Answers to Your Questions on Fitness, Exercise and Weight loss

My latest observations, experiences and advice as a personal trainer about fitness, exercise, fitness equipment, weight loss and more.

 Inspirations Personal Training Home Page : Personal Trainer Blog Home : February 2008

February 25, 2008 06:23 - Blog Interruption

I want to apologize to my readers for the long interruption in blog entries and thank Rachel for letting me know that there are people who actually look forward to hearing from me.

I simply haven't had time as it so happens that we (my husband Bruce and I) have been doing a major kitchen renovation in our home. We even had to move out for 10 days and stayed at a friends house (they were on a trip to Costa Rica) during the worst of the construction. Bruce is a contractor and not only did the renovation, which involved removing floors, walls and ceilings, but made the new cabinets as well. It is now about 85% finished. Unfortunately, Bruce couldn't take anymore time away from work to completely finish, so it is getting completed on weekends and evenings.

Sometimes, when I work away daily at putting up articles and entries but get no response or feedback, it makes me wonder whether anyone at all is reading or even cares.

I also wonder whether the topics I have chosen to write about are relevent to you. I'd like to write about things that are important to you.

With that in mind I invite you to share your questions and areas of interest with me. Just drop me a note on this page at the bottom of the page and I will do my best to provide answers for you. Or feel free to just share your comments about the blog. I certainly won't put you on any mailing list and I love hearing from you.

Best, Cindy

February 27, 2008 06:35 - Bore Yourself and Lose Weight

If you eat the same menu every day, you will eat less and food will play a lesser role in your life.

In an experiment at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, two groups of people were offered bowls of M&M’s. One group had bowls with 10 colors of candy in them. The other group had bowls of M&M’s with just a few colors.

Eaters who were given the 10 colors of candy in their bowls ate almost twice as much as the other eaters. Many choices and much variety encourage eating and overeating.

(FYI: one half cup of M&M’s has over 500 calories.)
Source: Barbara E. Kahn and Brian Wansink, “The Influence of Assortment Structure
on Perceived Variety and Consumption Quantities.” Journal of Consumer Research 30:
519-533 (March 2004).

Tip Of The Day: Stick to a boring menu. Eliminate choices, and stay away from buffets.

Your Friends Can Make You Fat

Scientists have discovered that people can always make room for more food and they do, especially when they’re sitting around a comfortable table enjoying a conversation with friends.

If you eat alone, you tend to eat one third less than when you dine with others. And, if eating with a large group, diners tend to eat twice as much as they normally eat.

Source: Brian Wansink, "Environmental Factors That Increase the Food Intake and
Consumption Volume of Unknowing Consumers." Annual Review of Nutrition 24:455-
479 (2004).

Second Tip of The Day: Eat alone when possible. Limit your social eating to a few friends. Meet with larger groups of friends while walking, or in a non-food environment.

February 28, 2008 07:40 - Fool Yourself with Portions

Psychology professor Dr. Paul Rozin set out two bowls of candy in an apartment building’s lobby. He hung a sign that said, “Help yourself - take as much as you want.”

And everyone did take some candy on their way in and out of the building. But they did not take an amount having to do with how hungry they were or how much they wanted a snack. Instead, each person took what they thought was one serving.

If they happened upon one particular bowl with a gigantic spoon for serving, they would take that amount, and eat all the candy in that large serving. If they happened upon the other bowl with a much smaller serving spoon, they would use that spoon and eat the amount it contained.

Hunger seemed to be irrelevant.

Source: Andrew B. Geier, Paul Rozin, and Gheorghe Doros, "Unit Bias: A New Heuristic
That Helps Explain the Effect of Portion Size on Food Intake." Psychological Science
17(6): 521-525 (June 2006).

TIP OF THE DAY: Serve yourself dinner on a salad-sized plate. Use smaller sized spoons, too. Your portions will look larger and you will eat less.

February 29, 2008 06:11 - Treat Your Kids (and Yourself) to Healthful Foods

Treat Your Kids (and Yourself) to Healthful Foods. The third National Health and Nutrition Survey was a study carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They studied 33,000 people over the course of six years.

The researchers examined what families ate. They determined that adults living in families with children ate far more fatty foods than adults living alone or with only other adults, and consumed an additional 4.9 grams of fat daily. Probably due to the influence of the kids who would prefer these kinds of foods over healthier choices (ever taken kids to the supermarket?).

The calories consumed were about the same in both groups. But the group of families living with children ate far more pizza, ice cream, bacon, and cheese. The lead researcher, Dr. Helena H. Laroche, a professor at the University of Iowa, concluded that to achieve healthy nutrition the focus must be on the entire family.

Source: Helena H. Laroche, MD, Timothy P. Hofer, MD, MSc and Matthew M. Davis,
MD, MAPP, "Adult Fat Intake Associated with the Presence of Children in Households:
Findings from NHANES III." The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine 20
(1): 9-15 (January 2007).

TIP OF THE DAY: If you have kids, limit their fatty foods. Buy food that is good for you – it’ll
be good for them, too.

January 2008 «  » March 2008


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