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View Full Version : My strange thoughts on surplus, etc.



Patz
04-07-2006, 03:47 PM
Say two people are eating 3000 calories per day each.

One of them is breaking it into meals, and the other eats a 3000 calorie meal.


Although they're taking in the same calories, the guy eating them in one shot isn't going to benefit from the macronutrients because he can't absorb them before the majority are considered waste and sent down his poop chute.


So, it's safe to say the guy breakign it into meals will benefit more from 3000 calories.

Now, if both are bulking, the guy eating it in one shot is still screwed and I would think is actually going to lose weight or at least maintain. I don't know how many calories the body can absorb in the hours following a meal before that meal becomes waste, but I'm quite sure you're better off breaking it up into smaller meals throughout the day.

If both are cutting, the guy taking it in one shot is also going to cut faster, imo. He may also end up stalling from the hunger and jacknig up his blod sugar, among other things.


So..

People say things like.."You can eat before bed if you're not in a calorie surplus. But if you ARE in surplus, you'll store it as fat" or..."I'm done because I've had my calories for the day (even though they're starving at this point).

I would think that even if you ARE in a surplus, if you're hungry then the body isn't going to waste or store what you eat. It would take that food in, no matter what time of day and put it to use.

I'm trying to make this go somewhere, I swear...

So what I've been wondering is, where do we actually HIT that caloric surplus?

I would think that if you eat 300 calories for breakfast, and then 1000 at lunch, and 700 at dinner, you might only be at 2000 for the day but you ate a ****-pile of calories for a couple meals. My mind would tell me that no matter what went on over the course of the day, the body decided to store some of that individual meal caloric surplus.

Can we really get into a DAILY caloric surplus? Or is it juse meal to meal, and our time in sleep helps to level it out because it's 8 horus or so of not eating.

Does time without food in our mouths make up for overeating at individual meals? Is this why everything is based on day-to-day content, and 24 hour maintenance calories? Or could someone screw up a bulk or cut by over-(or under) eating.


I started wondering about this because on my current cut I'm in the 2000 calorie range. I've started adding in a solid meal in the evenings, taking me from a previous liquid-only. Some days, I just don't get my shakes in on time, etc., and by the time I get to my solid meal I'm ravenous with hunger. Still, though, I don't let myself eat more than 500 calories for that last meal.

There are days where my daily total is low enough that I'm safe to take in a 800-1000 calorie dinner and still be at 2000, but it just seems dangerous. I can say, almost with certainty, that I've screwed some cuts in the past by being low on calories up until dinner, and then eating mom's taco salad, or pizza, and thinking it was OK based on my limit.

The weight loss may have stalled, OR (and this is something I wonder as well) I may have been taking in a lot of sodium and carbs, adn just held on to so much water that I got discouraged by the scale and gave up before I could dry out again.



Thoughts??? Data?? I'm curious, here..

RaginT
04-07-2006, 04:23 PM
I think u need to know that the body doesnt go ohh today is a new 24 hour period i'm owed more calories. The body will not seperate the pervious 8 hours of low calories and say well i have 6 more hours to be at my target for the day. Sorry i do not have figures or even a vague idea of absortion rate for food i think they are too individual. Like there cannot be a limit on what is absorbed or there would be an actual limit on the number of calories someone could eat and i'm sure there isn't. Breaking meals up is to keep a constant flow of nutrients in the blood so the body can be making the most of that moment, its not waiting for a specific time to look back and see if today was a gain weight day or a lose weight day. I could go on more but i think this is a start and i've been drinking. One thing to add is that the body is more likely to store fat when it thinks food is not coming, like back when food was not regular the body would store as much as possible because it expected none for a long time. This in mind is why keeping food regular and constant leads to the body storing less, as it learns to expect more soon i think. or atleast is less likely to go into starvation mode/ conservation mode.

Something regularly is better.

TheGimp
04-07-2006, 04:52 PM
What makes you think it becomes waste?

Davidelmo
04-07-2006, 05:44 PM
Yeah I didn't think anything went down the poop chute.. I was pretty sure that your body will absorb pretty much everything (unless it's coming out whole and untouched)- even if it's one 3000kcal meal.

Am I wrong? :(

I would say that the smaller meal approach is optimal because, as RaginT said, your body doesn't run on 24hr cycles, and by eating several small meals you are stopping bursts of catabolism etc etc etc.

As for at what point that occurs, i have no idea whatsoever.

Excellent thread though.. i'm very interested in the answers.

Patz
04-07-2006, 07:29 PM
What makes you think it becomes waste?

I've heard over and over that the body can only absord so much protein at once, so I'll presume it can only absord somany nutients in one shot before all pertinent nutrient stores are replenished.

That being said, I would think that if those stores are full the body will constantly replenish them for as long as it can from what remains in the digestive system. But, isn't it working against itself? I mean..isn't there a window of absorption time before the other processes of the body have to rid us of what's left?

Patz
04-07-2006, 07:33 PM
Isn't that food going to rot if it sits too long?

brickt.
04-08-2006, 12:39 AM
Isn't that food going to rot if it sits too long?

Chances are, woodie, you're still somewhat digesting food you ate last night. I disagree, albeit respectfully, with your OP.

ReelBigFish
04-08-2006, 08:19 AM
Once food leaves your stomach ( where some of the nutrients are absorbed) it then travels to your sm. intestine. It takes 10 hours for food to travel through the sm. intestine and during that time is when the remainder of the nutrients are absorbed. Your body is going to use what ever you feed it.

The problem with only eating once a day is that your metabolsim will slow down. And after those 10 hours that the food went through the sm. intestine, you spend the next ~ 12-13 hrs of using your body's a.) fat cells b.) liver glycogen (which is not something you want). I highly doubt your body will turn to using muscle as it's fuel, unless you're doing some sort of anaerobic activity, such as weight lifting or HIIT.

Patz
04-08-2006, 08:32 AM
Chances are, woodie, you're still somewhat digesting food you ate last night. I disagree, albeit respectfully, with your OP.

Trust me. This post wasn't supposed to be fact. It was just a bunch of thoughts I've had spinning around, and I wanted to discuss it.

Now, from what I've always heard/read, it takes 12 hours to fully digest food. I see ReelBigFish says 10, so we're in the same ballpark. So it's safe to presume we can't use all a 3000 calorie meal in that time, isn't it? Isn't there a move-on point to keep us from holding rotted food?

Manveet
04-08-2006, 09:54 AM
Say two people are eating 3000 calories per day each.

One of them is breaking it into meals, and the other eats a 3000 calorie meal.


Although they're taking in the same calories, the guy eating them in one shot isn't going to benefit from the macronutrients because he can't absorb them before the majority are considered waste and sent down his poop chute.


So, it's safe to say the guy breakign it into meals will benefit more from 3000 calories.

Now, if both are bulking, the guy eating it in one shot is still screwed and I would think is actually going to lose weight or at least maintain. I don't know how many calories the body can absorb in the hours following a meal before that meal becomes waste, but I'm quite sure you're better off breaking it up into smaller meals throughout the day.

If both are cutting, the guy taking it in one shot is also going to cut faster, imo. He may also end up stalling from the hunger and jacknig up his blod sugar, among other things.


So..

People say things like.."You can eat before bed if you're not in a calorie surplus. But if you ARE in surplus, you'll store it as fat" or..."I'm done because I've had my calories for the day (even though they're starving at this point).

I would think that even if you ARE in a surplus, if you're hungry then the body isn't going to waste or store what you eat. It would take that food in, no matter what time of day and put it to use.

I'm trying to make this go somewhere, I swear...

So what I've been wondering is, where do we actually HIT that caloric surplus?

I would think that if you eat 300 calories for breakfast, and then 1000 at lunch, and 700 at dinner, you might only be at 2000 for the day but you ate a ****-pile of calories for a couple meals. My mind would tell me that no matter what went on over the course of the day, the body decided to store some of that individual meal caloric surplus.

Can we really get into a DAILY caloric surplus? Or is it juse meal to meal, and our time in sleep helps to level it out because it's 8 horus or so of not eating.

Does time without food in our mouths make up for overeating at individual meals? Is this why everything is based on day-to-day content, and 24 hour maintenance calories? Or could someone screw up a bulk or cut by over-(or under) eating.


I started wondering about this because on my current cut I'm in the 2000 calorie range. I've started adding in a solid meal in the evenings, taking me from a previous liquid-only. Some days, I just don't get my shakes in on time, etc., and by the time I get to my solid meal I'm ravenous with hunger. Still, though, I don't let myself eat more than 500 calories for that last meal.

There are days where my daily total is low enough that I'm safe to take in a 800-1000 calorie dinner and still be at 2000, but it just seems dangerous. I can say, almost with certainty, that I've screwed some cuts in the past by being low on calories up until dinner, and then eating mom's taco salad, or pizza, and thinking it was OK based on my limit.

The weight loss may have stalled, OR (and this is something I wonder as well) I may have been taking in a lot of sodium and carbs, adn just held on to so much water that I got discouraged by the scale and gave up before I could dry out again.



Thoughts??? Data?? I'm curious, here..


There is some data out there, specifically looking at 3 meals vs 6 meals. Makes no difference in the end.

I *could* see a difference between 1 meal vs 6 meals, but most people dont eat just 1 meal.

Manveet
04-08-2006, 10:01 AM
A study on 1 meal vs 5 meals. You can get a ton of hits on pubmed by typing in "meal frequency".



Thermogenesis in humans after varying meal time frequency]

[Article in German]

Wolfram G, Kirchgessner M, Muller HL, Hollomey S.

To a group of 8 healthy persons a slightly hypocaloric diet with protein (13% of energy), carbohydrates (46% of energy) and fat (41% of energy) was given as one meal or as five meals in a change-over trial. Each person was 2 weeks on each regimen. Under the conditions of slight undernutrition and neutral temperature the balances of nitrogen, carbon and energy were assessed in 7-day collection periods, and according to 48-hour measurements of gaseous exchange (carbon-nitrogen balance method) by the procedures of indirect calorimetry. Changes of body weight were statistically not significant. At isocaloric supply of metabolizable energy with exactly the same foods in different meal frequencies no differences were found in the retention of carbon and energy. Urinary nitrogen excretion was slightly greater with a single daily meal, indicating influences on protein metabolism. The protein-derived energy was compensated by a decrease in the fat oxidation. The heat production calculated by indirect calorimetry was not significantly different with either meal frequency. Water, sodium and potassium balances were not different. The plasma concentrations of cholesterol and uric acid were not influenced by meal frequency, glucose and triglycerides showed typical behaviour depending on the time interval to the last meal. The results demonstrate that the meal frequency did not influence the energy balance.

Holto
04-08-2006, 10:12 AM
Good post Manveet. Once again total cals is what counts.

Davidelmo
04-08-2006, 11:06 AM
I do this sometimes where I have a crappy diet all day but I say I MUST get 4000kcal before I go to sleep so I'll drink a whole bottle of milk, eat a bag of nuts etc at 10pm onwards.

Patz
04-08-2006, 12:32 PM
I like that post, Manveet. So do you all feel that if a person was 1k under on the daily target, they wouldnt' wreck the diet with a 1k meal before bed?

This thread was less about eating one big meal, and more about screwing up a regimented system with binge eating, while still being within the target calorie range for the "day."

Patz
04-08-2006, 12:34 PM
I like to think that if I busted out a huge meal and stayed under my daily limit, my downfall would be the "scale effect" of seeing all those carbs and sodium, full bowels, etc, when I jump on the scale the next day.

People can preach "go by the mirror" all they want, but the scale is the only TRUE way to see progress and keep motivated. Our mind and eyes can play havoc with us sometimes--especially when we're too fat to see the little day-to-day changes. Luckily, I'm starting to get to the point where I'm seeing a change with every couple pounds, and it's quite a motivator!

brickt.
04-08-2006, 04:41 PM
"People can preach "go by the mirror" all they want, but the scale is the only TRUE way to see progress and keep motivated."


This couldn't be more true. If the scale aint moving, don't try and fool yourself. "Err, um... I'm.. I must be recomposing! YAY! That's it!"

Our mind and eyes can play havoc with us sometimes--especially when we're too fat to see the little day-to-day changes. Luckily, I'm starting to get to the point where I'm seeing a change with every couple pounds, and it's quite a motivator!"


Congrats, buddy. This is when things get really truly exciting. :)

Patz
04-08-2006, 06:36 PM
LOL..I hate trying to tell myself I'm recomping.

Viva la scale!!

Holto
04-08-2006, 09:20 PM
It's not that recomping doesn't work. It's that by the time you've reached your goal physique your too old for it to matter.

brickt.
04-08-2006, 10:11 PM
Ahahahaha

HILL
04-09-2006, 07:21 AM
I have many times been lagging on cals and have had to have a 1000 cal meal i dnt think it will effect anything personally or the effects are to minor for 99.9% of people to notice really unless your competing and it can effect your water retention and dryness etc.

McIrish
04-09-2006, 04:21 PM
Hmmm, I just had a thought - since people are lumping everything into "X calories per day" (which I agree is the most logical unit of measurement for anyone on a circadian rhythm), it might be more beneficial to think in terms of smaller segments of time. That would reduce the margin of error (ie, saying something along the lines of "oh crap, today I'm short 1000 calories for the day, gotta eat a cup of olive oil" or something similar). I still find some holes with the study Manveet provided - it says nothing of longer term single-meal consumption, and since we all want a near-constant flow of delicious nutrients to induce our muscles to be repairing and growing constantly, it probably makes sense to have food in you at all times, rather than just starting the day with said cup of olive oil and stopping for the rest of the day. Thus, I try to think of the day in 2 or 3 segments, and break down my calories accordingly. Then, the worst that will happen is a "oh shoot, I'm down 500 cals for the first half of today," and I'll make sure to squeeze another meal in early that day, which eliminates the problem of having to do the same when I would be down 1,000 at the end of the day.

I dunno, just a thought.

Davidelmo
04-09-2006, 04:45 PM
^^ Yup, you're right. It makes good sense.

I usually know if I had a crappy diet in the morning so I try to make up for it as the day goes on. However sometimes it still ends up with my stuffing my face with peanuts and milk right before bed :D

Clifford Gillmore
04-09-2006, 04:59 PM
Hmmm, I just had a thought - since people are lumping everything into "X calories per day" (which I agree is the most logical unit of measurement for anyone on a circadian rhythm), it might be more beneficial to think in terms of smaller segments of time. That would reduce the margin of error (ie, saying something along the lines of "oh crap, today I'm short 1000 calories for the day, gotta eat a cup of olive oil" or something similar). I still find some holes with the study Manveet provided - it says nothing of longer term single-meal consumption, and since we all want a near-constant flow of delicious nutrients to induce our muscles to be repairing and growing constantly, it probably makes sense to have food in you at all times, rather than just starting the day with said cup of olive oil and stopping for the rest of the day. Thus, I try to think of the day in 2 or 3 segments, and break down my calories accordingly. Then, the worst that will happen is a "oh shoot, I'm down 500 cals for the first half of today," and I'll make sure to squeeze another meal in early that day, which eliminates the problem of having to do the same when I would be down 1,000 at the end of the day.

I dunno, just a thought.


On the same thought, why not simply have calorie goals for each meal?

Breakfast: 1000 cals
Morning tea: 750 cals
Lunch: 1000 cals
etc etc.

Patz
04-10-2006, 07:04 AM
Thanks to you ****ers and your peer pressure, I ate a 1500 calorie catch-up dinner last night.

Yes, it was delicious.

Patz
04-10-2006, 07:06 AM
AND, the scale has me up 5lbs from where I know I actually am. If I wasn't sharp enough to know better, I'd be freaking out. This is a prime example of why I don't do this, and think no one should do it with any regularity.

Clifford Gillmore
04-10-2006, 08:20 AM
5lbs is a lot of **** man!