How to Lower Cholesterol Levels

Waking up to an email saying your 8am class is cancelled can be exciting news. Learning you have high cholesterol, not so much. There are, unfortunately, some risk factors for high cholesterol we can’t control, such as age (>45 years for men and >55 for women) and family history of heart disease. Fortunately, there are a lot of modifiable risk factors, such as: smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, and physical inactivity. Before we go into information as to how we can lower cholesterol, let’s get some basic definitions out of the way first.

Definitions

Cholesterol: a waxy, fat-like substance that is found in all cells. Cholesterol helps makes things like vitamin D and hormones. Your body makes enough cholesterol on its own to get these functions done.

LDL: aka “bad cholesterol”, brings cholesterol from your liver to your arteries. Too much LDL is bad because it can cause a plaque buildup which can clog arteries.

HDL: aka “good cholesterol” aka “the homie”, helps remove LDL cholesterol from arteries. Higher the HDL is, the better off you are.

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 12.17.17 PM
Learning how to read a nutrition label is a major key (image used from: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/files/docs/public/heart/chol_tlc.pdf)

How much can I lower my LDL?

  • Decrease saturated fat to less than 7% of total calories   → 8-10% reduction
    • If you’re really focused on decreasing your cholesterol levels, this may be the big point to start to focus on. When looking at “total fat” on a nutrition label, you may come across saturated fat and/or trans fat; both are bad and can increase your LDL level. No need to go extreme and 100% eliminate it, but definitely limit it.
    • Things high in saturated fat are fatty beef, lamb, pork, butter, and cheese (ugh, c’mon cheese =[ ). Poultry and fish are better alternatives if you’re getting too much excess of the meats high in saturated fats.
    • Read here for a nice summary on saturated fats.
  • Decrease dietary cholesterol to less than 200 mg/day    → 3-5% reduction
    • Do you know what would be a really good way to track this? I’m not sure but there’s this guy who wrote this article who may know.
  • Lose 10 pounds if overweight                                                    → 5-8% reduction
    • A little exercise never hurt anyone. Unless you’re doing crossfit, then I can’t guarantee your safety. Just kidding, crossfitters please don’t unsubscribe, it’s a totally great form exercise (except the extreme versions which sacrifices your achilles).
  • Increase soluble fiber by 5-10 grams/day                           → 3-5% reduction
    • Here’s a nice list with fiber content of different foods.
  • Increase plant sterols by 2 grams/day                                → 5-15% reduction
    • Different things which have planet sterols are:
      • Wheat bran, peanuts, vegetable oils (corn, sesame, canola and olive oil), and almonds
    • If you’re using sticks of butter to cook, replace the absolute deliciousness with margarine infused with plant sterols. You’ll find them in any supermarket.
Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 12.17.54 PM
If you’re concerned on cholesterol, focus on saturated fat intake (image used from: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/files/docs/public/heart/chol_tlc.pdf)

Ok, what other specific things can I do?

  • Eat a handful of walnuts a day (equates to about 200 calories). In a meta-analysis of 365 patients, those with walnuts as a staple in their diets had a significant decrease in LDL and total cholesterol. Almonds have also shown to reduce LDL.
  • Cook with plant-sterol margarine, such as Benecol brand of margarine. Unsaturated fats, or “healthy fats”, can lower LDL. Benecol has a ratio you want in regards to saturated and unsaturated fats (1.5 vs 6 grams, respectively).
  • Subscribe to FNDfitness.
  • Eat 2-3 servings of fish a week, a recommendation by the American Heart Association. A great source of poly-unsaturated fats (omega-3), an increase in omega-3’s have been shown to be beneficial for heart health and increase HDL.
  • Exercise. Go run, do push-ups, burpees, pull-ups, just do something. Don’t be physically inactive.
  • Eat a Quest bar (still waiting for that sponsorship).
  • Don’t be extreme. You can go ahead and eat a burger or pizza slice, but look over the course of a week and assess what your diet is primarily being composed of. If you look back and you’re downing a few pizza slices every other day or a cheeseburger whenever Donald Trump says something stupid, that’s too often. (NOTE: this blog totally welcomes all people no matter your political affiliation. Seriously, I even used to watch the Apprentice…sometimes….when nothing else was on.)

Most people reading this post, I’m going to guess, are not going to have high cholesterol. Even so, it is something to be cognizant of as it will help optimize your diet and overall health. If you do have high cholesterol, especially if you’re young, fear not. You have the opportunity to make lifestyle modifications and make a difference in your cholesterol levels. Anything I didn’t cover here you want to know more about? Post a comment or message me on my Facebook page. Follow me on IG (FNDfitnessIG) to check out some of my “healthy” meals I make and maybe the occasional selfie.

Also, if you made it this far, I have something good cooking and it’s not the food you see on my IG page…did I mention I have an IG page? I’m making an actual “nutrition plan” titled: “The ‘I have a wedding in 3 months and need to get in shape really quick’ Nutrition Plan”. The title is a work in progress as it’s kind of long (enter joke from Michael Scott from ‘The Office’).  Anyway, keep an eye out for that to be out before the end of March. Peace, love, and pizza (watch the cheese though).

 

References

  1. Your Guide to Lowering Your Cholesterol With TLC”. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. December 2005. Accessed February 23. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/files/docs/public/heart/chol_tlc.pdf
  2. Banel DK, Hu FB. Effects of walnut consumption on blood lipids and other cardiovascular risk factors: a meta-analysis and systematic review. Am J Clin Nutr 2009; 90(1):56-63

 

 

 

Do High Reps Get You Toned?

 

“High reps, low weight makes you toned and heavy weight, low reps make you muscly.” I’m surprised as you are that muscly is an actual word. Anyway, this statement, commonly assumed by many people, is a bit more complicated than you think. Kind of like your high school crush that likes all of your Instagram pictures and texts you smiling emoji faces, so you think she has a crush on you, but when you confront her you find out you have been shoveled so deep in the friend zone that even Stanley Yelnats can’t get you out. Yes, that was a total run on sentence and a reference to Holes, that if you caught, virtual high five.

Here are some helpful tidbits of information to know about this topic.

  1. Before we dive in, it’s hard to define what are high/low reps. A nice general reference for the sake of this article can be 1-5 reps is for building strength, 8-12 for increasing muscle size, and 15-20 reps for increasing muscular endurance.
  2. A definition of the word toned: an increase in muscle tissue and a low percentage of body fat to see the definition/shape of the muscle. The road to becoming toned (gaining muscle and losing fat) involves several different factors and can be achieved in different ways. High or low reps can achieve muscle growth, as long as the effort is equal.
  3. What do I mean by equal effort?
    • Let’s say you’re doing 3 sets of both styles, heavy weight/low reps (HW/LR) and high reps/light weight (HR/LW). You’re curling 45lbs for 5 reps (HW/LR). Equal effort is putting the same amount of energy you put into those 5 reps with ‘heavy weight’, with a lighter weight and more reps.
  4. To reiterate this point, to become “toned”, you have to burn fat in the area. You can burn fat by either method, most import thing, is to exert yourself and use up energy #caloricdeficit.
  5. Doing heavy weight/low reps (HR/LW) does seem to have a greater effect on your muscular endurance.
  6. That said, doing HR/LW does not mean you don’t exert yourself. Yes, it’s lighter weight, but you better be doing a lot of reps to the point you have muscular exhaustion at the end.
  7. The best way to increase your strength is by heavy weight/low reps (HW/LR).
    • An easy way to simplify this is by understanding that you will get better at what you do more. This is a totally “no duh” statement, but think about it. If you want to gain more strength, your body needs to push heavier weight (which will naturally force you to do less reps). If you want to increase your muscular endurance, you will need to pick a weight in which you are able to execute a lot of repetitions (which will naturally be less weight).
  8. So which way burns more fat?
    • Whichever way forces you to exert more energy and burn more calories. So whether you do LW/HR or HW/LR if you’re not pushing yourself, you’re not going to see results. Other factors also matter, such as rest time. To maximize fat burning, you will have to lessen rest periods to keep your heart rate up. The expense will be you will not be able to lift
  9. Most important point: incorporate BOTH in your workouts.
    • One is not necessarily superior than the other. Both should be incorporated into a workout regimen. Generally, by incorporating both styles, you can achieve the 3 main goals of weight lifting: increasing strength, increasing muscular endurance, and decreasing body fat. Oh, and looking jacked and Instagraming it #nofilter #whyyoulyin’ #obviouslyafilter. So that’s 4 goals.
  10. To summarize
    • High reps can get you toned…but so can low reps with heavy weight. You get toned by building muscle and losing fat. Both ways can accomplish this.
    • Both styles can cause muscle growth, as long as the effort is equal.
    • Both styles can cause fat loss, as long as the effort is equal.
    • HR/LW helps more with muscle endurance.
    • HW/LR is required for increasing strength.
    • Incorporate both styles into your workout.

      I hope I didn’t leave you confused. If you have any questions or if anything is unclear please feel free to drop a question in the comment section.

      References:
      Jones N. The New Approach to Training Volume. StrengthTheory; 2015 May 12. http://www.strengtheory.com/the-new-approach-to-training-volume/http://www.strengtheory.com/the-new-approach-to-training-volume/

      Shoenfeld BJ, Wilson JM, Lowery RP, Krieger JW. Muscular adaptations in low- versus high-load resistance training: A meta-analysis. Eur J Sport Sci. 2016 Feb;16(1):1-10. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2014.989922. Epub 2014 Dec 20. (website link for summary: http://www.lookgreatnaked.com/blog/does-light-load-training-build-muscle-in-experienced-lifters/)

 

10 New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

new-year-resolutions-coworking

Happy 2016! It’s that time of year again; gym memberships skyrocket, gym parking lots get filled up, brand spanking new Nike sneakers, fr3sh new workout clothes (I think that’s how the kids spell “fresh” these days). My personal beef (shameless plug) with New Year’s Resolutions is that there are 364 other days of the year to make a commitment for self-improvement. With that said, since the new year is a universal time people decide to get healthier, I want to give you 10 simple and basic things you can do to become “healthier”. Too often are New Year’s Resolutions too extreme and before you know it, it’s February 1st and things are back to the way they were before New Years. Allow me to hold your hand and let’s take a step by step journey to better health. That got deep and emotional real quick.

  1. Drink More Water
    The Institute of Medicine recommends about 3 liters of water for men and 2 liters for women. Thats about 13 and 8 glasses of water, respectively. Or if you’re a drinker of the regular sized Poland Spring bottled water (16.9oz), that’s 6 bottles for men and 4 bottles for women. My personal suggestion on drinking enough water to reach your goal is to carry around a liter bottle water around with you. That way, you know 3 or 2 refills of the bottle and boom, you’ve hit your goal. Note that for people with certain medical conditions, such as heart failure, this recommendation may not apply for you and you should get a consultation from your doctor or friendly neighborhood pharmacist ;).
  2. Cut Out One Crappy Food From Your Daily Diet
    For me, this used to be croissants…delicious, buttery, warm croissants. I had a croissant , egg, and cheese sandwich everyday. I felt good because I got my protein from the egg and carbohydrates from the croissant. Let’s get real though, as delicious as croissants are, they are nutrient empty and calorically heavy. They were excess calories I needed to cut out to lose weight. Find the heavy caloric, nutrient empty food you can cut out from your daily consumption and you will see a difference after time. Examples of such food/drink items might be: large caramel frappuccino’s from Starbucks, large coffee with cream and 700 sugars, soda, bag of chips, chocolate bar, etc.
  3. Eat a Damn Fruit 
    Multivitamins are a nice way to get vitamins and minerals you may not get through you diet…but the natural way is better. Make a habit of one fruit a day. Apple, banana, orange, whatever.
  4. Start Packing Healthy Snacks
    Healthy snacking is a great way to keep your appetite suppressed so you don’t go down on 6 slices of pizza for lunch or 3 plates of rice for dinner. Fill a sandwich bag with a handful of almonds or walnuts, baby carrots, handful of berries, dry cereal like Fiber One, or whole wheat toast with peanut butter.
  5. Stop Bringing Home Junk Food
    Another personal signature lifestyle change was to tell my mom to stop bringing home Oreos and soda when grocery shopping. If it’s not at home then you can’t eat it. You can save a lot of calories this way.
  6. Track Your Macros
    Haha, you thought I was actually going to go through a blog post without mentioning macros. Here’s my post on how to set yourself up to accomplish this task. Tracking your macros can revolutionize your eating habits and learn how much you really need to eat to lose weight.
  7. Substitute Soda With Crystal Light Packets
    This is specific for the soda drinkers out there who can’t cold turkey soda. It’s okay, I was there before too, I’m here with you. I got through it by using Crystal Light (or store brand alternatives) packets. They are sugar free and typically have about 5 calories a packet. This isn’t a substitute for water, but for those who like to have something sweet with your meal, here you go. Also, no, you are not going to lose brain cells or other weird things from the artificial sweetener, aspartame. I’ll have a post addressing this in the near future.
  8. Do 10 Burpees Every Day
    Here’s a video on how to do a burpee. I don’t care what your fitness level is. Take a break after each one if you have to in the beginning, just get to at least 10. The only way to get better at something is to start from somewhere. Burpees are a great whole body, compound exercise. It’ll help with mobility, flexion, stamina, and strength. If 10 is easy for you then do multiple sets with breaks in between.
  9. Stretch Every Morning
    Here’s a video of a basic 3 minute stretch routine. I would also add  standing toe touches with feet together and feet apart. Sometimes you don’t realize how stiff you are until you do a stretch. Again, in the beginning you might such at stretching, it’s okay. This is something, if done consistently, you will see results quickly.
  10. Realize Progress is a Slow, Stepwise Process
    Seriously, it’s great to have resolutions and even the “new year, new me” stuff (unless you just slap that quote on for a selfie and FB likes, then that’s stupid and take it down immediately). If you’re serious about change and becoming healthier, it’s a SLOW process. Human nature is to want instant gratification so it’s an active mindset necessary to accomplish this. One lifestyle change at a time and they will add up in the long run.

The 7 Day, 7 Step Weight Loss Challenge

FND FITNESSAre you ready to be like, “OH SNAP, MY WHOLE PERSPECTIVE ON DIETING HAS CHANGED. I FINALLY REALIZE WHY I HAVEN’T BEEN LOSING WEIGHT!
Has my infomercial tag line drawn you in yet?

There are too many 5 day juice cleanses, 2 day squash diets, 8 day kale challenges, and other strange and temporary methods of weight loss. Unfortunately, the upside of these challenges are a few pounds of weight loss from extreme caloric restriction. Then what? You go about your same food habits you had before and buy a more expensive juicer.

So what CAN you do in a week that will help equip you with the tools to manage your diet more efficiently? You can…TRACK YOUR MACROS. I know, I know, you’ve already heard me talk exhaustingly over this topic, but now I’m literally going to spoon feed you into doing this for a week. Before we get started, though, let me give you 3 reasons this challenge is better than the juice cleanse you went through about a week ago, week ago.

  1. You will finally have an appreciation of the caloric impact of some of the most frequent foods you eat. I was having a really hard time losing weight a few years ago even though I thought I was eating less. After tracking, I realized the daily caramel macchiato, bagel with cream cheese, and medium bubble tea were adding more calories than I thought.
  2. You will stop feeling guilty about eating certain foods that make you feel like you were committing a crime. Remember, we’re not restricting or stopping foods with this plan, we are learning how to manage them.
  3. This is MUCH easier than drinking bloody broccoli juice for 7 days. When I say bloody, I’m obviously using English slang. Why am I using English slang? Great question. If I ever say bloody with an English accent in person, just hit me.

OKAYY. Here it is, 7 steps to finally understand FOOD and help you with weight loss!

  1. Download MyFitnessPal on your smart phone. Put the app on your home page, the bottom app-tray bar, where ever it’s easiest to access. If you leave the app on your 4th page of apps, you probably won’t use it.
  2. Click here to calculate your macros.  Answer truthfully and when in doubt, underestimate your answer when it comes to activity level. For the formula, leave the “total body weight formula option”.
  3. If you scroll down, on step 2, it will display your total daily calories based on your goal. So if you want fat loss, pick the “suggested option” and it will show you your total calories.
  4. Scroll down to step 4 and it will individually show you each macronutrient goal for the day. Go plug these numbers in your MyFitnessPal app by going to ‘More–>Goals
    –>Calorie & macronutrient goals’. Put in your total calories and adjust the percentages of the macronutrients to have the grams equivalent to your results.
  5. Now that you have your goals set, you are ready to track. You can either search foods by name or scan the barcode of the product. Pay attention to the option for serving size and number of servings when tracking. Since you probably don’t have a scale at home to weigh foods, just google it. For example, if you’re eating a chicken breast, google “how many ounces is a chicken breast”. Not asking you to cross mountains over here.
  6. Remember, just as important as the total daily calories are the individual macronutrients (protein, fat, carbs). If you realize your carbs are too high and protein too low, maybe substitute the giant subway sandwich for a protein shake?
  7. If you go a little over or a lot over your mark, don’t give up! Remember, this challenge is for you to learn about your food intake and make your lifestyle changes later.

After the 7 days, have some perspective on the outcome of your tracking. No, you won’t look super skinny after the 7 days, it wouldn’t be healthy if you did. But now you can appreciate the quantity and quality of the nutrition you take in. Maybe now you can discover that the daily food item(s) you have every single day, has been pushing your calories too high and that’s why you can’t lose weight. Maybe you realized that your breakfast and dinner are too many calories? Now you have a systematic approach of adjusting it. New to the gym and trying to gain muscle? Now you can finally track your protein intake and maximize your gains. This challenge was for 7 days, but I challenge you to do it even longer…I’m very confident your health will not regret the decision. Using English slang, however, that’s regrettable.

Fish Oil Supplementation 101

I tried, but I really don’t have a clever, humorous intro for this article. Instead, I’m going to randomly place funny things people have said to me in the pharmacy throughout this post. You’ll know it when you see it. Let’s learn about fish oils!

  • “You should shave your beard, then you may look handsome” -95 year old women
  • What’s a fish oil?
    • The term fish oil is used to refer to two different kinds of omega-3 fatty acids:
      • EPA and DHA.
  • What are omega-3 fatty acids?
    • They are unsaturated fats (aka the ‘good’ kind) which serve a lot of important beneficial functions in the body, such as: reduction in inflammation, blood pressure, triglycerides, soreness, increase in cognition, and other good stuff.
    • 3 kinds of omega-3’s are DHA, EPA, and ALA.
  • So where can I find these omega-3 things?
    • DHA and EPA are found in seafood and ALA is found in mostly flaxseed, vegetables, walnuts. About 2 servings of fatty seafood a week would get you your servings needed for DHA and EPA. Most people, though, don’t eat that much seafood.
  • “I used to look at maps…but now I look at girls. But that didn’t work. So now I’m going to go back to looking at maps.”
  • How much do I need to take?
    • Well, it depends. The recommendations vary depending on what you’re using it for and your health status. For example, the recommendation for a 56 year old who’s had a heart attack will likely be different for a 24 year old gym rat. I would say for most people reading this (a young-middle aged adult without a significant past medical history), if you’re taking fish oil supplementation, it’s for primary prevention. Primary prevention means, you haven’t had a heart attack but want to prevent one from happening and you don’t eat enough fish, so you’re supplementing with fish oil capsules.
      So, for you, a 400mg to 1gram of combined DHA/EPA is probably in the dosage range for what you’re looking for.
  • So does it actually work?
    • There’s plenty of evidence to show omega-3 consumption is correlated with less coronary heart disease (CHD) as primary prevention (primary prevention meaning you have no history of CHD).  A lot of this data comes from observational studies of looking at populations of people who have increased fish intake versus those that don’t. For example, they found that Greenland eskimos (who consume a whole lot of fish) had reduced rates of CHD, lower blood pressure, and better cholesterol compared to Westernized societies. They found that the eskimos had considerably high levels of omega-3 in their body. Are there other factors which contributed to this, such as, the likelihood of reduced McDonalds consumption and 44oz containers of soda? Yeah, probably, but the correlation is still there.
  • Conclusion.
    • Fish oil are often thought of as one of the best supplements to take, and for good reason. The benefits they offer are plentiful, and unlike the commonly consumed b-vitamins, omega-3 acids are something many people are likely actually deficient in. The best suggestion would be to start to incorporate seafood (salmon, tuna, flounder) into your diet, 2-3/week. If you really can’t find your way into doing that, then fish oil supplementation may be right to you.
    • If you want to learn more about the specifics, check the link on the second reference below. It has it broken down into each indication fish oil has been studied for and a description of it.

      References:
      Artham S, Lavie C, Milani R, et al. Fish Oil in Primary and Secondary Cardiovascular Prevention. Ochsner J. 2008 Summer; 8(2): 49–60.

      Fish Oil – Scientific Review on Usage, Dosage, Side Effects. (n.d.). Retrieved August 29, 2015. http://examine.com/supplements/Fish%20Oil/

6 Foods For Suhoor to Keep You Running Strong

I’m not even going to get on a rant about how FNDfitness has creeped into the shadows amidst my busy and challenging final year of pharmacy school. Instead, i’m gonna hit you with some serious alliteration (see title) and some tips to power through the second half of Ramadan.

Quick intro for the non-muslims: During the holy month of Ramadan, observed by Muslims around the world, we abstain from foods and drinks from sunrise to sunset (approximately 3:50am-8:30pm). Since that’s about 17 hours of no food/drink, it’s important for Muslims to wake up for suhoor, or a meal right before the sun rises. There is so much more to Ramadan than just not eating/drinking as it’s really a means of boosting our spirituality. I’ll let you read more about that here, if you’re interested.

1.) Quest Bars
BOOM. This. Quest bars are too good to be true. Kinda like when your IG picture of you ‘accidentally’ flexing in front of the biggest mirror in the gym gets 100+ likes. Quest bars are like the Lamborghini of protein bars. You won’t find another that tastes as good or has macronutrients comparable. They have 190 calories, 21g of protein, 21g of carbs, 8g of fat, and 17 GRAMS OF DIETARY FIBER. Let me put this into perspective. Recommended amount of fiber for women is 25g and 38g for men.[1] The average adult gets only 15g. Heck, Fiber One bars, which are advertised for their high fiber, have 9g. Point, Quest bars. Fiber helps to keep you feeling full, regulate your digestive system, lower cholesterol, and more. Also, they contain about an average of 6 ingredients, so it’s not filled with crap. They use the highest quality ingredients so you feel all magical inside after finishing a bar. The 21g of protein will also help with keeping your gains and your satiety (feeling of fullness). Oh yeah, it tastes like a candy bar. Buy here online or find in your local GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, or ShopRite. My favorite flavor is cookies and cream <3.
P.S. no, i’m not being paid by Quest. But Quest if you’re reading this and want to be endorsed by an up and coming fitness blog with like 3 regular readers, hit me up ;). email: effendi621@gmail.com

QuestBar pictures2.) Fruit
Time to #hitemwiththestudies. I’m trying to get my own catch catch phrase, we’ll see if this starts trending soon on twitter. So, they did a study in Mexico to compare the level of satiety (feeling of fullness) between four different meals. A fruit salad left participants feeling the most full (even though it had the 3rd least amount of calories).[2] Unsurprisingly, this meal had the most fiber content of the 4 meals and the runner up meal, whole grain bread and beans, had the most protein and second highest fiber content. What kind of fruits are we talking? Watermelon, oranges, apples, and bananas have some of the highest fullness factors.[3] Fiber and protein guys, it’s good stuff.

3.) Whole wheat grains
I’m gonna keep HEWTS (hitten em with the studies). I’m really going all in on this catch phrase, if you can’t already tell. I’m really not cherry picking this study to prove my point, because I don’t need to, science is doing this for me. In fact, that study is really small and not the best designed study, but it gets a few obvious point across. One being, the benefits of whole wheat over refined grains (aka white bread). Whole wheat bread is composed of 3 layers (bran, germ, and endosperm), all of which help promote satiety. The body has to work a little harder to break whole wheat grains down in the body which leads to the feeling of fullness and preventing a sugar spike. Refined grains, as delicious as they are, are stripped of 2/3 layers (bran and germ). Say deuces to the fiber and protein seen in whole wheat grains and hello to a delicious sugar spike. I’m not saying go awal and never eat white bread, i’m just saying it might not be the best option at 3:00AM to help you keep full throughout the day.

fiber 1

4.) Beans
So this guy, Dan Buettner, went to the 5 places in the world in which the most people living in their 100’s reside. One of the commonalities between all these places filled with old people were that they all eat a lot of beans. Beans are very macronutrient friendly and are filled with protein and fiber. Can they give gas, yeah. But I say, don’t let your body’s natural system of reliving gas prevent you from a healthy nutritious staple of life. To further touch upon this subject, would you believe that they actually compared the flatulence of three different kinds of beans? #HEWTS Black-eyed peas had the least number of complaints, but after a few weeks all three groups’ (pinto, black-eyed, and vegetarian baked beans) flatulence went back to normal.[4] Look, if you’re going to taraweeh (extra prayers at nighttime) and ripping the place up, maybe skip this suggestion for now. I’m just tryna help here.

black beans

5.) Whey Protein
For all my shirtless flexing friends out there wanting to keep their gains, you’ll like this one. Protein has a lot of controversies and misunderstandings (ie magic anabolic window of opportunity for post workout protein). Another one you may not be aware of is spreading out protein intake throughout the day versus one bolus high protein intake meal. Spreading out protein intake has some good traction to be potentially superior than one big protein meal. With the small window of being able to eat during Ramadan, taking advantage of this time can be important to spread your protein intake.[5] So go for that scoop of whey protein, blend it with some fruit, and be left feeling full and muscular. Then

6.) Vegetables
lol I know you’re probably not going to listen to this one, who even eats vegetables right? But for completions sake, this list would be quite inappropriate without vegetables. You’re already restricted in Ramadan to be take in a “well rounded, nutritious, and balanced diet” due to less frequent meals. Getting in some vegetables, though, would be really helpful for the nutrition and fiber. If you’re not gonna eat veggies, at least try to get in a multi-vitamin, but you’re not going to get the same bang for your buck.

America, don’t lose faith in FNDfitness. If y’all had enough confidence to vote for Bush for 2 terms, don’t give up on me now.

References:
[1] Zelman, Kathleen, and Elaine Magee. “Fiber: How Much Do I Need?”WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 04 July 2015. <http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/fiber-how-much-do-you-need&gt;.
[2] Jimenez-Cruz A, Loustaunau-Lopez VM, Bacardi-Gascon M. The use of low glycemic and high satiety index food dishes in Mexico: a lot cost approach to prevent and control obesity and diabetes. Nutr Hosp 2006;21(3):353-356.
[3] “Fullness Factor™.” – NutritionData.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 July 2015. <http://nutritiondata.self.com/topics/fullness-factor&gt;.
[4] Winham DM, Hutchins AM. Perceptions of flatulence from bean consumption among adults in 3 feeding studies. Nutr J. 2011;10:128.
[5]Schoenfeld BJ, Aragon AA, Krieger JW. Effects of meal frequency on weight loss and body composition: a meta-analysis. Nutrition Reviews 2015;69-82. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nutrit/nuu017

Diet Supplements, Dr. Oz, and a Great Way to Lose Time & Money

dr oz

 

There are a ton of different products promoted for your health, some good and some bad; take a stroll down to the “diet supplementation” section in your local Walgreens and take a glance at some crappy ones. Or if you really want the full experience, take a stroll to a local GNC and look at their “diet supplementation” section. You’re going to see a whole lot of “WOW SUPER FAT BURNING PRODUCT IN THIS BOTTLE” products and some epic before/after pictures of a girl in a bikini (I think they use the same person in all the pictures, will need to verify this, though).

So, whats the deal with these kinds of supplements? Well, there aren’t really any “perfect” supplements out there. Even the products with good research to support their benefit, such as garlic to lower cholesterol, can pose a potential complication to certain population groups (those at risk of bleeding). [3] Some of the supplements with the strongest evidence to prove their efficacy and safety, oddly receive a false reputation for being very dangerous, e.g., creatine. [1]

In any case, the amount of supplements out there are vast and the information available is varied. That’s when reliable, unbiased, evidence based information outlets (such as www.examine.com) become super valuable. With that said, the average consumer may not go through the process of reviewing the literature regarding different over the counter supplements and herbal products. That’s when the role of health care professionals (especially pharmacists, since they are the most accessible ones) come into play. Unfortunately. we have some highly qualified healthcare professionals (looking at you Dr. Oz) who have an enormous following to whom he gets to spoon feed garbage information. Working in the pharmacy as a pharmacy intern, I have first handedly seen the brainwashed face of many middle aged women reluctant to listen to any advice based off of science or research in favor of the the good looking medical doctor with his own tv show. Yes, Dr. Oz does indeed make a lot of recommendations without any scientific evidence. [5,6]

Enough bashing of doctors that have their own television show even though they shouldn’t. Let’s get to the meat of the article. Here’s a fun fact, these herbals and supplements you’ll find in the vitamin isle are not FDA approved. One of the many jobs the Food and Drug Administration has is to make sure foods and drugs are strictly regulated to ensure the safety and efficacy of “FDA approved” products. This includes the over the counter bottle of Tylenol you have in your medicine cabinet and the the box of pop-tarts under your bed. So if these herbal products and magic fat burning capsules aren’t FDA approved, how do they end up on the shelves of your local convenience stores? As a generalization, most of your magic fat burning pills you see on the shelf, their manufacturer completed a crappy trial or two showing that their product resulted in weight loss. These claims will be super fabricated due to bad study designs and a manipulation in explaining the results. Let’s use an actual example using a popular fat loss supplement, garcinia cambogia, using a meta-analysis published in 2010, looking at its use as a dietary supplement. But first, I should probably explain what a meta-analysis is first…

A meta-analysis is when researchers will look at all the relevant literature on a topic and select those studies which fit a certain criteria (criteria which basically makes the study reliable). They will analyze the results, crunch the numbers, and come up with an overall conclusion on the data. A well done meta-analysis can really provide good information on a topic since they look at basically all the literature available on a topic.

So, what did this meta-analysis find? They concluded that the average weight loss seen from usage of garcinia cambogia versus placebo (an inactive pill used to compare the efficacy of something) was an extra 1.9 pounds. So, this product MIGHT help you lose an extra 2 pounds in over the period of a month or two in addition to a low calorie diet. Not to mention, these trials are short term (2 to 12 weeks) so the long term effects of garcinia are not known. That’s in addition to the short term adverse effects of garcinia, which include: headache, skin rash, common cold, and gastrointestinal symptoms which lead 88 people in total to drop out of the studies included in the meta-analysis. [4]

To really summarize the point of my analysis on garcinia, think of this. When you grab a bottle of garcinia camboga, in very large font in the front of bottle it’s going to say something like “SUPPORTS APPETITE CONTROL AND INHIBITS FAT PRODUCTION”. In very small font in the back it’s going to say “*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration”. Luckily their statements have been evaluated by our kind folks who completed the meta analysis. So in my opinion, what would be the more honest, accurate, and consumer friendly label description?

“Hi, we’re garcinia camboga and as a result of a lot of different unwell designed studies, it’s been shown that versus placebo, we offer a potential extra 2 pounds in weight loss over the period of a few months (in addition to a low caloric diet). There were some people in the studies who felt their appetite was controlled, but it wasn’t a statistically significant effect. In addition, you might get some crappy side effects like stomach upset, headaches, rash, and a cold. The long term effects of this product are not known and could potentially lead to liver toxicity which will likely be reversed upon discontinuation, based on prior case reports. [4] We recommend if you do want to spend 15 dollars a month to possible lose an extra 2 pounds DO NOT use longer than 3 months. Thanks!”

This obviously will never happen because then people like Dr. Oz won’t have a television show and these companies wouldn’t make any money.

To conclude, I really want to highlight the “so what”. What is the real clinical relevancy of the misguidedness alongside these weight loss supplements? People are going to waste time and money on these products which are going to offer them no long term benefit and minimal, if any, short term benefit. That time and money could be used towards things which will actually benefit the person. In addition, people often have the expectation they can go about their normal lifestyle (which led to their unhealthy body composition in the first place), take the weight loss supplement, and lose weight. Can you think of a greater combination of time wasting and ignorance? I can’t. All of this bad and misleading information is just another reason why we have an obesity epidemic. Can you imagine all of the efforts put towards these weight loss supplements were geared towards healthy lifestyle changes instead? Then the section for garcinia cambogia could be replaced with FNDFitness t-shirts and merchandise instead.

References:
[1] Cooper, Robert, Fernando Naclerio, Judith Allgrove, and Alfonso Jimenez. “Creatine Supplementation with Specific View to Exercise/sports Performance: An Update.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. BioMed Central, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2015 <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3407788/&gt;.

[2] Dara, Lily, Jennifer Hewett, and Joseph Kartaik Lim. “Hydroxycut Hepatotoxicity: A Case Series and Review of Liver Toxicity from Herbal Weight Loss Supplements.” World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG. The WJG Press and Baishideng, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2015. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2773866/&gt;.

[3] “Garlic – Scientific Review on Usage, Dosage, Side Effects | Examine.com.” Garlic – Scientific Review on Usage, Dosage, Side Effects | Examine.com. Examine, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2015. <http://examine.com/supplements/Garlic/&gt;
[4] Onakpoya, Igho, Shao Kang Hung, Rachel Perry, Barbara Wider, and Edzard Ernst. “The Use of Garcinia Extract (Hydroxycitric Acid) as a Weight Loss Supplement: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Clinical Trials.” Journal of Obesity. Hindawi Publishing Corporation, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2015 <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3010674/&gt;.
[5] Specter, Michael. “The Operator – The New Yorker.” The New Yorker. The New Yorker, 4 Feb. 2014. Web. 25 Apr. 2015. <http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/02/04/the-operator&gt;.
[6] Swiss, Jamy. “JREF Swift Blog.” Dr. Oz: A Hazard To America’s Health. James Randi Educational Foundation, 12 May 2013. Web. 25 Apr. 2015.

The Fastest & Shortest Way to Lose Belly Fat: See Results in Just a Week!

This…is…FNDfitness! (corny 10/10)

I’m really sorry. I had to open this post up with an apology because the title of this post was purposely constructed to be manipulative. It’s marketing at it’s finest; placing the two words that are your biggest weakness after pumpkin spice lattes,  ‘fast’ and ‘belly fat’. Unfortunately, as promising as the title seems to be, it embeds everything that’s wrong with health and fitness today. It implies that optimizing the health of your mind and body is an overnight process. Ask any person who displays great health (the super lean and strong 30 year old at the gym who you stare at lifting in between sets) and they’ll tell you their journey to fitness was something made over the span of years. It required dedication and hard work which transpired over a period of time. A mindset which acknowledged ups and downs but ultimately had the constant of learning and improving upon mistakes and building upon successes.

Ok, so I’m not going to totally leave you hanging after my super deceiving title. On the plus side, now you know to hopefully avoid the links which promise to get you a “super six pack with this one shortcut in 72 hours” (and avoid the array of viruses you’ll have to explain to other household members). So, let’s get to it…how do we quickly and efficiently burn belly fat?

There’s no way to only lose belly fat…

“Yo, FNDfitness, you’re killing me. You’re leading me on more than my high school sweet heart who really wasn’t my sweet heart because she totally friendzone 3000’d me.” I really am sorry and for the record, totally feel for you #teamfriendzonestandtogether. So let’s quickly get this out of the way, there is no such thing at spot reduction. What’s spot reduction? Basically what the name implies, losing fat in one specific spot. When you lose fat, you lose it throughout the whole body. Now, can you target certain areas over others? Sure, just ask the guy who curls in the squat rack. If I solely dedicated my life to dumbbell curls, I would likely have less fat in my arms than the rest of my body because of that specific isolation movement. Unfortunately, this isolation doesn’t exist for your stomach. You can do 10000 sit-ups a day but unless you’re in a caloric deficit through proper dieting and/or exercise (hopefully both), you won’t lose the stomach fat. Also important to note is the genetic factor: fat distribution among a population is not equal. For some people more fat may be distributed to their stomach while for some others it may go to their legs. Naturally, if you start losing fat you will see greater reductions in some areas more than others but the constant remains that you can’t lose fat in only one specified area of the body.

Ok, here it is, the fastest way to lose fat…

Wait, sorry one more thing. Hopefully this teasing isn’t making me lose readers, I can really use all of you guys. Promise, last point, then we’ll get to the good stuff. I need to further emphasize a point I glossed over earlier. It’s a fact that people want to see results quickly, very understandable. Unfortunately, this problematic ‘quick fix’ weight loss mindset all too often leads to rebound weight gain. The person will undergo some extreme form of restrictive dieting which then leads to inevitable weight loss due to drastic reductions in calorie intake, but then what? The lack of intention to implement life style modifications for overall health leads to this on going ping-pong of weight gain, stress, extreme dieting, weight loss, back to a normal lifestyle, weight gained back on, and repeat. So before I go on to give my suggestion of quick efficient fat loss, I plead that it be used as a stepping stone to better understand and learn health and nutrition and to implement it in your lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be a drastic overnight change but, rather, a mindset which has the intention to continue to improve on life style modifications. These lifestyle modifications include eating in greater moderation, tracking macros, implementing weight lifting, and cardio.  Even more important, the recognition that if you have one bad day of maybe overeating, it does not have to be a downhill avalanche from there, eat a little bit less the next day and throw in some exercise.

Ok so what is one of the most convenient, short, accessible, and efficient ways to burn fat?

Beachbody home workout videos. I’m sure there are lots of great at home workout videos out there, but the one that I have personal experience and success with is from beach body. Not just me, but I personally know lots of people who have had success with their programs. The programs are brilliantly developed so that they incorporate a total body workout. The schedule of the workouts are tremendously laid out so that you get the appropriate rest for each body part as needed. The common theme that these different programs incorporate is the concept of high intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT in a nutshell is basically exerting high intensity movement(s) over a short duration followed by a short period of rest. The most basic example would be sprinting on a treadmill for a minute followed by a minute of walking. Of course, with these home workouts you aren’t on a treadmill but are completing a variety of exercises which stimulate different areas of the body for a whole body work out. Here are a bunch of reasons why these at home programs will probably be awesome for you.

  1. It’s convenient. No gym membership, no driving, they’re all at home workouts.
  2. For a lot of the workouts, there is no equipment required. For those that do require some equipment, it’s very minimal and you can order it along with the dvd’s or buy them cheap on amazon.
  3. Go at your own pace. No feeling of embarrassment that people are watching at you. An important aspect stressed in the videos is to go at your own pace but to try your hardest. Initially, you are probably not going to be able to keep up with people on the dvd, BUT THAT’S OKAY. You can go on your own pace, but it’s important that you try your best. If you half-ass it and take longer breaks than you know you need, you’re only cheating yourself.
  4. More on the HIIT. The benefits of HIIT are pretty well documented and make a lot of sense. You are not going to burn fat from a 15 minute walk on a treadmill because you’re body doesn’t need to use extra sources of energy for fuel (the extra source being fat). On the other hand, when you’re doing high intensity type training, your body has to work extra hard and needs extra fuel to keep going. First, your body will go for your glucose and glycogen stores. When those run out your body starts burning FAT for energy, how exciting! So, when you’re getting tired and need that extra push during the workout just remember, that’s the FAT you will be using as energy to keep you going. Here’s a study that compared two groups, one with conventional training and another with conventional training+HIIT. After 8 weeks, both groups lost significant weight, but the group with HIIT incorporated in it had a greater reduction in visceral fat (body fat inside abdominal fat so it’s closer to the organs aka the worst kind of fat). [1]
  5. Well laid out programs. Often times people don’t know where to begin and what to do on their fitness journey. With all of the programs a full schedule is laid out for you.
  6. They can be used as supplemental exercises. Maybe you’re someone that already goes to the gym on occasion and are wondering what benefit these programs can have for you. Well, just because these programs are laid out as a program to be completed over a certain amount of time, that doesn’t mean they have to be used that way. Maybe there’s a few days of the week you just don’t have time to go to the gym, no problem. Slip in a dvd and you have your workout for the day.
  7. Most of the workouts are short. they range anywhere from as short as 25 minutes, to usually not more than an hour.

So which do I pick? Beachbody has a lot of different programs and you’re free to do your own research on them but here are the ones I’m familiar with.

  • For those short on time/beginners
    • T25. These short 25 minute workouts are broken down by different difficulty levels and are only 25 minutes long. Can you really not spare 25 minutes a day for a workout? Don’t get fooled by the 25 minutes either if you think it’s going to be a waste of time, you’re getting a really great and efficient workout in. The sweat afterwards will speak for itself.
  • Intermediate/advanced level of fitness
    • P90X or Insanity. Caution: Insanity is pretty intense. For the complete beginners, I would probably not recommend it. For those with some experience in exercising or intermediate level of fitness I think it’s worth the challenge. The important thing to remember with any of these workouts but especially with Insanity is the you have to GO AT YOUR OWN PACE. If you set your expectations at baseline with the people in the dvd, you’re setting yourself up for disaster. It’s okay to take a break while they’re still going, but as soon as you get your rest you have to jump back in.

So there you have it. You’ve been complaining about wanting to lose weight about what seems like forever now. This is probably the easiest, most convenient, and most practical way you can jump on that goal NOW. Whatever the price is for the program (usually around $100-150), once you start seeing your results, you’ll consider it your greatest investment ever. The great thing about these programs is that they put you through such an effective and efficient calorie burning exercise, you’re almost guaranteed to lose weight (assuming you don’t start eating more than you were before starting the programs). Assuming that you had little to no exercise prior to the workout dvd’s, the calories you’re going to burning from these programs are going to have some kind of positive effect on your body composition; and due to their intensity and effectiveness, you can expect to see results pretty quickly. I know I sound like an annoying uncle telling you life advice, but don’t forget the most important thing: your goal should be to implement life style changes that can improve your health for the long term. Having the intention on doing these workout dvd’s for just a few months while still eating pop-tarts as 90% of your diet is not going to do you any good.

References:

[1] Giannaki CD, Aphamis G, Sakkis P, Hadjicharalambous M. Eight weeks of a combination of high intensity interval training and conventional training reduce visceral adiposity and improve physical fitness: a group-based intervention. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2015;

 

 

 

How to Find Good Information on Health, Fitness, & Nutrition

Chinese scientists would never lie, would they?
Chinese scientists would never lie…or would they?

The internet is awesome. It’s filled with tons of information on any topic you could think of. Unfortunately, the internet also sucks sometimes. There’s probably a greater amount of bad information out there than good. These statements apply for really all kinds of topics, but especially for health/fitness related information. How does one look for good information? What even is good information? How do I know whether what I’m reading is bs or legitimate? These are questions that are huge challenges faced by today’s society as we are submerged in the wealth of information the internet has to offer. The goal of this post is not to answer all these questions, since completion of this task tremendously exceeds the scope of a single blog post. Rather, in addition to providing practical information in response to these questions, the goal of this post is too widen your perspective on these issues and serve as a stepping stone to become better at finding the health information which is best for your desired health outcome(s).

Some background on the origins of “bad” information…

Let’s begin with a seemingly crazy statement. MOST INFORMATION OUT THERE IS NOT 100% WRONG. So, what does that even mean? Let’s use a previously talked about subject as an example, “does eating more meals boost your metabolism”? We concluded that that the statement was indeed false; regardless of frequency, the amount of energy burned by food consumption stays the same. So what’s up with the all-caps/bolded statement above? Well here comes the tricky part. People who support the claim of increased meal frequency may have some evidence proving their point to be true. So how do we know if their information if reliable or not? Science and studies, that’s how.

Through the science and studies, for the most part, we are most precisely able to determine a reasonable and accurate conclusion on a question. This process can become complicated when the science isn’t totally clear and the studies done on the subject matter come up with mixed results. To continue our previous example, the answer to the question of meal frequency is actually not at all complicated. There are a lot more information/studies supporting the fact that meal frequency does NOT make any significant effect on your metabolism. The basic physiological science behind the premise of the lack of difference on meal frequency is pretty clear, as well. So how does “bad” information like “you must eat 6 small meals to gain muscle and lose weight” come about in the first place?

Well, there are a multitude of ways bad information gets started and spread around. It usually begins with someone having their own unique agenda (usually the selling of some kind of product) hidden behind the desire to provide some kind of innovative health discovery. They will prove the legitimacy of their claim through inaccurate, manipulative, and/or subjective information which is not properly supported by science, BUT they will be good at pretending like it is. For example, they’ll find a single poorly designed study that came to the conclusion they supported. In addition, there might be a ton of other studies going against the results they found. Is the person with the hidden agenda going to tell you about these factors? Of course not. If that wasn’t manipulative enough, they might even add some really good sounding but inaccurate science behind their statement. For example: “every time you eat, your metabolism becomes kick-started from the food”. That totally doesn’t sound unreasonable, but we know from majority of studies and proper science that it is.

After bad information gets surfaced, it becomes really easy to spread through today’s different media outlets. Often times, the propagators innocently believe that what they are saying is correct and may be genuine in trying to spread good information. Unfortunately, they were victim to the inaccurate yet highly convincing information.

Here’s a real life example of everything I’m talking about. Let’s say there was one study that slightly supported 2-Chainz’ claim that unicorns can fly. Fine, technically he wasn’t’ 100% wrong, but common sense and the other 100 studies which have disproved unicorns trumps his findings. This is how most information isn’t always 100% wrong, but still kind of wrong. Also, before you go googling 2-Chainz and unicorns, that was a made up example. To date, there is no evidence to support the existence of unicorns or the rapping skills of 2-chainz.

So how do you find good information?

If only there was an easy answer to this question. First and foremost, the best way to find good information is to read a lot. The more you read, the better you will become at filtering good and bad information. Naturally, as you become a more proficient reader, you will know what kind of information to avoid and what are the good sources of information. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have time to sort through tons of information. We want to be efficient and find good helpful information right away. Lucky for you I’ve done the hard work for you and went through tons of bad information in the last several years. I will provide you with reliable sources of information on health from well respected people in the health industry. But, first there are some basic guidelines you should have in the back of your head when looking through information on health:

  1. Look out for the hidden agenda. As we spoke about before, many times the purpose of what you’re reading is not beneficial information to your health but, rather, a sales promotion. Youtube sensation and creater of “Six Pack Shortcuts”, Mike Chang, is a great example. Not to call the guy out or anything, but he’s a great source of information to go to if you like wasting your time. The first quarter of his videos are him promoting some product followed with some stupid exercise with a towel that’s allegedly going to get you “ripped”. Garbage.
    *Note: If someone is trying to sell you something or is promoting something that does NOT mean you should turn your head or that they’re doing something wrong. Many great sources of information may be promoting their product or advertising something. There’s ABSOLUTELY NOTHING wrong with that; heck, if Bose headphones wants me to advertise their products on here, I’m totally down. But, when the excessive promotion of an item is followed up by something as ridiculous as a towel exercise claiming to get you ripped in 7 days, that’s a red flag. Learn more about the ways of the towel to get a great laugh here.
  2. There’s no such thing as a secret pill or formula to get you ripped in a week. There are great programs out there to give you fast results. There are great sources of information to follow to help you lose weight at a faster rate than which you were previously. But, again, there are no magic pills out there, trust me I’ve looked.
  3. Check the references section. Ideally, the more claims being made in any kind of article, the more references it should have to support those claims. Those references should be from legitimate sources too. If the source has those advertisements of an unusually large man with the caption “use this one trick to get ripped”, it’s probably not too reliable.
  4. The good information ripple effect. When you start following people who provide good information, they will give you more sources of good information. Before you know it you’ll have your own favorites folder of “no bullshit health information” (led off with FNDfitness, of course).

5 Great sources of information (with links to their resepective Facebook page)
*in no specific order*

  1. Layne Norton
    A PhD body-builder, power-lifter, and scientist who is as smart as he is strong (he’s really really strong by the way). A fantastic source of information who uses science and personal experience to back up his claims.
  2. Alan Aragon
    One of the most popular figures in the “non bs” sector of the health industry. He literally sciences all over the place when speaking about different health topics. Yes, he can even turn sciences into an adjective. For those who possess above average skills in health literacy, a $10/month subscription to his monthly research review would be a really great decision on your part to stay up to date with the latest health information.
  3. Omar Isuf
    This one hits home. Omar Isuf is one of the first people I started following on my road to good health/fitness information. I remember the first time I came across his youtube account, I went through literally every single one of his videos. If you have a Youtube account, you need to subscribe to him as soon as possible. He was able to present information in such an educated yet simplified manner. For all those lifters out there, he has incredible videos on technique and other relevant weight lifting tips. In addition, he also has great videos on nutrition and supplements. Here’s his Youtube link. Dude is also hilarious and has great hair. Not sure if this was a love letter or bio.
  4. Brad Schoenfeld
    Brad Schoenfeld, Ph.D, C.S.C.S., is an internationally renowned fitness expert and widely regarded as one of the leading authorities on body composition training (muscle development and fat loss). He is a lifetime drug-free bodybuilder, and has won numerous natural bodybuilding titles. I totally copy-pasted this from his website. Anyway, his bio speaks for itself.
  5. Monica Reinagel aka The Nutrition Diva
    Monica Reinagel is really smart. If you have an iPhone, go to your “Podcasts” app and search “Nutrition Diva”. Subscribe, download, and listen. She covers so many different topics and manages to educate you about it in 5 minutes using science and research.
  6. BONUS: www.examine.com
    An unbiased source on nutrition using investigational science on studies to provide rationale. Have a question on a certain supplement or question about something you heard? This website contains easy to read answers that are laid out in a reader friendly fashion to help you. The topics in examine are very in-depth and scientifically supported.

Summary:

This whole issue of finding good information and avoiding bad information is a really complicated issue. There are so many different factors to address about the subject and as previously mentioned, beyond the scope of a single blog post. To receive some immediate practical benefit from this article I suggest you follow each of the 5 people mentioned above. Read the information on their websites, follow them on Facebook, search their names on youtube, and immediately you will have exposed yourself to good information. The information presented in this post is mostly background information. To be honest, it’s relatively incomplete only because this discussion is so vast. Even though I have exposed myself to so much bad information in the past that, it’s that experience that helps me now better differentiate good information from the bad. This is still a skill that I am working on and am far from being any kind of expert at. Hopefully with my experience and continuing education, we can eliminate garbage information from our search history.  Speaking of search history, don’t forget to clear your search history unless you can explain “2 chainz unicorns” to your parents or kids…or both.

Introduction

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Hello. Hola. Bonjour. Assalamualaikum. Now that this page has been officially flagged, welcome to the page that is going to change your life forever. Ok, maybe not, but a little factual information never hurt anybody right? *Cue in picture of OTC weight-loss product manufacturers giving me the finger*

Ok, let’s get serious, you didn’t visit this page for bad jokes or subtextual shots at non FDA regulated products.

Here’s who this blog is for:

  • EVERYBODY! The focus on this blog is really on getting the average person to have a better understanding on basic nutrition and health (what’s a calorie, why is fiber important, are carbohydrates going to ruin my social life, etc.). I will also look to add information in this blog targeted to those who have an above average knowledge of health/nutrition, as well. So yeah, FNDfitness is for everyone.
  • South asians. “Wow, FNDfitness is a racist and only caters to the brown?” Woah, calm down airport security. When I said this blog is for EVERYONE, I used all caps for a reason. Then why the specification? Well, as a pakistani young adult I can first handedly relate to the specific problems faced by those similar to my culture (I’m looking at you pakora’s and white fluffy naan). With that said, I think the problems faced by many south asian kids trying to get that ripped 6 pack abs and throw that mean Instagram filter on it, are common problems we ALL face. So yeah, I got love for all people, all skin colors, and all religions (hashtag peace, hashtag onelove, hashtag likeforlike).

Here’s what you can expect from this blog:

  • Factual information on health related topics based off of studies/scientific research.
  • Reasons on WHY you have heard certain statements circulating in your brain since you were a child and if it’s credible and backed up with research. (Example: If you don’t eat breakfast everything you know and love will die and your life will be forever ruined.)
  • Advice on how you can live a “healthier” life based off of YOUR lifestyle and preferences.
  • General education on health related topics you may have not known before.
  • Lots of other stuff.
  • More bad jokes.

So, the world of health/fitness is so vast I could go on forever about the specific topics I want to talk about. So let’s be friends. Add me on your favorites, follow me on twitter, like my IG pictures, hold my hand and lets go skipping on the beach. Hopefully I can make an impact in your life similar to that I made for the Nigerian prince who emailed me saying he needed my money. That was legit, right?