Saturday, August 15, 2009

Time to Try Again

I've recently started an(other) effort to lose my excess weight. Since this time I am on the web I have been looking for more research. It appears there is very little useful information available. The biggest problem, it appears to me, is the lack of any financial incentive to run large controlled trials of diets as there is in drug trials. What we really, really need for nutritional science to advance much more, is for large-scale controlled experiments, but without the millions of dollars drug companies put into testing their products, in the hopes of making it back from sales on successful drugs, it is not going to happen.

With the lack of clear information, I am just going to go with moderate calorie restriction with no particular worries as to what I'm eating. And serious exercise to raise my caloric expenditure and tone my body at the same time. I am going to concentrate on aerobic or cardio exercise because that burns more calories since you can do it for longer periods than anaerobic or strength training; and because I am fairly strong, but my aerobic fitness sucks.

The best information I have found is Dr Sharkey's Fitness & Health. I read the first edition, then titled "The Physiology of Fitness", two decades ago and more recently the 4th edition; I just haven't really determined to lose my excess weight and worked at it before.

I am using a couple of Jillian Michaels's DVDs (Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred and Jillian Michaels: No More Trouble Zones) and just read two of her books, Winning by Losing: Drop the Weight, Change Your Life and Making the Cut: The 30-Day Diet and Fitness Plan for the Strongest, Sexiest You. Her fitness and exercise advice is very good, but the nutritional advice is not worth taking the time to read. The specific advice she gives goes far beyond what can be justified by what we know of nutrition; following it won't hurt you, it will just waste your time and money.

I am going to keep doing weights on alternate days to maintain my strength while working on the other, but I am in good shape there. Strength Training: Your Ultimate Weight Conditioning Program (Sports Illustrated Winner's Circle Books) is the best single book I have read on weight training. I have also found several of the Gold's Gym books useful, including The Gold's Gym Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding (Gold's Gym series) and The Gold's Gym Book of Bodybuilding. But The Gold's Gym Training Encyclopedia, though it doesn't provide much in the way of planning routines, has an incredible array of specific exercises, which allows you to switch around frequently, both to help keep from getting too bored with it and to work the muscles from as many directions as possible. I specifically don't recommend Gold's Gym Nutrition Bible (Gold's Gym Series) as it is full of nutritional nonsense.

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