Here's a quick wrap-up of the latest fitness and diet buzz:
Quick Guide to Mickey D's
They're not all what you'd call health food, but there are lower-calorie choices available at McDonald's. FitSugar has a slide show of 5 items from the ubiquitous fast-food chain that weigh in at 300 or fewer calories. Not that you should have french fries for lunch every day, or even every week, but if you're stuck, keep these options in mind. And before you order a Coke with that, read about this recent proposal to tax sugary sodas and energy drinks.
What I s Natural, Anyway?
On her blog, Food Politics, New York University nutrition Prof. Marion Nestle questions how "natural" the new-ish sweetener stevia is. It's isolated from a plant, yes, but its aftertaste has caused food companies to have to fool around with the flavor. How much can you monkey with a food and still have it qualify as "natural"? That term, when applied to food, is one you should probably simply ignore, since it can be manipulated beyond belief. Is VitaminWater, which contains no fruit juice, a "natural" beverage? Here's more that you might not know about stevia.
Hips Don't Lie
Injured runners are often advised to purchase fancy orthotics, upgrade their running shoes to the $125 model, or otherwise obsess about their feet. In his Footloose blog on Runnersworld.com, Amby Burfoot questions this conventional wisdom. A new review of scientific literature, he says, finds that the solution for leg pain may actually lie in the hips, specifically the hip abductors. You can read about one version of an exercise to work this area in the strength-training section of our 10-week workout routine. And for a radical view of what causes many running injuries—i.e., running shoes themselves—check out this interview with author Christopher McDougall.
Monica Seles on Self-Acceptance and Weight
It's actually from last week, but this interview with Monica Seles, from the New York Times Well blog, is worth a read at any time. Seles talks about her struggle with binge eating and how she came to accept herself and enjoy food again. I wrote recently about how to solve the obesity problem, given that diets really don't appear to work for the vast majority of people. Here are 7 nontrendy tips for shedding weight, including the notion that Seles discovered: Be kind to yourself.