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  1. TheRuss is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Rusher View Post
    Meh. Calorie restriction leads to weight loss (via lipolysis + catabolisis), but it's neither necessary nor optimal for your purposes (pure lipolysis). Anecdotally, I've seen big fellas drop fat on 5000 kcal/day, so long as the intake was exclusively fats and proteins.
    I've been trying to find asymmetries in the balance of gain(lose) muscle:gain(lose) fat for a while now - as in, how to ensure that weight I lose is mostly fat and weight I gain is mostly muscle. Mauro's claiming he's got it with this diet, and I'm hopeful. But I'm reading "calorie restriction" in your post as being synonymous with "negative calorie balance", and I suspect that may not be what you mean.

    What would you propose in terms of pure (or nearly pure) lipolysis, beyond/instead of what I'm currently doing?

    The first thing that comes to my mind is physical activity:
    -It may be that a negative calorie balance reached by increased caloric requirements is more lipolytic and less catabolic than one reached by reduced caloric intake, but I don't have enough knowledge of those processes to say so for sure.
    -Even if the negative calorie balance is held equal and has the same catabolic effect, there is (or should be) a difference in anabolism between training vs detraining vs sedentary lifestyle, which may be enough to offset that catabolism entirely.

    Goddamn, I wish I could be lifting right now. I'm going down to see the doctor today - I'll ask him to find out if a bout of symptoms indicate that I'm doing more damage/impairing recovery, or if symptoms are just symptoms. I can lift through a headache, but not the knowledge that I'm wrecking my brain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Rusher View Post
    Simple question, complicated answer.
    Probably because I put the emphasis on the wrong part :psyduck:

    What happens to nutrients while they're in the digestive tract is very important, but I'm thinking strictly in terms of the form they're in once they're across the intestinal wall and into the portal vein. Dietary fibers, resistant starches (and as shown by your example, resistant... non-starches? too) might not cross over at all, or they might cross in the form of fatty acids (I'm a bit fuzzy on that part). But to rephrase the question:

    Does the portal vein, in normal operation, contain any carbohydrates in the form of polysaccharides?

    I suspect the answer is no, but I could be wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Rusher View Post
    Leptin is poorly understood (discovered in '94), but as per your link:

    The mechanisms by which leptin exerts its effects on metabolism are largely unknown and are likely quite complex. In contrast to dieting, which results in loss of both fat and lean mass, treatment with leptin promotes lipolysis in adipose tissue, but has no apparent effect on lean tissue.
    ... whatever's going on there, it has much to do with your goals.
    In the sense that it winds up being a link in the chain of cause and effect, it probably does. I don't have a usable understanding of how to monitor and/or manipulate it (and its effects) at the moment, though, which puts it out of my reach at present.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Rusher View Post
    There's also preliminary evidence for a coorelation between leptin resistence and insulin resistence, the former preceding the latter:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18703413
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16129731
    We've discussed the former study. I don't think it controlled for diet (quantity, composition, timing).

    The latter actually makes a lot of sense.

    RESULTS: Baseline leptin significantly predicted the development of obesity (p = 0.001)
    That is, higher body fat correlates to higher leptin levels, which fits the model of leptin levels being proportional to body fat levels.

    and, after adjustment for BMI, development of glucose intolerance (p = 0.016) and insulin resistance (p < 0.0001).
    Adjusting for BMI does not adjust for body fat content, it adjusts for body mass. This is usually a shortcut that invalidates whatever study uses it, but in this case, it winds up forcing a reinterpretation of their results rather than discarding them.

    For two people with equal BMIs (let's say they're the same height and weight, for simplicity's sake), the one with the higher level of leptin is likely to have the higher level of glucose intolerance and insulin resistance.

    And as previously noted, one can take "leptin" and replace it with "body fat", and the correlation still makes perfect sense. Unfortunately, though, it's a correlation that would conventionally be seen in the other direction, where high body fat (and thus leptin) is often the result of glucose intolerance and insulin resistance.

    Is saying "the result of" disingenuous? Yes, because there's evidence to suggest a vicious cycle between obesity and insulin resistance, rather than a strict cause-effect relationship (and the onset of leptin resistance may take part in that cycle). But the opposite inference suffers the same problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Rusher View Post
    ... these messengers, and the genes they manipulate, are part of the complex system that maintains homeostasis in vertebrates. Sadly, we've managed to engineer foodstuffs that defeat this mechanism in hominids.
    Well, we did that a long time ago. Honey has more fructose in it than glucose (41g vs. 36g per 100g honey), and it appears that maple syrup (the real type, not table syrup) is basically straight sucrose. Cane sugar and corn syrup just made it more accessible.

    ---

    So I've been thinking about next weekend's carb load, and how to be, er, "scientific" about it. Since the stated purposes of the carb load are to drive up insulin without affecting insulin resistance, and to refill muscle and liver glycogen without "feeding" fat production, those would be the criteria it'd be nice to measure.

    Theoretically, I might be able to do something re: insulin sensitivity by watching dose-response of carbohydrates as the load goes on, but I'm not at all confident in that. On the other hand, since I've seen quite a bit of research indicating that changes in muscle/liver glycogen are accompanied by proportional changes in intracellular fluid level (usually stated to be 1:2 to 1:3), which moves things into a measurable range.

    There are confounding factors, of course. I think I've also read that maximal glycogen concentration can increase with training, and there's the constant difficulty of distinguishing fluid in one's muscles from fluid in one's digestive system. Regardless, though, it might be workable in a way that's initially more accurate than the "an experienced bodybuilder will feel the smoothing" approach.
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
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  2. Jack Rusher is online now
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRuss View Post
    What would you propose in terms of pure (or nearly pure) lipolysis, beyond/instead of what I'm currently doing?
    Any severely carbohydrate-limiting diet that provides sufficient energy via fats will do the trick. My complaint with most such plans has to do with what I feel to be an insufficiently nuanced approach to classifying nutrients (carbs as a monolithic category, for instance).

    In the case of Mauro's diet, I don't think cyclic carbo-loading is particularly useful relative to other equally effective, easier, less punitive methods.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheRuss View Post
    It may be that a negative calorie balance reached by increased caloric requirements is more lipolytic and less catabolic than one reached by reduced caloric intake
    See, here's one of the places where I part company with the common wisdom on this topic. I feel certain that one can increase muscle mass while *simultaneously* reducing body fat through diet and exercise -- and by diet, I do not mean running a calorie deficit.

    It's unfortunate that you can't hit the gym at the moment. As you're well aware, weight training primes the muscles to store blood glucose as muscle cell glycogen, helps to reverse insulin resistance, &c. Hopefully you'll feel up to it soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheRuss View Post
    Does the portal vein, in normal operation, contain any carbohydrates in the form of polysaccharides?
    Not so far as I am aware.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheRuss View Post
    I don't think it controlled for ...
    I find very few studies in this area that meet my preferences regarding rigor, which leads me to look at the data/methods and reinterpret the findings in combination with other papers.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheRuss View Post
    Well, we did that a long time ago. Honey has more fructose in it than glucose (41g vs. 36g per 100g honey), and it appears that maple syrup (the real type, not table syrup) is basically straight sucrose. Cane sugar and corn syrup just made it more accessible.
    I agree that it was quite some time ago (about which more below), but in terms of sweeteners I place some additional blame on 20th century product design. A large fast food serving of Coke has ~60g of HFCS, and many people drink several a day. Can you imagine eating a quarter kilo of honey or maple syrup/day for most of your adult life?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheRuss View Post
    So I've been thinking about next weekend's carb load,
    Leaving aside your measurement problems and revisiting the question of what's best for your dietary goals, I think the zero-carb approaches are sort of like using a crane to swat a fly (to paraphrase the Flaming Lips). Cutting all carbs works because a subset of them really are problematic. As for what constitute the bad ones, I think most grains are trouble for most people. The explanation of why I believe this is more than I feel like typing, but you can jump off from this paper:

    http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6823/5/10

    ... so consider sweet potatoes rather than, say, pizza/bread/pasta for your carb needs, whether during once-a-week loading or integrated with your daily diet.
    “Most people do not do, but take refuge in theory and talk, thinking that they will become good in this way” -- Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, II.4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Rusher View Post
    Any severely carbohydrate-limiting diet that provides sufficient energy via fats will do the trick. My complaint with most such plans has to do with what I feel to be an insufficiently nuanced approach to classifying nutrients (carbs as a monolithic category, for instance).

    In the case of Mauro's diet, I don't think cyclic carbo-loading is particularly useful relative to other equally effective, easier, less punitive methods.
    So what do you propose instead?
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
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    There were a few things bugging me about my food spreadsheet, particularly the effort involved in adding new days + foods to all the macronutrient sheets and the likelihood of errors incurred when reordering the food list. I've refactored it to minimize those problems, and it's looking pretty sharp.

    I still haven't figured out how to do my body composition stats, though. The fact that the built-in line graph can't skip columns or specify the axis interval is a pain. I also can't figure out what I want to do with morning vs. evening measurements. I suppose that as long as I don't lose any data permanently, I can reorganize it as I see fit.

    Also, I bought some rechargeable batteries today, so flash photography for the body composition shots is probably a go. That should solve the variation in lighting. Not sure what I'm going to do about the variation in posing, though - I suppose that once I go into the stages where I actually show changes in body composition, I could just pick pictures taken with similar posture, but it'd be nice to get more consistency in the mean time.

    Right now, I'm not quite touching the wall behind me. I could go for uniformity by standing right up against it, with markers for my feet (already got these) and my hands (don't have these yet). On the other hand, having a wall to press up against may open the door to more error...

    Edit: Speaking of error, I just took BIA scale measurements pre- and post-dump, and although the body weight measurement differed substantially, fat and muscle percentages only changed by a tenth of a percent.
    Last edited by TheRuss; 5/03/2009 1:34am at .
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
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  5. Jack Rusher is online now
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRuss View Post
    So what do you propose instead?
    [ N.B. I've not got time to dig up the literally hundreds of papers on which I base my understanding of this topic, so -- obviously, and I know you will -- take any of this as a stepping-off point for your own research. ]

    We reached the point some time ago where our understanding of biology allowed us to see past the old energy in/energy out generalization that led most doctors to suggest starvation as a weight-loss strategy. Starvation leads to reduced mass, of course, but it's non-optimal for health and aesthetics.

    The big insight -- I know you know this, but there are bystanders, so I'm going to spell it out -- is that we can, via non calorie-based dietary choices, turn off lipogenesis and activate lipolysis. Simply: without carbohydrates no fat will be produced, no matter how many calories are consumed, because lipogenesis requires blood glucose moderated hormonal activity (for general sub-cutaneous fat; excess fructose consumption causes belly fat deposition without a glucose spike).

    The Ketogenic diet, Adkins, &c, are basically hacks that use the above observation as a blunt instrument. More recent research suggests that the benefits of these diets can also be had by restricting certain subsets of carbohydrates. Most popular theories as to why/which carbohydrates are better or worse for this purpose revolve around glycemic index, that blood sugar spikes imbalance and damage insulin metabolism, &c. The high/low-GI approach is a more nuanced view than the zero-carb guys had, but I still think it's too course. My suspicion is that we'll see more fine-grained findings over the next ten years, a preview of which can be found in ethnographic data for native populations, like the Kitavans:

    The population is characterized by extreme leanness (despite food abundance), low blood pressure, low plasma plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 activity, and rarity of cardiovascular disease. Tubers, fruit, fish, and coconut are dietary staples [ ... ]
    http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/66/4/845

    Kitavans eat 2200 kcal/day, ~69% of their calories from carbs (mostly high-GI starchy tubers), ~21% fats, ~17% saturated fats and ~10% protein. If macronutrient ratios were what mattered, they should be a skinny-fat people, and exercise isn't the reason they're not -- they're a remarkably lazy group of indigenous people (about as active on average as Swedes). The answer is in what they don't eat. Grain. Sugar. Refined vegetable oils. (They also maintain an omega-6:omega-3 ratio of ~1:2).

    Anyone who has eaten a Kitavan diet for a lifetime will be lean and healthy, but there's a catch for already overweight people: a cereal + sugar diet can do a number on the endocrine system, maybe to the extent that those with hyperinsulinemia/overweight must forgo high-GI carbs (perhaps for a year or two to reset the system, perhaps forever -- I know of no study that has investigated this question). That said, even those with blood sugar management issues do fine, and get/remain lean, eating slow carbs (<50 on GI tables, which are warty and imperfect but okay for this purpose if you don't want to use a meter).

    Back around the original question: my recommendation, assuming you're in a hurry to re-compose your body, is a short term heavily carb restricted diet for aggressive lipolysis -- nothing will work faster. Longer term, and this applies to everyone, eat your high-GI carbs immediately after you train because this is when you'll receive the greatest benefits in terms of replenishing muscle cell glycogen, speeding recovery, stimulating IGF-1, &c. Don't let anyone sell you on chronic cardio for weight loss because HITT, plyometrics, &c., are better at priming the body for these biological processes. Whether training or not: dump cereals, sweets and processed vegetable oils; try to get your animal protein from fish/game/pasteured sources for optimal fatty acid and fat-soluble vitamin profile (eat some organs, there's more to the beast than muscle tissue); make sure your protein intake is spread out over the day; don't be afraid of slow carbs, but try to get a big protein/fat meal before bed.

    The best book I can recommend, though I disagree with the authors on several points, is The Paleo Diet for Athletes. You'd probably do best to skim the text and spend more time on the bibliography.
    “Most people do not do, but take refuge in theory and talk, thinking that they will become good in this way” -- Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, II.4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Rusher View Post
    [ N.B. I've not got time to dig up the literally hundreds of papers on which I base my understanding of this topic
    When you do have the time, please do let me know. In particular:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Rusher View Post
    More recent research suggests that the benefits of these diets can also be had by restricting certain subsets of carbohydrates.
    Which research?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Rusher View Post
    Whether training or not: dump cereals, sweets and processed vegetable oils; try to get your animal protein from fish/game/pasteured sources for optimal fatty acid and fat-soluble vitamin profile (eat some organs, there's more to the beast than muscle tissue)
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Rusher View Post
    don't be afraid of slow carbs
    And wherever these came from.


    I understand you probably don't have time to hold my hand, and a lot of the stuff I've left out has been substantiated (I can dig up the links if anyone else wants to see them), but these are the areas that I haven't been able to find much - and it's not for lack of looking.

    Afterword: I checked a Paleo Diet book out of the library a few months ago. I can't remember exactly what it was, but there was a groaner in the first chapter that was sufficiently bad for me to give up on it.
    Last edited by TheRuss; 5/03/2009 3:14pm at .
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
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    Posted On:
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRuss View Post
    I understand you probably don't have time to hold my hand
    Hey, you need to know how things are known to believe them. This is a good, right and just thing. You should approach what you read in papers and studies with your skepticism and critical facilities fully engaged, and much more so what some random asshole on a martial arts comedy website says. Sadly, I just don't have time to present this information with the structure and support it deserves.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheRuss View Post
    I checked a Paleo Diet book out of the library a few months ago. I can't remember exactly what it was, but there was a groaner in the first chapter that was sufficiently bad for me to give up on it.
    I'm allergic to Cordain's prose style, and disagree with him on several points, but the bibliography of the "athletes" edition is worthwhile. The diet itself is a good one, but it's more restrictive than many people need. (Quick example: which and how many copies of certain genes a person carries determines how they react to, say, dairy or gluten, but the Paleo diet assumes the worst case for both).

    Quote Originally Posted by TheRuss View Post
    re: fear not slow carbs
    I realize in re-reading my post that I wasn't clear at all, so I'll try to say it better. I don't think glycemic index is meaningful for healthy people, and the body of research I've seen that uses healthy subjects (along with the Kitavan study I linked before) supports this view. OTOH, high glycemic index/load foods seem to cause trouble for those who have a broken glucose metabolism (for fairly obvious reasons).

    The pattern I see in the research is: team X observes that diabetic patients do better on low-GI carbs, speculates high-GI carbs might cause the problem; team Y tests healthy subjects, says no.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheRuss View Post
    re: subset of carbs, cereals, &c
    The omega-3/omega-6 ratio stuff is pretty easy to find, as is the evidence that animal lifestyle radically alters the fatty acids in eggs/meat/&c.

    As for fat-soluble vitamins, it's just too big a can of worms to open here (and secondary to weight loss anyway). In terms of subsets of carbs: because Cordain is one of the main movers in the family of diets that are of interest to me, much of the research uses his diet. This one assigns one group a Paleo diet, the other group a "Mediterranean" one:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17583796

    ... the Paleo diet worked better by several measures, most importantly: weight loss and specific loss of belly fat, huge improvement in glucose tolerance, decrease in fasting glucose and an increase in insulin sensitivity. Note the difference in fasting glucose between the two groups at the end of the study. Take away: a non-calorie controlled diet that only limited certain carbs caused the metabolism to switch to a lipolytic mode running on fatty acid stores without hunger.

    Here's an odd one (tiny N, short duration, only control is start vs end, &c) that's still worth a look on the basis of the remarkable change in insulin metabolism after 10 days:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19209185

    ... there are more like this latter one (bad design, small N, intriguing findings that I can't take entirely seriously) in terms of intervention studies. There is, to my mind, better info to be had through a survey of ethnographic data for healthy pre-agricultural societies, and -- especially -- migratory populations that experience dramatic health changes when exposed to sugar and flour. There are many of these out there, but much of the best data comes from between the world wars (when there were more transitional cultures to document) and can only be found on paper (lucky me, I've access to the research libraries of the New York system).

    If you're interested in this sort of thing, the Tokelauans are a well documented late 20th century example about whom an entire book is available:

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0277-9536(96)90293-2

    Also, the Pima indians make for an interesting case:

    http://care.diabetesjournals.org/cgi...full/29/8/1866
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11347735

    ... they live on both sides of the US/Mexican border. The ones in the US have the world’s highest recorded prevalence and incidence of type 2 diabetes. The ones in Mexico are healthy. These reports are macronutrient obsessed, which leads them to focus on calories and fat content of the two diets, but it's probably worth noting that the Mexican Pima grow their own food (mostly vegetables and animal protein) while the US-resident ones eat a diet of processed junk foods and receive aid from the government in the form of white flour, sugar and vegetable oil.

    This is going to be a hard week for me at work, so I'll not have time for much 'Shido. Hopefully this is clear enough to give you some starting points.
    “Most people do not do, but take refuge in theory and talk, thinking that they will become good in this way” -- Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, II.4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Rusher View Post
    This is going to be a hard week for me at work, so I'll not have time for much 'Shido. Hopefully this is clear enough to give you some starting points.
    Coincidentally, the prof of the biochemistry class I'm signed up for just posted the syllabus and notes. I'm going to have a very full plate for the next month.

    I suppose I should note that I don't have much use for nutritional anthropology. It's a big step in the wrong direction on the spectrum of hard vs. soft science.
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
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    Posted On:
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    Good news. My doctor twisted some arms, and I'm getting in to see an ophthalmologist in a few weeks. I'm going to make sure I've got my list of questions going in, too, including the following:
    -Will weightlifting risk damaging my brain further or slowing/reducing recovery? If so, when will I be cleared to train again?

    A nifty little tidbit from the biochemistry notes:
    Hemoglobin is a four-protein structure that carries oxygen from the lungs to other places in the body. It does this by binding to oxygen molecules. Now, this binding is pH-sensitive - the more basic the environment, the stronger the hemoglobin's affinity for oxygen.

    But if the hemoglobin's affinity gets too high, it won't be persuaded to release oxygen when it got to its destination, and therefore wouldn't be of much use. It just so happens that when muscles are using oxygen, they put out carbon dioxide (converted to bicarbonate, weak acid) - and when they're working really hard, they start putting out lactic acid. These chemicals drive the pH of the blood down (more acidic), causing the hemoglobin to give up that sweet, sweet oxygen more easily.

    Nifty, eh?
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
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    Posted On:
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    *puts on noob hat* Haemoglobin production is extensively effected by your body's iron uptake; thus many a pubescent girl [esp. vegetarians] are hit with anaemia [lack of haemoglobin] due to the combination of shitty diet + bleeding. Signs of anaemia include discolouration [esp. lips; blue lips are a very prominent sign] and excessively pale skin.
    Lord Krishna said: I am terrible time the destroyer of all beings in all worlds, engaged to destroy all beings in this world; Of those heroic soldiers presently situated in the opposing army, even without you none will be spared.
    Bhagavad Gita 11:32

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