Friday, October 06, 2006

"Body" -> Aging And Diet Part III

Back to dieting. We have already discovered a bunch of disconcerting facts:

1. The diet gurus seem to have their facts crossed
2. Losing weight is really tough, and your body fights you

Now, we are going to make it worse by pointing that most diets cause you to lose muscle mass. Without getting into the complete details, by doing your diet in the wrong way, 20-25% of your weight loss will actually be Fat Free Mass (FFM as the doctors like to call it). Now, if you remember, I said that people don't have "naturally high metabolisms?" Well, I'm going to modify that to "people of similar FFM (fat free mass) values don't have different metabolic rates."

If you have 40 kgs of muscle, you'll definitely don't need the calories of an individual with 80 kgs of muscle.

Now bear with me and think through this.

1. What burns fat? Muscle.
2. The more muscle you have, the more fat you burn.
3. However, in the process of losing fat, you lose muscle, so after you are done, you've dropped your ability to burn fat.

You may ask: "Are you telling me that by dieting, I lose the ability to burn fat?"

The answer is EXACTLY. Pretty discouraging isn't it?

Fortunately, there are a couple things that you can do. The first is to get yourself some ephedrine and use it if you go on a diet. Now, you may recoil in horror since the FDA has tried to outlaw Ephedrine. However, if you read the primary research, it is difficult to find a substance that safer than ephedrine when used in any correct capacity. Deaths from ephedrine is only a fraction of the 52 deaths in 2000 from aspirin, as per the FDA website, yet only ephedrine is outlawed. (Most likely because it is popular for making Methamphetamine, which is evil stuff. However, we are throwing the baby out with the bathwater.) If compare ephedrine to NSAID (non steroid anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil, etc), you can see that the deaths from ephedrine don't even register. No wonder it wasn't an issue for so many years.


The beautiful thing about ephedrine is that it simulates the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and prevents the loss of muscle through it effects on the SNS. It will make you like you drank a strong latte for the first couple of weeks, but during the first initial jitter period, it also kills your appetite. Unfortunately and fortunately, the jitter stage wears off and so does the appetite suppression. However, the good news is that it looks that it can help preserve muscle even after the jitter stage. The stuff is magic.

The second thing you can do is eat lots of protein and lift weights.

Really, you want to use all three to preserve the muscle mass.

a. Ephedrine
b. Weights
c. Higher levels of protein

High protein diets have a fair amount of detractors. Let's look at some of the issues:

Now some people will claim that diets that are higher in protein are "bad for the brain since it needs glucose to work." Quite frankly, this is not true as your body, while in a fasting state, will turn protein into glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis. Rather than being horrible, gluconeogenesis is how God created our bodies.

Other people will claim that higher protein will harm your kidneys, which is not shown to be true. The opposite can be a problem, however: if you have kidney issues, be very wary of high protein diets since high protein diets over tax poorly functioning kidneys.

Other people will claim that higher protein will cause you to lose calcium. Well this is true if you go on a high protein diet and have inadequate calcium in take. However, you should increase you calcium on a high protein diet, and in this case the looks as if you can actually increase bone mass.

As I am going through this post, you can probably tell that I am defending high protein diets. And you would be right.

But why I like higher protein is for another post.

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