Notes on Health & Fitness
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Last update, January 2023.
- ⏰ Fasting is the most efficient way to lose body fat, because you’re using your body fat as your energy source. Cutting on carbs is less effective because eventually your metabolism adjusts itself and you can only go so far until you feel fatigued. That said, this can happen with fasting too if you’re fasting the same amount day after day. Fasting is a tool, so adjust depending on your goals.
- Besides losing body fat, short-term fasting (less than 24 hours) increases growth hormone, lowers insulin and blood sugar levels, improves mental clarity, is good for disease prevention, has short-term autophagy benefits, among other things. 13 hours per day is considered the optimal amount.
- This ties into time-restricted eating, eating earlier in the day is better. Cortisol should be high in the morning, low in the evening, eating raises cortisol.
- Long-term fasting (more than 48 hours), besides the short-term benefits, to put it simply, detoxes/resets the body. Beware though, if you fast too long (more than 3 days I’m guessing), you could lose some muscle. Benefits include: reduced inflammation, reduced age-related diseases, autoimmunity reset, etc. More info.
- Note that fasting is only consuming water and nothing else. You could have tea and black coffee, among other things, but then you lose some of the benefits. More info.
- Using fat as your main energy source is called being in a ketogenic state.
- Exercise when fasting to prevent muscle loss.
- You can’t out-fast a bad diet.
Insulin is a hormone responsible for creating body fat. The more you have of it, the more body fat you’ll create, and vice versa. There are different factors that determine how fast your insulin rises, and how fast it lowers. Every time you eat, your insulin rises. But, depending on what you eat, it will rise more, or less. For example, sugar will rise your insulin the most. The best way to improve your insulin sensitivity is to eat healthy, and not eat too regularly (eg. two meals and no snacks). Also, the better your insulin sensitivity, the better you can use carbs as energy (as opposed to storing it as body fat).
How to break a long fast
- Have a light high fat, low carb, meal.
- Boot up digestion with a small snack, and have the proper meal an hour later.
Also high fat, low carb.
- When fasting, muscles become insulin resistant ie. they have more trouble using carbs as fuel.
A good diet and movement are the best ways to prevent disease.
- 🧘 Oxygen is the most important nutrient.
- 🥩 All you need in a diet is red meat, organs, eggs, fruit, raw dairy and honey.
- 💧 Make sure to hydrate, if you’re thirsty, it’s already too late.
- 🍛 Do not overeat, ever, you’re only going to gain body fat and decrease growth hormone. Eat until 80% full.
- Diet is more important than exercise.
- Foods should be as natural and fresh as possible. Locally sourced, organic.
- Focus on the right kinds of food, not how much. The right foods are the foods that allow the body to proper satiety signals. Also, eat less frequent.
- Focus on foods that are the most bioavailable and have the least amount negative effects.
- Next to stress, your immune system largely depends on your digestive health and vitamin D levels.
- Carbohydrates are not a dietary requirement.
The human body makes carbohydrates if it needs them.
- All plants and their seeds have defense chemicals.
- Fruits (sweet and non-sweet) have the least amount of defense chemicals, so those are safe to eat often.
- Definitely to avoid: vegetables, brown rice, leafy greens, grains, nightshades, nuts and seeds, legumes, mushrooms, chocolate, seed-based spices, coffee & tea.
- Somewhere in between there’s: white rice, fermented veggies, roots/tubers, herbs, coconuts, olive oil.
- Fruit helps keep your electrolytes in balance.
- Fructose isn’t that prevalent in fruit, compared to for example soft drinks (4g compared to 20g). Also, the other components in fruit neutralise the bad effects of fructose (unless the fruit is very ripe). Same with honey, which has a lot of fructose, but other components of honey neutralise the fructose.
- 🥩 The healthiest food is red meat.
- Prefer meat from ruminants over monogastric animals, because ruminants can convert polyunsaturated fatty acids in saturated fat, making them more healthy to eat.
Ruminants: Cow/bull/ox (beef), sheep (lamb), goat, buffalo, bison, eland, deer, elk, moose, antelope, gazelle, wildebeest.
- Don’t eat rare meat when you have trouble with stomach acid. More cooked is more digestible. This way the small intestine can better absorb the nutrients and less fermentation occurs (undigested protein -> bacteria)
- Recommend protein per day: 1.05 per pound of body weight. So for me, 60.5 kg = 133 pounds * 1.05 = 140 gr. Which is two large steaks of 257 grams. No need to calculate fat intake, just eat the fattier cuts of meat, or add more fat.
- 🧈 Cook with beef/byson tallow (filtered suet), butter or ghee.
- 🐄 Focus on monounsaturated and saturated fats. That’s animal fats.
- Avoid all seed oils, these have too much linoleic acid.
Oils to avoid 🚨
- Canola oil
- Corn oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Peanut oil
- Rapeseed oil
- Refined coconut oil
- Soybean oil
- Sunflower oil
Elecrolytes & Hydration
- 🧂 Don’t be afraid of salt.
- 🧃 Hydration is based on your electrolytes.
- Consuming more natural salts with minerals can promote: your overall electrolyte balance, insulin sensitivity, metabolism, hormone balance, digestion, antihistamines.
- Adrenals love sodium, more salt = less stress.
- When increasing salt, increase magnesium as well.
- Too much magnesium and not enough potassium and/or sodium can cause insomnia and other issues.
- Never increase just potassium, only sodium & magnesium.
- Sea salt is easier to absorb than rock salts.
- Topical magnesium supplements might be better as they don’t impact sodium levels as much.
- The more sugar and calcium you eat, the bigger the need for magnesium.
- Add more salt and magnesium when feeling weak/dizzy while exercising.
- Drink enough and eat enough salt to prevent constipation.
- When doing sauna, increase electrolytes.
- Too much salt, means getting waking up to pee, being very thirsty, tired in the morning & having less energy.
- 🥕 Vitamin A is good for the eyes, a healthy immune system, and grow and repair.
Liver, carrots, cod-liver oil.
- ☀️ Vitamin D is the most important vitamin, it’s involved with a lot of functions in the body.
UV radiation, sun shine, cod-liver oil.
- 🍳 Vitamin K2 is good for the teeth and bones, improved insulin sensitivity, exercise performance, brain health, etc. You need proper amounts of magnesium, calcium and zinc for this vitamin to be efficient.
Grass-fed animals, pasture-raised chicken eggs, cheese.
- Calcium, required for many processes in the body. Body will take it from teeth and bones if you don’t have enough of it. Vitamin D is needed for good absorption. Seeds, cheese, yoghurt, beans, lentils, almonds, spinach, kale, sardines, edamame, tofu, milk.
- Magnesium, improves sleep, improves mood, fights inflammation. Banana, avocado, spinach, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, black beans, yoghurt.
- Zinc, immune system, grow and repair. Goes hand in hand with vitamin A. Beef, chicken, lamb, chick peas.
- Fibre is not needed for a healthy microbiome. Increasing or decreasing fibre does not change the microbiome diversity.
- Microbiome diversity is more about how you live: are you getting outside, do you have pets, are you hugging people, or interacting with people.
- Eating unhealthy decreases diversity. Unhealthy, meaning: seed oils, processed sugar, plant toxins, etc.
- 🚶 Go for a walk after a meal, 20 minutes or so is ideal.
Or sit in the hero pose immediately after eating: Hero Pose (Virasana)
- 🦴 Chew food properly and mindfully, no distractions while eating.
- 🥛 Don’t drink less than 30 min before eating and only an hour after eating.
Drinking dilutes the stomach acid.
- Increase stomach acid to improve absorption of nutrients.
- Slow, deep breaths before a meal. 3 seconds in, 5 seconds out, 5 times.
- Tongue exercises, or “mewing”. Simple exercise would be to push the tongue to the roof of your mouth, including the back of your tongue, for 3 minutes.
- Diagnosing where digestion problem lies: Within 15 minutes of eating = stomach issue (eg. not enough acid) Between 30 min and 2 hours = small intestine 2-3 hours after eating = large intestine
- Ideal transit time, 24 hours or less.
- Eat foods that are in season.
- Never eat while angry. Or in other words, the more stress you have the worse your digestion will be.
- Aerobic exercise may be one of the most effective ways to promote gut health and help heal intestinal issues. Aerobic exercise increases butyrate-producing gut bacteria independent of diet. This reduces inflammation & promotes intestinal healing.
- Avoid sweeteners all together, even natural ones like stevia. Even though they have zero carbs, they still raise insulin a lot. Might be even worse than regular sugar.
- Bile acids are antimicrobial, eating some (animal) fats can stimulate their release and keep the small intestine clear.
- Carbs can best be eaten early in the day (you’re more insulin resistant later in the day).
- Eat tough foods for a strong tongue and jaw muscles (eg. chewy bits in steak).
- First meal of the day should be heavy and protein rich (30+ gr), be it breakfast or lunch.
- Gluten-free products are often worse than products with gluten: a lot of chemicals, corn syrup, etc.
- Low-fat food usually means high sucrose levels, so avoid those.
- Milk from stores is heavily processed, buy raw milk instead, raw milk still has the enzymes that allow you to digest milk properly.
- Other things to avoid: preservatives, food colorings, additives, etc.
- Our ability to properly metabolize sugar depends on two key factors: 1) proper mineral balance, and 2) our saturated fat to unsaturated fat (PUFA) ratio in our tissues.
- People from different geographies have different microbiomes and thus are able to handle different foods better. Everyone has a different ability to handle plant toxins.
- Probiotics can be as harmful as antibiotics. Don’t take probiotics every day, hurts the microbiome. Only take probiotics when suffering a specific symptom, eg. when you have diarrhoea.
- Repair your gut lining with bone broth.
- You can make SCFAs on a carnivore diet as well.
- Your body holds on to polyunsaturated fats for quite a long time, it will take time for your body to heal.
- Zinc is needed to create stomach acid.
- 🧘 Breath trough the nose. More efficient oxygen usage, straighter teeth, better jaw, etc.
- 🏋️ Heavy weights & less reps is better than lighter weights & more reps. Mainly because it makes you stronger and it causes more fat loss (up to 3 days after training).
- 8 to 12 sets of 4 to 6 reps, seems to work best.
- Make sure to get enough rest, train every muscle group once per week. It can take 3 to 7 days to fully recover from a heavy-weight workout.
- Do a lot of different exercises, there should be variety, otherwise your body gets too efficient at that specific exercise and you’re not progressing anymore.
- You can train your abs/core and calves multiple times per week, as they take less time to recover (smaller muscles).
- Train your grip and core for better overall strength.
- Cardio isn’t necessary, but it can help you build and retain more muscle. Especially if you do cardio one day and then strength training the next.
- When you do cardio, prefer HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) over other methods. Although, when fasting, you might opt for steady-state cardio if your goal is fat loss.
- Sauna mimics medium cardio.
- Before meals, you can do some light exercises (like wall-pushes and squats) to ensure that those muscles get fed (also an hour and a half after the meal).
- Relating to rest between sets, rest until your breath has somewhat returned to normal. Not too long though. Roughly, 3-4 minutes for large muscle groups (eg. legs) and 1 minute for smaller muscle groups (eg. biceps).
- When you are moving, your brain suppresses the pain signals. That’s why sometimes you feel more pain after waking up the next morning. Your body received the full load, because you stopped moving for that long.
- HIIT cardio: going to your MAX all the way, then resting for as long as you need until you’re fully recovered, and then do the next round (max again). 15-20 seconds of exercise, if you’re able to do longer, you’re not pushing hard enough.
- 🛌 Sleep is crucial.
- 🌅 Stick to your circadian rhythm, wake up when the sun rises and sleep when the sun goes down.
- 7 hours of sleep is the minimum.
- You cannot sleep one day just a few hours and the next day sleep a few hours longer, it doesn’t work that way.
- Your muscles grow when you sleep (and sleep deficiency leads to faster muscle loss).
- Kickstart your circadian rhythm by getting sunlight in the morning. Just a few seconds is enough, but ideally 5 to 20 minutes depending on how cloudy it is.
- No screens or bright lights a half hour, or ideally a bit more, before bed (blue light).
- Things that worsen sleep: being sedentary, chronic stress, bad diet.
- The ideal sleeping temperature is 17°C.
- Your bedroom should be as dark as possible and a bit cool.
- Try fasting the day after not sleeping well. Because your cortisol levels are higher after sleeping less, cortisol + insulin = more body fat. Cortisol without insulin = lose body fat.
- Not enough sleep causes a testosterone deficiency.
Stress & Lifestyle
- Mental stress ⟺ physical stress (it’s all related)
- Stress isn’t always a bad thing.
It’s a signal that you’re body is preparing for something.
- How you think about stress and how you act in general, determines the amount and nature of its physical effects.
- Enjoy the now, don’t think too much about where you’re going.
- Don’t think about tomorrow, nothing bad is going to happen.
- ❄️ Wim Hof method: breathing is required to resist the cold, when trying to resist the cold you burn brown fat, which in turn keeps your temperature up and produces huge amounts of energy. Breathing effectively is important for your focus, metabolism, stress, etc.
- 🧘 Meditating 20 minutes a day can bring enormous benefits, eg. reduce bad stress. Focus on breathing/air flow.
- 🖼 Visualizing yourself doing a task can improve your actual ability to do it. More info.
- Very slow breaths in and out. 7 seconds in, 7 seconds out.
Wim Hof Method
- Breathe in more oxygen than you need.
- Breathe out without fully letting go.
- ↺ Repeat step one and two, 30-50 times.
- Try holding breath for as long as possible.
- Breath in as much oxygen as possible.
- Hold breath again, for 30 seconds or so.
- ↺ Repeat
- Exercise, ie. physical activity, speeds up blood flow and this allows allergens to be moved quickly through the body and eliminated via the kidneys and skin.
- Or in other words, a lack of exercise results in a sluggish blood flow. Stagnant allergens gather in a fixed position, which begins to destroy the tissues around them. Constant movement of the allergens through the blood stream prevents these delicate tissues from becoming inflamed.
- People whose natural defense system is weakened due to an infection or other physical stressor are at increased risk of developing an allergy.