Nutrition and Weight Management Course

Welcome to my nutrition and weight management course! Here I will attempt to collate the scientific literature with my own real-world experiences mixed in to provide a general blueprint for healthy eating and weight management. I am not perfect and I do not claim this course is perfect, but it truly is my best attempt to bring forward useful and accurate information that will also be practical. When there is ambiguity in the literature I will try to make this clear, and when there is outright controversy I will try to present all sides fairly.

There are 15 lessons in this course:

  • Lesson 1: Overview of Metabolism
  • Lesson 2: How to Calculate Total Daily Energy Expenditure
  • Lesson 3: How to Determine Caloric Intake and Track Progress
  • Lesson 4: Protein
  • Lesson 5: Fat
  • Lesson 6: Carbohydrates
  • Lesson 7: Fiber
  • Lesson 8: Alcohol
  • Lesson 9: Micronutrients
  • Lesson 10: Food Groups (Grains, Fruits and Vegetables, Nuts, and Oils)
  • Lesson 11: Food Groups (Dairy, Eggs, and Meat)
  • Lesson 12: “Chrononutrition”, the Timing of When We Eat
  • Lesson 13: An Overview of Various Diets
  • Lesson 14: Overcoming the Barriers of Cost and Time
  • Lesson 15: Deconstructing Guilt/Stigma and Developing Habits for Long-Term Success
  • Lesson 1: Overview of Metabolism
    • total daily energy expenditure (“TDEE”)
    • resting metabolic rate (“RMR”)
    • thermic effect of feeding (“TEF”)
    • exercise activity thermogenesis (“EAT”)
    • non-exercise activity thermogenesis (“NEAT”)
  • Lesson 2: How to Calculate Total Daily Energy Expenditure
    • calculating our TDEE with formulas
    • calculating our TDEE by counting calories
    • do we need to estimate our TDEE and/or track calories?
    • use caution if concerned for disordered eating
  • Lesson 3: How to Determine Caloric Intake and Track Progress
    • how to set a target weight
    • rate of weight gain or loss
    • how to track progress
  • Lesson 4: Protein
    • how much protein should we consume?
    • protein quality
    • protein distribution throughout the day
    • general recommendations to maximize muscle protein synthesis
  • Lesson 5: Fat
    • quantity
    • types of dietary fat
  • Lesson 6: Carbohydrates
    • specific considerations for exercise and weight management
    • minimum carbohydrate intake for health purposes
    • maximum carbohydrate intake for health purposes
    • consideration of added sugar
    • consideration of the glycemic index and glycemic load
  • Lesson 7: Fiber
    • definition of dietary fiber
    • individual properties of various dietary fibers
    • structure-function relationship
    • health benefits
    • weight benefits
    • recommended fiber intake
  • Lesson 8: Alcohol
    • short-term impact of alcohol on dieting and exercise
    • long-term impact of alcohol on health
    • large randomized trial?
    • sources of alcohol
  • Lesson 9: Micronutrients
    • general vitamins and minerals
    • specific micronutrients of concern
  • Lesson 10: Food Groups (Grains, Fruits and Vegetables, Nuts, and Oils)
    • food groups for general health considerations
    • grains
    • fruits and vegetables
    • nuts
    • oils
  • Lesson 11: Food Groups (Dairy, Eggs, and Meat)
    •  dairy
    •  eggs
    •  meat
  • Lesson 12: “Chrononutrition”, the Timing of When We Eat
    • intermittent energy restriction (“IER”) and intermittent fasting (“IF”)
    • meal frequency
    • timing of meals
    • time restricted eating (“TRE”)
  • Lesson 13: An Overview of Various Diets
    • comparative literature
    • named diets
  • Lesson 14: Overcoming the Barriers of Cost and Time
    • cost considerations
    • time considerations
  • Lesson 15: Deconstructing Guilt/Stigma and Developing Habits for Long-Term Success
    • guilt, stigma, and stress associated with obesity
    • habits to aid weight maintenance after weight loss
  • Lesson 1: Overview of Metabolism
    • total daily energy expenditure (“TDEE”)
    • resting metabolic rate (“RMR”)
    • thermic effect of feeding (“TEF”)
    • exercise activity thermogenesis (“EAT”)
    • non-exercise activity thermogenesis (“NEAT”)
  • Lesson 2: How to Calculate Total Daily Energy Expenditure
    • calculating our TDEE with formulas
    • calculating our TDEE by counting calories
      • potential pitfalls when counting calories
      • tracking calories gets easier with time
    • do we need to estimate our TDEE and/or track calories?
    • use caution if concerned for disordered eating
  • Lesson 3: How to Determine Caloric Intake and Track Progress
    • how to set a target weight
      • body mass index (“BMI”)
      • can we be healthy at an elevated BMI?
      • the obesity paradox
      • does a healthy BMI guarantee healthy body composition?
      • how to determine if your body fat percentage (BF%) is elevated
      • body fat distribution
      • recommendations
    • rate of weight gain or loss
      • for people who want to gain weight
      • for people who want to lose weight
    • how to track progress
  • Lesson 4: Protein
    • how much protein should we consume?
      • minimum for general health
      • minimum to maximally stimulate muscle protein synthesis (“MPS”)
      • maximum to avoid health risks
    • protein quality
      • amino acids
      • speed of digestion
      • bioavailability
      • source (plant vs animal)
    • protein distribution throughout the day
    • general recommendations to maximize muscle protein synthesis
  • Lesson 5: Fat
    • quantity
      • reasons for a minimum daily fat intake
      • reasons for a maximum daily fat intake
    • types of dietary fat
      • saturated fatty acids (“SFA”)
      • monounsaturated fatty acids (“MUFA”)
      • polyunsaturated fatty acids (“PUFA”)
      • trans fatty acids (“PUFA”)
  • Lesson 6: Carbohydrates
    • specific considerations for exercise and weight management
    • minimum carbohydrate intake for health purposes
    • maximum carbohydrate intake for health purposes
    • consideration of added sugar
      • artificial sweeteners as a substitute for added sugar?
    • consideration of the glycemic index and glycemic load
  • Lesson 7: Fiber
    • definition of dietary fiber
    • individual properties of various dietary fibers
    • structure-function relationship
    • health benefits
    • weight benefits
    • recommended fiber intake
      • minimum
      • maximum
  • Lesson 8: Alcohol
    • short-term impact of alcohol on dieting and exercise
      • impact on caloric consumption
      • impact on exercise
      • summary of the short-term literature
    • long-term impact of alcohol on health
      • review articles
      • mendelian randomization analysis
      • concerns of abstainer bias
      • subsequent studies
      • summary of the long-term evidence
    • large randomized trial?
    • sources of alcohol
  • Lesson 9: Micronutrients
    • general vitamins and minerals
      • impact of food preparation
      • utility of a multivitamin/multimineral supplement?
    • specific micronutrients of concern
      • sodium
        • recommended intake
        • sodium controversy
        • sodium conclusion
      • potassium
        • recommended intake
        • potassium conclusion
      • vitamin D
        • recommended intake
        • evidence for supplementation?
        • vitamin D conclusion
      • calcium
        • recommended intake
        • evidence for fracture risk reduction
        • evidence for harm
        • calcium conclusion
      • iron
        • considerations in children
        • considerations in women of child-bearing age
        • other considerations
        • iron conclusion
  •  Lesson 10: Food Groups (Grains, Fruits and Vegetables, Nuts, and Oils)
    • food groups for general health considerations
    •  grains
      • impact of whole grains on body weight
      • impact of whole grains on health outcomes
      • are refined grains healthy or not?
      • should gluten be avoided?
      • recommendations
    • fruits and vegetables
      • impact of fruits and vegetables on body weight
      • impact of fruits and vegetables on health outcomes
      • mechanism for health benefits
      • fruit juice?
      • recommendations
    • nuts
      • overall health effects
      • specficic nuts
      • recommendations
    • oils
      • considerations with olive oil
      • considerations with cooking
      • recommendations
  • Lesson 11: Food Groups (Dairy, Eggs, and Meat)
    • dairy
      • health effects in children
      • health effects in adults
      • dairy and prostate cancer
      • whole-fat vs reduced-fat?
      • lactose intolerance
      • recommendations
    • eggs
      • impact on cholesterol
      • mixed evidence
      • more recent evidence and opinions
      • recommendations
    • meat
      • the NutriRECS publications
        • cohort studies and cardiometaboilc outcomes
        • randomized trials and cardiometabolic outcomes
        • the NutriRECS guideline
        • interpretation of the guideline
      • more recent research
      • other types of meat
      • recommendations
  • Lesson 12: “Chrononutrition”, the Timing of When We Eat
    • intermittent energy restriction (“IER”) and intermittent fasting (“IF”)
      • overview of the research
      • considerations of lean body mass retention
    • meal frequency
    • timing of meals
    • time restricted eating (“TRE”)
      • reviews of TRE studies
      • combining TRE with resistance training
      • summary of the TRE evidence
  • Lesson 13: An Overview of Various Diets
    • comparative literature
      • review 1
      • review 2
      • review 3
      • review 4
      • review 5
      • review 6
      • summary of the comparative literature
    • named diets
  • Lesson 14: Overcoming the Barriers of Cost and Time
    • cost considerations
      • organic food – worth the cost?
    • time considerations
  • Lesson 15: Deconstructing Guilt/Stigma and Developing Habits for Long-Term Success
    • guilt, stigma, and stress associated with obesity
      • genetic and non-genetic influences
      • stigma, guilt, and shame
    • habits to aid weight maintenance after weight loss

The course will work best if you go through the lessons in order, though that is only really critical for lessons 1, 2, and 3. The other lessons can be looked at in isolation and you will still be able to understand the vast majority of the information that is presented.

This course is primarily written for adults. However, I do discuss some aspects of pediatric nutrition in several of the lessons, and the concepts presented in all of the lessons will still apply to children, with the exception of Lesson 11 where I am not considering pediatric studies. Lesson 3 should not be applied to children as pediatric weight goals and ongoing growth provide distinct considerations from adults. The concepts in Lesson 2 should only be applied to children with care due to concerns of misapplication or contributing to disordered eating; it would be worthwhile discussing this with your child’s healthcare provider if you would like to apply this with them.

Much of the information in this course applies to adults with a variety of different medical conditions and while on multiple medications, but if you are unsure if any recommendations are appropriate for your specific situation then I encourage you to run things by your healthcare provider prior to making any significant changes.

If after going through the course anything is unclear, if you feel I have left out any pertinent topics, if you believe there is any relevant literature that I did not include, or if you think I’m simply wrong about anything, please contact me and if indicated I will edit the course.

With all of that said, please enjoy! You can click to whichever lesson you wish to begin below. Additionally, you will probably find your viewing experience to be improved if you go through this on a computer as opposed to a phone as there may be issues with resizing of the images on a smaller screen. That said, you will still be able to read all of the content on a phone, it will just be a little less visually appealing.

This course is currently updated with literature through June, 2021.

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