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Tim's Thursday 3

This week, we are talking about overeating, the brain's fuel source, and whether light weights or heavy weights are better for muscle and strength goals.


Let's get right into, shall we!


Number 1: Is overeating your fault? Source: https://www.precisionnutrition.com/why-you-cant-stop-overeating


Trying to break the overeating cycle can be hard.


Whether it is a bag of chips, a pint of ice cream, or the late night cravings, sometimes all the will power in world just is not enough.


It happens to me too, and I feel your pain. Do you know who else feels your pain?


But unlike me who wants to help you, these individuals want to take advantage of that pain.


The people I am talking about are the manufactures behind the ultra processed foods that you can 't seem to put down.


Ultra processed foods like chips, candy, desserts, fried foods, etc. are highly palatable and taste delicious.


The makers of these foods are evil geniuses that have created a perfect concoction that increases the likely hood of you wanting more.


For example, ultra processed foods tend to have the following characteristics.

  1. Very calorie dense, providing little nutrients for our health

  2. Higher in sugar, salt, and fat

  3. Loaded with exciting and fast acting flavors

  4. Tons of variety to keep you wanting to try the newest addition

  5. Easy to eat, chew, and dissolve in your mouth

All of this leads to you being more likely to give in and keep eating these types of food.


So, the next you find yourself overeating, try not to be so hard on yourself.


It is very common for people to give in and blame themselves for overeating.


But now that you know the food makers dirty tricks, you can be better prepared to beat them.


In addition to that, here is my favorite strategy to help beat ultra-processed food overeating.


Eat slower when you do indulge with some of the foods. By eating slow, you can better sense when you have had enough satisfaction.


In fact, this fact from the article was interesting to me. Whole foods take about 25 chews per mouthful before it is swallowed. When it takes an average of just 10 chews or less with ultra-processed food.


Thus slowing day and chewing more when you have the ice cream, brownie, or bacon cheeseburger can help you listen to what your body is really telling you.


It is always good to work on building better habits by making better decisions for what you want out of your nutrition and lifestyle. But some days it may feel harder than others.


Use this to help reframe your perspective around why your may be overeating.


Find common themes or triggers, and work towards becoming aware of how some of these may influence your choices.


Number 2: Does the brain use fat for fuel?


So this is the most nerdy one of the day, and I wont be offended if you skip ahead to number three.


But, I wanted to write about because I thought it was cool!


If you have every been in any anatomy and physiology class, human biology class, or have just read a lot on the human body, you may have heard that the brain runs predominately on glucose.


For the most part, there doesn't seem to be that much debate on the topic.


But that doesn't mean that it is not worth looking into the reasons why the brain likes glucose.


If you recall from high school biology, ATP is what the body uses to power most if not all of the metabolic reactions in our body.


The brain, even though it is only 2% of our body's mass, it uses close to 20% of our body's ATP energy supply. Whereas other organs like the heart, kidney, and muscle use anywhere from 10-15% of our body's ATP.


As you can tell, the brain requires a lot of ATP and energy. The brain also needs this ATP fast. Fast enough to power the billions of neurons working to keep you functioning.


Based on the information presented in the article above, fatty acids are not able to meet this ATP and energy demand.


The article presented 3 main reasons as to why this is likely the case.

  1. In order to use fatty acids for fuel, it would require more oxygen to be used. This could reduce the available oxygen for the brain risking a low oxygen environment. And oxygen is pretty important.

  2. The brain is not well equipped to handle to by products of fatty acid metabolism. When fatty acids are metabolized in the mitochondria, they produce something called super-oxide. Super oxide is a free radical and is a harmful byproduct of this energy production. Unfortunately, the brain is not well equipped to defend itself from this superoxide.

  3. The rate of fatty acid oxidation is much too slow to meet the demand of ATP needs. To get ATP from fatty acids it takes much longer than glucose. Being that our brains are constantly firing connections throughout neurons, ATP needs to be readily available. And it appears that only glucose is able to meet this demand.

Taking all of that into consideration, the next time some body says the brain runs on glucose, you can agree and share these reasons why.


I am sure you will blow them away when you say this to them out loud!


Number 3: Heavy or light weights for muscle growth and strength? Source: https://doi.org/10.1519/jsc.0000000000000958


This is one of the debates that coaches and trainers love to have.


Like any topic that is being debated, context matters.


But, lets take a quick look at what this study had to say on the matter.


The study above took experienced male trainees around 23 years old, and put them in a one of two training programs.


1 group lifted with light weight. for 25-35 reps per set. While the second group lifted using heavier weights in the 8-12 rep ranges.


Both lifting styles were able to increase muscle size. But there were some specific changes that occurred within each group.


For the lighter weight training group there was an improvement in muscle endurance over the 8 week training study, and no difference was found for the higher training weight group.


As for strength gains. Only the heavier training weight was able to increase strength of the training period.


One of the reasons why both groups were able to grow muscle, is because both groups trained to failure. Which means each set was very challenging to complete.


My big take away is this.


If you want to build muscle, you can use what ever style of training you like and what feels best for your joints and body.


If you are looking to increase your muscle endurance, lighter loads are best.


If you are looking to increase your strength, heavy loads will be best.


And finally, for either style to work, you must be incorporating challenging sets.


I suggest using both in your training program. For my current clients we incorporate many different styles that not only incorporate heavy and light loads, but was that will guarantee you are being pushed to reach your potential!


I hope you found this interesting and possibly helpful.


If you want to discuss any of these topics in more detail, don't be afraid to reach out!


All the best,

Tim








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