18 August 2018

Is the wait worth the weight?




Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting, what is it?

There are a number of ways of achieving the same goal here but simply put this is a period of fast in your eating. Common ways of introducing a break in eating are introducing a 14-16 hour fast into a 24 hour period, whilst this may sound like a long time one way people find relatively easy to achieve this stretch is by including the 8 hours of sleep at night time into this and skipping breakfast in the morning. Other ways you may have read about are the 5:2 diet, the 24 hour fast, alternate day fasting, the warrior diet, spontaneous meal skipping and many more!…

The 5:2 diet has previously been discussed here , the 24 hour fast is tricky for a lot of people as the fast window is so big, on the alternate day fasting it is recommended to eat 500kcals on your fast day, the warrior diet proposes a period of fast during the day and feast at night, and so on…

Q: What do the marketeers promise from the results of intermittent fasting? and what do some in the fitness industry (marketeers?) promise from the results of intermittent fasting?

A: Weight loss and improved athletic performance respectively

TRUTH:

Firstly throw away anything you read that promises you anything, you want to read only information backed by peer reviewed scientific study; this will ensure you receive objective, unbiased information not motivated by your cash. You will be offered statistics to prove or disprove a hypothesis made in the publication followed by a conclusion based on the stats, i.e. simply offered the scientific results.

We often hear from people that there is too much confusing and conflicting information out there, this is because you are reading information from the wrong source! The majority of people writing online are doing so because they are making a living doing so and therefore need to influence you!.A good place to start if you do not have access to scientific papers through a university is Google scholar. Fortunately I do have access to a University library (I am completing my doctorate as we speak!) and have filtered out some relevant papers on this subject to clarify the debate:

The subject of weight loss as a result of intermittent fasting (IF) is inconclusive. Testing hundreds of fasting protocols across many species in many research groups has not led to the guaranteed weight loss solution that is punted by get rich quick marketeers. The weight loss results from IF are no better than the results from calorie restriction and have actually been shown to increase sleep disturbance and reduce concentration/accuracy result when tested with patients in a Ramadan fasting study (similar to the warrior diet). What this means is that whilst you may lose weight as a result of IF it may not be directly due to the metabolic and hormonal changes that IF induces, instead probably being the results of a reduction in overall calorie intake.

Reducing your overall calorie intake has been proven scientifically to reduce weight, however this is only maintained long term under certain conditions for example; reducing calorie intake (generating a calorie deficit) by a small amount (a percentage of your daily BMI is usually the way we calculate this) over the medium term, ensuring you still hit your daily macro nutrient split (although varying these is reputed to have effects on satiety, which we will discuss in another post) and then gradually increasing your calories after the period of deficit. These results will be maximised with a balanced exercise program, but significantly the weight loss gains you make have been proven to be best in those who engage in regular exercise after the period of calorie deficit as well as during.

What the studies do agree on with IF, however, is that of gut health improvements leading to lifespan extension, it ameliorates the clinical course and pathology of Multiple sclerosis (MS) and can counteract other disease processes, has profound beneficial effects on many different indices of health, can improve functional outcome in a wide range of age-related disorders including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancers and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease Parkinson’s disease and stroke. All due to a cascade of reactions related to the gut flora changes.

So that’s the science. Now you make up your own mind

16 September 2016

How healthy are our leaders?




trump-clinton state of health

Politics is full of promises, some are kept and others are not. But when a politician makes a promise you want him/her to be around for their term to see it through. Right? So what if the potential leader of a country is not in good health?

David Cameron at 43 became the youngest prime minister of our country in 200 years, and if we take BMI (body mass index) as an indicator of how much care someone pays to their health its clear to see he was a healthy investment for the nation.

Over the pond the picture is less clear; 2 candidates twice Cameron’s age are battling it out for premiership. What’s catching the media attention is Clinton’s recent diagnosis of bacterial pneumonia; and rightly so because despite her campaign’s attempts to debunk any fear the condition can become nasty. People over 65 with a weakened immune system are prone to the bacteria causing the infection. Yes the antibiotics can clear it up, but if her immune system was this weak to start with then how sure can we be about her general state of health. She already takes blood thinning medications for a blood clot that was found in her head 3 years ago whilst only 65 years old.

On the other hand we see Trump cherry picking medical reports to show the media, typical of his subversive manner, whilst joking about needing to loose a few pounds. A FEW POUNDS ? Clinically he is OBESE at 121kg and 181cm tall!

At 70 years old this makes it firstly much harder to loose the weight but secondly, and perhaps more importantly, it means that at the stage of life where the body is in a state of decline one really has to ask whether putting so much extra pressure on his internal organs is wise….usually wisdom comes with age, but with Trump we’ve seen enough to not put the words in the same sentence I think!

19 March 2014

Turning 40




It’s happening to me this year:

So I need to get over myself! Actually after a mild shock when I turned 39 that “it” was just around the corner I have come to see the huge benefits of wisdom and insight – the only thing is that what I live and breath i.e sport, fitness, flexibility, agility, coordination and so on – are deteriorating at a rate of knots!!

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1 December 2013

Not bad for an old bird




running-blogSo its done! Overall I came 15th out of 41 females and in my best race (10km run) I came 12th. I came 4th in my age category overall. My overriding feeling is that I am pleased with my results but wanted to do a lot better. I am less fussed about the ranking against the other runners and more bothered by my times.

The first day was a 6 km time trial which was a quick hot run in the afternoon on tarmac. They set us off at 10 second intervals and basically we pegged it around the course trying to gauge our pace without getting confused or distracted by the runners out in front or behind!

The second day was an 11 km hill climb with a 600 metre ascent. I arrived 10 mins late to the start line due to getting lost en route and they were kind enough to keep the start open for me. Psychologically being the last and only person climbing worked well for me. I realised on day 1 that what I dislike about racing is the sound of thumping feet and heavy breathing right behind me. So again I pegged it up the mountain as fast as I could without stopping. At 3km I came across the stragglers who were walking the route and that gave me more incentive to keep going and try and catch more and more of them, which indeed I was able to do and in fact by the end I even managed a sprint over the finish – a truely enjoyable race finished in 1hr 18mins.

Day 3 was the half marathon and I felt a little achy! As you know i was hoping for a 90 min time. I was way off, in fact the winner was only 98 mins (her PB is 78 mins)and I realise that this was not the event to choose a PB half marathon as a goal. Firstly it starts with a 10 km ascent of 300 metres, secondly it the descent is treacherous with gravelly, rocky sections of dry earth covered in huge pits and cracks making it very tricky to pick a path out down once you have slogged it out to the top! Anyway excuses aside it took me 2 blooming hours!

Day 4 was a 10 km flat run, I ran well coming in at 47 mins and considering I had done the whole 4 days with a chest infection I felt totally relieved it was finally over as my body was KNACKERED!  This is a great event well organised and really friendly, I will definitely be coming back with even more training under my belt to try and smash some of my times and do better overall in the rankings.

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