Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mainstream Media and More Bad Information

I was at the book store and decided to look through the new Time Magazine A to Z Health Guide. As expected, it has the same old garb rehashed. One thing that you see a lot of, and it makes me mad, is the graphics/charts showing how long you have to do something to burn the amount of Calories in various foods.

This section of the book mentions that after exercising for a long, grueling time, it is all negated by eating that tempting muffin! Or spun the otherway, don't you dare eat that muffin or you will have to do x activity for y number of minutes. This 'wisdom' is thrown around all the time.

First of all, exercise is the smallest component of daily energy expenditure for everyone. Your resting metabolic rate probably accounts for 60-90% of your daily energy expenditure. So factors (muscle mass) that affect your metabolic rate have a much larger affect on energy balance.

I don't know where they are getting these numbers from, but you are telling me that I need to lift weights for 23 minutes longer than vacuuming to burn the equivalent amount of energy! Are you kidding me! Not only will you deplete more glycogen reserves (therefore, funneling glucose from the muffin into the fibers to replenish the glycogen), but you will raise your resting metabolic rate for up to 48 hours after a good strength training workout. Either they have these people lifting five pound dumbells or they are pushing a 100-pound vacuum!

Stop using the archaic, highly-inaccurate Calories in = Calories out guidelines. It is not about the Calorie intake. Body composition is about influencing the hormonal control of how your body partitions energy. We have a complex neuro-hormonal control of energy intake/expenditure/storage. We are not simple calorimeters! Just like when you put a diabetic on insulin, they will gain weight without adjusting Calorie intake (it will be signaled to be stored and spontaneous movement will decline). Also, your appetite will be stimulated after a strenuous workout because it needs energy to recover, not to punish you!

Finally, quit eating the processed carbohydrates! They raise insulin levels, triglyceride levels, lower HDL, cause inflammation, make you feel sluggish, and keep you craving more. Why don't you eat a handful of almonds and some raw coconut instead?

After reading this article, I can see why the general public is so confused about diet, exercise, and health. Got to love the mainstream media.

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