Switch an athlete from their standard carbohydrate-rich diet to a low carb ketogenic one and suddenly performance tanks. It is known. Give them a few weeks to adapt, however, and it recovers. This much was established for mainly endurance-related performance parameters by Steve Phinney and colleagues in the 1980’s (eg, Phinney et al., 1983). Then, along came Antonio Paoli, Dominic D’Agostino, and others who showed a similar phenomenon in gymnasts, a population that routinely exercises at higher levels of intensity (Paoli et al., 2012). Notably, in these studies the athletes were allowed adequate time to adapt to the new metabolic milieu – sometimes referred to as ketoadaptation. Three weeks appears to be the minimum amount of time required for ketoadaptation; ie, studies of shorter duration generally show: low carb = poor physical performance.
…which is why I was surprised to see this one:
Effects of a short-term carbohydrate-restricted diet on strength and power performance (Sawyer et al., 2014)
These researchers subjected ~30 strength-trained individuals to a battery of performance assessments before and after 7 days of a low carb [ketogenic] diet. Usually I would’ve stopped reading at this point because 7 days is too short. But there were some nuances in the way this particular study was designed which piqued my interest.
Posted in Advanced nutrition, diet, Dietary fat, endurance, Energy balance, fat, muscle, Protein, strength, TPMC
Tagged body composition, calories proper, carbs, diet, energy balance, energy expenditure, insulin, muscle, nutrition, strength
or… Circadian Meal Timing!
They say if you’re going to [intentionally] skip a meal, it should be breakfast – and hey, that’s probably the easiest meal to skip. However, a recent study showed skipping dinner FTW (well, not exactly). I’ve never seen a proper study directly comparing the effects of skipping different meals, but here are a few that come close. The findings may surprise you.
note: with the exception of Fernemark (Exhibit B), these studies are mostly macronutrient-controlled. That is, protein, fat, and carbs are similar between the groups; the only thing that differs is when they were ingested. This can be tricky and/or very nuanced in some instances, like if dinner was smaller (fewer calories) but more protein-rich, for example… but in order to include 5 relevant studies and not bore you to death, you’ll have to check the full texts for those details.
Posted in Advanced nutrition, circadian, diet, empty calories, Energy balance, fat, insulin, Protein, TPMC
Tagged body composition, calories, calories proper, carbs, diabetes, diet, energy balance, energy expenditure, fat, insulin, nutrition, obesity, protein
Melatonin is secreted from the pineal gland, the seat of the soul, the third eye. Pinealectomy induces circadian arrhythmia and has interesting effects on adipose tissue biology.
Exhibit A. In 2004, Alonso-Vale and colleagues showed that 6 weeks after pinealectomy, [melatonin-deficient] rats subjected to fasting exhibited an impaired energy conservation response. That is, they lost more weight and significantly depleted their adipocytes:
Posted in circadian, empty calories, Energy balance, Leptin, melatonin, TPMC
Tagged body composition, calories, calories proper, carbs, circadian rhythm, diet, energy balance, insulin
BMAL1 and CLOCK, ‘positive’ regulators of circadian gene expression, activate transcription of the negative regulators Per, Cry, and Rev-erb. PER and CRY inhibit BMAL1 and CLOCK, whereas Rev-erb inhibits Bmal1. It is said that Rev-erb is “an important link between the positive and negative loops of the circadian clock.” You don’t really need to know any of that to follow this blog post.
Posted in Advanced nutrition, circadian, diet, Energy balance, fat, insulin, melatonin, muscle, resveratrol, TPMC, wine
Tagged body composition, calories, calories proper, circadian rhythm, energy balance, energy expenditure, fat, insulin
A randomized pilot trial of a moderate carbohydrate diet compared to a very low carbohydrate diet in overweight or obese individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus or prediabetes (Saslow et al., 2014)
Disclaimer: this study was not ground-breaking; it was confirmation of a phenomenon that is starting to become well-known, and soon to be the status quo. That is, advising an obese diabetic patient to reduce their carb intake consistently produces better results than advising them to follow a low fat, calorie restricted diet.
The two diets:
Moderate carbohydrate diet: 45-50% carbs; 45 grams per meal + three 15 gram snacks = 165 grams per day; low fat, calorie restricted (500 Calorie deficit). Otherwise known as a “low fat diet (LFD).”
In their words: “Active Comparator: American Diabetes Association Diet. Participants in the American Diabetes Association (ADA) diet group will receive standard ADA advice. The diet includes high-fiber foods (such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes), low-fat dairy products, fresh fish, and foods low in saturated fat.”
Very low carbohydrate diet: Ketogenic; <50 grams of carb per day, no calorie restriction, just a goal of blood ketones 0.5 – 3 mM.
In their words: “Experimental: Low Carbohydrate Diet. Participants will be instructed to follow a low carbohydrate diet: carbohydrate intake 10-50 grams a day not including fiber. Foods permitted include: meats, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, cream, some nuts and seeds, green leafy vegetables, and most other non-starchy vegetables. Because most individuals self-limit caloric intake, no calorie restriction will be recommended.”
Both groups were advised to maintain their usual protein intake.
Posted in Advanced nutrition, diet, Dietary fat, fat, insulin, Ketosis, muscle, Protein, TPMC
Tagged Atkins, body composition, calories, calories proper, carbs, diet, energy balance, energy expenditure, fat, insulin, ketogenic, ketosis, muscle, nutrition, obesity, protein
Insulin secretion is attenuated by sympathetic nervous system activity; eg, via exercise. Theoretically, exercising after a meal should blunt insulin secretion and I don’t think this will lessen the benefits of exercise, but rather enhance nutrient partitioning. And this isn’t about the [mythical?] post-workout “anabolic window.”
Sympathetic innervation of pancreas: norepinephrine –> adrenergic receptor activation = decreased insulin secretion & increased lipolysis (Stich et al., 1999):
note how quickly catecholamines are cleared upon exercise cessation
Posted in Advanced nutrition, Exercise, insulin, Protein, strength, Sugar, TPMC
Tagged calories, calories proper, carbohydrates, carbs, diet, energy balance, energy expenditure, exercise, insulin, nutrition
Jane Plain recently wrote a great article about the relationship between insulin, dietary fat, and calories. There are a lot of data on this topic, which collectively suggest: context matters!
Insulin and ketone responses to ingestion of MCTs and LCTs in man. (Pi-Sunyer et al., 1969)
14 healthy subjects, overnight fasted; dose: 1g/kg.
In brief, MCTs are more insulinogenic than corn oil. But it’s not a lot of insulin. Really. Enough to inhibit lipolysis, perhaps, but that’s not saying much… & certainly not enough to induce hypoglycemia.
Posted in Advanced nutrition, coconut, Dietary fat, Energy balance, fat, insulin, Protein, TPMC
Tagged calories, calories proper, carbohydrates, carbs, diet, empty calories, energy balance, fat, insulin, nutrition, protein
Inverse Carb Leverage HypothesisTM
Protein Leverage Hypothesis: Dude eats 15% protein on a 2000 kcal diet (75 g protein). Exchange 25 grams of protein with carb, and he’s now eating 10% protein on a 2000 kcal diet (50 g protein). Theory states Dude will increase total food intake to get back those 25 grams.
Ergo, Protein Leverage Hypothesis:
Disclaimer: I don’t care much for the Protein Leverage Hypothesis. It might be true, but that doesn’t mean it matters. It works well in rodents, but obese patients eat tons of protein. The rebuttal to this is that the protein in their diet is too diluted with other [empty] calories. They’re overeating because of low protein %.
The flipside, confirmed ad nauseam in rodent studies, is that frank protein deficiency increases food intake. Frank protein deficiency means negative nitrogen balance & tissue loss… not just skeletal muscle; organs, too. Incompatible with survival.
Feed someone a low protein low fat diet, they get hungry. If it’s ad libitum, they eat more.
Posted in Advanced nutrition, diet, Dietary fat, empty calories, Energy balance, Protein, TPMC
Tagged calories, calories proper, carbs, diet, empty calories, energy balance, fat, protein, soda
Entrainment of the Human Circadian Clock to the Natural Light-Dark Cycle (Wright et al., 2013)
Abstract (edited): The electric light is one of the most important human inventions. Sleep and other daily rhythms in physiology and behavior, however, evolved in the natural light-dark cycle, and electrical lighting is thought to have disrupted these rhythms. Yet how much the age of electrical lighting has altered the human circadian clock is unknown. Here we show that electrical lighting and the constructed environment is associated with reduced exposure to sunlight during the day, increased light exposure after sunset, and a delayed timing of the circadian clock as compared to a summer natural 14 hr 40 min:9 hr 20 min light-dark cycle camping. Furthermore, we find that after exposure to only natural light, the internal circadian clock synchronizes to solar time such that the beginning of the internal biological night occurs at sunset and the end of the internal biological night occurs before wake time just after sunrise…
In other words, they compared circadian events during 2 weeks of normal life to 2 weeks of 100% camping. And camping won.
Posted in Advanced nutrition, Bromocriptine, circadian, Dopamine, Energy balance, insulin, Leptin, TPMC
Tagged body composition, calories proper, circadian, dopamine, energy balance, insulin, insulin resistance, melatonin
Seasonal eating proper
More from T.S. Wiley and Dr. Kruse on seasonal eating in what appears to be the primary model for its justification for use in humans – hibernating mammals.
How it goes, or so they say: in summer, hibernators massively overeat, including carb-rich foods, in order to generate muscle and liver insulin resistance, so as to promote body fat growth. The long light cycle reduces evening melatonin, which pushes back the usual nighttime peak in prolactin, which causes an abnormal resistance to leptin, which induces hypothalamic NPY and subsequent carbohydrate craving. Ergo, summer is fattening. In today’s day, increased artificial lights guarantee year-round pseudo-summer; and we no longer experience the benefits of the short light cycle: longer sleep times (akin to hibernation) and fasting – either complete fasting as in hibernation, or pseudo-fasting, ie, a ketogenic diet.
Posted in Advanced nutrition, Bromocriptine, circadian, diet, Dietary fat, Dopamine, empty calories, Energy balance, fat, Fructose, insulin, Leptin, TPMC
Tagged body composition, calories proper, carbohydrates, circadian rhythm, diet, energy balance, insulin, ketogenic, leptin, sugar, summer, winter