Tyler Robbins Fitness

B.Sc. Biochemistry, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Certified CrossFit Trainer (CCFT/CF-L3), USA Weightlifting Level 1

Filtering by Category: "Macronutrient"

Day 326 - My Diet Through Body Beast Part 3: Beast Diet

This is my diet through the Beast Phase (Phase 3) of Body Beast. This phase is meant to 'cut' away the body fat while attempting to maintain the muscle mass gained through Phases 1 and 2. The ratios I aimed for, and for the most part stuck to, were 40% protein, 30% carbs, and 30% fats. All of this on a 2200-2400 calorie diet. I followed my diet as close to a tee as I possibly could for the last few weeks of this round.

I did not count calories for any of the vegetables I ate, except avocado (you can decided whether you consider avocado a fruit or a vegetable). I never wanted to resist eating vegetables because I was too high on my carb numbers for the day. The nutritional value gained from vegetables far outweighs any extra calories I may intake in my opinion!

My schedule:

5:00am - Alarm goes off, drink coffee (a little bit of milk, no sugar)


5:45am - Starting workout by this point at the absolute latest


6:30am - Finished workout, immediately drinking 250mL Chocolate Milk with creatine (see below)


250mL Chocolate Milk - 170 calories (2g fat, 28g carbs, 9g protein)


7:00am - Once dressed and ready for day, 3 scrambled eggs


3 Large Eggs - 240 calories (18g fat, 3g carbs, 21g protein) 


9:00am - Banana, Chocolate Shakeology mixed with 12oz. 1% Milk (take vitamins at this time)


Banana - 110 calories (0g fat, 30g carbs, 1g protein)

Chocolate Shakeology with 12oz. 1% Milk - 316 calories (6g fat, 34g carbs, 30g protein)

11:00am - Whey Protein Shake mixed in water


120 calories (2g fat, 2g carbs, 25g protein)


12:30pm - Boneless chicken breast with either carrot sticks or a salad


Chicken - 110 calores (2g fat, 0g carbs, 22g protein)

1:30pm - Apple


Apple - 80 calories (1g fat, 21g carbs, 0g protein)
3:00pm - 
Whey Protein Shake mixed in water

120 calories (2g fat, 2g carbs, 25g protein)


6:00pm - Dinner (see below)



9:00pm - Pre-bedtime snack

1/2 Cup Cottage Cheese - 110 calories (2g fat, 6g carbs, 15g protein)
2 tablespoons fat-free vanilla yogurt - 27 calories (0g fat, 5g carbs, 2g protein)

Totals:
1403 calories (35g fat, 131g carbs, 150g protein)
22% fat, 37% carbs, 43% protein

Dinner time and post-dinner snacks would be a great time for me to "top up" my numbers. Throughout the Beast phase, I didn't eat any starchy sides for dinner, I would have a piece of meat with some sort of vegetable side (salad, cut up veggies, etc.). I would generally have a couple tablespoons of low-sugar peanut butter following dinner to not only prevent my stomach from eating itself, but to also top up my fat numbers. Depending on what mean I had for dinner, I would generally also have 1 more protein shake right after dinner to give an extra shot of protein.

If I was having some red meat or nice big piece of salmon or tilapia for dinner, I was usually fine for my protein numbers. If, on the other hand, I was just having a chicken breast, then I would generally need a bit more protein.

I drank a LOT of water throughout the Beast phase. I never actually measured how much, but I tried to keep sipping on water consistently throughout the day.

I continued to take creatine, as it helped me keep my numbers and intensity up during my workouts, and also worked to keep my muscles volumized.

As usual, if you have any further questions/comments/concerns, you can e-mail me here!

Quote of the day:
"Those that can push themselves further once the effort gets difficult are the ones who will win!"
-Unknown




Check out my new Website: tylerrobbinsfitness.com





Day 115 - Nutrient Timing for Resistance Exercise Part 3



Part 1 the other day covered nutrient timing prior to exercise, and how it effects performance.

Part 2 dealt with post-exercise nutrition and how it effects recovery.

For those of you who may have missed part 1 or part 2, I came across an absolutely amazing article in the Strength and Conditioning Journal titled, "Nutrient Timing for Resistance Exercise" written by a team of PhD and CSCS certified individuals. This is probably the single-greatest resource I have come across detailing what is referred to as "nutritional timing" when it comes to resistance training, so if you are interested, pick up a copy for yourself!

Part 3: Net Protein Balance

Think of your body as a construction site, with tissues constantly being broken down and either repaired or replaced. This is known as having a 'negative' net protein balance.

Having a negative net protein balance, or in other words, a catabolic state, is stimulated from resistance training, but also occurs when the body is at rest. Tissues are being broken down due to misuse, or in the case of resistance training - use, at all times.

The focus of individuals who wish to positively grow their muscles, or induce an anabolic state, should be of great interest, especially when resistance training.

The diet is therefore of great interest for those who resistance train, as the goal of improving one's muscles to improve size and/or strength plays a key role.

When discussing post-exercise nutrition, it should be noted that carbohydrates are important to not only return the body to pre-exercise levels of glycogen (energy stores), but have also been shown to reduce muscle protein breakdown.

Having said that, individuals should consume sources of amino acids/protein following exercise in order to feed the body the proper building blocks to reduce muscle protein degradation, but to also stimulate muscular growth.

What types of protein are best? The article says:

Whole-protein sources (including whey, casein, and soy protein sources), when ingested either before or after an acute bout of resistance exercise, also significantly improve net protein balance by increasing rates of protein synthesis. In one of these investigations, it was reported that whey protein was superior to soy and casein in its ability to incrase protein synthesis (approximately 22g of each type of protein was ingested after resistance exercise). Surprisingly, even though soy is lower in quality than casein, they found that of the 3 protein sources, casein resulted in the lowest net response in protein synthesis. The authors suggested that this was a factor of the slow rate of digestion induced by casein. Therefore, after resistance exercise, it may be ideal to select a protein source high in BCAA content (whey) that is also fast digesting in nature.

Okay, so following exercise, it is best to consume either a beverage or meal containing some protein. So how much is ideal? I have seen many personal thoughts tossed around from individuals over the years, who claim to know the 'perfect amount' of protein. This article has an opinion of its own:

Research conducted at McMaster University sough to answer this question by giving male subjects (with at least 4 months of resistance training experience) 5 different amounts of protein in a randomized crossover design. Immediately after a lower-body resistance exercise bout, the subjects consumed drinks containing 0, 5, 10, 20, or 40g of whole egg protein. After consuming the whole egg protein supplement, protein synthesis was measured for the next 4 hours. Mean mixed muscle protein synthesis was maximally stimulated with 20g of whole egg protein (meaning that ingesting 40g of protein offered no additional benefit than 20g of protein in terms or maximizing protein synthesis rates). In terms of relative dosage, this amount of protein was equivalent to 0.23g of whole egg protein per kilogram of body mass.

Although a snack or meal containing amino acids/protein is highly recommended following resistance exercise, it should be noted that research shows that a mixture of protein and carbohydrates is the optimal scenario for post resistance-workout nutrition as the carbohydrates aid in reducing protein catabolism, replenish spent glycogen stores, not to mention the protein aids in tissue anabolism.

Quote of the day:
"To climb steep hills requires a slow pace at first."
~ William Shakespeare






Day 114 - Nutrient Timing for Resistance Exercise Part 2


Part 1 the other day covered nutrient timing prior to exercise, and how it effects performance. Today will cover nutrient timing following exercise.

For those of you who may have missed part 1, I came across an absolutely amazing article in the Strength and Conditioning Journal titled, "Nutrient Timing for Resistance Exercise" written by a team of PhD and CSCS certified individuals. This is probably the single-greatest resource I have come across detailing what is referred to as "nutritional timing" when it comes to resistance training, so if you are interested, pick up a copy for yourself!

Part 2: Recovery After a Resistance Exercise Bout

Carbohydrate and Muscle Glycogen Resynthesis

It is no surprise that muscle glycogen levels become depleted from a resistance training session. The level of depletion is entirely dependent on the work being completed, however. In any respect, an athlete who trains multiple times a day, or even multiple days in a row, should be interested in post-workout nutrition.

In order to maintain performance, an individual should approach post-exercise nutrition as a chance to re-fuel their muscles to prepare for the following workout. Keep in mind that for muscle glycogen replenishment, the goal is to maintain a high level of performance. A discussion on protein synthesis can come later.

To return muscle glycogen levels to 90% of pre-exercise values, the article explains:

Given that 1 g/kg/h was as effective as 1.5 g/kg/h, it can be concluded that 1 g/kg/h is sufficient for resynthesizing skeletal muscle glycogen after resistance exercise to levels reaching 90% of pre-exercise values. After this dosing schedule, a 180-pound individual would ingest about 82g of carbohydrate immediately after and then again 1 hour after their resistance exercise workout (totalling ~165g of carbohydrates within an hour after completing the resistance exercise workout).

Carbohydrate Plus Protein and Muscle Glycogen Resynthesis

This category takes things a step further as the subject of protein synthesis is added to the goal of restoring muscle glycogen levels.

The authors discuss findings from studies looking at various types of post-workout beverages including carbohydrates only, carbohydrate/protein/fat mixes, as well as placebo beverages (calorie-free).

To be honest, I have heard many individuals discuss the idea that dietary fats should be avoided in post-workout recovery beverages/meals, as the fats can slow digestion. This appears to me to be common thought/practice amongst many in the fitness industry, however, the authors of this article present findings that refute that belief.

Another interesting aspect of this study is the inclusion of fat calories in the post-exercise beverage. It has often been suggested that adding fat to the post-workout recovery beverage should be avoided because of its potential to slow down the digestion and absorption of ingested carbohydrate (which may suppress the rate of skeletal muscle glycogen resynthesis). The finding of this study indicates that adding fat to the post-workout carbohydrate-protein beverage does not negatively alter the rate of skeletal muscle glycogen resynthesis. In further support of this position, when subjects were given a post-endurance workout beverage containing carbohydrate, protein, and fat (even up to 45% of the calories being derived from fat), it was reported that the added fat content did not alter muscle glycogen resynthesis or glucose tolerance the next day.

Protein/Amino Acids and Muscle Damage

Part of the reason or need for a post-exercise recovery beverage is to suppress muscle damage and decrease DOMS (delayed-onset muscle soreness). Resistance exercise causes micro trauma to muscle fibers in order for the body to repair the damage, returning the muscle to a stronger state.

It really should be no surprise that supplementing resistance exercise with protein/amino acids should be encouraged to elicit muscle repair.

Recovery from a bout of resistance exercise includes replenishing skeletal muscle glycogen, reducing muscle soreness, and attenuating serum markers of muscle damage. Ingesting a carbohydrate-protein beverage after resistance exercise will replenish skeletal muscle glycogen. Also, BCAA supplementation taken in conjunction with resistance exercise has been shown to enhance recovery by suppressing both muscle soreness and damage.

Protein or amino-acid supplementation is often thought of as only being useful to those who resistance train. It should be noted, however, that endurance athletes could also benefit from a sufficient dosing of protein in their diet to maintain current levels of muscle tissue and reduce the catabolic effect chronic cardio plays on their bodies.

Quote of the day:
"I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else."
~ Winston Churchill




Day 43 - Not all Calories are Created Equal

 
When we eat stuff, i.e. food, the chemical makeup of that stuff must be broken down into smaller chunks to be absorbed, transported and utilized by our bodies. This is not a passive process which means that we need energy to digest, or in other words, we require energy to produce energy. (Takes money to make money right?)

To assume that all calories are created equal is just silly. Carbohydrates are the easiest macronurtient to digest and therefore have the highest yield. Carbs, also known as sugar, is nature's form of jet fuel for our bodies. The problem is, our society seems to pack more and more and more sugar into everything, leading us to the point where we would never come close to burning off as much of that energy as we take in, leading to adipose tissue (body fat)...but that is a different blog topic altogether.

Anyways, carbs return about a 90-95% energy yield per calorie. What I mean by that is, for example, every 100 calories of carbs you take in, it requires 5-10 calories of energy to digest. 

Fats actually have a slightly higher energy yield than carbohydrates, ranging in the ballpark of 95-96%, but this should not be alarming as our diets require much less fat than carbs. What this means is that in 100 calories of fat, it takes about 4-5 calories to digest.

Protein has the lowest energy yield, which can actually be very beneficial for weight loss. Only about 70-80% of protein calories consumed are returned to the body when digesting proteins which isn't all that surprising as the body greatly prefers fats and carbs for energy whereas protein is mostly used for tissue repair. 

Regardless, proteins are highly recommended throughout the day for those looking to lose weight or are highly active. This is where a diet based on your lifestyle and activity level becomes most important. If you an extremely active person, you will want to take in more carbs so that you can sustain your energy levels.

On the other hand, if you are more sedentary, your primary fuel source for the day is going to mainly consist of fats, so carbs are not needed as much.

One of the biggest problems facing society today, is the overindulgence of carbs, with very little activity. The body stores extra "jet fuel" in the tank (body fat) for use later on...which never seems to happen.

Quote of the day:
"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out."
-Robert Collier





Time to Move Some Weight!





I will admit that I was originally planning on documenting my mass phase plans on my youtube channel but sometimes it is much easier to articulate and explain yourself via text, so here we are. I will also be including pictures of my schedule so my written blog seems to be the appropriate choice.

Why Build Mass?

First of all, let me explain why I wish to put on a bit of mass. I really do not have any problems with my body size/type as it is, in fact I am quite comfortable with how I look and feel, but sometimes it is nice to change things up. On top of that, since I am a trainer myself, I enjoy using myself as a guinea pig sometimes to test out some of my own theories/teachings that I can then share with others.

I essentially have 1 day remaining in my P90X2 schedule. This program has been great in increasing my athletic performance and core stability, but I feel I have lost a bit of strength and size along the way. I am certainly not complaining as a trade-off for increased sports performance generally means a leaner, quicker, more agile body anyways.

Let's not forget that the human body would much rather be streamlined in order to not only improve survival traits, but having fast, efficient, but smaller muscles also carries over well into the sports world. Your body basically doesn't wish to carry around any more weight than it needs to.

Which brings me back to my original point...what's the point? Well, I would be lying if I said that I don't wish to look good. Let's face it, almost any guy (and some girls too) that exercise and workout, wish to grow their muscles. Plus, I am in my twenties still, which is a great decade for muscle growth, so I might as well try and get, while the gettin's good!

Small disclaimer here, however. I do not wish to ever look like that gentleman at the top of this blog. Not that there is anything wrong with his physique, but that takes extreme dedication along with, *ahem*, additional help. Without further ado, let's jump into the schedule.

Schedule

My schedule will be a total of 9 weeks long - or 2 'blocks' of 4-week phases, separated by a transition week. All of my workouts come from either the P90X series, P90X+ series, or Tony Horton's 1 on 1 series. Many of these workouts have modifications to them as my goals are different than the videos are intended.

Phase 1





Day 1 - Chest & Back (modified) - Rep Goal: 8-12 reps
Day 2 - Super Cardio or Kenpo Cardio Plus (alternating weeks)
Day 3 - Core Day*
Day 4 - Diamond Delts and Just Arms - Rep Goal: 8-10 reps
Day 5 - Yoga**
Day 6 - Upper Plus - Rep Goal: 12-15+ reps
Day 7 - Off/Recovery

*Core day will consist of a rotating pattern of Beachbody core workouts that I have paired together. They are: Iso Abs/Ab Ripper X, X2 Ab Ripper/20-12 Abs, Killer Abs/Cardio Abs. I have designated a specific 'core day' so that I can attack my core more intensely for 1 complete day rather than short ab routines after resistance days. Not only that, but I can then also spend more focus and energy on my resistance workouts.

**Yoga will consist of whichever yoga routine I feel like doing on that given day. I may also turn this into a stretch/recovery day with foam rolling based on my tired/sore I am.

My Chest & Back modification - I will record this routine and put it on my youtube channel so that those interested can either follow along or take ideas from it. It is loosely based on Chest & Back from P90X, but I will be using additional weight for pushups as well as adding in some dumbbell bench press variations. My rep range will be aimed at the 8-12 rep range, specifically targeted for muscle hypertrophy (growth) of type-2 muscle fibers (fast-twitch).

My day 2 or cardio day will be very light for a reason. The intention here is to not necessarily gain any cardio stamina, but to increase blood flow to improve recovery from the previous day's resistance routine. In order to maximize strength and hypertrophy gains, cardio routines should be kept fairly minimal anyways.

Diamond Delts and Just Arms - This is one of my favorite workout combinations. Both routines run about 45 minutes, so by the end of the 90 minutes or so, my shoulders, biceps, triceps, and forearms are annihilated. These routines will be completed essentially as-is. They are structured around more standard weightlifting routines so I will not be making any modifications. I will aim for 8-10 reps on almost every exercise, except for some of the more 'fine-tuning' exercises on the shoulder's rotator cuff, and the forearm exercises, those I will be aiming for 12+ repetitions.

Upper Plus - Many of you may be wondering why this workout is here during a mass phase. While days 1 and 4 are aimed at type-2 muscle fiber hypertrophy, Upper Plus will be aimed at type-1 muscle fiber hypertrophy. Type-1 muscle fibers do not have as much potential for growth as type-2 muscle fibers, but they can still grow a little. Not only that, but by lightening my resistance, and increasing my repetition range within the same week, it allows me to grow much more well-rounded and strong muscles. Another bonus here is that this will somewhat act as a 2nd cardio routine for my week as I will be aiming for 12-15+ repetitions per exercise with little break, so my heart rate will be increasing while working my muscles!

I am not working my legs directly in Phase 1 because I will be giving them a bit of a break while still 'coasting' from my gains made during P90X2. I will begin to work my legs again in Phase 2 which will lead me into future plans.

Transition Week




Day 1 - X2 Core
Day 2 - X2 Recovery & Mobility (foam rolling)
Day 3 - Asylum's Back to Core
Day 4 - X2 Yoga
Day 5 - Insanity's Cardio Recovery
Day 6 - X2 Recovery & Mobility (foam rolling)
Day 7 - Off

Pretty simply recovery/transition week here. The main focus being just that - recovery! Some days I may add some very light cardio based on how the weather is, as I may be able to get outside for a short, easy run.

Phase 2




Day 1 - P90X Back & Biceps - Rep Goal: 8-10 reps
Day 2 - UBX (modified) (Chest, Shoulders & Tricep) - Rep Goal: 12-15+ reps
Day 3 - Plyo Legs***
Day 4 - Core Day*
Day 5 - V Sculpt (Back & Biceps) - Rep Goal: 12-15+ reps
Day 6 - P90X Chest, Shoulders & Triceps (modified) - Rep Goal: 8-10 reps
Day 7 - Off/Recovery

Plyo Legs - I will be doing this routine for 4-straight weeks, each week with a little bit more resistance via a weighted vest. My goal here is to not necessarily increase the size of my legs, but to increase leg strength.

I cover the entire upper body twice each week, both with lower rep ranges (type-2 hypertrohpy), and higher rep ranges (type-1 hypertrophy). The higher rep-range workouts also act as 'somewhat-cardio' days as this is circuit training with higher rep counts and shorter breaks, inherently increasing my heart rate.

For those of you familiar with UBX and P90X Chest, Shoulders & Triceps, I will be filming my modifications to these routines when I do them and putting them on youtube as well for your interest.

Diet

Ah, yes, diet. The make-or-break piece of any health and fitness puzzle. As the saying goes, "You can't out-work a bad diet!" This applies to mass phases as well for those looking to put on some muscle because if you don't eat enough (or the right stuff) you are not going to get the results you want!

I have done some research on this and have found many different theories as to what works best for building mass based on your macronutrient ratios. I have decided that I will aim for 40-50% carbohydrates, 25-30% protein, and 25-30% fats. I will actually be trying to keep my carbs as low and as close to the 40% mark as possible, but when increasing calories the way you need to in order to build mass, carbs are generally an easy way to get your calories up.

I will try and keep my carbohydrates as 'clean' as possible - no white or refined sugars, only minimal whole grains, lots of fruits and vegetables.

There is no real way for me to post exactly what I plan on eating on a day-to-day basis as of yet because my caloric numbers may and will change from a day-to-day and week-to-week basis. Instead, I will work away on my diet, and if I end up with results that I like, I can post more diet details at the end of the 9 weeks.

Creatine

I will be supplementing with creatine. I will start with a 'loading phase' during the first 7 days of 20g/day (4 x 5mg doses). I will then continue with a 'maintenance phase' of approximately 4-5g/day for the remainder of the schedule. Creatine will be taken every single day, even on 'off' days to keep muscle stores topped up.

My Goals

As of right now, at the end of P90X2, I am sitting at 170lbs even. I will be aiming to gain around 0.5-1 pound of mass per week. The first week, I am anticipating a pretty quick weight gain because of the creatine loading and water retention, but the gaining will then slow. All in all, I am hoping to gain about 5-9lbs of lean, muscle mass.

Future Plans

The reason this mass phase is only 9 weeks in total is so that I can complete a full 13-week schedule in preparation for my Warrior Dash in July. I can post details about that schedule later, but you can expect it to include P90X2 combined with Insanity: Asylum! Stay tuned...

***UPDATE*** End of Phase 1 results here

***UPDATE*** Final Results can be found here

Sources:
Photo 1: http://gaintruthmuscle.blogspot.com/2011_03_01_archive.html





Calories

We live in a society that is constantly swayed by trends. Recently, one major trend that is taking over is counting calories. You would be pretty hard-pressed to go somewhere without seeing some sort of mention of calories. Restaurants print them on menus (not always accurate, only an estimation), food companies print them on packaging, diet and exercise claims on the radio, tv, and in advertisements all claim to "burn more calories". The problem with mostly all of this is that majority of the population never stops to think or understand what these numbers or claims mean. Unfortunately they just get caught up in the trends.

I have made a list of calorie claims, myths, truths, and partial-truths below to help my readers understand how to decipher what they see and read out in the world today.

1. Calories Fuel Our Bodies

The term "calorie" was first coined in the 19th century for steam engine heat conservation. Basically, a calorie is a unit of energy required for 1 gram of water to heat 1 degree Celsius. It was in 1890 that the USDA first brought this term over to the food industry. Scientists would literally take a piece of food and light it on fire to see how much it would heat water. Some of you may remember doing this in science class, I know I do. The term "calorie" in the food industry should actually be "kilocalorie" as the calorie count you see on food packaging refers to the amount of energy required to heat 1kg of water by 1 degree Celsius, but everyone usually drops the "kilo" because we are all lazy...

There is also one problem here, our bodies do not have little fires raging in our cells to produce energy, we break down macronutrients (proteins, fats, carbohydrates) to use their chemical energy. Also, instead of one enormous chemical plant, we have billions of little energy producers in our cells called mitochondria that are much more efficient. The problem that many people think and feel, is that all calories are created equal, when this simply is not the truth, which leads me to #2.

2. All Calories are Created Equal

When we eat stuff, i.e. food, the chemical makeup of that stuff must be broken down into smaller chunks to be absorbed, transported and utilized by our bodies. This is not a passive process which means that we need energy to digest, or in other words, we require energy to produce energy. (Takes money to make money right?) To assume that all calories are created equal is just silly.

Carbohydrates are the easiest macronurtient to digest and therefore has the highest yield. Carbs, also known as sugar, is nature's form of jet fuel for our bodies. The problem is, our society seems to pack more and more and more sugar into everything, leading us to the point where we would never come close to burning off as much of that energy as we take in, leading to adipose tissue (body fat)...but that is a different blog topic altogether. Anyways, carbs return about a 90-95% energy yield per calorie. What I mean by that is, for example, every 100 calories of carbs you take in, it requires 5-10 calories of energy to digest.

Fats actually have a slightly higher energy yield than carbohydrates, ranging in the ballpark of 95-96%, but this should not be alarming as our diets require much less fat than carbs. What this means is that in 100 calories of fat, it takes about 4-5 calories to digest.

Protein has the lowest energy yield, which can actually be very beneficial for weight loss. Only about 70-80% of protein calories consumed are returned to the body when digesting proteins which isn't all that surprising as the body greatly prefers fats and carbs for energy whereas protein is mostly used for tissue repair. Regardless, proteins are highly recommended throughout the day for those looking to lose weight or are highly active.

3. You Are What You Eat

We have all heard this term before, but don't think that everything you put in your mouth stays in your body and is digested. Just keep in mind, there are things that come out the other end - and that will be as far as I go with that! When you eat your food, your teeth chew it up, then the juices in your stomach breaks things down further into a paste. This paste then travels through your intestines where the nutrients are absorbed through the spongy walls. For most people, however, 5-10% of this paste just keeps passing on through and is expelled as waste.

For the most part, fat digests easily and passes through the walls quickly. Animal protein sources are absorbed better than plant-based sources. Then we come to carbs. Glucose and starcy carbs (i.e. chocolate, potatoes) are absorbed rapidly, whereas high-fiber carbs like in fruits, vegetables and grains take their sweet time passing through your system. Not only that, by fiber seems to prevent your body from absorbing certain calories and can even lower cholesterol levels. A certain size of broccoli and chocolate may register as the same number of calories in a laboratory, but that does not mean that they act the same way in your body. Studies have shown that individuals with high-fiber diets have close to 20% of their daily ingested calories move through their digestive system without being absorbed. Less calories this way can lead to less body fat!

4. "I'll Just Burn it off at the Gym"

Many people grossly over-estimate how many calories they actually burn during a workout. Everybody has heard someone say (while reaching for a second helping of dessert), "Oh, I'll just burn it off later when I am (insert weak excuse for an exercise here)." Truth is, even the craziest of fitness nuts only burn, at most, 30% of their daily calories in working out each day.

Most of our calories burned on a day to day basis come from doing things like digesting food, thinking, breathing, repairing a cut to your leg/face from shaving, etc. This is known as our resting metabolic rate, which means you are burning a ton of calories even when watching tv! There are other daily activities can also contribute to our daily caloric expenditure that are known as non-exercise thermo-genesis (N.E.A.T.) such as walking up the stairs, walking your dog, having sex, etc.

I know what you may be thinking, "Hell, I don't need to exercise then!" Keep in mind that exercise causes a whole list of benefits too long to list in this blog, so I highly recommend you continue (or start) to exercise 5-6 days a week. Not only that, but a properly designed strength and conditioning program consisting of cardio and resistance training will raise your resting metabolic rate, mentioned earlier, so that the rest of the day when you are not exercising, you will burn more calories than the average person!

The best scenario in this case would be to exercise often, but to also make small changes in your life that can result in bigger changes over the long-haul. For example, if you live or work in a multi-storey building, take the stairs more often rather than the elevator. Park at the back of the parking lot when shopping to force you to walk a bit further, etc.

5. "Big" People Have Slower Metabolisms

There are many studies that show that thin people may potentially absorb and burn dietary fats quicker than their "bigger" counterparts, but this topic is definitely false. When referring to the "resting metabolic rate" (RMR) discussed in #4, studies have shown that the average man requires 11 calories per pound of body weight for their RMR, even if they sat in front of the tv all day. If you do the math, you would quickly discover that the bigger you become, more calories are actually required to maintain your current weight.

6. Low Calorie Foods Help You Lose Weight

This seems to be a very hot-button issue as of late. Many people seem to think that eating "Low-Fat" or "Low-Calorie" food substitutes will help them lose weight. It looks and sounds good on paper! The problem here is that companies often remove fat from products, but replace with either sugar or artificial sweeteners or in high-sugary foods, they remove natural sugars and replace with zero-calorie artificial sweeteners. The problem arises when those "zero-cal" sweeteners hit the bloodstream. A long story short, the body thinks its taking in sugar (and calories) when in fact the artificial sweeteners are useless which causes a blood-sugar dip causing you to crave guess what, more sugar!

More and more studies are coming out detailing how individuals who frequently consume things like "Diet" sodas and low-cal foods are actually gaining weight in the process, oh, the irony! The ideal situation here would be to remove soda from the diet and replace with another zero-cal beverage...water!

-Tyler Robbins
B.Sc. PTS