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Thread: A change is as good as a rest, or better? page

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    Tribal Rob's Avatar
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    A change is as good as a rest, or better?

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    I've been postulating a hypothesis recently, or doing some head scratching and making faces like I need to poo and can't

    Mark's recent post on deloading, IF, eating nowt but spuds for day, newbie gains when starting something new, the observation that pretty much every diet works at first really well.

    I think that shaking things up is the key to improvement, be it fitness or weight loss. It seems like there is something that happens when a change is made that makes our bodies go, ohh, this is different, better make some big changes, but once you have being doing something for a while you body goes, well this is normal, lets do this as effiecntly as possible with the least possible effort or expenditure of calories.

    So for example you change your diet, you body goes SHORTAGE - BURN FAT, after a while it goes RESET TO NEW NORMAL - MAINTAIN AT THIS LEVEL AND TRY TO SNEAK IN SOME CAKE.

    It's probably hormones or something???
    You know all those pictures of Adam and Eve where they have belly button? Think about it..................... take as long as you need........................

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    i think that's probably mostly true, and certainly makes the case for the eating seasonally (maybe exercising seasonally is something else to think about). in general though, how sustainable can it be to change all the time. i think the idea is simple enough, and the execution is simple enough, but in between i would be experiencing some kind of ok-what-comes-next mentality that might cause some unnecessary stress.

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    I think the stress of change is what makes it effective. Your body overcompensates for new experiences (physical, emotional, whatever) and begins to adapt to it. While repetitive behavior might be soothing, it's good for your brain and body to mix things up once in a while. Keep reading new books, keep trying new exercises, and know when you need to take a break, too.
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    I think eating seasonal would really well for mainantance, if you could truly eat everything seasonally, like no eggs through winter (sharp intake of breath heard from primal community) different meat at different times of year - no squirrels in winter unless you climb a tree and hoik a sleepy little fella out of his cozy dray, not just what veg comes into season and loading the freezer up with bambi come hunting season It would certainly change your macros arround too, high carb low fat come fruit season, IF in the deep mid winter, lots of greens come spring and so forth.

    I suppose you could excersise seasonally too if you lived in the right place - snowboarding in winter, mountainbiking the same hills in summer sort of think, surfing when the waves are good, ultimate when there are not.

    I don't see myself ever getting stressed thinking of the next thing to try there is a list as long as my arm, but I am limited by budget and time - Power kiting, kite surfing, parkour, ultramarathons, movenat, gymnastics, crossfit and so and so on.

    I guess if you are going to use an ancesteral example we would have done different excersise at different times of year too.
    You know all those pictures of Adam and Eve where they have belly button? Think about it..................... take as long as you need........................

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    Your body overcompensates for new experiences

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    Most systems will try to maintain the status quo. So I agree that for gains or losses, you have to shake things up a bit. I had read that recovery in building muscles was important back in the 80s, and it totally changed my "understanding" of using weights/resistance to build or define muscles.

    Also, the whole theory of lowered calories making the body go into hibernation mode, thereby slowing weight loss, was around back then. While I don't know if that's true, it sounds logical because the body seems to adapt to just about anything we throw at it except perhaps a bullet. So, in my mind 5-10 days of lower calorie eating followed by a nice healthy day at or above maintenance is a good idea (and it works for me).

    Another thing, and this is purely n=1, though I would love to hear if something like this has happened to others. A few years ago, I had the time to walk 90 minutes a day. I did it five times per week. When I needed to lose weight, I really attribute this walk schedule to a lot of my success even though calorically at the pace I walk (moderate to slow), it doesn't burn much. Anyway, I joined a gym, and started to replace my walks with treadmill. I inclined it to try to mimic some of the hills I'd walked, I changed my pace from almost a jog to a stroll and back again, etc. I logged the same number of minutes per week as I did for just the outdoor walk. But I never got the same results as I did with that walk.

    So I think the brain comes into play here. When I was walking outdoors, my brain was housed in an animal that needed to move 5+ miles per day. But on a treadmill, my brain didn't register changes in scenery, sounds, etc. that occur on a real walk outdoors. If I restrict calories for a long period of time, my brain/body figure out that foodstores are low and they adapt to keep me alive on those reduced calories thereby making weight loss slow down.

    So, do I think you should go from primal to SAD and back again? No. But eating seasonally changes things up. Some periods of no food followed by periods of plentiful food and periods of "normal" amounts of food are probably healthy. I think Mark's advice on working out hard but not that often is sound also. The average person doesn't fight or hunt every day, but his/her body needs to be capable of doing so. Chronic exercise of any kind, I think will only prepare you to be good at that exercise.

    So, just a bunch of observation, but yes, change it up. It works (for me) and it's less boring.

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    I will vote for variety being good - for body and mind health. I like to carb cycle sometimes, on a whim, if I feel like I'm dragging after VLC'ing for a few weeks. Not only do I feel fine or better when I do that, but each time my abs get a little more defined.

    Is variety good as a chip in this game of life and keepng the mind and body fit? Yes. But it's also irritating and I want change about as much as a clown fish wants a bicycle. Mostly, I want life to leave me alone; to stop offering me challenges and silly opportunities to grow and change. You know that point in your school quiz when you realize you know all the principles, even if you can't answer every question, and you're ready for the test to be over so you can put the pencil down? Yeah. That's where I'm at. I'm 30. I've survived bullying, poisoning, malnutrition, an enabling and co-dependent lifestyle in three dfferent flavors, come back from the blurred edge of genuine insanity, neglect, my own attempts to self-destruct and the humility of buckling down and being a good house husband. Let me rest now. Waiter? Yes, three heaping scoops of boring please, wth a side of peace and quiet and a silent mind.


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    primalrob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knifegill View Post
    Is variety good as a chip in this game of life and keepng the mind and body fit? Yes. But it's also irritating and I want change about as much as a clown fish wants a bicycle. Mostly, I want life to leave me alone; to stop offering me challenges and silly opportunities to grow and change. You know that point in your school quiz when you realize you know all the principles, even if you can't answer every question, and you're ready for the test to be over so you can put the pencil down? Yeah. That's where I'm at. I'm 30. I've survived bullying, poisoning, malnutrition, an enabling and co-dependent lifestyle in three dfferent flavors, come back from the blurred edge of genuine insanity, neglect, my own attempts to self-destruct and the humility of buckling down and being a good house husband. Let me rest now. Waiter? Yes, three heaping scoops of boring please, wth a side of peace and quiet and a silent mind.
    this is where i'm at, and i'm right on the edge of finally being able to relax a bit. maybe it's an age thing, i'm just a few years older than you. i just want a short a period without any decision making...or at least not life altering decisions or battles to fight. i suppose minor changes to food and exercise should be fairly easy, but when it's one more thing it's hard to see anything as small.
    i will say, that despite wanting a little status quo for a while, i am constantly craving new experiences. so, there are some elements of change that motivate me. i've been putting some things off if they require planning (mostly because my life just had some big changes and i'm still reeling from that). i think i'm totally up for plenty of change the likes of this thread, but i want someone else to tell me what they are and when to do them.

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    Tribal Rob's Avatar
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    Aye, but at 36 I've had enough of boring and I'm looking for adventure again. I think it's just another cycle of life, if you feel like you want a quite life for a bit, you will probably benifit from it for a while, enjoy it and then you eye will start roving again, and you'll pick up a surfung magazine, or follow some links to deep-sea diving pages for something.

    I've never managed long periods of stability though, I've managed to stay in the same job for about 3 years max, and never lived in the same house for more than 5 years since I left home, I must have a low tolerance for 'normal'
    You know all those pictures of Adam and Eve where they have belly button? Think about it..................... take as long as you need........................

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    not on the rug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by primalrob View Post
    i think that's probably mostly true, and certainly makes the case for the eating seasonally (maybe exercising seasonally is something else to think about). in general though, how sustainable can it be to change all the time. i think the idea is simple enough, and the execution is simple enough, but in between i would be experiencing some kind of ok-what-comes-next mentality that might cause some unnecessary stress.
    i've been eating and exercising seasonally forever. way, way before i was eating paleo. i lift heavy and eat my face off in the winter. i ski and hunt for "cardio." i'm ok with the fact that i gain some fat along with the muscle i gain during the cold season. nobody but my wife sees me naked all winter long anyway. then when the weather warms up, my diet changes and so do my exercise patterns. mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, some jogging, walking my dogs, etc. less heavy lifting because i'm outside doing things. i get my abs back just in time for everyone at the beach to see them. i think that's a pretty normal way to look at things. i also think our bodies are predisposed to put on fat for the winter months. i don't go overboard and gain 30lbs, but 5-10 is no big deal.

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