The case against dietary extremism

This write-up is in response to some claims that humans were not built to eat meat.


Short Summary

Human biology is built for endurance hunting. We are not structured to eat meat with every meal, but some of our essential vitamins are only naturally available from meat.

Plant carbohydrate is the only fuel which causes multiple metabolic dysfunctions when consumed in excess of immediate needs. The US shift from fat to carbs in 1977 for bulk energy recommendation coincides with the sharp beginning of the US obesity epidemic.

Grains, pulses, roots, etc are not naturally a primary food source. They require substantial technology to prepare. The vegetable foods we can eat are not available year round without major technological advancements.

Some of our survival does absolutely rely on plants as well, including non-digestible plant matter, and other vitamins.

It’s not that we “can” eat both. It’s that we truly are adapted to require eating both. Technology allows us to get around this requirement, but it is not in any way “natural”.

We’re also not adapted for having food instantly available all the time, and we are not adapted to using carbohydrate as a primary source of energy.


Long rambly supporting info:

We, and our ancestors back to previous species, have a biology designed to follow prey around to the point of the prey’s exhaustion. While many animals can move faster than us in the short term, very few can travel as far as we can in a few hours, or even in a day, without becoming incapacitated by fatigue. At that point, we simply walk up to the prey and run it through with a stick.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persistence_hunting

We are upright, which gives us a reduced thermal load from spending a long time moving in the sun.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/004724849190003E?via%3Dihub

It also supports both wooded foraging and coastal hunting.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2819487/

Compared to our ancestors, we devolved upper body strength and evolved lower body strength to support hunting, at the expense of being able to harvest and climb trees to the same level as other primates. We lost our opposable big toes, and our knees angled towards the middle a bit. This is an adaptation to extended running or walking, and use of tools instead of brute strength.
https://www.jstor.org/stable/1373587
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2840520/

Our digestive tract is designed for meat occasionally, but not constantly. The gallbladder stores and concentrates bile, and our bile is hydrophobic (eg, is used to digest fats).
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0375090613000323

Some of our vitamins only come from meat, or bioengineered foods. The most critical is Vitamin B12.
https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-HealthProfessional/

The canine argument is non-scientific. Canines, and pointed teeth, and claws, are for killing rapidly, both for territorial purposes and for hunting. Many species of primates have huge canines, even the ones that don’t eat much meat.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080626145058.htm

Humans don’t kill with our teeth and claws. Not a factor for what we should eat. Whales don’t have canines either, and they eat tons of small shrimp and fish every year.

True herbivore teeth generally continue to grow throughout life, because it’s extra hard on teeth. We have two sets of teeth, one to fit our small head, and one set to fit our grown up heads. Birth size and brain growth come into play there. We live twice as long as we would in the wild, and we’re still dealing with people who, despite dental precautions, still have to have dental appliances.
https://www.miamicosmeticdentalcare.com/teeth-herbivores-carnivores-omnivores/

Our front teeth have fairly sharp corners, and a chisel edge, designed for biting out big chunks at a time. Basically, once we get food, we need to be able to eat a bunch of it fast, because more dangerous predators would come along soon.
https://www.nku.edu/~whitsonma/Bio120LSite/Bio120LReviews/Bio120LAnimalRev.html

Note that what society considers meat is very limited. In the wild, primates would eat birds, lizards, insects, crustaceans, worms, and anything else available. Some primates eat other primate species on a monthly basis.

Also compare our digestive tracts past the teeth. Our stomach is designed to help break down meat, and liberate protein. Our duodenum is designed to begin the breakdown of fats. Our jejunum is designed to absorb carbs, fats, and proteins that have been liberated above. Our ileum is designed to absorb trace nutrients, excess bile, vitamins, and whatever wasn’t absorbed above. Our colons are designed for residual fermentation and moisture absorption.
https://www.quora.com/Are-apes-herbivores-And-if-so-why-do-they-have-such-huge-canines

Our colons are half the size of our more vegetarian cousins among primates. We also have a very small appendix. These are related to having a lower capacity to break down cellulose. In other words, we can eat some vegetation, but not the same variety as some other species.
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/human-ancestors-were-nearly-all-vegetarians/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appendix_(anatomy)

Our stomachs are elastic, and can hold quite a lot of food. Human gastric juice is specifically designed to break down proteins.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gastric_acid

When food is low in animal protein, food passes fairly quickly through the stomach. When it’s very meaty, it hangs out in the stomach for multiple hours.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3428803

Info about gastric emptying rates:
http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/digestion/basics/transit.html
https://www.mayoclinic.org/digestive-system/expert-answers/faq-20058340`
https://www.physiology.org/doi/10.1152/ajpgi.1989.257.2.G284
https://www.freetrainers.com/forums/topic/eating-before-workout-17839/
* local copy at http://omnitech.net/health/2018/06/06/digestion-time-of-various-foods/
* Sorry this last one is not better quality. I have not been able to find research, nor older references.

This delay is so that we can absorb all of it, not because we’re having a problem. Problem foods either come up, or pass through rapidly.
https://www.foodsafety.gov/poisoning/symptoms/symptoms.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gastrocolic_reflex

Herbivores, such as cattle, use extended duration fermentation to break down plant matter.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29053599
http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/digestion/largegut/ferment.html

Basically, our structure is specifically adapted to handle different types and amounts of foods, depending on whatever is available at the time.
https://www.mainstreetsmiles.com/dental-and-skull-anatomy-of-carnivores-herbivores-and-omnivores/

A major exception is that we’re structured to not eat large amounts of carbohydrates except when we are recovering from, or in the middle of endurance exercise. We’re better at it than our distant ancestors, because we’ve been doing agriculture for a LONG time, way longer than written language.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2377015/

If we have been out hunting all day, then eating the equivalent of 10 refined peaches in 5 minutes is not so bad. It goes into the muscles and the liver to replenish glycogen, repair damage, and keep feeding ATP systemwide.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3248697/

When we are recovered, this is not the case.

Our insulin has a half-life of about 10 minutes naturally, Natural insulin levels oscillate by a factor of 8 over 3-6 minute periods. When our livers and muscles are replete with glycogen (locally stored carbohydrate), those tissues refuse to absorb more glucose.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulin#Oscillations
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17822199
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17822201/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulin_oscillation

In response, blood glucose levels go up, and the body releases even more insulin. The loop happens until our fat cells kick into overdrive, and our livers kick into overdrive, and all of the glucose gets stored as fat.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulin

During this process, our muscle cells down-regulate their sensitivity to insulin, because obviously, something is wrong. Muscles are already full, so why are you trying to feed them? Literally, GLUT4 receptor production rate is related to the energy needs of the cell. If the needs are low, then the levels can be reduced enough to induce insulin resistance.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22403297

Also, insulin is transported into a cell along with the transport protein. Endocytosis of the GLUT4 receptor is faster than regeneration and exocytosis.
Sherwood, Lauralee; Klandorf, Hillar; Yancey, Paul (2012-01-01). Animal Physiology: From Genes to Organisms. Cengage Learning. ISBN 1133709516

Muscle cells have secondary functions to absorb glucose when needed anyway, so it’s just a courtesy that they listen for insulin at all.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3899806
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27411383

Along the same lines, the pancreas down-regulates the number of islet (beta) cells, because obviously, such high levels of insulin must mean we have too many cells. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15655713

Unfortunately, in its panic, the liver has to pack it into very low density lipoprotein myceles (VLDL), which is particularly difficult for our body to deal with. This gets stuffed into the walls of our arteries just to keep it from killing us on the spot. This leads to necrosis, clots, hardened arteries, etc.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/expert-answers/vldl-cholesterol/faq-20058275
https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/how-its-made-cholesterol-production-in-your-body

None of this cascade of metabolic hormone dysfunction happens from eating excess meat, though excess of any food can lead to obesity and long-term insulin resistance. Protein takes longer to convert to glucose, but does have a nitrogen load on the kidneys. There are limits to how much can be acquired “in the wild”, and this tends to be much better self-regulated due to the longer gastric clearance times.
* more sources needed here, but I’m tired.

Eating high amounts of animal fat or cholesterol also does not cause a lipid problem for the blood. Dietary fats are packaged as High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) and carried to the liver for further processing, or to fat cells for storage. HDL has the benefit of also scavenging free fatty acids out of the blood, and off of the walls of blood vessels.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4265799/

80% of the body’s cholesterol is produced by the liver, and excess is excreted by being bound in non-digested plant matter in the intestines.
https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/how-its-made-cholesterol-production-in-your-body

Note that the epidemic of obesity in the US aligns closely with the low-fat claims. The recommendation for low-fat diets coincides with higher carbohydrate consumption (how else do you get energy?). This shift happened in 1977. You can see this coincides with a sharp uptick in obesity rates here:
https://stateofobesity.org/obesity-rates-trends-overview/
https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/03/28/295332576/why-we-got-fatter-during-the-fat-free-food-boom

In summary, we’re supposed to eat alternating meat and plant meals, but not so much in the way of carbohydrates. When we do eat carbohydrates, it would be perhaps one or two small pieces of fruit during a hunt, or as a special treat during the week that the small fruits were ripening on the tree, but not demolished by birds, or perhaps a handful of grass seeds or beans in passing.

A nice reference of all of the pieces of the digestive system:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_digestive_system

  • Further discussion could be had on the health, social, and environmental implications of using technology to bypass these physiological limitations.

Body Energy Usage

I ponder macro-nutrition needs a whole bunch. Here’s what I have handy, though my technical references are scattered and omitted.

There’s always a need for roughage, vitamins, and minerals, which come from foods with very low calories/kilojoules. Aside from that, the three main macros have specific needs.

A body needs 125 grams of carbs for your brain/nerves; just under 1 gram of protein per kilo of lean body mass to maintain tissues/muscles; and around 30g of fat for cellular and neurological structures. This is usually around 1200 kcal per day, but varies by person 10-20 percent.

Anything else you eat is either poop, or gets converted to sugar. Sugar is burned if it’s needed immediately for exercise (growing, standing, walking, cardio, whatever, anything other than sleeping). Any sugar that is not immediately needed is stored in muscles as glycogen, up to around 4% of your muscle mass. All sugar past that is turned into fat and stored in our fat cells.

This is where “whole grains” comes into play. If it’s not ground up, it takes longer to break it down. However, if you take grains, and mill them into a powder, IT IS NOT WHOLE GRAINS. Just because there is fiber in the food does not mean it’s slow to absorb. The less processed the food, the longer time period over which it trickles energy into your body. If it’s super processed, it all absorbs very quickly, and your body may have trouble figuring out what to do with it unless you’re depleted already.

This is also where some insulin resistance comes from, and why diabetics have normal sugar metabolism in their muscles during exercise, even if they are short on insulin, or are resistant to it. Resistance is GLUT4 which causes glucose receptors to move to the cell membrane, but exercise does the same thing – muscle is hungry, it asks for more. Muscle is not hungry, it asks for less, even if you try to overfeed it. Where would it put this excess sugar? It can only store so much.

During exercise, your fat cells can liberate about 90% of your weight in pounds as usable calories per hour. For me, it’s about 260 calories. The gap is made up from glycogen in the muscles, which is good for just about 90 minutes. If you exercise hard, and stop at 60, and rest for 30, those 30 mins still use up that glycogen for delayed processes, cleanup, etc.

Eating carbs cannot provide as much energy as glycogen, but it’s the next best thing. Also, if you’re fasting, your glycogen reserves get burned up pretty quickly. Glycogen is 3:1 water to sugar, so this is why the first week of dieting is so awesome. No, that’s not fat. It’s muscle energy.

Any energy deficiency not covered by food will be covered by muscle damage. About the same number of calories can be broken down out of injured muscle cells. For me, this is a total of muscle and fat sourced calories of about 520 calories per hour. If I exercise for 3 hours with no food, then my power output drops to 130 watts, which is about 520 calories per hour.

The best option to limit muscle damage, limit recovery time, and optimize exercise benefits when going for more than your glycoge, is to eat as much every hour as you burn, minus the calories that can come from fat. Staying carb focussed can give more energy, and can be easier to absorb, though for some people, this slows the breakdown of body fat.

Staying fat focussed keeps the fat burn mechanisms running, but it takes twice as much oxygen, which means you’re hear-rate limited. It’s less about muscle conditioning then, and more about cardiovascular improvement.

Staying protein focussed is tougher on the kidneys. The aminos have to be converted for use as fuel, and that’s a lot of extra ammonia to pee out. That can be an issue when dehydration might already be at play.


Gym Workout Routines

I was talking with a friend about my Gym routine, I thought I’d share some of that here. It’s kind of a wall of text, soI tried to organize it for easy skimming.

I keep a notepad on my phone to track what I did and what’s next. End of workout, I add the updated list to MyFitnessPal in the exercise notes. This keeps me from twiddling my thumbs during rests.

#### Warmup is cardio:
* About 10 mins or 200 calories warmup on the recumbent bike. I’ll start at about 50%, and crank it up to 100% a couple of times. I try to vary my RPM, but tend to hang out around 70. I have long legs, so momentum is a factor. I make sure I clear 160bpm, but I never get to max HR. Sometimes I try to draw pictures with the hill profile.

#### Safety warmup for exercises I’m not sure about:
* 10-20 reps at 50-60% just to make sure everything moves right, especially for heavier weight exercises.

#### I usually go for strength
* Target is 2-4 sets of 6-10 reps per exercise.
* If I make it to 16 reps, I bump up the weight on the next set.
* Sometimes I’ll do 8 reps, then drop 40% and do another 8.
* If anything pinches or doesn’t feel right, I’ll back off the weight.
* Not so worried about cardio since I average 75 miles per week on a road bike.

#### I do circuits for time efficiency:
* Whole Body Days: alternate upper/lower, front/back, with 30 second rests between circuits.
* Upper OR Lower Only: I’ll do 2-3 exercises with a 60-90 second rests.
* I average almost one working set for every 2 minutes. That includes the set, equipment setup, walking between machines, updating my notes, and any rest/cooldown time. That excludes the warmup time at the start. (eg, a 2 hour workout has 20 mins of warmup, and 40-45 working sets. A 1-hour workout will have 10 mins warmup, and 18-24 sets.)

#### With a workout buddy:
We could alternate on the same machine with 60-90 second rests. This is less overall workouts, but more social. We could also do the circuits, and just be one machine off from each other. Less social, but more efficient.

#### Workout Duration:
I prefer a longer, whole body workout every 4 days. I get better results, and less wasted time. My goal is to grow muscle mass, and I’m missing the sprinter gene, so recovery time is usually 3-5 days instead of 2-3 days for most people.

If I have only 1 hour, it’s best if I stick to only upper or only lower, because exercises always pull in a other muscles a little. I don’t feel I get quite as good of a workout this way.

#### Upper Body Exercises:
* Freeweight bench row (Low-Back sparing vs seated)
* Chest Press (like a bench press)
* Lat Pulldowns
* Seated dips (because I’m too heavy to do real dips yet)
* Chest fly & rear deltoid fly (same machine, diff settings)
* Biceps curls (cable or dumbell)
* Triceps extension (Slow to improve)
* Sometimes I do a shoulder press or a vertical row, but those are not so great on my shoulder sockets.
* Lateral dumbell arm raises.

#### Lower Body Exercises
* Freeweight seated calf extension (Soleus Muscle)
* Rotary Calf Extension (Gastroc Muscle)
* Inner/Outer thigh (adductor/abductor)
* Leg Curls (Hamstrings)
* Leg Extension (outer and inner quads, nearer the knee)
* Leg Press (because it doesn’t load my low-spine like squats & deadlifts do.)

###### Back Pain avoidance (Chronic and Acute)
* Nothing with a torso twist (wood choppers, obliques) – always causes days of increased pain.
* No abdominal crunches – Still hurting from 2 weeks ago when I let my form get sloppy.
* No back extensions – Same as with crunches, though a 45 degree bodyweight back extension bench would be fine if I could find that at my gym.
* Backed off of seated rows, just to be safe. I’ve moved to bench rows, though bent-over single-arm dumbell rows are okay too (off-arm is on the bench, so no low-back load).
* I should be doing planks and leg lifts at home, but I keep forgetting. This gets core without abusing low-spine.
* I should do more stretching on non-workout days, but I keep forgetting. This helps keep from putting too much strain on low-back when moving around.

#### Preferred Machines
I like the Hoist machines my Gym has best, but I’ve maxed out the leg press. Not sure I want to use the freeweight leg press without a big spotter. I like most of the Precor machines, and use them for things missing from the Hoist line-up. Last are the Life Fitness for a couple things, but they use bigger weight stacks for the same effort, and just seem to be on a different scale from all of the others.


Calories

This is what SEEMS to make the most sense for me. No *way* is easy, but this seems the least hard.

Energy Plans:
* Defer first meal until actually hungry (9:30a-12:30p for me)
* Keep each meal before 3:30pm around 12% of my daily intake.
* Eat before I get ravenous (around every 2 hours).
* Try to keep a reserve of about 25% of my calories for the evening.
* Don’t be TOO aggressive (20% deficit is okay, but 40% is not).

Procedures:
* Keep extra servings away from my plate/bowl.
* Split up snack/mini-meals when I’m not hungry.
* Stay busy (yay computer!)
* You have to exercise, because your body will reduce your BMR to keep from losing fat reserves.
* Hungries are worse the day AFTER exercise, so save your calories for tomorrow.

Foods:
* Lots of broths, leaves, fresh veggies to add bulk, and fill in when I’m STILL HUNGRY!
* Make sure I get the food groups and vitamins daily / weekly rather than every meal.
* UMAMI: Your tongue creates Peptide YY it detects meat, glutamate, etc. Reduces hunger by 30% in the lab.
* VITAMIN A: Hunger hormones are produced by fat cells. Empty fat cells do not get recycled without Vitamin A.
* VITAMIN D: Vitamin D is blocked by Vitamin A, and is deficient for many indorsy people.
* CALCIUM: Requires Vitamin D to be absorbed. Prevents brittle bones.

Some days will be better than others. Don’t give up. Keep tinkering.


Spinal Health

My critical stretches are:
* Calf stretch just because it reduces referred pain on hamstring stretches, and because I tore a gastroc once.
* Hammies get a hurdler stretch or similar. Tight hammies are big, bad back things, and a major problem for me.
* IT bands get a figure-four, or a leg over stretch to help reduce piriformis syndrome.

Others I enjoy when remembered:
* Pidgeon pose gets adductors AND IT bands a little, because I cannot really do the splits. This is mostly for 2 days after a long bike ride.
* Quad stretch, usually just grab my foot behind me and get as much stretch as I can. This is more for my knees than anything.

Core strength I need more of:
* Planks in all 4 directions also help core. Front plank can be replaced with pushups if form is good. Modified planks/pushups as necessary to prevent strain.
* Rows, whether off a doorframe, or a table, or with proper equipment, are important. However, a year post-op, and I’m still not really comfortable with twisting under load. I do one arm at a time, and keep my shoulders square. YMMV.
* Walking / hiking are great for core if it’s more than a few minutes, and more than just on a track or treadmill.

Aerobic/Calorie Burn
* Road bikes are low impact, but the bending is not always best.
* Spin bikes are easy to sit upright and get comfy, while burning calories, but the class matters a bunch.
* Some people run, but if your heel hits the ground, it just hammers your spine.
* Swimming, if that’s your thing. More of an upper-body thing.
* NOTE: Stretching after a good warm-up will be much more effective. Also, a good warm-up will break down some of the tight strands the same as stretching, just smaller amounts per step/stroke/whatever. Also, if I don’t stretch after a long bike ride, everything goes bad faster.

Other Stuff
* There are other body stretches I should do, but I don’t suffer when I don’t do them. The /r/bodyweightfiness has good enough reference that I mostly ditched all of the other lists, charts, and PT printouts for it. http://www.reddit.com/r/bodyweightfitness/wiki/kb/recommended_routine.compact
* Aspirin for NSAID since my family has a history of clots, and Ibuprofen/Naproxen increase clot risks when used long-term.
* Hot Tubs/showers are awesome for relaxing muscles, preventing cramps, etc.
* Extra salt when I exercise, because I’m a salty guy. Seriously. I cramp up if I don’t get enough, and this could be 1-2 grams of salt per liter of water consumed, depending on the temperature outside.


General health

I just saw a picture of myself from today’s bike ride, and while I’m still wanting to drop pounds AND fat, I’m about as happy with how I look as I can ever recall being.

In the mirror this morning, I noticed SAGGY BELLY SKIN. This is a good sign, and I’m young enough that skin-shrink is just barely lagging behind fat loss.

Health-wise, my right knee, low back, stamina, and self image all are massively improved. Circulation is better. My BP and cholesterol were good before, so no real change. My resting pulse is down a little bit. I’m having fun exploring and spending time with people. I’m enjoying measuring my progress technically, and seeing myself exceed goals. Also, endorphins.

Also, the rates at which I can convert fat to muscle show me that I don’t have any metabolic issues. “Weight loss is all in my head.” So, picking the right foods will be key. I’ve found I really like Greek style yogurt, and it’s low fat, high calcium, high protein, and only has moderate carbs if I have the mix-up jelly kind (I do).

It seems calorie dense, but it also seems satiating. One day I had 500 calories of it to finish off evening hungers. Then next day I had 2 in the evening. The next morning, I had 2 for breakfast, and had no real hunger for most of the day. I had another before riding my bike, and a snack bar, and some carby elecrolyte drink. I blew through 4000 kcal today and have eaten under 1100 without hunger.

I did have a bunch of caffeine today, so I need to test further. If I could eat 120-240 kcal and be satiated for 6 hours, that’s just famazing and would be a big win for me.

As to wanting to drop pounds and fat:
* I’m 29.6% body fat based on bioelectric impedence, and the increased risk limit is 28%. I’d like to get down to 25%.
* My Waist to Height ratio is 56.7%, and the increased risk limit is 53.6%. I’d like to get down to 50%.
* My Waist to Hip ratio, which is an accurate predictor of morbidity risks, is 95.76%, and the risk limit is 90% for men. I don’t have a target for this other than the risk limit or below.
* I’d like to drop to a size 36 pants due to availability of tall clothes. Also, I found out / confirmed that even men’s clothing is vanity sized by 7-10%, so tape measures differ vs pant sizes.

I just had a life insurance medical exam. It’ll be interesting to see what the CBC comes back with.

Photos, with me on the far right:

or direct: https://scontent-b-atl.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/t1/q71/s720x720/1619156_10203080001591592_2096155125_n.jpg


or direct: https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/t1/1947922_10202777493151050_1370307925_n.jpg


Sugar is not bad for you

Be sure to know what a “Complex Carbohydrate” really is. It doesn’t mean long-chain starches. Those are still sugar. A baked potato, bowl of white rice, a slice of bread, and even corn on the cob are just fast-acting sugars to the body. In fact, they all have a higher glycemic index than table sugar (except some low-carb breads such as Ezekiel bread).

“Complex” means trapped inside of other things. So, an apple is complex. Broccoli is complex. Kale is complex. Peppers, asparagus, etc. You have to chew it, and it has fiber that hasn’t been milled in a factory.

Not apple juice, or any type of juice. As soon as you juice or puree something, even if you “leave the pulp in”, it’s no longer complex. The body no longer has to wait to absorb the calories out of it.

Sitting at a desk, you need about 0.4 kcalories per pound per hour. There is no need to eat anything starchy or sugary. It is turned into glucose before it enters the blood stream, and it only has a half-life of 15 minutes. Anything you didn’t burn in an hour will be turned to fat. Most sugars other than glucose, including half of table sugar, is sent to the liver, converted to glucose, and only about 10% of it makes it into the blood before being turned into fat.

If you’re exercising for 2 hours, you should be able to fuel that with reserves, even at maximum effort. The key is to keep your water and mineral levels happy (20-30oz per hour, with a gram of salt mixed in, and whatever else you want to flavor it). If you want to eat, eat whatever you can stomach.

However, if you’re exercising hard for 5 hours, there is no reason to eat fresh vegetables during your workout. You should have done so before, and will do so after, because of the vitamins and minerals. Those are just too slow to provide your energy needs during cardio.

Exercising at maximum effort, you need about 4 kcalories per pound per hour, plus water and extra minerals. At sustainable effort, you need 3kcal/pound. A tablespoon of corn syrup (not HFCS) washed down with water is almost exactly what you want. (2mg magnesium, 4mg calcium, 9mg potassium, 31mg sodium, 16g glucose, 57 kcal).

Even if you stop for an hour in the middle, you’re still running 30% over idle. If you don’t supplement during the exercise, even with a meal break in the middle, you’ll run out of energy. This will feel like you’re too tired to go on, and if you’re measuring, you’ll lose 30% or more of your peak effort. The refill rate is 3x longer than the burn rate, so once this happens, it’s too late to come back.

Ultra-athletes can double this reserve, and improve their ability to burn fat to extend their peak efforts. Also, their peak efforts move further up, so they can operate at a lower percentage of peak, meaning they can refuel a higher percentage of their reserve consumption during the workout.

Even so, even the best athlete will eventually run out of glycogen reserves. They just have learned how to keep going at this point. They’ve killed off the muscle cells that can’t handle it, and walled off the parts of the brain that tell them they are too tired to continue (fatigue is mostly in the mind if your hydration and electrolytes are okay).

Proof? Look up ultracycling mph ranges. 7hour riders might be in the 17mph range, 12 hour rides in the 16mph range, and 2.5 day rides in the 13.5mph range. Many of these riders can easily average 20mph for 2-3 hour rides, and push 22mph averages for hard workout days. These stats do not subtract rest stops.

Comparatively, my non-athlete speeds, and I did 40mi at 14.8mph, 23mi at 16.3mph, and I can easily hit 18-20mph on flats, even 34mph on a downhill if I don’t have far to go. I *do* subtract out rest stops.


Weight Goals – WARNING

I realized yesterday at Dinner, or rather, Erica reminded me, that I let my goal slip. The goal is to be 250 LBS or less by spring break so I can do the indoor skydiving out at Stonebriar. I haven’t been doing ANYTHING about this. Actually, that’s a lie. I’ve been compensating for any calorie burn with cake, cookies, candy, and huge portions of food.

Technically, I have too much to lose safely by then (6-7 weeks for 19-20 pounds). A pound a week is good. I’ll be happy with that. 2 pounds a week is tough. I’d be ecstatic for that. 3 pounds per week is not recommended for the average person.

I was 245LBS before, so I should be able to get there, even if I don’t get there in time for spring break.

I know it will be beyond hard. The habits are hard, as is the hunger in general. We’ll see what I can do. I burned a pound today, or rather, tomorrow, since it’s always on the recovery that it changes. It will be important to keep up the calorie burn, because calorie restriction causes the body to reduce metabolism.

I believe if I stay on top of vitamins, proper portions, avoiding starches and fat additions, and cycle my butt off, I might get close. However, as long as the trend is downward again, I’ll be happy.


2014-01-01 New China Wed Lunch Ride

Group ride to New China for lunch. First ride out in a few weeks. Found a new Max Heartreat of 191, which is higher than age-estimates.

Distance: 7.25 mi
Calories: 432 C

Time: 42:29
Moving Time: 41:05
Elapsed Time: 1:59:44

Avg Speed: 10.2 mph
Avg Moving Speed: 10.6 mph
Max Speed: 28.8 mph

Elevation Gain: 325 ft
Elevation Loss: 279 ft
Min Elevation: 554 ft
Max Elevation: 663 ft

Avg HR: 121 bpm
Max HR: 191 bpm

Avg Power: 87 W
Max Power: 1,102 W
Max Avg Power (20 min): 112 W

Avg Bike Cadence: 55 rpm
Max Bike Cadence: 175 rpm

Avg Temperature: 69.6 °F
Min Temperature: 66.2 °F
Max Temperature: 84.2 °F

NOTE: Temp is high by 10 degrees

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/422942535
http://www.strava.com/activities/103258914
http://www.mapmyride.com/workout/454347709
http://runkeeper.com/user/xaminmo/activity/286093664