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November 10, 2005 | South Carolina Headlines


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Author (last 7 days)

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Fitness Expert Right About Exercise, Wrong About Low-Carb
Jimmy Moore
May 31, 2005

The following article is a reprint from my new blog called "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb":
This Green Bay Press Gazette story today about a so-called "fitness guru" recommending tips about being heart-healthy just about gave me heartburn!

Joe Piscatella, founder of an organization called The Insitute For Health And Fitness, is traveling around the country lecturing on the topic of "Living Healthy In A World."

Offering his own version of getting F.I.T. "the Piscatella way," here is how he breaks it down letter-by-letter:

F — frequency - Exercise three days a week or every other day. Less frequency will show no benefit.

Okay, I agree with that. In fact, I recommend trying to exercise EVERY single day if you really want to see results with your weight loss and fitness goals.

I — intensity - "If you take a walk, you ought to feel like you're running late for a doctor's appointment," Piscatella said.

That's a good way to think of it because it could be literally true. But, as someone who once started out exercising for the first time, I think you should pace yourself and don't wear yourself out too early. Longer and more intense workouts will come the more you do it.

T — time - The 20-minute session that some recommend for an exercise program is the minimum. That doesn't effect much change in weight or cholesterol level. Better to make a 3-mile commitment and walk for 45 minutes.

It's safe to say that you need to invest an ample amount of time in your workout if you want to see results. The government recommends 1 1/2 hours, but I think that's a good goal to shoot for. Attempting 45 minutes per day is not unreasonable and you will actually WANT to increase your time as you get more into shape.

I think I like this fitness guru's workout advice, but let's take a look at the story to see what his nutritional advice looks like.

After nearly dying of heart disease at the age of 32 because of clogged arteries, Piscatella warns people about following "diets" which he describes as "extreme eating."

"Instead of dieting, you’re better off to learn how to eat for the rest of your life and stay physically fit for the rest of your life."

Amen, brother! That's what livin' la vida low-carb has done for me. When I was on a low-fat diet, I constantly felt the wrath of the "diet" and would never have subjected myself to that eating for an entire lifetime. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy! But that's what is so appealing about low-carb. Combined with daily exercise, it really is a lifestyle that you can choose to enjoy permanent weight maintenance and healthy living.

UH-OH! As much as I enjoyed his comments up until now, Piscatella warns that low-carb programs such as Atkins, The Zone, and Fit For Life have "led to some severe health consequences for some people."

What are the "severe health consequences" of these low-carb plans if you are following them as recommended? None! These low-carb eating methods have been proven to be safe, effective alternatives to the low-fat/low-calorie diets that so many people have tried and failed to lose weight with. Blatantly deceptive, reactionary statements like this serve no purpose in the discussion of health and nutrition. It may be hard for people like Piscatella to swallow, but livin' la vida low-carb has helped more people than he'd like to admit lose weight and keep it off.

Despite his criticism of the low-carb lifestyle, Piscatella says the obesity problem with children is the responsibility of parents.

"I do not blame kids for being overweight, diabetic or having high cholesterol," Piscatella said. "There's not a 6-year-old in this country who ever drove himself to McDonald's."

That's an excellent point that needs to be stressed even more. But how can we teach our kids about good nutrition and healthy eating habits if we don't arm their parents with the whole truth about what is "good for you" and what is not? The education process regarding health and nutrition needs to include the truth about low-carb eating, not just rhetoric from those who oppose it.

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Jody said... I've been reading many of Jimmy's articles over the past few months. I finally decided that it was time to comment. I take exception to his statement that as far as "severe health consequences" regarding the Atkins diet are concerned, there are NONE! While it is very commendable for Jimmy to have gone on the Atkins diet and lost as must weight as he did, I do not believe that it gives him the right to make statements about the safety of the Atkins diet for everyone else. . . .

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