Is the New “High-protein Low-saturated Fat” Diet the Answer to Weight Loss?

The heated debate, within Diet circles, that began a few years ago and continues today is over the effectiveness of the high-protein, low-carbohydrate, type diet versus its counterpart, the high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet.

To the delight of the Atkins diet enthusiasts, recent studies have suggested that a diet high in protein and low in fat has a greater effect on diet induced thermogenesis (calorie burning) than a high carbohydrate low fat diet.

Before we go further we need to familiarize you with a few terms we will be discussing in this article. Your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) is the total energy your body burns in a day. TDEE consists of 3 components: diet induced thermogenesis (DIT), basal metabolism, and physical activity.

DIT is the increase in the body’s temperature that is caused by the digestion and absorption of a meal. This rise in temperature results in calorie burning. Yes, we actually burn calories simply by eating and scientists have long believed that DIT may be a factor, in reducing obesity; and that obese people may have defective DITs – although this hasn’t been proven yet. Once scientists identify the link between DIT and obesity on a molecular level, it could essentially pave the way for the development of drugs in the treatment of obesity. That’s still however, in the future.

In a recent study at the University of Arizona, published by the American College of nutrition, a group of young healthy women were given 2 sets of diets. (1) One diet was high in protein and low in fat and the other was high in carbohydrate and low in fat. Scientists were trying to compare the thermic effect (DIT) of protein versus carbohydrate during the digestion and absorption of meals. Keep in mind, as the body’s temperature increases (by DIT), so does the number of burned calories.

Evidence from this study showed that postprandial (following a meal) thermogenesis increased 100% more with the high-protein low-fat diet versus the high-carb low-fat diet. Although protein had a greater effect on DIT, the study did not evaluate weight loss or the long term effects of this type of diet. The results did suggest that this type of diet may have a positive effect on weight loss.

Scientists concluded that a diet high in protein, moderate in carbohydrate and low in fat contents may promote a higher rate of weight loss compared to the high carbohydrate, low fat diet. On the other hand, they also warn that high protein diets may affect kidney function in those that have kidney conditions, but not in healthy individuals.

Furthermore, they recommend daily protein intake should not exceed 2 grams per 1 kilogram of body weight. The American daily average is 1 gram per 1 kilogram. Further studies are required to assess the long term effects of high protein, low fat dieting.

It is important to keep in mind, however, that DIT or the thermic effect of a meal only represents 3-10% of total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). So we must keep things in perspective. Basal or resting metabolism accounts for up to 70% of TDEE and energy expenditure from exercise is responsible for the rest. Logic dictates, therefore that these two take precedence over DIT.

The other big influencing factor in weight loss is the reduction of daily food intake. Let’s look at the input/output equation: x (Input) – y (Output) = z. Daily output and total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) are the same thing. If you ate fewer calories (x) than your body burned (y), z would have a negative value. If you consumed more calories than your body expended, z would be positive. A negative balance in the equation results in weight loss, a positive value causes weight gain. It’s that simple.

In the above study, the high protein low fat type diet involves 2 factors of Input: Food composition and food quantity. In this diet, food composition (food selection) consists of a certain combination of macronutrients (high protein, low fat). Food intake (Input) affects the DIT which causes a certain increase (energy expenditure) on the Output part of the equation. And, as food composition varies so does the DIT. Food composition, though, can only have a limited effect on DIT. Remember DIT only represents 3-10% of the TDEE (Output). And food composition (high-protein, low-fat), accounts for a percentage of DIT, which represents even a smaller value. Food quantity, on the other hand, can have a tremendous effect on the equation – as it increases, the balance becomes more positive. If it surpasses TDEE then you gain weight – quite independently of DIT.

As a result, there can be a downside with respect to DIT involving the high-protein low-fat diet or any diet for that matter. With this diet, as protein intake increases so does the DIT. The problem is, however, that the food quantity (Input) also increases. The point here is that there is a limit to the amount of protein you can ingest before your body starts storing it as fat. Because DIT doesn’t account for expending a lot of calories (3-10% of TDEE), and food composition (high-protein, low-fat) accounts for a percentage of DIT, there’s only so much protein you can ingest before you start getting a surplus of calories. And excess dietary protein just as excess carbohydrate or fat is stored as fat in the body’s adipose tissue. The only other factor that can compensate for the excess of protein intake is an increase in exercise participation. Although, that would defeat the purpose for obvious reasons.

Physical activity, however, can have a large effect on the Output part on TDEE (Output). Not only does it account for a much larger energy expenditure than DIT, countless of studies have shown that regular physical activity actually increases basal metabolism, which accounts for up to 70% of TDEE. As a result, regular exercise participation essentially has a compounding effect on the calorie burning process.

As we can see then, the bulk of weight loss and weight gain comes down to the quantity of calories ingested (Input) and calories burned (output). Furthermore, exercise and metabolism are responsible for approximately 90%-97% of TDEE. Energy expenditure from DIT is almost insignificant in comparison. DIT is just not effective enough to produce a negative caloric balance independently of total caloric intake, energy expenditure from exercise and basal metabolism – especially for most overweight individuals. And it would be unrealistic for overweight or obese people to rely exclusively on DIT to lose weight. These people are either overeating, aren’t active enough or have low basal metabolic rates – or a combination of all three factors.

So, it still looks like there’s no easy way out – you actually have to work, if you you’re going to lose weight. The easiest way to achieve that is with the efficient use of all Input and Output components. That also means you must know your priorities. Most of your efforts should be spent in finding an adequate balance between a reduction of total daily caloric intake and a sufficient level of physical activity. And emphasis on DIT should take on a secondary role.

But wait, before you put on your running shoes and begin another diet plan, you might want to hear some very interesting news. There are certain cultures around the world whose diets contain just as much fat and carbohydrate (if not more) as in the American diet. Yet they are slimmer, and have much fewer occurrences of heart disease and cancer than their American counterparts.

Recent studies have shown that people in certain Mediterranean regions and in France manage to stay healthier and are less obese than those in other western countries. Let’s look at the French first.

In a study by Adam Drewnowski of the University of Michigan, scientists examined the eating habits of 1,637 men and 1,576 women in America and compared them to those of 5,000 French adults. They studied their overall diets based on diversity (foods from 5 major food groups), variety (total number of foods consumed daily) and moderation (according to USDA dietary guidelines). (2)

The results were quite surprising. They found that the French ate more foods that were higher in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol than their American counterparts. The study also showed that the French diet complied with very few of the USDA dietary recommendations for eating healthy. In addition, the findings showed that 99% of French women’s diets had saturated fat contents in excess of 10% of total daily calories. What’s shocking is that, on average, the French are thinner and have fewer occurrences of heart disease than Americans.

The possible harmful effects of the high fat content in the French diet, however, were offset by diet diversity and variety. Drewnowski pointed out that “the low fat approach is very good but not if it comes at the expense of dietary variety.”

The USDA recommends that diets should consist of a variety of foods. According to the American part of the study, just one in ten men and one in sixteen women consumed food from all five food groups (Meat, dairy products, fruits, vegetables and grains). The other thing is that the French have more active lifestyles than Americans do. Americans typically drive more, walk less and participate in more sedentary type of leisure activities.

Similarly, a Mediterranean diet study also showed that the diet was high in fat, more diverse and had greater variety than the American diet. According to research, certain Mediterranean people, particularly from the Greek island of Crete, had fewer cases of heart disease and were thinner than Americans.

The difference in this study, however, was a crucial finding that suggested food variety and diversity created a certain dietary ratio. This was a ratio between 2 types of fatty acids present in the Mediterranean diet. These fatty acids are found in plant sources and fall into 2 groups: The omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. You have probably heard of the multiple health benefits of these essential fatty acids many times before. They are called essential fatty acids (EFAs) because the body cannot produce them – they can only be obtained from food sources.

Although omega-6 fatty acids are essential to the diet, the omega-3 group has more significant therapeutic properties. Omega-3s contain powerful antioxidants that are known to fight against heart disease, lower blood pressure, strengthen the immune system, improve mood disorders to name a few.

The other benefit of omega-3s according to research is that they also have an amazing ability to control body fat. Omega-3s control the quantity of adipose (fat) tissue by regulating the amount of fat that goes into fat cells and the amount that is burned up for energy. (3, 4) Omega-3s have also been shown to increase fat oxidation in the body – the process by which fat is broken down and used as fuel for energy. (4) This further promotes a reduction in body weight that consists of fat mass.

According to scientists the key factor in diet composition is that the French diet and more so the Mediterranean diet consist of higher intakes of foods containing omega-3s than the American diet. In other words their diets contain a better (lower) omega-6 to omega-3 ratio than the American diet. And that’s the key. One of the main reasons Americans have lower intakes of omega-3s is because of their high intake of processed food. Food processing is largely responsible for removing a lot of the omega-3 content from food.

On the other hand the French and Mediterranean diets are more abundant in whole foods, fresh fruits and vegetables. And so their intake of omega-3s is considerably higher. In addition, the people of Crete eat 10 times more fish (rich source of omega-3s) than Americans do. Other important sources of omega-3s in the Mediterranean diet were: fish, purslane (wild plant high in omega-3 content), walnuts, figs and various other unrefined carbohydrates. By the way, the most abundant source of omega-3s is found right here in North America, and that’s flax seed oil.

As we can see, two different cultures manage to stay healthier and slimmer than North Americans while eating foods that contain high fat, carbohydrate and protein contents. The key differences are that their diets contain more unrefined foods; they consist of foods from all food groups and have more variety. As a result they have higher intakes of omega-3s (lower omega-6: omega-3 ratio) than other Western cultures. In addition, both these groups of people are more physically active than Americans.

Now, you can put on those sneakers and walk (or jog) to the supermarket for a new supply of fresh wholesome food.

Refernces:

1. http://www.jacn.org, “Postprandial Thermogenesis Is Increased 100% on a High-Protein, Low-Fat Diet versus a High-Carbohydrate, Low-Fat Diet in Healthy, Young Women, retrieved 10 June 2005 from http://www.jacn.org/cgi/content/full/21/1/55

2. http://www.sciencedaily.com, “Healthy diets need fat, according to new study”, retrieved 22 June 2005 from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/04/980424031929.htm

3. Parrish et al. “Dietary fish oils limit adipose tissue hypertrophy in rats.” Metabolism, Mar 1990, 39(3):217-9

4. Parrish et al. “Dietary fish oils modify adipocyte structure and function.” J Cell Physiology, Sep 1991, 148(3)

5. Baillie RA, et al. “Coordinate induction of peroxisomal acyl-CoA oxidase and UCP-3 by dietary fish oil: a mechanism for decreased body fat deposition.” Prostaglandins Leukot Essential Fatty Acids, May 1999, 60(5-6)

John Tiniakos helps make weight loss easier through proven weight loss methods using information and analysis from the worlds leading scientists.

For more information and to subscribe to his free monthly newsletter that includes valuable, up to date tips on diet, weight loss and health visit http://www.nulife-weightloss.com/natural.htm

The pH Miracle Video: Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health

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fitness level, fitness test, physical fitness test,

exercises for fitness level N1

Exercise Fitness level N1 is where people who have not done any real exercise in their lives belong and they should start exercising for their health?s sake.

Fitness test perhaps one of the downside of technology is that it leaves us no space to move around much. Fitness test that can be done with our bare hands can now be finished in just a click. Fitness test washing machines, dishwashers, remote controls, elevators and other technological innovations have made us almost immobile. Fitness test everyday chores have been left to the care of machines and we are left without exercise. Fitness test are, in fact, people who have no experience of exercise and we categorize them under exercise fitness level N1.

Fitness test is, in easy terms, the fine-tuning of our body. Fitness test just like a fine-tuned car, we are physically fit when we perform at our full potential. Fitness test not only do we look our best when we are physically fit but we also look and feel like it. fitness level N1 People under exercise are not physically fit and will need to start achieving this condition with beginner?s exercise.

Before people to exercise fitness level N1 should perform any kind of exercise, they should make sure that they consult with their doctors first especially if they are 35 years and above. Fitness test people who have health problems should also consult with their doctors as minor strains from exercises to be performed could complicate their conditions.

There are exercises programs that are fit for exercise fitness level N1 people are often cardiovascular or aerobic exercises. Fitness test doing exercises warm-ups and cool-downs are important regardless of how long you have been exercising. Fitness test prevent accidents that may injure the body. Fitness test warm-ups can be done for 5-10 minutes. Fitness test other people who have no real experience exercising could say that they are too busy to exercise so the best way to start is exercise for 20-30 minutes three times a week. Fitness test if 30 minutes will take too much of your time then you can peg it at 20 but no less.

Fitness test is better to work slowly and gradually increase the strain of exercise for those belonging to exercise fitness level N1 because the body should recover from the pain that it will experience with the exercise that you will be doing. Fitness test when you want to lose weight in order to be physically fit, have a target zone and concentrate on when doing cardiovascular exercise. You can work on your target zone for 20 minutes. Fitness test is also recommended by experts that beginners should do strength training to develop muscular strength and endurance. Fitness test would include push-ups, sit-ups, calisthenics and weight training. You can also lift hand weights; work on weight machines or use rubber bands or tubing. Of course the most popular form of cardiovascular exercise that can be done by beginners would include brisk walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, rope-jumping, rowing, cross-country skiing, and some continuous action games like tennis or badminton.

Fitness test after doing your exercises, please do not forget to cool down. Cooling down will help reduce muscle pains and will help you avoid muscular injuries. Fitness test you can cool down by stretching combined with low-level exercise and slow-walking. Fitness test just like warming-up, cooling down can be done in 5-10 minutes after performing your 20-minute cardio-vascular exercise.

Physical fitness test in the age of today, obesity struck many kids and teenagers alike. Due to the fact that there is no constant activity done by kids and teenagers, with this present situation, one should ask ?Why is physical fitness test important for teens?. physical fitness test need to start by redefining the word fitness. In general, physical fitness test is defined as the peak functioning or performance of muscles, lungs, and the heart of a person. Physical fitness test is determined through the person?s flexibility, muscle strength, cardio respiratory endurance, and body composition or the degree of fatness. Physical fitness test in order to achieve physical fitness test then, we need to develop these four fitness components. Since Physical fitness test is not focused on merely muscle strength or endurance, the best exercise to do then is an Aerobic exercise since it addresses all the major components. Physical fitness test several daily activities or sports are considered aerobic as long as it is done for twenty to twenty-five minutes without stopping. Physical fitness test include bicycling, dancing, walking, swimming, aerobic classes, jumping rope, roller skating, soccer, and many more. Physical fitness test some of the best activities one can do since it increases the heart rate and makes one breath harder due to the continuous nature of the physical activity.

Physical fitness test modern living entails high-tech equipments to stay fit. There are very few people who would actually look up ways on how to be fit naturally because most of the time people who become very conscious of their health are those who live in the urban areas. Physical fitness test city life is characterized by a stressful environment and stressful life. A person living in the city will, more often than not, have very little time for exercise.

Physical fitness test in city people who have time for exercise usually keep a gym at home or go a gym in a fitness center. They would follow routines they read from fitness articles or a routine prescribed by their Personal Trainers. Physical fitness test this way of keeping fit may sound monotonous and boring after sometime and one would look for other ways like how to be fit naturally. If you are following a routine for more than a year or so, you would find that you are aching for a new environment to sweat your stress out.

Physical fitness test going natural with nature ought to do it. There are so many ways you can enjoy a fitness exercise in the great outdoors. Instead of staring at equipments and mirrors all the time, you can work your stress out and find your inner calm by enjoying nature. Physical fitness test break the monotony by taking a trip to a nearby mountain, beach, nature park, forest, or river and do less artificial routines by doing outdoor sports that would help you on how to stay fit naturally.

Physical fitness test – Instead of swimming in an artificial or man-made ocean, you can go to the beach or a river where the restrain is actually stronger. This way, you will have to work harder and sweat more in order to complete a lap. Physical fitness test – Instead riding a mounted and stationary bicycle on a gym, you can buy yourself a real mountain bike and ride up to the mountains where you can really work your muscles up on a steep climb. Physical fitness test you will feel more fulfilled once you reach the top and you can take a rest while appreciating the scenic view before going back down the mountain. Physical fitness test can also climb the mountain on foot and camp out. Physical fitness test this way, you can appreciate nature more because you are on a more relaxed pace but you are still working your whole body out. physical fitness test are only some of the ways on how to stay fit naturally and there are more that you can do depending on how extreme you want to go. Others may also want to do some deep-sea diving or kayaking.

Tips To Stay Fit

There are so many different types of fitness products to choose from… all claiming to be your perfect fitness, health and physique solution. While this characteristic seems like a no-brainer… you would be surprised at just how many people are actively using a fitness product that will never give them the results they seek. Aerobic training is only a part of the fat loss equation, and will not produce the lean, muscular, athletic body most people want… regardless of all the hard work. The point is, make sure the fitness product you choose is designed to get the results you want… or you are doomed to failure before you begin. If you want to increase fitness, improve health and develop an attractive physique… look for fitness products designed to produce these results.

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Achieving an Elite Level of Fitness

In order to understand exactly what fitness is, or what it means to be “fit”, we have to define it so that we can have a precise understanding of what, how and why. Right? It almost drove me mad trying to find a definition for fitness and being fit! I searched the internet and writings of leading industry organizations and found very odd, misleading and confusing definitions. It’s no wonder everyone struggles to achieve a state that has no clear definition!

If you took the time to search yourself, you might find definitions for fitness such as:

in good physical condition; in good health or sound physically and mentally; healthy; to conform correctly to the shape or size of