Tout dans la vie est une question d'équilibre d'où la nécessité de garder un esprit sain dans un corps sain.


Everything in life is a matter of balance therefore one needs to keep a healthy mind in a healthy body.


E. do REGO

Monday, August 30, 2010

15 Fired-Up Foods that Burn Away Pounds

By: Brian Good
The shortcut to losing weight? Fast food. Not the kind the clown and the King try to shove down our throats, but rather, edible amphetamines-foods that act like speed for the fat-melting motor known as our metabolism. Eat these foods and you're guaranteed to burn more calories...just by sitting there and listening to yourself digest.

Only one catch: Like any good buzz, this boost is temporary. "The only way to alter your resting metabolism permanently is to gain or lose weight, or to build extra muscle," says Janet Walberg-Rankin, Ph.D., a professor of exercise physiology at Virginia Tech. But look at it this way: If you have a few of these supercharged snacks and drinks throughout the day, for enough days, you will lose weight.

And that's if you're doing nothing. Imagine if you were to stop listening to your stomach serenading you and actually begin exercising, too? The blubber-busting possibilities are endless. So grab a fork; it's time to add fuel to the fire.

Milk, Whole Grain Cereal, Oats
Secret Ingredients: Calcium, complex carbohydrates, and fiber

How they work: Complex carbohydrates and fiber pump up metabolism by keeping insulin levels low after you eat. That's good, because spikes in the production of insulin send a signal to the body that it's time to start storing fat. And in order to stockpile fat, your body has to slow down your metabolism, causing you to burn fewer calories, says Margaret McNurlan, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition and medicine at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Since oatmeal breaks down slowly in the stomach, it causes less of a spike in insulin levels than foods like bagels, she says.

Besides helping to keep insulin production down, eating breakfast can also help stoke your daily calorie burn. When the U.S. Navy studied the metabolisms and eating habits of a group of its personnel, it found that eating breakfast helped raise the men's metabolisms by as much as 10 percent. "By skipping meals, you slow down your metabolism and prime your body to store fat," says McNurlan.

The calcium in milk is a metabolic trigger as well. A University of Tennessee study found that dieters who consumed between 1,200 and 1,300 milligrams (mg) of calcium a day lost nearly twice as much weight as dieters getting less calcium.

Jalapenos, Habaneros, Cayennes
Secret Ingredient: Capsaicin—the chemical in peppers that gives them their bite

How it works: By speeding up your heart rate.

A study from the late '80s found that eating a single spicy meal can boost your metabolism by up to 25 percent, with the spike in calorie burning lasting for up to 3 hours after you finish eating. More recently, a study from Laval University in Quebec found that men who consumed coffee plus red pepper-packed snacks and meals were able to burn nearly 1,000 more calories a day than a control group.

Small snacks can also help keep your body from running out of fuel-preventing those 3 p.m. office blahs. "When you restrict the number of calories your body has for fuel, your metabolic rate can drop temporarily," says Susan Roberts, Ph.D., chief of the energy-metabolism laboratory at Tufts University in Boston. That makes it easier to pack on the pounds and harder to burn them off again.

Green Tea, Coffee
Secret Ingredients: Caffeine and a chemical in the tea called EGCG

How they work: Caffeine helps speed up your heart rate. The faster your heart beats, the more calories you burn. EGCG works in a similar way, but instead of revving up your heart, it causes your brain and nervous system to run more quickly-again helping you burn more calories.

In studies, researchers found that a combination of caffeine and a 90-mg dose of EGCG taken three times a day can help you burn an extra 80 calories a day. And that's just when your body's at rest. A study conducted by the Canadian government found that soldiers who consumed caffeine in the 12 hours prior to a physical-fitness test not only were able to work out longer before becoming exhausted, but also consumed more oxygen while working out. The body's oxygen requirements are directly related to the speed of-guess what-your metabolism, so the more oxygen you use, the more calories you burn during your workout.

Lean Beef, Pork, Chicken, Turkey
Secret Ingredient: Protein

How it works: It takes more energy for your body to digest the protein in meat than it does for it to digest carbohydrates or fat, according to Doug Kalman, R.D., director of nutrition at Miami Research Associates, a nationally recognized pharmaceutical-research facility. "That means that the more protein you eat, the harder your body has to work to digest it, and the more calories you'll burn in the process," he says.

When researchers at Arizona State University compared the benefits of a high-protein diet with those of a high-carbohydrate diet, they found that people who ate a high-protein diet burned more than twice as many calories in the hours following their meal as those eating carbs. Even better, researchers in Denmark found that men who substituted protein for 20 percent of the carbs in their diets were able to boost their metabolisms, increasing the number of calories they burned each day by up to 5 percent.

Salmon, Tuna, Sardines
Secret Ingredient: Omega-3 fatty acids

How they work: By altering levels of a hormone called leptin in your body. Several recent studies suggest that leptin directly influences your metabolism, determining whether you burn calories or store them as fat.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin found that mice with low leptin levels have faster metabolisms and are able to burn fat more quickly than animals with higher leptin levels. The best way to lower your leptin? Eat fish.

Mayo Clinic researchers studying the diets of two African tribes-one of which frequently ate fish and one of which didn't-found that fish eaters had leptin levels nearly five times lower than the levels found in tribes that primarily ate vegetables.

The good news, if you don't like fish: Fish-oil supplements may work just as well as the stuff with scales. French researchers found that men who replaced 6 grams of fat in their diets with 6 grams of fish oil were able to boost their metabolisms and lose an average of 2 pounds in just 12 weeks.


Foods to Increase Your Brain Power

Your noggin depends on a variety of nutrients to keep itself balanced. Unfortunately, Cheetos and beer aren't exactly brain foods.

So instead of downing a gallon of Breyer's the next time you're feeling down or stuffing yourself with leftover danishes from the break room before that big presentation at work, next time, give your body the fuel it needs.

Whatever your mood, we found the snacks that will provide a brain boost to get you through even the toughest situations—without sacrificing your waistline or muscles.

The Situation: You need to stay sharp through a grueling job interview.

Your Meal: Half a grilled-chicken wrap at lunch, hold the mayo

Here's Why: Eating between 4 and 5 ounces of protein helps your brain create dopamine and norepinephrine, neurochemicals that keep you alert, says Judith Wurtman, Ph.D., author of The Serotonin Power Diet.

The Situation: You have to meet a deadline without being overwhelmed.

Your Meal: A handful of sesame seeds while you're working

Here's Why: Stress hormones can deplete your body's supply of magnesium, reducing your stress-coping abilities and increasing your risk of developing high blood pressure, says Elizabeth Somer, R.D., author of Food & Mood.

The Situation: You need some serious shut-eye before the big day.

Your Meal: Nonfat popcorn half an hour before you go to bed

Here's Why: The carbs will induce your body to create serotonin, a neurochemical that makes you feel relaxed. "Make sure it's fat-free, because fat will slow the process of boosting serotonin levels," says Somer.

The Situation: Problems at home are doing you in.

Your Meal: Grilled salmon or sushi for dinner

Here's Why: A study in Finland found that people who eat more fish are 31 percent less likely to suffer from depression. And skip sweet, simple carbs—the inevitable sugar crash can actually deepen depression.

The Situation: Your confidence is waning as the night wears on.

Your Meal: A snack-size chocolate bar when she's in the bathroom

Here's Why: Chocolate contains a host of chemicals to brighten your mood, Somer says, including anadamine, which targets the same receptors as THC, and phenylethylamine, which produces a cozy, euphoric feeling.

The Situation: You've forgotten your last two deadlines.

Your Meal: Pineapple chunks for a snack or a cup of berries in your oatmeal

Here's Why: Antioxidants from the most-colorful fruits and vegetables help pick off the free radicals that wear away at your memory. "Because your brain consumes so much oxygen, oxidants do heavy damage there," says Somer


Friday, August 27, 2010

11 Secrets the Food Industry Doesn't Want You to Know

We've uncovered the truth about the products that line your supermarket's shelves.

And what we found might just surprise you.

If you want some insight into the food industry, take a stroll through your grocery store's candy aisle. There, on the labels of such products as Mike and Ike and Good & Plenty, you'll find what perhaps is a surprising claim: "Fat free." However, it's completely true-these empty-calorie junk foods are almost 100 percent sugar and processed carbs.

You see, food manufacturers think you're stupid. In fact, their marketing strategies rely on it. For instance, it may be that the aforementioned candy makers are hoping you'll equate "fat free" with "healthy" or "nonfattening"-so that you forget about all the sugar these products contain. It's a classic bait and switch.

And the candy aisle is just the start. That's why we've scoured the supermarket to find the secrets that food industry insiders don't want you to know. The very ones that deep-pocketed manufacturers use to prey on your expectations, your wallet, and most important, your health. Call it the Eat This, Not That! crib sheet for helping you to beat Big Food at its own game-and eat healthier for life.

Keebler Doesn't Want You to Know
. . . that Numbers Can Be Deceiving

On the front of a box of Reduced Fat Club Crackers-in large yellow letters-you'll find the claim, "33% Less Fat Than Original Club Crackers." Their math is accurate: The original product contains 3 grams of fat per serving (per 4 crackers), while the reduced-fat version has 2 grams (per 5 crackers). So statistically, it's a 33 percent difference, but is it meaningful? And why doesn't Keebler tout that their reduced-fat crackers have 33 percent more carbs than the original?

Maybe they simply don't want you to know that when they took out 1 gram of fat, they replaced it with 3 grams of refined flour and sugar.

Beverage Makers Don't Want You to Know
. . . that Some Bottled Green Tea May Not Be as Healthy as You Think

We commissioned ChromaDex laboratories to analyze 14 different bottled green teas for their levels of disease-fighting catechins. While Honest Tea Green Tea with Honey topped the charts with an impressive 215 milligrams of total catechins, some products weren't even in the game. For instance, Republic of Tea Pomegranate Green Tea had only 8 milligrams, and Ito En Teas' Tea Lemongrass Green had just 28 milligrams, despite implying on its label that the product is packed with antioxidants.

Food Companies Don't Want You to Know
. . . that Your Food Can Legally Contain Maggots

Sure, the FDA limits the amount of rodent droppings and other appetite killers in your food, but unfortunately that limit isn't zero. The regulations below aren't harmful to your health-but we can't promise that the thought of them won't make you sick.

Kellogg's Doesn't Want You to Know
. . . the Truth about Cornflakes

Case in point: They've placed a "Diabetes Friendly" logo on the box's side panel. Never mind that Australian researchers have shown that cornflakes raise blood glucose faster and to a greater extent than straight table sugar. (High blood glucose is the primary symptom of diabetes.) The cereal maker does provide a link to its Web site, where nutrition recommendations are provided for people with diabetes.

Quaker Doesn't Want You to Know
. . . that a Bowl of Some of Their "Heart-Healthy" Hot Cereals Has More Sugar than the Same Serving Size of Froot Loops

One example: Quaker Maple & Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal. Sure, the company proudly displays the American Heart Association (AHA) check mark on the product's box.

However, the fine print next to the logo simply reads that the food meets AHA's "food criteria for saturated fat and cholesterol." So it could have a pound of sugar and still qualify. But guess what? Froot Loops meets the AHA's criteria, too, only no logo is displayed.

The Food Industry Doesn't Want You to Know
. . . that Food Additives May Make Your Kids Misbehave

Researchers at the University of Southampton in the UK found that artificial food coloring and sodium benzoate preservatives are directly linked to increased hyperactivity in children. The additives included Yellow #5, Yellow #6, Red #40, and sodium benzoate, which are commonly found in packaged foods in the United States, but the researchers don't know if it's a combination of the chemicals or if there's a single one that's the primary culprit. You can find Red #40, Yellow #5, and Yellow #6 in Lucky Charms and sodium benzoate in some diet sodas, pickles, and jellies.

Land O'Lakes Doesn't Want You to Know
. . . that There's No Such Thing as "Fat-Free" Half-and-Half

By definition, a half-and-half dairy product is 50 percent milk and 50 percent cream. Cream, of course, is pretty much all fat. So, technically, Fat Free Half & Half can't exist. What exactly is it? Skim milk--to which a thickening agent and an artificial cream flavor have been added. You may be disappointed in the payoff: 1 tablespoon of traditional half-and-half contains just 20 calories; the fat-free version has 10.

The Meat Industry Doesn't Want You to Know
. . . that the Leanest Cuts May Have the Highest Sodium Levels

Leaner cuts by definition are less juicy. To counteract this dried-out effect, some manufacturers "enhance" turkey, chicken, and beef products by pumping them full of a liquid solution that contains water, salt, and other nutrients that help preserve it. This practice can dramatically boost the meat's sodium level. For example, a 4-ounce serving of Shady Brook Farms Fresh Boneless Turkey Breast Tenderloin that's enhanced by a 6 percent solution contains 55 mg sodium. But the same-size serving of Jennie-O Turkey Breast Tenderloin Roast Turkey, which is enhanced by up to 30 percent, packs 840 mg-more than one-third of your recommended daily value.

Supermarkets Don't Want You to Know
. . . that Long Lines Will Make You Buy More

If you're stuck in a long checkout line, you'll be up to 25 percent more likely to buy the candy and sodas around you, according to a recent study at the University of Arizona. Psychologists have found that the more exposure someone has to temptation, the more likely it is that he'll succumb to it. This may also help explain why supermarkets lay out their stores so that the common staples-such as milk, bread, and eggs-are at the very back, forcing you to run the gauntlet of culinary temptation.

Food Companies Also Don't Want You to Know
. . . that Their Calorie Counts May Be Wrong

That's because in order to make sure you're getting at least as much as you pay for, the FDA is more likely to penalize a food manufacturer for overstating the net weight of a product than understating it. As a result, manufacturers often either "generously" package more food than the stated net weight or make servings heavier than the stated serving size weight. With an ordinary food scale, we put a range of products to the test by checking the actual net weight and serving size weight. Sure enough, we found that a number of popular products are heavier than the package says. And that means you may be eating more calories than you think

The Food Industry Also Don't Want You to Know
. . . that Companies Must Pay to Be an American Heart Association-Certified Food

That's why the AHA logo might appear on some products but is absent from others-even when both meet the guidelines.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

A 12-Step Guide to a Flawless Power Clean

Huge Freakin' Legs
The Olympic lifting body — not a bad thing to have.
Terrible Clean
The evidence that most coaches aren't teaching the Olympic lifts.
Rack Position
The Rack Position.
Receiving Position
The Receiving Position.
Finish Position
The Finish Position.
Hang Position
The Hang Position.
Start Position
The Start Position.

The power clean often spreads like a game of Telephone around gyms and garages—the further it moves from the original source, the less it resembles a worthwhile movement and instead becomes a way to get thoroughly jacked up through crappy instruction and even crappier execution.
With the sport of weightlifting being so obscure in the US, it can be extremely difficult for guys to find a qualified coach, which is why many use it as an excuse to replace them with less-than-optimal alternatives.
The power clean, if performed correctly, will provide a unique stimulus for improving hip and knee explosiveness, which will translate to more strength and more muscle. And in my opinion, it can absolutely be learned without a coach.
But like any skilled movement, the power clean will not be mastered quickly. No matter how well you learn, you will never be completely finished. That's why your goal shouldn't be immediate mastery, but relatively quick development of safe and effective technique so you can put it to work in your training program.

Meet The Power Clean
A clean brings a barbell from the floor to the lifter's shoulders. The power qualifier describes the height at which the bar is received and arrested: with the upper legs above horizontal. That is, in a clean, the athlete receives the barbell on the shoulders at some height between standing and squatting, continues into the bottom of a squat position, and finishes the lift by standing again.
In a power clean, the athlete pulls the barbell identically, but must receive it on the shoulders and stop moving downward before sinking past a parallel squat. In other words, the power clean means the athlete must pull the bar higher, get under it quicker, and stop moving immediately.

Check Your Ego, Son
No matter how strong you are, you must start with an unloaded barbell for the initial learning stages. Some of you may even need to use a lighter technique barbell.
Don't concern yourself with weight at this point—be patient, learn the movement well, and very quickly you'll be capable of lifting far more than you will if you insist on loading up immediately. Go hide in the corner of the gym if you're embarrassed. When you re-emerge, you'll be proud of your power cleaning ability.
The following steps should each be performed until you become comfortable with them and can do them consistently. Keep the number of consecutive repetitions to a maximum of five.

From the Top Down
While it may seem odd to learn the power clean backward, I want to point out that you can't go to a place that doesn't exist. Without a receiving position, we can't pull under the bar. Without a pull under the bar, we can do a power clean. So let's start there.

Receiving Position
The receiving position for the power clean is the same as the clean, which is (or should be) the same as the front squat—meaning, the bar is on your shoulders. Receiving power cleans in the hands and arms is a great way to set yourself up for hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder injuries.
Also, we want to "receive" the bar rather than catch it. To catch something requires that you're not contact with it immediately prior. In contrast, we want to maintain a tight connection to the bar throughout the movement until the last possible moment when the bar is finally supported on our shoulders.
Step 1 — Grip the bar with your hands about a fist-width outside your shoulders—your hands should not be in contact with your shoulders at all in the top position. From here, relax your grip, lift your elbows, push your shoulders forward and slightly up, and let the bar roll onto your fingers and into the space between your deltoids and your throat. (If this space doesn't exist, you're either not pushing your shoulders forward and up, or you need to work on your scapular mobility.)
If the bar is placing too much pressure on your throat, pull your head straight back—do not tilt it back. If the bar is in contact with your clavicles, you need to shrug your shoulders up a bit more.
To be sure the bar is supported by your shoulders and not your hands, remove your hands from under the bar and extend your arms in front of you. The bar shouldn't move.
This is the position in which you will be trying to receive the bar.

Pulling Under
One of the most common mistakes is not actively pulling under the bar after accelerating it upward. With lighter weights, you'll be able to simply drop under the bar in time. As weights get heavier, you will not be able to accelerate the bar as much, and the lower resulting momentum means less time before the bar changes direction, which in turn means you have less time to change direction and position yourself under the bar. In these cases, an active and aggressive pull against the bar is necessary for you to beat the bar.
Step 2 — Standing tall with the bar at arms' length in front of you, pull your elbows as high as possible, directing them to the sides as they rise. This will bring the bar to about lower chest level. Don't lean forward over the bar, and don't try to lift it—lift your elbows instead.
Step 3 — From this scarecrow position, pull your elbows back and whip them around the bar into the receiving position you practiced earlier. Imagine the barbell as the pivot point for your elbows and make sure it stays right up against your body. As your elbows come around, the bar will rise to your shoulders, and you can relax your grip and let it settle into the proper receiving position.
Step 4 — When you can rack the bar smoothly on your shoulders with some consistency from this scarecrow position, begin the drill from arms' length and perform the entire movement smoothly. Make sure the elbows come up and out, not back. This is the arm movement of the pull under the bar.
Step 5 — When you're comfortable with this, you can put it to use and move on to actually pulling under the bar. Starting again from the scarecrow position with your feet about hip-width apart, pick up and move your feet quickly to your squat stance as you perform the pull under the bar, pulling yourself into a quarter-depth squat. When you can do this smoothly, begin the drill with the bar at arms' length.

Accelerating the Bar
Step 6 — With the bar at arms' length and your feet hip-width and turned out slightly, tighten your glutes to extend your hips through the bar slightly and shift back to your heels as much as possible. This will place you with your legs approximately vertical and the hips slightly hyperextended. This approximates the position you should be in at the top of your pull (although your ankles will be somewhat extended during the real pull).
Step 7 — From this extended position, push the hips back, bend the knees slightly, and let the bar slide down your legs until it reaches your lower thighs. In this position your back should be extended securely, your shins vertical, the bar in light contact with your legs, and your shoulders slightly in front of the bar and your knees. Keep your head up and your eyes forward.
Step 8 — Re-extend slowly into the simulated finish position, making sure to actively pull the bar against yourself with your lats and shoulders, keeping your weight over your heels. Gradually increase the speed at which you go from this thigh position to the extended position, making sure to continue pushing against the floor with your legs as you extend your hips. You will naturally begin rising onto the balls of your feet at the top—just be careful to keep your weight back so you stay balanced in the same position.
Step 9 — When you've increased the speed enough, you will feel the bar popping up, and possibly slightly forward. Let it rise, but guide it up close to your body by keeping your elbows traveling up and out like you did when practicing the pull under.
Step 10 — Once you're comfortable with this controlled pull, it's time to put the pieces together and perform a power clean from the hang position. Set your thigh position carefully and ensure proper balance before initiating the lift.
Drive your legs against the floor and finish the hip extension completely with the glutes. The moment you've reached this finish position with the legs and hips, pick up and move your feet to your squat stance and perform the pull under into a quarter squat—do not try to pull the bar higher by shrugging it up.
Congratulations, you've just done a hang power clean.
As you continue practicing, keep in mind that the actual depth at which you receive the bar will increase with the weight because of your decreasing ability to accelerate and elevate the bar. If you perform your pull under correctly, you will always be in the right place to receive the bar because of the connection you're maintaining.

From the Floor
While the hang power clean itself is an excellent exercise for hip and leg explosiveness, I still like pulling from the floor.
The goal for the pull from the floor is to put you right into the same hang position you've been lifting from. We want a photo of you taken at the moment the bar hits the lower thighs during a power clean to look identical to a photo of you in your hang starting position. To do this, your position off the floor may have to deviate a bit from your normal deadlifting position.
Step 11 — With your feet about hip-width apart and turned out slightly, place the bar over the balls of your feet. Get your clean grip, set your back in a complete arch, push your knees out slightly, and drop your hips until your shoulders are directly above the bar. From the side, your arms should be approximately vertical.
Your knees or thighs may be in light contact with the insides of your arms. If you can't keep your back extended in this position, you need to work on your flexibility and back strength. Keep your head up and your eyes straight ahead. The bar does not need to be touching your shins.
Step 12 — Break the bar from the floor without jerking and shift to your heels immediately. As the bar passes your knees, make sure to actively pull it back toward your legs. It should remain in immediate proximity to your thighs, and it should come into contact by mid to upper thigh. As you reach the thigh position from which you lifted previously, accelerate aggressively to the top of the pull.
Initially, the pull from the floor to the hang position can be done very slowly to ensure proper positioning. You can even perform partial lifts from the floor to the thighs with a pause in the hang position. As you get more comfortable and consistent, the speed of this pull can be increased. At any speed, there should never be a point at which the bar slows or pauses.

Like Your Momma Always Told Ya: Practice Makes Perfect
As you continue performing power cleans, don't hesitate to return to any of these drills to practice elements of the lift that are giving you trouble. In fact, it's not a bad idea to run through several reps of each drill as part of your warm-up.
If you decide to include power cleans in your training program (and why wouldn't you after learning all the steps?) make the commitment to continue improving your execution.
Because the better your power clean, the better your body will look and perform.

5 New Foods That Carve Abs

Watch what you eat, sure—but don't watch reruns. A boring diet is hard to stick with. "There is no one set of foods you must always choose from in order to make your abs show," says nutritionist Alan Aragon, M.S.

Bok Choy
If you like . . . Broccoli

Try: Bok choy

Why: Like broccoli, this leafy vegetable has a crunch—and less than half the calories and carbohydrates of its cruciferous cousin.

How to prepare it: Separate, wash, and dry the leaves of one head of baby bok choy. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil on medium high. Saute the leaves with a thinly sliced garlic clove for about 5 minutes or until tender.

If you like . . . Apple

Try: Persimmon

Why: This sweet Asian fruit is a better source of vitamin C than your average apple.

How to prepare it: The most common persimmons are always deep orange and should be very soft when ripe. To eat one, cut it in half and spoon out the goods. Served chilled, it's a tasty dessert.
If you like . . . Steak

Try: Goat

Why: Pound for pound, goat has less than half the calories of porterhouse steak, and a few more grams of protein.

How to prepare it: Try it barbecued kebab-style, finished with a squeeze of lemon and some chopped rosemary. Or slow-roast a bone-in cut for a hearty winter meal. No goat at your market? Try

If you like . . . Oatmeal

Try: Buckwheat

Why: Buckwheat may have more disease-fighting antioxidants than oats, barley, or wheat germ, according to a 2008 Turkish study.

How to prepare it: For two new ways to start your day, try Bob's Red Mill buckwheat pancake mix ($4 for 26 ounces) or organic creamy buckwheat cereal ($5 for 18 ounces).
Edam Cheese
If you like . . . Muenster cheese

Try: Edam cheese

Why: This Dutch cheese is semifirm, unlike the semisoft Muenster, and has more protein, fewer calories, and a richer, nuttier flavor.

How to prepare it: Cube the Edam and eat it with a fresh pear. Better yet, try it in a grilled-cheese sandwich with apple slices and stone-ground mustard


Broccoli 'boosts' healthy gut

Extracts of broccoli and banana may help in fighting stomach problems, research suggests
Laboratory studies show fibres from the vegetables may boost the body's natural defences against stomach infections.
Trials are under way to see if they could be used as a medical food for patients with Crohn's disease.
Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes symptoms such as diarrhoea and abdominal pain.
It affects about 1 in 1,000 people, and is thought to be caused by a mixture of environmental and genetic factors.
The condition is common in developed countries, where diets are often low in fibre and high in processed food.

Related stories

Scientists at the University of Liverpool looked at how roughage from vegetables influenced the passage of harmful bacteria through cells inside the gut.
They found that fibres from the plantain, a type of large banana, and broccoli, were particularly beneficial. But a common stabiliser added to processed foods during the manufacturing process had the opposite effect.
Dr Barry Campbell, from the University of Liverpool, said: "This research shows that different dietary components can have powerful effects on the movement of bacteria through the bowel.
"We have known for some time the general health benefits of eating plantain and broccoli, which are both high in vitamins and minerals, but until now we have not understood how they can boost the body's natural defences against infection common in Crohn's patients.
"Our work suggests that it might be important for patients with this condition to eat healthily and limit their intake of processed foods."
The research, published in the journal Gut, and carried out in collaboration with experts in Sweden and Scotland, investigated special cells, called M-cells, which line the gut and ward off invading bacteria.
Work was carried out in laboratory-grown cells and tissue samples from patients undergoing surgery for stomach problems.
Clinical trials are now underway in 76 Crohn's patients to find out whether a medical food containing plantain fibres could help keep the disease at bay.
"It may be that it makes sense for sufferers of Crohn's to take supplements of these fibres to help prevent relapse," said Professor Jon Rhodes of the University of Liverpool.
Commenting on the study, a spokesperson for Crohn's and Colitis, which represents patients with inflammatory bowel disorders, welcomed further insight into how the gut combats bacteria like E.Coli.
"Knowledge of the M-cell role offers a more detailed explanation as to why a healthy diet can improve the health and well being for people with Crohn's disease and healthy individuals alike," she said.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Faster Way to Burn Fat

A Faster Way to Burn Fat

In order to melt body fat, you can’t do things halfway. When your goal is fast fat loss through exercise you must generate the highest metabolic cost possible. It’s imperative to full-body workouts in order to create an oxygen debt which, in turn, stimulates your body to burn more calories and fat (especially after you stop training). Most people just jog on a treadmill or maybe run a few sprints to burn fat. Think of any typical cardio exercise and I’ll bet it’s a lower-body exercise (sprints, jogging, biking, hiking, etc). But there’s a much better, faster way to see your abs. (Don’t forget, eating the right foods is essential, too.)
While training, the key is to do high intensity cardio that stimulates your upper- and lower-body muscles in the same workout. If you just run, no matter how fast, you’re only get half the results you could be getting if you simply added in an upper body exercise. The problem is, people don’t equate upper body exercises with cardio so they don’t know how to supercharge their fat loss.
The best upper body cardio exercise is boxing since it works virtually every upper body muscle and your core. It has a very high metabolic cost, too. The cool part about boxing is that you don’t need to be good at it to see quick results. Just get a pair of 16-ounce gloves, throw punches and hooks against a bag or in the air, and voila, you’re on your way to a leaner, fitter body.
Why not skip the gloves and just throw your punches without gloves? Two reasons. First, those seemingly light 16-ounce gloves make your muscles work significantly harder. Second, wearing boxing gloves creates a psychological response akin to combat. Those gloves put your mind in a state that’s ready for action!
Here’s a sample fat-burning workout that you can do after lifting weights or on a separate day. I’ve had everyone from Playboy playmates to professional fighters strip off body fat with this style of training. It’s awesome. I prefer to do all training outdoors so that’s what I’ll outline first. Then I’ll show you how to modify the workouts for home or gyms.
Warm-up: start with a few minutes of rope jumping, foam roller exercises, or mobility drills to prepare your muscles. Once your body feels ready, it’s time to turn on the juice.
Workout (outdoors): sprint for 50 yards, then jog backward to the starting line. As soon as you return, put on boxing gloves and throw punches (shadow boxing) for one minute. It’s essential that you move around while punching, don’t just stand in place. After a minute of shadow boxing, slip off your gloves and perform another 50 yard sprint followed by a backward jog to the starting point. Continue with this sprint/shadow boxing combination for 10 rounds (about 15 minutes’ worth of work). If you’re in better condition, do it for 15 rounds.
1A Sprint 50 yards
No rest
1B Jog backward to starting line
Rest 15 seconds (enough time to slip on boxing gloves)
1C Shadow box for one minute
Rest 30 seconds (enough time to slip off boxing gloves) and repeat 1A-1C 9-14 more times
Workout (indoors): sprint on a treadmill or in place for 10 seconds followed by 20 jumping jacks. Next, slip on the gloves and hit a bag or shadow box for one minute while moving around. Continue with this sequence for 10-15 rounds.
1A Sprint on a treadmill or in place for 10 seconds
No rest
1B 20 jumping jacks
Rest 15 seconds (enough time to slip on boxing gloves)
1C Hit a bag or shadow box for one minute
Rest 30 seconds (enough time to slip off boxing gloves) and repeat 1A-1C 9-14 more times
There are endless combinations of full-body cardio workouts that can melt body fat, but the sprinting/boxing combo is an excellent change of pace. It’s worth mentioning that just a private session or two with a qualified boxing instructor can make these workouts even more enjoyable and effective. If you’re going to put in the work, you might as well do it right. Who knows, honing your boxing skills might come in handy someday.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Nous sommes tous contaminés!

Paru le 19 août 2010

Par Rémi Maillard

Une étude de Santé Canada publiée en début de semaine montre que la plupart des Canadiens ont du bisphénol A, du plomb et du mercure dans le sang.
Photo: iStockphoto 
L’Enquête canadienne sur les mesures de la santé (ECMS) a recherché 80 contaminants environnementaux et substances chimiques dans un échantillon représentatif de 5 600 personnes entre 2007 et 2009. Bilan : on a détecté du bisphénol A (BPA) dans l’urine de 91 % des 6-79 ans, et du mercure dans le sang de 88 % d’entre eux. 

Moins de plomb...
Une bonne nouvelle quand même : bien qu’on ait détecté la présence de plomb chez 100 % de la population, «les concentrations ont diminué de façon très marquée au cours des 30 dernières années», affirme Santé Canada. Selon les résultats de l’ECMS, moins de 1 % des Canadiens ont des concentrations sanguines de plomb égales ou supérieures au seuil limite de 10 microgrammes par décilitre de sang.

Une baisse attribuable à l’élimination d’importantes sources de plomb dans l’environnement, souligne le ministère de la Santé. Ainsi, depuis les années 1970, ce métal lourd n’est plus ajouté à l’essence, ni utilisé comme soudure dans les boîtes de conserve, et sa concentration dans la peinture a été réduite.

... mais du BPA et du mercure
Le BPA est surtout utilisé dans la fabrication des plastiques polycarbonates et des résines époxydes destinés aux contenants alimentaires, aux bouteilles d’eau et aux revêtements protecteurs des boîtes de conserve et des cannettes. Reconnu comme perturbateur endocrinien, ce produit chimique est présent chez neuf Canadiens sur 10 à une concentration moyenne de 1,16 microgramme par litre d’urine. «Ce résultat concorde avec ceux d’études internationales indiquant des concentrations moyennes ou médianes allant de 1 à 3 microgrammes», relève Santé Canada. À noter que les 12-19 ans sont les plus touchés, avec une moyenne de 1,5 microgramme par litre d’urine.

L’ECMS a aussi mesuré la concentration de mercure parmi les 5 600 personnes de son échantillon. En moyenne, celle-ci s’élève à 0,69 microgramme par litre de sang. Cependant, les concentrations sont plus basses chez les enfants et les adolescents de 6 à 19 ans que chez les adultes de 20 à 79 ans. 

Pas d’inquiétude
L’omniprésence de certains produits chimiques dans l’organisme ne signifie pas qu’ils entraîneront forcément des problèmes de santé, surtout lorsque les concentrations sont très faibles, notent les spécialistes de la santé publique. «Dans l’ensemble, les résultats pour la majorité des substances mesurées sont semblables à ceux d’autres études de biosurveillance effectuées à l’échelle internationale ou au Canada», rassure également Santé Canada.

«Les données nationales de biosurveillance seront utilisées comme point de départ des futures activités de surveillance et de recherche. Elles nous permettront de mieux comprendre l’exposition des gens aux substances chimiques et nous aideront à élaborer des politiques pour protéger la santé des Canadiens», conclut le Dr Paul Gully, de Santé Canada.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Exercise Upgrades for More Muscle

What You're Doing Wrong


You're leaning forward, causing your front heel to rise.

Perfect Your Form
1. "When you lunge, keep your torso upright, and focus on moving it up and down, not backward and forward," says Rasmussen. This will keep your weight balanced evenly through your front foot, allowing you to press hard into the floor with your heel—and target more muscle.

2. "Drop your back knee straight down to the floor," says Boyle. Consider this a second strategy to help you remember that you should drop your torso down, not push it forward, as you do the exercise.

3. "To work your core harder, narrow your starting stance," says Gray Cook, M.S.P.T., the author of Athletic Body in Balance. The smaller the gap between your feet, the more your core has to work to stabilize your body. Your goal: Lunge so that it's almost like you're walking on a tightrope as you perform the exercise.

Rows and Pullups

What You're Doing Wrong
You're ignoring the muscles that retract your shoulder blades.

Perfect Your Form
1. "When doing bent-over and seated rows, and any pullup variation, create as much space between your ears and shoulders as you can," says Rasmussen. Pull your shoulders down and back and hold them that way as you do the exercise. This ensures you're working the intended middle-and upper-back muscles.

2. "As you row the weight, stick your chest out," says Mike Boyle, M.A., A.T.C., owner of Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning, in Winchester and North Andover, Massachusetts. This allows you to better retract your shoulder blades, which will lead to better results.

3. "Imagine there's an orange between your shoulder blades," says Grantham. "Then try to squeeze the juice out of it with your shoulder blades as you pull the weight or your body up."

Straight-Leg Deadlift

What You're Doing Wrong
You're rounding your lower back as you bend over.

Perfect Your Form
1. "To lower the weight, pretend you're holding a tray of drinks and need to close the door behind you with your butt," says Cosgrove. This cues you to bend over by pushing your hips back instead of rounding your lower back—a form blunder that puts you at risk for back problems.

2. "Try to 'shave your legs' with the bar," says Weiss. The reason: Every degree the bar is away from your body places more strain on your back, which increases your chance of injury and limits the emphasis on your hamstrings and glutes.

3. "As you lift the bar, squeeze your glutes like two fists," says Nick Grantham, a top strength and conditioning coach in the U.K. and the owner of Smart Fitness. You'll ensure that you're engaging your butt muscles. This helps you generate more power, lift more weight, and produce better results


What You're Doing Wrong
You're starting the movement by bending your knees.

Perfect Your Form
1. "Sit back between your legs, not on top of your knees," says Dan John, a strength coach based in Draper, Utah. Start your squats by pushing your hips back. "Most men tend to bend their knees first, which puts more stress on their joints."

2. "When you squat, imagine you're standing on a paper towel," says Charlie Weingroff, director of sports performance and physical therapy for CentraState Sports Performance, in Monroe, New Jersey. "Then try to rip the towel apart by pressing your feet hard into the floor and outward." This activates your glutes, which helps you use heavier weights.

3. "Instead of raising your body, think about pushing the floor away from your body," says Alwyn Cosgrove, C.S.C.S., co-owner of Results Fitness. "This helps you better engage the muscles in your legs."

Bench Press

What You're Doing Wrong
You're thinking only about pushing the bar up from your chest.

Perfect Your Form
1. "Every time you lower the weight, squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull the bar to your chest," says Craig Rasmussen, C.S.C.S., a fitness coach at Results Fitness in Santa Clarita, California. This will help you build up energy in your upper body so that you can press the bar up with more force.

2. "As you pull the weight down, lift your chest to meet the barbell," Rasmussen says. "This will aid your efforts to create a springlike effect when you start to push the bar back up."

3. "When you press the weight, try to bend the bar with your hands," says Pavel Tsatsouline, a fitness expert and the author of Enter the Kettlebell! The benefit: You'll activate more muscle fibers in your lats and move the bar in a stronger and safer path for your shoulders.


What You're Doing Wrong
You're letting your hips sag as you raise and lower your body.

Perfect Your Form
1. "When you're in a pushup position, your posture should look the same as it would if you were standing up straight and tall," says Vern Gambetta, the owner of Gambetta Sports Training Systems, in Sarasota, Florida. "So your hips shouldn't sag or be hiked, and your upper back shouldn't be rounded."

2. "Before you start, contract and stiffen your core the way you would if you had to zip up a really tight jacket," says Kaitlyn Weiss, a NASM-certified trainer based in Southern California. Hold it that way for the duration of your set. "This helps your body remain rigid—with perfect posture—as you perform the exercise."

3. "Don't just push your body up; push your hands through the floor," Gambetta says. You'll generate more power with every repetition.

By: Rachel Cosgrove, C.S.C.S

20 Ways to Stick to Your Workout

By: Adam Campbell
You have the right to remain fat. Or skinny. Or weak. But you should know that every workout you miss can and will be used against you to make your belly bigger, your muscles smaller and weaker, and your life shorter. Unfortunately, most Americans are exercising their right not to exercise.

A recent study by the National Center for Health Statistics found that only 19 percent of the population regularly engages in "high levels of physical activity." (That's defined as three intense 20-minute workouts per week.)

Another 63 percent—about the same percentage as that of Americans who are overweight—believe that exercising would make them healthier, leaner, and less stressed, but they don't do it. At the root of this problem is motivation, or the lack thereof.

It's the difference between wanting to exercise and actually doing it. That's why the advice you're about to read is priceless. We've filled these pages with the favorite motivational strategies of the top personal trainers in the country. Their livelihoods, in fact, depend on the effectiveness of their tips to inspire their clients to exercise—and to stick with it. After all, statistics don't pay by the hour.

And for even more ways to shape your body, check out The Men’s Health Big Book of Exercises. With complete instructions of more than 600 exercises, along with hundreds of workouts and useful tips, it’s the most comprehensive guide to fitness ever created.
Sign Up for a Distant Race
That is, one that's at least 500 miles away. The extra incentive of paying for airfare and a hotel room will add to your motivation to follow your training plan, says Carolyn Ross-Toren, chairwoman of the Mayor's Fitness Council in San Antonio.

Make a "Friendly" Bet
Challenge your nemesis—that idea-stealing coworker or a non-mowing neighbor—to a contest. The first guy to drop 15 pounds, run a 6-minute mile, or bench- press 250 pounds wins. The key: "Make sure it's someone you don't particularly like," says Michael Mejia, C.S.C.S., Men's Health exercise advisor. (It's okay if your rival thinks you're best friends.)

Tie Exercise to Your Health
Check your cholesterol. Then set a goal of lowering your LDL cholesterol by 20 points and increasing your HDL cholesterol by 5 points. "You'll decrease your risk of heart disease while providing yourself with a very important, concrete goal," says John Thyfault, Ph.D., C.S.C.S., an exercise researcher at East Carolina University. Ask your doctor to write a prescription for new blood work in a month. You'll just have to go to the lab, and the doctor will call you with the results.

Switch Your Training Partners
Working out with a partner who will hold you accountable for showing up at the gym works well—for a while. But the more familiar you are with the partner, the easier it becomes to back out of workout plans. "Close friends and family members don't always make the best training partners because they may allow you to slack off or cancel workouts," says Jacqueline Wagner, C.S.C.S., a trainer in New York City. To keep this from happening, find a new, less forgiving workout partner every few months.

Find a sport or event that you enjoy and train to compete in it. "It adds a greater meaning to each workout," says Alex Koch, Ph.D., C.S.C.S., an exercise researcher (and competitive weight lifter) at Truman State University. Consider training for the World Master's games, an Olympics-like competition for regular guys. Events include basketball, rowing, golf, triathlon, and weight lifting.

Think About Fat
Your body is storing and burning fat simultaneously, but it's always doing one faster than the other. "Understanding that you're getting either fatter or leaner at any one time will keep you body-conscious so you won't overeat or underexercise," says Alwyn Cosgrove, C.S.C.S., owner of Results Fitness Training in Santa Clarita, California.
Do a Daily Gut Check
Place your fingers on your belly and inhale deeply so that it expands. As you exhale, contract your abdominal muscles and push your fingertips against your hard abdominal wall. Now pinch. "You're holding pure fat between your fingers," says Tom Seabourne, Ph.D., author of Athletic Abs. Do this every day, 30 minutes before your workout, and you'll find that you'll rarely decide to skip it.

Join a Fitness Message Board
It'll be full of inspiration from men who have accomplished their goals and are working toward new ones. Our particular favorite: the 52-Day Challenge. Created by a Men's Health Belly Off! Club forum member with the username Determined, it's designed to foster encouragement, discipline, and accountability. "Each participant posts and tracks his goals for a 52-day period so that everyone is accountable to the other members," says Determined. To sign up, click here.

Strike an Agreement with Your Family
The rule: You get 1 hour to yourself every day, provided that you use it for exercise (and reciprocate the favor). So there's no pressure to do household chores, play marathon games of Monopoly, or be a doting husband (a fat, doting husband). "Since it's for your health, it's a contract they can't refuse. And that will allow you to exercise guilt-free while acting as a role model for your children," says Darren Steeves, C.S.C.S., a trainer in Canada.

Burn a Workout CD
Studies have shown that men who pedal stationary cycles while listening to their favorite music will do so longer and more intensely than men who exercise without music. So burn a disc with your favorite adrenaline-boosting songs (maybe something by Limp Bizkit or—if you're over 40—Hot Tuna).

Plan Your Workouts in Advance
At the start of each month, schedule all of your workouts at once, and cross them off as they're completed. For an average month, you might try for a total of 16 workouts. If any are left undone at the end of the month, tack them on to the following month. And make sure you have a contingency plan for bad weather and unscheduled meetings. "You're about 40 percent more likely to work out if you have strategies to help you overcome these obstacles," says Rod Dishman, Ph.D., an exercise scientist at the University of Georgia.
Squat First
If you have trouble finishing your weight workout, start with the exercises you dread. "You'll look forward to your favorite exercises at the end of your workout, which will encourage you to complete the entire session," says John Williams, C.S.C.S., co-owner of Spectrum Conditioning in Port Washington, New York.

Have a Body-Composition Test
Do this every 2 months for a clear end date for the simple goal of losing body fat or gaining muscle. "Tangible results are the best motivator," says Tim Kuebler, C.S.C.S., a trainer in Kansas City, Missouri. Your gym probably offers the service for a small fee—just make sure the same trainer performs the test each time.

Don't Do What You Hate
"Whenever you start to dread your workout, do what appeals to you instead," says John Raglin, Ph.D., an exercise psychologist at Indiana University. If you loathe going to a gym, try working out at home. (Check the Men's Health Home Workout Bible for ideas.) If you despise the treadmill, then jump rope, lift weights, or find a basketball court. Bottom line: If you're sick of your routine, find a new one.

Go Through the Motions
On days when you don't feel like working out, make the only requirement of your exercise session a single set of your favorite exercise. "It's likely that once you've started, you'll finish," says Rachel Cosgrove, C.S.C.S. If you still don't feel like being in the gym, go home. This way, you never actually stop exercising; you just have some gaps in your training log.

Start a Streak
There's nothing like a winning streak to attract fans to the ballpark. Do the same for your workout by trying to set a new record for consecutive workouts without a miss. "Every time your streak ends, strive to set a longer mark in your next attempt," says Williams.

Make Your Goals Attractive
"To stay motivated, frame your goals so that they drive you to achieve them," says Charles Staley, owner of For example, if you're a 200-pound guy, decide whether you'd rather bench "over 200 pounds," "the bar with two 45-pound plates on each side," or "your body weight." They're all different ways of saying the same thing, but one is probably more motivating to you than the others.

See Your Body Through Her Eyes
Ask your wife to make like Howard Stern and identify your most displeasing physical characteristic. "It's instant motivation," says Mejia. If she's hesitant, make a list for her—abs, love handles, upper arms, and so on—and have her rank them from best to worst. Make the most-hated body part your workout focus for 4 weeks, then repeat the quiz for more motivation.

Buy a Year's Worth of Protein
"If a guy believes that a supplement will help him achieve better results, he'll be more inclined to keep up his workouts in order to reap the full benefits and avoid wasting his money," says Kuebler. Stick with the stuff that really does help: protein and creatine, from major brands like MuscleTech, EAS, and Biotest.

Blackmail Yourself
Take a picture of yourself shirtless, holding a sign that shows your e-mail address. Then e-mail it to a trusted but sadistic friend, with the following instructions: "If I don't send you a new picture that shows serious improvement in 12 weeks, post this photo at and send the link to the addresses listed below . . . " (Include as many e-mail addresses—especially of female acquaintances—as possible.) "It's nasty, but extremely effective," says Alwyn Cosgrove.