BBC Program Horizon Covers the Atkin’s Diet

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Here is a five part series from Horizon (produced by the BBC) that analyzes the Atkin’s Diet. Does it work? If it does, why? Is it dangerous to your health?

This show spends too much time showing fat people eating huge bites of meat (do any of us want to watch other people eating?) and too much time playing choir music when Atkins is shown on the screen, but it does a pretty good job of looking at the research that has been done about the diet.

Click through for parts 2-5: (more…)


AYDS Weight Loss Plan

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

The very wonderful Found in Mom’s Basement uncovered these advertisements for AYDS weight loss plan:

Click to see full advertisement

The most heartbreaking thing is how pretty Shirley is in her before photo. She was beautiful before and losing weight didn’t change that.

I remember the commercials on television for AYDS. My mom even tried them. They were little chocolate candies that you were supposed to eat before you ate your meal. They were supposed to curb your appetite. I snuck some from my mom’s box and thought they tasted delicious. My mom never lost weight with them, however.

She is svelte and thin now and has been for almost twenty years. How did she do it? She eats less and exercises regularly. No fad diets and no chocolate-flavored appetite suppressant candies.

Companies have been trying to profit off our desire to be thin for over a century now. The diet pills and potions are just as useless now as they were back then. Don’t give them your money.


Candy Ban In Schools

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Fun Size Candy BarsSchools have been banning candy sales and even expelling students who buy candy from others. Treatment Online thinks that policy tactic is rather short-sighted.

As the US learned during its experiment with prohibition, outright bans on products often times have unintended, negative consequences. Making candy unwelcome on school property does nothing to actually reduce children’s candy intake as it doesn’t address the actual demand for candy. Any student who wants candy will now turn to the black market, or will wait till they get home, or will leave school property, or will just smuggle candy into class on his own. None of these are the desired outcome, but they are the likely outcomes, even as schools go so far as to suspend candy buyers and sellers.

Instead of wasting energy on policing, schools need to focus more of their attention on addressing the issues that leads to unhealthy eating. Health and nutrition classes need to stress the importance of food choice and the biological mechanisms that benefit and lose out when individuals make certain choices. Cafeterias need to offer high-quality, tasty options to keep students’ energy levels high. For their part, teachers and administrators, with the help and support of parents, need to let students know that rules against candy aren’t about creating an adversarial relationship, but about encouraging certain behaviors and discouraging others.

Even those measures might not help, but expelling students from school just because they have candy on their person is idiotic.


Ten Things Zen Habits Learned From His Second Marathon

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Zen Habits Second MarathonIf you have ever considered running a marathon, here is some advice from someone who has done two:

Here is a quick synopsis of his tips:

  • Running experience matters a lot.
  • Pacing is huge.
  • Extra weight also matters a lot.
  • Be relaxed and have fun.
  • Test out your gear beforehand, on a long run.
  • Keep your upper body relaxed.
  • Plan your day before well.
  • Having people to talk to is great.
  • Have a reason to keep going at the end.
  • The long run is your marathon training

Number three: “Extra weight also matters a lot” is probably the most important. When I ran my first 5K, I weighed 198. When I ran my second 5K, I weighed 175. I shaved five minutes off my time from the first race to the second and I think it is mostly due to the fact that I had twenty-three less pounds to drag across the finish line.


Unshelved Reviews Good Calories Bad Calories

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Click to see full comic

Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes at Amazon.comBill and Gene, the writers of Unshelved, reviewed Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes.

Everything you know about nutrition is wrong. The government has been lying to you. The American Medical Association and the American Heart Association have been spouting baseless fictions. Science reporter Gary Taubes spent five years poring through a century of nutritional research, public policy, media coverage and scientific debate. The conclusions are inescapable. Saturated Fat is good for you – you can’t eat too much. Diabetes, obesity, heart disease and hypertension are all caused by carbohydrates. Cholesterol doesn’t hurt you, and fiber doesn’t help.

This is a pretty good synopsis of the book, but I love Bill and Gene’s decision based on the facts.

Here is a video with Gary Taubes himself discussing the research that he found during his studies. It’s a LONG video (1 hour 12 minutes), but it is totally worth it.


Nike+ Sportband Rumors

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Nike+ SportsBand

This German site, Mac Life Online, is reporting that Nike is finally releasing its Nike+ Sportsband, which is a version of Nike+ without the iPod.

There is nothing about this product on Nike’s website, so we are really just going on the word of this one site in Germany. Of course, a year and a half ago, information from Nike was leaked about this product:

It was called Speed+ back then and looked very different than the current picture:

Speed+: The precursor to the Nike+ Sportsband

Since then, the Amp+ has been released, proving the leak to be at least partially correct, so the Nike+ Sportband doesn’t seem like too much of a long shot.

Nike+ SportsBand USB connector Click to see full sizeHere is another photo of the Nike+ Sportsband that shows its USB connector.

I used to dream of a Nike+ product that didn’t depend on my iPod, but now I am so angry at Nike that I don’t care. They have insulted my intelligence, my body and me for the last time. If this is anything like the other Nike products, the Sportsband will be yet another cheap product that will have no support, break within months and be a waste of money. Wait until Apple comes out with their Lifestyle Companion and pass Nike on by.


Five Things You Can Learn from a Toddler from Diet Blog

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Toddlers like hunny (and candy).

Here is an interesting entry from the Diet Blog:

Here is a simplified list of what you can learn from a toddler.

  1. They are in motion all day long.
  2. They stop eating when they are full.
  3. They love to see themselves naked.
  4. They are very flexible!
  5. They get their sleep.

I haven’t had enough experience with toddlers to know if any of this is true. Do toddlers really love to see themselves naked? Do they get enough sleep of their own volition or is it forced upon them by their parents? I’m always wary of simple little five item lists like this. I could just as easily think of five things to avoid:

  1. They hate vegetables.
  2. They can’t focus on one task for longer than five minutes.
  3. They are very picky eaters.
  4. They are obsessed with sugar and candy.
  5. They complain when they have to go to bed.

When it comes to taking eating cues from toddlers, what do you think?


Walking Journals, Logs and Calendars

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Walking logs from Wendy BumgardenerWendy Bumgardner, at About.com, has created a few logs for you to track your walks (or runs). You can download them here:

I find that if I keep track of my exercise, I feel good about myself when I do better by running further or faster. I also enjoy looking over a month and seeing how many times I’ve exercised. It’s a small feeling of pride that makes me want to keep up the good work.

If you have been uninspired to exercise lately, set a goal that you can achieve and then keep track of your progress. Wendy’s walking logs are the perfect way to keep inspired to exercise.


Quote of the Month: April 2008

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Non-descript black cover from FlickrIf you are one of the many people who have bought a Starling Fitness Yearly Journal, then you know that the quote of the month is about beauty. If not, you can see the quote here:

Beauty isn’t something on the outside. It’s your insides that count! You gotta eat green stuff to make sure you’re pretty on the inside.

Takayuki Ikkaku, Arisa Hosaka and Toshihiro Kawabata, Animal Crossing: Wild World, 2005

Do you have a plan to eat the healthy foods that will help you be beautiful on the inside as well as the outside? Adding five servings of vegetables to your diet every day not only will give you the essential vitamins and minerals that you need, they will give you a feeling of fullness. You’ll be less likely to binge on unhealthy foods with a tummy full of healthy veggies.

If you would like to order your own Starling Fitness Yearly Journal, you can do so here:

If you order it now, you can choose the month you want it to start and it will last you a year from that date. You won’t have to throw away any unused days from the first of the year. You can start fresh now.


Richard Simmons Aids School Physical Education

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Richard SimmonsIn an exclusive interview with Richard Simmons, Claus E. von Zastrow finds out about Richard Simmons’ desire to increase physical education in the public schools. You can hear the interview here:

Here is a transcript of the highlights of the interview:

I started to see a big difference in my emails and my letters. So many told us that parents were worried about their kids, that parents didn’t know how to motivate their kids at home to exercise, because a majority of the parents aren’t motivated to exercise. Some of them had no idea what P.E. their kids were taking. And I said, ‘This is a major problem.’ This was a year and a half ago.

Then we made friends with congressman Wong. We flew to Washington, and I was in a suit. I looked like I was going to a bar mitzvah. Wong dropped a bill there and it metamorphosed into the Fit Kids Act, which is instead of saying to the schools, ‘You’ve got to get P.E. back in the schools,’ we’re saying, as a multiple measure we want you to add physical activity there.

Now, in 2008, it’s all about who’s going to win the presidential election. So, right now, they aren’t looking at putting P.E. back into the school systems. That’s why now, my next grouping of press will be done to reach out to the remaining presidential candidates and tell them that they’ve got to start talking about P.E. in our school systems. No one should be walking into the Oval Office unless they have a plan to get our kids healthy and fit.

This has got to be a priority, because here’s the thing. What happens if [the bill] is not authorized before we get the next president. It’s just sits there. Now we’re talking almost a year. Another year of no physical activity for our children. It’s another year of where they’re being taken to the doctors and the healthcare is going through the roof. The whole thing is, to me, shocking.

You take the kids and ask them what they want to do and they are watching High School Musical, they want to dance, they own the music charts. When I go to schools, I teach cardio, strength training and toning and they love it. I play their music, their beat, and they love it. And I know after they finish teaching, that child has had a complete workout and maybe never a workout like that in their lives. The kids are in the school more than they are anyplace else, and that’s where they should get their physical activity.

We used to want to make sure that every kid was well-rounded and now we’re finding that they’re just rounded. When you take away all the other things that make up the personality of a child, you’re taking away their well-roundedness, to be able to have social skills with other kids. And to just play and have a little fun on a day that is filled with pressure.

Coming from one of those kids who did workout with Richard Simmons every day, I think physical activity should be taught in the schools in such a way that it can be done at home. I didn’t learn anything in grade school and junior high physical education that I could use at home. There was so much focus on team sports, which are useless when you are at home alone, that there was no time left over for teaching me how to run races or dance at home. I don’t think physical education in schools is the answer, but I love Richard Simmons so much that I wanted to let his voice be heard here.

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