Posts Tagged ‘fitness’

Let me start of saying the following controversial points:
– you don’t want to lose weight
– you don’t want to diet
– severely cutting calories will NOT make you lose weight long term

Two things will now possibly happen, you’ll either close the article down because you think I’m some crazy guy who doesn’t know what he’s talking about or you’ll give me a chance to explain my comments. I hope the latter and you embrace it with an open and intuitive mind. I too am willing to change my mind upon the following points if questioned and argued/debated intelligently šŸ™‚

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Definition of a diet (Oxford dictionary)

1. The kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats:
E.g. a vegetarian diet

2. A special course of food to which a person restricts themselves, either to lose weight or for medical reasons:
Iā€™m going on a diet [as modifier] (of food or drink) with reduced fat or sugar content:
I.e. diet soft drinks

The dictionary definition and the general publics definition are slightly different. The difference usually lies in the general publics ‘dieting’ will typically focus on cutting their calories below their usual amount in an attempt to lose weight.

Let me start with understanding the term ‘weight’. Weight means the whole thing (the body), which encompasses everything your body holds. This means all your organs, bones, muscle, hair, skin, nails, water, undigested food and yes of corse fat, the whole lot are included in this term. So next time you say you want to lose ‘weight’ your talking about all these factors. Think about that for a moment and let it sink in and ask yourself “do you want to lose organ size, muscle mass (which creates a toned physique), bone density etc.” So assuming you’ve come to a logical conclusion lets make this clear, controversial point number 1 has been debunked, you don’t want to lose weight, you want to lose fat.

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Controversial point 2 and 3 dieting and cutting calories. Now I’m going to try to explain this as simply as possible so Im sorry if I get a bit wordy and go off at a tangent, lets begin…

Within our diet we have three macronutrients, proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Proteins help manage/repair all of our tissues, fats help with cell signalling and carbohydrates will manage energy and give muscle fullness and function (toned). Our bodies our clever little things and strive for balance (homeostasis), in other words it wants to stay at its current weight (irrespective of how over/under weight you are). Because of this we each have our own unique ‘set point’ which is the amount of calories it requires to survive at this balanced point (this could be 1000 calories, 2000 calories, 4000 calories etc, its an individual thing). If you over eat then the body will try to burn it off, if you under eat then it will do its best not to lose any weight…it’s a evolutionary survival mechanism to ensure it survives and lives on, like I said our bodies are VERY clever.

Now the problem with ‘dieting’ is you will most likely under eat which our bodies WILL eventually say “no more” and not let go of any more weight (notice I didn’t say fat). The amount of protein you should be consuming is correlated with the amount of muscle tissue you have (hence why bodybuilders have more then the average person – having said that protein will NOT give you giant muscles I promise), protein is found from meat, fish, eggs. The minimum you should be consuming, personally, is 1g/kg bodyweight, in other words if you weigh 80kg you should be having 80g of protein (equivalent of 200g cooked chicken + 1 portion fish), looking at them numbers I bet the majority of you aren’t eating enough. Now, like I said previously, our bodies need X amount of calories to survive daily, so guess where our bodies get these calories from? That’s right muscle tissue (because its most similar), the same principle applies for dietary fats, our body needs calories to survive so it steals more calories from muscle tissue to survive if you restrict dietary fats.

So dietary proteins and dietary fats aren’t met so it steals it from muscle tissue (easiest, accessible place to take it from). So now your losing muscle tissue, which means what? Your losing weight, in other words your dieting. So now you pat yourself on the back for losing all that weight when in reality you’ve starved your body, lost muscle tissue (which gives you that toned look) so you now look flat, BUT you haven’t lost any fat because its keeping it stored nice and safely to protect the body in case you starve it even more and you’ve became catabolic (degenerative…see below). Then you decide to reduce carbohydrates, because you’ve stalled in your weight loss venture, which causes calories to go down even more so the body has to steal more muscle tissue just to maintain homeostasis. Then you decide to add in some exercise (that can be running, dance classes, fitness classes, home DVD workouts etc) which places even more stress on the body and increases the demand for calories so even more are stolen from more muscle tissue. Now you’ve ran out of things to manipulate and fat loss stalls, the bodies lost lots of WEIGHT but minimal (if any) fat.

Scales 1 v 0 health.

You’ve now set yourself up for the dreaded ‘rebound’ effect, the second you finish your ‘diet’ and lost all that fantastic ‘weight’, your exceptionally clever body has been getting itself set for gaining as much possible weight the second you show it more calories its been used to. Remember our body has a balance point which it wants to be at, this deficit in calories/energy has now triggered our body to become a fat building machine. And I mean it is now ready to get big and quick faster then you can blink. Every single organ and signalling cell is ready to grab every single calorie you give and put it as fat. Why? Because of bodies are now thinking “well we don’t want to be in that situation ever again but in case we do, we need to pack more calories in the body so we can use them as energy just in case we get that hungry”

Quick summary so far:
– diets will causes you to initially lose weight (yay for the scales but unhappy face for your health)
– when you cut calories your body becomes a fat storing machine when you eat more again

Funny enough, diet companies know this. They know that you will lose weight and then regain it when you use their products. They also realise your mind will run like this:
– customer buys diet pills, meal replacement shakes etc whatever it is (either way it will definitely involve cutting calories to make it a success)
– Customer loses initial weight (as discussed above)
– Diet comes to an end and customer returns back to old eating habits and weight inevitably returns (as discussed)
– Several months go by…
– Customer remember that the diet worked and goes back to it
– Repeats process over and over not realising the health consequences associated (yo yo dieting)
– Customer tells friends about product and they try it and the same outcomes happen
– The business grows and becomes successful & customers will never realise that it’s actually their products which are causing all the health implications (see below)
* I won’t say any company names but funny enough many of them are very successful so use your brain to guess who I’m talking about šŸ˜‰

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Final part I promise šŸ™‚

The problem with yo yo dieting is that it Will make your metabolism go absolutely mental (been referred to as metabolic damage which is an umbrella term for a wide variety of problems). Your body will also be in a catabolic state (we want to be anabolic which simply means regenerative). Catabolism will cause (chances are you suffer from a variety of the list which indicates to me where you currently are health wise):

– Decreased neural focus and concentration
– dehydration
– acute hunger
– impaired cognitive function
– increased subcutaneous fat
– lean tissue compromised
– fibrocystic breasts
– infertility
– lowered sex drive
– masculinisation (for females)
– feminisation (for males)
– mood swings
– depression
– night sweats
– late puberty
– male pattern baldness
– increased risk breast cancer
– depression
– Insomnia
– late menopause
– symptoms low thyroid

**all credit given to Phil Learney for the list

So next time you think about getting a new “diet pill” or “meal replacement shakes” or whatever the latest fad is I urge you…no I beg you to think about this article and question how healthy it actually is.

Remember any diet WILL cause weight loss but not necessarily fat

Like. Share. Comment please guys šŸ™‚ like I said please ask questions and debate as I realise I may be missing something!

Dream. Believe. Achieve.

“5,000 to 10,000 people die prematurely from alcohol use a year” (www.avon.nhs.uk/alcohol/the_facts.htm)

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Most of you will say that this number is small and won’t effect you because you drink “in moderation” and only one won’t kill you. Now consider this:

27% men and 14% women drink over recommended units weekly and there are 40 million “social” drinkers. Now the definition of a social drinker is, according to medical-dictionary.com, “a person who consumes alcoholic beverages I.e. 2 standard drinks/day in a socially acceptable situation”. Cast your memory back to last Friday/Saturday night and think about how many drinks you had (assuming you can remember) and then compare that against the weekly recommendation:
– men 21 units a week
– women 14 units a week
(Beer = 2 units, spirits 35ml = 1.5 units, 175ml wine = 3 units)

I’m not condemning alcohol in this article (when consumed intelligently) however I do want to make the facts clear that what we currently deem as socially acceptable is slowly but surely killing our country. 8 units for men and 6 units for women is classed as binge drinking, alcohol costs the NHS Ā£3 billion yearly and it’s predicted that there will be 210,000 alcohol death related deaths in the next 20 years.

“But I only go out every other week to drink”

Lets take a look at some of the physiological impacts alcohol will have on our bodies. Firstly, it will screw up our circadian rhythm (the daily activity of living) in other words our sleep pattern. When this falls out of sync it will cause a cascade of events within our body altering metabolism, fatty acid oxidation, hunger patterns and cravings (plus the potential dreaded hangover and memory loss).

HEALTH CONSEQUENCES

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In a review by Oscar-Berman et al (1997), alcohol consumption was linked to disruptions within the following:
– nervous system (CNS and PNS)
– neurological processes (temperature, sleep and co-ordination)
– cognitive abilities (memory, learning and perception)
– Korsakoff’s syndrome (memory disorder)
– changes within the limbic system, diencephalon (centre of brain acting as a station for nerves), cerebral cortex (intelligent behaviour and higher consciousness)
– impedes actions of neurotransmitters (chemicals allowing communication within brain)
– glutamate over activity (leading to cell death, linked to strokes and seizures and memory loss)
– GABA over activity followed by deficiency (withdrawal seizures)
– thiamine deficiency
– liver disease

I am very much out of my depth of knowledge and understanding to go into explaining and truly understanding the above links to alcohol so i wont kid myself and try, however all I know is that there is a STRONG one. I know from my own past experiences that physiologically alcohol has never done my body any favours for my body composition and health. So ill ask you all the following:
– would you put petrol in your diesel car because your car said (theoretically speaking of course, unless you actually have a speaking car) that it enjoyed the taste of petrol more?
– is short term satisfaction going to achieve long term goals if they have opposing effects and outcomes?
– if something isn’t broken would you try to fix it?
– would you ignore a wound on your body for several hours, knowing that the longer you leave it the worse it will become?
– is there a difference between WANT and NEED?

Now I’m not saying there is any obvious answers there, only interpretations based upon common sense šŸ™‚ any situation you face in life, no matter how stressful, will ALWAYS remain no matter how much alcohol you consume. So saying you drink to take your mind off things will never help a situation. The sooner you tackle a scenario (no matter how daunting I.e. arguments with partners, money problems, job worries etc) the sooner it will get better. HOWEVER the longer you leave it and think about it (especially since alcohol will typically enhance the scale of the problem as you can’t think straight) the worse it will become.

The same goes for body composition goals, if your chasing a goal and you have everything sorted e.g. Nutrition and training nailed. Why would you want to add it in? Is it worth the risk? Do you want or need it? Yes, drinks like red wine, have shown some form of health benefit but can’t that be achieved via other avenues with less potential consequences?

I can appreciate some need a psychological break if they’ve been eating clean for so long for the first time, or time for celebrations (which in my opinion is a human inflicted stereotype that alcohol is needed to celebrate) but I fail to see any other reasons for NEEDING alcohol in your life.

Human beings have got such awesome potential to become something special and this, in my opinion, is hindered by social influence by others and there is only a small handful of people who have got the guts to do something about it and ignore the BS.

Moral of the article is to just stop making excuses and trying to justify having something you don’t need. Yes have it on the OCCASION if you really feel like you deserve a doggy treat however don’t try to make excuses. This is aimed at people who are trying to improve body composition and health and longevity šŸ™‚ and just to make it clear this is MY current thoughts and feelings towards alcohol, which MAY change!

If people around you class you as being anti social or boring on a night out then chances are they’re either jealous of you, have minimal respect for themselves as a human or really don’t enjoy their jobs that they use alcohol as an escape when they should be doing their best to try to change that situation to do something they enjoy. As that’s what life should be about in my opinion…happiness, laughter and friends šŸ™‚ not just living for the weekend just to pay the bills to just make it by in an environment you don’t actually enjoy.

Dream, believe, achieve šŸ™‚

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– J.K Rowling had twelve publishers rejected a manuscript, one accepted to publish it but told her to get a day job because their was no money in children’s books. J.K Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series.

– Walt Disney’s first animation company went bankrupt, fired by a news editor because he lacked imagination and got turned down 302 times before creating Disney world.

– Albert Einstein. Couldn’t speak until he was 4, couldn’t read until he was 7. His parents thought he was handicapped. He than won a Nobel prize and became the face of modern physics.

– The Beatles. Rejected by many record labels “guitar groups are on the way out”, eventually signed with EMI and became one of the biggest bands in history.

– Michael Jordan. Cut by his high school basketball team and turned out to be one of the greatest basketball players of all time.

Now think about how many times you said to yourself that they’re lucky, they new the right people or their genetically gifted. I’m willing to bet these people would strongly disagree with them comments. I personally believe that every single one of us on this planet are individually gifted, we just sometimes ignore our potential and become distracted by other things and lose sight of our individuality.

Success
“A person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains fame, wealth etc”

I haven’t achieved any large amounts of success, I haven’t achieved anything truly remarkably significant which I consider to have made a positive change on society so I am not writing this article based upon success, I am writing this article based upon my many failures and curiosity into how to become successful.

Looking at the above examples of famous people I notice that success is correlated with failure. When you watch a baby crawling around trying to stand up what happens? They fall over countless number of times, they will bang their head, they will hurt themselves and cry and guess what else they do…they persevere, they carry on trying, they don’t give up and then they can stand up, then they can walk then they can run. Personally that’s how I think all humans are born, with drive, with determination and with courage in order to attain a healthy stable living environment. Because we realise if we can’t even stand up than how would we be able to feed, wash and look after ourselves?

So what happens as we grow up? Many of us lose that venom to keep on succeeding in other areas of life. This could be attributed to desire and reliance, is there any need to gain anything else if we’re already in a sustainable environment? Why should I keep working hard when I have already got everything I want? I can’t lose fat because it’s to hard! The desire has gone and the bulk of people seem to run out of motivation and just adopt to living In an easy way of life where their life plateaus and they no longer have to take risks, or their scared to take risks just in case they ‘fail’ and lose what they had. Sadly society has seemed to develop into a lazy reliant nation where we our given our basic needs for survival for free and not made to work for it (money like benefits and convenient foods which are cheap and easy).

Motivation, in my eyes, can be broken down into two words “motive” and “action”, you need both to create motivation. Without a motive you have no action, without a desired end goal you have no reason to get up and do what you got to do. Now write down in front of you what you want to do with your life, not what you want to achieve but why you want to achieve it.
– so what if you become manager of your company? What’s your motive?
– so what if you win player of the year? What’s after that?
– so what if get a 1st class honours in your degree? What’s after that?
– so what if you buy that car you’ve dreamed of? What you going to do now?
– so what if your top goal scorer? What’s next?
– so what if you get a promotion? What’s after that?

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“God made man to go by motives, and he will not go without them, any more than a boat without steam or a balloon without gas” Henry Ward Beecher

What drives your action? What moves it? What’s the purpose? What’s your why? This article is a reality check for myself so ill use myself as an example. A typical day for me consists of 7 hours of sleep, so that’s 17 hours left in a day to become successful (or work towards it), than I prepare my food for the day which takes around an hour so I have 16 hours left. It takes about 30 minutes to get to work and back home so another hour has gone, 15 left. I spend an hour and half working out so that’s 13.5 hours left. I probably spend around 30 minutes on my phone, 1 hour in total eating all my meals and than around 30 minutes walking between gym sites, that’s 11.5 hours left. Ill do a gym shift most days for 8 hours, that’s 3.5 hours left. That’s 3.5 hours left to be successful and do what I got to do to succeed and read, learn, try, fail and repeat. The question to myself is can I become more efficient and use my time more wisely because I know for a fact I’m going to struggle to become successful from 3.5 hours a day, I need to have my end goal in sight and constantly working towards it.

“Time is free but its priceless. You can’t own it but you can use it. You can’t keep it but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you never get it back” Harvey MacKay

Success is intentional and deliberate, people don’t just happen to become successful by accident. You got to put in time to feed your motive, you got to wake up first thing in the morning and not hit the snooze button because you want to succeed, because you no what your why is. Now looking at myself, can I improve what I’m currently doing to become successful? Hell yes! Because at the moment I only have 3.5 hours left a day to do what I got to do, and if for one moment I think that I’ll become what I want to be by only working hard for that little time I got another thing coming and reality is going to come crashing down on me.

The above example of my day was me about 3 months ago, I’ve changed since than and I plan on continuing to adapt and grow and improve. Even though its only a small achievement, I am now the first personal trainer to make a profit from working where i am located, I have got the most clients any personal trainer has ever had working in this gym. What did I do that was different from above?
– I now listen to podcasts, audio tapes and read articles, blogs and research papers during my empty time (walking between gym sites, travelling to work, eating and making food)
– I download articles before bed to read for the next few days
– I make my food on two separate days and make enough to last the week
– doing gym shifts I try to apply and teach anything I have recently learnt by telling gym members. I get more interactive with people than I previously did.
– I have stepped up my game on how I deal with my clients, every single one of my clients in 2013 have dropped inches from their waist and/or gained muscle (I only have clients for body compositional changes)

Now don’t get me wrong some people are perfectly happy in their environment and don’t want to achieve anything else, that’s absolutely fine. This article is intended for those who get jealous of people having more money than you, or people who are happier than you, or people who are more successful than you. Just remember your not living your life for anyone else but yourself so go do what you got to do.

“Don’t ever let anyone tell you you can’t do something. Not even me. Period”. Will Smith (Pursuit of happiness)

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