Tag Archives: body composition

The Alkaline Diet – to alkalise or not to alkalise?

VegI’ve recently been asked my opinion on the Alkalising diet. This won’t take long…

Proponents of this diet suggest that it is possible to influence the ph level of our blood through the foods we eat. Further more, they believe that acidic blood causes disease and alkalised blood cures it. It’s also suggested that an “acidified” body will not permit weight loss.

Every premise is incorrect. It is impossible for a healthy person with functioning kidneys to influence the ph level of their blood through food. The ph of our urine may be affected by what we eat, but not our blood. Blood is kept constant at a value of 7.4 and is done so mainly through the kidneys, not the bones as many claim. Even a small deviation from the value of 7.4 can be catastrophic so the body regulates this process very tightly.

As for curing diseases such as cancer (yes, this has been claimed!), again it’s just not true. Claims are made that cancer grows in an acid environment so if the blood is alkalised (which we know can’t happen) you can kill off or prevent cancer cells from growing. While its true that cancer cells can grow in an acidic environment, they can also grow in an alkalised environment. Enough said…

Now to the weight loss premise. The alkalising diet is not a bad way to eat, in fact many people would obtain great health benefits from switching to this kind of diet. Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, little or no processed food, lots of water – what’s not to love about eating this way. Nothing! I don’t have a problem with the diet itself, I do however have a problem with the suggestion that an acidified body¬† will prevent weight loss.

Weight loss requires calorie deficit. Period. Achieve calorie deficit and you lose weight. What’s the best way to achieve such a deficit?¬† Now that’s where it gets interesting and it’s to complicated for this blog, perhaps I’ll do another on this topic. Achieving calorie deficit is not as straight forward as just eating less and moving more, in fact I often tell clients to eat more and move less – and they shed body fat.

So go ahead and eat an alkalising diet, it’s great for your health, but it won’t change the ph level of your blood.

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Gain Without Pain

At Flemington Strength Studio, many of our clients have previously enlisted the help of a personal trainer and been dissatisfied with the result. The most common reason for their disappointing outcome is that their trainer “pushed too hard” and “just didn’t listen”. That’s unfortunate because personal training, when delivered correctly, can deliver exceptional returns.

Personal trainers are not immune to the pressures of society. The stereotype would have us believe that as trainers we must shout, yell and scream at our clients and deliberately push limits that otherwise would have been respected. While some in the industry may be happy to support such an image, it’s not something that we condone. Limits exist to be respected, they are the body’s way of controlling stress. Deliberately and consistently ignoring warning signs can lead to injury, illness and lack of motivation.

Personal Training Flemington, Kensington, Ascot Vale

In order to improve, the body must be exposed to stress. Physical activity is stress and stress needs to be carefully managed in order to produce the desired outcome. The appropriate stress stimuli will result in a positive form of stress called eustress. Excessive stress stimuli will result in a negative form of stress called distress. By paying close attention to a clients reaction to exercise, a trainer can gauge the appropriate amount of stimulus needed to produce eustress. Failing to recognise early warning signs results in clients being pushed beyond their limits, at which point their training becomes counter-productive.Personal Training Flemington, Kensington, Ascot Vale

I’m not suggesting that personal training shouldn’t be hard work, challenging and at times uncomfortable but the notion of “NO PAIN, NO GAIN” just doesn’t fit with our philosophy. One of my earliest mentors taught me that in order to progress the body must be stimulated, not obliterated. It is this concept that allows us to keep our clients in a sate of eustress, thereby promoting a gradual and continuous rate of progress.

Personal Training Flemington, Kensington, Ascot Vale

“No pain no gain?” We prefer “Stimulate, don’t obliterate”.