Categorized as: NUTRITION

The latest study on obesity

There are lots of theories about what’s causing the epidemic of obesity in America. Already, two in three Americans are overweight or obese. If current trends continue, some people believe a majority of Americans will be obese in another decade or so.

A few years ago we teamed up to crunch the data looking for possible policy solutions. We used national studies and government databases to search for ways to combat the epidemic. To do that we needed to look for evidence of what was driving Americans’ weight gain. Was it neighborhood “food deserts” where it was hard to find healthy food? Is healthy food just too expensive? Are Americans exercising too little? Drinking too much sugary soda?

Along the way, we found out that the data don’t support many of the popular theories about what’s causing obesity to increase so dramatically. And we reached one indisputable conclusion: We’re all getting fatter.

Here are a few misconceptions our study disproved.

Myth No.1:
Americans with less education and lower social status are the ones getting obese.
Truth: Americans of all education and income levels are getting fatter. While obesity is more prevalent at lower education levels, Americans at all rungs of the socioeconomic ladder have been gaining weight at about the same rate since the 1980s.

Myth No. 2: Blacks and Hispanics are gaining weight at a faster rate than other racial groups.
Truth: While at any point in time, a higher percentage of blacks and Hispanics may qualify as obese, the trend line for all racial groups is pretty much the same.

Myth No. 3: Obesity is mostly a problem in southern states like Mississippi.
Truth: The populations of all states have been getting fatter at similar rates. Colorado, which has the lowest obesity rate of any state, currently has as many obese residents as Mississippi, the fattest state, had about a decade ago.

Myth No. 4: Americans are exercising less, in part because they are working longer hours and have less free time.
Truth: Leisure time has increased over the past few decades, paid work hours have gone down and self-reported exercise has increased (even though a majority of Americans fall short of physical activity recommendations).

Myth No. 5: Obesity is caused by lack of access to healthy food, primarily fruits, and vegetables. This is because healthy food is too expensive or people live in “food deserts” where stores don’t sell fruits and vegetables.
Truth: Americans have been eating more fruits and vegetables, not less. What they haven’t done is reduce their consumption of unhealthy foods at the same time. All types of food are more affordable and available than ever.

Conclusion: So what do we do? READ MORE

The Purpose For Evidence Based Nutrition

I can’t tell you how many times I would have been left stranded on the highway if it wasn’t for my digital gauge in my car telling me how many miles of gas I had left.

Evidence-based nutrition is no different.

Evidence-based nutrition is no different. It provides a quantitative input for us to gauge it’s effectiveness, whether its performance, body composition, or other biomarkers like HDL/HDL, Cholesterol, and even Testosterone.

When a specific outcome is beneficial to our goals we want to know exactly what we did so we can keep replicating the same conclusion.

An example would be a recommendation to my client to drink 1-cup of coffee (95mg of caffeine) exactly 1 hour prior to training. We replicate this test daily for the next 7 days.

No other variable was changed in her diet, lifestyle, or training habits.

She reports back the following week with 2 new PR’s, better stamina, and overall improved energy in her training.

This is a positive outcome. It was not an accident. I could test causation or correlation by having her go the next 7 days without any caffeine and observe her performance.

We could keep her on this protocol for a month or try an increased dose of 2-cups before training to see if the results were better, worse of the same. If it’s better, we increase the dose. If its the same or worse we reduce the dose to its prior recommendation.

If it’s better, we increase the dose.

If it’s the same or worse we reduce the dose to its prior recommendation.

This is not a conversation about caffeine pre-workout (which I highly support), rather, it’s the idea that data in the shape of food or supplementation should always be quantified.

If something works you want to know why. If it doesn’t you can try something else.

The worse thing you can do for a client is telling them to eat healthy. Healthy is relative. You say fruits are good. Someone else says fruits are bad and have too much sugar. Even if it did have a benefit you wouldn’t be able to explain why. You have no data to back it up. You wouldn’t be able to give professional advice because you haven’t measured anything for your client to adjust or replicate.

In conclusion, whenever recommending any diet protocol be sure to Measure… Measure… Measure. It will get you the results faster and more consistently because you can quantify, troubleshoot, and adjust appropriately.

If you’re serious about getting in the best shape of your life you have to start thinking about the food you put into your mouth. Evidence based nutrition is how you do that.

If you want more informatino about our program visit: http://lookfitchallenge.com/
Where our motto is… “It’s time to look the way you train”

The Secret of Brown Eggs

For years I’ve purchased brown eggs. Specifically, Trader Joe’s Brown Organic Free Range Eggs. I bypassed the cheaper options because it seemed like the healthy thing to do. I had the vague sense the brown color meant they were healthier, more natural, but I couldn’t tell you what any of the claims on the carton actually meant. Then I stumbled across a fact that blew my mind: The color of the eggs has nothing to do with how the chickens are raised.
 
Chickens with white feathers and white earlobes lay white eggs. Dark-feathered chickens with red earlobes lay brown eggs. That’s it. The reason brown eggs cost more is the brownegg-laying chickens eat more than the white-egg-laying chickens, so they’re more expensive to raise. Once I discovered the secret of brown eggs, I wondered what else I didn’t know. What’s the difference between free range and cage-free, and why are pastured eggs so expensive? Read More…
 

 

Post Workout Meal

Time!  Is this where your workout ends? The sweaty, sucking wind, new PR post workout feeling is awesome, but the workout isn’t really over until the next one begins.  In response to exercise the muscle fibers are damaged, tissues are inflamed, and energy stores are depleted.  But as we know, this story doesn’t end so grim.  The body rebuilds itself and comes back even better to fight another day.  Therefore, we are going to do your body a favor, and lend a hand to this recovery process and present some key recovery issues and how to deal with them.  So without further ado, lets visit the most critical recovery  element- Nutrition.

Far too often nutrition takes a back seat, or maybe even put in the trunk, when it should really be driving the rig.  This is especially true post-exercise.  While the nutrition demands might be different depending on the nature of the workout, two main problems exist:

  1. Carbohydrate Stores are depleted
  2. Muscle proteins are broken-down

Without addressing these two problems, recovery is delayed.  This can lead to prolonged soreness and fatigue, decreases in future performance and feelings of lethargy associated with overtraining.  Therefore, use the following to make a solid post-workout nutrition plan, and make it just as important as getting your first muscle-up. Read More…

9 Foods That Aren’t Considered Important But Should Be

We’ve heard all about foods that are bad for us. There are countless articles that list everything that we should avoid. There’s only one problem with this – it assumes that we know every food that is good for us. Yes, we all know to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and avoid those dangerous artificial flavors and sugar from processed foods, but you’d be surprised about the good foods we simply aren’t aware of and some of the tastiest and healthiest foods seem to slip right under our noses. Below we’ve listed nine foods that aren’t considered to be important but actually are.

  1. Sardines

Sardines aren’t considered a particularly tasty food. However, this fish should be a regular inclusion in a person diet. When prepared the right way they can be delicious. Sardines also come packed with Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. These ensure you have a healthy heart and mind.

  1. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is the favored breakfast for most pro athletes. It comes with around 4 grams of soluble fiber in every cup. All this fiber reduces LDL, the bad cholesterol. It is a complex carbohydrate meaning it doesn’t spike blood sugar levels, preventing your body from storing fat easily. This, in turn, helps you burn more fat during a workout, making oatmeal great for anyone looking to lose weight. Oats are also a great source of vitamin B1, a vitamin considered essential for pregnant women.

  1. Watercress

Watercress is a leafy vegetable that is similar to spinach. It is versatile and can be included in everything from a stir-fry to a salad. It is often overlooked for its more famous counterparts. However, this leafy vegetable was found to have a number of benefits. In a recent study involving more than 170,000 people, watercress was found to lower the risk of developing diabetes. Read More…

Stuffed Shells

Ingredients

  • 24 jumbo shells (8 ounces)
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) lite ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) 2% milk shredded low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese (low fat mozzarella)
  • 1 jar pasta sauce

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Boil and cook shells according to package label.
2. Combine ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese.
3. After shells have cooled, stuff 1-2 tablespoons of cheese mixture into each shell.
4. Line a casserole dish with a thin layer of pasta sauce and place stuffed shells into the dish. Cover with remaining pasta sauce.
5. Bake in oven covered for 40 minutes, then uncover and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
6. Serve and devoir.

Macros
Serving size: 3 stuffed shells
Calories 226
Protein 13 grams
Carbs 29 grams
Fiber 2 grams
Fat 6 grams (1)