Could IF (Intermittent Fasting) Be Right For You?

November 23rd, 2020 by Debbie Martilotta

I follow a very clean diet, strength train regularly, and avoid toxins in my environment to the best of my ability – so why might I be interested in Intermittent Fasting?

Evidence is accumulating that eating in a 6-hour period and fasting for 18 hours can trigger a metabolic switch from glucose-based to ketone-based energy, with increased stress resistance, increased longevity, and a decreased incidence of diseases, including cancer and obesity.

Until recently, studies of caloric restriction and intermittent fasting focused on aging and the life span. After nearly a century of research on caloric restriction, the overall conclusion was that reduced food intake robustly increases the life span.

Intermittent fasting elicits evolutionarily conserved, adaptive cellular responses that are integrated between and within organs in a manner that improves glucose regulation, increases stress resistance, and suppresses inflammation.

Cells respond to intermittent fasting by engaging in a coordinated adaptive stress response that leads to increased expression of antioxidant defenses, DNA repair, protein quality control, mitochondrial biogenesis and autophagy, and down-regulation of inflammation.

How much of the benefit of intermittent fasting is due to metabolic switching and how much is due to weight loss? Many studies have indicated that several of the benefits of intermittent fasting are dissociated from its effects on weight loss. These benefits include improvements in glucose regulation, blood pressure, and heart rate, and abdominal fat loss.

Despite the evidence for the health benefits of intermittent fasting and its applicability to many diseases, today’s diet of three meals with snacks every day is so ingrained in our culture that a change in this eating pattern can be difficult. The abundance of food and extensive marketing in our culture are also major hurdles to be overcome.

I’ve found a community focused on IF that I follow for both inspiration and guidance, Gin Stephens, author of  Fast. Feast. Repeat & Delay, Don’t Deny. Her blog, books, and Facebook page are full of support!

Intermittent fasting diets fall generally into two categories: daily time-restricted feeding, which narrows eating times to 6–8 hours per day, and so-called 5:2 intermittent fasting, in which people limit themselves to one moderate-sized meal (500 calories) two days each week. With guidance and patience, most people can incorporate IF into their lives.


Fight Inflammation With Food And Exercise

November 2nd, 2020 by Debbie Martilotta

One of the most powerful tools to combat inflammation comes from the grocery store. Choose the right anti-inflammatory foods, and you may be able to reduce your risk of illness. Consistently pick the wrong ones, and you could accelerate the inflammatory disease process.

What does an anti-inflammatory diet do? Your immune system becomes activated when your body recognizes anything that is foreign—such as an invading microbe, plant pollen, or chemical. This often triggers a process called inflammation. Intermittent bouts of inflammation directed at truly threatening invaders protect your health.

However, sometimes inflammation persists, day in and day out, even when you are not threatened by a foreign invader. That’s when inflammation can become your enemy. Many major diseases that plague us—including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer’s—have been linked to chronic inflammation.

Anti-inflammatory diet

To reduce levels of inflammation, aim for an overall healthy diet. If you’re looking for an eating plan that closely follows the tenets of anti-inflammatory eating, consider the Mediterranean diet, which is high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish, and healthy oils.

Anti-inflammatory foods

An anti-inflammatory diet should include these foods:

  • tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collards
  • nuts like almonds and walnuts
  • fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines
  • fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges
  • spices, especially ginger, turmeric, and cayenne
  • green tea contains antioxidant compounds known as catechins, which reduce inflammation

The health risks of inflammatory foods

Not surprisingly, the same foods on an inflammation diet are generally considered bad for our health, including sodas and refined carbohydrates, as well as red meat and processed meats.

Unhealthy foods also contribute to weight gain, which is itself a risk factor for inflammation. Yet in several studies, even after researchers took obesity into account, the link between foods and inflammation remained, which suggests weight gain isn’t the sole driver.

Foods that cause inflammation

Try to avoid or limit these foods as much as possible:

  • refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pastries
  • French fries and other fried foods
  • soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages
  • red meat (burgers, steaks) and processed meat (hot dogs, sausage)
  • margarine, shortening, and lard

In addition to lowering inflammation, a more natural, less processed diet can have noticeable effects on your physical and emotional health.

The impact of strength training

Strength training also improves chronic inflammation. Strength training’s positive effects on chronic inflammation are probably part of why it is shown to decrease the risk of heart disease and diabetes. To maximize your health gains, train with challenging weights and get adequate rest between your workouts.

Exercise regularly and recover completely. Exercise decreases levels of TNF (tumor necrosis factor) and CRP (C-reactive protein), both of which are involved in systemic inflammation. The key to reaping the benefits of exercise and avoiding chronic inflammation is making sure that you allow enough time for the body to recover after every strenuous session.


Better Aging With Resistance Strength Training

November 19th, 2018 by Debbie Martilotta

Sarcopenia refers to the loss of muscle as we age. The average adult experiences a 5 lb muscle loss, a 5% reduction in metabolic function, and a 15 lb fat gain 10 years.  This leads to chronic inflammation, insulin resistance, compromised health and vitality, among other things.  It is no wonder we feel less than our best the older we get.

The good news is that there is a way to stop and even reverse sarcopenia: Resistance Strength Training.

Studies have shown that even brief bouts of strength training(performed at the right intensity) lead to a whole host of adaptations within the body.  The improvement in muscle quality due to proper strength training leads to improvements in brain function, bone density, hormonal levels, metabolic function, and even gastrointestinal function!

As time passes, our bodies are either on a steady decline or are improving.

The key to keeping your body functioning at its best is to find a strength training program that is safe, effective, and measurable.  Today’s technology allows us to use Smart measures to strength train with the perfect intensity to produce the positive adaptations we all need.  Seek to find an atmosphere where you will have expert guidance and accountability to keep you on track, like DBM Strength Training.

If you are feeling the effects of age, let us help you change your life, 30-minutes at a time!


DOMS: Reducing Inflammation Through Diet and Recover Quicker

November 5th, 2018 by Debbie Martilotta

You know that moment. You wake up a few days after a workout and think to yourself, “Ah, now I feel it.” The technical term for this post-workout evidence of hard effort is delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS.

 

DOMS happens when you work your muscles harder
than they are used to working. 

That’s the simple explanation, but on a biological level, there’s a lot more going on. When we work our bodies harder than they are used to, the response is inflammation. The next natural step is an immune response. When our bodies can’t deal with exercise-induced muscle damage, we experience DOMS. While the exact mechanisms are not well understood, DOMS appears to be a product of inflammation caused by microscopic tears in the connective tissue elements that sensitize nociceptors and thereby heighten the sensations of pain.

Smart recovery can prevent DOMS from derailing your training.

  • The best recovery foods to eat after an intense workout are raw, organic whole foods containing healthy amounts of carbs and protein
  • Some of the specific foods shown to soothe muscle soreness include bananas, cacao, coffee, eggs, salmon, spinach, sweet potatoes, and watermelon, as well as spices like cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric
  • Two substances you should avoid combining with exercise are alcohol and sugar, both of which cause inflammation

Over Consumption Of Sugar Contributes To Muscle & Joint Pain!

January 8th, 2018 by Debbie Martilotta

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who trains with me! Sugar causes inflammation, and inflammation causes pain and chronic illness!

I like this article from Susan Brady, a Certified Nutritionist, Doctor of Integrative Medicine, Physical Therapist.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the average American consumes roughly 47 pounds of cane sugar and 35 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup per year. 

Research shows that the consumption of foods high in sugar can cause inflammation. Studies measuring inflammation with a blood test called C-reactive protein (CRP) discovered that foods with a high concentration of sugar increase CRP levels.

This occurs because sugary foods cause a spike in a hormone called insulin which starts a cascade of biochemical reactions that lead to the production of inflammation.  Insulin is secreted by the pancreas and is responsible for taking sugar out of the bloodstream and storing it in the cells, which also contributes to the accumulation of fat.  Visceral fat, or stomach fat, itself secretes inflammatory proteins and hormones which generates chronic inflammation.

Most forms of joint pain and muscle aches involve inflammation and, even if the pain is the result of trauma, symptoms may be exacerbated and prolonged by eating foods high in sugar.

LIMITING SUGAR INTAKE IS A MUST FOR REDUCING THE ACCUMULATION OF AGES THAT CAN LEAD TO JOINT DAMAGE AND PAIN.

If you suffer from joint and/or muscle aches and pain, try eliminating sugar from your diet and focus on eating the REAL food provided by nature.  You will be amazed how much better you feel and how much more energy you have, along with improved overall health and fitness!