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Posted by Australian College on
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If you are on a healthy eating plan based on the current macronutrient portioning of food per day you are probably eating 2,000- 2,200 Kcalories if you are a female and approximately 2,600-2,800 Kcalories if you are a male.


The food pyramid emphasises that our break up of Kcalories should be 50% carbohydrate, 25% fats and 25% protein. As a 78 kilograms male, I should be eating approximately 2,700 Kcalories divided up into approximately 675 kcals of protein and fat and 1,350 Kcalories of carbohydrate per day. Being active, this prescription should keep me weight stable.


Caloric Restricted Weight Loss


If I was looking for weight loss and was prescribed a caloric restricted diet of 1,200 Kcalories, my division of macronutrients would be 600 Kcal of carbohydrate, 300 kcals of fat and protein. The 600 kcals of carbohydrate prescribed is enough to maintain my normal bodily functions at rest but is just barely enough to feed my brain as well if I have previously been on a high carbohydrate diet.


My Liver is pumping hard making any additional required glucose via converting some protein to glucose (gluconeogenesis). The protein conversion is only good for approximately an additional 200 Kcals so all in all I have approximately 800 Kcals of carbohydrate available for my 24 hours cycle. So at this point all is good and I am coping well.


My background in intensity had always been to“go hard or go home”.


My motto used to be “just do it…. and then spew it!"


As I have aged I have reviewed my old philosophy and realised the importance of multiple movement experiences, performed at low to moderate intensity for as much of the day as possible. What if I went back to my old ways and incorporated some high intensity exercise as part of my weight loss intervention in combination with my reduced 1,200 kcals diet?


Off and Running…


I am now on the treadmill running at 10 kilometres per hour. At this pace approximately 60% of my fuel will come from carbohydrates. Within the hour on the treadmill running at 10 kph I have used approximately 300 kcals of carbohydrates. In the 24 hours that incorporated this run I had 600 kcals of carbohydrate available for all the body systems to function at rest as well as an additional 200 Kcals that can be converted from protein to carbohydrates, so in total 800 kcals of carbohydrate.


My brain requires approximately 30% of my available carbohydrates, which translates into approximately 240 Kcals of energy (30% of 800 Kcalories).


If I expend 300 kcals of carbohydrates from my run, 600 kcals for the cells of the body (brain included) to perform their daily functions, I will have exceeded my total concentration of carbohydrates (600 + 200 = 800 Kcalories) for the day by 100 Kcals.


All of a sudden……“Houston we have a problem”.


If I run on the treadmill 3 days per week with a recovery day between each run, my body will adjust by storing more glycogen that can be used on the run days and I will be able to cope with the reduced carbohydrates available.

But what if I decided to run at this pace for 5 to 7 days of the week. After a week of this combination I could begin to feel tired, physically fatigue or as it has been described… “hit the wall”.


“Hitting the wall” is not restricted to just those who run marathons.


People on severe caloric restricted eating plans combined with high intensity exercise can also experience a similar feeling. I am now in the zone of Glycogen depletion. This can only get worse unless I take some time to recover between training sessions or eat more dietary carbohydrate, energy bars or energy drinks to quickly increase my blood sugar levels and thereby increase my Kcalories….. but this would be against the philosophy of our weight loss program.


The most obvious alternatives would be to:

  • Reduce the intensity of the training dose and expend the same number of Kcalories over a longer period of time tapping into my fat stores and preserving the limited carbohydrates stores for other functions.

  • Alternate high intensity days (glycogen dependent days) with much lower intensity days (fat dependent days).

  • Eat more carbohydrates with the intention of exercising at a high intensity every day.

  • Limit high intensity days to three times per week with at least a 24 hours recovery between training sessions and on the other days perform 10,000 steps or additional movement in the home, at work, active transport at an intensity between 2-6 METS (low to moderate).


What about limiting my carbohydrate intake?


A recent alternative recommendation is to limit our carbohydrate intake to 50 grams per day for two weeks, which will teach our body to utilise more of our fat stores.This method would require a rethink of the proportions of our macronutrients.


What if we changed our 1200 kcalories diet to include 30% protein, 20% carbohydrates and 50% of good fat?


The theory behind this would be that after a two weeks period of no intense exercise our body will begin to convert ketones from our fatty acids for energy to within an acceptable limit, which could potentially improve our fat loss. Ketones could potentially now provide approximately 50% of the brain’s fuel taking the pressure of it being fully carbohydrate dependent.


Additionally, the skeletal muscles would be better adapted to metabolise fatty acids sparing the additional glycogen and protein that was previously used a fuel. The accompanying exercise prescription would involve low to moderate intensity activities of daily living, of which walking would be the cornerstone. Remember we have potentially 80,000 Kcals of energy available for fuel from fat compared to 2,000 Kcals of carbohydrate.... so why not try and use it. This theory tips the carbohydrate loading theory of performance on its head! Think about it as it could have merit in everything we do from weight loss, improvements in health and athletic performance. 


Arthur C Clarke once said  “I don’t pretend to have all the answers. But the questions are certainly worth thinking about".





Dr Paul Batman

Australian College - Fitness



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Posted by Australian College on
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The benefits of physical activity have been extensively reported in preventing chronic diseases. Physical activity is also an important intervention in weight loss or weight maintenance. Popular weight loss TV shows highlight the importance of high intensity exercise as a main contributor to the weight loss achieved by the contestants. The truth is that exercise without some eating changes might only marginally promote long term weight loss….. but why?

One reason given is the possibility of an accompanying increase in appetite as a compensatory response to the energy expenditure in those that only use exercise as their preferred weight loss prescription. In studies conducted on overweight/obese men it was found that there was a decrease in appetite after moderately to vigorous exercise of 30-90 minutes. In lower intensity activities appetite appeared to remain the same irrespective of whether the men participated in brisk walking, running or cycling.

With the recent discovery of gut peptides involved in appetite regulation a different picture is now emerging. The reasoning is that ghrelin and other gut peptides could possibly regulate food intake for as long as 24 hours post exercise and might not be controlled by body fat stores. Ghrelin is released by the cells in the stomach and generally peaks during fasting increasing appetite and drops after eating and is now thought to be part of appetite control.

What happens to Ghrelin after different types of physical activity if performed at the same energy expenditure?

It appears that ghrelin can increase after running but remains the same after walking in overweight subjects. This could be explained by the greater intensity and energy expenditure in running compared to walking causing an increase in post exercise appetite. When overweight walkers are given the opportunity to eat post walking bout they are more likely to eat less but eat food higher in fat and protein in their subsequent meals.

In overweight women there is a reported increased release of Ghrelin and a lower insulin response post exercise both of which can increase appetite. In overweight men Ghrelin levels is generally much lower indicating that there is apparently a gender difference in the way that exercise affects appetite.

This would indicate that post exercise increases in Ghrelin and reduced insulin secretion in overweight women poses a real threat in weight loss programs that use high intensity based exercise without some dietary regulation. Overweight men appear to respond more effectively to higher intensity exercise weight loss programs without any dietary change when compared to overweight women.

Overweight women can match their post exercise energy intake to at least their pre exercise energy level after intense exercise. However, men appear to not match their post exercise energy intake with their exercise energy expenditure. 

The implication for this anomaly between genders is that overweight women potentially have limited success in intense exercise induced weight loss generally resulting in no change in post exercise fat oxidation. One of the key reasons why overweight women increase their post exercise energy intake is the critical relationship between energy balance and reproductive function. Energy restriction or energy deficiency can lead to changes in Ovulatory cycles and menstruation cycles.

Another explanation for the gender differences in post exercise energy intake could be the generally lower fitness levels and higher body fat levels presented by overweight women. This information might go to some length to explain why some overweight women have difficulty in reducing body fat after intense exercise.

It is now apparent that overweight men and overweight women differ in their response to weight loss programs that only stress intense exercise without some form of dietary regulation.

We have been told conclusively that high intensity exercise will increase the energy deficit leading to a reduced energy intake and possibly weight loss. Ironically in overweight women, intense exercise can increase energy intake post exercise and is almost entirely compensated for during the remainder of the exercise bout day.

In lower intensity exercise where energy expenditure is lower there is reportedly no accompanying increase in energy intake back to pre-exercise levels in either gender.

Could it be that lower intensity physical activity over the course of a 24 hour day performed by overweight women can induce a greater energy deficit without a concomitant increase in energy intake?

If this is the case lower intensity physical activity could be more effective for overweight women while high intensity exercise could be more beneficial for overweight men in weight loss.

Overweight women need a combination of exercise and an energy deficit eating plan for long term weight loss success if high intensity exercise is prescribed.

Alternatively, increased lower intensity levels of “Activities of Daily Living” over a woman’s waking hours might even be more effective for long term weight loss.

Dr Paul Batman
Australian College
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Posted by Australian College on
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Given the universal interest in weight loss and fat loss you would think this question has a simple answer.

Of a survey completed on 150 doctors, dieticians and personal trainers the widespread answer in over 50% of the respondents was that fat is converted to heat and energy as it is broken down. Others suggested that fat was excreted in faeces or taken up by the muscle.

The misconception and ignorance of this subject is alarming considering those professionals at the forefront are still unsure of what really happens to fat during weight loss.

We know that when we eat additional carbohydrate, protein and fat it is converted into triglycerides and stored in the adipocyte or fat cell. So if we want to lose weight but at the same time maintain our lean body mass we have to create a situation where we can metabolise fat stored in the adipocyte.

As fat is being metabolised a hormone called lipase is released and is responsible for the further breakdown of fat. Lipase works by breaking down triglycerides in our adipocytes into smaller molecules, and ultimately gets released as energy in the form of ATP, water and carbon dioxide.

ATP is used to fuel our movements as well as our metabolism, but what happens to water and carbon dioxide?

In a study published in the British Medical Journal the researchers have modified existing calculations to identify where fat goes in weight loss.

They reported that the triglycerides (consists of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen) must be broken down to gain access to the carbon, which can eventually be breathed out…

Thats right…the mass is converted to carbon dioxide and breathed out through our lungs!! So that’s where the fat goes!

What this tells us is that the lungs are the primary excretory organs for weight loss.

Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean that simply by breathing harder or deeper will help you lose more weight. The fat must be broken down to carbon through physical activity or metabolism before it can be exhaled through the lungs.

If we want to lose 10kg of fat we would change our macronutrient contribution of our food plan and participate in more physical activity.

As a consequence of this weight loss prescription we would need to inhale 29kg of oxygen and burn approximately 94,000 Kcals, while producing 28kgs of carbon dioxide and 11kgs of water.

Its been calculated that 84% of the fat used is exhaled as carbon dioxide and 16% is excreted as fluid either in the form of sweat or urine.

Dr Ruben Meerman and Professor Andrew J Brown reported a great case study as to how carbon dioxide is formed and extracted from our body during fat metabolism.

“At rest, an average 70 kg person consuming a mixed diet of carbohydrates, protein and fat exhales about 200 ml of CO2 in 12 breaths per minute. Each of those breaths excretes 33 mg of CO2, of which 8.9 mg is carbon.

 When at rest and performing light activities that doubles the resting metabolic rate (2 METS), each for 8 hours, this person exhales 0.74 kg of CO2 so that 203 g of carbon is lost from the body.

Replacing one hour of rest with physical activity that raises the metabolic rate to seven times (7 METS) that of resting (e.g. jogging), removes an additional 39g of carbon from the body, raising the total by about 20% to 240g.”

The calculations from the researchers suggest that weight loss is all about unlocking the carbon from the fat molecule so that it can be exhaled through the lungs.

An interesting and new view to fat loss…

Dr Paul Batman
Australian College

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Posted by Australian College on
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One of the most dramatic changes to our lifestyle over the past 100 years has been the decline in standing and walking. At the beginning of the 20th century 90% of the world’s population was involved in some sort of rural activity. In the 21st century this number has declined significantly as more of us move to the city and live a more urban existence.

Research continually reinforces the notion that we sit for longer periods and are sedentary than at anytime in our history. Obese people have been reported to sit for an additional 2.5 hours in comparison to their leaner cousins. Consequently an increase in standing and walking could be regarded as pivotal in our weight loss journey.

The one factor of non-exercise activity thermogenesis that is most modifiable is standing and walking. Apparently most of our free living-walking day consists of multiple short duration low velocity walking bouts. It has been reported that a decrease in 6 kilometres of walking per day is associated with a significant increase in bodyweight.

To compound this problem, the more overweight be become, the less walking and standing we do. It has been speculated that when we gain weight there is a decreased sensitivity to central neurotransmitters that are responsible for walking and so we walk less. Eliminating just “walking to walk” and using the car have eliminated approximately 100 Kcalories per day of energy expenditure out of our current lifestyle.

To attenuate our decrease in walking distance of 6 kilometres per day we need to examine our free living time and attempt to integrate more standing and walking into our day. 

Ways to make your home more active:
  • Get up off the couch and walk to a predetermined place in the house during commercial breaks
  • Stand while reading books, morning newspaper, e news on tablets etc
  • Always answer the phone, text messages, social media etc while standing
  • Walk while carrying small children
  • Childcare standing - dressing, bathing, grooming, feeding, occasional lifting of child-light effort
  • Take the dog for a walk
  • Use a standing desk at home or in the office
  • Stand while pumping petrol, change light bulb, etc.
  • Wash the windows, clean the garage
  • Make more trips to put out the garbage, fill the car etc.Walking loading /unloading a car
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Ways to make your housekeeping more active:
  • Iron while standing
  • Stand while doing the laundry, fold or hang clothes, put clothes in washer or dryer, packing a suitcase
  • Put away clothes and laundry
  • Make the bed
  • Do more household chores, such as folding the clothes, ironing, was the dishes while standing watching television
  • Perform multiple household tasks all at once
  • Clean sink, toilet and showers
  • Take out rubbish
  • Vacuum or mop the floors
  • Dust the house
  • Tidy up the house by re-arranging the furniture.
  • Hang out the clothes rather than use the clothes dryer

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Ways to make your food preparation more active:
  • Wash dishes - standing or in general (not broken into stand/walk components
  • Clear dishes from table one piece at a time
  • Cook or food preparation while standing (not broken into stand/walk components), use manual appliances
  • Serve food, set table while walking or standing
  • Put away groceries (e.g. carrying groceries, shopping without a grocery cart), carrying packages
  • Go food shopping with or without a grocery cart, standing or walking non-food shopping,
  • Walk while shopping (non-grocery shopping)
  • Put away household items one a time
  • Shop by visiting the store, no internet or takeaway delivery
  • Eat the evening meal standing up
  • Wash and dry the dishes and put them away one a time
  • Keep the kitchen clean, wipe down benches, cupboards etc
  • Walk down every aisle at the shopping centre
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Ways to make your gardening more active:
  • Weed the gardens
  • Keep the yard and garden clean by picking up leaves, branches etc
  • Stand to water the garden, plants and bushes
  • Walk while applying fertilizer or seeding a lawn
  • Pick fruit off trees/vegetables
  • Rake the lawn
  • Sack the grass, leaves
  • Trim shrubs or trees, power cutter, using leaf blower, edger
  • Mow the lawn using a power mower
  • Plant seedlings, shrubs, trees
  • Chop wood
  • Clear land, haul branches, wheelbarrow chores
  • Dig, spading, filling garden, composting gardening with heavy power tools, and tilling a garden, chain saw
  • Mow lawn with a hand mower
Ways to make your work more active:
  • Stand and take breaks from your computer or desk every 30 minutes
  • Take breaks in sitting time from long meetings
  • Stand and greet visitors to your office or workstation
  • Stand up while taking phone calls
  • Walk to colleague’s desk rather than emailing them
  • Drink more water by standing and walking to the water cooler or toilet
  • Move your bin away from your desk so that you have stand up and move toward it
  • Call stand up or walking meetings
  • Eat your lunch away from your desk
  • Take a short walk during your lunchtime
  • Position the printer away from the computer to ensure you stand and retrieve
  • Use software that prompts you to stand up and/or take a break from your computer
  • Install height adjustable ‘hot-desks’ that employees can share
  • Use headsets or the speakerphone during teleconference so that you can walk and talk
  • Stand at the back of the room during presentations
  • Devote some part of your lunch hours to walking or standing. Do your banking, shopping etc during this time
  • If required to park at the workplace before taking the steps to the office walk for 15 minutes around the area before going into the office building
  • Eat lunch while walking easy for 30 minutes easy and then spend the remainder of lunchtime eating lunch standing up.
  • If at airport for work walk up and down the terminal
  • Stand and squat at least 32 times per day. Every 15 minutes stand for a minute for 8 hours work shift.]
  • Walk the long way back to your desk or workstation
  • Isolate your workstation so that you have to walk and move for every service
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Ways to make your transport more active:
  • Leave your car at home and take public transport
  • Drive a manual car rather than an automatic
  • Stand up in the train or the bus
  • Get off a station before your destination and walk the remainder
  • Park your car away from your destination and walk the rest of the way
  • Plan regular breaks on a car journey
  • When travelling on planes or as a passenger in a car use the exercise routine recommended by the airline to keep muscles working and blood flowing
  • Walk or ride a bike to walk
  • Develop an active travel plan sourcing travelling options to and from work
  • Map walking routes near work that can be used during the lunchtime, beginning or after work.
  • When travelling on planes use the exercise routine recommended by the airline to keep muscles working and blood flowing
  • Drive a motor scooter or motorcycle
  • Walk while pushing or pulling stroller with child or walking with children
  • Walk from the house to car or bus, from car or bus to go places, from car or bus to and from the worksite
  • Walk to shops, neighbour’s house or family’s house
At School:

Walk to and from school, less sitting, walk to and from the school bus

Ways to make your leisure time more active:
  • Select activities that require a minimum of standing up and preferably with some walking or additional movement
  • Watch sporting activities, concerts etc while standing up for as long as possible
  • Stand while playing a musical instrument or any other hobby or interest
Take a “Whole day approach to movement” and try to move as much as possible during the day, every little bits helps.

Possible suggestions might be:

Music playing, fishing and hunting fishing, general water activities canoeing, rowing sailing, boat and board sailing, windsurfing, ice sailing, general water activities surfing, body or board standing - arts and crafts, moderate effort, kayaking snorkelling, white-water rafting, kayaking, or canoeing skiing, downhill, light effort skiing, water  cross country skiing, sledding, tobogganing, bobsledding  snow shoeing, hiking, bush walks.
Plan active outings, cycling, bush walking etc.

Lots of options, so start moving :-)


Dr Paul Batman
Australian College
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Posted by Australian College on
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On a recent summer holiday, I noticed the number of holiday makers really making the most of their leisure time by lazing around, eating more than enough, sipping cocktails by the side of the pool, power napping and generally restricting their daily movement to levels well below their normal daily energy expenditure.

While talking informally to some of my new friends, the standard joke was how after Christmas they were going to get in shape and work off their extra holiday Kcals. It made me think of how our ancestors would have adapted to the same summer holiday.

In generations past, our ancestors were motivated to move to find food rather than have it provided for them and then having to move to increase their energy expenditure in order to work off the additional kcals. This is a fundamental difference in how movement has been viewed in the past and how we see it now in our modern sedentary society.

Katy Bowman sums it up very well by saying: “exercise is movement, but movement is not exercise”.

We could say that our ancient bodies require more movement than exercise. That is not to say that they both cannot co-exist in the new lifestyle paradigm, only that exercise as we know it has its limitations in providing all the movement benefits that we require as well as overcoming the many side effects of a sedentary lifestyle.

I think that the solution lies in increasing our daily reliance on gravity, increasing our ground reaction forces by interacting with our environment and supporting our body weight as many times during the day as possible.

We know that walking for 10 kilometres will produce different long-term responses that walking three kilometres. The reverse is also true when the body doesn’t move. The same musculo-skeletal cells responsible for movement will waste away if movement is taken away from them.

Activities of daily living that formed a major part of our lives for the past 100,000 years has been all but removed from our modern society. This in turn has removed cellular loads that were so integral to supporting our hunter-gatherer lifestyle.

Without some major changes to our lifestyle it is almost impossible to recreate the movement patterns that were so necessary for our survival and for which our bodies were designed and evolved.

Going to gym for one hour a day does not recreate all the forces on our cells that were once so important. There has to be another answer! It can’t be entirely overcome by exercising for just 60 minutes per day…. it must include an increase in free-living opportunities throughout the day.

The new affluent diseases that we are now suffering from are a consequence to our new reduced movement patterns, load distributions and reduced cell deformations. We can’t survive without the correct foods eaten and we can’t survive without the multitude of movement patterns that our body has evolved to perform.

There might come a time where our bodies will be shaped by our new movement experiences and environment resulting in genetic changes that will be more suitable to just surviving in a sedentary society.

To support this assumption, observations have been reported in animals that have been kept in captivity. Marine biologist Wendy Alexandra Evans has described the “Flaccid Fin Syndrome” observed in Orca whales kept in captivity. The Orca’s dorsal fin collapses as a consequence of the restricted area they are permitted to swim in.

Ms Evans identifies behaviors that are unique to their captivity and that contribute to collapsed fin:

These include: only swim in an anti-clock wise direction, kept in shallow tanks, food intake has a lower water content than in the wild, the greater amount of time the whale spends on the surface in captivity. The dorsal fins are generally made of a similar collagen tissue to our ligaments; with males having a longer fin than females.

The reasons for these fin changes is the new environment that the whales must adapt too which is caused by unnaturally high loads during one directional tight circle swimming and the fin’s exposure to high exposure to gravity. If the Orca were in their normal habitat the overall loads and pressure would be significantly different from the loads experienced in captivity and as such the fin would take on a different appearance.

Perhaps we now are evolving similarly to animals that are kept in captivity.

It seems that the specificity principle is now working against us. We are now suffering from bad backs, osteoporosis, sarcopenia, diabetes, obesity etc., as a consequence of not performing a wide range of free-living movements for any significant time period and not using gravity as our bodies were intended to use it.

So, go home, dust off your bike, find your runners, sack your house cleaner and gardener and any other hired help and breakout and get to work!!

Dr Paul Batman

Australian College


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