Ask me your fitness questions

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Donut
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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby Donut » Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:12 am

I might need to get back into regular running and see if that affects how well my body can activate all of those muscles.
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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby SpyderEdgeForever » Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:14 pm

I'm glad you mentioned that, Donut. That is a question I have for you and also for tv. I have known runners and have been told by doctors that hard-core running over long times can lead to severe stress damage to areas, all that force concentrated on nerves, muscles, and bones, and that the human body is better able to handle vigorous walking and long walks, rather than running. Do you find this to be true? And how does jogging fit into it? Is that a good middle-ground?

Another question: What are your opinions on exercise implements, especially such items as exercise balls? Obviously basic mats are good because they cushion people, but if used properly, are these exercise balls going to make a big positive difference in one's routine working out, or is it more like a trend, here today, gone tomorrow?

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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby Donut » Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:16 am

From what I hear, the bad part about running is the impact of your feet hitting the ground. It supposedly affect the knees mostly. I'm not a real serious runner. The furthest I run is a mile. I just try to work through some kinks in my workouts and make it so I am not useless if I need to run somewhere.

The exercise balls are usually used to include your core (balancing) while doing an exercise. I see the value in it, but I don't use them. I would bet T has used them quite a bit and can tell you if they make a difference.
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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby tvenuto » Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:46 pm

Donut wrote:Okay. Today was leg day. Here is my run down. Maybe I was skipping some details. I don't ever do my deadlifts first.

Front squats 135 lb warmup. 3 sets of 205 for 6-8 reps. Going as far down as possible.

(I normally do dead lift after squats, but one of the cheaters was doing it so I delayed it.)

Hack squats, 2 plates on each side, 3 sets of 10. Changing foot position on each set, toes off the end of the platform, go as low as is comfortable.

Leg extensions 210 lbs with toes pointed forward, 15 reps. 230 lbs, toes pointed outward, 12 reps. 230 lbs, toes pointed inward, 12 reps.

On to the dead lifts. 225. I tell myself that I will see how far I can push myself. 13 reps, I was feeling kind of OK, my lower back was almost holding on well, but I started to see spots and get dizzy. I waited a bit, got 8, but I was feeling pretty drained at this point, and didn't want to see if I could pass out, so I called it a day.
I'm not seeing a question here per se, but you previously said you were going to try and increase the number of reps you can do at 225. Also, I think your "leg day" could be upgraded.

First, a question: are the front squats with a barbell or in a smith machine?

Assuming the FS are with a barbell, I like that to kick off your workout. Although if you have access to a barbell, I would avoid the hack squat machine and I would definitely avoid the leg extension machine. Make yourself a flag and claim that power rack for your own! When you do a front squat, even though it is a quad dominated movement, you're also opening the hip, which involves the hamstrings and glutes. The LE machine just isolates the quads, and the pattellar tendon might not even be sitting properly in its grove during this movement. Other than competitive bodybuilding, there's no reason to isolate muscles in the low body, especially If you're looking to improve your deadlift. Here's an example "upgraded" leg day (A1/A2 alternate, A is completed entirely before B).

A. Front squat 3x6-8, rest 2min (what you do now)
B1. RDL 3x4-6 @3121 tempo, rest 1min
B2. BB on back reverse lunge steps 3x16-20 continuous alternating steps, rest 1min
C. Deadlift, work up to a heavy set of 5
+
Every Minute on the Minute (EMOM) 8-10min:
4-5 Deadlifts @70-80% of C
+
Accumulate 2min in a sorensen hold (on ghd machine). Or, barring that do an FLR.
Donut wrote:I might need to get back into regular running and see if that affects how well my body can activate all of those muscles.
In general, running isn't going to help you activate any muscles, but I'm not sure what you mean by the above. I assume it's in reference to this:
Donut wrote:I was feeling kind of OK, my lower back was almost holding on well, but I started to see spots and get dizzy. I waited a bit, got 8, but I was feeling pretty drained at this point, and didn't want to see if I could pass out, so I called it a day.
What you were (probably) feeling in that deadlift workout was the taxing of your glycolytic energy pathway. Our muscles have enough energy in them for a 10 to 20sec effort. After that, they need to start turning over energy and they use their stored glycogen to do this. However, this causes waste products to build up, and is not a sustainable process (like an aerobic effort). Thus, your body is sending you warning signals like: "hey, if we keep this up we're going to run out of gas." You've felt this transition if you've ever tried to sprint flat out as far as you can. For the first 10 seconds or so, you feel so fast, but then it feels like you're suddenly running in mud. That was the switch from your CP/ATP system to the glycolytic system. In a large, systemically taxing movement like the deadlift, it's easy to get this same effect. If it was something like push-ups, the local muscles fatigue before you can tax the system too heavily. Here's a way to train it:

3-5 sets:
Row, bike, run 30-40sec as fast as possible (i.e. as fast as you can sustain for the entire time)
Rest 3-4min

Rest 10min and repeat. Efforts should be very very hard (see spots, lay on the ground for 2 of the 3 min break). If you feel ready to go after a minute, you did not tax your glycolytic pathway.

And then an upgrade to make it more interesting...

3-5 sets:
8 deadlifts + 20sec sled push (fast)
Rest 2-3min

and so on. Glycolytic (also known as Lactic) training sucks, but it teaches you to walk into that locked room and get to know yourself in there.

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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby tvenuto » Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:07 pm

SpyderEdgeForever wrote:I'm glad you mentioned that, Donut. That is a question I have for you and also for tv. I have known runners and have been told by doctors that hard-core running over long times can lead to severe stress damage to areas, all that force concentrated on nerves, muscles, and bones, and that the human body is better able to handle vigorous walking and long walks, rather than running. Do you find this to be true? And how does jogging fit into it? Is that a good middle-ground?
Firstly, the dose defines the poison, too much of anything will hurt you and that's true across the board. However, I read once that there is evidence that our spine/skull geometry is optimized to allow us too keep our head stable whilst running upright. This makes sense to me, because if you're chasing dinner, or something thinks you're dinner, you don't walk vigorously towards/away from it. So, the good runners survived. All that said, not everyone has naturally good running form. Those who do can get away with a lot more running than those who don't. Unfortunately, most people don't realize they don't have good mechanics because the shoe industry has made big cushiony shoes so that you can run (distance) even though you shouldn't be. Take off your shoes and run as far as you're able. I guarantee that the amount of distance you run will take care of itself. (As an aside, I believe the last person to win the Olympic marathon barefoot was in the 60s).

I would say that jogging is a poor middle ground. I'd rather you sprint short distances, or walk long ones. I'd also rather you squatted, pressed things overhead, picked up heavy things, pushed things, pulled things, and do all those other things your body does. Running as the pinnacle of athletic achievement is an unfortunate fiction that's been foisted on the general public. It sure does sell lots of marathon slots to choke traffic in a major city near you, though...
SpyderEdgeForever wrote:Another question: What are your opinions on exercise implements, especially such items as exercise balls? Obviously basic mats are good because they cushion people, but if used properly, are these exercise balls going to make a big positive difference in one's routine working out, or is it more like a trend, here today, gone tomorrow?
I like exercise implements, there's only so much you can do (conveniently) with your own bodyweight and nature. However, I actually don't own an exercise ball. That's not to say they can't be used to good effect, I just don't have time or space for every possible implement, and I don't think it does anything that you can't do another way. Try these if you think you need to "work your core."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YC2ZGqgJWcY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RFJS8HE4dY

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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby Donut » Thu Aug 20, 2015 6:25 am

Yeah, I'm still talking about trying to get 30 reps with 225 on deadlift.

I usually work lunges into my leg workout, but for some reason yesterday I didn't. I can do more work on the compound exercises. I will try everything you say. Well, except maybe the sled push, I don't think I have access to anything like that.

Back for a while when I was running, I would run like 3/4 mile, then sprint for 15 seconds at the end.
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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby Donut » Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:30 am

By the way, I will probably try not doing leg extensions. I am not a power lifter and I don't want to look like a power lifter. Though most of my goals are strength oriented, I still want to keep my overall goals. So, I will try your methods, but I plan on keeping my isolated muscle exercises in the long run.
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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby SpyderEdgeForever » Wed Sep 09, 2015 7:07 pm

Alright, I hope this does not sound like a silly question or a repost of what was mentioned before but this has to do with burning fat through exercise.

Why is fat, as in human body fat, often times so stubbornly difficult to burn off and melt away through even extended exercise? Why is it not easy to get rid of, say, like water can evaporate away pretty easily, whereas many people spend a lot of time and effort working out and they still have areas of fat that will not just vanish away easily?

Does the reason have to do with the idea that body fat is there in the first place, majorly, to store energy for people in times of famine, and, if it was that easy to get rid of (say if you could burn away a pound of body fat for every 30 minutes to an hour you did cardiovascular exercise) then it would not have been useful for those times of famine and low caloric intake?

Second question has to do with human metabolism: To what extent does our natural born metabolism alter how much weight one gains from food and calorie intake? And is it true that routine exercise actually objectively increases one's metabolism rate or is that a myth?

Also, are there any known SAFE metabolism increasing foods or things people can take that do not have any negative or dangerous side-effects?

I remember a horrible situation years ago where a certain over the counter "weight loss pill" was sold and millions of people bought and used it. Later on it was discovered that said pill that was sold at stores across the USA and the world....was leading to some people having heart attacks, and it was canceled from store shelves; in one case a sports player collapsed dead of a heart attack on a field and it was discovered he had been regularly using the pill, which I recall was called ephedra or something, ma huang in Chinese.

While this does not increase metabolism, I remember seeing these "fat absorption pills" being sold in health food and natural food stores; the claim was that they were made from materials that would absorb fat when eaten with high fat diets, and would be flushed out of the system. One of the bad side effects was one having to run to the bathroom very quickly, if you get the drift :)

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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby Donut » Sat Sep 12, 2015 10:14 am

Since it's been a bit of time, I will offer a couple of things that I heard.

To lose 1 lb of fat, you need to burn 900 something calories. If you've ever gotten on a tread mill and set it to count calories, that's a LOT of work.

They say it's much easier to "not eat" 900 calories than it is to burn off 900 calories.

That's just one pound.
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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby awa54 » Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:16 pm

Donut wrote:Since it's been a bit of time, I will offer a couple of things that I heard.

To lose 1 lb of fat, you need to burn 900 something calories. If you've ever gotten on a tread mill and set it to count calories, that's a LOT of work.

They say it's much easier to "not eat" 900 calories than it is to burn off 900 calories.

That's just one pound.
My 6-10 mile bike rides tend to burn 300-500 calories according to my HR monitor. That's 30 to 45 minutes spent mostly in the top of target aerobic, with pushes past and some time in the middle of target.

900 calories at that output level would be a whopper of a workout for me! Earlier this summer I did a 20 mile ride that clocked in around 800cal and I was pretty spent by the last three miles (all up hill too)...the last three miles that is ;)

It's certainly easier to skip eating the calories, but then what good is life without ice cream?
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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby Donut » Wed Sep 16, 2015 6:58 am

I definitely agree with needing Ice Cream. :)

I think your body burns a certain amount of calories each day. I also think that if you make an effort to minimize the amount of time that you are doing Zero activity, it will raise how many calories your body is going to burn each day.

I think it's much better keeping up reasonable levels of activity than it is trying to burn off 1,000 calories in an hour or two.
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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby tvenuto » Wed Sep 16, 2015 6:46 pm

Sorry for the delay I will get to the questions. My daughter is 3months old now and raising her isn't conducive to typing long responses, since she's often commandeering one of my arms.

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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby tvenuto » Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:46 am

SpyderEdgeForever wrote:Alright, I hope this does not sound like a silly question or a repost of what was mentioned before but this has to do with burning fat through exercise.

Why is fat, as in human body fat, often times so stubbornly difficult to burn off and melt away through even extended exercise? Why is it not easy to get rid of, say, like water can evaporate away pretty easily, whereas many people spend a lot of time and effort working out and they still have areas of fat that will not just vanish away easily?

Does the reason have to do with the idea that body fat is there in the first place, majorly, to store energy for people in times of famine, and, if it was that easy to get rid of (say if you could burn away a pound of body fat for every 30 minutes to an hour you did cardiovascular exercise) then it would not have been useful for those times of famine and low caloric intake?
Well, the mechanisms that metabolize stored fat and the mechanisms that evaporate water both require energy, but other than that I don't think there's much similarity. Most people spend a lot of time and effort "working out" when they should really be "training." That is, they should be focusing on how much better they're getting, as opposed to how much effort they perceive to be exerting. The purpose of exercise is to drive adaptation and make you better, not burn calories, which I have been saying frequently.

But yes, you are correct about the purpose of your stored fat, and evolutionarily speaking, the person who was able to hold onto it longest had an advantage in lean times. 1 lb of fat contains ~3,500 Calories of stored energy. Now remember a Calorie (big C) is actually 1,000 calories (which is the amount of energy required to raise a gram of water 1 degree Celsius). That means that a single pound of your stored fat, if converted perfectly into energy, could raise 35 kg of water 100 degrees Celsius. That points to the incredible potency of chemically stored energy, and is why you still drive a gasoline powered car instead of an electric one. So, given your request, that would require that our body used energy much less efficiently, or that the storage medium was much less dense, both of which would be incredibly bad for survival, and doing anything other than eating.

Sorry to say it, but you're just going to have to have some discipline with what you eat and some intelligently designed workouts to look like an athlete.
SpyderEdgeForever wrote:Second question has to do with human metabolism: To what extent does our natural born metabolism alter how much weight one gains from food and calorie intake? And is it true that routine exercise actually objectively increases one's metabolism rate or is that a myth?
I think we've gotten confused about what "human metabolism" actually is. It's not just you, so don't feel singled out, and this is largely due to the irresponsible fitness writing and erroneous concepts foisted upon us by "modern fitness science." This is a little bit like asking about the "innate RPM" of a certain car. Of course, the design of the car will dictate what the RPM of the engine will be under certain circumstances, but it is highly variable based on the circumstance. And unlike a car, a human has the opportunity to adapt and change the engine.

Your metabolism provides your body energy. Sometimes your body needs to use energy, sometimes it needs to store energy. And despite what fitness magazines would have you believe, it does this all without you having to worry about it. Your metabolism is constantly changing in response to activity level and dietary choices, just like your car's RPM is constantly changing in response to the needs of actually driving. So, viewed in this light, the first question doesn't really make sense because talking about a natural born metabolism is like talking about a natural born heart rate or a car's innate RPM.
SpyderEdgeForever wrote:And is it true that routine exercise actually objectively increases one's metabolism rate or is that a myth?
I would think it's obvious that this is true: if metabolism provides you energy, and working out requires the expenditure of energy, then working out must increase metabolism. But then again, so does thinking really hard (not joking). Now, there is something called Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) which is your metabolic rate when doing absolutely nothing, and people have different BMRs. A large factor in BMR is muscle mass, so if I have more muscle mass than you, my BMR will be higher, and I will require more food. To your question, I likely acquired this muscle mass via regular strength training, and in this way you can say regular exercise strength training will increase your metabolism (in general). However, this doesn't somehow absolve me of making good food choices, and if I want to be healthy, I need to make largely the same decisions you make regarding food, but will be slightly more hungry and will eat slightly more.
SpyderEdgeForever wrote:Also, are there any known SAFE metabolism increasing foods or things people can take that do not have any negative or dangerous side-effects?
Good news, all food increases your metabolism! A surefire way to shut down your metabolism is to stop eating. Again, if you want to look better and be fitter, you need to do some progressive resistance training to drive adaptation and make you a higher performing human.
SpyderEdgeForever wrote:I remember a horrible situation years ago where a certain over the counter "weight loss pill" was sold and millions of people bought and used it. Later on it was discovered that said pill that was sold at stores across the USA and the world....was leading to some people having heart attacks, and it was canceled from store shelves; in one case a sports player collapsed dead of a heart attack on a field and it was discovered he had been regularly using the pill, which I recall was called ephedra or something, ma huang in Chinese.

While this does not increase metabolism, I remember seeing these "fat absorption pills" being sold in health food and natural food stores; the claim was that they were made from materials that would absorb fat when eaten with high fat diets, and would be flushed out of the system. One of the bad side effects was one having to run to the bathroom very quickly, if you get the drift :)
"There's no free lunch." An appropriate aphorism in this case. I'd also add: "Don't abuse your endocrine system." You need it to live, and you can abuse it with emotional stress, lack of sleep, poor dietary habits, or exogenous chemicals like ephedra.

Regarding that whole fat pill thing, I would hope that given what we've discussed, you can see how attempting to circumvent your body's absorption of nutrients for the purposes of weight loss via caloric restriction is a silly thing to do. Looking good, feeling good, and performing "good" is a result of hard work and smart dietary choices.

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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby tvenuto » Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:03 am

Donut wrote:Since it's been a bit of time, I will offer a couple of things that I heard.

To lose 1 lb of fat, you need to burn 900 something calories. If you've ever gotten on a tread mill and set it to count calories, that's a LOT of work.

They say it's much easier to "not eat" 900 calories than it is to burn off 900 calories.

That's just one pound.
I mentioned a lb of fat containing 3,500 Calories, but that's the sum total of the pure energy in the fat. Obviously, we don't convert our fat perfectly into energy, and I can see an efficiency of about 25% being pretty accurate. Thus a resulting energy output of 900 Calories would require your body to turn over 3,500 Calories, and if 100% of that came from stored lipid, you would need to burn 1lb of fat.

I would say, though, that "not eating" 900 calories will not make you lose 1lb of fat. Your body will adjust your metabolism accordingly. If this worked, you could just spend 2 weeks per year with a reduced calorie diet and all "overweight" issues would be solved. Now I know people think this because they have been told this, but it's not correct, and is an immense source of frustration in the general population.

This blog compares two studies, where one group was starved to insanity, and the other ate whatever they wanted, on exactly the same number of calories. The difference was the composition of those calories, and this is yet another reason why paying attention to caloric intake or expenditure is a fool's errand. Do you burn your poop to see how many calories you passed? Then stop counting calories.

I'm pretty sure I've used this before, but remember the story of the man who lost his watch. A man lost his watch, and was looking under a street lamp. Another man came upon him and asked what he was doing, to which he replied "I lost my watch over there" and pointed across the street. The second man asked "then why are you looking over here?" The first man replied "because the light is better." Just because a metric is easy to measure or modulate (calories, cholesterol) doesn't mean it's the important one to look at.

I know I'm asking for a complete paradigm shift, and am challenging you to ignore most of what gets written on the subject, but it's my genuine thought that it is what is required.
Last edited by tvenuto on Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby Donut » Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:20 am

As the people I work with would say, "I always burn my poop, every time." :)

So, the statement about burning 900 calories I heard was correct, but my translation to less eating is not correct.

I will read through all of this stuff a bit later.


By the way, I have shifted my goals as I'm feeling some pressure from not having enough "wind". I am running more and temporarily putting my deadlift and leg workout to the side so I can get an extra day of running in. I might go a month before shifting my leg workout back into the routine.
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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby tvenuto » Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:21 pm

Donut wrote:As the people I work with would say, "I always burn my poop, every time." :)

So, the statement about burning 900 calories I heard was correct, but my translation to less eating is not correct.

I will read through all of this stuff a bit later.


By the way, I have shifted my goals as I'm feeling some pressure from not having enough "wind". I am running more and temporarily putting my deadlift and leg workout to the side so I can get an extra day of running in. I might go a month before shifting my leg workout back into the routine.
Seems about right to me. However, as I said the caveat is that 100% of those Calories would need to come from stored fat. However, your muscles don't use fat directly, they store sugar in the form of glycogen. The stored fat can, of course, be converted to glycogen, but the process is expensive. Thus, your body preferentially uses carbs directly from the diet to replace the glycogen if they're available, and in modern times, those carbs are all too available. Yet another reason pay more attention to the macronutrient composition of your diet rather than Calories.

Also, don't think I'm speaking to you directly with all this stuff. It's more the general concept I'm railing against. It's "common knowledge" that you need to burn more calories than you consume to lose weight, which in a basic absolute thermodynamic sense is true, but focusing on this fact is misleading.

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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby SpyderEdgeForever » Fri Sep 18, 2015 6:28 pm

When it comes to strengthening and reinforcing muscle tissue in human bodies, what are some high protein but healthy foods you recommend, for both children and adults?

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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby chuckd » Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:03 pm

I have been sidelined with some stitches (crashed my mt bike, dont worry just a flesh wound, and it was pretty cool), and man does it suck not being able to exercise. I am at two weeks and feel the lag in energy and motivation!

Normally I ride the 4 miles each way to work 3-4 days a week, lift at the gym about 3-4 days, and go trail riding sat and sun. I am feeling lethargic to say the least.

When I am bag to 100%, I plan on incorporating more running into my routine, in the 2-5 mile range at first.

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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby tvenuto » Fri Sep 18, 2015 8:40 pm

SpyderEdgeForever wrote:When it comes to strengthening and reinforcing muscle tissue in human bodies, what are some high protein but healthy foods you recommend, for both children and adults?
Your body strengthens your muscles in response to stimulus, in the form of resistance training. Adequate protein in the diet is of course necessary to make sure the building blocks are there. Not all protein is created equal, some only have a partial amino acid profiles. Protein that comes from animal sources always contains the full compliment of amino acids, and those are the ones I recommend people include in their diet. I would caution against attributing the quality "healthy" to any food. All foods fit into the greater overall picture called your diet, and as such choices, not foods, are healthy or unhealthy.

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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby SpyderEdgeForever » Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:07 am

Well here are some more health related questions and weight related questions for you.
Also I like, by the way, how you caution about calling any particular food healthy, that there are other factors involved.

1 I was reading some information by doctors/cardiologists, who were saying that most Americans and many Western/European people, even if they look slim and do not have large deposits of fat tissue on the exterior of their body, almost all have layers of fat around their hearts, and, deposits of cholesterol plaque and calcium in their arteries, and that over many decades, via autopies, it was discovered that even skinny and slim people have the beginning buildups of these arterial deposits. The info further went on to say that heart attack and hardening of the arteries are two of the biggest killers of people in the western world (America, Western Europe, and you can throw Eastern Europe in there, too) and that some of the causes are the richness of highly fatty foods.

The reports also claimed that in examining the arteries of people, they found the arterial deposits first start out with the consistency of toothpaste, and are relatively soft at that stage, but as time goes on and if nothing is done to physically remove those deposits, they will harden, and this hardening of the arteries often leads to heart attacks and strokes. They say high intake of dairy products also lead to this.
I would like your views and thoughts on this, please.

2 In light of the above information, what methods do you suggest that are safe and effective, that a person can do to quickly lose weight in a reasonable amount of time (days to weeks to months instead of years) if said person also enjoys eating large portions of hearty foods (ie, they like to eat pastas, meats, cheeses, sandwiches with lunchmeats like bologna and cheese and that sort of stuff) as well as pizza, cheeseburgers, beans, rice, chicken, Mexican food, and at times Chinese foods. What are some good recommendations on that?

Thank you

Oh, and also connected with that: What are some good ways for Americans and other people to get their arteries cleaned out without outright surgery?


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