Food is not the enemy

It’s been awhile, I know. Not the best way to grow a blog or a business, but even the best of us can get into funks and I’m far from the best. The past is the past, so let’s move on.

Food is energy and life. It is not the enemy. Sugar is good. Fat is good. Even saturated fat is good. Protein is good. Even protein from red meat is good. Eating meat is good. Not eating meat is conditionally good, but much more complicated and some people simply cannot live healthily on a vegan diet. For the moment I’m not concerned with ethics. I’m not concerned with sustainability. Those issues are beyond the scope of this piece.

Food is not the enemy…You are. You want to behave like a child and eat and drink without thinking about the consequences. You want to consume all the junk foods and dessert foods you want; that your parents wouldn’t let you have before dinner; and you want to eat as much as you want because you’re an adult now and no one can tell you what to do.

Now your fat. You have high blood pressure and diabetes and can’t walk up a flight of stairs without getting out of breath or needing to rest half way up. You’ve crippled yourself. It’s your fault. Not McDonald’s fault. Not Coca Cola’s fault. Not Nabisco or Entenmann’s fault. Yours. Yes the media puts out a lot of confusing messages; this or that food or calorie source is bad or good for you, and the pharmaceutical companies are always looking for a new marketing gimmick that our medical community is ill equipped to understand or combat. Your doctor is not a medical researcher. They are told what medicines to use to treat whatever conditions, and they are even told what conditions they are supposed to treat. That’s how a woman’s monthly cycle; the most natural experience a human female can have; gets turned into a treatable medical condition. It’s why we have viagra. Old man can’t get an erection? Is it possible he’s actually just to damn old? This is fundamental biology. So’s eating and drinking. Fundamental. Biology.

Eat too much and you gain weight. Lift heavy weights and eat too much and you gain muscle weight. Eat too much and sit on the couch you gain fat weight. Eat too much and run 10-15 miles/day every day and…well…you can’t really eat too much if you’re running 10-15 miles a day every day. 

As far as weight management is concerned, a calorie is a calorie. Forget the media. Forget what passes as common knowledge. A calorie is a calorie and if you eat too many of them you will gain weight. If you eat too few you will lose weight. Eat way too few and you will also lose a lot of energy which can have a negative effect on your ability to exercise effectively. Exercise less, or less effectively, and the amount of calories you can eat without gaining unwanted weight goes down. 

Sugar is not bad. Consuming sugary snacks and drinks sitting on the couch for 4 hours is terrible. Fat, any fat, is not bad. Consuming lots of fatty foods; regardless of whether they are saturated or unsaturated or whatever other terms the media and medical establishment applies to them (linoleic, oleic blah blah) while sitting on the couch for 4 hours is bad. Animal based proteins are not bad. As a matter of fact, they are superior. But just eating lots of protein while sitting on the couch for 4 hours is terrible.

Sitting on the couch for 4 hours is not bad. Watch a good movie, cuddling with a loved one, spouse, lover, dog or cat, is wonderful and de-stressing. Just don’t shovel calories into your mouth like a black hole devouring a solar system.

Use your common sense. Accept the consequences of your own decisions. Wake the fuck up and pay attention to yourself. If you catch yourself  in the middle of an unconscious eating and drinking frenzy, stop it. The more you practice stopping, the better you’ll get at stoping until you never unconsciously start. 

This actually works in all aspects of life, not just with food and exercise. No ones perfect. And anyone who knows me personally knows I suck at it in almost every way. Except with food and exercise. And if you see me, you know it works.

Good luck.

Advertisements

NYTimes: A Call for a Low-Carb Diet

While this is far from the final word on the subject of nutrition, it is an important one. We continue to fixate on finding a magic bullet cure all, instead of looking at nutrition in relation to lifestyle.

Science is constantly re-examining its own conclusions. That doesn’t mean individual scientists or practitioners don’t become wedded to preconceived ideas or conclusions based on the best evidence at the time, but other scientists and researchers will challenge and sometimes upend the most fervently held beliefs. That’s science. The low fat dogma needs to die, the low carb dogma needs to die, too. What we need is long term examinations of different diets based on lifestyle. Real athletic coaches and competent experienced trainers already have a pretty good understanding of some of this, even without the controlled studies. Put a competitive marathon runner on a low carb diet and we can predict the disaster awaiting their performance. Put a power lifter on a low protein diet and we can predict that failure too. Most people are neither. Most people are sedentary for 20 out of 24 hours every day, if you do the math. What’s best for them? Anything that keeps their weight low, since according to the Harvard School of Public Health, the single biggest risk factor for cardiovascular disease is not cholesterol or even arterial plaque, but simply being overweight. Being too fat is the single biggest risk factor, so instead if putting the cart before the horse, let’s tackle that problem up front. And then, let’s discuss why shopping for healthy food is so expensive.

Enjoy the article. Please read related posts on cholesterol and fat, and a good Wikipedia entry on ketosis here

.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/02/health/low-carb-vs-low-fat-diet.html?smid=nytcore-iphone-share&smprod=nytcore-iphone

In a finding that upends long-held notions about a healthy diet, a major study shows that avoiding carbohydrates and eating more fat contributes to weight loss and fewer cardiovascular risks.

“We have art in order not to die from the truth.
—NIETZSCHE”

NYTimes: Herbal Supplements Are Often Not What They Seem

Nutritional supplements can be a tremendous aid for a variety of people seeking better health, weight loss, muscle gains, and performance enhancement during athletic activities. But the reality is disconcerting. I can fill a gel cap full of powdered ragweed and call it purified echinacea and you’d have no way to know. There is no regulations. There is no “governing body” ensuring quality control, and your congress stripped the FDA of the power to regulate even the validity of the ingredients decades ago.

Read. And be careful.

http://nyti.ms/1bQ9QbC

A study using DNA testing offers perhaps the most credible evidence to date of adulteration, contamination and mislabeling in the herbal supplement industry.

“ Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see. ” – Arthur Schopenhauer

NYTimes: In Struggle With Weight, Taft Used a Modern Diet

Such a compellingly modern story from the American past.

http://nyti.ms/1gfKJFX

William Howard Taft, the United States’ heaviest president, used a weight-loss program that researchers have found to be startlingly contemporary.

“ Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see. ” – Arthur Schopenhauer

Skim Milk Is Healthier Than Whole Milk, Right? Maybe Not | TIME.com

There is so much misinformation and mythology passed along as true simply because it’s been repeated by so many for so long. But nobody checks the sources, and when someone finally does check it’s always the same result: conventional wisdom leads to moronic decisions.

http://healthland.time.com/2013/07/03/skim-milk-is-healthier-than-whole-milk-right-maybe-not/

“ Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see. ” – Arthur Schopenhauer

Nutrition is critical

Whether you want to lose weight, build muscle, or improve athletic performance what and how much you eat is of critical importance.

If you’re interested in building muscle you have to over eat tremendously. You also have to lift tremendously heavy weights (relative to your personal ability). If you eat a lot, but don’t lift a lot, you will not build muscle. You will get fat instead. It’s the exercise, or lack of it that determines how your body uses the excess calories.

If you’re interested in athletic performance you have to eat a lot more than normal to be able to fuel that performance (marathon runners carbo load before race days).

If you’re trying to lose weight you must eat less than you burn off .

Here’s a great article by a great coach who’s workshops I attend every chance I get:
http://nicktumminello.com/2013/09/personal-trainer-myths-nutrition-isnt

Interval Training: More evidence that working out harder in shorter time periods is better for you than working out for longer time periods

The interesting NYT article below, about recent studies on the efficacy of intense interval training for weight loss and weight management, is well written. It clearly states that this study is preliminary, used a small sample of young males only, and so no long term conclusions for the general population should be assumed.

It also pointed out that these intense intervals (which many people erroneously conclude last 4 minutes or 7 minutes only) actually last 30 minutes alternating between short bursts of 100% intensity with longer intervals of low intensity activity in-between.

These conclusions are not new or earth shaking. Any track and field athlete or coach engaged in sprinting events could have told you most of what this study says. Read on.

http://nyti.ms/1ap1ZlW

NYTimes: How Exercise Can Help Us Eat Less

Strenuous exercise seems to dull the urge to eat afterward better than gentler workouts, several new studies show, adding to a growing body of science suggesting that intense exercise may have unique benefits.

Training Gimmicks and Training that Works

Training Gimmicks and Training that Works

Exercise should be fun is a common sentiment I hear all the time from clients, prospective clients, health club members, and trainers trying to build their client base, but should it be fun?

That depends on what you consider fun, I suppose. Some people love grueling hard work and find enormous physical efforts bordering on the impossible to be fun. Most people don’t.

The argument is often made that any activity that gets a person doing more than they normally would have, must also be beneficial; hence *exercise classes like Zumba and SoulCycle*

[Wendy Learns to SoulCycle – YouTube](

“Wendy Learns to SoulCycle – YouTube”)

that are only marginally more intense than a fast paced walk are promoted as fun alternatives to the harder workouts associated with traditional weight lifting, Spinning, running, etc.

On the other end of the exercise spectrum you have the *extreme intensity activities like CrossFit [What is CrossFit? – YouTube](

“What is CrossFit? – YouTube”)

[The Problem(s) With Crossfit – Gawker](http://gawker.com/5928989/the-problems-with-crossfit “The Problem(s) With Crossfit – Gawker”)

and all its derivatives*. These encourage you to workout at extreme intensities with no real specific goal in mind beyond getting better at doing those specific workouts, unpredictable body shaping results (maybe you’ll bulk up or maybe get skinny), no transferable improvements for sports or other athletic activities, and an extremely high risk of injuries.

Michael Boyle is one of the most highly respected strength and Conditioning coaches in the world of NCAA collegiate athletics and professional sports, with dozens of published books to his credit. This is what he has to say about CrossFit.

Members and inexperienced trainers often fail to understand that the chronically out of shape civilian has no concept of what exercise intensity means. They actually believe that coming to the gym 2 hours a week is a lot of work. They believe pushing 50 lb. on a leg press is tremendous, even though they might weigh 180 lbs themselves. It’s not their fault. They have no reference points at all. Also, they’re really not that interested in whatever goals they might tell you and themselves, they have. Anyone who really cared about fitness and athletics would likely have been engaging in fitness and athletic activities most of their lives to begin with. And then there is belief. Most of our clients don’t really believe they can get in shape. They don’t really have goals. They have fantasies that deep down they believe are impossible to achieve, and so undermine their own efforts every chance they get by consuming junk food or too much food or exercising without consistency or jumping from fad diet to fad workout to discouragement and abandonment of any effort.

Many believe it is just strictly the luck of good genetics or bad, and there is some truth in that. But good genetics that get you by when your 20 will fail you when you’re in your 30’s unless you take action. The sooner you start the better, but it’s never too late.

Photo 1

Photo 1

First, I’d like to thank Monica for the kind praise, as it was all her hard work and willingness to follow my slightly sadistic advice to the letter.

Monica isn’t an actress or professional model. She’s a “real” woman with a real job and has a real commitment to her workouts and getting the results that she wants. She doesn’t live in the gym 4 hours a day, and she knows that when it’s time to work out you work out damn hard and real smart (or hire a real smart trainer like me) and then you go home. I won’t be specific about her age, but she wasn’t a child when we started, and 10 years later she looks better than she ever did. Period.

Forget the trends. This isn’t rocket science. I’ve been at this for 29 years and the fundamentals haven’t changed. Do what I say you need to do in order to achieve your goals (or whatever shorter term measures I deem more appropriate for each individual) and you will.

Train smart. Train hard. Don’t be a mark for every con game that comes around.

See you in the gym.

 

Reuters.com – For ‘Biggest Loser’ trainer, diet trumps exercise in weight loss

Yes to the paramount importance of diet (proper nutrition). Must disagree with his adherence to CrossFit training methods (anyone so out of shape as to need to lose significant weight almost certainly lacks the skills to do such a workout safely under any circumstance, regardless of “proper supervision”.

A good piece, overall, though.

AP Mobile: Naturally Grown: An alternative label to organic

A story from AP Mobile:

Naturally Grown: An alternative label to organic

thumbnailSCHAGHTICOKE, N.Y. (AP) – Justine and Brian Denison say they adhere to all the growing practices required for organic certification, yet if they label their beans and tomatoes “organic” at the farmer’s market, they could face federal charges and $20,000 or more in fines.

Because the Denisons chose not to seek organic certification by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Denison Farm, which has…

Read Full Story

app icon

Download the free AP Mobile for iPhone and iPad from the App Store today! or visit getapmobile.com for support on Android, Blackberry, WP7 and other devices.