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Name: Marcia Crawford
Date registered: July 11, 2011

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  1. Sheet pan-amania — March 3, 2021
  2. Your kitchen — February 22, 2021
  3. Thermogenesis — July 23, 2020
  4. Quick notes — June 28, 2020
  5. If you build it… — June 9, 2020

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  1. Portion Plate — 5 comments
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Weird word, right? We might have titled the blog “thermic effect of food” or “specific dynamic action”  but I don’t think either would have helped. Let’s talk.

Starting at the beginning and briefly, the body burns calories in one of three ways:

  • basal calories to keep you alive
  • activity calories that allow you to move
  • diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT) or the calories it takes to ingest, digest and generally manage your food or diet internally

We estimate the calorie burn of DIT to average 10 percent/day above those basal calories.

Let’s use some real numbers. A 50 year old female, 5’4″, 140 lbs. has a basal metabolic rate of 1240 calories/day. Her DIT would add or use up another 124 calories/day. So, before any activity (like sitting up or putting on the coffee), survival will require that woman consume 1364 calories to make it until the next day. Assuming normal activity, her total requirement would be about 1600 calories/day.

The research supports that it matters WHEN those calories are consumed. A recent German study of normal weight individuals suggested a 2.5 times difference between concentrating the calories in the morning (breakfast) or concentrating them in the evening (dinner).

Results were published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Only men were studied which is a shortcoming of the research but it was a single-blind, randomized, crossover study which scientists like. (OK, we really like double blinded studies but when you ask someone to eat a meal, they can see if the meal is big or small, so it was the researchers who were “blinded” in the study.)

Researchers indicated the blood sugar control was better with the morning “concentration” of calories suggesting better overall metabolic health for the individual including less obesity. As always, we say more study is needed but this also seems like common sense.

Eat the calories when you’re going to use them to be well,



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Quick notes

We are still in the Wayback Machine, Mr. Peabody. Apparently a lot happened in 2015 too! Three notes of interest.

The British Journal of Nutrition published a study on nut consumption and cardiovascular disease mortality, coronary heart disease mortality and all-cause mortality. They found an inverse relationship – meaning as nut consumption INCREASED disease/mortality rates DECREASED. The “sweet spot” was four servings/week. This came from a compilation of 29 studies; glancing at the abstract suggests the “dose” is about one ounce. Darn, isn’t quantity where we often go off the rails?

The American Journal of Preventive Medicine linked TV viewing to mortality from cancer, coronary heart disease, chronic obstructive lung disease, diabetes, flu/pneumonia, Parkinson’s, liver disease and suicide. Crazy right? And we had intended to eat those nuts while watching TV.

You might guess inactivity and your penchant to eating/drinking while sedentary is the problem. But many of us can also agree, TV content is not healthy either!

The  third study uses data from the US’ largest and longest study which translates to conclusions applicable to most of our population. This study highlighted the importance of central obesity and was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

We’ve long sought for the “perfect” predictor of how weight effects our health. Data has been accumulating that hip:waist ratio is key. Briefly, if your hip and waist measurement are the same, you are carrying your weight in the wrong place for your health. Ideally, 0.8 or less for women and 0.95 or lower for men is best. That visceral fat (around your viscera, or organs or waist) is predictive of diabetes, high blood pressure and coronary heart disease.

So, nuts, limited TV (or screen time) and watch your waist to be well,




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