Frequent consumption of red and processed meat has been shown in population studies to be positively correlated with cardiovascular disease [1-3], cancer and type 2 diabetes. Recent meta-analyses also indicate that it increases total mortality . Hence, a high meat intake (regardless of its fat quantity and quality) is generally perceived to be unhealthy and something that should be avoided. However, although there are many studies documenting these associations, results are not always consistent and there are several methodological issues which weakens the strength of their findings (more on that in a bit). In the same way as the putative health risks of red meat consumption is investigated, its documented health benefits (which I will cover below) are equally as important and must be given a fair chance in the establishment of public health messages in relation to red meat consumption. In this article I will therefore cover both the risks and benefits associated with red meat consumption, and after having taken all the scientific data into consideration, argue that meat has been unfairly blamed…
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Losing the weight is NOT the hard part; keeping the weight off is the hard part. Both studies and dieters have learned that lesson the hard way far too many times. Most diet programs are not intended, nor designed, to keep the weight off you long term. They are designed to keep you on their diet, period.
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Part 1 of 3 on the deleterious effects of too much sitting
Are you struggling to lose that extra flab and all those nasty calories that seem to be glued to your waistline? Do you ever wonder why, despite your hard training and dieting, you still have those annoying love handles? Then maybe you should try to implement the NEAT way to fat loss…
If you are following the anti-aging media news, you’ve heard about the alleged benefits of calorie restriction (also known as food restriction or diet restriction). Studies in numerous species have demonstrated that reduction of calories 30-50% below ad libitum levels of a nutritious diet slows the aging process, increases lifespan, reduces the incidence and delays the onset of age-related diseases, improves stress resistance, and decelerates functional decline.
In a previous article http://www.brinkzone.com/general-health/calorie-restriction-vs-the-bodybuilding-lifestyle/ Will pointed out that practicing calorie restriction counters the bodybuilding lifestyle. Here I will explain that it not only counters the bodybuilding lifestyle, but also is makes it impossible to implement and reap the benefits of other healthy lifestyle habits, and in addition brings along several pitfalls and negative health consequences in humans.
While animal studies can and do shed light on what’s going on at mechanistic level, we have to be very careful and resist the temptation to extrapolate results from animal experiments to humans. Here I will make the case for that we can age gracefully and successfully and increase our health span and “youngevity” without having to starve ourselves for life.
I’ve written several articles for The BrinkZone on weight training, fat loss, fitness modeling, bodybuilding programs, and various of motivational articles. The articles were meant to inspire and motivate both men and women to embrace the fitness lifestyle, and maintain the healthiest, leanest, strongest body possible no matter what age or excuse. And speaking of (good) excuses, stay-at-home, post-partum, and working moms are among one segment of the population that can benefit the most from simple, basic knowledge of weight training and fat loss advice that can help get them lean, strong, and healthy.
That’s why I’ve produced a book and DVD that addresses the many challenges that moms of all strides face when trying to achieve fat loss, and can help inspire you to lose that baby weight for good. It’s a great program that’s simple and effective. Perhaps you’re a new mom or maybe a mommy of two or more, and you’re ready to drop a few pounds, and get back in your pre-pregnancy clothes. Or maybe you just want to get in the best shape of your life. This program is for you.
So you survived Thanksgiving, and are praying that the added cost of pumpkin pie + halloween candy + office parties + Christmas parties + New Year’s doesn’t totally derail your fitness or weight loss goals. Perhaps up until you turned comfort food corner, you’ve been doing real well.
In reality, if you intend to take off the weight and keep it off, Holiday season or not, you’ve got to be continually vigilant about the choices you make year round. And sometimes it seems that some of us have a way easier time than others being mindful about food or fitness choices on a regular basis, while others more easily succumb to temptation when faced with it (this tends to be worse during the Holidays when sweets and comfort foods are EVERYWHERE).
It’s not like these people are super-disciplined humans with no sense of smell for homemade chocolate chip cookies, but the one thing they probably have in common is willpower- the power to use discipline and self-awareness to make choices that steer them towards achieving their bigger goal, no matter what the occasion.
The good news is you can exercise your “willpower muscle” much like you exercise your muscles when you lift weights. The more you “train” your brain to either resist a temptation or make a positive choice, the easier and more natural the process becomes. If you stop and think about it, how many times have you been faced with a temptation and you hear two voices in your head battling it out?
And how many times have you “spent” your mental energy all day at work, resisting the urge to tell a complaining customer or boss to shove it, then come home and bury your sorrows in a cheesecake or a bottle of wine (or both!)? Perhaps you’ve exhausted your willpower muscle, and something has gone on in your head that either steers you to make the best choice for your diet/fitness goals or away from it.
Does Your Mind Stop You From Losing Weight?
It’s interesting to note; the single most important factor to not just getting the weight off, but keeping it off, is between our ears. That is, how people approach the issue, psychologically speaking, is an essential component of success. And yet, 8 zillion weight loss books and programs out there, and at best, this aspect of weight loss gets lip service only.
Many diet programs out there don’t address the psychological aspect of why people fail to be successful with long-term weight loss. However, quite a few studies exist that have looked at just that. In many respects, the psychological aspect is the most important for long-term weight loss, and probably the most underappreciated component.
The End Of The Protein “Debate”?
Protein intakes – especially as it relates to strength athletes and those involved in regular resistance exercise – has been a hotly debated topic for decades. That’s due in large part to nutritional authorities simply ignoring the data… While the bulk of the data suggests strongly that there’s benefit to protein intakes well above the RDA for protein for those involved in resistance training looking to improve body composition, not all of the studies agree. Why?
The reason for that appears to be explained in the recent paper by Bosse and Dixon which covers the protein “spread” and “change” theories as it applies to the bulk of studies that examined the issue. This excellent review postulates the “spread” and “change” theories accounts for why some studies find clear benefit to higher protein intakes, while others failed to.
Although the bulk of the studies finds benefits to higher than “normal” protein intakes for those hitting the weights intensely, not all studies find the effect. This review examines why, and answers it. I highly recommend people read this paper, and stick it under the nose of the next person who tells you ‘there’s no benefits to additional protein,’ and I have posted the (provisional) abstract below with link to full study.
Finally, my article on protein myths, also explores some of the issues surrounding studies on the typical myths of protein and athletes, and there’s additional articles and vids covering the topic here on the BrinkZone.
It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong. - Voltaire
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For reasons that are not readily apparent, there appears to be a conservative political movement that opposes the use of testosterone in older men. This was clearly demonstrated by the report of the Institute of Medicine, which felt that testosterone is not yet ready for prime time and that there is still a need for studies to prove its efficacy 1. Along the same lines, the guidelines of the Endocrine Society on testosterone use in older men seem to be ultra-cautious 2 . But fortunately, there are also other, more liberal guidelines and recommendations 3-5.
Probably no other medical issue has been bombarded by the influx of “expert” views from all walks of life; from endocrinologists and psychiatrists to urological surgeons and gerontologists, from the lay press to the regulatory agencies and from the pharmaceutical to the entertainment industries. The dismal result of all this free-for all cacophony of opinions is a great deal of confusion, erroneous information and significant detriment to patients and physicians alike.
Let’s take an in-depth look at the reasons for the negative attitudes to male testosterone replacement therapy (I will cover post-menopausal testosterone replacement in an upcoming article), and the hard scientific data that refutes it…