Metabolic function for dummies (why the numbers aren't ALL there is to it).

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Doctor of Doom
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Feb 22, 2005
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Okay, so this thread is born out of the routine posting up here of "calories in vs calories out is THE important thing when considering weight gain/loss." I've long said it isn't, it's AN important thing, but there is no THE important thing because of some variables that occur in the human body that thwart this idea. So here I'm going to spell it out once and for all, that you don't just "eat more" to gain LEAN MUSCLE MASS. The holes in this theory are as follows, wether anyone likes it or not:

1) The body adapts to caloric intake being raised or lowered. Let's say for instance you're in a cutting phase. So you lower your caloric intake to tentatively burn stored bodyfat. As a shock to your system this will straight-away work quickly. However, you will inevitably plateau. This is because your body will systematically adjust to raised and lowered caloric intake by either burning or storing lesser or more calories. This is why everyone, when cutting or bulking, hits plateaus.

2) Some calories are more readily stored as BODY FAT. Yes, it's true. There is a reason for this, though. Out of carbohydrates, protein, and dietary fat, the fat is the most fattening (fat fattening...who'da thunk it!?). The reason is because as the body digests these macronutrients it requires the burning of calories to do so. Digesting fat requires the FEWEST amount of calores burned to digest (2-3 times less than carbs, 10 times less than protein). Thus, dietary fat yields the greatest net caloric intake for BODYFAT STORAGE.

3) Your hormones shift as you shift your caloric intake drastically. The most pertinent factor here is that high protein yields high IGF (Insulin Growth Factors) in the body, regardless of overall caloric intake. So it's important that a good bulk of (most of) your net caloric intake come from lean protein sources, not just any old food you can find that has high calories.

4) Glycemic Index impacts fat storage. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that low GI eating supports processing of bodyfat even with high calories. Carbs that convert slower to glucose are more benefitial because they hinder bodyfat storage by affecting insulin secretion (meaning they do not cause insulin spikes). High GI foods used as a dietary staple for gaining mass will lead to greater bodyfat storage as insulin levels are spiked, high insulin levels make the body EXTREMELY efficient at storing fat.

5) Meal Frequency affects your ****bolism. This is why how many meals per day you eat is important. You would be better served with 7 meals per day as opposed to 4 or 5. Why? Because every time you eat your ****bolism increases a little and cortisol is suppressed. I don't think I need to further elaborate on that.

6) Time of day affects your ****bolism. Oh no, here comes the voodoo about eating o'clock. It's long been known that insulin sensitivity is greater later on in the day, thus higher calories from any old source later in the day means insulin spiking, which means greater fat storage and possibly, diabetes.

Summation: - The numbers are also a factor, but they are far from the ONLY factor. They are a good bottom-line to go by, but not a nutritional guideline. Anyone who tells you otherwise and says "oh it doesn't matter what you eat as long as you have good protein and a lot of calories" without giving you the above information is tentatively steering you towards not only becoming FATTER, but also possibly having cholesterol problems, being diabetic, and having blood-pressure problems, all of which are more-times-than-not the result of terrible eating habits. And no, I repeat, alone will not alleviate these problems. In fact they may only serve to further complicate them. Now, leave us consider one thing now that many of you young impressionable people have read this. THIS IS NOT TO BE TAKEN AS GOSPEL. Why? It all kind of sounds okay doesn't it? Sure. Common sense will serve you well (on the flipside, lack of common sense will not avail your nutritional goals no matter how dilligently you stick to a single school of thought) here, but there is one variable NONE OF US can evade.

EVERYONE'S PHYSIOLOGY IS SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT. This means that some of these things apply moreso to some of you than they do to others. As well as some of you may not even BE affected by some of these things and others very health may depend on them. So regardless of information, YOU have to take your Health as YOUR OWN responsibility. Much the same as you do your intelligence. Meaning, before any of you dolts asks me to cite sources and shit think about this:

No. I'm not going to debate with you. Make your own decision wether you believe it or not. I will not do your thinking for you in terms of your own body. Furthermore, I will not attempt to stand on the shoulders of people who have done extensive studies and research and profess to know for FACT things I have only seen on a document. There is no need to attempt to substitute someone else's intelligence for your own. There is a subtle difference between relaying information, and representing onesself as a false prophet, if you get my meaning. Someone tells you something, if it smells like bullshit then chances are it is. If it sounds reasonable chances are it MIGHT be true enough to apply to you. And I'll tell you what sounds like bullshit to me.

Simply "eating more" to gain LEAN MUSCLE MASS. If this were true overeaters would be the most muscular people around with some exercise. I have an Uncle who is a trucker, and unloads and loads shit from his trucks on a daily basis, which equates to as strenuous a workout as most weight regimens. And he's FAT. How? He eats like shit, end of story. Plus, if this were true there would be NO SUCH THING as hardgainers. Almost every twig I've ever met looking to put on weight eats like a fucking horse as it is. Why then are they still skinny? See above. The foods they eat do NOTHING to combat their ****bolic processes that keep them from storing MUSCLE.

You do NOT have to risk health complications to gain weight. There is a reason most bodybuilders, ESPECIALLY those over 250lbs eat "healthy" (despite occasional cheating) and stay relatively the same weight. There is also a reason bodybuilders (and any athlete for that matter) who do not abide by sensible eating habits look and are fatter during their off-seasons when they gourge themselves with un-healthy food. This isn't fucking brain surgery people.

I do agree that most would be much better served to use common sense in their diet and listen to their bodies.

I see it as a 24 hr a day job.

With diabetes and alzheimers in my family and with growing up with my Tibetan grandmother I see some things differently than most. Which is why I'm so animate about artificial sweetners and processed foods.

I was tought at an early age how to be in touch with your mind, body, and spirit so all this comes very naturally to me.

Awesome thread King.
Thanks, I can't stand mis-information, or partial information where all of the pertinent parts are left out. And yeah, I mentioned to Mick in another thread that every athlete, and especially fighters (since their health is always in great risk) have their superstitions. There's nothing wrong with that if what you do works for you. And judging by your opponent there, lol, what you're doing works for you.

Alzheimers eh? Do you get enough phosphatidyl choline in a day? I started adding 2 ablespoons of Soy Lecithin granules to my shakes and I already feel more mentally sharp in my workouts.
Neuro PS by Biochem

Carlson Fish Oil...liquid of course

Green tea with tincture of Herb Pharm's Brain and Memory Tonic which includes:
Gotu Kola
That sounds good man, but the choline is something that can be added on top of that. On every signle supplement list I've seen recently Lecithin is always one of the most high rated. Plus it helps with proper metabolism function.
Yeah the Neuro PS is a blend of all the Phospha's. Very complete...but too expensive.
lecithin is pretty cheap... it's best to refrigerate it since it goes bad easily due to heat.. the easiest source of lecithin are raw egg yokes.. however once you cook it, all the lecithin oxidizes.. the egg whites are best cooked for better absorption..

for ppl afraid of salmonella.. make sure the yoke is well-formed and not runny.. and make sure it's fresh... if you have a healthy intestinal tract with an abundance of good bacteria (pro-biotics) they'll quickly kill any salmonella if the yoke had any..
Dude I'd rather use the soy lecithin. 1725mg of PC per tablespoon I think is enough.
Sticky this, K, sticky it, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, sticky it. The hurricane threat of seven hundred more "I need to lose weight!" threads looms at this very moment that you are puffy and inactive at your computer console.

And tell noobs to read #2 over and over until their FUCKING EYES BLEED.
Heh heh, you got it.
King Kabuki said:
Dude I'd rather use the soy lecithin. 1725mg of PC per tablespoon I think is enough.

o yeh.. definitely.. i was just broadening the scope of things letting ppl have more options :wink:

i personally take soya lecithin in pill form.. much easier than making drinks all the time.. i already have to do that with my greens and fiber powders.. :D
Good post. Maybe a better statement isn't "calories consumed" but more "calories assimilated vs calories burned" I do totally agree that it is way overstated. But you cannot gain weight on a calorie deficient diet, nor can you lose it if you are eating more than enough calories.

Also, don't forget that as you lose weight not only does your RMR (resting metabolic rate, a relative number dependant on weight) go down, your actual weight goes down decreasing the absolute amount of calories burned. i.e. at 250 you burn more calories surviving than at 200, so you have to cut calories even more to adapt to your new RMR% from being on a calorie deficient diet and lower calories more due to not being as big.

Lastly, I am not sure but I thought carbohydrates were the easiest form of food to absorb. Fat only ranked higher because gram per gram it has more calories (9 compared to 4). Carbs go through glycolysis and then krebs right away, whereas fat needs to go through beta oxidation. I could be wrong as I never really studied this as much.
It's not the caloric value of the food, it's how many calories are burned during digestion which sets fat apart from carbs. Even if carbs have half the calories per gram, it takes 3 times less calories to digest fat than it does the carbs.
Very solid. It should be mandatory that people read what you have to say befor posting in D/S.
What I love is how some people bitch about it and about becoming a Mod having gone to my head and whatnot, but right there in big letters it says to not even take my words as Gospel.
Your assumptions about dietary fat are only partially correct. While fats are the least thermogenic of substances (.1 % of calories in are required for themogenesis vs. ~ 2-3% of calories in for carb thermogenesis, and 20-30% for protein thermogenesis), the overall benefits to your RMR (resting metabolic rate... subjects who consumed 8-10g of fish oil supplementation over a period of 2 months saw a 300 to 400 kcal increase in their RMR) and ability to eschew DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness, of which insufficient fat intake can help exacerbate) make this a very "80s" argument over fat. Dietary fat intake does NOT lead to fat gain unless you are significantly over-eating fats of the trans-saturated or saturated type. Trans-fats in particular lack any nutrient value and should be avoided at all costs. In order to maintain efficient testosterone production and overall hormonal balance, a minimum of 80g of fat, with a roughly a 33/33/33 split between saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated is optimum.

Fats are very difficult to "overdo." The satiety one achieves from fats belies the unsatisfying natured of refined/packaged carbohydrates (I'm thinking those of the granular or condiment type). The fast acting sugarsfound in these carb sources lend a quick burst of energy but provide insufficient fiber or nutrient-laden value for your caloric "buck," and hence, are very easy to over eat. The "low-fat" obsession is a carryover of this dated thermogenesis argument. This went the way of the dinosaur with the complex carbohydrate misnomer.
What I posted about fats is not assumption, but recited from the writings of a Medical Professional. While I appreciate your input, of course everything up there is debatable...hence me saying not to take any of it as Gospel.

Your argument is actually not entirely in disagreement of mine, because you see, I addressed that these factors I named are specific to either drastic increase or decrease of caloric intake without sufficient nutrient information. This whole thread idea is to discredit the whole "eat more, end of discussion" idea. Reason being is because that discourages differentiating between good and bad fats (per se), good and bad carbs (per se) and efficient versus inefficient protein sources. You tell someone uneducated to eat more, eat as much as they possibly can, how much more difficult does that make it to overdo the fats that are least necessary in daily intake? Especially considering the lacking of quality food in America nowadays specifically.

I'm not arguing against the importance of dietary fat, just against using them alone to increase caloric intake.
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