April 21, 2012

WELL, GLAD TO BE OF HELP: Reader Dan O’Brien writes:

Last fall I started a workout program at the local gym. I hired a personal trainer who worked there and he had me doing general strength training. I went so far and eventually didn’t renew my PT sessions. I worked a bit on my own, but was generally lost and frustrated with the process. THEN I watched your interview with Mark Rippetoe and all that changed. I bought Mark’s latest edition Starting Strength and started his program. I now have a direction and a purpose to my work outs. I’ve added equipment to my home gym and again, through your recommendation of Amazon Prime membership, saved a ton of money on equipment purchases and shipping fees.

For example, I bought 2 45lb grip style lifting plates for $40 each with zero shipping costs. This beat the price of my local Wal-Mart not counting the savings on purchase tax.

Again, your interview with Mark and your recommendation of Amazon Prime have change my life. Thank you.

You can’t beat Amazon Prime. And since that interview I’ve incorporated more of Rippetoe’s approach into my own workouts, and I’ve definitely seen an improvement.

Other readers favor Gary Taubes. Reader David Brown writes: “Thank you for the Gary Taubes links. Fifteen #’s down so far.” And reader Jack Howard emails:

How many times have you linked to Gary Taubes and others’ books that point out that the Death Food is carbs, not fat?

I’ve lost 76 pounds to date on the ‘Low Food Diet’ (my term) using a simple calorie counting phone app (there’s lots of them out there)

The discovery in this was not finding out how little we get to eat now. It was realizing the industrial quantities we used to eat without so much as a thought. It was realizing there is no hard line between being overweight and those 600-700 pounders on The Learning Channel and the half tonners in the Guinness Book of World Records. There is only eating more or eating less. I have decided to give Less a shot.

Yes, I use the Livestrong App to track calories and exercise, and it works quite well. I was inspired to try it by a friend’s wife who lost over 60 pounds and now looks fabulous. It lets you check the calories and composition of restaurant food from its database before ordering, too, which is very useful.

The thing is, for most people not being fat is a choice you have to make. If you follow the path of least resistance in today’s world, you’ll probably be (at least) pudgy, and quite possibly downright corpulent. Watching both your overall food intake and in particular keeping carbs down, and doing weight training, will take you a long way toward staying healthy and fit.

Alternatively, you can get one of those motorized scooters with a double-wide seat. I understand from the commercials that you may not have to pay a dime out of your own pocket . . . .

I should also note that although I’m skeptical of his approach, quite a few readers have written to say thanks for the link to Dr. William Davis’s Wheat Belly. One of my blog-buddies wrote me a while back to say he’d lost 30 pounds and felt much better.

While some of these diets are better than others — and some are better for some people than for others, I suspect — almost anything that makes you pay attention to what you eat is likely to do some good.