WORKING OUT CORRECTLY
Faced with these risks, it’s no wonder that you want to know how much you should weigh. But this common and important question is actually the wrong question. For health, the issue is not how much you weigh, but how much abdominal fat you have. The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide
It was not that long ago that women hardly ever had "CENTRAL OBESITY" (aka Abdominal Obesity). Yes, we men have always tended to accumulate fat stores around our waists (the proverbial 'spare tire' ---- apple shaped), but women have always tended to put weight on in the hip / butt area (pear shaped). Now it is not only common to see women with Central Obesity, it is shockingly common --- even in women of "normal" weight. These women are often referred to today as "SKINNY FAT" --- the topic of yesterday's post. The point of this post is not to issue an indictment against those of you who are struggling with this particular problem, but to help you understand why Abdominal Fat is so bad, and why it leads to so many other health problems. The cool thing is that if you understand what is actually causing you to put weight on around your waist, you can formulate a plan to conquer it.
ABDOMINAL OBESITY means that you have too much "Viceral Fat". Don't get me wrong; we all require some fat around our Vicera in order to be healthy. But once you understand that the word "Vicera" means organs, and that Viceral Fat is the fat that surrounds (and potentially entombs) your organs, you will begin to understand why Central Obesity is such a serious problem --- a killer.
When a person has large amounts of fat engulfing their organs, that fat tends to create responses in the rest of the body (particularly the ENDOCRINE SYSTEM) that can never really keep up with what is being demanded of it. Although the organs (pancreas, liver, ADRENAL GLANDS, etc) are scrambling to CONTROL BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS, they eventually FALL BEHIND. As organs fail to keep up, weight gain can end up like a snowball rolling downhill --- picking up momentum and feeding itself as it goes. But be warned.... not all weight gain is equal. Some is worse than others.
WHY ABDOMINAL OBESITY IS WORSE
THAN GENERALIZED OBESITY
As the American diet has gotten worse ----- based more and more on processed grains, TRANS FATS, chemicals, and sugar ---- rates of Central Obesity have skyrocketed. Yesterday's blog proved that at least 7 of 10 American adults are overweight, with about half of those being OBESE. It gets worse. For the over-50 crowd, 50% of the men and 70% of the women are not only obese, they meet the criteria for Central Obesity. What are those criteria?
WAIST CIRCUMFERENCE RISK FACTORS FOR ABDOMINAL OBESITY
LESS THAN 37"
37 - 40"
31.5" to 35"
WHAT DOES CENTRAL OBESITY
(A HIGH WHR) REALLY MEAN?
Cortisol (aka Hydrocortisone) is your body's chief stress hormone, and is made by by your adrenal glands in response to stress. Bear in mind that this stress can come in many forms; emotional, physical, dietary, etc. According to a popular online encyclopedia, the chief functions of Cortisol are to, "increase blood sugar through gluconeogenesis; [and] suppress the immune system...." Did you catch that? Cortisol is an Immune System Suppressor that raises blood sugar via gluconeogenesis (creating sugar from muscle tissue or fat stores). Although creating sugar from fat might sound like a wonderful thing, in many cases it is not.
If a person already has high blood sugar levels and gets a subsequent boost in blood sugar, they are going right back into storage mode unless they burn it for energy. This is unlikely. Since these folks are already fighting Central Obesity, the new sugar they create from metabolizing fat is simply re-stored as fat. Only this time it will be stored as belly fat. If occurring on a regular basis, this process will literally exhaust your body. This is why it is called Adrenal Fatigue and is intimately related to Fibromyalgia (ADRENAL FATIGUE OR FIBROMYALGIA?). Also be aware that HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP ---- the sweetener most commonly used for practically all modern processed foods ----- is more associated with Belly Fat than other sugars --- far more associated.
OTHER HEALTH PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH ABDOMINAL OBESITY
- ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE: Although a number of studies have linked Abdominal Obesity to Alzheimer's, a study from Dr. George Razzy's team of Launceston General Hospital, University of Tasmania, Australia showed that older people with Central Obesity had a 10 times greater chance of developing ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE than the general population.
- LOW / HIGH TESTOSTERONE: If you are a male (or FEMALE) who is struggling to hit home runs in the bedroom (HERE), odds are that you have some degree of Central Obesity. Clear back in 1990, a Dutch study showed that men with Abdominal Obesity were much more likely to have high insulin and blood sugar levels, while having low testosterone. However, if you are a female, listen to what Drs. Rasa Kazlauskaite (Endocrinologist) and Sheila Dugan (Physical Medicine Specialist) of Rush University Medical Center have to say about testosterone. "When that delicate balance of estrogen to testosterone shifts toward testosterone during the menopausal transition, the distribution of fat also shifts and women tend to accumulate more belly fat. In men, we know that when their testosterone decreases naturally as they age, they tend to accumulate belly fat, but in women it isn’t really about having more testosterone, it’s about upsetting the estrogen-testosterone balance. We used to think estrogen protected premenopausal women against cardiovascular disease and that the increased cardiovascular risk after menopause was related only to the loss of estrogen’s protective effect. But now we know that it’s actually the change in hormonal balance that’s largely responsible for visceral fat. So if you’re a woman in your 30s or early 40s and you aren’t already eating healthy and exercising regularly, you should get started now and work hard to maintain these healthy behaviors throughout the menopausal transition."
- PCOS: Strongly related to the above, if you have PCOS, you are much more likely not only to be INFERTILE, but to have Central Obesity as well. Women with Central Obesity are more likely to deal with a wide range of hormonal issues (see the first link in the bullet point above).
- INFLAMMATION: People with Central Obesity are much more likely to have high systemic levels of INFLAMMATION in their bodies. Inflammation is strongly associated with nearly every health problem you can mention.
- LOW BACK PROBLEMS / ARTHRITIS: Do you think it might be hard on your joints carrying 50, 100, or 150 extra pounds of weight around for years, or even decades? It's a no-brainer (HERE).
- GALLBLADDER DISEASE: Who is likely to get GB Disease? People with Central Obesity. The moniker we learned in school was "fat, fertile, female, and forty".
- METABOLIC SYNDROME: What is METABOLIC SYNDROME? It is essentially a pre-diabetic condition that is in play if a person has at least three of the following ----- a blood pressure of 130/85 or higher, a triglyceride level above 150, a fasting blood sugar level of 100 or greater, low HDL levels, or high LDL levels. By the way, if you were paying attention to yesterday's post, you realize that large numbers of people of "normal" weight have at least one of these.
- FATTY LIVER: Although a Fatty Liver is usually thought of as being a problem of alcoholism, the largest class of people who develop this problem are those with Central Obesity.
- CERTAIN KINDS OF CANCER: The truth is that many kinds of CANCER --- particularly the ones that originate in the abdominal area such as colon cancer, are heavily associated in the peer-reviewed literature with Central Obesity.
- SLEEP APNEA / BREATHING DIFFICULTIES: Show me a person with Central Obesity who breathes just fine, and I will show you 100 that do not (HERE). And if it is bad enough to affect sleep, I promise it will affect your health in other ways.
- BLOOD CLOTS: Enough said.
- OSTEOPOROSIS: Even though OSTEOPOROSIS is often associated with tiny little women, the truth is, if you have an oversized belly you are at risk (HERE).
Although Obesity is bad, Central Obesity is doubly bad. If you want to live a long, enjoyable, life, and be there for your children and grandchildren, you need to do what it takes to get this problem under control. Fortunately I have created a plan for you. All you have to do is follow the information on THESE POSTS. Granted, it's a ton of information. But there is no way to effectively lose weight, get healthy, and stay that way for life unless you know what made you fat in the first place. Knowledge is power, and if you will follow the advice on my blog, virtually everyone reading this post will know what it takes to get a handle on your Central Obesity. Just remember; the choice is yours.
HEALTH or EXCUSES?
THE DOG ATE MY HOMEWORK
GETTING YOUR METABOLISM GOING AND KEEPING IT GOING ALL DAY!
- DRINK A BIG GLASS OF WATER: To a large degree, your level of hydration is going to control (or at least affect) you energy levels and metabolism, or lack thereof. This is easy. Do it.
- WORK OUT FIRST THING IN THE MORNING: Whether this is walking, biking, swimming, or resistance training, if you do it first thing, it boosts your metabolism and energy levels all day long. Waiting to exercise until the evening can hype you up and make it tougher to get to sleep. Yes; it takes discipline. A quality life is a disciplined life.
- LIFT WEIGHTS: Although I would rather see people doing some form of exercise rather than no exercise, I hate to see people wasting time and energy on things that are not optimally effective. If you want to understand this better, take a few minutes and read my CARDIO TRAINING -vs- STRENGTH TRAINING posts. The truth is, if you are not doing some form of Resistance Training in your exercise routine, you are shooting yourself in the foot as far as weight loss is concerned. The cool thing is that with a just a lihttp://www.doctorschierling.com/blog/category/cardio-or-strengthttle bit of equipment (light dumbells, a kettlebell or two, a doorway mounted chinup bar, and an exercise ball), or even no equipment at all, you can do a complete full body workout in 30 minutes or less.
- EAT A BREAKFAST LOADED WITH HIGH QUALITY PROTEIN: For those of you WHO CHOOSE TO EAT BREAKFAST, this is a big deal. If you will start your day by avoiding the traditional breakfast foods (tons of carbs) and CONTROLLING YOUR BLOOD SUGAR, you will lap the field. Eat your breakfast immediately after working out. By not waiting until later in the morning (break time), you will seriously ratchet up your body's "thermogenic" powers (ability to burn fat for energy). And if you want to take it a stepwww.doctorschierling.com/blog/category/number-one-health-problem further, make sure you get a small amount of protein in your system every two hours.
If you want more information on losing weight quickly and effectively, check out THESE POSTS.
HOW GOOD IS MUCH OF TODAY'S MEDICAL ADVICE?
IT'S GREAT ---- IF YOU ARE A DOCTOR, PHARMACIST, OR MORTICIAN
The first thing to understand is that most breast cancers (about 75%) are fed by Estrogen, the primary female sex hormone. Secondly, Estrogen is made in two very different areas of a woman's body. We all know that Estrogen is made by the female sex organs (ovaries). But few people realize that the other primary producer of Estrogen is fat cells. There are plenty of peer-reviewed medical studies touting this fact (see links below). Not only can this be problematic in and of itself, but it has the potential to end up in the middle of a vicious cycle. Think about it this way. Estrogen helps fuel obesity, and fat cells manufacture Estrogen. Repeat cycle ad infinitum.
According to many experts in the field, many if not most American women are ESTROGEN DOMINANT. Expert in the filed, Dr. Bruce Rind (M.D.) says this on his website, "Estrogen Dominance (ED) affects about half the women in the United States." Estrogen Dominance is so common, it is known as female "E.D." Due to things like XENOESTROGENS (Estrogen-like compounds found in most chemicals or petroleum products), and exogenous sources of dietary estrogen such as the hormones that are found in most commercially-raised animals (yeah, farmers want FAT CATTLE; Estrogen is the hormone that makes their cattle fat), both the women and the men of this country are swimming in a sea of the female hormone.
Oh, and ladies (and men); if you value your health as well as the health of your family, do not take nurse Shockney's dietary advice. Are you old enough to remember the LOW FAT / FAT-FREE CRAZE of the late 1980's and 1990's? How'd that work out for everyone? I'll tell you how. People are fatter now than they have ever been in the history of the world, and many got that way following a low-fat lifestyle. Low fat (or no fat) diets are incredibly destructive to your health. If you want to understand why, all you need to do is take a moment to read THIS. What do I recommend for those of you who are leery of EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE? How about a PALEO DIET.
MYTHS AND TRUTHS ABOUT OBESITY
"When the public, mass media, government agencies, and even academic scientists espouse unsupported beliefs, the result may be ineffective policy, unhelpful or unsafe clinical and public health recommendations, and an unproductive allocation of resources." Dr. David Allison and his team, from the latest issue of NEJM
As you'll quickly notice, it seems that almost everyone is trying to help the doctors on Dr. Allison's team scrape by to the end of the month. This study is so financially conflicted (COI), it's almost impossible to know where to begin. But this is nothing new in the field of medical research (HERE). If you really think that individuals being paid good money by Big Pharma (GLAXOSMITHKLINE, PFIZER, Eli Lilly & Company, Merck, and several others others), Big Mac (McDonald's), Big Sugar (Coke, Pepsi, Red Bull, World Sugar Research Organization, Wrigley, and Mars), Big Dairy (Global Dairy Platform / European Dairy Foundation / International Dairy Foundation), Big Beef (The American Cattleman's Association), Big GRAIN (General Mills / ADM / United Soybean Board / Northarvest Bean Growers Association), Big Brew (The Knowledge Institute for Beer), Big Insurance, (Aetna), and Big People trying to get smaller (Jenny Craig), can be trusted to provide unbiased conclusions, I have some ocean front property in Arizona that I would just looooooove to sell you ---- cheap! This is the reason it is difficult to trust anything coming out of the medical community (look at the link above on EBM)!
The truth is, these doctors should be embarrassed to put their name on something this conflicted. And NEJM should be embarrassed to publish something this conflicted as 'research'. But hey; even embarrassment has its price. By the way, What you are going to see is not the actual Disclosure Statement from NEJM --- it's incomplete. The actual Disclosure Statement only comes if you pay for the full version of the study.
THE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT
TOP TEN OBESITY MYTHS LIST
- GENETIC FACTORS ARE THE BE ALL, END ALL CONCERNING ONE'S WEIGHT: Who would deny that genes are not a significant factor in this whole issue of body weight and body types. However, we have learned from the field of EPIGENETICS that there are any number of factors that have the ability to turn genes off or on. In other words, we are not defined solely by our genome to nearly the extent we have been led to believe. However, the 'my-genes-made-me-do-it' excuse became quite popular over the past few decades. Because it is so easily used and is shrouded in a form of scientific mystique that few people really understand, it tends to be the major cop out for those who are unwilling to radically change their lifestyles. In fact, it's become a convenient excuse for just about anything and everything.
- IF YOU WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT, JUST RESTRICT YOUR CALORIES: Listen up folks. I busted this myth just a couple weeks ago with a blog post called, OBESITY AND YOUR ENDOCRINE SYSTEM. Just prior to that, I dealt with SUGAR & CARB ADDICTIONS and their effect on weight. If you want to get serious about losing weight, you had better understand that restricting calories (or even counting calories), is going to get you nowhere fast. If you are serious about losing weight and getting in great physical condition, HERE is the way to do it.
- EXERCISE IS A HUGE FACTOR IN ONE'S WEIGHT: While I believe that there is certainly merit in looking into the "mythology" of this statement, just YESTERDAY I told you that getting in shape and staying in shape (maintaining your optimal weight) is probably 90% diet and 10% exercise. Many people, however, seem to have these numbers reversed in their heads. The truth is, many people train themselves to death, causing undue ADRENAL STRESS and elevating their Cortisol in the process. How do you avoid this issue? You simply TRAIN SMARTER. I am getting ready to do a blog post on this very topic from a recent article in Outdoors Magazine on the training methods of Brian Mackenzie of CrossFit Endurance called The Agony and the Heresy.
- SEX BURNS BETWEEN 100 AND 300 CALORIES: All I can say is what a way to train! Unfortunately, it is a shame that this is a myth. The average sexual encounter is going to burn far fewer calories than this. But then again; who wants to be average? If you are having problems in this area, READ THIS.
- GETTING PARENTS INVOLVED CAN HELP A CHILD LOSE WEIGHT OR MAINTAIN A NORMAL WEIGHT: I am not sure I am buying that this is necessarily a myth --- especially if people are parenting like they ought to be parenting. However, in too many households, the inmates are running the asylum, choosing to eat a diet of whatever they can con mom into buying for them. Unfortunately, most children don't yet see the wisdom in choosing Brussels Sprouts and Broccoli over Big Macs, Twinkies, and Coca Cola. Too many parents are unknowingly promoting unhealthy foods as healthy foods --- or simply giving there kids whatever they want. There is no doubt in my mind that lots of parents are MAKING THEIR KIDS FAT and AUTOIMMUNE.
- SCHOOL P.E. LEADS TO WEIGHT LOSS: Although it has been a long time since I was in PE, I must admit that PE was rarely physically taxing. But even if it were, trying to overcome SCHOOL LUNCHES can be a real challenge. Parents, get your kids active from the time they are little. Seriously limit screen time and whatever is necessary to move --- and no; I am not promoting Michelle here.
- MEAL REPLACEMENTS OR SPECIFIC FOODS WILL HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT: Oh, they'll help you lose weight all right. Just not for the long haul. Not to pick on the woman, but Oprah can personally vouch that this is a myth. Look ,for instance, at the meal replacement drink Ensure. It is a 10 oz bottle with enough sugar in it to start an ant farm ---- 40 grams. Not only will this stuff not help you lose weight over the long haul, it is only a short matter of time before the folks who FAIL TO CONTROL THEIR BLOOD SUGAR have gained it all back ---- and then some.
- STOMACH STAPLING / REDUCING SURGERIES HELP PEOPLE LOSE WEIGHT FOR THE LONG TERM, WHILE LOWERING THE DEATH RATE AND PREVENTING DIABETES: These surgeries are a risky endeavor (HERE). I personally know people who have had their lives messed up by this surgery. Think long and hard before going under the knife in the hopes of losing weight. Despite that fact that doctors are using "research" to promote it, the internet is full of websites and message boards warning against it. Hopefully, this post gave you a taste of how conflicted some of these research projects are.
- WEIGHT LOSS DRUGS ARE A SAFE AND EFFECTIVE WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT: This is a no-brainer that I have addressed before (HERE). Many of these drugs are similar to the Methamphetamine-like drugs used to treat ADHD such as Ritalin or Adderall.
- BREAST FEEDING PROMOTES WEIGHT LOSS: I do not hear this one floating around as much as I used to. I would assume though, that there is probably some degree of truth to this statement if a woman is eating a healthy diet.
- RAPID WEIGHT LOSS IS UNHEALTHY: It does not really depend on how rapidly you lose the weight, it depends on how you lose weight rapidly. HERE is a safe and effective way to lose 100 lbs in 100 days. No; I have never used it myself. No; not everyone is going to lose 100 lbs in 100 days on this protocol. But the concept is simple, and I endorse it wholeheartedly.
- THE STUDY'S CONCLUSIONS? "False and scientifically unsupported beliefs about obesity are pervasive in both scientific literature and the popular press." Yes it's true; and it's not just true about this particular study. The scientific literature is chocked full of BS that cannot be trusted under the best of circumstances. And under the worst of circumstances.......? How do you call science, science, when it is as obviously bought and paid for as this study is? I'm a capitalist. I do not want to take away anyone's right to earn a good living. However, despite the fact that I believe most of this study is right on the money, the obvious Conflicts of Interest that were present, should, at the very least, raise some red flags concerning its validity.
RICK -vs- RUSS
MANO A MANO
1ST ANNUAL "HOLIDAY CHALLENGE" RIPPED-TO-SHREDS CONTEST
As I began to think about it, I started wondering what it would take for Rick and I to raise more than the $100 that the loser pays to the winner's charity (orphanage) of choice. HERE is what the contest has morphed in to (make sure to read the comment from Rick at the bottom of the page). Don't get me wrong; when it comes to our contest, neither one of us wants to come in second (i.e. lose). But winning is no longer the real thrust of this thing. In fact, over $1000 dollars has already been pledged to the cause because two middle aged doofs decided to show off their pecs. But instead of just a thousand dollars, wouldn't it be really cool to raise thousands of dollars (plural) for these Christian Schools / Orphanages? Make sure you exercise your right to vote, and then send your donations to Bethlehem Christian Academy, P.O. Box 483, West Plains, MO 65775; or Orphanage Emanuel, 715 Moores Mill Drive, Auburn, AL, 36830.
both of our families are relentlessly devoted to helping as many children as possible attain better lives, educations, skills, and Biblical understanding, by supporting Christian orphanages. I know that many of you reading this post have been to the third world. A few are either currently living in, or have previously lived there yourselves. You know what it's like. Living conditions are frequently day-to-day and hand-to-mouth. It's a harsh reality for those caught in the grasp of unrelenting poverty, hunger, disease, and cruddy governments. And unlike America where everyone has a fighting chance to make a better life for themselves, there are places in the world where this sort of betterment is not really possible without some outside intervention. Enter people like Victor Chibangula and Dave & Lydia Martinez.
The above-mentioned people are Godly visionaries who gave up worldly fortunes in order to heed the message of James 1:27 and devote their lives to the care of widows and orphans. They are in charge of the respective orphanages mentioned previously. If you feel like God is tugging at your heart to make a donation, please do it. The donations are tax deductible and I can assure you that what you donate goes directly toward running these facilities. On an exciting note; the Winslow family will be returning from Addis Ababa tomorrow (Sat) with Nathaniel. Marty began discussions with an individual he met there with a vision to start a work in Addis that is similar to BCA Zambia.
A MOTIVATIONAL NOTE FROM RICK BURRIS, OWNER OF LEADERS FUEL
IF THIS DOES NOT GET YOU PERSONALLY PUMPED UP, NOTHING WILL!
For several years I knew that I needed to do something about the direction of my health.. The truth was I really did not want to commit the mental energy I knew was necessary to sustain a true lifestyle change. Like 90% of the population I allowed marriage, parenthood and the pressures of work life to be standby excuses why I just didn't have the bandwidth to include exercise and healthy eating into my busy life.
During those years, however, something more than my gut was swelling inside of me. I knew better health was possible and I knew I would get serious about it eventually. Somewhere inside me an athlete was sleeping. I just knew it. I had to wake him up someday. Throughout those years I had off and on spurts of working out for two weeks but each time I just petered out. After Christmas of 2011 I finally had enough.
I returned home from the holiday trip in the worst condition of my life. I was tipping the scales at numbers I never expected to see. My sleep patterns were terrible. It was not uncommon for me to go several days on about 4 hours of sleep per night. Climbing two flights of stairs left me breathless. For a few months prior to that Christmas I was getting frequent pains shooting up my neck. Not a good sign for someone with family history of heart disease. Generally, I felt awful - all of the time. By the time the holiday trip was over I was angry. Someday had come.
2012 A NEW YEAR! started the year with a a 10-day lemon detox. At the same time my wife and I started the P90X workout. (Probably not recommended to start both on the same day but I knew I needed something drastic to make this stick.) I gave up alcohol. Thankfully, I was not a pop drinker but I loved my ice tea. It had to go because the caffeine was getting in the way of my sleep. I had been taking fish oil for a few years but this time I began taking pharmaceutical grade fish oil. Each morning I drink greens (I have tried about four different kinds) with ground flax seed.
We kept up the P90X until the beginning of May. In May I moved up to Camp for the summer. I was very active throughout the summer months but did not do a regular exercise program. This fall we started the Insanity program. I had to lay off the program due to a back issue but I still do it occasionally and use exercises from the workouts. The other issue I have been trying to address is sugar. Giving up alcohol and caffeinated drinks has been a walk in the park compared to sugar and carbs. My intake of both has decreased drastically but I am still working on this one.
At one point during the year I had lost a little over 30 pounds. I have bounced back up 10 but, honestly, I don't focus so much on the scales but rather on how I feel and what I can do now that I couldn't before. My sleep is much closer to where it should be. The stresses of my work life have certainly not diminished but my outlook is much more positive because I have more energy to face them. I am enjoying my family life much more and I feel ready to do many physical activities without fear. Looking forward the all that 2013 brings.
Best wishes for good health!
THE ULTIMATE WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM
SECRETS TO RAPID WEIGHT LOSS
After all, the weight loss market is huge (no pun intended). This is because the average American is fat. As crazy as it sounds, approximately 70% of the American population is either overweight or obese. And that number approaches 80% if you factor in those who are SKINNY FAT. But it gets crazier. According to a recent NYT article, we are spending nearly fifty billion dollars on weight loss products annually (gulp!). Face it; people who are struggling to lose weight are an easy mark. They're desperate, and usually looking for something easy ---- something that unfortunately, simply doesn't exist. The truth of the matter is, there is no way to lose weight without some hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. But it doesn't have to be as tough as some would make it out to be. And it certainly doesn't have to be slow (HERE).
Remember though, that I am much more interested in teaching you how to live a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE than you using this information to lose 50 lbs for your HIGH SCHOOL REUNION or a trip to the beach ---- and then putting it all back on because you FELL OFF THE WAGON. Forget the fad diets, starving yourself, the gimmicks, the sales pitches, the odd-ball exercise equipment, and the WEIGHT LOSS PILLS. Don't buy into people who want to sell you something so you can lose weight. With the right understanding of how the body works, you can do it essentially on your own, without spending boatloads of money. And like I said, if you do things the proper way, it does not have to be a long, drawn-out process.
WEIGHT LOSS SECRETS THAT BURN FAT
LIKE A ROCKET FUELED ENGINE
- GET AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER: Although an accountability partner cannot do it for you, they can help hold your fingers to the fire as far as staying on track with your workouts and eating habits are concerned. Sure, you can do it all on your own. But having someone to share your successes (and help keep from failing) is far more fun and rewarding. Keep in mind that your Accountability Partner does not have to be a training partner. This means that it can be a long-distance sort of thing, done via a combination of email and phone calls (my buddy Rick and I are raising money for orphans LIKE THIS).
- IF YOU CHOOSE TO EAT BREAKFAST, MAKE IT PROTEIN-BASED: It used to be considered a no-brainer to start your day with breakfast. We have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day ever since we were little kids. But some of this thought process is starting to change (HERE).
- DRINK WATER, AND LOTS OF IT: If you are still drinking lots of FRUIT JUICES (mostly sugar water) or DIET SODAS, you need to change your wicked ways. Keeping your body hydrated will help you burn fat --- not to mention, help keep you healthy.
- LEARN MORE ABOUT SOME OF THE CRAZY THINGS WILL NOT ONLY CAUSE YOU TO GAIN WEIGHT, BUT CAN CAUSE CHRONIC ILLNESS AS WELL: For instance, most people are unaware that MSG causes obesity (HERE). There are other things to learn that are equally important as far as getting pounds off and keeping them off is concerned.
There are all sorts of things you can do to lose weight. But if you want to do properly and rapidly, make absolutely sure that you are following the next three bullet points. These are the backbone of the program. Following these steps has led people like TRACY REIFKIND to lose 100 lbs in 100 days (not to mention my sister losing 100 lbs in seven months and essentially "curing" herself of five autoimmune diseases in the process --- HERE), and get in the shape of her life during the process. This is not a pipe dream, gimmick, or trick. It is something that you yourself can do. The quick results will help fuel your motivation to continue.
THE TOP THREE SECRETS TO RAPID AND PERMANENT WEIGHT LOSS
- ENGAGE IN A STRENGTH-BASED EXERCISE PROGRAM INSTEAD OF CARDIO-BASED EXERCISE PROGRAM: Thinking that Strength Training is going to make you big and bulky, while hour after hour spent slogging away on the treadmill or elliptical will burn off excess butter, is old-fashioned thinking. Quit worrying so much about your weight and focus more on body composition. Everything you ever wanted to know about STRENGTH TRAINING -vs- CARDIO TRAINING is in the link.
- CONTROL YOUR BLOOD SUGAR BY GOING LOW CARB: Fail to understand THIS SIMPLE CONCEPT, and you will not only fail at losing weight, your health will fail as well. This bullet point is truly the key to controlling both your weight and your ENDOCRINE SYSTEM. Sugar and refined carbs are highly Inflammatory (HERE), and if you want any hope at solving your weight issue, you'll have to solve your ADDICTIONS TO THE STUFF. For some of you, the low carb approach will not be enough to rigidly control inflammation. Fortunately for you there's the PALEO DIET.
- EAT HIGH QUALITY PROTEIN MORE OFTEN: Dr. Stuart White of Houston, Texas is one of the most respected WHOLE FOOD Nutritional Experts on the planet, not to mention one of the profession's most successful practitioners. At a recent lecture, I heard Dr. White tell 200 physicians that the number one way to control all Endocrine problems (FEMALE HORMONES, LOW TESTOSTERONE, THYROID, HYPOTHALAMUS, DIABETES, ADRENAL FATIGUE, SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION, OBESITY, etc, etc) is to not only make sure to eat a LOW CARB DIET, but to make sure and consume some high quality protein every two hours. Why is regulating your Endocrine System so critical for maintaining a healthy weight? Because every single problem listed above potentially causes or contributes to weight gain or an inability to lose weight --- not to mention it throws a monkey wrench in your ability to get and stay healthy.
If you find that you truly cannot lose weight following this program, there is likely some sort of underlying illness or metabolic problem going on. You may have some sort of Food Sensitivity (GLUTEN OR GLUTEN CROSS-REACTORS) or LEAKY GUT SYNDROME. Maybe you have PARASITES or a GUT DYSBIOSIS such as H. PYLORI or CANDIDA. You might be exposing yourself to BLACK MOLD on a daily basis, or you could have HEAVY METAL TOXICITY. If you have one of those who-knows-what-is-wrong-with-me sort of problems that your doctor cannot get a handle on, you may have to look for deeper solutions (HERE).
STRENGTH & RESISTANCE OR CARDIO...
WHICH IS BEST?
- Which form of exercise is better for weight loss; Cardio or Strength Training?
- Which form of exercise will give me a better butt; Cardio or Strength Training?
- Which form of exercise will give be better abs / core strength; Cardio or Strength Training?
- Which form of exercise is better for toning up; Cardio or Strength Training?
- Which form of exercise will make me look better in a swim suit; Cardio or Strength Training?
- Which form of exercise is better for overall health; Cardio or Strength Training?
- Which form of exercise is best for my heart; Cardio or Strength Training?
- Which form of exercise will increase my life span; Cardio or Strength Training?
- Which form of exercise is better if I have extremely limited time: Cardio or Strength Training?
- Which form of exercise is better if I have no funds to join a gym; Cardio or Strength Training?
- Which form of exercise will prevent osteoporosis; Cardio or Strength Training?
- Which form of exercise is better if I am old (Geriatric); Cardio or Strength Training?
- Which form of exercise is better if I am young (Teenager); Cardio or Strength Training?
- Insert your own version of this question here ____________________?
In a post that is sure to trouble my readers who happen to be hardcore cardio enthusiasts (particularly serious runners), I am going to show you that while I am not necessarily trying to get you to completely give up your cardio training (that would be foolhardy on both our parts); Strength Training is the superior form of exercise ---- the best answer to every single one of the above questions. And no; it's not even close.
What gives me any degree of credibility to tackle this topic? I have nearly three decades of experience dealing with real-world patients. Not to mention, my undergraduate training included the Dual Degree Program at Kansas State University (Exercise Physiology / Nutrition). But probably the number one reason I can address this issue authoritatively is the fact that I practice what I preach. Although I cannot do the MASSIVELY HEAVY TRAINING anymore due to old injuries (multiple cases of basketball-induced avulsion fractures of my right ankle, leading to a low grade PIRIFORMIS ISSUE and chronic foot issues), I have been in the game personally for well over 30 years. I know what works and what doesn't work because I've lived it ---- and I am not into wasting needless time with exercise routines that do not produce fruit, and produce it quickly (HERE for example).
STRENGTH TRAINING OR BODYBUILDING?
Unfortunately, bodybuilding has moved away from FRANK ZANE'S CLASSIC LOOK (think a bit bigger version of Michelangelo's 'David' here), to today's comic book-like monstrosities that are almost ubiquitously built via mass quantities of steroids and GH-like hormones. Forget all the gimmicks. Just remember that if you train correctly and eat properly, the physique will take care of itself as you get stronger (with a great variation in everyone's genetic capacity for both size and strength). Today's post is going to delve into what constitutes "Resistance Training / Strength Training" and the reasons it's superior to hardcore Cardio Training (specifically long-distance running), in almost every objectively measurable category.
Despite the fact that I used to play basketball and other sports for hours on end, I will warn you up front that this blog post is being written from the perspective of someone who never found running for the sake of running, enjoyable. Despite the fact that I did it for a significant portion of my life, I never liked going out and pounding the pavement. In fact, I hated it. Runner's High? Can't even imagine it!
REASONS THAT STRAIGHT CARDIO IS INFERIOR TO STRENGTH TRAINING
I realize that today's column is going to upset the marathoners, the triathletes, and the bikers. I apologize in advance. Be aware, however, that my goal is not simply to give you my opinion. Although I have not included a bibliography (I am not writing a book or article for publication in a scientific journal), there is a tremendous amount of scientific research backing this column. But don't be fooled.
You have to understand that I think everyone should do some form of Cardio Training. It's just that I believe that it can be incorporated into your strength workouts in other ways, such as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) or rapid circuit training. The bottom line is that if you want to optimize your time and energy as far as fast-acting, long-lasting results are concerned (remember the list of questions above?), Strength Training provides much more bang for the buck. And it provides it much quicker. My goal is to prove it to you in as many ways as I possibly can.
Does it burn energy (calories)?
Does it burn fat?
Does it raise the heart rate?
Does it increase cardiovascular health?
Does it build muscle?
Does it increase strength
Does it decrease or reverse Osteoporosis?
Does it increase Insulin's efficiency?
Does it cause muscles to burn more energy while at rest?
NO (can cause muscle loss)
MAYBE (it can also cause loss of both strength and muscle mass)
MAYBE / SLIGHTLY
MAYBE / SLIGHTLY
STRENGTH -vs- CARDIO
THE REASONS STRENGTH TRAINING IS SUPERIOR
- NO MATTER WHICH FORM OF EXERCISE YOU CHOSE, DO NOT NEGLECT YOUR DIET: No matter which form of exercise you choose to participate in (Cardio Training, Strength Training, or hopefully some sort of combination), the biggest reason your exercise program will either succeed or fail has to do with the foods you eat. In other words, your diet will make you or break you. If your biggest goal is losing weight, you have to remember that you cannot work out hard enough to overcome a cruddy diet. THIS POST will tell you why LOW CARB and PALEO are the way to go. Let me repeat myself in a different way. If you are still stuck in the HIGH CARB MINDSET of the 1980's (or you just don't care), you are headed for disaster. It may not happen today, and it may not happen tomorrow. But I promise you that if you do not consciously choose to eat in a healthy manner, you will one day be dealing with a diet-induced Endocrine System Tsunami. As I will soon show you, you'll burn your Pancreas trying to control your blood sugar, your ADRENAL GLANDS will follow suit, and your health will go to hell in a hand basket. Without serious intervention, maintaining a healthy weight will become almost impossible.
- PEOPLE WHO ARE SERIOUSLY INTO CARDIO ARE FREQUENTLY SERIOUSLY INTO THEIR CARBS: While this is an obvious over-generalization, it is true in far too many cases. It seems to me that most of the runners I know are really into their carbs (think 'carb loading' here). Furthermore, Cardio Training seems to increase one's appetite for carbs more than Resistance Training does. Tim Ferris of Four Hour Body, tends to avoid overly-strenuous Cardio Training for this very reason. And while it's true that carbs in the form of vegetables are a critical part of a healthy diet, just remember this; there are no "Essential Carbohydrates" (even though there are Essential Amino Acids (proteins) as well as Essential Fatty Acids). In other words, our bodies are perfectly capable of converting both protein and fat into blood sugar. Here are a few links for those having trouble with this concept (HERE and HERE). I also know a lot of runners who do not really worry about what they eat because they know that they are going to burn x number of calories on their next run. In my post called HEALTH PHARISEES, I tell how I used to use exercise as an excuse to eat crappy foods. This thought process is fueled by articles (think Cosmo or Men's Health) that provide 'educational' guidelines on how much exercise it will take to burn off that brownie or Big Mac Value Meal you just scarfed. Again; I am overgeneralizing, but when it comes to this particular issue, people who are into Cardio Training frequently have a completely different mindset than those who are into Strength Training.
- STRENGTH TRAINING IS JUST AS GOOD AS CARDIO FOR WEIGHT LOSS: Let me qualify this statement. While it is technically false, it is functionally true. Even though you will expend more energy (calories) during the average Cardio Session, there is a far greater weight loss benefit to Strength Training --- a benefit that will largely be seen over the long term (more on this shortly). Much of this has to do with the fact that an equal volume of muscle weighs significantly more than the same volume of fat. This means that a good Strength Training Program might actually cause you to gain weight (at least at first) ---- even though your goal may very well be weight loss. But, as you'll quickly learn, you need to change both your mindset and your fitness goal(s) in this area. All of this is why the scale might not be your best friend when you start your Resistance Training Program. It's also why for women in particular, strong is the new "skinny". Instead of worrying about your weight, take a picture. For some reason, scales and mirrors tend to lie to you much more than a picture will. Instead of simply thinking in terms of weight loss here, we all need to be thinking in terms of body composition.
- NO FORM OF EXERCISE COMES REMOTELY CLOSE TO RESISTANCE TRAINING AS FAR AS BODY COMPOSITION IS CONCERNED: When I speak of body composition, what I am really getting at is a person's "lean body mass" -vs- the amount of body fat they are carrying. Cardio Training inarguably helps people lose weight. But because it has a real tendency to break down muscle in the process (usually without building it back up ---- look at the pictures at the beginning), it can leave you skinny --- and in some cases rather soft. The only surefire way to increase lean body mass is to get involved in some sort of Resistance Training. Period. End of story. A 1999 issue of Medical Science Sports Exercise verified this fact. This study broke a group of overweight individuals into three different groups:
-The Diet-Only Group
-The Diet & Cardio Group
-The Diet & Cardio & Strength Training Group
In 12 weeks time training 3x / week for almost an hour per session, the Diet-Only group lost nearly 15 lbs, while The Cardio & Diet Group lost nearly 16 pounds --- one measley pound difference. But the Strength Training group lost over 21 pounds of fat over the course of the 12 weeks. Think about it. There is so little difference between dieting and dieting plus cardio, that it is virtually impossible to justify the extra effort it takes to lose that one extra pound. In other words, thirty-six cardio sessions lasting up to almost an hour added up to one extra pound lost (gulp). But throw in the Strength Training, and Whalah! The Strength group showed weight loss that was far superior to the other two groups. In a moment we'll delve into what happens when the Cardio Training is altogether abandoned in lieu of Strength Training. To truly see concept in action (losing 100 lbs in 100 days, and getting strong in the process), you need to take a peek at THIS SHORT POST.
- WEIGHT LIFTING CHANGES BODY SHAPE / APPEARANCE FAR MORE THAN CARDIO EVER WILL --- OR CAN: Although this goes along with Body Composition above, they are certainly not the same thing. And let's be really honest with each other for a moment. While it's very true that people exercise for a wide variety of health-related reasons, many (arguably most) people exercise because they want to look better. I could have titled this bullet point, "Strength Training Creates Better _______ (insert the body part of your choice here --- Abs, Butt, Legs, Chest, Arms, etc). Other than getting leaner, most Cardio Training does very little (many experts would argue 'nothing') as far as body sculpting is concerned.
- WEIGHT TRAINING PROVIDES A SHAPELY ADVANTAGE ---- ESPECIALLY FOR WOMEN: Unfortunately, most women fear the very thing they should be doing --- lifting heavier weights with greater intensity. If you are one of those, But-I'm-afrad-to-bulk-up-I-just-want-to-tone-up women, change your mindset and change it now! Listen up ladies. If you want to change how you look and change it rapidly, you had better get far more serious about Strength Training. I seriously cannot tell you how many women I have counseled because their 10-12 mile-a-day walking program (yeah, that's what I thought too) was no longer producing the results they wanted -- namely weight loss and toning. Unless there is a serious health problem that would prevent someone from doing so, my advice is virtually always the same. KETTLE BELL SWINGS, multiple-joint power movements (squats, deadlifts, etc --- longer list at end of the post), heavier weights, Low Carb or Paleo eating, and more protein more often. Bottom line; if you want to change the way you look without clothes on, lift weights. Doing rep after rep after rep after rep with one pound padded dumbbells is essentially another form of Cardio Training. It will probably give you a good case of TENDINOSIS, but do very little to change your body's shape! Rather than belabor this point, I will point you to a post by Nerd Fitness's, STEVE KAMB.
- RESISTANCE TRAINING REQUIRES A SIMILAR EXPENDITURE OF ENERGY INITIALLY, BUT RAISES METABOLISM MUCH MORE FOR A MUCH LONGER PERIOD OF TIME: Unless you are doing some serious, serious, long-distances; weightlifting is going to burn as much or almost as much energy (calories) as cardio. It is pure myth that Cardio Training burns significantly more calories than intense resistance training. Although your 10 mile run may very well burn more calories than my 20-40 minute Crossfit-like workout, the current scientific literature shows that the increased muscle mass creates a boosted metabolism for between 24-48 hours post-exercise (38 hours is a number frequently bantered around). In other words, the increased lean body mass you create via Strength Training burns more calories at rest ---- way more. For whatever reason, this phenomenon is not seen in Cardio Training. Remember; Cardio Training will not only not increase lean body mass, in many cases it will actually decrease it! Quit concentrating on the number of calories you supposedly burn during your exercise session (as if any method of counting calories is really trustworthy and accurate). It is the calories you burn during the rest of the day that matter the most. In other words, stop focusing on how many calories you burn inside the gym and instead focus on how your body expends energy outside the gym.
- CALORIES DON'T REALLY MEAN JACK: A Calorie, by definition, is the amount of heat energy it takes to raise one cubic centimeter of water, one degree Celsius. If you want to know why your ENDOCRINE SYSTEM (and particularly Insulin) has a much bigger effect on your body composition than the number of calories you eat, READ THIS. Again, do not get hung up on calories. The number of calories you eat has little to do with the amount of weight you gain or lose. It is all about controlling your blood insulin levels by controlling your blood sugar. To understand this better, check out my 'self-experimentation' at the end of the post.
- WHEN IT COMES TO WEIGHT LOSS, INTERVAL TRAINING IS SUPERIOR TO STRAIGHT CARDIO TRAINING: The University of New South Wales looked at 45 overweight women over the course of a 15-week period. The study's subjects were divided into two groups: Group One did continuous bicycling, while Group Two performed mixed routines called "Intervals" (lots of sprints with regular cycling between the sprints). The interval (“sprint”) cycling group performed twenty minutes of exercise, while the continuous group exercised for 40 minutes. At the end of the study, the women in the interval group had lost three times as much body fat as the women in the continuous exercise group --- mostly from the legs and butt. Stop and re-read that sentence if your jaw is not on the floor right now! Interval Training (repeated sprints or extremely intense bursts of exercise ---- Burpees for instance ----- sandwiched between your normal exercise) is all about making your body adapt to change. This is always a good thing, no matter what kind of exercise we are talking about. The current scientific research says that Interval Training is far superior to standard Cardio Training in virtually every measurable category --- including fat loss. Be aware that programs like P-90X and "Insanity" are incorporating what amounts to Interval Training into their Strength Training. Despite Interval Training's superiority to Cardio Training................. (HERE)
- WEIGHT LIFTING IS SUPERIOR TO INTERVAL TRAINING: Although I have done a bit of it during my lifetime, make no mistake about it ---- I do not like to run for the sake of running. I would rather play racquetball, basketball, soccer, walk, KAYAK UPSTREAM, hike in the woods (HERE), or whatever else a person could possibly do to avoid running. Rather than belabor the superiority of Resistance Training compared to both Intervals and Cardio, I will leave you with Jason Ferruggia interviewing world renowned fitness expert, Alwyn Cosgrove, on the subject.
- CARDIO IS TYPICALLY HARDER ON YOUR BODY THAN STRENGTH TRAINING: While injuries can occur in all forms of exercise, I see far more chronic injuries (TENDINOSIS, FASCIAL ADHESIONS, PLANTAR FASCIITIS, SHIN SPLINTS, BURISITIS, PATELLAR TRACKING PROBLEMS, ITB SYNDROME, PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME, etc, etc) in people who are seriously into their cardio --- particularly runners. The intense and repetitive impact seen in running is a huge problem over time, frequently leading to DEGENERATIVE OSTEOARTHRITIS of the knees and hips (orthopedic surgeons absolutely love runners). And the repetitive motion patterns seen in running as well as other supposed 'low impact' Cardio Training methods such as biking, rowing, swimming, stair climbing, etc, frequently contribute to muscle imbalances and joint problems as well. Can you hurt yourself lifting weights? Absolutely! I have done it myself too many times to count. I am still trying to reprogram my pea brain. It can be a difficult thing for a Type A male to shed the more-is-always-better mindset.
- STRENGTH TRAINING IS FAR SUPERIOR AS FAR AS CORE STRENGTHENING IS CONCERNED: Core Strength is critical for overall health and fitness --- not to mention Spinal Health. It is also important if one of your goals is to live a pain-free life. One of the really cool things about Strength Training is that it automatically works your core (CORE STRENGTHENING PAGE). Unless you are doing some sort of hybrid training method (Zumba, P-90X, Kickboxing, etc) your Cardio Training will provide little benefit as far as strengthening The Core is concerned. For you hardcore cardio enthusiasts, kill two birds with one stone. Cut back a little bit on the cardio and add some dumbell work done on an Exercise Ball (HERE) and watch what happens.
- WEIGHTLIFTING INCREASES SELF CONFIDENCE MORE THAN CARDIO: I have believed for a very long time that a healthy body / body image helps to give people self confidence. It seems that the scientific community agrees with me. Dr. Kathleen Martin Ginis of Ontario's McMaster University specializes in the field of exercise's effects on body image and self confidence. In a 2006 study, she looked at women's perceptions about themselves and their bodies both before and after 12 weeks of Strength Training. Not surprisingly, she showed that Strength Training made significant improvements in this area.
- ONLY STRENGTH TRAINING CAN REVERSE OR INHIBIT THE PROGRESSION OF OSTEOPOROSIS: Only "Weight Bearing Exercise" can positively affect OSTEOPOROSIS. Even though I myself would characterize walking or running as 'weight bearing', the scientific community does not see it that way. When it comes to Osteoporosis, 'weight bearing' exercise means you have to work your muscles against resistance of some sort. Unfortunately, walking and / or running do not cut it. Bottom line: stronger bones are created by strengthening the muscles that attach to those bones. What strengthens muscles? You already know the answer --- Strength Training!
- STRENGTH TRAINING CREATES A FAR BETTER HORMONAL ENVIRONMENT WITHIN THE BODY: One of the things that has really come to the forefront lately about hardcore Cardio Training (most specifically, running or intense walking) is that it significantly and chronically raises Cortisol levels. Cortisol is the body's primary stress hormone and is made by the Adrenal Glands. Due to dietary stress, emotional stress, or physical stress (i.e. running), the Adrenal Glands release Cortisol. In a worst-case-scenario; overstressed Adrenal Glands cannot keep up with the stress demand, and people end up with ADRENAL FATIGUE / FIBROMYALGIA. Unfortunately, one of the chief metabolic activities of Cortisol is to promote the loss of muscle (lean body mass), as well as causing fat accumulation --- particularly BELLY FAT. And once people begin having problems with one part of their Endocrine System, other Endocrine Problems begin to show their ugly heads as the whole thing begins to head South. This leads to a cascade of problems that almost always involve some form of Insulin Resistance (Diabetes or Pre-Diabetes). If you search the scientific literature, this scenario is beginning to get a lot of play right now, and is a good reason to either dump intense Cardio Training altogether, or at the very least, scale it way back. Conversely, if you look at the research on Strength Training being used to modulate the Endocrine System, it is very promising.
- IF YOU ARE GOING TO DO CARDIO TRAINING, YOU MAY WANT TO DO IT IN THE FORM OF A SPORT: For instance, MMA and Soccer are both sports that my son has been involved in for many years. When you get down to it, sports like these, as well as others like racquetball or basketball are really forms of Interval Training (fairly continuous exercise with intermittent bursts of super intensity / speed). They are not boring. They are not repetitive. They provide great cardiovascular benefits. Granted, you cannot simply put your running shoes on and go do these sports. The drawback with sports is the potential for injury. However, a number of Strength / Cardio / Interval Training Programs have come to the forefront over the past several years. Like I mentioned earlier, people are getting great results with training videos such as P-90X, Insanity, and a wide variety of the like. A QUICK NOTE ON BIKING / SPINNING: Biking has gained in popularity because when done properly, it is a true combination of Strength Training, Interval Training, and Cardio Training. See our testimonial from a three time world champion triathlete (HERE).
- I AM NOW CONVINCED THAT STRENGTH TRAINING IS SUPERIOR. HOW DO I ADD STRENGTH TRAINING TO MY CARDIO PROGRAM? This is not difficult. For those of you who are not currently performing some sort of exercise, this post will give you enough information to get started. For those of you who are training either exclusively training cardio, it will be tougher. What it will most-entail from you is a mindset change. If you are a hardcore runner, you will have to do some serious soul searching concerning some of the things you have read in this post. The most difficult thing for you (at least at first) will be to realize that cutting back on your Cardio Training is really OK. Unless you want your body to become a 'Cortisol Dump', DO NOT simply add Strength Training to a hardcore Cardio Training program. As always, I would strongly suggest that you never listen blindly to anything that anyone (self included) tells you, without first doing your own research into the matter.
- WHAT KINDS OF STRENGTH EXERCISES SHOULD I BE DOING? OK; you're convinced that Strength Training is superior to Cardio Training. The next question is what kind of exercises should you be doing? This is fairly simple to answer. Rather than wasting your time with lots and lots of individual exercises for each individual body part (bodybuilding), you need to be doing exercises that use as many large muscle groups as possible (squats, deadlifts, lunges, kettlebell swings, squat thrusts / burpees, inverted rows / pull ups, push ups, medicine ball slams, powerclean to press, etc, etc, etc, ---- there are lists all over the internet). By doing these sorts of exercises one after the other in a rapid circuit (or by substituting with the hundreds of similar exercises as taught by CrossFit or other similar groups), you'll build lean body mass (muscle), lose fat (fat), and develop exceptional cardiovascular strength (heart and lung capacity). There are several places to start. I have mentioned CROSSFIT already. You can read blogs like NERD FITNESS, STRONGLIFTS, MARK'S DAILY APPLE, or any number of others. It is important to realize that a great Strength Training Workout can actually be accomplished in a short amount of time with little or no equipment; using things you can either BUILD YOURSELF, or scrounge up from around your house (some CrossFit workouts last less than 15 minutes). The never-ending variety of exercises means that you won't get bored. And the fact that you can see such dramatic results so immediately, makes Strength Training its own motivation. Cut back the Cardio, add some high intensity low duration Strength Training to your program, and watch what happens. You'll be amazed.
One of the first large-scale experiments on myself occurred back in the mid 90's. Even though it was about to kill me, I was hopelessly stuck in the Fat Free 80's. After reading The Zone by biochemist Barry Sears, as well as Dr. Atkin's original book, I decided it was time to go 'Mad Scientist' on myself, and one day finally said, "chuck it". Although I knew in my brain that what these authors were saying was biochemically correct and accurate, I could not get over the fact that for 10 years of studying nutrition, all I had ever heard from seemingly everyone in the industry was that dietary fat was the Great Satan --- the thing that made people fat (HERE). So what did I do? For several weeks, I essentially went carb-free (basically the Atkin's Diet's Induction Phase), living on things like bacon, fried eggs, sausage, cheese, and other similar fare --- things I had mostly eschewed for the past decade. Guess what happened? Even though I was not really 'fat' to begin with (but more so than I care to admit), I lost about 10 lbs of fat without any changes to my training regimen. Other than the occasional binge (yeah, at times I fall off the wagon ---- eggnog is the thing that is currently calling my name), I have been low carbing ever since.
For my most current experiment, I decided to pull a Tim Ferris and do virtually no cardio (because of old injuries, I cannot do as much as I would like to do anyway --- the weirdest is that I can no longer ride a bike and have not done so in over a decade). Other than the occasional hike or short Kayak excursion, my workouts have consisted of nothing other than Strength Training since we closed the pool back in October. Because I can have a tendency to over-consume eggnog around Christmas time, and because my friend Rick is on an absolute rampage with his new workout, I came up with the HOLIDAY CHALLENGE to give us both some accountability and motivation to get through the Christmas season unscathed.
POSSIBLY THE SINGLE BEST EXERCISE ON THE PLANET
FOR LOSING WEIGHT AND GETTING IN SHAPE!
Ferriss rehashed the old Colorado State University study with professional bodybuilder Casey Viator being trained by the developer of Nautalis Equipment, Arthur Jones. Viator was said to have gained almost 70 lbs of muscle in one month's time by using Jones concept of one maximal set per exercise done to failure. Sorry; I'm not buying that he did this without some serious pharmaceutical help. What I am buying, however, is that Kettlebell Swings are the most amazing full-body resistance exercise I have ever been exposed to. For me, they the place of deadlifts, squats, lunges, and who knows what else. And I can do a couple heavy sets per week without stirring up the old PIRIFORMIS ISSUE (I use a 120 pound T-BAR).
One of the stories in Ferriss' book was that of a woman who had lost 100 lbs in 100 days by simply going LOW CARB and doing Kettlebell Swings two times a week for 15-20 minutes (to understand why Low Carb eating burns fat like a coal-fired furnace, CLICK THIS). Although I hear people talking about creating diets / workout programs that lead to a slow, steady, weight loss, you can do better than that if you desire --- much better.
Believe it or not, our government (Medicare) will pay for you to lose weight as long as you are losing 1.1 lbs per month. Yep; you heard me correctly. A measly, gravy-sucking quarter pound per week. Depending on how overweight you are and your physical condition, this might be as good as you can do. The truth is, however; most people can do better ---- MUCH BETTER. It's the holiday season. Why not take the HOLIDAY CHALLENGE and get in shape before you gain that extra weight that comes from eating too many cookies and washing them down with too much eggnog. To learn more about the relationship between Kettle Bell Swings, WEIGHT LOSS, getting in shape, and the like, see my pages on the subject (HERE & HERE). On the last link, I even show you how to make your own Kettlebells for next to nothing. Don't settle for one pound a month when you can do so much better.
As always, ask your MD before starting any diet or exercise program.
METABOLIC ADVANTAGES OF PALEO
There are great numbers of books on Low Carb eating. The question we need to answer is what makes the Paleo Diet different from any other form of Low Carb diet. Supposedly, the Paleo (short for "Paleolithic") Diet is what our ancestors ate. In other words, it is a diet based upon the theory of evolution. Notice that I said "theory". I realize that many of you will think I am crazy, but I am not buying the whole EVOLUTION THING. I believe it is one of the biggest hoaxes ever perpetrated upon mankind ---- particularly in view of some of the new information coming out of the field of molecular genetics. Anyway; just realize that you can get the benefits of a Paleo Diet without goosestepping along with the evolutionists.
The Paleo Diet basically consists of eating things that prehistoric man would have hunted or gathered. This includes meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, berries, and nuts. The Paleo crowd is big on totally avoiding certain foods and drinking only water or maybe green tea. You'll see why shortly. Some of these foods on the to-avoid list include GRAINS, beans & legumes, MILK or milk products, and alcohol. Just understand that no two lists will completely agree with each other (I recently saw a Paleo list that said it was OK to drink DIET SODA --- gulp!). I realize that some of you reading this are going to disagree with the whole "Low Carb" thing. That's OK. It's a free country.
Yeah, I know. I've seen Forks Over Knives just like you have. Sorry; the research I have seen for Vegan eating is not convincing. Not to mention, I know how much better I feel eating closer to Paleo than eating Vegan. I used to follow Dr. McDougall back in the day --- back when I though that "Fat Free" was great. Although some of what he says is spot on (processed cow's milk, for instance), he needs to enter the 21st century as far as the research on protein is concerned. Despite the fact that I myself do not strictly follow a Paleo Diet (I like beans, sweet potatoes, and natural cheese too much), there can be many advantages --- particularly to the person who is trying to regain both their weight and their health. Let's look at a few of these advantages.
SPECIFIC ADVANTAGES OF THE PALEO DIET
- THE FOOD EATEN IS UNPROCESSED: "Cavemen" could not go out and purchase fast food. They could not run down to the store and buy prepackaged or JUNK FOOD. There was no such thing as preservatives, additives, MSG, or other such things back then. A PALEO DIET is all about eating this way.
- IT REVOLVES AROUND EATING FRUITS AND VEGETABLES: About the only thing that experts in the field of nutrition can ultimately agree on is that eating fresh vegetables is good for you. Everything else is up for grabs. When you look at the traditional Food Pyramid prepared by the USDA nearly 30 years ago, you'll see that its foundation was grains (8-11 servings a day). After three decades of eating this way, we should be aware that as a nation we look suspiciously familiar to grain-fed Missouri beef. And in case you had not yet seen it, the latest government offering as far as dietary recommendations go --- THE DASH DIET --- might just be worse.
- YOU WILL BE ABLE TO CONSUME PLENTY OF GOOD FATS: INFLAMMATION is a chemical problem that is driven by several things, including the quality and type of the fats we eat. We are easier able to overcome a not-quite-perfect diet if we are consuming plenty of high quality Omega-3 Fatty Acids in our diets. The proper ratio of Omega 3's to Omega-6's should be about 1:2 or at the most, 1:3. Study after study after study puts the average American at closer to 1:30. If you are eating a diet heavy in TRANS FATS and not eating enough good fats (Omega 3's, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, etc) or supplementing with PHARMACEUTICAL GRADE FISH OIL, getting healthy will be nigh impossible.
- YOU DO NOT HAVE TO STARVE YOURSELF: Some of the latest diet fads are simply amazing. My favorite diet for absolute absurdity is the HCG diet (Human Chorionic Gonadatrophin ---- a hormone of pregnancy that is used by roiding athletes to 'restart' their own testosterone production once they go off their cycle). All you are supposed to do is take HCG and eat 500 calories a day. Wow! 500 calories a day. Sounds more like Stone Soup to me! With Paleo, as with all true 'Low Carb' methods of eating, you can eat a lot of food and should never feel hungry.
- PALEO IS HIGH IN FIBER: One of the knocks against the Atkins Diet and some of the other Low Carb diets is that they do not contain enough fiber. Much of this belief is either due to not understanding what Atkins himself was promoting, or not following his regimen ---- or both. I have heard Atkins' Diet called the "Meat Diet". This is unfair. The people saying this are the same people saying that Atkins, a cardiologist, weighed 280 when he died. They fail to mention that he fell on an icy sidewalk and hit his head, causing a total shut down of all organs, including his kidneys. They also happen to be the same group of people touting bread as a good source of fiber (HERE). When 'Low Carb' is done correctly, you will have no trouble getting more than enough fiber. This is particularly true of the Paleo Diet.
- PALEO IS HYPO-ALLERGENIC: I like going to chiropractic seminars. Lately, I have been attending the series of 30 seminars created by DATIS KHARRAZIAN for Apex Energetics. The people teaching Datis's classes are some of the most brilliant physicians on the planet ---- FUNCTIONAL NEUROLOGISTS with advanced degrees in nutrition and expertise in Functional Endocrinology. Because they can easily prove that almost all really sick people have food sensitivities, they put almost everyone they treat on a modified Paleo Diet. Paleo is GLUTEN FREE and Cassien Free (milk protein). In order to understand why this is such a big deal, read about GLUTEN CROSS-REACTORS as well as the COMMON CAUSE OF ALL MODERN DISEASE.
- PALEO NOT ONLY WORKS, BUT WORKS QUICKLY: In a study done by Dr. Lynda Frassetto's team at the University of California - San Francisco School of Medicine and published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, we saw just how fast a Paleo Diet began causing the physiological changes that are required for health. How about 10 days! Researchers took sedentary individuals who were "non-obese" and put them on a Paleo Diet for a week and a half. Guess what happened? There were significant changes in BLOOD PRESSURE, BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS, Glucose Tolerance, SENSITIVITY TO INSULIN, and BLOOD LIPID PROFILES. Ten days. If you have read THE NUMBER ONE HEALTH PROBLEM FACING AMERICANS TODAY, you will understand why. Yet we still have a medical community telling us that meat and fat consumption are the things that drive most health problems --- even though this has been disproved time and time again (HERE). In an interview related to this study, Dr Frassetto stated, "In two weeks, everybody's blood pressure went down and everybody's cholesterol and triglyceride levels got better. The average drop was 30 points, which was pretty amazing. It's the type of drop you get by taking statins for six months". And in case you are not aware how dangerous Statin Drugs really are, I have another major post on this topic in the chute.
JAMA TAKES ON OBESITY.......
- The Role of Government in Preventing Excess Calorie Consumption: The Example of New York City
MY TAKE: This is yet another plea for expanding Big Brother's policies concerning the practice of medicine. But then again, when the American people vote for socialized medicine, they essentially vote for governmental policies that supposedly regulate your health (i,e. New York's no more Big Gulp program). Farley writes, "The balanced and most effective approach is for governments to regulate food products that harm the most people, simultaneously encourage food companies to voluntarily produce and market healthful products, and then provide information to consumers in ways that facilitate their choosing healthful products." This sounds well and good until you start making a list of what constitutes "healthy" food. Is making soda pop more expensive a good thing? Maybe. The problem is that the regulation will not stop there.
For instance; even though the SNAP Program continues to pour money into Junk Food (HERE), our government continues to redefine what vegetables are as far as school lunches are concerned. The USDA says that a meal of Frozen Pizza, French Fries, and Ketchup counts as four (4) servings of vegetables. Huh --- are you joking me? Nope (HERE). And who could forget the not-so-distant past (for many, those days are still here) when RED MEAT, SALT, real butter, and eggs were really really bad for you; and lots of REFINED CARBS, BREAD, MARGARINE, and milk were really really good. Sorry; I don't trust the government to provide any sort of viable answer to this problem, although I do expect to be lied to and increasingly taxed while they try.
- The Next Generation of Obesity Research: No Time to Waste
- FDA Approval of Obesity Drugs: A Difference in Risk-Benefit Perceptions
Does unlimited access to healthcare motivate most people to live a healthy lifestyle? Like I just said; it actually does just the opposite. And just so you know, this study stated a weight loss drug is considered effective if people can lose 5% more than the placebo. Wow? 5% better than sugar pills. Where else can you provide such crappy results and make billions of dollars doing it?
- Cardiovascular Risk Assessment in the Development of New Drugs for Obesity
There are two parts of your Nervous System ---- the Sympathetic and the Parasympathetic. The parasympathetic has a calming effect on your body. It lowers blood pressure. It lowers heart rate. It opens airways. It increases digestion and bowel motility. On the other hand, the sympathetic nerve system is your "Fight of Flight" response. It increases heart rate and blood pressure, shuts down bowel motility, and constricts airways. While it's a great thing to have these things when they're needed; if you live in a constant state of SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE, I will assure you that you will have about a jillion seemingly unrelated health problems. The heart problems they are worried about in this study are just the tip of the iceberg of what goes on in a person lining in Sympathetic Dominance! To better understand this issue, take one minute to visit the link above "The Battle for your Brain: Sympathetic -vs- Parasympathetic").
- Exercise Dose and Diabetes Risk in Overweight and Obese Children: A Randomized Controlled Trial
- Association Between Urinary Bisphenol A Concentration and Obesity Prevalence in Children and Adolescents
- Health Benefits of Gastric Bypass Surgery After 6 Years
- Surgical vs Conventional Therapy for Weight Loss Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A Randomized Controlled Trial
- Progress in Obesity Research: Reasons for Optimism
What can members of the AMA take away from their "Obesity Issue"? Frankly, not much. Oh, they claimed a big victory in the arena of bariatric surgery, but beyond that, what do they have to offer their overweight patients? They can give you all sorts of pill, potions, and lotions once you get sick; but as far as preventing these things........ Forget about it! The medical community READILY ADMITS that the vast majority of the profession is as clueless as they ever were about REAL NUTRITION. And on top of that, there's no money in it. The practice of medicine is now known as "Corporate Medicine" for a reason. The big money is in drugs and surgeries --- and that is exactly where the AMA and medical research is stuck. Trying to figure out what they can do to make people lose weight via drugs and surgery. It's a shame really.
If you want to lose weight, you need to read two things. You need to sit down and read my OBESITY POSTS, and you need to read my posts about, HOW TO CURE JUST ABOUT ANYTHING. Just remember that since Big Medicine and Big Pharma view you as a commodity; if you leave your health solely to your doctor, you are in deep trouble.
GOVERNMENT PANEL SAYS THAT DOCTORS SHOULD SCREEN FOR OBESITY
LOW CARB DIETS, BLOOD SUGAR, THE GLYCEMIC INDEX, AND THEIR RELATIONSHIP TO BOTH HEALTH AND WEIGHT
Fortunately for us, practically every carbohydrate you can imagine has been indexed as far as its speed of being converted to Glucose is concerned. This is called the GLYCEMIC INDEX. Foods that are quickly converted to Glucose by your body are not good for you in large amounts, or on a regular basis. They rapidly increase blood sugar, and are said to be High Glycemic Index Carbs (see the "spike" on the graph in red above). Low Glycemic Index Carbohydrates, on the other hand, are not converted rapidly to sugar, thus they do not raise blood sugar nearly as rapidly or as steeply as their High GI brethren.
If you want to really understand this whole concept and how it affects your weight and your overall health (yes; high blood sugar is being touted as a root cause of almost every disease process out there), then it is critical to take 10 minutes and read THIS SHORT BLOG POST.
Why am I blogging about this topic again? Allow me to tell you a story that happened in the office yesterday. A young woman came in for an adjustment. I saw her two months ago, and we had a heart to heart talk about her weight (she is very overweight). Nothing she had tried had worked for her as far as her ability to lose weight is concerned. And in her early 20's, her health was failing (PCOS among other things). After her visit two months ago, she went home and read the Blog Post above and began putting it into action. So far she has lost nearly 30 pounds. And on top of this, several major health problems have cleared up. And the cool thing is "gets it". She understands why what she is doing now is working, and everything she tried in the past failed. And if she can do it, so can you.
Want to Loose a lot of Weight Fast, get in Great Physical Shape while you do it, and do just one Single Exercise?
KETTLE BELL SWINGS ARE IT!
_SARA DEMONSTRATING A KETTLEBELL SWING
She dropped the walking and started swinging a Kettlebell two times a week for an average of 15 to 20 minutes (never more than 35 minutes). That's all she did. LOW CARB EATING and Kettlebell Swings. No starvation diets. No hours and hours of training. No crazy / expensive weight loss formulas or equipment. No gimmicks. No tricks. No drugs. She simply cut the JUNK, and started a simple exercise program that revolved around one exercise ---- the Kettlebell Swing. Within a matter of three months, she had lost over 100 lbs! Let me repeat that for those of you who are hard of hearing. She lost 100 lbs in just over 100 days.
If you find that exercise and weight loss are impossible even when you follow all the right steps, it is probably time for some serious metabolic testing to see where your body is malfunctioning. What do I mean my "malfunctioning"? visit DESTROY FIBROMYALGIA, ENDOGUT, or THYROID EPIDEMIC to learn more.
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).
Brain Based Therapy
Can You Help
Cardio Or Strength
Cold Laser Therapy
Death By Medicine
Degenerative Joint Disease
D's Of Chronic Pain
Evidence Based Medicine
Gluten Cross Reactivity
Ice Or Heat
Jacks Fork River
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Number One Health Problem
Platelet Rich Therapy
Post Surgical Scarring
Re Invent Yourself
Rib And Chest Pain
Scar Tissue Removal
Sleeping Pills Kill
Stay Or Go
Stretching Post Treatment
Tensegrity And Fascia
The Big Four
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Whole Body Vibration