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Physiology Professor Has it Wrong?


I just started semester with Anatomy & Physiology class (Kiniesiology concentrated) and my professor is contradicting everything I have learned both from here and other sources as well.

He has a PhD in Exercise Physiology and continues to do research, etc, but seems to have a textbook or generalized opinion on nutrition, macro percentages and caloric demands.

For one, he says 2000 calories: ~60% carbs, ~30% fat and 10% protein. That was on the second day of class, after I heard that I was a little skeptical. He does cover his ass and says that may change due to athletic activity (i.e. if you are an athlete you will need more calories and more carbs, both in quantity and percentage). If you eat a ton of protein it will turn into fat is another one. Anything more than x is completely pointless I think is what he said.

The other thing so far that does bother me is his view on fat burning. He does go to multiple lengths to mock those that go on low carb diets. That if they take carbs out of the equation they think that they will burn fat? He has stated that you cannot burn fat without burning carbohydrates first.

I understand that you may need some, especially when lifting and then cardio afterwards in a glycogen depleted state, but he doesnt think anyone should be below 50% carbohydrates and you are spinning your tires and maybe even going in reverse. In class today actually, he discussed how when carbs are depleted and glycogen is depleted the body skips fats and uses protein for energy. I always thought it was carbs, fats then protein that undergo the Krebs cycle and having free fatty acids helps that.

If I am wrong in any of this do correct me, but doesn't this just lend to naivity and just caving to what certain studies may say or what the government (who has certain groups with their best interests in mind) may say?

BTW, I still planning on doing whatever to get an A, but I just would like some clarity.


Dude, seriously. Eat and do what works for you, and complete your A'n'P course. Nobody will give you F on and exam just because he sees you eating broccoli and sprouts with steak.

I suppose..


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That's a very simplified model of the way the human body functions and it's more complicated than breaking it down into a hierarchy without additional notation.

If carbs and glycogen are depleted and the intensity breaks a certain threshold (HIIT, sprints, intense lifting), your body will attempt to use a higher percentage of protein for energy over fat.

This is why many people will at the very least take BCAA or EAA's before lifting if in keto if not at least some form of protein.

If carbs and glycogen are depleted and the intensity is low (sleeping, a slow walk etc) the body will attempt to use a higher percentage of fat for energy.

This is my understanding from human phys class.


I believe a lot of basic physiology is ignored when something novel is suggested. If you really do your homework, you will see why he has said all those things.

Just understand that he may state things more bluntly than they really are. This could be because: he doesn't want pseudo-educated people questioning him (I'm guilty of this some times); or he truly believes things are that black and white. It is my belief that it is the former because of his involvement in research (well, atleast my hope anyway).


From the description you have provided, people like him give the profession a bad name, sorry. Well, take what he says with a grain of salt, clearly he is biased (scientists need to remain somewhat objective), immerse yourself in the academic literature and form your own opinions based on the available evidence.

But, do what you need to do to pass the class.


Suggest that he look up on Paul Chek.



waves at BBB


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Do you go to a school with a fairly well-respected A&P program? Not all programs are created equal, but I have a very hard time believing that the best or even decent academic A&P professors have a worse understanding of the body than people who are sitting on the opposite end of the classroom, or in their homes typing up articles for T-Nation about how to distrust academia.

I just started my PhD work in an applied science/engineering program and the deeper I delve into academia the more I appreciate the level of work that takes place there. Not all PhDs are created equal, either, and you can certainly get one without worthwhile contributions, particularly from less reputable schools, but Modok's suggestion that academia and critical thinking are antitheses sounds patently false from my perspective, and perhaps bitter. Academia has its share of problems as everywhere does, but critical thinking is an integral part of research, teaching, and learning, all of which are (should be) required of a professor at a quality institution.

Have you gone to his office hours to have a discussion about this with him? He might just be simplifying the concepts so that he can teach the general ideas. Science is extremely complex and applied science is even more so, and you could never cram all of the exceptions to the rules in one course. It's just like how when you first learn about atoms, they tell you that at the center is the nucleus and then the electrons are little particles that orbit around the nucleus like planets around the sun. That's not true, of course, but if they started with quantum mechanics and tried to build it up into the more simplified versions that we generally experience, most people would never learn anything about physics. Scientific fields are littered with examples of this. In fact, these exceptions are what necessitate the need for PhDs and further research.

If I were you, I'd try to have a very good understanding of the basic principles he's teaching, and why they might make sense in a broad or simplified context, and then try to have a private discussion with him about your concerns of the more complex issues in which you are more interested. If you approach him with respect and try to convey that you don't think he's wrong, but perhaps just isn't telling the whole, much more complex, truth, then if he's a professor worthy of that PhD he should be more than happy to help you understand why he's doing what he's doing. Hell, he may even be able to direct you towards resources that could be very valuable to further your learning in these areas. Try not to be so pessimistic and skeptical of the motivations of your professors, and you'll likely benefit a lot more from their teachings. They are up at the board and you are sitting in a desk like the rest of the students for a reason.


I had a nutrition professor that sounds similar:

"Cancer is like a thief. Thieves prefer to steal from expensive mansions, rather than poor wooden shacks. Therefore, if your diet is too healthy or too perfect, you are really risking cancer because cancer wants your nutrients. That is why 3rd world countries don't experience cancer."

"If anyone (other than a burn victim) eats more than 60g of protein a day, they will suffer kidney damage."

"Removing fat from your diet is the healthiest and best way to lose weight, because a gram of fat is 9 calories and a gram of carb is 4 calories. It's just math."

"Don't waste money on organic foods because pesticides are only designed to hurt bugs."

"BMI measurements are the best way to know if someone needs to lose weight. Michael Phelps has a BMI of 41, and thus is morbidly obese. I would recommend that he reduce his calories until his BMI is reasonable."

Absolutely repeated everything this woman said to get the A, because after screwing around for a couple years I finally realized how important your grades are. I second the idea of setting office hours to ask more questions about whether he is diluting information or teaching what he learned.

Also be prepared for the idea that A LOT of teachers teach what they learned in school, or teach out of the textbook that their Department Head/Chair tells them to, sometimes with the power points already written and made mandatory.

One of the problems of science, is the politics that get involved. Good Calories, Bad Calories is a great book talking about how the current nutritional thinking has come into being, and why it is inaccurate based on the very studies that made it "fact".

As someone said before, not all Ph.D's are created equal. A Ph.D is a degree showing that you met the requirements of time and energy that an accredited school deemed necessary. It does not indicate that you are an expert in your field, nor that you are up to date on current thoughts and research in your field, nor that you are of above average intelligence. It means that you worked harder for longer than most college students and spent a lot more money getting your degree.


That's weird, cause it looks like he weighs a bit less than 335. Strong math fail.

All I can say is it sucks to be you guys. My prof showed a graph showing that blood cholesterol levels are poorly related to cholesterol intake and was thrilled to discuss p+c, p+f meals and their possible effect on lipogenesis.


Very interested in this. Any way you can share these, public, PM, or otherwise?


Not much really. He showed this pic, which is from Biochemistry by Champe Harvey and Ferrier, 4th ed. Don't know where they got it from.

About not eating fats with carbs, I thought he said:

Dietary fat (triglycerides) reach the blood as free fatty acids and glycerol. Those fatty acids enter fat cells, but the glycerol doesn't, only glucose does. So actually storing fat as triglycerides in the fat cells is a lot easier if you have a lot of glucose in the blood too, not just fatty acids. Then there's the whole insulin issue too...

Anyone know why bbers put the whole p+c, p+f thing aside?


Why argue with the teacher? What will that do for you? I mean, other than make you stand out as a douche in class because while everyone else wants to leave and go to lunch, you are arguing bodybuilding protocols.

Look, most of medical science is based on the "AVERAGE man and woman". The AVERAGE man and woman is NOT in the gym several days a week or even watching what they eat that closely.

Arguing the ins and outs of resistance training and diet for someone that most people would consider a freak is ridiculous.

Get the grade, get out and go about your business.

I had an overweight nutritions professor in dental school who believed all of the same crap and that more than 10% protein in a diet was just death waiting to happen.

The reality is, for most people, they are largely RIGHT.


Because it was crap thinking to start with. Yeah, by doing that, you will likely avoid crappy foods like donuts...but that doesn't mean there is magic in avoiding fats with carbs.

Insulin is also THE most anabolic hormone in your body and how people even get 20" muscular arms. trying to limit it at all times is a mistake.


No one said at all times. Not here anyway.

And it's about more than insulin.

Hm, didn't mean "issue", meant "subject". Sorry, it's not my first language.


That's not a whole lot of data :wink: (I know, I know...)

Thanks for the effort of posting that.

Did a quick search-- looks like that text is available for like $12 used!


I know, sorry if I built up expectations, it wasn't my intention.

I gotta get some sleep now, but maybe this little abstract could be more fun. It's about eggs!

Very nice book, but not much on this particular subject.


I had an Exerc Physio professor who was fucking obese. Sure, he sounded brilliant and all, until he complained as to why he couldn't lose weight. He offered the idea that weight loss is linear, until I asked him what happens if you metabolism speeds up or slows down. We got our cholesterol checked, I was easily the largest guy in class playing football back then. I was cholesterol of 190, when some rail-thin frat guy was over 300. Not everything as seems, play the role to get the grade, but use what you learn here to get yoked and lean, and bang college chicks all semester long.