Maybe... Just Don't Eat?
People: “What should I eat before exercise?”
Gurus: “BCAAs, meals, carbs, etc.”
Science: “nothing, plus maybe caffeine and salt.”
For the average person who wants to breakdown body fat, it’s non-controversial: insulin low plus epinephrine releases stored fat to be used in the citric acid cycle.
What does that mean? You have to have glucose low enough, be fasted enough, and then be excited/moving enough, or there is no biological mechanism for lipolysis. This is not opinion.
This study showed that continuing to exercise lowered risks of heart disease even if the participants didn't find their superficial goals being accomplished.
Persist. Your life depends on it. I've seen people over the years quit making effort because their body composition doesn't change enough EVEN THOUGH their biomarkers for disease risk have improved or held steady in a safe range. They quit the fitness or nutritional effort because they don't feel they lose enough body fat fast enough, but only to find a few years later their risk of diabetes, cancers and cardiovascular disease skyrocketing out of control.
Don't let perfect become the enemy of good. And in this case don't let superficial looks become the enemy of your health.
Lifting weights has a greater correlation with reduction of cardiovascular risk than activities like walking, running and/or cycling. You want to be healthy? Figure out a weekly practice which builds strength.
Clearly we need a revision of terms, as the types of activities we typically label "cardio" are not as beneficial to heart health as "strength training." And what I am calling "strength training" confers broader benefit than strength.
This research didn't fare much better with the word choice of "dynamic activity" in reference to walking while housing all of weight lifting under "static activity." But their finding is nonetheless useful.
DNA has minimal and maybe no impact on how long you live. In this 400 million person study, genetics may at best account for 7 percent or less impact on longevity. "Heredity made me do it" is no more sophisticated than any other fatalistic or deterministic sentiment through history. And this landmark study can hopefully put it to rest once and for all.
As I've written about before (here, here, here, here, and here), what we keep discovering is that everything other than DNA/genetics is more causal for most health and fitness markers. The long-hoped-for "cracking of the code" with the human genome has been a continual bugbear for fatalists and the people who predicted that mapping genome would unlock all of human health and wellness. As we peel back the scientific layers, we find that the way we live directs our symbionts and epigenome in a way that is far more profound than the heredity. Forthcoming discoveries in proteome and membranome are only going to further demote the heredity herring which distracted us for so long.