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Trying to Lose Weight? Gain Muscle? Get the Facts About Eating Right for Good Health
by Bob Bonham

Trying to Lose Weight? Gain Muscle? Get the Facts About Eating Right for Good Health

NEW YORK—There are so many myths out there about how to eat right whether you are trying to lose weight or gain lean muscle. Here, fitness expert Bob Bonham of Strong & Shapely Gym in East Rutherford, NJ looks at the facts and myths for proper nutrition when you want to get in shape.

CUT OUT ALL CARBS TO LOSE WEIGHT: This is a myth. While it’s true that one should lower one’s carbohydrate intake when trying to lose weight, it is dangerous to cut out carbs completely. You need some carbs for energy. Understand the difference between complex carbs (rice, oatmeal, and potatoes without butter or salt) and simple carbs (anything with processed sugar, such as cookies, pies, cakes, and candy). Complex carbs are actually good for you in moderation, and will help energize you throughout the day. Having a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast is a great way to start the day, especially before your morning workout.

Bob is a regular contributor to many bodybuilding magazines.


SKIPPING BREAKFAST IS A GOOD THING: Breakfast, as your mother always told you, is the most important meal of the day. You need a good breakfast of complex carbs and protein to get you started for the day. If you skip breakfast, you will likely compensate for the missed calories by eating more later in the day. Skipping any meal is never a good idea, and it is actually best to eat five or six smaller meals per day than three large ones (this helps increase your metabolism, and several small meals per day is essential if you are trying to build muscle mass). If you must skip a meal, skip dinner if you plan to eat after 8pm and won’t have time to burn off all the calories, but at least have a light salad with low-fat dressing and a protein shake or some lean meat or fish, especially if you go to the gym in the evening. It is never a good idea to go to bed on an empty stomach.

“0 TRANS FATS” FOODS ARE ALWAYS BETTER: We see so many foods these days with packages saying they have “0 Trans Fats.” This does not mean a food is “fat-free.” Be sure to check the “nutrition facts” labels on these products. Many times “0 Trans Fats” foods compensate by adding extra salt or sugar. In addition, the Food and Drug Administration allows “0 Trans Fats” foods to contain half a gram of trans fats per serving, so if you sit down and eat an entire bag of a product of these supposedly healthy foods, you will be eating more trans fats than you think.

ORGANIC FOODS ARE ALWAYS HEALTHIER: This can be a myth or a fact, depending on the type of food. “Organic” usually refers to the way the product was grown or raised. If you want to avoid genetically enhanced foods or eat foods raised on special farms, such as “free-range chicken” or “organic” produce that has not been sprayed with pesticides, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to eat organic. Just remember that things such as “organic” snack foods can still be high in calories, so do not sit down and eat an entire bag of organic corn chips.

THERE ARE FEWER CALORIES IN OLIVE OIL: Despite all the hype about olive oil, people forget that it is still a fat. Olive oil, like most fats, contains approximately 120 calories per teaspoon. And even “light” olive oil has no fewer calories; it just tastes lighter. So when cooking with olive oil, use it in moderation like any other fat.

MULTIGRAIN PRODUCTS ARE ALWAYS MADE WITH WHOLE GRAINS: Read nutrition labels on “multigrain” products. In reality, “multigrain” products are simply those made with several types of grains. Just because a product says it is made of “cracked wheat” or “whole grains” does not mean it is truly “multigrain.” Only if a product is labeled “100 percent whole grain” is it actually “multigrain.”

HONEY, MOLASSESS, & CORN SWEETENERS ARE BETTER THAN SUGAR: This is false. Although honey and molasses are not processed sugars, they are still forms of sugar, so eat products using these items in moderation. Also watch out for any ingredient containing corn syrup, fructose, sucrose, lactose, dextrose and maltose. All are forms of sugar and just as bad as table sugar if you use them too much. Anything containing sugar, whether it is processed sugar or a natural form of sugar, is still sugar regardless.

The September 2007 issue of Men’s Exercise includes a feature on Bob Bonham’s tips for healthy eating for busy people in the magazine’s “Fantastic Facts” column. The January 2007 issue of Exercise for Men Only magazine wrote that Strong and Shapely Gym in East Rutherford, NJ is “widely renowned as one of the best training centers in America.” The gym is the training center for everyone from top athletes to business people just trying to stay in shape. The gym has 334 workout stations, with 12 computerized circuit machines (9 in stretching rooms), 60 leg machines, 35 for chest, 30 miscellaneous benches, 5 Smith machines, plus 1 neck, 14 shoulder, 41 back, 72 cardio, 7 lower back, 25 ab and 23 arm machines. Also look for 40, 675 pounds of free weights, 20,000 lbs of plates, 17, 700 lbs of dumbbells, 2075 lbs of fixed barbells and EZ-curls, 990 lbs of Olympic bars, and a posing room and sauna.
For more information, visit www.strong-and-shapely.com



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