“You Lose Weight in the Kitchen, You Gain Health in the Gym”

You can’t eat total crap and then bust your butt exercising to magically erase those calories: It’s not that simple. If you want to make longer lasting, healthier changes, what and how much you eat is far more important than how much you exercise.

Source: “You Lose Weight in the Kitchen, You Gain Health in the Gym”

I could not figure out what I was doing wrong until I started thinking about my eating habits. I confess – they were not they were not up to par.  Only then did I understand that a workout was ~20% of the fitness goal, and the rest was my diet.

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Even More Evidence BMI Isn’t a Good Measure of Health

We already knew BMI isn’t a great measure of whether a person is fat or not, but now a study confirms that it’s not a good measure of health either.

Source: Even More Evidence BMI Isn’t a Good Measure of Health

It’s weird that BMI has stuck around so prominently. It’s a crude, blunt instrument that people think is precise. The only inputs in the equation are height and weight so it’s essentially meaningless.

Why the Calorie is Broken

I’m kind of pissed at the scientific community for not coming up with something better.

Source: Why the calorie is broken

The problem with many weight loss attempts is that people ‘go on diets’ instead of ‘changing their diet’.  You have to change your diet for weight loss to be effective and stick.

More Weight or More Reps: Which Should I Focus On First?

By the time you need to think about adding more weight or the number of reps, you’ve figured out that your body has adapted to what those in fitness circles call your current “training stimulus”—in other words, you’ve made progress! Unfortunately, as you know, the journey to strength isn’t a nonstop flight to funky town.

Source: More Weight or More Reps: Which Should I Focus On First?

Start out with low reps (but also low weights as well) for a month to focus on technique. I have found that sometimes with high reps, fatigue sets in and form breaks down… People tend to brute force the weight up instead. After the initial learning month, I agree that working on higher reps is safer for most people, but there comes a point that weight must be increased for more stimulus and adaptation.

At the end of the day it really is the long-term view that your coach or trainer is providing. Are they managing your total training volume vs. recovery appropriately? A good trainer will have a road map laid out for progress. This is a good question to ask about when vetting a trainer or coach!

How to Enjoy the Holidays Without Messing Up Your Weight Loss

The holiday season is hardly the harbinger of impending health and fitness. Especially considering that, for many, December’s poster boy is a morbidly obese old man that gorges himself on cookies and cake. But despite the abundance of treats and temptations, this doesn’t mean your diet will fall to ruins. Below, we’ll discuss a framework you can use in order to stick to your plan.

Source: How to Enjoy the Holidays Without Messing Up Your Weight Loss

And for those of us on blood thinner, mind that some foods are likely to impact our INR.  I’m looking at you, pecans

Learn the Essentials of Beer and Food Pairing With This Illustrated Guide

Some food and drink just go hand-in-hand: cookies and milk, pasta and wine, and hot dogs and beer, for example. But actually, beer is such a versatile beverage that relegating it to only being paired with hot dogs (and occasionally wings) would be a crime. With a wide range of weights and flavors, beer can complement any food from salads to barbecue- as long as you follow three foundational principles of beer and food pairing.

Source: The Three Foundational Principles of Beer and Food Pairing

Just in time to prep for the upcoming holiday season.

Heart Risk? Marathoners Have Increased Artery Plaque

Who do you think would have more artery clogging in the heart: (A) a group of sedentary, overweight men; or (B) a group of men who are slightly older, much leaner, and have run at least one marathon annually for 25 years?

Source: Heart Risk? Marathoners Have Increased Artery Plaque

The sample size isn’t terribly large, and while the study says they couldn’t pinpoint why the plaque was happening.  But from numerous people I’ve spoken to, there’s a percentage who run marathons/etc but eat poorly.  Those that eat poorly, due so because they are looking to consumer lots of calories, salt, or just “reward” themselves with nutritionally poor food.

Weight Loss Apps No Better at Helping Shed Pounds Than Pamphlets

Relying on a smartphone-based strategy to lose weight may be the wrong call, a new study finds.

After a two-year trial, young adults (aged 18 to 35) who used one of two phone-centered methods to trim their waistlines fared no better at chucking the chub than a control group—who received three handouts on exercise and healthy eating. The findings, reported in the journal Obesity, cast doubt that popular weight loss apps will alone offer significant help in curbing health problems in this vulnerable age group, the authors concluded.

Source: Weight loss apps no better at helping shed pounds than pamphlets

Health and fitness need to come from intrinsic motivation. Not from apps, fitness gadgets… Things that make the logistics of your weight loss easier… They’re an easier way to log and track your activity, but you still have to go out and be active. They’re a space-saving food diary with easy access to reference material – but you still have to put the effort in to make the diary. It takes the tedium out of all the data recording and analysis, which, while annoying, is nothing compared to the roadblock that is a lack of personal motivation.  Extrinsic motivation, no matter what it is, is always short term.

Children Who Take Antibiotics Gain Weight Faster Than Kids Who Don’t

Kids who receive antibiotics throughout the course of their childhoods gain weight significantly faster than those who do not, according to new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research.

The findings, published online Oct. 21 in the International Journal of Obesity, suggest that antibiotics may have a compounding effect throughout childhood on body mass index (BMI), a measure often used to determine whether someone is at a healthy weight.

…Scientists working with penicillin learned early on that its byproducts caused weight gain in animals. This led to the modern industrial farming techniques of including small quantities of antibiotics in daily animal feed to fatten up the animals in an accelerated time frame. So a connection with weight gain does make biological sense, Schwartz says.

Source: Children Who Take Antibiotics Gain Weight Faster Than Kids Who Don’t

Cattle are given monensin sodium under the trade name Rumensin in order to prevent coccidiosis, a condition causing incomplete digestion whose source is a parasitic protozoan in the animal’s digestive tract. Antibiotic treatmment increases the animal’s muscle mass whereas this study is alleging that it simply makes humans fat.  However, rodents raised in a sterile environment and lacking in gut flora need to eat 30% more calories just to remain the same weight as their normal counterparts.

The microbiome composition is known to influence the uptake of nutrients, so it is a good hypothesis that antibiotics are influencing the composition of human gut flora, and in turn, leading to a change in nutrient absorption.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give kids antibiotics, it just means that they should prescribe probiotics for consumption after the treatment is done. If a kid has strep or an ear infection, waiting it out like you would a virus is dangerous. Pro-, and perhaps more importantly, pre-biotics should be taken during treatment.

Why Trying To Be Perfect Actually Hurts Your Weight Loss Efforts

Many health seekers tend to think of food in absolute, black and white terms: This food is good, that one is bad. While striving for perfection can be a virtue, this all-or-nothing mentality creates a harmful relationship with food and can actually be counterproductive.

Source: Why Trying To Be Perfect Actually Hurts Your Weight Loss Efforts

It works for some people, but for most – it’s actually OK to fail on your diet (intentional, incidental or otherwise).  Many of us have to go through an obsessive period of trying to watch every little thing that goes into their mouth before they can truly “move on to the next level”, which is to let go of that obsession with perfection.