Posts Tagged ‘health’

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.

Good versus bad, right versus wrong, left versus right, to do or not to do. We’re constantly faced with choices in our lives, these choices will dictate where our lives take us in all aspects e.g. our relationships, jobs, education and health. Yes that’s right, health is an option for us, it’s not a genetic gift that’s makes us either healthy or unhealthy (yes sadly there are anomalies), its not a luxury, it’s not fortune. It is however, in my opinion, worth it šŸ™‚

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Here’s two choices for you, two lists of different things YOU CAN HAVE however you can only pick one list.

List a (anabolic):
– focused and energised
– satiated
– adaptation possible
– decrease in subcutaneous fat
– increase lean tissue
– nutritional needs met
– increase in anabolic hormones (anabolic means regenerative/recovering/adapting)

List b (catabolic):
– 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 both lists

Now, logically on paper every person would choose list A, however this is where the problem is. We now live in a society where people expect to be given everything instead of working for it. Hard work has been replaced with ‘amazing diets which will transform your life’ but still allow you to eat sh&t. Which every person knows deep down is just a BS approach.

The two lists above, and the items in each one, have all been linked directly to nutritional requirements in the body. So if you get what your body needs you increase the risk of getting everything in list A, however if you don’t give it what it wants then you fall into list B. You will probably have some of these symptoms (from either list) as well so you can start to appreciate what list your currently sitting in.

Let me drum that in, you choose every single damn day what goes into your mouth (nobody has ever been forced to eat crap food), therefore YOU are choosing where you let your body go and it’s therefore YOUR responsibility and YOUR fault if anything that happens to it.

“It’s my body and I can choose what I do to it”

As much as I agree with everyone having their own opinion, being their own person and having free will, THIS is definitely one step to far.
– It cost the NHS Ā£4.2 billion last year on obesity and obesity related problems last year.
If you are overweight you will, if not managed correctly, have a MASSIVE chance of also costing our country more money on something fixable. Therefore you may have free will but if you have any morality and respect for the people around you then you’d stop the BS and sort yourself out.

Not enough?

This next point is my personal motive and if it doesn’t make you think and want to change then I don’t want to ever be associated with you….I think about when I have kids when I’m older, the very last thing I want is for them to experience is seeing me suffer. I want to see my kids grow up and develop unforgettable memories (grandchildren, holidays, family, friends, laughter etc). Also we know for a fact that a child will be born with endocrine dysfunction when the child is malnourished during its development in the whom. Therefore I strive to do everything I can to learn about how to optimise health and longevity to avoid any of these problems potentially arising. That’s MY MOTIVE.

Not enough motivation for you yet? Then please leave my page, look in the mirror and look at yourself in disgust and understand that you don’t deserve any help from this country and/or health care system. I am very quickly losing my patience and temper with people who don’t take this matter seriously. We’re in the middle of an epidemic and its only getting worse, obesity, heart disease and diabetes rates are bursting through the roof and too many people have developed an ignorance, arrogance and selfishness with their approach to life.

Life is their to be enjoyed from start to finish, don’t ruin that gift.

#DBA

“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™‚

Gluten

Gluten free diets is a bit of a buzz topic at the moment and more and more people seem to be switching to a “gluten free” diet. Market research specialist Mintel estimated UK’s gluten free market at around Ā£160 million in 2012 and is predicted to hit around Ā£561 million within 5 years. Does it make it a healthier option to buy gluten free products rather than normal? And is it really necessary to go gluten free?

What is gluten?

Gluten is just a protein (glue in Latin), and acts as a binding protein (hence glue), without gluten all breads would look like pancakes! It is typically found in foods processed from wheat and grain e.g. Barley and rye. Structurally gluten is actually made from 2 proteins called prolamins and glutelins, the types of these 2 proteins however vary depending upon the source:
– Wheat: Gliadin, Glutelin
– Rye: Secalin, Rye glutelin
– Barley: Hordein, Barley glutelin
– Oats: Avenin, oat glutelin

Why go gluten free?

Gluten free diets originally came about to help celiac disease patients. Celiac disease is a condition in which eating gluten causes an abnormal autoimmune response that damages the intestines. Resulting in an inability to absorb nutrients properly and efficiently…not what you want if improving your health is your goal. People with celiac disease are more likely to develop arthritis, Addison’s disease, Down’s syndrome, intestinal cancer, intestinal lymphoma, lactose intolerance, thyroid disease and type 1 diabetes.

How does gluten cause disruptions in our intestines?

A fantastic explanation of this problem is explained by Jordan Feigenbaum from http://www.thefitcoach.wordpress.com.

“Digestion primarily occurs in the duodenum (in small intestine), whereas absorption primarily occurs in the jejunum and ileum. We can think about the small intestine as a long tube with finger-like projections known as villi. The layer of cells covering the inside of this digestive tube are called enterocytes and these cells interact with any and all food particles including gluten and its main component Gliadin and glutenin. Enterocytes are sealed off between each other by whats know as tight junctions (zonula occludens), which is made up of three distinct proteins: cadherins, zonulins and occludins. We can generally think of tight junctions in the gut as being impermeable or resisting the transmission of any molecule, substance or compound between the cells. In a healthy person this would mean that absorption of nutrients happens directly across the enterocyte and not in between them.”

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The problem which arises is when the Gliadin and the glutenin interact with the enterocytes directly causing a disruption of these tight junctions in the small intestine. Several molecular changes occur resulting in an opening in the small intestinal wall…not what we want as when exposed to chronic openings in this wall unwanted molecules and substances move into the body’s blood steam directly causing autoimmune responses such as inflammatory responses (this problem is also referred to as leaky gut syndrome).

What to take away from this?

I would recommend you go gluten free and avoid wheat products and processed foods. However I wouldn’t recommend you go and buy loads of gluten free products as they will have just replaced the gluten with other additives and things our bodies don’t need. Eat natural from nature, if you can catch it, kill it or grow it than eat it and you should be pretty safe. If you eliminate gluten and decide to add it in again check for the symptoms:
– gastointenstinal problems (gas, bloating, abdominal cramping, constipation, diarrhoea)
– headaches/migraines
– irrational mood shifts
– fatigue after meals
– neurological problems I.e. dizziness and balance problems

*remember if you add in gluten to your diet of a period without than make it a slow process so you can figure out which food problems bring up the problem I.e. may have problems with wheat foods but not oats.