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Calories or macros: nutritionist explains which works best for weight loss or building muscle

Counting Calories Vs Counting Macros

Calorie counting does not take into account the type of nutrients consumed, reducing the many types of food into numbers. It essentially makes no distinction between cottage cheese and a chocolate bar, apart from the number of calories they have.

The advantage of counting the macros (fats, proteins and carbs) is that many essential nutrients (vitamins, minerals) are naturally incorporated in our food intake.

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Calories or macros: nutritionist explains which works best for weight loss or building muscle

Calories or macros: nutritionist explains which works best for weight loss or building muscle

https://theconversation.com/calories-or-macros-nutritionist-explains-which-works-best-for-weight-loss-or-building-muscle-141096

theconversation.com

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Key Ideas

Macronutrient Dieting

If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) is a new diet that counts the daily macronutrients in the food and drinks we intake, mainly the fats, carbs and proteins. It provides flexibility and choice in our diet with the same results as a much stricter diet.

This popular new diet currently has no scientific research to test its effectiveness as compared to the previous diet plans of low-carb or low-fat consumption.

Counting Calories Vs Counting Macros

Calorie counting does not take into account the type of nutrients consumed, reducing the many types of food into numbers. It essentially makes no distinction between cottage cheese and a chocolate bar, apart from the number of calories they have.

The advantage of counting the macros (fats, proteins and carbs) is that many essential nutrients (vitamins, minerals) are naturally incorporated in our food intake.

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Intermittent Fasting (IF)
Intermittent Fasting (IF)

The dietary practice of restricting your food consumption to a specific window of time. It is used as a supplement to your diet.
In this fasting state, our bodies can break down extra fat...

Approaches to intermittent fasting
  • Skipped meals - when you skip over a meal to induce extra time of fasting. 
  • Eating windows - this condenses your entire macronutrient intake between a 4 and 7-hour window. The rest of the time you are in a fasting state.
  • 24-48 hour cleanse - where you go into extended fasting periods and do not eat for 1-2 days.
Autophagy definition and benefits

The process by which the cell devours itself.

  • Non-essential parts like damaged proteins are recycled and invading microorganisms and toxic compounds are removed. 
  • Autophagy plays an important role in stopping the aging process, reversing disease, and preventing cancer, but it doesn’t happen all the time. 
  • Autophagic processes can be initiated by fasting, protein restriction and carbohydrate restriction.

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Ketosis
... is a natural process the body initiates to help us survive when food intake is low. During this state, we produce ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in ...
Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet
  • Weight Loss.
  • Keto naturally lowers blood sugar levels due to the type of foods you eat.
  • Mental Focus: Ketones are a great source of fuel for the brain.
  • Increased Energy & Normalized Hunger: Fats are shown to be the most effective molecule to burn as fuel.
  • Epilepsy: Keto diet has been used since the early 1900’s to treat epilepsy successfully.
  • Cholesterol & Blood Pressure: shown to improve triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels most associated with arterial buildup.
  • Insulin Resistance.
  • Improvements in your skin health.
Do Not Eat on a Keto Diet
  • Grains – wheat, corn, rice, cereal, etc.
  • Sugar – honey, agave, maple syrup, etc.
  • Fruit – apples, bananas, oranges, etc.
  • Tubers – potato, yams, etc.

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Ketosis

... is a natural state of the metabolic process. When a person has reached ketosis, their body is burning stored fat instead of glucose.

7 tips to get into ketosis
  • Increase physical activity
  • Reduce carbohydrate intake significantly
  • Fast for short periods
  • Increase healthful fat intake
  • Test ketone levels
  • Maintain a high protein intake
  • Consume more coconut oil as this may help to increase ketone levels.
Ketosis in summary
  • Ketosis is a natural state for the body to be in from time to time. When it occurs, the body burns its fat reserves as energy.
  • Maintaining a state of ketosis for short periods involves minimal risk. However, people with type 1 diabetes should avoid ketosis due to an increased risk of complications.
  • People should also avoid being in ketosis long-term, as they may experience fatigue and nutritional deficiencies.
  • Making several dietary and lifestyle changes can help a person get into ketosis faster.
Intermittent fasting...

 ...is an increasingly popular eating pattern that involves not eating or sharply restricting your food intake for certain periods of time. It may boost your health. However, fa...

Popular regimens of fasting:
  • The 5:2 Pattern: restrict your calorie intake for two days per week (500 calories per day for women and 600 for men).
  • The 6:1 Pattern: similar to the 5:2, but there’s only one day of reduced calorie intake instead of two.
  • “Eat Stop Eat”: a 24-hour complete fast, 1–2 times per week.
  • The 16:8 Pattern: only consuming food in an eight-hour window and fasting for 16 hours a day, every day of the week.
Keep fasting periods short

Longer periods of fasting increase your risk of side effects, such as dehydration, dizziness, and fainting. 

The best way to avoid these side effects is to stick to shorter fasting periods of up to 24 hours — especially when you’re just starting out.

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Sleep And Weight Fluctuation
Sleep And Weight Fluctuation

Sleeping less has been associated with increased risk of obesity, and addition of body fat, as it affects the overall metabolism of the body, and can also affect our appetite.

Sleep duratio...

More Sleep Means Better Metabolism
  • Various studies point out that sleep influences two appetite hormones, leptin (to decrease appetite) and ghrelin (to stimulate appetite), which is also known as the hunger hormone.
  • Lack of sleep is associated with higher levels of ghrelin and lower levels of leptin, making the person more likely to overeat.
More Sleep And More Exercise
  • Sleep-deprived people crave for and also end up eating more carb-rich foods and sugar.
  • Sleep duration affects the release of insulin in the body, that affects our glucose levels, and prolonged sleep deprivation can lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
  • Research shows that exercise prevents the damage done by lack of sleep and also makes one eat less.

To stay healthy, one has to sleep more and also do regular exercise.

Metabolism

It refers to the biochemical processes that occur within living organisms to maintain life. These processes allow us to grow, reproduce, repair damage, and respond to our environment.

...

Metabolic Rate And Weight

It is a common belief that slim people have a higher metabolism and overweight people have a slower metabolism. But, this is rarely the case.

Overweight is in most cases a result of a lifestyle in which one group generally consumes more calories than they need. There isn’t much we can do to significantly change our resting metabolic rate, but long-term strategies, such as increasing muscle mass, may eventually have an effect.

Anabolism

Anabolism is a succession of chemical reactions that build molecules from smaller components and usually require energy. Anabolism allows the body to grow new cells and maintain all the tissues.

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Skipping Breakfast

Researchers say breakfast doesn't kickstart the metabolism and may not be the most important meal of the day. Different studies have found that skipping breakfast doesn’t lead to weight increase an...

"Hot" Workouts

They won't really help you lose weight. Research suggests regularly sleeping in colder temperatures may be optimal for weight loss as they stimulate the production of brown fat, the "good" fat. Brown fat keeps us warm by burning through "bad" fat stores.

Turn down the heat at night. You'll trim your belly and your heating bills.

Tongue-Scorching Peppers

Hot sauce can boost your metabolism. But research suggests that more-palatable, mild peppers may have the same calorie-burning potential.

Pack your salads and stir-fry with sweet peppers-including bell peppers, pimentos, rellenos, and sweet banana peppers. They're just as effective as the hot stuff.

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Best foods don’t have labels
Best foods don’t have labels

Because they are just one ingredient: avocado, lentils, blueberries, broccoli, almonds, etc.

There is no "best diet"

The “best” diet is a theme: an emphasis on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and plain water for thirst. 

That can be with or without seafood; with or without dairy; with or without eggs; with or without some meat; high or low in total fat.

The "Age" of vegetables
The best vegetables are likely to be fresh and locally sourced, but flash frozen is nearly as good (as freezing delays aging). Those “fresh” vegetables that spend a long time in storage or transit are probably the least nutritious.

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Protein Intake
Protein Intake

Protein intake is considered a no-brainer. As obesity rates have doubled over the last 20 years, this is what we have been told to eat. It is common knowledge that we have to avoid sugar, refined o...

Protein is Essential

A high-protein diet is essential for us to help our body grow and repair. We have been told to eat approximately 55 gm of protein daily for males, and 45 gm for females, based on average weights.

Not eating enough of protein can also have side effects like hair loss.

Health Fad

The protein supplement market had a valuation of USD 12.4 billion in 2016.

The way protein is packed in everything from candy bars to ‘high protein’ versions of staple products, it is becoming clear that it is an ongoing health fad. Many experts believe that products with ‘inflated protein’ are a waste of money.

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People struggle to keep weight off

Researchers have observed weight regain following weight loss across a range of populations and types of weight-loss diets.

Why long-term weight loss is so hard

The brain’s response to caloric restriction tends to be to increase cravings for foods that are highly rewarding and reducing our perception of being full. 

Diets frequently fail because they have an endpoint and are not a real lifestyle change. Maintaining a lifestyle that promotes a healthy weight and metabolism is often a lifelong journey. 

Maintaining weight loss

The actual food you eat isn’t the main thing that enables you to keep weight off.

Maintaining a weight-reduced state is a lifelong journey and many dietary approaches can work to facilitate weight loss and keep it off.