Tag: fatloss

Mind and Body

Modern people are poor on time and rich on distraction.  We are all about multi-tasking and it would be great if exercise can be one of those things you can multi-task away, say while watching TV and playing with your phone.

Our muscles contracts and relaxes due to electro-chemical signals from our nervous system to our muscle.  This is the reason why our body twitch uncontrollably when we accidentally get electrocuted.  This mechanism is useful in physiotherapy.  Muscles that are not used tend to shrink. When our joints are injured, we cannot do regular exercise.  Pulsed electric frequency can be used to stimulate the muscles and prevent them from shrinking while our joints are recovering.

These days, these mechanism are being used, such as by a product that sounded like “sixpack” to promote a method of gaining muscles without breaking a sweat, allowing you to finally multi-task while gaining muscle!

What is the Problem?

Electrocuting yourself while binge watching netflix might seemed to be a good idea to get six pack abs.  But what exactly are you missing when you skipped the squat rack for electric pad?

Movement Proficiency

People that are properly trained in functional movement patterns (not to be confused with a misguided youtuber with similar handle) will learn how to  move in a joint conserving way.  For example, when they squat, they will know how to engage both the posterior and anterior chain of movement, using power from the hips and how to align the knees.  This skill will enable them to move in a joint conservative way while generating high power.  You will not learn this skill if you simply zap your legs.

My main bread and butter right now is training 70-80 year old grannies proper functional movement patterns as described in Prof. McGill’s Ultimate Back Fitness. These people are people with early knee osteoarthritis issues that have been to the best orthopedic surgeons, acupuncturist and physiotherapist money can buy in Hong Kong and still find it painful to walk, sit and climb stairs. The reliefs they are getting after several sessions with me are caused by their increased movement skills and this cannot be earned by simple muscle electrocution.

Neuromuscular Connectivity

Your skeletal muscles are connected with neurons to your brain.  This connection is what enables you to consciously move your body.  The more you train, the more refined would your connection be.  Think of martial arts masters, olympic weightlifters and powerlifters that are able to recruit high proportion of their muscle fibers at multiple joints to execute a single movement in harmony.  This is connection cannot be built when your training method doesn’t even involve your conscious mind.

Bone Density

It costs USD 22,000 / kg of items shipped to ISS. NASA and CSA is definitely spending way more money sending a glorified treadmill and squat rack into space when they could save a tonne of money in the short term simply sending those muscle electrocuting pads.

Your bone is actually alive.  It has blood vessels and neural network inside.  This is why your bone can heal after fracture.  Your bone can also increase in density with repeated loading-unloading such as squats and deadlifts.  Athletes, farmers and construction workers have high bone density due to this mechanism.  Just don’t expect this benefit if you are a couch athlete.


By all means, if your goal is simple cosmetics, then these type of devices can definitely help you. Unlike training with improper movement, this method of training have no risk of harming your joints.  But proper exercise have far more benefit than simply looking buffed.  You will not get those benefits without putting the actual work.

Unsaturated Fat is Good, Saturated Fat is Bad?

In high school, we were taught saturated fat is bad, mono-unsaturated fat is better, and polyunsaturated fat is the best for the heart.  Based on my experience when teaching high school biology under the Cambridge curriculum last year, this was still the case.  All the food shown on the featured image is considered unhealthy mainly because of their high saturated fat content.  How true is this?  After all, we were once taught that margarine is healthier than butter, fructose is healthier than sugar, non-dairy creamer is better than milk, and artificial sweeteners are good for you.  All of this was later proven to be false.

Every 100 gr of soybean oil contains 16 gr of saturated fat, 23 gr of mono-unsaturated fat, and 58 gr of polyunsaturated fat. Every 100 gr of coconut oil on the other hand contains a whooping 87 gr of saturated fat, 6 gr of mono-unsaturated fat, and a miniscule 1.8 gr of polyunsaturated fat. Hence if your high school biology text book is correct, then soybean oil is health food and coconut oil is junk food, right?

The Research

Researchers from University of California, Riverside recently conducted an experiment that split mice into four different groups. The first group was fed with only coconut oil (CO), the second group was fed a mix of coconut oil and soybean oil (CO-SO), the third group was fed with fructose and coconut oil (F-CO) and the last group was fed with a mix of fructose, coconut oil and soybean oil (F-CO-SO).  The total diet percentage of soybean oil and fructose was made to mimic the modern American diet.  The purpose of this mix is to investigate the effect of saturated vs unsaturated along with fructose on health.  The total fat consumption is 40% which is is quite large but not unnatural unlike what some researchers in Australia did by forcing rats to consume 80% fat.

The rats are monitored for significant increases in weight gain, adiposity, diabetes, glucose intolerance and insulin resistance among other things to see the effects of different diet mix on health.

The Result

The second group of mice (CO-SO) experienced weight gain, increased fat tissue, diabetes, glucose intolerance and insulin resistance compared to the first group of mice (CO). They also experienced fatty livers with hepatocyte ballooning and very large lipid droplets as well as shorter colonic crypt length.  The third group of mice (F-CO) did not experience as much obesity or diabetes as the second group, but experienced rectal prolapse and very fatty livers. Genetic markers for diabetes, obesity, inflammation and cancer all increased activity on the second group (SO-CO).  The healthiest group is the first (CO) while the worst off is the last group (F-SO-CO).


1. The Cake is a Lie

Basically all those theories taught at school was based on cherry picking data done to support certain industry agenda.  If the data doesn’t suit them, they would simply throw away the “bad” data.  In the past, reproducibility of a published research was simply not important, allowing these bad researchers to thrive.  There’s also the case like the Harvard researchers that was bribed by the sugar industry to promote more carbohydrate consumption.  Just because something is high in saturated fats, it doesn’t mean that it’s not healthy.  I’m talking about traditional foods such as eggs and cheese that has been misaligned for decades over their saturated fat content.  Of course I personally think cakes are still junk food due to their high content of highly refined carbohydrate.

2. This Is Strictly for Soybean and Coconut Oil

The scope of this research compares soybean oil and coconut oil (regular type, not extra organic virgin harvested from the mouth of an active volcano). It does not encourage you to consume 40% of your diet from oil as there is no study comparison on humans (not rats) with differing level of oil consumptions. It also does not say that saturated fat is better than unsaturated fat. 100 gr of olive oil contains 14 gr of saturated fat, 73 gr of monounsaturated fat 11 gr of polyunsaturated fat, and is still considered as health food despite its high smoke point (unsuitable for frying).  Simply said, food cannot be classified as healthy or not due only to their saturated fat content.

3. Natural Foods Are Better

The problem with highly refined foods is that it separates ingredients that are naturally meant to be consumed together. Just like how fruits are healthy but fruit juice are not.  Soybean oil can only be extracted from an industrial chemical process while coconut oil has been traditionally used societies across South and Southeast Asia for generations.  This is why the main ingredients of Magnus Breakfast Mix are whey protein that is a natural by-product of cheese processing and whole grain rolled oats.

Why Magnus Whey?

Currently there’s so many protein supplement product on the market. Do they actually do anything? Are they all the same?

Of course every brand will claim that their “patented mix” of protein is the best available on the market. But do they have independent research to prove that is actually the case?

5 Reasons To Choose Magnus Whey

  1. Helps Protects The Heart

Research done by University of Reading UK, showed that whey protein consumption lowers your risk of heart disease.

  1. Can Be Used for Fat Loss and Maintenance

Increased protein consumption has been proven to help people in achieving their ideal body weight and maintaining them via different mechanisms, all scientifically proven by different leading universities.

  1. Better Than Leading Vegan Proteins

Consumer Research recently did a study on over 150 leading protein brands globally and found that that using whey protein actually contains the lowest amount of heavy metal contaminants while those from vegetable sources had the highest heavy metal contamination.

  1. Free from Artificial Sweeteners

Browse the whey protein rows on your favorite supplement store and look at the ingredients label. You will find exotic names like Sucralose, Ace-K, Aspartame etc that are all artificial sweeteners and have been linked to Obesity, Type-2 Diabetes, even Stroke and Dementia. The latest research shedding these horrendous side effects being done by Boston University. This is why Magnus Whey is free of artificial sweeteners.

  1. Best To Grow Strength

If it’s one thing both young men and seniors both want, it is more strength, especially for seniors where loss of strength leads to less mobility and hence quality of life.  Northern Illinois University has proven that Whey protein is the best supplement to enhance strength and lean muscle mass.

Hence why you should choose Magnus Whey to help you achieve your healthy ideal body.

Fitness Trackers and The Promise of Health

Technological innovation, and the promise of making manual jobs obsolete. Including jobs like personal trainers that is. There is no doubt that some time in the future, technology would have advanced so far that a machine can scan your body, then device the most optimal diet and training regimen for you at that particular moment to ensure you reach your optimum fitness goal. That day has not arrived yet.

Its interesting that when the “fitness revolution” was first launched by fitbit and the likes, early data was very promising. Promising enough that even insurance companies would give discounts for people that uses fitness trackers. However, more recent studies have showed that on average, people that wore fitness trackers actually lost less weight than those who don’t on an average basis. So what happened?

Garbage In, Garbage Out


As my statistics professor once said, if you feed bad data in, you will only get bad data as result, i.e. “garbage in, garbage out”. In this case, the early generation fitness trackers, these devices can only count on how many steps you take. I.e. they are basically high tech pedometer, no different than what our parents used.

In the 1960’s the Japanese company that invented the modern pedometer basically made this theory that if you took 10,000 steps a day, then you would be healthy. No actual solid research was used to draw this conclusion, it was simply something they used to market their product. Although modern research does prove that higher level of mobility (anywhere from 5000 to 8000 steps depending on your gender and age) is good for you, the comparison has always been with those that have sedentary lifestyle.

Hence it seems that the early positive result could be due to mostly health conscious people using the earlier generation product or getting people that are very sedentary to start becoming more mobile.

Joint Damage

918_Knee_InjuryMostmay not realize this, but overweight people that spent most of their lives sitting should not be forced to suddenly take too many steps. The additional weight they have will simply cause their joints to wear out faster. The lifelong habit of sitting also tend to make some overweight people to have inefficient walking gait. Due to these two concerns, forcing them to suddenly walk certain distance will increase their risk of developing joint damage on the knees and ankles, and once these joints are damaged, the wearer will inadvertently walk less, hence loosing the initial gains from more mobile lifestyle.

Metabolic Conditioning


Qualified personal trainers all knows that there are two ways for you to burn calories, one while you exercise, and the other is while you do everything else. The everything else part of the equation is more than three times that of what you burn while exercising. Hence it makes sense that you should concentrate more on the later part. You could increase your base line metabolism level (i.e. basalt metabolism) by either developing bigger muscles, or by doing High Impact Interval Training (i.e. HIIT). Both methods will increase your basalt metabolism level anywhere from 24 to 48 hours after you train. And neither of them can be detected with previous generation fitness device.

Any Hope For Future Generation Fitness Trackers?

Even the previous generation fitness generation can function as a glorified interval counter that will remind you to stand up and do a little bit of stretching if you have been sitting for too long. And as an advocate for Dr. McGill’s spine hygine, this is a very good function. Newer generation fitness trackers can already measure your heart beat, hence it can be used as an accessory while you do your HIIT training. Of course, when you do HIIT, be mindful on your joint alignments, having rest days and your choice of activity as you will be subjected to higher risk of injury otherwise.


Fitness trackers can definitely be used as part of the larger solution to make people be more active and healthy. However, its still just part of the equation and it should not be used as the main solution to your problem.