How Much Money Do You Waste On Supplements?

We’re deep in the throes of post-holiday ordinariness and Resolution Season. Not quite the middle of January, so most people haven’t given up on their resolutions. Yet. (Note: that’s unscientific speculation on the part of yours truly.)

Grocery store ads are replete with healthy food, fat burners, energy boosters, basic fitness essentials, and other “health” products.

Are any of these products worth the cost? Nicole Akers delves into the subject of wasting money on vitamins and supplements in her latest blog post, Stop Wasting Your Money on Vitamins and Supplements:

medications-money-cure-tablets-47327-Nicole Akers

http://www.wetalkhealthy.com/stop-wasting-money-vitamins-supplements/

Nicole blogs frequently at WeTalkHealthy.com. She also has some healthy recipe books you will enjoy.

I’m not a pill taker. I down a pain killer reluctantly. And I do take a multivitamin daily as an insurance policy against a day of poor nutrition or inconsistent eating. Oh. And a baby aspirin per my physician, since my family has a history of heart issues. But that’s it.

Supplements… just one. Protein powder. Why? It’s faster and more convenient than having to cook something early in the morning when I’m battling cats and the clock to get to my first appointment. And it’s most convenient as a post-workout fuel when mixed with simple sugar. My favorite concoction is lemon lime Gatorade and vanilla flavored protein. It’s a tolerable taste.

Do you swear by any vitamin or other health supplements? Let me know in the comments.

Health and Fitness Resolutions: Quick Fix or Permanent Solution?

So often…

No.

Too often

you and I approach the start of a commitment to “get more fit” or “get in shape” with the wrong mindset.

We look for the magic potion, the secret formula, the quick fix.

We speak in platitudes. We talk about toning flabby arms and running an eight-minute mile.

We hear that – after all these years – the real reason nobody is losing weight… the real reason we have an obesity epidemic… is because we didn’t have the right weight-loss pill. But now, this awesome new pill, not available to the public until 2012, has come to rescue all of us! And now that it’s available with one simple phone call, all you have to do is pop the pill, wait for it to expand in your stomach, eat next to nothing, and you’ll feel full and satisfied. Weight and fat will fall off your body when this expanding pill fills your tummy, you’ll lose all the weight you want, and life will be blissful.

Who would have ever thought weight loss was this easy?

I’m not naming names, but there are at least four such “remedies” available today, if you want to waste your money.

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Have you ever considered how preposterous weight-control and weight-loss advertising claims are? Yet how many times have you wanted to try one, hoping against hope that this might be the one that actually works?

Why?

Because we crave the quick fix.

You and I grew up in the television age. The age of 30-minute sitcoms. Dramas and mysteries that were resolved in 60 minutes. Results need to be immediate. We became a microwave society. We have no time to be patient. Our food needs to be done sooner rather than later.

Advertisers took advantage. The snake oil salesmen of yesterday became the weight-loss pill pushers of today. “Lose 20 pounds in a week! If your weight loss results are too dramatic, cut back to one pill per day.”

Right.

How many people do you think are going to do that? Faster is better! People hear that they can accelerate their weight loss results and they’ll take more pills, not fewer!

What a shrewd way to sell more “snake oil?”

As we careen toward a new year, will you feel compelled to make yet another health and fitness resolution? Will you opt for permanent, healthy change or yet another quick fix?

Which one do you think will make a difference in your life?

Why Should You Listen to a Pudgy Kid and “Recovering CPA” for Fitness Advice?

Why should you listen to a “recovering CPA” for fitness advice? How can a pudgy grade school kid, a kid who avoided the high school and college weight room like The Plague, help you navigate the food and party frenzy that awaits almost all of us in the next two weeks?

Am I’m the right person to get you to the other side of New Year’s Day without the usual regrets? No weight gain? Minimal stress and anxiety?

Short answer, yes.

Longer answer begins with a question.

What have you tried in the past?

  • If you’re tired of not knowing how to handle the stress…
  • If you’re resolved to “do more” for your health and fitness over the next two weeks…
  • If you’re planning to starve yourself all day long, stuffing yourself at the holiday parties, coming out the other side feeling fatigued, bloated, gaining weight, and feeling completely deflated…

… you should listen to me.

 

I’m a regular guy. Comfortable behind a desk. In front of a computer at the local coffee shop (like now). Actually kinda nerdy.

I’m not training for marathons or triathlons. I’ve run one 5K. I hate to run. I’m not a gifted athlete. I’m not a lifelong fitness fanatic.

Did I just describe you? That’s okay!

  • If you’re concerned about your health…
  • If you can’t stand the way you look in your body (or the way you look in your clothes)…
  • If you’re worried about what your doctor has told you…
  • If you can’t stand your aches and pains…

That’s okay. There’s a solution. And it’s simpler than you think.

Let’s be clear. I’m not a doctor. Don’t even play one on television or on stage. Or YouTube!

But I can help you make your doctor happy with what you’re doing for yourself.

Curious?

Click the link to the right. Name your own price. Get it for as cheap as a  buck. You’ll be glad you did.

Low Calories

As I sit here licking my lips from the peanut butter and jelly sandwich I just devoured (hey, even fitness studs like me — NOT!!! — have breakdowns every now and then), I’m going to pick on an e-mail I received today from my favorite coffeehouse.  They shall remain nameless simply because I’m going to pick on them.

Just a little.  And playfully.  Citing their e-mail only as an example.

First of all, the PB and J… yummy.

I was starving.

Well, probably not literally.  But my little (?) tummy was growling and I felt the need to torture the cats by eating something they don’t like.  I spied the loaf of Natural Ovens Bakery Hunger Filler bread (100% whole grain, 4 g of fiber, 2 g of sugar, 4 g of protein per slice), and the worst thing you can be is anything edible when I’m hungry.  Two slices toasted, slathered with natural peanut butter and Smucker’s grape jam (yes, it’s true… high fructose corn syrup; even I’m not perfect), and the leftover cup of green tea, reheated for, like, the fourth time.

A tasty little snack that satisfied the hunger pangs.

So here’s the takeaways:

  1. Strength training means never having to say you’re full.  Well, that’s not exactly true, but it sure makes it seem that way.  I never feel full (except at Thanksgiving and on Christmas Day).  The point is, burn a lot of calories, build some muscle, and it requires more calories to fill you up.
  2. Nobody’s perfect.  If you eat an occasional non-supportive meal, the world will not end.  The sun will rise in the morning (even if obscured by clouds).  You will have another opportunity to get it right tomorrow.  And the sandwich wasn’t that “non-supportive.”  Well, except for the high fructose corn syrup.  That’s why it’s best not to even have it in the house; it got in between me and my empty stomach.
  3. If you’re hungry and you know you’re hungry, eat!  I’m not an expert on emotional eating, but I know I’ve done it and will probably do it again.  But after you get in the habit of eating supportive meals on most days of the week and spacing your calories throughout the day, you get in touch with your body’s needs and you know when your body is craving calories and you’re not using food as an “outlet.”

Now back to the e-mail…

This particular coffee establishment was advertising various breakfast and beverage items.  The title of their e-mail:

“Resolving to be healthier? (We) can help.”

How can they help?  Their advertised items are low in calories.

Is that a good thing?

We’re not going to get into your body’s metabolic needs in this post.  Suffice it to say, we have to consume enough calories — quality calories — so our body can function appropriately, so we don’t slow our metabolism.

Our body cannot differentiate between “cutting calories to lose weight” and starving.  If we don’t adequately fuel our body, our body will respond accordingly.

The e-mail got me thinking about the menu boards at restaurants like Panera Bread and McDonald’s, etc. that now indicate the number of calories contained in each food item.

That’s a nice start.

But it’s incomplete information.

For instance, in the coffeehouse e-mail, is the Small Lite Latte (under 200 calories) healthier than the under 300 calories Classic Oatmeal?

Seems obvious, right?

Maybe not to the calorie counter desperately trying to lose ten pounds.

How much fat?  Is it saturated?  How much sugar?  Any protein?

At every meal, try to eat a lean protein, a whole grain starchy carbohydrate, and a fibrous carbohydrate.  And try to limit empty calories from beverages (we’re not talking about meal-replacement smoothies here).

So, kudos to the coffeehouse.  They’re trying to be responsible citizens while trying to sell product at the same time.  Unfortunately, in their attempt to help, they’re adding to the confusion.

The focus should not be so much on the calories as on the nutrients: the fat, carbohydrates, and protein.  And the quality of those nutrients.

All that being said, if you’re hungry and you know it’s really hunger…

EAT.