Episode 84. Lies and Misinformation about Artificial Sweeteners

Episode 84. Lies and Misinformation about Artificial Sweeteners

★★★★★
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Show Notes

Clinical research debunks some popular thought that artificial sweeteners contribute to increased appetite and weight gain.

Scott discusses one study published in a 2016 issue of the International Journal of Obesity, Rogers et al, “Does low-energy sweetener consumption affect energy intake and body weight? A systematic review, including meta-analyses, of the evidence from human and animal studies”.

 

Main Conclusions from the Study

 

  • In the study that includes 205 references to other clinical research, results show that consumption of artificial sweeteners in place of sugar is consistently found to reduce short-term energy intake.
  • Artificial sweeteners referenced acesulfame-K, aspartame, saccharin, stevia and sucralose are consumed throughout the world.
  • Among the lies and misinformation are quotes like this one from a fitness industry celeb, “artificial sweeteners trick our bodies so that our internal ability to count calories is thrown way off.” Our bodies do not count calories. The clinical evidence says “exposure to sweetness itself was not a significant stimulus for later [energy intake.]”
  • The study’s results refute the idea that artificial sweeteners contribute to increased weight gain or hunger.

“The preponderance of evidence from all human randomized controlled trials indicates that [artificial sweeteners] do not increase [energy intake] or [body weight], whether compared with caloric or non-caloric (for example, water) control conditions. Overall, the balance of evidence indicates that use of LES [Low Energy Sweeteners -or artificial sweeteners] in place of sugar, in children and adults, leads to reduced EI and BW, and possibly also when compared with water.”

  • The researchers included animal studies in their analysis. Most of the studies on animals, particularly rats, included much larger doses than humans would consume, and found that artificial sweeteners did not increase bodyweight.
  • Most of the studies cited…reported no statistically significant effects of artificial sweeteners on body weight. Studies using higher doses of artificial sweeteners found statistically significant decreases in body weight.
  • Study participants who consumed LES- artificially sweetened products compared with sugar- sweetened products showed either greater weight loss or less weight gain.
  • Researchers also compared artificial sweetened drinks to water. Energy intake did not differ versus water, artificial sweeteners versus unsweetened product or artificial sweeteners versus nothing. In fact, consumption of artificially-sweetened beverages also reduced body weight relative to consumption of water.

“We found a considerable weight of evidence in favor of consumption of [artificial sweeteners] in place of sugar as helpful in reducing relative [energy intake] and [body weight], with no evidence from the many acute and sustained intervention studies in humans that [artificial sweetener] increase [energy intake].”

  • The analysis concludes that substituting artificial sweeteners for sugar, can help reduce energy intake.

LINKS & RESOURCES

 

International Journal of Obesity (2016) 40, 381–394
© 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited

 

Scott’s Featured Books

Beyond Metabolism

Understanding Metabolism

Metabolic Damage and the Dangers of Dieting

 

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Episode 83. Ange’s Remarkable Transformation Success Story

Episode 83. Ange’s Remarkable Transformation Success Story

★★★★★
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Show Notes

A real-life story of weight loss and total physique transformation in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.

Sometimes, real people’s stories of weight loss, physique transformation, and success hit home harder than the latest “research.” Ange’s story is one of those.

Ange’s fitness journey started around 2008, with realistic expectations. She wasn’t planning to compete in physique someday, she just wanted to look feminine and wear pretty clothes.

Her transformation was progressing well until 2012 when she was rear-ended by a speeding car. She sustained skeletal and internal injuries that required multiple surgical procedures, dental braces, and support belts. Among the symptoms were blurred vision, tinnitus, vertigo, vomiting, and shuffling gait.

One internal injury went undetected until a year later, and required additional major surgery. Weight fluctuated wildly during her long recovery. She couldn’t train. Routine daily functions became difficult and painful.

After four years of medical intervention and recovery, she was finally able to focus again on her fitness journey, but had to find a way to work around the lasting effects from her injuries. Fast-forward to ~2016, she was asked by a modeling agency to pose for photos.

Ange used the inside-out approach, meaning that she didn’t count calories, watch macros, or use wrist-worn fitness devices. Scott refers these methods as part of “quantification”.

 

Key lessons from Ange’s story

  • Begin your own transformation with acceptance and a reasonable goal.
  • Don’t make surmountable obstacles insurmountable.
  • Changed mindset and realistic assessment must occur before physique transformation can occur and last.
  • Think “goals and decisions”, not “questions and problems”.
  • Be your own champion.

 

Episode 82. What Real Research Says about Training for Physique Development

Episode 82. What Real Research Says about Training for Physique Development

★★★★★
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Show Notes

A discussion about what really works to build a better physique, featuring a clinical study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology in 2016: Morton et al. “Neither load nor systemic hormones determine resistance training-mediated hypertrophy or strength gains in resistance-trained young men.”

This research’s results contradict popular fitness industry dogma that says, ‘train for strength and development will come.’

 

About the Study

  • This research studied 49 healthy young men who had been doing resistance training (RT) for at least the past 2 years and at least 2 workouts per week, including at least one lower body workout.
  • Studying trained persons is important, because untrained persons demonstrate short-term adoptive response.
  • The group was divided into High Rep (HR) lower weight, and Low Rep (LR) higher weight sub-groups. The HR group did 3 sets of 20-25 reps per set of about 30 and 50% of 1 Rep Max (RM). The LR group did 3 sets of 8-12 at about 75-90%.
  • Reps were performed to “volitional failure”, meaning until another rep can’t be performed without cheating or help.
  • The increases in muscular strength were not significantly different between groups. The exception was bench press 1 RM, which increased more in the LR group.
  • The study also measured changes in hormones. “Post-exercise levels of circulating hormones did not change as a result of the RT intervention and were unrelated to changes in muscle mass and strength.”
  • This study (and a recent meta-analysis) do not support the assertion that greater weights are required for muscle growth, especially [when compared to] lighter, moderate weights are used to volitional failure.

 

Important Take-Aways from the Study

  • Intensity is more important than load. This study controlled for how hard the study subjects were working out.
  • Hormonal levels didn’t change, so there’s no evidence here about the importance of supplements or their timing.
  • Training heavy has to do with how much load the muscle is under at the cellular level, not how much weight is on the “bar”. Intensity of effort is the goal, not amount of load.
  • Hypertrophy and strength gains are not a function of the load lifted.
  • Continually training heavy invites unnecessary joint strain. Training with moderate weights and higher reps decreases stress on joints, allowing for more training longevity (training into later years).
  • The best bodybuilders are not the best powerlifters, and vice versa. You won’t see a lot of remarkable physiques at a natural powerlifting competition.
  • First two principles of exercise physiology: 1) Overload; 2) SAID = Specific Adaptation to Applied Demands.
  • This study, along with other previous studies, directly proves that hypertrophy and strength gains are not a function of the load lifted.
  • Intensity of effort is what determines hypertrophy.
  • Morton, et al, “Taken together with previous data (428), the findings of the present study, along with a recent meta-analysis (35), do not support the assertion that higher-load RT is a prerequisite to maximize RT-induced muscle hypertrophy especially when lower-load exercises are performed to volitional failure.”

 

Episode 81. Lose 10 lbs. in 10 Days!

Episode 81. Lose 10 lbs. in 10 Days!

★★★★★
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Show Notes

Lose 10 Lbs. in 10 Days! Sound impossible? If you’re talking about lbs. of fat, it is! Coach Scott Abel outlines what’s required to lose 10 lbs. of fat in 10 days, then contrasts it with diet strategies that actually work for long-term, sustained weight loss.

 

The Fact and Fiction of Quick Weight Loss

  • A recent edition of a popular women’s magazine featured a story on how to lose 10 lbs. in 10 days.
  • Scott has trained competitors who’ve lost more than 10 lbs. overnight. The question is, what is actually being lost? The implication is that the 10 lbs. are 10 lbs. of fat.
  • Fitness and physique industries are built on “shiny new objects”, and these are often presented as a product, how a product is marketed, branding, and so forth. 10 lbs. in 10 days (“10 in 10”) is catchy, aka “sticky”, so that it’s memorable.
  • “10 in 10” is linear, but the body and its systems are non-linear. An example of linearity is calories-in-calories-out, however, the body is more complex than that.
  • By using the calories-in-calories-out logic, to lose 10 lbs. in 10 days, a person would have to lose a lb. a day, where one lb. = 3500 calories. To put this into context, an average person burns 2600 calories while running a full marathon, which leaves you 900 calories short. This also assumes eating nothing at all. So, to lose 10 lbs. in 10 days using this logic, it requires running a marathon-and-a-half every day while eating nothing for 10 days!
  • Scott’s Book, Understanding Metabolism, spells out the complexities and realities of human metabolism.
  • You can’t choose to lose the type of tissue you want. Losing just fat, especially quickly, isn’t possible.
  • Osmotic fluctuations: specific changes in diet always cause immediate and predictable outcomes, but this is from water-weight loss. Carbs hold 2.7 grams of water per gram of carb (glycogen stores in particular). Cutting carbs causes water-weight loss, but not fat or permanent weight loss.
  • Short-term (water) weight loss is used as “proof” that fat diets work.
  • Quick weight-loss programs rely on “suspension of disbelief” where what we know to be true is ignored in order to believe what we would like to be true.
  • A good weight loss program focuses on progress.
  • The scale doesn’t tell the whole story. Scott references a female client who dropped from a size 12 to a size 8 dress size (and fit in some size 6s), but was unhappy because she had gained 2 lbs.

 

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