Lil Miss Fitness Freak

"And though she be but little, she is fierce"


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Sunday Link Love

Hey Friends, Happy Sunday!

I felt like chatting with you this morning (started this morning, ended at night as usual) as I slowly pack up my summer life to head back home¬†to work my summer job. This job is not really what I wanted, as it in no way helps me work towards my career goals, but I’m trying to stay positive about it. It’s money I suppose and money that I desperately need.

In other news..

I moved out of my old apartment and into my new one for the fall, which I have to pay for all summer despite not living there…ugh stupid renting.

With that, I had to say my goodbyes to Rita and Emily (my housemates) which was sad ūüė¶ Mama is going to miss them and they better keep me in the loop on the daily!¬†

…But My new housemates are great. It will be a good year I know it!

I graduated my undergrad (2nd one) with an 86 GPA…please see me and give me all the scholarship monnies…please. I know it’s not 90’s but something!

I hit my squat PR and then raised it by 5lbs, meaning that I lifted 1.85x my body weight. I have never one-rep maxed before at anything and the feeling is so strange and exciting at the same time. I was practically not feeling I could of properly yesterday due to how sore I was but all worth it friends

And yeah, so that is the gist of my life this week, so onto my post today. I decided to do a “Link Love” post to share some interesting articles/podcasts I have come across in the past two weeks or so. I hope you find some of them as interesting as I did.

Dietary Guidelines should reflect new understandings about adult protein needs (Layman 2009)

This talks about the new findings for protein and why the intake recommendations for adults are, well, wrong on many levels. Here’s the synopsis:

~Protein should not be % of calories, it should be off body weight. If you are of a given height but are loosing weight (ie. dropping calories) your protein shouldn’t drop just because your calories are.

~Protein is VITAL for your life. You know your body is made of protein yes?

~Most adults benefit from an intake greater than the recommended one (0.8g/kg/day)

It also talks about protein distribution and how we tend to eat more protein in our meals as the day goes on. This suggests that we eat very little at breakfast, which is not optimal as we have been fasting overnight, and that we eat large amounts at dinner.

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The blue highlighted portion is showing maximum muscle¬†protein synthesis. We need at least 15g of protein to stimulate protein synthesis and take a peak at a typical breakfast…

Although they stated that this uneven distribution has not really been shown to negatively affect growth of children or adults, it may have large impacts on older adults. Here, protein intake is critical as they tend to be in a negative nitrogen balance (or state of protein breakdown) and need more than a typical adult to maintain neutral or positive balance.

Finally, take note that protein is more satiating. So when¬†a meal is proportionally more balanced with protein (rather than mostly carbohydrates..like the typical American breakfast) you will be fuller longer. Alternatively, carbohydrate rich meals tend to not keep you as full longer. This doesn’t mean that carbs are bad, it simply runs the risk of individuals over eating their needs because they find themselves hungry more often.

So could protein be an aid in better weight management? 

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IceCream4PRs Podcast #30 – Gender Differences in Training feat. Menno HenselmansJeff Nippard

Really cool podcast diving into the differences between men and women for training and nutrition in addition to the genetic potential that women have for muscle development specifically.

Relative to their starting point (which is often different), females have been shown to have the same relative muscle growth and protein synthesis potential as men! So if you take a man and woman¬†who weigh the same, you can find that they can grow the same proportion of muscle. Differences in fatty acid composition in the body was then stated as a potential reason as to why we don’t see very muscular women in addition to inefficient or non-optimal training for their body physiology and birth control. This is controversial however, but these are some of the recent findings.

This is not to create fears in women that they will ‘blow up’ like a man when they touch a weight, because as you can see from a subjective perspective, the number of women walking around with the same level of muscularity as a male is quite small. It was the thought¬†that this was potentially more socio-cultural in the sense that many women don’t train¬†to the same degree as males and/or if they do train, they don’t optimize their growth due to personal preferences or lack of knowledge. There is also some whispers that oral¬†contraceptives¬†decrease the rate of muscle growth.¬†

Why Has the American Approach to Heart Disease Failed?– Chris Kresser

This is an interesting take on heart disease and challenges the notion that heart disease is due to the clogging of our arteries, specifically from saturated fats. What is interesting is that many just follow along with the idea that arteries get clogged and that this is the main driving factor of heart disease when thats not actually the full story. Yes, ‘clogging’ does happen, per say, but that is only after the walls of the vessels are narrowed due to plaque buildup (atherosclerosis). This build-up is an inflammatory response¬†that, which he stated, is most often the result of metabolic syndrome and/or insulin resistance.

Its funny, but those syndromes are often helped with higher fat and lower carb dietary interventions…

Higher fats you say to help heart disease…Hmmm…

Anxiety: Are Nutritional Deficiencies A Common Cause – Mark Sisson

An interesting article as it brings up a topic that is close to my own heart, anxiety. Although I would have to do my own research (as I feel sometimes that Mark may be a bit bias sometimes) and I just like to back up my words with my own readings, the idea of incorporating foods that perhaps have anxiety reducing effect is something I think many people could benefit from..

if, of course, they actually do something…

Gut Bacteria Tell The Brain What Animals Should Eat

This article was based off of a brand spankin new journal article by Leitao- Goncalves et al (April 2017) that looked at the common fruit fly and how there appeared to be an association between their gut flora and eating the right foods to provide them with all of their essential amino acids. Although there are a few flaws with this study that limit it’s generalizability to humans (hello we aren’t flies, and we have more bacteria in our guts then them), it sparks an interesting idea to look into. Can your gut bacteria trigger cravings for certain foods that optimize your health?¬†

I feel that this is entirely possible because we have found that those who are obese tend to have different gut bacteria communities than those who are leaner and that those specific communities lend themselves to negative health outcomes.

Stay Single Until You Meet A Guy Like This…

Corny? Maybe. But it pulled at my romantic heart strings a bit. Best line? 

Stay single until you meet the guy who never stops trying to keep you…Because he knows getting you wasn‚Äôt the hard part but constantly giving you a reason to stay is what you deserve.

Oh and of course a solid finisher…

The one who changes the standard you once had and suddenly no one can compare.

#Mush.

And finally to end off this post..

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This is a tweet from Sohee Lee’s Twitter (you should check her out, she works alongside Layne Norton and Brett Contreras and is a lady of science!).

Its a good solid reminder because I think everyone knows this to be true but always believe they have found an exception somehow.

Hope you had a fabulous Sunday Friends

-Chelsea


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Know Your Influence TOL

I may be the most confident that I have ever been but the words of one single person (be it they are a significant person in my life) can turn my confidence on its tail in 2 seconds flat.

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I could have 2 million strangers tell me that I’m looking much better and that I’m growing but the single hesitation or disapproving words from one of two people in my life can sting more than no else and leave me spiralling back into a place of anxiety and feeling self conscious.

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Why is it that I can block others and not let those things affect me, but yet, the words of one person, albeit the fact that I know they are not what that person really feels (it is what comes out in the times of frustration/worry) literally breaks off a piece of me.

I know why. I want to make those around me happy. If they are not happy with me or nervous for me in any way, it makes me upset and anxious.

Now making a connection to the title of this post, don’t take this as me saying they need to keep their words to themselves BUT I think they also need to step back and realize how much influence they truly have on me. When they are feeling frustrated, don’t come at me with things like…

You’re not gaining

I see no difference

You’re not working hard

You don’t want to get better.

These are their worries. Their frustrations. Their expectations. It’s not fair for them to put those on me in such a negative way.

Again, these are frustrations coming out, but if you only knew how it affected me. These words make me not only turn on myself but also makes me angry.

Who are you to tell me I’m not trying? You’re not here to see me 90% of the time! Are you living in my body when I’m having a bad tummy day and the sight of food repulses me?

No.

I have worked my ass off all year and I HAVE GROWN! I know I have. Both mentally and physically. I have grown.

I need to to protect myself better against the words of these influential people. I love them dearly and will obviously not separate myself from them but I need to somehow let those comments fly on past me better. Somehow, some way.

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This is not what I choose to do. I will speak up for myself but I also will know when to hold back not to let them win, but, instead, to not give my energy to it. 

I’m happy with my progress. I still know I’m moving forward and that won’t change, but I am seeing a lot of great things. Somedays I wish things could progress a bit faster, yes, but I like to be happy with the movements I have made because I have worked DAMN hard for every millimetre of a step forward I have gained.

Don’t take that away from me. That’s not right of you to do.

……

Turn that on the other side…

I have come to notice¬†more and more lately MY OWN influence on other people. I have never really felt like I’m a huge influencer more than I do now. I’m not trying to boost myself up here, I have just come to realize that I play a significant role in the growth of some other people I surround myself with.

I guess everyone has this role but when you come to realize that perhaps your words really stick with certain people, you need to be cautious with how you use that power.

I am a person that some choose to come to in times of distress for a listener and for advice.

I have come to be seen as an educated individual of sorts that people come to for knowledge.

People ask me what to do with certain things.

People see my passions and come to me for information and advice on that topic because they trust in the things I say.

This comes with a degree of pressure too! I’m happy with my knowledge base. I have built that. My education has helped, but the passion for my interests has led me into doing self-driven research and I have learned a lot on my own.

I have helped some people

They have thanked me with great sincerity for my time, knowledge and advice.

Despite being proud of how I have developed my craft, I always want to be better. I want to be ready for ANYTHING they come to me with.

I also want to be better at not forming expectations of people. I¬†always have to work on pulling my own strong biases back. I never want to come off negative because I feel that¬†something someone else is doing doesn’t align with what I think will help them.

It hurts and frustrates me when..

People say they want something but don’t do it

They don’t give 100% to something

They don’t own up to things

They don’t do all they can for their health…¬†

The first and last things really get to me and sometimes I let it than come out at them as a response that perhaps appears disapproving or judgmental. I HATE this about myself. I yearn to build people up and love themselves and all they are!

I need to accept that other people may have different drives than me. They have different priorities than me and perhaps things that seem huge to me, are not that important to them (the health thing I just don’t get, but ..yeah..).

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Bak to the main point…I have an influence on others. I know this role is clear. With that in mind, I need to control my own biases and realize that they are who they are and I need to be as supportive as I can even in times when they come to me for advice and than continue to do something I see as unproductive. I can’t let this anger¬†or disappoint me because they need to follow their own path.

I’m getting better, but there is always room for growth.

I hope this post wasn’t too scattered, but this is what Thinking Out Loud is about right? Spewing my thoughts out in a post like throwing paint on a canvas right? Thanks Amanda, thank you for giving me a platform for being my own Picasso….

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… and than attempting to understand my splatters.

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Overall take home point:

Know your influence on others. You may not ask for this kind of power, but you have to take and roll with what you are given. You have the power to break a person or build them up. Ensure you’re doing the latter.

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-Chelsea


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Emotionally Numb..TOL

Are you one of those people who knows something big is happening soon but don’t really feel it until the day of?

When that day comes, its like a bomb exploded instead of being a slow burning flame that will quietly simmer and then just fizzle out.

Sound dramatic?

As my undergrad comes to a close (2nd one, yay for year 7 of post-highschool schooling…) I have been pondering a lot of things lately, yet I feel almost unattached to the emotions I feel they should be associated with.

…maybe that is my first problem…overthinking..

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I’m leaving my housemates. I know I’m going to cry the day of, I know it. I love these two girls and for now I just think that them leaving hasn’t hit me yet.¬†I swear I have feelings..

I’m moving in with new housemates. I have met one of them and she’s so sweet and just like me in the sense that she appears to me like an ‘older soul’ and one who gets stuff done and is a respective and responsible person.

I have to go back home and work inside all summer long. I think this is the one that I have been the most vocal about. My job last summer was a dream. I spend my days outside, I did my research at night and I was the most relaxed I had ever been I felt. this was a true blessing because I was sick (Read: infested without knowing it) at the time and although I was struggling with it, I don’t know how bad it would have gotten if I hadn’t have been so free and care-free.

I’m having to leave my second family (my gym fam) for the whole summer because I have to go home. This may seem silly to many of you, but I feel a certain ‘place’ there. I’m known and I just feel at home there. My friends are there. Friends who share my interests and can gab for days about all the things I love. My people live and breathe there just like me. It may only be for 4 months, but its just another thing I’m leaving…

My Masters is apparently going to be a crazy time. From placements to my masters, I have so much to do in a whole 3 semesters and I weirdly feel calm. I’m excited for my placements but I know that so much change is about to occur and at this point and ‘calmness’ I don’t know how the initial days are going to fare with such a change to my normal scheduling.

….After my Masters, life hits you like a bag of bricks….

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Should I think about where I want to live as an adult?

How am I going to afford a place to live when I’m done. I’m not going back home right? I can’t, I just can’t. But a place…On my own…Am I ready for that? Can I even think about affording that?

I don’t even know how to do my own taxes for gods sake!

And all I have to say for myself at the moment is I feel nothing. I’m not sad. I’m not worried and I’m not (consciously at least) anxious about it.

That in itself makes me worried because when it all hits me, I don’t know how I’m going to react. That is a lot of change. And I,¬†mentally and physically (heres pointing at your stomach of hell), don’t do well with change.

How do I prepare if I feel nothing?

Am I somehow able to suppress all feelings because I’m overwhelmed with all the change that is imminent?¬†

I dunno.

I guess for now I need to just continue to focus on my exams and when two weeks from now comes up and I’m hugging my housemates and saying goodbye, I will just have to accept what happens is what I need to have happen. There is no planning that can be done, just let the feels be feels.

On a side note, I really want a dog. Like I’m not kidding guys, I really want one. Enough so that stuffed animals have become appealing to me in large ways.

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That nose freckle is shining bright..

I have this emptiness (which I think is a want for a romantic relationship…) that I need to fill with something and as much as I love my new Chester, this void is still burning deeper, but I suppose that is not in my control either. There is a time and a place for being single, growing and self-loving. I have done that. Why is it that when you are finally feeling confident in yourself and what you deserve AND you are ready and wanting to give yourself and your love to someone else that there is nothing to be found?

Le sigh. I digress…

Guess it also doesn’t help my mood that my stomach is being a terror with my exams…despite said feelings of nothingness. What else is new. Are you almost healed yet…?

To conclude I just want to say that no I’m not sad or anything like that, I’m a very happy person, these are just some thoughts rolling through my forever active mind and I think I’m simply suppressing feelings at¬†the moment. Please don’t think I’m depressed or anything as that is far from true.¬†

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How do you respond to major life changes?

Do you feel ready to take on the world after your education?

Thanks to Amanda and her link-up party for my thoughts to dance in.

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-Chelsea


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All Hail The Skinny Teas…Fitness Friday 39

Do we all know by now that those people on IG who sell Skinny Teas are sell outs?

I really hope that most people don’t still believe that these teas actually cause real weight loss all on their own because..

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..They don’t. #SorryNotSorry

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Apparently everyone loves them. They are super easy to do and voila great results.

~Midsections were made smaller

~Pants sizes were shrunken

~Overall well being was greatly enhanced

~Weight loss goals were met

So what is it?

Basically, many of these teas (some may differ, but I went OG with the Skinny Mint) provide you with a tea or more to drink during the day at specific times. They are said to have these weight loss benefits and you will start to shed the weight and ultimately feel great.

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For example, in this particular TeaTox starter kit (shown above) you get an AM tea that contains:

Green Tea

Nettle Leaves

Yerba Mate

Dandelion

Guarana Fruit

Apparently all of these together are supposed to give you a great boost in the morning.

Then there is a night time tea that contains:

Ginger Root

Lemon Grass

Peppermint

Hawthorn Berries

Orange Leaves

Senna Leaves

Licorice Root

Psyllium Husk

These are supposed to come together to have you feeling restored, less bloated and cleansed.

I will say that the ingredients themselves do have some research to back up their benefits that may include what was mentioned. I will list some below. Overall, these are great natural ingredients but their effects are way blown out of proportion if you ask me. See here for more information on the rest of ingredients.

Nettle Leaves¬†–> Apparently some diuretic properties (mostly animals), antioxidant

Dandelion –> diuretic properties, potential laxative effects, limited research on it’s benefit as a bile stimulant (ie. liver tonic)

Hawthorn –> much of the research done supports benefits for heart disease. Other things include antioxidant properties, diuretic properties, anti-inflammatory.

Ginger–> some support for it as increasing gastric motility, having antioxidant properties and reduction of bloating

Licorice –> anti-inflammatory, protects the cells of the liver (in vivo/animal studies), adrenal support, antioxidant

Realistically, none of these ingredients on their own or used in combination have a strong¬†scientific backing on inducing weight loss on their own. Seems like its a lot of peeing if you ask me…Perhaps if you drink these along with following a fitness and dietary lifestyle that is appropriate for weight loss than you would see those results. At that point though, did the tea really do anything for you?

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Sure, if the above properties are actually valid, perhaps it gave you some natural forms of energy. Perhaps it helped keep things moving so that you felt ‘purified’ or perhaps it helped you feel less bloated due to the diuretic properties in some of the herbs BUT that doesn’t = real weight loss.

I’m emphasizing this because all of the celebrities and ads suggesting that this is some magic gem that will cause weight loss are really being misleading. Oh just drink the tea and you will be skinny they say..

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There is no proof of this and even their products say this!

*This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Results may vary from person to person and are not guaranteed.

…Benefits of reading the fine print…

You know what they also say…

This tea should be consumed as part of a balanced diet. Seek professional advice before using if you are under medical supervision. Do not consume this tea if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. If symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or prolonged diarrhea occur desist use and consult your doctor.<- thanks senna leaf…

So, the hopes of many is that they can continue to eat whatever the hell they want and loose weight, but that simply isn’t the case and¬†these products should not be marketed as weight loss tools. Really, even if any¬†weight loss was seen, it would be so minimal or hard to pick out of other lifestyle efforts that they wouldn’t really be able to be acknowledged.

So do yourself a favour and simply watch Kylie Jenner love her some tea and waist trainers and save yourself the $40.

And I’m out.

Happy Friday Friends! 

-Chelsea


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Citrulline Malate…Fitness Friday 38

My friends! It’s March can you believe it? Seems like it was just New Years and now we are three months in already and Spring is in close reaching distance. Guess that is what the internship/Masters application process does to you…makes time fly.

Sidenote: I saw robins yesterday! I was partially excited (cuz spring sign!) but more so concerned because this was after a full on 20-25 degree reduction in temperature in one day. Please don’t be baby-makin yet birdies!

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I’d be making that face too if it was 16 one day then I woke up to -10.In fact, I probably did look like that yesterday…

So coming back to another active ingredient in pre-workouts and also BCAA’s, I have always really wondered what this guy was good for. I mean, my coach said it was a good thing and it provided benefits, but apparently I was too busy to think about educating myself on why. I don’t like that….

I always stand for the whole ‘know what and why you are putting something into your body” philosophy and I obviously didn’t follow through with that on this one.

Time to take a scientific looky at it to settle my conscience.

Citrulline Malate

What is it?

Citrulline malate is the quite simply the¬†combination of citrulline and malate. Pretty obvious eh? Citrulline is an important component of the urea cycle, which is where urea is formed from ammonia in the liver. This conversion is important because ammonia is actually toxic in the body if it builds up, while urea is a bit less harmful. Malate, on the other hand, is an intermediate in the ¬†Kreb’s cycle, which is the cycle that releases energy from our macronutrients through oxidizing acetyl CoA.

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What does it do?

It has been used in the past as an aid to decrease muscle fatigue and increase functionality. Many studies have shown these effects, whether human or animal (I will present some of the human ones below), in addition to speculating other benefits such as higher clearance of ammonia from the blood post exercise, a possible role in lactate metabolism and some effect on acid-base balance. The mechanism behind all of this remains unknown at this point however.

So, although it has shown benefits for athletic performance, particularly¬†with respect to a¬†more efficiently functioning muscle , we don’t have a strong conclusions as to how it is doing it.

So, below I will highlight a few studies and provide their findings, conclusions and hypotheses regarding a potential mode of action.

Bendahan et al (2002).¬†“CM ingestion resulted in a significant reduction in the sensation of fatigue, a 34% increase in the rate of oxidative ATP production during exercise, and a 20% increase in the rate of phosphocreatine recovery after exercise, indicating a larger contribution of oxidative ATP synthesis to energy production.” Their conclusion? The mechanism of CM’s action that reduces weakness and fatigue could be that it increases aerobic ATP production through providing more of the intermediates to replenish those that were lost more quickly than if you weren’t supplementing. [6g CM used]

Perez-Guisado et al (2010). Their study found that males athletes supplemented with CM saw more than 50% increases in the number of repetitions for barbell bench and a significant decrease in muscle fatigue 24 and 48 hours following the study’s training regime in a double blind, within subject study. In their research, they stated that studies have begin to speculate a role of ammonia in in “blocking cellular energy processes” and causing earlier fatigue. It has also been seen that it plays a role in NO reactions, which has been associated with recovery. Overall they concluded that the results from their study showed that one dose of CM helped with recovery and performance in high-intensity anaerobic activities with short rest times.¬†[8g CM used]

Sureda et al (2010). They took subjects and had them cycle for ~137km with one difficult hill. All were given the same amount of food and fluid. They measured all variables (amino acids and all important exercise related metabolites) 3 hours prior to the race, 15 minutes following and 3 hours following. Overall, they found that the CM group showed a significant decease in the amount of the branched chain amino acids post race, which they said was due to the BCAAs being more effectively used for energy, than the control and higher arginine concentrations, which would contribute to many arginine derived metabolites such as nitrite, urea, creatinine and hormones like growth hormone that are beneficial for muscle growth and function. Finally, they also saw greater nitrogen availability in the CM group, which they stated could increase protein synthesis and protein concentrations in the muscle during exercise leading to better use of the amino acids (particularly the BCAAs). [6g CM used]

Overall, although I only highlighted a few interesting studies I found, I will say that the¬†vast majority of studies I saw (which, I couldn’t have seen them all obviously…) showed significant improvements with its usage, so I have some confidence that it could provide a benefit to those who are looking (and can afford) to get a supplement that may actually do something useful¬†and perhaps give a slight edge with recovery. Is it required to be a better athlete? Well no. Like all supplements, its not a magic¬†powder that will give you huge energy bursts or make your recovery happen in 5 seconds. It is simply supplementing your routine and could provide some little bits of assistance and/or performance enhancements.

Happy Friday Friends!

-Chelsea


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Exercise As Part Of Treating Eating Disorders? Fitness Friday 35

Well ain’t that a controversial topic for discussion….

In the spirit of this week being #Eating DisorderAwarenessWeek, I thought I would bring that into our lil regular Friday Fitness chat.

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I knew it would be a big deal. I know that many will not agree with my words, but hear me out, have you ever thought that treatment and exercise could co-exist when looking at eating disorders?

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I know what you’re all thinking.

Exercise is a method to fuel eating disorders

Exercise is a means of dropping weight and burning too many calories

How the hell is exercise going to help put weight on when clearly it just increases their energy requirements?

This is why this topic is a great one to discuss.

The points above are completely valid. In fact, those are the beliefs that many professionals give or yell if the thought of exercise is brought up.

Take me for example, during my short time at the Oakville outpatient program for family¬†therapy, it happened to slip out that I was going to be starting to slowly get into¬†training¬†(this was a few months post-inpatient) and my therapist freaked the eff out. Like I’m not kidding, she actually called my house and my parent’s cells and left frantic messages saying ¬†“Chelsea is not to workout!!!!”

Not that her words stopped it from happening, and honestly, we left that place faster than we came in (not because of that incident, but a bunch of other things..), but I’m just trying to give you an idea of how most clinicians feel about this topic

I.e. They are mostly against the thought of exercising.

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…or ever…

Like I said, these arguments are all valid concerns and I see where they are coming from…

~I was a compulsive exerciser

~Most use it as a way to burn more calories and loose weight

~Most don’t know limits or when to stop

~Many can let it consume them and take over their lives

So I will say again, I understand their fears, but look at it from another perspective. When you just say NO and/or NEVER AGAIN, where does that get you? It teaches the individual nothing about control or other benefits aside from the superficial ones. It tells them that they have lost a free right to do something many people do. It places restrictions on them, which can lead to them deciding to go and do it anyways. Lastly, it prevents them gaining some of the many benefits you get from exercise that can be critical to the health of a person struggling with an eating disorder (*provided they are stable enough to perform exercises) such as bone and cardiorespiratory strength, helping with psychological disturbances, distraction from nagging negative and obsessive thoughts and potential social opportunities.

There are many people I have seen who have gone from treatment to the gym and are strong, independent people who are in control and did not slip back into old habits. They successfully took their health into their hands and chose to use exercise as a way to ‘come back’ and heal. A way to gain strength when their body was so weak before. A way to build confidence in themselves and eventually find that the gym is more than a place to burn calories. It’s gives them a place to deal with their emotions and re-build themselves physically and psychologically.

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So with all of that being said, I wanted to present you with some research on the topic and how these types of interventions have faired in the treatment of eating disorders. I mean, you have heard my story and I could give you anecdotal evidence of the possible benefits for some, but does it actually show more pros than cons in treatment settings?

Lets find out.

To be honest, I was shocked at the number of articles I actually found. I still believe most are completely dead set on NO EXERCISE but there was a surprising number of studies and pilot programs in treatment facilities exploring the use of exercise as intervention. 

I will stick to the main findings of each study and link each so that you can read more if you desire. I am also going to label them in order of earliest to latest. Lastly, I could have found more, but for the sake of your attention span, I left it to these interesting ones.

Thein et al (1999) –> “Pilot Study of a Graded Exercise Program for the Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa”

Main Findings: With the addition of exercise (amount based on % of ideal body weight IBW), the experimental group (diagnosed with AN) showed no difference in change in BMI or body fat, suggesting that the exercise did not inhibit the primary goal of weight gain. The EXPT group also saw a general increase in quality of life measures while the control saw a trend downward from their initial testing.

Szabo and Green (2002) –> Hospitalized anorexics and resistance training: Impact on body composition and psychological well-being.¬†A preliminary study

Main Findings: Study included a non-AN group (exercise group and non-exercise group) with a group of girls currently in an inpatient facility for AN (exercise and non exercise groups). They were both on an 8-week training program of resistance-based exercises. There were trends found for the psychological variables, however it was speculated that perhaps 8 weeks was not enough. Interestingly enough, there was no decrease in weight of the ED-exercise group but a significant drop in those not in the exercise group.

Lutter and Smith-Osborne (2011) –>Exercise in the Treatment of Eating Disorders: An Alternative View

Main Findings: Exercise was significantly associated with greater improvements in eating disorder and depressive symptoms where the number of METS was associated positively with improvements in the measures of depression (BDI) and eating disorder behaviours (EDI). This study was interesting because the exercise was equine based.

Hall et al (2016) –> Use of yoga in outpatient eating disorder treatment: a pilot study

Main Findings: Adolescent girls (all met the requirements for AN/BN/EDNOS but were clinically stable) in an outpatient eating disorder treatment facility attended 12 yoga classes at one class per week. After the intervention, there was no decrease in BMI and significant improvements in anxiety, depression and body image disturbance scores. 

I did a yoga class or two when I was an inpatient at Sick Kids. This was for the advanced stages only but was a nice change of pace. Definitely saw first hand the mood enhancing features. 

This article by Hausenblas et al (2008) also provides a good overview of 6 further studies showing the benefits of exercise based interventions in eating disorder populations on social, psychological and biological factors if you’re interested¬†in even more reading ūüėČ

Finally, here is an article, Bratland et al (2009), that discusses how exercise based programs are managed in treatment facilities and how many places actually have them! It was limited to a few countries in Europe, but can provide some insight for how they could be implemented and managed here.

So…

To conclude, many articles find that there are benefits to exercise in both outpatient and inpatient treatments for eating disorders. Also, rarely did any study (I didn’t find any) report negatives (such as weight loss or stalling the weight gain process) of incorporating exercise into the programs.

I want to say that, yes I know it may take more work and there will have to be strict guidelines in place, like ensuring they are stable enough to participate, etc, but from what I see from research and from my own experience I definitely think that it would be something to really look into further and do more pilot studies on.

Weight gain is already hard enough, try to make it easier on us all. Plus, by being exposed to it in a controlled setting it can also help to make the transition back¬†to ‘reality’ potentially more smooth.

Something I would like to know is if incorporation of exercise during treatment can lower the risk of over exercising or going back to negative exercise habits when they are discharged. 

What are you thoughts?

-Chelsea


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From The Eyes Of A PT… Fitness Friday 34

Something I have been wanting to talk about for a lil bit in this space but was a bit worried I would be coming off as a know-it-all or too-proud or like I’m something special….

..I’m not and not trying to appear as such, but as someone who has done personal training (PT) in the past and trains clients today, I can positively say that some things I see some trainers doing are straight up irritating.

Sometimes it’s not their fault and I have to give them a bit of a break because they think they are providing something good. Other times, it’s just because being a PT is just a job to them and, I’m sorry, well¬†not really actually, when working with people¬†and when you are trying to help them better their health, you need to care.

So here are a few things that I see all the time¬†and are things you need to avoid if you want someone who actually will care about their time spent with you. Plus, PT’s are $$$$ so spend your money wisely.

Having clients do their cardio warmups during your session.

Unless it’s their first session and they need help working the machines OR you are showing them some new way of doing cardio they are not used to (something like HIIT for example), don’t waste your client’s time¬†by them staring at them¬†on the treadmill. I’m pretty sure they know how to safely walk.

*Other potential exception is for elderly, injuries or disabilities*

If your trainer does this tell them you will do your cardio before your session so that you can spend your hour doing exercises that you want to learn about. They won’t (shouldn’t!) be offended because that is their job.

Not paying attention to clients

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This one really irritates me. I have seen some trainers full on walk away from their clients when they are in the middle of a set. NO. You are glued to their side throughout the session. That is your job! If you need to grab something, get it before they start or while the are resting.

I also love when trainers look like they are lost in space while training. Their clients could be doing something completely wrong and they don’t even notice…

Which brings me to another annoyance…

Trainers who allow for CRAPTASTIC form to continue.

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Isn’t it your job to correct their form? I know you are under time restraints BUT allowing for improper form to continue just so you can complete your workout in a timely fashion is 100% a no-no. Not only does this put your client up for potential injury under your watch (you are trying to prevent that remember?), but your letting them think they are doing it okay¬†can be a problem¬†later down the road…

Them telling others to do it ‘their’ way

Them loading more weight and still having form issues–> injury to come

No progression because we all know form is integral for results to occur. 

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Be patient. Take your time. Teach!

Socializing too much.

Sometimes its the client who is just very chatty, but you need to keep them on track. Talking and talking away leads to lack of work being done and obviously less potential benefits. If their workout sucked because you allowed too muchChatty Cathy-ing” to go on, thats on you not them.

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Nutrition advice…

Need I say more? Unless they are coming from more of a background than CanFit, be over-cautious about nutrition ‘tips’ they provide. Some beauties I have overheard more than once…

~Make sure you have your protein shake right after your workout but don’t eat anything for at least an hour…

~Describing what bad carbs are…. (lil tidbit, white doesn’t mean bad. GASP. Also, why we saying food is bad?)

~Need to eat every 2-3 hours to keep that metabolism firing…(my rant here)

Being a nutrition student and someone who listens to a podcast or two about the latest in nutrition¬†research, it makes me cringe when I hear myths continue to be taught to clients. I know I know that often times it’s because the trainer believes them too, but I wish some would keep more up to date on their nutrition science before spreading lies to open ears.

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Fitness Nutrition

Still on nutrition…

Taking your clients right to the good ol’ smoothie bar post workout.

Wow more money from your pocket to the gym…

Please know that post workout doesn’t automatically mean you need to run to get in your protein shake.

If you like shakes, than do you, but they are not required. Always remember that supplements SUPPLEMENT your diet. Do you need whey post workout? No. Can you eat normal food? Yes. See here for more.

Sticking to the same things.

Unless there is a particular goal in mind that requires some sort of structure and restraint on exercise variety or training style OR they are 100% new, SWITCH IT UP! I often see trainers sticking to the bare bone basics. Lets do a shoulder press, now lets do a leg press…

ZZZZZzzzz…

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If your client understands the basics, teach them new things to fire up their interest. What about showing them new equipment to use like kettle bells or playing around with a sled or battle ropes if your gym has them?

The point of your sessions is to 1. teach, but you should also be challenging them both physically and mentally. Make them look forward to coming to your sessions.

Finally, I wanted to end off on the most common stereotype about trainers because that means I can’t rant too much about it…

Cookie Cutter Plans.

This kind of falls into the ‘you don’t care about your clients’ category because, well, clearly you don’t if you plan on giving them some plan that has been given 0% thought about their needs and goals.

How is that going to help them?

Sure, if they are brand new they might see some benefits (hello newbie gains, aka growth simply because it’s a new stimulus) but if a client already has some experience and wants something new OR has special challenges OR is rehabbing,¬†giving them pre-planned workouts just ain’t gunna cut it.

So now that my ranting for the night has been met, please don’t take this as me being overly judgmental. I’m not trying to be. I believe that PT’s should be people who care about the well being of their clients and if they truly care, they would agree that all of the above things shouldn’t happen because that is putting their client at risk, not teaching them anything OR even worse, teaching them the wrong things.

I wish that all PT’s loved their job the way many do, including myself, but that is unfortunately not the case. I wrote this to try and help you see when someone is there for you vs. someone just wanting an easy pay check.¬†

Bad experiences with a PT?

-Chelsea