140 Lb Dude Looking For His Six Pack. Here’s a Hint: You’re 140 Lbs!!!!!

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Someone linked to this article a few weeks ago in the comments section, and I’m just now recovering from the massive brain hemorrhage I suffered from reading it. To summarize, CNN felt it news worthy to run a story about some 27 year old dude named Jason (who sadly, is originally from my neck of woods: Syracuse, NY) and how he’s on a quest for a “six pack” by eating a diet that includes 16 egg whites per day.

First off, 16 egg whites in one day is no big deal. I’ve often eaten upwards of two dozen eggs in one day, and CNN isn’t covering that shit. WTF CNN!?!?!?! And while I could go on and on about how retarded this guy is, I’m not going to. I’m just going to chalk this one up to the fact that he strapped on the stupid long ago. Besides, I’ll let the picture speak for itself:

He’s all skin and bone. Is there even any muscle there to warrant having a six pack???? That’s not a six pack, that’s your freakin liver dude.

Anyways, my beef with the article wasn’t so much with Jason, but with some comments made by a registered dietitian with the American Dietetic Association, who was asked to analyze Jason’s diet (below):

Dinant’s six-pack diet

Meal 1: 8 egg whites, 2 servings of cream of rice

Meal 2: 5 ounces lean meat or fish, 1 cup brown rice, 1 cup veggies

Meal 3: 5 ounces lean meat, 1 cup rice, 1 cup veggies

Meal 4: 5 ounces lean meat or fish, 6-ounce potato or sweet potato, 1 cup veggies

Meal 5: 5 ounces lean meat, 1 cup veggies, 6-ounce potato

Meal 6: 8 egg whites, 1 serving of cream of rice

Total calories: 2,054

The dietitian suggested to add more fat into the diet, which is actually great advice. People often forget that dietary fat supplies energy and essential fatty acids and serves as a carrier for the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K and carotenoids. Additionally, fats serve as building blocks of membranes and play a key regulatory role in numerous biological functions; such as testosterone production (which helps you gain muscle mass) and partitioning (which helps you lose fat).

As well, another little known fact about dietary fat is that eating it with your veggies helps you get more nutrition out of them than eating them without. Clearly, fat plays an important role in our diet. Albeit it’s unfortunate that it’s usually the one ESSENTIAL macronutrient that gets the ax when looking to lose weight.

He then goes on to drop this knowledge bomb:

Eating protein has great benefit for rebuilding muscle and speeding up the metabolism,” White said. “But too much can cause weight gain, increase the urinary loss of calcium, and cause dehydration.”

Lets break this down.

1. Too much (protein) can cause weight gain. Too much of anything can cause weight gain. It always comes down to total calories. Why is it that protein often gets the brunt of this asinine argument?

2. Too much protein can cause urinary loss of calcium. As Lyle McDonald notes in his aptly titled The Protein Book:

It’s too simplistic to look at protein intake in isolation in terms of its effects on bone health, as the protein content of food interacts with other nutrients in that food or in the total diet. For example, recent studies suggest an interaction between protein and calcium intake.

When calcium intake is low, high protein intakes appear to have negative effects on bone health. In contrast, when calcium and vitamin D intake are sufficient, protein intake has a beneficial effect on bone health. This suggest that ensuring adequate calcium intake (through a sufficient intake of dairy foods, or calcium supplements) is crucial for bone health when large amounts of protein are being consumed.

This most likely serves to explain the above contradiction. In the studies where dietary protein intake was found to have a negative impact on bone health, there were OTHER dietary factors playing a role. Calcium or vitamin D intake may have been insufficient, causing an overall negative effect. However, when sufficient calcium and vitamin D are provided, dietary protein has a beneficial impact.

Likewise, lets not forget the importance of lifting heavy stuff. In terms of stimulating new bone formation, what’s needed is something called a minimal essential strain (MES), which refers to a threshold stimulus that initiates new bone formation. A force that reaches or exceeds this threshold and is repeated often enough will signal osteoblasts to migrate to that region of the bone and lay down matrix proteins (collagen) to increase the strength of the bone in that area. In short, as long as one is lifting appreciable weights, the whole “calcium leakage” argument is fairly mute.

3. Too much protein will cause dehydration. I don’t have a response to this other than hahahahaahahahaahahahahahaahahahaahahaahaha. I’ve never heard this one before, and would be really surprised if there’s any research to back it up. I mean, why not just start telling people that high protein diets cause rabies?!?!

To summarize:

– Jason, eat something. Please.

– The blanket statement that too much protein will cause weight gain is absurd. Too much of anything will cause weight gain.

– Too much protein will not cause your bones to leak calcium, so long as calcium and vitamin D intake are sufficient. As well, I think I remember reading somewhere that the amount of calcium “leaked” by the bones is so insignificant, that a tablespoon of milk would more than make up for it. Just goes to show how things tend to get blown out of proportion in the general media. Unless we’re talking about my chest, and how it’s often mistaken for a steel plate. That’s actually true.

– Lets be honest, CNN needs to cover more “newsworthy” stories. Like the fact that MEGAN FOX IS SINGLE AGAIN!!!!! I guess she finally realized that Brian Austin Green is in fact, Brian Austin Green. Good for her. Good for her

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