Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

Why solving the obesity epidemic will hurt the economy

Food is a major source of revenue in the United States, generating more than 1,617 billion dollars in 2009. It has been reported that the U.S. produces enough food to supply each person around 4000 calories per day, nearly twice what we need.

Children eat around 350 calories more per day then they did in the 1970’s, and adults consume an additional 500 calories compared to the 70’s.

If everyone skipped one meal every day, we would be eating the same amount of food as we were 30 years ago, when obesity rates were low. However, consider the consequences of skipping one meal on the economy.

If lunch costs around 5 dollars and all Americans skipped this meal, there would be a loss of revenue exceeding 1.5 billion dollars per day (over $560 billion each year), or a 34% decrease in total revenue for the food industry. Read the rest of this entry »


Lifting: It does a brain good!

We’ve been hearing for many years about the benefits of keeping active on the health of our brain.  If, like me, you are not getting any younger, you are probably trying to do all you can to keep that edge.  Most of the suggestions have focused on maintaining mental activity (sure can’t hurt) or the value of aerobic exercise.  Sometimes, as an avid resistance trainer, I have wondered if I was missing something.  What about lifting weight?

Well, fortunately, although at this point it may only be animal work (and we know that there are shortcomings in applying animal models to humans), research is emerging that suggests that resistance exercise is also good for our brain.  I think most of us suspect this – we know it “works” for us – now we have some evidence for it.  While we don’t tie weights to our tails and climb ladders, I have done a few sets of squats that felt like it.  Rats who do show increases in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which may generate increases in neurons in the brain.  Behaviorally, they showed enhanced learning and memory.

Nah…we’re not rats….but it seems to me we have a good formula for doing all we can to remain healthy and vigorous Alphas across our lifespan:  Eat healthy (fuel), exercise your mental muscles (attitude) and stay active – both aerobically and anaerobically (architecture).

So…the brains or brawn thing?  Just a myth, a leftover from the old days of body-typing.


Arginine and the Alpha Male!

Walk into any health food/nutrition store and you will be bombarded with shelves and shelves of pills, potions and powders in colorful cans, canisters and containers, all promising to give you the body of your dreams. Grab one of those products and read the label and your confusion will likely get even worse. There are so many new ingredients out there with fancy names that you have to be a freaking scientist to understand what it is you are putting into your body!

Well, here at Team Alpha Headquarters one of our goals is to help you more easily navigate your way through the sometimes dizzying world of sports supplementation, and provide you with solid, well-documented information about what actually “works,” and what is just hype!

Arginine is an amino acid that has been around for a long time, and was once purported to be a natural growth hormone releaser. However, due to the fact that in most studies it was injectable  arginine that was used to increase GH, and that the oral form had to be taken in way too large of amounts to produce a similar effect, its popularity had gone by the wayside.

In recent years though, arginine made somewhat of a comeback when its role in increasing the body’s nitric oxide production was revealed to the bodybuilding/fitness world. Nitric oxide is a natural chemical that it critical for blood flow control, regulating a process called vasodilation. Greater nitric oxide results in increased blood flow, which in practical terms for us lifters means a far better muscle pump, enhanced nutrient delivery to tissues, and even reduced blood pressure during exercise. Pretty cool stuff!

But, the benefits of arginine do not stop there. In a recent review of literature, by Jason McKnight and colleagues from Texas A & M University, it was concluded that arginine can promote positive body composition changes as well! Yes, that means less body fat and more muscle! It appears that arginine works by decreasing food intake, increasing metabolic rate, and reducing the growth of white adipose tissue (storage fat), all of which can contribute to a leaner you!

I have personally had good success with arginine when taking in 2-3 grams per day thirty minutes before breakfast, exercise and my final meal of the day.

Arginine is a rather cheap and yet effective supplement that can help you further your Alpha Male status.

Note:  The brand new, cutting-edge, scientifically-driven ALPHA MALE ADVANCED WORKOUT E-BOOK is now available! Nothing will transform your physique more radically or quickly than this program! The time is now!


Think Yourself Thin? WoW!

Could thinking about eating your favorite foods, likely ones which aren’t good for you, be the key to resisting them?

Check out this latest story:


“G” is for Grunt

Are you a grunt?

I’m in the gym doing my workout.  I’m lifting fairly heavy weights, and really giving it everything I got with every rep of every set.  I can hear myself breathing.  Taking a nice deep breath and exhaling on the exertion and interspersed with this are grunts.  Yes, I grunt.  No, not LOUD dramatic grunts.

As I’m hearing myself, it got me thinking.  If I’m giving it everything I got during my workout, I can’t help but let out a few grunts here and there.  I’m also very focused on pushing the weight with correct form and really feeling my muscles work.

Do I grunt for attention?  No.  I’m in the moment.  My own self-absorbed competition. Read the rest of this entry »


New Obesity Research: Are “Unknown Factors” Responsible?

FOX News Alabama has just reported on a study conducted by obesity researchers at the University of Alabama concluding, in the words of researcher David B. Allison, Ph.D., that “the usual answer of too much eating and too little exercise may be a drastic oversimplification of the true causes of obesity” and that “increasing body weight may involve some unidentified or poorly understood factors.”  The study subjects were a group of primates called marmosets that lived with or around humans.  The researchers could find no explanation for why the marmosets gained weight over time.  A follow-up study with other mammals yielded similar findings, provoking speculations that “light changes, viruses and epigenetics” could be possible contributing factors to weight gain. Read the rest of this entry »


How Much Should the Government Regulate Our Food Choices?

San Francisco recently became the first major U.S. city to ban toys from kids’ meals that are laden with calories, sugar and fat.  In an effort to fight childhood obesity, the board of supervisors passed the measure stipulating that only meals with less than 600 calories and less than 35 percent of calories from fat, including a beverage, are permitted to include a toy.  Also, fruits and veggies would need to be offered with all kids’ meals.

The measure’s sponsor calls it “food justice” to protect the city’s children, “particularly kids from low income neighborhoods.”  But McDonald’s spokeswoman Danya Proud retorted in a statement, “We are extremely disappointed with today’s decision.  It’s not what our customers want, nor is it something they asked for. … Parents tell us it’s their right and responsibility — not the government’s — to make their own decisions and to choose what’s right for their children.” Read the rest of this entry »


This Winter, Don’t Hibernate – Get Moving! 8 Tips for Fat Loss and Fitness Success

Now that Winter is upon us, you’re probably starting to think ahead to Spring, and all of those warm fuzzy, please get here soon to-do’s! You’re ready to shed those bulky winter clothes and slip into shorts and swimsuits, right? But you quickly realize that you still have several months before that’s happening. There’s no better time to get that butt in shape than now!

Here are some tips for you men and women who are not interested in hibernating this winter! Read the rest of this entry »


Split Up Cardio to Melt Off Fat!

When it comes to cardio here is a strategy you can use to burn MORE body fat WITHOUT adding minutes! Try splitting your workouts into 2-3 sessions per day rather than one long one. Studies show that this method burns more calories and increases metabolic rate more efficiently and for longer. So, if you have 60 minutes of cardio scheduled, split that into two 30-minutes sessions, or even better, three 20-minutes sessions instead of doing it all in one shot!


The Weight Loss Obsession – Maybe Not Obsessed Enough!

The title, “The Weight Loss Obsession”, was an original title for a piece I wrote in one of my books, over a decade ago. It was during a time when we, the experts, were pretty confident that the combat against fat was being fought and being won. Here we are, over a decade later, and not only have we Americans been beaten down by obesity, but it seems to be beating the entire world and it’s not about to stop its bullying anytime in the foreseeable future.

Do you know why this is? How could it be, that we, one of the most advanced, high tech and savvy countries in the world have now become known as the fattest country in the world? I believe it’s because we are also our own worst enemies! We Americans are non-stop and many of us unfortunately take little time to exercise and even less time to think about what we’re putting in our mouths. Read the rest of this entry »

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