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Oct 20

Curves of Loveland Celebrates 28 Years of Innovating Fitness – North Forty News

Fitness center Curves is celebrating its 28th year of being one of the largest chains of fitness clubs for women worldwide.

Successfully navigating the COVID-19 pandemic effects is proof for Curves that its time-proven concept is resilient and agile. Curves is also known for their coach-led 30-minute training circuit.

Curves is now offering members within the Loveland area the ability to work out either from the safety of their own homes or at the local Curves of Loveland clean and sanitized gym. MyCurves On Demand is an at-home workout that replicates the traditional Curves full-body workout utilizing a resistance band in place of equipment found inside clubs.

This past year has been filled with exciting changes and unexpected challenges, said Krishea Holloway, president, and CEO of Curves NA and Oceania, Inc. I am proud to say that both our franchise partners and the Curves team have met 2020 head-on by finding new and innovative ways to continue serving our members, Krishea.

Members of Curves can stream their workout from any smart device, with new content being added regularly. Curves has expanded the MyCurves On Demand program to produce MyCurves On-Demand + Coaching, including live one-on-one weekly virtual coaching from their own homes.

Through courses from Balance and Posture to Stretching and Stress Management, Nutrition and Weight Management, Curves educates members on how to make improvements in their lifestyle. Additional courses includedynamic e-learnings, weekly content review, and an extensive library of functional exercises.

Each local Curves coach works to be a supportive and highly-motivated fitness enthusiast dedicated to helping women reach their health and fitness goals. For the last 28 years, their mission has been to strengthen women through fun, fast, and safe programs to aid them in their goals regarding health and fitness.

As our gyms reopen, we look ahead to 2021 and beyond with enthusiasm, said Krishea.The entire Curves team remains more committed than ever to providing our franchisees and members the best programs and services possible, Krishea said.

For more information regarding the Curves program and membership options available in the Loveland area, visit or call 970-669-9400

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Oct 20

Finding Fitness: Take a hike | The Current – The Current – The Student-Run Newspaper of Nova Southeastern University.

Living in South Florida, we are blessed with lots of nature trails. From the beaches to the Everglades, there are tons of beautiful sceneries to walk and find some fitness. Heres what you need to know.


While Florida is known for its unpredictable weather, one thing is almost always certain: the heat. Regardless of where you go hiking, its essential to bring water, snacks and sunscreen. Even if youre only hiking one mile, given the heat and humidity, you dont want to risk dehydration. Wear some comfy, lightweight clothing and good walking or hiking shoes, pack a small backpack with the essentials and get on a trail. Some other good items to bring include bug spray, a knife or multi-tool, first aid kit, sunglasses, and of course, your phone, in case you want to photograph or video some cool wildlife, insects or flowers.

Where to hike

Luckily, weve got a lot of cool places to go on hikes, around campus and far from campus. Here are some of my favorites.

Everglades National Park

The Everglades is a given when discussing where to hike in South Florida, and its not just because of its acres of land you can walk, but because of the wildlife and flora you can see on different trails. You have the opportunity to see gators, a variety of bird species and even grasshoppers and crabs. Everglades National Park is accessible year-round and has a plethora of trails to choose from. Some include Pine Island trails, Flamingo trails and Shark Valley trails. Most of the hiking trails in the Everglades are short and tame, suitable for everyone. Even if you have never hiked a trail before, Everglades National Park is a great place to start.

Tree Tops Park

Only ten minutes away from campus, Tree Tops Park is a 23-acre park filled with nature trails and a freshwater marsh. Tree Tops is a great hiking getaway, accessible year-round if you dont want to stray too far from campus. Here you will find tons of flora and fauna and peaceful trails that will transport you somewhere else. There is even an observation tower where you can get a good birds eye view of the forest youre in and is a great place for a simple picnic before or after your hike. If youre looking to do a trail with wildlife, Tree Tops has got you covered, too. Here you can find tons of turtles near the marsh.

Biscayne National Park

Farther south, Biscayne National Park is a great place to hike near the ocean. Accessible year-round, here you will find wildlife, like crabs and blue herons, and have the opportunity to cool down by the water after your hike on a hot day. Biscayne National Park offers a 9.9-mile trail that is good for all skill level hikers. Going right before sunrise is my favorite time to go because you get to reward yourself for a good hike by watching the sunrise right above the water.

Whether youve been out hiking in the mountains or have never hiked a day in your life, South Florida has got some great unique trails for you to walk, run or bike on. All you have to do is get out there.


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Oct 20

How COVID-19 has changed the fitness industry – Fast Company

ForFast CompanysShape of Tomorrow series, were asking business leaders to share their inside perspective on how the COVID-19 era is transforming their industries. Heres whats been lostand what could be gainedin the new world order.

Joey Gonzalez is the CEO of Barrys, which specializes in high intensity interval training and has nearly 70 studios across the U.S. and abroad. He is also an instructor.

COVID has been a humbling experience. The first thing we did was launch free Instagram workouts, which kept our community engaged. Then we launched a digital platform, which we built in 14 days using the Zoom platform. We had a moderator who filled in to give a front-desk experience and to shout-out people in the classes to help our instructors.

Were investing heavily in digital and it will be a permanent part of our business going forward. Were going to stop using Zoom and there will be a fully integrated social component, so you can see which classes your friends are taking. Our instructors will be able to call people out and help with their form: We dont just want to stream; we want to be able to teach.

We have nine functioning studios today across the U.S., and weve had to navigate reopening in different locations with different rules and regulations. If you took class in Boston, youd see plastic shields in between every treadmill. In D.C., were only allowed to have 10 people in the red room.

We also launched Barrys outdoors, which is pretty much what it sounds like. The majority of them offer 50-minute weightlifting classes. In New York, mayor Bill de Blasio allowed gyms to reopen at limited capacity, but blocked all boutique fitness studios from reopening. So we launched a concept called Open Gym in New York, where people can book time [in a Barrys studio] to work out with audio-guided workouts we provide through QR codes. Everything is wiped down afterwards.

The pandemic has been a disaster for our industry. A lot of brands are getting ready to announce that they are closing in the U.S.

In March, we had a workforce of over 1,400 employees. Today, we have 400 or 500, if you include part-time employees. We brought a lot of part-time desk and facility staff back to help us run outdoor classes. One of things that makes me most proud about our company is that we didnt just push a button and send a termination email to our employees. Every single person received a phone call about the status of their employment. I have been heartbroken.

The pandemic has been a disaster for our industry. A lot of fairly significant brands are getting ready to announce that they are closing in the U.S. A lot of businesses are at the mercy of landlords, so it depends on what kind of deals can be structured during the months it will take us to get through this.

Businesses that have developed or are working on developing an at-home structure can do well: What better time to announce the new at-home bike you have been developing? The other type of business that can do well is one that has fostered a big community and good customer relationships. Thats where Id put Barrys. We didnt have the infrastructure when this hit, but we did have some of the best instructors in the world.

William Lynch is the President of Peloton Interactive, which sells connected bikes and treadmills and has an app that allows users to stream prerecorded and live classes.

Weve always believed that if you were to provide higher quality fitness instruction, with better equipment, at a better value, in a better place like home, people would gravitate toward that experience. Weve learned that that premise is true. Prior to COVID, we were seeing a mass movement toward fitness in the homewe were growing at triple digitsbut this [crisis] proved it.

We had to close our studio where we film classes, and set up equipment in instructors homes, so they can stream live. In the spring and summer, we added something called threshold deliveries, where we got the bike in a safe manner to the consumers doorstep and wiped it down. We also invested in hazard pay for our workers in order to keep deliveries up and repurposed our retail teams, who couldnt work in stores, to take customer calls due to the high volume.

We realized that during the pandemic, a lot of families like to work out together. We launched new content verticals like family fun, where families can stretch on the floor together. We also launched dance cardio as an upbeat and fun way to get a workout and barre classes due to customer demand.

Our research [suggests] that even post-COVID, most people are not going back to the gym. At least 60% of Americans do not intend to renew their gym membership. And I think thats less about the pandemic and more about the fact that you can deliver a better experience in the home. Last quarter, we saw our membership numbers explode. Its been well above triple digit growth since the start of the pandemic. Weve had to scramble to build more bikes and more treadmills. And weve been selling a lot more digital memberships.

We believe this is a permanent shift. People have seen that they can get a great workout from their home, and they can still interact with a community through the leaderboard. You can see a lot of fitness companies starting at-home programs, everyone is trying it. There will still be a place for smaller, independent studios and gyms but not at the level we saw before. Some of them will have to close.

Tracy Anderson is the creator of the Tracy Anderson method and CEO of Tracy Anderson, a fitness company with studios in five cities, and an online workout streaming service.

There has been an undeniable increase in interest in working out from home because gyms are really germy. Luckily, we reach most of our customers through streaming, and have developed a really authentic [online] experience.

The pandemic did change how we connect to some of our clients. We closed our studios in New York City, the Hamptons, Los Angeles, Madrid, and London, which was a very easy decision to make. I wasnt afraid of loss of income: We just accepted it and moved on.

I love connecting with people in person. I believe that every connection is powerful. I believe that the closer you are, the stronger the energy vibrates. So I cant really imagine a time where I would ever close every physical studio permanently. But I had no interest in opening a bunch of daytime nightclubs, where instructors are just bouncing around with people. Its hard for those [kinds of fitness] companies to convey that experience through streaming.

At the beginning of the pandemic, my business partner said we should scale back with pay cuts. I told him, Give me two weeks and I will work something out to make it up financially.

I had no interest in opening a bunch of daytime nightclubs, where instructors are just bouncing around with people. Its hard for those companies to convey that experience through streaming.

I put a stage outside in Florida where I was quarantining. I contacted this company that normally builds stages for concerts, but wasnt building as much because no concerts are going on. I was like . . . can I get a stage?

We set up three cameras. I recorded my regular classes that get streamed every week to subscribers and then I created a special live class. I havent taught live in a long time. So I offered these special two-hour live classes designed for our very committed clients, people that never let me down. That type of client will show up to the studio (pre-COVID) to spend two and a half hours in 90-degree heat with 70% humidity to sweat and move with me.

We charged $50 dollars [a person] for it, which is a bargain because no one could ever get me training them for two and a half hours for $50 in my career, and did one every other week. That made a big financial difference for us. We didnt have to let anyone go and we didnt have to adjust anyones income.

The schedule was throwing off my family time, though, because we were filming on the weekend. So were doing less of them and I might pass the ball to one of my other trainers. I might do one during the week.

Josh McCarter is the CEO of Mindbody, a booking and business management platform for fitness studios, salons, and spas in the U.S. and abroad.

We provide the business management system that a spa, salon, or studio uses. They run all of their operations with it. They manage their classes and appointments. They transact with customers.

We started seeing businesses shut down in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia, and [then] France and Italy, before we saw it in the U.S., so that gave us some insights into how we could help our customers and our industry pivot. We had previously identified virtual [streamed or on-demand classes] as an opportunity for us to expand into. When COVID hit, we shifted our focus to it and moved up the launch from August to earlier in the year.

Weve been helping studios that are not fully digital to get on our virtual platform because the preponderance of the industry is based on physical location. When they had the pivot to go virtual, the first thing that most [studios] tried was Instagram live, Facebook live, or even Zoom. But these systems are really disconnected from [the studios] core operating systems. Our digital platform enables studios to integrate their online classes with our management systems, so that people can book and pay for digital classes. This lets studios offer hybrid memberships where people can sign up for both virtual and in-person classes as things open up. We think the future of the industry is studios being able to offer both.

North of 90,000 videos have now been uploaded by our customers. And weve seen a huge uptick in consumer demand. Through our research [we found] that about 90% of consumers say theyre going to go back to their prior workout habits and regimen, but about 46% of those are saying that theyre going to tack on a virtual aspect. So we say [to studios], if youre not focused on this hybrid model, youre probably going to start losing some of your clients.

People are thinking more and more about their health and their wellnessthe pandemic has emphasized that its important. Weve seen in some of these markets that have reopened, like Hong Kong and Singapore, that bookings for classes are even higher now than what they were in 2019. I think that thats going to be kind of a lasting change that comes out of COVID, a heightened focus on peoples health.

David Long is the CEO of Orangetheory, a fitness franchise with more than a thousand locations in the US and 23 countries.

The pandemic was a really challenging time for us, we had to furlough a lot of people and were still working to build back up. Fortunately, we were able to get some PPP money, which helped us survive the tough period at the beginning of the pandemic.

I would say 80% of our studios are back open in some way. A lot of studios that couldnt open their physical locations started doing outdoor programming, and our customers loved the variety. We want to make sure that as studios reopen, theyre delivering a valuable experience and what people are looking for, so that they can come to the studio two or three times a week. Were still opening a double-digit number of locations [this year]. Even in July, we opened some. We recently opened one in Denmark.

We introduced [an on-demand] daily workout globally in March [through our website] that people could do from home. In November, were launching a digital club: Its really personalized and hopefully will give our customers a roadmap of what to do and how to do it to get the best results. We want to take a customized approach, so well integrate heart rate monitoring like we do in the studio.

Members can already monitor their heart rate when they go for a bike ride or a jog when theyre outside of the studio [through Orangetheory monitors]. The number of people using [those monitors and synced with the Orangetheory app] has skyrocketed. Were working on building our products around that for the most part. But we also know that our big differentiator is the live authentic coaching, so we want that to be part of the experience too. So we are adding a digital [club], OT Anywhere. But for it to succeed it needs to be customized. Holding people accountable is important.

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Oct 20

Another fitness studio in Manhattan goes belly-up – The Real Deal

107 Chambers Street and Allison and Frederick Thompson (Google Maps, Tribeca Health & Fitness)

An independently owned gym in Lower Manhattan has fallen victim to Covid-19, joining a long list of businesses ravaged by the pandemic.

Tribeca Health & Fitness, located at 107 Chambers Street, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Friday and announced its permanent closure on its website.

We are heartbroken to announce that we will not be reopening, the website said. The prolonged Covid closure has made it impossible for us.

Since 2017, Allison and Fred Thompson have been the owners of the popular gym, which occupied more than 10,000 square feet of space across three levels, according to the website.

In the statement, the owners said they tried every avenue to save the gym, the pandemic was more than they could bounce back from.

The business owes more than $1.4 million to its creditors, while its assets totaled about $92,000, according to the bankruptcy petition.

With the closing, the self-proclaimed largest family-owned fitness facility in Lower Manhattan has joined the pool of sports clubs and fitness centers crashed by the pandemic in recent months.

Town Sports International which owns sports clubs in New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month after the forced closure of gyms led to big losses in revenue, Reuters reported. The national chain 24 Hour Fitness also filed for bankruptcy in June.

Contact Akiko Matsuda

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Oct 20

Ukrainian fitness influencer who branded COVID-19 a hoax dies from virus after trip to Turkey – Arab News

BEIRUT:Lebanons security chief has been forced to delay his return from an official visit to the US after testing positive for coronavirus following a series of White House meetings.

Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim, director-general of the Lebanese Public Security, met with US officials, including David Hale, the undersecretary of state for political affairs; CIA director Gina Haspel; and national security adviser Robert OBrien during his recent visit to Washington.

Hale, as well as several other employees from the State Department and other executive branch divisions, are now self-isolating for 14 days, US officials said.

Lebanons General Directorate of Public Security said that Ibrahim is in good health, but will postpone his return to Beirut following the PCR test.

The Lebanese intelligence chief also held talks with senior US security officials in Washington. He was scheduled to hold meetings in Paris before his return to Beirut.

In Lebanon, the number of coronavirus infections during October rose to more than 24,000, climbing past the September total of 22,000.

Since the outbreak began in February, more than 63,000 cases have been reported in the country, with 525 fatalities.

Firas Abyad, director of the Rafic Hariri University Hospital, said: The situation is unacceptable. If we continue on this path, we will soon reach a point where the number of critical coronavirus cases outweighs the number of available intensive care beds. This will coincide with winter, when the demand for intensive care beds increases for pneumonia cases, for example.

Abyad told Arab News: One of the most difficult cases that doctors can face is the death of a mother after giving birth, due to the repercussions of her infection with the coronavirus, and this happened a few days ago in Tripoli.

Abyad pointed to a state of denial among those infected with the virus, saying some consider it as just a regular flu, and do not think about the consequences of the disease.

He added: We have 215 cases that need intensive care in Lebanon. We are not fully occupied yet, but we may be shortly.

Almost 80 Lebanese towns have been placed in lockdown by the Ministry of Interior after recording high rates of infection.

The one-week lockdown decree issued on Tuesday included the southern Beirut neighborhoods of Ghobeiry, Haret Hreik, Burj Al-Brajneh, Tahwitet Al-Ghadeer and Al-Laylaki.

According to the Mount Lebanon Governorate, some suburbs failed to abide by individual and collective preventive measures to limit the spread of active infection chains.

The lockdown includes a ban on social events, parties and gatherings of all kinds.

Cafes, gaming lounges, amusement parks, sports clubs and public parks will also be closed under the restrictions.

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Oct 20

Ob is eventizing its fitness classes to retain customers – Glossy

As customers adjust to month eight of Covid-19 living, companies set up for virtual living pre-pandemic know that they cant rest on their laurels.

Like Peloton and Mirror, Ob, which launched in March 2018, bet on the concept that pricey, boutique fitness could be done at home. Obs dancing, boxing, pilates classes are convenient, plus the companys monthly subscription is $27 versus the standard $35-plus prices of a single class at Barrys Bootcamp or SoulCycle. Though Ob saw membership increases of 80% month-over-month between March and May because of coronavirus (which has leveled to 30% month-over-month growth since), the fitness company has been intent on not being a victim of Zoom fatigue.

Since March competition for virtual mindshare has increased: Barrys, SLT and Mindbody are a few of the fitness companies that have unlocked virtual class offerings, after previously offering in-person classes exclusively. And cross the beauty and lifestyle space, companies like Blushington, Armani Beauty and Violet Grey are trying to elevate the Zoom experience.

Since July, Ob has developed themed live offerings with Sex and the City, Game of Thrones, Euphoria and Sesame Street via HBO Max. It also celebrated En Vogues 30th anniversary by livestreaming the groupsmembers into classes while playing their biggest hits.

By eventizing what we do, it makes our classes more of a celebration, said Ob co-founder and co-CEO Mark Mullett. Its fun for our clients, but it is also a drive to our live classes.

Ob offers 22 live classes a day, but it also makes some classes available on-demand for ease of use. However, the company has found that event-style classes have a viewership rate thats 3-10x playback classes.

To keep excitement going for Ob, co-founder and co-CEO Ashley Mills said the company has ramped up its themed Halloween classes, where instructors are in full costumes and decor fills the screen, from just one week in 2019 to the last two weeks of October. Members, too, are encouraged to dress up for live classes and share their sweaty selfies on social media.

Halloween programming officially kicks off on October 17 and will include a Time Warp Week series featuring 60s Age of Aquarius power yoga, 70s Disco Inferno HIIT and strength, and 90s Baby Got Back dance, HIIT and strength. Additionally, the company is hosting a Trick or Treat Halloween Spectacular, dance HIIT classes for children ages 3-10, where kids can collect digital candies on-screen. The two weeks of Halloween programming will culminate with the Monster Mash Up Marathon, that includes a Richard Simmons Sweatin to the Oldies-themed class.

The only mistake we made last year was that we didnt do it for longer, said Mills of its Halloween programming. We know its hard for some of our Ob family to be consistent, and it can get hectic, especially in the mornings with work and getting kids ready for school. So weve found that live classes offer a sense of accountability. Because of Halloween, October has become the biggest month of the year for Ob.

Ob has found that members who watch live classes take 4.5-times as many classes as members who only watch on-demand. An average member takes 14 classes per month (an increase from 11 classes per month in 2019). Mullett added that the company is amplifying live celebrations as one would have experienced in an in-person class. For example, in the last few months, instructors have been proposed to on-air, while members have shared pregnancy announcements and gender reveals tothe strengthen Obecommunity.

This strategy extends to Obs flagship events, as well. The company held larger in-person fitness events with a cap of 80 attendees and speakers in 2018 and 2019, at New York Citys Dream Hotel and Freehand Hotel, respectively. And it held its first digital retreat in late September. Rather than make members pay for a ticket, the event was free for all members and they could dip into and dip out of sessions.

We said, Come for two sessions, come for 10 minutes. We didnt want people to be beholden because of an expensive ticket price that doesnt make sense now, said Mullett. Were trying to add value to our members lives, and with everyone at home and being inundated, it comes back to making all of our moments worthwhile.

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Oct 20

Intermittent fasting for weight loss: Does it work and what’s the best plan for you? – Press and Journal

Whether its the 5:2 or 16:8 plans, fasting diets have won celebrity fans in recent years, including Jennifer Aniston.

The Morning Show and Friends star revealed last year that she avoids solid foods for 16 hours of every day, only eating during a restricted eight-hour window to help control her weight.

The 5:2 plan, under which you eat normally for five days and then strictly control calories for two, also has its share of followers, with Phillip Schofield and model Miranda Kerr among those reported to have used it to keep in shape.

But research from the University of California, San Francisco, recently poured cold water on the idea that simply restricting your hours of eating was enough to shift the pounds.

They tasked a group of volunteers with following a 16:8 fasting diet, while others ate three meals a day whenever they wanted.

Both groups saw a modest fall in their weight, suggesting the fasting plan made virtually no difference.

The diet is based on the 8 Hour Diet book, by author David Zinczenko and editor-in-chief of Mens Health Peter Moore, who argue that a daily fasting period gives the body the time it needs to process food and burn away extra fat.

Scottish dietitian Dr Carrie Ruxton, who herself follows a 16:8 type plan, believes limiting your hours of eating can be useful but only if you are cutting out calories within that timeframe.

She said: My take on this study is its good news that you can lose weight either way. For a long time Ive believed there are many ways to lose weight and it depends on your own personal circumstances, preferences and the way you want to live your life. Too many people have been given the lie that theres a perfect diet that you have to follow if you want to lose weight or be healthy and youre made to feel guilty.

If you eat carbohydrates youre told, Oh no, you shouldnt be having that, or its the same if you eat fat, so its almost like for everything you want to eat theres somebody leaning over your shoulder telling you you cant eat it.

It comes down to calories at the end of the day so whichever method works for you to cut your calories and create a calorie deficit, that is how you will lose weight best.

Im careful with my weight because I have quite a sedentary job. Even though I exercise I spend most of my day in front of my computer. So I tend to do the 16:8. This morning I got up and made my breakfast, put it in the fridge and ate it around noon. I go and do something active in the morning and then I have a late breakfast and at eight at night I stop eating and thats it for the rest of the day. That works for me.

I dont have a lot of weight to come off, its just sometimes Ill stand on the scales and think, Oh dear, thats another couple of pounds I need to lose, so I do the 16:8 for a week or so and it gets back under control again.

Its something I do on and off. There have been studies showing that people who will manage to stay in a healthy weight range for all of their adult life, are people who are just now and again doing a little check and keeping an eye on it so that they arent going too far out of their range. Those who deny it and let the problem build up will find it harder.

Carrie believes the best way to keep your weight under control is to do frequent, but not daily, checks so that you can act quickly if you happen to have gained a couple of pounds.

She said: The better way of doing it is every week or two just have a little check, it could be by trying on the same pair of jeans or trousers, or it could be standing on the scales, and if you see your weight creeping up tackle it quickly by limiting calories.

You could eat less at mealtimes with a smaller plate of food, or follow 5:2 it doesnt work for me because I cant eat a small amount for a whole day, but some people like that or you could try 16:8, or go to a slimmers club for moral support, or see if your gym does a healthy eating plan. Even the liquid diets are worth considering. There is evidence showing this is very helpful for reversing diabetes, so there are lots of options and its about finding whats right for you.

In 2012, the BBC broadcast a Horizon episode called Eat, Fast and Live Longer, presented by Dr Michael Mosley in which the idea of intermittent fasting was first introduced on a major platform. He then published The Fast Diet book in January 2013, which was closely followed by a similar book from former BBC journalist, Kate Harrison called The 5:2 Diet Book. Their similar plans proved to be the order of the day, with both books becoming bestsellers.

Under the 5:2 diet, you eat broadly what you like five days a week within the recommended calorie range. Dieters are then recommended to eat just a quarter of their usual calorie intake so going down to 500 calories for women and 600 for men for two consecutive days.

16: 8

This diet is potentially a little easier to follow, but it is a seven-day-a-week plan which sees you only eat solids eight hours out of 24.

Generally, followers of the plan will eat between midday and 8pm and, outside of those eight hours, will stick to unsweetened liquids such as water, tea and coffee.

Could soups and shakes replacing meals help type 2 diabetes-sufferers put the disease into remission?

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Oct 20

The Uncomfortable Truth About Thru-Hiking and Weight Loss – The Trek

Youre so skinny. Did you even bring food with you?

I can feel your bones when I hug youlets get you some pasta!

Man, I should consider thru-hiking. You look INCREDIBLE!

I could go on and on and on. Thru-hiking and weight loss go hand-in-hand for most of us while were on the trail. Theres no denying that burning upwards of 4,000 calories a day will have that effect, no matter what your on-trail diet may look like.

For some, losing weight is part of the overall thru-hiking goal and thats GREAT. Walking from point to point while carrying all you need can motivate you to implement permanent healthy life changes. However, losing excessive amounts of weight and receiving praise for our trail bodies can also take a damaging psychological toll when the hike is over.

I dont know about you, but this hamburger/hotdog shirt makes me feel 100% my sexiest.

Well, were burning a shit ton of calories. And often not eating nearly enough, nutritionally and calorically. Aaron Owens Mayhew, creator of Backcountry Foodie, shares how traditional hiker diets, including highly processed foods, dont provide the amount of nutrition needed to keep up with the increased demands. As a result of this, our bodies can begin to lose muscle and fat while on trail. The physical impact of a 4-6 month thru-hike is unmatched in nearly any other sport, hence extreme weight loss becoming the norm.

When you spend months on end in a caloric deficit, your body begins to crave calories wherever it can get them. This explains the hiker hunger that results in eating gallons of ice cream, piles of fries, and inches of pancakes when in town. However, once the hike is over your body wont need as much food to recover as it did on the trail. It can be incredibly difficult to manage a post-trail diet because most people experience lingering hiker hunger. Even once youve stopped walking, your body may still be screaming for calories. Adjusting back from this ravenous appetite can take a few weeks after a multi-month thru-hike.

If your post-trail diet doesnt adjust to match your decrease in activity, Aaron notes that excessive weight gain can occur. Furthermore, after physical activity as intense as a thru-hike, our bodies naturally store fat quickly once the activity stops. Combining these factors while trying to break junk food habits that may have developed on trail can make maintaining your hiking weight impossible.

Approaching post-hike fluctuations in weight objectively is crucial to maintaining a healthy relationship with your body. This means that weight loss and weight gain are two natural consequences of starting and ending a hike. Neither one is good or bad.

Photo via Aaron Owens Mayhew.

Lets circle back to those opening comments about thru-hiking and weight loss. Unsolicited opinions about how fit you look or how much weight youve lost after a hike can insidiously affect post-trail behavior. Marissa Kleinsmith, a Registered Dietitian who uses an intuitive eating framework, shared her thoughts on how hikers can learn to listen to their bodies.

Sometimes, recognizing hunger cues during physical exertion can be a bit scary for folks that have previously been restrained eaters because they feel like they shouldnt be hungry yet. It can be tough to set this judgement aside and feel that the body deserves more nutrition Responding to this need for fuel will not only translate to a better hiking experience in mind and body, but it will also promote body respect. Making an effort to carry nutrient and calorie dense snacks with various flavors and textures can also add to the satisfaction factor of eating.

Though weight loss on trail can catalyze a healthier lifestyle for many hikers, its important to proceed cautiously with intentional weight loss. Marissa noted that at least some of the trail-related weight loss would be lean body mass. This lean muscle is what powers us through long uphills and 30+ mile days. Also, losing muscle makes it much harder to recover quickly. Rapid weight loss on trail can be exciting, but its imperative to prioritize your caloric and nutritional needs.

When I came home from the John Muir Trail, a lot of my family and friends told me how good I looked. They were complimenting my body, and that made my own insecurities with gaining weight back that much worse. I actually fantasized about doing another, longer thru-hike the next summer just so that I could look that way again and be in that kind of shape. Alex K.

Youd be hard-pressed to find a thru-hiker who doesnt have something to say about body image and weight loss. These long trail veterans share their insights on the promises and pitfalls of thru-hiking and weight loss. Their stories shed light on how diet culture can sneak into the outdoors.

Responses lightly edited for length and clarity.

Photo via Becca Bergstrom

Becca, as you may recall from The Treks YouTube page, thru-hiked the PCT in 2019. Though she did experience a fixation on weight loss while on trail, she did her best to focus on the miles rather than on her weight.

Weight loss is such a common topic. For instance, post-trail Q&As always touched on how much weight was lost and also gained back once I stopped hiking 30-35 miles per day. It was also common talk on trail, especially during town stops when a scale was available. The publicity of my YouTube videos also compounded the fixation, because it became pretty common for people I didnt even know make comments about how my body was changing with the miles I was putting in.

All of this was especially problematic for me. I had struggled with eating disorders and body dysmorphia for over 10 years before I even stepped foot on the PCT. I had long romanticized that the trail would be this great escape for me to heal and become friends with my body, but it just wasnt that easy.

After the trail, I experienced newfound respect for what I could put my body through, both physically and mentally. I focused my new post-trail routine on being as active in the outdoors as possible, because thats where I come to love myself the most and felt the strongest and most capable version of myself.

Its important to note that diet culture is a trend, much like fashion, and is always evolving, thus, always pointing out ways to be better and look better. There is no end game because its always changing so were constantly never good enough. Its an endless cycle that only feeds us stress and negativity for not meeting the new standards. Why subject yourself to that, just to try to conform to what someone else labels beautiful or ideal, when itll be changing again anyhow. Every body deserves to be celebrated, instead of cycling through periods of when a certain body type is considered ideal.

Photo via Luke Pearsall

Luke Pearsall hiked the Colorado Trail this summer after 117 days of committed COVID quarantine. With what he called a little extra love to hike off, he started the CT after the disappointment of a 2020 PCT NOGO. Weight loss was by no means his goal.

For the first couple of weeks after the trail, I felt really proud of myself and the transformation that took place with my body. I saw the results of all the hard work, and it has helped me maintain a consistent level of physical fitness and nutrition. After a couple of weeks of being back, I stepped on the scale (like I said, I wasnt concerned with weight loss as much as I was being healthy and feeling better on a daily basis). I weighed in at 218 lbs. Thats a total of 54lbs lost over the course of the 36 days of hiking on the Colorado Trail for an average of about 1.5lbs of weight loss per day. I was actually pretty surprised.

I think one of the most useful psychological tools for me getting back home was to wake up and walk every morning. Keeping that little routine in my life that I have gotten used to is very helpful. Its been challenging coming back after the 5 months quarantined with my Photography and Video having been closed for over half a year due to COVID. But the hustle required to adapt my business so it can survive this time has been enough to keep my mind busy. I think staying busy helps fight the post-trail blues a lot, although admittedly some days that are slower I find myself daydreaming about the carefree days on trail with all the amazing people I met along the way, and the nostalgia hurts the heart.

If you think you cant do something because you are out of shape or a little overweight, dont let your mind be the thing that defeats you before you even give yourself a chance. I woke up earlier and hiked later than my group every day because I needed the extra time, and that was OK. Even after the days that I struggled and just kept walking, I would often repeat this in my head: You can do anything for another day, or another mile, or even another 100 feet. Ill never be a super hiker like many of my friends such as Legend, The Prodigy, Rabbit, or the slew of other inspiring people I have in my life, but every single one of them will continue to inspire me to put one foot in front of the other, as long as my body will let me.

Photo via Alex Kereszti.

Alex hiked the John Muir Trail last summer and the High Sierra Trail this summer. After the JMT, she battled thoughts of wanting to get back on trail purely for the exercise. On the HST, she quickly re-learned how beautiful the outdoors make her feel.

On trail is probably the only time that I dont fixate on weight loss. During the JMT, I definitely noticed the fact that I was losing weight. My legs were leaner, and less of my stomach fat bulged over the straps from my pack across my abdomen. But I wasnt fixated on it in the same way Ive felt constantly preoccupied with it in the past.

Recently on the HST, I felt self-conscious about my body before hitting the trail. I had gained some weight through quarantine and felt out of shape, but within one day of being on the trail, I hardly thought about it. I truly feel my strongest, most beautiful self when Im backpacking. If Im hiking all day long, pushing miles, and challenging my physical limits, I dont even have the energy to be preoccupied with weight. Im just SO HUNGRY, and all the food in my canister for the next five days doesnt even seem like enough to satiate me at that moment.

Something that I struggle with as an athlete is blurring the line between being in shape and being skinny. It feels AMAZING to crush long, hard days with lots of mileage and elevation gain on the trail. A huge part of that comes from eating enough to keep you fueled and for your muscles to recover quickly. On my next long thru-hike, I just need to be more aware of how unsustainable the caloric deficit is. Also, it is impossible to maintain that kind of routine in your regular day-to-day life. If you have a full-time job, you cant backpack 20 miles a day as well. So just giving myself forgiveness and the ability to see ahead once Im off the trail will help a lot.

Photo via Julia Sheehan

Julia thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2019. You may have seen her on YouTube, where she shared vlogs, a full-length feature video, and lots of advice. As a woman with an eating disorder, she did her best to focus on how strong she got on trail, not how much weight she lost.

On trail I was more concerned with my bodys ability to complete the tasks at hand. I also realized that I was losing fat and inches, and it was being replaced with muscle and strength. A lot of people who maybe had more weight to lose were more fixated on their weight loss. Most men had lost 20-40 lbs by the time they reached Harpers Ferry. Meanwhile, most women had lost 0-15 lbs by then. It was common for non-thru-hikers to ask how much weight we had lost. I was proud to say that I had technically gained 4 lbs by the time I had reached Katahdin.

As a woman with an eating disorder (ED), anxiety about gaining weight is always present. This was especially hard after the trail. I received many compliments about the shape of my body after returning. This made it that much harder to regress to my pre-trail body, which was inevitable. I experienced relapses with my ED when returning home. But I sought treatment and therapy to help keep me on track.

As a woman with an ED, its difficult to navigate a world that is obsessed with weight and size. I delete influencers on social media that share diet fads or relate their weight or weight loss with success and happiness. I go to therapy and also manage my anxiety and ED by talking to friends and family. Im trying to normalize ED recovery so its not painful or secretive to talk about.

Implementing intentional strategies to fight over-fixation on thru-hiking and weight loss/gain can be crucial to maintaining a healthy relationship with your body. Bear in mind these tools are from hiker to hiker and do not replace therapy or counseling. There are resources at the end of this article if you think you may need extra help.

Aaron Owens Mayhew of Backcountry Foodie

Marissa Kleinsmith

Becca Bergstrom

Luke Pearsall

Alex Kereszti

Julia Sheehan

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The Uncomfortable Truth About Thru-Hiking and Weight Loss - The Trek

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Oct 20

Commentary: The negative impact of celebrity weight loss – The Slate Online

When people look at modern-day celebrities and the influence they hold, it can be difficult to truly grasp the impacts these stars have on their audiences.

Whether it is spreading political messages, promoting their newest album or clothing line, there is always going to be a wide range of reactions. It is the harsh reality of being famous.

But with that, a question arises: When does a celebritys influence become too powerful to the point where it can harm themselves or their audience? How do these stars balance their own appearance while ensuring their audience does not feel pressured or betrayed by their change?

Two prominent celebrities, Rebel Wilson and Meghan Trainor, have used body positivity in the past to forward their careers. Wilson and Trainor, who have lost more than 30 pounds, respectively, are best known for using their larger figures to influence and inspire the younger generation.

Wilson, who played Fat Amy in the Pitch Perfect franchise, would constantly use her weight and appearance to her advantage by making jokes about herself on camera. Wilson also used her presence on and off the big screen to show her fans that loving yourself for who you are is the most important thing. The same can be said about musician Meghan Trainor.

Trainor, an American singer songwriter, rose to stardom after she released her hit single All About that Bass. The song, which peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 100, focused primarily on messages regarding body positivity by telling listeners they are perfect no matter their shape or size. Trainor quickly gained a following and many looked up to her as an idol and spokeswoman for body-sensitive individuals.

It is easy to see why fans of both Wilson and Trainor are confused by their recent weight loss transformations. Of course, these two likely decided to lose weight for personal or health-related reasons, but some fans are not so supportive of this.

Society has created a mindset where both men and women need to be perfect. But for many of Wilson and Trainors fans, they look up to them as a means of feeling included. It is rare that Hollywood or the music industry promotes anything other than the size zero hourglass figures. So these two essentially acted as the representation for many.

In seeing them lose such a drastic amount of weight, fans were left feeling betrayed. Wilson and Trainor used their platform to show their audience that it is OK to be different and that conforming to societys expectations is not necessary, yet they themselves go against those messages. In a way, it seemed almost hypocritical and many fans felt abandoned.

On top of this, both women found their careers in jeopardy. Wilson now no longer has the body, which aided in her obtaining roles that suited her comedy-driven acting style. Moreover, Trainor has seen some spurts of success in her music but has shifted her focus toward movie soundtracks and seasonal releases. She is unfortunately no longer as musically prominent as she once was.

Celebrities need to be aware of their audience and the messages they are promoting to them. Additionally, it is important that they stay true to what they preach and do not conform to the pressures that society can put on them. Celebrities are extremely influential, so whatever they say and do are substantially magnified. As clich as it sounds, they need to know how to use their power and influence responsibly. Not only can their careers depend on it, but the mental and physical wellbeing of their fans as well.

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Oct 20

KETO Diet: Is It Just Hype Or A New Way Of Life? –

Chances are youve got a friend or family member who swears by KETO, or if you havent, then youve almost certainly heard of the myriad of celebrities who follow the diet religiously.

KETO has become more than a diet nowadays, its a way of life. Many restaurants offer extensive keto options on their menus, withSkinnys Bar and Grillin Bondi being Australias first KETO CAFE! Everything on their menu is low-carb, gluten-free and sugar-free. Sounds good, right?

Well before you hop in your car and make the mad dash to Bondi to grab a carb-free cheeseburger, let us see if the KETO hype stands up to science.

So, what is KETO? KETO stands for ketogenic. A ketogenic diet involves consuming as little carbs as possible, so the body is forced to enter a state of being called ketosis. Essentially, this means that it burns the bodysfat storesrather than thecarbohydratesa human consumes on a daily basis.

DoctorMarcelo Camposfrom Harvard Medical School explains it like this:Most cells prefer to use blood sugar, which comes from carbohydrates,as the bodys main source of energy. In the absence of circulating blood sugar from food, we start breaking down stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies (the process is called ketosis).

Once you reach ketosis, most cells will use ketone bodies to generate energy until we start eating carbohydrates again. The shift, from using circulating glucose to breaking down stored fat as a source of energy, usually happens over two to four days of eating fewer than20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day.

Keep in mind that this is a highly individualized process, and some people need a more restricted diet to start producing enough ketones.

Because it lacks carbohydrates, aketogenic dietis rich in proteins and fats. It typically includes plenty of meats, eggs, processed meats, sausages, cheeses, fish, nuts, butter, oils, seeds, and fibrous vegetables.

Because it is so restrictive, it is really hard to follow over the long run. Carbohydrates normally account for at least 50% of the typical American diet.

One of the main criticisms of this diet is that many people tend to eat too much protein and poor-quality fats from processed foods, with very few fruits and vegetables. Patients with kidney disease need to be cautious because this diet could worsen their condition.

Additionally, some patients may feel a little tired in the beginning, while some may have bad breath, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and sleep problems.

Despite the recent hype, the ketogenic diet is not something new. In medicine, it has been used for almost 100 years to treatdrug-resistant epilepsy, especially in children.

In the 1970s, Dr. Atkins popularized his very-low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss that began with averystricttwo-week ketogenic phase. This is where the KETO craze all began, and over the years, other fad diets incorporated a similar approach for weight loss.

Now that we know what the ketogenic diet involves, lets look at how safe it is for humans to follow.

According to Doctor Campos,We have solid evidence showing that a ketogenic diet reduces seizures in children, sometimes as effectively as medication. Because of these neuroprotective effects, questions have been raised about the possible benefits for other brain disorders such asParkinsons,Alzheimers, multiple sclerosis, sleep disorders, autism, and even brain cancer.

However, there are no human studies to support recommending ketosis to treat these conditions.

According to the worlds leading low-carb diet blogger and podcasterJimmy Moore, author ofKeto Clarity, the ketogenic diet seems to be quite beneficial for effectively treating a range of other health conditions, including metabolic syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), heartburn (GERD) nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), Type 2 diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

On the subject of Type 2 diabetes, Halle Berry began speaking out in support of the keto diet in 2017. She explained in an appearance onLive With Kelly and Ryanthat shes a good candidate for the diet because shes diabetic.

Halle also spoke toPeopleabout KETO. I eat healthy fats all day long, avocado, oil, coconut oil and I use butter, but dont have any sugar. So when your body gets trained to burn fats, its constantly on fat-burning mode thats the secret,she noted.

A ketogenic diet also has been shown to improve blood sugar control for patients with type 2 diabetes, at least in the short term. However, there is a lot of controversies when doctors have considered the effects of KETO on cholesterol levels.

A few studies show some patients have an increase in cholesterol levels, in the beginning, only to see cholesterol fall afew months later. However, there isno long-term researchanalyzing its effects over time on diabetes and high cholesterol, at least as of now.

Back to Ms. Bond for a minute. Berry is just one of many celebs who swear by theKETO dietto help them combat health conditions naturally, with others who seemingly swear by the diet for staying slim and trim.

It would seem weight loss is the primary reason many people use the ketogenic diet. Previous research shows good evidence offaster weight losswhen patients go on a ketogenic or very low carbohydrate diet compared to participants on a more traditional low-fat diet, or even aMediterranean diet.

However, that difference in weight loss seems to disappear over time, as the KETO way of living is hard to keep up long term. And this is where we hit a crossroads.

If you want to lose weight, the fastest route to drop the kilos is often taken, without much consideration on long term effects or any advice taken from a doctor or dietician on proper eating.

KETO is often promised to get you slim quicker, as low-carb diets are famous for quick fat loss. The person will often lose a considerable amount of weight on KETO, then afterwards, go back to their normal way of eating. The weight slowly comes back and, then we go diet again; usually even more restrictedly than the first time. It is often much harder to lose the second time on a diet, and each time we restrict our bodies heavily, our metabolisms are put under a lot of stress. This process is called yo-yo dieting and can be harmful long term.

Studies have shown that most people who participate in the KETO diet, end up gaining the weight back faster than those who follow other restrictive diets. Why is that? Firstly, metabolic needs are largely based on body composition. Muscle uses more energy than fat, thus higher muscle mass means higher caloric needs.

Leading Dietician and Nutritionist Emily Baum explains KETO yo-yo dieting like this:

Quick weight loss often means losing muscle mass, not just fat loss. Most, if not ALL Fad diets are typically unsustainable so that when the diet is over, your body composition is now completely different to before. You now have less muscle, which means you now have to consume fewer calories than before the diet to maintain your new weight. People then resume their normal eating patterns and gain weight very quickly. This causes people to blame carbs or whatever food group they eliminated. When in reality, you changed your body composition, thus your caloric needs have changed. This is where KETO can potentially become dangerous.

So, is it eliminating carbohydrates the key?

It would seem that the KETO Diet is unsustainable long term; therefore, there are no long-term studies supporting that a keto diet is healthy, in particular for losing weight or decreasing morbidity rates.

So what can we take away from all this?

If you dont have a pre-existing health condition, (mentioned above), or havent been advised to eat KETO by a Doctor, Specialist or Dietician, perhaps following a traditionalMediterranean dietis the answer to optimal health, longevity and weight loss that stays off.

This way of eating combines a good combination of healthy fats and healthy, complex carbs. By including a larger food group, this ensures cravings are kept at bay, all the while getting all the nutrients you need to feel satiable and happy.

So, what are you waiting for! Lets get to cooking thosegemista(stuffed capsicums) and roast lamb with Greek salad. Happy healthy carb consuming!

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