News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Articles written by Andrew Loscutoff

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  • Are my weight-loss efforts ruined?

    Andrew Loscutoff|Updated Jan 11, 2022

    Why a weekend of bad eating won’t ruin your weight-loss efforts. A diligent dieter navigates the busy schedule of a week with planned meals, timing, and structure. They live in a calorie deficit, which provides them weight loss. They eat healthy and do what a sensible diet plan asks: eat a little less, and choose lower-calorie foods. Now, the weekend is coming, friends going out to brunch. Saturday night sports, with all the accoutrements. Sunday is a late-afternoon pizza because no one wants to cook. Our dieter is ashamed a... Full story

  • Getting no exercise — how bad is it?

    Andrew Loscutoff|Updated Dec 15, 2021

    Everybody reading this knows that smoking and diabetes are devastating to longevity. Collectively, along with their comorbidities, smoking and diabetes cost our health care system over $200 billion per year. There is a lifestyle choice that up to half of readers are making every day, which has a bigger effect on mortality than either of the above. It’s not diet-related; it’s not about toxic chemicals; it’s not about diseases or viruses. It’s about physical fitness. Regardless of body fat, regardless of muscle size, the fun... Full story

  • Is your weight a social dilemma?

    Andrew Loscutoff|Updated Nov 30, 2021

    How much of a person’s behavior is free will? Do people actually have a say in their health and wellness? It turns out, free will is second to what others around us are doing in regards to obesity and exercise habits. Behavioral psychology and health studies are revealing that a person’s body weight is tied to their social network. Not Facebook or Twitter, but real-life network. In the New England Journal of Medicine, 10,000 subjects were analyzed with lifestyle questionnaires. Results showed people have a 45 percent hig... Full story

  • COVID infectability related to fitness levels

    Andrew Loscutoff|Updated Oct 19, 2021

    For the first time, a professional journal is tying fitness and exercise to reducing susceptibility to COVID-19. This column has already suggested exercise as being protective against the severity of symptoms, and recovery from COVID, but this is the first time published research suggests that whether or not someone gets infected is tied to fitness. The research came out of South Korea and polled over 73,000 individuals. The basics of health and lifestyle questions were asked and participants were followed over the course of... Full story

  • Research review: Metabolism and aging

    Andrew Loscutoff|Updated Sep 7, 2021

    Spoiler alert! Your metabolism isn’t getting slower. If there’s one thing this fitness and nutrition professional has heard time and time again, it’s the common thought that metabolism slows down with age. A person gets older, and they begin to gain weight, though they are eating less. They have more body fat, but are busily doing outdoor work and recreational activities like hiking and golfing. Contrary to popular opinion, new research shows that our metabolism doesn’t slow down with aging; in fact, it really doesn’t... Full story

  • Fit For Sisters

    Andrew Loscutoff|Updated Jul 14, 2021

    There’s a notion that if you’re active during the day this means you’re fit and healthy. This activity — unstructured, undirected, and unfocused toward a fitness goal — actually doesn’t move the needle. While daily activity is important and key to living a healthy life, one’s not going to improve or gain the same benefit of a directed and focused exercise session. The European Journal of Heart Medicine ran a review of data on 104,000 people. They looked at physiological health markers and asked participa... Full story

  • Intensity builds muscle power

    Andrew Loscutoff|Updated Jul 6, 2021

    Exercise has a distinct effect depending on how it’s applied. Effects are specific and pronounced. No body adapts the same to the same exercise. However, exercise can be modified toward the desired outcomes. This is the law of specificity referred to in exercise science. If such a law were to be thoughtfully applied to someone who is undergoing the muscular deterioration of age, there are some ways one might be able to circumnavigate and improve. If you are undertaking long periods of low-key exercise, your body adapts to t... Full story

  • A mandate for physical activity

    Andrew Loscutoff|Updated Jun 8, 2021

    It’s not surprising to report that physically active people have reported less-severe symptoms of COVID-19. Potentially, physical activity can be protective against severe symptoms, giving a better outlook to COVID-19’s unrelenting grip on our countrymen. In fact, it’s reported that inactivity is the biggest predictor of how badly the disease will affect a person. According to data from Kaiser Permanente, hospitalization, ICU admission, and death all doubled when the patient was classified as inactive. In accounting for d... Full story

  • Fitness doesn’t know age

    Andrew Loscutoff|Updated Apr 13, 2021

    What if you could exercise and gain fitness at any age, at any time, and in any condition? This is not some fantasy. You can. Fitness can be developed at any time. The mechanisms with which our bodies adapt into fitness never go away. Here’s a few insights to share from the book “Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do is Healthy and Rewarding,” by Daniel E. Lieberman. In one instance, researchers took seemingly healthy 20-year-olds and confined them to basic bed rest for three weeks. They observed what you might... Full story

  • Stress and weight gain

    Andrew Loscutoff|Updated Mar 2, 2021

    The pandemic has been tough on people’s waistlines. It’s reported that 36 percent of people have admitted to gaining a lot of weight during the pandemic. This should come as no surprise. In a stressful environment, the body is naturally receptive to weight gain. And the direction people turn to soothe some stress isn’t beneficial for the waistline either. Forty percent of people report eating and watching TV as their main coping mechanisms. Anyone reading this ought to know by now the body is a system, which is all wired... Full story

  • “Help! I’m frail and can’t strength train”

    Andrew Loscutoff|Updated Feb 9, 2021

    Some seniors avoid weight training because they feel that they are too frail to handle it. That’s contrary to what they really need to practice. Feeling frail means a person ought to be strength-training, not avoiding it. There is nothing that can replicate the muscles pulling a joint which is suppressed under an external resistance. This is how the muscle’s intuitive neurology adapts to get stronger. You stimulate them and they respond. Building the musculature of the core, hips, thighs, and shoulder girdle are ess... Full story

  • The eat everything diet

    Andrew Loscutoff|Updated Feb 2, 2021

    Don’t eat sugar; cut out cholesterol. What about preservatives, gluten, dairy and all the other dietary villains? Hey, did you see what Dr. Oz said? A person who is diet conscious is bombarded with the can’ts, the don’ts and the stops. What about the cans, the shoulds, and the musts? Flip the way you position yourself around your diet and it can change everything. This is the basis of an “eat everything diet”. What does the eat everything diet mean? An eating pattern which places nothing off limits but asks us to thoughtfully... Full story

  • Diet season

    Andrew Loscutoff|Updated Jan 19, 2021

    Welcome to diet season. After the holidays, people often feel the propulsion of self-loathing and throw the life ring to a diet protocol they may have heard about on a talk show or seen on social media. Oftentimes they have little to no knowledge how these diets work. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most popular “programs” people do to lose weight. • Keto The ketogenic diet relies on the physiological process of ketosis in order for one’s body to use energy. The key to this process is cutting all carbohydrates out of... Full story

  • Ramp up resolutions this time around

    Andrew Loscutoff|Updated Jan 12, 2021

    Resolutions are coming. Many of you reading this are rolling your eyes, ready to turn the page. Stick with it! There’s an important lesson everyone ought to consider: A resolution by nature sets you up to fail — and there are many ways around this. Social expectations: Most of the time a resolution is based on what a person thinks they’re expected to do, not what they want to do. Anyone ever vowed to give up carbs then realized they actually really love bananas? This makes for a resentment of the resolution, and the... Full story

  • Muscle memory can save your physique

    Andrew Loscutoff|Updated Dec 15, 2020

    Exercise enthusiasts always fear losing the physicality they’ve accumulated meticulously with sweat equity over months or years of constant struggle under the resistance of gravity. Perhaps they’ve succumbed to injury, have a long vacation, or — worst of all — are summoned for jury duty. Fear not, there’s a phenomenon that will delight those anxious about losing time in the gym. Muscle memory is a topic that many gym coaches and skilled learners talk about. “It’s like riding a bike,” they’ll say. Learn the skill a... Full story

  • Save yourself 500 calories

    Andrew Loscutoff|Updated Nov 24, 2020

    Thanksgiving is upon us, and all its glorious traditions. It is not uncommon to eat nearly 1,800 calories in one sitting. This includes an average serving of turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, two dinner rolls, a small piece of pumpkin pie (without whipped cream) and two beer or wine beverages. Add gravy, and it’s eclipsed 2,000 calories. While gluttony isn’t something one should partake in on a regular basis, it’s enjoyable to have these foods as the occasional celebration. There are, however, ways... Full story

  • Those holiday drinks add up

    Andrew Loscutoff|Updated Nov 17, 2020

    The year 2020 is one we’re more than ready to put in the past. It’s time to ring in new beginnings, or commemorate — and drown out — the past. This time of year, especially between Thanksgiving and New Years, Americans increase their alcohol intake by two fold, according to a 2018 study. We’re not going to lecture the drinkers or decry the effects of alcohol — but we are going to cast light to a common side effect many people find themselves regretting: holiday weight gain. Holiday weight gain is a divis... Full story

  • Why absolutes don’t work for health and fitness

    Andrew Loscutoff|Updated Nov 10, 2020

    There are many absolutists out there. This mentality strives for certainty. For the absolutist everything is black and white. If walking 10,000 steps a day is better than 5,000, it’s 10,000 or bust. If an apple has more fiber than a banana, then banana be damned. We can have a certain amount of admiration for the absolutist. They are decisive, strong willed, and optimal. They hold steadfast in a belief system. But they may fear the unknown, and their hardy stance may falter when the next paper is written or they read a new b... Full story

  • Make America fit again

    Andrew Loscutoff|Updated Nov 3, 2020

    No matter which party one aligns with, one ought to consider making health a national priority. Think of adopting the slogan: Make America Fit Again. This should cover the mental, physical, economical, and practical aspects of health, including citizens of all ethnicities, social status, and age. Everyone will benefit from a government who has their health and wellness as a priority. As a nation, America is falling behind other nations in its fitness and health. Our leadership has not stepped up to the plate addressing the... Full story

  • Asking the wrong diet questions

    Andrew Loscutoff|Updated Oct 20, 2020

    As a nutrition coach working with people to help them lead a more healthful life, I get questions constantly — questions such as: “Should I avoid grains?” “Does fruit have too much sugar?” “Will drinking diet soda give me headaches and disruptions to my wellbeing?” These questions are inapplicable to 95 percent of those who are asking. You have to understand and implement the fundamentals of a healthy diet prior to jumping ahead to these nuances. Do you understand the role of proteins, carbohydrates and fats in a d... Full story

  • Where to find stability and balance

    Andrew Loscutoff|Updated Sep 22, 2020

    The body is a very integrated machine, down to the framework of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. When all of these are in harmonious alignment, they provide the body with stability, strength, injury resilience and balance. This system is worth understanding better. It is fundamental to day-to-day mobility, and athletic prowess. If balance and stability or injury prevention is a concern, look at how the biomechanic machine is aligned or misaligned to gain insight on improvements. The body is a compensatory... Full story

  • Home workout unsung hero: the jump rope

    Andrew Loscutoff|Updated Aug 18, 2020

    Many of us have fond memories of skipping ropes on the playgrounds of yesteryear. A childhood game of “I betcha can’t make 100 skips,” or a jump-a-thon sponsored PE program come to memory. Nostalgia for jump rope isn’t child’s play. It can be an effective fitness device. Here’s why. A jump rope doesn’t take up any space. It won’t take up the spare room or half the garage with piles of boxes on top of it (looking at you, treadmill). It doesn’t require a large upfront expense. It’s an activity that can be done while on hold wit... Full story

  • Obstacles to diet and weight loss

    Andrew Loscutoff|Updated Aug 11, 2020

    The weight loss desire of our nation is insatiable, and despite our purest intentions, many health and fitness professionals are still getting it wrong, wondering “Why can’t these people see how simple it is?” Or “why can’t they give up the late-night binges of ice cream? Don’t they see all those extra calories?” What goes wrong? The Depletion-Binge- Depletion Cycle: This is most common with highly-motivated dieters. They stick to a diet, no carbs, no sugar, no this or that. Their body gets depleted, screaming for enough calo... Full story

  • Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good

    Andrew Loscutoff|Updated Aug 4, 2020

    In health and fitness there is a common fallacy that leaves some people stuck and not making progress. This person’s intentions are pure, their motivation high. It’s not lack of ability; the cards aren’t stacked against them; they are not “too far gone.” This person leads a perfect life four or five days a week then when something derails perfection, it’s all over. A person chasing perfection will sideline basic skill, habit, and behavior-building and seek out absolute purity. Once perfection cracks, all is out the window and... Full story

  • Fit to hike in Sisters Country

    Andrew Loscutoff|Updated Jul 14, 2020

    Hiking is a dynamic activity — up and over roots, side-stepping rocks, losing and regaining footing and bracing for stability on uneven ground. There’s a lot more to it than cardiovascular fitness and leg strength. How well are you conditioned in the eccentric stabilities required? Eccentric muscular stability is the muscle’s ability to hold a tensive state to support a joint. Think of hiking downhill. The knee joint braces the heavy footfall and supports with quad musculature “bracing the joint.” If you’re uneasy ab... Full story

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