Thursday, October 15, 2009

No Magic Pills...Just an Illusion!

I was recently asked by someone who is wanting to get started on their journey to lose some weight about a "free trial" she received. It was for a bottle of Acai pills that are guaranteed to help you lose weight. The thing is that there is a key word in those ads for all those pills people tend to ignore or only read what they want to read. "Help"...meaning "to give assistance" not do it for you.

And honestly, it is not REALLY the folks putting out these ads and pills fault. The one's that say "help", well, that is all they can do.

When I started my fitness and nutrition journey, I began taking green tea pills. And I really, and honestly can not tell you if they have done me a bit of good. I do know that eating better and getting off my glutius maximum (butt) definitely did the job. I still take these pills, but for the health benefits that green tea and the other ingredients of the pills effect the body. Also, there is something to be said for the "Placebo" effect when it comes to health and fitness, as long as it is doing no harm to you.

There are no "magic pills" that you are going to take daily and your fat percentage and weight is going to evaporate with. You cannot take a couple pills and go to Mcdonalds and have a Big Mac and then it just "be gone" because you took the pills. Your body does not work that way.You may see a difference on the scale, but it is more than likely some water gain and it will come back!!!

I can not stress enough the fact that you have to have both exercise and good nutrition to make a permanent dent in your goal. This is how God made the body. If he did not want us to enjoy being active, then we would look like a jello figure.

The Good News
There are some healthy benifits of many of the ingredients in some of these "magic pills"


Acai Berry can't solve all your weight problems. But it can help you in your quest for a slimmer body. To gain positive results, you must take some effort and reduce your food intake and do more exercises; otherwise Acai Berry won't be of much help.

Harvested in the rainforests of Brazil, acai tastes like a vibrant blend of berries and chocolate. Hidden within its royal purple pigment is the magic that makes it nature's perfect energy fruit. Acai is packed full of antioxidants, amino acids and essential fatty acids. Although açaí may not be available in your local supermarket, you can find it in several health food and gourmet stores (often in juice form). A new product featuring the unsweetened pulp is now also available, and I highly recommend that you choose this form of acai.

A remarkable concentration of antioxidants that help combat premature aging, with 10 times more antioxidants than red grapes and 10 to 30 times the anthocyanins of red wine.
A synergy of monounsaturated (healthy) fats, dietary fiber and phytosterols to help promote cardiovascular and digestive health.

An almost perfect essential amino acid complex in conjunction with valuable trace minerals, vital to proper muscle contraction and regeneration.

The fatty acid content in acai resembles that of olive oil, and is rich in monounsaturated oleic acid. Oleic acid is important for a number of reasons. It helps omega-3 fish oils penetrate the cell membrane; together they help make cell membranes more supple. By keeping the cell membrane supple, all hormones, neurotransmitter and insulin receptors function more efficiently. This is particularly important because high insulin levels create an inflammatory state, and we know, inflammation causes aging.

Green Tea

Green tea is rich in catechin polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is a powerful anti-oxidant: besides inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, it kills cancer cells without harming healthy tissue. It has also been effective in lowering LDL cholesterol levels, and inhibiting the abnormal formation of blood clots. The latter takes on added importance when you consider that thrombosis (the formation of abnormal blood clots) is the leading cause of heart attacks and stroke.

Studies show that green tea helps you lose weight by increasing your body's metabolism. Beta oxidation is the process of burning of fat. Green tea helps to convert the stored fat in to energy. Thermogenesis is the process of increasing the metabolic rate of the body. This helps to burn fats faster.

So you see...there are benefits that science is finding all the time. However, the theory that taking these pills or drinking them in liquid form are going to make your tummy go completely away for science in that theory.

If you have seen "The Biggest Loser" (TV show), do you really think they would put themselves through all that if there was just a "magic pill"? Think about that.

"Proper diet and an effective exercise program will be key to wringing the most out of green tea fat burner."

This comes straight from an ad for a green tea pill.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

October Trivia


1. Which of the following does NOT raise HDL (good) cholesterol?

A)Red wine

2.Which food below contains the most protein?

A)3oz Steak
B)2tbsp Peanut Butter
C)1cup Baked Beans
D)1cup Cottage Cheese

3.True or False: Cholesterol-free crackers are a healthy alternative to baked potato chips

4.If you consumed one less tablespoon of sugar in your coffee each day without changing anything else in your diet, you would lose ________ pounds over a year.

A) 1
B) 5
C) 10
D) 15

5.Consuming low-fat yogurt has been associated with many health benefits. Which of the following is NOT one of them?

A) Protects against weight gain and type 2 diabetes
B) Reduces the risk of high blood pressure
C) Reduces the risk of osteoporosis
D) Aids in the metabolism of food into energy
E) Improves memory and concentration

6.Which of the following foods is HIGHEST in calories?

A.) 1/2 cup granola cereal
B.) 1/2 cup dried fruit
C.) 1/2 cup fried rice
D.) 1/2 cup regular ice cream

7.True or False: Meat, chicken, fish, milk, nuts, tofu, bread, cereal, pasta, and vegetables are all sources of protein.

8.Which of the following activities burns the most calories per 1/2 hour?

A) Vacuuming
B) Watching TV
C) Preparing Dinner
D) Kissing

9.Currently, what percentage of total calories in American diets come from beverages?

A.) 10%
B) 30%
C) 50%

10. What vitamin can only be obtained by sunlight and supplements?

A.) K
B.) E
C.) D


1. B- although Salmon does NOT increase HDL cholesterol levels, it is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids, which help to decrease inflammation in the body and therefore lower the risk of heart disease. Red wine, tofu, exercise, and a healthy body weight have all been shown to increase HDL levels.

2. D- 1cup of Cottage Cheese contains 30grams protein; 3oz of Steak contains 27grams Protein; 2tbsp of Peanut Butter contains 9grams Protein; 1cup of Baked Beans contains 14grams Protein. Meat, poultry, and fish are NOT the only food sources high in protein!

3. False: Just because a food product is cholesterol-free does not mean that it is healthy; it can still be loaded in fat and calories. Food products can only contain cholesterol if they are made with an ingredient of animal origin. However, fat can be present in both animal and plant-based products. Therefore, crackers are not necessarily healthier than baked potato chips. For example, 10 generic cholesterol-free crackers may contain 150 calories and 7.5grams of fat, while 10 baked potato chips may only contain 85 calories and 0.75grams of fat!

4. D- 5 pounds. There are close to 50 calories in one tablespoon of sugar. If one consumed 50 less calories everyday over an entire year (without changing anything else in their intake or physical activity) they would lose 5 pounds

5. E-Improve memory and concentration are not considered benefits of consuming yogurt. However, consuming yogurt has been shown to help protect against weight gain and type 2 diabetes, reduce the risk of high blood pressure, reduce the risk of osteoporosis, and aid in the metabolism of food into energy. These benefits can be attributed to the fact that yogurt is rich in calcium, riboflavin, protein, vitamin D, potassium and vitamin A, just to name a few.

6. dried fruit (260 calories), granola (165 calories), fried rice (135 calories), ice cream (130 calories)

7. True- 1 ounce meat, chicken, fish, nuts, or tofu (7gm protein), 1 cup milk (12gram protein), 1 slice bread (3gm protein),
3/4 cup cereal (3gm protein), 1/2 cup cooked pasta (3gm protien), 1 cup raw vegetables (2gm protein)

8. A-Vacuuming is the most calorie burning activity of the four listed. In a half-hour, a 150pound (70kg) person would burn 85calories vacuuming, 36 calories watching TV, 74calories preparing dinner, and 36 calories kissing. A good idea is to double-task and therefore double your calorie expenditure. If you are going to by lying around on the coach watching TV, you might as well be kissing someone in the process to burn an extra 36 calories!

9. B. Americans currently consume 20-30% of their total calories from beverages. It should be more like 10-15%. If those beverages are sweetened and calories taken in are not burned off, then the body stores them, and your weight increases.

10. C- Vitamin D-Five minutes a day outside of sunlight on your hands and face give you your daily amount of vitamin D needed.
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