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Messages - tombb

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Diet / Re: Can't gain weight...
« on: September 24, 2009, 01:08:10 AM »
Still playing it by ear, and probably will be for the next 60 years. :)
Just so you know, hearing is one of the first things to go as you get older...  :o

Diet / Re: Can't gain weight...
« on: September 23, 2009, 12:42:38 PM »
I'd also suggest specifically eating more at lunch. For a few hours after exercising, your metabolism runs a little higher than usual, so if you are exercising mid morning and then eating a well-balanced but low-calorie low lunch, you're probably resulting in a deficit.
No, the timing of meals doesn't generate deficits, it does not destroy or generate extra energy.
The body is very good at continuously moving energy in and out of stores, so what matters really is the total you eat over the whole day.

Something like "lunch" doesn't have any special physiological importance.
What matters most in terms of timing is eating right after exercise (sugar+proteins for muscle gains) or during exercise (sugar/carbs+salts+water for prolonged/improved performance). That again doesn't affect deficits but rather how the energy is used (for muscle growth and recovery if right after exercise, or for fat if after sitting on the couch all day).

The body doesn't always do what is best for your goals. Some people naturally have more muscles with little efforts and others have little muscles despite a lot of effort. It's helpful for species to maintain this diversity in case something like a famine or disease hits. But if you really ahve a good reason to want to gain weight your body will eventually adapt (for example, nobody is completely immune to obesity, if they really try hard enough they -will- become obese, even if not as easily as others). But you will still need to do basically the same type of things for that goal whether it comes easy to you or not, so if you really have good reason for a goal it shouldn't matter what your body would naturally want to stay at, it's your life after all, it might just take you a bit more patience and effort.

Diet / Re: gamma-Aminobutyric acid
« on: September 19, 2009, 09:23:27 AM »
can you build a resistance to something natural like that though? as far as im aware caffeine isnt naturally in your body, but GABA is... i will try it and will tell you guys if i feel any different or feel if im performing better
Yes, especially for things naturally produced by your body as signaling molecules (hormones would be another example).
To explain it in the simplest terms, the body is naturally producing it in a certain amount, and normally keeps checking levels to make sure it doesn't produce too little or too much.
If you keep taking it the body notices you have an excess of it circulating around and thinks somehow it's making too much, so it lowers its own production or responsiveness to it or both. As a result you get used to it and you might actually feel the opposite effect if you stop taking it, although things will always normaize after a few weeks.
One situation where it doesn't occur is when you just give the body the raw materials to make something, like say vitamins and proteins: these can help your body produce more growth hormone etc but the body will still just make what it needs and so it won't go through mechanisms like desensitization etc.
though it may be placebo effect, according to your link it DOES seem to make HGH levels skyrocket, so from what ive read on other sites, plus that, it should increase my performance
Yes but keep in mind that there are good reasons why hormones are produced only at specific times, if your body produced GH all the times you would actually get weaker and develop a lot of problems including diabetes. Hormones are supposed to work in specific sequence and at the right times in order to work properly.
You won't have those problems just by using the supplement you mentioned though, I am just talking about extreme cases, I am just mentioning it to make it clear that you just want to help natural mechanisms and not try to overpower them and get them out of whack.

Diet / Re: gamma-Aminobutyric acid
« on: September 18, 2009, 11:38:09 PM »
Supposedly, if it is orally taken it increases muscle tone and it has been suggested that increases your amount of human growth hormone (but I think that's a load of bull.)

To clarify, it doesn't increase muscle tone, in fact its role is the opposite (if you didn't make enough GABA you would develop spasms, involuntary contractions, difficulty to move and other problems related to abnormally high muscle tone at rest).
But it does have a potential as a training supplement because it does increase growth hormone release (see for example this: )

For the OP, it's free since he already has it, so go for it. I am not sure if taking it long-term would raise some problems though, like a reduced response over time (think of getting used to coffee for example), etc.

Diet / Re: Rhodiola Rosea
« on: September 12, 2009, 09:59:25 AM »
I apologize for not reading any of the links, but I am always immediately skeptical of any drug/substance that claims to "get you through mental blocks."

Apart from serious psychological medications (i.e. lithium et al, prescribed to alter brain chemistry), the only thing that can help you through "mental blocks" is reflection, training, and personal discipline. And honestly a lot of drugs prescribed for psychological conditions don't free you from the mental issues so much as simply blunt the chemistry that causes them.

This coming from someone who is bipolar and OCD and refuses to go on meds for them (choosing to manage the brain chemistry via diet, exercise, meditation, and rest), so take that for what it's worth.

Granted, I didn't read the links, so shame on me for assuming without doing research. I am relying solely on my opinion here, but I tend to be heavily skeptical of supplements on the whole.

Rhodiola contains naturally occurring MAO-inhibitors (same as various drugs, you might have seen on many things "don't take it if you are already taking MAO-inhibitors"), so it DOES have an effect on the levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin adrenaline and dopamine.

Basically, if I had to explain to you how that works, normally monoamine oxidases are produced by the body for the important job of destroying excess of these neurotransmitters and hormones, and these inhibitors prevent them from doing their jobs, so you have more of them staying in your system, which is good if you didn't make enough for some reason.
Now, two things that are wrong here: it's generally not a good idea to take something like this when you don't have any problem or if you are using it as a recreational performance enhancement.
If your brain chemistry is balanced, don't mess with it. The body tends to try to adjust to reach a new balance all the times, which can lead you to be unbalanced in the long run when you don't take those pills.

And don't think that it's ok because it's "natural", many "chemical" drugs are from natural plants, being natural doesn't make something like opium or poisonous plants harmless or ok.

More importantly, in most cases, if you feel fatigued, out of energy, depressed etc, there are often really good reasons or causes for that, and you don't want to counteract the symptoms or signals your body is sending you, you should try to listen to those signals and understand what you should be changing.
Maybe you are overtraining for example, or have bad nutrition, bad sleep or things that should be adjusted or improved, or even actual serious brain chemistry or genetic problems that should be figured out and then treated.

If there is no other way to treat the problem (for example due to a genetic condition), as verified by clinical tests and proper diagnosis, then by all means take MAO-inhibitors as recommended by doctors to manage the symptoms for the rest of your life. But generally it's not a good idea to self-medicate at random in a recreational way especially in a way that prevents you from seeing actual warning signals or symptoms from your body, or might cause you to become less healthy and more dependent on something.

As far as bipolar, OCD etc, it's very important to really understand if that's exactly what you have, what type, what causes them, how they came about, etc before deciding how to manage them.  It never hurts to improve things like sleep, lifestyle and exercise, nutrition, behavior etc, but in some cases it might not quite be enough especially if you have some physiological condition that doesn't quite allow you to balance your brain chemistry on its own, so again, you are better off spending more time understanding exactly what is happening in your body and brain rather than stopping at a generic diagnosis that describes the symptoms rather than the causes (like Depression, Bipolar, etc). In some cases it's also not enough to eat "healthy", say you have phenylketonuria, then you actually have to avoid healthy foods that contain phenylalanine, or your neurological problems will keep increasing.

Diet / Re: Calorie Restriced diets and weight gain
« on: September 03, 2009, 09:08:11 PM »
It depends on what benefits you are considering, but in general many of the advantages of calorie restriction are largely about giving more rest and less wear and tear to your metabolic pathway and organs. There is definitely a happy middle and balance between the two extreme (training+growth vs avoidance+rest) but you can't really quite have both.

Caloric restriction is a bit like being very pale, there are many health benefits to that, if your skin is never exposed to UV stress it's easier to keep it healthier, but you are also missing out on benefits of having a moderate healthy-looking tan too, like being able to stay in the sun for a while if you need to, and looking better.
Similarly, if you never train intensely and eat very little you can often live longer (that's even being shown in laboratory animals), but there are benefits to also having more muscle, being well-trained and enjoying eating well.  For that matter, even depriving animals of puberty makes them live longer, but again that's probably not a life worth living.

So ultimately it's a matter of choice especially if you want to go toward either extreme, you can burn more slowly as a feebler man on low calories or burn brighter and faster as a professional athlete eating plenty. But in terms of optimizing both the best is probably in a balanced middle, where the strain on the body is still more than reasonable and balanced with enough recovery, but you are still far from avoiding living and bettering yourself.

Diet / Re: How do you eat a protein bar ?
« on: September 03, 2009, 08:51:18 PM »
There are many protein bars that taste like chocolate bars and are delicious. If you have to do anything else besides enjoying them as a treat, then you probably picked a terrible brand and should spend a bit more time trying other types.

Diet / Re: Protein Shake
« on: September 01, 2009, 11:10:52 AM »
I am always a little surprised when ice cream is suggested over these shakes (although one of them on this thread has 1/2 cup of sugar!!!).  Yes, quality ice cream I can see, but I would hazard a guess that 85% of the ice cream people buy in stores contains lots of extra ingredients that should be avoided in most circumstances (HFCS, other sugars, artificial flavors and colorings, etc.). 

Tom, when you say ice cream, do you mean a subset of what is available at your corner grocery store?
I don't really mean a subset or special icecream types, although there are obviously better ones and worse ones. But I think that looking at ingredients to avoid is not the best practice nutritionally, because that's almost never the ingredient type that is bad, but rather the lack of balance or excessive use that is the problem. There is -nothing- wrong with HFCS in small amounts, at the right times and in a balanced diet, nutritionally that is the same exact chemical you get from having fruits like say bananas (which contain fructose and glucose with fibers and vitamins) or honey or even vegetables like onions, peppers and many other foods that contain free fructose and glucose.

Adding ice-cream in your diet is good especially because people know that's a dessert/sweet and something that's supposed to be delicious and make life better but that should be taken in smaller amounts, and they won't have it in excess thinking it's "healthy" so they can have as much as they want.
The old conventional wisdom of having a small amount of dessert at the end of a meal with proteins and fiber-rich vegetables generally works pretty well, because it works at mitigating portions and ensuring sugars, carbs, and fats are balanced well with fibers and proteins.

Store-bought ice-cream is not perfect, but it's generally quite ok as a food when taken in moderation and in the proper context, having special healthy versions of it won't make much of a difference compared to ensuring you follow moderation and balance in general with your diet. It can also be a very good post-exercise snack, a time where more pure sugars and HFCS are best for muscle growth and health.

Diet / Re: Protein Shake
« on: August 31, 2009, 12:01:10 PM »
How good are these two shakes? Got any other shake recipes with eggs instead of whey protein powder?

1 egg
2 1/2 c. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. sugar

1 banana
1 tbsp. peanut butter
1 c. milk
1/4 tbsp. honey
1 egg
With those ingredients I think you would be much better off just buying some tasty icecream (same ingredients, except with icecream you are less likely to go overboard in calories and it tastes better).
Italian ice cream for example is made from whole milk, eggs, sugar, and pieces of fruit etc. Except it's solid and fun so you take your time enjoying smaller amounts instead of pounding larger amounts it in a single gulp like you might with the shake you describe.
The only reason to drink it would be to gain pounds quickly, either as extra fat or muscle or both (that will depend more on your training and other factors and might be harder to control especially if you are not trying to gain fat).

So, I would say that's a bad shake (definitely not much of a 'protein' shake), unless you are trying to ingest a lot of calories and possibly get fat but don't want to enjoy the process too much.

If you were trying to add more proteins in your diet with something good for you and without excessive calories from sugar, carbs and fat, you should go with whey powder (easily as much as 10x more protein and better type than a single raw egg) in either water, skim milk etc.

Diet / Re: Trying to lose weight plz help
« on: August 27, 2009, 03:23:48 PM »
Chris, what I have said is that the conclusions you drew, not the general mechanisms or facts in isolation, are incorrect. And by incorrect I mean incorrect :P, in the same way that if you add up a few positive and negative numbers you would be right in saying that there are negative numbers, but you would be incorrect in saying that the result is negative when the negative numbers are together smaller than the positive ones in magnitude. So for example I would agree that there are many situations where your basal metabolism is decreased, especially under caloric restrictions, but there are also situations where BMR is increased, and what I am saying is that in this case it's increased and not decreased. The factors that contribute to raising BMR (like repairing and adapting in response to exercise, and requirements of the exercise act itself to be able to raise heartbeat, breathing etc) are of a larger magnitude than anything trying to reduce it (like smaller portions of delicious junk-food).

The decrease in bodyweight does reduce your computed BMR (not counting the increases due to all the factors I mentioned), but keep in mind I even ignored the rest of the sources for calorie consumption, like the energy required to do any type of movement for the remaining 19 hours of the day, digesting food, etc.

About immune-suppression, I am not saying that it doesn't happen, I am saying that the fact itself is not relevant here (using your wording): lots of things have a suppressive effect on your immune system, any kind of exercise, watching a scary movie, doing homework, eating a meal, going to work, anything that occupies resources could be taking resources away from your ability to fight infections. But it's part of life and something your body can handle perfectly well without getting sick, you have plenty of rest and plenty of energy to go around (from your fat stores).
So I am not just saying it's not relevant, but I am saying that the final conclusion you were drawing, that your health would be necessarily compromised, is incorrect.

About appetite, yes, it's a complex thing, even involving some psychological factors and preferences that are not exactly physiological, so it can end up falling anywhere between what you experienced and what I did. I suspect you might have also been on a bit more food-restricted diet than what I used, if you eliminate some things completely you are more likely to get a lot of signals from your body saying "you know what we should really add back in our diet? Those starch and sugar we haven't had in weeks", and those tend to be stronger feedback signals than ones for just portion size or even just food frequency.
Your body is not so good at really keeping track of magnitudes of calories intake. As it starts to use fat stores, it doesn't have a great way to precisely keep track of how much fat stores it used, and if you eat a meal afterward you won't necessarily have to make up for all the extra stored fat you burned, but more of the instantaneous deficit that you might have experienced. It's sort of like losing sleep, even if you didn't sleep much for weeks, your body will still mostly want just a single solid night of rest and won't try to sleep exactly the amount of sleep you lost over multiple weeks.

In terms of leading to excess, I would say the opposite is true here. You are not depriving yourself of any foods. You are still losing weight eating chocolate and french fries if you feel like it, you just have to pay attention to portions (and trying to have good food too, especially proteins), and if you feel like eating more, no big deal, just exercise more. Psychologically that's way better than thinking that if you ever eat a piece of chocolate you ruined your body and there's no remedy.

Keep in mind that your body is not really in any deprived state. You are eating full meals, and you completely cover your energy needs, just that part of that energy comes from fat stores, which is what they are for anyways.

In terms of oxidative stress, again the consequences you envision are incorrect. Doing cardio over time becomes easier, not harder, oxidative stress continues to be reduced by adaptation, and we are not in any the opposite is true, you are not in any overtraining mode and you are not pushing yourself past exhaustion. This is a very different situation compared to competitive athletes pushing their limits, since the goal is simply to consume energy, not to suffer, win a race, or reach special training goals.
Because of this goal, if the intensity was too high to handle, you can always lower it to more comfortable levels and increase time. And in terms of both psychology and health, if you have a year to play with and have to lose 15#, you can try to stay on a deprivation diet with no exercise for the whole year or you could just lose those excess 15# in half a month, and then not have to be on any weight-loss diet or excessive exercise for the rest of the 50 weeks, I think the latter is much preferable.
I am not saying of course that yours wasn't good or that exercising for 3500 is the best or only way, I am just pointing out that it was not unhealthy or impossible.

Diet / Re: Trying to lose weight plz help
« on: August 27, 2009, 08:55:08 AM »
Not impossible - but yes improbable.  Even with that amount of activity as you say to burn 3500 calories a day, it is improbable.  With that much activity a lot of negative feedback systems kick into play that lower basal metabolic rate, lower the amount of spontaneous activity, greatly reduce motivation/drive to continue and greatly increase appetite. 

It would take a very high amount of self control, discipline and obsession to reach that level of weight loss capabilities...and with the reduction in Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), hormones to diminish mood/drive and a decrease in Spontaneous Physical Activity/Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (SPA/NEAT) it is incredibly unlikely to lose that much fat in that much time. 

This level of activity would also be indicative of an unhealthy lifestyle psychologically.  Also, that amount of oxidative stress in such a short period of time is unhealthy...not to mention the amount of activity on a daily basis would immunosuppress you pretty quickly since exercise is a stressor.

So, yes, while the math shows it is possible, there are too many dominos that need to fall into place properly, not to mention some really awesome genetics that can (a) handle that level of activity physiologically when starting from scratch, (b) not get immunosuppressed from said activity, (c) not downregulate SPA/NEAT and BMR, (d) maintain that level of activity over several days, weeks or months psychologically, and (e) maintain that level of activity over several days, weeks or months physiologically.

Possibly but extremely highly unlikely.  Like, similar odds to being born an albino.
a lot of your conclusions here are incorrect. And I can tell you also by experience because I have done what I described, as I found it more efficient and effective than more diet-restrictive approaches or slow long term plans.

1) negative feedback lowering metabolic rate: No. First off, they don't matter much in this picture, your basal metabolic rate can't be reduced more than a few hundreds of calories here, and your metabolism is actually -increased- because you are doing a significant amount of exercise, and your body can't afford to fall behind even after exercise in catching up with normalizing energy stores, metabolizing exercise byproducts, adapting to exercise, digesting food etc.  All the things you are describing are related to starving without exercising (which is not related at all here, I could eat icecream if I felt like it), not my core body temperature at rest was if anything higher than on days off, from all the post-exercise effects. So if anything basal metabolism is increased by what I mentioned.

2) increased appetite: first off, it doesn't matter. If you are doing it even for several weeks, here you are not going by blindly based on appetite, you just prepare your meals in portions and eat them. And in practice, I didn't experience it, I mostly felt like water during cardio, and keep in mind I was not diet deprived here, I was using normal portions and didn't have any problem eating even fries if I felt like it.

3) Immunosuppression, oxidative stress: No and no. The body handles and adapts to oxidative stress just fine. It is not unhealthy, it just means that your body will start producing more antioxidant molecules and enzymes for a while, stuff like superoxide dismutases. Normally it would be a bit of a waste of energy, but we are not trying to save energy here.

4) psychological comments: That's a really strange and misguided comment there. Choosing exercise instead of weird restrictive diets doesn't mean that there is something wrong with you... And choosing to do exercise a bit more intensely for quicker results rather than over a much longer period of time again doesn't point to any psychological imbalance, it's simply a preference. If you enjoy watching TV and movies, you are not more insane for choosing a treadmill instead of a couch when watching a few hours of them.

So, to summarize: metabolism is increased, not decreased, same for SPA/NEAT/BMR, all dominos fall in place just fine, and motivation is not that difficult to find (tv, reading, favorite foods, self-motivation, being happy with the results and having fun instead of feeling starved).

It's just that it's still a lot of work and many people usually would choose something else, and people generally like gimmick diets with zero exercise but nice metaphors and various snake-oil-potion solutions.

But don't be mistaken, doing what I describe does work, in practice and in math, your body can do little to prevent losing fat, and in fact it is in its best interest to do so in those circumstances.

Diet / Re: Trying to lose weight plz help
« on: August 27, 2009, 07:58:19 AM »
No.  13+ pounds in 1 month is not possible - at least not healthily or without radical surgery.  You lost 15 lbs so rapidly because most of it was retained water from your former high-carb lifestyle.  Your losses will be at about 1-2# per week...if the losses are faster than that I would suggest you eat a little more.

Chris, just to correct this, it's not impossible, just improbable in his case.

It is neither unhealthy nor impossible to lose even as much as a pound of fat a day and continue to do so, that's where exercise really helps, it just takes a very large amount of work (which most people wouldn't do).

If you lose 10lb in the first couple of days after starting a new diet, yes you can ignore that, it is water weight. But after that, it's a matter of inescapable math. 

If you were to do 4~5 hours on an incline treadmill, that will burn at least 3500 calories, there is no way around it, plus the 1500~2000 of your basal metabolism, not even counting the small additional amount burned the rest of the day. If you don't eat more than 2000 calories, you will lose a pound of fat a day, and the exercise and food (especially proteins) will help ensure that your muscles will be spared (some protein will be burned, but mostly from food instead of muscles, and still not give enough energy that that the bulk will still need to come from a full pound of fat loss).

Now, most people do not do 5 hours of uphill cardio every day, so if you hear someone say "I lost 10lbs in a week" most likely their bodies just readjusted their water retention based on carb intake and other factors. But if they did and their total energy balance was something like 2000-6000=-4000, then regardless of scales, water weight etc, their bodies would compensate for the energy imbalance by losing 1lb of fat, no matter how energy shifted through the day (e.g., even if say glycogen and bloodsugar were burned, they would need to be refilled, from energy from fat) that's what it's for after all.

Diet / Re: So Zone diet didn't work out for me...
« on: August 17, 2009, 10:21:54 AM »
I agree with Chris.

You should know that if you had really lost 6 pounds of fat in 3 days that would mean that you burned 21 THOUSAND calories more than what you ate, or the same as one HUNDRED small McDonalds fries. Differences between high and low metabolism are usually at most in the order of ~500 calories a day.
Losing real weight aside from changes in water weight and meals still in your belly is much harder than that.
You can mostly ignore the first 10 pounds you gain or lose, and look only at steady changes after that (it won't keep up, so for example you would have not weighed only 60lbs after 30 more days on that diet or even complete starvation).

Also, I am not really sure why you are using a diet that is usually for losing weight if you weight 120lbs, that seems very low already...
The rule of thumb of getting near-equal amounts of calories from protein, carbs and fats which is a big part of that diet is a relatively decent way to make sure you get more protein and don't overdo it with carbs, yes...
But I think if you are growing and a bit underweight you might not want to be too strict with your food and you might be better at just trying to add more proteins but still listening to your appetite instead of forcing yourself to count individual almonds...

Diet / Re: Guarana
« on: August 16, 2009, 06:49:45 PM »
I heard that guarana can help to rid your body of lactic acid more quickly. Is this true?
Shark, it's very likely that you are asking that question because you don't really know what lactic acid is and how it relates to exercise. For example you may think that muscle soreness long after training has to do with it (it doesn't, you can learn more in any physiology or even biology book, wiki etc).

Caffeine, the main thing in guarana and coffee or pepsi, is good for many things but lactic acid is not really one of it, especially because breathing a bit faster for a few minutes would have a much bigger impact on clearing lactic acid.

If you are worried about the "burn" you feel when you do too many situps in a row or sprint until you feel your legs burning, that's something that is again improved most by training.
And if you had something that reduced lactic acid formation or persistence, you wouldn't really want to take it anyways because that would actually reduce the effect of training adaptations. You -want- your body to suffer a bit from lactic acid, inflammation, etc as you train and are out of shape, so that acts as a stimulus and your body can respond and adapt to it by preparing better next time, increase antioxidants and other enzymes production so the next time you can train longer and better.

Diet / Re: Eating Right: How To Get Started
« on: August 06, 2009, 12:10:57 PM »
Chris, you mentioned taking 2 multi-vitamins a day? That seems a bit excessive... Why is this?
This probably wasn't answered yet because sometimes people don't notice if a stickie was updated :P  So I will answer this for Chris.

It's basically an approximate adjustment based on the fact that vitamin and mineral requirements change a lot based on activity levels.

For example you might have noticed sweat is usually salty, so basically you should know you lose a lot more of several minerals like sodium and potassium that way. Similarly, even vitamins get used more. B vitamins are involved in metabolism so if you burn more calories by training you need more of those, and similarly for vitamins that have antioxidant activity.

So twice as much is an approximation of course, but still a fairly safe one. The RDA and dosages of a normal pill are based on levels that wouldn't be too much for even very skinny sedentary grandmas for example, and it would take you months of taking many times the max levels before you ever see any problem from excessive vitamins or minerals from those doses.

In addition it's generally good to not take them at the same time but spread them out (like one in the morning and one at night), because most are not time-released and you are better off with a more steady supply.

Diet / Re: Diet Question
« on: August 05, 2009, 06:44:37 PM »
To add to what PatriChris already simultaneously wrote ( ;) ), basically you don't -need- to adhere to any strict diet. However most people at some point try to improve their training and at some point try to also improve what they eat in some way or another, or at least pay more attention to them, to reach their goals more efficiently.

Having  freedom and flexibility and eating what you feel like is a good part of living and you don't need to give that up, but what you eat and choosing a bit more smartly can have a very good impact on you reaching your goals, so making some smarter choices directed toward a particular goal can be something that people like to do.

If for example you wanted to get bigger faster, and say you like yogurt and orange juice equally, you might get there better if you choose yogurt a bit more often instead of orange juice for example. Or if you eat something right after working out, when your body is more likely to use the food for muscle growth as opposed to eating at random times while laying on a couch, where the same meal might go more toward fat or other systems.

Diet / Re: has anyone heard of this brand?
« on: August 05, 2009, 06:34:27 PM »

every post ive ever seen you make is full of great information, thanks

can i ask what field youre in?
Well it doesn't matter much, but sure: my PhD was in applying artificial intelligence to reprogramming biological organisms like bacterial cells at the genetic and molecular level, and I have several masters in biomedical engineering, exercise science, biochemistry, computer and electrical engineering, complexity and chaos theory, aerospace engineering, plus I had all the course requirements for a master in philosophy and one in neuroscience, but I had already too many degrees at the time :P

Diet / Re: has anyone heard of this brand?
« on: August 05, 2009, 09:51:50 AM »
Watermelon seeds are perfectly fine and tasty, just make sure you chew them well as you eat the watermelon (they are crunchy but taste good or sort of neutral), they are a source of a lot of different and generally rarer nutrients, particularly more rare ones, but in very small doses so for example you shouldn't worry about the fat content of the seeds as you eat watermelon, because it's still nothing compared to the calories in the pulp you are eating, and even that is not all that much after all.
It's just tastier and easier to chew them than going through all the trouble and mess of trying to spit them out just because you don't want the extra nutrients.
Some seeds like apple seeds have also some naturally occurring poisons but in such small amounts that it has no negative effects (and possibly some positive effects).

Also, the distinction between "foods" and "supplements" is a very fuzzy and artificial one especially for omnivores like humans. You can easily be much healthier just living off of a careful mixture of what most would call "supplements" with no "food" at all, especially compared to eating a poorly arranged mix of what most would call "foods". The same is even true for animals and plants (where it is easier to control all their food for their entire lifespan and see the results), for example plants grown in hydroponic supplement mixtures grow better than ones in soil and fertilizers.
But just to clarify you can also live great with just a very careful and great combination of "foods" alone too.
Using both is just a much easier and cheaper way to cover all your bases and get better results.

Diet / Re: Drinks
« on: August 05, 2009, 09:00:29 AM »
Agree with tombb, for the most part.  To make is absolutely simple and crystal clear: avoid drinks that are not water, unsweetened tea, unsweetened coffee, or milk unless you JUST finished working out within the past 20-30 minutes.

The above statement is a bit inconsistent with this statement by tombb with which I disagree:

Water should still be most of the liquids you consume during the day. Drinks rich in calories and sugars (like milk, OJ, gatorade etc) are best during and immediately after exercise, or as part of a meal where they can complement other foods rich in fibers and proteins and fat.
IMHO, whole milk is a pretty balanced food item in and of itself and can be consumed casually throughout the day, if desired.
Yes, milk is a bit of an exception, since we certainly drink it that way as infants (but keep in mind cow's milk composition is a bit different than human milk or formula, much more rich in fat for example).

But I would still say you should count milk as part of your diet rather than just use it as a default source of hydration. For example if a day is hotter and you sweat more, you need more fluids but you don't necessarily need more calories. Same for if you eat very salty or spicy foods.  That's why I suggest you should consider water as your main source of hydration through the day.

I think of milk as something you might want to plan more. For example if you are already planning to consume X amount of milk through the day and know what you are doing and why, that's perfectly fine.
But water can be taken at any time you feel like without much planning, while milk will influence a lot of things including appetite (so for example if you need to eat more you don't want to spoil your appetite right before an important planned meal), digestion (so for example you might not want to drink too much milk right before training and have digestive problems while you perform), caloric intake, nutrient balance, etc.

Diet / Re: +Protein Milkshake - Healthy?
« on: August 05, 2009, 08:48:20 AM »
As I mentioned before, I think first you really need to think about and understand why you are making and drinking that shake of yours.  If your teacher suggested it, that's a start but it's not a reason, until you ask why and he/she explains it to you, that's more of a mysterious order than a reason.

For example, does your teacher think you don't have enough proteins in your diet? Then maybe something like a slow-absorption protein like cheese would be better before bedtime, and the bananas etc would be better taken at other times.

Or is your teacher suggesting you should take it before sleep to help you sleep better because of milk's content of Tryptophan? In that case just some warm milk alone would be best.

Is there a special reason why your teacher suggested you must blend those ingredients together? Wouldn't it be just as good to consume them together but without mixing, as part of an actual meal? For example you could have the milk in a glass, the bananas as dessert, the egg over-easy, and you could add a side of green vegetables that way and wouldn't need any sugar at all, it seems that would be much healthier, more flexible and taste better..

My recommendation in general is to ask and think of these questions whenever you hear advice or recommendations, it never hurts and it can help you avoid doing things in a rigid way or following incorrect assumptions and would help you know more exactly why you are doing things the way you are and make better adjustments as needed.

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