Practice What You Preach Part 2

By Kyle Arsenault CSCS

A few days back I was watching the channel 5 news and they had a “breaking” story about health and fitness. So while I was washing my dishes from my morning feast (which consisted of a 3 egg veggie omelet, a slice of Ezekiel toast with Teddies Peanutbutter, my fish oil and vitamin D, 8oz of black coffee and a glass of water) I turned up the volume on my boob tube and listened in. Come to find out the “breaking” story wasn’t that breaking at all. Rather, it reinforced principles I have been living my life by, and advising others (family, friends, athletes, clients) around me to incorporate for the past 6 years.

The news story was covering what they termed “normal weight obesity.” Basically the researchers had concluded that even when someone is considered to be of “normal weight” in accordance to the Body Mass Index, they can still have an unhealthy percentage of body fat…something many, myself included, like to term “skinny fat.”

“Normal Weight” according the BMI, but still a bit around the midsection

These individuals are still at a higher risk for developing diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc. even though they are of “normal weight.” The reason being that they walk around with a little extra layer of thermal insulation (FAT), all while not maintaining a sufficient amount of muscle mass. And many times they carry it around the midsection, which science has suggested places us at an even higher risk for certain disease and illness. They explained this by proposing if there is fat on the outside, there is fat on the inside and many of our vital organs are located about our midsection.  The excess internal fat affects the workings of the organs, thus placing us at a higher risk for potential health problems. The solution…replace body fat with muscle! Big surprise? Not really. An even bigger surprise is how they suggested we go about this body composition shift (again, me being a bit little sarcastic).

 

1) Stay away from “whites” : Simply put, do not eat anything processed. So it is out with the pop tarts, frosted flakes, white pastas and rice, white bagels, cookies, most crackers, etc. Stay natural and stay healthy.

2) Eat more healthy fats: Consume higher amounts of the “good” fats (omega 3s) such as those from eggs (the whole egg), fish, nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, etc. These fats have shown to help combat excess storage of fat and promote enhanced health parameters.

3) Interval Train: Training a high intensity interspersed with recovery periods has shown to be more beneficial to overall fitness and a more favorable body composition. So replace the monotonous, put a gun in mouth and pull the trigger “cardio” with more efficient high intensity interval training…BATTLE ROPES ANYONE?

 

 

There it is, nothing revolutionary but none the less important. I live by these principles (90% of the time…it is always good to cheat once in a while) and have been advising my clients and peers to do the same. It is always nice when science supports your philosophies and advice, and according to this recent study, continuing to practice what I preach will allow me to lead a healthy life free of illness and disease…or at least give me a better shot.

So to combat the “Skinny Fat Syndrome,”stick to your resistance/performance training, stay away from the sugary processed carbohydrates and add some healthy fats to the diet. Its nice to know that you are working to stay healthy, also, not looking too bad without a shirt is always a plus when the summer time rolls around.

 

Health and Aesthetics…Doesn’t Get Much Better!
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