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Apr 28

Oil sector poised to bounce back from the coronavirus – Axios

The reports of the death of the oil industry are, to quote Mark Twain, greatly exaggerated.

Driving the news: Progressive leaders are pouncing on the current collapse in the oil sector as a sign this is the beginning of its end and a turning point for the climate-change movement. Not so fast.

The big picture:

Where it stands: A lot of potential factors could make this moment in history the beginning of the end for the oil industry, but both history and experts suggest that absent explicit actions by governments, the long-term outlook for the oil industry is at least neutral, and even possibly positive.

Lets look first at the three factors suggesting the outlook will be positive for the industry, and then three that could change things.

The three positives:

What I worry about most is history suggests when the economy is suffering, the pace of environmental policy ambition wanes, said Jason Bordoff, a former Obama administration energy official who now leads Columbia Universitys Center on Global Energy Policy. It means that policies that would slow oil demand growth may get pulled back.

Oil demand tracks closely with economic growth. It may not feel this way now, but history suggests the economy will eventually get better.

This crisis moment could actually force better financial decisions overall and weed out producers less financially secure, Bordoff says. And as the economy improves and demand recovers, "strong companies might do quite well over the next decade, Bordoff said.

Why dont you just stop eating if you want to lose weight?

Its important to change oil demand over a period of years and decades if you want to create a sustainable reduction in emissions, said Ed Crooks, vice chairman of the Americas for consultancy Wood Mackenzie.

The three variables:

This pandemic could change our society for the long haul. Maybe

The first three would reduce oil demand, while the last three would increase it. Regardless, theyre tinkering around the edges.

By the numbers: Lower oil demand from aviation, road transport and cruise ships could result in a loss of just over three million barrels a day by 2040, compared to an overall oil market of 115 million barrels of oil a day or more by then, an S&P Global Platts Analytics analysis found.

If this is a big if countries around the world seek to infuse their economic stimulus plans with clean-energy policies, that could go a long way in keeping the oil industry on its knees where it is now.

The most immediate and obvious impact of Joe Biden winning would be that he would likely infuse clean energy into any additional stimulus measures still needed by then.

The bottom line: We might not be going anywhere right now, but neither is the oil industry.

More here:
Oil sector poised to bounce back from the coronavirus - Axios


Apr 28

Chris Pratt lost 5 pounds in order to face a new role, and gives the trick: ‘We need to work out-heavy’ – Matzav Review

United of the chicken with the sweet potatoes, lets go! Whether its tips on how to lose weight? Chris Pratt teaches you! The star of Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World, is gearing up to take on a new role and it showed up yesterday (28th), and in his stories), what is the secret behind such a good way.

The actor of 40 years, he shared a series of videos of walking on a treadmill to the tune of Girl On Fire from Alicia Keys. Im sweating it out, as you can see, the girl here is on firejoked. Then he explained to me that the practice is part of his preparation for his next work, the sci-fi Seven Draft picks.

If you think thats the trick of it was to just workout and lift weights, if youre not! The heartthrob confessed that his morning routine is made up of the consumption, and three trips to the bathroom to pee. In this way, he was able to lose 5 kg quickly! But to us, its crazy, is it? Will it work the same?

Im going to start recording a new movie called Ghost Drafts, then I have a few pounds to lose Ive lost 5kg, which is great, and it was very fast. Heres what I do: water. If youre like me, planning on how to lose weight, and then drink the water. Get it out there. You dont need to work-out a super-heavy, but its water, water, water. To make an accident-three times before 10 am, the truth is, try to do thisstated Chris.

Then, the artist had claimed that his motivation is to follow in working out come from her brother, and has said that it will work its way through the process. Im going to document my weight loss. I was inspired by my brother, Cully, who has lost weight so much, and its great at the time, it motivated me. And Im going to motivate you, we will go through this together. I posted photos of themselves drinking water and sweating a lot, he asked the young man.

Over the past few years, Pratt has undergone a physical transformation, well, intense. At the time he was working on the hit series from NBC, Parks and Recreation, he weighs 133kg. The changes that have occurred in the line-up for the Marvel movies. Today, the muse is 41kg more slender. Heres a picture showing the before and after.

So, what do you think? They will adhere to the hints, Chris? Went to drink a gallon of water and do lots of xixis!

View post:
Chris Pratt lost 5 pounds in order to face a new role, and gives the trick: 'We need to work out-heavy' - Matzav Review


Apr 28

Aldo, Cyborg reflect on what happened after losses to McGregor, Nunes – MMA Fighting

Jose Aldo and Cris Cyborg share a few things in common. They both reigned at the top of the featherweight mountain in mixed martial arts for years and years, arguably the greatest of all times in their weight classes, and both lost their crowns in less than a minute.

The Nova Uniao star was unbeaten for a decade when Conor McGregor dropped him with a left hand to become the UFC titleholder in just 13 seconds. Cyborg, who also hadnt been beaten since 2005, lost her gold in a 51-second knockout defeat to Amanda Nunes.

The former UFC champions sat down to chat on Cyborgs YouTube channel Friday and discussed how their lives changed after losing titles so quickly.

We never expect to lose and lose like that, Aldo said. Its a sport and its 50-50, of course, it could happen one day. As long as were fighting, losing is a possibility, but I was so confident in my head going into this fight. No, Im super well-prepared, I cant see how this guy wins. For everything that was said and everything that was going on, my team and I were positive that we would get there and defeat him. And thats not what happened.

Aldo admits he started having doubts in my head after going down in just 13 seconds following a long training camp. He also recalled reaching out to Cyborg for advice on how to get my chin strong because he thought I have to train this aspect because the guy landed one punch and I went down, I have a bad chin.

The UFC booked a rematch between Aldo and Frankie Edgar for an interim belt at UFC 200, and Aldo admits he fought playing safe, not taking risks, not putting myself in danger because that was a fight I had to win no matter how. The Brazilian star won a decision that night, and was later promoted to undisputed champion after the company stripped McGregor of his belt.

Right after that I said, no, Im the champion, that was only one fact that will never happen again in my life. Thats why I have to train twice as hard, see the mistakes I made and never make them again, Aldo said.

Cyborgs reign was also shattered in seconds. However, at the end of the day, she felt a weight getting off my back after losing at UFC 232.

The former Strikeforce, Invicta FC and UFC queen says her nine-month camp for Nunes was chaotic, switching managers and teams, but still felt in my heart that I was prepared.

I think thats something wrong when there are no problems in my camp because I always have a problem in my camp and that motivates me, Cyborg said. I trained nine months for that fight and had so much stress around me. Its not an excuse, but I acted emotionally in the fight. Its not what I trained, I acted emotionally. We never think were going to lose in the first round. You say Ill give my all, Ill go until the end, and if they defeat me, Im going until the end. Thats what we think.

The worst thing there is after you lose a fight is to take a shower, she continued. You take a shower by yourself and that flash comes in your head all the time, and then you start to question (yourself). One side says something, the other side says something else. Theres a fight inside your head every time you take a shower. The week after that fight was a difficult moment.

Cyborg eventually returned to the eight-sided cage to give Felicia Spencer a decision loss and left the promotion to join Bellator and become the 145-pound queen by knocking out Julia Budd.

I see everything that happened as something for the better because I definitely became a better athlete and a better person, and Im grateful, Cyborg said. Im grateful for everything that happened.

The Lioness Nunes continues to reign as a two-division champion in the UFC, and Cyborg awaits her next contender in the Bellator cage. That said, the Grand Slam Champion hasnt given up on the idea of promotion a cross-promotion clash with Nunes.

Its not a dream, its a goal in MMA, to do something different, Cyborg said. A super fight between the Bellator champion and the UFC champion, Amanda Nunes and I. I think it would help MMA a lot.

See the original post:
Aldo, Cyborg reflect on what happened after losses to McGregor, Nunes - MMA Fighting


Apr 28

Can We Track COVID-19 and Protect Privacy at the Same Time? – The New Yorker

Caroline Buckee, a top epidemiologist at Harvards T.H. Chan School of Public Health, has devoted her professional life to studying malaria and other infectious diseases. As news of a novel coronavirus emerged from China, Buckee realized that her area of expertisehow infectious diseases evolve as they move through vulnerable populationswould be valuable to health-care workers and elected officials as the virus spread across the globe. The methods and the tools are the same, and epidemiological models are easily adapted, Buckee told me. But, for many of us, like me, we work with endemic pathogens. COVID-19 is new. There is so much we dont know. Since the most urgent imperative was to flatten the curve of infections, it was crucial to know where public-health strategies like stay-at-home orders were working and where they were not. Buckee quickly assembled a consortium of infectious-disease researchers to make the data accessible to policymakersdata that they did not yet have.

At just about the same time, Ian Allen, a former marine and C.I.A. paramilitary officer, cold-called Harvards School of Public Health and asked if there was anything that his new company, Camber Systems, could do to help with the pandemic. Soon afterward, Allen was connected with Buckee, the associate director of the School of Public Healths Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics. Buckee had created the COVID-19 Mobility Data Network, a network of epidemiologists from universities around the world, to try to track the efficacy of social-distancing measures. Allen agreed to provide Buckee with the software to query and scrub data collected by tech companies and use it to track the coronaviruss spread without violating Americans privacy. I wasnt really expecting ever to hear back, assuming that Harvard, of all places, would have all the resources theyd ever need, Allen told me, while standing in a field in rural Virginia as his son shot at tin cans with a BB gun. (Like many parents, Allen has been homeschooling his children during the pandemic; this was geometry class.) Caroline asked me if we could help aggregate location data. Just aggregating the data and anonymizing it in the right way to protect privacy would take some of the burden off of her. Allen reached out to a handful of data firms, including Unacast, Kochava, and X-Mode. All agreed to provide their data for free.

Camber Systems, of which Allen is the C.E.O., is a year-old startup that, among other things, hopes to offer federal, state, and local government agencies ways to use commercially harvested location data to improve their operations without violating privacy laws. Shortly before the pandemic, Allen and his business partner, Navin Vembar, a mathematician who served as the chief technology officer of the General Services Administration, were searching for potential clients, talking with officials in Madison, Wisconsin, about using location data to shore up tourism and distribute the citys public resources equitably. Assisting Buckees COVID-19 Mobility Data Network was the kind of project they envisioned when they launched their company with Hangar, a venture-capital firm that funds companies that use technology in the public interest.

By presenting aggregated location data in an accessible and searchable format for epidemiologists studying COVID-19, the project would enable researchers and policymakers to see how members of the public move around their communities. When paired with other metrics, such as the number of new infections or mortality rates, the data would guide policymakers as they grappled with when and where to lift stay-at-home orders. Facebook is also supplying the network with data. According to Buckee, correspondence between the various groups gives researchers confidence in the trends they are seeing. One data set is not going to show whats going on, she said.

Location data are the bread and butter of ad tech. They let marketers know you recently shopped for running shoes, are trying to lose weight, and have an abiding affection for kettle corn. Apps on cell phones emit a constant trail of longitude and latitude readings, making it possible to follow consumers through time and space. Location data are often triangulated with other, seemingly innocuous slivers of personal informationso many, in fact, that a number of data brokers claim to have around five thousand data points on almost every American. Its a lucrative businessby at least one estimate, the data-brokerage industry is worth two hundred billion dollars. Though the data are often anonymized, a number of studies have shown that they can be easily unmasked to reveal identitiesnames, addresses, phone numbers, and any number of intimacies. As Buckee knew, public-health surveillance, which serves the community at large, has always bumped up against privacy, which protects the individual. But, in the past, public-health surveillance was typically conducted by contract tracing, with health-care workers privately interviewing individuals to determine their health status and trace their movements. It was labor-intensive, painstaking, memory-dependent work, and, because of that, it was inherently limited in scope and often incomplete or inefficient. (At the start of the pandemic, there were only twenty-two hundred contact tracers in the country.)

Digital technologies, which work at scale, instantly provide detailed information culled from security cameras, license-plate readers, biometric scans, drones, G.P.S. devices, cell-phone towers, Internet searches, and commercial transactions. They can be useful for public-health surveillance in the same way that they facilitate all kinds of spying by governments, businesses, and malign actors. South Korea, which reported its first COVID-19 case a month after the United States, has achieved dramatically lower rates of infection and mortality by tracking citizens with the virus via their phones, car G.P.S. systems, credit-card transactions, and public cameras, in addition to a robust disease-testing program. Israel enlisted Shin Bet, its secret police, to repurpose its terrorist-tracking protocols. China programmed government-installed cameras to point at infected peoples doorways to monitor their movements.

As unlikely as it may seem that such privacy-compromising measures will be adopted in the United States, the Trump Administration reportedly summoned tech executives to the White House to discuss sharing data with the government. Not much is known about the meeting. The Administration has classified all its discussions about COVID-19, and it later denounced Politico for reporting that the White House was in talks with tech firms to create a national coronavirus surveillance system. Last week, Gizmodo reported that Palantir, a secretive data-analytics firm owned by the conservative billionaire and the Trump backer Peter Thiel, has a contract from the Trump Administration to build a database to track the spread of the virus. Palantir is best known for its work with the N.S.A. and ICE, where its software is used to track undocumented immigrants. (Other private surveillance companies, most notably the Israeli firm NSO, are also pitching COVID-19 tracing to governments around the world.)

Were all too familiar with the historical record of crises, where new powers in the hands of governments and corporations lead to them holding on to them indefinitely, Adam Schwartz, a lawyer with the digital-rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told me. Schwartz pointed out that most of the sweeping investigative powers given to the intelligence community after the 9/11 terrorist attack are still in place nearly two decades later. As Senator Maria Cantwell wrote, on April 9th, in her opening remarks for a paper hearing by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on the role of Big Tech during the pandemic, Rights and data surrendered temporarily during an emergency can become very difficult to get back.

As difficult as it is now to look ahead, lawmakers like Cantwell and privacy advocates like Schwartz are asking us to think about how much privacy we are willing to sacrifice to combat a rampaging virus. If we accept government data tracking, the surveillance necessary to curtail COVID-19 could become a permanent fixture in our lives. Its an unknowable trade-off. In this particular case, if we have technology for minimizing harm, we have a moral obligation to use it, Marcello Ienca, a bioethicist at the Swiss university ETH Zurich, told me. But we have to merge it with the best available technology in the areas of cybersecurity and privacy. To do this right, Ienca added, the public-health experts need to work with privacy advocates.

Read more:
Can We Track COVID-19 and Protect Privacy at the Same Time? - The New Yorker


Apr 28

Chemotherapy is weakening my immune system during the coronavirus pandemic – The Guardian

I was thrilled to find myself suddenly craving hot dogs. After more than a week of living off yogurt, pasta and green tea, it was a sign that I might be able to swallow something else and actually enjoy it. It felt like a breakthrough.

I found a pack in the refrigerator, but my heart sank when I couldnt find any buns. My husband, Eric, offered to drive the two minutes to the local store to pick some up.

No! I said, with an intensity I did not completely understand until after the word had left my mouth. Hot dog buns are not worth the kids lives or mine or yours, I said.

Seemingly trivial situations have taken on incredible meaning now that Im immunocompromised in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

I found out on Thursday. Your white platelet count is down, my chemotherapy doctor explained. It was just slightly below normal levels, but enough to indicate that the four weeks of radiation and chemotherapy Ive had for my stage two cervical cancer had weakened my immune system. He scheduled me for a shot the next day that would stimulate blood cell growth in my bone marrow.

The doctor also explained that my creatinine is a little high, which means my kidneys arent functioning the way they should be. To help protect my organs, they only gave me 75% of my normal dose of chemo treatment that day.

He assured me that these were normal side-effects at this stage of cancer treatment. But I felt like I had somehow done something wrong. Maybe if I had just drunk a little more water, or eaten a healthier diet, this wouldnt have happened, I thought to myself.

But the truth is even worse. These numbers have nothing to do with what I have or havent done, which means there is nothing I can do to ensure they dont get worse.

I like solutions. I like to be in control. But all I can do is keep moving forward with the treatment and hope my body is able to handle it.

With this news, my family has become even more vigilant. Each time we bring home groceries or get an Amazon package, we wipe them down with a mixture of water and bleach, and leave packing materials outside.

When the four of us go for a walk around the neighborhood, we create what I like to call a family bubble. When we pass someone, we move as close as possible to each other, so we can all keep our distance together. Michael, my 15-year-old son, does not always participate, however.

On Easter Sunday, rather than our usual barbecue with friends, two families we are close with visited. They stood in two separate clumps outside our yard, as Eric, my daughter James and I yelled to them from our patio.

We chatted about what everyone had been up to, and how I was doing a subject I have come to despise. Before we ended the evening, I was able to stand with my back facing everyone and cram the group into one very large selfie. For a second, I could almost pretend everything was normal.

---

A few days ago, I had my first hot flash. It was Tuesday evening and I was sitting around relaxing, when my heart started beating really fast. My cheeks flushed, and within seconds a volcanic heat was pulsing throughout my body. It felt like the heat was pushing up against my skin, trying to get out. And then as quickly as it had arrived, it disappeared.

I was expecting it, but it still surprised me. Im only 49 and easily could have gone years before having to go through menopause. But when I was diagnosed with cervical cancer, one of the first things the doctors said was, this treatment is going to render you infertile.

Im not scared about no longer having periods or even not being able to have kids. Im happy to close that chapter of my life. But I am really nervous about the physical and mental symptoms. Ive read that its harder to lose weight and stay in shape, and your bone density can go down. Am I going to wake up tomorrow and suddenly be rage-filled and hormonal?

I try to remind myself that I have plenty more pressing things to worry about. My mantra has become, lets get rid of cancer and then well figure the rest of this out.

See the article here:
Chemotherapy is weakening my immune system during the coronavirus pandemic - The Guardian


Apr 28

Six-Pack Abs: How Long Does It Take, Nutrition, and Exercise – Greatist

Created for Greatist by the experts at Healthline. Read more

Many aspire to one day have six-pack abs, but lets be real, few have succeeded because carbs, booze, and time are not on your side.

But, if we unpack (pun intended) how to obtain that coveted six-pack, youll find its not mission impossible after all. What you really need to know is how long it takes and exactly what behaviors (ahem: endless couch chilling and junk food) you need to kick to the curb.

First and foremost, getting a six-pack (or four-pack, or eight-pack if you have great genes) comes down to the amount of body fat you have. Reducing body fat is a necessary step to reveal your chiseled midsection.

To lower body fat safely and effectively, its important to focus on both diet and exercise. With everything nutrition and fitness related, there remains one true constant: There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to achieving a goal.

Genetics, body shape, and build always factor into individual results.

Your timeline to a six-pack depends on the body fat percentage youre starting with. A good rule of thumb (and a safe one) is to aim to lose 1 to 2 percent of body fat per month.

So, unveiling your abs can take anywhere from 3 months to 2 years. It really does vary. Its also a good idea to consult a registered dietitian and certified personal trainer or exercise professional before beginning any nutrition and fitness plan.

Theres a lot of noise and misinformation in the food and exercise world, and its important to be sure youre on the best plan for your individual needs.

For starters, the ideal body fat percentage to see your midsection muscles pop is 14 to 19 percent for women and 6 to 13 percent for men. Getting (and staying) below 10 percent body fat may look aesthetically divine (ow ow!), but this takes dedication and discipline.

Your body will NOT like being here and will likely try every trick in the book to get you to eat more because it thinks youre starving.

Its also important to note that unless youre a professional bodybuilder or elite athlete, you dont need to be below the 10 percent point for your abs to be in view. Some body fat is good. We actually need it to survive.

Women naturally require more fat than men. Science points out most of this is due to the hormone estrogen, and to support fertility. Men on the other hand, need less body fat and naturally have more lean muscle tissue (thanks, testosterone ) which helps them drop weight faster.

Dudes are simply burning more calories, even at rest, because of this muscle mass. This chart from the American Council on Exercise can give you a better sense of what different body fat percentage ranges look like:

So youre really committed and ready for those abs? Lets look at how long it might take to get into ab-revealing shape based on beginning body fat percentage.

Men: 10 months to 2 years

Women: 1 to 2 years

At 30 percent body fat, whether youre a man or woman, this is considered obese. No one is seeing any muscle definition here. This number also puts you at risk for a number of chronic health conditions.

From this starting point your journey to visible abs is likely to be close to 1 to 2 years. Men may be able to shave a few months off and achieve this in 10 months, but 8 to 12 months is a reasonable time frame to set your sights on if you have around 30 percent body fat.

Add another year if you have closer to 40 percent body fat.

Men: 3 to 6 months

Women: 1 to 3 months

If youre starting with 20 percent body fat, it would take somewhere between 3 to 6 months to start seeing your abs. For men, up to 20 percent body fat is considered healthy, but the fat to muscle ratio is still skewed toward the former.

Women, however, are close to the top body fat percent range that allows you to reveal your six-pack. Women likely have anywhere from 1 to 3 months to go, give or take. This depends on their nutrition and fitness routine, and how much muscle mass they start with.

Men: 4 to 6 weeks

Women: Abs may be visible (or need a few more weeks)

At 15 percent body fat, you are in a very healthy place. Guys, your muscles are starting to show, you see definition in your arms, your legs, and now have a lower fat to muscle ratio.

At this rate, men are probably 4 to 6 weeks shy of their goal. Women, youve reached the goal and you should be seeing those abs visibly.

Depending on your specific body type you might see them more or less, but you should definitely see evidence of all your hard work and dedication.

Men and Women: Abs should be visible

At 10 percent body fat those abs should be poppin and at this percentage guys have made it to the ideal percentage for abs that can quickly be (or already are) defined.

For women, youve entered the essential fat range and are not likely to be able to stay here without some real effort.

Unless youre preparing for a competition, its OK to ease up and allow a few pounds to come back to ensure youre not jeopardizing your health for the sake of a visible six-pack.

It is unfortunately very true that you cant out-train a bad diet. In reality, we all have the coveted six-pack, it just sits under a protective covering called body fat (cue the dad jokes).

To uncover them, weve got to remove the fat. To do that, along with exercise, we need to change up our eating habits. Here are some things to consider.

Losing body fat means losing weight, which means reducing caloric intake. Generally, you can cut 500 calories per day in order to lose around 1 pound per week.

That can amount to consuming 250 calories less per day, while increasing activity to burn an additional 250 calories. There are a number of ways to look at this, but a calorie deficit will help you lose body fat.

Aiming for minimally processed, whole foods is the number one recommendation for healthy eating. Regardless of ab-revealing power, putting whole foods at the top of your diet to-do list ensures youre getting lots of nutrients, while avoiding cravings.

A diet focused on whole foods will include fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein like eggs, fish, lean meats and poultry, and healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, nuts, and seeds.

Carbohydrates are necessary fuel, and you should aim to include complex carbohydrates in your daily plan. That means fruit, vegetables, beans, legumes, and whole grains.

Put the pasta on the back-burner for now and focus on sweet potatoes, quinoa, squash, and oats. On the road to a six-pack, the majority of your carbohydrates should come from vegetables, but all high quality complex carbs have their place. On that note

Foods high in fiber are great for weight loss. Besides the sheer number of nutrients in fiber rich foods, they also take a while to digest. Fiber rich foods include fruit, vegetables, beans, legumes, and whole grains.

Non-starchy vegetables in particular should be a diet staple when fat loss is the goal. Theyre nutrient dense gems full of fiber and water, which helps fill you up, while also being low in calories.

Aim for at least 4 servings of non-starchy vegetables per day.

Fruit brings the nutrient goodies to the table in the form of vitamins, minerals, and fiber and you should aim for 2 to 3 servings per day.

Looking for the best choices? You can never go wrong with berries. Low in calories and sugar with antioxidants for days, these babies will never steer you wrong.

Beans, legumes, and whole grains are also great sources of protein, in addition to fiber. Whole grains like steel cut oats, quinoa, farro, and sprouted grains also contain a bit of a protein punch.

Stick to 2 to 4 servings of whole grains per day for optimal results.

Not all sugar is bad, but to bust out those abs youll want to reduce as much added sugar from your diet as possible. Sugar-sweetened drinks like soda, juice, and energy drinks are obvious no-nos, but youd be amazed where added sugar shows up.

Would you expect sugar to be an ingredient in that whole-wheat bread you bought? What about the whole wheat crackers? Did you know that flavored yogurt can have as much sugar as a Snickers bar? Vitamin water, dressings, sauces and marinades, meal replacement bars, the list goes on and on.

Read labels and youll be shocked by all the products with added sugar.

Water is an essential nutrient. Its necessary to turn food into energy and to help nutrients reach your muscles, and also to support vital organs. If thats not enough, dehydration is a real energy killer.

If you feel thirsty, youre already dehydrated. Drink consistently throughout the day and aim for a minimum of 2 liters per day. Add 1 liter for each hour spent exercising.

Protein is necessary to maintain and build muscle. Losing weight can sometimes result in loss of muscle in addition to fat. In order to avoid this, focus on eating enough protein.

Of all the macronutrients, (carbs and fat, too) protein requires the most time and energy to digest. Your body actually burns calories as it digests protein, and because it takes a bit longer to break down, youll feel full longer.

This can ultimately reduce the number of calories you consume.

One study found increasing protein intake from 15 to 30 percent of total daily calories resulted in increased satiety, decreased overall calorie intake, and resulted in greater weight loss. This was while keeping calorie and carbohydrate intake the same.

Protein should come from high quality sources like omega-3 rich fish, lean red meat and poultry, nuts, seeds, eggs, low fat dairy like Greek yogurt, beans and legumes, and high quality grains.

Math is a really cool thing for abs

The slightly higher recommended protein intake is about 1.2 to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. If you want to aim for 30 percent of calories from protein you may want to consider a range of 1.8 to 2 grams per kilogram body weight.

Before your eyes roll into the back of your head (too late?), the best way to figure out how many grams of protein per day you should be eating involves some light math.

First divide your body weight in pounds by 2.2. That number equals your weight in kilograms. Then multiply your weight in kilograms by 1.2 and then 1.5 to obtain your ideal protein range. For a 130-pound person the equation would be: 130/2.2 = 59 kilograms.

59 x 1.2 = 71 grams

59 x 1.5 = 89 grams

So, a 130 pound person would need 71 to 89 grams of protein per day at a minimum.

We started this conversation when we mentioned added sugar. Its time to say goodbye to processed and refined foods like cakes, cookies, brownies, crackers, chips, white bread, and pasta (brb crying). Really anything fried or processed is devoid of any redeeming qualities.

These foods have been stripped of nutrients and loaded up with calories, sugar, fat, and sodium. Because of this they get a zero in the nutrient department and have some real ab-reveal squashing qualities.

It would be great if there were one tried-and-true exercise that would ensure a visible six-pack, right? Well, its more complicated than a few crunches.

Cardio, strength, and ab-focused exercises are all important. They work synergistically to get you those abs.

Cardio can be hardio, but its not the best route to fat loss alone. Especially when performed as a steady state exercise (i.e., jogging, walking or cycling at the same pace for the duration of your workout).

Your body becomes accustomed to this rate of exertion and does not have to spend any additional effort to perform. Dont get us wrong, its an important part of the routine that supports calorie burn and weight loss, but studies show you still need to strengthen muscle.

Resistance training is key to developing defined muscles. Did you know that muscle burns more calories than fat?

The more muscle you have, the more calories youre burning not only when you exercise, but also after you exercise, while going about your day-to-day activities, and even while you sleep. YES!

And, you can just forget the idea that building muscle will make ladies look bulky. Its total BS. Lift weights, even heavy ones sometimes. Bands, dumbbells, kettlebells, water, and bodyweight all can be used to add resistance to your routine.

Compound movements tend to be the most effective for building strength, while also boosting metabolism and burning calories. Squats, deadlifts, and pull-ups are good examples of compound movements that engage different muscles in the same movement while also working your abs.

By far the best bang for your heart pumping buck, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) consists of short bouts of intense activity followed by a period of rest or lower intensity movements.

HIIT is one of the most efficient workouts you can do because it burns a ton of calories. And, thats not just during the workout, but up to 2 hours afterward, according to the American College of Sports Medicine.

It can be done with just your bodyweight, with weights, or with more simple cardio exercises like running, jumping rope, cycling, and swimming.

Studies have shown that high-intensity interval exercise is associated with significant decreases in total body fat as well as insulin resistance.

In fact, a 2019 review found that those who participated in HIIT had a 28.5 percent greater reduction in total absolute fat mass compared to participating in moderate-intensity continuous training.

Ab-focused movements alone will not reveal your abdominal muscles (say, what?!), but they are just as important. You need to develop and strengthen these muscles before you even think about showing them off.

The good news is you dont need to perform hundreds of crunches in order to work your abs. Many compound movements, including those mentioned above, target the abdominal muscles while also working other parts of the body.

So if youve got yourself a strength training routine, youre likely already working them. Pilates is incredible for the core, as are planks, bicycle crunches, and V-ups to target all of the abdominal muscle groups.

tl;dr

Read more from the original source:
Six-Pack Abs: How Long Does It Take, Nutrition, and Exercise - Greatist


Apr 28

I Cant Go To The Gym, So Im Lifting My Girlfriend – WBEZ

Daniel Zhou enjoyed working out and playing sports throughout childhood, but it wasnt until after graduating college in 2014 that he first started getting into competitive bodybuilding. But once he tried it, he was hooked. Over the last six years he and his twin brother Brian who shares his passion for the sport have participated in several regional competitions and one natural national competition. In 2017, they even placed first and second in their division.

Daniel said one of the reasons why he loves bodybuilding is because its a sport that requires a high level of discipline.

With bodybuilding, there really isnt an off-season, he said. You're constantly having to keep up with it.

These regular workouts have also become a way for him to blow off steam from work.

Its become therapeutic, he said. Going to the gym is a sort of sanctuary for me to de-stress.

Daniel is in between competitions right now, and said normally hed be spending this time trying to bulk up. This usually equates to going to the gym every day for an hour and a half and hitting up fast food restaurants to help him hit his daily goal of eating 3,500 to 4,000 calories. But with his gym closed because of the coronavirus, his usual routine is now out the door.

Instead of building size, the focus now for me is just to maintain, he said.

Daniel said he had to adjust his expectations to fit the realities of working out at home during quarantine.

It wasnt, What can I do to keep lifting like I did before? he said. It was What can I do now? And How can I change my mentality so I don't feel like Im disappointing my routine?

Daniel said he recently bought a pullup bar to help with back exercises, and does pull ups wearing a backpack filled with water bottles. For arm workouts, hes been using resistance bands that he had bought as a tool to prep for a past bodybuilding competition. To work different muscle groups, he changes the angle of the bands by attaching them to doors, sofa legs and other furniture in his apartment.

But he said the most unique adaptation hes made is enlisting his girlfriend Sandy to serve as a human weight. Sandy will straddle his shoulders during squats and calf raises, sit on his back for push ups and lie in his arms for bicep curls.

Daniel said the only drawback is that Sandy is about a hundred pounds lighter than most of the weights he lifts.

I would prefer her to be heavier, but she probably doesnt prefer that, he joked. Im going to have to think of other ways to make it harder for me over time.

Daniel also said that Sandy isnt just a tool, shes also his workout companion. On cardio days, he said the two initially tried running around their neighborhood in Skokie, but found it hard to stay socially distant from other people exercising. Now, theyve resorted to running laps in their apartment buildings parking lot.

The parking lot does get old and concrete is tough on the joints, he said.

The gym isnt just a place for lifting weights. One of the things hes missed the most the past two months, Daniel said, is the community at his gym. He said hes kept in touch with gym friends through a group chat on Instagram, but it doesnt replace the real thing.

What Ive learned is how much the setting of the gym actually motivates me, he said.

To pump himself up during workouts, hes started using his desktop computer monitor to play an hour-long video of bodybuilders working out at the gym together.

I look at the sweat, the iron, and [hear] the grunting and it evokes the gym mentality back into my workout, he said.

Daniel said hes trying to make the best of the situation, but cant help but feel anxious about losing muscle hes worked so hard to gain.

It doesnt feel too good, he said. There is a fear that youre going to lose your muscle. Ive sort of come to terms that Im going to lose some of it, [because] I know that once Im back in the gym eventually, its going to come back quickly.

Daniel said he hopes to get back into bodybuilding competitions in 2021, and intends to enter a more competitive division than hes been part of in the past. Until then, hes just looking forward to being back at the gym.

Going back to the gym is definitely going to re-motivate me, he said. Theres definitely going to be an aspect of being more appreciative of it than I was before.

Katherine Nagasawa is WBEZs audience engagement producer. Follow her@Kat_Nagasawa.

Read the rest here:
I Cant Go To The Gym, So Im Lifting My Girlfriend - WBEZ


Apr 19

Ask the Nutritionist: What Do I Eat to Reverse Insulin Resistance? – BradfordToday

Dear Readers,

This is a continuation from a question last week from Suzanne of East Gwillimbury. She wanted to know what is understood about treating coronavirus holistically. I directed her to a prior article, in which I explored the various holistic interventions to strengthen the immune system naturally, which can be found here.

To read last weeks answer, in which I share a successful holistic therapy physicians in China and New York have already documented, you can go here. I also shared the single biggest thing you can do to reduce your chance of mortality from COVID-19, according to the data we have to date: reduce your insulin resistance. In addition, I would like to direct readers to a wonderful free resource Dr. Mercola has set up with in depth info on what is understood about the Coronavirus, holistically speaking. Readers can find that here.

This week we will be exploring how to reduce insulin resistance by replacing some key foods and beverages you may be consuming. Doing this and getting a little nutrition education under your belt will help you prevent or reverse type II diabetes and metabolic syndrome - and tighten that belt a couple notches, too! Dont think these small actions cant have a big impact. Many disease states are precipitated by repeated overconsumption of the wrong foods that trigger a cascade of metabolic imbalances in the body. We can change that trajectory by changing the foods we eat. Its really quite amazing and simple! Lets take a closer look.

Initially, in response to that bowl of Sugar Ohs or that Big Sugar Slurp the body secretes insulin to pack away all that sugar for energy later. It first goes into our muscles and liver, but they can only hold a small amount. So the extra gets stored in our fat cells around our middle. Its stored quickly to protect us from sugar in the bloodstream, which is very dangerous over a certain threshold and causes tissue damage. This is the bodys intelligent way of protecting us from sugar damage while not letting any potential energy go to waste.

If the sugar and high glycemic carbs keep coming with regularity or if there is too much at once, the bodys insulin generating capacity kicks it up a notch. It excretes even more insulin to reduce blood sugar levels quickly, which causes blood sugar levels to drop quite low. We now need that stored energy, but unfortunately, we cant access it.

You see, insulin inhibits our bodys ability to access fat stores for energy. This is why people have such a hard time losing weight on a high carb diet. Sure, we can expedite this with exercise, but who feels like exercise when their blood sugar is low?

When blood sugar is low we typically feel it. Suddenly we have become hangry (hungry-angry) and are roaming around snarling at everyone in our way, hunting for a quick pick-me-up. Why doesnt our partner lift a finger to help around the house - are their hands broken? They seem to work for the remote/ cell phone just fine! And would it kill the kids to pick up after themselves for once and use some manners? And who in the world named your mother-in-law God? Does God know Shes been replaced? And why cant Patricia at work mind her own bloody business and stop trying to micromanage yours? And where is that ever-loving receipt for the dry cleaning? Nevermind the diet, we NEED a muffin/ donut/ ice cap/ biggie meal and we NEED IT NOW dammit! Where is the nearest drive through? And. We. Get. In. Our. Vehicles. And. Drive. In. This. State.

And that is my explanation for current divorce rates, ADD, the terrible teens, and road rage: its actually double-double-super-sized-caffeinated-bevy-and-carby-zero-nutrient-processed-junk-food-syndrome. Say that five times fast!

And changing our diets is therefore social justice work, people! It would do much to restore a happy home life, harmony on the roads, and savings in police and court budgets, all while reducing mortality from many diseases, giving us healthier bodies with greater energy, and helping us get many years of getting even with the kids when they have their own children! Its genius! Genius (holding my organic-celery-wielding-fist high for emphasis in a silent salute)! But I digress.

This state of hangry is perplexing because were eating more than we ever have before. In fact, portion sizes have about doubled since the 1950s. And yet were hungry! When it hits, we have often just eaten a meal (or a candy bar or a bag of woo hoos or drank a super-sized hip-whip-whatsit) an hour or two ago and gotten high off the sugar no less, but now we feel like we need a nap or are starving out of our minds! This is because the energy weve stored cant be released when insulin is present. And insulin is always around in the presence of excess sugar and carbs.

This is why we are so tired and wired. And this is why I firmly assert that obesity is actually a starvation state. Were eating and eating but not getting any energy from the food!

To make matters worse, when we get a blood test in this state we can be diagnosed as hypoglycemic (having low blood sugar), for which the mainstream medical prescription is to eat something sugary or carby to get our blood sugar back up. Do you see where this is headed? The prescription only signals more insulin to be released, which, in turn shuttles all that sugar to your waistline and keeps you hangry and initiates the cycle all over again!

Human beings have never in our history had such access to so many super tasty, high glycemic, processed, carb and sugar-laden foods. And our lifestyles have never been so sedentary. Our food supply has changed more in the past 70 years than in our entire evolutionary history.

Our bodies havent adapted. So when this excessive insulin is produced repeatedly and everything we eat goes to our waistline and our bodies cant use the fat theyve stored, we have to have a shut down mode. Our bodies signal the cells to stop accepting the insulin. When that happens and sugar continues to circulate in the bloodstream for too long, it inevitably damages the tissues, causing slow degradation that we dont always notice until we lose function.

And this is what we call insulin resistance or type II diabetes. It comes with a whole host of downstream health problems.

By this point our metabolic system is seriously tired and over-reactive. In addition we have often become depleted in several key nutrients that help regulate that system and were hooked on that sweet stuff that gives us a temporary lift. Our muscles are weak from the lack of nutrients and lack of exercise due to chronic low energy. And our blood sugar is all over the place.

The holistic solution is different than the medical model. Rather than trying force more sugar into the cells we focus on restricting carbohydrates of all kinds and fasting to reduce insulin and liberate the stored fat from the cells for energy. Once the body starts to burn fat for energy, it remembers how to do that and energy levels balance out, appetite drops, and the incessant cravings stop. Its truly miraculous to experience.

We just have to know what to eat and what to avoid. So lets tackle some of the biggest offenders and what you can replace them with to reduce blood sugar naturally!

Sugar - all kinds, even maple syrup, agave, and honey! Replace with monkfruit, stevia, xylitol, or erythritol for occasional sweets. I teach people how to replace sugars with healthier ones in my stop the sugar and healthy treats classes.

Artificial sweeteners - all of these can spike insulin just like sugar does, which is why so many people struggle with weight loss when frequently consuming them. Replace with the sweeteners above.

Soda - even those with artificial sweeteners. The one made with stevia is far better, or you can switch to homemade kombucha, which is an effervescent, fermented drink that helps put healthy bacteria in your gut for better digestion. I teach people how to make it in my kombucha and fun with fermenting classes.

Vegetable oils - canola, soy, margarine, crisco, sunflower, safflower, hydrogenated and trans fats. Replace these with organic coconut, olive, avocado, and macadamia nut oils or organic butter or ghee. Or use lard, tallow, goose grease, or other animal fat. These will help improve the lining of every cell in your body.

Processed foods. Replace anything that is heavily processed and comes from a factory with whole foods that come from an animal or a plant and are in their natural form!

Baked foods. Replace all but homemade ones. And bake with low carb flours like almond and coconut flour. We tend to think of baked foods as natural but even if they are made with the best whole grains they still often spike blood sugar!

Breads - all but low carb varieties. We tend to think of whole wheat bread as healthy but two pieces of whole wheat bread spike blood sugar more than a tablespoon of white sugar or a snickers bar. And wheat is not an optimal food for many reasons.

High carbohydrate snack foods like chips, sweetened peanut butter, popcorn, candied nuts, corn chips, or others. Sure, nuts with honey on them look natural, but that honey is usually high fructose corn syrup and theyre fried in vegetable oils. For snacks reach for natural or salted nuts and seeds or unsweetened yogurt and a bit of fruit or homemade grain free granola or fresh veggies and dip or snacks with almond and coconut flours. I teach many great ones in my healthy treats class.

Potatoes and starchy tubers. If you are insulin resistant or overweight you want to limit these to a very small amount once in a while, as they are high in carbs that spike insulin.

Processed meats. Use natural meats or canned or smoked seafood instead of hyper processed deli cuts. The exception to this is quality cured or smoked meats. Read a more in depth analysis of this here.

Replacing these foods for the healthier substitutes will go a long way to helping you reduce your blood sugar naturally and prevent or stop the progress of insulin resistance. To learn how to optimize your health and potentially reverse insulin resistance completely, you can contact me to work together one on one. I also offer an email newsletter full of health news if youd like to sign up to receive it, and during COVID-19 I will be offering a variety of reduced-fee cooking and nutrition classes online. All of this can be accessed through my website at hopenotdope.ca.

Thank you again for your query, Suzanne. As always, readers are encouraged to ask their nutrition questions via the email below.

Namaste!

Nonie Nutritionista

Nonie De Long is a registered orthomolecular nutritionist with a clinic in Bradford West Gwillimbury, where she offers holistic, integrative health care for physical and mental health issues. Check out her website here.

Do you have a question about health and wellness? Email nonienutritionista@gmail.com

Information in this article is intended for educational purposes only and should not be misconstrued as medical advice, for which you should see a licensed medical practitioner.

Read the original post:
Ask the Nutritionist: What Do I Eat to Reverse Insulin Resistance? - BradfordToday


Apr 18

Want to lose weight at home? Theres one thing thats just GOT to go from your lockdown diet – T3

Lockdown weight gain is perhaps inevitable, and not necessarily the end of the world. But if you want to stave it off and even lose weight, we have one great tip. Its blindingly obvious but you may not have properly considered it yet.

We are a month into lockdown now and for many people, not putting on weight in isolation has become a big issue. Even with so many free apps, fitness videos and extended trials, the motivation to get fit at home has subsided by now and we are struggling to keep the girth-expansion of our torso at bay. Want to know how to lose weight at home without excessive exercising? It's easier than you think.

Let's get one thing out of the way right at the beginning: the best way to lose weight is not to exercise more, but to eat less. Especially now that we have to stay indoors almost all the time, eating the same amount of food as we used to will result in us putting on weight. Cutting back on calories a bit could help you in your weight loss battle significantly. No news there.

There is one item in a lot of people's diet that could be easily cut and would result in losing weight faster. Yet, if Google Trends is anything to go by, everyone seem to be having more of this particular thing, now that we are in full lockdown. You guessed it: the culprit is alcohol. No one needs a lecture about why alcohol is bad for your health but I think a lot of you don't realise how consuming alcohol effects your diet and your weight loss. Or your weight gain, more accurately.

There are a lot of misconceptions about alcohol and as I mentioned above, I'm not here to lecture anyone about just how bad it is to consume alcoholic beverages. Sure, some types of alcohols contain certain micronutrients (like minerals) that can be beneficial for health, but this doesn't outweigh the negative effects of these drinks.

One very important thing to realise about alcohol is that it is basically pure carbohydrate. Carbs are one of the three main macronutrients your body needs to function; the other two are lipids (fats) and protein. This doesn't mean your body needs alcohol to function, on the contrary. Drinking alcohol adds nothing to your diet, alcohol calories are just 'empty calories'.

Just how many calories, though? There are a few options that are considered 'low-calorie' drinks, like vodka and diet coke. Although diet coke can be considered free of calories (still pretty bad in every way) a double shot (50 ml) of vodka contains over 100 calories. You would have to run 10 minutes to burn off those calories and that is just one drink.

How about beer? A small bottle (12 oz/355 ml) of Goose Island IPA is 208 calories, twice as much as what's in a double shot vodka plus diet coke combo. And whoever has only one small bottle of beer when they drink? That's right, no one.

Maybe wine? A bottle (750 ml) of Cabernet Sauvignon is just under 600 calories, meaning that two medium glasses (approx. 175 ml) contain around 250-300 calories.

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The best idea, of course, is to keep your alcohol consumption to the minimum. As I mentioned in the 'how to lose weight at home' article, being mindful about your diet and food/drink intake can help. Before you pour yourself another drink, ask yourself: do I want another drink? Am I bored? Is there another task I'm putting off by drinking?

Admittedly, on some occasions, especially during social gatherings, it is pretty challenging to get out of drinking at least some alcohol. When everyone is having beers and wines around you, the social pressure on you to have one too could be immense. Even in these cases, there are ways to reduce consumption.

If you are a wine drinker, have a soda spritzer instead of just a glass of wine. You would still get the sensation of having a wine in a wine glass, but you also drink plenty of water, which dilutes the alcohol and makes it easier for your body to digest it more efficiantly.

If you are more of a beer drinker, see if there are any low calorie/alcohol-free beers in stock. A bottle of alcohol-free Holstein is only 8 calories (!) and there are plenty of low-cal options out there, especially if you live in the US.

And in any case, if you drink a glass of water after you had a drink, your stomach will fill up sooner and you will feel fuller sooner, making you less likely to drink too much alcohol. It also helps with hangovers, too.

Read this article:
Want to lose weight at home? Theres one thing thats just GOT to go from your lockdown diet - T3


Apr 18

Power-to-weight ratio: check out our expert guide to this important fitness measure – road.cc

If youve ever read any books about professional cycling, youll probably have read about power-to-weight ratio: riders at the peak of their abilities killing themselves on a benchmark climb to ascertain the magic figure. And if youve spent any time sweating indoors with any of the current crop of training apps you may have come across it there too. So whats it all about? And as a non-professional rider, how important is it? Read on to find out and you can watch us demonstrate what it means in the real world in our video below too.

Its not a clever name or anything: its literally just the ratio of your power to your bodyweight. Its normally expressed in watts per kilogram (W/kg). At this point someone will normally point out in a nasal voice that the kilogram is a unit of mass, not of weight, but unless youre doing some of your training on Earth and some on the moon, thats not likely to be an issue, since gravity is a constant, near as dammit. Those people need to take a long, hard look at themselves. But I digress.

Your weight is, well, your weight. And the figure you use for your power output in watts is generally your functional threshold power, of FTP. Thats the power you can nominally put out for a whole hour. Most of the indoor training apps currently available will have some kind of FTP test for you to complete so you can assign yourself a number; its generally not much fun finding out, but its not complicated.

Well, youll need a pair of bathroom scales, but you likely already have them. And then youll need a bike thing that measures power. That might be a power meter on your bikeor it might be an indoor trainer that can give you a repeatable number. Then you just get the one number and divide it by the other one. Easy!

Well, higher is better.Im a pretty big rider at 92kg, and my FTP is around 315W, giving me a power-to-weight ratio of about 3.4W/kg. Thats fairly average.Im a good enough rider to make it off the bottom rung of the racing ladder into the third cats, but Im not exactly pulling up any trees there. Its accepted Tour de France lore that to be in with a shout of winning the race you need to have a power-to-weight ratio approaching 6.5W/kg. So a pro rider who weighs 65kg would need to be capable of putting out over 420W for an hour. Yikes!

Obviously none of us are going to win a Grand Tour, but that doesnt mean that your power-to-weight ratio is a meaningless metric. In short: yes, it matters. It matters most when youre going uphill, and the steeper a climb, the more its about your power-to-weight, which is why its so important in a Grand Tour: thats where the race is usually decided. And it matters most there because youre moving slowly.

If youre riding a bike then youre working all the time against certain forces that will slow you down. Theres mechanical friction: the rolling resistance of the tyres on the road, the bearings in the hubs and pedals, friction losses between cleat and pedal, that sort of thing. Then theres wind resistance, as you push the air out of the way as you move through it. And if youre riding uphill, youre also working against gravity.

Theres a clever tool herewhere you can input numbers for all the variables* and get an idea of how many watts would be required to ride at a given speed. By working up a couple of scenarios you can see how these different forces come into play.

First, lets assume Im riding along on the flat, on a still day, at a reasonable speed, say 35km/h. For a 92kg rider on the hoods, the calculation suggests that about 278W of input is required to keep going at that speed. Were assuming youre on your own here, as drafting another rider makes an enormous difference; we wont go into that here!

Of that 278W, by far the biggest component is air resistance at 225W four fifths of the total. Thats because cyclists arent particularly aerodynamic, and air resistance increases in a cubic relationship with velocity: if you go twice as fast, theres eight times as much air resistance. Thats why time triallists spend so much time obsessing over their bikes and riding position. It really matters to be aero when youre going quick.

Secondly, lets pretend Im grinding up a 12% hill at 8km/h. Thats also going to require me to put out 278W of power, but a lot has happened to the mix. Air resistance is almost negligible at less than 3W, but the work Im doing against gravity to climb the hill is 260W, 93% of the total. When Im on a steep hill, moving slowly, its basically all about me working against gravity. On a steep climb, its pretty close to being a direct relationship between the power from my legs and my speed up the climb.

Its interesting to see how weight affects the speed of riders of different weights on the flat, and on climbs.

Take, for example, Liam and I. Liams a svelte 63kg and Im almost half as much again. His FTP is lower than mine at 298W, but because hes a lot lighter his power-to-weight is much higher at over 4.7W/kg, and he generally smokes me on the hills.

On the flat, all other things being equal, that 298W would mean that Liam was rolling along at around 36.5km/h. For my 315W Id be able to manage nearly 37km/h, because on the flat its more to do with your absolute power than power-to weight. So even though my W/kg number is lower, I could theoretically go a bit faster. If I managed to gap him, I might be able to pull away.

However, on our 12% climb Im dead in the water: my 315W buys me about 9km/h, and Liams up at nearly 12km/h, over 30% faster than me. The climbs are where it matters, and the steeper they are, the more its about power-to-weight.

If you want to go faster, then there are two things you can do. You can put out more power, or you can reduce the amount of mass thats working against gravity, either by losing weight or spunking a huge wad of cash on a really, really light bike. Its worth pointing out here that for mortals like us, your power-to-weight using your whole system weight you and the bike is sometimes more meaningful, because you can realistically save weight on your bike too. For professional riders, everyones on a UCI-limit 6.8kg bike (or near enough), so its not really a variable. If youre a hillclimber, and you can shed a couple of kilos by sawing bits off and drilling holes in things**, that can make a significant difference to your time up a climb.

For an average rider, though, most of the easy gains are with you, not the bike. You can make an effort to lose weight, and you can embark on a training programmeto increase the power you can put out. In reality those two things often go hand in hand: as you spend more time training, your weight often decreases. When I was originally training to race my weight dropped by around 10kg, and my FTP increased from about 280W to over 300W. Those kind of gains just arent available by swapping your wheels for a set of nicer ones. Not everyone has 10kg to shed, but theres usually something that could go

A final thought: your numbers can take you so far, and in some disciplines time trialling, individual track pursuits theyre very important, but a lot of the time its one factor in among many others. Pacing knowing how hard you can push for how long is vital in a range of situations.

Take a sportive;if youre fit enough to get round in three hours but you go off much too hard from the start and blow up spectacularly halfway, then it might take you four, or you might end up being sick in a hedge and never make it to the finish, not that Id know what that was like.

If youre in a crit race then it doesnt matter if your power-to-weight numbers are the highest of the whole field if youre in 20th place coming out of the final bend for the sprint: youre not going to cross the line first. Racecraft and tactics are a huge part of doing well in that discipline. Then theres nutrition, and your technique, and conditioning, and peaking at the right time... The list goes on. Power-to-weight is a useful thing to know, but its not the be-all and end-all of riding your bike.

*The figures I used were:

Frontal area A: 0.4 and coefficient of drag Cd: 1 (from https://www.cyclingpowerlab.com/CyclingAerodynamics.aspx)

Coefficient of rolling resistance Crr 0.005 and air density Rho 1.22601 (both default figures)

**This is not recommended

Read more:
Power-to-weight ratio: check out our expert guide to this important fitness measure - road.cc



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