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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Adaptive Thermogenesis and Obesity

I'm sure that most proponents of the "calories in, calories out" theory of weight management would agree that energy expenditure plays a significant role in obesity. And I don't disagree.....but are most nutritionists and doctors looking at the wrong component of energy expenditure?
Total energy expenditure (or TEE), is the total amount of energy (i.e. calories) your body burns in a day. It is the sum of three distinct parts:
1) Obligatory energy expenditure - This is the energy required by the body to perform necessary cellular and organ functions.
2) Physical activity - Any additional energy burned by the body to fuel physical activity of any sort.
3) Adaptive thermogenesis - Additional energy expenditure induced by diet or cold exposure.
Most nutritionists and MD's believe that reduced physical activity is one of the root causes of obesity. Many also believe that reduced obligatory energy expenditure (i.e. "a slow metabolism") also contributes. But the picture looks very different once you look at the scientific literature.
In most animal studies, the difference between lean and obese subjuects is found in adaptive thermogenesis. In basic terms this means that most animals fed a high calorie diet do not gain weight. They off-set the increased calories by spontaneously increasing diet induced thermogenesis. With little exception, only when an abnormality in this process exists do animals gain weight. (1) Even when calorie intake and energy expenditure are equalized, some animals will gain weight while others remain lean.
Humans are much harder to study than rodents. But if human obesity is similar to rodent obesity (which is probable) it would help us to explore other reasons why our population is gaining so much weight. The typical "eat less and exercise more" treatment for obesity has failed, and abnormalities in diet induced thermogenesis is likely one of the culprits.
Is it possible that a diet high in refined carbohydrates and food toxins found in industrial foods (like wheat and seed oils) are interfering with our body's ability to adjust to normal fluctuations in energy intake? Could these same refined carbs and food toxins be disrupting natural hormonal feedback loops that regulate body fat stores? 
If this is the case, as I believe, the most effective treatment for obesity would be a natural diet of unprocessed foods such as vegetables, nuts, meat, poultry, seafood, and fruit. Short term restriction of all carbohydrates, even natural, healthful sources such as berries and sweet potatoes, would also likely be beneficial. 


1) "β-Adrenergic Receptors, Diet-induced Thermogenesis, and Obesity",
  • Bradford B. Lowell and 

  • Eric S. Bachman. Journal of Biochemistry, 278, 29385-29388.

  • Thursday, August 4, 2011

    Amazing New Exercise Program Helps Client Lose 20% of His Body-Weight in Just One Week!

    Simon has had problems with his weight for his entire adult life. For years he has been told by his doctors that he needed to lose weight, and now, just past 50, he decided enough was enough and came to me wanting a complete lifestyle program to overhaul his health and physical appearance.

    I decided to try new, albeit controversial, weight loss plan I have been tinkering with the past few months. This plan has own two rules:
    First, absolutely no liquid calories are allowed. Simon could eat as much as he wanted, but he could drink only water.
    Second, and more importantly, Simon performed a revolutionary new cardiovascular exercise I have just developed. I call this exercise "Chase Your Own Ass." To perform it, you your ass!

    Simon performed bouts of this exercise daily, as many times as possible. When he was exhausted and could no longer take it he would sleep, eat, watch TV, whatever. But when he felt rejuvenated he would start over again. To increase motivation Simon suggests taping a pork chop or steak to your butt.

    This simple program allow Simon to lose 17.5% of his body-weight in just seven days! And we have the medical records to prove it!

    If you decide to try this plan please do so with caution. There are many potential snags that could derail your progress:

    1)  If you have exceptional cervical flexibility you may actually catch your ass. If you do, PLEASE DO NOT BITE, no matter how tempting it might be! Simon made this mistake and ended up in the ER needing stitches!
    Simon's bed after he caught his own ass!

    2)  The quest to catch your ass can be very addicting. In fact, Simon has become so obsessed with the idea that his doctors have recommended he begin taking Prozac!

    3)  No matter how much you enjoy chasing your ass, doing so endlessly in the middle of the night will likely cause frustration and animosity among the other people who live with you. I will not be held responsible if one of your housemates chooses to beat you mercilessly.

    If Simon's weight loss plan seems too extreme, you could try lifting weights two to three times per week while simultaneously cutting some of the carbohydrates out of your diet. This approach has helped many K-Fit clients lose weight and get healthy. You too can look and feel great without the risk of permanent mental trauma and physical disfigurement!

    Simon demonstrating proper technique for the "Catch Your Own Ass" exercise phenomena that helped him drop from 20.6 pounds to 17 pounds in just seven day!

    Monday, August 1, 2011

    Are Protein Supplements Worth the Money?

    Researchers at SUNY Buffalo studied the effects of weight training plus protein supplementation in a group of overweight males. All three groups participated in supervised weight training program for 12 weeks. The Control group did not take any protein supplements while the experimental groups took either a soy or a whey protein supplement.

    While all the groups gained strength and muscle mass, lowered their percent body-fat and lowered their total cholesterol, there was no significant difference between the three groups.

    My recommendation: save the money you would have spent on your protein powder and buy some grass fed ground beef instead. It's high in protein and healthy fat without artificial sweeteners and fillers. And it cost $4-$5 per pound instead of $12-$15!!!

    Dietary Guidelines for Americans