A diet containing complex carbs – read ‘lots of dietary fibre’ – makes rats with a dodgy pancreas slimmer and more muscled, we wrote a few days ago. A similar diet has the same effect on mice with a normal pancreas, researchers at the Children’s Hospital Boston discovered. What’s more, carbohydrates that are difficult for the body to absorb made the animals more physically active.

The researchers divided a group of male mice into two groups. Both groups were given a diet that consisted for 60 percent by weight of starch for a period of 40 weeks. In the control group the starch used consisted entirely of amylopectin; and in the experimental group it consisted of 40 percent amylopectin and 60 percent less easily absorbed amylose.

The difference between amylose and amylopectin lies in their structure. Amylopectin is a branched chain. The digestive enzymes can loosen the glucose molecules from the amylopectin at different locations at the same time and absorb them. This process goes pretty fast. Amylose, on the other hand, is a straightforward chain of glucose units.

To be digested the units have to be loosened one by one, and that takes time. Most of the glucose molecules are not absorbed by the body.

The sugar chains that are not absorbed form an ideal medium for beneficial micro-organisms in the large intestine to feed off. These convert glucose into short-chain free fatty acids. Researchers suspect that the positive effects of fibre – fibre is a collective noun for all carbohydrate chains that your small intestine can’t digest, and which are partially or wholly fermented in the large intestine by micro-organisms – are partly a result of the work of the short-chain fatty acids. These are thought to boost the metabolism a little.

The starch combination had no effect on body weight, but it did affect fat mass. That means that they built up more lean body mass.

The researchers came up with two partial reasons for the positive body recompositioning effect of the slow carbs. The respiratory quotient [RQ] of the mice that ate slow carbs was lower. That means that they burned a little more fat and less carbs. But perhaps a more important factor was that the mice moved more.

The researchers registered the mice’s movement by placing light-sensitive sensors in their cage, and the mice that ate slow carbs moved more. So they were more physically active. “Higher levels of physical activity are characteristically associated with greater lean body mass”, the researchers suggest cautiously. Between the lines you can see that they don’t think that that little bit of extra exercise in the SAC mice doesn’t explain their different body composition. Nevertheless, the increase in physical activity is in itself interesting.

“A low glycemic diet could increase spontaneous physical activity level, a possibility that might have important implications for the prevention and treatment of obesity and promotion of physical fitness”, the researchers conclude.

For more information about how this and other nutritional subjects, be sure to contact one of our personal trainers today. Not a member? Take advantage of the 50% off voucher now!

Source:
Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Nov;295(5):E1126-31.

Source: http://www.ergo-log.com/slowcarbsmuscular.html

Scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München have shown that people with a good vitamin D supply are at lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes mellitus. The study, which was conducted in cooperation with the German Diabetes Center and the University of Ulm, will be published in the October edition of the scientific journal Diabetes Care.

New tests performed on participants of the KORA study have shown that people with a good supply of vitamin D have a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes mellitus, while individuals with lower concentrations of vitamin D in their blood have a higher risk. This effect could be attributable, amongst other things, to the anti-inflammatory effect of vitamin D. The result of the study, which was conducted at the Helmholtz Zentrum München in cooperation with Dr. Christian Herder of the German Diabetes Center in Düsseldorf and Dr. Wolfgang König, Professor of Medicine/Cardiology at the University of Ulm, could have direct consequences for the prevention of this common disease.

“Vitamin D deficiency is relatively widespread due to our modern way of life and the geographical latitude of Germany. In the winter months, in particular, people often do not receive adequate supplies of the vitamin because of the lack of sunlight,” explains Dr. Barbara Thorand of the Institute for Epidemiology II at the Helmholtz Zentrum München. “If follow-up studies confirm our results, a targeted improvement in the supply of vitamin D to the general public could at the same time reduce the risk of developing diabetes.” The human body can produce vitamin D itself if it has sufficient exposure to sunlight. The UVB radiation in natural daylight splits the precursor of vitamin D, 7-dehydrocholesterol, in the skin and forms provitamin D3. Further vitamin D synthesis occurs in the liver and kidneys. In addition, the supply can be improved by eating specific foods, such as oily fish, eggs and milk products, or by taking vitamin D supplements.

More than six million people in Germany suffer from Type 2 diabetes mellitus, and the number of undiagnosed cases could be equally high. Up to now, there has been no cure for this common disease. Type 2 diabetes is a disorder of glucose metabolism. It is characterized by a loss of insulin action and a drop in the levels of the hormone produced by the body. The mechanisms that trigger the disease have not yet been fully clarified. However, it is known that diabetes is caused by a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors. The objective of the Helmholtz Zentrum München is to understand the mechanisms that cause common diseases and to develop new approaches with regard to their diagnosis, therapy and prevention.

For more information about how this and other supplements can enhance your training regime, be sure to contact one of our personal trainers today. Not a member? Take advantage of the 50% off voucher now!

Story Source:
The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen – German Research Centre for Environmental Health.

Journal Reference:
B. Thorand, A. Zierer, C. Huth, J. Linseisen, C. Meisinger, M. Roden, A. Peters, W. Koenig, C. Herder. Effect of Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D on Risk for Type 2 Diabetes May Be Partially Mediated by Subclinical Inflammation: Results from the MONICA/KORA Augsburg study. Diabetes Care, 2011; 34 (10): 2320 DOI: 10.2337/dc11-0775

Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111004132813.htm

Weight Loss

Gaining a large amount of fat can take years, so it should come as no surprise if losing it isn’t a quick process. Leaning out requires long-term changes in lifestyle, from stress management to exercising to eating properly. But what is eating properly? To this multi-headed question, we need to bring more than one answer.

Do Calories Matter?

Whereas water is the main culprit behind daily fluctuations, the weight you gain or lose in the long run depends primarily on your caloric intake. If you eat more than you burn, you gain weight; if you eat less than you burn, you lose weight. But is this weight fat or muscle? Most often, it is both, but how much of each depends on both exercise and diet composition (fat, protein, carbohydrate, and alcohol).

 Do Diets Work?

Hypocaloric diets (diets based on caloric restriction) all promote weight loss. Yet they often fail. Why? Because most people quit. Either they find the diet to difficult to continue or, having reached their goal, they decide they don’t need to diet anymore. In either case, they return to their old eating habits.

Unfortunately, fat cells have a slow turnover rate. They don’t immediately die when you starve them; they just shrink. Feed them again and you’ll find it quite easy to regain whatever weight you lost.

Which diet is the best for me?

The one that works for you. Some people swear by intermittent fasting; others will tell you that you should eat many small meals. Both are valid options. What matters, at the end of the day, is how much calories you have consumed. The best diet for you is the one you’ll stick to.

Of course, it is easier to stick to a diet that doesn’t make you ravenous. To promote satiety, you should favor foods rich in protein or with a high water content (fruits and vegetables). Although fat also promotes satiety, it has the downside of being calorically dense: A tablespoon of olive oil has the same caloric content as small potato!

Another benefit of protein is that it helps build muscle (when you eat more calories than you burn) and helps preserve muscle (when you eat fewer calories than you burn).

 What about the latest fad diet?

Most fad diets have two things in common: They restrict food choices, which makes it easier to count calories, and they’re very low in carbohydrate, which results in rapid weight loss—in the form of water.

How does that work? Very simply. Our body first stores carbohydrate in the form of glycogen. Only when our glycogen stores are full does the spare carbohydrate we consume get stored as fat. But what happens when we don’t supply our body with enough carbohydrate to replenish our glycogen stores? The water that was used for storage gets excreted.

Shedding several pounds in a couple of days can be exciting, but don’t be fooled: It’s only water. On a reasonable, healthy hypocaloric diet, you can expect losing one or two pounds of fat a week.

If I’m restricting calories, how do I stay out of starvation mode?

When a body enters “starvation mode,” its resting metabolic rate drops. It uses less energy for its most basic needs, and fat loss slows to a crawl. This could be scary, except that it largely doesn’t happen.

Starvation mode is something of myth, which started after a notorious experiment that literally starved its subjects. If your diet has you fasting for several days, then yes, you may experience a sharp drop in resting metabolic rate. You will also lose a lot of lean mass as your body starts cannibalizing your muscles for the protein it needs to insure its most vital functions. The smaller changes in energy expenditure resulting from caloric restriction, however, don’t have such a drastic effect.

Eating for weight loss is a bit of an iterative process: You estimate your caloric needs, then you adjust your estimate according to how your weight evolves from one month to the next (or one week to the next, but certainly not one day to the next!).

Finally, a weekly cheat meal isn’t going to ruin your diet. In fact, such a “refeed” may even help you stick to your diet by making it more bearable.

Is saturated fat bad for me?

There is some evidence that saturated fat may be less than ideal. Not a really strong statement. There is stronger evidence that unsaturated fats are beneficial, though, so if your diet is limited in fat, better eat less saturated fat and more unsaturated fats.

Are carbs bad for me?

It depends on your goals. If you are trying to lose weight, you need to eat less, and it is better to cut on carbohydrate than on protein or good fats. That said, and contrary to what some people would like you to believe, none of the macronutrients (protein, fat, or carbohydrate) are intrinsically bad for you.

So what is eating properly?

There is more to eating properly than what we’ve discussed here. Eating properly also means getting enough fiber and micronutrients (notably vitamins and minerals) through a wide selection of mostly unprocessed foods. But when it comes to gaining or losing weight, the answer is simple. If you want to gain weight, eat more than you burn. If you want to lose weight, eat less than you burn. In either case, consume 1.0–2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day (0.45–1.00 g/lb/day). And don’t forget to exercise and see a Platinum Fitness Trainer today!

Source: Examine.com is a Canadian company that runs an online encyclopedia focused on health, nutrition, and supplementation. The Examine.com team includes scientists, editors, and peer reviewers from multiple academic and research institutions. View all Articles by Examine.com

Read more at: http://www.trainerize.com/blog/a-beginners-guide-to-eating-for-weight-loss/

It’s been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Even so, if you’re like many people, you skip it anyway. Recent research now conventional wisdom has been correct. The conclusion of researchers at the University of Missouri who studied the topic is that people who eat a balanced breakfast, especially one high in protein, experience less hunger throughout the day, which means less snacking and fewer bad calories.

The dieters in a cognitive behavioral program for weight loss and maintenance often come in skipping breakfast. They say they don’t have time; they aren’t hungry in the morning; they would rather save their calories for later in the day. First, they should do problem-solving to help them find the time. Second, they need to respond to sabotaging thoughts that are likely to get in the way of their adopting the new habit of having breakfast.

When dieters say they don’t have enough time in the morning, they need to consider which a.m. tasks they can omit, postpone, do the night before, delegate to other people or spend less time on (at least temporarily, until breakfast becomes an easy routine). Sabotaging thoughts often get in the way:
• I don’t want to get up earlier.
• I can’t leave dishes in the sink.
• My kids won’t like it if I ask them to make their own lunches.
• I’d rather pick out my clothes in the morning.
• I can’t ask my spouse to help out with the kids.

It’s then helpful to create written responses to these kinds of thoughts that remind them that it’s unrealistic to believe that continuing to skip breakfast will lead to success — after all, it hasn’t in the past. There may, in fact, be a physiological reason why people who struggle to lose weight tend to eat too much later on in the day. And the changes they make to free up time for breakfast will soon become second nature.When dieters say they aren’t hungry in the morning, it’s important to find out what times during the day they are hungry, and what their eating patterns are like.

It is likely that these dieters consume most of their calories in the evening, often eating right up until they go to bed. No wonder they’re not hungry in the morning.

But according to research (and clinical experience), skipping breakfast may indeed lead to less control over eating later on. Try an  an experiment for at least a couple of weeks: eat a protein-rich breakfast and then monitor your day and evening eating. You’ll end up with the same conclusion: eating (a balanced) breakfast really helps you eat more reasonably for the rest of the day.

Another important reason to eat your morning meal is if you’re one of those that workout in the morning. Eating before exercise is mandatory for (you) performance athletes to get the most out of your workout, recovery, and the results. Therefore, ingesting part of your daily calorie allotment before exercise is a practice everyone should do. Eating before training can:

• Fill energy stores before a workout
• Break the fast to boost metabolism and continue a constant flow of nutrients
• Increase workout performance: high intensity training burns two to three times more fat immediately post-exercise, thus greater total fat throughout the day
• Enhance recovery to improve maintenance or growth of muscle which also adds to your metabolic rate
• Increase daily non-exercise movements by never staying in a less energetic/fasting state beyond rising in the morning

It takes calories to burn more calories, but don’t add extra calories – simply take the total daily calories you are allowed and distribute them properly throughout the day based on your activities.

The bottom line is make sure you eat the most important meal of the day, breakfast.

Leidy, H. J., Lepping, R. J., Savage, C. R., & Harris, C. T. (5 May 2011).
Neural Responses to Visual Food Stimuli After a Normal vs. Higher Protein Breakfast in Breakfast-Skipping Teens: A Pilot fMRI Study.
Obesity Journal, (1-7). doi:10.1038/oby.2011.108

Sources:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/judith-s-beck-phd/breakfast-benefits_b_883021.html
http://www.dotfit.com/content-1498.html

Sports scientists used to think that the only way to burn fat was to do long sessions of moderate exercise, but recent studies have shown that short high-intensity training sessions also work. The fat burning doesn’t only happen during the intensive sessions, but goes on afterwards too. This is the phenomenon known as EPOC. Greek sports scientists discovered that over 65s can benefit from this way of exercising too, especially if they train with heavy weights.

The 40 men in the Greek study, which was published in Diabetes Care, were all on the heavy side, with an average BMI of 29. Although not physically active, they were healthy.

The researchers got the men to train for an hour. During the workout the men trained all of their large muscle groups, doing 3 sets of basic exercises.

The men were divided into 4 groups. The low-intensity group trained using weights of 45-50 percent of their 1RM and rested for 2 minutes between sets. The moderate-intensity group trained with 60-65 percent of their 1RM and rested for 4 minutes between sets. The high-intensity group trained with 80-85 percent of their 1RM and took 6-minute breaks between sets. The control group did nothing.

The low-intensity group burned 296 calories during the workout; the moderate-intensity group 282 calories and the high-intensity group 222 calories. The lactic acid level and concentrations of free fatty acids and glycerol [fat burning indicators] rose least during the high-intensity training session.

In the days following the training session, the adiponectin level remained considerably higher in the high-intensity group. Adiponectin is a hormone that makes muscles extract more nutrients from the blood. The cortisol level was lower in the high-intensity group than the other groups after the training session.

The high-intensity group had a raised energy expenditure [REE] for days after the test. During the period that the researchers took measurements, the men in the high-intensity group burned several hundred calories more. The energy was spent on helping the body to recover from the strength training. Almost all of this energy for EPOC is derived from fat.

“Overweight older men may benefit from training with a frequency of two to three resistance exercise sessions per week”, the Greeks conclude. “In addition, it appears that all resistance exercise schemes induce marked energy expenditure.” We take the liberty of adding that it’s training with heavy weights that drives up the calorie burning.

Source: Diabetes Care. 2009 Dec;32(12):2161-7.
Source: http://www.ergo-log.com/heavystrengthtrainingburns.html

A 55-year-old mother of five, who’s lost over 100 pounds, improved her balance, and health, says you’re never too old to start working out.
“I was 55 years old when I started this weight lifting and weight training. You know what, don’t hesitate. You’re not ever going to be too old. I’m making myself younger. It’s not too late. It’s not going to be too late to start,” says Terri Morse, a Tucson resident and mom of five grown children.

Morse says she’s struggled with weight issues her whole life.

“As a teenager, even though I was fit and muscular, from being on the swim team, I thought I was enormous. I’ve always had these body issues. I was fit, I was healthy, but at the time, I had all these messages coming at me, that I just kept gaining weight, with each child, I gained weight, and never lost between children,” says Morse.
Morse says she got pretty unhealthy.

“Ten years ago, I got serious. I needed to make sincere changes, or I’d die.”

Morse started coming to Platinum Fitness, with her son. But as life moved on… she found herself without her son as her workout partner.
Even though she was a little afraid, she kept it up, and eventually met Trainer Amanda Vatthauer, who’s now been working with Morse about 4 months. She’s lost about 20 pounds in that time.

And it’s not just weight loss that Morse is happy about. It’s overall health.

“I had no idea how unbalanced my body was. After losing all that weight…I didn’t know where my center of gravity was.. get the stability training,” sayTerriandAmandas Morse. “Now I have the balance. The best thing anyone has done for me. I can do things one legged, and I feel so much better, my posture is better, everything is better.”

The two work together to come up with new ways to work out.

“Amanda is great. She’ll push me, but I’ll ask for more.”

Trainer Vatthauer echoes that sentiment. “She is so motivated, at this point I’m here to encourage her. She’s here six days a week,” says Vatthauer.

And she adds how important it is to weight train, at *all* ages. “As we get older, our bones become weaker,” says Vatthauer.
“The only thing proven to keep bones strong and healthy is weight training. So at her age it’s wonderful that she’s in here doing this.

You’re never too old.”

And for people who are afraid? “Even if people are afraid to weight train, because of past injuries, that’s why we’re here,” says Vatthauer. “We’re trainers. We’re here to help you,” she says.

Morse says she’s not only grateful to Vatthauer, but the whole staff at Platinum Fitness.
“Josh at the front desk has been, just my cheerleader, all along. He’s been such an encouragement. Every time I walk in the door his smiling face greets me, and I just feel encouraged to keep going,” says Morse.

“It’s not just the trainers, it’s the people at the front desk. There’s always someone with a smile, with an encouraging word. Even other members encourage me. It all starts with the team. I was telling the Golf Links location General Manager Danny he’s really put together a fabulous team here, they all work well together, and I feel comfortable going to any of the trainers, to ask questions.”
Advice from Teri for people her age, who’re thinking about working out, or just starting…

“Start where you are, and just add a little bit more, every day. Just add 5 more minutes. Everyone can do five more minutes.”