Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Twinkie Diet or Caloric Restriction?

Earlier this year, a nutrition professor lost 27 pounds on a "Twinkie Diet." Media outlets were buzzing with the news that a steady diet of junk food resulted in weight loss. Of course, it sounded too good to be true, but it was a headline that was designed to catch your attention. I've learned to never trust headlines as most are gimmicks designed to lure viewers.

Dig Deeper
Whenever I hear something that's unbelievable, I dig deeper.

The nutrition professor in question wondered what would happen if he limited his diet to junk food and a few serving of canned vegetables. So as a part of a health experiment on himself, he limited his diet to 1800 calories a day (from junk food) and maintained his current level of activity. Keep in mind that the average man needs about 2500 calories a day.

Operating on a daily deficit of 700 calories a day, at the end of his experiment the net result was weight loss.  As a bonus, his LDL (bad cholesterol) was lower and HDL (good cholesterol) was higher than when he began the experiment.

I guess the moral of this story is three-fold:

1. If you want to lose weight, the quantity of calories matters more than the quality of the calories you consume.

2. Maintain or increase physical activity (burn the calories you eat)

3. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. In other words, you'll never lose weight eating junk food unless you drastically limit how much you eat. (See #1)

Of course, before your go out an try this on your own, talk to your doctor. Drastically limiting your daily caloric intake requires a lot of will power and you'll probably feel lousy most of the time.

I maintain a healthy daily routine. Proper diet and exercise is better than severe dieting in my book.

Dr. Dave

Saturday, December 25, 2010

If I only had a plane...

My career involves frequent travel. As a pilot, I often dream of flying myself and team to and from important meetings. Imagine no flight schedules, no TSA, just go when you wish (and when weather permits).

Sure, flying my own plane invloves more work (flight planning, navigation, challenging weather, etc.) and cost (flying is not cheap), but the same holds true for a car. Think about it, driving your car is more expensive than taking public transportation, but you're able to go where you please whenever you want. Time is money.

What would I fly? Well, a jet or a turboprop would be too much plane for the job. Instead, I'd want something reliable and capable of carrying 4 people for 4 hours, like a Cirrus SR22.

Maybe some day my dream will become a reality. I enjoy my work and flying, so it would be great if I could do both.

If there's a will, there's a way. Now, if I only had the means...

Dr. Dave

Posted via email from Dr. Dave Science