August 2011

The Key to Fitness? Breaking the Exercise / Eating Connection

Fitness expert James Fell points to a connection between exercise and eating as to why so many lose the battle of becoming fit.

    

Americans love stuff, and they want stuff now. We are a culture of instant gratification; the greatest payoff in the least amount of time. That drive for more immediate rewards manifests in a lot of ways. We're one of the most innovative countries in the world, our drive to get better now driving entrepreneurship and invention. We're also a highly consumerist country, buying and selling more than anybody else. The United States is the fattest country in the world as well, because we are able to instantly gratify ourselves with everything from fast food to video games and satellite TV. Conversely, we often expect the same results from weight loss; fat-burning diet pills, extreme exercise fads, and self-described boot camps all advertise dramatic weigh loss in very little time. Unfortunately, says fitness guru James Fell, this doesn't contribute to a healthy lifestyle, but fits and starts that can have potentially damaging lifelong effects.

Are Your Brain Cells Eating Themselves?

If you’ve ever dieted, you may have felt as if you were groggy, cranky, or even forgetful. I know I have in the past. It turns out that it’s not just those cravings getting to you.

A new report released this month explains that brain cells become cannibalistic when they are deprived of food—or, simply, when we do not eat. The neurons in our brains that induce hunger actually start to eat themselves. Who needs zombie movies when we can just diet?

This is just further evidence that fad diets and yo-yo programs that make you starve are not healthy! A well balanced diet is more important than ever, whether you are underweight or overweight. If you are hungry, listen to your body and eat! If you still want to lose weight, there are plenty of low-calorie, filling snacks to eat without starving yourself. Some of my favorites include radishes, cucumber, hummus, apple slices, or yogurt. Lowfat cheese is a good option, too. All of these things are low-calorie food items, but filling due to their water or protein content. You can always eat as much salad as you like as long as you go easy on the dressing, too; I like the 1-calorie spritzers myself.

Just eat. Your brain cells will thank you for it.