In today's May 15, 2009 newsletter . . .

  • FDA Goes After Hydroxycut

  • Lessons from Tyra: Living in the Moment

  • Exercise or Diet: Which is More Important?

FDA Goes After Hydroxycut

How many times have we learned about some bogus diet supplement being either worthless and/or dangerous? It is astounding.

On May 1st, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned consumers to immediately stop using Hydroxycut products by Iovate Health Sciences Inc. Some Hydroxycut products are associated with a number of serious liver injuries.

And still companies make millions off those who refuse to accept the fact that there are no magic pills. Suckers or not, it's a shame when people are harmed by products that are sold by promising miracles.

The only thing that works for losing fat and is healthful is eating less and doing more. Period. Click for more info

Dietary Supplements: Promises vs. Reality

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Lessons from Tyra: Living in the Moment

Whenever I mention Tyra, I like to point out that Tyra is not Tyra Banks. I certainly have nothing against Tyra Banks. But my Tyra, my best friend, is an Australian Cattle Dog mix.

On Monday, May 18, Tyra will have knee surgery to repair a small tear in her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). At nine, she is still a very active and athletic dog, and repairing it is the only option, unless we were to curtail her activities to an unnatural degree. Otherwise, the tear is likely to get worse.

Since the ACL in her other rear knee was repaired almost one year ago, I know what is in store for her. The first two post-surgery weeks are the worst, when she must wear a large cone-shape collar to keep her from biting or licking the knee. After that, very short walks on leash are gradually lengthened. But it will be a few months before she can be off leash to run and swim.

Dogs are great teachers

What I try to learn from Tyra, and I am not always successful, is to live in the moment. Since she has no idea about what is coming on Monday, she is a happy dog, living in the moment, too busy being a dog and doing dog things to worry about the future. Instead, I am the one thinking about it.

But why? Like Tyra, neither you nor I know exactly what is coming tomorrow. We may think we do, but we don’t. Sure, we can do foolish things today to make tomorrow a miserable day or hurt others. Or we have the option to do smart and decent things that are likely to lengthen our life and make it more relevant and more fun. Yet not one of us can truly say that we know what tomorrow will bring, or if there will be a tomorrow at all.

We should all be a little more like Tyra, living in the moment. Agonizing over what may or may not ever come to be only robs us of the joy of today. And right now, Tyra’s waiting for me to take her for a walk. It’s a beautiful day and we are going to live it.

Exercise or Diet: Which is More Important?

For as long as I can remember, fitness experts and trainers have been telling their overweight clients that weight loss depends on regular exercise and a proper diet. It’s a 50/50 deal, they’d say.

But I always wondered about the ratio. Is it really 50/50? Or is one, diet or exercise, more important than the other? Just this week I read something by Craig Ballantyne in which he said diet accounts for 70 percent of fat loss program success.

I’m guessing, but his 70/30 ratio seems about right to me. Yet I’d hate to be pinned down to be exact. Does anyone really know?

Professor Boyd Swinburn, chair of population health and director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention, said the following:

"To return to the average weights of the 1970s, we would need to reverse the increased food intake of about 350 calories a day for children (about one can of fizzy drink and a small portion of French fries) and 500 calories a day for adults (about one large hamburger).

"Alternatively, we could achieve similar results by increasing physical activity by about 150 minutes a day of extra walking for children and 110 minutes for adults, but realistically, although a combination of both is needed, the focus would have to be on reducing calorie intake."

It is not uncommon to find “successful” dieters who finally weigh what they should also to be weak, flabby and saggy. That is what happens when they lose weight through diet alone. You need proper exercise, too. You need to build muscle.

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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter is a free publication sent twice monthly to our subscribers. Our purpose is to provide honest and realistic fitness information for people age 50 and above.

Always consult with your physician before making dietary changes or starting an exercise program.

Your comments or questions are always appreciated.


Logan Franklin
The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter