Cycling outside is wonderful – you get to enjoy fresh air and a dose of vitamin D. However, riding indoors is a fantastic way of getting high intensity exercise in, quickly. Riding on a turbo trainer or going to a spinning class will mean there’s no coasting or freewheeling – you’ll be constantly pedalling so half an hour of indoor riding is often considered equal to an hour on the road.
The cool thing about swimming is that it works pretty much all of your muscle groups, Lin says. But, obviously, some get more of a workout than others. That include your latissimus dorsi (back) and deltoids (shoulders), since there’s a lot of pulling to get your body through the water. Your pecs, glutes (butt), and quads (thighs) also see some solid action thanks to kicking. “All strokes will engage your core muscles to support your limbs as you propel through the water,” Lin says.
Advocates for the diet recommend that it be seriously considered after two medications have failed, as the chance of other drugs succeeding is only 10%. The diet can be considered earlier for some epilepsy and genetic syndromes where it has shown particular usefulness. These include Dravet syndrome, infantile spasms, myoclonic-astatic epilepsy, and tuberous sclerosis complex.
Recently, many of my patients have been asking about a ketogenic diet. Is a ketogenic diet safe? Would you recommend it? Despite the recent hype, a ketogenic diet is not something new. In medicine, we have been using it for almost 100 years to treat drug-resistant epilepsy, especially in children. In the 1970s, Dr. Atkins popularized his very-low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss that began with a very strict two-week ketogenic phase. Over the years, other fad diets incorporated a similar approach for weight loss.
Drink lots of water. This is especially crucial on a low carb or keto diet. Why? When you eat carbohydrates, your body stores the extra as glycogen in the liver, where they are bound to water molecules. Eating low carb depletes this glycogen, which allows you to burn fat – but it also means you are storing less water, making it easier to get dehydrated. Instead of the traditional recommendation of 8 cups of water per day, aim for 16 cups when following a low carb lifestyle.
Why: Not hitting your goals? Need to exercise to lose weight fast before a wedding? The clean and press is your best friend. It works your entire body, it’s intense and – here’s the best bit –it optimise your hormones to detonate body fat. It’ll also push your lactic acid levels through the roof, reducing your oestrogen and better regulate your insulin.
Animal proteins (meat, fish, etc.) have very little, if any, carbs. You can consume them in moderate amounts as needed to control hunger. Overall, choose fattier cuts of meat rather than leaner ones. For example, chicken thighs and legs are preferable to chicken breasts because they contain much more fat. We’ve got quick keto diet chicken recipes to help.
Another difference between older and newer studies is that the type of patients treated with the ketogenic diet has changed over time. When first developed and used, the ketogenic diet was not a treatment of last resort; in contrast, the children in modern studies have already tried and failed a number of anticonvulsant drugs, so may be assumed to have more difficult-to-treat epilepsy. Early and modern studies also differ because the treatment protocol has changed. In older protocols, the diet was initiated with a prolonged fast, designed to lose 5–10% body weight, and heavily restricted the calorie intake. Concerns over child health and growth led to a relaxation of the diet's restrictions. Fluid restriction was once a feature of the diet, but this led to increased risk of constipation and kidney stones, and is no longer considered beneficial.
The 20-minute fat-burner: Try this workout from Carmichael. It varies your sprints to challenge your cardiovascular system and muscles in different ways. Following your warmup, start cycling at an intensity that's about 95 percent of your full effort for 90 seconds, followed by a 90-second recovery interval at about 40 percent of your full effort. Then, using the same intensities, perform 60-second and 30-second intervals. After the final 30-second recovery period, cycle at 70 percent of your full effort for 4 minutes, then repeat the entire set of intervals.
Food journal? Check. Regular workouts? Yes, indeed. Enough fiber to keep an entire army regular? You got it. I know how to lose weight. I've been writing about the topic for more than a decade. That's why it was so frustrating when I notice that the pounds were clinging to me like a codependent boyfriend, no matter how hard I tried or how hard I exercised. And according to experts, many women like me experience the same confusion over a scale that won't budge despite their best efforts.
I'm a lot like the lab rats-and humans-who turn to comfort food and pack on pounds when they're under duress. "The stress hormone cortisol triggers the fight-or-flight response, which is an appetite stimulant," Dr. Smith says. "In addition, it steps up the production of a certain brain chemical, neuropeptide Y, which increases cravings for carbohydrates." So there's actual science to support why you want to eat all the bread when you're super-stressed.
Therefore, when you’re following a ketogenic diet plan for beginners, your body is burning fat for energy rather than carbohydrates, so in the process most people lose weight and excess body fat rapidly, even when consuming lots of fat and adequate calories through their daily food intake. Another major benefit of the keto diet is that there’s no need to count calories, feel hungry or attempt to burn loads of calories through hours of intense exercise.
If you live in a challenging climate (e.g. almost anywhere in Canada!), remember that you do not have to cycle outdoors to lose weight. In the winter, spin classes could work really well for you, especially if you value having someone else to encourage and guide you. Although bear in mind that these can be quite fast-paced, so they will be a bit much for a beginner. I actually tried one back in the day when I was just starting out in cycling, and had to leave the class, red-faced and exhausted, half-way through. I was too embarrassed to ever go back – which, in retrospect, was stupid of me. Everyone has to start somewhere!
Because it lacks carbohydrates, a ketogenic diet is rich in proteins and fats. It typically includes plenty of meats, eggs, processed meats, sausages, cheeses, fish, nuts, butter, oils, seeds, and fibrous vegetables. Because it is so restrictive, it is really hard to follow over the long run. Carbohydrates normally account for at least 50% of the typical American diet. One of the main criticisms of this diet is that many people tend to eat too much protein and poor-quality fats from processed foods, with very few fruits and vegetables. Patients with kidney disease need to be cautious because this diet could worsen their condition. Additionally, some patients may feel a little tired in the beginning, while some may have bad breath, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and sleep problems.
You’re not just what you eat, genetics play a role, too. Before this gets too convoluted, here’s the over-arching message. Every body is different, everybody has a unique genetic makeup that dictates how their body responds to different foods, environments and activities. In short, this means that there is no one-size fits all diet or workout regiment. It’s likely your body can’t process carbohydrates the same way somebody else’s body does. Your body might process them more quickly or more slowly. The answer to a good diet lies between the intersection of genetics and diet. To find a diet tailored to your body consult a doctor and a registered dietitian. Getting your diet right makes weight loss a lot easier as your body becomes more efficient. The right diet will have you seeing results instead of set backs. With all this being said, this isn’t just about genes and diet, it’s about your behaviour. Fine tuning your diet according to your genes is just taking an extra step to optimize your health in conjunction with exercise – such as swimming.
I actually went on a ketogenic diet last year to see if it would help my migraines. I have a history of chronic migraines which would usually last 3 days, sometimes longer. Triptans help a lot but I don’t like having to take them. I stayed in ketosis for about 8 months and experienced a significant reduction in migraines, from feeling some type of headache (mild o r severe) almost everyday to 1 or 2x per month while in ketosis. Although I’m very healthy otherwise, I do think my migraines may have something to do with blood sugar fluctuations (despite previously eating a whole foods diet and no refined carbs), and keto totally stabilized this. I eventually came off of Keto because I’m not really a meat lover. When I came off, but remained low carb, my migraines stayed under control for the most part. When I increase carbs, they do return.
Clinical improvement was observed in Alzheimer’s patients fed a ketogenic diet, and this was marked by improved mitochondrial function. (15) In fact, a European Journal of Clinical Nutrition study pointed to emerging data that suggested the therapeutic use of ketogenic diets for multiple neurological disorders beyond epilepsy and Alzheimer’s, including headaches, neurotrauma, Parkinson’s disease, sleep disorders, brain cancer, autism and multiple sclerosis. (16)
Different from a standard treadmill, a curved, non-motorized one only moves when you move, adjusting its speed in real time based on your pace and rhythm. “Because the treadmill is self-powered, you must use more force while running,” says Kups. “The ability to create more force means more calories needed.” Additional benefits: The curved design provides less impact on joints than outdoor running and is especially effective for working glutes and hamstrings.
Having worked as a certified fitness trainer for over 23 years, I’ve long since come to the conclusion that if you’re looking for the best exercise to shed a few pounds—and keep them off—nothing beats cycling. Over the years, I’ve seen clients shed half their size and heard from readers who have lost more than 100 pounds by adding cycling to their weight loss arsenal, which, yes, must include a healthy diet. (But you already knew that.)