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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter, Issue #160 Excessive belly fat is dangerous
April 15, 2015
April 15, 2015
In this newsletter . . .
Steve Reeves: was he a hot house plant?
Belly fat“You control more than 70 percent of how well and how long you will live. By the time you reach 50, your lifestyle diet makes up 80 percent of how you age; the rest is controlled by inherited genetics.” —YOU: The Owner’s Manual, by Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
This is about fat, especially belly fat.
America, like most modern nations, has a weight problem. We are too fat. Not all of us, of course, but far too many of us. How about you personally? Are you overweight and out of shape? Be honest with yourself. Be courageous. Strip down all the way and stand before a mirror. What do you see? Is there an obvious spare-tire? If there is you’ve got a problem. Jack LaLanne said, "Your waistline is your lifeline." He was right. And a simple cloth tape measure that you can wrap around your waist is a better indicator of your health and fitness than measurements by the scale alone or your BMI (Body Mass Index). That's because too much belly fat is the most dangerous kind.
Make a vow to get rid of it. Today. Here is how. As fundamental as this sounds, you’ve got to start moving more and eating less. And the eating less part is the number one factor. Yes, find exercise that you enjoy and do it regularly. However, you won’t lose fat unless you eat less. Sure, Olympics’ champion swimmer Michael Phelps consumes gazillion calories a day and carries not an ounce of extra fat. He also works out harder and longer than 99.99 percent of the people on earth. We mortals can’t afford to do that. You won’t lose weight unless you eat less.
Can’t seem to do it on your own? Then join a group like Weight Watchers. Or work with a nutritionist. Or get a trainer. But get it done.
I’m personally not a calorie-counter. It would drive me nuts. Instead, I like a hand measurement method for portion control eating. Do it right and proper calorie intake is automatic. It’s explained in detail in my books, or it’s summarized on my nutrition page (free). That’s my way. But if calorie counting works for you, then do it your way. Or, if Jenny Craig or similar plans are more to your liking, then that’s the way to go.
The only caveat regarding calorie counting or plans that involve pre-mixed meals is this: Eventually you have to return to real world eating. If what you practice while dieting doesn’t work in the real world, your fat will return. It's guaranteed. That’s why I like my hand measurement method. It’s easy to follow, it works anywhere, and once you get the portion sizes firmly entrenched in your mind, they never go away.
If you’re overweight and out of shape, today is the day to turn things around. And you can do it.
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Steve Reeves: was he a hot house plant?The Steve Reeves page in my "Muscle Stories" section gets more visitors than any other personal story. They arrive after Internet searches for the Reeves’ diet, or his workouts, or where he worked out . . . interest in the late Steve Reeves seems endless.
He seemed to be physical perfection. Still, some people ask if he was truly strong, or did he just look strong? It's a fair question. With certain exceptions -- Grimek, Hilligenn, and Tommy Kono, come to mind -- most Mr. America or Mr. Universe winners, though certainly far stronger than the average person, do not come close to being as strong as those who train primarily as lifters. In other words, the physique contest winners may not be as strong as they look.
Back to Steve Reeves: His goal was to build his body as close as possible to the classic physique, like the idealized sculpture of a Greek god. He even had a mathematical formula, "The Standards of Symmetry," that listed ideal proportions, according to a person's height. He certainly achieved those ideal proportions, and many believe he was the most symmetrical bodybuilder of all time.
But to answer the original question: was he strong, or did he just look strong? Well, he was not as strong as, say, Grimek, John Davis, or Doug Hepburn (famous champion lifters of that period). But, yes, Steve Reeves was strong. Very strong. Strength & Health's editor, John Grimek, told a few stories about Reeves' ability as witnessed at the famous York Gym. It was impressive. You can read more about it at the Steve Reeves page.
The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter is a free publication sent twice monthly to subscribers. The purpose is to provide honest and realistic fitness information for people age 50 and above.
I have never been paid or received compensation of any kind to write a positive review or endorse a product. If I say that I personally use a product or service, it is because I find value in it and have paid for it with my own money.
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The newsletter and web site provide information to help users establish and maintain a fitness lifestyle. But fitness information is not the same as fitness advice, which is the application of exercise and dietary practices to an individual's specific circumstances. Therefore, always consult with your physician for assurance that fitness information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate for you.
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