What does 200 calories look like???

Sometimes, it’s interesting to see just how much you can get in calories, if you pay attention to what is making those calories up.

Ideal Protein Protocol Sheets

To all of my loyal subscribers and followers, I am letting you know that I was recently contacted by Ideal Protein and advised that they would like me to remove the protocol sheets from my blog.  I will abide by their request.  This is why the link is no longer available.  If you would like to learn more about Ideal Protein, you may visit their About Us page here.  They will probably send you the same PDF’s I was able to find if you request them.

Calories from Fat…What does this mean?

Yesterday I had the pleasure of reading about how many xyz calories are supposed to come from protein, carbohydrates and fat.  I then was wondering “How do I know how many of my calories come from protein?”  Well, here is how it breaks down:

1 Gram of Fat has 9 calories in it.

1 Gram of Carbohydrate has 4 calories in it.

1 Gram of Protein also has 4 calories in it.

Now, this may sound like greek to you, I know it did to me, so I used something near and dear to me to figure this all out; a Snicker’s bar.


Calories Total Calories = 250
Fat (in Grams) 12 108 Calories from Fat (12g x 9cal/g)
Carbohydrates (in Grams) 33 132 Calories (33g x 4cal/g)
Protein (in Grams) 4 16 Calories (4g x 4cal/g)

But these number don’t add up to 250! You say.  Here’s an article from Scientific American (dated 2006) about how calories are calculated in manufactured food products.  Basically, it breaks down to the numbers being rounded.  There are not exactly 12 grams of fat in a single bar of Snickers.  It may be over, or under, by 0.01g and that little number will still ultimately matter.

Anyways, back to the percentages.  There’s this diet style called Macronutrients and apparently it deals with what percentage of your calories come from each source.  University of Ilinois has a nice breakdown of what each macronutrient does.  Now, the million dollar question.  What should my breakdown of Macronutrients be?

Well, according to Weight Watchers,

Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges for Adults (as a percentage of Calories) are as follows:

  • Protein: 10-35%

  • Fat: 20-35%

  • Carbohydrate: 45-65%

Now, let’s go back and look at our Snicker’s bar.  The Protein portion of 250 is 1.6% (4/250) yikes!  Fat? 43% (108/250) and finally, Carbohydrates are 52% (132/250).  We are ending up at 96% of our total caloric value, and it’s high in fat, high in carb, and low in protein.  Some of the weight training systems call for about a 40% Protein, 30% fat and 30% carb ratio, the numbers vary quite a bit.  Another source states this amount works for losing fat and gaining muscle: Burn the Fat: 30% protein, 15-20% fat, 50-55% carbohydrates.  The number is entirely up to your circumstance at that time, it can change based on what you need the energy for.


What’s the Deal with Green Tea?

OK, so the myth is that green tea boosts metabolism, makes you absorb less fat, and in some parts of the world, I’m sure it’d make you pee rainbows and folds your laundry…but really, WHAT is the deal with the stuff?  It’s in all sorts of diet supplements, but why?  What makes it sooo fancy pants?  Let’s take a look.

Myth: Green tea improves mental alertness
Truth: Green tea contains caffeine, which is a stimulant and is known for a temporary boost in energy and mental alertness.

Myth: Green tea helps with weight loss, lowering cholesterol, protecting skin from sun damage, preventing and treating cancer.
Truth: Not enough research has been done to give any conclusive answers.

*Source – NIH – National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)

Well THAT is boring as all getout, wouldn’t you agree?  I find those answers less than desirable.  Back to the Googles!

Mythes: Green Tea –

  • Reduces Fat
  • Stimulates Metabolism
  • Improves Endurance During Exercise

OK, I’ll look at this information, keep in mind there is not any source listed on this website, so it may not be perfectly accurate (yes I will dig more as I have time)

Green Tea Reduces Fat…so, sugar and fat enter our bodies when we eat (no, really?) and are then broken down into triglycerides (yes, like cholesterol).  This all goes down in the small intestine and the liver.  The triglycerides now jump on the bloodstream and travel to the rest of the body.  This gives our body energy to function, the leftovers however get turned into fat.  Green tea, on the other hand, is high in polyphenols.  What THESE little gems do is activate an enzyme (yes, one you already have floating around in you) that will then break down the excess triglyceride.  Now, the article just says break down, I think it should read “break down SOME of the excess triglycerides” but that’s just me.  But either way, this helps get rid of the excess fat content that would be coming in.  Keep in mind, it’s not getting rid of it if it’s already been converted, just preventing additional fat from being created.

Green Tea Stimulates Metabolism…this is the big whopper of a pseudo-science that people somehow think is a magic bullet.  It’s not like you are suddenly Speedy Gonzalez, or Road Runner with their metabolism to boot.  Green tea is flush with antioxidants, it’s one of its biggest brags, and rightfully so.  One of those antioxidants is called (get ready for it…) epigallocatechin gallate.  You know you want to try and say it, don’t lie!  It’s abbreviated (thank God) as EGCG and this has the ability to stimulate the central nervous system (that’s your brain and spine) and makes it release fat into the bloodstream so it can then be burned off by the body, a process known as thermogenesis.  Thermogenesis works by producing extra energy, shedding excess water and burning body fat.  Keep in mind, caffeine on its own will cause a certain degree of thermogenesis (as opposed to just EGCG), but it is much more effective when it is a combination of caffeine + EGCG.  How much can green tea increase your metabolism?  Get ready for it…4%…roughly 100 calories a day (so green tea can help you kill one pound a month, roughly).  OK, so that might not be that inspiring, BUT keep in mind that the tea is also keeping you from adding on a bit of extra fat by its polyphenols, so double whammy there!  And, really, only 1 lb a month may not SEEM like a lot, but that’s 12 pounds a year, and that my friend is something to talk about! (Here’s a fancy medical experiment abstract report with rats and polyphenols, if your brain is not exploding yet)

Green Tea Improves Endurance During Exercise…another antioxidant in Green Tea is called catechin polyphenols, these bad boys will stimulate your muscle cells and liver so they use more fatty acids (that’s like Omega-3, -6, -9 etc.)  resulting in your body burning carbs at a slower rate during exercise.  This may sound bad (not burning carbs? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!), but by your body burning them slower, you can exercise for a longer period of time, thus burning more CALORIES (because calories = fat = weight) before wanting to die of exhaustion.

*Source – Fitday.com

So, if YOU have ever been a green tea toter, I’d love to hear if it has seemed to help in your weight loss journey to this point.  Here’s to reading the good read and learnin’ stuff!

Muscle Vs. Fat…Round 1!

So, I’ve been going to the gym 3-4 days / week for the last two months, with a brief break of about a week right around Christmas week.  I’ve started increasing my resistance training, and thought to myself: How much does muscle really weight compared to fat?


Muscle Weight: 1.06 g/ml (grams per milliliter) (only 0.02g/ml more dense than blood)

Fat Weight: 0.9 g/ml (grams per milliliter) (fun random fact, this is the same density as Oil, cool huh? Also the same as traditional butter)

Below, we have our traditional muscle v. fat exact replica.  Now, if it isn’t motivating enough, I decided to look at it as a larger scale.  I KNOW I have more than 5 pounds of fat to drop, I have closer to 20…not only that, this shows us what they are in relation to eachother, but not necessarily how they relate to the real world, so let’s look at something we CAN understand.


Alright, I suck at metric units, but Google is smart at converting them!  So 1.06 g/ml is the equivalent of 8.84 pounds / gallon and 0.9 g/ml is the equivalent of 7.51 pounds / gallon, this is way easier for me to think about.  Take a 1 gallon milk jug, it weighs 8.4 pounds all by itself (full of 2% milk), for a fun random fact, a gallon of water is still 8.34 pounds, so it’s only 0.6 pounds lighter than a gallon of milk.  Are you banging your head against the wall trying to figure out where I’m going with this yet?  How about this?  A Gallon of vegetable oil weighs 7.7 pounds, a gallon of Ethanol weighs 6.584 pounds…Brain still in tact?  Hooray!  Close enough comparison!  If you took a one gallon jug of vegetable oil (7.7 pounds) and compared it to one gallon jug of alcohol (like, rubbing alcohol, pure ethanol), the weight difference would be nearly 1.3 pounds, hooray!  If you’d want to SEE The difference, simply take a gallon jug and set it to one side, then take another gallon jug and put it to a different area.  Add one 20 ounce bottle and stick it next to the gallon jug.  That is the amount of at (in size) to be the equivalent amount of weight as the gallon jug, if the one gallon was full of “muscle”, and the other gallon+20 ounce was full of “fat”.

What it comes down to is this:  Muscle is 17% heavier than fat, roughly.  This means for every cubic inch of muscle you gain (have to think in terms of size, not in terms of weight, as one pound of muscle weighs the same as one pound of fat, as a pound is a term of weight), it is taking up 17% less space than if that space was taken up by fat, or rather, there is 17% more available space now where it was before stretched out by fat.

Well, my brain officially feels like swiss cheese.  If yours does too, welcome to the club!  Stay tuned to my next Muscle v. Fat: How much Does it Eat? How much does it burn?

In the most basic form, fat is 17% larger than muscle, as depicted in this image

In the most basic form, fat is 17% larger than muscle, as depicted in this image


Google Answers
Specifically: http://biomed.gerontologyjournals.org/cgi/content/full/56/5/B191#R23 | http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1463-1326.2004.00410.x