IFA News and Opinion
Issue Date:  March 1, 2003


Caffeine increases the mobilization of free fatty acids in the blood which are used for prolonged energy requirements as in marathon running. Caffeine has also been shown to decrease fatigue during low to moderate intensity exercise lasting over 2 hours. However, caffeine is a central nervous system and cardiovascular stimulant thereby increasing the basal metabolic rate, heart rate and blood pressure. Rapid heart rate can occur leading to an unusually high heart rate during exercise. However, after approximately 45 minutes from caffeine ingestion, Bradycardia occurs, or a slowing of the heart rate, and lasts for up to an hour thereby decreasing cardiac output. Bradycardia leads to fatigue and an inability to exercise. Long term effects decrease as the body adjusts to the caffeine intake level. Caffeine is a diuretic and therefore may promote dehydration due to increased urination. Any level of dehydration can decrease energy levels up to 30%.

Cholesterol Magic

Dietary cholesterol is the cholesterol consumed from the diet. Blood Serum cholesterol is the amount of cholesterol circulating in the bloodstream. The two are not closely related. Some people consume large quantities of dietary cholesterol and have a low serum cholesterol level. And, conversely, some people have high blood serum levels and consume very little dietary cholesterol. Conversion from dietary to blood serum cholesterol varies for each person and ranges from 20% to 90% of the amount consumed.

Blood serum cholesterol levels should remain below 200 mg per deciliter to be considered "normal" according to recent studies. This number represents only 10% of the total amount of cholesterol in the body. The rest is contained in cell membranes and other body tissues. The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends a dietary cholesterol consumption of no more than 300 mg per day. The body requires no intake of cholesterol but manufactures all the cholesterol it needs from dietary fat and produces about 1000 mg per day.

Pass the Bar

Alcohol provides empty calories. No nutritional benefit is derived from alcohol. Alcohol is 7 calories per gram which is almost as high as fat in caloric content. In addition alcohol temporarily slows down the metabolism. The effect of this is that less fat is burned (lower BMR). Generally, high fat foods are consumed with alcohol which makes matters worse. Also, alcohol inhibits the liver from metabolizing fat. As you can see any weight loss programs has to exclude alcohol.

Cookie Loading

Sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream within minutes. Consuming large amounts of sugar prior to exercise can actually inhibit performance. This produces a drastic increase in blood sugar. This causes the pancreas to secrete large amounts of insulin to metabolize the sugar. All this insulin inhibits the metabolization of fat by the muscles. Therefore, the muscles rely more on glycogen which is in limited supply. The insulin reduces blood sugar level which is already being reduced by the muscles utilization of glycogen stores for energy production. The blood sugar level reduces to a level which may not only cause fatigue but dizziness as well. Therefore consumption of excess sugar prior to exercise reduces performance and endurance.

Quick Weight-Loss

First of all, there is no pill to safely lose weight. Use the filter in your head before you have to use the filters in the rest of your body (liver, kidneys, etc.) Check the ingredients of the pills. If it contains Fennel Seeds, that's a laxative. Continued use of laxatives will destroy the natural peristalsis in your intestines. Peristalsis is the muscular action required to eliminate waste. If this stops or becomes weakened, you will need laxatives forever. Peristalsis never comes back once gone. Bulemics (binge and purge) run the same risk.

If the ingredients listed contain Guarana or caffeine, then you are taking stimulants. We don't know the long term effects of Guarana. Safety studies are not required by the FDA on supplements only food. You can check out the effects of most of the ingredients in products at the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food and Nutrition Information Center website USDA. You can also view a list of food additives, uses, and their possible allergic reactions at Food Allergens

So what is the best way to lose weight and keep it off. Consume less carbohydrates, more protein, and drink more water. Instead of the recommended carbohydrate daily percentage of 60%, drop it to 30% and raise the protein by the same amount so that the diet is composed of 60% protein and only 30% carbohydrates. You would also need to increase your water intake to about 2 quarts a day to help with the additional load placed on the kidneys by the increased protein consumption. This should not be done forever, just until you get down to your normal weight.

Do not eat anything after 6PM. Carbohydrates that go unused will turn in to body fat overnight. In addition, increase weight training (3 days a week) and cardio activity (on alternate days) to raise your basal metabolic rate back to where is was. You will be very surprised at how fast you will get that waist size down to fit again.

Q & A

Q: How much protein do I need to take on a daily basis?

A: Protein requirements depend on the individual and daily activity. Tissue growth, whether due to growth, injury, weight training, or pregnancy effect protein requirements. During illness, protein is not only required for repair but is generally used as an energy source. According to RDA requirements, an adult should consume approximately 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight on a daily basis (0.8 grams of protein per kg of body weight) as a minimum requirement. As an example, a 150-pound person should consume approximately 50 grams of protein daily. This translates to 200 calories of protein daily. As a general rule, for intense weight training, up to 1 gram per pound of body weight may be consumed.

Q: What information should I include on a resume?

A: It is good to include your personal and contact information at the top. The next section should be a summary of your abilities and experiences. The next section should be your qualifications such as education and certifications. The rest of the resume should show detailed experience with the various companies that you have worked with or for and in what capacity. Do not include photos of yourself or references. Mention at the end that references are available on request.

Q: I want to lose weight. Does heavy weights interfere with losing weight? Which should I do first cardio or weight training?

A: By losing weight, you mean losing fat not weight. Actually, building muscle will help you lose fat by raising your metabolism. For each pound of muscle that you build, it will raise your basal metabolic rate by 50 calories per day. In other words, if you put on 5 pounds of muscle by weight training, you will burn 250 more calories per day doing exactly the same activities that you are doing now. Don't go by weight, go by waist size. Ten pounds of muscle is a lot smaller than five pounds of fat. So you're weight may go up but you will be leaner and thinner. As for which should come first, I prefer to do about 10 minutes of cardio before weight training to warm up and oxygenate the muscles. I follow that with weight training. I will do cardio training on alternate days from weight training. If you try to do cardio after weight training, your muscles will not be at peak performance or at a level of stability to be able to stress the cardio system. The larger the muscles, the more time that they need to recover. For example, legs may need 5 or 6 days to recover.