My laptop has finally bitten the dust…
I am writing this on a portable keyboard and my phone. This is proving to be an exercise in patience….
So, this entry is my 2 cents about general fitness.
A recent survey found that most Americans find nutrition and fitness more confusing than completing their taxes, that is quite a statement. Why is that? Probably because there are a million diets that come and go, a billion new supplements every year, conflicting health studies and of course blogs like mine.
The human body is an amazing and complex biochemical mechanical machine and anything I suggest is only opening myself up to scrutiny. I welcome it, actually, as that is how I learned most of what I know.
Speaking from experience
I do like to keep things super simple so here goes. I was able to help hundreds of average folks lose weight and feel better without focusing too much on diets or supplements. They certainly have their place and are pretty darn important, and we can talk about them later…
Here is what we all know for a fact, we don’t exercise much anymore, and because of that the average person can put on 3-5 lbs of fat per year.
Studies done at the Cooper Institute in Dallas revealed that the average adult loses about 1lb of muscle per year as we get past age 25. So by the time we get to 40 we have lost at least 15 lbs of calorie eating tissue.
What does ‘lost’ muscle mean?
Well among other things a lower metabolism with less calories burned in a resting state which would require a lower calorie intake. Who does that? Not me! I like ice cream, I like beer and I like them blended together in creamy perfection…
Solution: Restore healthy muscle mass and increase your metabolism.
Doubt me? Good, it means you are thinking.
Case study, Bob was an 80 y/o male in good health, At least he signed the liability forms saying his doctor cleared him to work out. He was bit over 40% body fat. In the first 2 months of wt training with Bob he gained 2lbs of muscle and saw a decrease of 10% in BF with little to no change in his diet. Over the next couple of months his BF continued to decrease as his wt in muscle increased. At which point we started to address diet to keep him at a health balance. At 80 you want some fat reserve, so I did not really want him under 20%… but I’m no doctor.
HEALTHY DIETS VS. FAD DIETS
A diet that focuses too much on weight loss through caloric reduction is usually just a short cut to muscle loss, since the bathroom scale cannot tell the difference between fat and muscle. You will lose fat… however, you also just changed your metabolism so the second you come off the diet in which you lost muscle, the fat comes back and brings a friend or two.
Diets that work are balanced. Basically you need enough clean protein for muscle mass support/growth and a balance of whole grains and veggies. And don’t forget good fats, without them your brain eats itself. Don’t believe me? Talk to some of the big jerks at the gym who cut fat out of their diet.
BMI is not a measure of fitness it was a tool developed by Adolphe Quetelet in 1830 and it was originally developed for the study of relative poverty levels by country. So while it provides interesting information in terms of the law of large numbers, it is only a high level reference point for fitness. The number that really matters is Body Fat Percentage.
I maintain that everything I say is true, and I will stand by it until a doctor/biologist/nutritionist stumbles on my blog and refutes it in the comments. 🙂