T Nation

Study Finds Diet, Exercise Equal

A group that is studying the effects of calorie restriction on longevity released a study recently that draws some… interesting conclusions. The article on CNN:

http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/diet.fitness/01/26/diet.exercise.reut/index.html

Some of the key things I picked up:

I find this very hard to believe. If you’ve got an extra pound of muscle on your body, that muscle needs to burn calories just to stay alive. That’s why I need like 3500 calories a day, just sitting around, and the girl in the cubicle down the hall needs like 2000.

[quote]“It’s all about the calories,” said Dr. Eric Ravussin of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, part of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

“So long as the energy deficit is the same, body weight, fat weight, and abdominal fat will all decrease in the same way.”

Tests on overweight people show that a calorie is just a calorie, whether lost by dieting or by running, they said.[/quote]

Which is, I suppose, true, except that this doesn’t take into account the metabolic effects of the food we eat.

Here’s the big one though (emphasis mine):

[quote]They tested 24 people, 12 who ate a calorie-restricted diet, and 12 who dieted and also exercised five times a week for six months.

The dieters ate 25 percent less than normal, while the exercisers reduced their calorie intake by 12.5 percent and increased their physical activity to lose an extra 12.5 percent in calories.

An additional 10 volunteers acted as controls. All food was provided by the university in carefully measured portions for most of the study.

The volunteers in both groups lost about 10 percent of their body weight, 24 percent of their fat mass, and 27 percent of their abdominal visceral fat. Visceral fat is packed in between the internal organs and is considered the most dangerous type of fat, linked with heart disease and diabetes.[/quote]

So it’s just as effective, from a weight loss perspective, to cut out 250 calories a day, or to burn an extra 250 calories on a treadmill. What they don’t say is those 250 calories can come either from resisting the urge to eat one half of a Snickers bar, or running for 20 minutes.

Decreasing caloric intake by 10 percent is a lot easier than increasing your caloric expenditure by the same.

[quote]thomas.galvin wrote:
A group that is studying the effects of calorie restriction on longevity released a study recently that draws some… interesting conclusions. The article on CNN:

http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/diet.fitness/01/26/diet.exercise.reut/index.html

Some of the key things I picked up:

And their carefully controlled study added to evidence that adding muscle mass does not somehow boost metabolism and help dieters take off even more weight.

I find this very hard to believe. If you’ve got an extra pound of muscle on your body, that muscle needs to burn calories just to stay alive. That’s why I need like 3500 calories a day, just sitting around, and the girl in the cubicle down the hall needs like 2000.

“It’s all about the calories,” said Dr. Eric Ravussin of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, part of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

“So long as the energy deficit is the same, body weight, fat weight, and abdominal fat will all decrease in the same way.”

Tests on overweight people show that a calorie is just a calorie, whether lost by dieting or by running, they said.

Which is, I suppose, true, except that this doesn’t take into account the metabolic effects of the food we eat.

Here’s the big one though (emphasis mine):

They tested 24 people, 12 who ate a calorie-restricted diet, and 12 who dieted and also exercised five times a week for six months.

The dieters ate 25 percent less than normal, while the exercisers reduced their calorie intake by 12.5 percent and increased their physical activity to lose an extra 12.5 percent in calories.

An additional 10 volunteers acted as controls. All food was provided by the university in carefully measured portions for most of the study.

The volunteers in both groups lost about 10 percent of their body weight, 24 percent of their fat mass, and 27 percent of their abdominal visceral fat. Visceral fat is packed in between the internal organs and is considered the most dangerous type of fat, linked with heart disease and diabetes.

So it’s just as effective, from a weight loss perspective, to cut out 250 calories a day, or to burn an extra 250 calories on a treadmill. What they don’t say is those 250 calories can come either from resisting the urge to eat one half of a Snickers bar, or running for 20 minutes.

Decreasing caloric intake by 10 percent is a lot easier than increasing your caloric expenditure by the same.
[/quote]
As a FFB, I don’t believe a word of it. The metabolism increase from lifting and hard running is much better for weightloss and body composition than dieting alone. Lifting and running shape a healthy physique, dieting will just peel you down to the bone.

That’s how I see it.

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1428468

Anybody ever hear the old saying I’ve quoted a half dozen times in these forums already that goes “a man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument”?

I am that close (holds thumb and index finger almost touching) to banishing “scientific” studies from my life until somebody learns to how to conduct one that at least jives with what is staring me in the face.

This is like someone publishing a study that alleges that prolonged exposure to sunlight has no effect on skin tone when there’s the beach full of people who looked like ghosts last week and are brown as berries this week.

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
Anybody ever hear the old saying I’ve quoted a half dozen times in these forums already that goes “a man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument”?

I am that close (holds thumb and index finger almost touching) to banishing “scientific” studies from my life until somebody learns to how to conduct one that at least jives with what is staring me in the face.

This is like someone publishing a study that alleges that prolonged exposure to sunlight has no effect on skin tone when there’s the beach full of people who looked like ghosts last week and are brown as berries this week.[/quote]

The research itself basically found that lame diet worked the same as lame diet + lame cardio for inducing body composition changes. This isn’t too startling or contradictory to real world experience.

The problem as I see it is the doctor’s quote conflating the cardio the fatties did with “exercise” in the abstract.

RESISTANCE training absolutely has demonstrable lean mass sparing effects on a diet, and even “science” has confirmed this:

I’m not sure who told the researchers that jogging was a good way to retain lean mass, but I think they might want to conduct another study where they meaningfully train people with actual weights and stuff. I think they might be surprised.

Further, how are they determining how metabolically expensive muscle tissue is in the context of this experiment? Did they expect JOGGING to increase muscle mass on a stiff caloric deficit?

The whole study is, imho, kind of silly. It’s of mild interest only as a piece of evidence that the sort of lame-o cardio that housewives tend to do to “lose the pounds” has an effect ranking somewhere between gardening and masturbation.

I’m going to devil’s advocate for a moment here and refer people to the Schuler/Cosgrove discussion of the metabolic boost provided by having more muscle (it’s in NEW RULES OF LIFTING, and I hope I’m paraphrasing them right).

In a word, the latest data do refute the widely held belief that guys with lots of muscle incinerate bucketloads of calories whilst sitting around watching TV. I’d love to believe that too…but it seems the metabolic boost provided by extra muscle (quite apart from the calories those muscles burn while in action!) is actually fairly minimal.

The high caloric burn enjoyed by hardcore lifters seems to be caused by hard workouts (naturally), and recovery from those workouts, as the body scrambles to repair and rebuild damaged tissues.

When an athletic guy stops working out for a few weeks, his RMR will rapidly decline till it’s roughly the same as a sedentary guy of the same age–even if the athletic guy is still jacked out to here and the sedentary guy is built like Adrian Brody in the last half of THE PIANIST.

Just passing on what appears to be the latest information on that particular concept…Don’t shoot the messenger…

DF

[quote]dynamicfitness wrote:
I’m going to devil’s advocate for a moment here and refer people to the Schuler/Cosgrove discussion of the metabolic boost provided by having more muscle (it’s in NEW RULES OF LIFTING, and I hope I’m paraphrasing them right).

In a word, the latest data do refute the widely held belief that guys with lots of muscle incinerate bucketloads of calories whilst sitting around watching TV. I’d love to believe that too…but it seems the metabolic boost provided by extra muscle (quite apart from the calories those muscles burn while in action!) is actually fairly minimal.

The high caloric burn enjoyed by hardcore lifters seems to be caused by hard workouts (naturally), and recovery from those workouts, as the body scrambles to repair and rebuild damaged tissues.

When an athletic guy stops working out for a few weeks, his RMR will rapidly decline till it’s roughly the same as a sedentary guy of the same age–even if the athletic guy is still jacked out to here and the sedentary guy is built like Adrian Brody in the last half of THE PIANIST.

Just passing on what appears to be the latest information on that particular concept…Don’t shoot the messenger…

DF[/quote]

I spent some time reading this guys abstracts. He himself had in this abstract a formula for RMR based on LBM, FM, as well as Sleeping RMR based on LBM and FM.

No gunshots here, just letting you know that that news article is very misleading. Even the researcher by his own work admits that more LBM means more calories burned.

[quote]shlevon wrote:

<<< The research itself basically found that lame diet worked the same as lame diet + lame cardio for inducing body composition changes. This isn’t too startling or contradictory to real world experience. >>>

[/quote]

This is just another example. Even the ones that are done with intelligent and apparently useful parameters with honest intentions drive me nuts. This weeks ground breaking confirmation is next weeks “not so fast” qualification or “oops we didn’t consider that” practical retraction.

Nobody in particular in mind here, I am just convinced that for all our advances we still don’t know shit with any degree of certainty relatively speaking.

Read the paper itself, it doesn’t say anything like what the reporter’s column said. I’m personally shocked that pop media construed things around and made shit up.

All the paper itself said is the part about restricting calories 25% and the 12+12% group losing the same amount of weight. The exercising group would, of course, enjoy the other benefits of exercise besides weight loss.

As an aside, how the fuck did this research get published? The information in it has been in the literature for 50+ years. It was a waste of time.

-Dan