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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Social Factors Influence Portion Choices

An interesting new study regarding the influence of other people's size and food choices on how much those around them ate provided some interesting results. In this study it was quite obvious that people's decisions in social situations (i.e. eating with others) are very much influenced by their perception of others. What they found was that people take portions similar in size to the portion of their companion regardless of that person's size. However, and this is the interesting part, despite this fact the amount of that portion they actually consume is largely influenced by the size of the person they are with. If a thin person takes a large portion and it may lead you to eat more than normal, but on the other hand if a heavier person takes that same portion you are likely to eat less even though you mimicked them in terms of portion taken.

What people don't realize in doing this is that the thinner person, even though they eat a larger amount, is likely to have a faster metabolism and be naturally disposed to having a smaller build. On the other hand the larger person can eat a smaller amount and still have a tendency to be overweight due to naturally have a bigger frame.

Take home point here is be careful on how you allow others, whether consciously or not, influence your food choices and amount you eat. One key is to get in the habit of saying "No" to more food than you know you should may be ok for the thin small framed person, but not for you. Of course this gets into the whole peer acceptance thing and not wanting to stand out amongst a crowd...with food however it may make the difference between being at a healthy weight for you or dealing with the problems associated with being overweight. Fight the need to fit in and do what's best for you, not what's best for others.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Soda Beefing Up Californians

According to new research done by researchers at UCLA, soda drinking Californians are almost 30% more likely to be overweight than those who don't drink soda. There are some startling numbers here with percentages of over 40 and 60% respectively of youth in the 2-11 and 12-17 age brackets drinking at least 1 or more soda or sugar containing drinks per day.

What does this says wake up people...and can full of 17 teaspoons of sugar along with many other colorings and flavorings is making a huge and direct impact on the health issues of those in the Golden State. If it's happening here in California (that's where I'm at writing this now) then we know that most likely the same type of thing is going on in all of the other states in the country. With health care now more at the forefront of people's minds and the desire to reduce costs so high it's about time people start taking personal responsibility for their individual actions and thus the long term effects and consequences to one's health. There is no excuse, fizzy sugar water is damaging many people's health and along with it ultimately there pocket books. It goes like this - either pay for good quality food and lifestyle now or wait and pay a lot more for sickness later.

And NO diet soda is absolutely not a viable alternative...unless you don't mind damaging your brain with toxic artificial sweeteners and chemicals. Stick with good old water and if you need flavor and a slice of lemon or put a bunch of fruit in a pitcher of water and drink from that all day to get your flavor fix.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Popping Pills?

Do you pop pain killers like candy every time you workout in hopes of avoiding soreness and aiding recovery? If you do, a recent article in the New York Times is a must read!

Just what you thought may be true, is actually not. Instead of preventing pain and aiding recovery, taking NSAIDS like ibuprofen on a regular basis actually slows down tissue recovery and has no effect on pain when compared with those who hadn't taken the pain killers.

Essentially what researchers found is that painkillers blunt the bodies response to the stress of exercise. In essence they lower the bodies normal chemical response to stress in the form of exercise and thus the body doesn't produce as much collagen, thereby the normal adaptation that would occur due to exercise is lessened and thus recovery prolonged.

Message is take NSAIDS only for acute tissue injuries not for normal muscle soreness that you will experience from exercise or you risk inhibiting your bodies ability to recover and rebuild stronger.
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