Episode 86. Optimizing Metabolism

Episode 86. Optimizing Metabolism

★★★★★
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Show Notes

Scott presents some insights on the importance of whole foods to weight control, using a study originally published in ‘Food and Nutrition Research’, 2010, by Barr SB, Wright JC. Postprandial energy expenditure in whole-food and processed-food meals: implications for daily energy expenditure.”

 

Whole Foods Aid in Optimizing Metabolism

 

  • The study compares how fast the body burns whole foods and processed foods.
  • Researchers used cheese sandwiches, equivalent in every way except one was whole foods (WF), the other processed foods (PF). Both meals satisfied hunger.
  • A processed food meal has 50% less thermic effect than a whole food meal, meaning it burns much more slowly and is more likely to get stored as fat. Therefore, processed foods have a likelihood of making you fatter.
  • Conclusion: “Ingestion of the particular PF meal tested in this study decreases postprandial energy expenditure by nearly 50% compared with the isoenergetic WF meal.”
  • Quality of food intake is more important than caloric equivalents.
  • The study does not support “If It Fits Your Macros”. You can still get fat even if the foods you eat “fit your macros”.
  • A calorie is not a calorie. Whole foods do dozens of things once inside our bodies that we can’t even begin to calculate and put into numbers. The body knows!
  • Food companies create hyper-palatable foods that make you want them. They aim for the “bliss point”, which triggers a desire for more of the food product.
  • Taste buds can be trained to enjoy whole foods over processed foods, which assists in weight loss efforts.
  • A healthy, whole, unprocessed, plant-based diet makes the most sense.
  • “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”  – Michael Pollan

 

	
	
	

Episode 85. More Real-World Support for Carb-Based Diets

Episode 85. More Real-World Support for Carb-Based Diets

★★★★★
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Show Notes

Scott takes on a study published in The Lancet in April 17, Kaplan H, et al. “Coronary atherosclerosis in indigenous South American Tsimane: a cross-sectional cohort study.”

 

The Tsimane Tribe: The Healthiest Hearts in the World

 

  • The Tsimane lead a holistic healthy lifestyle.
  • The study finds that coronary artery disease can be avoided in most people through a lifetime of very low LDL, low BP, low glucose, normal BMI, not smoking, and lots of physical activity.
  • The Tsimane are a true hunter-gatherer culture. They hunt, fish and farm on the Maniqui River in the Amazon rainforest in the Bolivian lowlands. Researchers admit that the rest of the world cannot revert to a hunter-gathering and early farming existence, but there are lessons for all of us.
  • The Tsimane diet consists of 72% carb sources like rice, maize, and manioc root, 14% – 17% protein from lean meat and fish sources. Their fat intake is 14% as compared to 34% in the US.
  • They are far more physically active than most Americans. Men average 17,000 steps a day, and women average 16,000. Even the over-60s have a step count over 15,000. This is not an endorsement for quantitative step counting devices. It points to the benefits of a high degree of physical activity.
  • Profesor Naveed Sattar, University of Glasgow, said, “Simply put, eating a healthy diet very low in saturated fat and full of unprocessed products, not smoking and being active life long, is associated with the lowest risk of [blood vessel blockage].”
  • Few Tsimane had signs of clogged arteries—even well into old age.
  • Dr. Gavin Sandercock: “The fact that they have the best indicators of cardiovascular health ever reported is the exact opposite to many recent suggestions that carbohydrates are unhealthy.”

 

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 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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