Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Nutritional Boobytraps

I'm putting the finishing touches on my book so I am going to be slim on the posts this week.

A couple quick points:

Don't fall for the 100 Calorie snack craze. The goal is still to get you to eat more.

Don't fall for the massive guilt trip that's constantly being laid on us about the way we eat. If you've had some fruits and vegetables today you are doing OK. Keep aiming to get in as many veggies as possible, but don't sweat it too much. I'm starting to think 12 servings is a ridiculously unrealistic goal.


Fasting for Weight Loss

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Summer fruit

Here's a great tip I just read:

Some fruits don't ripen after the've been picked, so buy ripe peaches, necatarines, pineapples, cherries, and berries.

Other fruits continue to ripen after you get them home. These include mangos, papayas, avocados, bananas, apples and pears.


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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Fat Loss Time Machine

I just read an amazing article titled "The Perils of Eating, American Style", that was first published in Time Magazineback in December of 1972.

In this article written almost 35 years ago, the danger of inactivity and the merits of a low-fat diet versus low-sugar diet are argued. Various Doctors call for a sweeping reform of our nutrition programs, and a young doctor Atkins out of Manhattan is pushing his newly coined "Atkins Diet".

High protein diets were the current trend for weight loss,while more conservative doctors were calling for people to use more "sensible systems of weight loss".

Best of all, nutritional labeling was just STARTING to be discussed.

Fast forward 35 years. What has changed? We have nutritional labeling on everything. With one quick search onthe Internet I can tell you exactly how many calories I consumed yesterday and I have a pretty good idea of how much saturated fat was in my steak. Unfortunately, this newfound informational freedom doesn't seem to be helping.

We are still arguing over low-fat versus low-carb, and high protein diets are still all the rage for weight-loss.

And we're bigger than ever before. What gives?

Well for starters, we're even more inactive then before. My favorite quote from the article is when a doctor from Harvard is being interviewed about activity levels and says:

"Look at those advertisements for extension telephones; all those steps you save probably add up to five pounds a year in fat."

Extension telephones? Imagine what he must think of cellphones, TV remote controls and just about everything else we now have to aid in our sedentary lifestyles.

From what I can tell, 35 years later and we are still arguing about what to eat, how to eat and when to eat; but no one is arguing about our ever increasing need for exercise.

Here's the kicker...our exercise is getting worse too. Thirty minutes on the elliptical two to three times a week just isn't going to cut it. Either are arm curls for 25 reps with the pink dumbbells you find at the end of the weight rack.

This sounds harsh but its true. The single most effective tool you have in your arsenal for weight loss that you have complete control over is your workout program.

I find it amusing that in 2007 people are willing to shell out 50 bucks for a weight loss pill that is nothing more than caffeine mixed with some microscopic amounts of ineffective herbs, but don't want to pay for a personal trainer or a properly planned workout program.

Following the right workout can make all the difference in theworld.

It is time to take control. Concentrate on your workouts. Find what works for you, then do more of it more often.

Try a professionally designed program like The 6 MinuteCircuits Workout, Shape Shift or Turbulence Training.

Try walking, biking, taking the stairs, martial arts or pole dancing classes,whatever it takes to find one more thing that you enjoy that will get your heartbeat up and your muscles working.

And when it comes to nutrition, eat less but enjoy the foodyou eat. Eat more fruits and vegetables and more herbs andspices. And most importantly stop stressing over your food.

After all, the idea of trying to find the right foods to eat sowe can lose weight has failed us miserably for the last 35 years.


Fasting for Weight Loss

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Monday, July 23, 2007

I Lost 4 Pounds of Fat in One Day!!

Alright, so I didn't lose any fat today. Nor did I lose any weight. In fact, I'm the exact same weight right now as I was this morning.

The important thing is that I was able to write that statement. Nobody stopped me, flagged me, or challenged me. Despite what many people believe, magazines and websites are NOT reviewed for their accuracy.

There isn't a group of scientists evaluating the latest copy of "Musclemen Monthly" or "Fit Moms International" to make sure that their diet or exercise advice is up to date and factually correct.

This is why I like research. High level clinical research goes through a peer review process before it is allowed to be published. Meaning scientists review each other's work for accuracy before its allowed to be printed.

But here's the kicker. The abstract of a paper (that little 200-300 word summary of the research that is available free on-line at places like pubmed.com) is typically NOT peer reviewed.

This is why it bothers me to no end when I see people use abstracts in magazines and on-line forums to support their outlandish claims.

Unless you are trained to review research, you should not be writing about research. This goes for magazines, forums, blogs.

Allowing information from abstracts that have not been reviewed for accuracy to appear in magazines and websites that are also not reviewed for accuracy, just adds to all of the nutrition confusion that is so prevalent today.

Read everything critically. If its sounds wrong, it probably is.


Fasting for Weight Loss

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Foods for Weight Loss

I just saw an interesting new milk ad. It shows a mom and baby with the term "all figured out" beside the mom.

The message? Drink milk and lose weight, or more correctly, "Milk your diet. Lose weight."

The REAL message? It goes something like this:

"We're OK with the fact that you want to lose weight, but please keep buying our product."

In other words, most major companies are aware of the fact that many of us are trying to lose weight, and this scares them.

Diets mean eating less food. Eating less food means buying less food. Buying less food means less profits for the food companies - and this just is not acceptable.

So the smart option for the food industry is to align their products with weight loss, but the truth is that this message is just plain wrong.

No food causes weight loss - Period. Some foods may have more calories and some have may less, but none can actually make you lose weight.

The bottom line is until science develops a food that contains negative calories we should question the ethics of any company who claims their food can actually cause weight loss


Fasting for Weight Loss

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Dad, can I have a donut?

I was out for my morning coffee today, editing the last chapter of my book, when I heard a young (maybe 5 years old) boy ask his dad if he could have a donut.

When I looked up I was shocked. I realized that the donuts had been moved from behind the counter to in front of the counter, and at about knee height to a standing adult ...or eye level to a five year old child.

When I looked even closer I realized that all of the sprinkled and brightly colored donuts and cookies were on the lower shelves and the more 'boring' flavors like 'old fashioned' donuts, tea biscuits and croissants were higher up.

A perfect example of how much work, effort and research goes into marketing sugar.

Next time you are in a coffee shop, pay close attention to the lay-out. And remember, in this industry nothing happens by coincidence.

Coffee for Mom and 20 grams of fat wrapped in 50 grams of brightly colored raw sugar for little johnny.


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Sunday, July 15, 2007

How Hilary Did It!

I just read a very interesting article about Hilary Duff's diet secrets and how "she almost went too far".

According to this particular magazine, Ms. Duff was hurt by comments about her weight made back when she was 15.

It made her obsessed and drove her into a "hard-core" diet consisting of vegetables and protein only. After a intervention from her older sister, Hilary eased up on her rigorous program.

Now she's Healthy, Happy and Feeling great.

Here's a few things you need to know about this article.

1. Hilary is a 5'2" young lady who just recently turned 19 years old. Keep this in mind when you read the following points.

2. According to the ESTIMATES in this magazine, Hilary's weight fluctuated from 130 pounds when she was 15 to 100 pounds when she was 17 and now 109 pounds at age 19.

3. She supposedly does one hour long pilates sessions 4 times per week. She also does laps in her pool twice a week.

4. According to the ESTIMATES in this magazine Hilary eats about 1100 Calories per day.

What can we learn from these facts?

Ms. Duff is a 19 year old celebrity who is very small in stature. Granted, she takes her body weight very seriously, however we must keep in mind she also has literally dozens of people around her who profit from her marketability and thus support her efforts to maintain a Hollywood body.

Most importantly, all the information in the magazine is either Estimated (her weight was estimated from pictures and her caloric intake was estimated from a sample 1 day menu) or received from second hand sources (the quote about Hilary doing pilates was taken from her supposed pilates instructor). In other words, we really have no clue what Ms. Duff does to stay in shape.

Bottom line - taking diet and exercise advice from the estimates of what a teenaged 5'2" celebrity movie and music star who was a millionaire before most of us were drive, is just plain crazy.

The lives of celebrities are fascinating, but there's no logic in trying to mimic their supposed weight loss regimens.


Eat Stop Eat

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

More on the new book

As I mentioned earlier I've been hard at work finishing off my first nutrition book.

It's just about finished, and let me tell you, this book is going to raise some eyebrows.

Now, I know it's a tired cliche to say that an upcoming book is 'controversial' or 'politically incorrect', but in this case...it's true on both counts.

And not in a 'my book is controversial because I've peppered in some swear words' way, but in a true, 'I've written what I feel is right and I don't care if it goes against what people think is right' way.

I justify it this way - making a radical change to the entire way people eat isn't going to happen if I dance around the issue - I have to go for the knockout. And that's exactly what I did.

People may call me crazy now, but in ten years time, it just might be the new way we look at nutrition

PS- the book is called "Eat Stop Eat"

More updates to come.


Eat Stop Eat

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Friday, July 13, 2007

"Non-Denatured" Protein

Just finished having an interesting conversation about denatured proteins.

Apparently, some supplement companies are marketing their protein powders as "non-denatured", and are implying that their competitors are selling denatured (and therefore useless) protein.

The theory is that our bodies cannot absorb denatured proteins. Unfortunately, this is just wrong.

Our bodies can use denatured proteins. When we fry an egg or grill a steak we are denaturing proteins.

Denatured or not, our bodies can still break proteins down into amino acids and peptides and absorb them.

Don't get fooled when marketing uses fancy words.


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Thursday, July 12, 2007

More on Fast Food...

I received a comment today that went as follows....

" No one ever looks at the breakdown, but many of the smaller hamburgers, no fries, no sugar drink have a halfway decent nutrition profile, and a person with a healthy metabolism should not be afraid of them. "

I agree hamburgers get a bad wrap...what I find odd is that, in my opinion pizza is one of the worst fast foods, yet seems to never get attacked the way hamburgers do.

Cook your own food whenever possible, that's the best advice when it comes to Fast Food.

Brad Pilon

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Fast Food Blunder

I was on the road yesterday in a bit of a rush to get to a meeting, but I felt like getting a quick snack.

When I eat fast food, it's usually a sub of some sort (usually subway) but yesterday I decided to try something different.

I stopped at my local health food store and asked the clerk to show me the "absolute best protein bar". I bought his recommended bar for just a little under 5 dollars and left.

After my first bite I through the bar in the garbage. ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE! It tasted artificial, chemical, with a burning aftertaste I can only describe as the taste I would assume would come from drinking Diesel fuel.

What a waste of time and money...and for what?

Here is the breakdown for the bar:

370 Kcals
13 g Fat
30 g Protein
35 g Carbohydrates
3 g Fiber
12 g Sugar

Now, here is the breakdown for a typical Subway 6 Inch Club Sub

290 Kcals
5 g Fat
25 g Protein
45 g Carbohydrates
4 g Fiber
7 g Sugar

In my eyes there is virtually no difference between these two foods. Next time, I pack my own food, or I get a sub.


PS - The sub was about a dollar less expensive then the protein bar

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Haitus Over!

After an extremely busy last couple of weeks I'm back 'up and running'.

I've got some great news concerning my new book that I will be sharing in the next couple days.


PS- For those of you who are paid to keep track of my Blog don't worry, the book has nothing to do with supplements.

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