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Nutrition, Diet and Supplements Discuss nutrition, diet, cutting and weight loss. Supplement discussions as well.

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Old 09-21-2013, 05:32 PM   #1
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Default Energy and fat.

I'd like to learn more about what happens to excess calories depending on you're activity levle.

Reason being, I'm fuzzy on the subject, and since I have a fat gain fear I thought it'd be a good idea to know the facts so I didn't have so may questions all the time.
So that I can look back at this question,this thread, and remember what was said when I get worried again.




When is it that excess calories turn to fat?


Its my understanding that if you're eating excess calories, and they're not doing anything or being used as energy, then they'll be stored as fat.


I've learned from pas questions this doesn't happen within a day, so how long does it take to happen?



For instance I've been ill for a couple of days. Just been sat in the house mostly.

Still had my same surplus diet though, obviously, so would this mean I've added some fat because those extra calories were not used as energy?


Not that I'm really worried or anything, I just saw this as an opportunity to ask you guys and learn more about it.



How do calories act, and what determines what they turn into? Also, what sort of speed are we talking?



Thanks


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Old 09-21-2013, 09:21 PM   #2
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I don't pretend to know all the science, but from my understanding the body does not immediately enter full-blown fat storage mode until it sees a consistent demand.

I will let Casey Butt speak:

http://www.muscleandstrength.com/art...tt-part-2.html

Quote:
Casey Butt: I think all experienced bodybuilders have observed the phenomenon of rapid gains during short periods of overfeeding, particularly when people go on vacation or end a long low-calorie diet. However, the key thing to keep in mind here is the time frame over which the body reacts 'favorably' to the increase in calories.

Very simply, the body exists in essentially two states: energy surplus or energy deficit. In an energy deficit the body will decrease its expression of enzymes responsible for fat storage (lipoprotein lipase, etc), while increasing fat release from adipose cells. This is to provide the body with the energy it needs to maintain metabolism under a calorie deficit (after all, the major purpose of body fat is to provide a source of stored energy). At the same time, in the absence of high insulin levels in response to blood glucose, insulin receptors will uncover on the surface of muscle cells, increasing insulin sensitivity - with little glucose and protein available, the muscle cell will increase it's efficiency of uptake and utilization of these now very much in demand substances. Likewise, growth hormone, IGF-1 and testosterone levels, all of which increase metabolism and lean body mass, decrease when dietary calories are low.

Under these conditions the body has become a very efficient machine at releasing and burning fat from the fat cells and shuttling glucose and nutrients preferentially into the muscle cells (I'm simplifying the situation by neglecting the over-riding needs of the major organs, nervous system, etc).

In a calorie surplus, however, the body will go into a storage mode. In the presence of constantly high insulin, insulin receptors on the surface of muscle cells will "retract" into the cell membrane and become less "sensitive" to the presence of insulin ("insulin resistance"). High levels of fatty acids and glucose in the bloodstream will cause fat cells to up regulate enzymes responsible for fat production and storage. You are now a fat storing machine.

Classic muscle buildingThe key to the preferential deposition of lean body mass, as shown in the above studies during over-eating, lies in the short term nature of the response. Insulin sensitivity and fat storage enzyme activities don't suddenly change dramatically in a few hours or overnight. If the body reacted that quickly to changing environments it would bang back and forth constantly in a never-ending oscillation of metabolically costly adaptations. Evolution isn't that stupid (or perhaps it was but those species never lived that long) and so the adaption to sudden over- or under-eating takes time.

In one of the studies you mentioned (G. Forbes, M. Brown, S. Welle, and L. Underwood, "Hormonal response to overfeeding", Am J Clin Nutr, 1989; 49: 608-11) it was found that elevated testosterone, IGF-1 and insulin levels in response to over-eating all peaked at around 14 days and began to decline thereafter. Perhaps even more importantly, in the presence of high blood sugar and insulin levels fat cells start to increase insulin transporter expression at about two weeks, and that also corresponds with the time it takes for muscle cells to start exhibiting insulin resistance - after a few weeks of over-eating things are starting to go sour.

So, as you can see, the happy situation of preferentially putting on muscle just because you're eating like a pig simply can't last - if it did, formerly obese people would be cleaning up in bodybuilding competitions, but it just doesn't work that way. I over-ate for 18 years and it didn't do anything for me. As I mentioned earlier, bodybuilders often experience quick "rebound" muscle gains when they start eating "normally" again after a long cutting period. In such a circumstance they're coming out of a situation where their muscles are very insulin sensitive and their fat cells are metabolically "geared" to release fat, not store it, and so gains come fast and relatively easily for as long as that situation lasts. A person can experience something similar, though to a lesser degree, by simply over-eating for a few weeks after a period of eating maintenance level calories. However, like I said, you've only got a few weeks to play and then you must pay. If a bodybuilder wants to exploit the anabolic effects of over-eating then I suggest they do it for two weeks or so and then either go on a cut or eat maintenance calorie levels for at least an equal period of time.

As for "dirty bulking" I'd have to say that it's basic macro-nutrients that are most important - calories, carbs, proteins and fats - so "quality" is secondary to "quantity" in this instance. Having said that, it is a known fact that certain dietary components influence testosterone levels and, therefore, could be expected to affect the results of a "bulk". To maximize testosterone levels I'd recommend 30-35% of daily calories from fats with 2/3rds of those being saturated. I'd avoid partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (trans fats) under any circumstances. I'd also recommend at least daily meals of red meat and eggs for the cholesterol, which is crucial to testosterone production in natural athletes. I wouldn't go overboard with protein as excessively high protein intakes decrease testosterone levels. As for carbs, I can't think that it would matter much as to whether "fast" or "slow", "clean" or "dirty" carbs were consumed because with such a high calorie intake, insulin levels would be elevated practically all of the time anyway.

The only significant adjustments I'd make as a long-term eating plan for a natural trainee, other than lowering the calories back down to a sustainable level, would be to limit quick-digesting carbs to breakfast and immediately after training. I'd also try to take in a quick-digesting protein at those times as well. At practically all other times, slow carbs and proteins are the way to go.
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Old 09-22-2013, 07:00 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
I don't pretend to know all the science, but from my understanding the body does not immediately enter full-blown fat storage mode until it sees a consistent demand.

I will let Casey Butt speak:

http://www.muscleandstrength.com/art...tt-part-2.html


So its basically saying you're going to start to go down hill after about 2 weeks of eating on a surplus?


What about immobility? Thats what I'm confused about.

He said 2 weeks before the body switches to a fat gain state, but how does activity level effect that?


Take me who's been sitting in the house for the last 2 days, ill, and then take someone who worked out for one of those days, and was out walking the following, just being generally active,




Wouldn't I have put on extra fat that he didn't have to because he was burning it as energy? Or is 2 days still not enough time, even if fairly sedentary, for the body to switch to fat gain mode.

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Old 09-22-2013, 09:38 AM   #4
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Keep in mind that every ones body is different on how they react to diet, calories in/out, exercise etc. General rule is 3500 cal is 1 pound of fat. So lets say your diet stays the exact same but you aren't exercising anymore. Lets say you avg. workout burned 250 cal. Now you are in a surplus of 250 a day from what you use to maintain a weight at. At this rate, it would take about 14 days to add up to the 3500 cal equaling 1 pound of fat gain. Hope this makes sense to you and helps you understand a little more.
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:53 AM   #5
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Keep in mind that every ones body is different on how they react to diet, calories in/out, exercise etc. General rule is 3500 cal is 1 pound of fat. So lets say your diet stays the exact same but you aren't exercising anymore. Lets say you avg. workout burned 250 cal. Now you are in a surplus of 250 a day from what you use to maintain a weight at. At this rate, it would take about 14 days to add up to the 3500 cal equaling 1 pound of fat gain. Hope this makes sense to you and helps you understand a little more.
Thanks, that was interesting.


From what Casey and Steve we're saying, you're body doesn't automatically switch to a fat storing state as soon as you stop working out.


What I'm trying to establish is when exactly the body starts that fat storing process, and react, like you said, to the surplus of calories youv'e added on top of you're maintenance, if its not being used for energy and to build muscle.


Like you said though, everyones different.


I was only off ill for a couple of days, So I'm assuming my body wouldn't have gone into that fat storing process, seen as it would still be recovering from a previous workout at that point.
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