While recovering from minor injury I recently spent a lot of time walking on the treadmill, and I looked to Youtube to save me from my boredom. I accidentally came across an interesting documentary I had never seen before, which led me to scour the site for others. I watched about 12 over the course of a month of gym time, and have curated a list of the ones I found to be the most interesting. Some are informative, some are inspirational, but they’re all worthy of your company on a slow treadmill walk!
An inspirational pick-me-up for anyone who feels their weight loss goals are out of reach. It’s the personal account of Elle Ip, who gives herself 9 months to prepare for her first sports modeling physique competition. The catch? She does it all without the help of personal trainers or nutritionists. Instead she trains at home on her own. Oh yeah, one more thing – she begins one week after giving birth to her second child.
If you watch it for no other reason, the cutest chubby cheeks you’ve ever seen on her infant daughter is worth your time and then some!
This had the potential to be one of the many generic “we’re getting unhealthier as a society because we eat too much processed food” narratives on every internet corner. It’s sort of that, but done better. For someone knowledgeable about diet and physiology there isn’t much groundbreaking here, but for everyone else it does a fantastic job of making the basics easy to understand. So if you’ve never heard of the terms “food deserts,” “metabolic syndrome,” or might not be totally sure what a carbohydrates is, this is an engaging and entertaining way to learn.
Do yourself a favor and watch it as 1.25x speed. There are also many, many commercials in it. But, hey, they are offering it for free so we put up with such things.
Despite the name, the documentary itself is not dangerous! Instead, however, this 27 minute flick follows MMA fighter Thomas Hughes’ attempt to cut 19 lbs in the 19 hours leading up to a weigh-in. He doesn’t try to convince you it’s a smart idea (and you won’t,) but it does illustrate the mental fortitude and dedication these athletes have to their sport…for better or worse.
And not for nothing, if they had an Academy Award for “best use of dramatic music able to induce thirst” this doc would run away with it.
Boy, what a difference a comma makes…get rid of it in the title and this film takes on an entirely different meaning!
But alas, the comma makes this an interesting and informative intro to intermittent fasting and the science of calorie restriction and aging. Host Michael Mosley seeks advice from experts in the subject, and then experiments with two fasting methods with hopes of improving his own health. The film does take a somewhat pro-fasting stance, however you don’t have to drink the Kool-Aid to get something out of watching.
If you’re at all intrigued about the biology of the human body and how it all works, you’ll totally dig this doc. Especially if you don’t know much about IGF-1 (Insulin Like Growth Factor 1) and the role it plays in your health.
One of the best parts? Watching a 101 year old cross the finish line of the London marathon!
If you’ve seen the A&E show Fit to Fat to Fit you could skip this and feel okay with your choices in life. This doc is unrelated and came years before the tv series, but the concept is the same; a fit personal trainer gains a serious amount of weight so he can understand what his overweight clients go through when trying to lose weight. It doesn’t seem to focus as much on the “empathy and understanding” for the client aspect, but it does clearly depict the power that the momentum of an unhealthy diet and sedentary life habits has on a person. It doesn’t take long for Paul “PJ” James to become addicted to the junk food he would normally swear off.
This isn’t an actual documentary, rather an interview with the film’s director about (one of the top grossing documentaries of all time) Food, Inc. If you’ve already seen the movie you’ll hear some interesting behind the scenes stuff, albeit via a less-than-exciting set and some (at times) awkward chat. You might also want to speed this one up 1.25x.
For those not familiar with the actual movie, it’s a deep dive into the corporate dollars pulling the strings on our nations food industry, in turn affecting the prices, environment, and our safety. It’s empowering data with which every consumer should be armed. At the time of this post it is currently available on iTunes, Amazon and Netflix.
Any other good ones I’m missing? Please share!