I have a new favorite quote from weight loss doc Yoni Freedhoff:
Lose weight in the kitchen, gain health in the gym.
Read the backstory in Yoni’s Weighty Matters post on exercise and food intake.
WaPo blogger Lenny Bernstein’s 5 years and 1 lesson:
After five years of studying the scientific literature on fitness and health, wading through countless government reports, interviewing experts and trying every form of exercise I could, it’s pretty sobering to realize that the entire endeavor can be reduced to two words:
Mark Sisson says the “single best exercise there is, hands down, is the one you’ll do:”
Because heavy squats are fantastic for strength, unless you don’t do them. Because sprinting makes you lean and fast, unless you’re not sprinting. The same is true for everything. It only works if you do it. …
The key is figuring out which exercise you’ll actually do. And I don’t need scientific references for the notion that you’re more likely to do a physical activity that you actually enjoy doing. It’s a fundamental law of nature.
Sounds quite a bit like Yoni Freedhoff’s suggestion to live “the healthiest life that you can enjoy, not the healthiest life that you can tolerate.”
Move and Be Free’s Chris Serong argues that laziness doesn’t exist and that we should look at exercise and movement from a different perspective:
If [exercise] really was about health, the language would be different. They wouldn’t tell you exercise is good because it makes you thin, they’d tell you exercise is good for you because exercise is good for you. That’s the truth. It’s the activity itself that does you good. Not this other thing that might happen down the track, this other thing we pin all our hopes on. …
Exercise, training, moving your body – this stuff should be joyful, it should be the natural human expression of freedom and emotion. And if you’re doing it because you’re wishing you weren’t you, or you weren’t the way you are – you’re not practicing movement for the sake of getting better at movement – you’re trying to atone for your sins. …
Do what’s helpful. The other shit – all of it – it’s not easy, but if it’s not helping you, you can let it go.
I came across this 2009 interview with former bodybuilder turned fitness coach Scott Abel recently and thought his comments re carb cycling interesting:
Often this industry seeks to create consumer dependence. The more complicated we make something, the more “genius” or “expert” guidance required to unravel it. It’s a way of creating two things.
One as I said, is dependence, and the other is the illusion of control. If we give people more and more variables to pay attention to, they “think” they are controlling complex bodily processes that are not linear one-way causative relationships. Again, by seeking to complicate what is simple, the industry creates for itself “experts” to unravel its own creation: complexity. …
The simple truth is that complicating things in the short run usually burns people out in the long run to the point they just give up and move on. The industry relies on this turnstile nature of consumers within it. So carb cycling may “work” depending on how you define it, but is it sustainable and relevant?
Seems to me you could replace “carb cycling” with a whole lot of other diet & exercise approaches. YMMV.
File this in the “good to know” department (if true) … it’s never too late to begin exercising:
Offering hope and encouragement to the many adults who have somehow neglected to exercise for the past few decades, a new study suggests that becoming physically active in middle age, even if someone has been sedentary for years, substantially reduces the likelihood that he or she will become seriously ill or physically disabled in retirement. …
In the eight years between the study’s start and end, the data showed, those respondents who had been and remained physically active aged most successfully, with the lowest incidence of major chronic diseases, memory loss and physical disability. But those people who became active in middle-age after having been sedentary in prior years, about 9 percent of the total, aged almost as successfully. These late-in-life exercisers had about a seven-fold reduction in their risk of becoming ill or infirm after eight years compared with those who became or remained sedentary, even when the researchers took into account smoking, wealth and other factors.
Nice snark from the NY Times in the lede there.
Greatist CEO Derek Flanzraich shared this past November how a short-term restrictive six-pack-abs #absperiment program had “scary” long-term effects. One year later, he struggles with (emphasis his):
Rule-Making. Making healthy choices has always been challenging for me, but it’s only become harder since the #absperiment did a number on my self-control. … I just can’t seem to convince myself to stick to anything, and it scares me a little. Maybe a lot-tle.
Food As Reward. Since the #absperiment, I’ve treated food as a reward to an extent I never have before. … After just six weeks of treating healthy food as punishment and indulgences as forbidden fruit, the way I look at food has been profoundly affected. Unfortunately, I’ve spent a year trying to snap out of that mind frame without much success.
Body Image. The third thing — and probably the worst of all — is how my post-#absperiment mindset has affected the way I view my body. … It’s been terrifically tough to stop judging my own body when I have such an extreme point of comparison.