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Thread: Fat burning vs carb use page 2

  1. #11
    sbhikes's Avatar
    sbhikes is online now Senior Member
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    Mark posted a link to an interesting article here: Calorie Rants and Ketosis (part 1). THAT PALEO GUY

    Phil Maffetone also has some good stuff about the different kinds of metabolic needs for different kinds of physical activities, aerobic vs. anaerobic.

    It got me thinking about my own situation. I have always done aerobic activities and have rarely done anything like sprinting or lifting before. The closest I've ever gotten to anaerobic activities has been to do stuff like hike as fast as I can to the top of some big mountain, or wear a heavy pack full of water while backpacking in the desert. I'm sure my body is fairly well riddled with aerobic, slow-twitch muscle fibers.

    I also had the beginnings of metabolic syndrome and when I started eating low carb. It was a miracle for my backpacking, liberating a whole new source of energy for me to use. It fit me and my lifestyle perfectly.

    Lately I've wanted to try lifting weights because everybody says how great that is. Well, 2 months of that and I was nearly destroyed. I was eating more carbs and protein to try to sustain it. But I just don't have any fast-twitch muscle fibers and apparently, growing them takes me more time than certain lifting programs allot for.

    I don't believe, being female, that hiking and backpacking and running and biking are catabolic. I believe I have as much muscle as I'm ever going to have. About the only thing I can do is try to exchange muscle fibers for the kind that can lift and run fast. I can probably do that on any kind of macro level with adequate protein and adequate time.

    So anyway, in my experience, once I liberated my fat-burning potential I was able to fuel my slow exercise (hiking mostly) with my body fat. This meant I could go longer and harder without having to eat frequently. This didn't work the same for stuff like sprinting and lifting for me. Nothing seems capable of fueling it because I lack much capability of doing it. Maybe someday when I can sprint and lift as well as I can hike I will understand all the fuss about how great carbs are. But for now carbs are tasty, they fill me up and satisfy me when I'm really wanting them, but they don't work any miracles and they still make me fat.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 170 x 3. Current Deadlift: 220 x 3

  2. #12
    sbhikes's Avatar
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    The part 2 of the Calorie Rant article is even better for explaining things. Calorie Rants and Ketosis (part 2). THAT PALEO GUY
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 170 x 3. Current Deadlift: 220 x 3

  3. #13
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    Yo, sbhikes. You should look into Body by Science protocol for lifting. 1x/week for 15-20 minutes is all you need. No need to do any carb or protein loading either. Just stimulate the system to grow and then sit back and rest while it happens.

  4. #14
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    sbhikes, you were getting into starting strength, no? mind if i asked what went wrong for you?

  5. #15
    sbhikes's Avatar
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    Starting strength is too much for me. I could not recover. I could not maintain the pace of progress, even scaled back to 5lbs a session for lower body and 2.5lbs for upper body. I couldn't achieve that. I started to feel always sore and like I had been hit by a bus and was suffering internal injuries. I was sleeping up to 12 hours a night. I was really super hungry and eating a lot of meat and potatoes to try and do right by it but I have gained significant weight. A lot of my clothing is tight and uncomfortable.

    I need more recovery time. I don't need to eat more. I don't need more carbs as I've been eating plenty, even rice and beans, fruit and honey, and that didn't protect me.

    By the way, I had a similar experience with trying to do Mark's precious sprinting. I was doing it every 7 to 10 days and all it ever did for me was hurt me.

    I don't know what it is, but I just don't have the body type for stuff like this or something. If I'm ever going to experience the miraculous benefits of it (if there are any), I am going to have to work my way up from something further down the ladder below square 0.

    I also have to admit that life SUCKS if you can't do any cardio.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 170 x 3. Current Deadlift: 220 x 3

  6. #16
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    way to listen to your body! seriously. i think rippetoe's stuff is great for explaining proper technique and mechanics. but i jump ship when it comes to the progression & timing aspects.

  7. #17
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    Thanks for all the info, I certainly get the basics now that fat takes longer to break down therefore low intensity activity is considered more likely to use fat reserves, and the higher the intensity, the more of the glucose in your blood and liver you will use. I can see that whilst it looks likely that the body can 'learn' to burn more fat this is probably merely through getting fitter at lower intensity activity and there comes a point where glucose/glycogen has to be used up faster if you begin to sprint or lift. I've noticed that whilst I may be out for the count after a long walk, the next morning I'm ok, presumably because my body had the time to break down more fat to replace energy.

    Interesting that its mentioned that the body will use protein from muscle tissue as an energy source, does it do this BEFORE accessing fat cells?

    Also, and I'm just taking a pot shot here, but is it the case that one of the functions the body performs during sleep is to mine the fat reserves for energy so you wake up with good blood sugar levels, especially if you haven't eaten a lot of carbs the previous day? This would make sense in that it seems it probably takes time for the body to do this, ie a period of hours.
    Last edited by Owen; 12-27-2012 at 09:06 AM.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owen View Post
    Thanks for all the info, I certainly get the basics now that fat takes longer to break down therefore low intensity activity is considered more likely to use fat reserves, and the higher the intensity, the more of the glucose in your blood and liver you will use. I can see that whilst it looks likely that the body can 'learn' to burn more fat this is probably merely through getting fitter at lower intensity activity and there comes a point where glucose/glycogen has to be used up faster if you begin to sprint or lift. I've noticed that whilst I may be out for the count after a long walk, the next morning I'm ok, presumably because my body had the time to break down more fat to replace energy.

    Interesting that its mentioned that the body will use protein from muscle tissue as an energy source, does it do this BEFORE accessing fat cells?

    Also, and I'm just taking a pot shot here, but is it the case that one of the functions the body performs during sleep is to mine the fat reserves for energy so you wake up with good blood sugar levels, especially if you haven't eaten a lot of carbs the previous day? This would make sense in that it seems it probably takes time for the body to do this, ie a period of hours.

    Well, to be perfectly frank....even when we break it down to hormones and speak "tech talk" we are doing the body a disservice. It is so much more complicated than we can articulate that its not even funny. The people who are on the cutting edge of this stuff and make it their living have more questions than they do answers.

    So it is far easier to speak in relatively general terms. Yes at low intensity levels you preferentially run on fat oxidation. At higher levels the percentage of energy coming from glucose increases. As jakey pointed out....shifting your diet toward one or the other may increase how much of that one you use. Also, if you eat a ton of carbs (think frutarian) then you will need to convert some of that to fat. If you eat only protein and fat you will have to convert some of that to glucose.....you, however do not convert anything to amino acids! So eat some protein!

    Your blood glucose is regulated primarily with liver glycogen. This is your brains glucose supply. Muscle glycogen is essentially locked up in the muscles and not available for the brain. When you rest you will refill both via gluconeogenesis if you don't get them from your diet. The protein for gluconeogenisis can come from your diet or your lean mass. So if you are low carb be sure to get the 1g/lb of lean mass like Mark recommends. Or eat enough starch to feed your activity level. The ketosis method reduces your need for glucose in half....so you now meet half of your need with ketones.

    I think that is about it for the 101 course. Beyond that your gonna have to read some books. The "fat burner" thing as Mark puts it is a healthy flexible metabolism in which you have access to and burn fat when you should. So we are talking about a prescriptive plan to combat and reverse metabolic syndrome for the most part. I think sbhikes links are pretty good. I don't know about his theory on the predominance of certain fiber types, but I certainly agree with his theory on the frequency and type of exercise determining where you should be getting your fuel from.
    Last edited by Neckhammer; 12-27-2012 at 09:42 AM.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neckhammer View Post
    The "fat burner" thing as Mark puts it is a healthy flexible metabolism in which you have access to and burn fat when you should. So we are talking about a prescriptive plan to combat and reverse metabolic syndrome for the most part.
    This just about sums up what I was hoping for - I have already seen fantastic results in just 4 weeks in terms of weight loss and general energy for daily life - but found that I'd actually lost stamina. Whilst I don't mourn it, given the other benefits, it prompted me to ask the question about becoming a fat burner over time, because I do often enjoy going for a long bike ride, and sometimes go on day-long hikes, which have been curtailed whilst my body (hopefully) changes over.

    Its clear that there is a lot of knowledge here and the enquiries and discussions here are amazingly erudite presumably something that comes from a shared goal that everyone is aiming for - whatever questions I ask on here are really peripheral to the fact that I feel awesome as of 4 weeks ago.

  10. #20
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    I can tell you from personal experience that when I first went primal, running became impossibly hard for me. Well, not impossibly, not really because I kept at it. It was just very unpleasant. What used to be a comfortable pace became very challenging. Anyway, suddenly one day I realized that my morning run was easy even though I was in ketosis at the time. Wheee! I think the thing that really helped me get there was switching my workout schedule from night to morning, i.e., working out in a fasted state (13- to 14-hour fasts, in my case because I usually stop eating around 5 or 6 pm and get to the gym around 7 am).

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