Team Fit & Fed at the Toronto Athletic Games: Brute Strength Competition!

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Hey boys and girls!

We have exciting news! For those of you who don’t already know, Fit & Fed spent the summer assembling a team to represent them at the Toronto Athletic Games both the one in the Fall and Spring. This year we had a team of 3 ladies represent us at the games and they did not disappoint!

Our team captain Mary Le lead the way with her finesse and pure pound for pound strength followed by Abigail Edgar’s tenacity and height advantage that was able to push her deadlift PB to 252LBS! Closing out the team was Sarah Goodenough, a rookie in the strongman style competitions but still was able to surprise everyone with her explosive power!

On the women’s side, a total of 9 gyms including 3 Crossfit gyms, 3 Conventional Commercial gyms and others across the GTA were registered which meant the ladies had a lot of tough competition to go up against. The actual events were broken down into conventional and unconventional lifting events. Lifting techniques that ranged from deadlifting to benching all the way to log carries!

When everything was said and done however, Fit & Fed managed to beat out all the other gyms in overall standings! Mary Le was able to place 2nd overall, Abigail in 3rd place and Sarah Goodenough rounded out the team by coming in 5th place.

Congratulations to everyone who came out to support Fit & Fed! We look forward to seeing you all in spring! And if you are interested in trying out for our team, please email us at info@fitfed.com for more details on how to go about joining our high caliber athletes.

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Nutritionist’s Corner – Jessie Yang

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Hey Boys and Girls,

Fit & Fed is proud to present to you a new segment called “Nutritionist’s Corner”. In this new series, Fit & Fed explores all over Toronto for fellow nutritionists, trainers and fitness fanatics to explore various issues within the health world and industry. Each topic is different and each perspective is unique, so don’t miss out on some really useful tips and tricks to living a healthier and happier you!

Fit & Fed is happy to present to you for this week’s Nutritionists Corner, Toronto’s very own Jessie Yang. She was previously the host for Rogers TV and is currently an independent model/actress as well as consistently flexing her nutritional knowledge when the time is right. Not only can you spot Jessie all over billboards and magazines and TV shows, but she is also currently working as a mediator for an up and coming online show that deals with specific topics requiring various fields of expertise, talk about busy!

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FF: Hey Jessie, glad you could sit down with us today. Let’s start with what your nutrition background is as well as your ethnic background.

Jessie: Thanks! It’s great to have an opportunity to speak on a subject that is so convoluted. Well I actually just graduated from U of T with a double major in Nutritional Science and Psychology. My background is Chinese, and I have been in Canada for about 10 years now.

FF: That’s awesome! So as a Chinese woman growing up in Canada, what foods did you predominantly grow up with at home?

Jessie: My family was very traditional in the way we ate as a family. Whenever we had dinner, it was a time to talk and catch up and spend time with the family. We ate the same way the typical Asian family ate; communal. There were dishes out and each person would have a bowl of white rice.

FF: Ok, that’s pretty cool, so I guess you would say that you ate very traditionally. But growing up here in Canada, did you see any contrasts in western and oriental diets? Any pros or cons of either side?

Jessie: One thing that is apparent is the oriental diet offers a wider variety. The western diet I find is very restricted when it comes to the breakdown of food groups. When you think of vegetables, it’s just salads or steamed broccoli. However, the tough thing about the oriental way of eating is that it is communal which makes portioning very tough to keep track of.

FF: Ah I see. You actually brought up a very interesting point about the western views on vegetable consumption. Have you heard of the new Paleo-diet craze and if you have, what or how do you think it fairs against the Oriental approach to nutrition?

Jessie: Well that’s a very interesting topic because there are so many variations of the paleo diet. Some that allow for various modifications for foods while others are very strict. If we take the general premise of the paleo diet (that the diet is restricted to only foods that would have been accessible to people before the agricultural revolution), then you are pretty much taking out bread, wheat, refined carbohydrates, white rice, etc. I have never believed in completely cutting all of anything out of one’s nutritional regiment. There is an abundance of data and studies to back me up on my beliefs; moderation is most important when it comes to diet. Your diet should never have to feel ‘resistant’ but self control is necessary. In terms of how it fairs against the oriental diet, again it depends highly on your lifestyle. A lifestyle that is heavy in manual labour cannot function efficiently on such low glucose intake. If however your lifestyle is fairly sedentary, then limiting your carbohydrate intake is perfectly fine, but again the key here is to limit, not remove.

FF:Interesting, so in some cases the paleo diet could work, and in some the oriental approach works, there is no “correct” approach to nutritional health. Ok, my next question is do you think it is easier for East Asian culture or Western culture to switch to a healthier nutritional regiment and why?

Jessie:Wow, these are all really tough questions!! Um… Hmmm… well I would have to say that it is not a question of easier, but rather what the different goals are of each culture. Growing up, I noticed a lot of Chinese girls were already underweight and very thin, but they always wanted to be skinnier. I once had a friend who was hospitalized due to malnutrition. These girls would binge and purge or starve themselves – this isn’t dieting at all, it’s simply starvation! The western approach to nutrition is a little bit “better” in the sense that there have been numerous initiatives started in public schools to create awareness regarding nutrition and what a healthy balanced diet ought to look like. Even something as basic as the Canadian food guide gives a generalized approach to what a somewhat balanced and healthy diet is. So to answer your question, I think it would be easier for a typical Westernized individual to switch to a healthier diet than it is for someone from say China.

FF:Wow, I never would have imagined that it would be such a stark contrast between eastern and western approaches to nutrition. But if I can ask you a more personal question then, growing up as an Asian Canadian for majority of your life, what is your experience with food and nutrition at home?

Jessie:Hahaha, this may actually surprise you but I never learned anything about nutrition from home, my parents didn’t really teach me much about vegetables or why they were good. I didn’t learn much regarding nutrition until I went to U of T. When I was younger, I had gone to a doctor specializing in Chinese medicine and he had told me something vague when I was ill saying that I lacked Chi energy. I still don’t really know what it means haha. Nutrition growing up, especially with my family and even my friends, was more of a chore than anything else so I never really took the time to learn it until my later years.

FF:Chi energy huh? Somehow all I can think of now is DragonballZ and those senzu beans haha. Speaking of having the experiences of being an Asian Canadian, my next question is what is your personal and professional view of Westernized Chinese food?

Jessie:Saltier, sweeter, deep fried and bigger potions. Most typical Chinese food believe it or not does not have a lot of sauces, they are mostly seasoned with spices and herbs. The reason I believe Westernized Chinese food has been modified for the worse is because it appeals more to the stereotypical Canadian’s taste buds. From a nutritionist’s perspective these extra sauces, and overcooking of foods almost if not completely removes all the essential nutrients.

FF:Ahh that explains all those greasy looking Instagram pictures I keep seeing. Ok last question: If you had to prescribe elements of a healthy diet to an Asian family, what dishes would you recommend.

Jessie:The biggest tip that I have for the typical Asian family when making dinner is to modify the way they eat. What I mean by that is because their eating method is communal, the family members should try to either cook only what they plan to eat, or eat at a slower pace to reduce the chances of overeating. Another tip is to not add any salt or sauces to the dishes being cooked, replace canola oil with olive oil and cook with a medium instead of high heat. Last but not least, replace white rice with brown.

FF:That sounds awesome, thanks for all the tips and hopefully our readers will take some of them to the kitchen with them! Thanks again for taking the time to sit with us and talk about this topic!

Jessie: My pleasure!

For more on what Jessie Yang is up to, check out her Facebook page. If you have any nutrition related questions, simply shoot the Fit & Fed team an email at info@fitfed.com and check back on our website and facebook page for more tips, interviews, and articles!!

Happy training everyone, and thanks for reading!

 

Sincerely,

Team Fit & Fed

 

The Myth of the “Fat Burning Zone”

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Hey Boys and Girls,

I apologize for the delay in providing new material for you to read, but as you can see we went through a HUGE site revamp and hence haven’t had the time to post anything! But now we’re back better than ever and we are going to kick things off with a myth that angers me quite the amount whenever I overhear it or when someone tells me their goal is specifically to lose weight and hence ought to do this one thing in particular; and this one thing is the belief that there is such a thing as a “fat burning zone”

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You catch yourself walking into the gym and checking out the different machines and what the gym has. You casually look over at the treadmill and 9 out of 10 times, the treadmill will have a little sticker showing you on one axis your heart rate and the other age. You then notice that they have labeled a “fat burning zone” which is right around the 60-80% of your max heart rate. What I want you to know at this VERY moment is that this little tidbit of information is one of the most misleading out there.

The first myth that exists out there is that low intensity or now commonly referred to as steady state activity is ideal for burning fat. The second myth is that your body simply “switches” to fat burning the moment you hit an “ideal” heart rate.

Before we begin however, we need to clear away a few presumptions. We first must assume that the goal of this person “x” is to indeed lose weight. This means that if the person’s goal is to build up their aerobic endurance or training for an endurance sport, steady state exercise is a good thing. This argument is specifically for the person that is caught in the world of aesthetics and wishes to lose weight effectively. I do not wish for you the reader to overextend the conclusions drawn in this article and to make fallacious assertions. It is critical that we understand this, and proceed with humility when we read this information and look at the data.

So to begin, I wish to refer to a study done by Hans Romjin where he showed that the percentage of fat vs. CHO used did indeed decrease as a person’s percentage of VO2 max increased. This means that the more intense the workout, the lower the percentage of body fat your body relied on for energy. The study showed that at 65% of your VO2 max, the subjects’ energy came from approximately 60% fat and 40% CHO. As your intensity increased, the reliance on body fat decreased to 30% and your CHO increased to 70%. Now it seems first hand that this would support the “fat burning zone” theory, however you have to understand why your body does this.

Body fat stored in the body provides an immense amount of potential energy. However, the drawback is that it takes a very long time to breakdown and may not be the most efficient depending on the intensity you are exercising. Therefore, as intensity increases, your body’s demand for immediate energy for work is extremely high. Your body’s ability to breakdown body fat in order provide your body with energy is not quick enough to supply the short term energy demand and therefore your body’s reliance on fat for energy decreases. However, although the percentage of body fat decreases you have to understand this VERY IMPORTANT point, and that is that the OVERALL kCal/KG/min burned during high intensity exercise is higher than moderate intensity. What does this mean? It means that although your body relies more on fat for fuel at moderate intensity exercise (higher percentage of fat vs. CHO), the overall amount of calories burned at high intensity exercise still burns more body fat (gross) even if the relative percentage of fat vs CHO is lower.

Well I hope that clears things up a bit, as I have been receiving TONS of articles and people referring me to sites telling me running long distances is counter productive to weight loss. I also want to remind you that it is presumptuous to assume that everyone on a treadmill is aiming to lose weight. Remember boys and girls, not everyone trains for the same thing or wants the same thing. Most importantly when you train your body, you must also train your mind and think critically.

Happy training everyone!

From,

Team Fit & Fed

Fit & Fed T Shirt Contest Winner Drew Weber!!

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Congratulations goes out to Drew Weber for winning our Fit & Fed T Shirt contest and winning a $100 Nike Gift Card!! Thanks also goes out to ALL of you for your continued support of Fit & Fed and your own personal perseverance in reaching your own individual fitness goals!!

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See you all very soon and Happy training everyone!!

Sincerely,

The Fit & Fed Team!

Fit & Fed`s Zacchaeus Chan doing a quick workout between stacks of paperwork

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Hey everyone!

Watch Fit & Fed`s Zacchaeus Chan fit in a quick work out only a few days after he came back from China to help him get over his jetlag.

Watch the video here on Youtube:

If you have any questions or comments, please leave one below or email the team at info@fitfed.com.

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Thanks again for dropping by!!

Sincerely,

The Fit & Fed Team