Pages

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Battling boredom in your workout? Come and train with us at Jungle.

Nico Jules Valdes training at Jungle
At Jungle Miami, we are always researching about the human body and trying to come up with exercises and routines that are not only functional but work our bodies to unleash our potential, and keep the fun part going and going. Many people go the gym and find themselves bored to death with boring trainers who are texting or talking to someone else as if you didn't exist, and putting you through the same old same old routines that will not help you at all.

Our muscles need variation in order to keep us from hitting a plateau.  If you do the same routines over and over, you are not really helping your body at all.  You are only paying your gym dues, and we mean that literally. Well, if you feel like this is you, come pay a visit and train with us. We will work your body in ways that you never expected and you will definitively have lots and lots of fun. Excitement is guaranteed, or we will give you your money back.

Battling boredom in your workout?

If you’ve recently identified more excuses than reasons to visit the gym, you may be battling a case of boredom in your exercise routine. Simple, small changes in your normal regime may reunite your feet and the elliptical machine once again.

“Often times people forget that a periodic change in your routine can not only benefit different muscles, but prevent the boredom that many of us experience,” explains Craig Wax, D.O., an osteopathic family physician practicing in Mullica Hill, NJ.


Dr. Wax further explains that the human body adapts quickly to most exercises, so if you’ve maintained the same routine for too long you may have reached a plateau that no longer benefits your body as much.


“If you no longer sweat during your workouts you may need to increase your intensity,” explains Dr. Wax. “Try lengthening the duration of your workouts, the weight or repetitions of your lifts, or add another day to your routine.”


Cross-training was pioneered to battle the boredom of professional athletes. However, Dr. Wax says it is great for everyone.


“A good exercise routine should include cardiovascular exercise, weight or resistance training, and some stretching and flexibility exercises,” he says.


Another quick-fix for fighting boredom is a change of scenery. Dr. Wax explains that if your exercise routine is always indoors, you may just need to step outside.


“Change your scenery regularly to prevent boredom and for best physical results,” says Dr. Wax. “Take a fast walk, swim or bicycle with friends instead of meeting to eat.”


“An excellent idea whenever you need added motivation is to enlist a friend. Working out with a partner can add a social element to your routine and you won’t skip the gym when you know someone else is waiting for you,” he explains.


Dr. Wax adds that if you cannot find a friend; join a class or club to add the social element. Another option, he recommends is to set an athletic goal like finishing a race or participating in a sporting tournament of some kind. “Competition and setting goals are two great ways to get motivated,” he says.


Dr. Wax says that your body may be signaling you for a needed vacation from the gym. A few days off every month can prevent over-training and can rejuvenate and refresh the body for your next month.


To receive the best results from your exercise routine, Dr. Wax recommends modifying your workout every two weeks. In addition, he recommends a healthy diet including lots of vegetables and eight glasses of water a day.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Preventive medicine is just one aspect of care osteopathic physicians (D.O.s) provide. Osteopathic physicians are fully licensed to prescribe medicine and practice in all specialty areas including surgery. D.O.s are trained to consider the health of the whole person and use their hands to help diagnose and treat their patients.


Source: American Osteopathic Association Website










Saturday, September 25, 2010

Magnesium. More on this vital mineral

At Jungle Miami we train hard. That is why we put an emphasis on recovery, nutrition/diet and making sure we share what we know are sound tips on how to stay fit and healthy. People talk about a whole array of physical complaints, cramping, twitching,  mood swings, not being able to sleep or rest and general pains.  Many of these issues go away with a very simple and cheap solution, adding the mineral Magnesium to our diets. A while back we published an article on the incredible benefits of Magnesium. There is a new study now linking Diabetes to Magnesium depletion and preventing it with the right daily intake of the mineral.

 
There is a lot of research out there that has examined the effects of the mineral in the performance of athletes. It is involved in more than 300 enzymatic reactions related to ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) production and helps promote protein synthesis in muscle cells. All the studies done suggested that strenuous resistance training may increase the body's need for magnesium. Research has also suggested a significant strength increase related to magnesium intake during resistance training. Good sources of Magnesium are, seeds, nuts, whole grains and leafy vegetables. Depletion of the mineral include symtoms such as, inflammation, mental confusion, fatigue, weakness, irritability as well as muscle cramping. The recommended daily intake is 350 mg/day.


Today we come back to this mineral because the latest study published by Diabetes Care merits it. So it seems magnesium plays yet another important role in the human body.


Diabetes risk may fall as magnesium intake climbs

NEW YORK
Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:22pm EDT



Getting enough magnesium in your diet could help prevent diabetes, a new study suggests.

People who consumed the most magnesium in foods and from vitamin supplements were about half as likely to develop diabetes over the next 20 years as people who took in the least magnesium, Dr. Ka He of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and colleagues found.

The results may explain in part why consuming whole grains, which are high in magnesium, is also associated with lower diabetes risk. However, large clinical trials testing the effects of magnesium on diabetes risk are needed to determine whether a causal relationship truly exists, the researchers note in Diabetes Care.

It's plausible that magnesium could influence diabetes risk because the mineral is needed for the proper functioning of several enzymes that help the body process glucose, the researchers point out. Studies of magnesium and diabetes risk have had conflicting results, though.

To investigate the link, the researchers looked at magnesium intake and diabetes risk in 4,497 men and women 18 to 30 years old, none of whom were diabetic at the study's outset. During a 20-year follow-up period, 330 of the subjects developed diabetes.

People with the highest magnesium intake, who averaged about 200 milligrams of magnesium for every 1,000 calories they consumed, were 47 percent less likely to have developed diabetes during follow up than those with the lowest intakes, who consumed about 100 milligrams of magnesium per 1,000 calories.

He and colleagues also found that as magnesium intake rose, levels of several markers of inflammation decreased, as did resistance to the effects of the key blood-sugar-regulating hormone insulin. Higher blood levels of magnesium also were linked to a lower degree of insulin resistance.

"Increasing magnesium intake may be important for improving insulin sensitivity, reducing systemic inflammation, and decreasing diabetes risk," He and colleagues write. "Further large-scale clinical trials are needed to establish causal inference and elucidate the mechanisms behind this potential benefit."

SOURCE: link.reuters.com/xuz35p Diabetes Care, published online August 31 2010



Friday, September 24, 2010

"Functional Movement Here We Come!"

Here are Jungle Miami, you will often hear us talk about functional exercise.  We believe that we should train ourselves to perform normal everday movements in a stronger and more coordinated fashion.  How many times have you had to lift 200lbs while laying on a bench throughout the course of your day?  I'm guessing not too many. 

But, how many times have you had to pick something up off of the ground and put in on a shelf or in a car trunk?  That's why we work with Kettlebells, TRX, Indian Clubs, and Ropes.  These mimmick real movements, and if you take care of the movement, the muscles will develop themselves.  Well, it looks like the US Army has realized this as well, and has revamped how they train our soldiers.

Welcome to the new exercise routine for our American soldiers. 


Making Soldiers Fit to Fight, Without the Situps

By: James Dao, New York Times.
Published: August 30, 2010.

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — Dawn breaks at this, the Army’s largest training post, with the reliable sound of fresh recruits marching to their morning exercise. But these days, something looks different.

It’s 5:30 on a recent morning, and basic training is in progress at Fort Jackson, S.C. A new exercise regimen is “more whole body,” a platoon leader says. That familiar standby, the situp, is gone, or almost gone. Exercises that look like pilates or yoga routines are in. And the traditional bane of the new private, the long run, has been downgraded.

This is the Army’s new physical-training program, which has been rolled out this year at its five basic training posts that handle 145,000 recruits a year. Nearly a decade in the making, its official goal is to reduce injuries and better prepare soldiers for the rigors of combat in rough terrain like Afghanistan.

But as much as anything, the program was created to help address one of the most pressing issues facing the military today: overweight and unfit recruits.

“What we were finding was that the soldiers we’re getting in today’s Army are not in as good shape as they used to be,” said Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, who oversees basic training for the Army. “This is not just an Army issue. This is a national issue.”

Excess weight is the leading reason the Army rejects potential recruits. And while that has been true for years, the problem has worsened as the waistlines of America’s youth have expanded. This year, a group of retired generals and admirals released a report titled “Too Fat to Fight.”

“Between 1995 and 2008, the proportion of potential recruits who failed their physicals each year because they were overweight rose nearly 70 percent,” the report concluded.

Though the Army screens out the seriously obese and completely unfit, it is still finding that many of the recruits who reach basic training have less strength and endurance than privates past. It is the legacy of junk food and video games, compounded by a reduction in gym classes in many high schools, Army officials assert.

As a result, it is harder for recruits to reach Army fitness standards, and more are getting injured along the way. General Hertling said that the percentage of male recruits who failed the most basic fitness test at one training center rose to more than one in five in 2006, up from just 4 percent in 2000. The percentages were higher for women.

Another study found that at one training center in 2002, 3 recruits suffered stress fractures of the pubic bone, but last year the number rose to 39. The reason, General Hertling said: not enough weight-bearing exercise and a diet heavy on sugared sodas and energy drinks but light in calcium and iron.

The new fitness regime tries to deal with all these problems by incorporating more stretching, more exercises for the abdomen and lower back, instead of the traditional situps, and more agility and balance training. It increases in difficulty more gradually. And it sets up a multiweek course of linked exercises, rather than offering discrete drills.

There are fewer situps, different kinds of push-ups and fewer long runs, which Army officials say are good for building strength and endurance but often lead to injuries. They also do not necessarily prepare soldiers for carrying heavy packs or sprinting short distances.

“We haven’t eliminated running,” General Hertling said. “But it’s trying to get away from that being the only thing we do.” (The new system does include plenty of sprinting.)

Some of the new routines would look familiar to a devotee of pilates, yoga or even the latest home workout regimens on DVD, with a variety of side twists, back bridges and rowinglike exercises. “It’s more whole body,” said First Lt. Tameeka Hayes, a platoon leader for a class of new privates at Fort Jackson. “No one who has done this routine says we’ve made it easier.”

The program was largely the brainchild of two former gym teachers who now run the Army Physical Fitness School based here. They are a military version of Click and Clack, finishing each other’s sentences and wisecracking with the alternating beat of gas-fired pistons.

One, Stephen Van Camp, is a former professional kick-boxer who unwittingly ran a marathon with a fractured ankle. “That’s not tough. That’s stupid,” he now says. The other, Frank Palkoska, is a former Army officer and West Point fitness instructor who adorns his office here with black-and-white photographs of 19th-century exercise classes and an assortment of retrograde equipment like medicine balls and wooden dumbbells.

“It’s back to the future,” Mr. Palkoska says before starting into a lament about the Xbox generation. “Technology is great, but it’s killing us.”

As he and Mr. Van Camp started developing what became a 434-page manual, they began by considering what combat soldiers do and came up with a checklist of things like throwing grenades and dodging gunfire.

Then they matched those needs with exercises. Some of those are already in use by the Army, but others are new and still others are drawn from century-old routines. There are drills that mimic climbing, that teach soldiers how to roll and that require swift lateral movements. Some are done in body armor.

The old style of physical training, he said, was less relevant to soldiers’ tasks, which entail lots of jumping, crouching and climbing. “What we did in the morning had nothing to do with what we did the rest of the day,” Mr. Palkoska said.

Under General Hertling, the new regimen will also include a makeover of the mess halls at its training bases. At Fort Jackson, there are more green leafy vegetables, less fried food, and milk instead of soda. The food line includes color-coded messages to encourage privates to eat low-fat entrees (marked in green). And there are other changes: no more assaulting tires with bayonets, but more time spent on rifle marksmanship and fighting with padded pugil sticks.

The trick now will be to push the program into the rest of the Army, where evidence suggests many soldiers are becoming overweight, particularly during or soon after deployments. The Army Training and Doctrine Command recently distributed the new fitness policy to the entire Army, officially replacing a physical fitness field manual that was first published in 1992.

While the training posts will have to follow the new program, since they are under General Hertling’s command, it is not mandatory for officers in the field. Every unit’s exercise routine is determined by its commander, and the current generation of officers has been indoctrinated under the old system.

The key, Mr. Palkoska says, will be to revamp the Army’s fitness test, which is taken twice a year. It measures a soldier’s ability to do situps, push-ups and a two-mile run. Since soldiers often train to the test, those are the exercises most of them do.

Mr. Palkoska and Mr. Van Camp hope the Army will revise that test by including new kinds of exercises and perhaps eliminating the situp.

“We know kids today are less fit,” Mr. Palkoska said. “We have to adjust.”
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For more information on functional movement http://www.functionalmovement.com/

Monday, September 20, 2010

Muay Thai Is A Battle Art Born In War!

Here at Jungle Miami we get asked all the time:

"What's the difference between Muay Thai and Kickboxing?"

Muay Thai is 1,000 to 2,000 years old (records were destroyed during the Burmese occupation so we don't really know).  It was born on the battlefields when warriors lost or broke their weapons, or when battle conditions became to tight to use them.  When this happened, the Thai warriors would revert to their natural weapons: elbows, knees, kicks, and punches.

During times of peace, competitions were held between villages to keep these skills sharp because war was perpetually being waged with neighboring countries.  These competitions became Thailand's national sport today, and are held in large arenas that are televised all over the country.  The only place one can compete in these competitions is in Thailand, because they are considered too brutal by the rest of the world.

On the other hand, Kickboxing has multiple histories.  The oldest is Japanese Kickboxing (we call this "Oriental Rules Kickboxing"), and is a descendant of Muay Thai, with certain restrictions for safety (like no elbows, ruling "knockdowns" more conservatively, and limited clinch).  However, the one that we are familiar with is American Kickboxing, which is a descendant of the Karate point-fighting competitions.

Here, in America, in the 1970s, a group of Karate point-fighters decided that the current competitions were not realistic enough and wanted to compete more like Boxing... with kicks (hence the term: Kick-Boxing).  As a matter of fact they took the exact rules of Boxing, and added kicks.  You fought in a ring, with gloves, and judges and rounds.  You were allowed to kick and punch above the waist only.  To prevent pure boxers from entering the competitions and cleaning house, an 8-kick minimum was introduced where both fighters needed a minimum of eight kicks each round, or lose a point for each missed kick--making it impossible for boxers to win.

These were the days of Bill "Superfoot" Wallace, Benny "The Jet" Urquidez, and Don "The Dragon" Wilson.  You were not allowed to knee, elbow, or strike in any way below the belt.  Although you could sweep the front leg only, and from outside to inside only.

Also worth mentioning is Boxe-Francaise Savate.  Savate originated in France in the 1700s.  It is the only form of Kickboxing where shoes are an integral part of the art.

A problem occurred when Thaiboxers, Japanese Kickboxers, American Kickboxers, and Savateurs tried to fight each other.  Namely, Thaiboxers and Japanese Kickboxers found the American rules too restrictive, and the American Kickboxers found the Japanese Kickboxing and Thaiboxing rules too overwhelming.  So, the International Kickboxing Rules (sometimes called "Freestyle Rules") were formed where fighters could punch and kick only, but the legs (above the knees) were now a legal target.

Nowadays there are three different rule-styles of Kickboxing aswell as Savate.  Then, there is Thaiboxing, which is commonly mistaken for Kickboxing.   It is mistaken for Kickboxing because, with the dominance of Thaiboxing over all other forms of Kickboxing and its rising popularity in the UFC, Kickboxers have jumped onto the bandwagon feeding off of the lack of knowledge people have for this foreign and little-known art.  They throw on a pair of Muay Thai shorts and call what they are doing Muay Thai Kickboxing.

(A little side note here: Thaiboxers get a little offended when you call us Kickboxers, however, we put up with it since it is so common.  But when we find people teaching Kickboxing and calling it Muay Thai...that really offends us.  These people know nothing of the traditions and the history like the Wai Kru, Ram Muay, Mongkol, Prajioud, nor whom Nai Kanom Tom or the Tiger King are! If you want to have a fun time, ask these instructors to perform their Wai Kru and watch as their eyes glaze over.  Sorry, I had to get it out.  The rant's over.)

So there you have it; the difference between Muay Thai and Kickboxing.  Kickboxing (as we know it) is Karate point-fighting mixed with Boxing.  Muay Thai is a battle art born in war and kept sharp through competition too brutal for the rest of the world.  It is not designed to win rounds.  It is designed to break whatever is in front of you, and to move on to the next.

Friday, September 17, 2010

"Footgear is the greatest enemy of the human foot."

Here at Jungle Miami we workout barefoot.  In fact, we tell you that you should not wear sneakers, dress shoes, or heels.  We recommend sandals, or any other thin bottomed non-supportive open-toe shoe.  Why?  Because closed-toe supportive shoes actually do the opposite of what they say.

Let me give you an example to illustrate.  For those of you that have ever been in a cast, or have known anyone that has been in a cast, what happens when that cast is removed?  The limb has atrophied hasn't it?  I broke my hand once, and after the cast was removed my forearm was half the size of the other.  Creepy!

Well, guess what?  Supportive shoes are the same thing... a cast for your feet.  And, they do the same thing as any other cast, they atrophy the muscles in your foot.  As a matter of fact, most foot problems in the developed world are the direct results of shoes!

Don't believe me?  In the "The Influence of Footwear on the Prevalence of Flat Foot" from The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Udaya Bhaskara Rao and Benjamin Joseph noted that:

"In Europe and America flat foot is a common reason for attendance at a children's orthopaedic clinic, but in India children are seldom brought for treatment for flat foot. The few children who do attend with this complaint are from affluent urban families and they all wear shoes. In our clinic we have never seen a child from the farming community or from the family of a manual labourer who complained of flat foot.
...
The high concentration of flat foot among six-year-old children who wore shoes as compared with those who did not, implies that the critical age for development of the arch is before six years.
...
Our cross-sectional study suggests that shoe-wearing in early childhood is detrimental to the development of a normal or a high medial longitudinal arch. The susceptibility for flat foot among children who wear shoes is most evident if there is associated ligament laxity. We suggest that children should be encouraged to play unshod and that slippers and sandals are less harmful than closed-toe shoes."

Still don't believe me?  In  "Survey in China and India of Feet That Have Never Worn Shoes" in The Journal of the National Association of Chiropodists (chiropodist (n). - a specialist in care for the feet) Samuel B. Shulman concluded:

"People who have never worn shoes acquire very few foot defects, most of which are painless and non-debilitating. The range of their foot motions are remarkably great, allowing for full foot activity. Shoes are not necessary for healthy feet and are the cause of most foot troubles. Children should not be encouraged to walk prematurely and should not wear any footwear until absolutely necessary. Footgear is the greatest enemy of the human foot."

So should you throw your shoes away and buy some sandals?  In my opinion... ABSOLUTELY!!!  But beware, it will take some getting used to.  Samuel B. Shulman noted in his survey of rickshaw pullers that when running barefoot initially:

 "All of them, however, gave a history of much pain and swelling of the foot and ankle during the first few days of work as a rickshaw puller. But after either a rest of two days or a week's more work on their feet, the pain and swelling passed away and never returned again."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Limit Protein to 20g Per Meal?

 Does this sound familiar:

"You'll lose 30 pounds in 30 days!"

I once lost 8 pounds in two-and-a-half hours.  It's true, and you can, too... and, if you'll just send me a check for $499.00, I'll tell you how.  But before you send me your dough, let me do what amounts to "fitness expert suicide" and tell you the other half... I kept those 8 pounds off of me for thirty minutes.

Here at Jungle Miami we believe in telling the truth about exercise and nutrition.  Why are we making it a point to tell you this?  Because very few "fitness experts" out there are telling you the truth.  Instead, they tell you what you need to hear to hand over your hard earned cash.

These so-called fitness experts will tell you all this bull**** about not eating carbs, or low-fat means it's healthy, or a Five Guys burger is evil.  What they fail to do is to tell you the whole truth, and nothing but the truth  They fail to do this because, quite frankly, they don't know it themselves, and instead of telling you they don't know it, they weave half-truths and fallacies into marketing buzzwords.  Remember the "Taco Bell Drive-Thru Diet" that came out earlier this year?  Ya, that was an easy one to see right through; others are not so easy:

"Got Milk!"

So, today we are going to tell you the whole truth about protein.  Be prepared though, because it's not so cut-and dry; and that's partly why these so-called "fitness experts" only tell you half the truth.  Most people are only looking for an easy answer.


Limit Protein to 20g Per Meal?
by John M Berardi, November 4th, 2009.

Two recent studies have shaken up the weight lifting and athletic worlds with respect to protein intake. For those research geeks among you, here are the references:

Ingested protein dose response of muscle and albumin protein synthesis after resistance exercise in young men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009.

A moderate serving of high-quality protein maximally stimulates skeletal muscle protein synthesis in young and elderly subjects. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2009.

So, what did these landmark studies show?

Well, the first study showed that when college-aged weight-trainers drink 0g, 5g, 10g, 20g, or 40g of protein after a weight training session, muscle protein synthesis is stimulated maximally at the 20g dose. Interestingly, there were no further increases in muscle protein synthesis at the 40g dose.

Similarly, in the second study, when young and elderly volunteers were given 30 or 90g of dietary protein in a single meal, the 30g dose maximally stimulated muscle protein synthesis. Again, there were no further increases in muscle protein synthesis at the 90g dose.

20-30 Grams and No More
Oddly, since the publication of these two studies, I’ve read no less than 2 dozen articles and blog posts suggesting that these two studies definitively close the case on protein intake. Indeed, some authors have even suggested that we’re ignorant wastrels if we dare eat more than 20-30g of protein in a single sitting.

Here are a few quotes:

“So basically what you’re saying is that we don’t need to consume any more than 20g of high quality protein after exercise. You could get that in a 500ml serving of milk…This info is really going to piss off a bunch of internet keyboard jockeys.”

“I’ve cut back on the amount of protein I eat during most meals…No more slogging down 50-60g in a sitting. “

“Looks like 3 eggs post workout is just as effective as drinking a protein shake. Plus all that extra shake will be wasted.”

And so on…

Is Muscle The Only Reason We Eat Protein?
Now, while I can always appreciate a good muscle protein synthesis study, I sorta wonder if all the hoopla regarding these two studies is doing healthy eaters a service or not.

I mean, it’s definitely a good thing to discover that 30g of protein provides the upper limit of amino acids necessary for maximal protein synthesis at a particular point in time. However, the important, big-picture question is this one…is building muscle the only reason we eat protein?

I think not.

Challenging the notion that eating more than 30g in a sitting is wasteful, here are a few thoughts I sent to a group of colleagues:

1) What Else Will You Eat?
Let’s say you’re on a high calorie diet. Maybe you’re into bodybuilding or you’re training for an athletic event. And now you limit your protein intake to 20-30g per meal. What else do you fill up with? Carbs or fats?

Let’s take an example. Say you’re eating 4000-4500kcal per day for competition, which many larger lifers and athletes will need to do. And let’s say, because of these studies, you limit your protein intake to 5 meals of 20g each. In the end you’ll be getting 100g and 400kcal from protein.

Well, that’s 8% of your diet. What makes up the other 92%? If you’re loading up with that many carbs or fats, body comp can suffer. Remember, the protein is being replaced by macronutrients with lower thermic effects (more on this below).

2) What About The Other Benefits?
Muscle protein synthesis isn’t the only reason to eat more protein. There’s satiety, the thermogenic effects, the impact on the immune system, and more (see below).

Plus, there are probably a few benefits science can’t measure yet. I say the last part because there’s so much experiential evidence suggesting that when you’re training hard and you up your protein, you do better. So maybe we just haven’t looked in the right places to notice the real benefits.

Other Protein Benefits
In an article I wrote a few years back, I listed some of the benefits of eating more protein. And although the article is a few years old, nothing’s really changed since then. Here’s the list:

Increased Thermic Effect of Feeding — While all macronutrients require metabolic processing for digestion, absorption, and storage or oxidation, the thermic effect of protein is roughly double that of carbohydrates and fat. Therefore, eating protein is actually thermogenic and can lead to a higher metabolic rate. This means greater fat loss when dieting and less fat gain during overfeeding/muscle building.

Increased Glucagon — Protein consumption increases plasma concentrations of the hormone glucagon. Glucagon is responsible for antagonizing the effects of insulin in adipose tissue, leading to greater fat mobilization. In addition, glucagon also decreases the amounts and activities of the enzymes responsible for making and storing fat in adipose and liver cells. Again, this leads to greater fat loss during dieting and less fat gain during overfeeding.

Metabolic Pathway Adjustment – When a higher protein (20-50% of intake) is followed, a host of metabolic adjustments occur. These include: a down regulation of glycolysis, a reduction in fatty acid synthesis enzymes, increase in gluconeogenesis, a carbohydrate “draining” effect where carbons necessary for ridding the body of amino nitrogen is drawn from glucose.

Increased IGF-1 — Protein and amino-acid supplementation has been shown to increase the IGF-1 response to both exercise and feeding. Since IGF-1 is an anabolic hormone that’s related to muscle growth, another advantage associated with consuming more protein is more muscle growth when overfeeding and/or muscle sparing when dieting.

Reduction in Cardiovascular Risk — Several studies have shown that increasing the percentage of protein in the diet (from 11% to 23%) while decreasing the percentage of carbohydrate (from 63% to 48%) lowers LDL cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations with concomitant increases in HDL cholesterol concentrations.

Improved Weight-Loss Profile —Research by Layman and colleagues has demonstrated that reducing the carbohydrate ratio from 3.5 – 1 to 1.4 – 1 increases body fat loss, spares muscle mass, reduces triglyceride concentrations, improves satiety, and improves blood glucose management (Layman et al 2003 — If you’re at all interested in protein intake, you’ve gotta go read the January and February issues of the Journal of Nutrition. Layman has three interesting articles in the two journals).

Increased Protein Turnover — All tissues of the body, including muscle, go through a regular program of turnover. Since the balance between protein breakdown and protein synthesis governs muscle protein turnover, you need to increase your protein turnover rates in order to best improve your muscle quality. A high protein diet does just this. By increasing both protein synthesis and protein breakdown, a high protein diet helps you get rid of the old muscle more quickly and build up new, more functional muscle to take its place.

Increased Nitrogen Status — Earlier I indicated that a positive nitrogen status means that more protein is entering the body than is leaving the body. High protein diets cause a strong positive protein status and when this increased protein availability is coupled with an exercise program that increases the body’s anabolic efficiency, the growth process may be accelerated.

Increased Provision of Auxiliary Nutrients — Although the benefits mentioned above have related specifically to protein and amino acids, it’s important to recognize that we don’t just eat protein and amino acids — we eat food. Therefore, high protein diets often provide auxiliary nutrients that could enhance performance and/or muscle growth. These nutrients include creatine, branched chain amino acids, conjugated linoleic acids, and/or additional nutrients that are important but remain to be discovered. And don’t forget the vitamins and minerals we get from protein rich foods. (And lest anyone think I’m a shill for the protein powder industry, this last point clearly illustrates the need to get most of your protein from food, rather than supplements.)

Looking over this list of benefits, it’s hard to ignore the fact that we don’t just eat protein for its muscle synthetic effect. We eat protein for a bunch of other reasons too. And since a higher protein diet can lead to a better health profile, an increased metabolism, improved body composition, and an improved training response, why would anyone ever try to limit their protein intake to the bare minimum?

Take-Home Message
It seems to me that whether someone’s on a hypoenergetic diet (low calorie) or a hyperenergetic diet (high calorie), the one macronutrient they would want to be sure to “overeat” (relatively speaking) would be protein.

But that’s not what people do, is it? Instead, their protein prejudice often leads them to look for what they consider the bare minimum of protein (whether it’s 20-30g/meal or 0.8g/kg/day), and then overeat carbohydrates and fats instead. That could prove to be a performance – and body composition – mistake.

To this end, my advice is the same as I’ve outlined in the Precision Nutrition System.

Women – 1 serving of lean, complete protein (20-30g) with each meal, every 3 hours or so

Men – 2 servings of lean, complete protein (40-60g) with each meal, every 3 hours or so

This pattern of intake will make sure you’re getting enough protein to reap all the benefits that this macronutrient has to offer. Not just the protein synthetic benefits.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Weight-loss Myths, Part 3

Here at Jungle Miami we tell you things that go against what you might call "common knowledge". We tell you to eat carbs and fat, and to throw away those no-carb-high-protein drinks. We tell you that those protein bars are the same as a snickers bar (it's true...compare the ingredient list of a protein bar to a snickers bar...there's only one ingredient that's different...protein powder!).

We do this because, without you knowing it, the media has brainwashed us into believing the world is flat, and that and the sun revolves around the earth, when it comes to exercise, nutrition, and weight-loss. Why do they do this? Well, according to ResearchWikis.com:

"The sports drinks market is approximately US $300 billion in terms of sales worldwide in 2005."

Need I say more?

Just like Galileo was persecuted because he said the earth revolves around the sun, we too get strange looks and sometimes heated tempers when we say things like:

"Drink chocolate milk instead of protein drinks; and eat all the carbs you want, even after 6 o'clock."

So, for the next few days we are going to share some weight-loss myths that the National Academy of Sports Medicine outlines in their "Solutions to Weight Management" course. So far, we've tackled the high-carb/low-protein diet, eating at night causes weight gain, and you have to exercise at a low intensity or you won't burn fat. Let's tackle three more today:


The More You Cut Calories, the More Weight You’ll Lose
Yes and no. This text has reviewed the physiology of weight loss, and we have seen that an energy deficit must be created for weight loss to occur. However, Health and Fitness Professionals should caution their clients against going too low. Most nutrition experts do not recommend an energy intake any lower than 1,200 calories, and even that may be too low for an active or very large person.

Very-low-calorie diets (VLCD) should be followed only under the supervision of a medical professional.

A VLCD is a doctor-supervised diet that typically uses commercially prepared formulas to promote rapid weight loss in patients who are obese. These formulas, usually liquid shakes or bars, replace all food intake for several weeks or months. VLCD formulas need to contain appropriate levels of vitamins and micronutrients to ensure that patients meet their nutritional requirements. People on a VLCD consume about 800 calories per day or less (14).

VLCD formulas are not the same as the meal replacements sold at grocery stores or pharmacies, which are meant to substitute for one or two meals a day. Over-the-counter meal replacements such as bars, entrĂ©es, or shakes should account for only part of one’s daily calories. There is a good amount of evidence, including a recent meta-analysis, that supports the use of meal replacements for weight loss and maintenance (15).

When used under proper medical supervision, VLCDs may produce significant short-term weight loss in patients who are moderately to extremely obese. VLCDs should be part of a comprehensive weight loss treatment program that includes behavioral therapy, nutrition counseling, and physical activity. Additionally, long-term maintenance of weight lost with VLCDs is poor and no better than other forms of obesity treatment. Incorporation of behavioral therapy and physical activity in VLCD treatment programs seems to improve weight-loss maintenance (14).

Chapter 3, “Physiology of Weight Control” provided guidelines for estimating daily calorie needs, and those should be used when counseling clients on the dangers of restricting calories below recommended levels. Some of the risks of following an overly restrictive diet include:

• Increased risk of malnutrition.
• Poor energy and inability to complete the essential fitness program.
• A behavioral “pendulum” swing—an inability to reintroduce “forbidden foods” in a moderate manner.
• Reports from patients on a VLCD for 4 to 16 weeks of minor side effects such as fatigue, constipation, nausea, or diarrhea. The most common serious side effect is gallstone formation. People who are obese, especially women, are at a higher risk of getting gallstones, and they are even more common during rapid weight loss (14).

Health and Fitness Professionals should discourage overly restrictive programs advocating less than 1,000 to 1,200 calories per day, and support safe, maintainable weight loss by means of more healthful eating, smaller portions and increased activity.


Certain Foods, Like Grapefruit, Celery, or Cabbage Soup Can Burn Fat and Make You Lose Weight
These programs, often called “negative-calorie diets,” suggest that somehow certain foods create a negative energy balance. Recall from Chapter 3, “Physiology of Weight Control”, that, while there is a metabolic cost of digesting, absorbing, and transporting nutrients (called the thermal effect of feeding or TEF), experts do not consider it significant to weight loss. “Negative-calorie” diets are often disguised very-low-calorie diets that produce weight loss because of their severe energy restriction, not nutrient biochemistry. Additionally, most of these diets are limited to a small number of foods and do not provide adequate macro or micronutrients.


Low Fat or Fat Free Means “No Calories”
While this misunderstanding was more dominant during the low-fat 1980s and early 1990s, the premise has again taken hold with the “low-carb/no-carb” craze. The two share the same fallacy that if a product is “fat-free” or “low-carb” it is somehow calorie-reduced, or even calorie-free. The inverse is often true, as fat-free and low-carb products often contain large amounts of sugar, protein, or fat. Recall that any nutrient eaten in excess of the body’s needs (thus resulting in a calorie surplus) will be converted and stored as fat. Clients should be encouraged to follow healthy eating guidelines rather than to declare diabolic a single nutrient category in hopes of weight loss. However, if these foods help reduce total calorie intake, weight loss may occur provided that the total daily intake is less than calories expended.

References
1. Kantrowitz B, Kalb C. Diet Hype: How the Media Collides with Science. Newsweek. March 13,
2006.
2. Banting, W. Letter on Corpulence, 1863. USA: New York: Cosimo Classics; 2005.
3. Astrup A. Larson TM, Harper A. Atkins and Other Low-carbohydrate Diets: Hoax or an Effective
Tool for Weight Loss? Lancet. 2004; 364:897–9.
4. Whitney E, Rolfes SR Eds. Understanding Nutrition. 11th ed. Belmont, CA Thomson Higher
Education; 2008, p.113
5. Eisenstein J, Roberts SB, Dallal G, Saltzman E. High-Protein Weight Loss Diets: Are They Safe and
Do They Work? A Review of the Experimental and Epidemiological Data. Nutrition Reviews. 2002;
60:189–200.
6. Pittas SG, Roberts SB. Dietary Composition and Weight Loss: Can We Individualize Dietary
Prescriptions According to Insulin Sensitivity and Secretion Status? Nutrition Reviews. 2006;
64:435–448.
7. Schoeller DA, Buchholtz AC. Energetics of Obesity and Weight Control: Does Diet Composition
Matter? J Am Diet Assoc. 2005;105 (5):S24–S28.
8. Bravata DM et al. Efficacy and Safety of Low-carbohydrate Diets: A Systematic Review. JAMA.
2003;289(14):1837–50.
9. Nonas CA, Foster G. Setting Achievable Goals for Weight Loss. J Amer Diet Assoc. 2005;
105:(S118–S123).
10. Reeves R, Bolton MP, Gee M. Dietary Approaches, Practical Application. In: Foster GD, Nonas CA
eds. Managing Obesity: A Clinical Guide. Chicago, IL. ADA; 2004:98–117.
11. Ebbeling CB, Leidig MM, Feldman HA, Lovesky MM, Ludwig DS. Effects of a Low-glycemic Load vs.
Low-fat Diet in Obese Young Adults: A Randomized Trial. JAMA. 2007;297(19):2092–102.
12. Ebbeling CB, Leidig MM, Sinclair KB, Seger-Shippee LG, Feldman HA, Ludwig DS. Effects of an Ad
Libitum Low-glycemic Load Diet on Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Obese Young Adults.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2005;81(5):976–82.
13. Ball SD, Keller KR, Moyer-Mileur LJ, Ding YW, Donaldson D, Jackson WD. Prolongation of
Satiety after Low versus Moderately High Glycemic Index Meals in Obese Adolescents. Pediatrics.
2003;111(3):488–94.
14. National Institutes of Health. Very Low-Calorie Diets. National Task Force on the Prevention and
Treatment of Obesity. JAMA. 1993; 270(8):967–74.
15. Heymsfield SB, van Mierlo CAJ, van der Knaap HCM, Heo M, Frier HI. Weight Management
using a Meal Replacement Strategy: Meta and Pooling Analysis from Six Studies. Int J Obes. 2003.
27:537–49.
16. Hill J, Wing R. Long-term Weight Loss and Breakfast in Subjects in the National Weight Control
Registry. Obes Res. 2002;10(2):78–82.
17. Colles SL, Dixon JB, O’Brien PE. Night Eating Syndrome and Nocturnal Snacking: Association with
Obesity, Binge Eating and Psychological Distress. Int J Obes (London). 2007;31(11):1722–30.
18. Elia M. Organ and Tissue Contribution to Metabolic Rate. In: Kinney JM, Tucker HN, eds. Energy
Metabolism. Tissue Determinants and Cellular Corollaries. New York: Raven Press, 1992:61–77.
19. Wang, Z., et al. Resting Energy Expenditure: Systematic Organization and Critique of Prediction
Methods. Obesity Research. 2001;9(5):331–6.
20. Wolfe RR. The Underappreciated Role of Muscle in Health and Disease. Am Journal Clin Nutr. 2006;
84(3):475–482.
21. Haltom R.W. et al. Circuit Weight Training and its Effects on Excess Postexercise Oxygen
Consumption. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 1999;31:1613–8.
22. Ballor DL, Katch, VL, Becque MD, Marks CR. Resistance Weight Training During Caloric
Restriction Enhances Lean Body Weight Maintenance. Am. J. Clin Nutr. 1988;47:19–25.
23. Donnelly JE, Pronk NP, Jacobsen DJ, Pronk SJ, Jakicic JM. Effects of a Very-Low-Calorie Diet and
Physical-Training Regimens on Body Composition and Resting Metabolic Rate in Obese Females.
Am. J. Clin Nutr. 1991;54:56–61.
24. Sweeney ME, Hill JO, Heller PA, Baney R, DiGirolamom M. Severe vs. Moderate Energy Restriction
With and Without Exercise in the Treatment of Obesity: Efficiency of Weight Loss. Am. J. Clin Nutr.
1993; 57:127–134.
25. McArdle WD, Katch FL, Katch VL. Essentials of Exercise Physiology. Media, PA: William and
Wilkins;1994:p.389.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Weight-loss Myths, Part 2

Here at Jungle Miami we tell you things that go against what you might call "common knowledge". We tell you to eat carbs and fat, and to throw away those no-carb-high-protein drinks. We tell you that those protein bars are the same as a snickers bar (it's true...compare the ingredient list of a protein bar to a snickers bar...there's only one ingredient that's different...protein powder!).

We do this because, without you knowing it, the media has brainwashed us into believing the world is flat, and that and the sun revolves around the earth, when it comes to exercise, nutrition, and weight-loss. Why do they do this? Well, according to ResearchWikis.com:

"The sports drinks market is approximately US $300 billion in terms of sales worldwide in 2005."

Need I say more?

Just like Galileo was persecuted because he said the earth revolves around the sun, we too get strange looks and sometimes heated tempers when we say things like:

"Drink chocolate milk instead of protein drinks; and eat all the carbs you want, even after 6 o'clock."

So, for the next few days we are going to share some weight-loss myths that the National Academy of Sports Medicine outlines in their "Solutions to Weight Management" course. We tackled out first myth yesterday; the high-carb/low-protein diet.  Let's tackle a couple more today:


Eating at Night Causes Weight Gain

This myth combines both biological and behavior aspects. There is no magic time when the body is better or worse at storing fat. Our bodies function on a continuum and if, over time, an energy surplus prevails, weight gain will occur. However, if the person has not eaten all day long and heads into the evening hours starving, she or he is very likely to consume more than they need. Likewise, if a person is mindlessly snacking all evening, there’s a strong probability that excess calories will be consumed.

Studies show that the most difficult time of day for people to resist overeating is during the evening and nighttime hours (17). Resulting weight gain, however, occurs not because the foods were eaten at night but because of consumption of calories beyond one’s needs.


You Have to Exercise at a Low Intensity or You Won’t Burn Fat

 Despite an enormous amount of research on the topic, some confusion remains over the relationship of cardiorespiratory training intensity to fat expenditure.

This fairly complex physiology has given way to one of the more common weight-loss misconceptions: You have to exercise at a low intensity or you will not burn fat. As with some of the other myths, there’s a distorted grain of truth inside this one as well.

Physiology labs have sophisticated equipment to differentiate the fuels being used during exercise of different intensities. Fat contribution to total energy expenditure is related to intensity; however, it is not that simple. During exercise of low-intensity, there is a higher percent contribution from fat as a fuel source (Table 1). However, this is offset by the higher energy expenditure during high-intensity exercise.  Assigning some values to the concept will make this concept more explicable.


Table 1. Calorie and Fat Expenditure

Type of exercise
Total calories expended* Percent contribution from fat* Total fat expended*

Low-intensity exercise
100 60% 60 fat cal

High-intensity exercise
50040%200 fat cal

* This is a fictional amount used as a demonstration.

While the percent contribution from fat is higher with the low-intensity exercise (60%) than in the high-intensity exercise (40%), the total calorie expenditure (as well as the contribution from fat calories) is greater in high-intensity exercise. Partly to blame is the cardiovascular equipment in fitness facilities that is erroneously labeled “fat-burning zone.”

References
1. Kantrowitz B, Kalb C. Diet Hype: How the Media Collides with Science. Newsweek. March 13,
2006.
2. Banting, W. Letter on Corpulence, 1863. USA: New York: Cosimo Classics; 2005.
3. Astrup A. Larson TM, Harper A. Atkins and Other Low-carbohydrate Diets: Hoax or an Effective
Tool for Weight Loss? Lancet. 2004; 364:897–9.
4. Whitney E, Rolfes SR Eds. Understanding Nutrition. 11th ed. Belmont, CA Thomson Higher
Education; 2008, p.113
5. Eisenstein J, Roberts SB, Dallal G, Saltzman E. High-Protein Weight Loss Diets: Are They Safe and
Do They Work? A Review of the Experimental and Epidemiological Data. Nutrition Reviews. 2002;
60:189–200.
6. Pittas SG, Roberts SB. Dietary Composition and Weight Loss: Can We Individualize Dietary
Prescriptions According to Insulin Sensitivity and Secretion Status? Nutrition Reviews. 2006;
64:435–448.
7. Schoeller DA, Buchholtz AC. Energetics of Obesity and Weight Control: Does Diet Composition
Matter? J Am Diet Assoc. 2005;105 (5):S24–S28.
8. Bravata DM et al. Efficacy and Safety of Low-carbohydrate Diets: A Systematic Review. JAMA.
2003;289(14):1837–50.
9. Nonas CA, Foster G. Setting Achievable Goals for Weight Loss. J Amer Diet Assoc. 2005;
105:(S118–S123).
10. Reeves R, Bolton MP, Gee M. Dietary Approaches, Practical Application. In: Foster GD, Nonas CA
eds. Managing Obesity: A Clinical Guide. Chicago, IL. ADA; 2004:98–117.
11. Ebbeling CB, Leidig MM, Feldman HA, Lovesky MM, Ludwig DS. Effects of a Low-glycemic Load vs.
Low-fat Diet in Obese Young Adults: A Randomized Trial. JAMA. 2007;297(19):2092–102.
12. Ebbeling CB, Leidig MM, Sinclair KB, Seger-Shippee LG, Feldman HA, Ludwig DS. Effects of an Ad
Libitum Low-glycemic Load Diet on Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Obese Young Adults.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2005;81(5):976–82.
13. Ball SD, Keller KR, Moyer-Mileur LJ, Ding YW, Donaldson D, Jackson WD. Prolongation of
Satiety after Low versus Moderately High Glycemic Index Meals in Obese Adolescents. Pediatrics.
2003;111(3):488–94.
14. National Institutes of Health. Very Low-Calorie Diets. National Task Force on the Prevention and
Treatment of Obesity. JAMA. 1993; 270(8):967–74.
15. Heymsfield SB, van Mierlo CAJ, van der Knaap HCM, Heo M, Frier HI. Weight Management
using a Meal Replacement Strategy: Meta and Pooling Analysis from Six Studies. Int J Obes. 2003.
27:537–49.
16. Hill J, Wing R. Long-term Weight Loss and Breakfast in Subjects in the National Weight Control
Registry. Obes Res. 2002;10(2):78–82.
17. Colles SL, Dixon JB, O’Brien PE. Night Eating Syndrome and Nocturnal Snacking: Association with
Obesity, Binge Eating and Psychological Distress. Int J Obes (London). 2007;31(11):1722–30.
18. Elia M. Organ and Tissue Contribution to Metabolic Rate. In: Kinney JM, Tucker HN, eds. Energy
Metabolism. Tissue Determinants and Cellular Corollaries. New York: Raven Press, 1992:61–77.
19. Wang, Z., et al. Resting Energy Expenditure: Systematic Organization and Critique of Prediction
Methods. Obesity Research. 2001;9(5):331–6.
20. Wolfe RR. The Underappreciated Role of Muscle in Health and Disease. Am Journal Clin Nutr. 2006;
84(3):475–482.
21. Haltom R.W. et al. Circuit Weight Training and its Effects on Excess Postexercise Oxygen
Consumption. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 1999;31:1613–8.
22. Ballor DL, Katch, VL, Becque MD, Marks CR. Resistance Weight Training During Caloric
Restriction Enhances Lean Body Weight Maintenance. Am. J. Clin Nutr. 1988;47:19–25.
23. Donnelly JE, Pronk NP, Jacobsen DJ, Pronk SJ, Jakicic JM. Effects of a Very-Low-Calorie Diet and
Physical-Training Regimens on Body Composition and Resting Metabolic Rate in Obese Females.
Am. J. Clin Nutr. 1991;54:56–61.
24. Sweeney ME, Hill JO, Heller PA, Baney R, DiGirolamom M. Severe vs. Moderate Energy Restriction
With and Without Exercise in the Treatment of Obesity: Efficiency of Weight Loss. Am. J. Clin Nutr.
1993; 57:127–134.
25. McArdle WD, Katch FL, Katch VL. Essentials of Exercise Physiology. Media, PA: William and
Wilkins;1994:p.389.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Weight-loss Myths, Part I

Here at Jungle Miami we tell you things that go against what you might call "common knowledge".  We tell you to eat carbs and fat, and to throw away those no-carb-high-protein drinks.  We tell you that those protein bars are the same as a snickers bar (it's true...compare the ingredient list of a protein bar to a snickers bar...there's only one ingredient that's different...protein powder!).

We do this because, without you knowing it, the media has brainwashed us into believing the world is flat, and that and the sun revolves around the earth, when it comes to exercise, nutrition, and weight-loss.  Why do they do this?  Well, according to ResearchWikis.com:

"The sports drinks market is approximately US $300 billion in terms of sales worldwide in 2005."

Need I say more?

Just like Galileo was persecuted because he said the earth revolves around the sun, we too get strange looks and sometimes heated tempers when we say things like:

"Drink chocolate milk instead of protein drinks; and eat all the carbs you want, even after 6 o'clock."

So, for the next few days we are going to share some weight-loss myths that the National Academy of Sports Medicine outlines in their "Solutions to Weight Management" course.  Let's tackle our first myth:


High-Protein/Low-Carb Diet


Probably more widely debated than any other diet in the scientific as well as the consumer literature is the
high-protein/low-carbohydrate diet. These plans have been a part of diet lexicon since the mid-1800s with
William Banting’s Letter on Corpulence (2). Billed as the “world’s first diet book,” Banting’s work recommended eating lots of meat, a few vegetables, and avoiding those foods that he previously over consumed.

Today the term low-carb diet is often thought of as synonymous with the Atkins Diet, named after the
celebrated cardiologist, Dr. Robert Atkins. Popularly known as “The Atkins Diet” or just “Atkins,” the
program restricts carbohydrate consumption, usually for weight control. Foods high in digestible carbohydrates are limited or replaced with foods containing a higher percentage of protein and fats or other
foods lower in carbohydrates (e.g. green leafy vegetables). Dr. Atkins popularized his work in a series of
books, starting with Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution in 1972. In his revised book, Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution, he modified or changed some of his ideas but remained faithful to the original concepts. The Atkins books have sold more than 45 million copies in the past 40 years (3).

During the late 1990s and early 2000s, low-carbohydrate diets ranked among the most popular diets in
the U.S., and versions of this diet (the Zone Diet, the Protein Power Lifeplan, the Go-Lower Diet, and
the South Beach Diet, among others) remain popular today. In most formats, the carbohydrate-modified
(low-carbohydrate/high-protein) diet is a ketogenic diet, which induces a state of ketosis through severe
limitation of dietary carbohydrates. Ketosis occurs in metabolism when the liver converts fat into fatty
acids, and ketones, the byproduct of incomplete fat metabolism, reach high levels in the blood (4).

A compendium of research has been done examining the manipulation of macronutrient content to produce
a metabolic advantage for weight loss. No consensus in the literature shows that low-carbohydrate diets
produce significantly greater rates of weight loss or longer-term weight loss maintenance when compared
to more conventional low-fat diets (5, 6, 7).

If high-protein diets do produce greater amount of weight loss in some studies, what are the suggested
mechanisms? Scientists suggest that several mechanisms may be responsible for the weight loss seen with
low-carbohydrate diets:

• The severe restriction of carbohydrate depletes glycogen (stored carbohydrate) supply, leading to excretion of bound water.
• The ketogenic nature of the diet may suppress appetite, leading to reduced intake.
• The high-protein content of low-carbohydrate diets may provide greater hormonally mediated
satiety, thereby reducing spontaneous food intake.
• The self-selection from limited food choices may lead to a decrease in energy intake.

In a review article of 107 published research studies designed to evaluate changes in weight among adults
using low-carbohydrate diets in the outpatient setting, Bravata (8) found that participant weight loss while
using low-carbohydrate diets was principally associated with decreased caloric intake and increased diet
duration, but not with reduced carbohydrate content. In other words, the calorie reduction and negative
energy balance that occurs on these diets induce weight loss. It is worth noting that many studies in this
area are limited by a high attrition (drop-out rate) and by suboptimal dietary adherence of the enrolled
persons.

Where does this leave Health and Fitness Professionals in regards to low-carbohydrate diets and questions
from clients? Recall that the acceptable macronutrient distributions range (AMDR) is 45% to 65% of total calories from carbohydrate. According to science supporting the AMDR, anyone eating an adequate
energy provision (for weight loss) from nutrient-dense foods with between 45% and 65% of total calories
from carbohydrates will fall within the recommendation.

That said, the emphasis of nutrition counseling today is to preserve (as much as possible) the way clients
like to eat. Weight loss requires habit changes, but behaviorists who specialize in weight loss suggest that
if client preferences can be preserved, they should be. In other words, if a client loves sweet potato, whole
grain bread, oatmeal, and legumes (all nutrient-dense carbohydrates), they may not be very compliant
with a program that provides only 45% of total calories from carbohydrate. They also do not need to be
on a low-carbohydrate diet to lose weight, as any reduction in calorie intake below daily expenditure will
induce weight loss.

Low-carbohydrate diets may work for some people, and as long as they are within the AMDR and provide
nutrient-dense foods, they should not present a health risk. But they are not for everyone. Flexibility on
behalf of the Health and Fitness Professional and client is critical to weight-loss success (9, 10). In other
words, the difficulty for most people lies not in the diet, but in adherence to the diet. The closer the
weight-loss program follows the way they like to eat, the more successful they are going to be. Therefore,
clients can choose to simply decrease the frequency or portion sizes of the foods they normally consume
to cut calories, or make acceptable dietary changes to reduce intake.


References
1. Kantrowitz B, Kalb C. Diet Hype: How the Media Collides with Science. Newsweek. March 13,
2006.
2. Banting, W. Letter on Corpulence, 1863. USA: New York: Cosimo Classics; 2005.
3. Astrup A. Larson TM, Harper A. Atkins and Other Low-carbohydrate Diets: Hoax or an Effective
Tool for Weight Loss? Lancet. 2004; 364:897–9.
4. Whitney E, Rolfes SR Eds. Understanding Nutrition. 11th ed. Belmont, CA Thomson Higher
Education; 2008, p.113
5. Eisenstein J, Roberts SB, Dallal G, Saltzman E. High-Protein Weight Loss Diets: Are They Safe and
Do They Work? A Review of the Experimental and Epidemiological Data. Nutrition Reviews. 2002;
60:189–200.
6. Pittas SG, Roberts SB. Dietary Composition and Weight Loss: Can We Individualize Dietary
Prescriptions According to Insulin Sensitivity and Secretion Status? Nutrition Reviews. 2006;
64:435–448.
7. Schoeller DA, Buchholtz AC. Energetics of Obesity and Weight Control: Does Diet Composition
Matter? J Am Diet Assoc. 2005;105 (5):S24–S28.
8. Bravata DM et al. Efficacy and Safety of Low-carbohydrate Diets: A Systematic Review. JAMA.
2003;289(14):1837–50.
9. Nonas CA, Foster G. Setting Achievable Goals for Weight Loss. J Amer Diet Assoc. 2005;
105:(S118–S123).
10. Reeves R, Bolton MP, Gee M. Dietary Approaches, Practical Application. In: Foster GD, Nonas CA
eds. Managing Obesity: A Clinical Guide. Chicago, IL. ADA; 2004:98–117.
11. Ebbeling CB, Leidig MM, Feldman HA, Lovesky MM, Ludwig DS. Effects of a Low-glycemic Load vs.
Low-fat Diet in Obese Young Adults: A Randomized Trial. JAMA. 2007;297(19):2092–102.

12. Ebbeling CB, Leidig MM, Sinclair KB, Seger-Shippee LG, Feldman HA, Ludwig DS. Effects of an Ad
Libitum Low-glycemic Load Diet on Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Obese Young Adults.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2005;81(5):976–82.
13. Ball SD, Keller KR, Moyer-Mileur LJ, Ding YW, Donaldson D, Jackson WD. Prolongation of
Satiety after Low versus Moderately High Glycemic Index Meals in Obese Adolescents. Pediatrics.
2003;111(3):488–94.
14. National Institutes of Health. Very Low-Calorie Diets. National Task Force on the Prevention and
Treatment of Obesity. JAMA. 1993; 270(8):967–74.
15. Heymsfield SB, van Mierlo CAJ, van der Knaap HCM, Heo M, Frier HI. Weight Management
using a Meal Replacement Strategy: Meta and Pooling Analysis from Six Studies. Int J Obes. 2003.
27:537–49.
16. Hill J, Wing R. Long-term Weight Loss and Breakfast in Subjects in the National Weight Control
Registry. Obes Res. 2002;10(2):78–82.
17. Colles SL, Dixon JB, O’Brien PE. Night Eating Syndrome and Nocturnal Snacking: Association with
Obesity, Binge Eating and Psychological Distress. Int J Obes (London). 2007;31(11):1722–30.
18. Elia M. Organ and Tissue Contribution to Metabolic Rate. In: Kinney JM, Tucker HN, eds. Energy
Metabolism. Tissue Determinants and Cellular Corollaries. New York: Raven Press, 1992:61–77.
19. Wang, Z., et al. Resting Energy Expenditure: Systematic Organization and Critique of Prediction
Methods. Obesity Research. 2001;9(5):331–6.
20. Wolfe RR. The Underappreciated Role of Muscle in Health and Disease. Am Journal Clin Nutr. 2006;
84(3):475–482.
21. Haltom R.W. et al. Circuit Weight Training and its Effects on Excess Postexercise Oxygen
Consumption. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 1999;31:1613–8.
22. Ballor DL, Katch, VL, Becque MD, Marks CR. Resistance Weight Training During Caloric
Restriction Enhances Lean Body Weight Maintenance. Am. J. Clin Nutr. 1988;47:19–25.
23. Donnelly JE, Pronk NP, Jacobsen DJ, Pronk SJ, Jakicic JM. Effects of a Very-Low-Calorie Diet and
Physical-Training Regimens on Body Composition and Resting Metabolic Rate in Obese Females.
Am. J. Clin Nutr. 1991;54:56–61.

24. Sweeney ME, Hill JO, Heller PA, Baney R, DiGirolamom M. Severe vs. Moderate Energy Restriction
With and Without Exercise in the Treatment of Obesity: Efficiency of Weight Loss. Am. J. Clin Nutr.
1993; 57:127–134.
25. McArdle WD, Katch FL, Katch VL. Essentials of Exercise Physiology. Media, PA: William and
Wilkins;1994:p.389.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Martial Art Is About Character


Here at Jungle Miami, we believe that the Martial Arts is more than learning how to defend oneself.  Muay Thai teaches more than how to elbow and knee.  Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu espouses greater things than learning how to choke and subdue. 

We believe that the Martial Arts is about learning good character.  But what is good character, and how do we define it? 

Below is an excerpt from "Making Ethical Decisions" from the Josephson Institute of Ethics:



The Six Pillars of Character

Trustworthiness. Respect. Responsibility. Fairness. Caring. Citizenship. The Six Pillars of Character are ethical values to guide our choices. The standards of conduct that arise out of those values constitute the ground rules of ethics, and therefore of ethical decision-making.

There is nothing sacrosanct about the number six. We might reasonably have eight or 10, or more. But most universal virtues fold easily into these six. The number is not unwieldy and the Six Pillars of Character can provide a common lexicon. Why is a common lexicon necessary? So that people can see what unites our diverse and fractured society. So we can communicate more easily about core values. So we can understand ethical decisions better, our own and those of others.

The Six Pillars act as a multi-level filter through which to process decisions. So, being trustworthy is not enough — we must also be caring. Adhering to the letter of the law is not enough — we must accept responsibility for our action or inaction.

The Pillars can help us detect situations where we focus so hard on upholding one moral principle that we sacrifice another — where, intent on holding others accountable, we ignore the duty to be compassionate; where, intent on getting a job done, we ignore how.

In short, the Six Pillars can dramatically improve the ethical quality of our decisions, and thus our character and lives.

1. TRUSTWORTHINESS

When others trust us, they give us greater leeway because they feel we don’t need monitoring to assure that we’ll meet our obligations. They believe in us and hold us in higher esteem. That’s satisfying. At the same time, we must constantly live up to the expectations of others and refrain from even small lies or self-serving behavior that can quickly destroy our relationships.

Simply refraining from deception is not enough. Trustworthiness is the most complicated of the six core ethical values and concerns a variety of qualities like honesty, integrity, reliability and loyalty.

Honesty

There is no more fundamental ethical value than honesty. We associate honesty with people of honor, and we admire and rely on those who are honest. But honesty is a broader concept than many may realize. It involves both communications and conduct.

Honesty in communications is expressing the truth as best we know it and not conveying it in a way likely to mislead or deceive. There are three dimensions:

Truthfulness. Truthfulness is presenting the facts to the best of our knowledge. Intent is the crucial distinction between truthfulness and truth itself. Being wrong is not the same thing as lying, although honest mistakes can still damage trust insofar as they may show sloppy judgment.

Sincerity. Sincerity is genuineness, being without trickery or duplicity. It precludes all acts, including half-truths, out-of-context statements, and even silence, that are intended to create beliefs or leave impressions that are untrue or misleading.

Candor. In relationships involving legitimate expectations of trust, honesty may also require candor, forthrightness and frankness, imposing the obligation to volunteer information that another person needs to know.

Honesty in conduct is playing by the rules, without stealing, cheating, fraud, subterfuge and other trickery. Cheating is a particularly foul form of dishonesty because one not only seeks to deceive but to take advantage of those who are not cheating. It’s a two-fer: a violation of both trust and fairness.

Not all lies are unethical, even though all lies are dishonest. Huh? That’s right, honesty is not an inviolate principle. Occasionally, dishonesty is ethically justifiable, as when the police lie in undercover operations or when one lies to criminals or terrorists to save lives. But don’t kid yourself: occasions for ethically sanctioned lying are rare and require serving a very high purpose indeed, such as saving a life — not hitting a management-pleasing sales target or winning a game or avoiding a confrontation.

Integrity

The word integrity comes from the same Latin root as "integer," or whole number. Like a whole number, a person of integrity is undivided and complete. This means that the ethical person acts according to her beliefs, not according to expediency. She is also consistent. There is no difference in the way she makes decisions from situation to situation, her principles don’t vary at work or at home, in public or alone.

Because she must know who she is and what she values, the person of integrity takes time for self-reflection, so that the events, crises and seeming necessities of the day do not determine the course of her moral life. She stays in control. She may be courteous, even charming, but she is never duplicitous. She never demeans herself with obsequious behavior toward those she thinks might do her some good. She is trusted because you know who she is: what you see is what you get.

People without integrity are called "hypocrites" or "two-faced."

Reliability (Promise-Keeping)

When we make promises or other commitments that create a legitimate basis for another person to rely upon us, we undertake special moral duties. We accept the responsibility of making all reasonable efforts to fulfill our commitments. Because promise-keeping is such an important aspect of trustworthiness, it is important to:

Avoid bad-faith excuses. Interpret your promises fairly and honestly. Don’t try to rationalize noncompliance.

Avoid unwise commitments. Before making a promise consider carefully whether you are willing and likely to keep it. Think about unknown or future events that could make it difficult, undesirable or impossible. Sometimes, all we can promise is to do our best.

Avoid unclear commitments. Be sure that, when you make a promise, the other person understands what you are committing to do.

Loyalty

Some relationships — husband-wife, employer-employee, citizen-country — create an expectation of allegiance, fidelity and devotion. Loyalty is a responsibility to promote the interests of certain people, organizations or affiliations. This duty goes beyond the normal obligation we all share to care for others.

Limitations to loyalty. Loyalty is a tricky thing. Friends, employers, co-workers and others may demand that we rank their interests above ethical considerations. But no one has the right to ask another to sacrifice ethical principles in the name of a special relationship. Indeed, one forfeits a claim of loyalty when he or she asks so high a price for maintaining the relationship.

Prioritizing loyalties. So many individuals and groups make loyalty claims on us that we must rank our loyalty obligations in some rational fashion. For example, it’s perfectly reasonable, and ethical, to look out for the interests of our children, parents and spouses even if we have to subordinate our obligations to other children, neighbors or co-workers in doing so.

Safeguarding confidential information. Loyalty requires us to keep some information confidential. When keeping a secret breaks the law or threatens others, however, we may have a responsibility to "blow the whistle."

Avoiding conflicting interests. Employees and public servants have a duty to make all professional decisions on merit, unimpeded by conflicting personal interests. They owe ultimate loyalty to the public.

2. RESPECT

People are not things, and everyone has a right to be treated with dignity. We certainly have no ethical duty to hold all people in high esteem, but we should treat everyone with respect, regardless of who they are and what they have done. We have a responsibility to be the best we can be in all situations, even when dealing with unpleasant people.

The Golden Rule — do unto others as you would have them do unto you — nicely illustrates the Pillar of respect. Respect prohibits violence, humiliation, manipulation and exploitation. It reflects notions such as civility, courtesy, decency, dignity, autonomy, tolerance and acceptance.

Civility, Courtesy and Decency

A respectful person is an attentive listener, although his patience with the boorish need not be endless (respect works both ways). Nevertheless, the respectful person treats others with consideration, and doesn’t resort to intimidation, coercion or violence except in extraordinary and limited situations to defend others, teach discipline, maintain order or achieve social justice. Punishment is used in moderation and only to advance important social goals and purposes.

Dignity and Autonomy

People need to make informed decisions about their own lives. Don’t withhold the information they need to do so. Allow all individuals, including maturing children, to have a say in the decisions that affect them.

Tolerance and Acceptance

Accept individual differences and beliefs without prejudice. Judge others only on their character, abilities and conduct.

3. RESPONSIBILITY

Life is full of choices. Being responsible means being in charge of our choices and, thus, our lives. It means being accountable for what we do and who we are. It also means recognizing that our actions matter and we are morally on the hook for the consequences. Our capacity to reason and our freedom to choose make us morally autonomous and, therefore, answerable for whether we honor or degrade the ethical principles that give life meaning and purpose.

Ethical people show responsibility by being accountable, pursuing excellence and exercising self-restraint. They exhibit the ability to respond to expectations.

Accountability

An accountable person is not a victim and doesn’t shift blame or claim credit for the work of others. He considers the likely consequences of his behavior and associations. He recognizes the common complicity in the triumph of evil when nothing is done to stop it. He leads by example.

Pursuit of Excellence

The pursuit of excellence has an ethical dimension when others rely upon our knowledge, ability or willingness to perform tasks safely and effectively.

Diligence. It is hardly unethical to make mistakes or to be less than "excellent," but there is a moral obligation to do one’s best, to be diligent, reliable, careful, prepared and informed.

Perseverance. Responsible people finish what they start, overcoming rather than surrendering to obstacles. They avoid excuses such as, "That’s just the way I am," or "It’s not my job," or "It was legal."

Continuous Improvement. Responsible people always look for ways to do their work better.

Self-Restraint

Responsible people exercise self-control, restraining passions and appetites (such as lust, hatred, gluttony, greed and fear) for the sake of longer-term vision and better judgment. They delay gratification if necessary and never feel it’s necessary to "win at any cost." They realize they are as they choose to be, every day.

4. FAIRNESS

What is fairness? Most would agree it involves issues of equality, impartiality, proportionality, openness and due process. Most would agree that it is unfair to handle similar matters inconsistently. Most would agree that it is unfair to impose punishment that is not commensurate with the offense. The basic concept seems simple, even intuitive, yet applying it in daily life can be surprisingly difficult. Fairness is another tricky concept, probably more subject to legitimate debate and interpretation than any other ethical value. Disagreeing parties tend to maintain that there is only one fair position (their own, naturally). But essentially fairness implies adherence to a balanced standard of justice without relevance to one’s own feelings or inclinations.

Process

Process is crucial in settling disputes, both to reach the fairest results and to minimize complaints. A fair person scrupulously employs open and impartial processes for gathering and evaluating information necessary to make decisions. Fair people do not wait for the truth to come to them; they seek out relevant information and conflicting perspectives before making important judgments.

Impartiality

Decisions should be made without favoritism or prejudice.

Equity

An individual, company or society should correct mistakes, promptly and voluntarily. It is improper to take advantage of the weakness or ignorance of others.

5. CARING

If you existed alone in the universe, there would be no need for ethics and your heart could be a cold, hard stone. Caring is the heart of ethics, and ethical decision-making. It is scarcely possible to be truly ethical and yet unconcerned with the welfare of others. That is because ethics is ultimately about good relations with other people.

It is easier to love "humanity" than to love people. People who consider themselves ethical and yet lack a caring attitude toward individuals tend to treat others as instruments of their will. They rarely feel an obligation to be honest, loyal, fair or respectful except insofar as it is prudent for them to do so, a disposition which itself hints at duplicity and a lack of integrity. A person who really cares feels an emotional response to both the pain and pleasure of others.

Of course, sometimes we must hurt those we truly care for, and some decisions, while quite ethical, do cause pain. But one should consciously cause no more harm than is reasonably necessary to perform one’s duties.

The highest form of caring is the honest expression of benevolence, or altruism. This is not to be confused with strategic charity. Gifts to charities to advance personal interests are a fraud. That is, they aren’t gifts at all. They’re investments or tax write-offs.

6. CITIZENSHIP
Citizenship includes civic virtues and duties that prescribe how we ought to behave as part of a community. The good citizen knows the laws and obeys them, yes, but that’s not all. She volunteers and stays informed on the issues of the day, the better to execute her duties and privileges as a member of a self-governing democratic society. She does more than her "fair" share to make society work, now and for future generations. Such a commitment to the public sphere can have many expressions, such as conserving resources, recycling, using public transportation and cleaning up litter. The good citizen gives more than she takes.