Thursday, January 10, 2013

Miracle Diets from the land of Oz

Not related but read this. Quackery!
  It is time for the diet season to get into full steam. Everybody is making New Years Resolutions and they are trying to kick that pesky holiday weight. Some people are using the "Paleo Diet" of eating only foods that would have been available during our species' formative years; no grain, legumes, or refined sugar. Mostly meat and veggies. Some people are still on the "Zone" or Adkins diets of a few years ago. Some madmen are still doing low fat! Goodness sake. All have merit and all require eating less and moving more. None are a magic bullet, though.

This year the trend is to follow the new health guru, Mehmet Oz, MD. After all, he is Oprah's guy and she is always right. Most of his diet advice is ok. He says eat less simple sugars, syrups (which are usually sugar anyway), Enriched Flours (should say non-whole grain as enriching is putting vitamins in, but, whatever), Saturated Fats (which in very small amounts is necessary for hormones and such) and Trans Fats. Aside from my nit picking this is generally good advice. Basically, limit fats and simple sugars. How could we argue with that. At least he is not saying No Carbs or No Fat, like a simple minded asshole. He also has some common sense guidelines:
  • Cut 100 calories. Skip a soda, a 100-calorie snack, or two cookies.
  • Make it automatic. Eat the same meals to cut guesswork and curb temptations.
  • Control portion sizes. Use smaller plates.
  • Don’t eat after 8:30 p.m.
  • Find a weight loss buddy to whom you can turn for support.
  • Learn to cheat responsibly. Make foods flavorful with spices. Or distract yourself until the craving passes.
  • Check in with your doctor.
  • Walk 10,000 steps per day.
  • Monitor your waistline and weight.
  • Keep it up during the second week. And make the basics of healthy eating and activity part of your lifestyle for good.
All fine and dandy. But why leave well enough alone? Dr. Oz goes on to recommend a magic bullet supplement which has been studied for years and has been widely discredited. Hydroxycitric acid. The stuff that gave "Hydroxycut", the diet supplement, its name. It showed promise as a "fat burner" 15 years or more ago but the science has turned up empty. Oz recomends "Garcinia cambogia" which is found in weird sounding fruits like mangosteen and is just another name for hydroxycitric acid.  He promotes "Garcinia cambogia" as new and avoids mentioning that is is the same debunked crap bodybuilders sold a decade ago.

In case anybody is wondering about which supplements have shown a benefit in fat loss: Stimulants. Yep. Uppers. Caffine, Ephedrine, Meth, Cocaine, amphetamines, and the like. They force your body to burn more calories. They make you hyper, and hot, and jittery. That burns calories. It is also not too good for you. What else?
Excess fiber, of course it makes you fart and shit a lot.
Fat blockers, which make you shit liquid. Yay!
Diuretics, which make you lose water weight and feel like crap.
Multivitamins, which do virtually nothing for fat loss except give you all the nutrients you lost with the diuretics and fat blockers.
That is about it. 

What should people do? Follow any of the diets out there, most have some merit. The best diet is the one you will stick to, after all. Can't give up fat? Go for an Adkins or Paleo diet. Can't give up sugar? Go for a low fat diet. Follow Dr. Oz's actual diet plan. But whatever you do, remember that the first week you can lose up to five pounds but not much more. After the first week you should not lose more than two pounds a week. It is dangerous and any diet, supplement or quack which says you should be able to under their product is lying to you. They are taking advantage of you.

This diet season (and I think it is one), I ask you to be reasonable, my friends. Be reasonable and skeptical. You are not going to get great results without putting in the work. For some people it is a lot of work. But gaining a pound requires 3500 or so extra calories, so that took a bit of work too. Great results come from cutting calories by 100 and adding 40 minutes of exercise, three times a week. I recommend 20 minutes of weights and 20 minutes of cardio. But the best exercise regime is the one you will stick with.

-Josh






2 comments:

  1. Garcinia cambogia suppresses appetite and blocks fat. I have been using it for 5 months now and it really works. It helps me exercise and I have lost 10 pounds.

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  2. Fat is the one of the worst condition of the body in this, we hardly moves as well as we become lazy, actually fat which is in the body needs energy to maintain so what ever the energy is liberated through food goner in maintaining the stored fat and that why other part didn't get energy to perform and we feel lazy, because of loss of energy. The easiest way to lose fat is combination of exercise and supplementary products.

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