Burn More Fat!?

Today we are busting some big fat burning myths!!!

Today¬†we are busting some big fat burning myths!!! For those of you who have trained with me, much of this post will sound familiar. BUT, I am certain that everyone will discover something new this morningūüôā
So there are a lot of “fat burning” promises out there. From fad diets to new and improved exercise programs to miracle pills. It seems like everyone has the magic Quick Fix¬†that no one has ever thought of before. But I’ll let you in on a little industry secret… NOTHING replaces hard work. Now although there are no magic pills that allow you to sit on your butt and reach you reach you health goals, there are smart ways to use your time in gym. Here are a few highlights from this weeks article talking about do’s and don’ts.
Believe that there is any one thing you can do to loose fat (especially taking a pill)
Take time to educate yourself. Take time to learn about a given intervention such as a diet, exercise program, and how they will interact with your lifestyle and health concerns. You need to incorporate all of these things by creating new habits to see meaningful results.
Just walk on the treadmill. Slow steady state (low to moderate intensity for 1hr) exercise wont burn fat efficiently.
Participate in High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)! This style of exercise will differ for everyone, but in general it will allow you to work for a shorter amount of time with greater fat burning power. Our March Boot Camp is a great example of HIIT.
Rely on the way you feel to gauge the intensity of exercise. Everyone responds to stress (yes exercise is a stress) in different ways.
Purchase a heart rate monitor. Investing in a quality heart rate monitor will show vast returns in your health. These inexpensive devices are imperative to the HIIT principle and will ensure that your workouts are effective, but most importantly, safe!
To learn more about HIIT, fat burning tip, as well as some common myths you can access the original article here.

Hip Pain Part 2 – Fixing The Problem

Hip new ideas on dealing with that pain in the butt.

As we found out last week, lots can go wrong within the hips. And while figuring out the problem can be difficult, finding the right solution may be a little bit more simple. For many of the issues that we have discussed the solution may ultimately be a surgical or pharmacological¬†intervention. However, today I wanted to go over some exercise interventions that may be worth a try. So let’s dive into some hip new ideas on dealing with that pain in the butt.
The Big Three
There are three main domains that are thought to lead to hip pain including sitting, muscular imbalances, and skeletal imbalances. Sitting for long periods of time can lead to the latter two issues, but in a more direct sense, it can cause problems all on its own. Primarily, sitting causes compression within the hip joint itself and can, in a sense, squish the muscles, nerves, and blood flow. If you have ever had a “dead leg” from sitting on your wallet too long or one leg crossed over the other then you will know how troublesome sitting can be. Muscular imbalances can be described as building strength in some muscles¬†while neglecting others resulting in an unnatural amount of strain on particular muscles. Runners, for example, often ignore the muscles used to move the body from side to side. Finally, skeletal imbalances are the uneven stature or movement patterns that many individuals have due to things like genetic bone differences, old injuries, and leg-length discrepancies.
What Should You Do?
Every person¬†and every issue¬†is unique and deserves a unique solution. This is due to the fact that pain is complicated. Pain can be caused by the various tissues (sprains and strains), by the nerves (sciatica), and other issues that aren’t understood yet (fibromyalgia, chronic low back pain). More often than not, however, movement is paramount to success. So let’s take a look at what you need to do for the specific issues discussed in last week’s post!
Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) РFAI is unique because it is a combination of bone structure problems and hip tissue problems (1). These issues are far from uniform so the specifics of what needs to be done to fix the problem will change from person to person. However, some keys to success include hip-specific function and lower limb strengthening, core stability and postural balance exercises (2).
Inline image 1
Piriformis Syndrome, Trochanteric Bursitis/Snapping Hip РThese issues are common among runner, and as you can guess, are generally thought to be caused by muscular imbalances. You can try to alleviate these problems by foam rolling the piriformis, quadriceps and IT-Band, statically stretching the piriformis, biceps femoris and hip flexors, and performing exercises such as leg slides, floor bridge, lateral tube walking and ball squats.
Sciatica РBecause sciatica can be caused by at least 6 underlying issues, there really is no one true way to best treat it (3). For best results, skip the exercise and talk to your doctor about medication options (4).
Strains РWhen it comes to strains of the groin and/or hip flexor, the general recommendation is to regain full range of motion, and restore full muscle strength, endurance, and coordination. You can prevent these injuries by doing programs similar to the one seen bellow (5).
Inline image 2
One of the best ways to avoid injuries of the hips is to strengthen the hips. Because we sit on our butts all day long, we tend to lose the ability to use our glutes. This can lead to all sorts of problems in the long run. This is why I recommend you start by strengthening the glute muscles. Here is a great resource for learning how to strengthen the glutes. If you’re looking for pain relief, your best chance of seeing results quickly is to consult your doctor.
1. The Warwick Agreement on femoroacetabular impingement syndrome (FAI syndrome): an international consensus statement
Br. J. Sports. Med. 2016;50:19 1169-1176
2. Wall, P., Dickenson, E., Robinson, D., Hughes, I., Realpe, A., Hobson, R., Griffen, D., Foster, N. (2016). Personalised Hip Therapy: development of a non-operative protocol to treat femoroacetabular impingement syndrome in the FASHIoN randomised controlled trial. Br J Sports Med, 50:1217-1223 doi:10.1136/bjsports-2016-096368
3. Verwoerd, A. J. H., Luijsterburg, P. A. J., Lin, C. W. C., Jacobs, W. C. H., Koes, B. W., & Verhagen, A. P. (2013). Systematic review of prognostic factors predicting outcome in non-surgically treated patients with sciatica. European Journal of Pain (London, England), 17(8), 1126.
4. Lewis, R. A., Williams, N. H., Sutton, A. J., Burton, K., Din, N. U., Matar, H. E., . . . Wilkinson, C. (2015). Comparative clinical effectiveness of management strategies for sciatica: Systematic review and network meta-analyses. The Spine Journal : Official Journal of the North American Spine Society, 15(6), 1461-1477. doi:10.1016/j.spinee.2013.08.049
5. Tyler, T. F., Silvers, H. J., Gerhardt, M. B., & Nicholas, S. J. (2010). Groin injuries in sports medicine. Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach, 2(3), 231-236. doi:10.1177/1941738110366820


So what is NEAT you ask? It is all the energy used that is secondary to planned exercise and weight training activities.

Last week I talked a little bit about incorporating NEAT (non-exercise thermogenesis) into a weight loss program. So today I will be expanding upon what exactly that means, and what it can do for you. The information for today’s post come from a study published in April of 2015.
So what is NEAT you ask? It is all the energy used that is secondary to planned exercise and weight training activities. For instance¬†fidgeting, singing, walking, laughing, cleaning, standing, and any other movements throughout the day count towards NEAT (also see table at the bottom*). Individually these activities don’t use many calories, however, when combined the NEAT activities can generate a great deal burned calories. In fact, it is estimated that those who are lean and active burn and additional 350 calories DAILY compared to those who are sedentary. For such small changes in what you do on a daily basis those are some big results.
Here are some more highlights taken from the paper that I think you will find interesting:
–¬†NEAT variability can explain the caloric expenditure differences in individuals with similar body types. Variances in work and leisure-time activities in individuals play a fundamental role in NEAT differences.
–¬†By just doing simple daily manual task activities, NEAT can be enhanced throughout the workday and at home.
–¬†NEAT decreases cardiovascular disease mortality and improves metabolic parameters.
–¬†NEAT has good long-term adherence, with positive impact.
Check out the rest of the article at the link below, and I highly encourage you to take a look at the table at the end of this email to see what steps you can take to increase your activity. I think it is also important to remember that the ultimate goal is to create a sustainable healthy practices. There is no need to try and do all of these things at once, but to focus on creating one healthy habit at a time.
TableDaily Activities According to the Amount of Nonexercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT)
Activity Calories Burned per Hour
0-50 >50-100 >100-200
NEAT home activity
‚ÄÉBarbecuing/grilling X
‚ÄÉCleaning X
‚ÄÉClearing out storage space/garage X
‚ÄÉCooking dinner X
‚ÄÉGrocery shopping X
‚ÄÉHanging pictures X
‚ÄÉIroning X
‚ÄÉLaundry X
‚ÄÉOrganizing closets X
‚ÄÉPainting walls X
‚ÄÉRedecorating X
‚ÄÉSweeping X
‚ÄÉVacuuming X
General NEAT movements
‚ÄÉClimbing stairs X
‚ÄÉPacing X
‚ÄÉPushing a stroller X
‚ÄÉRiding in an automobile X
‚ÄÉStanding X
‚ÄÉStretch band exercises X
‚ÄÉStretching X
‚ÄÉWalking (strolling pace) X
‚ÄÉWalking and talking (briskly) X
‚ÄÉWalking around the home/office X
‚ÄÉWalking the dog X
‚ÄÉWalking to work X
NEAT yard activity
‚ÄÉPlaying fetch with dog X
‚ÄÉGardening X
‚ÄÉMowing lawn X
‚ÄÉPlanting flowers X
‚ÄÉPruning shrubs X
‚ÄÉRaking leaves X
‚ÄÉShoveling snow X
‚ÄÉTrimming hedges X
‚ÄÉWashing automobile X
‚ÄÉWatering plants X
‚ÄÉWeeding X
Hobbies and other recreational NEAT activity
‚ÄÉBaking X
‚ÄÉBicycling X
‚ÄÉBird watching X
‚ÄÉPlaying board/card games X
‚ÄÉBowling X
‚ÄÉDancing X
‚ÄÉFishing X
‚ÄÉPlaying Frisbee or other outdoor games X
‚ÄÉHiking X
‚ÄÉJournaling (while strolling) X
‚ÄÉKnitting/sewing X
‚ÄÉKayaking X
‚ÄÉPlaying the piano or another musical instrument X
‚ÄÉReading (lounging) X
‚ÄÉReading (standing) X
‚ÄÉSkiing (water or snow) X
‚ÄÉSurfing the Web (sitting) X
‚ÄÉSurfing the Web (standing) X
‚ÄÉSwimming X
‚ÄÉPracticing Tai Chi X
‚ÄÉPlaying tennis X
‚ÄÉWatching TV X
‚ÄÉWatching TV on an elliptical trainer X
‚ÄÉWatching TV on a stationary bike X
‚ÄÉWatching TV on a treadmill X
‚ÄÉPlaying video games (seated) X
‚ÄÉPlaying video games (while moving) X
‚ÄÉDoing volunteer work (setting up/serving meals) X
‚ÄÉWindow shopping X
‚ÄÉPracticing yoga X

TV = television.

*Mayo Clin Proc. n April 2015;90(4):509-519 n http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mayocp.2015.02.001 www.mayoclinicproceedings.org

Hip Pain Part 1 – Your Hips Do Lie

Some basic anatomy of the hips and some common injuries that occur.

The hip is a fickle beast. When it works well and without pain, it can be used to control nearly the entire body. But, when there is discomfort within the hip, it can be caused by nearly anything in the entire body. With so much potential for disaster and success, today’s post is the first of a two-part series. In this, the first post of the series, we will be going over some basic anatomy of the hips and some common injuries that occur. Next week we will be going over how to avoid injuries and some exercises to help you recover from hip pain. So let’s get these hips shaking!
All Roads Lead To The Hips
The hips are difficult to describe. The hips control¬†6 motions of the legs, and there are at least¬†4 other motions¬†that can be produced within the hip itself. There are at least¬†24 muscles¬†and¬†4 ligaments¬†that need to be considered when talking about hip motion. Not to mention the complex array of nerves, cartilage,¬†and¬†other tissues¬†that need to be taken into account. Instead of boring you with the specifics, I’ll just say that there are no black and white answers when it comes to your hip pain. But we do have a lot of opportunities to find clues to the answer for your problems.
Inline image 1
Endless Possibilities
Hip problems are so complex that they may not even have symptoms that appear anywhere close to the hip! So let’s dive head first into some of the¬†most common issues.
Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) РFAI is the new kid on the block because we have only recently recognized it as a true issue. FAI can cause symptoms such as pain that you feel deep in the groin which may be mistaken as a groin strain (1). Overgrowth of the bones of the ball and socket joint of the hip cause tearing of cartilage in the joint (2). This problem can lead to early arthritis and affects about 10-15% of young adults (3). There is not a deep understanding of how this occurs yet, but we are learning more about it every day.
Inline image 2
Labral Tear¬†–¬†The labrum is a cartilage bumper within the socket of the hip. This problem can cause¬†pain, catching, or clicking in the groin with activities. Labral tears can be caused by issues such as FAI, but they require¬†an MRI to be diagnosed (4).
Athletic Pubalgia РAKA sports hernia. This issue can cause pain in the lower abdominal or groin area of athletes. The injury affects the lower abdominal wall, or adductor tendons, and is generally related to sport-specific movements (e.g. slap shot). This injury may require an MRI to diagnose (5).
Hip Flexor Strain¬†–¬†The hip flexors are the muscles along the anterior (front) aspect of the hip. Pain in the front of the hip when lifting the leg up will be experienced with this injury.¬†
Adductor Strain РAlso known as a groin strain, this issue is tough to differentiate from other injuries of the hip (2). Usually, an adductor strain involves a stretch or possibly a small partial tear of the muscle or tendon. These injuries can have a gradual onset with diminished performance, and warms up, or, an acute onset that worsens during exercise (5).
Osteitis Pubis¬†–¬†This is an overuse condition causing inflammation of the junction between the pubic bones.You might feel pain deep in the groin when playing sports involving a¬†rapid change of direction or bringing the lower extremity across the body. You might also experience pain radiating to the thigh or bone tenderness (5).
Piriformis Syndrome РThis issue is described as a neuromuscular disorder that is presumed to occur when the sciatic nerve is compressed or involved at the level of the piriformis muscle (6). You may experience sciatica-type symptoms, pain when sitting, and/or pain with hip flexion, adduction, and internal rotation.
Inline image 3
Trochanteric Bursitis/Snapping Hip РPain at the top of the hip is common especially among runners. Sometimes associated with IT band syndrome, these issues can often be caused by friction, overuse, trauma or too much pressure. You may experience symptoms such as pain getting up off your bed or pain while lying on the floor and sharp burning pain over the lateral thigh that worsens with exercise for bursitis and snapping hip respectively (7).
Sciatica¬†–¬†Sciatica is the result of a neurological problem in the back or an entrapped nerve in the pelvis or buttock. You might experience a pain in the butt (not spouse related), numbness, weakness, leg pain, or a¬†host of other symptoms¬†(8)
The problems listed above are just the tip of the iceberg. There are loads of other injuries that I would love to get into, but I will save my nerdiness for another day. What you need to know is that your groin pain may not be a simple groin strain. The sciatica you have been complaining about all these years may not actually be sciatica at all. And no matter what the issue is, there is going to be a solution to your problem. So be sure to read my next post to find out how to resolve your rear end issues!
Don’t forget to¬†like me on Facebook!
1. Sansone, M., Ahldén, M., Jonasson, P., Thomeé, R., Falk, A., Swärd, L., . . . Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation. (2014). Can hip impingement be mistaken for tendon pain in the groin? A long-term follow-up of tenotomy for groin pain in athletes. Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy, 22(4), 786-792. doi:10.1007/s00167-013-2738-y
2. Chakraverty, J. K., Sullivan, C., Gan, C., Narayanaswamy, S., & Kamath, S. (2013). Cam and pincer femoroacetabular impingement: CT findings of features resembling femoroacetabular impingement in a young population without symptoms. AJR. American Journal of Roentgenology, 200(2), 389.
3.¬†Leunig M, Ganz R. Femoroacetabular impingement:¬†a common cause of hip complaints leading¬†to arthrosis [in German]. Unfallchirurg 2005;¬†108:9‚Äď10, 12‚Äď17
4. Falvey, E. C., Franklyn-Miller, A., & McCrory, P. R. (2009). The greater trochanter triangle; a pathoanatomic approach to the diagnosis of chronic, proximal,lateral, lower limb [corrected] pain in athletes. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 43(2), 146.
5. Falvey, E. C., Franklyn-Miller, A., & McCrory, P. R. (2009). The groin triangle: A patho-anatomical approach to the diagnosis of chronic groin pain in athletes. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 43(3), 213-220. doi:10.1136/bjsm.2007.042259
6. Miller, T. A., White, K. P., & Ross, D. C. (2012). The diagnosis and management of piriformis syndrome: Myths and facts. The Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences. Le Journal Canadien Des Sciences Neurologiques, 39(5), 577.
7. Franklyn-Miller, A., Falvey, E., & McCrory, P. (2009;2008;). The gluteal triangle: A clinical patho-anatomical approach to the diagnosis of gluteal pain in athletes. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 43(6), 460. doi:10.1136/bjsm.2007.042317
8. Koes, B. W., M. W. van Tulder, & Peul, W. C. (2007). Diagnosis and treatment of sciatica. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 334(7607), 1313-1317. doi:10.1136/bmj.39223.428495.BE

Play Like a Champion


Today I wanted to talk motivation. As we move into the cool fall weather I am hearing more and more excuses for everything that requires motivation. So the theme today is STOP MAKING EXCUSES!!
Harsh words, I know. But we all find excuses when we don’t see success, or lose sight of what’s important. The article today does a good job making a point of what needs to be done to get things done. I highly recommend you read the article in it’s entirety, but here are the three main points.
1. Stop the Excuses. No, Seriously. Stop.
2.¬†If you blame yourself ‚Äď success.
3.¬†If you blame everything else ‚Äď no success. Period.
I cannot say enough about personal responsibility. A common example for not seeing success due to a lack of responsibility is environment. We’ve all been there. “Oh I ate bad last week because”… my friends dragged me out to the bar every night … my significant other didn’t want to cook so we ordered out … all I had was frozen dinners in the freezer etc. etc. etc.
My point is that we all need to stop blaming others and take a hard look why we eat bad or don’t exercise as much as we should. Weather it’s learning to say “no” to your friends once in a while, taking over cooking duties for a while instead of ordering out, or making time in your week to ensure you have actual food around the house, or even admitting that you don’t know what to do or where to start. We spend our entire lives getting to where we are right now, so to see changes we need to take responsibility and make changes, or seek out someone who can help.

The Real Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight

Using the secret awesome supplements, fat burners, shakes, and other “scientifically proven” stuff that your trainer/TV doctor said to use. But for some strange reason, you just can’t seem to lose any weight?

Your app says you’re eating 1200 calories a day. The online metabolism calculator says that you’re burning 2000 calories a day. You’re even using the secret awesome supplements, fat burners, shakes, and other “scientifically proven” stuff that your trainer/TV doctor said to use.¬†But for some strange reason, you just can’t seem to lose any weight. How can this possibly be?!?! Well, let me tell you a dirty little secret. Most of that stuff can be summed up in one word. Crap. Because if any of this sounds familiar to you, you‚Äôre not losing body fat because in one way or another, whether you¬†realize¬†it or not, you‚Äôre eating more than you think are even when you think you¬†aren’t.
Calories In
Nutrition tracking is great because it can give you a sense of how many calories you’re eating within a given food, meal, day, etc. However,¬†when it comes to tracking nutrition,¬†the energetic content of food has been completely divorced from the energetic cost of food. Meaning, the tracker won’t take into account how many¬†calories¬†will be burned preparing the food¬†and/or digesting the food. Additionally, your tracker may not always be counting correctly. For instance, I have seen examples on my tracker where the calorie count is identical for 4oz and 8oz portions of the same foods. So even if you use a scale to weigh and meticulously record you food stuffs, you could still end up being way off. In fact,¬†on average¬†people, even after being well educated on how to track their food, will under estimate their intake by 429 calories per day (1).That’s about 3,000 calories per week! That’s not to say tracking calories is not worth your while. Because when you‚Äôre not paying attention to calorie intake, you leave yourself open to¬†all the environmental and cognitive factors¬†that have you eating more and more without even¬†realizing it. For the most part, your brain is to blame for all of this. So,¬†set your brain up for success¬†to decrease the amount you eat.
Inline image 2
Calories Out
You take out your phone at the end of a long day and see that you have walked almost 10.000 steps. You say to yourself, “not a bad day’s work! No need for the gym¬†tonight.” But, of course this is¬†a huge mistake. For starters, everyone should be exercising in some fashion just about everyday. Regardless of age, gender, or health concerns, there are¬†guidelines¬†that you¬†should follow¬†for your exercise routine. The operative word being routine. Not a “when I feel like it” mentality. Secondly, there really is no great way to measure your steps, or for that matter, your calorie output. Even the most¬†expensive¬†and popular brands of trackers routinely¬†under-estimate your steps while over-estimating¬†your calorie expenditure¬†(2).¬†If¬†you truly want to know how many calories you’re using in a day, you will need to be hooked up to some expensive¬†machinery¬†(see¬†picture bellow for details). But you better not plan on using that number forever. Your calorie usage changes on a daily basis for many reasons. And as you lose weight, your body will almost cruelly reduce the number of calories it burns. Because as you become leaner, this ‚Äėleanness‚Äô means your body¬†doesn’t¬†require as many calories to keep you alive.
Inline image 1
Beware The Guru
By now most of you know that I don’t enjoy the works of certain health and fitness “gurus.” Not only that, but I don’t really believe that the works of many¬†supplement companies¬†are quite ethical. With everyone craving instant results, the immoral take advantage of this fact despite knowing there is no way they can deliver. They make fads something to profit off of rather than actually help people and guide them to success in their goals. They try to get you to buy into their way of thinking, so it makes it harder for you to dig yourself out of their profit pit. They use fear mongering to get their way and make your pocketbook lighter. And while it certainly is¬†commendable¬†that you want to do something to make yourself healthier, I¬†would like to share with you some¬†money saving and health enhancing facts.¬†Fat burning supplements¬†won’t help you lose weight but can be dangerous (3). Vitamin supplements and¬†detoxes¬†are a waste of money (4). And cutting fat is¬†just as effective¬†as cutting carbs to lose fat mass (5). Diet soda is actually¬†a good tool¬†to help you lose weight and to that end, there are no negative side effects of consuming artificial sweeteners (6). And the likes of TV doctors and Men’s Health magazine leave much to be desired when it comes to good advice (7,8)
Inline image 3
Instead of focusing on instant gratification, remember that anything worth having is going to take time, hard work, and persistence. Instead of searching for motivation all the time, learn why motivation is unreliable and what you should do instead. Remember that any diet suggesting you remove entire food groups, or slash your calories drastically doesn’t have your best interests in mind. There‚Äôs no long-term play here. Finally, ask yourself “are there any beliefs you hold that you might need to let go in order to attain better results?”
1. Champagne, C. M., Bray, G. A., Kurtz, A. A., Monteiro, J. B. R., Tucker, E., Volaufova, J., & Delany, J. P. (2002). Energy intake and energy expenditure: A controlled study comparing dietitians and non-dietitians. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 102(10), 1428-1432. doi:10.1016/S0002-8223(02)90316-0
2. NELSON, M. B., KAMINSKY, L. A., DICKIN, D. C., & MONTOYE, A. H. K. (2016). Validity of consumer-based physical activity monitors for specific activity types. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 48(8), 1619-1628. doi:10.1249/MSS.0000000000000933
3. Dara, L., Hewett, J., & Lim, J. K. (2008). Hydroxycut hepatotoxicity: A case series and review of liver toxicity from herbal weight loss supplements. China: The WJG Press and Baishideng. doi:10.3748/wjg.14.6999
4. Guallar, E., Stranges, S., Mulrow, C., Appel, L. J., & Miller, 3., Edgar R. (2013). Enough is enough: Stop wasting money on vitamin and mineral supplements. Annals of Internal Medicine, 159(12), 850.
5. Hall, K. D., Bemis, T., Brychta, R., Chen, K. Y., Courville, A., Crayner, E. J., . . . Yannai, L. (2015). Calorie for calorie, dietary fat restriction results in more body fat loss than carbohydrate restriction in people with obesity. Cell Metabolism, 22(3), 427. doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2015.07.021
6.¬†Peters, J. C., Wyatt, H. R., Foster, G. D., Pan, Z., Wojtanowski, A. C., Vander Veur, S. S., . . . Hill, J. O. (2014). The effects of water and non‚Äźnutritive sweetened beverages on weight loss during a 12‚Äźweek weight loss treatment program. Obesity, 22(6), 1415-1421. doi:10.1002/oby.20737
7. Korownyk, C., Kolber, M. R., McCormack, J., Lam, V., Overbo, K., Cotton, C.. . Allan, G. M. (2014). Televised medical talk shows‚Äďwhat they recommend and the evidence to support their recommendations: A prospective observational study. BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), 349(dec17¬†11), g7346-g7346. doi:10.1136/bmj.g7346
8.¬†Cook, T. M., Russell, J. M., & Barker, M. E. (2014). Dietary advice for muscularity, leanness and weight control in men’s health magazine: A content analysis. BMC Public Health, 14(1), 1062-1062. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-1062

Getting Grilled

“5 reasons why grilling will kill you”… What?

Some time back¬†I stumbled upon a blog condemning the grill saying something along the lines of “5 reasons why grilling will kill you”. Naturally my mind went to using too much lighter fluid causing an explosion so I clicked the link to see what fun ways I could hurt myself this weekend. However, to my dismay the article was about how grilling can cause cancer, and that anyone who uses a grill is at harm and would be better off throwing out their cooking device.
Well I can say that as a lifelong lover of anything bacon, steak, and BBQ related I quickly made it my mission to find out if I should consult an oncologist, or if Memorial Day weekend plans were safe (grilling, home made beer, and Frisbee btw). Well I can safely say that I will be spending my afternoon savoring the sweet sweet smell of venison and Mae farm pork sausage.
I found most of the information on the subject in peer reviewed literature, but today’s post mostly comes from the fine folks at Precision Nutrition. Here is what you need to know:
– Grilling meat does produce a couple of chemicals that may increase risk of cancer (HCA & PAH
– Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) form when meat is overcooked or charbroiled
-Four factors influence HCA formation: 1. Type of food 2. How it’s cooked 3. Temperature 4. How long it’s cooked
–¬†Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) form when meat is charred or blackened, or when fat from the meat drips onto the hot surface of the grill.
–¬†PAH creation is influenced by: 1.¬†Temperature of cooking 2.¬†How long food is cooked 3.¬†Type of fuel used in heating 4.¬†Distance from heat source 5.¬†Fat content of the food
–¬†How to make grilling healthier:¬†
1. Use herbs and spices
2. Acid-based marinades Beer marinades work, too!!!
3. Don’t overcook HCAs and PAHs depend on temperature plus time.
4. Choose meat wisely. Highly-processed meats have a much stronger link to cancer than less-processed meats.
5. Include lots of fruits and veggies
6. Strategize while cooking i.e. Cut your meat into smaller pieces, Flip meat frequently, Cook meat on medium to medium-high heat, Cover the grill with foil.
7. And my FAVORITE drinking a beer with your grilled meat can significantly lower the mutagenic activity of the HCAs that formed.
The author of the PN article, Brian St. Pierre, sums things up extremely well when he says “Keep the risks in perspective. Overall, HCAs and PAHs make a minor contribution to your cancer risk. Being sedentary, having excess body fat, and eating a diet rich in highly processed foods are much greater risk factors. If you have some slow-cooked, pit-roasted ribs in your life once in a while, you‚Äôll probably survive. (And likely be happier overall. Don‚Äôt be afraid of your food.)” Have a fun and safe holiday weekend, and say a prayer (or take a moment of silence) in¬†remembrance¬†of¬†those who have fallen for our nation.