Posts Tagged diet

Obvious Secrets For Living Longer With Minimal Illness

Here’s another Gretchen Reynolds article about the benefits of fitness into old age. The comments are good and predictable too…over 200 of them with first-hand advice. Of course the real goal is to not just live longer, but to delay or minimize infirmity in old age. Middle age fitness helps you do that. Below are some excerpts.

A new study suggests that being or becoming fit in middle age, even if you haven’t previously bothered with exercise, appears to reshape the landscape of aging.

Those adults who had been the least fit at the time of their middle-age checkup also were the most likely to have developed any of eight serious or chronic conditions early in the aging process. These include heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and colon or lung cancer.

The adults who’d been the most fit in their 40s and 50s often developed many of the same conditions, but notably their maladies appeared significantly later in life than for the less fit. Typically, the most aerobically fit people lived with chronic illnesses in the final five years of their lives, instead of the final 10, 15 or even 20 years.

Being physically fit “compresses the time” that someone is likely to spend being debilitated during old age, leaving the earlier post-retirement years free of serious illness and, at least potentially, imbued with a finer quality of life.

Interestingly, the effects of fitness in this study statistically were greater in terms of delaying illness than in prolonging life. While those in the fittest group did tend to live longer than the least fit, perhaps more important was the fact that they were even more likely to live well during more of their older years.

Two Comments:

* ellen
* L.A., CA

This time of life offers so much. If you’re lucky enough to be retired it’s certainly easier. However, having said that, when I turned 50 I made a deal with myself that I would exercise every day. I got to say how much, though. Some days it was 5 minutes, some days an hour. Little by little I got to feel so much better that now I do pilates (at home) for about a half hour and then I walk for about 45 minutes. I eat the paleo diet and, at 63, I can tell you I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been in my life. I have more energy. I have no aches and pains. I kayak and dance, and do art. I’m very lucky to be living this life. I’m also very devoted to making the most of it. Oh yes, I take NO MEDS. I’m hoping to live and long and healthy life. But more than hope, I’m working for it. My body is there for me every day. The least I can do is give it a hand. Start small and trust that it will build. You get to like it after a while, Honest. It’s become so much a part of my life now that on a day I might no get to do my walk, say, I miss it terribly.

* RS Close
* Ventura County, CA

Just the realization that living longer is not the goal, but living better is what happens to someone who exercises should be enough evidence to encourage people to move their bodies. I have been taking workout classes for years. Now, I am 71. I do spinning classes 4X week, at least walk or hike on each of the other days…..I am NEVER sick….I do not take medications…I do take vitamins and supplements…..I have all of my original body parts and best of all….my friends are much younger and lots of fun….people my own age are all falling apart. I also eat a very healthy, almost all organic diet and cook most nights…nothing elaborate, but careful planning…it takes focus but it is well worth the results. Hope more people pay attention to the important findings in the article!

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We See This Guy On TV Alot

do you recognize him?

He’s got a pretty good set of abs and body in general…right? But there is something very unusual about him. His name is Jeff Life, and he is a 72-year-old doctor. See him working out below, something he does at least six times a week in the gym.

In an LA Times article , it says his regimen includes hard cardio, heavy weights pushed to the max, martial arts, Pilates, a strict low-glycemic carb diet and lots of supplements. It has also, for the last seven years, been hormonally enhanced by a program that includes testosterone and human growth hormone—a therapy Life views as entirely appropriate, even necessary despite the medical evidence questioning both its effectiveness and safety…

Like most people, Life didn’t give a thought to his testosterone level, his HGH or his fitness as he built his career as a family practice doctor in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. A lapsed Masters swimmer who became inactive in his mid 40s, the father of five became fat and borderline diabetic—”a typical stressed-out middle-aged doctor who ate, drank and didn’t practice what he preached. It was years and years of sloth.”

Dr. Jeff Life–2010

That changed the day Life, then 60, picked up Muscle Media magazine and read about “the Challenge,” a 12-week, before-and-after fitness contest. His competitive fires lighted, Life sent in his before photo and hit the gym.

Three months later, he’d dropped 25 pounds, cut his body fat from 28% to 10%, got genuinely ripped and was named one of the contest’s 1999 “Body for Life” 10 grand champions…

But by age 64, Life found himself shrinking.

His muscles didn’t respond to workouts like they did a few years before. Abdominal fat started piling up. He began feeling mildly depressed. And he wasn’t waking with an erection as often as he used to.

It was a condition he would soon know as andropause, the insidious creep of declining testosterone.

It was time for his second epiphany—and the photo that would change everything…

the whole Dr. Jeffrey Life

Dr. Jeff's ad for the company he works with

In June 2003, Life became a Cenegenics patient, ultimately taking daily shots of HGH along with once-a-week testosterone shots, a regimen he still maintains.

“I could feel the difference quickly. Clarity of thought, a new, sharper focus, increased sexual function, bigger muscles.” He was so impressed that he packed up, moved to Las Vegas and joined the company.

After six months of seeing clients, Life had an idea to keep them motivated: Show them his body.

“They needed to know that I walked the walk.”

That might have been the end of the story—until a year later, when a writer from GQ magazine, in to do an anti-aging story, walked by Life’s office. His eyes bugged out at the sight of the glossy 8 by 11 of the buffed, bald, jeans-wearing guy hanging on the wall.

The shot ended up in his article in the January 2006 issue of GQ….Now it’s been seen by millions. An old, bald head on the young beefcake body. The claim is that this is not digitally modified. Whats your reaction?

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I Should Have Eaten More Steak!

These were the first words said by a woman who just found out she had incurable cancer and was going to die soon: “I should have eaten more steak!” Seven months later, she was gone…

I heard this anecdote from a friend who knows the widower. My friend (let’s call him Goliath, or G for short) and I were discussing mortality, health, and discipline. G often comments how disciplined I am to avoid foods with cholesterol. I often remind him how I used to eat half a pint of ice cream with chocolate syrup almost every night. Then my cholesterol rose to heart-attack-warning levels, so I gave it up. Eat a lot of sorbet now, almost no cheese, fat-free yogurt, soy milk and olive oil instead of more delicious butter. Now my cholesterol is down. Hopefully I will live longer and more healthfully.

Do I miss those foods. Sometimes, for sure. But knowing they are bad for me, I usually am just fine without them. If I suddenly learn that I will be dead in a few months or days, I don’t think it will bother me that I modified my diet and exercised more to stay healthy, fit, and enjoying these later years. But that’s me.

I remember a smoker saying that he is likely to live just 6 or 7 years less than a non-smoker. “Worth it,” he pronounced. Of course his addictions were no comparison to my giving up butter. But it’s all a balance, G and I decided. What if you live 10 years in good health, rather than 20 years in and out of hospitals and doctors’ offices?

Of course you could die tomorrow in an accident. In that case you wouldn’t have time to regret having avoided harmful foods and life style. But working out the balance is quite confronting. Why earn more money for older age and health costs, if you think you will die in a year? Why stay fit and flexible? Why not cheat on your wife or husband? Why spend time helping out friends and supporting unemployed children? Do whatever you want!

It’s almost impossible to live solely for the moment, in spite of movies and novels starring glamorous, smiling hedonists. But is it really tempting to you?

When I was working at my own publishing company in the early years, I was newly divorced and wanted to be as stabilizing as possible for my two little girls. When they had summer and holiday vacations, I took huge amounts of time off, regardless of the business consequences. One year I was with the girls 104 days, including 26 weekends (52 of the days). Of course I felt guilty at first, but then I would tell myself that if any of my staff members complained, I would say I only had six months to live. That would justify the time away, I reasoned. In their minds as well as mine.

So I am familiar with that confrontation of how much we…I…should watch the diet, be responsible, do good deeds, exercise, say NO to another beer, another shirt, another vacation.
We each have to work it out, and it a challenge every time we look at a menu, open the freezer, hear about a friend’s trip to Bora Bora, see a friend divorce his wife of decades and become the playboy of the suburban world.

Good luck with your choices. And may the Force of long, healthy life be with you…

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Future Benefits For Healthy Eaters?

Was talking to the owner of the B&B I stayed at in Newport. A slightly overweight guy who cooks and serves guests Eggs Benedict and pancakes with fruit in them made with strange flours. He admits that he loves to eat (“look at all the great food here”) and that he can’t stop himself. His stomach seems to have no “I’m Full” feeling. And there I was eating leftovers for breakfast I couldn’t finish from my dinner the night before.

As long as we were talking about eating, I brought up all the people we’d been seeing in the streets and tennis stands who were grossly overweight. I’d been talking with friends about how people should take some responsibility for their obesity, especially when they don’t buy health insurance, use the emergency rooms for free, and raise the premiums of those who do buy insurance.

The innkeeper was reasonable. “People like me should pay higher taxes or premiums. We need new laws. Even constitutional amendments.” But that will take decades, I told him. He said it’s in the new health care law. Not sure he is right. But one good thing about going bankrupt…it forces you to change your spending habits for sure. If you are a good driver, you get a premium discount. Same if you don’t smoke. So shouldn’t fit and healthy people pay less than those who abuse their bodies and ignore good health?

Food for thought!

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Fitness Trainer Drew Manning Gained 70 Pounds On Purpose

Fitness Trainer Drew Manning gained weight (middle) and then lost it (right) to better understand his clients

Here are excerpts from a story about a fitness trainer who gained 70 pounds on purpose (then lost it) to better understand what his clients go through. His journey allowed him to empathize more with his clients and suggest new ways to become fit.

Always a fitness junkie, staying in shape comes naturally for Drew Manning. He’s that guy at the gym the rest of us love to hate. But his wife says he was a “judgmental” trainer who would look at someone who was overweight and say, ‘They must really be lazy.’ ”

In order to better understand the struggles his clients were facing, he had to face them himself. He gave up the gym and started consuming junk food, fast food and soda. In just six months, he went from 193 pounds with a 34-inch waist to 265 pounds with a 48-inch waist.

Manning says he didn’t realize the effects of his weight gain would be more than physical. It altered his relationships and his self-confidence. The fact that he had to do push-ups on his knees was almost humiliating.

Manning suffered through soda deprivation headaches and food cravings on his way back to fit. The journey was easier for him than for most, he’ll admit, but he’s eager now to provide tips for others to follow in his footsteps.

“The biggest thing [I learned] is that it’s not just about the physical. It’s not just about the meal plan and the workouts and those things. The key is the mental and the emotional issues. I realized those issues are real.”

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How Many Teaspoons Of Sugar In One Can Of Coke?

I recently heard that the average American eats 150 pounds of sugar a year, which is 22 teaspoons of sugar a day. In just one can of coke, there are NINE TEASPOONS OF SUGAR. And sugar is one of the major causes of obesity, which leads to diabetes. In fact more people globally are dying of diseases like heart disease, cancer and diabetes than from infectious diseases.

There have been quite a few articles and broadcasts recently about how harmful—even poisonous—sugar is for our bodies. I bumped into this article by Mark Bittman this week, and then heard him on the radio being interviewed along with Dr. Robert Lustig, an expert on causes of obesity who has been called the number one enemy of the sugar lobby. Lustig and others just published an article in Nature magazine that the media are picking up on. I can’t link to it, but you can read it by downloading it from this site . It’s titled Nature: the Toxic Truth About Sugar, and it is just above the video.

Anyway there is now talk of sugar being regulated like tobacco, alcohol and drugs. The illness from too much sugar is not only making people obese, it is also costing our societies billions of dollars in hospital and health care treatments. Watch the video above (seen by 3 1/2 million people) for startling facts about how even one-year-olds are being given soft drinks by uninformed parents.

The 15-minute video interview below of Lustig explains in very complex, medical jargon why people gain weight EVEN if they eat less and exercise more. Basically too much insulin promotes further food intake and converts sugar into fat. To reduce insulin, you have to have a low carb diet and one that avoids sugar AND JUICES as much as possible. If you go right to 13:30, you can understand a little of what Lustig is saying.

Here are excerpts from a webMD article :

Some people eat so much sugar that it adds up to half their daily calorie limit for maintaining weight.

A good first step for anyone trying to reduce sugar is to cut back on or cut out sugary drinks.

Models used to regulate alcohol and tobacco could work for sugar, Lustig says.

His suggestions:

* Tax sugary foods. (The soda tax is already being considered, he notes. To work, he says the tax must be hefty, such as a $1 tax on a $1 can of soda.)
* Limit availability. Licensing requirements on vending machines could be stricter.
* Set an age limit for the purchase of sugary drinks and foods.

Reminds me of seat belts, how the government has to help people save themselves from death and illness…otherwise society pays the costs. What do you think?

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Will Wearing Greek Yogurt Give You Great Abs?

In a lazy world, great abs like these would result just by eating the yogurt marketed in the ad

Why am I laughing at myself? I eat a Greek NON-FAT yogurt every day. And this story, sent to me by Stefan Pinto (whom I have written about in the past), makes me wonder if I have just fallen for the hype! Greek yogurt sales are way up, but the product is almost double the price of other brands. I began eating it when my cholesterol count rose too high from regular yogurt. Stefan is the man in the ad, and he does have great abs. And I do think the zero-fat Greek yogurt tastes better than the others. Will I develop abs like Stefan’s if I just eat the yogurt he is wearing? Here are excerpts from the story he sent me.

Greek yogurt, overall, has had one of the fastest growth spurts the food and beverage industry has seen in recent history. In each of the last three years, sales of Greek yogurt have boomed more than 100%, while non-Greek yogurt has crept along at single-digit speeds, according to consumer data tracker Nielsen.

Sales at yogurt maker Chobani Inc. — which claims nearly half of the Greek yogurt market share in the U.S. — soared 2,812% in 2008 alone, according to a report from UBS Investment Research. Greek yogurt now hauls in more than $1 billion in revenue a year in the U.S. — about a quarter of total yogurt sales.

Yogurt of all types is the food trend of the decade, according to research firm NPD Group. Not only is it popular with young adults because it’s perceived as being healthful, it’s also a prominent ingredient in some ethnic cuisines that are increasingly gaining a foothold in the U.S.

Greek-yogurt makers have marketed themselves effectively, analysts said. Danone’s Oikos brand featured actor John Stamos in its Super Bowl ads. Voskos ran print advertisements featuring the rippling, yogurt-slathered muscles of fitness expert Stefan Pinto.

Greek yogurt isn’t known for being particularly tasty and is sometimes 90% more expensive than other yogurts, according to the UBS report.

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Joe Marshall’s Thoughts On Diet, Health And Fasting

In response to my post on January 29th about the diet and health of the super athletes of the Tarahumara Indian tribe in Mexico, Joe Marshall wrote some interesting comments. I should mention that my father was a chiropractor who believed that you are what you eat, and moderation is one path to good health. He was also sick enough to spend a day or two in bed just four times in his life that I knew about, until his late 80’s, when years of smoking and too many pastrami sandwiches caught up to him.

As far as cancer goes, nutrition is key. Everyone must stay within his limitations to stay healthy. We eat un-natural foods. We compromise our digestive systems, so even good foods leak out and give us immune disorders. We are stressed out.

The AMA has contributed to the chronic disease syndrome by pumping us full of unnecessary drugs that mask symptoms, poison us, and ruin our digestive tracts. . Worse, they have been convicted in court of trying to put chiropractic out of business, a science that tries to improve health through natural means, helping the body heal itself, and following the Hippocratic Oath Mantra of “Do No Harm”. This is not to say that the AMA has not done wonders with surgery.

All chiropractors and naturopaths study the art of fasting.

A group of licensed medical experts (some of them MD’s) got together in the mid-20th century to form a group know as the American Natural Hygiene Society. These marvelous healers increased the lives and health of millions of people, promoting breast feeding, vegetarian diets, fasting, sunshine, and avoidance of polluted water (especially water with chlorine and fluoride). I could tell you case after case of people I have met who have gone on to have radiant health after being diagnosed with “incurable” degenerative diseases….arthritis, cystic ovaries, sterility, infertility, colitis, enlarged prostate, heart disease, liver diseases, emphysema, asthma, etc…..and all accomplished WITHOUT ANY medications.

Dr David J Scott fasted over 30,000 patients (including me). He had liver problems as a young man, due in part to a drug he was made to take every day for a year during WW2. He helped break the Japanese code back then. He came down with cancer at the age of 32. He kept the cancer in remission for 66 YEARS, running two full time businesses the whole time, dealing with all kinds of pressures, and never taking any medication. He fasted every winter. He just died at the age of 88, busy and productive until the last 2 weeks of his life.

Dr William Esser, in Florida, was never sick in his life. Never took a drug or had an operation. He lived to be 93, playing excellent SINGLES tennis until then, and died quietly in Florida, after also fasting more than 30,000 people. His mother lived to be 99 living the Natural Hygiene lifestyle. Anyone interested in vibrant health should search Natural Hygiene or David J Scott to be introduced to it. There is a famous book written in the 1950’s called “Health For the Millions” by Herbert J Shelton. It’s a good start, though some of his ideas have been modified by others.

Each of the two doctors I mentioned SUPERVISED over 30,000 fasts. Most were people who came to their establishments and fasted there, staying with them at the facility, under the doctor’s direct care (daily checks of blood pressure and other vital signs, and in Dr Scott’s case, blood tests in his own fully accredted lab, documenting the benefits of fasting). In the early days, some fasts were directed over the phone. Each was in operation about 60 years…..so that’s and average of 500 a year. Seems high, but that is what hey both said, and they were not known to lie. Fasts can range from 3 days to 50+ days. Dr Esser supervised a pro Canadian football player who fasted 70 days on distilled water (he lifted 100 lbs over his head on the 40th day….with one hand). He had been feeling short of breath and fatigued. the next year, he returned to the team and the coach couldn’t believe his evergy, running circles arund the other players….living on a little fruit and two (very big) salads a day. My brother, who is your age, fasted 50 days last summer. My roommate fasted 50 days when I did 30.

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Part 2—The Tarahumara Super Athlete’s Diet

Here is another post about these amazingly healthy Indian athletes who live in a remote Mexican canyon.

Tony Ramirez, a horticulturist in the US, who’s been obsessed with Tarahumara foods for decades says that “Anything the Tarahumara eat, you can obtain easily…It’s mostly beans, squash, chilli peppers, wild greens, ground corn and chia.” (Chia is a seed that can absorb more than 12 times its weight in water, and is available online at www.amazon.com)

The Tarahumara’s favorite drink, apart from home-brewed corn beer, is a little concoction whipped up by dissolving chia seeds in water and adding a little sugar and a squirt of lime. As tiny as those seeds are, they’re packed with omega-3s, protein, fibres and antioxidants. And there’s no arguing with its pedigree: On a diet like that, a 55-year-old Tarahumara runner won a 160km race through the Colorado Rockies.

Is it all true? Change your diet, and you can start running ultra-marathons your whole life? There are other benefits according to references in the book about this tribe, Born To Run.

An MIT professor of cancer research says that one in seven cancer deaths is caused by excess body fat. “Change your life style, and you can reduce your risk of cancer by 60-70%,” says Dr. Robert Weinberg. After eating less, we are told to give up all red meat and animal protein (cheese, eggs, milk, etc). Remove cancer tumors, and they are 300% more likely to grow back with a “traditional Western diet” than they are if the patient eats lots of fruit and vegetables. Because stray cells are stimulated by animal protein.

Reminds me of a fellow in the army who never ate vegetables. He pointed to his sharp teeth designed for ripping meat and refused to eat “grass” like a cow. But here is a link to a Weinberg lecture (one hour long) that you can explore. Unfortunately he admits that avoiding meat will help you avoid cancer, but once you have cancer, there is thin evidence that avoiding animal protein will help you get rid of it. Weinberg also points out that since the connection between eating meat and getting cancer has been demonstrated, the Burger Kings of the world have seen no major decline in customers. So most people aren’t changing their eating habits, and the fat in meat definitely adds to the flavor in my opinion.

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What Are Your Attitudes About Overweight People?

I know this site is mainly about athletic achievements and challenges. But without good health and fitness, you can’t perform at top level. If you’re overweight, you may not even function at bottom level. You may not be able to do anything. So I include weight and diet discussions on the site. Especially when two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese! I know someone who can’t stand being around fat people. She thinks they are disgusting to be near, that they are slobs for not caring about their appearance, and that they should just be better disciplined and stop eating so much.

As someone who has never had to lose significant weight to stay fit, it’s hard for me to appreciate the strain and frustration of people who must constantly watch what they eat to stay slim or not-fat. On the other hand, when friends and family brought food for the holiday celebrations, I felt that I shouldn’t be eating the delicious cheeses, salamis, cakes, pies, cream dishes, meats, quiches, etc, and was not comfortable drinking all the wines offered as pathways to relaxedness and joviality. Jeez. There was almost nothing I could eat (without feeling a tad guilty) as everyone told me that I should not be so strict during the holidays). But I ate their offerings anyway…to enjoy the tastes and put my guests at ease. I am now happily back to my normal, healthier diet and routine.

The NY Times columnist of an article about fat people who either can’t lose weight or gain back the weight they lost had an interesting follow up interview today.

Tara Parker-Pope wrote that “Of all the issues I have written about during my past 12 years as a health writer, I think the topic of weight consistently generates the most interest among readers.

“I think most of the time we talk about weight, the focus is on what the individual is eating or not eating. I think the more important discussion is about how biology and heredity influence why people get fat in the first place, the widespread variation in how individuals respond to food and why pretty much EVERY DIET PLAN HAS VIRTUALLY THE SAME FAILURE RATE (my caps). People who have been unsuccessful at permanent weight loss are very hard on themselves, and I think it’s important to tell people that while it’s certainly possible to lose weight, a number of biological factors that have nothing to do with character or willpower can make it extraordinarily difficult.

“I get so tired of people who say, ‘‘It’s simple, just eat less and move more.” It may be technically true, but it’s not simple, and the point is that some people need to eat a lot less and move a lot more than most people just to maintain a normal weight.”

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Your Body May WANT You To Stay Fat

Janice Bridge before losing 165 pounds. Husband Adam lost 110 pounds—2001

Ahh the joys of the holiday season: food, fun, drinking, friends, family…and lots of stuffing and desserts and cookies and Christmas candy. Sometimes I eat three or four different slices of cake and pies at a time—very thin slices, of course. And with all the company in the house and tennis buddies taking off for warm climes or out-of-state relatives, my tennis games—and all that calorie-burning cardio—evaporate. So I gain my usual 3-5 pounds in a week.

But this year I had already put on five pounds to not look too thin and gaunt and old. So when the scale started to approach 180 pounds, up from 170 a few months ago, I freaked out. That’s just over the top for me. As soon as the visitors let up, I stopped eating those desserts and all the carbohydrates. And the pounds are starting to melt away. I am down to 175-176 again. A real relief.

Then I read this long article in the New York Times by Tara Parker-Pope that describes really fat people who might lose weight, but then regain it all back over time. It suggests from a very limited study of just 34 obese people that their bodies just want to be fat, and almost nothing can prevent it. It’s in their genes. So they have a great and rational excuse…if they want to use it.

But a few have been able to keep off the shed pounds…through intense calorie-counting, hours of daily exercise 5-6 days a week, and defying their body’s constant craving for, and focus on, food. Here are some excerpts.

Anyone who has ever dieted knows that lost pounds often return, and most of us assume the reason is a lack of discipline or a failure of willpower.

The Bridges after weight loss—12/2011

For years, the advice to the overweight and obese has been that we simply need to eat less and exercise more. While there is truth to this guidance, it fails to take into account that the human body continues to fight against weight loss long after dieting has stopped. This translates into a sobering reality: once we become fat, most of us, despite our best efforts, will probably stay fat.

The National Weight Control Registry tracks 10,000 people who have lost weight and have kept it off…Anyone who has lost 30 pounds and kept it off for at least a year is eligible to join the study, though the average member has lost 70 pounds and remained at that weight for six years.

Wing says that she agrees that physiological changes probably do occur that make permanent weight loss difficult, but she says the larger problem is environmental, and that people struggle to keep weight off because they are surrounded by food, inundated with food messages and constantly presented with opportunities to eat. “We live in an environment with food cues all the time,” Wing says. “We’ve taught ourselves over the years that one of the ways to reward yourself is with food. It’s hard to change the environment and the behavior.”

There is no consistent pattern to how people in the registry lost weight — some did it on Weight Watchers, others with Jenny Craig, some by cutting carbs on the Atkins diet and a very small number lost weight through surgery. But their eating and exercise habits appear to reflect what researchers find in the lab: to lose weight and keep it off, a person must eat fewer calories and exercise far more than a person who maintains the same weight naturally. Read the rest of this entry »

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Calorie Counters And Pu Pu Platter Eaters

I drove a friend to a dog show and fell in love with the afghans. Elegant dogs that reminded me of fashion models on the runway or in hair ads. You can compare how the hair moves on the afghan and then the women. Just check out a few seconds of the models’ hair moving in the runway video below to see what I am talking about. And then you can watch the hair product ad below it.

thin and thin

Next I noticed how thin the dogs’ heads are underneath all their long hair. I learned that these show dogs are bred that way, because it supposedly looks good, wins prizes, is what the judges want to see in champions.

Then I flashed back to all the models I ever knew or heard about who are supposed to be ultra thin to make the clothes hang just right…how those models watch every calorie they eat, count them, are always hungry, because their livelihoods depend on it.

Karlie Kloss at 19: too thin

I had just bumped into a photo of a 19-year-old model who has been in the biz for eight years. One article said she is too thin now. Another fashion critic was having difficulty adjusting to seeing a formerly cute teenager posing nude. Karlie Kloss says she is “numb to the nudity. It’s just part of the job.” Do you think she is too thin, just right, or overweight (for a model of course)?

I also thought of three affluent, up-scale women I know who all thought they became a little heavy, started counting calories and lost 10-35 pounds. Thin is good. Thin is desirable. Thin is beautiful. To lose weight, they weigh everything they eat, look up how many calories are in each food item. Make sure they don’t consume more than a predetermined number of total calories per day. It takes a tremendous amount of discipline. Especially if you love to eat.

Then my friend and I went for dinner at a Chinese restaurant near the dog show in upstate Massachusetts in a town of 40,000. The people were heavy…fat…obese. Even many of the kids. The contrast with the afghans and models was mindblowing. It was incredibly upsetting. As we sat down, I saw two people just starting to eat a pu pu platter for two. They also had a big bowl of fried rice. Hopefully it was the whole meal, and not just the starter. Did you ever eat a pu pu platter? It might include an egg roll, spare ribs, chicken wings, chicken fingers, beef teriyaki, skewered beef, fried wontons, crab rangoon, fried shrimp, among other items, accompanied with a small hibachi grill. Here is what it looks like for two people. Can you believe this is just the appetizer for many hungry eaters?

pu pu platter for two

So two people eat all of this as a warm up. But then I saw a huge man walk by the table. He was like a walrus. On the way I out, I noticed that he was sitting by himself beginning his own pu pu for two…plus the bowl of fried rice. HOW CAN THESE PEOPLE EAT SO MUCH! No wonder there is an overweight/obesity epidemic.

What I couldn’t figure out is why so many people are ok about being fat, when all the ads and movies show thin models, TV commercials promote fitness and thinness, and it appears clearly that thin—or at least not being fat—is a desired body type in American culture. What am I missing?

I will tell you in another post what one marketing expert told me recently.

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How Djokovic Lost Pounds And Improved His Game

another victory for Novak—Wimbledon 7/2011

a healthier diet for Djokovic

a healthier diet for Djokovic

Novak Djokovic has gone from number three in tennis rankings to number one in a very short time. How did he do this?

He overcame the mental hurdle, he lost weight by removing wine and pizza from his diet, and he tweaked his service motion to result in 69 more aces and 125 fewer double faults than at the same point last season.

This from Tom Perrotta’s article in The Wall Street Journal: How did Novak Djokovic conquer the tennis world?

Maybe the answer is as simple as this: Since last year, he’s swearing off pasta, pizza, beer, French bread, Corn Flakes, pretzels, empanadas, Mallomars and Twizzlers—anything with gluten…

David Levitsky (a professor of nutrition and psychology at Cornell University) said a gluten-free diet might have benefits for those with mild allergies, or even no allergy at all. “The other part of the story is, if you believe in a cause of your disorder, it becomes the cause,” he said. “We see this in many different studies. If you believe it, you change your behavior in the direction of being cured.”

In tennis, something small often leads to a big boost in confidence.

Another article by Dr. Barbara Berkeley reports that Andy Murray has adopted the same no carbohydrate diet:

“Is it possible that, in fact, cutting out carbohydrates made Djokovic into a better athlete? Is it possible that everything we’ve believed about the importance of loading our muscles with tons of starches is untrue? Is it possible that we can play endlessly taxing endurance sports without jamming ourselves full of pasta and potatoes? And is it possible that we might be better off for it?

It seems that world number 4 Andy Murray thought so. He has adopted the Djokovic diet. How much do you want to bet that others follow…

I have held a consistent view on diet and it is a view that I believe holds up when one examines Djokovic’s transformation. Rather than worry about individual dietary elements, we should attempt to eat foods that are most like the ones are bodies understand genetically. Since our genes are thousands of generations old, we need to look at the foods that were prevalent in those times: lean proteins, fats that come from natural sources (and thus have higher omega 3-6 ratios), vegetable and fruit matter, seafood, nuts and other naturally occurring plant foods. Suars and starches (including grain) were not a part of that original diet and are processed poorly or even cause overt harm in those of us who are more “original” genetically. In addition, our body has certain fuel expectations. Large amounts of carbohydrate as fuel seem to me to be inconsistent with what our body was fine-tuned to expect.

In my own practice I treat many tennis players and runners who are significantly overweight despite many hours of intense exercise. When they change their diet to one that is primarily Primarian, they not only lose weight but they become more efficient at their sports.”

The new diet has definitely paid off for Djokovic who said, “I have lost some weight but it’s only helped me because my movement is much sharper now and I feel great physically.”

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Strangers Know That Health Enthusiast Jim Lyons Is Diet Conscious

Plastic surgeon, Jim Lyons, has been working out for years, written a book about diet and health, and exudes health and vigor. That’s why his words below are so impactful:

Dr. Jim Lyons works out and watches his diet

As the author of The Brown Fat Revolution, a Diet and Exercise program to lose weight and the sloppy yellow fat, I must say that I take great pride in what I have personally accomplished by living according to my own principles for the last 20 years. The results of consistent training and healthy eating can be so gradual that the individual who lost the weight and gained lean muscle does not see a dramatic difference in the mirror. As a plastic surgeon , I am well aware of the disconnect between what is real and what people see in their mirrors!

I have found that the way that I look makes people react to me in a very interesting way. There is a clear subliminal message that one projects when they look fit. I know that obese individuals tell unfortunate stories on how their physical appearance defines the way the world treats them.

In my case, strangers come up to me and ask me what I eat or how I train. Commonly, both women and men (none of whom know that I wrote a diet and exercise book) approach me in the gym to ask training questions. More subtle and interesting is the way I am treated in restaurants. When I order a meal that comes with fries, the waiter will always say, “you do not want the fries, right” I recently had occasion to order a bagel at a coffee shop and the server said, “you want the “whole wheat” right?”….or…. “Of course, you do not want to see the dessert menu.”

We live an intensely visual world and appearance definitely affects the way people react to us. This is a fact! Beyond the self-gratification and healthiness of being in control of the way you look, the opportunity to say that you are in control without words is extremely empowering….one of the many benefits of respecting yourself by paying attention to the condition of your body. It’s all good!

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Former “Fatso” Ed Koch Writes Kid’s Book Promoting Healthy Eating

fat Eddie Koch book character

This article by former NY City Mayor Ed Koch is based on his growing up as a chubby kid called “fatso.” Ed describes his early years as painful and resigned, but lost 30 pounds to run for Mayor. Now he has co-written a children’s book about good diet and exercise. It’s all very basic, the kind of suggestions this site believes in completely, and it’s nice to hear the mayor joining in with a message sent out by Michelle Obama’s program and hundreds of well-meaning fitness and fat-loss groups promoting wellness.

I also relate to the caption of one illustration that says: “These pants must have shrunk in the wash,” young Eddie thought. It’s exactly what I said in high school, when my pants were tight. But I never made this funny statement: “I still believe, as I said when I was mayor, that a qualifying Fire Department test for men and women should be, can you carry a 210-pound mayor out of a second-story building?”

“What I hope they walk away with is that it’s possible to avoid being the subject of derision or being an outcast simply by leading a healthy life with a healthy diet. It will cause you enormous pain if you let yourself get obese,” added Mr. Koch, whose childhood photos show him as a bit stocky, if not flat-out fat by today’s standards. “You’re not going to worry about it when you’re young, but if it continues, it can shorten your life. You want to have a family, you don’t want to leave them prematurely, and while it’s very unfair, many people in deciding who they’re going to hire will make a decision which includes weight.”

Eddie Shapes Up tells the story of an overweight young boy who hates recess because he is an easy target in dodge ball, tosses the carrot sticks and apple his mother packed for lunch in favor of a classmate’s potato chips, and declares, “I know I’ll never be thin, so I might as well eat what I like and as much as I like.”

But a friend advises Eddie: “Everybody has a different kind of body. What’s important is being healthy and in good shape.”

“Another tip for kids who want to eat between meals,” Mr. Koch added. “I eat sugar snap peas kept in the fridge. I also eat a lot more fish than I did and rarely, but occasionally as a treat, have a big rib steak. Everything else in moderation.

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Healthy Foods We Should Eat Frequently

Some excerpts from this article by Jonny Bowden, author and nutritionist.

What is the best diet for human beings?…There is no perfect diet for human beings. At least not one that’s based on how much protein, fat or carbohydrates you eat. The only thing various healthy diets from all over the world have in common is that they’re all based on whole foods with minimum processing. Nuts, berries, beans, raw milk, grass-fed meat, wild salmon, eggs, apples, tea, and vegetables, but especially onions/garlic and broccoli/cabbage/brussel sprouts.

Whole, real, unprocessed food is almost always healthy, regardless of how many grams of carbs, protein or fat it contains. And these choice foods are also extremely low in sugar. In fact, the number of modern or ancient societies known for health and longevity that have consumed a diet high in sugar would be … let’s see … zero.

Can’t say I agree with everything he says—I have been avoiding those foods with high cholesterol, like egg yolks and milk. But I’d love to eat less sugar. That is practically a poison that most of us are addicted to from birth, when it is dumped into baby food. But the rest of the list is a regular part of my diet. How about yours?

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When It Comes To Longevity, Genes May Trump Behavior

This long NYTimes article describes the activities of 87-year-old David Murdock, a billionaire who has used his wealth to do major laboratory research on how to live a healthy life and all the way to age 125. He never gets sick, although his hearing is going. Described throughout are what he eats and how he lives. At the end of the article, some doctors claim that it all has to do with your genes, which “trump behavior,” that no one has ever lived to 125, and there are some things, like overeating, that will kill you earlier than your genetic potential.

If this is accurate, that “no documented intervention has been shown to radically extend duration of life—ever,” according to a doctor quoted in the story, then does it make sense to deny yourself all those good foods and subject yourself to all those difficult exercises? That’s a personal choice. I still feel that for however long I am destined to survive by my genetic inheritance, I’d like to live as actively as I can, with high energy and vitality and without self-created illness.

“Murdock’s methods are utterly mainstream, an example of extraordinary discipline rather than frontier science…and a plant-based diet that’s low in animal fat while still allowing for protein sources beyond legumes has emerged as the consensus recommendation of most medical professionals.”

When he developed a rare and unfamiliar sore throat. He went crazy wondering what went wrong…that sore throat wasn’t just an irritant. It was a challenge to the whole gut-centered worldview on which his bid for extreme longevity rests. “I went back in my mind: what am I not eating enough of?” he told me. Definitely not fruits and vegetables: he crams as many as 20 of them, including pulverized banana peels and the ground-up rinds of oranges, into the smoothies he drinks two to three times a day, to keep his body brimming with fiber and vitamins. Probably not protein: he eats plenty of seafood, egg whites, beans and nuts to compensate for his avoidance of dairy, red meat and poultry, which are consigned to a list of forbidden foods that also includes alcohol, sugar and salt.

He is careful to get a little bit of daily sun, which is crucial for proper absorption of vitamin D, but not too much, lest he court skin cancer. He tries to go to bed no later than 11 p.m. and to get more than six hours of sleep every night. Perhaps the only real eyebrow raiser in his regimen is his rejection of any medicine that isn’t truly necessary. When he had that sore throat, he didn’t suck on a lozenge or swallow aspirin. When he has had precancerous growths removed from his face, he has passed on anesthetics.

“I just turned my brain on and said, ‘Cut!’ ” he said. “Of course it hurt. But I controlled that.”

The doctors who work with Murdock say that he has ideal blood pressure, clear arteries, good muscle tone. They point out that he didn’t adopt his healthful ways until his 60s.

The life expectancy for an American man born today is only 75½, and demographic data suggest that an American man who has made it to 87 can expect, on average, another 5¼ years. The longest life span on record is 122½, and that belonged to a woman. Her closest male competitors reached only 115½.

As for beating those statistics? The doctors are skeptical. I still think it’s good to have a lofty goal, even if it is unattainable. Not so bad if he falls short by 10 years. If he only goes for 100, he might make it “just” to 93…

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10 More Foods To Trash

In addition to the five foods mentioned earlier , here are 10 more to eliminate from your kitchen and your diet:

6. Peanut Butter With Additives: With 16 grams of fat per 2 tablespoons why indulge your senses in dangerous partially hydrogenated fats when you can enjoy real nut butters without the added sugars and salt. Explore the raw nut butters for a nutritious treat.

7. Breakfast Cereal: Mostly a waste of time, yet people insist on their morning bowl, so best to buy a whole grain cereal containing little or no sugar and sweeten to taste at the table.

8. Refined White Flour: The refined gluten becomes glue in your intestines causing a huge traffic jam down below. Instead buy whole wheat, spelt, and rice flours or try a packaged gluten free flour mix when making your next batch of pancakes.

9. Velveeta Cheese: Anything is better than this pseudo-food product, and if you must eat cheese than opt for a raw, organic variety that retains the natural enzymes. It is good to note that humans can digest a sheep or goat’s cheese better than pasteurized cow’s cheese.

10. Enriched Pasta: If it is enriched it is also refined flour, meaning more glue for your intestines. With so many delicious whole grain pastas now available have fun trying a rice fettuccine or a spelt angel hair for your next dinner.

11. Coffee: This crop is so highly sprayed with toxic pesticides, plus you drink a cup of Joe at least once a day, that you are much better off spending a bit more and buying a fair-trade organic brand.

[browneggs]

12. Chicken Eggs: Begin by watching the documentary Food Inc., and you’ll understand why buying free-range, organic eggs from a local farmer is so much better for your health and the health of the laying hens.

13. Instant Grains: Actually instant anything should be bagged and put out on the curb for the garbage men to pick up in the morning. Preparing whole grains from scratch is so much easier when you use a rice cooker, a pressure cooker, or a Crock-pot.

14. Frozen Dinners: If you are depending on these processed, nutrition depleted meals to see you through the day then wear blinders when shopping. The time it takes a frozen dinner to bake in a real oven (no microwaves, please), you can create a nutritious meal from scratch. If you are not convinced, read the ingredients list.

15. White Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners: You won’t have to suffer sugar withdrawals when you replace the sweet taste with raw honey, maple syrup, rice syrup, and the herbal sweetener stevia. And if you don’t know how destructive artificial sweeteners can be for your brain read more to be enlightened, then throw what you have in the trash, period.

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Perfect Playgirl Six Pack Abs Foods

Stefan Pinto's abs


Stefan Pinto altered his appearance and his life by exercising in the gym, adopting a new diet, and losing 60 pounds. In a Whole Foods supermarket, a model scout saw him and offered him a new career. Within 2 1/2 years of beginning this changeover, he was a Playgirl centerfold. You can read his story in an earlier post. And he was mentioned recently in The New York Times . Below is the diet he recommends to shed those unwanted pounds.

Playgirl asked me to pose nude in their magazine on Christmas Day, 2006. It was via a text message and it simply said “hey merry xmas pics r gr8 when can you come to LA?”

When I moved to Miami, the last thought in my mind would be becoming a model, let alone a centerfold in Playgirl magazine. Two years earlier, I first stepped into a gym, admittedly out of boredom.

So when Playgirl confirmed that they wanted to photograph me for their magazine, you could just imagine how validated I felt. After all, not only was I once overweight, but I spent most of my time behind a desk, working in a bank and living in New Jersey.

The Playgirl photo shoot was scheduled for February 14th, Valentine’s Day. I had a little less than two months to make a perfect impression. I wasn’t concerned about appearing nude. I wanted to make sure, I had abs. A six-pack that I would be proud of and would live forever in the printed and online archives of Playgirl magazine.

There is no “secret” to getting six pack abs. Six pack abs do not require costly operations nor are they reserved for male models and celebrities. Everyone already has six pack abs (some have ten). Making them visible comes primarily from eating a proper diet.

The saying, “you have to spend money to make money” can be applied to losing weight: “you need to eat to lose weight.” The human body is designed to protect us…When we don’t eat, our body goes into starvation mode, hoarding calories. So when we do eat, we gain weight instead of losing. Adopt the familiar formula of burning more calories than you consume, but make sure that the calories you do consume are a combination of high protein and good carbohydrates (fruits and vegetables). These foods will serve as the caloric fuel for your abs muscle-building exercises.

Six pack abs do not happen overnight. Patience, perseverance and a great deal of effort is required. Abs are 90% diet and 10% exercise (mostly cardio). And to prepare for my Playgirl photo shoot, I diligently followed a strict eating plan: a diet high in fiber, low in sodium and absolutely no dairy (except yogurt).

The following foods are superb for defining your six-pack abs. All of these are personal recommendations. In addition, you should consume the required eight glasses of water a day. If water is not that appealing, try green tea.

At least four servings a day of these fiber rich and good carb foods: broccoli, carrots, spinach and/or Brussels sprouts. I recommend Birds Eye or Whole Foods’ 365 brands. Each bag contains approximately four and a half servings. Steam the entire bag for no more than eight minutes (vegetables should be crunchy). Eat either for lunch or dinner.

Four to six servings of food protein. This can include chicken, tuna, eggs or any other protein-rich real food. Combine with rice and chick peas (additional protein) for a delicious meal. Simply saute in a sauce pan with olive oil, onions and seasoning (I use cilantro and smoked paprika) to taste. Chicken is cooked once the meat is no longer pink. Immediately remove from the heat to avoid over cooking (and destroying the protein—which most mediocre restaurants do, fyi).

Three servings of beans and legumes. Mix it up a bit with canned varieties. Try chick peas, black beans, red beans or lentils.

Substitute your dairy with either hemp milk or almond milk. Avoid conventional brands of yogurt. They contain high amounts of sugar and high fructose corn syrup. I like Fage’s Total yogurt and Chobani’s Greek yogurt. Both low fat varieties.

Drink a whey protein shake twice a day.

If you are pressed for time, traveling frequently or simply hate to cook, you can still get your daily servings of vegetables and nutrients. There are many good vegetable “food” powders available. My absolute favorites are Vega Whole Food Health Optimizer and Garden of Life’s Perfect Food (also available in caplet form). Incidentally, Vega was my food of choice during the Romantic Times Romance Novel Book Cover Model competition in Orlando.

The Men’s Health Abs Diet was my foundation. It served as my guide, helping me to lose abdominal weight and the stubborn body fat around my mid-section. To this day, I still follow the meal plans outlined in that orange book. However, I have discovered that there are several other foods and exercises that are not only as effective as the Men’s Health Abs Diet, but also serve to accommodate the lives of busy people, unused to preparing a home-cooked meal.

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Do It For Yourself! By Rob Hunt

These past two years have tried to suck the life out of me, and they were on the way to achieving it. Between pulling my son out of his freshman year of college; a stock /retirement portfolio that was in a tail spin; and a business that was barely turning a profit, I was not happy. No, make that I was Mad, and not much company for either my wife or family.

Forever one to do things for others, and leave myself with the short end of the deal, I did an about face, and decided it was time to do something I wanted to do. I spotted a new sign in a building close to my office: TRAIN WITH SMITH. Tried to Google it, got nothing, finally drove in and then contacted “Smith” by email as I could tell from looking in the window that it was a small private gym studio. PERFECT: Close to my office in New Milford, CT, Small, Private, and I knew I’d have to really make a commitment versus my past failures of merely joining a gym.

I liked the few quick exchanges we had on email, so I set up an appointment to meet. I will be honest, I was slightly taken aback when I met Corey Smith, and she at first scared the hell out of me–an attractive young woman in classic proportion yet with arms so muscular that they are almost the size of my thighs. Yet there I was, setting up an appointment for her to personally guide me into better shape. Little did I know that what she really would guide me towards was a happier, better way to live.

I was not fat. I was not horribly out of shape. However, I knew that turning 60 was glaring me in the face; that I wanted to try to keep it at bay. After my first two training classes with Corey, I knew I was getting so very much more than what I would ever get in a gym. I know from past experiences that it is way too easy to make excuses to not go to the gym, or to go and believe you’re doing a work out. I now see that with the proper form and regimen, you get so very much more out of a private training session. I go four times a week, one hour each visit.
Corey really doesn’t believe in a lot of machines; they hold you up, instead of using your own body weight. What first appeared like some instruments of torture dangling from an overhead bar now support me while doing lower abdomen curls, pull ups, as well as a web with handles, which I plank off of while doing all types of arm and back work.

I next signed up for her CLEAN class where she teaches you how to eat more intelligently. What struck me the most that first evening at CLEAN was that it takes 4 weeks to break a habit….She was giving us the opportunity to break bad habits and create new ones…And I did. I now eat 6 meals a day and have more energy and stamina that I can ever remember having. Every three hours I’m eating another meal, not a snack, but a full meal, in a reverse triangle proportion.

(This means that breakfast is the largest and most heavy carb meal. Each subsequent meal is a little smaller and with less heavy carbs. Each is a full meal, meaning proteins, carbs and fats. But no, not a snack of just a piece of cheese and an apple. For breakfast I’ve been known to have 2 slices of whole grain bread, 3 turkey meatballs with tomato sauce, 2 eggs and a slice of avocado. My last meal might be 4 or 5 shrimp, a small salad with some feta cheese in it. My 2nd meal of the day (10 am) might be a cup of Quinoa with cranberries and toasted pecans. I now stop eating starchy carbs at my 3rd meal, which is lunch.

She also drilled into us P.P.P.P.P.P… Proper Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance….I do a lot of cooking for the week on Sunday, so it’s all there ready to pick up and cart with me to eat at the office again at 10, 1, and 4.)

While I don’t fixate on the number, I show that I’ve dropped 12 lbs. However knowing that I have gained so very much muscle strength who knows (or cares) what that real number might be. I’ve given up drinking my nightly beloved Cosmopolitans except for one on Cheat Night, and my evenings are now shared with my family with a smile, instead of just being sprawled on a sofa scowling and mad at my plight in these upsetting economic times.
I would never have thought that the mix of eating better, and exercise would have had such a positive mental re- adjustment on me. I’ve dropped weight, gone off meds, and reshaped my body. But more importantly: I’M HAPPY AGAIN.

Check out the studio and read some of Corey’s newsletters at this Facebook link.

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Sweet Drinks Stink, Shout Out Mike Bloomberg & Mike Sorrentino

“Stop drinking sugar-sweetened beverages” is a message being pushed by two famous Mikes. Soda pop is bad for your health, your fitness, and your abs is their combined shout out.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg & Living Liberty

The mayor recently proposed a ban on people who receive food stamps being able to buy soft drinks with lots of calories and no nutrition. He wants to offset the rise in obesity and diabetes. One sixth of the average teenager’s calories come from sodas. Read more here .

Reality TV star of Jersey Shore, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, absolutely forbids coke and other soft drinks in his diet. You can hear him say it in the video.

He is all for fitness and a powerful six-pack. But in addition to going to the gym and working out 5-6 days a week, you have to watch your diet: “no candy, cakes, snacks, salt, sugar, cokes…drink water all the time.”

After you’re ripped, then you have the maintenance stage, when you CAN have a cookie or a coke here and there. Read more about The Situation right here .

Who would have thought these two Mikes had this much in common!

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Vegetables May Be Healthy, But Few Are Eating Them

A new article in the New York Times by Kim Severson reports that in spite of all the emphasis since 1990 via ads and media stories to eat more vegetables instead of junk food, the masses aren’t listening. But it’s really a bit silly, I think, because the test is whether a person eats vegetable THREE TIMES A DAY! What are you supposed to do, eat salad at breakfast? Or chew on an onion between lunch and dinner? Ridiculous.

On the other hand, I often agree that it is too much effort to cut up some vegetables and make a salad. Then put some dressing on it. Lazy, lazy, lazy.

Here are some excerpts.

Only 26 percent of the nation’s adults eat vegetables three or more times a day, it concluded. (And no, that does not include French fries.)

These results fell far short of health objectives set by the federal government a decade ago. The amount of vegetables Americans eat is less than half of what public health officials had hoped. Worse, it has barely budged since 2000…

“There is nothing you can say that will get people to eat more veggies,” said Harry Balzer, the chief industry analyst for the NPD Group, a market research company.

This week, the company released the 25th edition of its annual report, “Eating Patterns in America.” The news there wasn’t good, either. For example, only 23 percent of meals include a vegetable, Mr. Balzer said. (Again, fries don’t count, but lettuce on a hamburger does.) The number of dinners prepared at home that included a salad was 17 percent; in 1994, it was 22 percent.

At restaurants, salads ordered as a main course at either lunch or dinner dropped by half since 1989, to a mere 5 percent, he said.

The nation has long had a complicated relationship with vegetables. People know that vegetables can improve health. But they’re a lot of work. In refrigerators all over the country, produce often dies a slow, limp death because life becomes too busy.

“The moment you have something fresh you have to schedule your life around using it,” Mr. Balzer said.

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How John Isner Trains For Long Tennis Matches

I wrote recently about the dangers of playing sports like tennis in hot weather. Doing it is much more difficult than watching it. I remember during the 2009 Australian Open that announcers were commenting on record temperatures over 100 degrees—it reached 111 one day. I had trouble in Miami, where I grew up, when I visited last year and played in just 87 humid degrees. How do players survive it for hours?

Isner and Roddick—2007

I heard that John Isner trained for this year’s Wimbledon by practicing heavily at Saddlebrook Resort in Florida’s mid-day heat. He spent up to 3 ½ hours a day on strength training and endurance. He also drinks coconut milk. By the way, he is 6’9″ and weighs 250 pounds. You can get some sense of his size in these pictures.

John Isner

So I looked up his specially designed training program and found this story by Joey Johnston of the Tampa Tribune:

… Before Wimbledon began, Craig Boynton, Isner’s coach, told the player he was strong enough to play for 10 hours. It was meant as confidence-building inspiration. But he wasn’t far off the mark.

“We develop programs for a lot of different players – some of them follow the plan and others don’t as well as they should,” said Jason Riley, Saddlebrook’s director of sports performance, who serves as Isner’s strength and conditioning coach, along with Kyle Morgan.

“John is meticulous about it. He implements the plan. He really takes care of his body. Coming out of college, it’s just speculation, but I’m not sure if his body would’ve held up. Physically and mentally, I’m not sure if he could’ve withstood a match like that.”

The essentials:

Diet: Riley is a big proponent of coconut water, which mimics electrolytes. He stresses food that provides sustained energy, such as fish, chicken, brown rice, sweet potatoes, whole wheat pasta and “a ton of vegetables.”

“When you go 70-68 in the fifth set, there’s going to be a lot of inflammation in your body,” Riley said. “The more antioxidants and vegetables you put in there, the better off you’re going to be.”
Does Isner ever stray from his diet, perhaps getting spotted as a fast-food drive-thru?

“I’m sure he does – but not very often,” Riley said with a smile. “You’ve got to know the times you can do those things – and the times you can’t do those things. He’s in a good place with his body now and he doesn’t want to mess that up. That could mean gaining weight or losing weight.”

Strength and conditioning: Isner alternates between the weight room and exercises to aid his movement and agility. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jason Statham’s Workout Routine

After admiring his physique, I bumped into this Men’s Health article about how Jason lost 17 pounds in six weeks and how he grew all his muscles. It’s an eye opener to someone like me who loves sugar and spends 30 minutes doing only abs exercises. Jason’s entire routine takes just 35 minutes. But he does it six days a week, and the pictures show he is doing something very right. I love his comment in the article: If Statham’s workout is your model, you should understand that, at times during our talk, he referred to it as horrible, nauseating, bastard, murder, nightmare, and priceless, preceding each description with the word “f–king.”

Jason's muscles pop in Transporter 3

Statham’s Secrets of Superlean

Actor Jason Statham took on a brutal new training regimen and dropped 17 pounds in 6 weeks. So, what are you waiting for?

“He’s a bit lardy, isn’t he?” Jason Statham says in his gritty British voice, chuckling. He’s referring to the man in two pictures he’s holding, a pair of classic “before” shots, one from the front, one from the back. Indeed, the man in the photos has some extra dough, and not the green kind. There’s muscle there for sure, but no definition at all. Jason Statham isn’t ripping on just anyone: He’s the guy in the photos.

Jason Statham’s weight gain came the same way it does for most of us: a few too many beers and a couple of extra servings, compounded over time. Work out hard and you’ll crave calories as fuel at the same time you loathe the millstone they can form around your middle.

“I never gave a f–k about a calorie,” Statham says. “An apple? It’s good for me. I’d have five. Bananas? Eat the bunch.”

Statham was staying active at work, filming the shoot-’em-up War, in which he has his first fight scenes with a worthy adversary — Jet Li. But the pounds crept onto his torso and hung there like the remembrance of meals past.

Now Jason Statham brushes aside the ugly photos on the coffee table in his living room and gives me a dose of his current reality: He lifts up his shirt. He’s shredded — rumble-strip abs, cords in his chest, veins in his arms.

“That’s 17 pounds in 6 weeks, mate,” he says, and then plops down on his sofa again. “And that’s working out 6 days a week for, at most, about 35 minutes a day. I’ve never, ever gotten results like this before.”

That’s a bold statement from a man who used to be on the British Olympic diving team and lists mixed martial arts (that’s UFC-style fighting) as a hobby. In fact, he sounds like an infomercial. So what’s the secret?

Prepare to sweat. And hurt. And, well, eat. But only enough to stoke your fire, not smother it.

Jason in jail in Death Race


The Workout

If Statham’s workout is your model, you should understand that, at times during our talk, he referred to it as horrible, nauseating, bastard, murder, nightmare, and priceless, preceding each description with the word “f–king.”

What follows are his general guidelines and some sample exercises. For a typical week’s complete workout, go here.

He works out every day but Sunday with Logan Hood, a former Navy SEAL that runs Epoch Training (www.epochtraining.com). Saturdays are reserved for hour long sustained trail runs in the Hollywood Hills while the other 5 days are spent at 87Eleven, a full service action film company and stunt studio located in a converted warehouse near the Los Angeles airport. Hollywood stuntmen own and train at the unique facility. There are trampolines, climbing ropes, heavy bags, barbells, kettlebells, crash pads, and a complex apparatus of pullup bars.

There are only two real rules to the workout.
1. No repeats. “I haven’t had one single day in 6 weeks that has been a repeat,” he says. “Every single day has had a different combination of exercises. Obviously, you repeat exercises over the course of 6 weeks, but you’ll never do that workout you did on Thursday the 23rd of August again. It always changes, and that’s what keeps it so interesting.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin

Here is a challenging article that John Cloud wrote for Time Magazine’s August 9, 2009 edition. (http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1914857,00.html)
A summary of the main thesis is as follows:

“…The conventional wisdom that exercise is essential for shedding pounds is actually fairly new. As recently as the 1960s, doctors routinely advised against rigorous exercise, particularly for older adults who could injure themselves. Today doctors encourage even their oldest patients to exercise, which is sound advice for many reasons: People who regularly exercise are at significantly lower risk for all manner of diseases — those of the heart in particular. They less often develop cancer, diabetes and many other illnesses. But the past few years of obesity research show that the role of exercise in weight loss has been wildly overstated…

“…The basic problem is that while it’s true that exercise burns calories and that you must burn calories to lose weight, exercise has another effect: it can stimulate hunger. That causes us to eat more, which in turn can negate the weight-loss benefits we just accrued. Exercise, in other words, isn’t necessarily helping us lose weight. It may even be making it harder….

“…Yes, it’s entirely possible that those of us who regularly go to the gym would weigh even more if we exercised less. But like many other people, I get hungry after I exercise, so I often eat more on the days I work out than on the days I don’t. Could exercise actually be keeping me from losing weight?…”

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