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Exercise vs Diet

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning' started by DBradD, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. DBradD

    DBradD

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    General comments, please.

    I've noticed the same phenomenon with my wife and myself. When we made most of our progress losing weight a few months ago, we didn't exercise very much. We mainly used it to bust plateaus. She especially, felt tremendously hungrier, like she was starving half to death, when she exercised, so it seemed to border on counterproductive. She'd burn 300 calories, then feel like she was gonna die unless she ate A LOT more calories than that. I've noticed this also. It also seemed worse if done earlier in the day. When I exercised, I got around this by doing large amounts of cardio (like 60-90 minutes of stairmaster, 800-1000 calories supposedly burned) at night, when there wasn't much opportunity to sabotage myself. I'd have a small post-workout meal, like 300 really high quality calories. By the next day, the extra hunger effect wasn't there. It's supposedly better to exercise earlier in the day, but I just end up eating twice as much during the day if I do that.

    Has anybody else noticed this phenomenon? Is there any way around it? This is one of the reason that I steer people away from focusing on exercise and almost exclusively toward calorie counting when the primary goal is fat loss.

    Of course, my comments are only applicable to people trying to drop fat. For folks going after performance, the situation is much more complex. I find it much more difficult to eat just enough to recover well without packing on the fat. Takes quite a balancing act.

    Anyway, just some random thoughts this morning.
    DBD
     
  2. malkore

    malkore

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    diet can be used to control fat gain and fat loss.

    exercise is done to make your heart, lungs and body healthy.

    60-90mins of cardio is entirely un-necessary to look good nekkid (I mean really, why do we exercise, if not to look dead sexy in yer birthday suit?)

    Really, you should be able to get a cardio workout done in 30 mins.

    you shouldn't try to use cardio as a means to burn off the fat. doesn't really work that way.

    plus, cardio has an upper limit...you adapt to the level of endurance needed, and pretty soon, you have to go longer, or go harder.

    then you get stuck having to do 90 mins of cardio.
    so going harder, more intense...makes more sense right?

    it does, to a point. Eventually you're training so hard, you surpass the aerobic threshold, and now are training anaerobically...and that type of exercise cannot burn fat for energy.

    What it boils down to is a holy trinity: good eating habits, aerobic exercise (30 mins of interval cardio, a.k.a. HIIT), and anaerobic training (lifting heavy weights).

    Those three together will get you into incredible physical shape, both functionally, and your appearance.

    And lifting weights doesn't mean your goal is to look like a bodybuilder. a low body fat with a decent amount of lean muscle is a good look for a man...or a woman. You don't have to bodybuild to lift weights.
     

  3. DBradD

    DBradD

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    I'm typing strictly about keeping fat off.
     
  4. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

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    malkore--

    How do you figure? What goals are accomplished in 30 minutes? Weight loss/control? Blodd chemistry and blood pressure improvement? General conditioning? Not arguing, just trying to figure out where you are coming from.

    That fat burning zone is fern and chrome gym science. To loose weight you need caloric deficit. There are some schools of that that say high intensity will cause even a greater caloric deficit due to extending the time of the increased metabolism.

    I'm a little confused by your use of the term 'aerobic exercise' or 'interval cardio'. To me interval training done to proper intensity causes oxygen debt, or anaerobic (without oxygen). Right?


    Brad,

    FWIW, earlier this summer I had to lift at 5 AM. I am normally an after work excerciser. Anyhow, I put on about 5 to 8 pounds during this time frame. On days I lifted in the AM, I was starving all day long.

    Jack
     
  5. malkore

    malkore

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    Jack,

    glance through this article to see where I get my ideas on cardio from

    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/alwyn8.htm

    and yes i'm fully aware of the fat burning 'zone' you see on cardio machines is very misleading, and that it doesn't work that way.

    I'm currently studying for the NSCA's CSCS certification, an my knowledge lies more in nutrition and strength training than aerobics...so that's one area I'm still learning (such as oxygen debts).
     
  6. G36.45

    G36.45

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    Diet is the most critical for fat loss.

    Exercising in the morning..and then being hungrier all day...is actually a good thing if you are trying to lose weight. Eat more frequent...but smaller meals to keep the fire stoked and reduce the hunger.

    This is far too complex of a topic to discuss here most likely but weight lifting is great to increase your metabolism but in order to maximize the benefit you need to add muscle mass.

    In order to add muscle mass it is generally accepted that you will need to at least take in as many calories as you burn but more likely you need to consume MORE calories than you expend in order to give the body fuel to build itself bigger and stronger.

    Most people get their knowledge of this from the "supplement" companies and magazines that are bought and paid for by the "supplement" companies....but the facts are the facts.


    The ideal combo for health is a mixture of all three however...you will never find a consensus on which is better, more productive, etc...etc..yada...yada.

    Key thing...is do SOMETHING...that's better than most.
     
  7. malkore

    malkore

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    Do something AND be consistent about it. The body really responds more to 'trends' in your diet and daily activity, than infrequent, haphazzard attempts.

    this is the reason all good eating programs allow for cheat days or cheat meals...adhereing 100% to a diet vs adhering 95% to a diet...the difference is negligible.

    good eating, proper strength training, and aerobic activity are all crucial. but more intense/interval cardio for 30 mins is better than 60 mins of slow, steady state cardio, assuming one isn't training for a marathon (or similar endurance activity)
     
  8. DBradD

    DBradD

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    I don't claim to know enough to challenge you on the theoretical stuff, but my observations don't really go along with what you're typing.

    I used longer cardio workouts early this year when I dropped 34 lbs to about 8-9% bodyfat. The loss was mainly due to diet, but I think those long cardio workouts helped also. During a weight loss phase, I really think the situation does simplify to calorie deficit. I can burn a crapload more calories doing the stairmaster on Level 9 for 60 minutes than Level 11 for 30 minutes. I also won't be as desperate to eat a bunch of food after the lower intensity workout. I've done it both ways, so I think I know how it works for me anyway. In the past, I tried the higher intensity stuff and it didn't do much for weight loss. Great for fitness, but not for losing fat.

    I don't understand the "trends" claim at all because it seems to go completely against everything I've learned over the last year or so and what I observed (but didn't really understand) over many years. The body certainly does respond to a "trend," but the response is not usually helpful. That's why we all hit plateaus if we don't change things up from time to time. Years ago, I remember competing in the same powerlifting contest two years in a row. I trained myself half to death during the year in between and gained only 10 lbs on my squat! I needed to have changed it up to get it moving again. As another example, when I hit rock-bottom bodyfat, I changed it up dramatically and have gained about 11 lbs with the scales saying the same percentage bodyfat, chinline looks no different, pants are not tighter, and I've gained a fair amount on my arms, legs, shoulders, etc. I can do a heck of a lot more chinups, handstand pushups, etc. too. I think dramatically changing things around makes a world of difference. As soon as I hit a plateau and start to put on fat, I'll slingshot it back the other way. At this point, "consistency" would be a 4-letter word with me if it wasn't about a 12 letter word!

    We might not be in real opposition. I appreciate your well thought-out and civil responses, but I think we're typing about different kinds of programs and goals.

    DBD
     
  9. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

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    malkore,

    Thanks, I agree with that for the purpose of fat loss while dieting. I'm not sure though, if I would if blood chemistry or blood pressure control were what I was after.

    I'm not a big fan of steady state cardio for that either. But I can't argue with Brad's results.

    I believe the bidy adapts. So therefore, I think perhaps it is good to have more than one trick in the arsenal.

    Jack
     
  10. DBradD

    DBradD

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    Even a blind hawg gits an acorn every now and then.

    I honestly don't know the answer to these questions. I doubt that there is ONE answer, especially one answer that works for every human. I just know what's worked for me and what hasn't. That doesn't even mean it will work again for me.

    My biggest question is how to eat enough to gain muscle and have the energy to work out without getting fat. After getting fat, then how does one go about losing the fat without losing all the muscle that was gained. I haven't noticed fat gain yet, but I know it's coming soon to a waist near me!
     
  11. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

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    Anectdotally speaking, HIIT works for weight loss. That's what I did to loose about 40 pounds. I think you're right though, I think it all works for a while or at least for someone.

    Brad, have you ever heard of Lyle McDonald? You may be interested in some of his writings. He has a forum at his site too, that can be informative. He is a good guy too.
     
  12. DBradD

    DBradD

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    Never heard of him, but I don't spend a lot of time reading about fitness nowadays. I'll go find his stuff--thanks. I had never read the Cosgrove article from malkore either and I found it to be very informative.
     
  13. malkore

    malkore

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    Cosgrove actually posts on a fitness forum I visit, and he clarified that article for me, cuz at first I was misunderstanding it.

    I won't deny that some people get good results from steady state cardio. We're all unique and adapt differently to different stimuli.

    What I don't like about steady state cardio is most people don't/can't do it hard enough to actually get a cardiovascular workout, so the heart doesn't get stronger.

    Plus, I HATE cardio, so my personal preference is to go hard, fast, and get it over with in 30 mins or less.

    but my goals have never been endurance based fitness. i'm all about packing on muscle.
     
  14. A_Fletcher

    A_Fletcher Yardwork Ninja

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    Malkore, may I PM you?
     
  15. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

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    Brad,

    Two things:

    Lyle McDonald is as much or more about diet as he is exercise. I thought this might be of interest to you because you said.....
    I think this is right up Lyle's alley.

    And, about longer steady state cardio versus HIIT regarding calorie deficit. It is theorized that during steady state more calories are burned, but HIIT will result in a larger caloric deficit as the metabolism is increased for a longer time after cardio is over.

    Give it a shot sometime.

    Jack
     
  16. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

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    malkore,

    If

    Why cardio at all? Seems contrary to your goals.



    As a side to all reading this, what I want to know is HIIT versus longer steady state cardio; which is more effective for CV health, cholesterol control and blood pressure control?

    Jack
     
  17. geminicricket

    geminicricket NRA Life member

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    General comment:
    When I don't exercise and don't watch my diet, I do get fatter.
    When I do exercise and do watch my diet, I do get less fat.

    For the last several weeks I've been attending an hour-long exercise class at the gym, four days a week. It's pretty intense, with steps, rubber bands, dumbells, weights, and medicine balls in various combinations. The goal seems to be to make every muscle in the body very tired before the hour is finished. I sweat buckets, and I've become able to do more push-ups. (OK, 15 compared to 10, but it's progress!)
     
  18. DBradD

    DBradD

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    I read a lot of the stuff on his website and he seems to make good sense to me. So have you read his book UD2.0 or whatever it's called? It seems right up my alley if it's anything like he claims.

    As a side item, what's up with all the cursing? I noticed that on Cosgrove's website also. While I don't have blood running out of my eyes from reading it, I can't recommend it to several people I know. Very unprofessional. Oh well.

    I know I need give it a shot. I read that theory on the website linked by malkore earlier and it makes sense to me.

    This thread is great. I'm starting to think that I did well earlier this year because of the massive change in routine, not because of any magic in the program. I think it was one of those "borrowed time" programs--no way it was going to work for long. Worked long enough for me, so that's all I care about!
     
  19. DBradD

    DBradD

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    I've gotten into the habit of reading a lot while doing cardio. I think I'm subconsciously biased against dramatic increases in intensity because I don't think I could read while doing that! Wow, that's pathetic and weird motivation. :treadmill:

    I've learned quite a bit in this thread thanks to you and Jack--I appreciate it very much.

    DBD
     
  20. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

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    Brad,

    I sure didn't mean to imply that you need to change to HIIT immediately. Heck, if you are still getting results keep at what you are doing. Plus, if you enjoy it because you can read, well, that's an extra benefit. This stuff is supposed to be fun. I was just suggesting that if your current cardio program becomes stale, than maybe you'll want to try it.

    About the foul language at Lyle's; Are you refering to it on his forum or on his website. I've never noticed any on his website.
    BTW, I have not read the book in question.

    Jack