Tag: weight loss

Why Most Diet Pills are Either Illegal or Ineffective (1 of 3)

I was teaching at my biology class the other day and one of my students asked about what is the diet pill I would recommend. My answer is basically in the title. To be fair, for people that have imbalanced diet, some supplements might help their weight loss. Some natural supplements can also help when combined with exercise. But the active ingredients for these items are usually very cheap and once its packed and branded by the big brands (cough.. cough… G*C), then it would be priced way above what it should be. Below are my list of common effective but illegal drugs in most western countries. It is meant as a warning when you look at the product ingredient so you can avoid them, not the opposite.

The Illegal Ones

DNP (2,4 Dinitrophenol)

Other names: 1 Hydroxy-2,4-dinitrophenol, Solfo Black, Nitrophen, Aldifen, and Chemox

Yes, it actually works. Basically we consume food mainly as a source of energy in the form of ATP. And this substance lowers the efficiency of converting food to ATP. It is so effective that a person weighing 100 kg can loose 5 kg in 10 days. This product has been banned by the FDA since the 1940’s. So if its so effective, why is it forbidden? Basically use it too much (and depending on your bodyweight, effective dose could be less than 200 mg) and you could ended up increasing your metabolism so much that you will fry your internal organs. It is so hazardous that its other usage are insecticide, wood preservative, herbicide and explosive.

Sibutramine (chlorosibutramine)

Other names:  Reductil, Meridia, and Siredia

If you can’t increase the “cost” of converting the food to energy, what do you do? You suppress the appetite. And this drug actually works. Except that this drug also increase your chance of getting heart disease and stroke, along with possible side effects as  dry mouth, paradoxically increased appetite, nauseastrange taste in the mouth, upset stomach, constipation, trouble sleeping, dizziness, drowsiness, menstrual cramps/pain, headache, flushing, or joint/muscle pain. Hence this drug has been banned and taken out of the market since 2010.

Ephedrine

Other names: Bronkaid, Primatene

Mammals such as rats have “brown fat” which unlike “white fat” commonly found in humans, continuously burn calories. Ephedrine mimics this effect in the skeletal muscle, along with slowing down gastric emptying (makes you feel full longer). This product was widely used for a long time until piling evidence of increased risk of stroke and heart disease along with common side effects such as trouble sleeping, anxiety, headache, hallucinationshigh blood pressurefast heart rate, loss of appetite, and inability to urinate leading it to be banned from most advanced countries by early 21st century.

Rimonabant

Other names: Acomplia, Zimulti

Another appetite suppressant drug that was introduced in EU in 2006, never approved in US and Canada, and was withdrawn from EU market in 2008. Why? Because it increases suicidal and depression tendency along with common risk of developing gastroenteritis, anxiety, irritability, insomnia and other sleep disorders, hot flushes, diarrhea, vomiting, dry or itchy skin, tendonitis, muscle cramps and spasms, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, and increased risk of falling.

Fen-Phen

Other names: Fenfluramine (Podimin) combined with Phentermine

Both drugs are proven effective on weight loss and the combination of both further increases its effectiveness. Problem is that both drugs have well known harmful side effect and the combination of both have the potential to cause fatal pulmonary hypertension and heart valve problem. As of 2005, Wyeth Pharmaceutical, the manufacturer and marketer of this product had to settle billions of USD in court over the damages.

Clenbuterol

Other names: Dilaterol, Spiropent, Ventipulmin

Word on the street is that this is the drug of choice for Holywood stars to gain muscle mass and loose body fat. Unlike synthetic testosterone (a.k.a. steroids), Clenbuterol will not cause women to develop male secondary sexual characteristic. And testing on animals have shown that the effects are real. Sounds too good to be true right? well, it is.

Short term side effect of clenbuterol ingestion that was recorded due to human ingestion of clenbuterol tainted meat ranges from muscle crams, hypertension, increased heart rate, dry mouth, insomnia, vomiting, tremors, sweating, etc. Long term side effect of the drug includes heart abnormalities and decrease in bone mass. Worse yet, your body developed resistance to the drug over the long run which will cause weight gain on the user. Currently this drug is only legally allowed to be used to treat horse asthma. And once the horse has been treated with it, it can no longer be slaughtered for human consumption.

Conclusion

Yes, these drugs do work as advertised. They do so either by:

  1. Increasing your metabolism that will increase your body temperature and quite possibly either fry your internal organs, or make your internal organs behave in uncertain ways such that it ended up damaging them.
  2. Lowering your appetite or making your stomach feel fuller. Of course drugs that alter your nervous system related to the digestion system also have a chance of affecting other nervous system in your body, including your brain.

Both kinds of weight loss drug does work, but it comes with its own risk, either it will risk killing you in the long run,  due to overdose, or turn you into suicidal. There’s a reason why these drugs got banned in the first place.

Stay tuned for part two on the currently legal drugs that might not be as efficient as advertised.

Exercise or Diet for 6-pack

[:en]Ah, the eternal question. Which is more important?

If Coca-cola, Nestle and PepsiCola has their way, then diet soda is actually helpful for weight loss and exercise is much more important than diet. Well, for the obvious reasons, we can’t simply take this at face value right?

Meanwhile at the end of the spectrum, mainstream media like New York Times and and CBS are all saying how dieting is more important than exercise.

Now here is where it gets interesting. According to University of North Carolina research, from 2003 to 2012, US per-capita consumption of soda and junk food has actually decreased. So if diet is more important, then the number of obese people living in US should be decreasing right? Except that according data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2007 to 2012, the number of obese people in USA during this period actually increased. So surely diet is not the most important thing.

Well, according to research done by Mayo clinic, apparently over the past decade, US population physical activity continues to decrease. And according to the latest research done by Loughborough University, exercise actually help decrease appetite, and works much better at lowering your body fat content than diet. So apparently in this case Coke and Pepsi might be more right than NYT. As Aleksey Torokhtiy, Russian weightlifting gold medalist said on reddit AMA, he doesn’t go on any diet, he just eat anything he likes to eat.

So have you hit the weight room this week ladies?

Click here and subscribe to my channel for simple exercises that will help you get loose fat and get strong![:zh]Ah, the eternal question. Which is more important?

If Coca-cola, Nestle and PepsiCola has their way, then diet soda is actually helpful for weight loss and exercise is much more important than diet. Well, for the obvious reasons, we can’t simply take this at face value right?

Meanwhile at the end of the spectrum, mainstream media like New York Times and and CBS are all saying how dieting is more important than exercise.

Now here is where it gets interesting. According to University of North Carolina research, from 2003 to 2012, US per-capita consumption of soda and junk food has actually decreased. So if diet is more important, then the number of obese people living in US should be decreasing right? Except that according data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2007 to 2012, the number of obese people in USA during this period actually increased. So surely diet is not the most important thing.

Well, according to research done by Mayo clinic, apparently over the past decade, US population physical activity continues to decrease. And according to the latest research done by Loughborough University, exercise actually help decrease appetite, and works much better at lowering your body fat content than diet. So apparently in this case Coke and Pepsi might be more right than NYT. As Aleksey Torokhtiy, Russian weightlifting gold medalist said on reddit AMA, he doesn’t go on any diet, he just eat anything he likes to eat.

So have you hit the weight room this week ladies?

Click here and subscribe to my channel for simple exercises that will help you get loose fat and get strong![:id]Ah, pertanyaan abadi. Mana yang lebih penting?

Kalau kita mau mengikuti pendapat Coca-cola, Nestle dan PepsiCola, minuman soda diet itu bisa membantu mengurangi berat badan dan olah-raga itu lebih penting dari diet. Namun untuk alasan yang kita semua tahu, kita jelas tidak bisa percaya begitu saja bukan.

Sementara itu ada pula pendapat yang bertolak belakang, dimana media massa terbesar seperti New York Times dan CBS semuanya mengatakan diet itu lebih penting dari olah raga.

Naah, mari kita teliti lebih dalam. Menurut penelitian dari Universitas Carolina Utara, konsumsi soda dan makanan cepat saji perkapita di Amerika dari 2003 ke 2012 telah menurun. Bila diet itu penting, maka jumlah penduduk gemuk di Amerika seharusnya berkurang bukan? Namun menurut data dari survei National Health and Nutrition tahun 2007 hingga 2012, jumlah penduduk gemuk di Amerika dalam jangka waktu ini justru meningkat. Tentunya diet bukanlah yang paling penting.

Menurut penelitian dari Mayo Clinic, nampaknya dalam satu dasawarsa ini penduduk Amerika semakin malas bergerak. Sedangkan menurut penelitian terakhir dari Universitas Loughborough, olah-raga membantu menurunkan nafsu makan, dan jauh lebih efektif dari diet untuk menurunkan kadar lemak badan. Jadi dalam hal ini kelihatannya Coca-cola dan Pepsi justru lebih benar dari New York Times. Seperti kata Aleksey Torokhtiy, peraih medali emas angkat besi dari Russia, “saya tidak pernah berdiet, saya makan apa yang saya kepingin makan.”

Jadi ibu-ibu sekalian sudah pergi ke gym bulan ini?

Klik disini dan berlanggananlah ke saluran YouTube saya untuk ide latihan sederhana yang bisa membantu anda mengurangi lemak tubuh dan menjadi kuat![:]

Myths about Fat and Health Articles

If you read my previous article about juicing, you might have guessed that I’m not a big fan of Paleo diet. And that is correct. But recently it seems to be popular to bash Paleo diet such that even international business times and the telegraph all published an article about how bad Paleo diet is based on a single study which I personally believe doesn’t really answer a lot of question.  Well, unfortunately your writer here is a science based contrarian and this article will instead be dedicated on giving some reason why I still love my bacon and butter:

1. What the research actually said

mouse

First of all, the “latest research” done in Australia (don’t you just love the land from down under that came up with the multifidus story) only involved mice, not humans. Second of all, the mice in the study was force fed 81% fat diet while the control group were only fed 10% fat. Mind you that even if you ate a diet consisting 100% from sausage mcmuffin, you would only be eating 39% fat, less than 1/2 of the rat study and rats don’t normally eat so much fat anyway. So this is definitely something very unnatural. Least we forget that there has been numerous study on Paleo diet on diabetic people, paleo diet on people with certain heart disease, and Paleo diet on healthy individuals. All which gave positive result by the way.

The point I want to take is, never take a conclusion based on a single research, and always have a trusted source (which apparently is hard to find) to translate this research for you. Even the human trials have very limited sample size in very limited setting, hence depending on your genetic make up, Paleo diet might or might not be good for you. In fact, based on a research done in Israel last year, depending on your gene, tomatoes might spike your blood sugar level more than pasta.

2. Why You shouldn’t jump head first into Paleo instead

masai

Wait, so if this latest trend of paleo bashing is not correct, does that mean its ok to go all paleo?

Well, not so fast. As the latest research from University of Chicago has proven, our ancestors actually do eat carbs, including all the way back from 10,000 years ago! And these starches are important for the growth of our brain!

An underlying premise of the Paleo diet is that our human genome has stopped evolving over the past 10,000 years and we are most optimized to function with the diet at the time. These “researchers” then observe the Maasai tribe in Africa and other nomadic tribes around the world before concluding that if you want to be healthy (even if your ancestors are rice eating asian), you should eat like the Massai.

Except that humans do still evolve even to recent times. One study on Eurasians from 6500 to 300 BC with Caucasian farmers has shown multiple genetic mutation for better adaptation to the Caucasian shift to agricultural society. Another study has shown how even our saliva has evolved. Yet another showed another evolution to improve our immune system. Mind you these are just a few of the studies over the past decade that simply debunked the Paleo underlying premise.

3. What I would recommend

Tumpeng-Jawa

As recent article on national geographic based on Professor Stephen Le’s research elegantly put it, you should eat what your ancestor’s ate 500 years ago. Or as the popular saying goes, don’t eat something your grandma would not recognize as “food”.

So, if you have moved to a different country with different climate, have a mixed racial background, or want to be bigger/taller from the previous generation, does that mean you are stuck? Well, I for one always believe that you should experiment, mix and match, and see which works for you. My mentor is 100% British background and he was diagnosed with celiac disease a decade before the gluten free craze, so he eats rice instead. Use caution, see which works for you, and have a trusted expert help you translate the latest craze. I for one love alcohol but having alcohol will quickly bury my 6pack and eating a tonne of rice would not affect my body fat composition. Most of the established science regarding sports medicine diet are correct and well, both Hafthor Bjornsson and Brian Shaw, No. 1 and 2 strongman champion ate a balance source of carbs, fat, protein and fiber.

Why Chicks Should Hit The Weight Room

Recently I had yet another talk with my sister regarding women doing weight training. And its amazing how even in this modern age and feminism, some women are still afraid of getting some iron diet because of misconceptions and old fairy tales. So I hope this article will help convince women to hit the barbell and for the men to cite and better persuade their gf/wife to join them at the gym.

1. You get to eat and not get fat

blueberry cheesecake

A long standing joke is that what women really want is not a dashing rich and adventurous gentleman to be completely devoted to her. What women really wants is to eat and not get fat. And its common sense that in order to loose weight, then you need to spend more energy than what you consume right? Well, what happens if I told you that long term calorie restriction leads to lower metabolism. I.e. you need to continuously reduce what you eat in order to continue loosing weight. Keep in mind that 65 – 75% of calories you spend is while you are resting. Heck research on mice even indicates that if you go on a diet for a while and then you stop, you could even get more fat with the SAME diet as before. So diet alone will not help. Meanwhile, strength training allows you to jack up your metabolism long AFTER you finish your exercise. Basically you can loose weight while keeping the same diet! Mind you all this has been proven by Oxford researchers.

2. No, women will not get ripped just from weight training alone

female bodybuilder

A common misconception is that women that lift weights will get bulky and muscular. Except that Males testosterone blood level is 7 – 8 times greater than females and that the average male produces on average 20 times more testosterone than females. Yes, male body naturally produces and absorbs testosterone at several multiple greater than female. So in order for women to get jacked as big as the image above, they need to use more steroid than men. So no need to worry about looking like a female Arnold ladies. In fact, although this below chick squats more than I do pound for pound, her legs still looks normal.

ZoeSmithLYG

Her name is Zoe Smith by the way, she competes in 49 kg weightlifting class and she squats 160 kg, more than 3x her own body weight.

3. Helps you adjust your body contour

fitness butt

And butts that squats are always hotter than butt that belong to full time desk jockeys. OK, hiking, skiing and tennis also gives great butts, so please don’t get jealous honey. I for one like legs that have some musculature on it, not just skin and bones.

4. Build stronger bones

bone

Tired of listening to your mom or grandma complained about her osteophorisis? Well, tell them to hit the gym as research has shown how weight training increases bone density even in post menopausal women. Plus the men in the family would definitely appreciate the natural butt lifts their women are getting.

5. They also build stronger joints

knee

Your grandma also complained about her knees? Well, as they say, use it or loose it. Research also shown how weight training helps improve joint health even on people with osteoporosis. Of course the key being doing full range motion, proper movement pattern, and not too much repetitive loading. So I do not recommend de-conditioned people regardless of their age to jump into a crossfit or bodypump class.

So there you have it ladies, happy lifting. And if your man is afraid that you would snatch more weight than he does, then maybe its time for you to get an upgrade and get a better man!