Category Archives: Age-Defying Diet

Navratilova and others discuss staying fit and healthy at age 20 vs. age 60


By Gabriella Boston, Published: June 24

One sneaker fits all.
According to government recommendations, you should do at least 21 / hours of moderate aerobic activity per week and twice-weekly sessions of strength training to improve your health, no matter your age.
But don’t physical fitness needs change as we grow older?
Not that much, it turns out.
Todd Miller, an associate professor in the Department of Exercise Science at George Washington University, says whether you’re 20 years old or 60, you will need a combination of cardio and strength training to keep your heart and muscles in good shape and your weight under control.
The one difference may be that strength training becomes more crucial for everyday functional fitness as you get older. “A big issue as you age is the risk of falling. And strength training that builds muscle power helps prevent falls,” he says.
“People should do a combination of both cardio and strength” to meet those fitness goals, he says, but in general he sees an “overemphasis on cardio and underemphasis on strength.”
The challenge, Miller says, is not deciding whether fitness needs are age-specific. It’s getting people to do what they should do, at any age, to stay healthy and fit. “The problem is not the exercise or the type of exercise; it’s the adherence or the lack of adherence to exercise that is the main issue,” he says.
Only about 20 percent of Americans follow the government recommendations.
As you try to figure out a regime that keeps you healthy, here’s some advice from three people — Miller, a trainer and tennis great Martina Navratilova — that may help you, whether you’re 20 or 60.
The professional athlete
“As we age, we should exercise more often but for shorter periods of time,” says Navratilova, 56, who writes a health and fitness column for AARP.
“And mix up your routine. Do strength, cardio, yoga. Do what feels good in the body, go easy on the joints,” she says.
That’s actually pretty much in line with government recommendations, which say, “We know 150 minutes each week sounds like a lot of time, but you don’t have to do it all at once. Not only is it best to spread your activity out during the week, but you can break it up into small chunks of time during the day. As long as you’re doing your activity at a moderate or vigorous effort for at least 10 minutes at a time,” says the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends “a 10-minute brisk walk, 3 times a day, 5 days a week. This will give you a total of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity.”
Navratilova says that when she was in her 20s, she worked out six hours a day and could do 70-pound triceps presses. No more. “Daily exercise? I don’t do anything daily except eat and sleep,” she jokes. “But I do think if you can do functional fitness [exercises designed to help someone better handle daily tasks] for an hour a day, that is great,” she says. But for aging bodies, she adds, don’t overdo it. “Be nice to yourself and listen to your body.”
Navratilova says she recently began running again after a hiatus. “Nothing feels better than when you can run,” she says. “But every day? Absolutely not. It’s hard on your joints.”
Now living in Miami, she mixes it up by adding bicycling and paddleboarding to her running and tennis cardio regimen.
The trainer
Mike Fantigrassi, a trainer at the National Academy of Sport Medicine in Chandler, Ariz., says he makes balance and flexibility exercises a regular part of sessions with clients, but it’s different for younger and older people.
“If we have 60 minutes, we would do about five minutes of flexibility for someone in their 20s or 30s,” he says. “For someone 65 or older, we might do up to 15 minutes of flexibility.” It’s not that the 20- or 30-year old should go completely without stretching (particularly of the postural muscles — chest, core, neck and shoulders — that get tight from sitting at a desk all day) or working on balance, he says. But younger bodies, generally speaking, are naturally looser than older ones and have not been subjected to as much wear and tear.
So when a 20-year-old reaches down to pick something up off the floor, he probably won’t notice anything, but a 60-year-old may feel a tight hamstring. “But even a teenager who never does any flexibility work might get reduced joint flexibility eventually,” he adds.
Fantigrassi, who is 40, adds that the ability to generate muscle power suffers as we age, but we can slow the process down with such exercises as jumps — from foot to foot, or up and down from a bench or box. Eventually you’re going to lose your basketball jump shot, but you can keep it alive longer by training the leg muscles that generate power.
The researcher
Miller, 45, says that while building stronger muscles is protective for older people, strength training is important for everyone.
People begin to lose muscle mass and strength in their 30s, which slows metabolism. WebMD.com says that “each extra pound of muscle you carry can burn up to 50 additional calories [per day] just to maintain itself — and with no effort on your part.” Others, however, suggest that the muscle effect is probably much smaller.
Lifting weights can counteract muscle loss. Of course, you still may not be able to lift as much weight in your 60s as you could in your 20s, but you can slow muscle loss, which otherwise can decline by 5 percent per decade after age 30.
“The only difference between 20 and 60 is that you might be lifting less weight at 60. But the exercises themselves shouldn’t change unless you have an injury, but that isn’t age related,” says Miller.
Strength training will also improve bone density, says Miller, who advocates the type of strength exercises where the feet are planted on the floor and generate force into the spine. It could be a regular squat. It could be a squat with dumbbells in your hands, resting on your shoulders. It could be one of those squat machines with padding on top of the shoulders.
Given that most Americans gain roughly a pound per year starting in their 20s, it’s important at all ages to have cardio workouts in your week.
“If running feels good, then run,” Miller says. Just make sure it feels okay in your joints, whether you’re 20 or 60. “For me, it hurts, so I don’t do it.” In such cases, a treadmill or bike may be a better bet, he says. Whatever you choose, the point is to get regular exercise no matter what age you are.

A New Way to Eat


A New Way to Eat

When you cook meat, it turns brown. It’s a process called the Maillard Reaction, which is simply the binding of sugars to protein.
It’s also virtually identical to what happens to your body when you habitually keep blood sugar levels above approximately 85 dl/mg. If blood sugar levels are kept high enough, long enough, you’re effectively slow-cooking yourself, leading to kidney disease, joint deterioration, stiffening of connective tissues, cataracts, and atherosclerosis.
I say, I say, can you pass the Heinz Barbecue Sauce?
Not only does having perpetual high blood sugar cause you to slow-cook yourself, it also leads to a host of metabolic problems, including, but not limited to, insulin resistance and its hefty partner-in arms, fat-assedness.
The logical question that follows is, what causes one to have perpetual high blood sugar? Well, aside from someone who just eats the typical American diet, the individual most prone to high blood sugar would be someone who ate large amounts several times a day and who never allowed himself to go hungry– who, perhaps deliberately, on the advice of hundreds of diet experts, kept his blood sugar levels “steady” – over a period of several years.
Sound like anybody you know? Geez, if I’m not mistaken, that sounds like how every bodybuilder or “physique athlete” on the planet has been eating.
I’m thinking that just maybe it’s time to adopt a new way of eating. It’s one that I wrote about briefly in a Live Training Spill, but I think it’s so important that it deserves a more-detailed look.

The Problem

A New Way to Eat
In normal, healthy individuals, glucose is taken up by the blood stream and moved into the interior of cells where it’s burned as fuel. The whole thing is mediated by insulin, which is produced and released by the pancreas after you eat a meal.
However, in diabetics, glucose builds up in the blood as cells are unable to utilize it properly, which leads to a condition known as insulin resistance. Over time, the pancreas peters out and can no longer produce sufficient amounts of insulin to successfully transport glucose into insulin-resistant cells. As the disease progresses, the pancreas produces inadequate or zero quantities of insulin, which leads to all those horrific health problems and physique problems I alluded to earlier.
Mind-blowingly, it’s estimated that between one in three and one in five Americans will reach the aforementioned disease state by mid-century.
A good number of those Americans, maybe you among them, are only in the insulin resistant state now, years away from approaching a state that’s virtually indistinguishable from Type I diabetes. Regardless, you’re probably already experiencing some of the negative side effects, and it could well be because of the presumed “healthy” way you’re eating, the cornerstone of which is your rigidly scheduled 6 meals a day.
The damnable thing is that all the steady eating has kept your insulin levels perpetually elevated for years.
While your cells were once as sensitive to insulin as a fat man in vinyl pants is sensitive to heat rash, they’ve gradually grown resistant because there’s an onslaught of sugar in your blood stream almost all the time. It’s quite possible your blood sugar levels are averaging well above 85 mg/dl, if not much higher, and you’re already insulin resistant, perhaps on the way to full-blown diabetes.

A Little Blood Sugar History

Between 1979 and 1997, the medical establishment said that one of the criteria of diabetes was a fasting glucose rate of 140 mg/dl.
In 1997, they reevaluated their numbers and moved the diabetic ceiling to 126 mg/dl, but added that anyone who had a level over 110 showed “impaired fasting.”
Scootch ahead to 2003 and they then asserted that no one should have a level over 100 mg/dl, which is where the bar rests today. Clearly, they’re freaked out by elevated blood sugar and its potential problems and they don’t know exactly where to erect the milligram-per-deciliter bulwark.
A hundred seems like a logical number, but there are a couple of problems with this number. For one thing, it seems that the glycation, or “cooking” that I mentioned in the opening paragraph, seems to rear up its charbroiled head at blood sugar levels over 85 mg/dl.
Furthermore, the whole “fasting glucose” number might be skewed, anyhow. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, fasting glucose refers to your blood sugar level derived from a sample of blood taken after a night of not eating.
The trouble with that is that not eating, especially for us meathead weightlifters, is kind of a rare situation. Most of us eat virtually all the time. Besides, even normal people eat during the day, and they experience chaotic blood sugar peaks and valleys, and to really get a decent idea of how your body handles food, you’d have to take several blood samples during the day and analyze the results.

It just doesn’t happen.

So we really don’t know our blood sugar levels. True, you could buy a glucometer and test it several times a day, but few of us are that dedicated or that anal. Instead, I prefer to use this rubric:
If you’re a “big” guy; if you eat several meals a day; if you eat carbohydrates indiscriminately; if the only veins showing on your body are on your pecker; if the existence of your abs is as dubious and apocryphal as the existence of the Loch Ness Monster, you’re probably at least a little glucose intolerant and insulin resistant and potentially on the way to full-blown diabetes.
And, perhaps more important to you, you vain, vain, bastard, you, is that getting lean is becoming more and more improbable with each carb-loaded, elevated blood-sugar day.

Do You Have Any Proof?

A New Way to Eat
Do I have any proof? Admittedly, not a whole heck of a lot. I do have logic, experiential evidence, and at least a study or two on my side, though.
Logic tells me that challenging your system with a perpetual flood of blood sugar, over time, desensitizes the cells to insulin. That’s just the way the body works.
I’ve also experienced it personally. I’d been doing the six-meals-a-day thing since the late 80’s, only to watch my fasting blood sugar readings inch up year-by-year until they reached a zenith of 117 mg/dl late in 2010. And no, I wasn’t eating crappy. I haven’t had a McDonald’s burger in over 20 years and I don’t even remember what doughnuts taste like.
Nor do I have an apparent genetic predisposition towards high blood sugar.
No, it seems my 6-meals-a-day thing was the culprit.
Lastly, there seems to be some experimental evidence to back me up. One study in particular seemed to corroborate my thoughts: “Effect of meal frequency on glucose and insulin excursions over the course of a day” (Holmstrup, et al, 2010).
Rather than puke up all the particulars of the study, suffice it to say that a group of normal-weight test subjects who ate 6 meals a day exhibited significantly higher blood sugar values than those who ate 3. Despite eating the same amount of calories, the fewer meals group had 30% lower blood sugar values than those who ate 6 meals.
Furthermore, while the insulin response was no different between the two groups, the higher meal frequency group had higher blood glucose levels over the course of the day. That means that insulin was able to lower blood sugar more efficiently when eating fewer meals.
Additionally, there are several studies out there that suggest that fasting, which is, after all, a term that translates to eating fewer meals, increased insulin sensitivity markedly.

What To Do, Oh, What To Do?

A New Way to Eat
The simplest way to remedy the insulin resistance problem is to change your eating habits. Do a dietary downshift from 6 meals to 4 or even 3. You don’t need to necessarily eat less, just less often.
In my mind (and in my experience), an ideal dietary regimen on non-workout days would include a large, conventional bodybuilding breakfast with the emphasis – of course – on protein, smart fats, and functional carbs.
I’d follow this up a few hours later with a lunch that had a similar macronutrient profile, followed a few hours later, by a protein “pulse” consisting of a dose of Biotest’s Mag-10® Anabolic Pulse or 5 grams or so of branched chain amino acids (BCAA Structured Peptides).
(And yes, yes, I know protein and/or amino acids are insulinogenic, but not nearly as much as carbs are, especially when we’re only talking a few grams.)
I’d then follow that up with a sizeable late dinner of protein, fats, and as a few carbs as possible.

Non-Workout Day Diet

On workout days, I do virtually the same thing, except that I either replace my lunch with my para-workout nutrition protocol, or I’d simply add my para-workout nutrition protocol on top of my normally scheduled meals.
On Saturdays, I do what I call a “fasting cheat day,” which seems unorthodox because it is unorthodox.
I have a large protein-based breakfast and then don’t eat anything (save my “pulse” in the afternoon), until a late dinner, when I eat pretty much anything and everything I want. Despite whatever dietary excesses I may indulge in during the evening, I’ve fasted throughout the day, which increases insulin sensitivity and theoretically, at least, allows my physique to weather the evening calorie storm.
I know that this eating plan is somewhat similar to Christian Thibaudeau’s Pulse Feast, only my plan is designed to be an eating plan for your entire lifetime. Also, my plan is specifically designed to bring your blood sugar down to healthful, non-cooking-your-meat levels and keep them that way. Fat loss and improved body comp is a side effect of my plan, while it’s the primary goal of CT’s plan.
Neither is my plan a “fasting” plan. I don’t preach jamming in multiple meals during an 8-hour period and the fasting the rest of the day. That type of thing might work for improving insulin sensitivity, but it’s my hypothesis that it invariably leads to loss of muscle – going 16 hours without eating forces your body to rob muscle of protein. Besides, this type of plan isn’t practical in real life. In other words, fasting for 12 hours is okay, 16 not so much.
That’s not to say there isn’t a problem with my plan. There’s a price to pay for eating three times a day: it’s harder to get a surplus of calories – enough to gain muscle – if you’re not eating as often.
The benefit of course is that you’ll get leaner and more efficient in handling carbs and you’ll likely feelelectric as opposed to lethargic.
This is exactly why Indigo-3G™ has become so hugely popular. It allows you to have your cake and eat it, too, literally and figuratively.
One of the things Indigo-3G™ does is improve how your body handles sugar, dramatically. One study of the active component of Indigo-3G™ showed a 22.2 percent increase in insulin sensitivity, plus or minus 5.8 percent (Stull, et al, 2010).
Furthermore, it also blocks elevation of leptin (along with improving leptin sensitivity), lowers LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, facilitates glucose absorption into muscle tissue, blocks body fat accumulation, and inhibits intestinal enzymes that break down starch for absorption (meaning that carbs can’t be absorbed and remain in the intestinal tract).
That’s why people using Indigo-3G™ can eat more, often lots more, and keep their insulin sensitivity extremely high while simultaneously getting leaner and more muscular.
It seemingly cures insulin sensitivity in affected people, while turning up sensitivity several notches in people with supposedly normal insulin sensitivity.
I was able, by first using this eating plan, and then taking Indigo-3G™ before it was released to the general public, to bring my fasting glucose level down to 77 mg/dl (from a pre-diet, pre-Indigo 3G reading of 117), where it remains, give or take a few random fluctuations, to this day.
Furthermore, when I test my blood sugar throughout the day (as I’ll occasionally do to make sure I’m on target), my blood sugar will rise modestly soon after a meal but then return to baseline within about an hour, which is exactly what one would hope for.
However, not everyone can afford Indigo-3G™. That’s why I feel it’s especially important that our little subculture start reevaluating our time-honored but horribly flawed 6-meals-a-day eating pattern.
You can absolutely improve insulin sensitivity by diet alone, but it won’t be as easy as it would be with Indigo-3G™, nor will you be able to divert extra carb-calories to lean tissue without it. Still, improved insulin sensitivity through diet alone is a worthy and necessary goal.
The multiple-meals eating plan may have originally been devised with the best health intentions, but that’s of little comfort to the legions of insulin-resistant, thick skinned, definition-challenged beefy bastards out there who can’t, for the life of them, figure out why food is often their greatest obstacle to creating a lean, muscular, energetic, fuel-burning machine.
Let the multiple meals thing go, man, let it go.

Wikio

Fat Loss and T-Man Bullets

Fat Loss and T-Man Bullets

This information overload era we live in can be tricky for strength athletes, coaches, and even writers.
In trying to distinguish ourselves from the nonsense and scams that dominate the fitness industry and get good information out to good people, one’s content can start to err on the side of being overly scientific, flashy, or complicated.
You’ve all seen it. Writing becomes less about actual ideas and more about trying to sound smart, discredit others, stand out, impress clients or colleagues, and battle for coach/diet supremacy – basically, self-flagellation supersetted with furious dick swinging.
And it moves too far from what it’s supposed to be – a way to give people practical tools that they can apply to get real results in the real world.

Think In Bullet Points

A successful NFL defensive coordinator once said that most players forget the majority of what you say. Thus, one of the keys to being an effective coach, and getting people to absorb and apply the techniques you’re trying to teach, is to get them to think in bullet points.
I think this is one of the most profound statements I’ve ever heard, and a highly effective coaching strategy. And based on some of the emails I get, I need to implement it more often.
So for this article, let’s dispense with the nonsense. Lets take the ornaments off the tree, and get down to the fat loss roots. Bullet point sounds too formal for my tastes, so let’s call them bullets.
I’ve loaded up my guns, and am randomly firing off some rounds about fat loss, and life in general. Hopefully, a few hit their target. Let the bodies, or more appropriately body fat, hit the floor

Dropping fat is more about what you don’t eat than about what you do.

Fat Loss and T-Man Bullets

  • There’s a definite fat loss hierarchy, and food choices stand on top of the list. The commonality amongst the most effective diet plans is usually what’s not in them.

Why? It’s virtually impossible to stay in the calorie deficit necessary for sustainable fat loss while eating a highly refined food diet.
Until this is recognized, all the complicated calorie counting, macro-distribution patterns, and macro-cycling formulas in the world will only be mildly effective for long-term functionality and sustainability.

  • Yo-yo’ing continues to plague the average person and athlete alike, because discipline is finite. You may be able to suffer for a competition or for some photos, but you can’t suffer forever, thus the inevitable rebound.

It takes incredible discipline to stay in a targeted calorie deficit with poor food choices, but it’s not all that hard to do it when eating real, whole, natural, unprocessed foods. I’d rather take the easiest path to shredded success, but in all fairness, I’m a lazy bastard.
It’s like trying to stay faithful to someone like Adriana Lima versus a chick that maybe isn’t so hot. They both require a baseline level of discipline – because it’s our natural biological desire to spread our seed and indulge in life’s pleasures – but one commitment requires way more work than the other.

If 90% of the foods available aren’t that good for us, then what the hell are we supposed to eat?

Fat Loss and T-Man Bullets

  • For essential nutrients and micronutrients, emphasize lean animal proteins, vegetables, and whole fruit.
  • Energy nutrients: for low carb, healthy fat-based diets, eat whole food fats like fattier protein cuts, nuts, avocado, coconut, etc. For lower fat, carb-based diets, eat low fructose, low anti-nutrient, no gluten, natural starch foods like yams, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and rice.
  • A lower carbohydrate, 100% Paleo-style diet is a good template for sedentary, obese, insulin resistant/type II diabetic populations.
  • A carb-based, traditional Japanese-style diet (fish and rice, chicken and sweet potato, etc.) is a good template for active strength trainers/anaerobic athletes.

Calories are still the most important number to get right. While some macronutrient ratios can improve your chances of succeeding, no macronutrient ratio can make up for caloric excess.
Here are the numbers:
Fat Loss = Take in 10 kcal/lb (or lean body mass if you’re fat).
Maintenance = Take in 15kcal/lb.
Bulk = Take in 20kcal/lbs.
Protein = Take in 1-1.5g/lb
Essential Fats (as byproduct of your animal protein sources, along with Flameout™ if you don’t eat a lot fish) = Take in 0.25g/lb or 15-20% of calories.
The remaining calories can be distributed among added carbohydrates, or added fats, or both, depending on the circumstance.

  • Body types (fat loss types or bulkers) withstanding (which requires more individual assessment), carb intake should be directly tied to your high-intensity, glycogen burning activity levels. Fats should then be adjusted up or down accordingly to stay within your allotted calories.
  • If you’re sedentary, then you get the Starch Nazi: “No starch for you.”
  • If you do a lower volume of work (pure strength training), then starch intake should be more moderate = Protein:Carb ratio of 1:1.
  • If you do a higher volume of work (traditional hypertrophy/bodybuilding training), then starch intake may need to be higher = Protein:Carb ratio of 1:1 to 1:3.
  • If your training volume cycles, you should carb-cycle accordingly.

Still confused? What, are you stupid? Nah, just kidding. Think of it like the gas tank in your car. If your car sits in the garage every day, you don’t need gas. If you only cruise short distances around your hood to gawk at the high school girls, you only need a moderate amount of gas. If you commute long distances to work every day, you may need a lot of gas, and have to fill it up regularly. And if all you do is ride a bike, you probably look more like Pee Wee Herman than a T-man.

  • Yes, there are more complicated formulas, but they aren’t necessary. Everything has to be adjusted based on personal biofeedback and results anyway, so why make the starting point more complicated then it needs to be?

Besides, many need to stop reading about what to do and start applying what they already know (after they get done reading my article, of course).

If you control for food choices, calories, macro-ratios, etc., meal frequency doesn’t matter as much as people once thought (myself included). There’s no real metabolic advantage or significant difference in body composition change.

  • Traditional bodybuilding nutrition (5-6 meals a day), three-square meals a day, and intermittent fasting protocols (1-3 meals a day) can all work, and are all viable methods if the other fat loss variables have been accounted for.
  • Conversely, no meal frequency pattern can make up for a shitty diet, i.e. thinking fasting will finally allow you to eat pizza and KFC and get ripped. Even advanced athletes grasp for miracle cures.
  • The optimal meal frequency pattern for you, then, is whatever pattern helps you consistently stick to your diet. More so than physiology, it’s the psychological and social factors that must be considered when determining a successful long-term approach. This is one reason why intermittent fasting protocols are gaining in popularity – they’re helping break are obsessive, compulsive behaviors with food.
  • If you’re a high-level performance athlete, have a racehorse metabolism and/or are bulking, or just have high calorie demands, you may need to spread food intake out over 5-6 meals a day. Only Miyaki and Kobayashi can eat 10,000 calories in 10 minutes.
  • For most people – meaning those who have real jobs and real commitments, and are within more normal calorie ranges to drop fat – basing the diet on 2-3 meals a day, with some extra peri-workout nutrition on training days, is the most convenient, realistic, and sustainable approach.
  • While physiologically I get that most of our carbs should be eaten post-workout, psychologicallythe most functional and sustainable plans are the ones in which the majority of calories and starchy carbs are eaten at night.

This is our natural, evolutionary tendency. We were hunters and gatherers, working all day with little-to-no food (fat burning, energy production mode), and then finishing the day relaxing and eating a big meal of whatever we caught (muscle building, energy replenishment mode). Yes I have read the Warrior Diet, and yes I do give credit where credit is due.
Psychologically, this takes advantage of the sacrifice/reward patterns in the brain. Most people can sacrifice, cut calories, and eat lighter during the day if they know they can eat a complete dinner at night and go to bed satiated.
Not only that, big meals during the day often lead to rebound hypoglycemia, sleepiness, and lack of productivity. Trying to cut calories at night leads to late night cravings, cheating/binges, or carb depleted, serotonin inhibited-based insomnia.
So flip the script. Stay active and alert during the day, eat a complete satiating meal at night that you look forward to, and sleep soundly.

To sum up:

Fat Loss and T-Man Bullets

  • Eat a protein-only breakfast, no carbs. This is my preferred approach, but for intermittent fasting practitioners, I’m cool with skipping breakfast. The overall theme is to keep insulin low, and not jack it up with muffins and mocha’s.
  • Eat a Paleo/Caveman-style lunch. Protein + vegetables and/or whole fruit, no starchy carbs.
  • Eat a Japanese-style dinner. Protein + vegetables + starchy carbs, with the majority of calories and carbs here.
  • The exception is post-workout nutrition, which is non-negotiable. Regardless of the time of day, eat a good protein/carb (1:1 to 1:2 ratio) combo following every intense workout to refill glycogen stores and initiate muscle growth. This can replace one of the meals or be added as an extra one (like a Surge® Recovery recovery drink followed by a “normal” meal 30-60 min. later).

Maybe you consider the above bro-science. I consider it something that works. Which brings me to a bigger topic – whether you follow bro-science (meathead approved), ho-science (from guys who can quote study after study but have never actually stepped foot inside a gym), or real science, they’re all still just hypotheses that need to be tested in the real world.
In the end none of it really matters; the only thing that matters is what works , personally, given your unique situation. Use science and systems to give yourself an informed starting point, but don’t dogmatically cling to anything, regardless of the source.

Does anyone else think our industry has gotten out of control? Whatever happened to a man stating his opinions and being done with it? Online strength training and nutrition forums have gone from a place where like-minded enthusiasts could compare ideas and disagree respectfully over minor points, to virtual schoolyards run by overgrown teenaged girls who name call, bully, and cat fight over dogma like it was Team Edward versus Team Jacob.
I’ve got a few more shots in this pistol I’m packing.

  • Don’t let some dick huddled up over his keyboard in his parents’ basement dictate what you pursue, what nutrition philosophies you follow, or even worse, how you live your life. Anyone who’s that interested in putting down what you do probably doesn’t have that much going on for themselves.
  • Be who you are, say what you believe, and do what you want to do without worrying too much about the consequences. Make the choices that are right for you, not anyone else. If you’re just trying to project an image, fit in with the crowd, and care too much about what others think of you then, a) you’re a pussy, and b) your life isn’t going to be much fun, because you’re going to end up with one that you don’t really want.

The above bullets are just my thoughts. You can follow none, one, some, or all of them as you see fit. It’s really no sweat off my ‘sac either way. I’m too lazy to be a guru, and arguing with someone set in his/her ways is wasted effort.
But on a more positive note, I’ll be happy if my advice helps you somehow, and I mean that, so shoot me a Spill or a message or a tweet. I get quite a few, so I know I’m helping some people. That’s all that matters to me.
My guns are empty my friends. Now I can go back to being the laid-back, beach dude that I am. Peace.

Wikio

Study links diet to longevity, but with confusing findings

By Jennifer LaRue Huget

(File photo)

What you eat might well determine how long you live.

But it’s not exactly clear what the optimal diet should be.
In a study published in the January 2011 edition of theJournal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers found that among 2,500 adults ages 70 to 79, those who maintained a diet consisting largely of foods deemed “healthy” were less likely to die and more likely to remain healthy than those whose diets included more of less-healthful foods during the 10-year period examined.
Researchers divvied the study subjects into six groups according to their predominant food choices among 108 food items tallied. Here’s how the clusters fell out:
  • “Healthy foods” (374 participants)
  • “High-fat dairy products” (332)
  • “Meat, fried foods, and alcohol” (693)
  • “Breakfast cereal” (386)
  • “Refined grains” (458)
  • “Sweets and desserts” (339)

That “healthy foods” category was defined by relatively higher consumption of low-fat dairy, fruit, whole grains, poultry, fish and vegetables and lower intake of meat, fried foods, sweets, high-calorie beverages and added fat.

After all kinds of controls were applied to rule out the effects of gender, age, physical activity, smoking, race, total calorie intake and other variables, the numbers showed that the “high-fat dairy products” group had a 40 percent higher risk of mortality than the “health foods” group and that the “sweets and desserts” group had a 37 percent higher risk than the “healthy foods” group.
The study concludes:

A dietary pattern consistent with current guidelines to consume relatively high amounts of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, poultry, fish and low-fat dairy products may be associated with superior nutritional status, quality of life and survival in older adults.

But what to make of that “meat, fried foods and alcohol” group — the one that you might notice is nearly twice the size of the “healthy foods” group? That group’s not even mentioned in the news release (the study is not yet posted online) — despite the fact that, when the numbers were crunched, that group’s mortality risk was about the same as that of the healthy-eating group.
The study notes:

Unexpectedly, in this and several other studies, a pattern higher in red meat was not significantly associated with increased risk of mortality when controlled for relevant confounding factors. One suggested explanation is that plant-based diets may lower health risk because plant foods are protective, whereas diets high in animal foods may be more likely to increase risk only if the animal foods displace protective plant foods in the diet.

The study’s lead author, Amy Anderson of the University of Maryland department of nutrition and food science, was good enough to make herself available to talk on the phone over the holiday weekend and tried to help me sort things out. I couldn’t understand why the meat/fried food/alcohol group’s relative good health wasn’t singled out as helping keep folks alive longer, leaving all the credit to the “healthy foods” group.
Anderson followed up with an e-mail reviewing what she’d told me on the phone:

As mentioned on the phone, while we can’t give definite reasons for our results, Table 1 in the paper [which shows percentage of total energy intake from selected food groups each cluster’s diet] may provide some ideas for why the “meat, fried foods and alcohol” group didn’t have a statistically significantly higher risk of mortality than the “healthy foods” group after controlling for many variables including education, physical activity, and smoking — in other words, these other variables being equal. As Table 1 shows, the name of the “meat, fried foods and alcohol” group may be a bit misleading, because this group had a more similar diet to the “healthy foods” group than some of the others. We named the groups according to foods that people ate relatively more of in comparison to the other groups. The “meat, fried foods and alcohol” group ate on average about 4 percent of calories from meat, while the “healthy foods” group ate on average about 2.8 percent of calories from meat. The differences in fried food and alcohol intake between the “meat, fried foods and alcohol” group and the “healthy foods” group were also about 1 to 3 percent. In contrast, the “sweets and desserts” group ate on average about 25.8 percent of calories from sweets, while the “healthy foods” group ate on average about 6 percent of calories from sweets — a difference of almost 20 percent in this food group. The “high-fat dairy products” group ate about 17.1 percent of calories from high fat dairy products, while the “healthy foods” group ate about 3.4 percent of calories from high fat dairy products — a difference of almost 14 percent in this food group. In other words, it is not as though the “meat, fried foods and alcohol” group within this study population of 70-79 year-olds ate enormous quantities of these foods, just slightly more on average than the other groups. The “sweets and desserts” and “high-fat dairy products” groups, on the other hand, showed some more stark differences from the “healthy foods” group in their diets.

I appreciate Anderson’s taking pains to help me with this. But the cynic in me has to wonder whether the finding that people who eat a bit more meat, fried food and alcohol manage to do all right, mortality-wise, may have been too out of whack with current dietary recommendations for comfort. Especially as the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, which are likely to promote consumption of whole grains and other plant-based foods, are about to be issued, I hope researchers will keep at it and tease this confusing situation out further.
Because if it really is okay to eat meat and fried food and enjoy alcohol after all, people should know about it.

Comments


The Longevity diet: The missing link is blood sugar. Blood sugar is the cause of aging,Diabetes,Obesity,Alzheimers..etc
(you do not have to be a diabetic to have this problem)
A popular diabetes diet in Europe was shown to reverse aging markers as the diabetes drug caused faster ageing and heart trouble. See herehttp://spirithappy.wordpress.com/2010/12/01/the-first-drug-they-give-you-to-heal-type-2-diabetes-hurts-your-cells/
Unfortunately billions of dollars are invested into diabetes and obesity drug makers so the public will never get this information
Posted by: healing1 | December 28, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

It sounds to me as if the “cynic” in this article’s author is looking for someone to give her the green light to consume as much meat, fried food and alcohol as she wants. I thought the study’s lead author explained the findings quite well. It’s basically “moderation in all things.” Many studies show moderate consumption of alcohol can be a good thing. Same goes for meat, especially moderate consumption of lean meat and fish, and fried foods, as long as they are fried in good oils. I’m not aware of any scientist who claims consuming REAL servings of any of these things, while making whole grains, vegetables and fruit the bulk of your diet ever hurt anyone. The problems start when people super-size such foods to the exclusion of whole grains, fruit and veggies.
Posted by: lolly312 | December 28, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I’m going to use this study the next time I teach an advanced statistics course, as an example of 1) how to do things right, and 2) when you do things right, people who are not statistically literate (such as the writer here) will have a hard time, even when it is clearly explained (as it was — to someone who knew statistics).
The basic methodology of the study was a clustering algorithm. That’s a procedure which produces groupings based on minimizing differences within each group, and maximizing differences between groups. Clustering does not produce evenly spaced groups, because the world isn’t evenly spaced; if you pulled a sample from Manhattan, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Tokyo, and grouped by physical location, two of the groups would be very close together, and a third one would not be far away from the two close ones. If you then tried to study weather with respect to physical location, you would discover that the close-together groupings didn’t show much difference. That is what happened here. The meat/fried/alcohol group generally ate a healthy diet; they happened to indulge in some probably-not-healthy other stuff, but not very much of it. Differences were in the range of 1-3% (as differences between the location of Manhattan and Brooklyn are quite small plotted on the scale of the continent). Unsurprisingly, results in longevity were somewhere within the margin of error. (Just as the number of days it snows in Manhattan but not in Brooklyn are few and insignificant).
What the study says in terms of action is: eat a mostly healthy diet. There’s not much difference between mostly healthy and perfectly healthy.
The writer was pushing for “so these other foods are okay.” The study shows only that they don’t seem to make a statistical difference in result, if the difference isn’t very great in consumption. Apparently steak-and-eggs-with-a-beer consumers don’t have that very often, and mostly eat like the healthy people, so it’s not surprising they differ very little. Just as apparently, people who live on milkshakes really live on milkshakes, and pay the arterial consequences.
“Study shows two patterns of healthy eating and two patterns of unhealthy eating are common in general population” isn’t much of a headline, but it’s what this study shows. Period. Have a pork chop with your salad, and a glass of wine, now and then, if you like. This doesn’t mean you can live on pork chops and wine.
And never talk to a reporter who has not, at least at one point in life, derived the Gaussian distribution from the limit of the binomial distribution.
Posted by: PasserThru | December 28, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Kind of hard to draw any conclusions from the study if the ‘groupings’ were not significantly different in their diets. To her credit, the scientist did explain that.
Unfortunately, these types of poorly constructed studies are often used by people and companies to push positions that the preponderance of science finds false. Confusion is the enemy of good advice, the friend of those who seek to deceive (or be deceived)
Posted by: mgferrebee | December 28, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

The study author’s explanation for the lack of a deleterious effect of eating meat is clearly and convincingly stated. It is very interesting that the meat group got only four percent of their calories from meat. I have contended for a long time that even meat eaters eat far more vegetables than even they realize. Now if they could just cut it all out . . .
Posted by: aspenhallinn | December 28, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Doesn’t anyone ask about the quantities eaten? Not calories–quantity.
Posted by: joan10 | December 28, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps it’s the writer’s interpretation of this finding’…people who eat a bit more meat, fried food and alcohol manage to do all right, mortality-wise…’
that needs enlightenment.
A healthy lifestyle, with or without red meat, et al, means that you don’t abuse any one food group.
If balance is the key to good living, surely a good steak, few glasses of wine and yummy desert every now and then won’t hurt one’s health as long as one has his/her health in sight at all times.
So have that juicy steak and enjoy
your workout the next day, too!
Posted by: writersMAMA | December 28, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Let me assure all readers, there is no confusion in this study!
My credits: Discoverer of the cause of obesity, the disease which leaves a trail of others in its wake. I condemned the pyramid food guide after one glance in 1992. Not a studied reaction but an instinctive,immediate revulsion predicting the epidemic obesity future.
I had survived 7 years, 1939-1946 (WWII)deprived of food, starvation, but escaped with a food regimen which has left me—I will be 86 on Jan. 7th— in superior health.
I will not divulge the obesity code, I am waiting to sign a large organization to handle the recovery campaign.
That said—I will leave a hint; you are a misguided lot, greens and grains have promoted obesity ( I call it carbohydritis),you will be requested to abandon food guides and diets! You will become reacquainted with your inner ego, the gut. Needless to say, I have promoted red meat and saturated fat for ages. Why? It allows me to be well fed in small portions!
Send a BD card the address in hartsmartliving.com
Why am I so well? I have an attitude! Does it show?
————Hart———
Posted by: hart0007 | December 28, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

The main problem I see is that the researchers went into the study with a deeply ingrained hypothesis on what “healthy” eating meant. They even named of one of the categories they were supposedly studying “healthy foods”! Then, when they found another category that showed similar results in health and longevity, they did not adjust their reporting accordingly.
The fact that one of their categories was named qualitatively (e.g. healthy) rather than descriptively (e.g. high-fat dairy) shows their pre-experimental bias, and they continued to report their findings within these preconceived expectations. They highlighted that the “healthy foods” consumers lived longer, but chose not to highlight that the “meat, fried foods, and alchohol” group ALSO lived longer, This displays the pre-analysis bias they began the study with and could not fully shake when publishing their findings.
Kudos to Jennifer LaRue Huget for calling them on this. Science is all about re-evaluating preconceived ideas when experimental data does not match the hypothesis. Without this, there would be no advance in scientific understanding. 
Posted by: kcastro22 | December 28, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

And what about people who just plain don’t tell the truth about what they “REALLY” eat anyway?? If some so called dietetic groupie stopped me and asked what I ate, I would be tempted to tell her only the healthy things eaten, and not mention the See’s Truffles I just consumed……….just like when men are asked how often they do stuff, lol. And so it goes, nothing really is new, is it?? Yet reams are written to support a group’s existance to get research grants.
Posted by: kuchen | December 28, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Wikio

Diet Advice – Healthy Quinoa Salad by Zuzana

For my lunch and dinner I prefer light meals that are easy and fast to prepare. This cold salad is one of my favorite recipes. It is a very light meal with an exotic taste, loaded with protein and vitamins. These are the ingredients that you will need to make the salad: quinoa, grilled chicken breasts, celery, crunchy apples, grapes, onion, curry, turmeric, brown sugar, olive oil, salt and lime juice. 
I started to cook with quinoa grain because it’s light, easy to digest, full of high quality protein and you can use to for deserts, soups, salads or any other recipe you can think of. Quinoa has many health benefits. It is a good source of magnesium, and since low dietary levels of magnesium are connected to increased rates of hypertension, heart disease and heart arrhythmia’s, quinoa can provide a boost to your cardiovascular health. Quinoa is also loaded with the amino acid lysine which is a key component for tissue growth and repair. 
Turmeric also known as Haldi, is a spice that is widely used in India. It has a long list of health benefits that includes being a natural liver detoxifier, and potentially being able to help with fat metabolism and weight management. I hope you will enjoy this recipe. 
Best,
Zuzana.

Wikio

The Age-Defying Diet


image via flickr

I now have enough evidence to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that my mother was trying to kill me. She kept a can of grease under the kitchen sink that she repeatedly recycled for frying things—like her potato pancakes, pork-kraut roll and even mince bologna. For breakfast when I was in grade school, she’d warm a tray of pecan twirls and instant black coffee, then puzzle over why I got D’s in conduct. Any meat, like steak or chicken, was always boiled first (“to get the scum off”) and then cooked. It wasn’t until I was well past puberty that I realized a good steak was dark and juicy rather than the color and texture of rhino hide.

I weighed 200 pounds when I left home at age 21, and my cholesterol and sugar were already high. Fortunately, a succession of jobs in the health-and-fitness field educated me about proper eating, and I slowly changed my diet. Now on the brink of turning 50, I weigh 175 pounds and have no significant health problems. In her defense, mom didn’t know what she was doing nutritionally and, when it comes right down to it, neither do most people. So I won’t prosecute.

But I often wonder if I’d be in even better shape if I hadn’t eaten so poorly for almost half my life. What if there was an Age-Defying Diet just like there is an RDA for nutrients that could keep us forever fit, slim, strong and energized Well, with the help of Jose Antonio, Ph.D., CEO of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, we’ve created one for you—an eating plan that strives to deliver all those benefits and can adapt to any lifestyle. Here are the components:

1. Eliminate (or significantly limit) processed foods.

“This is 90 percent of the battle,” says Antonio. “If it doesn’t occur in nature, then try to avoid it.” The closer a food or drink is to its natural state, the more beneficial nutrients and fewer artificial ingredients it contains. It’s like premium rather than regular fuel for your body. (Click here to watch a video of resident nutritionist Amanda Carlson explaining this concept more.)

2. Maintain a 40/30/30 diet.

This means 40 percent of your calories should come from carbohydrate, 30 percent from protein, and the remainder from fat. There’s no need to count calories and start a spreadsheet, though. “Eating shouldn’t be about mathematics,” says Antonio. Just ballpark it.

3. Eat fish at least three times per week (and lean meat the rest).

“Fish is the most important food,” says Antonio. It not only supplies protein and healthful fat, but it also contains heart-protecting nutrients such as omega-3s. Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, cod and mackerel are best. To prevent developing fins or bankrupting yourself at the sushi bar, eat lean chicken or beef the remainder of the week. Antonio points out that people who replace a percentage of their carbs with an equivalent amount of protein or healthy fat (while keeping total calories the same) automatically lose body fat and either gain or maintain lean muscle mass. “So weight and body composition isn’t a calorie issue, it’s a food-choice issue,” he explains.

4. Eat more nuts, avocados and eggs.

All these foods were once considered bad for us, but we now know they contain beneficial fats and, in the case of eggs, additional protein and essential nutrients. (Eggs won’t raise cholesterol either.) For more, check out this primer on healthy fats.

5. Make colorful fruits and vegetables your major source of carbs.

This means eliminating or reducing processed breads, pastas, rice, cereals and snacks such as cookies and crackers. The more colorful the fruits and veggies, the better they are for you. Eat plenty daily. Bonus: You’ll be able to quit lugging around a water bottle because you’ll be naturally well hydrated.

6. Organic is nice but not necessary.

Antonio points out that there is no scientific evidence that organic food is any more healthful than non-organic. However, here’s the trick: If you eat more organic fruits and veggies because you think they taste better or your conscience is clearer, then by all means pay the premium to build better eating habits.

7. Eat three meals per day and two snacks.

Notice that we didn’t say “graze your way through the day” or “eat five meals daily.” That intimidates people. Most of us don’t have time to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, let alone brunch and linner. So take the pressure off yourself. Eat as you’re accustomed to, and then just add a healthful mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack. It’ll keep the edge off your appetite and steady your hormone levels so you’ll be less likely to give into cravings or overeat at mealtimes.

8. Take a daily multivitamin and 2 grams of creatine.

The former is insurance for those days when we’re too busy to eat right. The low-dose creatine, which is available in capsule form, has been shown to not only help maintain lean body mass but also boost brain function. Check out our complete guide to creatine to learn more.

And that’s it. Notice there isn’t anything wacky here—nothing worthy of a new diet book or a Kirstie Alley commercial. It’s just a solid eating plan that anyone, regardless of age, can maintain for life. And that’s the key: Diets fail because they aren’t sustainable. This one is.

Wikio

%d bloggers like this: