I stayed for a few nights in Chiba with a friend of mine who is a talented martial artist and health and fitness expert.
Per his recommendations, I'm going to try out cutting all carbohydrates six days out of the week (with one cheat day) and fasting one day per week. I cut the carbs two days ago - I already didn't eat sweets, but moving off rice and bread (sandwiches) was somewhat limiting at first... in a convenience store with 400 items for sale, there's literally only 20 or so I can eat.
But that's fine. Surprisingly, I haven't been hungry at all... sometimes I think I should eat, but my stomach hasn't growled at me at all. I'm probably eating too much fried chicken (quick, fast, cheap, widely available in Tokyo), but I'll adjust as I find more options. Tonight I bought a small salad and a big can of tuna for breakfast tomorrow.
My buddy gave me a pair of spare Vibrams he had (same shoe size) and recommended some slight walking and posture changes. Also, some more stretching/strengthening/bodyweight exercises.
I'll work those in over time - I'm quite busy right now, so don't have the attention to devote to a whole new fitness regime immediately. But I'm doing the no carbs/cheat day/fast day right away. I'll post updates in a while with how it's going.
To be fair, it's not totally no-carbs. Tim Ferriss, who you reference above, advocates "slow carb" which essentially means no processed foods.
It is tough to stick to the diet if you don't have the ability to set your own schedule or if you don't have much money, because it's not the most "packable" food, though, I'm fairly sure this could be said about nearly every diet. They all take effort.
But, if you can be home whenever you want, or have a kitchen where you work, whipping up some egg whites and salsa in the microwave is about the easiest thing in the world. If you can afford it, eating at restaurants is also easy. Salads are always ok, and pretty much every restaurant has meat, or at least a cheeseburger. Just skip the bun and you're good to go.
On a more immediate and less chronic level, insulin triggers your body to story energy as fat and inhibits your body from using fat as an energy source. So keeping your insulin levels is a great way to stay lean.
Yeah, I read TF article. The problem I have with this diet is mostly:
1/ low fiber = bloating (even when taking recommended supplements)
2/ I have to eat HUGE amounts of food to achieve satiety and intake ca. 3000 kcal on my training days
3/ it just doesn't fit into my lifestyle, which for me is a make or break for a diet. I am much more likely to do body recomp on something like leangains than forcing myself to fat/protein diet and feel miserable after just 2 weeks into it
who knows, maybe I am just a sissy :)
Fats, proteins and carbohydrates can all be converted into energy -- glucose/sugars -- that the body can use.
Don't quote me on this, but on a 1:1 ratio of a fat to carbohydrate comparison, fat has a bit more than twice the amount of energy found in carbohydrates.
I can't back this up off the top of my head, but eating a fat/protein diet is less taxing on your pancreas and your insulin levels. Read Tim Ferris' blog, search for something about gluten/"feces in your bloodstream" post. It explains in better detail as to why eating grains -- and consequently carbohydrates-- are detrimental to your health.
You don't need to eat carbohydrates in order to sustain your body.
Did the same diet approach after reading "4hr Body"
Managed for about 5 weeks in January and went back to eating unprocessed carbs (brown rice & oats"). Trying out Leangains right now.
Zero carb was really hard to sustain and detrimental to my progress in the gym.
but if you can sustain this diet, word on the street is the results will be nothing short of magic ;)
I agree with Zachary about the Vibrams.
When I got mine I got muscle fevers for a week because I didn't start slow.
Now I wear them nearly all the time and it feels great.
These shoes definitely are a great experience.
@shanna paleo and atkins are completely different. atkins is based on pseudo science at best and is marketed for weight loss (you lose a lot of water weight when you start, then if you go off of it you gain all that water weight back). paleo is designed for health- it's pretty damn hard to find any respectable study that shows eating real foods (things that occur naturally and don't require processing) is bad for you. It's more them just a diet fad.
Sebastian: careful with the five fingers. I love mine, but you do have to ease into them. I disregarded that advice when I wore mine for the first time and walked around nyc for a day... My legs hurt for days.
Wear them for an hour or two one day, take a day off, two or three hours the next day, day off, etc.
Whenever you eat any type of carbohydrate, be it from bread, rice or sugar, your pancreas secretes insulin to regulate blood sugar. Long story short, a carb heavy diet leads to chronically elevated insulin levels, which leads to diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. (the cancer claim is new: theory is, cancers thrive in insulin rich blood).
More detail here, if you're interested: http://www.ajkesslerblog.com/sugar-is-killing-us/
I thought you'd eventually get around to this :) It's a pretty great diet. If you've got any fat on you, you should notice an almost immediate change in your body composition. Dropping carbs should allow you to burn through a couple pounds of fat a week pretty easily (assuming under ~30 years old with some HGH still pumping through you), and turn a fair amount of it into muscle with some weight training. I was amazed at how much bigger I got on this diet in just 10 days.
It's hard though, especially if you love carbs. The cheat day is a tremendous help. I'd recommend stuffing yourself, literally to the point of not wanting to look at carbs until the next cheat day. (btw, I'd recommend Saturday for the cheat day, if you're on a traditional work schedule.)
Sounds like the paleo diet (or whatever they're calling it now. used to be atkins) I always find I feel the best eating lots of protein and crunchy veggies, but it requires real effort to avoid bread.
I like the bit about posture and gait. Deportment is not much taught anymore, except to ballet students, and I've often thought it should be reintroduced.
Lots of people get out of shape, don't think about it, and then one day hit rock bottom or have a realization and go crazy to get into shape.
I'm not sure that's the best way to go about it.
I was pretty significantly injured in March (described here), and my fitness probably hit a low point in May. Now it's interesting - I actually haven't been on any sort of hardcore program since then, but I see my fitness levels improving.
I started working in movement and motion into every day. I tried to go for a walk, at least 15 minutes but ideally an hour every single day. No matter how busy you are, you could find time to do this.
I multi-task the walk. At the very least, I listen to an audiobook. This seven hours of walking time each week means I get through lots of audiobooks, which is great. I'm learning every day.
For most of my life I operated without a daily routine. I would have an idea of what needed to be done every day, and how I should be living my life, but there was little consistency between my days. Around a year ago I started working on building a daily routine, and I've been surprised to find that I like it more than running free. I prefer it because I can focus my decision-making on important things, rather than minutiae, and I can optimize my routine as I go, rather than starting from scratch every day.
I generally wake up between nine and eleven in the morning, usually pretty close to ten. I don't set an alarm because I've noticed that being well slept is one of the biggest influences on daily performance. Waking up an hour earlier by alarm can reduce my ability to focus by half. Not worth it.
As soon as I wake up, I set a timer for five minutes and I meditate. I've only been doing this for a month, and haven't noticed any benefits yet, but I expect it to be a long term investment, not a short term one. The five minutes goes by fast.
Immediately after meditating, I weigh in on my withings scale, brush my teeth, and put water on for tea. Usually I drink Samovar's Green Ecstasy, but I've been drinking Breakaway Matcha's 99 and 100 recently, and I'll occasionally drink a Taiwanese Oolong. I drink tea early because the blend of caffeine, theanine, and whatever else is in tea, helps me focus. I can actually feel the difference when I don't have tea. The effect wears off after a couple hours, but it's a nice way to jump start work early.