Tuesday
Jun192012

Loading the Dice in Your Favor - Preventing and Slowing Cancers with Low Carb Diets.

I'm not going to beat around the bush here; cancer is bad.

If you have it, or your one of your friends or family does, then there isn't much worse news you can get. And it' usually accompanied by the words "well how long have I got doc?"

In today's post I'd like to take this opportunity to help you better understand cancers. I'd like to look at some of the things you can do diet-wise to prevent it, and if in the unfortunate circumstance that you do get a tumor, how to slow it down while the chemo or radiotherapy does its work.

 

So How do You Get Cancer?

Well to put it simply, cancers are caused by varous highly complex mechanisums. These can include alcohol abuse, tobacco use, radiation, obesity or a lack of physical activity as well as many others.

The media likes to sensationalize this complexity as well. So should you wish to have sleepless nights full of unfounded fears please check out the Daily Mail's list of "Things that give you cancer"

So that's a lot of things that can kill you. I particularly like the articles on how flip flops, Facebook and good old fashioned sex and blow jobs can increase your cancer risk, but is this useful information?

I'm not saying I agree with the Daily Mail here (Anything that comes out of the Daily Mail should be regarded as one level above horse manure as far as I'm concerned... No, wait, I take that back! Horse manure is useful...) but I think it illustrates well that what causes cancer is complex, difficult to determine and full of grey areas.

 

What Cancer Does Once it is in the Body and How it is Fueled is However Better Understood.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jun082012

Isolation Exercises for Bigger Muscles - Exposing a Flawed Strategy.  

I regard isolation exercises as fairly pointless.

Outside of injury rehabiitation they are sub optimal for the goals of the typical male gym goer. They don't do a good job at building muscular bulk, developing strength or losing weight.

But such is the male obsession with having big arms and chest that they play a preeminent role most workouts that I see.

I am being a little unfair. Maybe these guys do some compound exercises, but whole body exercises are rare. No one has told them that muscles work in concert with each other not in isolation; the body is one unit, not parts that are haphazardly pritt sticked together.

 

Lets look at an example...

If they were looking to improve their chest and tricep size (and therefore strength, definition or [insert goal here] of that muscle group). They could isolate the pectoral muscle with a cable fly and then do some cable pull downs for the triceps. They are after all, are the muscles they want to be big...

 ...or you could just do a bench press that works both muscles along with many more smaller intricate ones that the isolation exercises alone will miss.

A good bench press technique will always deliver more size/strength/fat loss than any isolation movements can of the same muscles. This goes for all muscle groups in the body.

Isolation exercises are however good at giving shape to muscles that are already there but in terms of what most people aim for in the gym (building muscle and or losing weight), time could be better spent.

As I'm sure that you will need more than just my say so to drop the usual isolation based split routine stuff that most misinformed gym buffs and monthly muscle magazines preach. Let's see what an expert has to say...

 

Enter Arnold Schwarzenegger...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
May312012

How to Lose 10Kg in 30 Days Without Starving Yourself. Or Why the Paleo Diet?

One of my clients started with me a few months back with a shopping list of medical problems. The most preeminent of which were.

  1. He was quite overweight, bordering on obese.
  2. He was being monitored for high cholesterol levels. 
  3. He  was considered at high risk to developing type 2 diabetes

This is a all too frequent scenario that I bump into.

He had been fed the usual advice on following a balanced diet with calorie restriction by his GP and was struggling to stick to it. The calorie restriction model of weight control exacerbates hunger and makes remaining fully awake throughout the day difficult, with people often resorting to caffine to give a pick up.

After dietry coaching and three workouts per week for only one month, he is more awake, 10Kg lighter and more importantly, not hungry.

After three months on this program a blood test at his local GP was taken; the results also tell a similar story. Triglycerides that were high before, plummeted. HDL (AKA "good" cholesterol) went through the roof; LDL (AKA "bad" cholesterol) dropped. Total cholesterol was also down. Blood sugar was low and stable. Weight loss continued at a steady rate (albeit slightly slower than the first month).

How all this was achieved? A lower carbohydrate version of the Paleolithic diet.

His GP's response? "Low carbohydrate diet... don't you feel like you haven't got energy?"

Enter the Paleolithic Diet...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
May312012

Toning Exercises - a Waste of Your Gym Membership?

Toning exercises, they're basically everywhere. Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire or the QVC shopping channel seem to be forever preaching the effectiveness of the latest ab crunching workout. Every week there is a new one to burn off the fat around your mid section.

An important question though...

Do toning exercises actually work?

You may be surprised to hear, that you can't target fat loss in a specific area with exercise.

Surgery? Yes.

Exercise? No.

This inability to "spot reduce" (AKA - target fat loss or "tone" in a localised area) is well established among sports and exercise scientists.

No matter how many sit ups you do, it will not selectively take fat off the abdominal area. No matter how many tricep extensions you do, it will not selectively take fat off the back of the arms. If this were possible, there would exist hugely overweight people with six pack abs or clinically obese people with "toned" arms.

The most casual glance at Jeremy Kyle, Trisha or Jerry Springer will tell you that...
  1. Fat people are basically fat all over and
  2. Toned people are basically toned all over.

You don't see very fat people with very skinny arms for example.

Have you ever seen someone who looks like this? - I haven't

Still don't believe me that doing sit ups and bicep curls to tone your abs/arms/anything are basically useless? Lets see what professional tennis players have to say on the subject...

Click to read more ...

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