Forget Calories. Eat Healthy and Exercise Smart
Jonathan Bailor, fitness expert
The Calorie Myth: How to Eat More, Exercise Less, Lose Weight, and Live Better (HarperWave)
Just reducing calories doesn’t work, according to Bailor: "Every single relevant study proves that when you eat less your metabolism slows." There’s no need to count calories if we eat the right foods, he says: nonstarchy veggies, proteins (seafood, grass-fed beef), whole-food fats (nuts, olives, eggs), most fruits (not apples, bananas or grapes). The idea is to enjoy so much of these foods that you’re too full for unhealthy ones.
It’s difficult to lose weight and keep it off because you’re fighting against your set-point weight, he explains, which is determined by the level of fat our body automatically works to maintain. The best way to lower your set point is with healthy food and exercises that use all four muscle-fiber types, particularly type 2b muscle fibers, at the same time. Eccentric forms of exercise—high-resistance, low-impact movements as a muscle extends—do just that. For example, slowly lowering into a squat or lowering a weight.
Old Way: Pedaling along for half an hour on a stationary bike.
Smarter Way: Crank up the resistance so you have to stand in order to push down. Pedal for 15 to 30 seconds; do 3 to 5 sets.
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