Thanks for visiting our Blog. Find out more at or contact us at

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Goal Setting - A Waste of Time ?

In the mid 90's a study was published in a magazine around what makes successful people successful.

It looked at high flying business executives, champion sportspeople, media personalities to try and find what common traits they possessed. One of the common traits was about the setting of goals.

They Didn't.

This is a trend that continues with modern organisations such as Google who do also not set annual goals.

When asked in the same study why these people and organisations do not set goals the response was simple.

"Defining goals defines your limitations"

As an example picture a 4 hour marathon runner who's goal it is to run a sub 3:30 marathon.  They work out what they need to do - train to that specific pace and come race day run a 3:29.  Goal Met.

Now imagine a 4 hour marathon runner who commits each week to followed a balance program of muscular endurance, weights, track work. Each week they meet this commitment - a commitment to continuously improve.  Come race day they run 3:19.

Imagine if, for Runner 1, a 3:30 marathon was never realistic based on time till the event, training time etc ?  Had they focussed on improvement over the goal they may have run 3:39 which is still a huge PB.  Instead they 'miss' their goal and are disappointed or worse still are injured trying to push for an unrealistic goal and cant run the marathon at all.

The same is common for people trying to lose weight.  They set a goal instead of focussing each day on eating smart and exercising properly.  For weight loss the issue also can be that a long terms goal is hard to be motivated for and 'slip ups' in nutrition are ok as they have 'months' left..

In Googles case they dont set corporate goals as it decreases their agility - the ability to respond to what the market is doing (which is often outside their control anyway).

There have been lots of studies on what makes successful people successful such as Stephen Coveys Seven Habits of Highly Successful People.  Things like single mindedness, focus, total commitment to a goal etc.  Not surprisingly you dont see many books on what makes abject failures unsuccessful but in some studies that have been conducted it has been found that these people actually execute the same habits.  Single Mindedness, total commitment to a goal etc can make the person oblivious to 'reality', unable to deal with changes to their market or environment.

So rather than defining your own limitation focus on continual improvement and commit to each day doing something that makes you 1% better than yesterday.  In 68 days you will be 100% better than you were yesterday.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Ketosis for Dummies

What is Ketosis

Ketosis is a state of elevated levels of ketone bodies within the body.  Ketones are a preferential fuel source for the brain and muscles.

What is the advantage
Within our liver and muscles we can store a maximum of about 1800 calories of glycogen.  For HARD exercise this means we have about 1 hour 50mins worth of energy.  Conversely an average athlete has about 65,000 calories of stored fat.

Ketones also burn 'clean' meaning less destructive bi-products compared to sugar which our bodies would need to process or clear.

By using body fat ketosis is a great way to 'lean up' whilst still maintaining energy levels as well as reducing blood glucose and insulin.

How do we measure it.
There are two methods of measuring ketones - urine or blood.  The difference is in the type of ketones measure.  Urine analysis measures levels of Acetoacetate.  Logically what appears in urine is what the body is trying to get rid of rather than what is used.  Blood analysis measures beta-hydroxybutyrate which are used by the muscles and brain for energy so is a better indicator of what is available and being utilised.

Blood analysis is performed using a simple meter (most of which can also measure blood glucose) available from chemists for under $50.

What is Nutritional Ketosis
Nutritional Ketosis is the 'sweet spot' for ketosis where blood ketones are in the range of 0.2 2.0 mmol/l

Can it be harmful
Yes.  Above 5mmol/l starts to move into what's called Ketoacidosis effecting the acidity of blood.  It is also strongly not recommended for type I diabetics.

How do I do it.
In simple terms a high fat / low carb diet is used to enable ketosis however the risk of too much fat as a ratio can push the body into ketoacidosis.  Similarly too much protein can lower the ketone level through a mechanism called gluconeogenesis.  It is commonly found that a diet ratio of 80% fat, 15% protein and 5% carbohydrate is optimal for nutritional ketosis.

Intermittent fasting has also been shown to increase blood ketones.

Isnt that Atkins ?
No.  Atkins is high protein, high fat which as mentioned reduces blood ketones through conversion of protein to glucose.