WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR FITNESS (that you may not have considered) (from Eat this, Not That, as referenced in ACSM newsletter)
Aside from exercise, stretching, keeping a journal and the usual fitness improvement suggestions, here are a few interesting ones, which you probably haven’t thought about.
Order Your Coffee Black – Drinking java (with no cream or sugar) has been linked to lowering your risk of depression, providing migraine relief, curbing cravings, improving skin elasticity, and relieving migraines. And the glorious benefits don’t just end there: According to a study published in the journal Physiology & Behavior, participants who sipped caffeinated coffee had a 16 percent higher metabolic rate on average than those who drank decaf.
Look Up Restaurant Menus – Before RSVPing to that birthday dinner and texting “yes” in all caps in response to a brunch invite, make sure to spend a few minutes reviewing the restaurant’s menu. If you take the time to decide what you’ll order before you sit down to a meal, you’ll maximize your chances of making a more informed decision and order healthily.
TIP – Another pro tip: Volunteer to order first! If you wait for the waiter to take everyone else’s orders first, you’re more likely to rethink your healthy decision.
Clean your Kitchen – When was the last time you cleaned out your salt and pepper shakers? These shocking findings may convince you that it’s spring cleaning time: University of Virginia researchers tested the surfaces of salt and pepper shakers belonging to 30 participants who had cold-like symptoms and found that all had traces of the cold virus. Other gross things in your kitchen are likely also contaminated with bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella. Another reason to keep your eating space organized? A study published in the journal Environment and Behavior discovered that people eat 40 percent more food when they’re in a messy kitchen.
Snap a Selfie – Sure, stepping on a scale may help you stay accountable for your weight-loss plan, but snapping a selfie may be a more effective method. According to researchers at the University of Alicante in Colombia, taking full-body pictures and documenting waist circumference helped over 71 percent of dieters reach their goal weight. And a smaller waist circumference correlates to a reduced risk of metabolic diseases. Next time you’re at the gym, don’t be shy to snap a selfie—it may help you crush those summer body goals after all.
Vacuum – You’ll burn calories, reduce allergies, and transform the most-dreaded household chore into your new favorite pastime. How? Just by plugging in your Dyson. Researchers at the UCLA Department of Medicine found that dust mites that occupy your home’s hidden spaces can trigger allergies and cause you to pop antihistamines, which, if used frequently, can increase your appetite and carbohydrate cravings.
Boil Some Eggs – Taking less than 10 minutes to boil some eggs for the week ahead will help pack your diet with lutein and zeaxanthin, two nutrients that work to promote eye health. And forking the orbs for breakfast may even help you keep your tummy tight. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that participants who ate eggs for breakfast experienced a 65 percent greater weight loss and a 34 percent greater reduction in waist circumference than those who bit into a bagel bright and early.
Follow the 20/20/20 Rule – If you spend the day staring at blue-light-emitting screens (hello, iMac and iPhone) like the majority of Americans, you likely suffer from watery, bloodshot eyes by end of day. Combat your iDevices’ peeving side effects by investing in computer glasses (we especially like Pixel‘s) and try the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break from your screen and focus your eyes on something at least 20 feet away. It’ll help you reduce eye strain and fatigue, according to the Canadian Association of Optometrists.
KETOGENIC DIET (from ACE Health Tips 4/19/18)
The ketogenic diet is a hot topic in nutrition today. Keto recipes are everywhere, and everyone knows someone who has at least tried the keto diet. But what exactly are “exogenous ketones,” where are they found, and how do they impact health and performance?
What are Ketones? – Ketones (also referred to as ketone bodies) are metabolites of fat oxidation and are produced in the liver. The foremost circulating ketones in the blood are acetoacetate (AcAc) and 3-beta-hydroxybutyrate (3HB). Their primary function is providing brain fuel because the brain can only utilize glucose and ketone bodies for energy. Additionally, ketones can function as hormone signalers and be oxidized in muscles during exercise.
Nutritional Ketosis – Nutritional ketosis (i.e., increased ketone levels in the body) can be achieved in multiple ways, including fasting, following a carbohydrate-restricted diet (<50 grams/day), prolonged exercise without carbohydrate intake, or by consuming exogenous ketones. Exogenous means consuming a product (produced outside of the body), whereas endogenous describes breaking down stored fuels in the body (typically carbohydrate, fat and protein).
The terms ketosis and ketogenic have slightly different meanings. Ketosis describes elevated blood ketone levels from either endogenous or exogenous ketones (i.e., produced from the liver or taken as a supplement). Ketogenic describes a state of elevated ketone bodies from following a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet (such as the ketogenic diet).
Proponents believe that the potential benefits of exogenous ketones stem from an improvement in overall substrate metabolism. Exogenous ketones may preserve endogenous fuel; that is, limit (or possibly suppress) the breakdown of carbohydrate for energy during exercise. Unlike the conventional model of fat utilization during exercise, ketones are oxidized at high intensities. Additionally, ketones do not impact insulin as carbohydrate and amino acids do; thus, they may be a preferential supplement for individuals with insulin resistance.
The possible disadvantages of exogenous ketones are their palatability and tolerance. Supplemental ketone esters are very bitter and cause significant gastric upset in some subjects.
Ketone salts and esters likely have no effect on body composition, because they still provide calories. They may be mis-marketed as fat-burning supplements (which is technically correct as ketones are derived from fat), but exogenous ketones will likely not produce the same body composition-improving results as an energy-restricted or ketogenic diet.
Summary: During exercise, exogenous ketones may essentially function as a fourth fuel source. Based on limited research, they do not necessarily provide an advantage over other exogenous fuels (carbohydrate, fat or protein). If you can afford and tolerate them, exogenous ketones likely do not decrease performance (as the only side effects thus far are high cost and gastrointestinal upset) and may preserve endogenous fuels.