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By Daniel Gwartney, MD

Anyone who calls the gym their second home, those who strive for optimal health, or anyone who has struggled with weight loss, undoubtedly has heard of, and possibly tried a ketogenic diet. For the majority, this would have been a lemming-like pursuit of the popular Atkins diet. Contrary to perceived image, the Atkins diet was not exclusively ketogenic, though it did incorporate an initial phase with a very-low carbohydrate diet (VLCD) designed to induce ketogenesis. With the marketing success achieved by the Atkins group, other plans were launched that followed similar plans. Some were more extreme, touting a ketogenic lifestyle as opposed to periodic or short-term phases.

Along the way, something happened to the ketogenic programs, as they were usurped by the glamour of protein. The stigma against dietary fat caused many to shy away from the fat, calorie-rich foods in preference for lean cuts of meat, egg whites and protein powders. Fitness conscious people were easily swayed by their bias toward the lean mass retention powers of protein. Health experts compounded the problem by railing against perceived risks associated with high fat content diets.1 These pressures caused many to alter the macronutrient profile of the ketogenic diet far from its origins, ablating much of the fat-loss power of these diets.

Origins of Ketogenic Diets

It is important to understand the origins of ketogenic diets, and how deviating from the established guidelines might affect the metabolic goal of inducing ketogenesis and accelerating fat loss by increasing the rate and ratio of fatty acid oxidation (burning fat for calories, as opposed to storing as body fat). Ketosis was long thought to be a pathologic state, seen only in people suffering from starvation or uncontrolled type 1 diabetes mellitus. Ketosis, the elevated presence of ketone bodies in the blood and urine, signifies that there is insufficient glucose (blood sugar) to meet the metabolic demand. During starvation, the body’s tissue stores of glucose (glycogen) are depleted; in uncontrolled type 1 diabetes, the absence of insulin prevents sugar from entering the cell, resulting in a condition called hyperosmotic ketoacidosis. This causes the cells to utilize fatty acids as the primary source of fuel for ATP (energy) production. Fatty acids can be derived from stored fat in muscle cells, breakdown of stored fat from adipocytes (fat cells), and fatty acids circulating in the blood following a meal.

Ketones are a byproduct of fatty acid oxidation. Additionally, cellular proteins can be broken down and the amino acids released are subjected to a variety of enzymes to generate either metabolites that can be converted into glucose (sugar) or ketone bodies; these are referred to as glucogenic or ketogenic amino acids. Some amino acids can be diverted into either route, depending upon the needs of the cell and type of tissue.

Fatty acid oxidation and ketone production occur at all times. The body typically generates the cellular energy needed to maintain body temperature and basic functions by oxidizing (burning) sugars, fatty acids and (minimially) amino acids in people eating adequate calories and a balanced macronutrient ratio (carbs/protein/fat). The ratio burned for calories is weighted such that most energy comes from fatty acids at rest, with the majority of the remainder coming from sugar. However, during exercise, the increased energy demand is met primarily by sugar. This is especially true in high-intensity (greater than 60% of VO2 max) activity; low- and moderate-intensity exercise demands can be largely met by increasing the rate of fatty acid and glucose oxidation equally.2

How the Diets Work

Ketogenic diets work by depleting the body’s stores of glycogen over the first several days, quicker if the person is active. This is accomplished by restricting the dietary carbohydrate intake to very low amounts, typically less than 20 grams per day. As the body senses and responds to the change in diet, the level and activity of relevant enzymes adapt in the cells. This is necessary to increase the uptake of free fatty acids by metabolically active tissue, breakdown of stored fat in active tissue, breakdown and release of stored fat from adipocytes (fat cells); carrier molecules and co-enzymes ramp-up to deliver fatty acids to the interior of the mitochondria (the “furnace” of the cell) and dispose of waste products and damaging oxidants. The switch to a fat-burning state increases certain metabolites and waste products that impair burning glucose for energy as well.

As the above run-on sentence suggests, it is more than a simple flick of the switch to adapt to a ketogenic diet. The upside is that rapid weight loss is experienced, and insulin sensitivity can rise as active tissue depletes unhealthy stores of fat.3 The downside is that it is stressful to the cell, increases oxidative damage and results in low circulating glucose concentration, which might impact mood and cognitive function during the transitional period. In fact, it is the first week or two that is most challenging to people in regard to adhering to the prescribed diet. Once the metabolism has adapted, and social pressures have been defeated, a ketogenic diet can be maintained by most.

This switching process can be sabotaged if even a small amount of carbohydrates is ingested. The primary factor is the insulin response to carbohydrates, but also glucose availability to cells. Insulin not only shuttles glucose into cells, but it also suppresses the delivery of fatty acids to the mitochondria for calorie burning while promoting fat storage and water retention.4 If glucose is in circulation, and the person is active, GLUT4 transporters will grab glucose into muscle cells even in the relative absence of insulin.5 This is the reason exercise is such a vital component of treatment for type 1 diabetics.

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Ketogenic Diets Sabotaged

So, how have ketogenic diets been sabotaged? Originally, ketogenic diets were developed to decrease the frequency and severity of epileptic seizures, a brain condition.6,7 These diets, which prioritized ketosis above all else, were vastly different from the VLCD diets practiced today, purported to be “ketogenic.” The macronutrient ratio of the ketogenic diets provided to infants and teens was 4:1.8 Note there are only two factors accounted for, not three as might be expected to account for carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. The 4:1 ratio of the epileptic ketogenic diets is 4 grams of fat per 1 gram of protein and carbohydrate. Note, that is 1 gram of (protein and carbohydrate), not 1 gram of protein and 1 gram of carbohydrate, which would be written as 4:1:1. Also, note that the ratio is by weight (gram to gram), not by calorie. This is very relevant, as fat has nine calories per gram, whereas protein and carbohydrate have four calories per gram. If you wrote the ratio by calorie, it would be 9:1 – fat to (protein and carbohydrate).

This ratio would seem an anathema to both athletes and dieters in this modern world. In fairness, the ketogenic diet did “loosen” to a 3:1 ratio during infancy and adolescence to allow for the increased growth during those phases of development. Still, it is hard to imagine serious trainers consuming the allotted 10 grams of carbohydrate per day, and 1 gram per kilogram of bodyweight per day of protein. Yet, these are the parameters found to be necessary to induce consistent ketosis in this vulnerable population of epileptic children. Interestingly, medium-chain triglycerides were found to be much more efficient at achieving ketosis, and allowed for a lower fat calorie intake with similar results.9 To improve the palatability of the foods, and compliance by the patients, a modified Atkins diet was tested and found to be nearly as effective as the classical ketogenic diet.10 The carbohydrate restriction was pronounced at 10 grams per day, and it needed to produce at least a moderate ketone presence in the urine to provide benefit.

Ketogenic Diets and Training

People who work out generally are not worried about seizures but increasing or maintaining lean muscle mass. So how have the modern diets been compromised? In the quest for lean mass, which requires protein, lifters typically ingest up to 1 gram per pound of bodyweight daily. To maintain the ketogenic ratio, a considerable amount of fat would have to be consumed, with the burden of the calories contained. Instead, the VLCD diets, which are intended to be ketogenic, typically end up providing very little response. This is due to the metabolic impact of a large protein load in the diet.

First, meals containing protein, especially a quickly absorbed protein such as whey, are insulinogenic.11 In other words, even though they may not contain much or any carbohydrates, the pancreas still releases insulin to aid in directing the nutrients to insulin-sensitive tissue. This will suppress the release of stored fat, and the burning of fatty acids in the mitochondria. If there is not any accompanying carbohydrate, another hormone will also be released from the pancreas called glucagon. Glucagon stimulates gluconeogenesis – the production of glucose from certain amino acids. If the purpose of the carbohydrate-depleted diet is to deplete body stores of glucose and glycogen, this is counterproductive.

Secondly, a large amino acid influx induces a state of insulin resistance in the liver.12 This means that the liver does not respond to the signal of insulin, and thus does not shut down gluconeogenesis. So, even though the meal may contain enough energy (calories), the liver does not slow down gluconeogenesis. This is similar to the insulin resistance and elevated blood glucose experienced by type 2 diabetics.

A high-protein content diet, especially one rich in leucine (as is practiced by gym-goers and athletes), further compounds the fat-loss effect in two ways. Based upon the findings in a rat study, it appears that a high-protein, carbohydrate-free diet reduces the fat breakdown response to signaling hormones and chemicals in fat cells.13 This means that the body resists fat loss in the presence of such a diet. And as much as amino acids, particularly leucine, are anabolic to muscle, the same effect is seen in adipocytes (fat cells). Leucine promotes growth not just as a structural component to cellular proteins, but also as a signaling molecule. Leucine activates an anabolic pathway called mTOR, which is also present in fat cells.14 Researchers have even explored leucine-poor diets as a means of promoting fat loss. Obviously, this would be unacceptable to trainers.

Effects on Physique

It is difficult to say whether a ketogenic diet is appropriate, long term. Certainly, glycogen depletion followed by carb-loading remains popular. VLCD diets are still practiced by a number of lifters and trainers of all calibers, though long term it seems to have affected some negatively in regard to their physique. As it is easy to follow the progress of physique competitors throughout the year on social media, when an accomplished athlete shows up looking flat and depleted, it is readily evident. However, others have come in razor-sharp. It appears that the diet may be useful, but not for prolonged periods.

These VLCD diets often are not ketogenic, however, despite the near absence of carbohydrates. For the athlete, especially one competing in a weight-based sport, it is possible a ketogenic diet may have some benefit. However, one should realize that it takes about two weeks to adapt physiologically to the ketogenic diet, and during this period, performance may be impaired.15

There is nothing wrong with following a VLCD diet – it is effective for weight loss. However, do not assume that a low or absent carbohydrate diet is necessarily ketogenic. A large influx of protein in one meal or over the course of the day may slam the door on ketogenesis and rob your body of the weight-loss benefits that arise from the elevated ketones. Be aware that you need to monitor your status to determine whether you have achieved and maintained ketosis with your specific diet.


1. Astrup A, Meinert Larsen T, et al. Atkins and other low-carbohydrate diets: hoax or an effective tool for weight loss? Lancet 2004;364:897-9.

2. van Loon LJ, Greenhaff PL, et al. The effects of increasing exercise intensity on muscle fuel utilisation in humans. J Physiol 2001;536:295-304.

3. Erlanson-Albertsson C, Mei J. The effect of low carbohydrate on energy metabolism. Int J Obes 2005;29 Suppl 2:S26-30.

4. Alberti KG, Johnston DG, et al. Hormonal regulation of ketone-body metabolism in man. Biochem Soc Symp 1978;43:163-82.

5. Richter EA, Hargreaves M. Exercise, GLUT4, and skeletal muscle glucose uptake. Physiol Rev 2013;93:993-1017.

6. Wilder RM. The effects of ketonemia on the course of epilepsy. May Clin Proc 1921;2:307-308.

7. Peterman MG. The ketogenic diet in epilepsy. JAMA 1925;84:1979-1983.

8. Neal EG, Chaffe H, et al. The ketogenic diet for the treatment of childhood epilepsy: a randomised controlled trial. Lancet Neurol 2008;7:500-6.

9. Liu YM, Wang HS. Medium-chain triglyceride ketogenic diet, an effective treatment for drug-resistant epilepsy and a comparison with other ketogenic diets. Biomed J 2013;36:9-15.

10. Kossoff EH, McGrogan JR, et al. A modified Atkins diet is effective for the treatment of intractable pediatric epilepsy. Epilepsia 2006;47:421-4.

11. Schmid R, Schusdziarra V, et al. Role of amino acids in stimulation of postprandial insulin, glucagon, and pancreatic polypeptide in humans. Pancreas 1989;4:305-14.

12. Li H, Lee J, et al. Suppression of mTORC1/STAT3/Notch1 pathway by activated AMPK prevents hepatic insulin resistance induced by excess amino acids. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2013 Dec 3. [E-pub, ahead of print]

13. Martins-Afférri MP, Festuccia WT, et al. Response to intra- and extracellular lipolytic agents and hormone-sensitive lipase translocation are impaired in adipocytes from rats adapted to a high-protein, carbohydrate-free diet. J Nutr 2004;134:2919-23.

14. Lynch CJ, Patson BJ, et al. Leucine is a direct-acting nutrient signal that regulates protein synthesis in adipose tissue. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2002;283:E503-13.

15. Paoli A, Grimaldi K, et al. Ketogenic diet does not affect strength performance in elite artistic gymnasts. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 2012;9:34.

The post The True Low-Carb, Ketogenic Diet: What Went Wrong? appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.

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Title: The True Low-Carb, Ketogenic Diet: What Went Wrong?
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A Mans Best Friend – How Does Owning A Dog Improve The Quality Of Life For Men?

mans best friend

As men navigate the challenges and demands of the modern world, it becomes increasingly important to prioritize their overall well-being. While different individuals may find solace in various activities and hobbies, owning a dog has emerged as a proven method to improve the quality of life for men. With their unconditional love, companionship, and ability to bring joy and fulfillment into our lives, dogs have become much more than just pets — they are valued members of our families. In this blog post, we will explore the numerous ways in which owning a dog can positively impact the lives of men, from promoting physical health and mental well-being to fostering social connections and personal growth. So, if you’re a man considering welcoming a furry friend into your life or if you’re simply interested in learning more about the benefits, read on to discover how owning a dog can enrich your life in ways you might not have anticipated.

Highlighting the companionship and emotional support that dogs provide

Companionship and emotional support from dogs can have a profound impact on improving the quality of life for men. Dogs are known for their unwavering loyalty and unconditional love, making them the perfect companions for men seeking emotional support.

In today’s fast-paced and often stressful world, it’s not uncommon for men to feel isolated or overwhelmed. However, owning a dog can help alleviate those feelings by providing constant companionship. Dogs are always there, ready to greet their owners with excitement and a wagging tail, creating a sense of belonging and connection.

Dogs also have an innate ability to sense their owner’s emotions, making them invaluable sources of emotional support. Whether it’s a rough day at work or a personal challenge, dogs have a unique way of offering comfort and empathy. Their presence alone can make a significant difference, as they provide a non-judgmental ear to listen and a source of comfort through physical touch.

Studies have shown that owning a dog can reduce stress levels and increase feelings of happiness and overall well-being. Beyond companionship, interacting with dogs releases oxytocin, a hormone known for its positive effects on mood and stress reduction. This natural “happy hormone” not only improves emotional stability but also has physical benefits, including lowered blood pressure and reduced risk of heart disease.

Moreover, dogs encourage men to live healthier and more active lifestyles. Regular walks, playtime, and outdoor activities with their furry companions help men stay physically fit and maintain a more balanced routine. Exercise has been proven to boost endorphins, reduce anxiety, and improve sleep patterns, all crucial factors in enhancing the overall quality of life.

Exploring the positive impact of dog ownership on mental health

how does owning a dog improve the quality of life for men

Dog ownership has long been associated with a range of health benefits, particularly when it comes to improving mental well-being. Men, in particular, can greatly benefit from the presence of a furry friend in their lives. Owning a dog not only provides companionship but also has the potential to reduce stress and anxiety levels.

Studies have shown that spending time with dogs can have a calming effect on individuals, leading to reduced stress levels. Interacting with dogs has been found to increase the production of oxytocin, often referred to as the “love hormone.” Oxytocin is known to play a significant role in reducing stress and promoting feelings of relaxation. Simply petting or spending time with a dog can have a soothing effect on the mind, providing an escape from the pressures of daily life.

Additionally, dogs require regular exercise, which can benefit both physical and mental health. Engaging in physical activity with a dog, such as going for walks or playing fetch, releases endorphins – hormones known for their positive effects on mood. Regular exercise not only helps to reduce stress and anxiety but also improves overall mental well-being.

Moreover, the social support provided by a dog can have a profound impact on mental health, particularly for men who may find it challenging to express their emotions or seek support from others. Dogs are non-judgmental listeners and can be a source of comfort during difficult times. Sharing a bond with a dog creates a sense of companionship, reducing feelings of isolation and boosting self-esteem.

Studies have also shown that dog owners tend to have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, further promoting overall health and reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Improved physical health can indirectly contribute to better mental well-being, as a healthy body supports a healthy mind.

The physical benefits of owning a dog

how does owning a dog improve the quality of life for men

Owning a dog has numerous physical benefits for men that greatly enhance their overall quality of life. From increased exercise levels to improved cardiovascular health, the positive impact of having a furry companion cannot be understated.

Regular exercise is vital for a healthy lifestyle, and owning a dog provides the perfect motivation to stay active. Unlike going to a gym or jogging alone, owning a dog encourages men to engage in daily physical activity. Taking them for walks, playing fetch or even participating in agility training can significantly increase the amount of exercise men get on a regular basis. This increased physical activity not only helps to shed extra pounds but also provides an opportunity for men to stay fit and maintain a healthy body weight.

In addition to the active playtime, the daily routine of caring for a dog also involves regular walks. These walks not only benefit the dog but also benefit men by bringing about cardiovascular improvements. As dogs are energetic and enthusiastic walkers, their owners often find themselves walking longer distances and at a brisker pace than they would on their own. This increased physical exertion helps strengthen the heart muscles, improve blood circulation, and lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Moreover, owning a dog can also have a positive impact on mental health, indirectly contributing to physical well-being. The companionship of a dog brings joy and happiness to men’s lives, reducing stress levels and promoting overall mental well-being. Studies have shown that reduced stress levels play a significant role in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. By reducing stress, owning a dog can indirectly contribute to improved cardiovascular health.

It is important to note that the physical benefits of owning a dog are not limited to the cardiovascular system alone. Increased physical activity and exercise have a positive impact on muscle strength, bone density, and overall physical fitness. By incorporating a dog into their lives, men can enjoy a more active lifestyle, leading to these various physical health benefits.

Touching upon the role of dogs in strengthening social connections and combating loneliness

how does owning a dog improve the quality of life for men

Owning a dog goes beyond providing companionship and loyalty; it also significantly improves the quality of life for men by playing a vital role in strengthening social connections and combating loneliness. In today’s fast-paced and digitally-dominated world, it is not uncommon for men to feel isolated or disconnected. However, the presence of a furry friend can make a world of difference.

Firstly, dogs act as social catalysts, effortlessly breaking down social barriers and facilitating connections among individuals. The simple act of walking a dog in the park can lead to spontaneous conversations with other dog owners and passersby. Dogs have an uncanny ability to draw people together, sparking conversations, and creating opportunities for interaction. These interactions not only provide a sense of belonging but also widen social circles and foster new friendships.

Additionally, owning a dog can combat feelings of loneliness, especially for men living alone or those experiencing solitude due to work or life circumstances. Dogs provide constant companionship and unwavering support, which can easily alleviate feelings of isolation. Men often find solace in the unconditional love and acceptance they receive from their furry friends.

Furthermore, dogs have been known to be natural facilitators of social activities and outings. From trips to the dog park to attending dog-friendly events, owning a dog opens doors to various social engagements. Men can connect over shared interests and bond with other dog owners, creating a sense of community and belonging.

It is worth noting that dogs can also help men build confidence and improve communication skills. Interacting and caring for a pet encourages individuals to develop empathy, patience, and responsibility, qualities that positively impact personal relationships, both with fellow humans and in professional settings.

Addressing the sense of responsibility and purpose that owning a dog instills in men

how does owning a dog improve the quality of life for men

Owning a dog can be a transformative experience for anyone, including men. Beyond the companionship and unconditional love they offer, dogs have a unique way of instilling a sense of responsibility and purpose in their owners. This is particularly beneficial for men who may be seeking a renewed sense of self and direction in life.

When a man decides to bring a dog into his home, he takes on the role of caregiver and provider. This sense of responsibility goes beyond simply feeding and walking the dog; it encompasses all aspects of the dog’s well-being. From ensuring regular veterinary check-ups to keeping up with grooming and exercise needs, owning a dog requires commitment and dedication. In taking on these responsibilities, men develop a sense of purpose and take pride in being able to care for another living being.

The act of being responsible for a dog also encourages men to develop a routine and structure in their lives. Dogs thrive on routine, and by establishing a consistent schedule for feeding, exercise, and playtime, men are compelled to incorporate these elements into their own lives as well. This newfound structure can promote a better work-life balance, as men prioritize their dog’s needs alongside their own.

Moreover, dogs can be excellent teachers of patience and empathy. Training a dog requires time, effort, and plenty of understanding. Men who take the time to patiently train their dogs develop skills in communication, demonstrating empathy and compassion for their canine companions. This ability to understand and respond to a dog’s needs can translate into improved interpersonal relationships and a heightened sense of emotional intelligence.

Owning a dog also encourages men to lead an active lifestyle. Regular exercise is not only vital for a dog’s health but also for the owner’s. Whether it’s going for long walks, playing fetch in the park, or engaging in more vigorous activities like running or hiking, dogs motivate men to stay active and embrace a healthier lifestyle. This increased physical activity has numerous benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, reduced stress levels, and enhanced overall well-being.

The impact of dogs on men’s social lives

Dogs have long been known as man’s best friend, and their impact on men’s social lives is undeniable. Owning a dog not only provides companionship but also serves as a catalyst for social interactions and conversation starters.

For many men, especially those living alone or without a family, having a dog allows them to easily connect with others in their community. Taking your furry friend for a walk in the park or on the neighborhood streets instantly opens up opportunities for social interaction. Dogs are natural ice-breakers, attracting attention and creating a friendly atmosphere that encourages conversation.

Men walking their dogs often find themselves engaging in conversations with other dog owners, leading to new friendships and connections. These interactions can happen simply by exchanging pleasantries about the dogs or sharing stories about canine companionship. The shared experience of owning and caring for a dog is relatable, giving men common ground to connect with others who share similar interests.

Moreover, owning a dog provides men with a sense of responsibility and purpose. This responsibility often leads to increased participation in community events such as dog shows, pet-friendly social gatherings, or volunteering at animal shelters. These activities not only allow men to engage with like-minded individuals but also contribute to the community and make a positive impact.

Dogs also serve as conversation starters outside the typical dog-related setting. Whether at a café, park, or even at work, men with dogs become approachable, as their four-legged companions often become the topic of conversations. Discussing your dog’s breed, training methods, or even funny anecdotes can initiate conversations with colleagues, acquaintances, or potential new friends.

Furthermore, dogs can be seen as an extension of their owners’ personalities. Men who own dogs are often perceived as caring, responsible, and approachable individuals. This positive perception can attract others and facilitate social interactions, making it easier for men to initiate conversations or be approached by others.

How dogs can act as a source of therapy and emotional support for men with mental health issues

how does owning a dog improve the quality of life for men

Dogs have proven to be more than just loyal companions to their owners; they can also play a significant role in improving the quality of life for men, particularly those struggling with mental health issues. Many studies have shown that owning a dog can act as a form of therapy and provide emotional support, making a positive impact on men’s overall well-being.

For men battling mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the presence of a dog can offer a sense of comfort and solace. Dogs have an innate ability to sense their owners’ emotions, offering unconditional love and companionship during tough times. When feeling overwhelmed or experiencing heightened levels of stress, simply petting or cuddling with a dog can release oxytocin, the “feel-good” hormone responsible for reducing stress and promoting a sense of calmness.

Engaging in physical activities with dogs also boosts mental health. Taking a dog for a walk or playing fetch in the park provides an opportunity for exercise and fresh air, both known to have positive effects on mental well-being. These activities not only help to distract the mind from negative thoughts but also promote a healthy routine and encourage regular exercise – a key component in managing mental health conditions.

Furthermore, dogs alleviate feelings of loneliness and social isolation that can often be overwhelming for men with mental health issues. The companionship offered by a dog is unwavering, and their constant presence can provide a sense of purpose and responsibility. This can be particularly beneficial for men who struggle with forming and maintaining relationships, as a dog’s presence can bridge the gap and offer a meaningful connection.

Additionally, owning a dog can encourage social interaction and foster new relationships. Dog owners often find themselves bonding with fellow dog enthusiasts during walks or at pet-related gatherings. This shared interest acts as a catalyst for forming friendships and participating in a supportive community where individuals can share their experiences and challenges.

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Mens Health

Failures in Business: The Unseen Stepping Stones to Success

Aaron jpg

Equally significant is the need for businesses to remain vigilant about broader shifts in both domestic and global markets. Macro factors, whether they’re economic trends, geopolitical events, or emerging global challenges, can have profound ripple effects, impacting even the most niche industries. By staying abreast of these larger market dynamics, businesses can better anticipate risks, adapt to challenges, and capitalize on new opportunities. In an ever-globalizing world, the ability to navigate both the nuances of one’s immediate market and the broader global shifts is what separates thriving enterprises from those that falter.

TACTICAL Takeaway: Stay sharp and monitor your industry’s trends. When things shift, being ahead in understanding consumer habits offers you the flexibility to adjust and succeed. Things can change rapidly and the sooner you have insight into consumer behavior changes, the more opportunities you have to pivot.

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Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

The sports nutrition industry is an interesting, fast-paced vertical where what’s old can quickly become new again but also what worked yesterday likely won’t work tomorrow.

It might seem counterintuitive, but it’s spot-on. Take creatine as an example. It hit the shelves in the early 1990s and quickly became a hit. Yet, a decade later, its demand had waned. Jump another decade to today, and it’s back more popular than ever.

TACTICAL Takeaway: The key for businesses is knowing when to go all-in on a product and when to ease off, as it’s the ever-changing consumer market that truly drives demand.

Never Rest On Your Laurels

Just because something “has always worked” doesn’t mean it’s going to continue to work (or continue to work as efficiently).

In the dynamic world of business, the saying “never rest on your laurels” holds more truth than ever. What propelled a company to success yesterday might not necessarily be the formula for its tomorrow’s success. Market demands, technological innovations, and consumer preferences are in a perpetual state of evolution. While a particular strategy or product might have been a game-changer at one point, there’s no guarantee that it will remain relevant or effective in the future. This inherent unpredictability underscores the need for adaptability and forward-thinking in any business endeavor.

This reality pushes companies to be proactive, always forecasting and adjusting to the next potential shift. Relying solely on past successes can lull businesses into complacency, risking obsolescence in the face of changing tides.

TACTICAL Takeaway: To remain competitive and relevant, businesses need to cultivate a culture of continuous learning, innovation, and agility. In essence, the past can inform and guide, but it’s the vision and readiness for the future that will determine enduring success.

Embracing The Journey

To any entrepreneur reading this: the road to success is rarely a straight one. At times, it may seem like every decision leads to a dead end. But remember, every misstep is an opportunity to learn, grow, and pivot.

The trials you face in business are not meant to discourage you. Instead, they are meant to shape you, refine your vision, and improve your strategy. As the age-old adage goes, “smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.” It’s the challenges that will arm you with the experience and resilience necessary for long-term success.

So, the next time you face a setback, remember that your next big success could be just around the corner. Embrace failure as a part of the process, learn from your mistakes, and continue pushing forward with a renewed sense of purpose and determination.

Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy the journey. With so much time spent working and navigating challenges, it’s essential to find joy and have fun along the way.


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Title: Failures in Business: The Unseen Stepping Stones to Success
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Mens Health

Negativity Is a Losing Mindset

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By Marc Lobliner


‘A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.’

I coach my son’s U11 football team. I am just the line coach, but the dudes who coach with me are also in the same mindset as I am.

Positivity wins.

Let’s start off with last weekend’s game.

It’s 0-0, the opening kickoff is a short one and we fall on it.

You can hear our coaches getting our kids fired up and getting the offense ready for play. POSITIVE statements. A lot of “Let’s Go!” and energy.

On the other sideline, you hear the coaches angrily yelling at their players for the execution of the kick.

First play from scrimmage, our line makes every block and opens the outside for our running back to score.

You hear their coaches furiously yelling as we celebrate.

We celebrated and our fullback punched in the extra point.

After the kickoff, our defense held them to four and out. We got the ball again, touchdown. Extra point good.

14-0 in two offensive plays.s

Their coaches were still mad. Angry. Yelling.

We smiled, encouraged our kids, and ended up with a 42-0 mercy-rule win.

Our players are awesome, but not the biggest, not the fastest, not the strongest.

It’s all about culture and what you’re playing for.

We demand a lot of our athletes. Learn your plays, DO YOUR JOB, and we will win.

Every Tuesday after we win, I buy my linemen doughnuts and give them to everyone, telling them that a random lineman (changes weekly) said everyone deserves doughnuts. We don’t punish every mistake with extra running and up-downs. We focus on what we do RIGHT, and not what we do wrong.

The other game one of my linemen got called for a hold. He came off the field expecting to be scolded. I put my arm around him and said, “What happened?” He explained it and then I said, “You’re better than that guy, you don’t need to hold. Show the world how dominant you are!” He didn’t get one call the rest of the game and crushed it.

This is also my management style at work. Managers are usually garbage. You can do 1,000 things right and you mess up once and your manager attacks you.

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Employees typically respond better to positivity, and numerous studies have found that positive reinforcement and a positive work environment can significantly improve employee motivation, performance, and well-being. Here are some reasons why, supported by various studies:

Increased Productivity: According to a study conducted by the University of Warwick, happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers were 10% less productive. The research shows that human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity.

Better Decision-Making Abilities: Research from the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center found that individuals who were induced to feel positive emotions were better at problem-solving and making decisions than those in a neutral state.

Boosts Creativity: Positive emotions widen attention and allow people to think more broadly and openly. This is discussed in the “broaden-and-build theory” by Barbara Fredrickson, which suggests that positive emotions broaden an individual’s momentary thought-action repertoires.

Enhanced Team Collaboration: A study from MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory found that teams that communicate effectively, with members actively reaching out and connecting with all other team members, were more successful. Positive interactions contribute to this dynamic.

Reduced Employee Turnover: According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), a positive work environment and culture encourages employees to stay longer in their jobs, thus reducing turnover rates. This is KEY at where our staff has mostly been there for 5+ years!

Better Health & Well-being: A study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that positive work environments and low job stress are linked to better health outcomes for employees, which in turn can lead to reduced absenteeism and increased productivity.

Increased Engagement: According to Gallup, workers who are engaged and have high well-being are more likely to be attached to their organizations and are more productive.

Enhanced Learning & Flexibility: Research in the field of positive psychology has shown that positive emotions can facilitate adaptive thinking and flexibility in cognitive processing. This helps employees adapt to new situations and learn more effectively.

Higher Levels of Satisfaction: A study by BrightHR found that happiness is a key indicator of job satisfaction. Happy employees are more likely to report high levels of satisfaction with their jobs than those who report low levels of happiness.

Creates a Positive Feedback Loop: A study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology found that experiencing positive emotions leads to higher levels of resilience, which in turn leads to increased positive emotions. This positive feedback loop has a myriad of beneficial effects in the workplace.

How about parenting?

Same thing. PRAISE YOUR CHILD! Make sure they know you love them. While bad behavior should be addressed, be sure to also reward good behavior. Kid had a good day at school? Get him ice cream! Tell him you love him. Say you’re proud of him.

As my mother said, “You catch more flies with honey than with crap.”

And one can’t deny the lifelong impact of a good coach. As the sign in the office says, “A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.”

Be positive and be a winner!

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The post Negativity Is a Losing Mindset appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.

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By: Team FitRx
Title: Negativity Is a Losing Mindset
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Published Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2023 19:37:20 +0000

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