The Dieter’s Paradox – Research Review

In introducing today’s paper, I am reminded of an old joke/quip to the effect that “All that separates man from the animals is our ability to rationalize.” I’d add “And accessorize” but that’s neither here nor there. But the reality is that humans are able to do a wide variety of mental gymnastics in how they approach life. Effectively, we appear to be slave to what psychologists call cognitive biases, ways in which we think about the present, past, future or ourselves that often lead us to make some fascinatingly bad choices. This is a topic that many recent books has discussed.

Mind Over Milkshakes: Mindsets, Not Just Nutrients, Determine Ghrelin Response – Research Review

Ok, in addition to having possibly the coolest title of any paper I’ve reviewed on the site, this is also one of the weirdest papers I’ve looked at. But I’ve seen it getting a lot of press and, of course, have to put in my own two cents, if for no other reason than I suspect many people will take the findings far out of contexts. First, some necessary background; this will probably take more space than discussing the actual paper itself.

A 45-Minute Vigorous Exercise Bout Increases Metabolic Rate for 14 Hours – Research Review

In recent years there has been a focus on the calorie burn that occurs after training, referred to in science terms as EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption). A variety of different types of training (usually revolving around brief duration, high-intensity methods such as interval training or circuits) have been proposed with the major effect of such activity being in the EPOC that is created. Basically, the idea is that this type of training generates a massive post-exercise calorie burn that will lead to weight/fat loss.

Normal Weight Men and Women Overestimate Energy Expenditure – Research Review

For the 200 calorie exercise bout, the estimated energy expenditures, that is what subjects thought they burned ranged from 120 to 4000 calories. No, that’s not a typo. 4000 calories. For the 300 calorie exercise bout, the range was 150 to 3000 calories. Again, not a typo. 3000 calories. Let that sink in, for exceedingly moderate amounts of activity, 30-45 minutes of brisk walking some of the study subjects thought they burned 3000-4000 calories.

Low Fat Loss Response After Medium-Term Supervised Exercise in Obese is Associated with Exercise-Induced Increase in Food Reward – Research Review

Now, in the Training the Obese Beginner series, one comment that I made was that most studies have not found a massive impact on exercise in terms of increasing weight or fat loss and I outlined some of the reasons that was the case (mostly focusing on the generally low calorie burn).

But even there, there are often some confusing things that occur in studies of exercise and weight loss, situations where the deficit created by exercise and the measured weight/fat loss aren’t the same. A long-standing question has been why this is the case and there are a number of reasons for it.

Role of Nonexercise Activity Thermogenesis in Resistance to Fat Gain in Humans – Research Review

But as it turns out, that’s not all that’s going on. As I discussed in The Energy Balance Equation one mistake people often make is assuming that the output side of the equation is static; that the energy output of a given individual is invariant over time. But we’ve known for decades that this isn’t the case. In response to both increases and decreases in food intake (as well as body weight), we know that basal or resting metabolic rate (BMR/RMR) can go up and down.

Obesity and Physical Inactivity: The Relevance of Reconsidering the Notion of Sedentariness

Which is all a very long introduction to today’s paper which looks in some detail at two of the major changes in modern life that contribute to our overall ‘inactivity’ during the day: sleep and what the researchers decided to call knowledge based work (KBW). Sleep is fairly explanatory but, by KBW, they are referring to things such as school, jobs involving thought and concentration and even potentially video games. Basically anthing where you’re sitting on your ass for most of it but having to involve your brain rather intently.

Casein Hydrolysate and Anabolic Hormones and Growth – Research Review

Today I want to look at two different recent studies which are:

1. Hydrolyzed dietary casein as compared with the intact protein reduces postprandial peripheral, but not whole-body, uptake of nitrogen in humans.
2. Elevations in ostensibly anabolic hormones with resistance exercise enhance neither training-induced muscle hypertrophy nor strength of the elbow flexors.

Dissecting the Energy Needs of the Body – Research Review

More specifically I want to look at some of the common claims that are often thrown around in the world of body composition such as “Adding muscle mass significantly raises metabolic rate.” and “Fat cells burn no calories, they are metabolically inert.” While this paper was examining the issue from a different perspective, it actually provides good data on both questions.

Are Blood Flow and Lipolysis in Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue Influenced by Contractions in Adjacent Muscle in Humans – Research Review

Hour long ‘abs’ or ‘buns/thighs’ classes filled with nearly an hour of high rep movements for the specific area can be found in most commercial gyms. Even in the bodybuilding world, where people really should know better, some still argue that spot reduction can occur and that working a given muscle group will help reduce fat in that specific area. I addressed this topic somewhat in The Stubborn Fat Solution since some of what I discuss in that book could readily be confused with spot reduction (it’s not).

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