Changing Body Composition through Diet and Exercise

Course No. 1994
Professor Michael Ormsbee, Ph.D.
Florida State University
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Course No. 1994
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What Will You Learn?

  • Discover why your proportion of fat to muscle is a better gauge of health, and see how that ratio can be measured.
  • Explore the chemical work of the body's three energy-producing systems.
  • Examine the body's use of protein at the molecular level and learn the importance of incorporating high-biological-value protein into your diet.
  • Consider how the timing and frequency of meals can help you best meet your specific goals.
  • Learn how to find a personal trainer to begin a safe and effective program to increase your muscular strength, endurance, and power-at any age.

Course Overview

If we don’t like what we see in the mirror or if we’re struggling to walk down to the corner store, we tend to think, “Wow, I really need to lose some weight!” But the truth is you might not need to lose weight. Are you surprised? What you really need to do is lose fat and gain muscle. That change will make you look better, feel better, and perform better—whether your bathroom scale tells you any weight is lost in the process or not. In fact, if you focus on simply losing weight as your only metric, you could potentially lose both fat and muscle, becoming weaker instead of stronger. How’s that going to help you walk a mile? If you change your body composition, you’ll see and feel the results you’ve been looking for!

But how to get started? Should you avoid red meat and eat only carbs? Avoid carbs and focus on healthy fats? Will 500 crunches a day turn that belly fat into a “six pack?” Or should you stick to cardio three times a week? New diet and fitness plans come at us daily in the popular press, on the radio, and from a plethora of TV personalities hawking the latest supplement or sports drink. In the library and bookstore, shelf after shelf of books point us down conflicting paths toward health and fitness.

This course is different. Changing Body Composition through Diet and Exercise presents the latest scientific research in the field of performance nutrition. From the macro to the molecular, this solid, science-based information will help you understand your own body better than you ever have. Professor Michael Ormsbee, Associate Professor and Interim Director of the Institute of Sports Sciences and Medicine in the College of Human Sciences at Florida State University, clearly explains in 24 in-depth lectures:

  • how the food you eat is broken down and distributed to the tissues in your body
  • how your body uses those nutrients to produce the energy you need to function and perform
  • how specific nutrition and specific types of exercises can help you lose fat, gain muscle, and feel more energetic in your daily life or on the athletic field

Dr. Ormsbee is a former collegiate athlete, and current weight-lifter and triathlete whose fascination with human physiology is absolutely contagious. His easy-going style and excitement about this cutting-edge research make the technical material engaging and easy to follow. While the course provides a complete and comprehensive look at human bioenergetics and performance nutrition, each lecture is self-contained with easily accessible material. So whether you prefer the “A-Z” big-picture view or you want to start by dipping into information about supplements and set points, Changing Body Composition through Diet and Exercise will meet your needs—and help you meet your goals.

Based on his own laboratory results and those of his colleagues, Dr. Ormsbee presents diet and exercise recommendations in incremental steps that men and women of all ages and fitness levels can follow. Each lecture ends with one specific, easy-to-implement suggestion for your consideration. No gimmicks, no quick fixes, just real science.

What Happens to the Food You Eat?

You’ve just taken that first delicious bite of a blueberry muffin and the first sip of your coffee with a friend you haven’t seen in a while. While you’re focused on the conversation, your body is hard at work digesting your food, absorbing and partitioning the nutrients, and storing the waste for later removal. You’ll learn about:

  • The three categories of macronutrients—carbohydrates, fats, and protein—and the enzymes that begin to break them down into usable nutrients from that first bite
  • The chemical processes occurring in the 300-square-meter surface area of your small intestine, where the greatest percentage of nutrients are absorbed, and why your body requires distinctly different enzyme groups to break down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into glucose, fatty acids, and amino acids
  • How the resulting molecules are partitioned throughout the body and ultimately affect the functionality of every microscopic process in every cell
  • The ways in which your hormones such as insulin, cortisol, and catecholamines affect those processes

Which is More Important, Diet or Exercise? Now We Have an Answer

You know you need to exercise. And if you’ve been exercising for a while, you know it makes you feel good. But even if you’ve recently stepped up your exercise program, you might not be seeing the results you’ve been hoping for.

“The surprising truth is that simply exercising more and eating less is not the key for improving body composition,” Dr. Ormsbee says. “I know that’s what we’d been preaching for a long time. But it just doesn’t work all that well.”

What does work?

What works is understanding exactly how nutrients are partitioned and which type of exercise uses which source of energy in the body. You’ll learn about:

  • The relationship between bioenergetics and metabolism
  • The chemical processes that release stored energy to make it available for all functions of life
  • Which sources of energy are used for high-intensity exercise, low-intensity exercise, and the work of maintaining our bodies while we’re at rest, e.g., breathing, regulating temperature, maintaining blood flow, etc.
  • The caloric cost of exercise
  • The way to best time our macronutrient intake relative to exercising for optimal performance and body composition
  • Specific exercises for fat loss
  • Specific exercises for increasing muscle mass
  • Why exercise and food intake are critical for optimal body composition

But what about your friend who takes handfuls of vitamins, minerals, and protein supplements throughout the day? She says they’re important, but does the science back her up? What about artificial sweeteners, standing desks, or cleanse diets—are they helpful, harmful, or insignificant? You’ll learn the latest thinking on those topics and more, always based on rigorous scientific research. Equally importantly, if the research results are inconclusive, you’ll hear that, too. As Dr. Ormsbee explains, we certainly don’t have all the answers yet in this exciting new field.

Dr. Ormsbee concludes with some real-world advice for developing your individualized nutrition and exercise program and for sticking with it. What do studies tell us about the difference between those who only start a program and those who stick with it and reach their goals? The lessons presented in this course can change your life by helping you to feel better, perform better, and be healthier now and into your older years.

“Overall, the health benefits of exercise and eating right are clear,” Dr. Ormsbee says. “Think about it this way: If a pill existed that could provide even half the benefits of good nutrition and fitness, there’s no doubt it would be a best seller.”

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24 lectures
 |  Average 32 minutes each
  • 1
    Body Composition: Managing Our Expectations
    Confused by so many conflicting messages about nutrition and exercise? In this course, you'll learn the latest from the field of performance nutrition, with scientific research backing up every concept presented. Clear, easy-to-understand explanations will provide all the information you need to set your personal body composition goals-and reach them. x
  • 2
    A Healthier Way to Measure Body Composition
    If you want to feel, look, and perform better-whether that means lifting the grandchildren with ease or running a marathon-your weight is no way to chart your progress. Learn why your proportion of fat to muscle is a better gauge of health, and see how that ratio can be measured. x
  • 3
    How Food Is Digested and Absorbed
    Learn about the chemical reactions involved in digestion and absorption and the mechanisms of nutrient partitioning-how nutrients are moved into specific storage areas in your body. Armed with this knowledge, you'll understand why exercise is the best way to use your food to improve body composition! x
  • 4
    Nutritional Needs and Cellular Function
    What we eat affects the functionality of every microscopic process inside each of our 30 trillion cells. Learn how the nutrients absorbed from our food protect cells from damage, provide the fuel used by the mitochondria to produce energy, and continually create new cells to replace old or damaged cells. x
  • 5
    Bioenergetics: Converting Food to Energy
    Bioenergetics, the process of converting food into a usable form of energy, is directly related to overall metabolism. Learn about the chemical work of the body's three energy-producing systems, the fuel each uses, when each is activated-and how your fitness level significantly impacts your body's use of fat as a fuel source. x
  • 6
    Carbohydrates: Composition, Storage, and Use
    While the breakdown of carbohydrates provides the energy needed for all human functions, excess carbs can significantly disrupt good health. Exploring the complex relationship between carbs and the hormone insulin, you'll learn which carbs are best eaten at certain times of the day based on your individual total nutrition and workout schedule. x
  • 7
    Fat: Not the Nutritional Bad Guy
    It's a common-but erroneous-belief that the amount of fat you eat is directly proportional to the amount of fat on your body. To the contrary, the latest research shows why you need to add specific fats to your diet for optimal health and to meet your body composition goals. x
  • 8
    Protein's Critical Role in Body Composition
    Proteins play an integral role in almost every physical aspect and function of our bodies-from hemoglobin to hair to hunger, from mitochondria to metabolism to muscles. Examine the body's use of protein at the molecular level and learn the importance of incorporating high-biological-value protein into your diet. x
  • 9
    High-Protein Diets and Anabolic Resistance
    Are high-protein diets a harmful fad potentially leading to kidney injury? Or should we believe the marketing messages touting protein powders as beneficial for muscles and strength? Dr. Ormsbee reveals the latest scientific truth about protein: how much protein you need to maintain health, improve metabolism, and meet your body composition goals. x
  • 10
    Critical Micronutrients and Water
    Learn about the life-sustaining functions provided by micronutrients-vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals-along with water. While these nutrients are critical to regulating cell processes and metabolic pathways, many of us suffer from micronutrient deficiencies, and some studies have even revealed links between deficiencies and obesity. x
  • 11
    Food Labeling and Nutritional Choices
    Given that most of us eat at least some processed foods-and that all calories are decidedly not created equal-nutrition labels can reveal the real impact of our food choices. Dr. Ormsbee takes the consumer step by step through the current label as a tool for identifying the most nutrient-dense products. x
  • 12
    Nutrient Timing and Frequency
    Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day," or is that just another nutritional myth? Should you eat 6 smaller or 3 larger meals per day? Scientific studies reveal new and surprising answers. Learn how the timing and frequency of meals can help you best meet your specific goals. " x
  • 13
    Nighttime Eating
    Dr. Ormsbee explodes the myth that nighttime eating causes weight gain, explaining the fallacy in the myth's genesis. Numerous recent studies of both young and elderly, fit and obese individuals reveal that a small, before-bed protein snack can actually increase muscle protein synthesis and improve body composition. x
  • 14
    Evaluating Dietary Supplements
    Marketing messages from the multi-billion-dollar sports nutrition industry come at us loud and clear. But have rigorous scientific studies revealed any supplements that can safely and effectively burn fat or increase muscle mass? You might be surprised, as you consider whether or not to add these products to your diet and exercise plan. x
  • 15
    Energy Balance and Weight Control
    Your body is in energy balance when your daily energy output is exactly balanced by the energy of the food you consume. In this lecture, you will learn about the caloric content of food and how to choose specific foods to help you adjust your energy balance for desired body composition. x
  • 16
    The Caloric Cost of Exercise
    While caloric expenditure above resting levels is proportional to the duration and intensity of your exercise, small changes will make a difference, too-like consistently taking the stairs instead of the elevator. The most important aspect of your exercise program is to develop a plan you can stick to! x
  • 17
    Exercise for Fat Loss
    While there are an infinite number of exercise strategies to choose from, only a few are scientifically proven to help you lose body fat. New studies examining the effects of exercise at the cellular level reveal the value of adding specific types of resistance training to any long-term fitness regime. x
  • 18
    Exercise for Healthy Muscle Mass
    Recent studies show that sarcopenia, the gradual loss of muscle mass as we get older, results primarily from chronic disuse and inactivity, not the aging process itself. Learn how to find a personal trainer to begin a safe and effective program to increase your muscular strength, endurance, and power-at any age. x
  • 19
    Hormones and Body Composition
    Hormones are the chemical messengers that affect every aspect of our physiology from blood pressure to internal temperature, energy availability, and the storage (and loss) of body fat. Learn about the complex relationships between your thyroid hormones, insulin, cortisol, and catecholamines and your sex, age, and body composition. x
  • 20
    Novel Ways to Change Body Composition
    Learn what scientific studies reveal about some outside-the-box methods for helping weight loss and improving body composition. Should you dismiss the potential impacts that artificial sweeteners, detox dieting, plate size, standing desks, sleep quantity, and environmental pollutants have on your energy intake and expenditure? You might be surprised. x
  • 21
    Nutrition and Exercise: Special Needs
    Explore how vegetarians can get the protein they need without turning to animal sources, how children can be provided the optimal exercise opportunities and nutrition to address their unique needs for growth, and how appropriate nutrition and exercise can help maintain and improve the quality of life for older adults. x
  • 22
    Set Point Theory and the Last Five Pounds
    Learn how your hypothalamus works to maintain a certain preset level of body fat and weight, commonly known as the set point, and how can you influence that set point. If you feel that you've plateaued, check back with these basics to help you accomplish your personal body-composition goals. x
  • 23
    Choosing Your Nutrition Plan
    With so many choices, committing to a particular diet plan can seem overwhelming. So start by emphasizing nutritionally dense, minimally processed foods. And remember that even one positive habit you adopt and stick with can make a positive long-term impact on your body composition and health. x
  • 24
    Motivation to Change Your Body Composition
    Time to get started! Identify a few small changes to make to your nutrition and exercise programs, ones that seem the easiest to fit into your lifestyle. Set small, reachable goals that you're confident you can stick with-and you will be successful. x

Lecture Titles

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What's Included

What Does Each Format Include?

Video DVD
Instant Video Includes:
  • Download 24 video lectures to your computer or mobile app
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
Video DVD
DVD Includes:
  • 24 lectures on 4 DVDs
  • 256-page printed course guidebook
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
  • Closed captioning available

What Does The Course Guidebook Include?

Video DVD
Course Guidebook Details:
  • 256-page printed course guidebook
  • Photos and illustrations
  • Food and nutrition myths and facts
  • Questions to consider and suggestions to try

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Your professor

Michael Ormsbee

About Your Professor

Michael Ormsbee, Ph.D.
Florida State University
Dr. Michael Ormsbee is an Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food, and Exercise Sciences and Interim Director of the Institute of Sports Sciences and Medicine in the College of Human Sciences at Florida State University. He received his B.S. in Exercise Science from Skidmore College, his M.S. in Exercise Physiology (research emphasis in Sports Nutrition) from South Dakota State University, and his Ph.D. in...
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Reviews

Changing Body Composition through Diet and Exercise is rated 4.4 out of 5 by 62.
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Lots of detailed information of food and physiolog By the 10th lecture I started to suspect that the lecturer is indirectly promoting protein shakes. I’ve become really suspicious. Other than this, these 24 lectures could’ve easily been compressed into 12 lectures. Too many unnecessary details.
Date published: 2019-07-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Presentation Knowlegeable, easy to understand, well organized, pesonable
Date published: 2019-06-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This the most comprehensive course I have taken about the close relationship between diet, exercise, and body composition. This life changing material. Thanks
Date published: 2019-02-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exercise and Nutrition Info, on Steroids! I didn't expect this personal training offering to be as informative as it was. Ormsbee's topics (nightime eating, diet plateaus, nutrition and exercise, supplement advice, nutrition plans for various goals, best exercise plans for specific goals, best of breed exercise comparisons, exercise composition advice, age related topics) are spot on for me. My primary exercise by time spent is running, and I've wondered what the best advice is beyond texts like "Run Forever" by Amby Burfoot. This offering is much advanced, and evidentiary study outcome based. The necessary benefit of strength training, and the crucial importance of NEAT (Non Exercise Activity Thermogenics, via Tai Chi, Chi Gong, Yoga, and other "no sweat" movement) throughout the day is addressed. A really major benefit of this course is nutrition advice, exercise composition advice, cross- training tips on how to "do it right", and the importance and timing of activity outside of exercise. Burfoot and other informal guides are way outclassed by this material. At first take, I thought the detail was excessive. However, I noticed that this was an educational challenge pattern, intentional to the presentation; chemical formulas displayed and explained, body systems like the Kreb transport cycle referenced, with detail on cell structure. The immediate deep dives are a challenge to the viewer, to spiral up over time to ever improved body mindfullness. Pre-med, sports med, and informatics students are obviously strong targets here; but everyday folks benefit by having a drill-down path. That said, a real caveat is that the index and links to studies and findings could be better. Furthermore, an appendix would have been helpful, because it is way too easy to get lost in detail with new definitions here. Immediate help with drill-down could be better. Yes, I realize that the extra course composition should cost more. I'll pay! On the nutrition side of the "do it right" equation, a complete breakdown of carbohydrate/ fat/ protein/ vitamins/ minerals/ water components is provided. Food labels are explained, and exact personal requirements are detailed. The use and misuse (like, deficits, overloading, balancing, daily timing) is explained. The symptoms and bad outcomes of bad nutrition and bad diets is given. Various current diet regimens and uses are examined. The message I got was that you get what you eat, and when you know the outcome of the quantity and composition what you eat you can adjust to your goals. OK, OK, there is plenty of motivational material, because yes it really is more easily known than accomplished. Thing is, this is best instruction for the holistic "known" part I've come across. The section on food labeling alone is worth the price of the course. The exercises ask that you determine your daily needs (usually grams) for protein, fats, and carbs, vitamins, minerals, and water; and actually keep track for a time. What a breakthrough in daily living! Why wasn't this exercise required training, in high school or later? Another major benefit is the aging information, especially topics like "anabolic resistance", the need for increased protein with age. The information on body maintenance needs with age, is also alone worth the price of the course. A potential caveat I considered was that the instructor's attire is interesting, and varies from a full suit to plaid engineering button- down, with various stages of undress. Then I remembered, this guy is a hockey player who got a PhD. Yez, indeed! Tech watches by Apple, Fitbit, Garmin, and others that monitor body function are almost essential to my current diet and activity monitoring, and provide automatic logging of it. I strongly recommend tech augments (like sports/ lifestyle watches). I find workout info from my watch, real data, to be motivational. Especially when I have the instruction given by Ormsbee about how to use the data for my goals. Ormsbee does indeed discuss available body fat measurement instruments and such, all inexpensively available from Amazon or Walmart. Many of the instruments dovetail to the web sites where my tech watch info is kept in the cloud. Awesome! The Great Courses has a number of other offerings that may serve as good (but IMHO lesser) companions. These include: * Mayo Clinic Diet, which is a detailed and motivational instruction on diet activity. * Mayo Science of Integrative Medicine, which details diets and supplements, and has associated supplement publications. * various Tai Chi and martial arts offerings, which are very useful and motivational for NEAT and cross- training. * Dean Hodgkin offerings, with exerise choices and benefits, which provide strength workouts and strength/ flexibility workout choices (note bene: major bad is that Hodgkin does not do running, and Ormsbee clearly shows evidence that interval training is the optimal cardio workout, combined with strength training). Bottom line is a very strong recommendation for this offering. Runners and cross-trainers like me who want the best personal training advice, but also any pro or recreational buff who likes to optimally sweat and live well, will strongly benefit. Ormsbee is the best foundation exercise and nutrition offering I have seen, from any source.
Date published: 2019-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent for all ages! I purchased recently and have a good understanding of diet and exercise. There is excellent science behind the lectures, and the professor speaks to all age groups including older adults and their requirements. Good suggestions on eating toward body composition. Enjoyed the comment that, if your pear shaped now, you'll still be pear shaped on most diets just smaller.
Date published: 2018-09-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great ideas for improving fitness and health I didn't buy this when it first came out, because I thought I already was well versed on exercise and nutrition.It did confirm most of what I knew, but it added a lot of useful information. I already had a good diet and worked out regularly, but this showed me how to be more productive with both. His advice is very pragmatic and based on science; and to me most importantantly, it makes sense. I'm over 60 and very fit and happy. With proper nutrition and exercise, that should be the norm, and this lecture series helps me to reach that goal more efficiently.
Date published: 2018-06-23
Rated 2 out of 5 by from On the one hand...but on the other hand,and ...... For a complete novice, there may be value. I got very little out of this course.
Date published: 2018-05-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Cover a lot of topics Very informative and useful information, especially for those who are trying to improve their physique, health and body composition. I think the lecturer’s advice on doing something rather than nothing gives hope to those just starting out and encouragement to those who do not have luxury to commit a lot of time to daily exercise. His advice on the importance of weight training on improving and shaping body composition and physique puts the spot light on its significance as most women might not be aware of this.
Date published: 2018-04-10
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