A recent study on blue light exposure shows our investment in screen time is likely accelerating the aging process: https://today.oregonstate.edu/news/daily-exposure-blue-light-may-accelerate-aging-even-if-it-doesn%E2%80%99t-reach-your-eyes-study?fbclid=IwAR3JX_UHUMGwH6Ls_kCy3bSNGV7n51kHDwXTclClCnTFiIsVMo3vnSP_5EI
We put a lot of effort into yielding an ROI on things that break us down. What about the ones which build us up?
A year, five years, ten years ago or into the future, from where did we come and to where do we go?
It’s so easy to let time slip by and find that we are basically doing the same thing in the same place in most aspects of life... or worse. Every year, I followup with thousands of former peers, clients, and gym members, only to get updates which sound nearly identical to the last one they gave me. In a lot of cases, people stop answering altogether, because the update is so bleak and they’ve so thrown away opportunities that it’s embarrassing to respond.
Studies on stress-management discover that those who manage the best are those who stretch themselves into new areas, new skills, new interests, on a regular basis. Some sort of growth, learning, or progress is evident in those managing stress well.
Yes, appreciate what you have. But how are the investments coming? When dissatisfaction comes, one of our strongest allies in the fight against it is a daily practice which is developing a new and different future.
What’s All This Talk about Keto, Ketones, Ketogenic Dieting? And Does It Actually Cure Cancer, Diabetes, Obesity, Alzheimer’s, Epilepsy, Etc.?
What’s a ketone?
It’s a chemistry term. It refers to a structure which is responsible for certain reactions, characterized by a carbon-oxygen double bond.
Many “keto” proponents don’t start here and also don’t realize that fructose-containing foods are filled with ketone-bonded energy. But, as you’ll soon see, these foods would not constitute “keto” compliance because of their tremendous sugar load.
This leads us to the central theme of the keto craze: proportions of one fuel versus another. Regardless of what some bros have told you, it’s not so much about one or the other. It’s the proportions.
To put things in perspective, elite cyclists might be considered “keto” at a dietary carbohydrate number of 1,000 grams. One thousand grams of carbs is only 4,000kcal. Some of these guys burn 14,000kcal on a competitive day. From where do you think that other 10,000 is coming?
What is ketosis?
This is a name we slap on the condition someone enters when they don’t have supra-adequate access to blood sugar or glycogen.
The body sees that it can’t easily get sugar into tissue (prediabetes and diabetes) or that it has little available to do so (fasting, dieting, high fat/keto nutrition, intense prolonged exercise). Begrudgingly, it relents to breaking down stored fat. During this breakdown, the liver produces these things we call ketones.
To a certain extent, therefore, any diet which results in reduced body fat was ketogenic, whether or not it abided by the name “keto.” Any time the human body breaks down fat, it will make ketones. This is a biological law. Any diet which didn’t result in fat loss was not promoting sufficient beta-oxidation and never produced a significant number of ketones even if the adherent called it “ketogenic dieting.” This is not an opinion. This is the known and non-debated biochemistry of fat loss. Fat loss is ketogenic whether you achieve it through bodybuilding dieting, veganism, paleo or otherwise. Therefore, to the question, “does keto cure obesity and diabetes?”, the answer, by definition, is yes. In fact, it’s the only cure for both.
Now don’t confuse controlled nutritional or exercise-induced ketosis with another condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. In insulin resistant individuals, they become so addicted to sugar, yet so incapable of utilizing it, that the body will amass outrageous amounts of energy in the blood (disposing of none), which is an acid load. This drops the pH of the blood dangerously and can be fatal. This has almost nothing to do with what we’re talking about when restoring a person to health through intelligent eating patterns.
To oversimplify, the human body can run on sugar in a wanton inflammatory state or it can churn along productively with something called beta-oxidation. Getting the body to remember beta-oxidation isn’t so easy; and this difficulty is the place from whence ketogenic diets arose. Most people must pass through severe withdrawal to achieve fat loss. Your brain is addicted to sugar at multiple levels. Yet not one cell in the body intrinsically requires external carbohydrates. Again, this isn’t my opinion. This is the unanimous declaration of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, Medicine, the National Research Council, and the National Institutes of Health (p. 275; https://www.nap.edu/read/10490/chapter/8 ). We can fuel everything with fats and protein, and liver function. But people have trained their bodies to reject the efficiency of beta-oxidation, and they require sugar emotionally, mentally, socially, and physically.
Depending on the severity of your addiction, there may be no “easing” into ketosis. People who have defined life with the abuse of alcohol can’t easily step into a healthy relationship with alcohol. In the same way, carb-addicts can’t easily step into a healthy relationship with carbs.
So we get rid of carbs, right?
Well, sort of. You have to understand that you likely have a severe mental and physical illness. SEVERE. And it’s been normalized in our society. So you have ZERO social support to go through the withdrawal symptoms. One of the first symptoms of withdrawal is misinterpreted as hypoglycemia. And I want to be sensitive here. So read closely. Ninety-nine times out of one-hundred, this is complete bullshit. I am the strongest advocate for science literacy I know. I rely on CONDUCTING science. I have people test blood sugar when they feel low. In FIFTEEN YEARS I have had one single client who was right about being hypoglycemic and she is an actual type I diabetic.
So I have people test blood sugar, because I actually believe in DOING real science. I know that this is a huge departure from other science advocates whose idea of science is the act of sharing vaguely science-related memes or pointing to consensus opinions. Ninety-nine percent of people who experience or fear hypoglycemia, when they test, discover HIGH blood sugars, not low. They’re addicts. They’re experiencing extreme drug withdrawal. Additionally, in the average populace, there is basically no such thing. Why? Because we aren’t even supposed to run our bodies on blood sugar alone. The human race wouldn’t exist if we required constant external carbohydrates. All of prehistory and almost all of history was not marked with swinging through the drive through and eating snickers bars 5-10 times a day.
What are people usually referencing when they say “keto?”
It varies. Medical researchers Wilder and Peterman coined the term “ketogenic diet” in the early 1900s, defining it as a carbohydrate intake of 15 or fewer grams per day, protein intake of 1 gram per kilo of body weight per day, and a fat intake 4 times the sum weight of protein plus carbs. What’s most interesting is that scientists in the 1920s were discovering that fasting was a powerful therapeutic intervention for many diseases; and this formulation of the ketogenic diet was an effort to get all the benefits of fasting while still having some food. Moreover, Wilder and Peterman were hoping this ratio would lead patients to greater compliance over longer periods of time.
By definition, any diet which works is ketogenic. This is an undeniable biochemistry reality. But what people often refer to when they use the phraseology “keto” is somewhere between “low carb” and “no carb.” And even these have different definitions for different people. But let’s just assume something in the ballpark of Wilder and Peterman’s definition, and place the number at less than 25 grams of net carb (everything that isn’t fiber or sugar alcohol) per day.
The beauty of this is it’s simplicity. Thus, it CAN work. But it’s missing vital specifications, like how many grams of dietary fat, fiber, protein, and micronutrients. Therefore, some people can thrive in the simplicity if they naturally hit the other checklist items. Everyone else, if they’re going to become more healthy while “keto,” needs to pay attention to the other nutrient sufficiencies. My primary concern in wanton keto dieting is that people degenerate their gut flora in the absence of sufficient resistant starches and fiber. My secondary concern is the possible absence of omega 3s (or so-called “dirty keto”). My tertiary concern is one I’ve tested firsthand: insufficient protein leading to loss of strength and lean mass. I tested wanton keto (ie - no special attention paid to protein sufficiency) for over a year. I was able to easily stay lean; but I could not maintain as much muscle mass or strength. We’ll table this piece of the discussion for now, because dietary sufficiencies are a massive subject in and of themselves (see here: https://www.elev8wellness.com/…/food-how-much-to-have-of-wh…).
Back to the title of this post, can keto cure Cancer, Diabetes, Obesity, Alzheimer’s, Epilepsy, Etc.?
Let’s try to keep to mechanism, not anecdotes.
Regarding type 2 diabetes and obesity, the answer is a definitive yes. As you deplete the body of energy, glucose transporters will become more sensitive (curing both), which IS going to be a state of ketosis.
Regarding epilepsy, the answer is NO. It cannot cure epilepsy. It is an effective treatment for many. In fact, it’s the only way to reduce seizure severity for the anti-epileptic drug non-responders. Why? Because seizure IS imbalance of the inhibitory and excitatory mechanisms. The cells which govern those mechanisms, when relying on glucose, have variant energy availability (and therefore erratic responses). The cells which govern those mechanisms, when relying on the never-ending and steady stream of ketone fuels, don’t experience variable operation. One of the coolest facts about ketogenic dieting for epileptics is that some of the benefits PERSIST after discontinuing the diet.
Regarding Alzheimer’s, there is promise here, but the implementation must be specific. Dr. Mary Newport created a buzz around this when her husband’s rapidly declining health and advanced Alzheimer’s was reversed by raising his ketone levels. Unfortunately, people erroneously took from this story that coconut oil cures Alzheimer’s. Even she seemed confused by the outcome, spending a lot of energy on talking about coconut oil. The issue with Alzheimer’s is accumulated products and inability to get energy into brain cells. Simply eating fats won’t necessarily accomplish either. Fasting, followed by an emphasis on ketone fuels IN THE ABSENCE OF INFLAMMATORY FOODS, will help the underlying pathology. But simply adding fats to an already-unhealthy and overly carb-laden diet will not even reduce symptoms, let alone cure the disease. This is yet again where there is a monumental difference between two people’s definitions of “keto”. We don’t need merely to eat a bunch of medium chain triglycerides. We have to clear the body of excess energy and reset counterproductive processes. Follow-up research on Alzheimer’s in recent years, has, therefore, emphasized the fasting component more than the addition of oils. And the fasting (which, by the by, invokes internal production of ketone fuels) does reliably improve memory in Alzheimer’s patients: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29307281
Regarding Parkinson’s, ketogenic/high-fat dieting does reduce symptoms and severity of the disease: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30098269. My suspicion, however, is that the clearance of energy will play a more vital role. Thus, like with Alzheimer’s, I believe we will begin moving the discussion toward intermittent fasting, since we’ve already seen that brain cells improve when we temporarily reduce or clear energy. The issue with studying long term effectiveness, like any study on nutrition, is long term compliance, which we’ll return to at the end of the post.
Regarding cancer, does keto cure it? Nope. Well, sort of. Not exactly... Here’s the deal: there is an ever-piling body of evidence which shows that the vast majority of tumors are inhibited with ketogenic dieting: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6375425/ .
The likely mechanism is that most cancer cells do rely heavily on glucose. After all, they GROW. Therefore, any effort (including keto) which works against growth works against cancer... up to a point. There’s no easy here. Cancer cells will grow to the detriment of the host. So the host’s tissue is already starving in comparison to the cancer cells. The benefit of ketosis is that you will upregulate the glucose transporters in host cells. That is, your other cells will be more capable of “eating” available energy. But, how do we support children (who need to grow) or cachexic patients (who need to gain weight) with wasting as a concern? Interestingly, researchers in the 1980s already showed you could slow tumor growth WHILE increasing healthy body mass with classically ketogenic dieting: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/3620317/. Just add more fats.
Though this sentence is anecdote, I’ve also personally tested and succeeded at the idea of gaining healthy tissue and no body fat with a ketogenic diet.
This is the bugbear. Before we get to it, however, I think it stands to note that the vast majority of people doing “keto” are not even close to the parameters set up by medical researchers. And when they are, like I said, I still have a few concerns about protein, fiber, and micronutrient sufficiency. Once we get clear on those, we’ve reduced opacity along with some of the compliance factors. That is, I believe strongly that when people are sufficient across the board, hunger, cravings, and self-sabotage get as low as we can get them.
So what might a genuine ketogenic diet day look like?
For a 220lb individual:
15g net carb (w/ 25g fiber)
204g fat (this isn’t the 4x macro weight number, but a 4x kcal tabulation)
Immediately, you can see the miss. People don’t even begin to approach the dietary fat number. Even when they go “low carb,” they tend to not even approximate the 15g (and sure as heck don’t get enough fiber). And I’ve seldom found a “keto” adherent who made the protein number. That’s to say nothing of the fact that you must eat more sodium when in ketosis, since insulin is suppressed, and insulin is THE sodium retention pump. And that’s really to say nothing of b vitamins, vitamin c, d, other minerals, etc.
Largely, most people arguing against keto are working against a straw man. They sure as heck aren’t educated on the medical definition, and certainly aren’t abiding by sufficiency guidelines. Mostly, they “tried reducing carbs” once, which is the vaguest and most banal sentiment possible. Thanks a lot, influencers and popular health and fitness celebrities.
Back to compliance -
With sufficiencies, I find that compliance is incredibly high. Where people tend to get tripped up the most is “hearing” some contrary health and fitness advice (ie - fat is evil; sodium is bad; protein hurts your kidneys; it’s all about calories-in/calories-out). When we control for the contrary nonsense, compliance approaches 100%.
But “approaches 100%” is still not 100%. This is where I find it’s helpful to recall that the whole point of developing a ketogenic diet was to get the benefits of fasting without the struggle of having to fast. True ketogenic nutrition is at a level convincing the body that it’s fasted. Physical activity may necessitate more food. A slip in carb compliance may require higher activity for a few days. Cravings or negative emotion are a “check engine light” for micronutrients. Did you get your omega 3s, your fiber, your minerals, your sea salt, your fat grams high enough?
Lastly, with regard to compliance, there is the ownership component. You must take ownership of your program. You can seek input, coaching, guidance, direction, advice, tips, and tricks. All great. But if you are looking for a food template or diet plan, you’re already screwed. It’s ultimately a matter of becoming efficacious and educated enough to find ways to meet sufficiencies and requirements with infinite food options.
I realize that people want it simple. “Just tell me what to eat,” they say. Or “just tell me what not to eat,” they say. However, as I excruciatingly detailed above, “ketosis” is an aggregate outcome of body mass, lifestyle, stress management, and eating. If you have a lot of muscle and you want to do hard workouts 2 hours per day, you may be “keto” at way over 300 grams of carbs.
If you aren’t very active and don’t have a lot of muscle, you may well want to abide by the Wilder and Peterman guidelines. Add to that fiber and micronutrients sufficiencies, and you’re on your way.
The human body makes alcohol. There is a rarer but real condition whereby the human body makes A LOT of alcohol: https://apple.news/ATX-6M1A8THKUgVfeTg0Mdg
The extreme version of this is called auto-brewery syndrome or ABS. An accumulation of yeast present in a person’s gut ferments a significant amount of the ingested carbohydrates into ethanol. “Pshaw,” you may be inclined to react. However, blood alcohol levels from this can cross the toxic threshold and other fungal overgrowth in the American population is a genuine reality. The CDC has collected data on candidemia (blood infection of Candida) at 1 out of 10,000: https://www.cdc.gov/…/…/candidiasis/invasive/statistics.html.
That’s not super common. But keep in mind that incidence number is only of the most extreme overgrowth - it isn’t the statistics on those at risk or those who are accumulating Candida.
While we always tend to focus on the obvious detrimental effects of extreme conditions, we likewise tend to gloss over the implications of lesser conditions. To be clear, the same system that leads to these rare cases is present within YOU.
Yeast, specifically saccharomyces cerevisiae, is everywhere. Exposure is a given. “How much is in you?” is the question, not whether you’ve been exposed. You’ve been exposed. It’s present.
Don’t let the rarity of cases with extreme saccharomyces cerevisiae proliferation confuse you. When researchers have actually tested hospitalized individuals who may be at risk, more than 1 out of 10 have this yeast on skin, in airways, and in tissue samples: https://pbsociety.org.pl/…/article/viewFile/am.2006.017/2386.
It doesn’t take much to get there, by the way. A single round of antibiotics WILL shift you to a lesser degree of bacteria versus yeast in the body. Eating patterns and stress reinforce this imbalance.
“So what?”, you may be thinking. Well, even a tiny amount of fermentation BUT CONSTANT will he producing a nonstop flow of ethanol. Though you may not feel “drunk” in the classical sense, you are inhibiting metabolism like crazy: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK22524/. That is, there is a long gradient of exposure before full blown auto-brewery syndrome. And on the way you’ll find energy sucks, fat loss impossible, “inexplicable” aches and pains, and a variety of other idiopathic symptoms for which the average medical clinician is totally unprepared. It doesn’t take much ethanol or aggregation of sugars to block the liver from healthy hepatic function.
The fact of this has led some of my dietitian, functional med doc, and physiatrist peers to troubleshoot with or recommend anti-fungal medications. Others utilize more “out there” supplements. I don’t disregard any of these. But in the end, we’ll still be faced with the cold reality that most people have to stop it with the incessant eating, incessant carbs, incessant weight gain, incessant inflammation, incessant low or inactivity.
All that said, I realize that most people who need to hear this are partially drunk, and therefore defiant, belligerent, excessively emotional, and incapable of thinking clearly. And as long as the lifestyle remains, they’ll remain in this state with no momentary percolations of sobriety. But for those who capture a lucky sober second, perhaps reconsider your lifestyle which is persistently putting you at risk for microbiome imbalance, yeast overgrowth, and constant metabolic discord.
Maybe. PlosOne has a decent article on it: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article…
But compliance even with magnesium supplementation could be dicey. After all, even among patients who believe in their drugs and whose drugs are life-saving, compliance for popping a pill is less than 50%:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3068890/. Thus, even if we convince people magnesium works, along with the placebo effect, we’re unlikely to get great outcomes, simply due to the fact that people are conditioned to not take care of themselves.
Efforts to quantify psychiatric disorders have generally found that anxiety and depression occur in an unmitigated EEG pattern of beta frequencies: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_rel…/2018-11/cp-eib110118.php. In fact, utilizing this finding, companies like Fisher-Wallace have long obtained FDA clearance for therapeutic interventions of running alternate frequency electrical stimulation across the brain in order to literally shift the brain out of pain, anxiety, depression.
Likewise, the Zengar Institute has case studies involving (via neural feedback) the reversal of severe PTSD by helping individuals control their brains to be in beta frequency less.
Mechanistically, therefore, magnesium may have an ally in this research. That is, vagal tone and heart rate variability align with EEG patterns. This has been the foundational argument in favor of meditation’s and exercise’s benefit for psychiatric disorders. Although, in the case of magnesium, we know that if you just port in magnesium sulfate in the ER, tachyarrhythmia stops. It‘s likely that magnesium better manages this to an outcome of less beta frequency brain activity.
Two girls were lost in the frozen tundra. It was bleak. A day prior they’d set out to explore the world, only to be separated by a storm and caught out in the wilderness, each by herself. Pinned under a total whiteout, with a small amount of water and ration, they faced a decision.
The first girl said to herself, “if I wait long enough, a passerby may save me.” Then she thought, “if I stay still long enough, I may save up enough energy to make an escape.” Last, she thought, “if I eat all of the ration and drink all the water now, I may be strong for the journey back.”
There was no journey back.
The second girl?
She said nothing. She fought like hell and escaped.
We are descendants of the second girl. But we’re always thinking like the first one - the one who didn’t survive. Under the pressures of life, we await a bailout, we stay still, we fuel up, we look for the right moment to begin. An entire life passes without a journey back.
Being fasted increases motivation to workout: https://joe.bioscientifica.com/…/jo…/joe/aop/joe-19-0213.xml. This is yet another reason why the idea of “burning off” calories ingested can never work. You are not as motivated to exercise in the presence of food. The hormonal motivation is less when fed, which, frankly, is why most of the dogmatic advice to eat before exercise comes from chronic drug and steroid addicts in the fitness communities. They are always manipulating hormones of motivation through pills and injections, and thus don’t have to rely on fasting strategies and sleep/stress management as much as everyone else.
Moreover, you are descended from the ones who made it. The fighters. The soldiers. The warriors. The brilliant ones. The ones who drive forward during famine, in discomfort, in lack, in dearth. The ones who do not paralyze when they analyze. The ones whose ingenuity leads to DOING, not talking.
Abundance can enslave you. Scarcity can set you free.
People asked me this a couple days ago in response to my post on the subject. In 2019 it may be news to some. But the initial post referenced was one I shared 3 years ago. And the main study referenced within it was begun over 10 years prior to that:https://www.newswise.com/articles/calcium-supplements-may-damage-the-heart?fbclid=IwAR0LtdxaMUr9g3YI-M9YUmdRmevQomYUH-pxtNWIOmqP6RYszSyqgcWEps4. It’s more like two decades that we’ve had strong evidence of risk increases due to excess calcium.
Again, nothing is good or bad, so much as productive or counterproductive. Lots of calcium is inert. It could be good. It could be bad. Piles of it while in a dearth of vitamin d and k2 is counterproductive to health in most people.
A father said to his son, “this is the watch your grandfather gave me; before I let you keep it, go to the watch shop, say you want to sell it, and see how much they offer”.
The son went, returned, and reported back to his father, “the watchmaker offers to pay $5 because it's old and has a lot of scratches.”
The father said, “now go to the coffee shop, say you want to sell the watch, and see how much they offer.”
The son went, returned, and reported back, “they too offered $5.”
The father said, “now go to the museum, do not tell them the watch is for sale, but simply show what you have.”
The son went, returned, and reported back, “they offered me a million dollars for this.”
The father said, “I wanted to let you know that the right place values you in a right way; don't put yourself in the wrong place and get angry if you get treated like trash - those who know your value are the ones who appreciate you - don't ever stay in a place that doesn't suit you."
Too often people erroneously connect their worth to how external critics value (or devalue) them or even how they succeed or perform in their current program/location/situation/workspace. The fact of the matter is that even a specialist, a watchmaker, may not be able to know the value of an item within his very specialty. Every person has incredible skills and capabilities given the right landscape and backdrop. Sometimes you’d do better to find the environment where you fit than to contort yourself into a haphazard “fit” for the one in which you currently find yourself.
And then go a little further. Ask any person who has BECOME lean. I’m specifically NOT referencing people who are relatively lean all the time or have been since youth. I’m talking people who’ve put in the sweat equity to dramatically change their comp. You’re going to find out that the hollowed-out insides and nausea-level hunger IS the moment you’re getting leaner.
I’m not saying that people who’ve generally been lean their whole lives have no valuable insight. They know a few things. But what they don’t know is the biochemical pain you get from BECOMING leaner.
Debates rage over fasted cardio and keto nutrition. I think those debates are convenient for people who’ve never lost 70lbs of fat or 100+lbs of body mass. For those of us who have, we know well what it actually takes.
It takes feeling sick, at least once, but unfortunately maybe repeatedly. Your body has no interest in getting leaner. So it is going to try to hurt you to prevent a decrease in body mass. I say “good.” Bring it on.
Among peers of mine or even clients, when we definitively and predictably KNOW they are getting leaner, there’s a fairly replicable situation which occurs during a 16-48 hour fast or in fasted cardio: a wave of malcontent. Can people get incredibly leaner without ever hitting and breaking through this threshold? Maybe. But I doubt it.
Part of the underlying reason is that most people are severe pathological sugar addicts. Get ready for withdrawal. Get ready for pain. When you begin to get immediately-accessible energy low enough to obligate fat loss, you’re going to feel an internal battle. You may feel nausea. You may feel repulsed. Your intuition will tell you to eat, fuel up, rest, stop exercising. Nope. It’s time to go a little further.
In the same way that an illicit drug addict has to feel worse FIRST in order to break through to the other side of addiction, thus is the journey for the average American to obtain healthy body mass.
For me personally, when I’m embarking on the journey to get as lean as possible, I mark the beginning of the journey by the severity of discomfort. That is, I don’t even believe I’m beginning to get leaner until I’ve experience at least one bout of morning fasted cardio where I achieve a punch-to-the-gut level episode of nausea.
Though difficult, the beauty of this inflection point is that you may only have to pass it once when you continue compliance with fat burning efforts. For people who’ve never lost a substantial amount of weight, they’re generally oscillating up to and away from this threshold. They never quite cross it. They avoid acute pain only to be in constant long term frustration.
I’m not saying it’s easy. It isn’t. But it’s productive. Acclimating the body to healthy cell waste clearance, autophagy, beneficial catabolism, is tough. It is. But frankly, it carries a heft of seriousness which will never happen with common fitness practices defined by waffling about. Go until you hit withdrawal. Then keep going.
Some students show up for lecture, take notes, but don’t re-copy their notes, and don’t spend as much time as they should on the reading assignments. We would all look at them like they’re crazy if they said, “my grades aren’t improving (i.e. - I’m not losing weight); I better stop showing up for class (i.e. - the healthy behavior I DO execute) until I buckle down on the reading assignments (i.e. - the healthy behaviors I DON’T execute).”
Their logic isn’t sound. Yet, I hear this all the time with health and fitness. People commit to a set of productive behaviors. Realistically, right now, they aren’t in a place emotionally to do all of the productive behaviors. So they quit the ones that they do. Non sequitur.
I remember being most stricken by this when a client of mine quit because she didn't feel like she was losing enough weight. She'd stopped her prior trend of losing muscle and bone tissue every year. She'd stopped her prior trend of gaining more and more body fat every year. She'd gotten a lot stronger, thus regulating blood sugar dramatically better. She'd created more grown up food decision behaviors in her week. She had a consistent exercise practice. But in her mind, she might as well throw all of that away since she wasn't seeing the scale move fast enough. The average American loses 1-2 pounds of skeletal mass and/or muscle and tendons/ligaments/connective tissue per year. Meanwhile, they gain 1-2 pounds of fat. She had stopped that. She had reversed that. But because her total weight wasn't dropping low enough fast enough, she decided she would rejoin the ranks of average Americans.
We have to be realistic about our results. How we manage stress is THE make-it-or-break-it variable in someone’s success or lack thereof with regard to overall health, wellness, and fitness. Ironically, a popular response to stress is to actually stop doing all the things which help us reduce stress.
Be realistic. The most elusive outcome is long term consistency and improvement in health. Almost no one achieves this. The most common outcome is weight loss. Almost everyone has achieved it at some point. Don’t throw away the uncommon in pursuit of the common. Be strong. Build endurance and mobility. When you can address overall stress, make your attack on body composition. Pause. Think. Don’t throw away strength and conditioning just because your current grades are faltering.
She Turns 117 Years Old on 1/21/2020. And she’s still walking around and discussing lifestyle with anyone who cares to inquire: https://youtu.be/-Nar5WNI1TA
Kane Tanaka writes poetry. She survived cancer. Heck, she survived everything. It’s an incredible outlier. But I don’t view that as a circus-worthy curiosity, so much as an instruction on how we might all live better.
She eats chocolate. She enjoys life. She has a social circle, including sense of family and community. Given that well over 1 out of 5 younger Americans feels lonely, we may want to pay attention: https://www.google.com/…/millennials-and-the-lonelines…/amp/
Tanaka, along with most incredibly long-lived individuals, drinks a fair bit of caffeine. Like all supercentenarians, her food choices may surprise ideologues who want to believe that low fat eating or vegetarian eating is the answer. Welp, it isn’t. Survey the eating habits of every person studied who officially made it past 110 years of age, and your itty bitty ideological playground gets destroyed. They’re having treats and snacks. BUT, they all practice some sort of restriction.
Generally, this means they may only eat once or twice daily. In Tanaka’s case, what she does is never eat until she feels full. She stops herself. Either way, duration or serving size, there appears to be ample support for control in one’s nutritional practice. Additionally, there are known mechanisms to support this idea. Namely, autophagy, cell waste clearance, removal of plaques, digestive tract healing and rest, and immune reset. These things don’t happen if you’re eating 6 times a day. These things don’t happen if you don’t restrict the servings.
Thus, in supercentenarians, we’d expect to see some sort of limits on food frequency or volume. And in all cases, we see one or both of these: https://perfecthealthdiet.com/…/what-makes-a-supercentenar…/ . Will it take Tanaka past the prior world record of 122 years old? Time will tell. For now, she’s firmly seated in the position of officially oldest living person. May she see many more Januaries. And may we all learn to live better from those like her.