I’m often asked, “Is all sugar bad, including the sugar in fruit?” The answer is no – as long as you don’t go overboard.Presently, the strictest guidelines about sugar only refer to “added sugar,” which is sugar that's been added to a product by the manufacturer, like sweetened yogurt, baked goods, and candy, or the sugar you add to your own morning cup of Joe, not the kind added by Mother Nature, like the sugar in fruit. The American Heart Association has stated that we should limit our intake of "added sugar" to no more than 100 calories per day for women, and 150 for men, which amounts to 25 and 37.5 grams respectively. To put that in perspective, 25 grams of sugar equals about 6 level teaspoons of granulated sugar and 37.5 equals about 9 teaspoons. Hitting the target is entirely doable, but doing so would be a big change for many Americans, considering that the average intake of added sugar is currently 22 teaspoons daily, an amount that snowballs into 35 two pound boxes per person each year! Here's the tricky part: right now, Nutrition Facts labels don’t distinguish between added sugars (the type that should be limited) and…
Sometimes clients ask me, “If I only have time for one type of exercise, what should I do?” Truth be told, all three components of fitness – aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility training - are essential for different reasons, but getting your heart rate up is likely the most effective for weight and fat loss. At least that’s the conclusion of newly released research, funded by the National Institutes of Health.In the study, over 230 previously inactive overweight or obese men and women between the ages of 18 and 70 were randomly assigned to one of three eight-month fitness regimes. The first exercised aerobically at about 70-85% of their maximum heart rate for 45 minutes three days a week. The second performed resistance training three days a week, which included three sets of 8-12 repetitions on eight machines, to target major muscle groups. The third performed both workout routines.Scientists…
Remember the phrase, “Your eyes are bigger than your stomach?” Well, new research from scientists at the University of Bristol puts an interesting twist on that saying. In the study, researchers showed volunteers either a small or large portion of soup just before lunch, then altered the quantity of soup the diners actually received, using a pump that secretly refilled or emptied the bowls.Immediately after the meal, the soup slurpers’ self-reported hunger levels paralleled the amounts they had actually consumed, rather than the amounts they were shown. However, two to three hours later, those who had previewed a larger portion reported feeling significantly less hungry. And a full day later, more of the subjects shown the bigger quantity believed that their soup serving was enough to satisfy their hunger.I love this study, because I’ve often seen, for both myself and my clients, that larger portions tend to trigger greater satisfaction. And the good news is, you can fill up without filing out.It’s actually a myth that bigger portions always mean more calories - it just depends on what you’re eating. Within each food group, the portion that corresponds to one serving can vary widely. For example, three cups of popped popcorn,…
As we age we gain wisdom, but each passing birthday also brings a progressive loss of muscle strength, muscle mass, and aerobic capacity. We’ve known for some time that strength training can help preserve, or even rebuild, muscle mass and strength, but now a new study shows that aerobic activities, like walking, swimming or biking, can also help. Canadian scientists recruited over 70 men and women who were either inactive or highly active from three different age groups: 20-39; 40-64; and 65-86. Researchers put each group through a series of tests, and found that compared to the sedentary adults, those who regularly engaged in aerobic exercise performed better on evaluations of grip and muscle strength. The take home message is: just get moving. While this study doesn’t mean strength training isn’t necessary, it does support the old “move it or lose it” principle, and demonstrates that regularly getting your heart…
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