Archive for September, 2010|Monthly archive page

Increase the Pump

Your muscles are a body of cells that must be adequately trained in order to grow larger.  These cells adapt very quickly to a given stimulus, such as lifting a particular weight, and stop responding to the work after a while.  This leads to the plateau that many people experience.  The plateau is the reason so many people seek personal trainers and other fitness experts to help them reach their goals.  Knowing how to get over this plateau is the fundamental key to achieving a well-conditioned physique. 

We’ve looked at various ways to get over that plateau in the past; most options dealt with changing how you lifted, or the way you lifted.  Doing different exercises, increasing weight, doing supersets, or drop sets, etc. will help keep your muscles growing.  Something else we haven’t discussed is doing a serious squeeze when you reach maximum contraction.  This action helps pump blood into the area, helps you achieve muscle hypertrophy faster, and ensures that your muscles are getting hit with a different a slightly different stimulus.

It isn’t necessary to do this on every rep, but on your last set, really try to squeeze your chest when your hands reach the center during cable flys, or when your arms straighten during a tricep push down, or when you’ve reach the end of your concentration curl.  The added stress will ensure a better pump and better work the muscle.

It’s true, this one technique isn’t going to solve your plateau problems by itself, but when you are fighting for each additional ounce of muscle, every little bit helps.  Adding even a slight bit of muscle to your body will dramatically increase your metabolic rate, and have you burning more calories at rest.  This is the primary reason weight lifting is such a good idea for those people trying to lose serious weight.

Always mix up your workouts, add little things like a squeeze at max contraction, eat healthy consistently, and you will be well on your way to overcoming any plateau you may face.

Are sports drinks part of a healthy teen lifestyle?

Great article today from health.com showing how sport drinks are not as healthy as they make themselves out to be. Thier campaign is just another marketing ploy that misleads consumers. Most sport drinks have as much sugar as soda and they are not necessary for the average athlete. Stay hydrated with water!

Many young people believe that sports drinks are a healthy alternative to soda.

Advertisements for sports drinks have long featured world-class athletes such as Michael Jordan, Mia Hamm, and LeBron James. The message is clear: If you want to “be like Mike,” pick up a Gatorade.

This marketing strategy seems to have worked. According to a new study in Pediatrics, teenagers who are more active in sports and other physical activities are more likely than their less-active peers to quench their thirst with sports drinks, while teens who spend a lot of time watching TV or playing video games tend to drink more soda.

Consuming sports drinks and other non-carbonated sugary beverages (such as fruit punch) was also linked to eating more fruits and vegetables, especially among girls, the study found. By contrast, fruit and vegetable intake tended to fall as soda consumption rose.

The results aren’t surprising, but the researchers say they suggest that candy-colored sports drinks have developed a dubious reputation among young people as a healthy alternative to soda.

“It seems to me that people who want to pursue a healthy lifestyle are somehow being misled to believe that these drinks are somehow good for them,” says the lead author of the study, Nalini Ranjit, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston.

Ranjit and her colleagues analyzed data from a survey of more than 15,000 middle- and high-school students in Texas. A majority of the teens reported consuming sweet drinks: More than 60 percent of boys and 50 percent of girls drank at least one soda, sports drink, or other sugary beverage per day. (The questionnaires used in the study lumped sports drinks together with fruit punch, iced teas, and other non-soda beverages.)

Even one soda can provide a daily dose of sugar bigger than experts recommend. According to 2009 guidelines from the American Heart Association, adult men and women should consume no more than 37 grams and 25 grams of added sugar per day, respectively, while children should limit their intake to 12 grams. One 12-ounce can of regular Coca-Cola has 140 calories and 39 grams of sugar.

Although sports drinks contain carbohydrates and electrolytes such as sodium and potassium that aid hydration, they also pack a lot of sugar. A 20-ounce bottle of Gatorade — the smallest size found in most convenience stores — contains 125 calories and 35 grams of sugar.

Sports drinks “don’t have as much sugar as soda, so they’re not as bad,” says Kelly Brownell, Ph.D., the director of Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. “But the last thing American children need is more sugar.”

Research suggests a strong link between excess sugar intake, weight gain, and obesity, and beverages are the largest source of added sugar in the American diet, says Brownell, who is also a professor of psychology, epidemiology, and public health.

Sports drinks don’t necessarily lead to weight gain, however, and they may be appropriate for some student-athletes and other active young people.

For kids participating in football practice, a soccer game, or other intense activities on a hot, humid day, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) approves small amounts of non-carbonated sports drinks — about five ounces for every 15 to 20 minutes of exercise. In milder weather, kids don’t need sports drinks unless they’re active for more than three hours at a stretch, according to the AAP, which publishes Pediatrics.

According to the American Dietetic Association, it’s OK for older teens and adults to consume sports drinks after moderate to high intensity activity that lasts more than an hour.

Dehydration is a common hazard for young athletes, and studies suggest that the flavor of sports drinks may encourage kids to stay hydrated.

In a series of studies conducted at McMaster University in Canada, researchers found that kids who biked for 90 to 180 minutes drank almost 50 percent more water when it was grape-flavored. If they were offered a sports drink, they drank 90 percent more than if they were offered only water.

Still, Brownell says, many teens who are consuming these drinks aren’t exercising hard enough to need them for hydration.

“People who are engaging in any kind of athletic activity have been led to believe they need these drinks,” he says.

States including Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and California have banned soda from school vending machines and cafeterias in recent years, and public officials are now turning their attention to sports drinks and other sugary beverages. The California legislature, for one, is considering a ban on all sugary sports drinks in schools.

“Legislative efforts have heavily focused on sodas,” says Ranjit. “There are other beverages out there that are also not good for kids that we should be looking at, like energy drinks and frappaccinos. This overemphasis on soda may be letting some other drinks off the hook.”

Advertisements for sports drinks have long featured world-class athletes such as Michael Jordan, Mia Hamm, and LeBron James. The message is clear: If you want to “be like Mike,” pick up a Gatorade.

This marketing strategy seems to have worked. According to a new study in Pediatrics, teenagers who are more active in sports and other physical activities are more likely than their less-active peers to quench their thirst with sports drinks, while teens who spend a lot of time watching TV or playing video games tend to drink more soda.

Consuming sports drinks and other non-carbonated sugary beverages (such as fruit punch) was also linked to eating more fruits and vegetables, especially among girls, the study found. By contrast, fruit and vegetable intake tended to fall as soda consumption rose.

The results aren’t surprising, but the researchers say they suggest that candy-colored sports drinks have developed a dubious reputation among young people as a healthy alternative to soda.

“It seems to me that people who want to pursue a healthy lifestyle are somehow being misled to believe that these drinks are somehow good for them,” says the lead author of the study, Nalini Ranjit, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston.

Ranjit and her colleagues analyzed data from a survey of more than 15,000 middle- and high-school students in Texas. A majority of the teens reported consuming sweet drinks: More than 60 percent of boys and 50 percent of girls drank at least one soda, sports drink, or other sugary beverage per day. (The questionnaires used in the study lumped sports drinks together with fruit punch, iced teas, and other non-soda beverages.)

Even one soda can provide a daily dose of sugar bigger than experts recommend. According to 2009 guidelines from the American Heart Association, adult men and women should consume no more than 37 grams and 25 grams of added sugar per day, respectively, while children should limit their intake to 12 grams. One 12-ounce can of regular Coca-Cola has 140 calories and 39 grams of sugar.

Although sports drinks contain carbohydrates and electrolytes such as sodium and potassium that aid hydration, they also pack a lot of sugar. A 20-ounce bottle of Gatorade — the smallest size found in most convenience stores — contains 125 calories and 35 grams of sugar.

Sports drinks “don’t have as much sugar as soda, so they’re not as bad,” says Kelly Brownell, Ph.D., the director of Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. “But the last thing American children need is more sugar.”

Research suggests a strong link between excess sugar intake, weight gain, and obesity, and beverages are the largest source of added sugar in the American diet, says Brownell, who is also a professor of psychology, epidemiology, and public health.

Sports drinks don’t necessarily lead to weight gain, however, and they may be appropriate for some student-athletes and other active young people.

For kids participating in football practice, a soccer game, or other intense activities on a hot, humid day, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) approves small amounts of non-carbonated sports drinks — about five ounces for every 15 to 20 minutes of exercise. In milder weather, kids don’t need sports drinks unless they’re active for more than three hours at a stretch, according to the AAP, which publishes Pediatrics.

According to the American Dietetic Association, it’s OK for older teens and adults to consume sports drinks after moderate to high intensity activity that lasts more than an hour.

Dehydration is a common hazard for young athletes, and studies suggest that the flavor of sports drinks may encourage kids to stay hydrated.

In a series of studies conducted at McMaster University in Canada, researchers found that kids who biked for 90 to 180 minutes drank almost 50 percent more water when it was grape-flavored. If they were offered a sports drink, they drank 90 percent more than if they were offered only water.

Still, Brownell says, many teens who are consuming these drinks aren’t exercising hard enough to need them for hydration.

“People who are engaging in any kind of athletic activity have been led to believe they need these drinks,” he says.

States including Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and California have banned soda from school vending machines and cafeterias in recent years, and public officials are now turning their attention to sports drinks and other sugary beverages. The California legislature, for one, is considering a ban on all sugary sports drinks in schools.

“Legislative efforts have heavily focused on sodas,” says Ranjit. “There are other beverages out there that are also not good for kids that we should be looking at, like energy drinks and frappaccinos. This overemphasis on soda may be letting some other drinks off the hook.”

The Low Down on Creatine

Creatine, known to scientists as methyl guanidine-acetic acid, is an amino acid which is primarily used by your body for energy.  Every person’s body has something called a creatine pool.  The purpose of taking powder creatine is to increase that creatine pool, thus giving your body a larger source of fuel to perform work, i.e. lift weights. 

Creatine began to pick up steam amongst the athletic community in the early 1990’s.  Since then it has become the number one supplement in all of weight lifting.  Millions of users can attest to the benefits of creatine supplementation.  The primary benefits of creatine are the volumization of muscles, strength gains, and serving as a lactic acid buffer which in turn will allow you to bang out that last rep or two. 

Creatine is naturally formed in our body by the combination of arginine, glycine, and methionine.  We ingest less than five percent of our total creatine pool by the foods we eat.  It would take 18 steaks to add up to 20 grams of creatine added to our creatine pool.  Obviously, this is not one of those natural substances we can consume more of through our diet alone. 

How it Works 

When you ingest creatine, it binds with phosphate in your cells to create a substance called phosphocreatine.  This compound is stored in your muscle tissue just waiting to be called upon as a fuel source.  When a human muscle is called upon to do short, but intense work, such as lifting a heavy weight, the body calls upon the alactic system, or the ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) cycle to generate energy.  ATP is not naturally in abundance in our bodies, so when you run out of ATP you run out of energy or strength to move the weight any further.  This is where creatine steps in. 

The byproduct of the ATP cycle is ADP (Adenosine Diphosphate), which is not beneficial to our body.  What the phosphocreatine does in this scenario, is quickly turn the ADP back into ATP, thus providing you more fuel sources than you would have otherwise had.  In short, the consumption of creatine provides for more phosphocreatine, which provides for more ATP, which allows you to work harder and longer, thus seeing bigger gains.  Simple as that. 

Muscle Volumization 

In addition to allowing you to work harder, creatine naturally attracts water in the body.  What this does is super-saturate muscular cells throughout your body.  The result is larger, firmer, just-got-out-of-the-gym looking muscles.  Many fitness heads refer to this phenomenon as the “chronic pump”.  Larger, harder muscles in just a matter of days of starting your creatine cycle.  What’s not to love? 

Muscular gains of three to five pounds in the first ten days is typical.  Gains of up to ten pounds of muscle isn’t unheard of!  Sure, a lot of this weight will be the result of your muscular cells being super-saturated, however this is still good news to you.  Every additional pound of muscle on your body requires your metabolism to work that much harder, thereby allowing you to burn more calories than you otherwise would have. 

Muscles are 70% water to begin with.  Take away even half that water and you are left with dinky, little, weak muscles.  By ensuring high fluid levels within your muscle tissue, you allow your muscles to stay properly hydrated, which is what they need to make those impressive gains.  The increased size will allow the muscles to “grow into themselves”, thus making gains easier to come by.  Even if all creatine did was increase muscle size due to water retention in the muscle tissue, it still provides a benefit! 

That said, a study out of Texas A&M University found that pigs fed 25 grams of creatine daily for five days had increases of 5 pounds of lean muscle mass, NOT strictly water weight, as opposed to the another set of piggies which got none and saw no increases in muscle mass.  Sausage anyone? 

Acid Flashbacks 

Think back to the last time you were pumping some serious iron in the gym.  When you get to your last couple reps the pain in your muscle starts to become unbearable and you have to put the weight down and rest for a period of time.  This is the result of lactic acid buildup in the muscle.  It goes without saying that if you had the ability to delay the onset of this pain, the significance would be tremendous.  Imagine being able to increase the amount you train by 25% without adding any time to your workout.  By being able to achieve a few extra reps on each set, or a heavier weight, you set yourself up to make bigger gains in less time. 

Other Added Benefits 

At this point, we realize the benefit creatine has to our muscle development, but there are also other benefits it has to our body.  The University of Tokyo conducted a study which looked at creatine ingestion on the brain.  Researchers found that taking eight grams of creatine a day for five straight days help reduce mental fatigue.  In addition, there have been studies suggesting creatine use protects the brain cells against traumatic brain injury, i.e. concussions, brain loss, etc. as a result of a jarring blow to the head.  

Herpes.  Yes, good old herpes.  Similar to that chick you pick up at a party who seems cool, but then she moves in with you, gets crazy, and refuses to leave….ever.  If someone told you how to keep this crazy lady under control, you’d be interested wouldn’t you?  Creatine can help inhibit the herpes virus, both kinds, HSV 1 and 2, from replicating itself in the body.  Studies seem to indicate that cyclocreatine, a compound structurally and functionally similar to creatine, has the ability to deny the herpes virus.  Since creatine and cyclocreatine have shown other similar effects in rodents, scientists speculate that creatine retains the anti-viral potential as well. 

How to Take This Stuff 

Creatine is best ingested by first going through a loading phase.  This allows creatine levels to properly saturate your muscles and provide that with a large creatine pool.  Aim to take 20 grams of creatine per day, spread over about 4 servings per day, for five to seven straight days.  After that, go for one teasooon, about five grams, of creatine a day once a day for 10 weeks.  Some experts say it is best to take the creatine about 2 hours before a workout, while others suggest it is better to take immediately after a workout along with a high GI food.  Personally, I find better results taking the creatine after a workout.  Sometimes I’ll take it with my protein and a banana, or sometimes by itself.  Either way, I find this way to work for me personally.  Everyone is different so experiment a little on your own. 

After 10 weeks, give yourself a solid two weeks off creatine.  When you are ready to start another cycle, follow the same format with the load and maintenance phases. 

The Scare Tactics 

In January 2001, some very outlandish statements were printed across headlines everywhere.  They stated, “creatine, a dietary supplement used by many athletes to increase bulk, could lead to cancer” (Reuters, January 24, 2001).  The French Agency of Medical Security conducted a study for the AFSSA and concluded on the following three points: 

1. Creatine could be involved in the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines, under conditions of high concentrations of sugars and amino acids. 

    – According to the U.S. Council for Responsible Nutrition “These conditions do not apply to oral intake of creatine, and thus allegations of lack of safety for oral creatine cannot be based on this issue.”

 

2. Creatine could be involved in the formation of carcinogenic agents known as heterocyclic amines from creatine during the charbroiling of meat. 

    – The Council of Responsible Nutrition responded by saying “The possibility is supported by a large body of scientific data, but is not relevant to oral creatine supplementation… Allegations of lack of safety for oral creatine cannot be based on this issue.”

 

3. Creatine itself might be a carcinogenic. 

    – This is interesting because the quacks (I mean scientists) cited absolutely zero studies of any kind to substantiate this claim. Nothing, zero, ziltch, zippo. In other words they made it up. If you haven’t caught on yet, THERE IS NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE TO SUGGEST THAT CREATINE IS A CARCINOGENIC.

 

    A leading nutrition council summed it up in the following: “The recent press reports on creatine safety were wrong and misleading. The AFSSA report that prompted this negative publicity does not contain any scientific evidence to support a contention that oral creatine might cause cancer.”
    At the end of the day there is supporting evidence to suggest creatine is safe for normal ingestion.  While there have been no long term studies on creatine, you should feel reasonably safe taking this supplement.  Admittedly though, it is your body, and if you don’t feel comfortable taking something, you don’t have to.  Just keep in mind that the news loves sensational headlines, and a claim of “Creatine = Cancer!” will certainly be sensational enough to nab them some viewers or readers.
    Have any experiences with creatine?  Write us and let us know how it went, our readers would love to have some first hand accounts on the benefits of creatine use!

Dash

Today we are taking a look at a running Workout of the Day.  This one is pertty intense but a great calorie blasting workout to get you on the track to good health.

  • 10x100m with 90 second recoveries
  • 6x400m with 120 second recoveries.  Don’t deviate more than 3 seconds on times.
  • 2x1000m with 120 second recoveries.
  • 1x1800m

Companies Offering Incentives to get Healthy

Many companies today are offering incentives for their employees to get on track with their health and, personally, and I think this is fantastic.  My 9-5 job has a gym where all employees can work out for free.  They even offer fitness classes for all employees.  It makes it so easy for me and other health conscious individuals  to head to the gym on my lunch break or right after work.  I know many other companies have connections with local gyms and provide discounts to their employees. 

Intengris, the state’s largest Oklahoma-owned health system, has discovered that over 1/2 of their employees are challenged with their weight and their food options so they have implemented a plan to get employees on track with their health.  Basically, by completing certain screenings each year, an employee can save up to $520 off their insurance premiums; and up to $1,040 if their spouse participates as well.

Other companies are even offering cash to get healthy.  Another Oklahoma company, Kimray, started offering up to $1,500 per year to employees through their Live Well program. A Kimray employee, Robert Hood, has lost 30 pounds the past year and he got the motivation through his company’s incentive.  According to Hood,  “I needed to lose weight and I’d been talking about it and trying to convince myself to do it but I never had the willpower.”

What do you think of employee’s offering incentives like these?

10 Reasons Your Weight Matters

1. Your health will improve.

 There are literally 101 health benefits of maintaining an optimal weight. This list includes simple things like reduced stress on bones and joints to more serious problems like sleep apnea, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Here are some of the most severe and prevalent life-threatening illnesses correlated with obesity:

  • 80% of type II diabetes is related to obesity
  • 70% of cardiovascular disease is related to obesity
  • 42% of breast and colon cancer is related to obesity
  • 30% of gall bladder surgery is related to obesity

2. Your life expectancy will increase
 We were not designed to carry excess weight. Our bodies do not function at optimal levels when we have added surplus pounds. An Oxford University study analyzed nearly one million people from around the world and found that obesity can trim as much as ten years off your life. This ten-year loss is equal to the effects of lifelong smoking.

3. You will be a better example to your children.
 
According to the center for disease control (CDC), obesity has increased 74% in the last 15 years. Today 27% of all children are obese. For children, obesity suppresses growth hormone, which is responsible for bone growth, organ growth, and muscle growth. This has huge implications on the health of our world’s children. If you make it a priority to get your weight under control by changing your family’s diet and exercising, you will be setting an example for your children to follow.

4. You will have more energy.

Whether you attribute it to an increased metabolic rate that comes from exercise, improved sleep, or the absence of sluggishness, people who effectively control their weight report more energy.

5. You will experience greater self-esteem.

With rare exception, the No.1 thing I sense from people who have lost weight is an increase in their self-esteem. They smile more. They are happier. They are proud of themselves. Looking good physically equals feeling good mentally and emotionally. When we employ the discipline required to get our weight under control, we feel great about ourselves—and rightly so!

6. You will be more confident.

Confidence may start on the inside, but it definitely shows on the outside. Because weight control is difficult, people who experience success in this area show it in the way they walk and talk, as well as in the way they look and interact with people.

7. You will have more personal initiative.

Success breeds success. Accomplishing something big—like getting your weight under control—naturally builds your confidence. When you combine improved self-esteem, self-confidence, and increased energy you will feel like you can tackle anything.

8. You will enjoy an enhanced quality of life.

By most people’s standards, an active lifestyle is more enjoyable than a sedentary lifestyle. Excessive weight often limits us from getting out in the world and doing the things we enjoy. Some of the most exciting weight loss stories I hear people share are the things they are now able to do that they couldn’t do before.

9. You will be held in higher regard.

The negative characteristics commonly associated with being overweight—whether perceived or real—are no longer an obstacle when your weight is under control.
One study done by Yale University quantified the stigma that people attach to overweight and obese individuals. Their research revealed negative stigmatization of obese individuals on the part of managers, teachers, doctors, and nurses as well as friends and family, and even dietary professionals.

10. Your value to the market will increase.

Regardless of whether or not we agree with it, weight discrimination is a reality. Whether two candidates are vying for a new job or promotion or two sales people are competing for the sale, with all other factors equal, the person whose weight is under control will often have the advantage. Furthermore, studies have demonstrated a correlation between obesity and lower earnings for both men and women.

Resolve to Take Control

One of the most powerful emotions that brings about change is resolve. It’s what gives you the determination to change when you have had enough. It’s when deep inside you say with grit and determination, “I’ve had it!” It’s the time when you say, “It’s over; I am going to change this area of my life. I know it won’t be easy, but I AM GOING TO DO IT.”

Are you ready to take control of your weight? Here are seven steps to get you started.

  • Make better food choices. You know the foods you should and shouldn’t be eating.  If you don’t know, make it a point to educate yourself.
  • Drink water. Avoid drinks with chemical additives like sodas as well as drinks that contain high amounts of liquid carbohydrates.
  • Find an exercise you enjoy—even if it’s as simple as walking and do it regularly.
  • Don’t eat between meals. This is prime fat burning time. If you absolutely must snack, keep it healthy.
  • Increase your dietary fiber intake to a minimum of 28 grams a day.
  • Don’t overeat.
  • Avoid desserts.

If you are having difficulty losing weight, tell your healthcare provider. There are tests that can be run to identify the problem.

What kinds of setbacks or limitations (life, health, career, etc.) have you experienced personally or observed of others when it comes to weight? Please share your experience in the comment section below this post.

Let today be the day you make the decision that enough is enough and that you are going to learn what you need to do to get your weight under control.

via

40 Most Common Restaurant Meals Exposed: E-book on the Way!

Great article posted in the Washington Post today, With high-calorie dishes, restaurant chains put obesity on the menu.  Restaurants are going overboard with their menu items that provide more fat, calories and sodium in one meal than you should have an entire day.  Often times they trick you by making a meal you would think is healthy, such as a salad, or a tuna sandwich, one of the worse selections on the menu.  I can’t wait until all restaurants are required to list the nutritional content of their menu.  It is really going to open people’s eyes to what kind of crap they are eating and offering to their families.  

This article lists examples of horrible chain restaurants meals.  I’ve written an E-book that goes one step further than this.  I have selected 40 common restaurant meals from chain restaurants and made them over to make them HEALTHY choices.  Not only are they healthy, but they are cheap to make.  Each recipe that I have included is cheaper to make than it would be to go out to the restaurant.  So you are saving your health and your money, how can you deny that?

E-book will be out any day now so be ready!!

Few examples from the article…

— Quiznos large tuna melt sub sandwich

The numbers: 1,520 calories, 101 grams of fat, 21 grams of saturated fat, 2,020 milligrams sodium.
Equivalent of eating: More than a stick of butter’s worth of fat.

— Chipotle’s chicken burrito, filled with rice, pinto beans, corn salsa, cheese, sour cream and guacamole, accompanied by a side of chips

The numbers: 1,750 calories, 79.5 grams of fat, 23 grams of saturated fat, 2,750 milligrams of sodium.
Equivalent of eating: The calories in more than nine chicken soft tacos at Taco Bell.

— Applebee’s New England fish and chips

 

The numbers: 1,910 calories, 137 grams fat, 24 grams saturated fat, 3,150 milligrams of sodium.
Equivalent of eating: The fat in almost a pound of cheddar cheese.

— Outback Steakhouse’s full rack of baby back ribs served with Aussie fries

The numbers: 1,936 calories, 133 grams of fat, 56 grams of saturated fat, 2,741 milligrams of sodium.
Equivalent of eating: The fat grams in 20 tablespoons of salad dressing.

more

How do I put my 11-year-old on a diet?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Friday, it’s Dr. Melina Jampolis, a physician nutrition specialist.

Question asked by Asked by Lisa

How do I put my 11-year-old daughter on a diet? She is 50 pounds overweight, though she only looks about 20 pounds over. She has a lot of muscle. She plays sports year-round.

She is a picky, picky eater. She has asked to go on a diet, but I don’t think that an 11-year-old should, even though it’s unhealthy to be so overweight. I have told her she will need to give up sweetened drinks, sweet snacks and white bread products.

Any other ideas that will not be too drastic but will show results?

Expert answer

Hi Lisa. I answered your question a couple of months ago but I received some excellent feedback from pediatric endocrinologist Craig Rudlin MD, FAAP, so I wanted to expand on my answer and make a slight correction based on the information that Dr. Rudlin provided.

A 2005 paper from the Pediatric Endocrine Society about childhood obesity suggested a more aggressive approach based on the associated health complications of overweight children, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure and pre-diabetes.

Specifically, for children with a BMI (body mass index– here’s a calculator) of 85-95 percent, rather than focusing on weight maintenance, as I previously stated, the paper recommends “a modified diet with decreased sedentary activities.”

They go on to recommend an even “more aggressive approach toward children and adolescents with BMI at or above the 95th percentile or in less obese children who suffer metabolic, orthopedic, or cardiopulmonary complications and/or psychological distress.”

Dr. Rudlin, who treats overweight and obese children, says the weight loss goal should be about 1 pound per week, and that some older children and teens can safely lose 2 pounds per week.

When I expressed concerns about losing weight while children are still growing, he explained that a nutrient dense, portion-controlled diet, which he advocates rather than avoiding any particular food group, could actually improve growth.

“If they are eating a balanced diet of all five food groups, they are getting all the nutrients, protein, calcium, vitamins they need and the weight loss is from the loss of adipose tissue, which is desirable.”

He also suggested measuring height every three months if this is a concern.

Regarding my suggestion to eat more vegetables, he suggested that I emphasize that parents try to increase their children’s consumption of non-starchy vegetables, especially green vegetables.

If your child refuses to eat vegetables, try to re-introduce foods over the years as taste buds change. It is also critical to be a good role model and consume a variety of vegetables yourself on a regular basis.

In addition to my previous suggestions, which included eating breakfast daily, increasing fiber intake and limiting juice consumption, here are a few more suggestions from the childhood obesity consensus paper that I think would be useful for you to adopt as a family to support your daughter’s weight loss efforts.

1. Eat meals as a family in a fixed place and time.

2. Do not skip meals, especially breakfast.

3. No TV during meals.

4. Use small plates and keep serving dishes away from the table.

5. Avoid unnecessary sweet or fatty foods and soft drinks.

6. Remove televisions from children’s bedrooms; restrict times for TV viewing and video games.

And finally, although you mentioned that your daughter was very active in sports, make sure that she gets at least 60 minutes per day of exercise per the latest exercise guidelines for children.

In case you need the reference, here is the consensus statement regarding childhood obesity.

Water or Coke (Yes, even Diet)

WATER

#1. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.
(Likely applies to half the world population)

#2. In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak
that it is mistaken for hunger.

#3. Even MILD dehydration will slow down one’s metabolism as 3%.

#4. One glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs
for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of
Washington study.

#5. Lack of water, the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.

#6. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of
water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain
for up to 80% of sufferers.

#7. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term
memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on
the computer screen or on a printed page.

#8.. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of
colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast
cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop
bladder cancer. Are you drinking the amount of water
you should drink every day?

COKE

#1. In many states the highway patrol carries
two gallons of Coke in the trunk to remove blood from
the highway after a car accident.

#2. You can put a T-bone steak in a bowl of Coke
and it will be gone in two days.

#3. To clean a toilet: Pour a can of Coca-Cola into the
toilet bowl and let the ‘real thing’ sit for one hour,
then flush clean. The citric acid in Coke removes
stains from vitreous china.

#4. To remove rust spots from chrome car bumpers:
Rub the bumper with a rumpled-up piece of Reynolds
Wrap aluminum foil dipped in Coca-Cola.

#5. To clean corrosion from car battery terminals: Pour
a can of Coca-Cola over the terminals to bubble
away the corrosion.


#6. To loosen a rusted bolt: Apply a cloth soaked in Coca-Cola
to the rusted bolt for several minutes.

#7. To bake a moist ham: Empty a can of Coca-Cola into
the baking pan, wrap the ham in aluminum foil, and bake.
Thirty minutes before ham is finished, remove the foil, allowing the drippings to mix
with the Coke for a scrumptious brown gravy.

#8… To remove grease from clothes: Empty a can of Coke
into the load of greasy clothes, add detergent, and run
through a regular cycle. The Coca-Cola will help loosen
grease stains. It will also clean road haze from your
windshield.

Other Important Facts…

  • The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid.
    It will dissolve a nail in about four days. Phosphoric
    acid also leaches calcium from bones and is a major
    contributor to the rising increase of osteoporosis.
  • To carry Coca-Cola syrup! (the concentrate) the
    commercial trucks must use a hazardous Material place
    cards reserved for highly corrosive materials.
  • The distributors of Coke have been using it to clean
    engines of the trucks for about 20 years!

 

So which is it for you; water or coke?

Tips for a More Effective Cardio Session

1. Find something you enjoy. If you hate the treadmill, don’t force yourself to use it! There are plenty of ways to get your cardio in so find what activities, machines, classes etc. work for you and stick with those. Working out should be fun so don’t make it a chore.
2. Incorporate intervals. Varying the intensity and time of each session keeps your body guessing and doesn’t let it adapt.
3. Listen to music. Make a playlist that will pump you up and keep your energy high.
4. Don’t go to the gym hungry. This may make you cut your workout short or not put all your efforts into it. Have a small snack beforehand to give you some fuel to give your workout your all.
5. Stay hydrated. Your cells require water to function properly so drink plenty of water before, after, and during your workouts so it doesn’t hurt your performance. Avoid sugary sports drinks that will do nothing but hinder your weight loss efforts.
6. Add some friendly competition. Workout with a friend that pushes and motivates you.
7. Exercise with a purpose. Keep your goals in mind while working out. It will help push you to get there.
8. Don’t slack. Remember, no matter what activity you choose, the more effort you put into it, the more benefits you get out. If you aren’t sweating, you aren’t working hard enough. High intensity activity burns more calories during the session and hours AFTER the session.

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