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Discussion: in the hope of being helpful to some

in: ebuckley; ebuckley > 2016-04-19

Apr 21, 2016 12:15 PM # 
matzah ball:
thinking back, weren't you able to run at a pretty high level when you weighed considerably more than today? Didn't you even win some races at 200+ (p.m.?) I see in 2006 you got 3rd overall in the Flat Five at 180+#. How were you able to do that? How did all that play out? What did losing the #'s do for you - did it extend your range, increase speed or both and to what degree?
Apr 21, 2016 1:08 PM # 
It was all muscle....
Apr 22, 2016 1:31 AM # 
No, I was chunky. Orlyn kept telling me I should lose weight. I knew he was right because I certainly raced bikes better when I was light. Finally decided to get serious about getting down to a good weight when I had all the stress fractures. Don't remember what year that was, somewhere in the early 00's. Definitely made the difference as 2007-2011 were pretty fine years from a results standpoint. I don't expect I'll be consistently under 170 anymore, but I'm hoping not to let it go too high.

BTW, I won the Clydesdale division (and set the division record, which still stands) at 203 pounds, but certainly was in no danger of winning the whole thing.
Apr 22, 2016 7:41 PM # 
matzah ball:
how did you get the g down in the 1st place and how did you maintain? did you diet, just put in monster miles, combination? did you have cyclical fluctuations? Thanks!
Apr 22, 2016 8:41 PM # 
Chris Rock diet: quit eatin' so damn much.
Apr 23, 2016 8:54 AM # 
My weight plan is 4 words: eat less, move more.
Apr 24, 2016 7:07 PM # 
haha, I think that was for my benefit. thanks, great advice! it's like if you want to drive your car less . . . don't put gas in the tank, duh, simple. of course, then there's the problem of how to get to work.
Apr 25, 2016 1:50 AM # 
Well, getting down to brass tacks, the only way that I've ever been able to control my eating is to actually write down everything that goes into my mouth. It doesn't take long to learn what the caloric value of any item is and then you can do it in your head. But, at least at the start, it makes sense to write it down.

I would also say that it's much easier to reduce carbs than fat. Cutting out fat just makes you hungry all the time. The idea that you have to eat a lot of carbs to work out is just nonsense; your body is quite capable of converting fat to carbs and vice versa as needed. It certainly is true that for competition, you want your carb supplies topped up, but there's not need for that in training.
Apr 25, 2016 2:27 PM # 
...problem of how to get to work....

Bike, walk, transit... All burn up calories.

Ever since selling my last car 30+ years ago, I've never struggled with weight. Because any time I leave the house, I'm walking, biking or running.

Of course I specifically moved from the car-dependent suburbs, into the City in order to make such a lifestyle possible. But even in the suburbs, it is possible to walk, run or bike with commuting or errands in matzah ball and Eric seem to do every week. Congrats guys!
Apr 25, 2016 3:26 PM # 
thanks that is some good practical advice . . .

the car and gas thing . . . I was trying to get at proximal vs distal causes . . . of course the proximate (immediate) cause of obesity is eating too much food (and/or not burning enough Kcals), but the causes upstream of eating too much food/ not enough exercise are more complex, all the way from the genetic and molecular level to the societal. if it were as easy as just eating less, then 2/3 of americans wouldn't be obese.
Apr 26, 2016 12:45 AM # 
... if it were as easy as just eating less...

Simple does not imply easy. It is that simple. It is not at all easy.
Apr 26, 2016 3:54 PM # 
I would also say that it's much easier to reduce carbs than fat.

Actually, I'd go with 'much more effective' than easier. Carb addiction is a bugger to break because it is a physical addiction. And, carbs are practically omnipresent.
Apr 26, 2016 4:30 PM # 
matzah ball:
yes carbs are terrible. I am addicted and am a living example of the deleterious effects of carbs. I say eliminate food - then you'll be sure to be carb-free:) Seriously, i think carbs is too broad a brush to paint the food picture. Are organic whole wheat pasta and millet equivalent to big gulps from 7-11 and twinkies?
Apr 26, 2016 5:21 PM # 
mb, that's a good example of the complexity, not all food is created equal, I mean, I imagine whole wheat pasta and millet have much higher fiber content and more similar to grains our species encountered since the agrarian revolution 10K years ago so we are somewhat more genetically evolved to deal with than the Big Gulp.
Apr 26, 2016 7:31 PM # 
matzah ball:
true. and neither are all people created equal, physiologically. some might thrive on foods that would present problems for others. complexity indeed.
Apr 26, 2016 11:13 PM # 
Obviously sugar laden products will hammer the body in ways that a slice of real whole grain bread will not.

As Eric said, fats will cause you to feel full sooner and longer, so you are likely to ingest fewer calories eating healthy, fatty foods, than eating a higher carb/lower fat diet.

That said, the digestive system breaks down almost all digestible carbs into monosaccharides, typically glucose, whether it's a twinkie or the best whole grain bread money can buy. The type of carb does determine how quickly the carbs are turned into glucose and where in the intestines the glucose is absorbed.

Addiction to carbs has been clinically proven. My original point is that eliminating carbs is difficult in practice because of the chemical dependency.
Apr 27, 2016 3:05 AM # 
bill_I, your mention of intestines reminds me of another line of obesity research, the gut microbiome of beneficial bacteria that aid in digestion, scores of different species in varying amounts, living in our GI tract. from memory, there was a study in mice of genetically engineered obese vs regular mice, and the obese mice had a markedly different mix of bacteria species than the normal mice. then the researchers did a "fecal transplant", taking some fecies from the normal mice and introducing into the obese mice. talk about "eating sh*T" ! not sure even the big pharma could sell this one to humans, haha. at any rate, you guessed it, after fecal transplant, the obese mice became normal. all that to say, it's not always a simple Kcal in/ Kcal out, there is also the myriad species living in our gut that either aid or hinder digestion/ metabolism. then think about the effect of over-prescription of antibiotics and overuse of antibiotics in the beef/ pork/ chicken industrial farms that finds its way into our food.
Apr 27, 2016 3:58 AM # 
I think you guys might be a bit dismayed to see how most pro athletes eat. I'm not saying diet doesn't matter. It just doesn't matter as much as a lot of other things.
Apr 27, 2016 1:51 PM # 
matzah ball:
Good point , Eric, but in my case the pro analogy does not compute. A 63 yr old amateur needs every advantage they can get, even if its slight, because they are so deficient in other areas. There are a lot of diet related variables that could be important to ones overall health and fitness, the difficulty is in trying to disassociate them from an individuals genetic makeup, environmentally modified physiology and medical history. I agree that sugar dependency like any dependency can be a problem, (I often rely on a sugar rush to launch me into physical activity, but tell myself that I'll burn it off in a few minutes anyway - maybe my physiology is corrupted because of those habits without me even realizing it) but I'm not convinced that eating some leeks and potatoes can be construed as a manifestation of an addiction under any circumstances.
Apr 27, 2016 5:38 PM # 
I agree the population level questions are different than what is true for a specific Person X . . . we see an obesity problem in the population and know the food supply has changed on a "meta" level . . . air quality is different, climate is changing, etc. it's difficult to translate broad generalizations in the population to a specific person or even specific group of persons . . . every one of us is a unique case . . . yet we are all humans and share a common physiology. I think. :) mb might actually be a sentient robot, not sure. :)
Apr 27, 2016 8:01 PM # 
I wouldn't be dismayed or surprised. My diet for AR's and other long events is pretty hideous. And since most pro athletes are young, a lot of them may not think twice about their diet, beyond give me food (experience with teenage boys tells me so).

Rudy, I think you read WAY more into my comment than was there. In the context of weight loss and eliminating carbs, my ONLY point was that IF, for example, you are eating 400+ grams of carbs per day, as many people in the US do, then cutting back to 100 is going to be hard. Plug in your own numbers and carb sources.

Going low carb was hard for me. The only way I could manage it was to count everything going in. And I was eating what I would call a healthy diet. No junk food, limited and infrequent desserts etc. I experienced massive carb cravings (the manifestation of a carb addiction) for the first 6 weeks. My target was 60-75 grams per day. 100 was realistic. I lost 18 lbs in about 5 months. I wasn't exercising. I did not regulate fats or proteins. I went off that diet after I resumed training in a serious way and couldn't maintain my weight.

FYI, potatoes have a higher GI than refined sugar (sucrose). A medium sized (175g) baked potato (GI 85, GL 28, net carbs 50g) and 1 tbsp sugar (68 and 8, net carbs 12g). Both will convert to glucose. Both will spike your blood sugar. In moderation, neither is likely to hurt you (if you're not diabetic). But on a low carb diet, equiv portions of either represent a significant portion of your daily intake. Specific mileage may vary.

@billh, being done in humans too for other reasons.
Apr 27, 2016 10:31 PM # 
matzah ball:
I understand that that process has been successful for some people. My experience was different. I weighed something like 185# in my late 40's, then became more physically active and a vegetarian, stayed away from processed and mystery restaurant food, and went down to 152-3, then in the last 3-4 years gradually to 140-143, perhaps due to more focused conditioning and also aging related muscle mass reduction. So there are different and seemingly contradictory ways to make the journey. bill_j, you didn't say whether your lo-carb diet was associated w weight loss as well?
Apr 29, 2016 10:01 PM # 
no doubt there are many ways to lose weight. pick your poison.

For me, going low carb was paired with going gluten free. Laura was gluten-free at the time so that jump wasn't difficult. There were 2 primary motivators: Try to move to an anti-inflammatory diet and loose the weight I gained while i was dealing with the tick-thing a while back. I attribute the weight loss to the low carb part. All of the anecdotal info from people who were on a low carb diet said they lost weight. As I said, I did not restrict calories from fats and proteins.

I went off the low-carb part because I couldn't maintain my weight at 160, it continued to drop. And, there is new evidence that a low carb diet is not ideal (healthy) for endurance training.
Apr 30, 2016 2:03 AM # 
I permanently lost about 4 ounces due to low carb diet; I had my gall bladder removed. I think it is very effective, but you want to be careful, it can mess you up.
May 2, 2016 10:19 PM # 
yep. the case with any 'diet', i think.
May 7, 2016 12:39 PM # 
Focused on Biggest Loser contestants with massive weight losses, I found the science of metabolic rates in this article fascinating:
May 7, 2016 7:05 PM # 
Definitely. Was reading about that too.

Arguably, that show has done those people more harm than good. L pointed out that they lost a lot of weight over a short period of time. Slowing the metabolism would be the natural biological response. The weird part is that the metabolic rate doesn't recover. At least, not in 6 years. Would the same be true if the weight were lost over a period of years?
May 7, 2016 9:45 PM # 
the article didn't mention how much exercise they did, wonder if that would tick up the metabolism a bit, though would also increase hunger . . .

"But maintaining weight loss is difficult, he said, which is why he tells contestants that they should exercise at least nine hours a week and monitor their diets to keep the weight off.

“Unfortunately, many contestants are unable to find or afford adequate ongoing support with exercise doctors, psychologists, sleep specialists, and trainers — and that’s something we all need to work hard to change,” he said in an email."
May 7, 2016 9:48 PM # 
matzah ball:
don't know if this is the same study, but here they say people who lose weight have a lower resting metabolism, and therefore lower caloric needs, and that makes it hard for the weight to stay off...
May 9, 2016 6:50 AM # 
Same study. (There's lightning, the dog is freaking out... so I am up at 2am)

A woman who lost 70ish pounds over a lpnger period of time had a good reply to the article. Her metabolic rate did not go through the floor. I'll try to find the url again.
May 9, 2016 10:55 AM # 
Metabolic rates don't mean a thing, if you just don't eat. Which is the way I lost 30 lbs four years ago and have had no problem keeping it off: no breakfast, no lunch, one mostly-vegetarian meal a day.
May 9, 2016 12:01 PM # 
matzah ball:
Nolan Shaheed, one of the fastest masters runners this planet has ever seen, had a diet like that during his race buildup training cycle.
May 9, 2016 5:56 PM # 
I read about a triathlete who ate all his calories for the day before noon . . . took that "eat breakfast like a king" advice pretty seriously!
May 9, 2016 6:52 PM # 
Well one thing to look forward to as you get older: food just doesn't taste as good as it used to! So you kinda lose your appetite. And it isn't hard to skip meals.

My doc is of the opinion that more chronic disabilities and diseases are caused by being overweight than any other factor for older people. He mentions joint and back problems, heart and circulatory issues, diabetes, stroke, even cancer risk...all higher incidence for overweight folks.
May 9, 2016 7:11 PM # 
completely agree . . . just walk around any mall, airport, or public place in the midwest, and see people hobbling around in pain just weighed down by their bodies, it is just sad. of course, I can't talk since that's how I look all the time but for a complely different reason! haha.

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