Ask Our Doctors: Fitness Edition!
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ASK OUR DOCTORS: FITNESS EDITION

What America’s Eating
About 65 percent of Americans are overweight. The reason? They consume about 10 percent more per day than they did 30 years ago. “Portion sizes are huge now!” Dr. Travis says.

Dr. Travis displays a serving of boxed macaroni and cheese, which has 260 calories. “You look at the box, and it says 260 calories. That’s not too bad,” he says. “But if you actually eat the [whole] box -- which most people do -- you’re talking about over 750 calories.”

To control how much you eat, Dr. Travis advises looking at the back of the food box and checking how many servings are inside. “You’re eating for one,” Dr. Ordon says, “not for two or three.”
 
Another way to cut calories is to use spray bottle salad dressing instead of the thick, creamy type you normally pour in your greens. “It’s all about portions,” Dr. Ordon says. “You’ve got the [spray salad dressing]. You just do a couple little [sprays]. You get the whole salad. You get your dressing and probably 1/10 of the calories.”


The Doctors’ Fitness Challenge
Trainers Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper from the hit TV show
The Biggest Loser join The Doctors just in time for Dr. Ordon to challenge Dr. Jim in a pull-up contest. The two fit docs face off to see who can do the most pull-ups in 15 seconds. Dr. Ordon’s 11.5 are enough to edge Dr. Jim by just half a pull-up! Read what Dr. Jim has to say about it!


Health House Call
Courtney, 30, weighs nearly 300 pounds, is a mother of two and is very worried about her health. In a video, she asks The Doctors for help with her diet and for a fitness plan to assist her in losing more than 100 pounds so she can be healthy and feel good about herself.

“My husband and I went on our honeymoon, and on our way home we went to Magic Mountain [amusement park],” Courtney says through tears, “and I couldn't fit in the seat [of a ride].”

To get Courtney on the right track to losing weight, Jillian makes a house call. After seeing what Courtney eats -- buttered bread, rocky road ice cream and burritos to name a few of her unhealthy indulgences -- Jillian pushes Courtney through a tough workout that includes walking on a treadmill and doing squats. As a therapeutic tool, Jillian has Courtney toss the unhealthy food in her house in the trash. The two discuss how Courtney lives her life.

“One of the things that Courtney and I were talking about on our little house call is that she doesn’t make any time for herself,” Jillian says. “I think this is a big problem with women today. Everything comes before they do: kids, work, spouses, family, friends. You need to realize that your ‘Yes’ is valuable. You can’t spread yourself too thin. You have to make yourself a priority, and you start with your health. You make time for exercise, you schedule your own doctors’ appointments, you get enough sleep. You do things that are fun, that you love.”

Courtney gets a kick-start to her new health plan when Dr. Travis surprises her with a bundle of gifts that includes a one-year membership to 24-Hour Fitness,
The Biggest Loser meal delivery plan for six months, The Biggest Loser family cookbook, a workout DVD set, a book set, New Balance running shoes, kitchen tools and exercise equipment.

To get them started immediately on reaching their fitness goals, The Doctors send Courtney and her husband Chris on a fitness challenge. They do a cardio workout during the show and use the
bodybugg, a personal calorie management device that keeps track of how many calories they burn throughout the workout. Courtney burns 223 calories on the treadmill, while Chris, using a stationary bike, burns 274!


Ask Our Doctors ... And Trainers!
Mary, from Boulder, Colorado calls The Doctors and asks if it is healthy for her and her baby if she works out while pregnant.

“Exercise is great, even during pregnancy,” Dr. Lisa says. “It’s really healthy for pregnancy. It helps keep away diabetes and hypertension. It helps you maintain a nice, healthy weight which gives you a healthy labor and delivery.

“You can do a lot of things as far as exercise,” she continues. “Anything that’s low impact, where you’re not getting off the ground. You don’t want to do anything that’s jarring, or where you have the potential to fall. You want to stay well hydrated. You can do stationary bicycling, swimming is fantastic, [as is] prenatal yoga.”

Jillian warns against doing any exercise that compresses the body -- like crunches -- while pregnant. Bob advises pregnant women to have a heart rate monitor, and make sure their heart rates do not go above 140 beats per minute (bpm).

Eric, from St. Louis, Missouri asks the trainers if it is better to eat before or after a workout. “I don’t understand people [who] think they need to go to the gym on an empty stomach,” Bob says.  “You need to fuel the body so you’re going to get more bang for your buck.”

Bob advises eating a small meal -- such as an apple with peanut butter or a bowl of oatmeal -- before working out to kick-start the metabolism and help burn more calories. Eating a meal that contains protein and carbohydrates within two hours after a workout helps muscle recovery.


Creating Killer Abs
Do you ever dream about having the perfect six-pack but don't know how to achieve it? Devices such as the Ab Roller can help, but the first step to a sexy six-pack is diet. “Anybody who has a really good stomach,” Bob explains, “they are impeccable with their eating. That is the number one thing. The second [step] would be their cardio. They've got to burn the fat off their body. And then the third [is using ab machines].”

Bob explains that to achieve awesome abs, the old fashioned crunch works just fine, as well. Bob and Jillian have Dr. Lisa demonstrate how to
complete the perfect crunch
.


Negative-Calorie Drinks?

Is there really a way to lose weight by drinking? New drinks, which contain caffeine and EGCG, a catechin in green tea that some researchers believe increase the metabolism, are being promoted as “weight-loss drinks.” But do they work?

 
“I had one of these before the show, and I’m jacked up,” Dr. Ordon says while holding up an energy drink containing EGCG.


“These are actually better for you, I think, than a sugar-laden drink,” Dr. Travis says. “Everything in moderation [though]. [Dr. Ordon] had one before the show, there’s nothing wrong with that. But you’re not going to drink 10 of these a day to lose weight. Not a good idea.”

Dr. Lisa does warn against consuming the caffeine-filled drinks if you are pregnant.



Purple Power

Did you know that adding purple to your diet can improve your health? Purple foods are colored by a pigment called anthocyanin, which is a strong and protective antioxidant that can help healthy aging and improve your memory. Purple foods are also packed with flavonoids, which make our blood vessels strong. This translates to a healthy heart and can actually lower your risk of heart disease. So try adding eggplant, purple beans, cabbage, plums and concord grapes -- like those found in Welch’s 100% Grape Juice -- to your daily diet.





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OAD 1/6/09

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