All Posts by yogadoc

3 Stretches Every Outdoor Athlete Should Do Daily

This three-minute routine will make you faster and stronger and help keep you injury-free.

Read the full article at: www.outsideonline.com

 

“Stretching” Is a Myth

It’s all muscle contraction.  Just different types of muscle contractions that activate different fibers in alternate directions and dimensions against varied types of loads, whether static or dynamic.  But it’s all muscle contraction.  Why is that important?

False Duality

I spent most of my life believing in the false exercise-stretching duality.  This false belief, among many others, was a major obstacle on my journey to fitness.

Only Metabolism Matters

The reason it’s important to leave behind the false duality of exercise vs. stretching and recognize that it’s all a matter of muscle fiber activation is that muscle fiber activation involves the mitochondria which is the calorie-burning machine in each muscle fiber.  The more mitochondria you activate the more calories you burn in the short term and the more you activate for long-term non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), which is the scientific term for all the calories you burn in the activity of living when you’re not working our.

Deep Core Eccentric and Twisting Motion

It’s no surprise then that these essential “stretches” all involve eccentric contraction (lengthening) and twisting motions of the deep core muscles.  The muscle mass in your deep core contains the greatest concentration of muscle fiber and mitochondria for fat-burning and it’s also the most neglected area in most conventional gym workouts which tend to focus on repetitive linear peripheral core-stabilize mid-range isolation moves.

 

More Bang

This is why you can get much more of a metabolic “bang” for your effort if you focus on eccentric and twisting moves that contrast sharply to the typical intense tightening cycles of concentric contraction which is typical of most workouts.  Simply activating those fibers that never get activated you are increasing core strength and stability, agility, metabolic burn during exercise, and after-burn.

 

When You’re Ready For a Real Challenge

The moves illustrated here are pretty basic – when they become easy for you you can try these more advanced deep core eccentric and twister moves that will really kick your metabolism into high gear.

Tree Backbend

As you walk your hands down the tree you powerfully activate the deep core and watch as your surface abdominal muscles pop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Side Crow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flip Doggy-Dog

Flip Dog step 3 - the timing of the hip twist as the foot lands redistributes the lower body weight onto both hips in hyperextension

 

23 Things That Inevitably Happen When You Start Getting In Shape

Your body is ready.

Read the full article at: www.buzzfeed.com

 

This is awesome but there are 2 HUUUUUUUUGE ones that they’re missing:

 

You Completely Reset The Bar on Health

Before I got into shape, I thought health was the same for everyone and that it was defined by the absence of illness.  Like most people, I figured slow, stiff, creaky, achy, weak, unstable joints were normal.

via GIPHY

Every Joint Poppin’

Now I can see the truth clearly, and there’s no going back.  I don’t feel truly healthy anymore unless every joint is literally poppin’ with pain-free, rock-solid, strong, quick, agile mobility.  I recognize even the slightest twinge of pain in a tendon or joint and guess what I do? – No, I don’t rest it – I rehab it with exercise by re-orienting the muscle fiber activation within that joint to strengthen the fibers in all directions surrounding the stiff, creaky, or painful area.

Dragging Around a Lump of Flesh & Bone?

I spent decades feeling like I was dragging around a huge lump of flesh and bone before I realized that waking up with creaky knees, and a stiff neck and shoulders is not normal.  Wobbling when you step into your pants is not normal.  Breathlessness on bending to tie your shoes is not normal.  Holding on for support and grunting and groaning every time you stand up is not normal.

Own The Space Around You

Being in shape versus out of shape is literally flying versus walking – you’ll forever change your comprehension of the word “health” and you’ll start realizing the awesome power of the human body as a feel-good machine.  You’ll start owning the space around you rather than dragging yourself through it.

Other People Are Suddenly Wayyyyyy More Attracted To You

 

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment it happened, but one day I suddenly realized that I was seeing a lot more lot more flirtatious hair-flips, blushing, eye contact, and smiles from women who would have never even noticed me before.  I have no idea whether it had to do with the new sense of confidence I was exuding, or the completely altered shape of my body from rotund, slouchy & flabby to lean, angular, upright & linear.  There are certainly psychological studies to back up this observation but I didn’t need them – I knew what I was experiencing – like riding a wave of euphoria that just kept rolling.

Also, people love to be near someone who is succeeding at something, anything, whatever it is.  Probably has to do with the belief that some of that positive mojo will rub off on them.  If you’ve gone from fat to fit you know exactly what i’m talking about, and if you’re not there yet, keep at it – you’ll never want to go back.

Remember there are only 2 sure ways to fail – give up or not start.  So go for it!

 

Re-engineering Risk

I had an epiphany while listening to Tim Ferriss interview Alex Honnold on The Tim Ferriss Show Podcast.  Honnold is the greatest free-solo rock climber in the world.  He climbs thousand-foot high sheer cliffs with no ropes to catch him if he falls.  It’s fair to say that at any moment on any one of his free-solo climbs, one tiny slip-up and he’d fall to his death.

Quirky Brain Anomaly?

I first heard of Honnold in an Outside Magazine piece in which the writer was documenting a neuro-imaging study on Honnold, the hypothesis being that his brain handles fear and risk differently than the rest of us.  Watching him climb in Youtube videos, the validity of such a hypothesis was clear – surely no mere mortal could subject himself to such danger without some quirky brain anomaly that allowed him to tolerate, on a daily basis, what would seem to any sane person a ridiculously high level of risk.

Predicting His Own Death

My epiphany came when Ferriss asked Honnold (tactfully) to predict exactly how he (Honnold) would die.  I was shocked by Honnold’s answer and I can’t be the only one.  Whenever I hear something like that – radically different than what I was expecting – I try to dive deep rather than dismiss, and in this case I was led to completely rethink the concept of risk.

The answer I expected, and the one I figured most listeners and viewers of his videos also expected, was that one day he would make a mistake on a route and end up falling to his death.  But Honnold predicted a somewhat more quotidian, if still dramatic, end to his own life.  What astonished me was that Honnold didn’t skip a beat.  His delivery was swift and sure and so confidently delivered as if it were a fait accompli – there was obviously not a doubt in his mind.

His answer was that he would probably die as a result of some random backcountry accident, like getting swept away by an avalanche.  Let me just reiterate that Honnold sounded uncannily certain of this outcome.

Far From Hubris

Here’s a guy who practically everyone on earth who knows anything about him thinks that he is staring down death every time he climbs a sheer rock face without any protective gear whatsoever, who any sane person would think is cheating death every day he survives a free-solo climb, stating succinctly, matter-of-factly and without a hint of bravado or hesitation that he will probably die in some random backcountry wilderness accident, not by falling off the sheer face of rock cliff the type of which he climbs every day without rope which would challenge some of the world’s most talented climbers even with a rope!  Wow!

The other shocking thing about Honnold’s retort is that it wasn’t hubris – far from it.  He wasn’t eye-rolling as if he couldn’t imagine how the greatest climber in the world could possibly fall off a rock face.  In fact, what came across most prominently was Honnold’s modesty.  He wasn’t speaking as the world’s greatest climber, but rather just another guy out there on the rock trying to solve its challenging puzzles.

So What Gives?

So what gives?  What’s the deal with this guy acting as if the risk of falling off the rock is practically non-existent?  I listened to Hollold carefully, did a deep dive, and it hit me – he had very carefully and methodically, over time, developed an astonishing risk re-engineering system that effectively took the concept of risk and broke it down into component parts that could be carefully analyzed, visualized, practiced and planned out of existence.

Analysis

Honnold will never free-solo a route that he hasn’t mastered several dozen times with ropes.  Mastery of these routes involves intense analysis of every move and its difficulty, where each move occurs in the climb and precisely which moves precede and follow those, and imagining what each one of those move might be like under differing conditions of weather, fatigue, hunger or any other variable he can imagine.  This repetitive analysis literally puts him into the position of being able to mentally perform the climb over and over in his mind.  I could just imagine him literally feeling the texture and solidity of every foothold and handhold and forming kinesthetic images in his mind of the precise muscle fibers activated and the proprioceptive sensations of his bodyweight suspended in the air in relation to the rock by those muscles.

Practice

Honnold noted in the interview that when people watch him climb on Youtube they imagine that he just walks up to a rock wall and starts to scale it.  What they don’t see is the hundreds if not thousands of hours of practice on climbs of similar difficulty and the repetition on that particular climb that that lead up to the moment when he decides he is ready to free-solo a climb.  For every daring act of  free-soloing you see on video, he has spent hundreds of hours mastering each move on that rock with protective gear until every move is practically second nature.

Visualization

Honnold doesn’t only visualize executing every move of the climb perfectly, he also opens his mind to all the scary negative possibilities.  What if a particularly tenuous handhold is damp?  What if a toehold that requires a stretch is just out of reach?  Preparing in this way allows him to experience the adrenaline-rush from his limbic system while he’s still on the ground, thus dampening its effect and making him much less likely to panic when he’s on the rock.  You could hear in his speech that his self-talk while on the rock has a component of mindfulness – he’ll say things like “wow this is scarier than I imagined” – as if he is something of an outside observer of his own thoughts.

Humility

I was astonished to hear that the world’s greatest climber is willing to back down off of a rock face if he’s “not feelin’ it”, But I realized that this is a key component of Honnold’s risk re-engineering system.  He will put his visualization powers to use at any point in the climb and mentally rehearse the moves that are to come.  If he’s not ready mentally and physically to nail every one of those moves perfectly, he will back off, climb down, and go home to his van.  Listening to him speak it sounded as if he’s almost constantly adjusting his mental risk assessment dials based on his internal and external sensors.  If the conditions in his mind, his body, the weather, and the rock aren’t precisely in tune, he’s willing to back off.

Open-mindedness

The overarching lesson for me was that I was not listening to a wild action-hero daredevil with a death wish, but rather a calm, rational actor who opened his mind and really listened to his body, his mind, nature and the rock and absorbed and processed every signal and applied that processing to approach the risk of each climb with calm & equanimity.  There was not a hint of hubris or bravado in his analysis but rather the rational voice of one who had amazingly re-engineered the concept of risk in a way that few others ever will.  I felt a twinge of contrition at having judged him and others who look like  they’re taking insane risks in Youtube videos, without considering the immense mental and physical energy that they may have expended putting a similar system into place.  I was reminded of the fear of flying paradox.  If you panic at a little turbulence, then calm down when you land and head home, your fears are completely irrational and out-of-touch with reality.  Turbulence almost never results in a plane crash, and you are far more likely to die on the car ride home than you are on the plane.  The same may be true of all of us as we watch Alex Honnold climb sheer rock faces on Youtube.  It might be worth considering, just for a moment, that as we gaze up at Honnold slowly morphing into a tiny speck as he spiders his way up the rock face, that the unhealthy, sedentary lives we are living down here are really the risky and dangerous ones.

How Fat Controls Hunger

Sugar makes you hungry, fat tells you that you’re full

If only our mothers had given us that advice… there’d probably be no obesity epidemic, health insurance rates would be a lot cheaper, and all that money spent on diet books could have been used for something a lot more fun, like skiing.

So it’s time to get over our fear of eating fat.  Where does this fear come from?  Mainly from erroneous assumptions, incomplete data analysis, and just plain closed-mindedness.

Cholesterol is a lipoprotein, part fat (“lipo-” is latin for fat) and part protein.  Just like the human body, it comes in high-density (muscular – muscle is made of protein), and low-density (fat) forms.  Think of density solidity – muscle is more solid than fat (muscle jiggles less than fat) because protein is more solid than fat.  The high density (protein, muscle) type is the good stuff (low risk of heart disease), while the low density (fat)  type is bad (high risk of heart disease).

Fat serves a lot more purposes than just energy storage.

In the 1980s, Jeffrey Friedman, a molecular biologist at Rockefeller University was among the first to report that fat produces a hormone, called leptin (from the Greek leptos, meaning thin) which tells you when to stop eating by signaling your brain that you are full.  Leptin also has a beneficial effect on t-cells, assisting in wound healing and strengthening the immune system.

saying “fat makes you fat” is like saying “blueberries make you blue”

If science teaches us anything, it’s that most things in nature are not the way they seem (the sun seems to rise and set, but actually the earth is spinning at about 1000 mph!).  Sparing you the details of fat metabolism, the bottom line is that when you eat fat it doesn’t become fat in your body but is actually used as an energy source by all the cells of your body.   Because it is absorbed and metabolized slowly, and it provides such a versatile energy source, it signals the body that food in plentiful and there is no need to prepare for lean times or starvation.

When you eat fat it also doesn’t become the fat that clogs your coronary arteries.  Just like cholesterol there are different types of fat that have different effects.  The subcutaneous (under the skin) type is the good kind that produces the “I’m full” hormone and strengthens the immune system, the deep belly (“visceral”)  type is the bad guy that leads to heart disease and diabetes.

The production of bad fat occurs in the liver, which is completely bypassed by fat absorption and
metabolism.  But guess what is metabolized in the liver and causes the accumulation of deep belly fat as well as the bad LDL cholesterol that causes heart attacks?  You might be surprised to hear that it’s sugar!  Fructose, to be more precise, which is the chemical that gives fruits and desserts their sweetness.

These triglycerides, cannot be absorbed by the intestine.[17] They are broken down into mono- and di-glycerides plus free fatty acids (but no free glycerol) by pancreatic lipase, which forms a 1:1 complex with a protein called colipase (also a constituent of pancreatic juice), which is necessary for its activity. The activated complex can work only at a water-fat interface. Therefore, it is essential that fats are first emulsified by bile salts for optimal activity of these enzymes.[18] The digestion products consisting of a mixture of tri-, di- and monoglycerides and free fatty acids, which, together with the other fat soluble contents of the diet (e.g. the fat soluble vitamins and cholesterol) and bile salts form mixed micelles, in the watery duodenal contents (see diagrams on the left).[19][20] The contents of these micelles (but not the bile salts) enter the enterocytes (epithelial cells lining the small intestine) where they are resynthesized into triglycerides, and packaged into chylomicrons which are released into the lacteals (the capillaries of the lymph system of the intestines).[21] These lacteals drain into the thoracic duct which empties into the venous blood at the junction of the left jugular and left subclavian veins on the lower left hand side of the neck. This means that the fat soluble products of digestion are discharged directly into the general circulation, without first passing through the liver, as all other digestion products do. The reason for this peculiarity is unknown.[22]

According to Sylvia Tara, author of “The Secret Life of Fat”, good fat can fight bad fat by making a hormone called adiponectin, which guides circulating fats in our bloodstream into the subcutaneous tissues where they can do the good work of controlling appetite and improving immune function and wound healing.  Guess how else you can produce the beneficial hormone adiponectin?  That’s right – exercise.  If you don’t have time to spend several hours a week at the gym, new studies show that you can get the same benefits from just a few minutes of interval training three days a week.

eat healthy fats

 

What this means is that your fear of fat is completely unfounded.  It doesn’t make you fat and it doesn’t cause heart disease.  In fact, healthy fats (mono-unsaturated and omega-6 and 3 especially) not only fill you up so you eat fewer calories, but they also produce hunger-controlling hormones and play a positive role in immune function, wound healing, and the prevention of heart disease.  Fat actually makes you thin and healthy!  It’s sugar that makes you fat and prone to heart disease and diabetes.

So the simple take home message is eat more of these:

  • almonds, avocados, olives, and their oils
  • oily fish like salmon
  • eggs
  • cheese
  • milk – especially coconut or almond milk

Basically all the stuff our Moms thought made us fat!

 

 

 

 

How to Sculpt Lower Abs

Leave the bulk at the gym

If you're working out at a gym or with a trainer, you are most likely doing a low variety repetition of routine linear, mid-range movements that were designed to bulk-up a specific bundle of muscle fibers while stabilizing the rest of your body. You strap yourself in a chair like you're on an airplane and work one muscle while the rest of your body literally shuts down. The result is bulked-up lumpy muscles adjacent to weak underdeveloped ones, making you weaker and reducing overall strength, agility and mobility every time you work out.

Deconstructing movement

That conventional model of fitness training deconstructs human movement into tiny one-dimensional slices, reducing the breathtaking complexity and broad range of movement our bodies are capable of to a narrow type of 'exercise' that can be mechanized and marketed. So stop exercising like a machine and start moving like a human.

Take a look around... and in the mirror

Look around.  Is the average gym member lean, sculpted, agile, strong, defined, and toned?  Would you be happy with the results of the average person pumping away endless reps on the machines at the gym?  Are you happy with the results you see in the mirror?

THE game-changer that's missing in your workouts

The switch kick combines an intense fast-twitch lower ab contraction in the air with a powerful glute-hamstring jump and kick

The switch kick combines an intense fast-twitch lower ab contraction in the air with a powerful glute-hamstring jump and kick

This Awesome Move in 5 Easy Steps

Download the FREE PDF Cheatsheet Now

Why has nobody taught you the switch kick?

Most people shy away from multi-dimensional, curvilinear movement challenges in the thin zone at the edge of their capabilities.  Don't be one of those people!

THE game-changer is dynamic holistic movement patterns that constantly present new physical, technical, and cerebral challenges with ever-changing alignments, loads, variations, and micro-adaptations.

Backing away in fear from your limits

No one has taught you this move because they assume it's beyond your capabilities.  Conventional fitness training teaches you to back away in fear from your limits and never push into that thin zone at the edge of your capabilities.  So the reason you're not seeing the results you love in the mirror and in selfies is that you've accepted the limitations others have placed on you.

If you want results, stop doing that

That ends today.  Stop wasting your first 13 reps on boring, repetitive, closed-chain, linear isolation moves that are too easy, and not even feeling the burn until rep 14 or 15.  Why not start making every second of every workout count where it matters - well-defined abdominal muscle lines you can see in the mirror and in selfies?

Start with a knee crunch

The knee crunch has to be powerful enough to lift you off the ground.  It's an explosive upward move that generates momentum of your entire body weight in synchrony with the propulsion off the ground of the opposite glutes and hamstrings.

The lower abs and hip flexors work in opposition to gravity and the eccentric gluteal contraction on the same side.​

The knee crunch is a powerful lower abdominal and hip flexor concentric contraction against the opposition of gravity and the eccentric gluteal contraction

The knee crunch is a powerful lower abdominal and hip flexor concentric contraction against the opposition of gravity and the eccentric gluteal contraction

Stabilization is killing your results - let's fix it

Here's the problem: you strap yourself into a chair with handles, armrests, pedals and leg rests, stabilizing and shutting down as much of your body as possible.  Stabilization is killing your results.  Do you see those sharp, cut, defined abdominal lines in the mirror and in selfies?  I'm guessing the answer is NO - let's fix that.

Suspending your body weight

See the blue lines in the images below?  The reason you see those muscle definition lines is that in the switch maneuver the entire bodyweight is suspended in the air by an intense activation of all the core muscles, deep and superficial.  There is absolutely no external stabilization to rely upon.

No chair, straps, armrests, handles, leg rests or pedals.  No anchoring body parts like your feet, tailbone, back or shoulders.  How long you can suspend your body weight in the air depends entirely on your core muscles, so they have to stay activated and engaged as you perform the switch maneuver.

Ab muscle lines pop because of intense core contraction required to suspend the bodyweight in the air while switching legs with a synchronized concentric-eccentric lower ab contraction

Ab muscle lines pop because of intense isometric core contraction required to suspend the bodyweight in the air while switching legs with a synchronized concentric-eccentric lower ab contraction

The switch is where the magic happens - you have to keep your entire bodyweight suspended in the air while you combine a concentric contraction of the lower abs on one side with a controlled eccentric contraction on the other

The switch is where the money is - you have to keep your entire bodyweight suspended in the air while you synchronize a concentric contraction of the lower abs on one side with a controlled eccentric contraction on the other

The dynamic switch maneuver

This is a mid-air move consisting of synchronized eccentric (lengthening) contraction of the lower abs on one side with concentric (crunch) action on the other side.  Since this move must be executed with the entire core activated isometrically to suspend the body in mid-air, it is one of the most powerful moves you can execute to define your lower abdomnals.

The snap-kick

The leg coming off the ground first swaps positions with the higher knee in the air, then the rising leg executes a high snap-kick while the body is still airborne.  Since this motion works against both gravity and the eccentric gluteal contraction, it gives you definition of the lower abdominals and the glutes.

Ab muscle lines pop because of intense core contraction required to suspend the bodyweight in the air while switching legs with a synchronized concentric-eccentric lower ab contraction

The snap-kick intensifies the lower abdominal contraction which is now working against gravity and the eccentric gluteal contraction

Learning to push your own limits

The most astonishing gains are made within the thin zone at the edge of our capabilities, when we are challenged not only physically, but also technically and mentally.

I incorporate at least one challenge move that is beyond the threshold of my abilities into my interval training every day. That forces me to acknowledge and confront my limits and make an effort to push beyond them every day. It is also a powerful way to focus the mind.

How high can you propel your knee?  What about your kicking foot?  Since the knee crunch leads the foot kick, the upward momentum of the knee will give you more vertical, and allow you to kick higher.  So practice crunching your knee tight to your chest first, then work on the switch, then the powerful snap kick.  Each one of these moves can propel you higher.

Pick a spot in the sky - I use the top of a plam tree in the distance or a cloud.  Then try to aim the toes of your kicking foot above it.

The biomechanics of intensity - lower abdominal activation

The blue lines are the ones you want to see in the mirror and selfies.  The way to get there is to push the vertical of your kicks higher and higher

The blue lines are the ones you want to see in the mirror and selfies. The way to get there is to push the vertical of your kicks higher and higher

This Awesome Move in 5 Easy Steps

Download the FREE PDF Cheatsheet Now

Bruce Lee could kick a tiny lightbulb out of a chandelier without even rattling the chandelier.  He's my inspiration when I'm working on my switch kicks.  If you've never tried a move like this you will be astonished at how quickly you will gain strength, agility, and stamina.  You will also start seeing results in your abdominal muscle definition that will convince you to never waste time with standard crunches and machine exercises again.

Start seeing the only results that really matter - the ones you love to see in the mirror

The movements involved activate the entire range of muscle fibers in multiple dimensions, linear and curvilinear, over their entire length, so the results in muscle definition will be quick and dramatic compared to the standard crunches and squats you're wasting your time and energy with now.​

Bruce Lee could kick a tiny lightbulb out of a chandelier - think about that when you're working on your switch kicks

Bruce Lee could kick a tiny lightbulb out of a chandelier - think about that when you're working on your switch kicks

Looking Great Naked isn't Magic ... It's Science

These moves are designed to maintain an intense isometric contraction of the entire core while you are in the air, so you will always feel the burn, and all of your time and effort will be laser-focused on results - those sharp, cut, abdominal lines you want to see in the mirror.  Once you feel that intense burn with every millimeter you progress and you start seeing the results in the mirror, standard crunches will start seeming like the boring, useless waste of time that they are.

Face it - if you can't dance naked in front of a mirror and love what you see from every angle then your workouts are a waste of time.  Stop wasting time and energy and start seeing results - learn how to make every move and every second of every workout count.

The Science—and Art—of Taking Risks

How to put in the work now to ensure that you will go for it later

Read the full article at: www.outsideonline.com

 

When people ask me how long it takes to learn to do a perfect handstand, I say “Today, one day less than if you start tomorrow”.  And when they tell me they’re afraid of falling, I tell them “every fall brings you one step closer to the perfect handstand”.

 

 

That is what the art and science of risk taking is all about.  Falling is a physical phenomenon – subject to the laws of physics.  We can use those same laws to engineer a safe landing every time.  Fear of failure is emotional – what I’m really afraid of is confronting the meaning of failure – what it might say about me as a person.  Am I a loser? a non-athlete? bad genes? wrong body type? too fat?

 

We process both physical and emotional danger in the brain – the limbic system, so they’re neurochemically identical, they feel the same.  But they’re not the same – it’s the emotional fear that floods my bloodstream with stress hormones and makes my chest pound, my breath quicken, and my hands sweat.

 

I can teach anyone a simple physical maneuver – tuck and roll – used by every stuntman to ensure a safe fall.  But there is no physical neurochemical equivalent I can teach that will quiet the limbic system, or the stress hormones and flood of catecholamines.

 

The physical training is simple.  But, According to Michael Gervais, host of the Finding Mastery podcast, the emotional side of the training involves “learning to be OK with failure … and viewing short-term failures as a part of long-term personal success and fulfillment”.

 

To learn to take risks, my biggest obstacle is my hyper-critical self-talk that’s ready to pounce on any slip-up and label me a failure.  I have to learn to silence that inner critic and tell myself a different story – I’m a badass just for showing up and willingly risking failure every day.

Is Fat Killing You, or Is Sugar?

What we do and don’t know about dietary science.

Read the full article at: www.newyorker.com

 

What the scientific studies fail to account for is the effect of sugar and fat on appetite and satiety.

Everyone has had the experience of enjoying their favorite meal until they are so full that they can’t take another bite.  Then, suddenly, by some miracle of physics an empty space in their stomach opens up precisely when they see the pecan pie rolled out on the dessert cart.  This is no mystery.  Scientific principles such as sensory specific satiety, dynamic contrast, and the food pleasure equation allow us to always make room for dessert and also allow us to eat a lot more low caloric density food, such as sugar and processed carbohydrates, than fat.

The other important component missing from the scientific data is subjective satiety.  We all know what it feels like to be famished and to be full, but what about all the intermediate stages of hunger?  If you eat slowly enough and pay close enough attention, you will notice several stages of satiety:

  1. You eat enough to just take the edge off your hunger
  2. No longer hungry but not feeling full either
  3. The beginnings of stomach pressure
  4. Feeling of fullness throughout the abdominal cavity
  5. Belt tightening
  6. Fullness affecting the respiratory system (hiccups, shallow breathing, etc. to accommodate abdominal expansion)
  7. Regurgitation and nausea

The Japanese expression “Hara Hachi Bu” describes the practice of eating until you are 80% full.  Most of us have no idea what this feels like.  Mindless eating is only partly to blame. It takes a good 15 to 20 minutes for satiety signals to reach the brain, and junk food is engineered to suppress or bypass these signals with vanishing caloric density and taste hedonics, among other tricks.

The bottom line is that healthy fats (mono-unsaturated, like almonds, olives, and avocados) will keep you satisfied longer, while sugar will make you hungry and increases your threshold for sweets.  So it’s not a question of which is worse for you, but rather which one makes you eat more, and sugar is clearly the primary offender.

 

Don’t Be Fooled, Treadmills Are Miserable

The treadmill ruins the simplicity of running and packages the sport as a commodity.

Read the full article at: www.outsideonline.com

 

You subject yourself to the soul-crushing boredom and repetition of chugging away on the treadmill 3-4 times a week, just like your doctor and your trainer told you to, but you’re not losing any weight – what’s up with that?

 

Guess what?  There’s good scientific evidence that you’ll never lose weight this way – here’s why:

Exercise Makes You Hungry

If you’re like most people, your diet and exercise regimen is a kind of metaphorical treadmill.  You’re simply chasing the calories you consume with exercise and then wolfing down extra calories to satisfy your post-workout hunger. Studies show that most people who chase calories with exercise and exercise with calories in this way end up consuming more than they burn, thus defeating the purpose of the whole enterprise.

Long sessions of slow cardio make you hungry, and hunger leads to overeating and bingeing.  Sounds pretty depressing, right?  What can you do to get off this metaphorical treadmill from hell?  First, get off the treadmill and out of the gym.  The commodification, mechanization and marketing of exercise is like packaged food – it’s designed for profit, not to help you lose weight.

New research shows that intensity is much more important than time when it comes to the benefits of exercise.  So find some activity you love – be creative – think tree-climbing, surfing, dancing, anything that involves whole-body multi-planar movements.  Now remove the repetition, guilt, and fear of failure that saps most people’s motivation.  You don’t have to do it every day, and you don’t have to do the same exercise every day.  Just try to get outside and move a few times a week.  As an added bonus, doing it in the morning sunshine will elevate your mood and help you sleep better.

 

Exercise Makes You Lazy

Behavioral Compensation” is the term scientists use to describe the phenomenon of laziness after a workout.  It’s impossible to get past the mathematics of this problem: roughly 80% of the calories you burn every day come from “NEAT” which is an acronym for non-exercise activity thermogenesis.  This 80% includes all the calories you burn when you’re not exercising.  It turns out that after you go to the gym you’re much more likely to take the elevator than bounce up the stairs, and at the end of the day you’ll probably find yourself laying on the sofa rather than taking an evening stroll.  The fact that so many more of your daily calories are burned during rest amplifies this problem – extra calories burned at the gym are easily erased by your post-workout lethargy.

 

You Burn Fewer and Fewer Calories

The scientific news gets even worse.  Metabolic compensation is the term used to describe the well-documented phenomenon of a decrease in your metabolic rate in response to weight loss.  This is the reason that most of the winners on the TV show The Biggest Loser ended up gaining the weight back in a follow-up study.  There is a way to beat this effect and again it involves multi-dimensional whole body holistic movements (anything that’s not mechanized) and intensity.  The more muscle fiber you activate in the time you spend exercising the greater the effect on your resting metabolic rate.

 

Repetition is Anti-Motivational

Boredom and repetition kill your motivation.  This is why the gym is such a toxic environment for fitness – every machine is designed around the concept of mechanized, repetitive, linear movement focused on the fevered enlargement of select body parts.  Psychological studies show that the best way to get and stay motivated is to continually challenge yourself with tasks which are not so easy that they’re boring but just hard enough that you need to focus your efforts and step outside your comfort zone.  Working hard to achieve these tasks will place you in a state of “flow” and give you a sense of mastery and purpose.  You will then be motivated to move on to the next challenge just beyond your comfort zone, which is the opposite of what repetitive treadmill workouts will do to your motivation.

 

 

 

 

 

10 Cool, New Weight Loss Gadgets from CES 2017

From a bed that will practically rock you back to sleep to a device that could get your kids more active, here are 10 of the best health and weight-loss gadgets that debuted at CES.

Read the full article at: www.eatthis.com

Save your money on fitness trackers that don’t work, and invest in a sleep gadget.

Sleep the Weight Off

Hit the gym? or stay in bed? – Guess what? An hour of good quality sleep will do more to help you lose weight than an hour at the gym.  The reason is simple.  If you’re like most Americans you’re probably sleep-deprived.  Even if you spend 7+ hours in bed every night (which you probably don’t) you’re not getting all the restorative deep sleep your body needs.

Lack of sleep may be the primary reason you overeat because sleep regulates the hunger hormone ghrelin and the “I’m full” hormone leptin.  It also increases the stress hormone cortisol which stores more body fat and stimulates endocannabinoid production, which gives you the munchies.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that sleep deprivation increases your risk of obesity.

Alcohol and Blue Light

The most common offenders when it comes to sleep deprivation are alcohol and blue light.  While alcohol seems to make you sleepy, it actually suppresses the deepest, most restful phase of sleep which is critical in hormonal regulation and appetite control.  The blue light emitted by LED devices like smartphones and televisions suppresses the natural rising wave of melatonin in your body as the sun goes down.  Melatonin, along with adenosine, which builds up throughout the day with physical activity, are important sleep-inducing signals.  So the worst thing you can do before bed is have a nightcap and stare at your iPhone.  The best thing you can do is dim the lights, have a cup of chamomile tea, and listen to an audiobook.

Gadgets That Work

There are lots of gadgets out there to help you sleep better, like a “smart bed” which debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.  It detects movement and actually adjusts to your sleep position to make you more comfortable.  It also lifts your head if you’re snoring.  By morning it has compiled all your movements and vital signs into an overall sleep score, so you can track your progress.

The Sleep Number 360

 

Light Therapy

Turning off the tech an hour before bedtime is the low-tech way to go, but if you’re a gadget freak like me, wake-up glasses and a smart sleep mask is the way to use chronotherapy to gain control of your body’s circadian rhythms (sleep and wake cycle).  Both Ayo and Neuroon use light to adjust your sleep cycle, so if you work long hours or travel a lot, this may be the solution for you.

Ayo and Neuroon use light to adjust your sleep cycle

 

The Coolest Looking New Sleep Gadget

Sense is definitely the coolest looking new sleep gadget, and my favorite because you can totally geek out on the features and analytics.  It’s voice activated, emits ambient sounds to help you get to sleep and remain in deep sleep, and monitors your sleep and environment.  Waking up from the deepest phases of sleep can leave you feeling groggy, stuck in so-called “sleep inertia“.  Sense beats sleep inertia by waking you up during the lightest phase, so you feel energized and refreshed.  The analytics include detailed breakdowns of your sleep cycle and all kinds of dorky metrics you can follow such as as wake variance, with suggestions on how to improve them.

Geek out on the coolest looking sleep gadget

 

There’s even a pillow, called Dreampad, which converts sounds into vibrations, with some scientific evidence backing up its effectiveness.  Finally, the Nightingale, which intelligently cancels bedroom noise, is based on research showing that, especially in cities, noise is a significant factor in sleep deprivation.

Wearable Fitness Devices Don’t Seem to Make You Fitter

Fitbits and Apple Watches and the like may have their uses, but they don’t appear to be effective in weight loss.

Read the full article at: www.nytimes.com

 

This may sound bizarre, but a very well-designed scientific study, published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association, found that those who used a fitness tracker lost less weight than those who did not.  The reasons for this paradoxical finding were not clear, but it ought to give us all pause.  Would you willingly spend money on a device that is likely to confound your efforts to lose weight?

 

I for one am not surprised.  I can think of several possible reasons why fitness trackers don’t help, and may even hinder weight loss:

  • They are based on the old “calories in minus calories out” model of weight loss
  • They encourage slow cardio which makes you eat more, and they ignore your resting metabolism
  • They give you an excuse not to exercise with intensity, which is the key to boosting metabolism

The Debunked “Calories In Minus Calories Out” Weight Loss Model

If it were nothing more than a simple elementary school math problem, then anyone would be able to lose weight and keep it off.  Of course we all know this isn’t the world we live in. Modern research has shown that the role of metabolic adaptation, the effects of macronutrient types and ratios on fat storage, and the psychology of hunger all play confounding roles in this deceptively simple equation.

If you’re still counting calories and chasing them with exercise, then you’re focusing your time and energy on the wrong things.  Shifting your focus to hunger management and metabolic modulation with macronutrient ratios will get you the results you’re after much quicker without ever having to set foot in a gym or on a scale.

Slow Cardio Makes You Hungry

Fitness trackers just accumulate and sum the total of all calories you burn, and all activity calories are not equal.  You are likely to replace all the calories you burn doing slow cardio, because it makes you hungry and provides an easy rationalization for eating more.

One study showed that people increase their food intake after exercise.  This effect may be psychological – you think you’ve burned more calories than you have – or hunger-related, or a combination of both.  A review of studies found people generally overestimated how much energy exercise burned and ate more when they worked out.  Fitness trackers only make this problem worse because they can easily convince you that your step count for the day has earned you that extra slice of pizza or mochaccino, which will be just enough to put you into positive calorie balance, and thus weight gain territory, for the day.

The real beneficial effect of exercise is that it increases your resting metabolic rate, known by the scientific acronym “NEAT” (non exercise activity thermogenesis).  The majority of the calories you burn throughout the day, up to 80%, come from NEAT.  Even a brief burst of intense exercise, as short as one minute, can have an effect on your resting metabolism, which will increase your calorie burn all day – while sitting at your desk, driving, and even sleeping!  Fitness trackers discourage the type of exercise that has the greatest effect on NEAT, while encouraging slow cardio, which results in overeating.

Fitness Trackers as An Excuse

It’s the end of the day, you’re exhausted.  Your tracker has your step count over 10,000, so you figure you’re good, and head to the bar for happy hour.  Sound familiar?  If you’re using your activity tracker as an excuse to be lazy and avoid working out then it’s no wonder the study showed that people had a harder time losing weight with a tracker than without one.  The most intense form of exercise gives your metabolism the most powerful boost.  Also, maintaining that level of intensity as you get older is the primary way to halt or even reverse the effects of aging.

According to Ned Overend, the 59-year-old National Fat Bike Champion,

“Training with an emphasis on high-intensity intervals has been my preferred method of preparing for races throughout my career. I’ve learned that by reducing volume, I’m more rested for high-intensity sessions, and by being rested I can push myself harder during the intervals.”

So if you’re using a fitness tracker as an excuse to avoid intense exercise, to eat more, or to skip workouts altogether, you’re probably  better off selling it on eBay and start losing weight the low-tech way with the rest of us.

 

 

The Attitude To Exercise That Benefits Mind And Body To Max – PsyBlog

Greatest psychological and neurophysiological benefits seen from exercise with this attitude.

Read the full article at: www.spring.org.uk

Attitude Actually Makes a Difference

These are some astonishing and awesome new findings at the intersection of neuroscience and exercise physiology.

It turns out that your attitude towards exercise is a major determinant of its neurophysiological effect on you, which basically means that it you believe in the positive effects of exercise those effects will be that much more pronounced.  Think about that for a minute – talk about a powerful mind-body connection!  You can actually benefit more from exercise if you believe in its positive effects – wow!

The Mind-Body Connection

In the studies cited in this article, hotel attendants who were encouraged to recognize how much of their job was physical exercise and how that exercise could benefit them actually lost weight compared to others who got no instruction about exercise.

In another study, 76 people worked out for 30 minutes on a stationary bicycle.  Half of them were shown a video about the benefits of cycling and the other half were not.  Just giving them the knowledge and focusing their minds on the benefits of the exercise actually changed the electrical signals in their brains.

This makes your beliefs about exercise a super power- not only can these beliefs be strong motivators but they can actually amplify the effects of exercise.

How Physical Activity Might Quell the Eating Binges After Intense Mental Activity

In all that I’ve read (here’s my favorite article), and written about hunger, I’ve never heard anyone distinguish “brain hunger” from “muscle hunger”.  According to these researchers, that distinction may be real, and what’s even cooler is the idea that you can feed your brain with vigorous physical activity.

Exercise Can Feed Your Brain

This first one is my favorite – you can actually feed your brain with exercise.  We’re not talking metaphorically here.  The study showed that exercise was like pizza for the brain – you heard me right, pizza!

Students were allowed to eat as much of their favorite pizza as they wanted after intense mental activity and when they exercised first they actually ate less.

The mechanism has to do with blood glucose and lactate levels but the bottom line is that there is actually a difference between brain hunger and muscle hunger and you can suppress brain hunger by working out.  If you’re interested in the specifics, here’s how it works:

 

  • The brain nourishes itself on glucose and lactate.
  • The brain has very little in the way of stored nutritional reserves.
  • Intense mental activity quickly consumes the brain’s available food, and signals an impending starvation state, producing a hunger signal despite not having consumed many calories.
  • So you eat.

Intense muscle contraction causes blood levels of both glucose and lactate to rise, allowing the brain to obtain nourishment, and partially quelling the hunger signal resulting from intense mental activity.

I don’t know about you, but I’m gonna try a brief burst of exercise after a bout of deep thinking to see if it reduces my hunger.

Exercise Also Creates New Neurons

Exercise not only creates new neurons, it makes those neurons nimble – capable of multitasking.  And, by the way: You’ll live longer too.

Neurons with superpowers

I was blown away by an absolutely astonishing finding in this study.  Not only does exercise stimulate the formation of new neurons in the brain, but those neurons have a kind of “superpower” –  they are able to join different neural networks.

In the words of the authors, “…running, unlike learning, had created brain cells that could multitask.”

Enhancing cognitive skills

Even though the formation of the new neurons was stimulated by physical activity, they were able to enhance completely unrelated cognitive skills.

Cognitive improvements can be seen in all age groups.  So kids who walk to school do better than bus-riders on tests, and older people can ward off dementia with exercise.

A Bad Diet Can Also Change Your Brain

Now there is new evidence that your diet can also change parts of your brain, making you crave more unhealthy food.

study from The University of Cambridge revealed cognitive impairment in humans that had been demonstrated previously in rodents an American University study.  The brains of rats who were fed a bad diet underwent changes that impaired their ability to tell when they were full.

2015 study in the Journal of Pediatrics found obese children performed more poorly on memory tasks that test that same brain region  compared with kids who weren’t overweight.

 

 

Weight loss that works: A true story – Harvard Health Blog

This story combines science and a physician’s personal experience to shed light on the basics of how to really lose weight.

Read the full article at: www.health.harvard.edu

 

Pretty amazing that Harvard is still publishing articles suggesting that weight loss is all about counting calories and chasing them with exercise.  The astonishing growth in the numbers of obese and overweight Americans over the last 30 years is all the evidence necessary to prove beyond any doubt that this approach, which has been sold over and over to Americans in the form of the latest diet bestseller, doesn’t work.  If it did, those millions of books sold would translate into millions of pounds lost.

 

The new science of weight loss that actually works for the long term is about 3 ideas that have nothing to do with counting calories or “burning” them off.  These 3 concepts are so simple that you can discover them yourself, in your daily life, without having to buy any apps, books, videos, devices, or prepared food.  They are:

  1. Hunger Management
  2. Metabolism Change
  3. Mindless Eating

Hunger Management

Your Own Research Laboratory

You definitely don’t need to read a bunch of books or scientific studies to figure out a simple fact that we all know to be true from our own experience – some foods make you hungry and some fill you up.  This is easy enough to research in the laboratory of your own body.  Eat a bowl of steel-cut oats with coconut milk, coconut flakes, cinnamon and fresh or frozen berries for breakfast one day.  The next day eat cereal from a box or go to a drive-thru and order pancakes with maple syrup, or grab a sack of your favorite donuts or pastries.  Each day look at your watch when you first start feeling hungry, and then again when you’re so famished that you can think of nothing but food.  I notice that I salivate more when I first start feeling hungry and I get a hollowed-out achy feeling behind my eyes when I’m starving.  You’ll be amazed at how much longer the whole grains and healthy fats will keep you satisfied versus the flour and sugar of the processed breakfast foods.  The hunger spike will be less sudden and less intense, and your craving for sweets will be noticeably reduced.

Why Some Diets Seem to Work

Diets that seem to “work” don’t consist of magic ingredients or special timing, they simply replace some of your empty, hunger-stimulating calories (alcohol, sugar, refined carbs) with more wholesome, hunger-suppressing calories (whole grains, protein, healthy fats).  The result is less intense, less frequent hunger spikes with reduced sweet cravings.  You will naturally eat less throughout the day and you will be much less prone to overeat.  Try whole grains without added sugar for breakfast and 2 palm-sized portions of protein with lunch and dinner.  Anyone can do this right now and start losing weight immediately without counting a single calorie, setting foot in a gym or stepping onto a scale.

 

Metabolism Change

It’s a Scary Word

Metabolism is a scary word because most people believe (falsely) that they are destined to be fat forever because they can’t change their metabolism.  At the same time, most people don’t even know the meaning of the word.

What Does it Mean?

Metabolism is the way your body acquires, stores, and burns the energy you need to live, and there are some very simple steps you can take to modify and control it.  The simplest and most effective way is through the macronutrient ratio of your diet.  “Macronutrient” is another scary word that most people don’t understand – it simply means whether a food is a protein, carb, or fat (or combination).  New research shows that the macronutrient ratio of your diet is an important determinant of how your body stores fat.

How to Store Less Body Fat

if you are overweight or obese, it’s very likely that your diet consists of a lot sugar (anything that tastes sweet) or refined carbohydrates (anything that comes in a box, package, or bag).  These foods are mainly metabolized (broken down and stored as energy) in the liver, and they cause the buildup of the most harmful type of fat, known as “visceral” or deep belly fat.  Over time, your body stores more and more of the calories you eat as this deep fat, regardless of how many calories you count or try to reduce.  This is why simply cutting calories and eating only cake and ice cream won’t work – your body will just keep storing more fat.  On the other hand, if you replace some of your sugar and refined carbs with protein and healthy fats (see above) you will begin storing less body fat without counting or cutting a single calorie.

 

A Palm of Protein, A Fist of Veggies

The way to do this is by planning and preparing healthy meals in advance.  Every meal should have at least a palm-sized portion of protein and a fist-sized portion of veggies.  This is simple to eyeball when you’re preparing meals in bulk.  Reducing the ratio of sugar and refined carbs in your diet and replacing those calories with protein and healthy fats will control your hunger better and make you less prone to mindless snacking and overeating.

 

Stop Chasing Calories With Exercise

Do you think you should exercise to burn calories?  Think again. Research shows that the calories burned by exercise are quickly replaced by more calories, but that doesn’t mean that exercise is useless for weight loss.  On the contrary, exercise can increase your resting metabolism, known by the scientific acronym “NEAT” (non-exercise activity thermogenesis), which means you will burn more calories while sitting at your desk, driving your car, even while sleeping!  If you have a busy life you’re in luck – new research has revealed that tiny micro-workouts of as little as 1 minute of intense exercise a few times a week can give you the same benefit as suffering through hours of soul-crushing boredom at the gym.

 

Mindless Eating

Eating Over The Sink

Do you eat standing in front of an open fridge? Or over the kitchen sink?  Do you stuff the last few fries from the bottom of the bag into your mouth regardless of how soggy, greasy, and unappetizing they look?  Do you eat cookies, cereal, or ice cream out of the bags, boxes, or buckets they were packaged in?

 

These are all mindless eating practices and according to researcher Brian Wansink, we can all very easily reduce our calorie intake by 20-40% with a few simple practices that make us more mindful of what and how much we are eating.

 

Bag It Up

The first simple step is to buy some small sandwich-sized clear slider-zipper baggies.  The ones with the actual slider (not the ziplock type) work best because they are quick to open and close and you can always tell when they’re fully closed so your food stays fresher.  When you get home from shopping take all snack foods, including fruits and nuts out of their original packaging and divide them into the small baggies.  It doesn’t really matter how full you make them because research demonstrates that we eat less when we dispense food from smaller containers.  Also when you’re eating from a small baggie, the extra work and motivation required to get up and grab another one serves to inhibit bingeing on the whole box, which – let’s face it – we’ve all done.

What You See Is What You Eat

The Next step is to carefully position these baggies of snacks – healthy snacks like nuts and fruits in front of the shelf and at eye level, and put cookies and chocolates in the back and high up or low down.  When you store leftovers in the fridge, cover the healthy ones like tuna, veggies, and salads with clear plastic wrap and place them at eye level.  Cakes and pies get wrapped in foil and placed in the back.

Small Plate – Lose Weight

Instead of standing up and noshing in front of the fridge or over the sink, put your snack on a small plate and sit down to eat it, preferably with utensils.   Research also shows that you will eat less from a small plate, especially one whose color contrasts sharply to the food on it.

Hunger Game

We’ve all had the experience of eating until we are full, only to feel uncomfortably stuffed 20 minutes later.  This is because there is a 20-minute delay in communication between the stomach and the brain.  The way to overcome this obstacle is by teaching yourself the Japanese art of “Hara Hachi Bu” which means eating until you are 80% full.  This might sound difficult at first but here is a simple step-by-step:

 

  • Sit down to a meal when you’re hungry
  • Eat as slowly as possible (remember the 20-minute stomach-to-brain delay)
  • Notice when you are still enjoying the meal but the hunger is gone
  • Notice when you are just starting to feel stomach pressure (imagine another bite, will it make you feel better or worse?) this is the 80% full threshold
  • Notice when you are stuffed (another bite and you will explode)

Woo-Hoo!  You are now a Hara Hachi Bu Master!  You have established 3 thresholds: hunger-gone, stomach pressure, and stuffed.  It may take you 20 meals or so to get used to these sensations but try finding a sweet spot somewhere between hunger-gone and first stomach pressure.  This can translate into a weight loss of a pound a week or more, again without counting a single calorie or setting foot in a gym or on a scale.

 

What are you waiting for?  Get Started!

 

 

The New Rules of Core Fitness

Crunches and planks won’t cut it. If you want to develop real, useful core strength, you need to work harder.

Read the full article at: www.outsideonline.com

If you work out in a gym, you’re getting weaker every day.  Seriously.

No Machine Can Do This

There is no machine that can mimic the complexity of the multi-contraction (concentric, eccentric, isometric), multi-dimensional (linear, curvilinear, twisting, rotatory), temporally-varied (fast-twitch, slow-twitch) movements that the human body has evolved to seamlessly execute.  So why are you limiting yourself to the repetitive, linear, core-stabilized, mid-range, peripheral, isolation moves of gym machines and exercises?  These are but the tiniest snapshots of movement that are easily mechanized and marketed.  You are capable of so much more.

According to fitness icon Laird Hamilton,

When you sit down on an exercise machine, with your back against a chair, you tend to shut down the rest of your body

Why You’re Getting Weaker

Think about it – you go to the gym and strap yourself into a chair complete with armrests, straps, leg and footrests, handles, and back supports.  What’s up with that? Are you going to the moon? Stabilizing your body in this way and then building disproportionate strength in one set of muscle fibers while all the others become progressively weaker in a relative sense is limiting your ability to move and making you weaker overall.

Mindless and Useless

Repetitive, linear, closed chains – the kind of exercise taught in a gym – is not movement.  Movement is so much more than the sum of its parts.  A challenging workout requires a continuous mix of technical, physical, and cerebral difficulty.  Powering through endless reps of linear isolation moves is mindless and useless.  It may bulk up specific bundles of muscle fiber but it will never give you the definition, agility and strength you could get from less time and effort spent in a smarter way – with holistic movement patterns that constantly challenge your body and mind with ever-changing alignments, loads, variations, and adaptations.  This type of challenge is, after all, how our bodies evolved into the incredibly finely-tuned wonders of movement that they are.

Burn More Fat In Less Time – Even While You Sleep

Your core workouts focus only on the surface fibers – but that’s a small percentage of the muscle fiber in your core.  There’s a much greater volume of muscle in the deep core.  This is important because muscle is the machine that burns fat.  The more muscle fiber you activate and stimulate with different alignments, loads, and movement patterns, the more fat you burn both during your workout and even during the time you’re not working out – this is known as NEAT – non exercise activity thermogenesis.

If you want results you’ve got to go where the money is – focus all your effort and every second of your workout time on optimizing the fat-burn.  In this case all the fat-burning action is in the deep core.

So you get a double bonus for stimulating the maximum number of muscle fibers during your workout – you actually burn more calories after your workout and for the rest of the day, every day – even while you sleep!

Use Your Brain To Train Your Body

Here are links to step-by-step tutorials that are engineered to stimulate the maximum number of deep core muscle fibers in the most varied dimensions and contraction types with the least amount of time and effort.  No gym or equipment is required and prepare to amaze yourself with dramatically better results from much smaller time investment than your current soul-crushingly boring repetitive gym routine:

 

https://yogadoc.tv/deep-core-muscle-fibers-youre-missing/

https://yogadoc.tv/get-shredded-lower-abs-and-glutes/

https://yogadoc.tv/easy-tricks-future-ab-muscle-lines-now/

 

 

 

Get Ripped Abs Quick And Look Cool Doing It – 3 Easy Steps

The Secret To Ripped Shredded Muscle Fiber Lines That Speak For Themselves

I'm not a muscle guy.  But when I work out I look like one.  Why is that?

My secret is engineering my workouts to efficiently stimulate the maximum number of muscle fibers in the least amount of time with minimal effort.  Why not laser-focus every second of every move  of every workout on maximizing muscle fiber stimulation and definition?

This approach allows me to do 2 things:

  • I effortlessly execute extraordinary feats of strength with confidence and finesse
  • I make every muscle fiber pop with a combination of multi contraction (concentric, eccentric, isometric), multi-dimensional (linear, curvilinear, twisting, rotatory), temporally varied (fast-twitch, slow-twitch) movements incorporated into each workout to markedly accentuate fiber definition while minimizing exhaustion with quick shifts from one movement to the next before feeling the burn of the explosive move.​
You can learn the ultimate core-shredder in 3 easy steps - all you need is a wall and a soft landing surface

You can learn the ultimate core-shredder in 3 easy steps - all you need is a wall or tree and a soft landing surface

How To Get Started Right Now

This is an approach that you can easily employ right away to show off - seriously.  I mean what's the point of all this working out if you can't show off those ripped shredded muscle fiber lines while you're working out?

​Learn to nail these moves and you will start making all kinds of muscle fibers pop - fibers that you never even thought you had, while you work out.  Do you want that gym crush, yoga hottie, or fit babe to notice you?  Nobody wants to start an awkward conversation at the gym.  Learning these moves is the best way to impress her without saying a word.

3 EASY TRICKS REVEAL YOUR FUTURE ABDOMINAL MUSCLE LINES NOW

Reveal your future six pack with easy step-by-step tutorials

Making Muscle Fiber Lines Visually Pop

All of these moves are specifically designed to laser-focus on making the muscle fiber lines you don't have yet start visually popping right now.

Separate Yourself From The Crowd

​This is also a great way to start separating yourself from the crowd.  As long as you keep doing the same repetitive, linear, core-stabilized, midrange, peripheral isolation moves as everyone else, you're going to to look like everyone else.  Look around the gym - is that what you want?  To look like everyone else?

What You're Doing Wrong

The exercises you're doing are just fatiguing and bulking up the same isolated bundle of fibers in each muscle.  Every day you do this type of exercise you create more and more of a disparity between the small bundle of midrange peripheral fibers your moves are focused on and  your end-terminal and deep core fibers.

This imbalance actually makes you weaker overall and detracts from your ability to perform the combination of multi-contraction (concentric, eccentric, isometric), multi-dimensional (linear, curvilinear, twisting, rotatory), temporally varied (fast and slow twitch)​ moves that are most efficient at accentuating muscle fiber - making it visually pop - while minimizing exhaustion.

Step 1 - Deep Core Extension

Step 1 - start by extending your spine up and back, reach for the tree, bend your knees and shift your weight to your toes

Step 1 - start by extending your spine up and back, reach for the tree, bend your knees and shift your weight to your toes. As you gain confidence start gradually walking your feet further from the tree

Step 2 - Hand Walk

As you walk your hands down the tree you powerfully activate the deep core and watch as your surface abdominal muscles pop

As you walk your hands down the tree you powerfully activate the deep core and watch as your surface abdominal muscles pop

Step 3 - Stick The Landing

When you are ready to go all the way to the ground, find a soft graded surface, face downhill, and combine all 3 moves - knee hyper flexion, back arch, and weight shift to toes - and stick the landing!

When you are ready to go all the way to the ground, find a soft graded surface, face downhill, and combine all 3 moves - knee hyper flexion, back arch, and weight shift to toes - and stick the landing!

Got Swagger?  Give Gym Hotties A Reason To Notice You

Stop wasting your time and energy doing the same soul-crushingly boring exercises, rep after rep, as everyone else.  Start doing something extraordinary and you will start to look extraordinary.  Why not give the hottest girl at the gym a reason to notice you?

STOP HIDING BENEATH XXXL T-SHIRTS

Reveal your future six pack with easy step-by-step tutorials

Reveal your future six pack with easy step-by-step tutorials

How To Crush Unhealthy Cravings in 3 Minutes – PsyBlog

This distraction enough to reduce common cravings by 24%.

Read the full article at: www.spring.org.uk

 

Counting calories and chasing them with exercise doesn’t work.  The only successful path to sustainable weight loss is hunger management.  That’s why calorie-free craving crushers are incredibly powerful psychological tools that you can put to use right away and start seeing immediate results.

This article reports that simply playing tetris for 3 minutes can actually reduce cravings by 24% – how awesome is that?

Professor Jackie Andrade, an author of the study, explained:

Episodes of craving normally only last a few minutes, during which time an individual is visualizing what they want and the reward it will bring. Often those feelings result in the person giving in and consuming the very thing they are trying to resist. But by playing Tetris, just in short bursts, you are preventing your brain creating those enticing images and without them the craving fades.

This theory, known as Elaborated Intrusion, postulates that imagery is central to craving.  Think about the last time you had a craving for a slice of pizza or pecan pie – you probably had an image in your mind of the sensation of that hot spicy melted cheese or those sweet crunchy pecans stimulating your tastebuds – the sweet and salty tastes, the smooth & crunchy mouth-feel.  It turns out that you can trick your brain with simulations of those images or even by blocking them out altogether.

Here are some more calorie-free craving crushers that really work:

Scientists at the University of London are developing a new high-tech brand of cutlery that could seriously curb your salty and sweet cravings.   Taste Buddy uses a low-level electrical current to stimulate the tongue’s taste buds — to fool people into thinking they are trying sweet or salty flavors, basically making vegetables taste like chocolate – or whatever you want them to taste like.

Read more about it at:

www.huffingtonpost.com

www.popsugar.com

www.digitaltrends.com

I love the idea of a spoon that stimulates taste receptors because it addresses the psychology of hunger which is the most commonly ignored weight loss obstacle.

There are other, simpler calorie-free ways to stimulate taste receptors and curb cravings.  My favorite ones are:

  • Textures – the smooth surface of frozen blueberries sprinkled with toasted coconut flakes has an incredible mouth feel that beats an ice cream sundae with sprinkles
  • Bubbles – club soda tingles in your mouth and the bubbly feel lingers all the way down to your belly and suppresses cravings much better than water – try adding a slice of fresh lemon
  • Temperature Contrasts – put an ice-cold frozen raspberry on a spoonful of piping hot whole grain oatmeal – it’s like bread pudding with a gumdrop on top
  • Spices – add cinnamon, nutmeg, or cocoa powder to your coffee
  • Aromas – try a sweetly scented candle
  • Extracts – I put almond or vanilla extract into my coffee grounds before brewing

 

 

Instantly Reveal More Muscle While You Work Out

The Secret To Ripped Shredded Muscle Fiber Lines That Speak For Themselves

I'm not a muscle guy.  But when I work out I look like one.  Why is that?

My secret is engineering  my workouts to efficiently stimulate the maximum number of muscle fibers in the least amount of time with minimal effort.  Why not laser-focus every second of every move  of every workout on maximizing muscle fiber stimulation and definition?

This approach allows me to do 2 things:

  • I effortlessly execute extraordinary feats of strength with confidence and finesse
  • I make every muscle fiber pop with a combination of multi contraction (concentric, eccentric, isometric), multi-dimensional (linear, curvilinear, twisting, rotatory), temporally varied (fast-twitch, slow-twitch) movements incorporated into each workout to markedly accentuate fiber definition while minimizing exhaustion with quick shifts from one movement to the next before feeling the burn of the explosive move.​
This is an example of a move meticulously engineered with a combination of multi contraction (concentric, eccentric, isometric), multi-dimensional (linear, curvilinear, twisting, rotatory), temporally varied (fast-twitch, slow-twitch) movements

This is an example of a move meticulously engineered with a combination of multi contraction (concentric, eccentric, isometric), multi-dimensional (linear, curvilinear, twisting, rotatory), temporally varied (fast-twitch, slow-twitch) movements

How To Get Started Right Now

This is an approach that you can easily employ right away to show off - seriously.  I mean what's the point of all this working out if you can't show off those ripped shredded muscle fiber lines while you're working out?

​Learn to nail these moves and you will start making all kinds of muscle fibers pop - fibers that you never even thought you had, while you work out.  Do you want that gym crush, yoga hottie, or fit babe to notice you?  Nobody wants to start an awkward conversation at the gym.  Learning these moves is the best way to impress her without saying a word.

3 EASY TRICKS REVEAL YOUR FUTURE ABDOMINAL MUSCLE LINES NOW

Reveal your future six pack with easy step-by-step tutorials

Making Muscle Fiber Lines Visually Pop

All of these moves are specifically designed to laser-focus on making the muscle fiber lines you don't have yet start visually popping right now.

Separate Yourself From The Crowd

​This is also a great way to start separating yourself from the crowd.  As long as you keep doing the same repetitive, linear, core-stabilized, midrange, peripheral isolation moves as everyone else, you're going to to look like everyone else.  Look around the gym - is that what you want?  To look like everyone else?

What You're Doing Wrong

The exercises you're doing are just fatiguing and bulking up the same isolated bundle of fibers in each muscle.  Every day you do this type of exercise you create more and more of a disparity between the small bundle of midrange peripheral fibers your moves are focused on and  your end-terminal and deep core fibers.

This imbalance actually makes you weaker overall and detracts from your ability to perform the combination of multi-contraction (concentric, eccentric, isometric), multi-dimensional (linear, curvilinear, twisting, rotatory), temporally varied (fast and slow twitch)​ moves that are most efficient at accentuating muscle fiber - making it visually pop - while minimizing exhaustion.

Step 1 - The Setup

Step 1 powerfully engages both glutes simultaneously in different dimensions with different contraction types while maintaining tension in the deep core for balance

Step 1 powerfully engages both glutes simultaneously in different dimensions with different contraction types while maintaining tension in the deep core for balance

Step 2 - Liftoff

Step 2 is the power move.  The body weight is shifted onto the shoulders while the deep core and back muscles stabilize your weight in the air.

All the gluteal muscle fibers are engaged in both eccentric and concentric contraction as you lift your tailbone and lead with it to shift your body weight onto your hands.

The deep core is activated isometrically for stability as the back and surface core muscles keep your body in balance over your hands.

Step 2 is the power move - shoulders, back and core muscles are powerfully engaged while the glutes and hamstrings lift the tailbone into the air

Step 2 is the power move - shoulders, back and core muscles are powerfully engaged while the glutes and hamstrings lift the tailbone into the air

Step 3 - Core Twist

The core twist is where the magic happens - it requires precise concentric-eccentric contractio of the deep core while hyper-defining the surface abdominal muscle - especially the obliques - giving you those sharp serrated side ab lines

The core twist is where the magic happens - it requires precise concentric-eccentric contraction of the deep core while hyper-defining the surface abdominal muscle - especially the obliques - giving you those sharp serrated side ab lines

Got Swagger?  Give Gym Hotties A Reason To Notice You

Stop wasting your time and energy doing the same soul-crushingly boring exercises, rep after rep, as everyone else.  Start doing something extraordinary and you will start to look extraordinary.  Why not give the hottest girl at the gym a reason to notice you?

STOP HIDING BENEATH XXXL T-SHIRTS

Reveal your future six pack with easy step-by-step tutorials

Reveal your future six pack with easy step-by-step tutorials

Age Is Irrelevant When It Comes to Fitness

Want to continue to crush it well into your 80s? Here’s how.

Read the full article at: www.outsideonline.com

How Old Are You?

I do a new jump-yoga interval training workout every morning at Lake Worth beach.  I am frequently approached with questions – the most common being “how old are you?”.  Even little kids ask me and when I tell them they say “WOW – you’re older than Grandpa”.

The subtext is clear – they simply can’t believe some of the moves I can do at age 54.  I can hardly believe it myself – I’m talking about moves like eagle handstand and lotus scorpion.

What’s Up With That?

The more challenging moves that I can now execute effortlessly are things that I couldn’t imagine my body doing 10, 20, or even 30 years ago.  What’s up with that?

Here’s an astonishing fact: you CAN defeat aging.  The effects of aging on your body are not inexorable – ALL of them can be halted or even reversed if you understand and properly apply a few well-researched concepts of exercise physiology.

The 4 Horsemen Of The Fitness Apocalypse

The simple formula for remaining a badass as you get older: focus on reversing each of these 4 effects of aging, what Joe Friel calls in his book Fast After 50“The 4 horsemen of the fitness apocalypse”.

  • Decreasing Aerobic Capacity
  • Shrinking Muscles
  • Increasing body fat
  • Reduced Mobility

The Fountain Of Youth

According to Friel, up to 70% of these processes are under your control,  Leaving only 30% to father time or the grim reaper.  What that means is that if you can increase your aerobic capacity and muscle mass, while improving mobility and burning fat, you will actually turn back the clock.  The fountain of youth isn’t a myth – it’s real.  It’s called exercise and you don’t have to spend hours at the gym or hire expensive trainers to reap its benefits.

The graphs in this post show that a regular exerciser at age 80 can have the strength, flexibility, and motor control of a non-exerciser at age 20.  Pause to think about that astonishing fact for a minute.  You can be in better shape, by all measures, at age 80 than you were at age 20 – WOW!

It’s clear that a lifelong habit of daily exercise is literally the fountain of youth.  If you are becoming stronger, more flexible, and more fit every day, in what sense are you actually aging?

 

What about reduced mobility?

The easiest way to start improving your mobility right away is to get out of the gym – stop “exercising” like a machine and start moving like a human.

If you are working out at a gym or with a trainer, you are most likely doing a low variety repetition of routine linear, mid-range isolation movements that were designed to bulk-up a specific bundle of muscle fibers while stabilizing the rest of your body.  You sit in a chair and work one muscle while the rest of your body literally shuts down.  The result is specifically strengthened tissues next to weak underdeveloped ones, leading to deformity and unhealthy loads, reducing overall strength, agility and mobility.  That’s right, those gym machines are weakening you and reducing your mobility.

That conventional model of fitness training deconstructs human movement into tiny one-dimensional slices. It reduces the broad range of human movement to a narrow type of ‘exercise’ that can be mechanized and marketed.  So stop exercising like a machine and start moving like a human.

But I don’t have time

Time is at the top of most lists of excuses for not starting an exercise habit.  You can cross it off your list right now because new studies show that you can get all the benefits of 45 minutes of exercise daily with as little as 1 minute of interval training.

According to Friel, Intensity is more important than exercise volume in battling the effects of aging.  This view is supported by  myriad scientific studies showing that you can get all the benefits of an hour of exercise in as little as one minute of intense intervals when combined with active rest phases.

The easiest way to start is to mix brief, intense bursts of fast-twitch plyo moves with active isometric rest intervals.

This combination of multi-contraction (concentric, eccentric, isometric), multi-dimensional (linear, curvilinear, twisting, rotatory), temporally varied (fast-twitch, slow-twitch) movements into each workout will markedly accentuate muscle fiber definition while minimizing exhaustion as you quickly shift from one movement to the next before you feel the burn of the explosive move – so your recovery is built into an active rest phase.  It will also keep your mind active and constantly challenged to adapt to and work with strange new alignments and demands,

There are no ‘leg days’, ‘back days’, ‘arm days’, or recovery days, there are only whole-body days. You’ve got a whole body, right? so why not use it? Instead of mechanistically bulking up the same tiny bundle of mid-range isolated muscle fibers every day, why not stimulate the maximum number of fibers over the entire range of temporal-spatial dimensions available to you?  Why not let everything get more defined, stronger and more agile in balance with everything else?

Why you don’t need to count calories or deprive yourself of delicious food to reduce body fat

Ignore the lies you’ve been told that body fat inexorably increases as you age.  Three simple changes that have nothing to do with calorie-counting, deprivation diets, or exercise, can start reducing your body fat immediately.

  • Prepare meals in advance
  • Portion snacks and store them in small zipper bags
  • Keep healthy snacks at eye-level in transparent containers covered by clear plastic wrap, store cookies and chips in opaque containers or wrapped in foil

Those simple acts of pre-planning have been shown to significantly reduce calorie intake, with no need to count calories or deprive yourself.

The bottom line is this: there is a magic pill, a wonder drug , a fountain of youth – it’s called exercise.  And it’s simpler than ever to get started, all you need is 1 minute.  You can reverse all of the effects of aging on fitness by forming a few simple habits.  Do you want to halt the aging process right now?  And even turn back the clock?  You can do it by putting these simple strategies to work for you today.

 

 

12 Strategies for a Successful Meal Prep Day

One common strategy for saving money on food that shows up in a lot of frugality books and on many frugality websites is the idea of a “meal prep day,” sometimes simply called “meal prep Sunday” because people often use a Sunday to do it.

Read the full article at: lifehacker.com

Still Counting Calories and Chasing Them With Exercise?

This is a great post about the financial and time-management advantages of a meal-prep day.  But the most significant benefit of prepping meals in advance is fitness and weight loss, because it gives you control over the factors that will help you lose weight much more efficiently than counting calories and chasing those calories with exercise:

  1. Hunger Management
  2. Macronutrient ratios that affect metabolism
  3. Mindless Eating

Still Eating Over The Sink?

If you’re like most Americans, you probably do at least some of the following:

  • Wait until you’re hungry to eat, then eat until you feel full
  • Have no idea what a macronutrient is and how they affect your hunger and metabolism
  • Eat at your desk, in your car, at the drive-through, or standing over a sink or in front of an open fridge or over a paper towel without utensils

If you could change those habits tomorrow it would have a huge impact on your ability to lose weight – so huge that you could skip counting calories and going to the gym altogether – seriously!

Palms of Protein, Fists of Veggies

The way to do this is by planning and preparing healthy meals in advance.  Every meal should include at least 2 palm-sized portions of protein and 2 fist-sized portions of veggies.  This is simple to eyeball when you’re preparing meals in bulk.  Reducing the ratio of sugar and refined carbs in your diet and replacing those calories with protein and healthy fats will control your hunger, make you less prone to mindless snacking and overeating, and actually change the way your body stores and burns fat, to your advantage.

Nobody Saves Fries For Later

One of the most neglected yet significant components of successful weight loss is our psychological response to hunger signals.  Think about it – how often do you wait until you are famished to start eating?  How often do you start shoveling food into your mouth, continuing until you can’t take another bite?

Advance meal-prep has built-in safeguards against all of this harmful behavior.  You are forced to make decisions about portion size and content in advance, and even if a portion leaves you feeling too full to finish it, storing leftovers for another meal is a natural part of the process, unlike the double-cheeseburger and super-size fries you just have to finish (have you ever put away half your fries for later? I didn’t think so).

Also, advance meal prep makes it easy to eat just until you are no longer hungry (instead of full), and put the rest of the food away until later.  This habit will inevitably lead to better planned portion control in the future.

Donut or Breakfast Burrito?

The author of this Lifehacker post gets a little crazy – I wouldn’t recommend trying to prepare 252 meals on your first shot.  he does, however, offer some excellent practical advice and I would add this crucial element: start small.  Try preparing your next meal in advance, then your next day’s meals, etc. until you work up to a week.  Why not start today?  I am certain that having a delicious breakfast burrito waiting for you when you wake up will work wonders in helping you resist that donut box in the break room at work tomorrow.  What are you waiting for?

 

 

 

How to Have a Perfect Day

30 ways to becoming a better person every day

Read the full article at: www.outsideonline.com

 

This is perhaps the most awesome post I’ve ever seen on motivation and productivity because it breaks down the perfect day into simple steps that anyone can follow.  It touches upon several points of crucial research that you should take note of because they are so easy to implement yet they have the potential to change your life dramatically.

  1. Sunshine – Get some sunshine in the early morning.  It has been shown to boost serotonin levels which will improve your mood.  if you’re struggling to get moving or motivated to exercise in the morning, sunlight may be your best solution.
  2. Visualization – There are actually studies showing that the act of visualizing sinking freethrows can make basketball players sink more free throws.  Elite athletes use this technique all the time but it can work for everybody.  Devise a physically challenging, but achievable move to perform every day and visualize yourself nailing it.  Then do it.
  3. Sleep – Take advantage of this calorie-free energy source.  The quickest, easiest way to improve your sleep is to turn off all your devices, including your TV, at least an hour before bedtime.  The blue light these devices emit inhibits production of the sleep hormone melatonin.  Try reading a book, meditating, talking, or making love.
  4. Manage your Hunger – The reason you eat the wrong things or too much of them is that you allow the food that happens to be in front of you, the time of day, or what other people are eating to make eating decisions for you.  Plan your snacks and meals in advance and try to eat them before you are hungry.  If you do get hungry try eating just enough to take the edge of the hunger.  In other words, instead of eating until you’re full eat until you’re no longer hungry.

Try implementing these simple changes today and you will notice a dramatic impact on your motivation, productivity, and your life almost immediately.

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