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"Science Confirms Two Ways to Lose Weight Fast" Review

Do you agree with this article? http://www.msn.com/en-us/health/weightloss/science-confirms-two-ways-to-lose-weight-fast/ar-BBm84ro

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Author: Excerpt sourced from Eat This, Not That!
"Science Confirms Two Ways to Lose Weight Fast" Review
Ways to lose weight quickly with a personal trainer in Chicago.

Why Salad Is So Overrated

Most of my personal training clients rely on salads for their weight loss meals. Is this really the best approach to lose weight and achieve optimal health? You'll want to read this article and find out why salads are overrated.

As the world population grows, we have a pressing need to eat better and farm better, and those of us trying to figure out how to do those things have pointed at lots of different foods as problematic. Almonds, for their water use. Corn, for the monoculture. Beef, for its greenhouse gases. In each of those cases, there’s some truth in the finger-pointing, but none of them is a clear-cut villain.

There’s one food, though, that has almost nothing going for it. It occupies precious crop acreage, requires fossil fuels to be shipped, refrigerated, around the world, and adds nothing but crunch to the plate.

It’s salad, and here are three main reasons why we need to rethink it.

Salad vegetables are pitifully low in nutrition.

The biggest thing wrong with salads is lettuce, and the biggest thing wrong with lettuce is that it’s a leafy-green waste of resources.

In July, when I wrote a piece defending corn on the calories-per-acre metric, a number of people wrote to tell me I was ignoring nutrition. Which I was. Not because nutrition isn’t important, but because we get all the nutrition we need in a fraction of our recommended daily calories, and filling in the rest of the day’s food is a job for crops like corn. But if you think nutrition is the most important metric, don’t direct your ire at corn. Turn instead to lettuce.

One of the people I heard from about nutrition is researcher Charles Benbrook. He and colleague Donald Davis developed a nutrient quality index — a way to rate foods based on how much of 27 nutrients they contain. Four of the five lowest-ranking vegetables (by serving size) are salad ingredients: cucumbers, radishes, iceberg lettuce and celery. (The fifth is eggplant.)

Those foods’ nutritional profile can be partly explained by one simple fact: They’re almost all water. Although water figures prominently in just about every vegetable (the sweet potato, one of the least watery, is 77 percent), those four salad vegetables top the list at 95 to 97 percent water. A head of iceberg lettuce has the same water content as a bottle of Evian (1-liter size: 96 percent water, 4 percent bottle) and is only marginally more nutritious.

Take collard greens. They are 90 percent water, which still sounds like a lot. But it means that, compared with lettuce, every pound of collard greens contains about twice as much stuff that isn’t water, which, of course, is where the nutrition lives. But you’re also likely to eat much more of them, because you cook them. A large serving of lettuce feels like a bona fide vegetable, but when you saute it (not that I’m recommending that), you’ll see that two cups of romaine cooks down to a bite or two.

The corollary to the nutrition problem is the expense problem. The makings of a green salad — say, a head of lettuce, a cucumber and a bunch of radishes — cost about $3 at my supermarket. For that, I could buy more than two pounds of broccoli, sweet potatoes or just about any frozen vegetable going, any of which would make for a much more nutritious side dish to my roast chicken.

Lettuce is a vehicle to transport refrigerated water from farm to table. When we switch to vegetables that are twice as nutritious — like those collards or tomatoes or green beans — not only do we free up half the acres now growing lettuce, we cut back on the fossil fuels and other resources needed for transport and storage.

Save the planet, skip the salad.

Salad fools dieters into making bad choices.

Lots of what passes for salad in restaurants is just the same as the rest of the calorie-dense diabolically palatable food that’s making us fat, but with a few lettuce leaves tossed in. Next time you order a salad, engage in a little thought experiment: Picture the salad without the lettuce, cucumber and radish, which are nutritionally and calorically irrelevant. Is it a little pile of croutons and cheese, with a few carrot shavings and lots of ranch dressing?

Call something “salad,” and it immediately acquires what Pierre Chandon calls a “health halo.” Chandon, professor of marketing at INSEAD, an international business school in Fontainebleau, France, says that once people have the idea it’s good for them, they stop paying attention “to its actual nutritional content or, even worse, to its portion size.”

I won’t be the first to point out that items labeled “salad” at chain restaurants are often as bad, if not worse, than pastas or sandwiches or burgers when it comes to calories. Take Applebee’s, where the Oriental Chicken Salad clocks in at 1,400 calories, and the grilled version is only 110 calories lighter. Even the Grilled Chicken Caesar, the least calorific of the salads on the regular menu, is 800 calories.

Of course, salad isn’t always a bad choice, and Applebee’s has a selection of special menu items under 550 calories (many chain restaurants have a similar menu category). Applebee’s Thai Chicken Salad is only 390 calories (although it has more sodium than the Oriental Chicken Salad). Other chains, like relative newcomer Sweetgreen, have a good selection of salads that go further toward earning their health halo: more actual vegetables, less fried stuff.

I asked Bret Thorn, columnist at Nation’s Restaurant News and longtime observer of the restaurant industry, about salads. “Chefs are cognizant of what’s going on in the psychology of diners,” he said. “They’re doing a kind of psychological health washing,” not just with salads, but with labels like “fresh” and “natural,” and foods that are “local” and “seasonal.” “A chef is not a nutritionist, or public health advocate,” Thorn points out. “They make food that customers want to buy.”

And we want to buy things that are fried or creamy or salty or sweet, or all of those things. Which doesn’t mean that the right salad can’t be a good choice for a nutritious meal. It just means that it’s easy to get snookered.

Salad has unfortunate repercussions in our food supply.

Lettuce has a couple of No. 1 unenviable rankings in the food world. For starters, it’s the top source of food waste, vegetable division, becoming more than 1 billion pounds of uneaten salad every year. But it’s also the chief culprit for foodborne illnesses. According to the Centers for Disease Control, green leafies accounted for 22 percent of all food-borne illnesses from 1998-2008.

To be fair, “leafy vegetables,” the CDC category, also includes cabbage, spinach and other kinds of greens, but the reason the category dominates is that the greens are often eaten raw. As in salad.

None of this is to say that salad doesn’t have a role in our food supply. I like salad, and there’s been many a time a big bowl of salad on the dinner table has kept me from a second helping of lasagna. The salads we make at home aren’t the same as the ones we buy in restaurants; according to the recipe app Yummly, its collection of lettuce-based salads average 398 calories per serving (although a few do get up into Oriental Chicken territory).

An iceberg wedge, with radishes and bacon and blue-cheese dressing, is something I certainly have no plans to give up. But as we look for ways to rejigger our food supply to grow crops responsibly and feed people nutritiously, maybe we should stop thinking about salad as a wholesome staple, and start thinking about it as a resource-hungry luxury.

What will you eat for lunch instead of salads?

Picture Credit: simplyscratch.com: Are salads really the best choice?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with an excerpt from the article "Why Salad is Overrated" by Tamar Haspel from The Washington Post (MSN.com)
Why salad is so overrated
Choosing the best foods for weight loss while meeting with a Chicago personal trainer.

6 Crazy Things That Happen to Your Food Before You Buy It


The process of getting that apple on your plate sounds simple enough: farmer picks apple, apple gets loaded on a truck and shipped off to the grocery store where it lands in your cart. Well, not quite. In fact, your food goes through a lot to make it to you, from being treated with antibiotics to getting a chlorine bath and a wax coating. Many of these steps are no big deal (and we want to silence any fears you may have about them), but some are bad for your health and others huge money wasters. Here are a dozen things that are happening to your healthy food before you take a bite.


To prevent bruising, mold growth, and dehydration in storage, some fruit and veggies (apples, cucumbers) are coated with a drop or two of food-grade wax. Your body doesn't digest them, and there's no reason to avoid eating them, says Luke LaBorde, PhD, associate professor of food science at Penn State University. If you want to avoid waxed foods anyway, the FDA doesn't require them to be labeled as such, so look for signs that say they've been coated (a suspicious shine is your first clue). To do so, don't peel your produce—much of the fiber and phytonutrients are located in or just underneath the skin, says Joan Salge Blake, RD, nutrition professor at Boston University and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Instead, wash with a bit of soap and water.


The salmon you see at the fish counter almost always sports a bright pinkish-orange hue, but in fact, salmon is naturally a greyer shade. The swimmers take on their classic coloring in one of two ways: wild-caught salmon eat krill, while farm-raised salmon are fed pigment pellets. But don't let that stop you from buying farmed fish. Though wild-caught salmon is technically better for you than farmed—it naturally contains half the fat, and is slightly higher in zinc, iron, and potassium—it's three to four times pricier. "Whether farm-raised or wild, there are so many benefits of eating salmon, namely its rich source of omega 3 fatty acids that we don't get enough of," says Blake. Buy whatever is on sale and aim for two servings of fatty fish a week.


The journey a chicken takes from the farm to your kitchen table is not pretty. After slaughter, warm chickens need to be cooled down, so they're placed in a big tank of cold water and a sanitizer, like chlorine, to control harmful bacteria and contamination, explains Don Schaffner, PhD, of the department of food science at Rutgers University. The FDA and USDA say this process is safe, Schaffner says, but you can avoid chickens that have been treated this way by choosing air-chilled poultry. One not-so-healthy thing some manufacturers do to your chicken: inject saltwater into raw meat to enhance its flavor. Considering most Americans consume far more sodium than they should, you'll want to read nutrition labels carefully—unaltered chicken contains 40 to 70 milligrams of sodium per 4-ounce serving, while injected chickens pack in 300 milligrams or more.


You might be swayed to buy meat that's labeled " antibiotic free," but the truth is, "technically, all meat must be free of all traces of antibiotics before it's sold," says Cohn. Translation: "antibiotic free" is mostly a marketing ploy, and doesn't guarantee that the meat wasn't raised without antibiotics. Similarly, you might see the label on chicken or pork that says "hormone free." Again, it's a marketing tactic given hormones are not allowed to be used on these two animals anyway. Look for terms like "raised without antibiotics" and "raised without added hormones."


"Organic" doesn't always mean pesticide-free. Pears, berries, apples, and some veggies may be doused with a naturally occurring mineral clay powder to ward off insects, which may leave a powdery residue behind. Similarly, since 2002, the National Organic Standards Board has allowed the antibiotics Tetracycline and Streptomycin to be used in the production of organic apples and pears to fight a bacterial disease called "fire blight." This serves as a good reminder to wash all your produce, organic or not. Rinse under running water to remove any residue, dirt, and bacteria, and use a scrub brush on produce with harder skins.


Along with milk, bottled juice, and canned goods, almonds are pasteurized in order to prevent foodborne illness outbreaks, and can be achieved by roasting, blanching, steam treating, or spraying with a Propylene Oxide Treatment (PPO). You should know that PPO is considered safe by the EPA, but is also sometimes added to engine oil or used to make mattress foam—something you probably didn't bargain for when you sat down for a nutty snack. If you want to avoid PPO, look for brands that say they've been "steam pasteurized" or dry roasted.

****If you ever need more weight loss tips, never hesitate to send me an email (michael@michaelmoodyfitness.com). I'm a personal trainer in Chicago and I've been serving weight loss personal training clients since 2005.

Picture Credit: servingjoy.com

Article Credit:
Author: Health.com (Adapted from the article 12 Crazy Things That Happen to Your Food Before You Buy It)
6 Crazy Things That Happen to Your Food Before You Buy It
Learning about nutrition from a weight loss personal trainer in Chicago.

8 Mindless Habits to Break if You Want to Lose Weight

We make over 200 food-related choices each day. Some choices are easier than others. What you should eat for breakfast may be a relatively simple decision, especially if you just rotate a few basic choices regularly. But other decisions are more challenging, like deliberating about whether or not to dip into the candy dish on your coworker's desk.

Many of our subconscious food choices can trigger unwanted weight gain or sabotage weight-loss efforts. How exactly did you decide how much popcorn to eat during movie night? Are you aware of the role your environment plays in your food selection?

Here are eight triggers that may impede weight loss – and how to avoid them before it's too late.

1. You keep food on your kitchen counter.

If your kitchen counter is cluttered with food, research shows you may weigh 8 to 29 pounds more than someone whose counter is clear, according to the book "Slim by Design" by Brian Wansink, director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab. One of the most dangerous culprits? Visible breakfast cereal! Despite claims of containing whole grains and essential nutrients, people often overeat cereal because of its health halo claims.

Solution: Give your kitchen a makeover. Remove visible food from your countertops and replace it with a bowl of fruit. According to Wansink's research, people who have a bowl of fruit on their kitchen counter weigh an average of 7 pounds less than people who don't!

2. You keep snack food in clear containers.

You're more likely to eat the food you can see, so storing snack food in clear containers is a recipe for temptation – especially if the treats are at eye-level.

Solution: Out of sight, out of mind.Store high-calorie, high-fat and high-sugar snacks in opaque containers and keep them inside the pantry instead of on the counter. The Google office in New York tried this method – and it worked, reducing their caloric intake from candy by 9 percent in just one week, Fast Company reports.

3. You finish what your child doesn't.

Children, up to age 5, are much better than adults at recognizing hunger and satiety cues, so they eat until they're full – and not more. If you regularly eat your meal and then dive into others' leftovers, you might gain weight from the little bites and nips that you didn't think would count.

Solution: Serve yourself a piece of what your child is eating and keep away from what's on his or her plate. Save the little one's leftovers for lunch the next day.

4. You have a candy dish on your desk at work.

Whether it's on your desk or the desk of a coworker, many people are within arm's reach of candy at work – 476 calories of it to be exact, according to Wansink. In fact, Wansink reports that people with a candy dish on their desk weigh 15.4 pounds more than people who don't.

Solution: Fill your candy dish on your desk with paperclips instead of sugary treats. If you want to eat something sweet at work, just BYOS (Bring Your Own Snack). Choose one that comes in an individual, portion-controlled size.

5. You're watching an action movie.

Health experts have never endorsed eating in front of the TV because it increases distraction, leading to mindless munchies. But research now shows that what you're watching can influence your eating habits, too. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that people eat more when they're watching action-related TV than if they're turning into a less engrossing program.

Solution: During meals, turn off the tube and focus on conversation and the food in front of you. When families grab table time together, kids tend to eat more vegetables and fruits and less fried foods and sugary soft drinks. Set an example when you set the table to help you gain enjoyment and possibly even lose weight.

6. You use oversized dinner plates.

Studies show that the size of your dishes cues your consumption norm. If you use larger plates and bowls, you are more likely to serve yourself and consume more food – about 16 percent more! Research also shows that we eat over 90 percent of the food we serve ourselves, so over-serving can contribute to overeating.

Solution: Invest in smaller plates – and you may be able to treat yourself to a smaller pants size as well.

7. Sugary drinks are at eye level.

We tend to buy more products that are stored at eye level at the supermarket and to grab items that meet our gaze when we open the refrigerator.

Solution: Keep a pitcher of water – not sugary drinks – at eye level in your fridge. Fill the pitcher with fresh cut fruit to make it even more appealing. All sodas and sugary drinks should stay on the supermarket shelf for good.

8. You eat directly from the package.

Whether it's popcorn, cereal, jerky or even grapes, eating directly from a food package distorts our sense of how much we're consuming and leads to portion distortion.

Solution: Pre-measure and pre-portion all snack foods and place them in single-serving bags to define and predetermine an amount that will help keep calories in check.

****If you ever need more weight loss tips, never hesitate to send me an email (michael@michaelmoodyfitness.com). I'm a personal trainer in Chicago and I've been serving weight loss personal training clients since 2005.

Picture Credit: Enrique Silva Del Val

Article Credit:
Author: Bonnie Taub-Dix from U.S. News & World Report
8 Mindless Habits to Break if You Want to Lose Weight
Mindless habits to break from a weight loss personal trainer in Chicago.

Hidden Calorie Bombs: 9 Foods You Didn't Know are Secretly Fattening

Are you following every weight loss tip from your personal trainer in Chicago and still can't lose your midsection? You may want to read this list of secretly fattening healthy foods. They may be the reason you haven't reached the weight loss success you desire.

*****9 Delicious Yet Calorically Malicious Foods

It's not always easy to spot them because there are some foods that house excess calories you can't see with the naked eye. You might love them, but you won't love how fattening they are. Fair warning: Eat these 9 foods with caution to avoid going up in size.


These nuts are rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, which can be good for you—in moderation. For 100 grams, you get a whopping 740 calories. Needless to say, a small handful is more than enough.


These are often offered at Italian restaurants—a little snack to tide you over until the main meal. Doesn't sound so little when you know they carry about 430 calories per 100 grams. Take it easy, you've got to save room for the tiramisu!


Everyone thinks white chocolate is the most calorie-dense in the family. Sorry to disappoint, but it's dark chocolate with 70% cacao or more that carries the most caloric weight, thanks (or no thanks) to the cacao butter it contains. Still, milk chocolate and white chocolate aren't far behind. Count about 560 calories for every 100 grams.


Dried apricots, prunes, cranberries, etc. are fantastic additions to yogurt, desserts, oatmeal and other recipes. The only downside is their high sugar content, which leads to a devastating 500 calories for every 100 grams.


Popcorn and movies are like bread and butter. Add to that a cozy seat, and you've got everything you need for pure relaxation. But make sure your eyes aren't bigger than your stomach, and go for the small. 100 grams of movie theater popcorn will set you back 440 calories (and probably a pretty penny as well).


Are you a fan of Asian cuisine? Stick to steamed dishes over fried, and don't overdo it on the sesame seeds. They might add a tasty crunch to your recipes, but they pack a calorie punch as well with about 645 calories for every 100 grams.


You might think you're being "good" by choosing muesli over sugary cereal varieties in the morning, but be sure to always check the nutrition label! Some bowls are packed with sugar and fats (from dried fruits and granola). 100 grams gets you to almost 400 calories, and that's not including milk.


It's one of the most commonly used spices in the world and also one of the most calorific. 100 grams will easily throw 300 calories your way. Luckily, you only need a little bit to flavor your dishes.


It's certainly tempting to pop a piece of gum after all your meals or coffee breaks, but you might rethink the habit and opt for Tic Tacs instead. With 100 grams of chewing gum, you absorb 374 calories. Turns out there is such a thing as excess freshness.

Picture Credit: marketwatch.com

Article Credit:
Author: Stephanie Holmes from Gourmandize (Adapted)
Hidden calorie bombs: 9 foods you didn't know are secretly fattening
Fattening foods that can affect your weight loss with a Chicago personal trainer.