A few thoughts on dieting

Wednesday, 18 May 2011 11:11 am
narayume: (Dancing kitty)
I've just started reading a book entitled "The Japan Diet" which is by the same author as and inspired by "Why Japanese people don't get old or fat" which happens to contain quite a few brilliant recipes that I still enjoy cooking. It is starting well and based on a "Chapter a day" set up which is one I always enjoy. The author claims to want to slowly guide the reader throughout various changes which will make him or her awesome, healthy, fit and surrounded by delicious food. Okay, may be not fit and awesome, but you get the idea. I shall write more once I have read more. Personally I am particularly looking forward to the recipe part *nom*

The book did however start me on a general train of thought on dieting in general:
First of all, you are meant to walk 10,000 steps per day. A quick google search revealed that that's about an hour and a half, or an hour if you walk fairly fast. Then you are supposed to exercise half an hour a day to the point of getting sweaty, something that just walking is unlikely to achieve. So, there we have two hours. Finally, all of this will not help with actual muscles, more with stamina. So ideally you want another quarter of an hour of pure muscle exercises - although you are meant to only do those three times a week. Oh and you should stretch each day (something that neither walking nor muscle exercise nor stamina building exercises will help you with). I usually stretch for around 30 minutes per day (that includes yoga), but I am fairly certain if you did less yoga and focused more you could do it in less. Still, that adds up to around three hours if you also take the time to warm up and cool down properly. So, ideally you want about 3 hours per day just to keep fit. That doesn't include the time it takes to cook all those healthy meals you are meant to eat. I am fairly certain I don't have 3 hours spare, do you?

I also love how most diet books/homepages focus on usual things like "take the stairs instead of the elevator" or cut down on your meat consumption. I very, very rarely eat meat and always take the stairs. I also only take the car if absolutely necessary - an absolutely necessary I will hopefully be able to cut down on soon once I have my new bike... and I am still fairly overweight and not even close to fit.

Looking at studies out there - there is surprisingly little. The only longitudinal study on weight loss done by Harvard came back with none of their participants being able to sustain weight loss beyond 5 years - despite expert advice and their initial success. In a school district they tried switching all the school meals (2 out of 3 daily meals) for something with significantly less fat and introducing more sports into the children's schedule... and found no changes in obesity levels. Obesity is on a constant rise and no one has been able to find an actual cause. General statements like "less movement" and "more fatty food" are being mumbled, but one generation ago there was a similar amount of movement and fatty food about and yet the obesity levels were much lower. So what is it that is causing them? Every few years another professor seems to throw about a new food group that we should avoid like the plague, but none seems to have made any actual difference. At the same time however various government agencies and health professionals seem to consider it acceptable to shout at people about their weight - without offering a real solution. The justification for all this shouting is that apparently a lot of nasty illnesses can be brought on by obesity. Sadly, recent studies have shown that it is not obesity that is causing the illnesses - it is eating crap and not moving. However, eating crap and not moving is not the same as obesity. I know plenty of very thing people who live of crap and barely move... and I try to stay fit and eat very healthily and yet I am very much obese. Where is the logic?

May be if the government spend halve the money they are using to shout at people and shame them into loosing weight on actual weight loss research, we'd get somewhere.
narayume: (Default)
Let's start with the meme, that's easiest:

3. Do you crosspost? Why or why not?
I do crosspost my reviews, because I think there's a good chance that at least some people over on LJ care about those. I don't crosspost the rest... may be because I am not ready to share. Most of my journeys contain more failure than success at times (or at least that's how it feels) and I often just need to rant. I don't really need kind advice on how to do things differently and just need... a rant, a deep breath and to get up and try again. Also, I do feel that my friend's list might be a bit fed up with my constant whining and trying, so I'll keep it here for me. Oh and I know that I never read fiction on my friends list, mainly because people on my friend's list aren't particularly great fiction writers (don't tell them), so I feel it is unfair to impose my bad fiction on them. I still would like to keep it in the public realm in case someone can be bothered to read it and give me constructive criticism.

On a slightly less general note - I have an exam the day after tomorrow and I have really, really failed at studying so far. I've tried, but first I got a flu, then my period and then the worst cold I had in ages (with hot and cold flushes and a temperature, I kid you not - you don't feel that a cold should do this stuff!) and since my cold has transformed from a cold of doom to just a standard cold of annoyingness my stomach has been acting up. I am getting a little bit frustrated. Today for example, I suddenly got a massive hunger attack at 4 in the afternoon. Not just "Oh, I am peckish, I could do with a snack", but "I AM STARVING!!! WHAT DO YOU MEAN I HAVE HAD BOTH BREAKFAST AND LUNCH?! THAT IS CLEARLY A LIE FOR I AM S.T.A.R.V.I.N.G.!!!!!!!!!11!". I thought may be it was my blood pressure taking a dive and my body responding, so I had a bowl of cereals with berries, thinking that it would provide carbohydrates, sugar and vitamins, the combination of which should fix it. Nope. After bowl of cereals I was still starving. So, after sitting about for a bit, hoping my body was just slow in realizing we literally JUST had food, I went and made sandwiches. I gobbled down the sandwiches as if I hadn't eaten in a week and after the last one... I started feeling really, really sick. What the hell?

One digestion tablet and two cups of tea later I was back at revision, but couldn't concentrate at all, because I was feeling sick. I wondered if some movement would help. I mean revision time isn't ideal for movement, so may be my blood pressure was protesting the exciting daily running track from the bed to the sofa, from the sofa to the bathroom and from there to the study and back? So, off I went and did 20 minutes of Zumba thinking that it would either tip my sickness into outright throwing up - which would solve the problem - or get my blood pressure going - which should also at least help solve the problem. I survived Zumba alright and all the movement even made me forget about my stomach...

Obviously not having thrown up, I drink some water afterwards and... guess what? I FEEL SICK AGAIN! My stomach can handle excessive wiggly action of latin goodness, but no a glass of water? I am so confused D:

Anyway, I shall have a shower and see what happens, but I have to get back to revision, as I really haven't done much and am not looking forward to the exam. Not to mention that I haven't even started revising for the exam two days after that >.>
narayume: (Default)
The journey to a healthy body: I am ill. A lot. I suffer from awful migraines and have done since my very early teens. I can't digest animal protein and quite a long list of other things. If there is a virus floating about, I assure you I will get it. Oh and I have low blood pressure, low blood sugar and am currently fighting with constant tiredness and lethargy. Obviously there is also my depression, which is also a constant battle, despite the medication.

I haven't given up though. I am always searching for things I can do, on top of taking all the pills and following the advice that my amazing doctors are giving me to improve matters. Sometimes I am more successful, sometimes I am less so. Sometimes I get frustrated, sometimes I feel successful. Under this topic there will also be The adventures of Narayume and the Bike, as you can follow me along my way of hopefully learning to bike again. I am sure there will be more, as I am hoping to write about my experiences with Kon Fu, Yoga, trying to build up my muscle mass again, healthy cooking and my beloved pole.

The journey to a healthy spirit: A combination of my own perfectionism and competitiveness as well as my depression, managed to crush most that there was of my spirit. Now I am working on getting it back. I am flirting with Buddhism and my original religion: Wicca, as I feel that my spiritually has gotten completely lost. I am not too sure how much I had in the first place and how much I need in my life, but I want to have the chance to find out. There will definitively be In the realm of the senses and tastiness, which will involve recipes and experience of a culinary delight kind, as I am a foody through and though. Kon Fu and Yoga might also feature, depending on if I ever find the mind cleansing effects that people talk off. Again, I am sure there shall be more, but I am sure the other topics will come to me as I write and time will tell which are worth writing about and which are not.

The explorations of the mind: I love learning and keeping learning up is something that keeps me happy. I will be writing about my attempts to get back into Japanese (Into the Dawn of cherry flowers), my discoveries in psychology and books I particularly enjoyed, as well as random musings. I hope the result will be worth reading. On the way to the Nobel Price will fit into here, in which I shall be writing off my working with the amazing Dr. Westermann and things that made me happy in the area of artificial intelligence.

The journey to find happiness: This will contain things that make me happy. Game reviews, camping stories, hobbies and all that makes me smile. It might seem silly that I need a journey for that, but as people who have suffered from depression are likely to know - finding happiness is not as easy as it might seem when you are dragging a massive black dog around with you.

The journey of Love: I am in a long term relationship. My amazing boyfriend Garry and I have been together for 5 1/2 years and we struggle with many issues that I am sure other couples struggle with too. Particularly my depression has done a lot of damage over the years and now we are repairing. I also feel that there is not enough written about the struggles of a long term relationship, as Disney wisely turns on the lights after the wedding kiss and summarizes the rest into "And they left happily ever after".

The journey into adulthood: Yes, with 24 I should be an adult. Really, I am still struggling with staying organised, cleaning, tidying and all the other boring things that we never thought about when the magical moment of "moving out" came.

The way of the Sun and Moon: This will contain my significantly less serious journey to becoming a good Boomchicken Moonkin or Balance spec druid. Yes, I am talking of World of Warcraft. Expect numbers, achievements, screenshots and general geekery.


narayume: (Default)

November 2011

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