Teresa is offering a new early morning work out. Stength Squad at 5:30am. You read that right. If you need to get your workout in early or you prefer it, we offer the small group Tuesdays and Thursdays 5:30-6:30, with most work outs aimed at getting you out the door at 6:15.
Strength Squad is focused on strength, power, and size and uses a variety of equipment: Dumbbells, studio bars, Olympic weights, BOSU, body weight, tubes, bands, and more.
Text Teresa to schedule a consultation for personal training, which includes unlimited group drop ins, or for the group-only membership.
Simple is what I like. Too often, I run across work outs shared by trainers that have funky moves that require me to learn them before I can get a good work out from them. On the other hand, a simpler work out won’t often let me progress (or modify if I’m not sharp that day). I like to be in charge of my work out on my day, and I hate wasting my time. I want it good every time!
One technique I use a lot with my HIIT groups is a 5-exercise work out varied by time. Easy to remember and follow. Easy to adjust. The interval makes all the difference.
My Frequent 5 is a set of five, often body weight, exercises done in three circuits. If most of the members are coming off a tough strength day, I may modify the time. If I feel we need a kick in the glutes, I’ll progress it. Here’s how:
Perform a circuit of 5 compound exercises with 1 minute rest between each circuit. The amount of exercise may seem small, but these circuits are to be done AS FAST AS YOU CAN WITH GOOD FORM. The recovery interval (can be rest or low-intensity movement like step ups) should NOT be so long that you completely recover before the next exercise.
Split your minute!
60/0 – 15 minutes of exercise 2 minutes rest RARE CHALLENGE FOR THE CONDITIONED
50/10 – 12.5 minutes of exercise 4.5 minutes rest OCCASIONAL CHALLENGE FOR THE CONDITIONED
45/15 – 11.25 minutes of exercise 5.75 minutes rest FREQUENT INTERVAL FOR THE CONDITIONED
40/20 – 10 minutes of exercise 7 minutes rest BASE INTERVAL FOR THE CONDITIONED
30/30 – 7.5 minutes of exercise 9.5 minutes rest STARTING PLACE FOR BEGINNERS OR A RECOVERY DAY
20/40 – 5 minutes of exercise 12 minutes rest FOR THE DECONDITIONED
10/50 – 2.5 minutes of exercise 14.5 minutes rest FOR THE DECONDITIONED
You’ll absolutely need an interval timer. Don’t think you’ll track a second-hand or digits on a clock. Too easy to cheat or lose track. You’ll need that beep to push you. You can find free or inexpensive ones for your phone or desktop.
Easy methods of progression for this work out include:
increasing the work/rest ratio (as shown above)
decreasing or dropping the rest minute between circuits
adding weight or exercises that require weight into the mix
When selecting exercises, be sure to include all muscle groups and compound movements (no bicep curls, for example–leave those for strength day). It’s a good idea to alternate body parts: an upper body exercise followed by lower. This allows muscles to rest so you get better execution.
Example Frequent 5s
frog sit up
spiderman push up
pull down/pull up
butterfly sit ups
Progress or modify
mountain climber: progress faster, modify slower or hold plank
push up: progress plyo push up, modify incline or knee push up
spiderman push up: progress plyo push up, modify push up
vertical jump: progress faster, modify squat
frog sit ups: progress faster, modify butterfly sit ups
squat: progress squat jump, modify balance bar
squat jumps: progress faster or box jump, modify squat
burpee: progress add push up, modify step out, incline, or not jump
thrusters: progress add weight (do not speed up), modify drop weight
box jump: progress add height (do not speed up), modify lower height or box step up
To finish off whatever you have left, add a short kicker. Make this a 10-25 rep or a 2 minute set of a compound exercise, like burpees or man makers.
Had a great work out with the Saturday squad doing a 5×5 with that new favorite exercise of mine, a One-Arm Supine Row.
Essentially, it’s a rope climb. Putting it in the rotation weekly now. Oh yes, everyone dreads it. That means it’s gooood.
You’re horizontal, with bent knees, directly under the suspension (TRX). Pull your arm to lift your body and reach your other hand toward the ceiling. Modifications are the regular two-arm supine row and/or moving to more of a incline rather than flat/horizontal.
You’ll feel it for a week the first time you do it. Its a back-builder and arm strengthener, one of the best compound strength exercises I’ve ever done.
So everyone had to do it, which meant no one felt sorry for me when I was dead on the floor, as the photo shows. Pick yourself up. Results not excuses!
At some time, you’ve probably had lower back, upper back, elbow, or neck soreness that lasts long beyond one or two workouts. I see this frequently in the Studio and have had clients ask me what they are doing that may be causing it.
First of all, you most likely ARE causing it. The good news is that tracking down the cause can be pretty easy. You simply need to be mindful of what your body is doing.
Very common to exercise is lifting too heavy. When you lift weight that is really too heavy for you or when you’re doing too many reps and getting fatigued, your technique will fall apart and you’ll recruit muscles that aren’t necessary for the lift. We’ve all seen — or been — that person who swings our hips to get one more arm curl or contorts our face in a locked grimace to finish that one pull up.
Do these extra muscle contractions help the movement or hinder progress? There may be something said for the emotional boost, but biomechanically, they’re waste of energy at best and dangerous at worst. In fact, I have one client who regularly gets toe cramps from doing bicep curls!
There are more subtle types of muscle recruitment that consistently cause chronic pain. The two I see most often are shoulder raises that pull in the trapezius and arm curls that pull in the forearm flexors.
Upper Back and Neck Pain
When you perform an arm lift (lateral raise, front raise, upright row), you’re primary movers are the deltoids. These are the shoulder cap muscles. When the lift becomes tough, you’re likely going to tense your whole body, especially your upper trapezius, essentially shrugging your shoulders and tightening your neck. The trapezius is a large back muscle that controls upper, mid and lower back movements, but for your lifts, you do not want to include a shrug movement.
The deltoids lift the arm (raises). The upper trapezius lifts the shoulders (shrug). If you constantly recruit the traps for arm raises, you’re essentially overtraining them, so of course you’ll be sore, tight, and knotted in your upper back and neck. Being mindful during this exercise means relaxing your upper back and neck and focusing the work on the deltoids only. Practice by standing in front of a mirror and raising your arms without moving the muscle around the neck. If you can’t lift a weight without recruiting this movement, lift lighter until you can.
When you perform an arm curl, your primary movers are the biceps. These are the “guns,” the muscle that pops out on your upper arm. When you struggle to raise a weight, you will tighten all your muscles, including your forearm by curling in your wrist, as well. During a bicep curl, your wrist doesn’t need to move. Only the elbow joint moves. If you’re always curling your wrist, too, you’re overtraining the forearm muscles and causing inflammation in the tendons that attach to the elbow joint.
Practice this by lifting a light dumbbell and keeping the wrist straight and unflexed. If you want to exercise your forearms for that popeye look, that’s an entirely different exercise. I suggest you separate it out as its own exercise, too, because then you will discover quickly how easily fatigued those small muscles get, which means you’ll stop before the inflammation sets in.
Lower Back Pain
Common problems with the lower back arise in the Studio from the opposite of what I’ve been saying above. Too often, clients don’t tense when they should or simply can’t maintain the bracing of their core.
When lifting above your head, especially, you want to have a good athletic stance. By that I mean you feel balanced and in control: if someone were to push you, you could stabilize yourself and not fall over. To have that control, you need soft knees (not locked), a hip-wide stance (one foot under each iliac crest, which is that bony protrusion on each hip). Brace your core/stomach as if someone may hit you in the gut, and tighten your butt. Always a tight butt! It protects the lower back.
When you tire or lower the weight you’re lifting, you release your tension and that’s when your lower back has to fend for itself. Most of the time, it’s not devastating (like rupturing a disc), but the tiny muscles of the lower back suddenly have a lot of pressure put on them. Help out your lower back: always make your butt and abs carry the heavy load!
Pain Beyond Exercise
Besides maintaining mindfulness during exercise, you can help your body in other ways.
Sitting is unnatural. Our bodies aren’t made for it. They’re made for walking and standing and squatting. Prolonged sitting puts tremendous pressure n your lower back (the lumbar region). Help it out by providing lumbar support in the form of a firm pad in your desk chair, in your kitchen table chairs, on your couch, and in your car.
Additionally, when sitting at your desk, notice what your trapezius is doing. In other words, are you hunching or shrugging while simply sitting? Relax your shoulders and neck.
Your jaw? Is it clenched, your teeth grinding? You’ll probably be getting a headache soon.
Be mindful of what your body is doing to avoid overuse and strain!
You may have read a post or heard me say that exercise is not about weight loss. I say that a lot because it is a common myth. If you have significant weight to lose, exercise — no matter how much — will not get you to your goal. Weight loss is about food and hormones. Exercise can aid in your weight loss indirectly, but the theory of calories-in-calories-out is a myth.
That doesn’t mean exercise is unimportant. Here is why it is VERY important.
Using an evidence-based approach, the landmark Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Exercise (1996) identified numerous chronic diseases and conditions whose risk increases among people lacking in exercise or physical activity.
The American College of Sports Medicne (ACSM) has also published guidelines and position statements.
It’s now accepted that exercise limits disability and improves outcomes for many diseases and conditions, including cardiovascular, skeletal muscle, and pulmonary diseases.
Diseases and Conditions Related to a Lack of Exercise include:
Although no amount of physical activity can stop the biological aging process, there is evidence that regular exercise can minimize the physiological effects of an otherwise sedentary lifestyle and increase active life expectancy by limiting the development and progression of chronic disease and disabling conditions. There is also emerging evidence for psychological and cognitive benefits accruing from regular exercise participation by older adults:
A combination of aerobic exercise training and resistance exercise training activities seems to be more effective than either form of training alone in counteracting the detrimental effects of a sedentary lifestyle on the health and functioning of the cardiovascular system and skeletal muscles. < A VARIETY OF MODALITIES IS MORE EFFECTIVE THAN DOING ONE KIND REGULARLY.
Although there are clear fitness, metabolic, and performance benefits associated with higher-intensity exercise training programs in healthy older adults, it is now evident that such programs do not need to be of high intensity to reduce the risks of developing chronic cardiovascular and metabolic disease. However, the outcome of treatment of some established diseases and geriatric syndromes is more effective with higher-intensity exercise (e.g., type 2 diabetes, clinical depression, osteopenia, sarcopenia, muscle weakness). < HIGH-INTENSITY TRAINING IS FANTASTIC FOR SOME CONDITIONS BUT MODERATE-INTENSITY HELPS TOO.
The acute effects of a single session of aerobic exercise are relatively short-lived, and the chronic adaptations to repeated sessions of exercise are quickly lost upon cessation of training, even in regularly active older adults. < CONSISTENTLY TRAINING WEEK-AFTER-WEEK IS IMPORTANT
The onset and patterns of physiological decline with aging vary across physiological systems and between sexes, and some adaptive responses to training are age- and sex-dependent. Thus, the extent to which exercise can reverse age-associated physiological deterioration may depend, in part, on the hormonal status and age at which a specific intervention is initiated. < NOT EVERYONE RESPOND THE SAME
Ideally, exercise prescription for older adults should include aerobic exercise, muscle strengthening exercises, and flexibility exercises. In addition, individuals who are at risk for falling or mobility impairment should also perform specific exercises to improve balance in addition to the other components of health-related physical fitness. < FUNCTIONAL EXERCISE THAT FOCUSES ON BALANCE AND COORDINATION IS HELPFUYL FOR MANY ADULTS AS WELL
WOMANSTRONG is a lifestyle program. That means it’s more than strictly personal training. It’s personal training plus lifestyle coaching that will help you manage the transition from your current way of eating (woe) to a Paleo, Primal, LCHF/Ketogenic, or a Carnivore woe.
The woes that WOMANSTRONG applies to are low-carbohydrate lifestyles. They range from 20% carbohydrates to 0% carbohydrates and some emphasize protein, while others emphasize fat. Click the thumbnail for a visual comparison.
You must desire to pursue, or already be pursuing, one of these lifestyles to join the program. If you want to know more about any of them, talk to me or visitWOMANSTRONG or my blog on fat KETOHOLIC
Why does your woe matter?
Nine out of every ten clients come to me specifically to lose weight. There is only so much I can do to help them if they aren’t willing to change their lifestyle. In other words, an extra 1-3 hours of exercise each week will not change your weight. I wish I could tell you it will, because it would be easier if all I had to do was focus on making your exercise sessions rewarding and successful.
Exercise is important to your health for many reasons, and those health reasons will aid in weight loss (such as a higher resting energy expenditure), but:
weight loss is NOT about calories-in-calories-out
weight loss is NOT about “burning fat” during exercise
and exercise is NOT about “burning calories” to create a calorie deficit
Yes of course, it takes more calories to exercise than to sit on the couch, but it takes far fewer than much of the fitness industry wants you to believe. It’s also a fact that once you start exercising, you will likely get hungrier and eat more anyway, diminishing that deficit.
So what’s the answer?
There are a number of ways you can lose weight, but only one way that has proven itself to me through research and personal experience: you must reduce the amount of carbohydrates you consume and remove all simple carbohydrates. And eat more fat.
Limit your exercise
Some people believe you can do high-intensity exercise daily and eat as usual and you will lose pounds. The problem with high-intensity exercise daily is the increase in inflammation and overuse injuries. Exercise causes inflammation. Did you know that? Exercise is a catabolic process; you’re breaking down your body. Recovery is an anabolic process. That’s why I tell my clients fitness comes during recovery not in the gym. Exercising several times a week means occasional stress and causes acute inflammation that subsides leaving greater fitness behind. Exercising daily means chronic stress and causes chronic inflammation that limits the recovery and growth process. Acute inflammation is good, because this is what allows growth and change. Chronic inflammation prohibits growth, and stimulates other problems, as well. (Low intensity exercise like walking is not what I reference here.)
Some people believe you can count calories and limit portion sizes and lose pounds. The problem with counting calories and limiting portion sizes is that you will lose lean mass (that’s muscle) and have to fight hunger. What often happens with people counting calories is they see that carbohydrates and protein have 4 calories for each gram and fat has 9 calories per gram. Along with that they hear from mainstream sources that fat is bad for them. Therefore, it’s an easy step to start limiting fat intake and reducing calories that way. And it’s disastrous.
If you’re going to be successful in the long-term with restricting calories, you absolutely must eat a good amount of fat, or you will be hungry and fail. You. Will. Fail. You might make it a few months, but calorie restriction is not a lifetime woe. Calorie restriction is starvation, so even if it were possible with a steel will to make it through years, you’re losing lean mass and damaging your mental health. Have you not heard of the Minnesota Starvation Experiment?
Short-term reduction in calories will show a loss in pounds, but the problem with calorie restriction is two-fold: 1) you will lose lean body mass, the number one predictor of mortality, and 2) it cannot be adhered to for the long-term.
Limit the RIGHT macronutrient
Some people believe you can cut back on one macronutrient to lose pounds. It’s true, but only if you cut the right one.
You’ve likely seen headlines saying that low-fat is healthier or the best for weight loss. It’s politics-driven drivel, plain and simple.
Weight loss is about the hormone insulin. Insulin is the master hormone that regulates the flow of fat and glucose into and out of a fat cell. It’s not evil, but too much of it causes inflammation — those plaques they used to blame on eating foods with cholesterol are the fault of filling your body with glucose and the insulin response.
Insulin’s main role is to regulate the amount of sugar in your blood. When your blood sugar rises, so does your insulin. What causes your blood sugar to rise? It rises normally throughout the day in diurnal rhythm and reacts to certain bodily functions, but mostly, it rises when you digest what you eat so that glucose from your food enters your blood stream.
Carbohydrates There are no essential carbohydrates. You don’t need to eat them because your body can make them. THE BAD: They cause a rise in insulin. The simpler the carb, the faster glucose enters your blood, and the greater the amount of insulin released to reduce it. Therefore, carbohydrates cause inflammation. More carbohydrates = more inflammation. Carbohydrates are used almost entirely for energy, not building, and are not clean-burning and leave free radicals behind that cause damage and need to be cleaned up by other bodily processes. THE GOOD: Complex carbohydrates provide vitamins and minerals that are tough to get the way most people eat animal sources, but not impossible: the carnivore woe can get everything without supplements through adding offal and raw meats.
Proteins There are essential amino acids. You can’t live without eating them. THE BAD: They cause a rise in insulin. But they don’t impact our blood sugar as much because they also stimulate the release of glucagon, which moderates insulin. That means protein is inflammatory but moderately so because it’s kept in check by glucagon. (There is some evidence that processed proteins like whey cause a greater insulin spike.) THE GOOD: Protein is required for lean body mass, the main predictor of mortality, as well as necessary for good hormones, strength, and a functional life.
Fats There are essential fatty acids. You can’t live without eating them. THE BAD: Nothing. Absolutely nothing bad happens to you when you eat natural fats, even in excess. Not obesity. Not heart disease. THE GOOD: They do not cause inflammation and will cause minimal weight gain only if you eat plenty of carbohydrates, too. They will fill you up, provide absorption for those vitamins you insist on getting from carbohydrates (because without fat, you’ll just pee them out), and they will build most of the structure of your body. Your muscle is half-protein, half-fat. You need saturated fat to build hormones. They are clean-burning fuel leaving only water behind when used for energy.
What’s wrong with your woe?
However you eat, you have your reasons.
If you’re eating most of your calories from carbohydrates and avoiding saturated fats, you may simply feel better or you’re making choices you feel are more ethical or you’re just following doctor’s advice, and I won’t argue. We all make our choices and live with the consequences, right?
If, however, you tell me your woe is healthier than a Primal or Ketogenic diet, I will argue. Because you are wrong.
This is what WOMANSTRONG is for, to show you how to take care of your body for health, for life. No products, no long-term programming, just a few months to guide you to something better.
You have to be willing to change, to read, and to believe that you will soon know more than your doctor, unless she is self-educated. You will see that government agencies are not run by scientists but by lobbyists and their guidelines are contaminated by the ecology and animal rights movements. I respect both, but they have nothing to say about nutrition and need to butt out.
Many of us are metabolically dysfunctional. Many others just want to live optimally. WOMANSTRONG is for you if you recognize that your health is in YOUR hands.
Some final thoughts…
From a favorite blog:
I’m always troubled by folks who have never tried to take care of someone who is struggling to lose weight (fat), and who themselves have never been overweight, but who insist obesity is ‘simply’ an energy balance problem – people eat too many calories. When eternally lean people preach about the virtues of their ‘obvious’ solutions to obesity – just eat less and exercise more – I’m reminded of a quote (source unknown to me), “He was born on the finish line, so he thinks he won the race.” You only need to meet one woman with PCOS, or one person with hypothyroidism, or one child with Cushing’s disease to know that adiposity can – and is – largely regulated by hormones. The fact that such patients need to create a positive energy balance (i.e., eat more calories than they expend) to allow it does not seem to provide a meaningful insight into the mechanism of why. (Eating Academy)
I’m not the first one to wonder if a lot of the craziness we see around us today isn’t caused by undernourished people with damaged brain function, because most Americans, even the obese among us, are in nutritional starvation. They have energy to burn (carbohydrates) but they lack the nutrients to build (fat).
Our strength squad has been working through 5×5 work outs this month. Their reviews: all 5-star. These kind of work outs are high volume, meant for strength more than size. They focus on full-body movements so the volume of work is outstanding, despite that it includes merely 5 different exercises.
I have 3 PDFs to share with you. Do them 2-3 times a week, with at least 2 days between. Vary as you would like. You’ll need load, whether dumbbells, bars, resistance bands, or just body weight. the PDFs have video to click for technique. Don’t go so heavy that your technique suffers.
A few of us used the weight vest because we’re just getting that strong! Boo-yah!
Kids enjoy games even more when they get to design them. So, in addition to a free-form kick-boxing hour, in which they decided to perform flying kicks, we had a “The Floor is Lava” hour, where they designed a course of “rocks” and “trees”. Fall off or step from the object and you’re toast! Yes, I burned up a few times.
The Primal diet is different from the Paleo diet in that Primal encourages eating high fat.
Many, perhaps most, Paleo eaters often focus on lean meats. Not Primal. I’ve eaten Primally for five years. Being Primally-aligned means eating low carbohydrate, moderate (enough) protein, and high fat. Why? Because fat is the best macronutrient for fueling our bodies:
our bodies evolved to prioritize fat for fuel
fat causes the least hormone stress and inflammatory damage as we utilize it
every cell in our bodies needs fat (saturated fat!)
fat has 9 calories of energy and doesn’t raise our insulin level like carbohydrates do, so, yes, you’ll get more calories but less body fat when you switch from carb-heavy to fat-heavy way of eating. You have to quit believing the marketing and lobbyist-driven government recommendations.
fat helps us sleep better
fat helps us avoid constipation (yes, your high-fiber diet is making it worse)
fat clears up acne and other skin ailments
Fat beats lethargy. Fat beats hunger. Fat beats fat. Fat beats chronic autoimmune diseases. Fat also beats cancer. So, while I advocate a Primal lifestyle, I also support those who choose to transition to a ketogenic lifestyle. Here’s why.
Is Fat Healthy for Me?
(Jim McCarter, MD, PhD, professor of genetics, from The Quantified Self community.)
What is Keto?
A ketogenic diet (“keto”) can be defined a few ways. The biomarker for ketosis is when your ketones are elevated, and secondarily, when insulin is suppressed as a result. In order to be fully keto-adapted and to start burning stored body fat for fuel, ketone levels must be between 0.5 to 3.0 millimolar. You can usually get there when you’re eating 50g or less of carbohydrates, moderating protein, eating 75-85% of your calories from fat, and exercising.
The three primary factors impacting blood ketone production are carbohydrates, protein, and exercise. Some people need to restrict calories when they start keto and some others may need to supplement with ketones to start. Also, you should be getting just enough protein to support your lean body mass and no more, since much of the protein we consume is converted to glucose in the liver. Exercise can start keto right away, only if you do NOT consume carbs or alanine afterward.
Eating high fat and low carbohydrate means your body begins to make more ketones. You create ketones from ingested fat or stored fat. Ketones then become your body’s primary source of fuel. (For those of you new to this subject, be clear that ketosis and ketoacidosis are not the same thing.)
Ketogenic Diet for Cancer Panel
(From Ancestral Health Symposium 14, 2014, with Colin Champ, MD, Dawn Lemanne, MD, Dominic D’Agostino, PhD, Ellen Davis, Rachel Albert, Miriam Kalamian, EdM,MS,CNS, Jimmy Moore) This is a long video and has a great deal of information.
Insulin and glucose drive cancer metabolism. Cancer rates are very rare in cultures that don’t consume processed foods (grain and sugar). You’ve never heard of that? Hmm.
Research and success-stories are showing that cancer is a metabolic disease. By eliminating the pathways through which cancer cells feed, you kill them. They aren’t resilient like other cells. One caveat mentioned at the symposium: we have clinical data only for animal studies so far. No human has been cured of cancer through only keto. Most often, keto is used in conjunction with chemotherapy to show better outcomes than chemotherapy alone.
I Am Keto
I was Paleo/Primal for 5 years. I’m keto pretty consistently now. I drop out occasionally, because I’m not a purist or fanatical about anything. In other words, I eat what I want, when I want, as much as I want. Dogma is anathema to me. That means beer sometimes and cake for birthdays and dark chocolate. Still, I can’t even seem to finish a whole 16 oz beer anymore! I’ll discuss my steps from Paleo to Primal to intermittent fasting and keto in a later post.
However, if you’re hot to get started on feeling better or recovering from metabolic issues, read read read. Don’t rely on what you grew up hearing. It’s all bullshit.
Join the quantified self movement. Get a ketone meter. Get a glucose meter. Watch what levels do as you vary your diet and record how you feel.
You’re counting calories, cutting carbohydrates or fat, exercising regularly and you haven’t lost a pound in weeks or months. It makes no sense, right? I’ve seen this over-and-over. Getting lean requires four things: healthy nutritious food, good sleep, low stress, and regular activity.
So I tell my clients to quit counting calories and quit working out every day. That craziness is self-defeating. It’s cortisol-inducing! But I know it’s hard. It goes against everything you grew up believing. It seems logical, right? Yes, it does, but that’s because you haven’t heard about the carbohydrate-insulin theory and intermittent fasting.
Here’s an excellent video that explains the science and research behind IF as the key to how we evolved. This video series can answer many of your other questions as well. (The full series HERE)
You probably lost some weight by cutting calories, but then you stalled or even added it back. Calorie counting is a losing battle. Why? Let’s call it what it is: calorie restriction is chronic starvation, something your body fights against. “Burning” calories during exercise is a misleading activity, as well. You are not losing pounds by your hours in the gym. All the diet and exercise advice you grew up with is short-term thinking refuted by research that has not reached mainstream media yet.
Why aren’t you hearing more about this when the research has been going on for decades and is absolutely not controversial among scientists? Because media outlets are funded by companies who aren’t interested in telling you to buy less. Every company wants you to buy more: they tell you their product is the game changer.
Your fatness is all about your hormones (insulin, adrenline, ghrelin, leptin, and hGH) not your calories. You need to get your hormones working well and working together. The things I mentioned above: healthy nutritious food, good sleep, low stress, and regular activity all help these hormones. And you can help them even more with intermittent fasting (IF).
Don’t We All Fast All the Time?
We all fast while we sleep. You may fast for 8-12 hours between your night meal and your morning meal. That’s not very long. The more fat you want to lose, the more energy you want to feel, the more hours you need to fast. Humans are not grazing animals. We evolved as feast-or-famine animals.
No, it’s not starvation. Starvation is when you chronically cut food intake (via calorie counting) over weeks and months. IF is acute, only hours or days without food followed by eating a lot within a window. IF is different from nightly fasting in that you extend it longer. That is, not only have we as a nation added more food to our diets, we’ve added more eating periods, too. We eat from 8am to 8pm or 10pm or later with meals and snacks every 2-3 hours. We eat more hours out of the day than we fast. We eat ALL. THE. TIME. Think about the office snacks, the drinks, the piece of candy, the latte. We now graze, so our natural fasting periods are shorter than they were 40 years ago.
IF taps your stored fat for energy while stimulating adrenaline and human growth hormone. IF is anti-aging and life-extending because it spurs autophagy — your body eats its own dysfunctional and dead cells. You lose and gain at the same time. Autophagy also protects against infections and cancer. IF has been shown to improve recovery from surgery, chronic illness, insulin sensitivity, and mood disorders. IF preserves lean muscle.
There are many ways to start — extend your nightly fast to 14-18 hours or skip eating one day a week, for example. There are also different foods to consider. I’m a Primal eater, and a low-carb, high fat, moderate protein way of eating (woe) is extremely easy for me to fast on. I lost 8 pounds of fat — only fat — in two months on IF, despite my increase in actual calories and despite that I was already at a “healthy” weight. I can’t tell you how much my energy (already abundant with my Primal lifestyle) increased.
Go ahead. Do the research. Google “intermittent fasting” and you’ll find much more information and communities who fast with different woes — vegans, carnivores, even religious. Search PubMed and watch the video above.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. IF is magic. This video explains why. It’s long, so you can start at minute 56. Then you’ll want to go back and watch the entire series.