Total Caloric Expenditure: Part 2-The Thermal Effect of Food

Mark Dziuban - Thermal

In part one of this series, we learned how to calculate your Resting Metabolic Rate, or RMR, which is how many calories your body burns to provide for all it’s necessary bodily functions. You now know how many calories your body requires before you do anything more than lay in bed all day.

Now that we understand and have calculated your resting metabolic rate, we have a little more work to do. Before we do that, let’s look at the equation for Total Caloric Expenditure.

Total Caloric Expenditure = RMR + Thermal Effect of Food + Activity Expenditure

The Thermal Effect of Food is the total number of calories required to digest your food. Yes, your body burns calories when processing, or digesting the food you eat. Your body burns calories absorbing and distributing those nutrients throughout your body. No, you cannot eat more food to burn more calories and lose weight. While that would be a fun way to lose weight, the fact is our bodies burn far fewer calories digesting the food we eat than the total number of calories contained in that food. We are going to use a very simple method to determine your Thermal Effect of Food. Remember that this figure varies depending on the types of food ingested. Simply calculate 10% of your daily caloric intake. The answer is the approximate number of calories required to digest and process our food. So, using our example 34-year-old female from our previous post, let’s say she consumes 2,300 calories per day. So, multiplying 2,300 calories by 10% or, 2,300 x .10 we determine her Thermal Effect of Food to be 230 calories. Her RMR we previously calculated to be 1,378.13 or let’s around up to 1,380 for easier math. Her Thermal Effect of Food is 230 so we know she currently burns 1,610 calories per day, 1,380 + 230 = 1,610.

We are well on our way to having a good idea how many calories we burn in a single day.

Before we move on any further, let’s talk about the three categories of metabolism. There are the Ectomorph, Mesomorph, and the Endomorph. Do you have a friend or family member who seemingly can eat anything at any time and never gain a single pound of weight? That lucky person is an Ectomorph, or is better identified as having a very high metabolism. A Mesomorph is one who has a normal metabolism and an Endomorph has a difficult time losing weight. You’ll need to determine which category you fit in to you will need to be honest with yourself. So, when calculating your Total Caloric Expenditure, or TCE, add 500 calories if you are an Ectomorph. If you are a Mesomorph, do nothing and for an Endomorph you will need to deduct 200 calories once you determine your daily caloric intake.

For sake of our example, let’s assume our 34-year-old female is a mesomorph and requires no change once we determine our new daily caloric intake requirements.

In part three of this series, we will talk a little bit about lean body mass, (LBM), and try to help you determine your activity expenditure.

As a side note: For those of you who are considering weight loss supplements: There are many weight loss supplements available in the store or online which have key ingredients that are not scientifically studied. Check on the internet to find if your “miracle product” references any scientific studies on humans-you may be surprised.

Until next time, always remember, “If you want it, you’ve got to go get it.”

Excess Carbs, not Fat, Make you Fat

Mark Dziuban - Fat and Carbs

One of the most common misconceptions among Americans is that eating dietary fat will result in bodily fat gain. Fat is nothing more than a fuel source for our bodies, along with carbohydrates (sugar), and protein, although protein is not a primary fuel source.

The main culprit in fat gain has almost nothing to do with fat and almost everything to do with sugar. Any carbohydrate you eat will inevitably break down into glucose (sugar) and get absorbed into your bloodstream. When blood glucose levels rise, insulin is released from the pancreas to bind with the glucose and deliver it to the cells as fuel. This glucose is either used immediately as fuel, or it is converted to glycogen and stored in our muscles and liver to be used as fuel later. That glycogen storage system is the basis behind endurance athletes carb loading before races or long training sessions. Fat accumulation starts occurring when the body takes in more sugar than it can store, and it begins converting it to fatty acids for storage.

The human body has a finite amount of fat cells, and those cells will grow and shrink depending on the amount of fatty acids in the cell. Once inside a fat cell, three of those fatty acids will bind to an alcohol called glycol to form one triglyceride. While fatty acids flow freely in and out of fat cells, triglycerides are bound to the fat cell where they were formed until they are broken down. The accumulation of these triglycerides in fat cells is what translates into excess stored body fat.

Lipolysis is the breakdown of fats that involves the hydrolysis of triglycerides back into glycerol and three fatty acids. Lipolysis is induced in the body by a number of hormones including glucagon, epinephrine, norepinephrine, ghrelin, testosterone, growth hormone, and cortisol. When the body is fasted, there is an increase in lipolysis-inducing hormones, most notably norepinephrine, that jumpstarts lipolysis. The most common time for triglycerides to break down is actually while we sleep, which is one of the reasons so many different diets require you to not eat so many hours before bed. Another way to increase these hormones is through exercise. By exercising, you increase testosterone and cortisol levels therefore stimulating lipolysis and “burning fat” as most people will call it.

Education is the first line of defense to combat obesity.  The cycle of carbohydrate consumption leading to fat storage is something that millions of Americans struggle with. Understanding how that cycle works and taking the steps to correct your diet will have your burning fat in no time.

Total Caloric Expenditure: Part 1-Know your Number

Mark Dziuban - Calories 1

January 1st has come and gone and once again your New Year’s resolution is not off to a great start.  In fact, you have not seen any weight loss results and the hope of becoming a slimmer, healthier you might have to wait once again until next year.

This is a story to which we can all relate.  While our desire to exercise, and lose weight are born of good intent, our knowledge of how to do so may be somewhat lacking.  To succeed, you are going not have to arm yourself with general knowledge and facts so you can become the healthier, leaner you that you have always dreamt of becoming.

To sustain itself, our bodies are constantly working.  Even while we are doing nothing our bodies are busy repairing and rebuilding.  Our hearts are pumping blood, blood is flowing.  We are breathing, twitching, digesting and thinking.  In other words, if you were to lie around all day and do nothing physical, your resting metabolic rate, or RMR, in calories, would provide for all of your necessary body functions.

If you were going to cut calories from your diet, we first need to determine how many calories your body requires to sustain itself.  Once you have solved your RMR value, you can plug that number into the equation for Total Caloric Expenditure.  But before we can determine that value, we need to determine your RMR.  

So, let’s do a little work.  The most common method for calculating your RMR is by using the “Mifflin Formula”.  There are many online websites available to calculate this for you but let’s run through the formula manually to provide a thorough knowledge of how to determine your RMR.

For Men:  RMR = (10 X weight in kilograms) + (6.25 x height in centimeters) – (5 X age) + 5

For Women:  RMR = (10 X weight in kilograms) + (6.25 x height in centimeters) – (5 X age) – 161

For our example let’s use a 34-year-old female, 5’7” tall and weighs 155 pounds.  Now before we begin you can see we will need to convert pounds into kilograms and inches into centimeters.

To convert pounds into kilograms, simply divide your weight by 2.2. Using our example: 155/2.2=70.45.

To convert height into centimeters, we know a person 5’7” tall in 67 inches.  Take 67 divided by 0.3937.  67/.3937 = 170.18.

Ok now we have values for height and weight which we can easily work with in the following formula for women:  (10 x 70.45) + (6.25 X 170.18) – (5 x 34) -161 or 704.5+ 1063.63 = 1768.13 – 170 = 1598.13 – 161 = 1437.13

So for our example, our 34-year old female requires 1,437 calories before she does a single thing other than lie in one place all day.

Now we are beginning to arm ourselves with information, which when used alongside calculating our total calorie expenditure, will provide us with the necessary information to make an educated decision regarding our weight loss plan.

Watch for my next blog when I discuss how to calculate your total caloric expenditure and always remember, “If you want it, you’ve got to go get it.”  

Make a Lifestyle Change, Not a Resolution

Mark Dziuban Make a Lifestyle Change Header

If you have been to a commercial gym in the past week (Gold’s Gym, Planet Fitness, YMCA) then you probably noticed that it is pretty full. January is by far the busiest month at most gyms and health clubs. We’ve all heard it from someone before, “My New Year’s resolution is to get in shape and lose weight.” The time between Thanksgiving and the winter holidays is when most people are visiting with family, eating until they are about to explode, and drinking more than they normally would. So on January 2nd when you walk into the gym it almost feels like walking through a college frat party. The biggest problem with resolutions is that they end when the calendar year does. So instead of making a resolution this year, I encourage everyone make a lifestyle change that will continue and evolve with you.

Nutrition

The most important part to hitting any fitness goal is eating a healthy, well-balanced diet. The problem is that most fad diets have an end date. I’ve witnessed many people complete Whole 30 with astonishing results, but as soon as the 30 days are up they are right back to their old diet. As soon as you “go on a diet” you imply that your diet will eventually end. Instead, just change what you eat. Fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains (no, carbs are not the devil), and healthy fats are the basis of any great nutrition plan. My general rule of thumb is if something comes shrinkwrapped or prepackaged then it shouldn’t go in your mouth. While preparing all of your own food is more time consuming, it also teaches you how to be creative in the kitchen.

Exercise

While dialing in your nutrition takes a lot of effort, it is not the only piece of the puzzle. Incorporating some type of exercise into your daily routine will drastically improve your physical and mental well being. Exercise does not need to mean going to a gym and running on a treadmill. Americans are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of exercise, which means there is something out there for anyone. Yoga, kickboxing, spin classes, mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, and swimming are just a few of the ways you could exercise without ever stepping on a treadmill.

Enjoyment

In the beginning, nobody wants to wake up on a Saturday morning to go on a run, or spend their Sunday afternoon preparing their meals for the week. The quicker you can find enjoyment in your routine, the easier it will become in the long run. Try out a few different approaches to exercise to see what you enjoy and what you can’t wait to be done doing. My wife and I love being outdoors, so we gravitated towards cycling and mountain biking. When I get on a bike, I never have the feeling of not wanting to ride. The most important part is holding yourself accountable once you do find what you enjoy so you can continue improving.

Getting in shape and losing weight isn’t easy. If it was, everyone would do it. You need to be strong willed and be able to motivate yourself under the worst circumstances. However, once you start seeing the results of your hard work, you will wonder why you didn’t start earlier.

Why Cycling? Reasons Why Cycling Should Become Your Next Addiction

There are countless hobbies and activities in the world that people take up every day, but few are as valuable as cycling. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider adopting this healthy habit.

Lose Weight and Increase Health

Not only can cycling promote weight loss, but this form of exercise can also improve your body’s overall well-being. This activity is an extremely effective way to burn calories depending on the intensity of the ride, and size of the rider, using several muscle groups throughout. According to National Healthcare Provider Solutions, cycling can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease by up to 50% as well.

Photo of a bike and cyclist

Be Happier

With exercise comes a rush of endorphins. Cycling is one of the best cardiovascular exercises you can perform, and in turn, can reduce stress. If you’re feeling down or having a bad day, just a 30-minute bike ride is all it takes to release a surge of endorphins powerful enough to counter any negativity that you’re harboring. Introducing cycling into your weekly routine can create long lasting benefits to your mental health.

Become Environmentally Friendly

Perhaps one of the more obvious upsides to cycling is the eco-friendly aspect. Unlike driving a car, bicycles use no fuel, require no batteries or motor oil, and take little energy to make, all of which can greatly reduce your carbon footprint. In addition to helping out our planet, cycling also decreases traffic congestion, making that daily commute just a little bit easier for everyone on the road.

Kick Unhealthy Habits

Developing a positive addiction to cycling can take the place of any harmful dependencies you may struggle with, whether those are smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, or overeating. Devoting time to this new hobby will reduce time available to give in to these unhealthy habits, and can create a routine that will eventually phase them out entirely.

Photo of a bike and cyclist

Bond with Friends and Family

Cycling is arguably one of the most social physical activities you can be a part of. Chances are there is a cycling club in or around your local area, in which you can build new friendships and connections within the community. This is also a hobby that the whole family can enjoy. The youngest of family members can join the ride in a bike seat and enjoy the scenery, while the oldest can ride alongside themselves, enjoying the fact that cycling is easy on the joints. With how impressionable children are, this also a great way to develop healthy habits early on, as they will see how cycling is a standard part of your day and want to mimic your actions.

So, if you’re seeking a new hobby, a different form of exercise or just an activity to remove the mundane from your life, cycling is one of your best options. Research what bicycles may work best for you, strap on a helmet, and begin your journey to a healthier lifestyle.

Photo of a bike and cyclist

Staying Safe in the Summer Heat

 

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The summer months bring longer days, plenty of sunshine, and lots of opportunities to explore the greater world. The summer also brings higher temperatures that can be dangerous to athletes and exercise enthusiasts who aren’t acclimated to the warmer climate.

 

Dehydration, heat stress, sunburn–these are all significant health concerns that athletes should consider during the warmer months.

 

Here are a few tips to help keep you safe when exercising this summer.

 

Time Your Exercise

 

Exercising during the heat of the day is never recommended. If possible, strive to workout in the early morning hours when the sun’s intensity is weaker and the temperature remains cooler. While you may not be accustomed to early-morning workouts, the morning hours can be a fantastic time to exercise. Not only will you have added energy throughout your day, you’ll feel a great sense of productivity.

 

Drink Enough Water

 

No matter what time you choose to work out, you must make hydration your number one priority. If you’re a long distance runner or biker, it will be imperative to travel with a water bottle. Take frequent sips and make sure you’re hydrating before and after your sessions.

 

Concoct your Own Sports Drink

 

To increase the power of the water, and to prevent hyponatremia, a serious condition that happens when an athlete’s sodium levels are too low, consider making your own Gatorade. Not only will you save money, you’ll reduce the amount of sugar in the drink. Check out this round-up of homemade sports drinks. By adding ingredients like ginger, you can help reduce muscle cramps. Cranberries? They’ll aid in replenishing your electrolytes.

 

Enlist a Friend

 

Enlisting the company of a friend, relative, partner, or neighbor is always a great idea to make exercise a more enjoyable and sustainable activity. This rings true for the summer months. Having a friend along for the session can be a great way to keep both of you safe. If somebody is feeling tired or overheated, you’ll have a reliable backup to support you.

 

Switch Sports Gears

 

If you’re an avid runner but hate the heat, why not try a different sport during the hottest days of the month. Swimming can be an excellent alternative that will still provide intense cardio workout. Take advantage of the summer months and be creative with your workout options. Why not rent a canoe for the afternoon to build up arm strength? Love hiking? Find a park and spend the morning traveling the trails. Want to become more flexible? Take a weekly yoga class!


The summer can be a great way to explore new options. Keep safe, stay hydrated, and continue on your fitness journey!

Reasons Why You Should Make CrossFit Part of your Summer Routine

 

Crossfit: Many Benefits

Summer is great way to get back into shape or to discover a new workout routine. For years, I’ve explored various fitness approaches in the quest to achieve an optimal level of health. Over the past year or so, I’ve developed a love for Crossfit. This high intensity routine has surged in popularity over the last decade and owes its success to the effectiveness and collaborative nature of its design. Interested in learning more about CrossFit? Why not try this extremely fun and effective fitness program out this summer!

 

You’ll get into Amazing Shape

Check out any photo of a crossfit gym and my point will be illustrated perfectly. Crossfit is a phenomenal way to get into amazing shape, super fast. You’ll learn to push your body and fight through the pain. You’ll continue through it because you’ll be surrounded by fellow success stories.

 

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It’s All About Community

One of the best things about the Crossfit craze is the strong community that accompanies the workout. You’ll never be in the gym lifting weights alone. You’ll be scarce to find a fellow crossfitter who won’t jump in and model a new move. This can be extremely beneficial to new crossfitters as they learn and adapt to the movements.

 

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You’re Life Will Improve

Yes, you’ll be in better shape. Yes, you’re heart and your joints will be healthier. But you’ll also notice improvements in other areas of your life. To start, you’ll notice a huge mood in your mood. Constant exercise performed alongside your active community will do wonders for your mental health. You’ll laugh more. You’ll sweat more. You’ll release a ton of endorphins. Who wouldn’t want to achieve a lifestyle that gets you in shape and manages your mental health as well?

 

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It’s Fun

There’s something electric about the sport that motivates and excites even the most timid fitness enthusiast. Why is the sport so fun? Many of the movements hark back to your childhood days; playing on the playground. It’s a wild form of freedom. And an outlet that many adults don’t get to explore nearly enough. Exercise should be fun. The most successful athletes can manage their health and keep up with their routines because of this aspect. The secret to crossfit is the varied workout movements. You’ll never get stuck cycling for an hour or repeating the same three circuits. Crossfit is all about varying the movements to target different parts of your body in fast and intense interval cycles.

 

Crossfit continues to make its way into every town and city in America. It continues to cultivate new communities of crossfitters; individuals who notice a tremendous improvement in their physical and mental health. What about you? Will crossfit change your life this summer?

 

Not sure you’re ready to try it out a gym or Crossfit studio? Check out my previous post, where I outline one of my favorite workouts. A few of these movements are crossfit standards!

 

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Mark’s Go-To Workout

 

Over the years, my workouts have transitioned from one sport to the next. I’m always interested in trying out the coolest trends! In the past, I’ve never been concerned about my nutrition. My philosophy? If I’m working out, I’m working it off. Now, science and technology have provided so much information debunking this fact. Living a healthy lifestyle means so more than being active.

I’m not a nutritionist, and I’m not writing this to tell you how to eat – but utilizing common sense when it comes to your food is important. If you are going to dedicate your time and energy to working out, why not start right at the refrigerator. Why wait for “next Monday” to start that new workout program when you can start right now by reading the back of a food label.

 

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We already know trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, and hydrogenated oils are bad to consume in high amounts. Want a challenge? Take a minute and go over to your kitchen and read the labels on your favorite snacks. How many trans fats do you see? Now, look to see how many grams of sugar are in single serving. That many?

While you may be working out all the time but you’re not concerned about your diet, chances are you aren’t losing the weight. Here’s a secret. You can become healthier faster by not working out. You’ll actually see more results when you focus on the foods you consume! (Or not consume.)

Don’t worry. Healthy food does not equate to foods that don’t taste good. In fact, if you can discipline yourself for just two or three weeks, and adhere to a healthier diet, you’ll be amazed how awful that old way of eating tastes. Give up packaged foods. Foods with high sugar and high fat. Focus on eating real food – vegetables, fruit, nuts, and meats. The closer it is to its natural state, the more nutrient dense and healthier it is.

After you have the hang of eating real food, you’re ready to work out! As I mentioned earlier I have changed one sport to another and within each sport from one workout regimen to another. I have several workouts that I would like to share with you. I’ll start with exercises you can do at home, no equipment required.

Here are a few of the exercises I use most frequently:

  • Burpees:  I love burpees! A proper burpee begins standing with your feet shoulder width apart, hands above your head. Squat to the floor, hands flat on the floor in front of your feet, kick your feet back at the same time to a straight arm plank. Go down and do one push-up. Kick your feet back to your hands and thrust your body into the air extending your hands over your head. Finish in the standing position your started. That is one burpee!

 

  • Knee Tucks:  Begin this exercise in the straight arm plank position. You can put your feet shoulder width apart or together depending upon your shoulder strength and what is most comfortable. Now, in one single motion, kick your feet to the outside of each wrist, knees bent. Now kick back to your starting position. You’ve done one knee tuck.
  • Side-to-Side Knee Tucks: This exercise is identical to a standard knee tuck except you kick both feet to the same wrist. Alternate each side with each new kick. Don’t worry about kicking your feet all the way to your wrists. Start with what is comfortable –the side to side motion is most important. You’ll work those obliques!

 

  • Spider Push Ups:  A spider push-up is a normal push up with a slight alteration  First let’s make certain your normal push up form incorporates proper technique. Remember, a strong core is necessary to perform a proper push up. If your back is concaved, you are doing it wrong and will potentially hurting yourself.  Flatten your back, get that butt up and hips down. Feel weird? Good, you’ve been doing them wrong. Another common push-up mistake is not going down the entire way or doing a “pulse” push up.  If you turned a 2×4 on its edge under your chest, your chest should touch the 2×4.  On the way up straighten out those elbows.  The spider push-up incorporates all the motion of a properly executed push up except during the push up phase of the exercise, bring in your right knee and try to kiss your elbow with your knee. Alternate side-to-side for each push up.

 

  • Side Bends:  These are exactly what they say – a side bend. Feet shoulder width apart, hands flat against the outside of your thigh. Stand tall and bend sideways at your waist to try and touch the outside of your knee. Keep your core tight, your back straight using your obliques to control the movement. The benefit of this exercise, it allows your heart rate to come down and it comes at a time in the workout where you need to catch your breath.  Enjoy the break.

 

  • Mountain Climber: Start in a straight arm plank position. Quickly move one leg forward under your body, then back, then the other. Almost like running in place in this position.  

 

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I’ve selected a workout that works best with a partner. This provides two things. First, it helps with timing.While you are doing a set, your partner is resting and vise-versa. It also provides a challenge and helps you execute proper form and technique. Second, a partner helps you commit to a schedule and a routine. Ready to get started? Here we go.

 

10 Burpees

20 knee tucks – side to side

50 jumping Jacks

20 knee tucks – feet to wrists

10 Burpees

50 Mountain Climbers (25 each foot)

10 standard push ups

20 knee tucks – feet to wrists

10 Burpees

10 spider push ups

50 jumping jacks

*10 pull ups

20 knee tucks – side to side

10 Burpees

50 Side bends

*10 pull ups

50 mountain climbers

50 side bends

1-mile run

 

*If you do not have access to a pull-up bar, you can do 15 standard push ups, instead.

Keep a slow pace until you feel comfortable with the basic exercises. If 20 knee tucks are too much of a challenge, simply modify the workout. After you increase your strength and endurance, you can begin to challenge your workout partner. Try and go through the series twice!

After you’re finished, treat yourself to a healthy snack and pat yourself on your back. And always remember, “If you want it, you gotta go get it!”