Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Best Diet Plan Is No Diet Plan: Understand How Your Body Balances Energy!

Everyone wants to have a diet plan put together telling them in details what, when, and how much to eat.  People say if they had a plan put together for them like this they would follow it.  This maybe true for some, but can you be consistent on following the same plan for the rest of your life?  And if so, is a plan I make for you the best plan for you?  There are many diet plans that people try out for a year or two maximum on and off.  The best plan is no plan!  You have to find your own balance between how many calories you consume and how many calories you are expending.  When there is an imbalance between the two it will lead to weight loss, weight gain or a decrease in lean(muscle) mass.

A Calorie is the measure of energy released in our body when we consume carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
  • 1 gram of a carbohydrate    =  4 calories
  • 1gram of a protein              =  4 calories
  • 1gram of a fat                     =  9 calories
Balancing Your Calories

First:  You must take in proper nutrients consistently in accordance with how you body produces insulin.  Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates our metabolism.  Following The 5 Rules of Performance Nutrition will help create a balance with your body and how it produces insulin.

Second:  You must make sure that your body is expending energy at a constant rate depending on what your goals are. 

Methods Your Body Uses to Expend Energy

Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) 60%-80% of your energy is burned at rest to maintain normal functions that are essential for life.  High intensity aerobic training increases your RMR up to 38 hours after a workout.  A sedentary lifestyle and the restriction of calories has been proven to reduce your RMR.

Thermogenesis 10% of your energy is used in the process of breaking down nutrients and converting it to energy.  Thermogenesis is hard to measure in an individual but it's rate can be increased.  Your body expends a lot of energy in breaking down proteins whereas fats are digested with the least amount of energy.  A high protein diet yields a high caloric expenditure.  A low protein diet accompanied by a high consumption of carbohydrates and fats can lead to obesity.  Caffeine and Green Tea are substances that have properties that are capable of increasing thermogenesis.

Physical Activity 20%-30% of your energy is expending in multiple forms of activity and movements which can range from standing up or sitting down to bodybuilding or playing a sport.  The more activity you do within 24 hours will result in a higher expenditure of energy daily.  High levels of physical activity are good for weight loss and maintenance.

Third:  You must track your progress by weighing yourself daily.  Find your own calorie balance between calories taken in and calories burned.  Depending on what your scale says over a period of time, either decrease or increase calories taken in or calories burned with whatever method works best for you.  Once you find out how your body balances energy, you will be able to shift it to reach whatever goals you want.  you have to watch how your weight fluctuates due to the amount of calories you take in and burn first.  Overtime you will know what is best for you.


If your goals is to gain weight you must take in more calories than your body burns.

If Daily Calorie Requirements = 2000   Add 500 calories 7 days a week and you will gain a pound in a week.

500 x 7 = 3500 Calories or 1 pound gained

If your goal is to lose weight you must take in less calories that your body burns.

If Daily Calorie Requirements = 2000  Subtract 500 calories 7 days a week and you will lose a pound in a week.

500 x 7 = 3500 calories or 1 pound lost

note:  When adding calories increase protein and natural/healthy carbohydrate intake.  When reducing calories decrease refined/ processed carbohydrate and fat intake while protein intake remains constant.

A consistent exercise routine is very important in increasing all methods of caloric expenditure.  It is important to perform resistance training regularly to maintain lean mass.  It is also important to perform intense aerobic training to maintain a high metabolism.

The Five Rules Of Performance Nutrition!

Following these 5 Rules will help you formulate a sound nutritional diet plan:
1.  Always eat 5-6 times a day.  Feed your body, keep your body energized so it will not breakdown muscle and store energy as body fat.

2.  Have an appropriate caloric ratio.  50% Carbohydrates    40% Proteins    10% Fats

3.  Each meal should compliment what you will be doing the next 3-4 hours.  If you are about to workout, then take in more energy.  If you are about to go to bed, eat a simpler carb meal.

4.  To lose fat you must have a negative caloric balance meaning you are consuming less calories than you are burning.  To build muscle you must have a positive caloric balance meaning that you are taking in more calories than you are burning.  This calorie intake is accompanied by and consistant with a balanced resistance and aerobic training routine.

5.  In order to get all the nutrients you need to maintain your lean mass supplementation is necessary.  It is hard to eat 5-6 meals a day for most people so sometimes a supplementary shake could pose as a meal replacement.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Determining Body Composition and Body Fat Proportion

Body Mass Index (BMI)
Your BMI, which is calculated by your health care provider or personal trainer, is a measurement that determines if your weight is proportionate with your height.  BMI has also been used in determining your level of obesity.

BMI can sometimes overestimate individuals with more muscular build and underestimate people who have recently lost muscle.  There have also been proven inconsistencies when determining the BMI of shorter or taller than normal people.  BMI has been proven to be an inaccurate measurement of individual's obesity level due to different body structures.

Body Fat Proportion
The way our body fat is distributed is most definitely genetically determined and can be divided into two types.  The Gynoid (pear shaped or bottom heavy) Body Type or The Android (apple shaped or rounded) Body Type.  When more body fat is accumulated around the midsection there is a greater risk of developing health problems due to obesity.

Body Composition
The best way to determine your level of obesity is to calculate your body composition or body fat percentage.

Skin Fold Test:  an inaccurate way to measure your body fat composition.  This test is not good at determining the amount of fat located within the abdominal cavity.  Excessive fat accumulated with the abdominal cavity puts you at a greater health risk.

Underwater Weighing:  The absolute best and considered the most accurate way to measure body composition.  An individuals underwater weight subtracted from their normal weight should determine how much of the body weight is fat.  Fat is less dense than water. 


Abdominal Obesity
Determining abdominal obesity is a good indicator of what health risks an individual is at risk of.  A measurement of someones waist-to-hip ratio can determine their cardiovascular disease mortality rate and multiple health issues due to excess fat in the abdominal cavity.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The National Weight Control Registry

As Obesity is becoming a large scale problem in the United States, scientists and researchers are continuing to look for ways to reduce increased weight gaining amongst individuals and groups of people.  It is proven that the most accurate way to determining how to maintain weight loss overtime is to study individuals who have been successful with it.  Instead of scientist studying what causes significant weight gains and experimenting with individuals who have gained excessive weight, they began to study individuals who had lost weight and kept it off.

The National Weight Control Registry consists of over 6000 men and women over the age of 18 who had lost 30 pounds or more.  For eligibility into this registry they have to have maintained their weight loss for a year or more.

Important Commonalities Amongst Registry Members

  • eat breakfast daily.
  • do physical exercise daily.
  • improved quality of life due to weight loss.
  • follow consistent diet plan on weekdays, weekends, and holidays.
  • decrease the risk of regaining after 2-5 years of maintenance.
  • became more committed to making behavioral changes due to social and health reasons.
  • average 5 meals a day, mostly at home.
  • continue to weigh themselves regularly.
  • limit fast food consumption and fat intake.
  • caloric intake remains constant, eat significantly less fat.
The National Weight Control Registry began in 1993 and is now the largest study of successful weight loss individuals.  As this registry continues to grow we can continue to see what it takes to maintain weight loss for 10-20 years or more.  It all boils down to following a nutritional diet plan and a balanced daily exercise plan.  It is important to pay attention to what has worked for others and to practice a similar lifestyle.  Do not wait for an event to trigger you to lose weight, it might be to late or the point of no return.  It starts now!
Want to learn more about the NWCR?
Click the link: