Weight loss, resistance training, yo-yo dieting, glucose, obesity, sugar consumption, endurance training

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A column by Mike Furci that brings you research, trends and other info to help you with your fitness, health and nutritional needs.

Weight loss…weight loss, especially rapid weight loss, means muscle loss? This is the reason yo-yo dieting is so detrimental. The muscle loss causes a subsequent loss in lipolysis (fat breakdown), which makes it more difficult to keep the weight off. Bodybuilders and others interested in losing body fat without the muscle loss can do this by ensuring adequate intake of protein and the amino acid leucine. Leucine activates mTOR, a significant protein synthesis pathway. The combination of progressive resistance training and appropriate amounts of protein and leucine will enable fat loss without muscle loss.

SOURCE: Villareal, D.T., et al. (2012). Obesity, 20,1780-86. (subscription needed for full article)

…glucose is processed by insulin in two different ways? As glucose levels rise, insulin converts a portion of it to glycogen, which is stored in the muscle cells and the liver. Once all the storage space is taken up (and it doesn't take much especially if you don't exercise), insulin will convert the rest to triglycerides and store it as adipose tissue, aka – fat! Insulin is a facilitator of lipogenesis, or fat storage, and a deterrent to lipolysis or the breaking down fat for energy. Even low levels of circulating insulin have been shown to prevent the breakdown of fat to be used as energy. Hence, as stated above, insulin is the fat storage hormone.

SOURCE: Furci, M., (2011). The calorie Theory.

…when physicians from the Stanford University School of Medicine described the diet they prescribed for obesity in 1943, it was identical to the diet prescribed at Harvard Medical school in 1948, Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago in 1950, Cornell Medical School and New York Hospital in 1952? The rules of the diets were as follows:

1. Do not use sugar, honey, syrup, jam, jelly or candy.
3. Do not use fruits canned with sugar.
4. Do not use cake, cookies, pie, puddings, ice cream or ices.
5 Do not use foods that use corn starches or flour added, such as gravy or cream sauce.
6. Do not use potatoes (sweet or Irish), macaroni, spaghetti, noodles, dried beans or peas.
7. Do not use fried foods prepared with butter, lard, oil or butter substitute.
8. Do not use drinks such as Coca-Cola, ginger ale, pop or root beer.

Do not use any foods not allowed on the diet and [for other foods use] only as much as the diet allows.


By default, the primary component of all the above diets was meat, and carbohydrates were kept to a minimum. Carbs were kept to a minimum because researchers knew carbs facilitate lipogenesis (fat formation) and inhibit lipolysis (fat breakdown). Moreover, knowing that muscle loss was a detriment to fat loss, the researchers' goal was to keep the body in nitrogen equilibrium; the nitrogen consumed from the meat in the diet would counterbalance the nitrogen being excreted from the muscle being broken down as a consequence of weight loss.

SOURCE: Taubes, G. (2007). Good Calories, Bad Calories. (P.313-14).

…total sugar consumption from 1970 to 1999 increased 26 percent? (Which at first glance doesn't seem like much.) Also, from 1970 to 1983 total sugar consumption did not increase, while obesity rates did. This would lead you to infer that sugar is not a major contributing factor to our expanding waistlines. However, while total sugar consumption did not increase from 1970 to 1983, fructose consumption tripled. Moreover, between 1970 and 1999, with only a 27 percent increase in total sugar consumption, fructose consumption increased 525 percent.

The bottom line is: if you want to get lean, avoid fructose.

SOURCE: Furci, M. (2012). Evolution of the Unhealthy American. (P.14-15).

Endurance training…endurance training will hamper your strength training? A meta-analysis of 21 studies was performed to examine the interference of endurance training with strength training. The primary objective was to discover which components of endurance training (modality, duration, frequency) are detrimental to strength training outcomes. "The unique and relatively distinct adaptations of endurance training, coupled together with an increase in total training volume, and therefore probability to overreach, result in a classic interference effect between endurance and strength training adaptations."

Our bodies are designed to adapt to specific stimuli for a specific outcome. Endurance training and strength training compete with each other for recovery requirements. In order to build the most strength and muscle in the least amount of time, cardio is out. If getting lean is what you want, adjust your carbohydrates accordingly.

SOURCE: Wilson, J.M., et al. (2012). Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 26(8), 2293-2307. (membership needed for full article)

…in a study researchers compared the thermogenic effect between Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs), like those found in coconut oil, and Long Chain Fatty Acids (LCFAs), like those found in vegetable oil after single meals? The meals were 400 calories and consisted entirely of either MCFAs or LCFAs. The thermogenic effect of MCFAs over six hours was three times greater than that of LCFAs. Researchers concluded that as long as the calorie level remained constant, substituting MCFAs for LCFAs would result in weight loss. The same number of calories from two different substances yielding different outcomes; how about that calorie theory?

SOURCE: Seaton, T. B., et al. (1986). American journal of clinical nutrition, 44(5), 630.

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