# Poor Sleep Is a Major Risk Factor for Weight Gain and Obesity
A Huge review found that short sleep duration increased the chances of obesity by 89% in children and 55% in adults. That’s just in people averaging around 5h of sleep per night and its scaleable, the further you get from optimum levels of sleep the more likely you are to gain weight.
# Poor Sleep Can Increase Your Appetite
Many studies have found that people who are sleep-deprived report having an increased appetite
When you do not get adequate sleep, the body makes more ghrelin (hunger causing) and less leptin (tells your body you are full), leaving you hungry and increasing your appetite.
A study of over 1,000 people found that those who slept for short durations had 14.9% higher ghrelin levels and 15.5% lower leptin levels than those who got at least 7h sleep. The short sleepers also had higher BMIs
# Sleep Helps You Fight Cravings and Make Healthy Choices
Reduced sleep actually alters the way your brain works. This may make it harder to make healthy choices and resist tempting foods. The reward centres of the brain are more stimulated by food when you are sleep deprived.
A study of 12 men observed the effects of sleep deprivation on food intake.
When participants were only allowed four hours of sleep, their calorie intake increased by almost a quarter, and their fat intake almost doubled, compared to when they were allowed eight hours of sleep.
# Lack Of Sleep Can Reduce Physical Activity
A lack of sleep can cause daytime fatigue, making you less likely and less motivated to participate in exercise or sport.
In addition, you’re more likely to get tired earlier during physical activity.
Getting more sleep may even help improve performance. No studies for this one. You will have felt it yourself. I know I have
1. Eat Mindfully - Does this take me closer to my goal, or further from it?
2. Move More - Increase your step count, go for a swim, maybe watch an episode of your favourite show on the cross trainer.
3. Guarantee you give your body a chance of 8 hours of sleep per night.
Absolutely crazy things right?
These three things are the stepping stones that all fat loss transformations start with. And you can start today with no equipment.
Everyone knows the equation, if you consume less calories you need you will lose weight. It’s true for everyone, so why do people still get the gastric band instead of sticking with a diet?
In lots of studies and in doctors offices up and down the country the gastric bypass is touted as a magical method of weight loss and reversing type 2 diabetes.
In a gastric bypass, a large part of the stomach and the first part of the small intestine are disconnected. Therefore reducing the amount someone can eat.
According to a Lund university study 90% of positive effects of the gastric bypass come from the 6 week low calorie diet before the surgery. Many changes occur after having the surgery which actually slow weight loss started by the diet due to the stress on the body of being cut open and having to heal itself.
One of the authors of the study stated ”The fact that we have now shown the effects previously associated with surgery actually arise during the preceding low-calorie diet, and not as a response to the surgery, may perhaps make gastric bypass surgery less magical.”
From personal experience speaking with clients that have had the op and reading many accounts of people that have had it, it seems the grand gesture of having an invasive surgery is the once in a lifetime motivational event needed to stick to a diet.
So we are back to the equation, consume less calories than you need to lose weight. This equation requires a high motivation level to achieve and maintain. Then we have a shortcut in the surgery to increase motivation to 100% in the short term. Not only because the surgery itself is a huge occasion but because for several months after the surgery there is a physical barrier to overeating.
Below is a very simplified flow of events that people having the surgery experience
1. Knowledge that less calories consumed than you need = weight loss.
2. Low levels of motivation = trying diets on and off sometimes for years and failing.
3. INTERVENTION - can be surgery or another change that makes motivational levels to extremely high.
4. Short to medium term weight loss.
So to answer the question in the title, it’s not gastric bypass vs Diet. It’s that the surgery is the last weapon doctors can use to make someone follow the advice they give at the beginning of treatment. Creating a calorie deficit to lose weight with the surgery itself as the hard wall at the end of the treatment and not a magic pill.
Personal Training Edinburgh Made Easy - Step by Step Guide
1. Decide on your goals
"I would be happiest with my training when I have achieved what?” Is the best question to ask yourself to find out what your ultimate goal is. In fact its the first question I ask during your free consultation.
2. Once you have decided on your goal look for a specialist in that field.
If you have a long term goal of losing weight and you have diabetes search for personal trainers that advertise these specific issues. On www.gradybpt.com I advertise being a weight loss and toning specialist and have a REPS level 4 qualification in Obesity and Diabetes. Other personal trainers that advertise 100 different services are not focussed, get slower results but are usually cheaper.
3. Contact personal trainers that fit your goals and needs.
Ask us questions about your goals, qualifications, and experience. A good trainer will be more than happy to answer your questions about your goals and how they could help you.
4. Ask about price.
The average price for personal training in Edinburgh is around the £30 mark with the top end at around £45 - £50. Places that are at the top end charge this price because the the company charges the trainer you are placed with a percentage of around 60%. If you contact one of these top end companies you may not even interact once with the specialist person whose name is above the door or on the website. At Grady B PT all sessions are with myself and with my expertise.
5. Book in for your first session.
If all of your questions have been answered and you like the look of a personal trainer and their location get booked in. I have a welcome email and pack giving directions and a FAQ about what clothes to wear and what your first session will involve. I even have a free (returnable deposit), in person consultation so you can come and check out the location and meet me to see if its what you wanted from your PT. If a PT doesn’t offer a free or returnable deposit consultation don’t pay up front especially for a large package of sessions.
I was recently asked how much progress can be expected by just doing calisthenics (bodyweight only workouts). Many of my online clients have been wondering the same thing so I thought I would share my response in a more detailed way
After one month of doing just pushups you should notice a more defined and larger chest, shoulders and even upper back, your core will even be stronger and more stable. There have been some great before and after pictures of "100 push ups a day for 30 days” challenges all over the internet. And that is just one exercise.
The go to workouts of wrestlers for hundreds of years have been calisthenics based and they are arguably the most athletic all round athletes in the world, with great bodies to boot. The most famous workout in wrestling circles is the Gotch bible, which involves choosing 4 bodyweight exercises and attributing them to a suit from a deck of cards. When you turn over the top card from the deck you do the corresponding exercise for however many reps specified by the value of the card. eg. 10 of diamonds is 10 push ups.
If you want a cardio workout you choose slightly easier exercises and double the value of the card or if you are going for strength half the value of the card with difficult exercises.
For a beginner after a month of running the Gotch bible or similar calisthenics workouts you should expect to pack on a lot of muscle in the shoulders/pecs and if including chin ups bigger biceps/forarms and lats. Running it for a longer term you the growth from the workout is pretty much endless as you can include handstand push ups for the shoulders and add jumping to hindu squats to increase difficulty and keep growing.
One of the advantages of using calisthenics instead of a gym based programme is you can do it anywhere, anytime and there is no equipment your environment can’t provide, like branches for chin ups/dips and soft ground to do core work. Plus its free, unless you need a $1 deck of cards or a rope for climbing.
'I get asked two things regularly in consultations. "How do I lose belly fat?" and "how do I tone my legs?"
We already know you can't spot reduce body fat from specific areas of the body like the stomach. But it is entirely possible to tone any part of the body you like.
What is toning?
Toning is a marketing buzzword you see everywhere to draw the female eye to fitness posts. It is the antithesis of the male targeted buzzwords such as ripped and jacked. The toned look needs two things to happen to be achieved, fat loss and building muscle.
Building muscle makes you think of oversized steroid-using bodybuilders, but every toned person is also building muscle, although not at the same rate. Bodybuilders have muscle building as a priority and will eat with that in mind. Lifting weights will not make you HUGE like a bodybuilder. There are many other factors at play and specific types of training and nutrition required to achieve these rare and extreme physiques and most people that actually have an aim to be like that can't actually do it.
Building muscle for toning in Edinburgh.
If you are starting from absolute 0 and need to start building muscle in the legs walking around Edinburgh and taking the stairs wherever possible will help a lot. It will also help with weight loss which is the second thing needed to tone.
If you already walk a lot, my next suggestion will take your toning up a notch. Cycling.
Currently, less than £2 per ride you can take a bike from the centre of the city to the beach, whether its Portabello or Crammond you can get there by bike and get a great workout for your legs and burn a hell of a lot of calories. If you know anyone who cycles regularly you will have noticed their legs will have great definition.
Next up is Yoga, Its great for toning the whole body but there is a real focus on the legs in almost every movement. There are yoga studios right across Edinburgh and if you look on ClassPass there are some great deals for introductory session packs and if you go onto the specific yoga studio a lot of them do unlimited months for first time customers. Make sure you go to the more dynamic classes for quicker toning.
I know of several people that use these offers all the time and never stay at the same studio, essentially having unlimited yoga, all the time, on the cheap.
The quickest and most efficient way to tone the legs in Edinburgh is use a Personal Trainer, there are loads across the city but obviously I am biased. Here at Grady B PT I bill myself as a weight loss and toning expert, nothing else, I eat, sleep and breath weight loss and toning.
Things like the Bulgarian split squat which has been around since humans have been lifting weights are one of the most underused and badly coached exercises that if done correctly, get results extremely quickly.
It works. But not for the reasons you think.
There is no magic to intermittent fasting. No re-balancing hormones, giving the body time to detox, going into ketosis (it takes between 2-4 days to be in ketosis) or fat burning zones. It simply makes it harder to consume calories.
It's all about timing
The most common length of a fast is 16h from 8pm-12pm. So that’s an 8h window starting at lunchtime for feeding.
The reason this is the most common window is that it gets results! How does it do that if it's not doing all the magic I said above?
It simply stops you snacking after dinner and most importantly stops you eating breakfast. If you think about it, most of the fasting happens while you are asleep, when you wouldn't be eating anyway.
For the most effective fast, it should take place during the most obtrusive hours, BUT it needs to be easy enough to stick to. If the conditions of a diet are too harsh then medium/long term adherence decreases massively over time. For a short term fix the One Meal A Day diet can work for some people. Find out more about the OMAD diet here
Recommendations for faster results
I recommend to my clients moving their fast to start and finish 1h later if morning and lunchtimes are the main issue or one hour earlier in the evening if snacking after dinner is the issue or their social life leads them further from their goals.
To get through the longer fast in the mornings it is perfectly acceptable to have a black coffee or 2 with sugar as they are less than 20kcals each and if you are having that compared to a full breakfast and a mid-morning snack/calorific coffee you will still be reducing your calories massively.
Still log your calories throughout your intermittent fasting and you can see a big dip when you start. As long as you don’t see the feeding time as an “I must get as much in as possible while I can” time, you can expect to lose weight quite quickly.
If you have any quiestions about intermittent fasting or how to do it while training please contact me.
The short answer is no.
The long answer is quite complicated and involves many studies which can be found on google scholar. I will go into 2 briefly below in layman terms later.
If we take what happens to the body when actually clinically starving you will see why you are not in starvation mode.
Your body will start to increase lipolysis, or breaking down fat to release fatty acids for energy. You’ll break down protein reserves, usually muscle, for another energy source. Symptoms of all of this can include weakness, apathy, memory lapses, and muscle cramps. As you can see you will still continue to lose weight, at an accelerated rate as your body tries to keep you alive.
Most studies on starvation mode (in an average Joe trying to loose weight sense) put people in 2 categories to compare people that have lost weight and people that haven’t. These categories are “reduced obese” and “control"
Reduced obese will be people that are a certain weight, lets say 70kg, but used to be heavier and recently lost weight. “Control” will be people that have been 70kg for a long time and not categorised as obese.
When comparing the 2 groups Martins et al  found that the difference in resting metabolic rates were minimal between the groups even when the reduced obese groups lost a lot of weight consuming only 800 kcals per day.
Weinsier et al  found that after weight loss had occurred and a weight maintenance period started (slight increase in calories to slow/stop weight loss) there was not a significant difference in how many calories burned per day between reduced obese and control individuals. "Failure to establish energy balance after weight loss gives the misleading impression that weight-reduced persons are energy conservative and predisposed to weight regain.”
There are quite a few new studies from 2019 and 2020 that come to the same conclusion. As long as there is an assessment of calorific intake and a transfer to a maintenance amount of calories after weight loss there will not be a weight increase.
Send me a message if you have any questions about starvation mode, diet or nutrition.
Looking to burn calories during lockdown? Here are 5 super easy tips to help you out
1. Maximise what you are already doing. Use a backpack to increase calorie burn throughout the day. Simply fill up a backpack and wear it while you do your daily physical tasks such as cleaning and cooking. According to the Compendium of Physical Activities you can more than double your calorific output while walking around by carrying 10kg of weight.
2. That same backpack can be used as a kettlebell for swings(I can send you a video if you need), or wear it while you are doing squats/lunges and push ups to add resistance.
3. Another useful household item for exercise are towels. They can be used to maintain and even build overall strength. Simply stand on a towel, gather up one end and with deadlift form try to pull the towel straight up from underneath your feet. Nothing will move and you can put maximum effort. Perfect for a home setting with limited space. This exercises uses Isometric pulling which is a very old strength building exercise used by strong men like George Hackenschmidt (Previous strongest man in the world and all time wrestling great) and martial artists like Bruce Lee.
4. Use water bottles as dumbbells. Yes they may be too light but you can increase the difficulty with some minor adjustments. Take the bicep curl. Simply move the elbows slightly in front of you. Now the biceps have to work harder to perform a repetition. Most people can get a solid bicep workout with a 5L bottle of water.
5. Bed sheets. This is a simple one. You can replicate a TRx suspension trainer easily by tying a knot in a bedsheet and closing that knot in the top of a door. You can then hand from the bedsheet to do Pull ups, lean back while holding it to do rows and use it for stability and assistance to squat or pistol squat. Almost any suspension trainer exercise can be emulated using a bedsheet shaving you £££ and no waiting for home delivery.