat fewer carbs at night. Real world results and the "test of time" have suggested that this is an effective strategy.
I also don't know a single nutrition or training expert who doesn't agree that insulin management and improvement of insulin sensitivity aren't effective approaches in the management of body fat.

However, it's only fair to point out that not all scientists agree that cutting carbs at night will have any major real world impact on fat loss.
Dr. Benardot, for example, doesn't think there's much to it. He says that exercisers and athletes in particular, usually have excellent glycemic control, so the ratio of macronutrients should not be as much of an issue as the total energy balance in relation to energy needs at a particular time.

Regardless of which side of the "carbs at night" debate you lean towards, if you consider the within day energy balance principle, it make perfect sense not to eat large, calorie-dense meals late at night before bedtime.

Keep in mind of course, that cutting back on your calories and or carbs at night makes the most sense in the context of a fat loss program, especially if fat loss has been slow. It's quite possible that I might give the exact opposite advice (eat a big meal before bed) to the skinny "ectomorph"
who is having a hard time gaining muscular body weight.

Also consider that this doesn't necessarily mean eating nothing at night; it may simply mean eating smaller meals or emphasizing lean protein and green veggies (or a small protein shake) at night.

Many programs suggest a specific time when you should eat your last meal of the day. However, I'd suggest avoiding an absolute cut off time, such as "no food or no carbs after 6 pm, etc," because people go to bed at different times, and maintenance of steady blood sugar and an optimal hormonal balance even at night are also important goals.

A more personalized suggestion is to cut off food intake 3 hours before bedtime, if practical and possible. For example, if you eat dinner at 6 pm, but don't go to bed until 12 midnight, then a small 9:00 pm meal or a snack makes sense, but keep it light, preferably lean protein, and dont raid the refrigerator at 11:55!

An Important Rule Ro Remember

An Important rule to rememberin all cases, is:

that whatever is working, keep doing more of it.

If you eat your largest meal before bed and lose fat anyway, I would never tell you to change that. Results are what counts. On the other hand, if you're stuck at a fat loss plateau, this is a technique I'd suggest you give a try.

Night time eating is likely to remain a subject of debate - especially the part about whether carbs should be targeted for removal in evening meals.

However, perhaps even those who are skeptical can consider, that if cutting out carbs at night is effective for fat loss, it may be for the simple reason that it forces you to eat less automatically.

In other words, setting a rule to eat fewer calories or to eat fewer carbs at night may be a superbly effective way to keep your daily calories in check and to match intake to activity, whereas people who are allowed to eat ad libitum at night when they're home, glued to the couch and watching TV, etc., may tend to overeat when the energy is not needed in large amounts.

Me personally? Unless I'm weight training at night, I have always reduced calories and carbs at night when "cutting" for bodybuilding competition.
It's worked so well for me that I devoted a whole section to it in my e-book, Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle (BFFM) and I have names for the techniques: "calorie tapering" and "carb tapering."

For more information on how I use these methods to help me reach single digit body fat, you can visit: http://www.BurnTheFatbook.com

About the Author:

night time eating is a lifetime natural bodybuilder, an NSCA-certified personal trainer (CPT), certified strength & conditioning specialist (CSCS), and author of the #1 best-selling e-book, ".” Tom has written more than 200 articles and has been featured in print magazines such as IRONMAN, Australian IRONMAN, Natural Bodybuilding, Muscular Development, Exercise for Men and Men’s Exercise, as well as on hundreds of websites worldwide. For information on Tom's Fat Loss program, visit: www.burnthefatbook.com

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Forget Calories Diet

forget calories dietHere's a diet that proposes that you forget calories and instead eat more food using their system of fat burning foods, self absorbing calories and foods that signal your brain that you're satisfied and not hungry any more.

the forget calories diet proposes that if you're currently eating less than 6 meals a day, you're losing a chance to burn more fat. When you eat a meal, your bodys metabolism turns on and you burn more calories. You burn more calories on a per meal basis rather than a per day calorie diet.

the forget calories diet combines foods into groups and then their diet schedule shows you which calorie groups to combine together at each meal to maximize your dieting results. The forget calories diet claims 10 pounds in 10 days. I think that's possible because I've done it myself.

The complete forget calories system shows you:

* what food groups to eat together to maximize diet results

* what foods to eat so that your brain signals your body that it's no longer hungry.

* what foods to eat to reduce blood glucose levels after your meal. With lower blood glucose, your body will seek out and destroy fat cells.

* what foods are self absorbing calories. The foods that require more digestion to burn them than they provide, hence self absorbing calories.

In theory, the forget calories diet seems technically sound. Eat 6 meals a day which maximize metabolism, eat negative calorie foods, eat foods that send satisfaction signals to the brain and drastically cut back on overeating because you never feel hungry.

sounds perfect actually.

Have a look at the Forget Calories Diet

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