Should women avoid running? And should you – male or female – stop drinking coffee? Those controversial messages were delivered by Dr. Michael Fox with his lecture on the Caribbean low-carb cruise recently.
We invited our moderators to write guest posts here at the blog. Here’s report number four – about Dr. Fox’s message – by moderator Peter Biörck:
Guest Post by Peter Biörck
Women shouldn’t run!
One of the more refreshing and appreciated presentations on the Caribbean low-carb cruise was by Dr. Michael Fox. He works as a physician in a fertility clinic in Jacksonville, USA.
Since 2004 he has used LCHF for treating women with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and who have not been able to conceive. This became a great success! Before they started dietary treatment fewer than 50 % of women got pregnant. With LCHF as part of the concept about 90 % conceive and often within a few menstrual cycles after being advised by the clinic.
There are a couple of interviews with Dr. Fox where he talks about LCHF and fertility.
For those who are eating LCHF it’s hardly controversial that the diet helps against disease conditions that are associated with the metabolic syndrome. PCOS is most likely one of those diseases. However, it is more controversial that Dr. Fox claims that aerobic exercise is a bad idea for all women and especially so if you want to conceive. The female body perceives prolonged exercise with a relatively high pulse as a life-threatening situation. When this is repeated over and over the body is exposed to stress that makes the brain (hypothalamus) down-prioritize a number of things, one of them may be the ability to conceive. Permanent damage to the brain’s hormon signaling can be observed after only a year of intense aerobic exercise.
Dr. Michael Fox therefore recommends that all women stay away from aerobic exercise, such as running, bicycling etc. Men don’t seem to be as sensitive to the stress that aerobic exercise produces. Dr. Fox claims that there are evolutionary explanations to the difference between women and men. Cave men were the ones who were out hunting and probably this is the reason that men can cope with aerobic exercise better.
Should women then not exercise at all? No, Michael thinks that weight-lifting a few times a week combined with walks and an active mobile life is the best recipe for health! On the membership pages there’s an interview where Dr. Fox talks more about why aerobic exercise is a bad idea for women.
Michael Fox has five children, the last were triplets that came to be without any assistance from the fertility clinic. Some of his colleagues find this hard to believe!
Another sacred cow that Michael chooses to discourage from is coffee drinking! Both men and women should avoid drinking coffee (caffeine) several times a day. Caffeine triggers cortisol release (produces a stress reaction.) One effect of frequent coffee drinking may therefore be weight gain or failure to lose weight despite a good diet.
Thank you for the fourth cruise report, Peter! More to come.
If you became interested in Michael Fox and want to know more about what he has to say, his entire presentation from the cruise will soon be available on the membership pages.
The message about women and running is of course controversial. I think there’s a point, at least when it comes to the chance of conceiving. Women who exercise hard can dramatically reduce their chances of conceiving and this is good to be aware of.
Attacking coffee drinking is of course also a sensitive thing. That it causes release of stress hormones seems likely – even though I haven’t seen any studies on this.
After having listened to Dr. Fox I tried to go cold turkey myself. This trial lasted only for a few hours before I had to give up – I had too many important things to do on the cruise and it wasn’t OK to be tired with withdrawal symptoms. But since the cruise I have dramatically reduced my coffee drinking to less than half of my previous consumption. The goal is to take a break for a few weeks to see how it makes me feel.
Have you tried to quit drinking coffee? If so, how did it impact you?