Resistance or weight training boosts your resting metabolic rate, protects you from type II diabetes and prevents osteoarthritis.
Anti-oxidants are found in spices and herbs, deep colored berries and several tree nuts. Anti-oxidants protect us from free radical damage which is the main culprit in accelerated aging and many age related mental disorders.
Most modern lifestyle diseases (heart disease, diabetes) are a result of chronic inflammation which is a result of over consumption of Omega-6 fats from vegetable oils which are highly pro-inflammatory. These fats have to be balanced with increased consumption of Omega-3 fats which are anti-inflammatory for protection from these diseases.
Stress trumps everything when it comes to disease and accelerated aging. Stress increases the production of stress hormones (cortisol) that increases blood sugar, promotes belly fat and increases free radical damage. Stress also inhibits natural killer cell (NKC) activity that is involved in targeting and killing cancer cells. So practicing daily stress reduction techniques (like breathing exercises, meditation etc.) goes a long way in ensuring our health and longevity.
Anti-oxidant rich healthy carbs from vegetables are rich in fiber which is harder to digest and prevents insulin spikes that are the primary culprit in weight gain. Replacing easy to digest carbs from white potatoes, enriched flour, white rice and sugars, with vegetables will help manage our weight.
With the holiday season around the corner and with Halloween celebration at workplace I was faced with a few tough choices today. After a hearty chicken and vegetables lunch I was feeling like a good boy until the cakes and pies were brought to the table. Even though I don’t get any cravings for desserts anymore, the festive mood wanted some part of me to indulge in a slice of cake. I was faced with a choice of regular frosted cake, pumpkin pie and cheesecake. Knowing the ingredients of each type the most judicious choice was a cheesecake since it’s only got a very thin crust of flour at the bottom while the rest of it is semi sweet cheese concoction of some sort. So I enjoyed a slice of cheese cake.
Later on I looked up the glycemic load of each cake type and found that cheesecake has the lowest GL of 3, which is pretty low in comparison to most other foods. For comparison a 1 oz. serving of whole wheat bread has a GL of 5. Generally speaking a GL of less than 10 is considere…
1) Avocados: the medium unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) in avocado help your body burn fat especially that stubborn belly fat. Avocado is also a good source of high quality protein so it will give you that extra Thermogenic boost for additional fat burn.
2) Walnuts: The MUFA in walnuts are also good for belly fat reduction. On top of that they are a rich source of the parent Omega-3 fat (ALA) which helps fight inflammation.
3) Coconuts or Coconut oil: The short chain fatty acids (SFCA) in coconut oil are easily burned for energy and help your body re-learn how to burn stored body fats. In other words coconut oil helps you become fat adapted. Also Lauric acid in coconut oil is anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal so will help ward of potential infections.
4) Eggs: Eggs are a rich source of vitamin B12 which is used by the body to metabolize fat. Also the protein and cholesterol in eggs helps keep us full so we tend to eat fewer calories…
Very few of you might have heard of the 10K kettlebell challenge. It’s basically a one month program to do a cumulative total of 10,000 kettlebell swings. It was started by Dan John of TNation. Some do it for weight loss (more about it later) while some do it for the challenge and some do it because they want to improve their metabolic conditioning. I did it for the challenge and conditioning. Men are advised to use 53lb bell and women should use a 35lb bell. You have the flexibility to choose the reps/day scheme. Some people do 333 swings/day for 30 days. Some do 500 swings/day for 5 days a week with 2 rest days. I chose to do 400 swings/day for 6 days with one day of rest per week. So I did 25 days of swings with 4 days of rest. Started on the 15th Sept and ended on the 13th Oct.
Here are some of my impressions on this challenge: First and foremost this challenge is more about mental toughness than physical toughness. Now don’t get me wrong physically this is no walk in the park….
Everyone who is serious about health should watch this movie.
Finally a movie that acknowledges that simply eating less and exercising more will not solve the obesity epidemic unless we change what we eat. While this movie lays the blame squarely on sugar, I would go a step further and blame all easily digested and processed carbs in our diet. Once these carbs enter our system the body doesn’t distinguish between these carbs and sugar. They all end up as blood sugar and eventually as fat. Not only that, they are addictive and make us hungry to have more; a win-win for the processed food industry!
See how these carbs activate the same centers in our brain that are responsible for drug addiction (like cocaine). Furthermore they activate parts of the brain that are responsible for processing pain and emotion. So our connection to these simple carbs is not just physiological but also emotional. This is why you reach for the candy bar…
That’s right, exercise alone won’t cause any weight loss. Exercising for weight loss is akin to sweating for water loss. The human body likes to be in a state of equilibrium (homeostasis) and when you burn calories during exercise, the body wants to regain the lost calories. This stimulates hunger and if you were to follow your “usual” diet and eat till you were satisfied you would have eaten about the same number of extra calories that you burned exercising. No weight loss would occur. This is similar to drinking more water after sweating outside in the summer.
The reason most people see weight loss from exercise is because they simultaneously give up other “unhealthy” eating habits. For example after a 1 hr jog you will turn down that donut or candy bar and eat a celery stick or a carrot or a salad instead. And in most instances you will conscientiously limit the amount of calories eaten. In other words you will start exerting more will power and cultivate healthy eating habit…