A List Of Successful Fitness Tips

Getting yourself in shape is the best things you can do for your overall health and well-being. There are many things to learn, and it is hard to know how to get started. The following tips and advice will give you a jump-start to your fitness goals.

Consider opening up your own garden. People are shocked at how much work gardening really is. You will have to squat a lot, dig, pull weeds and carry heavy things. Gardening is only one hobby you can take up to stay in shape.

If you’re new to exercising, or haven’t worked out in a while, think about hiring a personal trainer. A good one will discuss your goals, as well as your problem areas, to determine the best workout plan for you. Entering a gym can be hard to do, but having a trainer can help because they can show you what to do. You will be on your way to a great start to a plan you can stick to.

TIP! You can improve your chances of sticking to your fitness routine by pre-paying for a gym membership for several months in advance. By purchasing a membership you will be motivated to continue exercising.

Do not be afraid. Biking is another excellent fitness activity. Instead of taking a car or public transportation, you can bicycle to work. It will be an inexpensive way for you to get fit, have fun, and get to work. As a plus, wherever you choose to ride, you get to ride back as well so it’s like getting two workouts for the price of one. …

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Big Sugar’s Secret Ally? Nutritionists

The first time the sugar industry felt compelled to “knock down reports that sugar is fattening,” as this newspaper put it, it was 1956. Papers had run a photograph of President Dwight D. Eisenhower sweetening his coffee with saccharin, with the news that his doctor had advised him to avoid sugar if he wanted to remain thin.

The industry responded with a national advertising campaign based on what it believed to be solid science. The ads explained that there was no such thing as a “fattening food”: “All foods supply calories and there is no difference between the calories that come from sugar or steak or grapefruit or ice cream.”

More than 60 years later, the sugar industry is still making the same argument, or at least paying researchers to do it for them. The stakes have changed, however, with a near tripling of the prevalence of obesity in the intervening decades and what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures reveal to be an almost unimaginable 655 percent increase in the percentage of Americans with diabetes diagnoses. When it comes to weight gain, the sugar industry and purveyors of sugary beverages still insist, a calorie is a calorie, regardless of its source, so guidelines that single out sugar as a dietary evil are not evidence-based.

Surprisingly, the scientific consensus is technically in agreement. It holds that obesity is caused “by a lack of energy balance,” as the National Institutes of Health website explains — in other words, by our taking in more calories than we expend. Hence, the primary, if not the only, way that foods can influence our body weight is through their caloric content

Another way to say this is that what we eat doesn’t matter; it’s only how much — just as the sugar industry would have us believe. A 2014 article in an American Diabetes Association journal phrased the situation this way: “There is no clear or convincing evidence that any dietary or added sugar has a unique or detrimental impact relative to any other source of calories on the development of obesity or diabetes.”

The absence of evidence, though, as the saying goes, is not necessarily evidence of absence. If the research community had been doing its job and not assuming since the 1920s that a calorie is a calorie, perhaps we would have found such evidence long ago.

The assumption ignores decades of medical science, including much of what has become textbook endocrinology (the science of hormones and hormone-related diseases) and biochemistry. By the 1960s, researchers in these fields had clearly demonstrated that different carbohydrates, like glucose and fructose, are metabolized differently, leading to different hormonal and physiological responses, and that fat accumulation and metabolism were influenced profoundly by these hormones. The unique composition of sugar — half glucose, half fructose — made it a suspect of particular interest even then.

The takeaway is that we should expect the consumption of different macronutrients to have differential effects on the hormonal milieu of our cells and so, among myriad other things, on how much fat we accumulate. These effects may be very subtle, but subtle effects can accumulate over a few years or decades into the anything-but-subtle phenomena of obesity and diabetes. In light of this research, arguing today that your body fat responds to everything you eat the exact same way is almost inconceivably naïve.

But don’t blame the sugar industry for perpetuating this view. Blame the researchers and the nutrition authorities.

The industry is in a perverse position: defending the core beliefs of nutrition and obesity research while simultaneously being accused by some of the prominent experts in these disciplines of following the tobacco-industry playbook and so acting as “merchants of doubt.” If this sounds like cognitive dissonance — well, it is.

I am a fierce critic of sugar and believe that it, in fact, may have prematurely killed more people than tobacco. The disorders for which it is the prime suspect — obesity and Type 2 diabetes — in turn elevate our risk of virtually every major chronic disease, from heart disease to cancer and Alzheimer’s. And yet on this issue, I think the sugar industry has a fair point in rejecting the comparison.

Cigarette companies are notorious for having worked to undermine the scientific consensus on tobacco, which was backed by compelling evidence. Tobacco executives knew as well as public health officials that nicotine was addictive and that smoking caused lung cancer. But the evidence implicating sugar as a unique cause of chronic disease has never been nearly so convincing. More to the point, the consensus among nutrition and obesity authorities has been completely aligned with sugar industry interests: Sugar advertisers have had to remind people only that what nutrition authorities believe to be true of all foods is therefore true of sugar as well.

So can we really blame sugar companies for seeking to rebut the contention of some nutrition researchers — that sugar might be a unique cause of diabetes and heart disease — by commissioning other mainstream nutritionists to make the opposite case? In the 1970s, when the industry paid Fred Stare, founder of the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health, to exonerate sugar in a lengthy journal supplement, “Sugar in the Diet of Man, all Mr. Stare had to do was enlist as authors some of the very influential researchers who were convinced that dietary fat was the real enemy (the conventional wisdom of the time that has now been largely overturned). No confusion needed to be sown. Their task was simply to reinforce the consensus.

“The method of science,” as the philosopher of science Karl Popper once put it, “is the method of bold conjectures and ingenious and severe attempts to refute them.” In nutrition, the conjectures (their boldness is debatable) are that obesity is caused by lack of energy balance, and so a calorie is a calorie. But they have been accepted with such faith that attempts to refute them have been anything but ingenious and severe. That the attempts have failed may speak more to the quality of the science than the validity of the conjectures. To fully understand the dangers of consuming sugar, we need experiments, in humans, that can unambiguously test these 100-year-old conjectures. No matter how time consuming or expensive these studies are.

To the sugar industry, the nutritionists’ dogmatic belief that obesity is a calorie overconsumption problem and a calorie is a calorie has been the gift that keeps on giving. So long as nutrition and obesity authorities insist that this is true, then the sugar industry can rightfully defend its product on the basis that the calories from sugar are no better nor worse than those from steak or grapefruit or ice cream — perhaps even kale or quinoa. We can’t have it both ways.

Gary Taubes is a co-founder of the Nutrition Science Initiative and the author of “The Case Against Sugar.”

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A version of this op-ed appears in print on January 15, 2017, on Page SR3 of the New York edition with the headline: Big Sugar’s Secret Ally? Nutritionists. Today’s Paper|Subscribe

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‘Only the ideas they see as favourable get money;’ breakfast nutritional science tricky

‘Only the ideas they see as favourable get money;’ breakfast nutritional science tricky

Breakfast studies are often funded by cereal makers, and look specifically at cereal.

Breakfast studies are often funded by cereal makers, and look specifically at cereal. (John Raoux/Associated Press)

Cereal makers have happily encouraged the belief that eating breakfast can help keep us thin and bring other benefits, partly by paying for studies that seem to support the idea.

So, does that mean breakfast is bad for you? Not that either. What it does show is how difficult it can be to sort the hype from reliable dietary advice when studies are funded by the makers of Froot Loops, nutrition science is often inconclusive, and grey areas can be spun for marketing.

Take Special K. In the 1990s, Special K boxes featured findings that people who didn’t normally eat breakfast lost more weight after they started doing so.

“That was the little piece they put on the cereal box,” said David Schlundt, a co-author of the study of about 50 women. Not mentioned on those boxes: Regular breakfast eaters who started skipping the meal lost even more weight, compared to those who stuck with their routines.

That doesn’t mean particular breakfasts can’t help some people control their appetites, or bring other benefits like energy. Schlundt’s study was tiny. But it shows how easy it is to simplify the complexities and limitations of nutrition science and cherry-pick the findings.

“Only the ideas they see as favourable get money.”


– David Schlundt

Our understanding of what’s healthy can evolve, which is why dietary guidelines are regularly updated to reflect the latest science — and no longer say breakfast can help with weight control. With its last update, the U.S. government says it looked at broader eating patterns.

A look at some research around breakfast and weight illustrates why advice about it is so tricky.

‘White hat’ bias

To investigate the long-held idea that breakfast can prevent weight gain, researchers in 2013 reviewed dozens of studies examining the premise. Their conclusion: Popular opinion outweighed the scientific evidence.

A major issue they identified was that studies often misleadingly used language to indicate that breakfast influenced weight, even though the findings did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship. Like a lot of nutrition research, the studies drew links between physical traits and what people said they ate.

“It goes back to the idea that correlation doesn’t equal causation,” said Andrew Brown, one of the researchers who conducted the analysis. Brown, a nutrition scientist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, noted that it could be that heavier people were skipping breakfast in hopes of losing weight.

When citing past studies, scientists also tended to mischaracterize inconclusive results in favour of breakfast. Brown chalked that up to “white hat” bias, since people are constantly told breakfast is “the most important meal of the day.”

Brown also noted that “breakfast” can consist of any number of possibilities, whether it’s cold pizza, yogurt or an egg sandwich.

It’s possible to question all sorts of dietary ideas. A study published last month, for instance, said the science behind recommendations to limit sugar was weak. That study drew criticism from health advocates because it was paid for by an industry group that includes Coke and Hershey — but it underscored the vulnerability of dietary recommendations.

Timothy Caulfield, an expert in health law and policy at the University of Alberta, said nutrition science often comes with uncertainties and shouldn’t be discarded just because it doesn’t provide slam-dunk evidence. He said health experts give advice on the best available research, but there needs to be greater understanding about its limitations.

With breakfast and weight, Caulfield said there hasn’t been a pendulum swing in the data, just that the evidence doesn’t seem as powerful as once believed.

‘Clever verbiage’ comments

Disclosures about who paid for the research became the norm only in recent years, so it’s unclear how much of the literature on breakfast and weight from past decades was funded by breakfast food makers. The 1992 study featured on Special K boxes, for example, doesn’t list a funding source. Schlundt told the AP that Kellogg paid for it.

“Only the ideas they see as favourable get money,” Schlundt, an associate professor at Vanderbilt, said of industry-funded research.

Even when funding is disclosed, people may not realize that not all studies are that meaningful.

“The paper is not good, not good = There are major structural problems with it that cannot be fixed,” Carol O’Neil, a professor at Louisiana State University, wrote to her co-author in 2011 about a Kellogg-funded study, according to emails obtained through a records request.

O’Neil and her co-author wanted to withdraw the paper from submission, but felt they couldn’t because Kellogg expected it to be published. When the paper kept coming back with notes, O’Neil said she didn’t see a way around the problems.

“But let me look at the comments again and see if there is some sort of clever verbiage we can present,” she wrote.

The paper did not find a link between cereal consumption among Mexican-American children and better weight, but found one between cereal and higher nutrient intake. As eventually published in 2013, it concluded that nourishing breakfasts — including those with cereal — should be encouraged.

O’Neil did not respond to requests for comment. Kellogg said it is unable to comment on the study and the research by Schlundt because they were done long ago. General Mills, which has funded studies about breakfast, cereal and weight, declined to comment.

Another study funded by Kellogg last year found breakfast consumption was not consistently linked with differences in weight among Canadian adults. It found people who ate cereal had lower weights than those who ate other types of breakfast, though results varied by age and sex.

Yoni Freedhoff, an obesity expert at the University of Ottawa, said many of his patients find protein-rich breakfasts help control their appetites. Yet he noted that breakfast studies are often funded by cereal makers, and look specifically at cereal.