The Art of Manliness: Everything You Need to Know About Diet, Nutrition, and Fat Loss

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Intro
Nutrition
  • Protein
    • To build muscle, we have to break our muscles down, in order to build them up bigger/stronger
      • This involves adding additional muscle protein, which muscles are comprised of
    • Protein is also a large component of hair, finger nails, and skin
    • “Proteins build things”
  • Carbs
    • Carbs are an energy source. After we eat them, they’re converted to glucose.
    • Typically, we store the carbs we eat as glycogen (aka stored glucose) in our muscles and liver
      • Someone who’s 70 kg can store 425 g of glucose as muscle glycogen, and 75 g of glucose as liver glycogen
      • The more intense an activity, the more stored glycogen we utilize
    • When lifting weights, we have 3 energy systems
      • ATP Phosphocreatine – system responsible for fast/rapid explosive activities (like the first rep of an exercise)
      • Muscle glycogen – provides energy for the middle range repitions
      • With over 20 reps, or with aerobic exercise, we rely on oxidative metabolism
    • Glycemic Index (GI) – a classification system for how the body responds to carbs in terms of changing blood glucose levels (a high GI carb will raise blood glucose levels more than a low GI carb)
      • However, the GI of a certain carb will be altered when eaten with fiber from protein/fat/other carbs
      • The best time to take in fast acting (high GI carbs – like candy or Gatorade) is right after, or during, a workout to quickly replenish your glycogen stores
  • Fat
    • Fat comprises cell membranes
    • Certain vitamins require fat for absorptionVitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin K, and Vitamin E
    • Fat can be stored as energy (stored body fat)
    • By eating a high fat diet/low carb (like a ketogenic diet) our body becomes more efficient at burning dietary fat (not stored fat) for fuel
      • In the reverse – if we eat a high carb/low fat diet, our body becomes better at burning carbs rather than the fat – so the fat we eat gets stored more readily 
    • Why do people who go on high fat diets (like keto) tend to lose more body fat than people who eat a normal carbohydrate based diet?
      • It depends on our resting metabolic rate 
        • Resting metabolic rate is largely genetic
      • The loss of stored body fat is driven by a negative energy balance (the calories you burn/expend > the calories you take in)
        • At a caloric deficit, we then dip into burning our stored body fat
        • On a ketogenic/paleo diet – we tend to consume less calories, causing us to dip into/burn our stored body fat more often
    • The total number of fat cells a human has is largely genetic
      • It can be influenced by evironent
      • Up until around age 20, we are adding new fat cells
      • After this, any increase in body size is due to an increase in fat cell size, not number
      • It’s thought that once a fat cell hits a certain size, it can’t get any smaller
The Ketogenic Diet
  • On a mixed fat/carb/protein diet, our brain uses carbohydrates to create energy
  • When we restrict carbs and protein to very low levels, and eat lots of fat – we use dietary fat (and body fat when we’re lacking in dietary fat) to create ketones (the liver does this), which enter the krebs cycle to create ATP (energy)
    • Compared to using carbs for energy, the result is the same (ATP), it’s just something different that’s used to create it
    • Check out Dr. Peter Attia’s series on the ketogenic diet where he really break this down – HIGHLY recommend
    • Technically we can create more energy per oxygen molecule (also used in conjunction with ketones/carbs to create ATP) when using ketones to create energy as opposed to carbohydrates
      • In that sense, it’s slightly more efficient than using carbs to create energy
Are carbs evil?
  • Not all carbs are the same
  • A lot of the fiber our body needs, comes from certain types of carbohydrates (vegetables, legumes, fruits, whole grains)
    • Fiber can lower cholesterol levels and serves as food for our good gut bacteria
  • The bad carbs (donuts, wheat, sugar) are inflammatory
  • What happens when an endurance/weight lifiting athlete goes low carb?
    • Once our muscle glycogen stores are depleted, we are forced to burn fat for fuel
      • Unless we are keto adapted (this just means that our body is used to burning fat for fuel), this is challenging for the body
      • However, if we are, our body/muscles can then use the fat/ketones for fuel
  • De novo lipogenesis
    • When we store the carbs we eat as fat
    • This only happens when we eat at a caloric surplus
      • First we store the fat we eat, then the excess carbohydrates
    • The easiest way to gain fat, if you wanted to, is to eat a high fat+carb diet
    • Check out Dr. Peter Attia’s blog post about fat cells for more on this – HIGHLY recommend
  • Gluconeogenesis
    • When the body converts non carb macronutrients (like protein) into glucose
      • This is why you can’t eat a lot of protein on the ketogenic diet
The Thermic Effects of Macronutrients
  • Each macronutrient has a different thermic effect
    • The digestion and absorption of fat, carbs, and protein is different
  • Protein has the highest thermic effect
    • If you eat a diet higher in protein, theoretically you’ll burn more calories, to digest that protein, compared to a diet low in protein
    • It takes more energy to break down and digest protein
    • Carbs are next, and fat last – fat is stored very easily
  • Carbs have half the calories of fat
    • Compared to a certain amount of fat, you have to eat twice the amount of carbs (by weight) to get the same amount of calories
Burning Fat and Weight Loss
  • Exercise
    • Typically, moderate exercise doesn’t burn THAT many calories – a typical cardio session might burn around 400
      • This is only about 15% of daily energy expenditure
      • 10-15% of our daily energy expenditure goes towards digesting food  – this is called diet induced thermogenesis
  • 87% of a fat cell is triglycerides, the other 13% are cellular machinery which we can’t “burn off”
  • Robert estimates that 80% of weight loss is diet, the other 20% is fitness
  • What would Robert advise the average male to do, if he wants to lose weight and is starting from square one?
    • Nutrition – eat about 100g of fat a day (no more), around 200g of carbs, and 250 grams of protein
      • A diet high in protein will keep you full
    • You should shoot for 1-2 lbs. of weight loss a week
    • Reduce calorie intake as you lose more weight and hit plateaus
      • The leaner you get, the harder your body fights back to lose weight
      • We have mechanisms in place, to protect us in times of famine
  • Bodybuilder’s have around 5% body fat right before a competition
How do you add body and muscle mass?
    • Ramp your carbs up (to around 400g a day), lower your fat slightly, and keep training hard
    • It will be hard to avoid adding some body fat when trying to add muscle mass
      • Do it in stages, once you hit a goal body weight, take a break and then focus on fat loss
    • “Muscle takes a long time to gain”
    • “If you’re not stimulating your muscles, no matter what diet you’re on, you won’t gain muscle mass”
      • “The diet supplements the training. The training is the stimulus.”
      • “The training stimulates the growth. Then you have to eat to facilitate that.”
    • The more of a novice you are, the more lean mass you’re able to gain early on
      • If you’re 2-3 years into training, when eating to gain mass – most of the mass you gain will be fat (some muscle, but 90% fat)
    • At some point you will hit a plateau in your weight gain
    • Try to eat around 40 grams of fiber per day
      • Mission Tortillas have about 15 grams of fiber in one tortilla
      • Raspberries are also good, and so are pinto beans
    • For extra carbs, Brett adds oat and brown rice flour to his protein shakes
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