Wednesday, October 26, 2011

If I can only eat 300 calories in one meal, what's the best protein/carb/fat breakdown you'd recommend to give me the best satiety?

   There is no one perfect combination for everyone, but we always recommend including all three of the macronutrients (protein, fats and carbohydrates) because each one contributes to satiety through a different mechanism. This also helps minimize cravings.

     For your relatively low-calorie meal, we suggest including 50 percent of calories from complex carbohydrate (whole grain breads, rice, pasta, etc.), 25 percent from protein and 25 percent fat. Your meal could include a lean-meat sandwich, two eggs and toast, a large salad with proper amounts of dressing (fat) or toppings (protein and fat) with bread (carbohydrates). By including plenty of vegetables (such as in a salad), you'll discover a larger volume of low-calorie foods. Salads also take longer to consume, contributing to satiety.
      For a 300-calorie pre-workout snack, we endorse consuming a meal-replacement liquid or bar for quick digestion and maximum nutrient absorption. Satiety is generally not an issue before training because exercise itself has been found to be one of the most active appetite-control aids available.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Does the female cycle affect weight loss?

     A few days before and during the time you are menstruating, you do burn more calories due to the added cellular activity taking place within. Some female metabolisms may increase up to 15% during this time due to hormonal changes and loss of blood. The increase in metabolism can lead to an increase in appetite in order to compensate for the greater calorie burn (in the same manner that as exercise can lead to an increase in hunger), which is why some women tend to eat more or yearn for different foods during this time of the month. Desires can also be caused by the hormonal changes that affect taste or thought processes. Additionally, certain foods can help sooth difficult times, thus leading to different or unusual food choices.     What all this means is that although a woman may burn more calories for a few days, she usually make up for it, and depending on how one gives into cravings, over-compensates (leading to a slight weight gain).
     In the latter case when the "period" is over and during the next week/s, the woman may return to her pre-period "normal weight'. But as you can see from this very typical situation, although this person may be sticking with her proper diet for 2-3 weeks a month, she still ends up with no net weight lost for the month, making dieting annoying.
      So what's the fix? Now that you are aware of what's going on, try to control your appetite and think "move more if you eat more" during the difficult phase of your cycle - or you may slightly increase your calorie intake during the tough period (i.e. give into a few cravings) and make up for it during the rest of the month so that your monthly weight goals end up on track.
      On the other hand, if your calorie burn is less during the time frame we are discussing it may be because you are not feeling your best and you end up moving less - in other words resting more till the discomfort passes. Fix: move more, because not only will you burn more calories, but exercise also generally helps ameliorate the uncomfortable state.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Why is it that improved muscle mass burns more calories?

    1 pound of muscle burns roughly 6 calories/day at rest and can burn many times more this rate while executing different activities.  The more intense the activity, the more calories the muscles will burn (running stairs for example can burn 10 times the resting amount, weight lifting around 4 times, etc.) A pound of fat burns nearly 2 calories per day and no matter what you do that’s all it burns because body fat doesn’t have anything to do with performing activities – it only jiggles and stores stuff.