The majority of the time, it is better to eat healthier, and also burn a lot of calories through whatever form of exercise you choose. It is better to eat to support your exercise routine, rather than exercise to support your eating habits. The bottom line is: If you eat poorly, it will be really tough to maintain or lose weight, be healthy, and have energy for exercising.
Tom asks: A friend says to take Geritol to feel awake and vital, what is your opinion?
There are two main Geritol products. The Geritol Tonic is a multi-vitamin with iron supplement. The Geritol Complete is a regular multi-vitamin (without iron). The Geritol Tonic contains a very high amount of iron - 18 mg. Just so everyone knows, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for iron is 8 mg/day for men and 18 mg/day for women (Note: Iron values are for the general healthy population). The Geritol Tonic has been promoted for “Iron-poor tired blood”. The only possible way (besides a placebo effect) that Geritol Tonic will give you more energy, is if you have an iron deficiency, or a severe type of vitamin and/or other mineral deficiency. You will gain much more of a nutritional advantage if you eat fruits, vegetables, and other vitamin and mineral rich foods, as opposed to taking a multi-vitamin.
Phyllis asks: What is the best way to motivate someone who is a "couch potato", and doesn't think of exercise and attention to nutrition as anything but an annoyance at best?
Maybe this person just doesn’t care enough to change their habits. They are going to need to take a deep look inside if they want to start changing their ways. In terms of motivating them, they may need to get angry and pissed off at themselves (possibly borderline disgusted at how lazy and fat they are) to fuel the fire. Maybe carrying around the extra weight should be seen as an annoyance, not changing their habits for improving themselves.
David asks: I have read that I should avoid dairy if I want to lose weight? For example, I eat 1 cup of cottage cheese every morning for breakfast - is this the reason my weight hasn’t budged much?
Cottage cheese is high in protein and low in lactose (3-6 grams of lactose [milk sugar] per serving usually). The Friendship brand of whipped cottage cheese tastes incredible. There are many myths about dairy, such as, that it makes the body store more fat, that it causes bloating, and that it causes inflammation. I don’t know who is to blame for these myths, but in my opinion, cottage cheese is a very convenient source of protein. And if you eat it with some fruit and crushed almonds, it can be a very satiating meal that moves you one step further toward your goal. * This information/my answer to the question about dairy/cottage cheese is not intended for those with lactose intolerance.
Ken asks: I heard that baked potatoes raise insulin, and cause the body to store fat. Should I switch to sweet potatoes?
Baked potatoes are very nutrient dense, very high on the satiety index (ability to make you feel full), and have a pretty good amount of fiber. They are also amazing cut up into steak fries and baked (I like to put them in the oven at 400 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes). Sweet potatoes have the same benefits as baked potatoes, but also have a lot of beta-carotene (which becomes vitamin A in the body). You can eat both!
Insulin and storing body fat are very misunderstood concepts. The body is constantly in a state of storing fat and burning fat (releasing fat to be used by your body), and this recycling is based on the body’s energy needs. Insulin drips through your body all throughout the day and the amount of insulin released depends upon what is going on in your body. After a meal, your body will release insulin (promotes fat storage amongst a host of other physiological functions), and may want to store some of the nutrients you ate as fat (some of the nutrients will also be burned as fuel). But that doesn’t mean you will actually gain body fat from this physiological event. Gaining body fat depends upon a lot of factors, the main one being 24-hour calorie balance (the balance between how much energy you take in [through food intake], and how much energy you expend through just being alive, digestion, exercise, and other activities).