Tag Archives: calories

being fat burns calories

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In our recent post on how exercising may not make you thin, the (self-proclaimed) “Important Doctor” mentioned that muscles burn calories even while you’re not working out, including while you sleep.  And that’s true.  But there’s a lesser known fact that goes along with this — fat also burns calories while resting.  I’m not making this up!  Check it out:

The muscle-fat relationship is often misunderstood. According to calculations published in the journal Obesity Research by a Columbia University team in 2001, a pound of muscle burns approximately six calories a day in a resting body, compared with the two calories that a pound of fat burns.

So while muscles will burn more calories than fat, at least fat does burn some calories, even while resting.  So if you apply some basic arithmetic principles, you can deduce that the more fat you have, the more calories you are burning while resting.   You heard it here first!

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viewer mail, issue #15

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It is time for another issue of viewer mail.  (I really should do these more often; they’re fun.)  As always, these are actual search terms that brought people to this website, followed by my own leading brand of analysis, commentary, and rambling.

* buffets make people fat — Buffets don’t make people fat — people make people fat.   Actually, you make yourself fat.  But that’s not meant in a derogatory way.  I mean, if you want to be fat, then you have that option.  But let’s not blame buffets, or the “politically correct” crowd will try to ban them.  Besides, even if all-you-can-eat buffets went away, there would still be fat people.  It’s just a matter of semantics or somethin’…

pickles are evil* pickles diarrhea — I haven’t heard of such things, but I also don’t research it in any way, because pickles are evil.  Some have posited that eating pickles will turn you into a zombie (which probably could lead to diarrhea as your body tries to reject that).  I don’t think that’s completely proven yet, but some important people are working on it.  We’ll keep you updated.  But in the meantime, avoid pickles at all costs, unless you’re throwing them into the sun to destroy them.  That would be okay.  (FYI, there’s a very funny discussion on pickles at that link.)

* shampoo fraud conspiracy — I have no idea about this one…  Does anyone have any clue what this could be referring to?

* potassium nitrate side effects — Potassium nitrate is an interesting compound.  It is used in fertilizer, amateur rocket propellant, smoke bombs, food preservation (in old days), cigarettes, tree stump remover, the heat treatment of metals as a short-term rust inhibitor, the manufacturing of ice cream, toothpaste, and it’s one of the three ingredients in black powder.  So if you were to eat it, who knows what the side effects could be?  There’s a lot to choose from among that list.  But given those options, I don’t recommend eating it.

* burn calories poop — Well, just about any activity burns calories, even tapping your finger on your desk, so I reckon pooping would, too.  I did a quick search, and someone estimated the process burns between 19 and 70 calories.  I don’t know how scientific and accurate that is, but that site claims to be the #1 source for #2.

* can the sun be dangerous — Certainly!  In case you weren’t paying attention in science class, here’s a brief recap.  The sun has constant fusion, where hydrogen atoms fuse together to form helium atoms and release energy.  Or in other words, it’s a constant explosion.  So you don’t play with it!  IT IS NOT A TOY!  You wouldn’t want to put the sun in your pocket, because it would burn your butt.  Fortunately we’re 93 million miles from the sun, and Earth’s atmosphere refracts the direct sunbeams so it’s not instantly lethal.   But using a magnifying glass you can refocus the beams of sunlight and see just how dangerous it is — it creates fire.  So obviously it’s quite dangerous — sunlight plus curved glass creates fire.

That’s all the time we have for today.  I hope you learned something, or at least laughed.  (Laughing burns calories, y’know.  I’m not sure about learning, but it’s still good for you.)

viewer mail, issue #13

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It’s about time to open the viewer mailbag again.  I have some time-specific ones about Halloween which might prove helpful to people with questions, plus there’s some general issues to discuss.  As always, these are actual search terms that people used to find this site.

  • what to do with old pumpkins — With it being close to Halloween, a lot of people are probably wondering about this.  I didn’t make a trip to the pumpkin patch to get one, but I know of people who did.   Anyway, I e-mailed the Buffet o’ Blog staff to see what they thought, and here are the options they presented: A) catapult; B) fire; C) both A and B.  Another suggestion was to line up a few hundred pumpkins on the train tracks, then wait for a train to plow through them.   That would be awesome to see.  (Of course, the standard disclaimer applies to these ideas: we are not responsible for any of the stupid stuff you do.)
  • cycling calories burned smell — So when you’re riding your bicycle for exercise, you encounter a burnt smell?  Well, the truth is, you can’t smell calories burning.   You might not want to know what that smell is, but I should probably tell you so you will know.  It’s either sweat or gas.  I don’t know that cycling gives you gas, but the act of cycling may cause more release of gaseous fumes.
  • pickles burn calories — I’ve never heard this, but it could possibly be true.   But even if pickles do lead to the burning of calories (and thus exercise in some form), you don’t want to take this route.  Let me explain.  Pickles are evil.  That’s well-documented at that link.  The side-effect (or full-effect) of eating pickles is not fully understood by scientists, but some important scientists suspect pickles turn people into zombies.   The way this can burn calories is that your body has a natural immune system, which will try to fight off the effect of the evil pickles.   But there’s no guarantee that you will win.  So just don’t eat pickles!   There are much better ways to burn calories.
  • subservient chicken — This is not as good an idea as you might suppose.   Burger King created one online a few years ago, and the page is still there.  We’ve written on this before, and the link to him is at that post.  He can do some stunts and even dance for you, but if you tell him something useful like “bring me nachos”, he does weird stuff and never brings me any nachos.
  • is fat bigger than obese — Interesting question.   Everyone has fat, but of course not everyone is obese, so I’d say obese is bigger.  To get technical with it, obesity is when you have so much excess body fat that your health is negatively affected.  So I reckon if your body fat is not excess — that is, it’s how much you want — then you’re not obese.  Or even if you’re fat or “big-boned” but still have good health, then you’re not obese.  So maybe it has to do with how you look at it.  From a scientific standpoint, it is generally agreed that you’re obese if you’re a man with more than 25% body fat or a woman with more than 33% body fat.  I could explain why those numbers are different, but this is a family-friendly blog…  AWW-RIGHT!

Well, this has been fun, but I have stuff to do, so I’m calling this issue finished.  Besides, some people say these posts get too long (which means they have the attention span of a cheese sandwich).   If you want to read more, you can catch up on the other issues here.

new diet plan based on Michael Phelps’ success

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U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps dominated the swimming contests at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.  He won a record 8 gold medals in 8 events, and shattered 7 world records.  How does he do it?

Well, our investigative staff here took a look at his daily routine.  When asked what he was doing during the Olympics when not swimming, he replied, “I’m eating a lot of pasta and pizza.  I’m eating a lot of carbs.  And sleeping as much as I can.”  I could do that!  And I’d like to do that!

In preparation for the Olympics, he also swims a lot for training, which is expected, but so do all the other contestants.  So what sets him apart?  I’ve found that he eats over 12,000 calories per day!  That’s not normal!  So in the name of research, I’m going to start eating 12,000 calories per day to see if it makes me excel at what I do.

Here’s a listing of what he eats on a typical day:

Phelps lends a new spin to the phrase “Breakfast of Champions” by starting off his day by eating three fried-egg sandwiches loaded with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, fried onions and mayonnaise.

He follows that up with two cups of coffee, a five-egg omelet, a bowl of grits, three slices of French toast topped with powdered sugar and three chocolate-chip pancakes.

At lunch, Phelps gobbles up a pound of enriched pasta and two large ham and cheese sandwiches slathered with mayo on white bread — capping off the meal by chugging about 1,000 calories worth of energy drinks.

For dinner, Phelps really loads up on the carbs — what he needs to give him plenty of energy for his five-hours-a-day, six-days-a-week regimen — with a pound of pasta and an entire pizza.

He washes all that down with another 1,000 calories worth of energy drinks.

For me, I’m going to substitute sweet tea instead of those energy drinks.  I don’t know how many glasses of tea it will take to get those 1,000 calories, but I can handle it.

Of course, if my daily workout doesn’t keep up with this increased caloric intake, I run the risk of looking like this:

But I reckon someone should test out this crazy new diet plan, in the name of research…