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For September 30, 2016

  • How to Burn Off High-Fat Meals
    How to Burn Off High-Fat Meals

    (From Prevention Magazine, August 1999)

    Time it Right: Exercise Before You Indulge

    Take a long, brisk walk before your friend's wedding, and you may be able to splurge on hors d'oeuvres and cake -- guilt-free. In addition to its benefits to your waistline, exercise can help override some of the nasty effects of fat in your blood.

    High-fat meals cause spikes in the amount of fat (triglycerides) in the bloodstream, which wreak havoc on cholesterol by decreasing good HDL and increasing bad LDL. Over time, these contribute to atherosclerosis and heart disease.

    But researchers recently found that the timing of exercise can affect these fat levels significantly. When a group of 21 men exercised 12 hours before a high-fat meal, they cut the amount of fat in the blood by half. (Exercising 1 hour before the meal lowered the fat by nearly 40%.) Working out after a high-fat meal, on the other hand, reduced it by only 5%.

    "Exercise stimulates fat-clearing enzymes," says study coauthor Tom R. Thomas, PhD, director of the exercise physiology lab at the University of Missouri- Columbia. Fats are either broken down and excreted, or taken up by muscle and fat tissue. Either way, they're out of the bloodstream and less able to increase LDL cholesterol and heart disease risks.

    "I don't think the 12-hour time frame is critical," notes Dr. Thomas. "A better approach is to exercise consistently. Most of us eat a high-fat meal every day, making it important to exercise every day."

    You'll also have less of the visible kind of fat. Other studies have shown that exercise speeds the breakdown of fat-and if you're exercising at a moderate intensity or higher, your body will also burn fat long after you stop exercising. Dr. Thomas also suspects that if you're fit, more of the fat will be stored in muscle to be used for your next workout, while it will more likely be stored as visible fat if you're unfit.

    Quick Tip: Lose Twice as Many Pounds: Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that women who exercised for at least 150 minutes a week (that's 30 minutes five times a week) lost nearly twice as many pounds- 25 versus 14-as women who exercised less.

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  • The Role Of Pyruvate In Weight Loss
    The Role Of Pyruvate In Weight Loss

    By DENNIS R. SPARKMAN, PH.D.

    Pyruvate is the last metabolite in the breakdown of glucose (glycolysis). In the past several years it has become available as a dietary supplement and nine well-controlled human studies have not only demonstrated that it is a safe dietary supplement, but that it has a host of functions that are beneficial to the human body. Among these are enhanced weight loss and fat loss, reduced weight and fat regain following a calorie restricted diet, increased exercise endurance, decreased perceived exertion. The problem with these studies was that they used pyruvate in amounts that ranged from 31 to 100 grams per day, which are impractical outside of a research setting. Now a study has looked at what the minimum amount of pyruvate that is necessary to achieve these results.

    Fifty-three individuals took part in a study where one group took 6 grams of pyruvate per day for six weeks and two other groups took either a placebo or nothing, respectively. Each group exercised for 30 minutes five times per week. Although there was no change in their absolute bodyweight, those who supplemented with pyruvate had a 12% decrease in percent bodyfat, lost 4.8 pounds of fat, gained 3.4 pounds of muscle, and had a 2.2% increase in basal metabolic rates. Additionally, they reported a 17.7% increase in vigor and 71% decrease in fatigue.

    According to previous studies in animals, scientists have been able to estimate that the minimum effective daily dose of pyruvate in humans is between three and six grams. Although the six grams per day used in this study is far less that the amounts used in previous studies, it is effective in helping to reduce bodyfat, increase lean muscle mass, as well as increasing vigor and decreasing fatigue during exercise.

    Colker C, Stark R, Kaiman D, et al. The effects of a pyruvate based dietary supplement on weight loss, body composition, and perceived vigor and fatigue levels in mildly overfat individuals. Am J Clin Nutr. 1997 (in press).

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  • Where's The Fat?
    Where's The Fat?

    - By EDMUND R. BURKE, PH.D.

    Exercise Combined With Diet Cuts Bodyfat, But From Where? Do you lose more weight by cutting calories than you do by exercising more? Recent evidence slightly tips the scales toward exercising. A study in December's Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise followed 26 formerly-sedentary women for 13 weeks. One group of women cycled for a half-hour once or twice a week while cutting 200 calories a day from their diet. Another cycled three to four times a week while eating the same as usual. And a third made no changes. Not surprisingly, the third group lost no fat. But both exercise groups lost similar amounts of visceral fat--deep, hard fat that shapes the typical beer belly. Visceral fat has been associated with heart disease and diabetes. The three-or-four-times-a-week exercise group, however, lost more subcutaneous fat--the kind that lays just beneath the skin, primarily in your arms and legs. Though not harmful, subcutaneous fat makes you look flabby.

    WHAT'S YOUR BODY SHAPE? Waist-to-Hip Ratio Tells Where The Fat's At You're not as slim as you'd like to be. But you've never really thought of yourself as being overweight either. So when you read about the benefits of maintaining a "healthy weight," you wonder where you fit in--is your weight OK, or is it putting your health at risk? A simple do-it-yourself evaluation reported in the Mayo Clinic Health Letter can give you an idea of what shape your shape is in, and if you might benefit from shedding a few pounds. The waist-to-hip ratio indicates where most of your fat is located. People who carry most of their weight around their waists are often referred to as "apples." Those who carry most of their weight below their waist--around the hips and thighs--are often referred to as "pears." Generally, it's better to have a pear shape than an apple shape. That's because fat around the waist is associated with an increased risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer. Fat around your hips and thighs is considered less of a health risk.

    To find out what shape you are, measure your hips at their widest point and your waist at its narrowest (usually at the navel, but this may vary). Divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement. A ratio greater than .80 for a woman and greater than 1.0 for a man indicates an apple shape.

    TURN OFF THAT TV! Get Your Kids Up Off The Couch, Excessive TV Watching Is Making Them Fat Knowing that the overweight children of today are likely to become the overweight adults of tomorrow mandates that you pay careful attention to your child's diet, exercise and lifestyle habits. A study reported in a recent issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association reports on dated collected from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which measured the amount of physical activity and television watching among 4,000 children in U.S. households and the relationship to their Body Mass Index (BMI) and percent bodyfat. Overall, approximately 20% of the children reported fewer than three exercise sessions per week (which was even higher among girls); whereas 26% of the children watched more than four hours of television per day. Yes, per day! Not surprisingly, the increased television watching was associated with increased BMI and total bodyfat levels. The authors concluded that increased television watching was associated with the increasing prevalence of overweight children inthe U.S., and that children were increasingly participating in sedentary-leisure activities, such as playing video games, watching television and using computers, and that this trend was more than coincidental. As parents you need to encourage your children to participate in regular exercise, particularly activities that they can engage in for the rest of their lives. Good examples are running, cycling, weight training, soccer, bodybuilding, basketball, swimming and skiing. If we do not stop this trend, the health care crisis will continue to grow to bigger and bigger proportions in this country.

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  • Packing Low-Fat Lunches
    Packing Low-Fat Lunches

    (Prevention, 25 August 1999) - You've heard it a million times, but here it is again: for a healthy lunch, pack vegetables and fruit (and a few other ideas listed below). Here's a bag-full of healthful sack lunches to try:

    First, don't rule out sandwiches altogether. Half-sandwiches can quell your initial lunchtime hunger pangs, and they don't require fatty ingredients to satisfy. Now that tomato season is here, learn to love juicy, ripe tomato slices between two half-slices of tasty, whole-grain bread. Now, we're talking thick slices of dark red "love apples," stacked with fresh leaves of romaine, spinach or butter lettuce. An ever-so-thin coat of fat-free mayo will resurrect memories of sandwiches past. Every now and then, slip in one crispy slice of lean turkey bacon or a shaving of smoked turkey to put a little BLT bliss in your life.

    Now that you've knocked-out the hunger, settle down to some serious lunch munching: fresh, raw carrots, broccoli and cauliflower are ideal dippers for mainstream tastebuds. In fact, they are the most popular veggie trio. Use non-fat yogurt dips to add excitement to these raw veggies. (try dipping the tips of the crunchy buds and roots into fat-free salad dressings or some soy sauce with a drop of sesame oil added.)

    Any fresh vegetable salad is fantastic, as long as you skip the high-fat dressings. As a rule, vinaigrettes are better than cream dressings. Some people find commercial fat-free dressings too sweet in large dollops, and they are probably loaded with calories. Instead, moisten some Mrs. Dash seasoning mix in high-quality vinegar or Minute Maid frozen lemon juice. You can add a splash of broth to cut the tartness.

    Broth soups, packed or purchased, can be nutrient-packed options for a low-calorie lunch. Plus, all that liquid helps quash hunger. If possible, zero in on legume soups. Beans and lentils deliver a lot of fiber and nutrients in small portions. A minestrone, rich with root vegetables and various legumes, will satisfy you through to dinnertime. Soups come packaged in all forms, shapes and sizes; low-fat, low-calorie canned soups and convenient, add-hot-water dried soups are just fine -- just be sure to stick with the broths. Add more broth or water for a filling lunch.

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  • Ergogenic Effects Of Creatine
    Ergogenic Effects Of Creatine

    By ELSEVIER, PARIS

    Objectives. - In the last few years many athletes and persons engaged in recreational sports activities have begun using creatine supplementation. Creatine feeding is possible by oral administration of creatine monohydrate. The objectives of this paper are to recall the mechanisms by which creatine might improve performance, to discuss the known effects of creatine supplementation on exercise performance, and to examine its side effects.

    Topics. - The rate of turnover of creatine for a 70 kg male has been estimated around 2 g/d. Creatine is partly supplied by the diet that provides I g/d through meat and fish. Recent studies have shown that ingestion of about 20 g of creatine monohydrate per day is able to modulate total muscle creatine, free creatine and phosphocreatine. The aim of this article is to provide an overview of recent knowledge on the effects of creatine supplementation on exercise performance. Many studies demonstrate that creatine supplementation has beneficial effects on performance of short-duration exercises, during repeated isokinetic or isometric contractions of the quadriceps muscle, jumping or high-intensity cycling exercises. The beneficial effects of creatine supplementation on performance capacity are strongly related to the efficacy of the treatment for enhancing muscle creatine pool. If is thus clear that phosphocreatine stores play a key role for ATP resynthesis during muscle contraction and recovery. The improvement in performance following creatine supplementation is dependent on the characteristics of the exercise. It has been suggested that human skeletal muscles have an upper limit for total creatine concentration. In contrast with sedentary subjects, in athletes and well-trained subjects who have high initial total creatine concentrations in skeletal muscle, only a slight improvement in exercise performances is expected. Taken together, the results of most studies published to date suggest that only performances of repetitive high-intensity exercise bouts are positively affected by creatine supplementation. During this type of exercise, the expected increase in total creatine contributes to the fast resynthesis of phosphocreatine during recovery. Until recently, it was well accepted that except for a slight increase in body weight, no adverse effects have been associated with creatine supplementation. However, a recent report described a clinical case of renal dysfunction that was associated with oral creatine supplementation.

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  • Ergogenic Effects Of Creatine
    Ergogenic Effects Of Creatine

    By ELSEVIER, PARIS

    Objectives. - In the last few years many athletes and persons engaged in recreational sports activities have begun using creatine supplementation. Creatine feeding is possible by oral administration of creatine monohydrate. The objectives of this paper are to recall the mechanisms by which creatine might improve performance, to discuss the known effects of creatine supplementation on exercise performance, and to examine its side effects.

    Topics. - The rate of turnover of creatine for a 70 kg male has been estimated around 2 g/d. Creatine is partly supplied by the diet that provides I g/d through meat and fish. Recent studies have shown that ingestion of about 20 g of creatine monohydrate per day is able to modulate total muscle creatine, free creatine and phosphocreatine. The aim of this article is to provide an overview of recent knowledge on the effects of creatine supplementation on exercise performance. Many studies demonstrate that creatine supplementation has beneficial effects on performance of short-duration exercises, during repeated isokinetic or isometric contractions of the quadriceps muscle, jumping or high-intensity cycling exercises. The beneficial effects of creatine supplementation on performance capacity are strongly related to the efficacy of the treatment for enhancing muscle creatine pool. If is thus clear that phosphocreatine stores play a key role for ATP resynthesis during muscle contraction and recovery. The improvement in performance following creatine supplementation is dependent on the characteristics of the exercise. It has been suggested that human skeletal muscles have an upper limit for total creatine concentration. In contrast with sedentary subjects, in athletes and well-trained subjects who have high initial total creatine concentrations in skeletal muscle, only a slight improvement in exercise performances is expected. Taken together, the results of most studies published to date suggest that only performances of repetitive high-intensity exercise bouts are positively affected by creatine supplementation. During this type of exercise, the expected increase in total creatine contributes to the fast resynthesis of phosphocreatine during recovery. Until recently, it was well accepted that except for a slight increase in body weight, no adverse effects have been associated with creatine supplementation. However, a recent report described a clinical case of renal dysfunction that was associated with oral creatine supplementation.

    Read More...

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