Rarely in other fields besides programming do you find
In the race of staying up to date with the latest JS framework or functional programming language, we might often forget our health and let ourselves go.
Unfortunately, while cool new tech is released everyday, you have only one life, one body, and once you damage it, it’s not always possible to fix it.
I’ve been in that situation: I was destroying my body without realizing it, until I couldn’t ignore the physical cues: my shirts didn’t fit, my pecs almost turned to tits, and I was out of breath when taking the stairs.
Problems we, developers, struggle with the most are:
In this post I will give you simple actionable advice you can put in place right now to fix these issues and improve your health.
Intermittent fasting is basically cycling between periods of fasting and eating.
The most famous format, popularized by Martin Berkhan, is 16:8: fasting for 16 hours and eating during an 8 hours window.
To reverse fat gain, or to avoid becoming overweight in the first place, intermittent fasting is the easiest technique to use.
We developers don’t often start working until 10AM, then we go to eat at 12PM.
Why not simply skip breakfast?
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting:
How to prevent hunger?
Eat a complete dinner, and drink coffee in the morning.
Calories are fuel for your body.
In order to lose weight, you need to eat less to create a caloric deficit.
In other words, your calories in should be less than your calories out.
1g of carbs or protein contains 4 calories, 1g of fat contains 9.
But not all calories are created equal.
For example, a calorie from carbs isn’t the same as a calorie from protein.
Because protein is the most satiating nutrient.
Eating it will reduce hunger, which is the hardest thing to endure during weight loss.
Eating fat will reduce hunger too.
Whole foods, being rich in nutrients, are good for satiation as well.
Carbs, on the other hand are not filling. You’ll need to eat a lot of them before being full.
Sugar more specifically, has been proven to enlarge the stomach and therefore make us more hungry.
Example of satiating foods
You can notice that all these foods are natural, if bought from a good source, they are usually not very processed.
This is the kind of food you should consume.
Snacking is one of the main reasons people become overweight. I did.
Snacking is usually done on junk food, that is full of carbs and sugar, and it is not satiating.
Before you know it, you would have consumed huge amounts of energy.
And you’d still be hungry.
How to avoid snacking?
Fortunately, if you are consistently eating big meals, you will be full and have less reasons to snack in the office.
To avoid snacking at home, simply don’t buy snacks.
You can’t snack on stuff that isn’t available.
Excessive consumption of carbs, sugar and vegetable oils can cause inflammation.
Avoid it as much as you can.
It causes fatty liver disease and insulin resistance, which itself can lead to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer.
Sugar also makes your stomach expand, which makes you more hungry.
If you want to lose weight, that’s counterproductive.
Also, sugar is an addiction in itself, why have it in your life?
Of course, sugar from fruits is okay. But that doesn’t include drinking one bottle of orange juice in one go.
Vegetables oils, which is an euphemism for industrial oils, are unnatural oils made by humans (machines, actually).
Their main specificity is their high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio.
Omega-3 is a fatty acid found in natural sources: fish, meat and some seeds.
Vegetable oils are also linked to brain fog.
Solution: use coconut oil, olive oil or butter for cooking. Eat less often in restaurants (they use reusable vegetable oil that can cause cancer).
While carbs can come from natural sources, nowadays they are the cornerstone of junk food.
Because ultra-processed industrial carbs are cheap to make.
These cheap carbs share similar effects with sugar: can lead to insulin resistance, increase blood sugar in the blood which encourages fat storage, and cause inflammation.
Bonus: carbs also cause gout, acne (I can relate) and Acid Reflux.
Which carbs to favor?
A word about junk food
You know this already:
Avoid junk food. It has everything bad mentioned earlier: based on ultra-processed food, lacks nutrients, doesn’t contain enough protein, has too much sugar.
The TL;DR of this section is: avoid fake food.
Hormonal imbalance causes:
How to improve it?
Lower back pain is a problem most developers have.
I had it too, and it disappeared after I started lifting.
Weight lifting, beside making you look like a greek god (or goddess), fixes your back.
There aren’t many details to get into.
Put simply, once you start hitting the gym and get more efficient at beating gravity:
Not only is it a badass exercise, it will build a lower back of steel, among many other muscles.
Make sure your use the right technique.
Send me a video if you want a form check.
Your best friend for a big and strong upper back.
There are many variations: with a barbell, with dumbbells, Pendley’s, bent over, inverted rows (with a pull-up bar), and others I’ve never heard of.
Choose one and stick to it.
What about cardiovascular capacity?
Contrary to popular belief, running isn’t the only activity that improves cardio.
Top cardio and resistance training are not mutually exclusive.
In fact, you can make lifting weight a cardio activity by itself.
Simply by increasing the intensity of your trainings:
Put simply, if you’re not sweating, grunting or at least making weird faces, you aren’t pushing yourself enough.
Careful! Training with high intensity doesn’t mean rushing things and lifting with bad form. Always take your time to use the correct technique when lifting.
Other benefits of lifting weights
Walking an easy way to burn more calories and improve cardiovascular fitness.
It would be a shame not to make the most of it.
Taking public transport takes 10 minutes, and walking 13 minutes?
You can gamify this process by using a steps tracker app on your phone, or getting a device like the Fitbit.
If you have any question, please leave a comment or send me a DM!
At Tarball Barbell, I offer 1-to-1, adapted and customized fitness coaching and nutrition services.