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get to the gym or get fat


Metabolism and Nutrition Facts


10. Digestion starts in your mouth
Most people think that your food is digested in your stomach but it actually starts being digested while still in your mouth.  Dietary polysaccharides are first digested in the mouth by salivary alpha-amylase which breaks down the glucose alpha 1-4- glucose bonds.  In fact, studies show that those with a low level of salivary amylase predisposes them to obesity.

9. Fiber not absorbed but oh so important
Don’t know if you knew this, but fiber CANNOT be digested for energy by our bodies because we as humans lack the enzymes to break it down. So you know all those ads declaring how their food is high in fiber… you are getting zero energy and nutritional value from that. But wait! It is still very important on the back end… literally. Without it pooping would be terrible. And it actually helps weight loss, control blood sugar, and reduce the chances of several chronic diseases (Stroke, Gallstones, Diverticulitis, Heart Disease). So eat your fiber people!

8. Don’t neglect your desire for CARBS
Anyone that knows me knows I’m a big believer in bread. Here’s the science to back it up. 45-65 percent of your total daily calories for an adult should be from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are ESSENTIAL for your body’s energy production. ALSO, Red Blood Cells NEED a constant supply of glucose aka carbohydrates. They can ONLY use glucose. Probably most importantly is the fact that the brain NEEDS glucose to function. Proteins and fatty acids do not cross the blood brain barrier. If you are lacking those oh so important carbohydrates your body resorts to starvation mode and produces ketone bodies to fuel the brain instead of glucose. Makes me wonder about all those people are those “no carb diets.”  Or those “meat heads”. Now I fully understand that expression. Yikes! How’s the health of your brain?

7. Good Fat
Some fats are bad (duh we all knew that) but some fats are crucial to a healthy diet. Some fat leads to coronary heart disease while others help reduce the risk. Some fat may lead to cancer while other types are critical for prostagladin synthesis and absorption of certain vitamins. So how do you know which is which? Basically, stay away from Trans fat and Saturated fat. Instead choose foods with monoUNsaturated or polyUnsaturated fats. All in moderation of course. It all boils down to double bonds on the fatty acid chain. Monounsaturated fats have one double bond and polyunsaturated fats have several. These double bonds effect the melting point so you can usually tell the good fat from the bad fat just by looking at it. Unhealthy saturated fats and trans fat are usually solid at room temperature such as pork fat or butter. Mono and polyunsaturated fats are usually liquid at room temperature such as olive oil and tuna juice.

6. Fat and Happy
On the note of fat, some of the best fats are types of polyunsaturated fat that contains omega-3. This type of fat that is usually found in fish not only helps fight against the risk of coronary artery disease but can help protect against irregular heartbeats, lowers blood pressure, and decreases overall chances of sudden cardiac death. This is double bonded fatty acid chain makes me agree all the more with the expression fat and happy.  

5. It costs food to eat food.
Approximately 5-10% of the digestible energy contained in food is used in a process called Diet Induced Thermogenesis (DIT) or Thermic Effect of Food (TEF), which is the energy needed to digest, absorb, and distribute these macronutrients.

4. One size DOESN’T fit all
The equation for weight loss is simple… you need to use more energy than you absorb. You can do this by increasing physical activity or decreasing your food intake. However, what makes it complex is the fact that this will be different for all of us. The equation deals with ENERGY intake not food intake. So two people could eat the same amount and exercise the SAME amount and one person may gain weight while the other LOSES weight. It has to do with the individual’s metabolism and a lot to do with the individual’s resting energy expenditure (REE) which is the cellular energy used for breathing, circulation, ion transport, and maintenance of cellular integrity. This is different for EVERY person! So don’t think that just because certain exercise or diet worked for one person that it will work for you. Diet and exercise should be assessed on an INDIVIDUAL basis.

3. BMI bull
So doctors all across America use what’s called the BMI index to help determine and classify obesity. I find this to be a very flawed system. The Body Mass Index ONLY takes into account your weight and height. Nothing else! The exact formula is weight in kilograms divided by your height in meters squared. Anything over 25 is considered overweight and over 30 is obese. So according to this system I am OVERWEIGHT! I don’t think I am in perfect shape, but for someone who is more on the scrawny side to be called overweight would make me think this system is very flawed. To determine whether or not a person is overweight should be done on a case to case basis rather than a universally blanketed structure.  

2. Get to the gym or get fat
Glucose is the main source of our bodies energy. So many of us are worried about consuming too much glucose because we don’t want to get fat! The good news is that even after consuming excess glucose the body doesn’t convert it to fat right away. It gives you a chance to go to the gym sometime within the next 10-18 hours to get rid of it. How nice. So how does your body hold onto this excess energy? It stores the excess glucose as glycogen in the liver an d skeletal muscles which holds a 10-18 supply of glucose. The glucose in the liver store houses can be used for blood homeostasis but the glucose in the skeletal muscle can only be mobilized during exercise. After that storage center is saturated then, you guessed it, the excess energy is converted to adipose tissue aka fat.

1. I’m starving… no actually you aren’t.
I’m Starving! I hear this expression thrown around all the time when people start to feel the grumblings of hunger. But this of course is a hyperbole (over-exaggeration). Technically if you have eaten anything in the past 4 hours you are technically still in the “fed” state and are still processing your previous nutrient intake. If you have eaten ANYTHING in the past 3 days, then technically you still aren’t starving, but rather you are in what is called the post-absorptive fasting state. When you are starving your only source of blood glucose is gluconeogenesis. That means you have depleted all your fat and glycogen stores. So next time you feel the sting of hunger maybe try a more accurate declaration such as, “I’m famished!” or “My glucose levels are feeling extra depleted!”