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Italian meatballs with Fodmapped sauce – a review.

I have purchased some Fodmapped sauces and soups to try, so I thought I would give you the low down. I bought them through the IBS Network website so that they would benefit from the purchase – were you aware that if you buy a starter pack you get membership covered for 1 year? The sauce was really tasty and gave an added advantage to tomato pasta sauces as you could really pick out the flavour of the aubergine – one of my favourite vegetables. Shortlisted for the Free From Food Awards I would say they are a great contender and tremendous to see a low fodmap product being reviewed. Any drawbacks? Yes, the price – the sauces are expensive compared to other sauces but they are onion and garlic free, which most ready made sauces (except plain passata and some pure tomato based pasta sauces) are not. Sometimes following the low fodmap diet can mean dry food unless you make your own stocks and sauces, you could argue that this needs to be done, but not everyone has the time. You could make a very simple roasted vegetable sauce yourself, however if time pushed these products are certainly a consideration. Putting additional pressures on busy lifestyles by making everything from scratch is sometimes unhelpful to symptoms. The packet gave a serving for 2 people. I have made an Italian dish, a comforting winter recipe, and in the process increased the portion size to 4!

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Ingredients

500g lean minced beef

1 egg

100g gluten free breadcrumbs

10g of basil leaves

10g oregano

1 packet of Fodmap Easy roasted vegetable pasta sauce

200g of dry polenta

60g parmesan

Seasoning

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Method

Place the mince in a bowl and add chopped herbs, egg and breadcrumbs and some seasoning, mix well. Roll into even sized meatballs – I made about 14 from the full mix. Set them aside.

Fry the meatballs in a dry non stick frying pan till browned.

Add the meatballs to a casserole dish with the sauce mix and 300mls of water. Place in an oven at gas mark 5 or 190 degrees C. Cook for 1 hour.

Using the directions on the packet for 200g of polenta add water to a pan and bring to the boil and pour in the polenta whilst stirring. Add extra liquid if needed to form a thick sauce, add parmesan (retain a small amount for serving) and seasoning (not much salt needed here!) to taste.

Serve

Serves 4 for a main meal.



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Chicken goujons – low fodmap

What are goujons? They are small chicken fillets that are coated in breadcrumbs. They are fairly easy to make using gluten free breadcrumbs but it is important to use the correct ones for the low fodmap diet. Clearspring rice crumbs are probably the best option. Some gluten free breadcrumbs use a blend including gram flour – this is chickpea flour and is a source of GOS, it might be OK for some people with IBS because of the small portions of crumbs used to coat ingredients – but pure rice crumbs are better and they are wholegrain too – bonus for those with constipation! Hale and Hearty breadcrumbs contain inulin so this should not be used for a low fodmap diet. You can make your own breadcrumbs with gluten free bread if you wish, again choosing wholegrain bread to give the dish added fibre – a way of using up stale gluten free bread and fibre is great for gut health! For health this is a recipe to have occasionally as it is a fried dish – but suitable for those who are underweight as frying adds additional calories to the dish. Mayonnaise is another addition but take care with ones that say low fat mayo as these can have increased amount of skimmed milk powder – a source of lactose. So it has to be full fat and a small portion! The dish includes making your own garlic infused oil at the start of the process – follow this part of the recipe closely, slicing the garlic makes it easier to remove it all before frying the goujons, so you remove all the fructans included in the clove. Don’t be tempted to use a garlic crusher as you cannot then remove all the pieces. I have added the goujons to a gluten free pitta bread with salad leaves.

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Ingredients

Gluten free four (100g)

1 egg

Gluten Free Breadcrumbs (1/2 pack)

seasoning

1 pack of chicken mini breast fillets

Rapeseed oil – enough for frying

1 pack of gluten free pitta breads

Salad leaves of your choice (I used chard and radicchio but lettuce leaves are another option.)

1 clove of garlic.

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Method

Wash Hands.

Wash and chop the salad leaves and prepare the pitta bread and put these on a plate away from the work surface you are using to prepare the goujons. If you have work surfaces on either side of the oven this is good, you can use one side for raw chicken preparation and one for cooked. Do this before handling the raw chicken fillets.

Open the packet of chicken fillets and use immediately – please do not wash them, they don’t need it, plus washing raw chicken is a food poisoning hazard – it can easily spread bacteria around the kitchen.

Place the flour and seasoning on a plate, crack the egg and mix well with a fork on a plate and breadcrumbs on separate plates. Dip the chicken fillets into the flour first, then egg and then the breadcrumbs – coat each fillet well and don’t forget the edges.

When coated, pile them on a dish for frying later.

Clean work surfaces down and wash your hands again after handling raw chicken.

Slice the garlic clove (this is better than crushing as it makes it easier to remove the pieces before frying the chicken.)

Add oil to the pan and fry the clove quickly then remove all the pieces of garlic from the pan.

Add the chicken goujons and fry till golden. Don’t overload the pan as this will lead to steaming instead of frying and soggy breadcrumbs.

Add 2 slices of goujons to each pitta – makes 5.

Serve with green salad.





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How effective is a plant-based diet

A review of the effectiveness of a plant-based diet compared to a meat-eating diet on health, performance, and weight-loss.

 

When considering a plant-based diet, what option do you have to consider:

–   Vegan, complete removal of all animal products

–   Vegetarian does not eat meat or fish but may choose to eat some other animal products

–   Pescatarian still eats fish

–   Lacto or Ovo or Ovo-Lacto vegetarian, Lacto referring to lactose, which is found in dairy suggesting that this individual, still consumes dairy products. The word Ovo is referring to eggs, suggesting that this individual still consumes eggs.

–   Pollo-vegetarian means that these individuals still its chicken but avoids red meat, so not actually a vegetarian.

–   Flexitarian, simply refers to people who auto-regulate their amount/frequency of animal products to fit their morals or potentially sourcing from a higher quality provider oppose to supporting factory farming for example.

 

People choose to become some form of plant-based dieter because they believe it will help them lose weight, its better for their health, performance will improve or for ethical reasons.

 

In regards to health, we can look at the following studies and assess the levels of mortality in plant-based dieters in comparison to the general public that consumes meat.

 

–   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10479226

–   https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/78/3/533S/4689993

–   http://www.epic-oxford.org/oxford-vegetarian-study/

–   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15824171

–   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4191896/

 

The collected data from the above studies found that mortality rates were no different when comparing vegans and vegetarians to comparable meat eaters. We use comparable meat eaters as a comparison as vegan or plant-based eaters are generally more health-conscious than the rest of the population so we evaluate the meat eaters lifestyle and compare, this includes things such as sleep (quality and length), exercise, work/life balance, relaxation techniques, overall quality of the diet (still consuming vegetables and fruits, not eating microwave meals etc.) and the consumption of alcohol and if they smoke or not.

 

It’s worth noting that both the plant-based diets and the comparable meat eaters both outperformed the general population, but between the plant-based diet and comparable meat eaters they found no difference in mortality rates.

 

One UK study found an outlier in that vegan diets performed just as bad as the general population in regards to health. This is hypothesized that many of the vegans in the UK become vegan because of ethical reasons and they don’t like animals to be killed for food, valid enough reason. But what comes with this is generally a lack of education around food and how to set up a diet for health when becoming a vegan, it is all too common that people become a plant-based dieter and still manage to eat next to no vegetables while living of refined carbohydrates and meat alternatives.

 

So essentially what we’re finding is un-surprisingly that people who focus on their health and make lifestyle choices to support this tend to have a better average rate of mortality than the general population who don’t focus on health in any way. This includes vegans, vegetarians, infrequent meat eaters, pescatarians and comparable meat eaters who on the whole all tend to take an interest in their health.

 

Is a plant-based diet BETTER for performance, no? Is it as good as a carnivorous diet if it is well planned out, yes? It is just practically speaking much harder to implement and adhere to when compared to a meat-eating protocol. What we have found is that if you’re are considering a plant-based diet for health reasons, performance or weight loss then you will not be provided with any benefits over a comparable meat-based diet from a physiological point of view, as we know calories, macronutrient proportions and food quality are the main driver behind performance, weight-loss and health. Which is perfectly fine as we don’t see any negative downsides either and if you’re choosing a plant-based diet for ethical reasons that is simply a personal decision that you choose to make. As long as the individual understands how to put together a plan for plant-based eating so they aren’t at a disadvantage

 

Some tips for going plant-based:

Lacto or Ovo or Lacto-ovo vegetarians tend to need to pay attention to B12 and iron levels, especially menstruating women. B12 can only be found in animal products and we store enough for a long time so symptoms only begin to develop when a plant-based diet has been adhered to for a long time. Whereas iron is found in vegetables but in a non-haem form, which is poorly absorbed therefor our uptake is very low.

Some additional nutrients worth paying attention to are EPA and DHA, which are very high in fish and easily supplemented from fish oil. We can get this from a vegetarian source such as algae oil but we rely on a conversion of the body to get the EPA and DHA from the algae but the conversion is very poor, usually, the conversion is done for us when the fish eat the algae and then we eat the fish. If performance is of interest to you then you may wish to look into supplementing creatine, beta-alanine, and carnitine all of which may assist you with your performance.

 

Now full-fledged vegans have to be careful of the above points also but have some extras to consider as well. These being protein quality, you may find that you have to supplement with vegan shakes quite a lot. Zinc and calcium are some others that you may become low in due to poor uptake, absorption of competing nutrients.

 

Vitamin D is needed from food when sun exposure is low. The food vitamin D is predominately found in are animal products such as oily fish and butter. Having said this most people even if they consume these products tend to be low in vitamin D so supplemental forms are required for most people.

 

Before beginning a supplement protocol it is always worth getting a blood test done to look for nutrient deficiencies so you can supplement correctly based on facts oppose to guessing deficiencies.

 

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Creating an effective uniform for the healthcare industry

Businesses in the healthcare industry have certain specific considerations that they need to keep in mind when they’re creating a uniform. Businesses in the healthcare industry have certain specific considerations that they need to keep in mind when they’re creating a uniform.

Whether it’s ease of wear for your staff, to ensuring impeccable hygiene that benefits both staff and patients, an effective healthcare uniform should be versatile and varied in the benefits it can provide. This blog will go through what you should consider to create an effective healthcare industry uniform for your business.

Clothing that keeps everyone safe

In the healthcare industry, one especially important priority for a business is to limit the risk of cross-contamination and passing infections around the premise.

For that reason, it’s important to ensure that your clothes are made from infection control compliant materials. You’ll find that healthcare tunics, dress scrubs are made from such materials as standard.

Look for simple additions to your work clothing such as concealed zips, buttons and buckles. Making sure there are fewer loose ends for your uniform to catch on can help keep staff safe around the workplace and help minimise disruptions. Even ease of wear considerations such as using pull-on tunics can help give staff added comfort and ease of movement during long shifts.

Your footwear can also contribute to your safety too. When you’re looking for footwear, make sure yours are made from hardwearing EVA plastic, which can help you stay safe on your feet and reduce the risk of trips and falls through their firm grip.

Meeting tough hygiene standards

Because healthcare uniforms need to be perfectly clean ready for the next shift, they need to be able to stand up to rigorous and frequent laundry routines.

In healthcare, uniforms will usually see daily washes at temperatures of 60 Celsius, which is the recommended level to kill most bacteria and microorganisms.

This means that tough, hard-wearing uniform choices also contribute to patient and staff safety, as there’s no risk of any infectious material lingering between shifts and potentially causing an issue the following day.

This is also why EVA plastic shoes are a fantastic uniform choice in healthcare. The durable plastic means that they can also be washed at these temperatures without losing shape, warping, or losing grip.

Other benefits an effective uniform can provide

An effective healthcare uniform can also provide other benefits to both staff and patients simply and without much added effort from the business.

For example, making sure you use bright colours in your scrubs and tunics can help add some reassuring personality to your business.For young patients, adding a colourful element to your business can help them feel less nervous if they’re not used to the environment. For those with deteriorating sight or who might be suffering from dementia or other mental conditions, bright colours can help offer them some clarity, such as by being able to more quickly and easily spot staff who can provide assistance when needed.

By keeping the ideas of safety, cleanliness, and patient benefits in mind throughout, you’ll certainly be left with a healthcare uniform that is perfect for meeting your business needs.

Helen Harker is the design manager for esteemed workwear provider, Simon Jersey. With over 45 years’ experience providing workwear and uniforms to a wide range of businesses and industries, Simon Jersey have developed a keen awareness of what individual businesses need from their uniforms. Their industry-leading knowledge and expertise mean that Simon Jersey are the perfect solution for you to help staff meet any and all businesses needs day in, day out, whatever even the toughest shift sends their way.

 

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What sort of impact could ‘Aussie Flu’ have on the UK?

A virulent strain of influenza, H3N2 has severely hit the UK this flu season. The number of patients combating the virus at one point rising by 78% in just a week, according to statistics from the Royal College of GPs.

The strain this is putting on an already stretched NHS is noticeable, and with Australian scientists revealing that their previous outbreak of H3N2 lasted for almost three months it is important to ensure that steps and precautions are made to help deal with symptoms and also prevent the spread of the virus.

How much has Aussie Flu spread?

Across the UK several areas are approaching what are classified as epidemic levels of H3N2. This equates to 108.9 cases per 100,000 doctor’s consultations, meaning the reach of this strain of flu is potentially massive.

Flu seasons are often difficult to predict, especially when different strains and mutations of the virus come to the fore.

The length of time the Australian scientists suggested an outbreak can last for can be an invaluable insight when ensuring health services are prepared for worst-case scenarios and a lengthy period of dealing with patients suffering with the illness.

This length of time also means the public in general need to be alert in order to avoid catching and spreading the virus themselves.

The Symptoms

Being aware of the symptoms and understanding what is wrong can go a long way to helping treatment and also easing the potential burden on your GP’s surgery, at least initially.

According to the NHS symptoms of the flu can include:

  • Sudden fever
  • Temperature of at least 38C
  • Diarrhoea
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Normally the symptoms are manageable, however the elderly, the very young, and people with underlying medical conditions, such as heart, lung or kidney disease, diabetes or a neurological disease – are the most at risk.

Dealing with flu

The symptoms of flu will often leave a patient feeling rotten.

It’s important if you’re suffering from the flu that you prioritise rest and keeping warm while taking paracetamol or ibuprofen to help keep your temperature down and help with coping with the aches and pains the flu can cause. You should also ensure you drink lots of fluids to help stave off dehydration.

A GP isn’t likely to prescribe antibiotics to treat the flu, the best way to prevent contracting flu is still a vaccination.

Aside from making yourself more resistant to the flu there are other preventative steps you can take to avoid contracting and spreading the flu virus.

The flu virus can live on hands and surfaces for up to 24 hours. It’s important to prevent the spread of germs from coughs and sneezes by washing your hands with soap and warm water.

If you can’t wash your hands when out in public, such as when you’re travelling on public transport, consider using an antibacterial hand gel.

You should keep in mind that while trying to avoid infection sometimes this will be inevitable, either through contact with the public or a family member. Following the necessary steps to aid recovery is important, but bear in mind that if symptoms persist, or your condition deteriorates that should seek the advice of your GP.

Content supplied by:

Shamir Patel is a pharmacist and director of leading online pharmacist https://www.chemist-4-u.com/ a website that provides the public with a range of treatments and medications for a variety of conditions. From cold and flu treatments, to hay fever and allergies to more sensitive conditions like hair loss and sexual wellbeing.

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We’re all beautiful, even with acne

Hey guys, I’m Alice. This is my first blog here on talkhealth. I’ve suffered with acne since I was around 14, and I want to help people going through the same thing. I thought I’d start with a bit of background into my acne journey.

I started getting acne in school. At first it was just a few spots here and there. It didn’t really bother me, because everyone else seemed to be getting the same. Everyone always said “it’s just spots, it’s normal, you’re a teenager!” – which is absolutely true, for most people.

I remember my Mum buying me my first concealer in year 9, and from then on I’d spend 10 minutes or so before school dabbing it on my spots to cover them up. Fast forward a few years and I was in sixth form. The 10 minutes I spent getting ready had turned into an hour and a half of covering up my acne. It just got worse and worse!

Throughout my 20s my skin has been crazy. I could count on at least 6 or 7 cystic spots at a time! The thing about acne is that it’s painful too. My face sometimes hurt so much – the spots got so swollen and often felt like they were throbbing.

I used to use makeup as a mask to hide my face. I couldn’t go out without spending an hour or two perfecting my makeup. It’s a shame because it made getting ready feel like a chore. I’d once loved wearing makeup and getting glammed up, but it had almost turned into my disguise.

I think acne had such a damaging effect on my self-esteem. I used to avoid things like swimming or even staying over at friends houses – I just didn’t want to take my makeup off! This is why I’m keen to help people who are going through the same thing. I wish I hadn’t let it take over my life the way I did.

In fact, I’m certain that one of the reasons my acne kept getting worse, was my obsession with it. We all know that stress and anxiety can contribute to breakouts.

So my first piece tip for anyone out there who’s suffering with acne, is to try and stay positive. Try not to obsess over every little spot in the mirror. And while you have every right to cover it up with makeup, don’t feel that you have to! It shouldn’t control you.

Acne is something lots of people go through, and you should try your hardest not to let it affect your perception of yourself. I know it’s easy to say and hard to do – but just try to love yourself!

Something that always helped me was realising that the people who mattered in my life would never judge me for my acne. Your friends and family don’t like you because of your skin – they like you because you’re you!

If you find that your acne is getting you down, talk to a family member or friend. It really helps to talk through your bad thoughts and feelings. I can guarantee they’ll make you smile and realise that you’re much more than your acne, and help you to clear your mind of worries and anxiety about your skin.

I’m looking forward to sharing more of my tips and thoughts about acne with talkhealth over the next few months! But for now, let’s all try and stay positive together and realise we’re all beautiful, even with acne.

Head over to my blog www.alicelang.net if you’d like to read more from me.

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Tinnitus Awareness Week 2018

Tinnitus Awareness Week is running from 5-11 February this year. The aim of the week is to raise awareness of the condition, which affects approximately 1 in 10 of the population.

A recent British Tinnitus Association survey found that just under a third of UK parents (32%) think children under the age of 10 can have tinnitus; and just 37% think it can affect children aged 10 to 16.

The research, which coincides with Tinnitus Week and is part of the charity’s Kids Talk Tinnitus, also revealed many parents are unaware of the common signs of the hearing condition in children, such as anxiety or difficulty concentrating.

To help tackle the problem, the charity has created guidance for both parents and teachers.

 

 

You can find out more about Tinnitus via the British Tinnintus Association website via this link

You can also join in the Thunderclap using the hashtag #TinnitusWeek across your social media channels

If you think you have Tinnitus, listen to these sufferers talking about how their Tinnitus sounds

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What I want you to know about invisible illness

Not all is what it seems.

From the outside, you’d say I’m a healthy, happy young woman who looks fine. Look beyond what your eyes tell you and you’ll find chronic illness.

Invisible illness is a condition or disability that’s not easily discernible or visible from the outside. You don’t have to look sick. Chronic illness mean it’s long lasting. It can come in a myriad of forms, both mental and physical. Each condition will have a sliding scale from mild to moderate to extreme, accompanied by a potentially endless list of symptoms.

I didn’t choose this.

My health problems started almost overnight when I was 19. Things were finally starting to go well in my life and I was busy with work, a relationship and a social life. I had hopes for the future. Then I got ill. It took years of going from one doctor to the next trying to find someone to listen and take me seriously. I was fobbed off so many times and given the most ridiculous reasons and suggestions. I was made to believe it was in my head, that it was my fault, that I was too young to have anything wrong with me. Fast forward 10 years and here I am, learning to live with the consequences.

I’ve had four surgeries and I’m waiting for a 5th. I had an initial surgery that didn’t go well and for which I’m still suffering. I’ve had a colectomy and end ileostomy, so I have a stoma bag and no large bowel. I have pernicious anaemia, chronic Vitamin D deficiency, Raynaud’s, fibromyalgia, undifferentiated connective tissue disease and osteopenia. Even with these things, I know I’m still lucky, I know others have it worse than I do. But I also know that comparison doesn’t help you or the next person; after you get a little perspective, comparing your situation can often just make you feel weak or guilty. Your experiences are uniquely your own. There’s no comparison and you owe no apology for what you’re going through.

It can be a lonely place.

With no one else able to see your health problems, invisible illness can become a lonely experience. Your body can become a prison and when others can’t understand what you’re going through, let alone appreciate the emotional impact, it can become very isolating.

I’ve found the internet to be a wonderful place and a fantastic resource. Not only did it help me to educate myself and finally get the help I needed when I saw a doctor willing to listen, but it opened up my world. Support forums, Facebook groups, information sites and blogs mean people can share knowledge and experience. It means you’re not alone, that you are still a vital part of the world around you.

The reality of stigma.

Both mental and physical illnesses can be vastly misunderstood and under-appreciated. The result is ignorance, prejudice, stereotypes and stigma. Even when it’s not directly aimed at you, there are feelings of worry and anxiety about what others think. For instance, when it comes to the likes of chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, the preconceived notion that sufferers are probably housebound, if not bed-bound, can make you feel like a fraud for even leaving the house, let alone doing something enjoyable. If you put effort into your appearance for an afternoon out or are caught smiling, well, obviously there’s nothing wrong with you. Wrong. It’s actually incredibly important to prioritise self-care and to try to be a part of the world, to live your life as best and as fully as you can. Every day can be different, every hour even. Some times will be good, some tolerable, some painfully challenging, and some downright awful. Judgement and ignorance only make a heartbreaking experience all the more difficult.

It’s just not that simple.

The very nature of invisible chronic illnesses often makes them incredible hard to diagnose. Sometimes there’s a firm diagnosis with a suggested treatment pathway. Sometimes there’s not. Conditions don’t always come neatly packaged with labels and causations. Sometimes they simply are the way they are, seemingly without rhyme or reason.

What works for one person when it comes to treatment doesn’t necessarily work for the next. Similarly, just as there’s no one way of treating a condition, there’s no one way of managing it either, which is often all that can be done for many illnesses. There’s no rulebook or timeline for how to react or cope.

The perils of advice.

It may come from a well-meaning place, but common sense suggestions can be difficult to swallow sometimes. Drink more water, join a gym, try Vitamin D supplements, increase your fibre, get more sleep and you’ll be right as rain tomorrow. Such suggestions often serve to reinforce the feeling that others just don’t understand. Please don’t be offended if we’re offended, frustrated or simply don’t take something on board. General tips have usually been implemented, we’ll have tried countless things, and we know what doesn’t work.

Being positive doesn’t come naturally (to me).

I don’t think I’ve ever been one of those people for whom a positive disposition comes naturally. I have, and still do, struggle with anxiety and depression, which are common alongside invisible physical conditions. I’m still learning to adapt to life with a stoma and my diagnoses; I’m still learning the ropes of dealing with this life that’s so different to what I’d ever anticipated it would be. I’m working towards acceptance so I can focus on management, but it’s not easy. Some days I manage my health fairly well and I’m quite positive, other days I don’t and I’m not. It’s all a learning curve. And I struggle with taking my own advice, big time. I’ve lost a lot through invisible illness and the more recent surgeries; any sense of a social life, friends, my job, self-confidence. The best support for someone with a chronic illness is often to simply be there, and not give up on us.

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Superset training – how to implement them and when is best to do so

I am going to give my views on how best to implement agonist-antagonist paired set training and their benefits over traditional set training based on my own experience of training myself and others as well as a recent review was done by MASS on a study comparing traditional set training v agonist-antagonist superset training and giving you their findings.

 

Study link below:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28933712

 

 

What actually is a superset – a superset is a programming strategy that can be implemented to provide an increased overload to the desired area by starting with exercise A which let’s say works the biceps for 8-10 repetitions followed by exercise B which also works the biceps for 8-10 repetitions increasing the stress on the biceps. Or another option for a superset if you’re more time conscious and wanted to get as much done as possible in a shorter period of time is to work opposing muscle groups known as an agonist-antagonist superset.

 

Examples

 

1)

 

A1) BB EZ bar preacher curl 4 x 8-10

A2) DB hammer curl 4 x 8-10

 

90 seconds rest

 

2)

 

A1) Incline DB chest press 4 x 8-10

 

60 seconds rest

 

A2) Incline DB bench pull 4 x 8-10

 

60 seconds rest

 

 

When the study looked at traditional set training vs agonist-antagonist superset training they found that the best benefit of super setting was they were able to perform the exercises in almost half the time and performance wasn’t affected. They actually found that the pecs, biceps, triceps and latimus Dorsi’s level of muscle fatigue was actually greater when performing the bench press into seated row when using an electromyography to measure fatigue as well as a greater amount of volume achieved on the seated row overall potentially leading to more muscle growth in the long run.

 

It seems that this isn’t muscle or movement specific as similar results have been found in a different study in which the exercises used was leg extensions and leg curls to work the quadriceps and hamstrings respectfully. In this study, similar findings were made in which more volume was accumulated and fatigue was greater than straight set training and again done in almost half the time.

 

Study link below:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27243916

 

So why may this be the case, how do agonist-antagonist supersets produce more fatigue, volume and improve performance in some cases all while reducing the time to completion by half? One hypothesis as to why supersets outperformed straight sets ironically could be increased rest periods for the like exercise i.e. Bench press 10 reps, seated row 10 reps followed by rest. While performing the seated row the chest is being rested even though cardiovascular demand is still high you’re resting the bench press primary movers which is then followed by the planned rest between sets leading to more rest than traditional sets in which case you’d perform a set and then rest and repeat.

 

Other factors as why supersets outperformed traditional sets could be an altering of the Golgi tendon reflex, neuromuscular alteration to inhibition of co-contraction which means if you’re working opposing muscle groups you find that you’re able to move through a larger range of motion and with harder force production, or a faster dissipation of metabolites which occur as a reaction to training.

 

 

When not to implement supersets

 

–   While performing large multi-jointed movements

–   Beginners who are still learning the skill of movements and body awareness. You do not want to compromise technique

–   If you or the client is too unfit to perform a superset and performance suffers

–   Strength athletes, especially those who are near to a competition i.e. powerlifter using a superset of DB row with his bench press isn’t specific enough to his competition and will decrease his performance.

 

When may this be a good strategy to implement

 

–   Bodybuilder, gym goer, or anyone with body composition goals

–   With smaller isolation exercises

–   Personal trainers trying to be time efficient with clients

–   Busy people with limited time to commit to training

My final thoughts on supersets v traditional set training are that they defiantly have a place in the majority of peoples training plans as they have shown to either has positive results and reduce the time of your workout or had no negative or positive results and still decreased your time in the gym. Just be careful where you place it in your workout and consider your goals and if you’re competing in something that may be affected by supersets.

 

 

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28933712

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27243916

 

https://www.strongerbyscience.com/mass/

 

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Beginners guide to weight loss

I have listed 5 methods of the many available when considering a nutrition protocol for weight loss. The fundamentals must exist when choosing your protocol but the protocol must also be fit with your lifestyle and level of engagement, choosing a protocol that is too drastic for you will lead too poor compliance and ultimately failure but choosing something you can stick to may not be optimal but provide you with good results still.

 

1)   Habit change

Simply record a food diary for 7 days with a rough guide to food quantities and timing of meals as well as fluid intakes including tea, coffee, soda and alcohol which will give you an overview of your current diet. You may know exactly what area you wish to change already but this will give you a better picture as to what you eat over the course of a week, which often comes as a surprise to many.

 

Now identify one habit you wish to implement into your diets such as a fruit and vegetable target or something you wish to remove from your current nutritional intake that could be along the lines of alcohol or you find your self at the vending machine between meals.

 

Now act upon this by adding in or removing your chosen habit for 3-5 weeks. I would recommend 3 weeks as a minimum to ensure the habit has been achieved before working towards your second habit and you build from here.

 

Pro:

 

Available to everyone, great for the obese with bad habits

 

Cons:

 

People may struggle with choosing an appropriate habit, simple in theory but harder to execute in reality.

 

 

2)   Meal plans

 

By taking the choice away from the individual it can make dieting a lot less stressful and room for error decreases. Having a professional develop a meal plan can be a good way for a beginner to stick to a protocol as they struggle with the flexibility of other methods such as IIFYM which can be confusing and overwhelming for beginners. This keeps high-calorie foods that are extremely palatable out of reach, which often leads to overeating and eventually weight gain. Long term this isn’t something you should stick with as you may develop certain nutrient deficiencies if not varied enough and a bad relationship with food groups can develop but for a beginner starting out this is a great tool to start the wheels moving.

 

Pro:

 

Easy to use, removes stress around choice and can hit calorie target consistently

 

Con:

 

Can become tedious, without variety or changing of meal plan nutrient deficiencies may occur, assistance may be needed in creating the meal plan

 

 

 

 

 

3)   Calories & protein tracking

 

One of the best methods for tracking food when body composition is a priority yet has a good amount of flexibility around food groups. Using certain apps that track your food you can set the overall calorie target depending on whether you want to gain or lose weight as well as have a sufficient protein intake while being flexible with the rest of your macronutrients i.e. fats and carbohydrates.

 

Having a good amount of flexibility creates adherence for dieters, as they don’t have to miss out on social events with friends and family yet having those two targets to hit leads to great results for those who adhere to it properly.

 

Pro:

 

Teaches portion sizes, being consistent with calories gives you the ability to make changes when change is needed, and flexibility around food creates adherence

 

Con:

 

Requires technology not everyone may have, requires weighing of foods which can be troublesome when cooking in bulk or eating out

 

4)   Flexible dieting/ IIFYM

 

Probably the most talked about nutritional protocol in the last 18 months!

 

I would say this is the more advanced version of calorie and protein tracking. Now you’re going to track your fats and carbohydrate intake also which requires a higher amount of dedication from the dieter and suits people who are very detailed oriented.

 

You still have a flexible approach to eating in the sense that you can eat food groups that you wish and enjoy but you must have achieved a certain target for protein, fat, and carbohydrate by the end of each day.

 

Pro:

 

Accuracy, macro targets hit, and some flexibility left with your food groups

 

Con:

 

You will need a tracking app, means weighing all your food, unnecessary for the general population

 

 

5)   Intuitive eating

 

It is suggested that you eat intuitively with your hunger signals and your sense of fullness when eating. This can take years to achieve an accurate indication of food quantities and even then you can be wrong especially when eating processed foods. For most people, this is almost impossible as the default in this country is being overweight because we have such accessibility to foods and our satiety signals such a leptin and ghrelin are often out of balance in overweight individuals giving us a poor judgment of fullness and hunger.

 

On many occasions, we humans tend to eat or drink not down to hunger but because of our emotions around food which another factor to consider when considering your dietary plan.

 

Pro:

 

Very relaxed approach with no calculations or weighing

 

 

Con:

 

Lots of room for error

 

 

 

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