Monday, March 26, 2012

Diets and Exercise

In order to keep my and Kathy's health optimal we joined one of the $10-a-month gyms that recently opened up nearby. So far it's been a good thing. One of the hard things is not to be too hard on ourselves if life events or life's busyness gets in the way of making it there to work out! It seems it's always easier to be hard on oneself than it is to positively reinforce oneself. Just have to shrug the shoulders, let it run off like water off a duck's back, and jump back in to the program as soon as possible.

About a decade or more ago I became interested and participated in an exercise and eating program by an exercise "guru," Bill Phillips,
who published a book and program called Body for Life. It's still around and is as good a program then as it is now but Bill Phillips, always a student of the current science on and about nutrition and exercise, has begun a new program entitled Transformation.

A recent blog of Bill's on his Transformation site had a post titled Harvard Asks and Answers, "What's the Best Diet?" What the study showed was that in the two year test of 800 overweight men and women between the ages of 30 and 70 divided into four diet groups - one low fat high protein, one low fat average protein, one the high fat high protein Dr. Atkins diet, and one high fat average protein diet - all the plans worked about the same as long as the participants lowered their calorie intake. These findings were published in the February 26, 2009 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

The interesting thing that Phillips found in the study was that participants who attended support group meetings averaged 20 pounds loss of weight in the two year study period while those participants who did not attend support groups lost an average of 9 pounds. Interesting. I wonder if any similar studies have been done in other areas with and without support groups? I wonder if it would make a worthwhile doctoral thesis?

The gym Kathy and I joined considered joining their slim and slender program but the cost is not warranted with my current financial condition. Hopefully, inflation and cost of living doesn't continue to rise to where we can't afford the ten dollars a month individual membership fee as we both enjoy getting out of the house and sweatin' it out!

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