⭑ "10,000 steps" isn't about the count it is about being active ✔
⭑ Low-carb diets don't inherently lead to better weight loss ✔ Here's why
⭑ Flossing: Separating Fact from Fiction ✔ Does it work?
⭑ Spartan Racers need exceptionally strong cores - this exercise will do it ✔
All strength to Ukraine 🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦
Boiling and steaming reduces most foods' nutrient and micronutrient content by up to 95%. On the plus side, it sometimes increases the bioavailability of what remains.
How about if you steam in a pressure cooker for zero minutes?
Yes! Just set the pressure cooker to zero, so it turns off once it reaches the cooking pressure. Then, quickly open the valve to release the steam. The vegetables will be tender, bright, and perfectly cooked with near-zero loss of nutrients. Try it out and let me know what you think.
Low-carb diets have a reputation for achieving "better" weight loss. Advocates find reasons why. Researchers discover whether or not it is true - see item #2.
The idea of a daily walking goal of 10,000 steps is frequently ridiculed. That's a misunderstanding - its purpose was to motivate people to move - see item #1.
01 Walking "10,000 steps" Won't Loss Weight But Here's how
You've no doubt seen many headlines like these:
- "Step Up Your Game: Debunking the 10,000-Step Daily Goal—Fact or Fiction?"
- "The 10,000-Step Controversy: Unveiling the Science Behind the Hype!"
- "Walk the Talk: Is the 10,000-Step Rule a Health Revolution or Just Marketing Magic?"
Followed by an empty article, which can be summed up as "it was a marketing ploy, so don't take it seriously, but of course, exercise is good". The purpose of these types of articles is simply click-bait, to sell ads or something else.
The "10,000 steps" was indeed a marketing campaign for one of the first digital pedometers. The purpose was to get people thinking about how far they walked and to facilitate them in tracking it throughout the day.
That purpose still holds, and it is a worthy one. Because getting fit starts with moving. Monitoring your day's movement easily is motivating and provides a baseline to motivate you to improve.
That purpose is more relevant than ever. Ironically, the "10,000 steps" wristband was marketed as an answer to rising levels of obesity in Japan. Ironic because the level of obesity in Japan remains very low compared to the West.
The US and Australia, for example, have obesity rates higher than 50% of the adult population and rising quickly, with alarming rates of obesity in adolescents.
I see many, many people motivated by counting their steps and keeping up their streaks. It works, and that was always the goal of the originators of the "10,000 steps" marketing campaign.
What this means for you: Grab your phone, set your goal, and keep breaking your streaks. Then, keep extending your step count goal or adding in faster walks, or hills, inclines or steps or parking further from the mall.
This will not necessarily help you lose weight, but here's how you can set up weight-loss targets. If your weight is stable and you are meeting your daily step goal, then:
- Decide how much weight you want to lose in kg (divide lbs by 2.2)
- Add 545 steps to your daily goal for every kg you want to lose.
For example, you are regularly walking 5,000 steps and want to lose 10 pounds (4.54 kg). Multiple 4.54 X 545 is about 2,500 extra steps required, so adjust your daily goal to 7,500 (and don’t eat any more than before).
Keep walking until you hit your weight loss goal.
Technically, your body composition, including muscle mass and body fat percentage, is required to determine the extra steps you need. But the method above is fine.
⇒ The time that it will take you to lose weight is highly individual, but be assured that you will be on the right path. Just keep hitting your new step goal.
Low-carb diets have an "obvious" appeal because the thought of removing carbs resonates with people's idea of "eating less".
Low-carb diets also have a reputation for cutting weight faster than other diets.
However, all the research on this shows the same two things: (1) low-carbohydrate diets may lead to better short-term weight loss than other diets but become similar after one year, and (2) in longer-term studies, any initial advantage in energy expenditure appears to level off, resulting in similar outcomes to other dietary regimes.
Studies show that initial weight loss is mainly due to water loss when carbohydrates are limited. Glycogen stores are depleted and bound water is excreted. The ratio of water to stored glucose in the liver and muscles is approximately 3 to 4 parts water to 1 part glucose. This water is essential for the proper storage and use of glycogen as an energy source in our body.
Also, by definition, low-carb diets have a higher percentage of protein than other diets, which makes you feel full and reduces how much you eat without thinking about it.
Low-carb diets are believed to increase energy expenditure, according to a popular theory.
However, numerous studies have been conducted to compare the effects of low-carb diets on energy expenditure and fat loss, and the findings consistently show limited differences.
What studies do reveal, time after time, is that the key reason why low-carb diets work is the same as for every other diet - calories in are less than calories out.
⇒ In dieting, research persistently shows that the primary factor in weight loss is achieving a calorie deficit, where you consume fewer calories than you burn.
What this means for you: Focus on your overall calorie intake.
To lose weight, consume fewer calories than you burn, regardless of the specific types of food you eat. The total number of calories you consume is more important than the distribution of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
However, simply creating a calorie deficit is not enough. You also need to follow a sustainable and consistent diet to achieve your goals.
This means that the best diet for you is the one that you can stick to.
⇒ Ultimately, the effectiveness of any diet depends on your ability to adhere to it, so it’s important to choose an approach that aligns with your preferences and goals.
For example, if a low-carb diet is something you can maintain, that’s great. Now you know you’re doing it for the right reasons and not just because it’s considered a “better” or quick-fix diet.
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03 When is the Best Time To Floss, If At All?
Before deciding when to floss, let's look at whether or not flossing is even necessary.
There is an ongoing debate about flossing and a lack of strong evidence supporting its effectiveness. Studies have shown that flossing cuts plaque by about 60% and significantly reduces signs of gingivitis.
⇒ However, the question is, are there additional benefits compared to just brushing?
Critics of flossing argue that the evidence needs to be stronger, as the quality of the studies examining flossing effectiveness is questionable.
Flossing made headlines in August 2016 (the 3rd) when the US Department of Health and Human Services removed it from its dental recommendations list - despite dentists in America recommending flossing for over a century. Professor Damien Walmsley, scientific adviser to the British Dental Association, has stated that interdental brushes are a better option for cleaning the spaces between teeth.
One possible reason for the lack of stronger evidence is the poor quality of trials. Many studies did not assess the frequency or quality of people’s flossing, making it difficult to draw definitive conclusions.
⇒ Additionally, all types of floss, whether unwaxed, woven, or shred-resistant, have shown similar plaque-removal efficacy, which reduces the incentive for floss companies to fund studies.
What this means for you: Although the evidence for flossing may be weak, it is still considered by most dentists to be an essential part of oral hygiene. Poor oral hygiene is associated with health problems and lower life expectancy. So, I believe in flossing - you have nothing to lose!
When, and how often? Different studies have different findings on how often to floss, from flossing day to every other day to "more than once a week".
I do it daily as it is easiest to remember. Before or after brushing?
Here, the studies are clear - flossing before brushing effectively reduces interdental plaque and increases fluoride retention. When dental floss is used after brushing, particles removed by flossing can remain in place. Flossing, followed by brushing, removes debris and allows the toothpaste to penetrate better between the teeth.
If you prefer interdental brushes, that's also a great choice.
Our exercise of the week is... the extended hollow hold - a classic isometric core-strength exercise.
Don't be fooled into thinking this is just a stretch, it's not. Spartan Racers do this exercise to help them get through obstacles where the core is king.
It is a stretch followed by a contraction of a whole collection of large muscles that you need to recruit to be able to hold the correct form. It's challenging.
The extended hollow hold engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously and improves your strength, balance, stability, and posture. By strengthening our core muscles, such as the abdominals and lower back, we can achieve proper alignment of our spine.
Additionally, it engages the hip flexors and glutes, which are crucial for maintaining mobility and pain-free, effective functional movement patterns.
What this means for you: Let's get into it - do this for 30 seconds every time you exercise. You can build from there.
- Maintain a shallow “dish” shape with your body, keeping your lower back pressed into the floor.
- The key thing to remember is to keep your lower back flat against the ground at all times.
- Breathe steadily throughout the exercise, inhaling deeply through your nose and exhaling fully through your mouth.
Tip: Focus on maintaining proper form and avoiding excessive arching or back rounding.
Level up: To challenge yourself further, extend your arms further behind your head or lift your head and shoulders slightly off the ground.
Top Shelf: When strong enough, reduce the contraction time to 10 - 12 seconds, and contract in the extreme. Repeat 3 times in total, on the minute. If you find this easy then you are not strong enough yet - keep doing the longer version.
See this excellent video for the movements.
Thanks for reading!
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>> My Latest Blog Post: Energise Your Golden Years: Boosting Your Desire to Exercise with Gut-Healthy Foods
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