Saturday, October 30, 2010

"Contact sports are attracting an older crowd"

By Lenny Bernstein

Contact sports are always a great option to get back in shape, get into shape, stay in shape or simply have fun and become really powerful. Because at Jungle we have seen this as a trend we thought we bring this interesting article about the subject.. Enjoy it.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A person reaches a certain age and realizes there is more to life than managing that next business project and pounding out the miles on a treadmill when the workday ends.

For some, it is the thud of a right cross to the face or a swift kick to the ribs.

Some middle-aged professionals, bored with the typical range of fitness options, are turning to contact sports such as boxing and karate that long have been the province of younger, less brittle competitors. The sports provide a bit more excitement than traditional workouts, require attention to strategy and tactics, and force devotees to develop new skills, such as coping with the reality of someone charging across a mat to knock you on your butt.

"It's kind of fun. It's different. It's something new," says Janet Magina, 53, a manager at Boeing in Annapolis Junction who started learning to box in January at Club One Fitness in Millersville. "You work out some aggression."

"What are we doing here? We're all trying to fend off the march of time," says David Opie, 49, a physicist and vice president at Noxilizer Medical Devices by day. "That's what I'd like to achieve physically."

Opie is no pencil-necked, pocket-protectored scientist. He stands more than six feet tall and weighs 230 pounds. Magina says she's "been hitting things all my life," as a former kick-boxer and karate student.

I watched them spar with a dozen other people recently at Club One in a session that their instructor kept at less than half speed. I thought I might put on some gloves and give it a try, but a few minutes of observation is all you need to realize that if you don't know what you're doing, you'll spend the evening with 16-ounce boxing gloves glancing off your head or buried in your midsection.

Besides, before boxers are allowed to spar, they must go through intensive conditioning that they uniformly say is the toughest regimen they've ever experienced. The workouts include core work, running, rope-jumping and hitting light and heavy bags. They emphasize balance and coordination along with cardiovascular development, strength-building and flexibility. "We don't lift weights, but it is a total, complete workout," Opie says.

Club One, located in an Anne Arundel County office park, has all the accouterments of a typical gym: elliptical machines, weights, a mirrored studio. But in the middle of the large room is an Olympic-size boxing ring, and there are plans to add a mixed martial arts cage. The place bears no resemblance to the worn, dingy boxing gyms of Hollywood movies, even though some Gold and Silver Gloves fighters, and a few pros, have trained there, says Christen Jeter, the club's general manager.

I couldn't find any good numbers on whether more working professionals are turning to contact sports. But one part of the movement, known as "white-collar boxing," is enjoyed by thousands in gyms across the globe and has its own association. The competitions started in Brooklyn's famed Gleason's Gym in the late 1980s and have spread to England and Asia.

On fight nights, bankers, traders and hedge-fund titans pay a few dollars to mix it up in three-round bouts that have no winners or losers, says John E. Oden, a money manager at AllianceBernstein L.P. who has written two books on boxing as a result of his experiences in about 20 of the fights. According to a 2005 USA Today article, 65 percent of the membership at Gleason's were white-collar hobbyists, and they were the main source of revenue for boxing gyms in other major cities, including Detroit and Los Angeles.

The workouts were phenomenal and the fights exhilarating, says Oden, who competed for 13 years and describes his age only as "the dark side of 50." But perhaps most important, the lessons learned in the ring -- managing fear, ignoring pain -- are directly applicable to the real world, he says.

"You learn to accept pain as part of it . . . ," he says. "Overcoming pain is something we all have to do. The pain of loss. The pain of disappointment. Physical pain. Being able to take that in and absorb it and go on" is one of the most important concepts.

"This is what life is all about," Oden says. "Realizing what you're up against and how to get around it."

© 2010 The Washington Post Company

Article's Page


Monday, October 25, 2010

The bowel movement
Here at Jungle Miami we believe it is all about balance. Fitness and health. goes deep into the issue.

What is your poo telling you about your health?

 It's the burning question that has everybody's head in the toilet these days.

I looked, all right? This morning, I took a long and unflinching gaze. How do I say this without sounding boastful? There in the bowl was a real beauty, my reward for yesterday's hearty oatmeal breakfast and black bean and rice dinner. It was the kind of (how do we settle on a comfortable euphemism?) ejecta that would make Mom proud.

I consulted "What's Your Poo Telling You?" my handy field guide to human stools, and discovered that mine had an ideal shape, sinking nicely to the bottom of the bowl. Because of its textbook-perfect hue -- no alarming green, red or yellowish tinge proving my bile is diseased -- I can be reassured that I and my hardworking colon are healthy. I can proudly say I'm an excretion achiever!

I am hardly alone in poring over "What's Your Poo Telling You?" Not only does poo have a lot to tell you, but lately scores of Americans seem anxious to listen. Last spring, Chronicle Books printed 20,000 copies of the little brown book, mostly to be sold as a novelty in Urban Outfitters. Today it has sold more than 225,000 in big-box bookstores nationwide. Apparently its success is proof that at long last poo has come out of the water closet.

Indeed, what the book's coauthors, Josh Richman and Anish Sheth, M.D., say was once regarded as "malodorous waste" can now be openly regarded for what it is: a miracle of creation, a crystal ball of intestinal health, a feng shui of the derrière. "Like a snowflake, each poo has a wondrous uniqueness," they write. They deconstruct specimens such as the "log jam," "a cruel reminder of your inability to perform," and "hanging chads," "stubborn pieces of turd that cling."

And for those who aspire to leave behind a shameful history of faulty stools? "The ideal poo is a pillowy soft, singular bolus of stool that exits the body with minimal effort," says Sheth. And that paragon of poo is achieved by consuming plenty of fruits, vegetables and fiber superstars: beans, peas, seeds and nuts.

But wait, there's more on the fecal front. Author Danielle Svetcov is set to publish "The 'Regular' Gourmet Everyday: Sumptuous Recipes for the Gastro-intestinally Challenged." Tens of thousands of Americans are signing onto the Cleanse diet, a sort of spiritual-cum-vegan Roto-Rooter for the intestines. "Functional foods" like Activia yogurt aren't selling by the cases because they are low-fat. That's so 20th century. They are being hyped for how they "maintain digestive health." Cutting-edge Japanese toilets can read your droppings for dietary deficiencies. But there's a far more convincing sign that poo has hit the big time.

Much as they did with eating disorders and sex obsessions, viewers of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" are being invited to stop withholding about this most intimate and private act. Encouraged by the charismatic Dr. Mehmet Oz, a cardiovascular surgeon who appears regularly on the show, we are being told to look before we flush, to study what we've produced as a talisman of health. When it comes to diet, we need to make "number two" our "number one priority."

On "Oprah," women are pouring out their troubles on the toilet. Susan talks freely about her constipation. Maureen, a mother of four, lets loose entirely. "My hemorrhoids feel so bad that it's like grapes hanging out of my rear," she confesses. "Sometimes they hurt so bad, I can't get out of bed for two days."

Clearly, says Oz, Maureen and Susan, like millions of white-flour-addicted Americans, aren't listening to what their stools are telling them. (Really, who knew the intestinal tract was so chatty?) "'Help! Help!' Their big colon is saying, 'I need something from you,'" says Oz. If Maureen and Susan stop eating their children's leftover Happy Meals and start eating more lima beans, oh, the satisfaction, wastewise, they would realize.

"You want to hear what the stool, the poop, sounds like when it hits the water," Oz instructs. "If it sounds like a bombardier, you know, 'plop, plop, plop,' that's not right because it means you're constipated. It means the food is too hard by the time it comes out. It should hit the water like a diver from Acapulco hits the water." Oz makes a "swoosh" sound -- the sound of an Olympian excrement champion.

So why poo, and why now? Well, when it comes to the success of "What's Your Poo Telling You?" there are two good reasons that two men in their 30s, who were potty-trained with the children's scatological classic "Everyone Poops," would grow up to write an adult version that speaks to their generation. No. 1, now that baby boomers are decidedly middle-aged, they're becoming ever more aware of physiological changes that make poop an important topic of conversation. No. 2, we're experiencing a baby boomer boomlet, with millions of new parents focusing, as new parents will, on their wee ones' output.

Moreover, this is the natural progression of a nation obsessed, and browbeaten, about eating healthy. So we've moved from mouth southward, from fretting over what goes in our mouth to what comes out the other end.

The moment is ripe to come clean about our inner workings, say coauthors Sheth and Richman, who met when they were undergraduates at Brown University (where else?). Sheth, along with other collegiate pastimes, developed what he calls the PQI, or Poo Quality Index, that he and fellow students would use to compare the superiority of their bowel movements. Years later, the pair reconnected when Richman, who works in Silicon Valley to develop clean-energy technology, got back in touch with Sheth, who'd since become a gastroenterologist fellow at Yale University School of Medicine. "Poo has been in a societal sewer," says Richman. "It's something people didn't feel comfortable talking about outside a small circle of friends. What we're seeing is a cultural evolution where it's no longer a taboo subject."

Reading Richman and Sheth's book is similar to pulling an enormous ball of wax out of your ear. Although you know you should be disgusted, you can't stop looking at and obsessing over it. Quite simply, theirs is a fascinating read. ("Two thumbs up! Gripping and loaded!") You feel relieved to get to the bottom of so many rectal mysteries, to find out that certain bathroom experiences -- sometimes seemingly weird and extraordinary -- are not signs that you're a freak of nature.

When a kernel of corn makes its rear exit and comes out perfectly intact, it's not a personal failing that proves you're a bad child who didn't listen to his mother and failed to chew properly. Instead, this common phenomenon, "deja poo," refers to certain foods like corn that have insoluble fibers that are difficult for even the most efficient digestive tract to break down. "Regularity" spans the range from three times a day to three times a week. And a case of nerves -- whether before an important business meeting or a performance -- can induce "performance enhancing poo."

"With so many of these experiences, we've had a lot of people come up to us and say, 'I thought that was just me,'" says Richman. He adds that since the book came out, people are so anxious to talk about their stools that almost every dinner party discussion descends into potty talk, conjuring up a scene straight out of a Buñuel film.

Who knew it's better to squat than sit? Or that because of a heavy fiber diet, the national average for detritus in southern Asia is three times that of the waste-makers in England. Then there's the rarely discussed form of toilet elation, "poo-phoria."

"This poo can turn an atheist into a believer and is distinguished by the sense of euphoria and ecstasy that you feel throughout your body when this type of feces departs your system," write the coauthors. "To some, it may feel like a religious experience, to others like an orgasm, and to a lucky handful it may feel like both. This is the type of poo that makes us all look forward to spending time on the toilet."

Going to the john is no longer simply a process of elimination. No, the "unbridled elation that results from releasing the perfect poo" is now a transformative act, bringing the conscientious fiber-eating toilet sitter to a spiritual or sexual high.

Unsettling connections between defecation and sexual pleasure aside, health may be one of the book's biggest benefits. An interesting point when you consider that Urban Outfitters shoppers aren't exactly the Ex-lax crowd, paying close attention to their colon's health.

Even for a relatively young and fit person, the book makes the reader want to achieve a healthier dump. After this bathroom read, you find yourself reaching for that binding banana or drinking loads more water; and to prevent those punishing pebble poos (they can, uh, hurt on the way out), an indicator of a low-fiber diet, you opt for that sensible, grandmotherly bran muffin over the constipating chocolate croissant.

On a serious and somber note, the book advises taking a look before you flush for indicators of serious internal trouble including liver disease (white or gray feces), pancreatic disease (yellow poos) and more. (Unless you've been eating beets, the proper response to any deep red or black stools is an immediate check-in with your doctor.)

A snarky yet smart book like this -- a "Colbert Report" of bowel movements -- is in sync with today's Web-savvy population. "With the advent of the Internet, people want to know a lot more about their health," says Sheth. "Gone are the days people go to their doctor and take everything on blind faith. As it's obviously intermeshed with one's diet, the whole aspect of taking health into one's own hands has trickled down to poo."

Getting to know your poo may also improve your mental health, says New York City child psychologist and parent educator Lawrence Balter, author of "Dr. Balter's Child Sense." More openness, and less repressiveness, about our bodily functions are a good thing, he believes, although he pooh-poohs resorting to such infantile words as "poo" rather than the more forthright "bowel movement." "These words give the impression that there's something wrong or unacceptable," he says. "The fact that an adult book would use a word like 'poo' suggests it's a childish leftover and a childish reaction to these things."

What would Freud say? We may have a way to go to grow out of our childish anal stage; getting beyond fourth-grade humor and cutesy euphemisms may take years. But being more serious about studying our stools may be a sign our country is growing up.

Oz says that in old-world countries like Turkey, where he has spent much of his life, the connection between overall health and healthy bowels is part of the culture. Indeed, the practice of taking an informed and forthright look at one's waste as a vital sign of good or ill health is hardly new, practiced by societies worldwide for hundreds of years. In his recent Harper's essay, "Wasteland," about sewage treatment, Frederick Kaufman tells of the great Kamchatka god Kutka, who created the world and every living being, "then fell in love with his excrement and wooed it as his bride." Now, that's poo love.

In the United States, alternative-health practitioners have proved to be ahead of the intestinal curve, looking at the health of the gut as an indicator of systemic problems. "This kind of awareness is a critical first step in taking better care of ourselves," says Daphne Miller, a San Francisco-based integrative family physician and author of the upcoming book "The Jungle Effect: A Doctor Discovers the Healthiest Diets From Around the World -- Why They Work and How to Bring Them Home."

"When I do an initial assessment of someone's overall health, I really focus on their digestion and I often find myself getting down to the nitty-gritty when it comes to bowel movements," she says. Seemingly unrelated health problems, including skin rashes, allergy symptoms and hormonal imbalances, can have their root in the gut, an assertion that's supported by recent mainstream biomedical research. "Over and over again, I find that by fine-tuning someone's digestion, other health issues can improve dramatically," Miller says.

Yet can so much fecal gazing be a bad thing? Absolutely, says James Dillard, medical director of Columbia University's Rosenthal Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. "All the neurotics are going to think this is wonderful," he says. "The whole alternative side of life is a little bit self-obsessed. If you're reading a book that has you focusing on your poop, you need to get out more. Instead of looking at your butt, you might want to look more at the vegetable aisle."

Dillard says that focusing on excrement is "an irrelevant distraction" from necessary health habits, including a good diet, regular exercise, sleep and stress management. "There is no such thing as the 'ideal' stool," he says. "This is a nonsense, pre-science concept. Obviously, if someone is eating only McDonald's, they will get stopped up." Otherwise, says Dillard, even the most laudable diet will show enormous variation in what comes out, all dependent on multiple factors like what you had for lunch, the amount of soluble and insoluble fiber you've eaten, hydration and -- given that the gut is inextricably linked to the nervous system -- your mood.

Dillard also points to the current fad for "detoxing" the body by regularly getting high colonics as an obsessively unhealthy one. "This is a manifestation that a part of you is dirty," he says. "The colon has been around million of years and the wisdom of the colon predates us. This notion that we can somehow always intervene in some way so we can be intellectually or psychically or physiologically superior to this part of the body is kind of foolish."

What's more, obsessive stool reading may be a sign of an emotionally unhealthy culture. Since the turn of the 21st century, says private-practice psychologist Susan Lipkins, we're increasingly panicked over the inability to control factors like terrorism, global warming and the government. "As Americans' anxiety increases, it makes sense that we'd try to control everything," says Lipkins, an expert on toilet training. Our recent enthusiasm for stool perfection may be yet another manifestation of Americans' "obsessive, narcissistic" behavior, she suggests.

"Parents are trying to control their children, corporations are trying to control workers, and on an individual level, we're trying to control our bodies, including our poop: when we poop, how often we poop and what we poop, including the right size, consistency and color." As with all fads that strive toward the perfect body -- be it the face, the pecs or the wardrobe -- Lipkins says we're missing something essential.

"You can be perfectly shaped and have perfectly shaped poops and still be an unhappy camper." What's more, says Lipkins, obsessing is not good for overall health, and certainly not for one's bowel movements, since to poop with ease, it's essential to relax. "But Type A people don't have an hour to relax, so they take fiber to make sure they poop, so it fits into their schedule. Giving yourself time in the morning is a lot better than taking something so you can poop."

In the end, as with all health practices, balance is key. "I don't think there's anything wrong with analyzing one's excrement," says Dillard. "But if this is the center of your life, you need to consult a mental health practitioner."



Friday, October 22, 2010

The Latest Health Beverage? Pickle Juice--The Crazy Thing It Can Help With

Found this in Glamour Online's "Vitamin G" section  It's good for men and women:

A post about pickle juice? No it's not today's random pregnancy craving. Really and truly, experts say that a little sip of pickle juice may help boost your health. Here's how ...

Craziest advice you'll hear all day? Go sip a little pickle juice!

Honestly, the health claims are legit. A small amount of pickle juice (straight from the jar!), may help relieve muscle cramps, experts at Brigham Young University say. In fact, some health experts even prescribe 1/3 of a cup of this pungent juice to calm leg and foot spasms, reports Health.

True, pickle juice is high in sodium, so you don't want to make this a habit, but if you're muscles are cramping, you might consider a quick swig from the pickle jar. (Pregnant women everywhere are cheering.)

Glamour Magazine Vitamin G

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Water water water.

At Jungle we are big fans of water. Today we bring an article that talks about the importance of drinking the precious liquid. If you like the post feel free to write us an e-mail and let us know your opinion. You have a subject you would like us to talk about? Let us know, we will bring you the best information out there.
Cheers and drink lots of water.

Professional Sports Persons Should Drink More Water

20 Oct 2010

Top sports persons must always perform to their maximum capacity, making them the most vulnerable to the effects of dehydration. Now, a new study conducted by researchers from the Universidad de Castilla la Mancha (UCLM) reveals that 91% of professional basketball, volleyball, handball and football players are dehydrated when they begin their training sessions.

"Dehydration negatively affects sporting performance, even when the level of dehydration is low (such as a 2% loss of body weight through perspiration)", UCLM researcher and author of the article Ricardo Mora-Rodríguez explained to SINC.

Many studies have tested dehydration in outdoor sports, but little scientific information is available on indoor sports. This new study, which has been published in the European Journal of Sport Science, calculates the loss of body fluids and salts on behalf of professional basketball, volleyball, handball and indoor football players.

"Despite being indoor sports, the pace these professionals play at makes them sweat a great deal", Mora-Rodríguez added. In this sense, it is worth highlighting indoor football players, who lose approximately 1.8 litres per hour through perspiration.

The researchers analysed how sports persons replenish lost body fluids by drinking liquids between workouts and the degree of dehydration "inherited" from the previous day that they begin their training sessions with.

Four professional men's sports teams were studied (Benetton de Treviso basketball and volleyball teams, the Ciudad Real handball team and the Boomerang indoor football team), from which 43 players re-hydrated, recovering 63% of the fluid they had lost through perspiration. As a result, their level of dehydration remained below 2%.

How to sweat 1.4 litres per hour

According to urine specific gravity data, 91% of the players began their training sessions "slightly dehydrated". Furthermore, total sodium losses through perspiration amounted to an average of 1.3 grams per person.

"Professional indoor sports persons sweat profusely when playing their sports (1.4 litres/hour on average), but their re hydration habits prevent them from reaching levels of dehydration that would affect their sporting performance," the research underlined.

The authors insist how important it is to recover body fluids and sodium after training sessions.



Plataforma SINC, AlphaGalileo Foundation.


Any medical information published on is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

How to Push Past the Pain, as the Champions Do

Think you've got what it takes to be a champion? An article we found in the New York Times explores what makes champions...well, champions.
How to Push Past the Pain, as the Champions Do

My son, Stefan, was running in a half marathon in Philadelphia last month when he heard someone coming up behind him, breathing hard.  To his surprise, it was an elite runner, Kim Smith, a blond waif from New Zealand. She has broken her country’s records in shorter distances and now she’s running half marathons. She ran the London marathon last spring and will run the New York marathon next month.

That day, Ms. Smith seemed to be struggling. Her breathing was labored and she had saliva all over her face. But somehow she kept up, finishing just behind Stefan and coming in fifth with a time of 1:08:39.

And that is one of the secrets of elite athletes, said Mary Wittenberg, president and chief executive of the New York Road Runners, the group that puts on the ING New York City Marathon. They can keep going at a level of effort that seems impossible to maintain.

“Mental tenacity — and the ability to manage and even thrive on and push through pain — is a key segregator between the mortals and immortals in running,” Ms. Wittenberg said.

You can see it in the saliva-coated faces of the top runners in the New York marathon, Ms. Wittenberg added.

“We have towels at marathon finish to wipe away the spit on the winners’ faces,” she said. “Our creative team sometimes has to airbrush it off race photos that we want to use for ad campaigns.”

Tom Fleming, who coaches Stefan and me, agrees. A two-time winner of the New York marathon and a distance runner who was ranked fourth in the world, he says there’s a reason he was so fast.

“I was given a body that could train every single day.” Tom said, “and a mind, a mentality, that believed that if I trained every day — and I could train every day — I’ll beat you.”

“The mentality was I will do whatever it takes to win,” he added. “I was totally willing to have the worst pain. I was totally willing to do whatever it takes to win the race.”

But the question is, how do they do it? Can you train yourself to run, cycle, swim or do another sport at the edge of your body’s limits, or is that something that a few are born with, part of what makes them elites?

Sports doctors who have looked into the question say that, at the very least, most people could do a lot better if they knew what it took to do their best.

“Absolutely,” said Dr. Jeroen Swart, a sports medicine physician, exercise physiologist and champion cross-country mountain biker who works at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa.

“Some think elite athletes have an easy time of it,” Dr. Swart said in a telephone interview. Nothing could be further from the truth.

And as athletes improve — getting faster and beating their own records — “it never gets any easier,” Dr. Swart said. “You hurt just as much.”

But, he added, “Knowing how to accept that allows people to improve their performance.”

One trick is to try a course before racing it. In one study, Dr. Swart told trained cyclists to ride as hard as they could over a 40-kilometer course. The more familiar they got with the course, the faster they rode, even though — to their minds — it felt as if they were putting out maximal effort on every attempt.

Then Dr. Swart and his colleagues asked the cyclists to ride the course with all-out effort, but withheld information about how far they’d gone and how far they had to go. Subconsciously, the cyclists held back the most in this attempt, leaving some energy in reserve.

That is why elite runners will examine a course, running it before they race it. That is whyLance Armstrong trained for the grueling Tour de France stage on l’Alpe d’Huez by riding up the mountain over and over again.

“You are learning exactly how to pace yourself,” Dr. Swart said.

Another performance trick during competitions is association, the act of concentrating intensely on the very act of running or cycling, or whatever your sport is, said John S. Raglin, a sports psychologist at Indiana University.

In studies of college runners, he found that less accomplished athletes tended to dissociate, to think of something other than their running to distract themselves.

“Sometimes dissociation allows runners to speed up, because they are not attending to their pain and effort,” he said. “But what often happens is they hit a sort of physiological wall that forces them to slow down, so they end up racing inefficiently in a sort of oscillating pace.” But association, Dr. Raglin says, is difficult, which may be why most don’t do it.

Dr. Swart says he sees that in cycling, too.

“Our hypothesis is that elite athletes are able to motivate themselves continuously and are able to run the gantlet between pushing too hard — and failing to finish — and underperforming,” Dr. Swart said.

To find this motivation, the athletes must resist the feeling that they are too tired and have to slow down, he added. Instead, they have to concentrate on increasing the intensity of their effort. That, Dr. Swart said, takes “mental strength,” but “allows them to perform close to their maximal ability.”

Dr. Swart said he did this himself, but it took experience and practice to get it right. There were many races, he said, when “I pushed myself beyond my abilities and had to withdraw, as I was completely exhausted.”

Finally, with more experience, Dr. Swart became South Africa’s cross-country mountain biking champion in 2002.

Some people focus by going into a trancelike state, blocking out distractions. Others, like Dr. Swart, have a different method: He knows what he is capable of and which competitors he can beat, and keeps them in his sight, not allowing himself to fall back.

“I just hate to lose,” Dr. Swart said. “I would tell myself I was the best, and then have to prove it.”

Kim Smith has a similar strategy.

“I don’t want to let the other girls get too far ahead of me,” she said in a telephone interview. “I pretty much try and focus really hard on the person in front of me.”

And while she tied her success to having “some sort of talent toward running,” Ms. Smith added that there were “a lot of people out there who were probably just as talented. You have to be talented, and you have to have the ability to push yourself through pain.”

And, yes, she does get saliva all over her face.

“It’s not a pretty sport,” Ms. Smith said. “You are not looking good at the end.”

As for the race she ran with my son, she said: “I’m sorry if I spit all over Stefan.” (She didn’t, Stefan said.)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Land on your toes,

save your knees

Published in ScienceDaily (October 18, 2010)

Play basketball? — Anterior cruciate ligament injuries are a common and debilitating problem, especially for female athletes. A new study from UC Davis shows that changes in training can reduce shear forces on knee joints and could help cut the risk of developing ACL tears. The research was published online Aug. 3 in the Journal of Biomechanics.

"We focused on an easy intervention, and we were amazed that we could reduce shear load in 100 percent of the volunteers," said David Hawkins, professor of neurobiology, physiology and behavior at UC Davis. Hawkins conducted the study at the UC Davis Human Performance Laboratory with graduate student Casey Myers.

The anterior cruciate ligament lies in the middle of the knee and provides stability to the joint. Most ACL injuries do not involve a collision between players or a noticeably bad landing, said Sandy Simpson, UC Davis women's basketball coach.

"It almost always happens coming down from a rebound, catching a pass or on a jump-stop lay-up," Simpson said. "It doesn't have to be a big jump."

Hawkins and Myers worked with 14 female basketball players from UC Davis and local high schools. They fitted them with instruments and used digital cameras to measure their movements and muscle activity, and calculated the forces acting on their knee joints as they practiced a jump-stop movement, similar to a basketball drill.

First, they recorded the athletes making their normal movement. Then they instructed them in a modified technique: Jumping higher to land more steeply; landing on their toes; and bending their knees more deeply before taking off again.

After learning the new technique, all 14 volunteers were able to reduce the force passed up to the knee joint through the leg bone (the tibial shear force) by an average of 56 percent. At the same time, the athletes in the study actually jumped an inch higher than before, without losing speed.

Hawkins recommends warm-ups that exercise the knee and focusing on landing on the toes and balls of the feet. The study does not definitively prove that these techniques will reduce ACL injuries, Hawkins said: that would require a full clinical trial and follow-up. But the anecdotal evidence suggests that high tibial shear forces are associated with blown knees.

Hawkins and Myers shared their findings with Simpson and other UC Davis women's basketball and soccer coaches, as well as with local youth soccer coaches.

Simpson said that the team had tried implementing some changes during last year's preseason, but had found it difficult to continue the focus once the full regular season began. In live play, athletes quickly slip back to learned habits and "muscle memory" takes over, he noted. More intensive off-court training and practice would be needed to change those habits, he said.

"We will be talking about this again this season," Simpson said. Implementing the techniques in youth leagues, while children are still learning how to move, might have the most impact, he said.


1-This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
2- If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

This article was published in ScienceDaily from materials provided by University of California - Davis - Health System.

Need to cite this story in your essay, paper, or report? Use one of the following formats:



University of California - Davis - Health System (2010, October 6).


At Jungle we are always insisting on exercising our feet. Today we publlish the latest on the importance of landing on our toes. Enjoy it and hopefully you will learn something from it, we certainly did.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Weight Loss Advice from Skinny Guys

Here at Jungle Miami, we try and help people of all shapes and sizes become different shapes and sizes, with most of them trying to become smaller shapes and sizes.  But then there are those people who are just naturally skinny.  Damn them!  But can we learn something from them?

In today's blog we will look at an article from Krista Scott-Dixon that we found on the Precision Nutrition website.  I must admit, it is very interesting to read exactly what skinny guys think about food that makes them, well...skinny.

Weight Loss Advice from Skinny Guys
by Krista Scott-Dixon, October 12th, 2010.

Dontcha just hate those naturally skinny people?

You know, the ones who eat anything they want and stay rail-thin?

They seem to be blessed with some kind of magical metabolism. Their lives must be full of guilt-free chocolate eclairs and pasta buffets. And surely, the rest of us folks struggling to stave off the freshman 15 or the midlife spare tire can’t learn anything useful from them.



You see, while there are undoubtedly some physiological differences between “naturally” lean people and “naturally” heavier people (see All About Eating For Your Body Type for more), it’s not all just genetics or metabolism.
Naturally leaner people think and act differently too.

What could S2B and LE possibly have in common?

At a recent workshop in Toronto, I had the chance to chat with some guys enrolled in the Scrawny to Brawny coaching program.  We talked about their struggles to get big — the opposite problem that people in the Lean Eating coaching program have.
But then I realized we all had a lot in common.
  • After all, Lean Eaters are trying to get smaller and leaner. They have to learn to eat less.
  • Scrawny to Brawnies are trying to get bigger and heavier. They have to learn to eat more.
  • Both groups have to learn new eating patterns that go against their “normal” inclinations and habits.
At first, I pooh-poohed the idea that it would be hard to eat more. I mean, c’mon. Even as a small woman, with sufficient enthusiasm and enough nut butter and beef brisket, I could easily pack in the allotted caloric requirements for Scrawnies.
But the more I chatted with the guys, the more I learned that these folks found it genuinely hard to eat to excess… and the more I realized that their “natural” leanness had as much to do with their outlook and behaviours as it did with their physiological makeup.
I got to thinking that many of their experiences and insights would be useful to Lean Eaters. So, I hit up a bunch of other “naturally skinny” dudes for input. Lots of guys responded to my questions, and I got some great advice.
[For a quick summary of this advice, click here.  Or read on for more...]

Food, Fuel, and Emotions

Food as fuel

One of the most important parts of the “naturally skinny” perspective is that food is just food.
Some guys liked food more than other guys. But in general, food was just… food. It wasn’t a reward, or a security blanket. It didn’t have a deep significance. It wasn’t their best friend.
“Food is really a source of fuel. I would joke with my other skinny friends that if we could just take a pill and get everything we needed, we would. I know what good food is and even went to cooking school. I enjoy the taste of good food but don’t really crave it.”
“I just expect food to give me enough energy to get through my day and my workouts.”
“Food was just something to end my hunger. It didn’t matter if I had spaghetti for many dinners, as I experienced during my childhood.”
The downside of this was that many naturally skinny people had poor dietary habits. They’d often just eat anything available, rather than worrying about the food’s nutritional quality or how it was nourishing their bodies.
The other problem was that many naturally skinny people didn’t view eating as very important. Before S2B, eating was a very low priority. Many other activities came before eating.
“It is still very hard for me to set time aside to be able to eat everything I need to.”
“[Eating] was something I had to do before I could get to more important things.”
For naturally skinny people, food was just a tool, and it didn’t dominate their day. They weren’t focused on craving and consuming food. On the other hand, this again meant that meal prep and healthy eating weren’t often priorities either.

Emotional eating

Many of the naturally skinny people were puzzled by the idea of emotional eating. They understood the concept in theory, but they didn’t “get” it. Food was just fuel, so it didn’t make sense to them that food would have any deeper meaning, any more than brushing one’s teeth would alleviate depression.
“The whole idea of ‘comfort food’ or eating when you’re depressed to make you feel better seems very strange to me.”
“To my overweight friends, to eat what they want seems to be the most important thing… more important than their health. They eat for comfort, when they’re depressed, to make themselves feel better. They mention foods they ‘can’t live without’, such as potatoes, fries, desserts… carbs. It seems hard for me to understand how someone can find solace in food. “

Mealtimes, Hunger, and Fullness

How do you know when it’s time to start eating?

Many Lean Eaters struggle with knowing when to eat. Some heavier folks feel like they are “always hungry”. Other heavier folks tend to confuse “head hunger” (i.e. the psychological desire for food) with physical hunger (i.e. the actual physiological need for food). It’s the difference between “wanting” and “needing” food.
But the naturally skinny people almost always went by their stomachs or by pre-set, relatively infrequent mealtimes. And often, naturally skinny people relied on other people to remind them to eat.
“I would start eating either by the clock or when I started getting hungry enough. Breakfast was easy since it was when I got in the car. Lunch was also easy since the group would head out at 12:00. Dinner usually would be when my wife was getting hungry.”
“[I'd wait for my] stomach growling, or just plain hunger. Never really looked at the clock. Just ate whenever the opportunity arose. Sometimes I would just eat when my work schedule allowed.”
Thus, for S2Bs, one of the biggest challenges was just getting started on a meal. They didn’t want to eat when they weren’t truly hungry.

How do you know when it’s time to stop eating?

Naturally skinny people are like that perfect hipster party guest who shows up just late enough to be cool, then leaves early enough to make people think they have somewhere else important to go. They always know when to leave the party before things get pathetic and/or the cops show up.
In other words, they know when to quit eating before it’s too late. They’re tuned in to their physical cues for fullness and satiety, and they stop when they feel even the slightest tingle from those body signals.
One S2B’er even forgot he was eating half the time. Many of his meals ended with him wandering off to do something else.
The naturally skinny people also didn’t feel obligated to clean their plates if they didn’t have to. They didn’t seem to have absorbed the “children are starving elsewhere” message.
“At restaurants or when the portion sizes were larger, I would take the rest home or leave it on my plate. I had no qualms about not finishing my meals if I felt as full as I wanted to get.”

Starving or stuffed?

Let’s say that we have a continuum from starving to stuffed.
1 is starving, perhaps stuck in the desert without food for days
10 is stuffed so full your esophagus may rupture
Prior to S2B, I asked the naturally skinny people, where did you feel best on this continuum? What feels good and normal to you?
Most guys said they were happiest between 4 and 6, much less than many of us prone to over-eating would like. One naturally skinny guy even preferred a 3 — “just enough so I’m no longer peckish”.
In fact, said many of the guys, they actively disliked the sensation of being full.
“Being full is uncomfortable and makes me feel sluggish.”
“If I’ve overeaten I don’t feel good physically or mentally.”
“I hate feeling like a 10 on the fullness scale. It’s just painful and distracting. Like my stomach is interrupting my brain’s every thought with ‘You are painfully full’.”
“Don’t you feel like sh*t when you’re stuffed? I remember going to a buffet (starving myself beforehand) and just going for it. I regretted it so much afterwards that I even stayed away from buffets altogether.”
As a result, the hardest part of S2B, in the words of one guy, is “Overeating. Stuffing myself until I feel sick. I remember going to bed on the first night I ate the muscle dinner feeling like a had a Swiss ball suck in my stomach. I even looked like I defied science… a dude who was 8 months pregnant.”
However, most naturally skinny people were philosophical about the experience of what felt to them like overeating, and intrigued by the way in which their bodies eventually got used to a change in food intake. They suggested that portion sizing was largely a learned behaviour — and that if they had to learn to eat more, other folks could learn to eat less.
“S2B has been tough, but I’m starting to get used to it. By that I mean the amount of food that would cause a 9-10 fullness previously is now more like a 7-8. I believe it could work the other way for someone trying to lose weight.”
“I was surprised when my 10 oz serving of meat crept up to 14-16 oz and I still didn’t have a problem eating it.”

Cravings, Entertainment, and Speed

Not every meal has to be a circus

While some of the S2Bs were self-confessed “picky eaters”, many were guys who appreciated good food in general, but didn’t feel like every meal had to be a fantastically elaborate event.
As David Kessler notes in The End of Overeating, and Brian Wansink observes in Mindless Eating, food manufacturers know that people tend to eat more when they have more options. Almost all of us eat more at a buffet than at a single-plate meal.
In addition, people eat more when there’s more “stuff” happening with the meal — crunchy textures, creamy textures, a variety of tastes combined, lots of colour, etc. (Think: ice cream sundae with all the toppings, chicken wings with dipping sauce, or a plate of nachos.)
The only thing missing here is a firework show.
In part, this is because humans seem to be stimulated by variety. The more we seek variety — and reward — at each and every meal, the more likely we are to overeat. Naturally skinny people didn’t expect every meal to be exciting or even particularly interesting. They enjoyed a good gourmet meal, but assumed this would be a rare pleasure.

Eating speed

I asked the S2Bs how fast or slow they tended to eat. Interestingly, they varied in their response to this one. Some guys rushed their food, viewing it as a bit of an inconvenience.
Other guys tended to dawdle and linger over their food.
One naturally skinny person said he takes about 45 minutes to an hour to finish his meals. Now that he has to eat more, said another guy, his slow eating speed is “particularly noticeable whenever I have breakfast, because I have been showing up late for work just because I cannot finish all of my breakfast fast enough! It takes over 40 minutes for me to eat it all; sometimes I don’t finish it all!”

Do you ever get cravings?

The naturally skinny people were split on this one. Some folks said they never craved anything in particular, no matter how appealing it looked or how tasty it was. As one naturally skinny person said, “I don’t eat a lot of sugar and can easily pass it over when everyone else orders dessert. I also have an aversion to a lot of fat. I have always trimmed all excess fat from steaks, buy the leanest ground meats they have and don’t use things like butter.”
Of the ones who had cravings, most agreed that simple carbs — bagels, baked goods, pizza, ice cream — were a top choice.
And interestingly, the cravers looooved chocolate.
“I am a chocoholic for sure. If there’s milk chocolate in the house, I’m gonna find it and eventually eat it. All of it too. Sure, it might be stealing from kids, but hey, I’m an addict. What I try to do now is to put the one/two squares of 85% dark chocolate in my SuperShakes here and there; I find that helps with the cravings. But still, it’s not a good idea to leave me alone in a room with a 1lb. chocolate Easter bunny.”
However, one key difference between naturally skinny people and heavier folks is that naturally skinny people often used different strategies to manage cravings. They rarely gave in to them, frequently distracted themselves away from the craving, and would often distance themselves from the craved food. Or they’d realize they just wanted a taste.
“Sometimes I use the cravings as a self challenge, to see how much self discipline I have in order to resist the temptation. Eventually, with my short attention span, I forget I had the craving. In most situations where I am able to overcome the craving, I just don’t have the items I crave near or around me and am too lazy/unmotivated to go out and seek it.”
“If I really wanted chocolate, I would grab a candy bar. Funny thing is, I would rarely eat the whole thing. I found that I usually just craved the taste. My stomach could be full of whatever, but if I just had a taste of chocolate, I was satisfied.
For example, last week I walked by a candy bowl, and had a strong craving for chocolate. Before S2B I would’ve just eaten a Kit-Kat and went on my way — but now since I want this program to work out for me and I want to follow it as best I can, I did something different. This may sound gross, but I took a bite of a Kit-Kat and chewed it up to savour the flavour, but then I spit it back out in the trash before I swallowed, and then had a banana instead. After I did it, I felt really stupid, but it satisfied the craving, and I went about my day as usual.”
“Most of the time it is a non-issue because I never buy those items at the grocery store so they aren’t in the house. I will look around my house for a while and see if I have anything. I usually don’t, so then I will eat fruit (before S2B) or have a Supershake (after S2B). I usually get back to working on something so I forget about it.”
One guy did confess to rare craving binges. In his case, he used the Kitchen Makeover strategy — not keeping his craved foods in the house.
“If on the rare occasions, the items I crave are readily available, I will binge (this is the reason why I have asked my girlfriend  not to have certain items in the house or if they are here, not to let me know about it). I have been known to consume a whole box of Oreo cookies dunked in milk in a 12 hour span. I think this binge aspect comes from my childhood. There were four of us kids in the house. Three of us were around the same age and we would have to make sure we partitioned the treats and ate them quickly otherwise, someone else would eat it for you and you would be out of luck!”
Well, at least those naturally skinny people have some human frailties!

Movement and Calorie Burning

Naturally skinny people are NEAT-o!

Many folks assume that all they need to do to get lean is hit the gym a few times a week. Yet evidence suggests that it’s the non-gym stuff — the daily life stuff like housework, moving around, fidgeting, walking here and there, etc., that actually adds up to a leaner body in the long run.
In fact, research shows that sitting on your butt for several hours a day drastically impedes fat loss — even if you go to the gym every day. Simply being immobile for most of the day works against you, even if you’re technically “active” with regular workouts.
This non-exercise movement — known as NEAT, or non-exercise activity thermogenesis — plays a huge part in helping us get (and more importantly, stay) lean.
Not surprisingly, naturally skinny people are NEAT-o. They’re often in motion, whether that’s fidgeting, running errands, or walking the dog.
“I’ve always been a high energy person who was very active. I’m a fidgeter, always moving around, shifting. I find it very difficult to sit still for more than a few minutes at a time. This quality also helped me become one of the only people I know to have failed kindergarten: I couldn’t sit still and it was before Ritalin! My work as a physiotherapist is also quite physical, from moving limbs to demonstrating exercises. I would estimate that I move a few thousand pounds of weight during a busy workday (body parts, loading/unloading bars/dumbbells, machines etc).”
“I had a very active job (I broke a sweat at least once a day on an easy day) with long hours. I was on my feet most of the day walking around. When others seemed to be slowing down, I was still working quickly. I also was going to the gym twice a week and ice skating twice a week in the early mornings. I also fidget constantly.”
“Even though I work a sedentary job, I naturally move around a lot. I simply cannot fathom how people can just sit there like a slug for such long periods of time. It would drive me mad!”
“I walk around constantly at work, and I even pace while I’m on the phone.”
“I walked so much that I caused a stress fracture in both of my feet, separately! I walked between my apartment to the university, between my apartment and downtown, around the university campus (when I was working as a tour guide), visiting a new city, going for a leisure walk to enjoy the beautiful weather…”

Social Support, Messages, and Behaviors


Many naturally skinny people are sensitive to social messages about gluttony. (See All About GluttonyPart 1 and Part 2.) They avoid eating too much because it feels socially inappropriate.
“I guess there’s a part of me that feels gluttonous about eating so much, and I do notice the occasional need to remind myself that it isn’t about being a ‘pig’, but about growing and nurturing strength and power.”
Lean Eaters often feel concerned about “wasting food”. In their case, they tend to solve the problem by eating the leftovers. Naturally skinny people, on the other hand, avoid wasting food by starting with smaller portions.
“Wasting food [by over-eating] was always the most challenging and guilt-ridden thing for me. Growing up, my parents made sure we knew that wasting food when there were people starving to death all over the world, was not good form (the images of those starving Ethiopian children during the famines of the 80s are etched in my mind).
Maybe that’s the reason I tend to take only what I will eat (smaller portions) and go for more if I feel I’m still hungry, rather than risk having to throw food away.”
A naturally skinny person who had grown up in a household where money was tight was always conscious of food’s cost, so he was careful not to over-indulge.
“When I was growing up, I always felt guilty if I took more food. So, I tried to stick with only one helping… occasionally a second helping if it was offered. I didn’t want to go through the week of groceries too fast because it was all we had for the week.”

Social events

As a Lean Eating coach, one of the most common problems for Lean Eaters is social functions. They may feel pressured into eating, or find it difficult to resist a situation with lots of food. Many worry that other people are looking at and judging how much they eat.
So I wondered whether the S2Bs had the same problem. I asked them: Let’s say you aren’t hungry. You go to a social event or family function where people are pressuring you to eat. What do you do? Their answers were revealing.
None of them felt obligated to eat when they were not hungry, no matter how many times grandma nagged them to eat some more goodies.
“My family/relatives always push food. Maybe it’s the German heritage: Who wants salami and cheese for breakfast followed by some beer??? I just politely decline.”
“At almost all family or social events, food seems to be the main event. In my case, there are plenty of times when I’ve been pressured by friends/relatives to eat or drink when I didn’t want to or when I wasn’t hungry. For me, that feeling of being full was so unnatural that no amount of cajoling, entreating, or guilt could get me to budge from my stubborn resistance to taking in any more food.”
If a naturally skinny person cracked under the social pressure, they got creative.
“In cases where my refusal was met with a full plate of food anyway (in my East Indian culture, refusing food is a big no-no and can potentially be seen as a sign of disrespect) I would accept the plate, take the customary bite, and find a way to unload the plate discreetly somewhere else.”
“Take the smallest socially acceptable amount. Have a bite or two. Just mush up the rest and move it around on your plate.”
And naturally skinny people aren’t paranoid about offending people. They’re courteous in their refusal, or use humour. In any case, they stick to their guns. And eventually, food pushers accept this.
“[If offered food I don't want] I’ll politely decline. I might have a small taste or spoonful just to try something new, but I won’t eat out of pressure. If fact, I used to just pat my belly and say ‘No, thanks, I’m watching my weight.’ It used to be a joke since I was so skinny, but since I’ve put on a few pounds, it’s actually the truth. People understand and don’t seem to mind, either way.”
“I have found after you say no once or twice, it gives your willpower a bit of boost, to know you can just say no and people understand that.”

Body image and identity

Now here’s something I didn’t expect. I always assumed that naturally skinny people wanted to be more muscular — the proverbial “98 lb weakling” insecurity.
I didn’t realize that many naturally skinny people were actually very content being skinny. Many liked being smaller or lighter for their sport. Many of them talked about wanting to be very lean, with low bodyfat. A few said they had experienced something like the pressure that women feel to be very thin.
“Psychologically, there’s a thing in there about whether it’s ‘okay’ or ‘appropriate’ for me to be a large, strong man. My self-concept was always about doing my best, but that was in spite of my size and lack of strength, rather than because of it.
I was fast, quick and smart as an athlete, and the bigger and stronger guys were people I tended to think of as my adversaries that I’d have to overcome with talent, quickness and smarts. I didn’t ever think of myself as ever being able to develop my strength and power to match them. So it’s interesting to see myself, and especially at my age (!), developing that.”
Just as Lean Eaters often have to learn to think of themselves as “fit people” or even “athletes” in order to get leaner, naturally skinny people often have to learn to think of themselves as muscular. In order for behaviour to change, identity has to change.

What If You Were Over-Fat

Over-fat people often find it hard to imagine what naturally lean people think and experience. So I asked the S2B guys to consider the reverse: What is one thing that just doesn’t make any sense to you about people who are over-fat or who over-eat?
Many naturally skinny people couldn’t understand the consumption of certain foods, or excessive amounts.
“Just looking at deep-fried Twinkies makes me a bit nauseous, but a lot of people eat them. I realize I am the odd person out here because the food industry still produces a lot of these items (highly processed, high fat items) and I see them in people’s carts and I have a hard time understanding how they can eat that food.”
Other naturally skinny people also pointed out that over-fat people didn’t seem to implement proper portion sizing.
“At a late-night chocolate buffet on a cruise, my girlfriend and I filled up our small dessert plates with what we thought was a large amount of treats (5-6 items). By the end, we could only eat half of one plate between the two of us!
A lady joined us at our table. She was quite short (5′1″ or thereabouts) and quite possibly over 300 lbs. She had a full dinner plate piled high. She finished her plate and went for seconds. I was astounded that she was able to eat that amount of food in such a short period of time and be able to go for another full dinner plate (also by the fact that she had a medic alert bracelet for diabetes, but that’s another story!).”

Mismatch between desires and actions

Naturally skinny people seemed very confused by people who said they wanted to lose weight, but didn’t eat less.
“I’m amazed at what a lot of people eat. The other day I was at lunch with a friend. He’s trying to lose a few extra pounds… Before ordering he talked about his workout routine and then proceeded to order a double bacon cheese burger.”
“I don’t understand why they don’t have a mental kill-switch/override button. Why they can’t just stop eating and stop eating junk? They know they should, they often know how, but just can’t do it.”
Many S2B guys were married to women who struggled with their weight. A few households even had a “PN couple”: a husband doing Scrawny to Brawny and a wife doing Lean Eating. (I can just imagine the exciting negotiations over menu planning and portion sizing!)
This meant the S2B husbands got to observe a different set of experiences and perspectives first-hand, and compare them.
“My wife is an emotional eater. When she’s having a bad day she’ll get a cookie to make her feel better. She knows she does it and is trying to overcome the habit. I, on the other hand, have never had any triggers to eat like emotion or boredom.”
This lack of understanding doesn’t mean that naturally skinny people aren’t sympathetic to the plight of over-fat folks. Many are simply puzzled by what they see, or are able to observe a mismatch between people’s stated goals or needs, and their behaviour.
“My overweight friends know they are overweight and are always talking about going on a diet. I mean always. The problem isn’t lack of awareness. One actually went on Weight Watchers for a while and lost 50 lbs. A few months afterwards, he gained it all back. So, the issue for him is not one of knowledge of how to do it.
After my friend’s normal dinner, he’ll spend the rest of the evening snacking on chips, pie, cookies, and ice cream. He feels healthy because he puts some blueberries in his bowl of ice cream and has tea with the snacks instead of soda! He asked me incredulously once how I did it, how I was able to exercise such stern and constant discipline.
I told him that it’s not like that at all. I simply have no desire, no compulsion to eat that stuff. As he’s eating his junk food all evening, I’ll say no thanks when he offers it to me, and have a can of tuna for an evening snack. Honestly, to eat all that stuff he does seems kind of disgusting to me. I don’t mean I wouldn’t enjoy a piece of pie or a cookie, but the sheer quantity seems repulsive.
I read an article a while ago that said that overeating affects the dopamine receptors in the brain in the same way as cocaine and other addictive drugs. This seems to describe my fat friends’ behaviour and the difference between us very well. They seem driven, compelled, almost powerless, like addicts ‘feeding’ an addiction. So what they see in me as discipline is simply the lack of the compulsion, a lack of ‘addiction’ for me.
I was in the supermarket once with my Weight Watchers friend. His cart was loaded up with pies and cookies and chips. I said to him that if he wanted to diet, that now, in the supermarket, was the time to exercise the control. Once that stuff was in his house, he would eat it. If he didn’t want to eat it, he should decide that now and take it out of his cart.
After I said this, he looked away from me over to the overweight checkout clerk, and chuckled as he said, ‘Skinny people just don’t understand.’ She laughed back at him and said, ‘I know.’ Of course he bought all that stuff.”

Summary and Recommendations

So, does this mean that naturally skinny people are lurking in supermarket aisles, judging our carts, and wondering if we’re crazy? No, of course not. Nor does it mean that being a naturally skinny person automatically makes you healthier.
It simply means that their experiences and perspectives suggest that much of over-eating behaviour is learned – it’s built from childhood experiences, our outlook and worldview, social messages, and familiar habits.

Tips for losing fat from naturally skinny people

How can you learn to think and act like a naturally skinny person in order to reap the benefits for fat loss? Here are some tips.
  • Understand that you have a lot of control over your eating behaviour, regardless of your physiology.
  • Food is just food. It should not be used as a reward or an emotional outlet.
  • Reprioritize food and put it in its proper place — as something that tastes good and sustains us, but should not dominate our thinking.
  • Pay attention to your physical cues. Start eating when you’re physically hungry and stop when you’re physically full.
  • Change your expectations of fullness. Stop before you feel stuffed, or even “full”.
  • Understand that cravings come and go. Ignore the cravings, distract yourself, and don’t keep problem foods in the house.
  • Keep moving, as much as possible.
  • It’s OK to say no to food in social situations. The more you assert yourself, the more people will get used to it.
  • In order for behaviour to change, your identity has to change. Skinny guys have to think of themselves as bigger and more muscular; heavier folks have to think of themselves as working towards being lean athletes.
  • Portion sizing is important. Your idea of the correct portion may be wrong.
  • Change requires practice. The more you practice eating smaller (or larger) meals, the more your body will get used to it.
  • Make your behaviours match your goals. If you’re constantly acting in ways that self-sabotage, you either need to change the behaviours or your goals. In any case, be realistic and honest about what you are doing.
Final thoughts, from one naturally skinny person:
I think one thing I would like people to know is that just because I am skinny doesn’t mean I am healthy.
Prior to S2B, I was not healthy. I try to promote an open dialogue about health and nutrition between people, but sometimes people seem nervous or afraid to mention they are trying to improve their health.
I think in many cases people who are very thin and those who are over-fat both need to be healthier, but the goals are slightly different. My friend who is trying to lose weight and I (trying to gain weight) frequently talk about our goals and “meeting each other in the middle”.
Even though we have different goals we can motivate each other to be healthier, happier people.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Dark chocolate, mmmm yummy and its good for you too.

There is only one word that makes everyone smile.  It does not matter if your like it or not, but when you pronounce the word chocolate, the magic is done, a smile appears. At Jungle we are bringing even better news to chocolate lovers and freaks.  It seems chocolate not only tastes good, but it also makes you lose weight.

Chocolate Helps In Weight Loss (WFN)

The truth is, nine out of ten people love chocolate and 50% of those nine say they can’t live without it. Recent studies shown that some chocolates can actually have positive health effects. But these aren’t the name-brand chocolate bars you would find at your local grocery store.

An internationally recognized expert in the field of alternative medicine and food allergies, focusing on diet and nutrition, Dr. Keith Scott-Mumby, has studied the properties and benefits of dark chocolate and feels that properly prepared dark chocolate should be a part of our daily diet.

"Chocolate is made from the beans of the cacao tree, Theobroma Cacao,” says Scott-Mumby. He explains that plant flavonoids are commonly known for their antioxidant activity. “A small bar of chocolate can contain as many flavonoids as six apples, as four and a half cups of tea or two glasses of red wine.” Dark chocolate also can be an effective appetite suppressant and aid in weight loss.

Properly processed dark actually provides great benefits without the unhealthy ingredients that are often included in the common chocolate bar. Good dark chocolate can help you lose weight; help thin you blood, improve your mood and can actually address ant-aging and has a number of other significant health benefits.

I one case dark chocolate lover Charlotte Palmer started dieting with her husband. She decided that The Doctor’s Chocolate was going to be a treat that she could eat that would help her suppress her appetite. After four months she lost 50 pounds. “Eating The Doctor’s Chocolate has helped me along because it has kept me from eating other junk food, it has helped suppress my appetite, and it has helped me to remain calm and not so stressed when you’re missing out on all the other treats,” comments Palmer.

The Doctor’s Chocolate, a healthy chocolate product new to the market, is a mere 20 calories per piece, it is diabetic safe and, because it is not weighed down with all the sugars, fats and milk that processed chocolate is famous for, it actually is metabolized slowly and leaves you feeling satisfied after only a couple of pieces.

Instead of sugar, this chocolate is sweetened by Xylotol, natural sugar alcohol, recognized by the FDA as a safe non-sugar sweetener that has no trans fat. Be careful of products containing synthetic or chemical sweeteners such as sucralose, high fructose corn syrup or aspartame. When choosing your chocolate treat, make it dark Chocolate with only natural products, without additives, preservatives or coloring.

Enjoy your healthy dark chocolate and eat all you want; now that you know dark chocolate can be good for you!



Thursday, October 7, 2010

Our bodies, incredibly inteligent machines

You think you need tons of vitamins and supplements? Some people actually do, don't get us wrong. However scientists and recent studies tell a different story.  Jungle is publishing today an NYT article about our amazing human machine, our body, and it ways. Enjoy it and feel free to share your thoughts on it or on any other subject. If you have a subject you may want us to touch on, let us know, we'll do the research to bring you a balanced opinion.

Phys Ed: Free the Free Radicals

The New York Times
October 6th, 2010

We’re all used to hearing that everything we once thought was good for us is not. But even within that framework, the latest science about antioxidants, free radicals and exercise is telling. As many of us have heard, free radicals are molecules created by the breakdown of oxygen during metabolism. Each of us constantly creates free radicals simply by living and breathing. But these molecules are highly reactive and capricious, sometimes attacking other cells and damaging tissue. Wilding free radicals have been linked with a number of diseases and with aging. Exercise, because it requires increased oxygen consumption, also increases the production of free radicals. So, many experts began urging the fitness-minded to pop large doses of antioxidant vitamin supplements, like vitamins C and E, to counteract the presumed damaging effects of the free radicals. Food alone would not supply sufficient levels of the necessary antioxidants, it was thought. The exercising body needed help from vitamins.

But then a few years ago, researchers from the University of Valencia in Spain and the University of Wisconsin in Madison set out to study what would happen if you tried to prevent exercising muscles from creating free radicals. They had laboratory rats run on small treadmills until they were exhausted. Some of the rats had been injected with a powerful, pharmaceutical-grade antioxidant that works in the body to halt the production of most free radicals. After the rats ran, the researchers measured the levels of a number of substances in their leg muscles. Not surprisingly, the injected rats showed almost no free-radical activity. They were virtually immune to what scientists had considered a kind of bodily damage.

The leg muscles of the other exercised rats, though, teemed with free radicals. But at the same time, they buzzed with other, unexpected biochemical reactions. In their legs, genes were being expressed that activated growth factors that, in turn, increased levels of ‘‘important enzymes associated with cell defense’’ and ‘‘adaptation to exercise,’’ the researchers wrote. There was hardly any similar activity in the rats with low free-radical levels. Somehow, the researchers speculated, the free radicals had jump-started a process that over time would allow the rats’ muscles to adapt to exercise. Suppressing the production of free radicals had, they concluded, prevented the ‘‘activation of important signaling pathways’’ and altered the muscles’ ability to adapt to exercise. As a result, they wrote, ‘‘the practice of taking antioxidants’’ to ward off the presumed free-radical damage caused by exercise ‘‘may have to be re-evaluated.’’

They published their findings in 2005, and since then a number of other studies have replicated and expanded on their results, to thought-provoking effect. One of the most reverberant experiments, published last year, enrolled a group of young men in a monthlong exercise program. Some swallowed moderately high doses of the antioxidant vitamins C and E. Others did not. At the end of the month, the men not taking the vitamins showed higher-than-average activity in their bodies’ innate antioxidant defense system. The men downing the vitamins did not, which makes sense; the antioxidant vitamins were mopping up the free radicals for them. But at the same time, the men not taking vitamins significantly increased their insulin sensitivity, a key measure of the health benefits of exercise, while those taking the antioxidants did not. Apparently, when the body’s natural antioxidant defense system went into high gear, so did its ability to handle insulin. Removing the necessity for the body to deal, on its own, with the free radicals also prevented other adaptations that make exercise healthy.

What these findings mean for those of us who work out regularly is still being determined by scientists. But one message is clear. ‘‘The evidence suggests that antioxidants are not needed’’ by most athletes, even those training strenuously, said Li Li Ji, a professor of exercise physiology and nutritional science at the University of Wisconsin and one of the authors of the rat study. ‘‘The body adapts,’’ he said, a process that can, it seems, be altered by antioxidant supplements.

Another lesson: ‘‘Eat well,’’ he said. Although this is not yet proved, it seems likely, he continued, that antioxidants from foods, like blueberries, green tea and carrots, may work in tandem with the body’s natural antioxidant defenses better than those from supplements.

But the overriding lesson of the newest science about exercise and antioxidants may be as simple as: let the body be. ‘‘It is quite a smart machine,’’ Dr. Ji said. ‘‘It knows how to respond’’ to stresses like a hard run, without the need for antioxidant pills.