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Many of my nutrition seminar attendees and personal training clients in the past have mentioned to me their fear of eating fruits. They fear that fruits would make them fat. “Fruits have fruit sugar,” they say. “And sugar makes me gain weight.” Although this argument sounds logical, it is flawed. This argument neglects the fact that different foods are in different forms and have different energy-density (or calorie density). Energy-density plays a huge role in determining whether a food is likely to make you fat.
For example, a 4 square inch brownie has approximately 225 calories while an apple of equivalent size has approximately 63 calories. Filling up on fruits and/or vegetables is a great strategy to eat more healthfully, lose weight, and still be satiated at every meal. Although eating fruits at the beginning of a meal may be an eccentric way of eating, my question to you is – do you want to conform (for the sake of being “normal” and ordinary), or do you want to lose weight?
Fruits, although containing fruit sugar (fructose), also contains lots of vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and water in their natural form. Although it is scientifically well-established that fruits are good for you, I suspect that science is still not completely explaining how. However, the general principle is this: Foods retaining their natural form (as taught by Dr. Deepak Chopra) are generally better than foods in the processed form. For example, fructose in a whole fruit is good for you. However, fructose in high-fructose-corn-syrup is bad for you.
This however is not to say that everything natural is good. For example, cyanide in its natural form is still bad for you.
Also, fruits are a great source of energy without being fattening. Unlike simple sugars in candies and pastries, fruits in their natural form come with nutrients, fiber, and probably other beneficial contents not yet discovered by science.
The bottom line: eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables is one habit that will get you closer to your “weight-loss” or fitness goals.
Copyright: © 2007. This document is the sole property of Amadeo Constanzo. You may use this article for free on your web site, blog, or other publication if and only if you include this entire copyright notice including the following links and statement. Other free teachings from Amadeo Constanzo can be found at SpirFit.com and SpirFit.org
Shu Chan 陳樹中
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
There's a chicken little in every one of us.
Money and finance guru, Robert Kiyosaki, wrote about how most people are "chicken littles" and how their panic and fear keep them from obtaining wealth. In the same way, chicken littles in fitness have trouble attaining their desired fitness levels. In investment as taught by Kiyosaki, the chicken littles would sell their stocks out of panic and fear when the market is gloomy (when the stock prices are low). These same people would do a lot of buying when the market is up and the mood is positive, and the stock prices are high. They therefore lose money (in buying high and selling low) because their chicken-little emotions play a bigger role in their decision-making than their rational understanding.
In fitness, the chicken littles sabotage their chances of getting a slim figure, because of fear and panic due to subscribing to the common belief of focusing only on weight. They would get off a good program out of unwarranted disappointment, fear, and panic just because they haven't lost weight during the first month of the program but may even have initially gained good weight from increasing lean muscle mass and bone density while losing the lighter fat weight. (When you lose fat but replace them with increasing lean muscle mass and increasing bone density, you may weigh more overall but you are actually making progress. You could tell by your waist size and body fat % measurements and calculation). The chicken littles panic despite an apparent decrease in their waist size. Because they are only focused on weight, they are the majority that always struggle with weight (in the long-term) and never make sustainable progress in their fitness levels.
Many of the chicken littles have a tendency of buying into fad diets and harmful programs that provide them with quick initial weight loss, despite losing the wrong type of weight (such as muscle, water, and bone weight). Eventually, they gain back all the weight and probably more (as their short-term programs have decreased their metabolic rate.) In female cases, they lose bone density. Regardless of these subtle but detrimental effects of fad programs, they are emotionally gratified by the short term weight loss just like how the chicken-little investors felt good about buying high in a bubbled up market.
Although I've mentioned this in a past blog, I want to remind my readers and clients - you shouldn't focus only on weight. That wrong paradigm will throw you off-track. You should focus first on increasing your RMR (such as by increasing lean muscles), secondly your waist size, then your body fat percentage, and lastly your overall weight. It's like what Sharon Stone told a talk show host when asked how she kept her phenomenal figure. She responded, "I never weigh myself but I gauge where I am from the waist-band of my jeans." Sharon Stone got it right. However, I would probably use a waist measure tape to quantify the waist size (and calculate the waist-to-hip ratio).
However, I must say that you do need to track your weight in the long term, but it should be your last focus and I emphasize long term. It's similar to the long-term investment strategies. You will mess yourself up if you are a long-term investor but you let the day-to-day fluctuation of your stocks get to you. Although most long-term investors understand this, most people get it wrong when it comes to fitness. It is so topsy-turvy that they focus first on weight (or only on weight) when they should focus first on waist (and fat percentage). For more about this, go to http://spirfit.blogspot.com/2008/09/do-you-really-want-to-lose-weight.html
Chicken littles are not just a certain group of people. There's a chicken little in every one of us. However, if you are consciously aware of the chicken-little part of you, you can eliminate it or keep it in check. This is crucial for success in personal finance, at your job, in other parts of life, and it's definitely true for fitness.
Copyright: © 2009, 2010. This document is the sole property of Amadeo Constanzo. You may use this article for free on your web site, blog, or other publication if and only if you include this entire copyright notice including the following links and statement. Other free teachings from Amadeo Constanzo can be found at SpirFit.com and SpirFit.org
Shu Chan 陳樹中
Friday, June 4, 2010
The tanned look has been popular among young people at the same time as the increasing incidences of skin cancer. Most experts think that this is no coincidence and that the tanning trend probably contributed to the rise in skin cancer in the last twenty years, especially in women as shown in a study by the National Cancer Institute.
The only safe way to tan is by sunless tanning lotions or sprays containing DHA. Only DHA-containing lotions and sprays are approved by the FDA. These products are considered safe as long as they don’t enter your eyes, nose, ears, mouth, other cavities, and does not come in contact with your lips or any similar surfaces with mucosal membrane.
Beware also of tanning pills as they may be unsafe and are not approved by the FDA.
Unfortunately, some people are willing to die for the tanned look, literally, as they ignore the warnings and continue to use tanning beds. Since looks are more important to some of you than your health, let’s talk about what tanning booths (as well as outdoor tanning) can do to your looks. You’re simply speeding up the aging and wrinkling of your skin. Although you are getting the nice tanned look in the short-term, you will eventually look 10, 20, or even 30 years older than your actual age. (UV rays speed up the wrinkling process by increasing cell proliferation and disturbing connective tissues accelerating the lost of elasticity.)
Here’s the bottom line. If you want to tan, sunless tanning sprays or lotions are the only (safe) way to go. Know also that such products do not protect your skin against the sun. Therefore, you should also use sunscreen (SPF-15 or higher) when you go outside.
For more information:
Disclaimer: Please consult your doctor when considering any health information here.
Copyright: © 2010. This document is the sole property of Amadeo Constanzo. You may use this article for free on your web site, blog, or other publication if and only if you include this entire copyright notice including the following links and statement. Other free teachings from Amadeo Constanzo can be found at SpirFit.com and SpirFit.org
Shu Chan 陳樹中 Terence Chan LIU