End of Year Science

The impending new year has ushered in a virtual flood of diet and exercise products which “guarantee” that you’ll be able to use them to lose weight and/or get healthy in 2014. But before you plunk down cash for the latest cookbook, DVD or app, consider this: what type of results have you gotten from similar products in the past? One of the darkest secrets of the diet and fitness industry is the data showing the colossal failure rates of these plans, in large part because of our perfectly normal inability to adhere to rigid restrictions and complicated regimes for a lifetime. 

So what works? May I first point you to Michael Pollan’s “In Defense of Food” which sums up sound nutritional science for the ages…eat (real) food, not too much, mostly plants. Second, the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity within the CDC has compiled the results of research from leading scientists within the field regarding the amounts, quantity, and type of physical activity conducive to health. And finally, my top 3 resources for valid and reliable evaluation of physical activity outcomes are here: the American College of Sports Medicine, the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and the user-friendly American Council on Exercise

Be skeptical of any and all claims which urge you to purchase a product. These products FAIL over and over again, keeping 90 percent or more of users stuck on the roller coaster of weight loss and rebound weight regain. Prioritize your health above all other outcomes, as without it, everything else falls apart. Get enough sleep, drink water, play outside, and hug those you love often. Namaste.

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