Category Archives: Health Assessments

Paleo, vegan, intermittent fasting… Here’s how to choose the absolute best diet for you.

People always ask me which “nutrition camp” I fall into. Is it paleo? Vegan? Low carb? Intermittent fasting? Or something else? In essence, they’re asking: “What’s The Best Diet?” 

Today I’ll share my surprising answer. I’ll also explain how we’ve used certain “best diet” principles in our coaching program to help change the lives of tens of thousands of men and women.

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When considering making improvements to the way you eat, it’s so easy to set out in search of The Best Diet. You know, the one that’ll finally…

… help you drop the pounds (and body fat) you’ve been unable to lose, in some cases, for years.

… make you feel physically strong and mentally sharp.

… help you rock a swimsuit at an upcoming pool party, enter a room with confidence, and actually enjoy having your picture taken.

… give you some energy back so you can run around with your kids (or grandkids), take the stairs without getting winded, and book a bucket list trip without worrying about whether you’re up to it.

Here’s the thing. That Perfect Diet might not exist. (At least not the way you think it does.) But the way you want to look, and feel? It’s totally possible.

We’ll dig into this idea in a second.

What is the best diet?

A while back, I did a short media blitz in Toronto, appearing on three TV networks and speaking with 13 print journalists in a single day.

While the journalists’ questions ranged from health and weight loss to sports nutrition, one particular theme kept emerging. They wanted to know which “nutrition camp” I belong to.

From one award-winning journalist:

“I’ve visited your website and I’m still not sure: do you guys believe in ‘paleo’? Or do you believe in the standard ‘RD stuff’?”

From a TV broadcaster (on air, no less):

“Your coaching program sounds great. But, if I were to sign up for it, would I have to cut out all my carbs?”

From a production assistant on a TV program:

“I have a friend who’s vegan and she’s super healthy. I’m thinking of trying it…what do you think?”

In that one day I received at least a dozen questions like this, all of which essentially ask the same thing:

What’s the “best diet” for people to follow?

After answering the same questions over and over again I started to get annoyed. Not at the journalists, mind you. But at myself. Because even after years of the same question, I haven’t yet come up with a pithy, one-liner response.

I simply don’t fall into a single “diet camp”. And that confuses the hell out of people, since the human brain likes easy categorization.

“But … but … I need to fit you into one of these nice little nutrition boxes.”

If I could help people stick me and Precision Nutrition into the right nutrition box, I would. Believe me, it’d make things a lot easier.

But I just can’t do it.

Here’s why: I don’t believe there’s a single, absolutely, positively, without-a-doubt best diet for every person to follow, always, and forever.

Spend enough time actually working with clients — like we do every day — and you’ll probably start to feel the same way too.

Think about this: Our coaching program has been tested with nearly 50,000 clients in 100 different countries. (Plus it’s been validated in several peer-reviewed scientific studies).

You can imagine the diversity.

  • Body type: Some clients come to us tall and thin. Others come short and stocky.
  • Dietary preferences & exclusions: Some clients come to us eating lots of meat every day. Others come eating no meat at all.
  • Budget: Some clients come to us with an incredibly low budget. Others come with an unlimited budget.
  • Organic / conventional: Some clients come to us eating only boxed and packaged foods. Others come eating only natural, organic, whole foods.
  • Nutrition knowledge: Some clients come to us as devout followers of a certain dietary practice. Others come with very little nutrition knowledge whatsoever.
  • Time: Some clients come to us with lots of free time for a health and fitness project. Others come with very little time to devote to health and fitness.

You get the picture.

There’s simply no way we’d be able to help all those folks make incremental improvements in their eating if we were militant about a single nutrition paradigm.

Can you imagine:

“I know you have a super-low budget for food. But if you sell your vehicle, or maybe one of your children, you’ll be able to afford the organic and free-range whole foods we recommend in our program. That’s the only way to get healthy and fit.”

“Carbs? You’re not alone. We all like ‘em. But this program is all about cutting way back. Low carb is what works, period. Insulin is the enemy. So say goodbye to sugar. And pasta. Potatoes too. And rice…”

“Sure, I understand the moral and ethical obligation you feel. But eating animal foods… that’s how we do it. You need the protein and the fat. And it’s how our ancestors ate. So suck it up, throw a steak on the grill, and let’s get this party started.”

While these responses are a little extreme, they’re not that far from what I hear every day in the gym or read on Facebook. And it’s a shame because…

The best coaches don’t have a single nutrition philosophy.

Sure, if a particular nutrition idea — like Paleo or vegetarianism — worked for you personally, that’s awesome. You should be happy you found something that helped you reach your goals.

But to suggest that because it worked for you, at one point in your life, under a particular set of circumstances, now everyone else should follow the same program? Well, that’s just silly.

Physiologically, the human body can do well under a host of different nutritional conditions.

This is clearly demonstrated by examining the traditional diets of various tribes and ethnic groups throughout the world.

  • For example, the Arctic Inuit and African Masai eat traditional diets that are very high in fat and animal products with very few vegetables.
  • Conversely, the Kitavans in the South Pacific eat traditional diets that are low in fat but very high in vegetables and starchy carbs.
  • And the Tokelau near New Zealand eat traditional diets that are very high in saturated fats.

Crazy differences, right? Yet all traditional diet eaters are relatively healthy people with minimal incidences of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, inflammatory obesity, etc.

This is only possible because the human body is amazingly adaptable to a host of different dietary conditions.

It is possible to be healthy and fit whether you eat mostly meat or mostly veggies, mostly fat or mostly carbs, many times a day or just a few times, and so on.

Which means that, as a nutrition coach, I shouldn’t really belong to any specific nutrition camp at all.

When you work with actual human beings, you must be a nutritional agnostic.

Open to evaluating anything and everything that could work. Willing to test new methods, even if they fly in the face of current beliefs or practices. And humble enough to sometimes be wrong, even if you really like being right. (Which I do.)

If I believe too strongly in any particular “nutritional religion”, I fixate on the food itself. Or my own personal way of looking at food. And I lose focus on what’s most important as a coach: my clients and their individual physiological and psychological needs.

Here’s another example: our Precision Nutrition staff. With close to 100 team members, PN is like a nutritional United Nations convention.

  • Some eat plant-based diets. Others eat meat-based diets.
  • Some eat high carb diets. Others eat low carb diets.
  • Some eat dairy-free, gluten-free, and all other potential allergen-free diets. Others “eat whatever I want as long as I get enough proteins and fats and stay healthy” diets.

The common theme is that we all practice what we preach, we all take health and fitness seriously, and we all monitor the results of our dietary choices closely, adjusting where necessary.

We respect each other’s choices and get along just fine. We’re more interested in exploring what works than we are in being right.

But wait … how can all these different diets actually work?

You’re probably wondering: How can such wildly different nutrition programs all lead to positive results?

My response: They’re not as different as you might think.

Most effective nutrition programs are more similar than different. (Yes, even Paleo and plant-based eating.)

When done properly, Paleo diets, plant-based diets, high carb diets, low carb diets, eating small meals frequently, eating larger meals infrequently, etc. all accomplish the following:

1. They raise nutrition awareness and attention.

I know, everyone wants to talk about the food itself — the proteins, carbs, and fats. What to eat more of and what to avoid.

But research is now showing that simply paying better attention to what you eat is a key factor in whether you’ll lose fat, get lean, and improve your health.

Whether your attention is trained on avoiding carbs, eating more vegetables, seeking out organic / free-range food, avoiding animal foods, or avoiding “non-Paleo” food, it’s all good.

Because what you focus on may not matter as much as simply caring more about what you’re eating in the first place.

2. They focus on food quality.

Paleo and low carb advocates want you to eat more natural, free-range animal-based foods that are higher in protein, higher in fat, and are minimally processed.

Vegan and high carb advocates want you to eat more natural, plant-based foods that are higher in fiber, antioxidants, and are minimally processed.

Recognize what’s common here?

Indeed, very few nutrition camps recommend you eat more processed, chemical-laden “junk” food. (Thank goodness.)

Instead, pretty much every camp recommends eating whole, minimally processed, nutrient-rich foods. And that may be one of the most important nutrition interventions of all, regardless of the protein, carb, and fat breakdowns.

3. They help eliminate nutrient deficiencies.

In keeping with the last point, the best nutritional advocates help us shift away from highly processed foods, which are often low in nutrients because they’ve been stripped out during processing, and toward more whole, minimally processed foods, which often have their nutrients intact.

Thus, a properly designed diet of any kind eliminates some of the most common nutrient deficiencies (water, certain vitamins and minerals, proteins, and essential fatty acids).

This is huge. We often look, feel, and perform terribly when we’re deficient in important nutrients. But within a few weeks of correcting these deficiencies, we feel totally rejuvenated. (And because the transformation is so dramatic, that’s often when we become diet zealots.)

4. They help control appetite and food intake.

When we’re more aware of what we’re eating, choose more satisfying, higher quality foods, and eliminate nutrient deficiencies, we almost always end up eating less total food. We feel more satisfied. We lose fat, gain lean muscle, and perform better.

Notice that you don’t need calorie counting here. Focusing on food awareness and food quality is usually enough for people to tune into their own hunger and appetite. And that means calorie control without the annoying calorie math.

It also means you can maintain your results / weight loss. Counting calories has a shelf-life; no one does it forever.

5. They promote regular exercise.

When people start paying attention to their eating, they usually start thinking about physical activity too. In fact, many of the diet camps recommend regular exercise. (Which is a good idea, since focusing on diet alone may actually interfere with establishing a consistent exercise routine.)

When a person exercises regularly, with a mix of high and low-intensity activity, they dramatically improve their ability to turn the food they eat — whatever food that is — into functional tissue (instead of extra fat).

Hopefully you can now understand how different well-designed dietary philosophies — even when they seem oppositional and antagonistic on the surface — can all promote good health, body composition, and longevity.

Which is why…

Choosing a single diet camp makes no sense.

1. There’s no such thing as one, universal “best” diet.

There’s no one absolutely, positively, without-a-doubt best diet for everyone. Humans have evolved to do well under all sorts of dietary conditions.

That’s why I’m happy to help people find the best one for them, no matter their dietary preferences.

Of course, this is a big win for my clients: They get in shape doing more of the things they actually like. And a win for me: I get to help more people.

2. Most popular diets actually have a lot in common.

Most popular diets — when done with care, attention, and a little coaching — help control appetite, improve food quality, promote exercise, and raise nutritional awareness.

3. Coaches should never lock into a single philosophy.

In the last 10 years, our coaching programs have helped nearly 50,000 clients lose more than a million pounds of body fat and develop a new relationship with food.

And we’ve done that without forcing a specific diet philosophy on them. Vegans can stay vegan. Paleos can stay Paleo. And they’ve all had success.

If you’re working with a coach who tells you that you have to eat a very specific way to succeed… well, you might want to re-think that relationship.

And coaches: Don’t waste energy bullying people into a particular way of eating. It’s not necessary.

4. Habit-based coaching is better than diet-based coaching anyway.

Long-term nutrition habits trump diet plans and “rules”. Always.

We prefer a nutritional progression model (which builds habits intelligently and sustainably over time) versus asking people to “follow a diet” (which means doing a full lifestyle overhaul on Day One).

 

So, the best diet to follow actually is …

… the one that’s best for you.

If you want to follow a Paleo diet, we can help with that.

We can also help out if you’re vegan, prefer to eat more carbs (or less), are on a tight budget, or only eat organic / free range artisan foods.

But, really, what I’d like you to follow is what I call “precision nutrition”.

Let me listen to your needs. What you want to accomplish. How you live. What’s really important to you. Then let me help you create the right dietary approach for you; one that’s specific to your goals and your lifestyle.

Because that’s what coaching really is.

Diet gurus are in this game to get attention, make a scene, and get on TV. That’s why they try to force people into following strict and largely unnecessary nutrition rules — demonizing some foods, deifying others.

Sure, it sells books. It gives good TV. But we all know how things turn out when real people try to follow these rules in real life.

The best coaches, on the other hand, are actually responsible for (and accountable to) their clients. They’re paid to get results. This totally changes the game.

That’s why I don’t really have a diet philosophy. Instead, I have a personal coaching process.

One that helps clients find the best diet for them. One that they can follow on their worst day — not just their best. One that takes into account their small (but still important) physical and biochemical differences. And one that takes into account their lifestyle differences, including:

  • family
  • life demands
  • stress level
  • work situation
  • income level
  • food availability
  • cooking experience and knowledge
  • time availability
  • physical capability
  • and so on …

No, it’s not as clean and clear as “avoid meat” or “eat like a caveman”.

But I believe it’s the only sane and rational approach.

It also happens to be the only approach that actually works in the long run.

For full article by John Berardi, please visit http://www.precisionnutrition.com/best-diet

ARE YOU (REALLY) HUNGRY?

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Society may be losing touch with a human basic instinct.

Blame the world we live in. Even for the health-conscious, outside factors can dictate when (a set lunch break), why (a client in town), and how much (a to-go container) to eat, says Ryan Andrews, R.D., C.S.C.S., a nutritionist at Precision Nutrition. At some point down the line, we started listening to those factors more than our bodies.

“Most people are aware of the extremes—when they are extremely hungry or extremely full,” says Andrews. But distinguishing subtler signs—a slightly rumbling stomach, a hollow feeling in the gut; and as you grow hungrier, shakiness, irritability, short-temperedness, light-headedness, or a headache—is important, too.

It’s not a bad thing to let your body go there. For healthy people, being hungry isn’t an emergency: “It’s a necessary and normal physiological signal that will return again and again just like getting tired, thirsty, or having to go to the bathroom,” says Andrews. (You just don’t want to let it take over, since going into a meal famished can lead you to overeat.)

Your goal is a reasonable sensation of true hunger, which can make eating more enjoyable, says Andrews. To find it, follow Andrews’ suggestions: 

 
  • IDENTIFY WHICH FOODS SATISFY YOU.

    Some breakfasts leave you full till lunch, others leave you craving more. “If I have a bowl of oatmeal with soy milk, fruit, flax, and walnuts, I’m satisfied until around lunch. I know that about myself,” says Andrews. Finding patterns that work for your body is an important factor in allowing hunger to do its job, he says.

    Look for foods and amounts that keep you full for three to five hours. “If you’re hungry after an hour, you probably didn’t eat enough of the right foods at the previous meal. If you aren’t hungry after three to five hours, you probably ate too much.”

    Junk food is never a good bet, either: “The pleasure they can bring during the eating process can overrun any natural body cues that are saying ‘stop eating!’.”

  • KEEP GOOD FOODS IN SIGHT.

    What we see and smell can fool our bodies into thinking we’re hungry even when we’re not, says Andrews. At home, keep groceries stored away. And make sure the food you can see is good for you. Cornell research shows that we’re more likely to eat what we see—for your health’s sake, it’s better to have a fruit bowl than a candy jar.

  • DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN EMOTIONS AND HUNGER.

    Comfort food: The idea that certain foods make us feel good. Unfortunately, if you always eat when you’re feeling a certain way (like stressed), your body might confuse that emotion with hunger, says Andrews. Connecting with a dietician or counselor to troubleshoot the issue is well worth it, as the habit can take a toll on your overall health, he notes.

  • SLOW DOWN.

    If dinner takes you less than 15 minutes or so to finish, you’ll likely still be hungry. “This is because you didn’t give your body enough time to register the original feelings of fullness,” says Andrews. It takes some time for that to set in, sometimes 20 minutes or more. Slowing down can help you pick up on signs of satiety.

  • EAT WHAT YOU WANT (IN MODERATION).

    Splurging every now and then is okay. In fact, not doing so could just leave you craving what you’re really after. If someone wants a cookie, but doesn’t eat it because it’s a ‘junk’ food—and opts for a protein bar instead—“they didn’t scratch their itch,” says Andrews. “They end up eating the cookie anyway.”

  • THINK HIGH-VOLUME, LOW-CALORIE.

    “Volume isn’t the only factor that triggers fullness, but it’s a piece of the puzzle,” says Andrews. Case in point: One pound of spinach has the same number of calories as one slice of bacon, he says. “Obviously, one slice of bacon isn’t very filling for most people, but one pound of spinach is.”

  • CHECK YOUR THIRST.

    Your body can confuse hunger with thirst. Try a glass of water, give yourself a few minutes, and reassess.

    For full article by Cassie Shortsleeve, visit http://furthermore.equinox.com/articles/2016/02/are-you-hungry?emmcid=emm-newsletter&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email%20member&utm_campaign=0210&emmcid=EMM-0210Furthermore2102016

Chiropractic care for pain relief

Chiropractic is a health care system that holds that the structure of the body, particularly the spine, affects the function of every part of the body. Chiropractors try to correct the body’s alignment to relieve pain and improve function and to help the body heal itself.

While the mainstay of chiropractic is spinal manipulation, chiropractic care now includes a wide variety of other treatments, including manual or manipulative therapies, postural and exercise education, ergonomic training (how to walk, sit, and stand to limit back strain), nutritional consultation, and even ultrasound and laser therapies. In addition, chiropractors today often work in conjunction with primary care doctors, pain experts, and surgeons to treat patients with pain.

Most research on chiropractic has focused on spinal manipulation for back pain. Chiropractic treatment for many other problems—including other musculoskeletal pain, headaches, asthma, carpal tunnel syndrome, and fibromyalgia—has also been studied. A recent review concluded that chiropractic spinal manipulation may be helpful for back pain, migraine, neck pain, and whiplash.

There have been reports of serious complications, including stroke, following spinal manipulation of the neck, although this is very rare and some studies suggest this may not be directly caused by the treatment.

Spinal manipulation” is a generic term used for any kind of therapeutic movement of the spine, but used more precisely it is the application of quick but strong pressure on a joint between two vertebrae of the spine. That pressure twists or rotates the joint beyond its normal range of motion and causes a sharp cracking noise. That distinctive noise is believed to be caused by the breaking of a vacuum or the release of a bubble into the synovial fluid, the clear, thick fluid that lubricates the spinal and other joints. Spinal manipulation can be done either directly by pushing on the vertebrae or indirectly by twisting the neck or upper part of the body. It should be done to only one spinal joint at a time. Chiropractors and other practitioners accomplish this by positioning the body so the force they exert is focused on one joint while parts of the spine above and below it are held very still. Most spinal manipulation treatments take somewhere between 10 and 20 minutes and are scheduled two or three times a week initially. Look for improvements in your symptoms after a couple of weeks.

In addition, a chiropractor may advise you about changing your biomechanics and posture and suggest other treatments and techniques. The ultimate goal of chiropractic is to help relieve pain and help patients better manage their condition at home.

For full article please visit:  http://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/chiropractic-care-for-pain-relief

IT DOES A BODY GOOD

Massage

New research finds that even a 10-minute massage soothes more than just the soul.

A dimly lit room. Calming, muted music. Sixty minutes of pure “me time” while stress melts away. There’s no question that a massage is the ultimate good-for-you indulgence; but according to a new study, attacking those knots may pay off even more than researchers initially thought.

The tension-relieving benefits of massage therapy are well-documented, but the new findings suggest that a mere 10-minute massage can also help reduce inflammation in muscles, an underlying factor in chronic diseases like arthritis. The research, which appeared in the journalScience Translational Medicine, showed that when muscles are stretched they receive a signal to build more mitochondria, which are vital for healing — making massages potentially helpful for injury recovery.

After assessing the fitness level of 11 men in their twenties, the study’s researchers at McManus University asked each participant to cycle to the point of exhaustion (more than 70 minutes). The subjects were then allowed to rest while a massage therapist performed a 10-minute massage on one leg. While the massage didn’t help clear lactic acid from the tired muscles — a widely spread exercise myth — noticeably reduced inflammation was observed in the massaged leg.

When muscles are stretched they receive a signal to build more mitochondria, which are vital for healing.

Why? “Anytime we stimulate the nerves we send messages to the brain about the area,” explains Equinox trainer and master therapist Susan Stanley, RKC, FMS, LMT, “the brain then responds in a variety of ways, including nervous and chemical.”

She adds that massage techniques have an effect on more than just muscle. “In fact,” says Stanley, “fascia, a layer of fibrous tissue that surrounds muscles, is probably the most affected tissue and it contains far more nervous tissue than muscle.”

The almost-immediate effects of massage found in the study don’t surprise Stanley. “The inflammation process begins at the moment of insult to the tissue, so the moment that tissue is given a different stimulus, the brain can change its response instantaneously, too,” she says. That said, she underscores that the study was conducted on a small, specialized group.

A typical relaxation massage triggers the parasympathetic nervous system — or relax response — in the body, which stimulates healing and immunity. Lymphatic Drainage massage, an example of very light work, is designed specifically to address inflammation and edema (potentially damaging fluid accumulation), and stimulate the lymph system, which is the body’s mechanism to rid the body of toxins and waste.

Soul-soothing properties aside, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the body-benefits of massage therapy are not to be taken lightly. Something to remember the next time you’re debating whether or not to hit the table.

For full article by Sharon Feiereisen please visit http://q.equinox.com/articles/2012/03/it-does-a-body-good?emmcid=emm-newsletter-1012&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email%20member&utm_campaign=1012&emmcid=EMM-1012QWeekly10122015

BUILD A YOUNGER BRAIN

New research identifies markers of diseases like Alzheimer’s much earlier than ever before. Protect yourself today.

When a recent Northwestern University study discovered the hallmark Alzheimer’s proteins in the brains of 20 year olds, many wondered: Is brain health a younger person’s concern? 

After all, these are the youngest human brains to date in which amyloids, the signature proteins, have been found. And while the majority of people impacted by dementia and Alzheimer’s are older than 65, experts will tell you that taking action now could help prevent damage down the line. 

You may have more control than you realize, says Gary Small, M.D., author of Two Weeks to a Younger Brain: “The brain is sensitive to stimulation from moment to moment—if we are engaging certain neural circuits, they strengthen—if we neglect others, we don’t give the brain the opportunity to strengthen,” Small says. “But whether that impacts one’s risk of Alzheimer’s, we just don’t know.”

What we do know: No matter your age, there is a significant correlation between a healthy diet, regular exercise, not smoking, and having fewer memory complaints. If you’re already living a healthy lifestyle, there’s more you can do to cut your risk and protect your brain, starting with the five habits below.

1

Rewire with meditation

Lower stress levels are intimately connected to an improved cognitive performance. But deep breaths aren’t the only way to get there. “We’ve got studies that show that meditation or tai chi or other kinds of stress-reducing exercises will rewire your brain’s neural circuitry,” says Small.

2

Meet in person

“With all of the new technology, we’re not communicating face-to-face as much,” says Small. “Even though there is social connection through social media, it’s not as powerful as meeting people in real time and space.” Specifically, there are clear advantages to face-to-face conversation in terms of empathy skills, he says, noting that empathy is linked to strong social communication skills in personal and professional life. Even more: Studies show traditional social connections lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

3

Avoid email benders

If you work a lot on the computer, don’t spend hours on hours answering emails, says Small. “Shake up your tasks. Cross-train your brain. You’ll activate different neural circuits.” There are a lot of upsides to technology — certain programs can improve multitasking and cognitive skills, he says. “Surgeons who play video games make fewer errors in surgery.”

4

Choose mood-boosting exercise

“There’s a lot of evidence that mental stimulation is linked to brain health — but that evidence is not as compelling as physical exercise,” says Small. But which fitness routine is most worthy? There are data showing that strength training and cardiovascular conditioning have benefits for brain health. I suggest both,” says Small.

When it comes to intensity, the jury is still out: One study found that just 90 minutes of brisk walking lowers Alzheimer’s risk; others find that 5 minutes of intense interval training helps. Small’s advice: Check your mood. “Anyone who exercises knows about the endorphin benefits and how exercise improves mood — that’s probably a good measure of whether you’re getting a brain benefit.”

5

Adjust your omegas ratio

Diet is ever important when it comes to brain health. But beyond controlling portions and eating enough fruits and vegetables, balance your fats. “Too many people eat too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3s,” says Small. Omega-6 is found in meats and vegetable oils, while omega-3s are found in fish, nuts, and flax seed.

For full article by Cassie Shortsleeve, visit:  http://q.equinox.com/articles/2015/04/build-a-younger-brain?emlcid=EML-newsletters_2015_05_06&emmcid=EMM-0506QWeekly562015

THE GREAT DEBATE: CAN YOU SPOT REDUCE FAT?

A new technology is reigniting the age-old controversy.

Whether you can or cannot choose where you lose fat in your body is one of the most polarizing topics in the fitness field. Anecdotal evidence has surfaced over the years suggesting that various forms of programming, supplementation and technology may in fact be able to target specific areas in the body where fat is stored. But science holds firm that the answer is a resounding no—a safe bet as there is no peer-reviewed clinical research suggesting otherwise.

“Body fat is lost in the same way that you put it on—slowly and all over,” says Dr. Justin Mager, an exercise physiologist in Mill Valley, CA, and founder of Health Incite, a holistic wellness clinic. “You can spot-reduce, but it has nothing to do with exercise and diet. It’s called liposuction.”

Besides surgical liposuction, there’s a newer, non-invasive “laser lipolysis,” which uses a laser to effectively ‘melt’ unwanted fat, which is then metabolized by the body. But neither addresses the underlying diet and exercise lifestyle issues that led to the fat build-up in the first place. Enter: red light lipolysis.

According to Rolando Garcia III, manager of the Columbus Circle location of E at Equinox, the combination of a structured workout plan and red light lipolysis treatments via a device called Pure Light seems promising for problem areas. Used in physical therapy environments for years to break up scar tissue, red light lipolysis aims an external infrared light generated by an LED (light-emitting diode) system at unwanted fat stores. “This breaks the bonds between fats, which allows you to utilize fat as fuel when you exercise,” he says.

Intrigued, Garcia tested the system himself for 8 weeks, targeting belly fat. “I focused little on my diet and reduced my training to 3 times a week, and I lost an inch off my waist after 10 sessions. Screenings showed that all my other measurements—arms, chest, shoulders—were the same. But because of my stomach, my total body fat went from 13.3% to 12.2%.”

Next up: E clients. In the protocol Garcia has developed, participants will follow a red-light lipolysis treatment (which involves wearing a belt of 8 cell-phone-sized LED pads each for 15 minutes). They will then exercise until they’ve burned 350 calories—enough to burn up those excess fatty acids before they get stored as fat again. “No research papers and clinical trials have validated this approach yet, “ admits Garcia, “but we have to start somewhere.”

Until there is, Dr. Mager suggests his approach: “First, I recommend that people de-stress their lives, which reduces the production of stress hormones like cortisol that cause fat to accumulate around your vital organs to protect them,” he says, “Then do strength and posture work,” which serves to properly line-up muscles and joints, often de-emphasizing fat stores.

A safe bet for now, but there’s no harm in a little experimentation.

To see full article go to http://q.equinox.com/articles/2015/02/spot-reduction?emlcid=EML-newsletters_2015_02_04&emlcid=EML-QWeekly-0204242015.  Article written by Roy M. Wallack, Photography by Trunk Archive

VIDEO: WHY I TRAIN PREGNANT

 

Like so many expectant mothers who exercise, Linda Baltes deals with criticism. But she hasn’t let it stop her.

Despite the near-total eradication of gender lines in fitness, to this day, when a pregnant woman walks into the gym, eyebrows inevitably raise.

“When you’re training pregnant, you get a lot of people questioning you,” says Linda Baltes, who is expecting her first child later this month. “They’re questioning whether you’re doing this because you’re vain.”

For Baltes, it made perfect sense to continue training through her pregnancy. The Santa Monica-based triathlete—who serves in the Air Force Reserves and works for a molecular diagnostics company—has been active and athletic her entire life. But that didn’t make her immune to this specific brand of fit-shaming.

“Pregnancy is not a disease,” says Jacques Moritz, M.D., director of the division of gynecology at New York City’s Mount Sinai Roosevelt and Mount Sinai St. Luke’s. “It’s a condition. As long as one doesn’t go overboard, pregnant women not only should, but are encouraged to work out.”

Watch the video above to glimpse Baltes’ prenatal routine and hear why she believes that fitness has a place of utmost importance in these nine months of her life, and even more so in the months and years that follow.

For full article please visit http://q.equinox.com/articles/2015/02/pregnancy-workout-video?emlcid=EML-newsletters_2015_02_11&emacid=EMA-QWeekly-02112122015.  Article written by Sheila Monaghan

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