If you haven’t had a client ask about it yet, you will soon. Intermittent fasting has hit the mainstream, and a lot of peo- ple are taking notice.
Proponents claim that intermittent fasting causes more rapid weight loss than other approaches; that it makes dieting easier; and that it improves blood glucose control and blood lipids. Does the current body of evidence support these claims? Let’s find out.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
We can be certain that men and women have always needed to eat. We can also assume that they shared advice about what to eat from the time they first learned to communicate. And they have never stopped.
In the United States, nutrition communication traces its origins to early 19th century preachers who prescribed dietary remedies to cure the physical—and in some cases moral—ills of the day. Sylvester Graham, a Presbyterian minister, believed that a high-fiber, vegetarian diet would cure alcoholism, cholera, premature aging and sexual urges (Deutsch 1967).
We’ve seen many activity trends come and go in the fitness industry, but per- haps none quite as “dirty” as the current obsession with mud runs and obstacle races. While some events are milder than others, many could be described as an “ordeal” that also happens to be a workout. For example, you might find yourself slopping through mud, scaling impossibly high verticals and pushing yourself to the limit—physically and mentally.
Back in Canada, when my colleagues and I developed strength and fitness programs for hockey athletes, we began to notice something fascinating: Farm kids had distinct advantages when their “farm strength” was transferred to the ice. These young athletes were stronger on the puck, stronger in front of the net when battling their opponents, and stronger in odd body positions.
The health and fitness world confronts a complex paradox. Exercise causes consternation and elation, angst and joy. It can prevent—and lead to—illness and injury. Workouts can keep you out of a hospital and put you into one.
There's no denying the growth and popularity of high-intensity interval training. HIIT classes— which also ride on the coattails of CrossFit®—sometimes use fast paced, complex movements against external resistance. While this type of training can yield impressive physical and mental results, it can also lead to injuries and burnout. Why not end your sessions with a mind-body-cool-down designed to calm the nervous system and potentially lessen the chance of injury?
“I’ve been active much of my life but have also struggled with depression from a young age,” says Kris Cameron, ACE- certified personal trainer and owner of ReNu Your Life— Mobile Personal Training & Wellness in Iowa City, Iowa. “I come from a family full of depression, abuse, even suicide. About 18 years ago I was put on a very low dose of Zoloft (25 milligrams). It helped, but I also continued to be active, to work out—and I started my training career.
Concerns and subsequent warnings about the dangers of childhood obesity have made headlines for years. Despite the widespread publicity, it looks like many parents don’t see the problem when it is lurking within their own homes.
If you had to choose, would you rather spend 10 minutes more exercising or 10 minutes more preparing food each day?
A study by researchers at The Ohio State University’s College of Public Health suggests that because of the way Americans allot their time, the two may be mutually exclusive. The study found that a 10-minute increase in food preparation time was associated with a lower probability of exercising for 10 more minutes—among both men and women. The finding applied to single and married adults as well as parents and those with no children.
I don’t use the rating of perceived exertion scale for my clients because I think that method is better suited to a clinical setting. I have been using Mio watches and a couple of other similar brands for many years. They are inexpensive and easy to use. I use them for fitness assessments, especially when I have my clients do the 1-mile Rockport Fitness Walking test because I need their heart rate and time in order to calculate their aerobic capacity and get the most accurate results.