Friday, May 21, 2010

The Double-Edged Sword of “Healthy” Fast Food

Hey hope this finds you doing well.
Today I have a guest blog by my friend Tom Venuto. You Have to Read This!!! Its an Eye Opener...Knowledge is Power and ignorance can be deadly!

Tom Venuto is the author of the #1 best seller, Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle: Fat Burning Secrets of the World’s Best Bodybuilders and Fitness Models. Tom is a lifetime natural bodybuilder and fat loss expert as well as a good friend of without further ado:

What’s on the menu at the big fast food chains lately? Oddly enough, the answer is… “health food!” Even more incongruous, many are marketing their food for weight loss. Healthy weight loss food at Taco Bell and McDonalds? Is this a noble move to be applauded, is it a big corporate money grab, or is it a double edged sword?

Remember Jared Fogle, the Subway guy? He lost 245 pounds while eating at Subway regularly. He simply picked the lower calorie menu items. Seeing an opportunity, the local store owner pitched Subway corporate with an idea. Before long, Jared was the company spokesperson in their nationwide advertising campaigns which became known as The Subway Diet.

Sales doubled to 8.2 billion. How much the increase came from the weight loss ads is unknown, but there’s little doubt that using weight loss as a marketing platform was a boon for the sandwich maker. Other fast food chains picked up the weight loss torch where Subway left off.

taco bell Pictures, Images and Photos
The latest is the Taco Bell Drive through diet, with their own skinny spokesperson: Christine! The ads, which are admittedly conservative, perhaps due to more stringent FTC laws, say Christine lost 54 lbs over 2 years by reducing her calories to 1250 a day, and choosing Taco Bell’s new lower calorie “Fresco” items.

These include “7 diet items with 150 to 240 calories and under 9 grams of fat.” For example, there’s a chicken soft taco with only 170 calories and 4 grams of fat.

For people who refuse to give up eating at fast food restaurants, this is arguably a positive thing. Take my brother for example, He’s not a total junk food junkie, but left to his own devices, he WILL make a beeline to Taco Bell and McDonalds.

I went to McDonalds with him a few months ago (I was dragged there), and he was about to order a bacon cheeseburger. I glanced at the menu and said, “That’s 790 calories!” I glanced down at his belly then continued, “Look, they have chicken wraps. Why don’t you have one of those?” Without questioning me, he agreed, apparently happy to get any McDonalds fix.

Mcdonalds hits Africa! Pictures, Images and Photos

Right there at the counter they had the nutrition information sheets:

McDonald’s honey mustard grilled chicken wrap: 260 calories, 9 grams fat, 27 grams of carbs, 18 grams of protein.

That saved him 530 calories. Am I happy there was something with only 260 calories on the menu? Absolutely. Do I applaud the fast food restaurants for offering lower calorie choices? You bet. But the big question is: are these really “healthy choices?”

A few journalists and bloggers recently answered, “These fast food diet items are NOT healthy, they’re only ‘healthi-ER.’”

I think they’re both mistaken. I think this food is not healthy nor is it healthier. It’s only lower in calories. If you eat lower calorie food, that can help you lose weight and if you lose weight, that can improve your health. But what if your definition of healthy food includes nutrition, nutrient density and absence of artificial ingredients?

Let’s take a look at that very low calorie chicken wrap. Is it really healthier just because it’s got 1/3 the calories of a bacon cheeseburger?

Here’s the ingredients straight from McDonald’s website:

McDonald’s Grilled Chicken Breast Filet (wrap): Chicken breast filets with rib meat, water, seasoning (salt, sugar, food starch-modified, maltodextrin, spices, dextrose, autolyzed yeast extract, hydrolyzed [corn gluten, soy, wheat gluten] proteins, garlic powder, paprika, chicken fat, chicken broth, natural flavors (plant and animal source), caramel color, polysorbate 80, xanthan gum, onion powder, extractives of paprika), modified potato starch, and sodium phosphates. CONTAINS: SOY AND WHEAT. Prepared with Liquid Margarine: Liquid soybean oil, water, partially hydrogenated cottonseed and soybean oils, salt, hydrogenated cottonseed oil, soy lecithin, mono- and diglycerides, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (preservative), artificial flavor, citric acid, vitamin A palmitate, beta carotene (color). (and don’t forget the 800 mg of sodium).

HOLY CRAP! Shouldn’t chicken breast be just one ingredient… chicken breast?

This is not food. It’s more like what author Michael Pollan would call an “edible food-like substance.”

What about the honey mustard sauce? The first ingredient after water is… SUGAR!

The flour tortilla ingredients? Enriched bleached wheat flour, also made with vegetable shortening (may contain one or more of the following: hydrogenated soybean oil, soybean oil, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, hydrogenated cottonseed oil with mono- and diglycerides added), contains 2% or less of the following: sugar, leavening (sodium aluminum sulfate, calcium sulfate, sodium phosphate, baking soda, corn starch, monocalcium phosphate), salt, wheat gluten, dough conditioners, sodium metabisulfite, distilled monoglycerides.

Trans fats? Sugar? Aluminum? Stuff you can’t pronounce and have to look up to find out it’s preservatives and disinfectants?

Don’t confuse the issues: weight loss and health…. Calories and nutrition. There IS a difference, and that is what makes “healthy” fast food a double edged sword at best.

Some people, like my brother, simply aren’t going to give up fast food completely. If I can get him to make better bad choices, that could help him control his weight. If that works, then I’m pleased that the fast food restaurants have such choices to offer.

But if you wanted to make a good choice - a healthy choice - you’d forget about “driving through” anywhere on a regular basis. You’d shop for whole, fresh, natural real food, keep a well-stocked kitchen… and learn how to cook.

The Subway diet, the Drive Through diet, or the Weight Watchers approved McDonalds menu (yes its true, what a pair that is!) Don’t kid yourself – this is not only not healthy, it’s not healthier – it’s lower calorie junk food.
junk food Pictures, Images and Photos

“Welcome to our restaurant sir. Would you like a large plate of dog poo or a small plate of dog poo?”

“No thank you, I will take neither. No matter what the serving size, crap is still crap.”

Train hard and expect success!

You gotta love Tom! Im blessed to know him and his expertise.

Tom Venuto, author Burn The Fat Feed The Muscle

Oh and I talked him into giving you his GREAT AB Mistakes book for FREE!!Here is the link  definfintly downloand and save it!

Just my way to say thanks!!

Dedicatated to Your Fitness Success,
Stay Fit and FAb!!


Friday, May 14, 2010

What I learned from Fitness Business summit..

Hope all is well!!
I just got back from a fitness Seminar , it was actually a Fitness Business Summit. Which was awesome, imagine 300 fitness professionals in one room trying to better themselves for their clients. there were some great Speakers like Joe Polish(this guy has worked with everyone). Look him up.

I networked with some awesome people from all over the country from Brooklyn N.Y , Minnesota,  Chi-town and Philly, to name a few. Its rare that you go anywhere and met dozens of people that have great energy and are really good that was refreshing! On Friday night we all networked at Dave and Busters its basically like a Chuck E. Cheese for adults I had a blast. The next night I took a couple of complete strangers (well I meet them the day before at the Seminar) to Downtown Disney. They were from New York so i thought Id show them the Happiest Place on EArth..LOL!!( Quick shoot out to Aja and Mark if your reading this!!)
Me on a Harley!!

Everyone had a great time, Im sharing this with you to let you know that whatever you enjoy doing(provided that its not illegal and its not hurting anyone directly or indirectly) go do it and whats even more important is that  you find like minded, positve, motivated people to surround yourself  with... the sky is the LIMIT!!

That is basically what my Fit Body Boot Camps are...a meeting of like minded individuals, striving for excellence in a positive environment. You have to win and in this case you have to tone up, lose weight and feel GREAT!!

I learned  a few things at the Fitness Business Summit 2010 and would like to share them with you:
  • I dont just help people lose weight I save lives!!
  • Anything that Ive ever done that had any significance, took me out of my comfort zone
  • Know your purpose and pursue it
  • Sometimes you have to pay the price(monetarily) to acheive your goal
  • Invest in yourself..your worth it
  • If there are crabs in your life let them go(a crab is someone or things that are constantly pulling you down and keeping you from achieving the greatness you already have)
  • Networking is fun and works
  • Consistency is key
  • A.P.E appreciation, passion and energy bring it everyday!!
  • Start living your life NOW...its the only one you have..dont wait
  • Stop thinking in the box, stop believing what people tell you, you can or cannot do.sometimes people tell you things like that only because they have tried and failed. And dont be afraid to fail everyone that has ever accomplished anything failed thousands of times before they succeeded!
Well that's it for my wise words...Hope they help and come in handy. I enjoy sharing what I learn from different places with you.

Feel free to share some things you have learned from life .
Until the Next time,
Stay Fit and Fab(thats my new slogan he..he )

chelsea C.