Thursday, August 6, 2009

Book Review

First, I got in some speedwork last night. It's about time to change up my speedwork routine, I need to read back through some older posts and see what my last few session have been. The speedwork this time was a half mile fast with 0.2 mile recovery. I did the speed at 7.7, 7.8, 7.9 and 8.0 speeds on the treadmill. Then I pulled out a quarter mile at 8.5, and it felt like my stride got much shorter. I think I need to do more shorter faster intervals rather than these 800's again. I tend to do half mile or 1k (0.6 mile) intervals, and skip out on the quarter mile or shorter speedwork. The key to balancing speedwork is to do a range of distances and speeds, not just the same thing every time. With the warmup and cooldown, total workout was 4 miles.

Book Review - Master your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels

Overall, I liked this book. The science is sound, practices are very grounded, and the basic outline of the plan seems like it could work. I sound skeptical because I've already been doing most of the plan without the intended results. It did give me some ideas for small tweaks and it really makes me want to see an endocrinologist.

The Plan: basically, she purports to get rid of all crap and only do things organically. Don't eat HFCS, no soda's allowed, stick to the powerfoods, and get everything organic. If it doesn't have a mother or grow from the ground, don't let it into your house. This includes abandoning traditional kitchen cleaners for a simple vinegar/water mix. Think of it like you speak english your whole life, then wake up one day and everyone around you speaks russian. You don't know how to interact with anything else anymore. So your body automatically wants to store it as fat, thinking that it's a language you can learn later. If you get foods and your environment to only speak english then everything can work in harmony again.

The entire book is based around stabalizing and balancing hormone levels, and that's something I can really get behind. I get the doctor to check my teststosterone level every time I'm in his office. I have no idea why I like monitoring that stuff, but I just do. She talks a lot about diabetes, PCOS, tons of women-specific hormone stuff, thyroid function.... really geeky details, and I love learning about that stuff.

The funny thing is, as much as she wants everything to be organic, she also talks about taking supplemental hormones prescribed by her endocrinologist. Seems contradictory.

The EXTRA sugar free gum on my desk right now, that they promote heavily on the Biggest Liar contains the ingredients: Sorbital, Gum base, Mannitol.... I have yet to see a sorbital tree so I don't think that gum qualifies to be on her own diet plan. Seems contradictory. Ever seen a mannitol plant? Maybe it really does exist.

My primary basis for comparrison has to be weight watchers. I've also used the Men's Health Abs Diet with good results, and there are some similar components here, but I still think WW would be the better comparrison. The basis behind WW is to get everything low fat, high fiber and eat tons of whole and healthy foods.
  • MM says to only eat organic whole foods.
  • WW say if it's labeled Fat Free or low fat it's going to be lower in points, and healthier for you.
  • MM has never seen a bell pepper labeled "fat free". Fat free labels indicate that the fat has been replaced by a foriegn language speaking man made product and it should be avoided.
  • WW wants high fiber foods like oatmeal, but not the high sugar flavored instant stuff
  • MM wants high fiber foods like oatmeal. Whole oats, steel cut please
  • WW wants only extremely lean protein like boneless skinless chicken breasts of any kind
  • MM wants free range hormone free chicken, grass fed beef, the leaner cuts are better but organic is really the only restriction
  • WW wants 60% carbs (veg), 30% protein, 10% fat
  • MM wants 40% carbs, 30% protein, 30% fat
  • WW wants points
  • MM wants balance

In my last post, I detailed a lot of my current eating plan. If you've been reading for a while, you know I already do everything possible organicly, and even keep (and love!) my organic garden. I already exercise regularly in triathlon training. I eat 6 small meals a day at 6, 10:30, 12:30, 3:30, 6:30 and 9:30 (or post-pm-workout) every day. My half ironman training requires enough fuel to push my body through the workouts, and I tend to maintain weight around 190 - 200 lbs during training. I actually got down under 190 (for the first time since I got married 10 years ago) after the marathon in june, and once this half ironman training started in early july, went right back up to around 200. I still have some belly fat, and my summer goal was to get rid of enough belly fat to look good wearing white pants and no shirt. That goal has not been achieved yet - but I still have until labor day.

The book really tries to promote balance, and that's something I am really big on. Balance between work and family, training cycles, macronutrients, fast time and slow time, everything has to stay balanced. Jillian approaches this from a hormonal level as well.

Cortisol is a stress released hormone, when it is raised (your stress level is out of balance) you add body fat. If you don't get enough sleep at night, you will feel stressed. Sleep is very important. Manage your stress to control cortisol.

Grehlin is the hormone that makes you feel hungry. high levels of grehlin indicate hunger, and when you are not hungry anymore (but not over-stuffed) grehlin levels go back down. It's directly paired with insulin, which rises right after you eat and drops as you get hungry. Insulin and grehlin have to stay balanced all day to keep your body fat in check.

To keep the 30% fat, 30% protein, and 40% carbs in check requires balance. When you eat each macronutrient is just as important as what it is. She wants 4 meals a day, eat every 4 hours, and nothing after 9 pm. Eat your biggest meals earlier in the day. Big breakfast, normal lunch, afternoon snack, small and late dinner. I guess the only way to make this time out is to have breakfast at 7 am, lunch at 11, snack at 4 pm, dinner at 8 pm. You could back it up another hour, but who wants to have lunch at 10 am? We eat dinner at 6:30 and the kids go to bed at 8, there's no way we could have dinner at 8. I take in around 2000 calories a day in 6 meals every 3 hours or so, and burn off 600 - 1200 calories per workout 5 days a week. I'm about ready to start adding some days with 2 workouts, so I don't see how her plan can adequately fuel my workouts without creating huge meals that throw off the insulin/grehlin balance. So there's one adjustment.

I really like how she wants more carbs earlier in the day and more protein later in the day. Growth hormone is only produced in a deep sleep cycle called stage 3 or stage 4 sleep. My last meal of the day is always a large bowl of cereal because after the workout I want a mix of carbs (cheerios) and protein (skim milk). Late night carbs trigger insulin, and high levels of insulin prevent deep sleep. I do have trouble sleeping through the night. Just last night I woke up at 2 am, then again at 3 am before the alarm went off at 6. And since no deep sleep prevents the largest production of growth hormone, I suspect a deficiency there. Jillian indicates a GH deficiency can lead to increased belly fat. So in theory, if I switch to an only protein last meal instead of a large bowl of cereal I should sleep better and lose the belly fat. The biggest problem is, I don't know what will fit the bill. The kids are asleep by then, so smoothies get tricky unless I make them up in advance. There's not usually time or patience then to cook something like eggs. I could keep boiled eggs in the fridge. 2 salted boiled eggs is a favorite snack of mine, and less calories than cereal. I've also been really into poached eggs lately. Since Jillian says dinner at 8 and nothing after, she did not provide any ideas for late night munchies. What do you like to snack on late at night?

Go buy this book if you have a little nerd in you and want to learn about hormone levels and balance. She has her own set of powerfoods that I already love and eat all the time anyway. Again, the late night stuff is the best thing I got from this book. But learning in general what to eat to keep different hormone levels balanced made this a really interesting read.


Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Hahahaha! She should use this as a blurb on her book's jacket:

"It ... really makes me want to see an endocrinologist"!1! -Carolina Cletus

What higher praise could a TV show bimbo who dun writ herse'f a book want?

Wes said...

The funny thing is, as much as she wants everything to be organic, she also talks about taking supplemental hormones prescribed by her endocrinologist. Seems contradictory.

Even supplemental hormones had a momma! :-)

carrie said...

When I started WW, I tried to stay away from night time carbs (mostly b/c I never had enough points left!) String cheese, deli turkey or something free (carrots, celery) usually was enough to satisfy my munchies.

healthy ashley said...

What an awesome review! I think I'd really like this book just for her getting into the little details. I feel we can never know enough about how our bodies operate and how to make them better. I like her message of just being clean and simple.. from what you put in your body to what you clean your house with. It's great to have a powerful voice out there with that message... too bad her hormones deal and advertising with the Biggest Loser take down her credibility! Really, thanks for this review. I'm definitely adding this book to my "must read" list.

As for your question on my blog about protein snacks at night: I love a little protein shake! Milk/milk alternative, 1/2 scoop of protein and a banana and you're set. Add some cocoa powder if you really want to be adventurous :) I'm also addicted to banana soft serve- and you can add a it of PB or sliced almonds if you really want to get that protein. Cold edamame is also luxurious although I don't know how perfect that is for dessert :) And don't forget about trail mix!

Hopefully I gave you at least one idea? :)

Jess said...

Seeing as how I ate two Laffy Taffys while reading this post, I don't think Michaels would approve of my eating.

Mike G said...

Speedwork! Arrgh. It's good for you though.

Balance sounds good, but no soda? I recently made a compromise and only drink Pepsi Max - twice the caffeine and 0 calories - and I don't think I could give it up...

Alisa said...

Sounds like a book worth checking out.

As for late night munchies, my "late" night is your early evening but one thing I've gotten into lately that I really like are graham crackers. They are a little sweet and satisfy by sweet tooth without being horribly bad for me. However, the only way I have EVER lost weight is to limit my carbs.

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

Sounds interesting.

I have a major sweet tooth so my late-night snack is usually fruit, and sometimes ice cream...

jameson said...

great review and it seems like you got a lot out of it.

i'll have to pick this one up!

Joy said...

I just love the story behind your blog name. Good for you!

Amanda said...

Great review. I love to read this type of book just for educational purposes. I am with you on balance, that's what it's all about.

Mel-2nd Chances said...

Great review, and love the comparison!

Nelumbo said...

Hormones are so interesting to me, too. If I had to pick a medical specialty, I'd be a an endocrinologist. I've read the same thing about cortisol in other places- it seems like stress can really cause havoc on your body, and even a woman's unborn fetus!

Ryan said...

Is EPO a hormone? If so...I would like some please ;-)

KAT said...

Hey, thanks for commenting on my blog! And awesome book review! Jillian is a little toooo hardcore for my taste though.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Great book review. I am a total science nerd & love learning more about our bodies, so I think I am going to have to break my book buying hiatus & check this out.

I am doing weight watchers right now - I kind of wish i could push a button & the online tracking would give me a breakdown of protein/fat/carbs. I am too lazy to do it myself, but now that I am starting to train for a 1/2, I will probably have to look at it closer & make sure I am balancing things correctly.