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Ask Me Anything - September

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    Ask Me Anything - September


    Well, here we go. This is the first day of our AMA session. I will be putting answers here at the end of my day and I will, as always, be as detailed as possible.If you have follow-up questions after each answer please make sure you tag me so I can see them. This thread will be open for a full ten days until Friday 10th September.

    #2
    I have a question regarding protein. Should I be calculating using my current weight or my target weight?

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      #3
      How do you personally deal with a lack of motivation in your training and are there any proven scientific methods for keeping on track?

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        #4
        I have a couple:

        Plantar fasciitis - what are your recommendations for prevention?

        I find myself facing a lot of emotional baggage as I lose weight. Do you have any recommendations around how to deal with this? Is there any research on the topic? Most folks make weight loss out to be all sunshine and roses...

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          #5
          When should I train low weight/high rep, and when high weight/low rep? What are the benefits of each?

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            #6
            How do I save my progress on my programs?

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              #7
              PETERMORRIS966 excellent question to start this thread with. There is still a lot of confusion on how much protein you should ingest when training and whether that should be in relation to how much a person eats or how much a person weighs. The latter is the more accurate way to go about it and it is based on your current weight. We have an excellent guide on this here.

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                #8
                I've been doing a lot of varied programs here with the goal of getting fit and losing the pandemic extra weight. I have not changed my nutrition (except for removing the chocolate and cookies after dinner), focusing instead on increasing the physical activity. For the first 6 months I lost weight slowly but consistently. Lately I've started doing more strength programs in addition to the cardio (programs and sometimes running) and my weight has stopped decreasing.
                Could the strength exercises be the reason my weight has plateaued?
                Should I stop doing strength exercises and instead increase the cardio, if my goal is to lose the last 5-8kg?

                More in general, what's the relationship between strength exercises and weight loss?

                ​​​​

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                  #9
                  CaptainCanuck that's a deep question. No matter who we are, how old we are, how fit we are or what we do, at some point, for different reasons we will all hit a brick wall. We will then feel that what we are doing is too hard, we are too old or too tired or too busy to keep on doing it (and this is not just for working out BTW). I've written about motivation before. And I then expanded on it in terms of purpose. Broken down into a simplistic and somewhat over-simplified cause-and-effect chain of events motivation stops feeling like motivation the moment we stop getting a dopamine hit from whatever it is we do.

                  It is tempting to give up then. If we do this is what happens: at some point we feel really bad. Physically and mentally. We then have to get back to training (or work or playing an instrument). But now the struggle is harder. We remember how good we used to be and aren't so we are even more disappointed in ourselves and we also realize that we have to do a lot of work to get back to where we used to be which we lost. Just the perception on how much work is needed is often sufficient to discourage us unless we have some really good reason to carry on.

                  I have two personal strategies I apply: First, I have a really good reason for working out as hard as I can every day. For me it's not about being strong, or looking good or being fit. I know that if my body ages my brain will too. I have followed the countless studies linking cognitive decline to physical decline. I am unwilling to give to time anything it hasn't clawed from me. So I never think that not training is an option. This is a cognitive approach. It will get me to the gym on a day I don't feel like it but it won't make me train hard. To put in the work I have a fall-back plan I put in place when needed. If I am at the gym and I feel like doing nothing I mentalize. I imagine myself a ninja, or a Viking, a lone warrior against the horde. A lone survivor dealing with a horde of zombies. Anything like that. It is usually enough to let me forget how low I am, fire me up and make me enjoy the difficulty of training.

                  These are two strategies I've evolved over time as my situation and age have changed. They keep me going when nothing else will. I really hope this answers your question and is of some help.

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                    #10
                    Kanary let's start with the easy question first. Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of the fibrous band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot, connecting the heel bone with the toes. It is inflamed, usually, due to physical stress and micro-tears. Learning to put most of the pressure when you walk on the balls of your feet (when barefoot) allows time to heal and repair. When you wear shoes you need to apply extra padding to cushion the heel. It goes away as feet get stronger.

                    Now for the harder question you ask. Weightloss is not just an external change. It is also an internal one. It requires a change of lifestyle which then challenges identity and values. It invites comparison with and from other people which means we have to have ways of dealing with these interactions and it always invites judgement which is often a trigger for compensatory eating. Losing weight is made to seem like some easy choice that will instantly make a person happier by an industry that's invested in selling products and services that will help achieve weight loss. They all overlook the deeper emotional and psychological components of that journey.

                    For instance a study of 1,979 obese and overweight people found those who lost 5% of their body weight were nearly twice as likely to feel some symptoms of depression, compared with those who stayed a similar weight. Depression often leads to eating as a coping mechanism.

                    The question is how do we deal with the depression, the anxiety and the judgement of others? The solutions are: exercise to enjoy yourself and your body as it changes, not to punish yourself or prove anything to others. Accept that the struggle will be real. Realize that many people do not walk in your shoes and are unwilling to do so, yet they will judge you regardless. Ignore that judgement for what it is: meaningless to who you are and who you are becoming and a projection of their own insecurities.

                    All of these things are stressors. Dealing with them requires a sound stressor-busting strategy:

                    - Keep a blog or a diary. Your journey then, documented, is a validation in its own right even when it has all its ups and downs.
                    - Seek help. Find friends who will be there for you (like in The Hive).
                    - Exercise to feel better not as some kind of punishment.
                    - Understand that it is a journey. There are days when I feel depressed when I realize that time, slowly, will erode my capacity to be as physically strong and fast as I have been most of my life. Then I take comfort in the fact that for me that is also a journey. I will explore to see where the limits lie without punishing myself for getting older. And I will revel in what I can do at each stage of my life.
                    - Be open and accepting of who you are slowly becoming. A study showed that in our weightloss journey we frequently let the emotional baggage of the past derail our efforts. Accept that you are changing for a reason. The change we experience is always painful. The pain we experience, the discomfort is real. So we need to have a good sense of how we change, as we do, in order to justify it.

                    I really hope this has helped but please ask anything that you feel needs clarification or requires a follow-up.

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                      #11
                      Thank you very much Damer ! It's helpful just to see that other people have similar emotional responses to the process.

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                        #12
                        Damer Thank you. I have used this guide before, it is a great source.

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                          #13
                          Damer I have a question about nutrition for a hiker/survivalist in training.

                          I am not that healthy so how could I go about getting my health up to par on a budget, say £15 for a week or 5 days?

                          Thanks in advance

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                            #14
                            Damer do you have a tip on how to overcome cravings? I feel like when I tell myself to avoid a certain food (like sugar or fried food or refined carbs) all of a sudden it is the only food I want. Or like I could normally go a day only eating one meal, but when I decide to follow a healthy meal plan of 3 nutritious meals a day, I get so hungry in between those 3 meals and cant stop snacking. It’s like I’m rebelling against myself.

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                              #15
                              Aether that's a question we all struggle with at first. It is a mistake to think that eating healthy has to be expensive or blunt. The global pandemic that's still raging as we speak has made us all health conscious. The food we eat is the fuel that drives us and the building blocks that make us so getting it right is critical. To better answer your question we need to establish what is 'healthy' to eat in the first instance. Anything that is, for instance, not processed, not high in preservatives, not high in sugar and salt content and not high in coloring agents is better for us.

                              Healthy food helps us maintain our body weight and it helps us have a diverse microbiome which then affects the hormones and neurotransmitters in our body which, in turn, affects how our brain and body function. So healthy food is food that is good for our gut health, helps our body heal and build and maintains our brain at an optimum state. We have an article specifically on how you can eat healthy food when on a budget.

                              We also have a considerable body of studies now that show that meat and dairy products, because of large-scale 20th century farming methods, aid considerably in increasing inflammation markers in our body and shortening our lifespan. For health eating, on a budget, you may want to consider one or two days a week when you go meat and dairy free. We have a field-tested recipe book called "Hey, I Can Make It!" which contains 100 recipes that are quick to make and the ingredients are inexpensive. This can be a smart way to stretch your food budget without needing to give up meat or dairy completely.

                              I really hope this helps.

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