What makes muscles grow?

Knowledge is power, knowledge should be accessible and shared.

I’m a huge fan o TED-Ed, for I completely understand the lesson without feeling stupid. Hoping you’ll feel the same, here’s a lesson on “What makes muscles grow?”
Enjoy!

Guy gives up added sugar for 1 month

Dutch TV producer LifeHunters recently created a short film (6m35s) with the highlights of an experiment where a man completely gives up added sugar,  artificial additives, and alcohol for a month.

I believe this crash approach is too extreme and completely unsustainable, but since it was just an experiment, sure, why not?

I have heard the expression “toxic environment” several times, and one of the things I like about this film is that it showcases how difficult it can be to “stay the course” when everything around you is set up to lead you into consuming food-like products, and that includes your friends. Saying one “just needs will power” is a gross understatement, and this video sort of touches that subject.
You also get a glimpse into the emotional hardship everyone should expect when first giving up sugar (even me, who took the baby-steps approach felt it). But it wears off, and afterwards you realize how much better you feel, and how the struggle was worth it.

Here’s the video, it’s short, enjoy:

I don’t count calories

Before I started looking for information on my own I only knew what the mainstream media / common sense told me about weight loss and calories. I was really surprised to find out that at least since 2012 we have scientific studies debunking (not to use the word refute) said common sense.

I don’t know why this information is not completely out there, but I want to help spread the word that “a calorie is not a calorie” or “not all calories are created equal”.

In 2012 Dr. Robert Lustig (you’ve seen him on the Sugar = Drug of abuse (part 2) post ) published a study showing that not all calories are created equal and he quickly gives an example illustrating this premise on this clip from the 1h36m Fed Up documentary, which you should also watch:

I know, I know, this is too quick and lacking concrete information, but let’s call it an overture. It should make you want to know more, and you can start your research with the following articles:

6 Reasons Why a Calorie is NOT a Calorie

Still Believe ‘A Calorie Is a Calorie’?

Knowing this – along with the other information I’ve already shared on the 2 Nutritional Choices posts – was a major factor in choosing to slowly change my dietary habits towards healthy, natural food, and away from processed food-like products. Which means I’ll eat a banana or a potato without thinking twice, while staying away from things like Coca-Cola zero or low calories meal replacement bars. And yes, I still lose plenty of fat.

Ideas worth spreading

Today I’ll let someone else do the talking.

TEDx Talk : Hether Crawford – You REALLY are what you eat

One of many first-hand testimonials that what you eat truly has a direct impact on your everyday – and long term – health. So listen up, and I encourage you to look up other TED and TEDx talks on the subject.

To be better.

Even though I haven’t tried crossfit, and don’t even own a single item by this brand, an ad by Reebok hit close to home.
It asks “why do we do it?” why do we put up with constantly feeling beaten and sore? and then provides the best description of what has been underlying my lifestyle change:

«[To be] better, stronger, more determined humans. To honour our bodies and sharpen our minds.»

Thank you Reebok’s marketing team, I couldn’t have said it better.

Sugar = Drug of abuse (part 2)

Now that I’ve shared information about how sugar acts on your brain, I’m going to share information about how sugar acts on your liver. For that I’m relying on the 2012 “The Skinny on Obesity” documentary by the University of California, which will explain how sugar produces the same kind of reactions on your liver as alcohol abuse.

I have watched several documentaries and news stories on sugar and processed food and this one is by far the most informative. Even better, it explains things in a very accessible language. I seriously recommend you watch all 7 episodes, but if you cannot bring yourself to do that, at least watch episode 2: