McDonald’s Must Pay Obese Employee

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McDonalds to Pay for Obese Employee

If you haven’t seen the latest fast food lawsuit, it goes something like this…

Headline: McDonald’s must pay obese employee $17.5K

When I read this SF Gate article (link here) I had mixed emotions.  But first.. here’s the basics.

A Brazilian court ruled this week that McDonald’s must pay a former franchise manager $17,500 because he gained 65 pounds while working there for a dozen years.

He felt he was forced to sample the food to ensure high standards as random people who worked for the company come in and report violations and problems.

Not to mention, the company offered free lunches to employees which only added to his caloric intake.

On the one hand.. food prices have increased in the last few years.

On the other hand, the myth that it costs so much to eat healthy really isn’t true if you look at the larger picture that encompasses your total health.

[ Note: This article was written by fitness and nutrition author Jon Benson.  I have his permission to share it with you.  Jon is the author of the The Every Other Day Diet]

One of the biggest myths out there is the myth that eating healthy costs too much.

Just the opposite… and I’ll prove it to you in three ways.

#1: Cash

Here’s some sample figures courtesy of my friend Scott Tousignant’s fitness blog…

  • 2 medium size sweet potatoes $1 or… small fries from a fast food joint
  • 2 red peppers $1 or… a can of pop
  • Bowl of oatmeal with fruit & protein powder $2 or… large bag of chips
  • 6 Chicken Breasts $10 or… a sub combo from a fast food joint
  • 18 eggs $3.50 or… a burger from a fast food joint
  • 2 salmon fillets $15 or… large pizza
  • Loaded chicken salad (homemade) $3 or… bag of cookies
  • Large bag of oatmeal $3.50 or… 4 chocolate bars

Not much of a comparison, it is?

Yet the foods on the left would feed a family of two or more for 4-7 days… the foods on the right? 2-3 days if you live through it.

Tips to make the most expensive part of eating healthy — the cost of quality meats — go further include…

1. Use tofu fillers in chicken and beef recipes. Even if you hate tofu, you can barely taste the difference when combined properly.

2. Buy your meats in bulk online. You can find less expensive grass-fed beef and naturally-raised chicken and have it delivered to you if you live near a large city. If not, check the local farmers.

3. Eat meat only 3-4 times per week and use black beans with rice or inexpensive tuna for your other days. I eat tuna cooked in a skillet with lots of veggies and some olive oil almost every night and I LOVE the taste!

My book The Every Other Day Diet has over 40 pages of recipes in it to help you eat healthy and cheap… and you can still eat out and consume your favorite foods several times per week.

#2: Your Health

Do we ‘really’ need to talk about buy new (usually larger) clothes every year or two? Or about the health care costs associated with being even 20 pounds over your ideal weight, let alone more? How about the time you miss from work with excessive colds?

Eating healthy and taking care of your body adds years to your life… and for the record, the years eating poorly takes away from your life, on average, costs each American over 80,000 in medical expenses.

Want to add that to your food budget?

#3: The Big Picture

Anyone who has been fit knows the joy it brings… the freedom you feel from wearing whatever you want… the productivity you see from increased energy… the pace at which you move during the day.

Not only are these gifts priceless, but they are also massive cash-savers. Your productivity alone can add thousands to your bottom line each year, well off-setting any costs associated with eating quality food.

The Bottom Line…

Like any good accountant would suggest, you need to look at your ROI (return on investment) if nothing else.

What does investing in a better body, greater health, and vibrant energy do for your life? How can that actually translate into more income AND less expense?

You will be surprised.

Remember:
Don’t Quit. Get Fit!

What do you think?

Spot Reduction: The Legend; The Reality

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You may have heard that Spot Reduction is a myth. That spot reduction is not possible and anybody claiming it to be such is incorrect.

This question came from an observant reader who asks…

QUESTION:

Marc,

Why is EVERYBODY saying that spot-reduction is a myth? One of the other blogs I read from another fitness expert says that spot reduction is possible!

Is Spot Reduction Possible?

Spot Reduction: Fact or Fiction?

He said “Current research is now finding that when you work a specific muscle, the intramuscular fat and the fat in that general area is where the body derives fuel for that exercise.

In other words, if you work your abdomen – you’re working those muscles in the area – the body turns to your belly fat for the most help in long-term fuel for that exercise.”

His exact words are that “if you do ab exercises (sit-ups, etc.), your body will use abdominal fat as fuel (glycogen) for that exercise, thereby burning it.”

In other words, the shedding of fat is not uniform all over your body!

To what extent is this true?

Thanks, and I look forward to your replies and analysis,

Mike

ANSWER:

Your fitness expert above is correct. Spot reduction at the very basic level has been proven to be true in a single study done in 2007. But before you run off and try the routine listed above you need to know a few more things.

After reading the comments on the news story above, it appears the only study I found was the same one referred to in the story.

One study does not make something a fact. 2007 isn’t exactly current either. 4 years after the single study, no other studies have been done to further the findings. My guess?

Not because it wasn’t proven to be true in theory but for the actual real-world usage of such a scenario.

Another expert and author in the field, Lyle McDonald at Bodyrecomposition.com, took this same study in 2007 and wrote about it in detail in 2009. ( McDonald is the author of The Ketogenic Diet, The Rapid Fat Loss Handbook, The Guide to Flexible Dieting and several other nutritional books.)

Lyle said, “Yes, there appears to be an effect whereby working a given muscle impacts on local fat cell metabolism but the effect is completely and utterly irrelevant in quantatitive terms. The amount of fat mobilized due to increased hormones or blood flow is simply insignificant to anything in the real world.”

The amount of fat mobilized due to increased hormones or blood flow is simply insignificant to anything in the real world.

Additionally, the news story mentions picking different abdominal exercises and recommends “perform and reach muscular failure.”

Another ab expert, David Grisaffi, C.H.E.K., CFT, PN, and author of the book Firm and Flatten Your Abs… said in regards to training your abdomainals and core to failure…

“One of the biggest problems with training the core and abs to failure is that the more fatigued you become, the more your form begins to break down. When your form breaks down, that is when injuries are most likely to occur. This is true for any exercise, but it may be truer for abs and core than any other type of exercise due to the susceptibility of the lower back.

Research by Dr. Laurence Morehouse of University of California at Los Angles found that when doing abdominal exercises, especially sit-ups, you over-work your hip flexor muscles – the psoas and the iliacus. When the exercises are performed quickly (form breaks) or all the way to failure (form breaks), the hip flexor’s pull on the lower back is increased.

When performing your core exercises, always be conscious about form, especially as you begin to get tired toward the end of a set. You should terminate your set at or before the point where you notice that your form breaks in the slightest, and that is usually a couple of repetitions before reaching muscular failure.”

So let me summarize and review ….

Spot reduction based upon a single 2007, peer reviewed, published article appears to be valid. However, based upon the results of the study in question, the benefits are not significant to real-world usage.

Furthermore, based upon David Grisaffi’s recommendation of abdominal training, do not train your abdominals or core to muscular failure. Stop short and keep your form intact.

I stronly enourage you to read the references listed and come to your own conclusions.

Sincerely,

Marc David
author of NoBull Bodybuilding

Research References:

Do This – Burn Fat. How to Spot Reduce Belly Fat (Is It Possible?). From http://dothisburnfat.com/blog/spot-reducing-belly-fat/

Stallknecht B et. al. Are blood flow and lipolysis in subcutaneous adipose tissue influenced by contractions in adjacent muscles in humans? Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Feb;292(2):E394-9. From http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16985258

8 Evil Habits that Hijack Your Progress And Snuff Out Your Motivation

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Is Your Progress Being Hijacked?

“Don’t let anybody tell you what your ultimate potential is. You just don’t know. You’ve got to go ahead and test yourself, and put yourself in the gym day in and day out.” ~ Hugo Rivera

It is a bodybuilding myth that only genetically gifted people can developed muscular physiques.

In fact, anecdotal evidence shows that most “average” people who follow the fundamentals of nutrition and training can beat genetic perceptions.

That means that even if you’re no genetically gifted than most people, you still have the potential to develop an amazing muscular physique.

So why are so few people highly successful?

Because they develop bad habits which limit or destroy consistent progress in the gym. If you are willing to work at it, you can identify these bad habits and work on eliminating them.  For all you know. Just one of these bad habits could be the single thing holding you back on a decade’s work of progress.

Here are eight of the very worst bad habits that could be holding you back every day in your quest for a better body:

1.  Simultaneously Creating and Evaluating

Think of this phrase I read over at Copyblogger.com… “You can’t drive a car in first gear and reverse at the same time.” Similarly, you shouldn’t try to follow a program and tweak it as you go along. You run the risk of stripping your mental gears and becoming overly frustrated.

How many times have you followed a program then to look at your notes and realized you didn’t really follow it.  You used it a guide but you made it up as you went along?

Creating a Program:

  • incorporate new ideas
  • bring about changes not in the current program
  • take fundamental ideas and add to them in unique ways

Evaluating a Program:

  • analyzing and judging
  • picking apart ideas and sorting them into piles of good and bad, useful and useless

Almost any program will work for anybody, most of the time.  But not all programs will work optimally for a given person in a certain situation.  This is where evaluation comes into play.

Most people create too soon and too often, and therefore evaluate less. All too often I catch people telling me some routine did not work for them.  When I take a look at the program and ask them if they followed it, often times they will admit to changing it up as they didn’t feel it would work anyway.   Maybe the combination of Squats and Deadlifts in the same workout conflicted with what they’ve been told.  Or they just dislike doing an exercise and substitute it for one they feel more comfortable.  First… follow the program, evaluate it based on your body’s response and then create based on your experiences.

2. The Guru Syndrome

Every fitness expert, including myself, is going to tell you the secret to success.  And they’ll tell you everybody else except a few of their “friends” is leading you astray.  It’s common in any field full of experts.  It’s what we do.

Tip: You should trust but verify.

If you have questions, ask them!  If they cannot provide answers, ask them who can or jump on this wonderful Internet and do a little old school, 6th grade homework type research.  But rarely should you take somebody’s word for it especially if you aren’t sure.

Did you know that some of the most successful people in bodybuilding did what others told them would never work?  I’m sure you’ve heard the name Vince Gironda.  If not, the man was ahead of his time and most of the experts told him he was wrong.

He helped several bodybuilders become champions.

Every path to success is based on predictable fundamentals but slightly different.

3. Fear of Failure

“Failure is an event, never a person.” – William D. Brown

Failure is a necessary step to success.  The worst part is, if you actively try and avoid any type of failure in your nutrition or training, you’ll also avoid success.

Want to increase your chances of success?  Make more mistakes!  Forget about how you look at the gym or if you are too skinny to workout.  Maybe you aren’t a master of the Squat technique.  Your diet isn’t perfect … yet.  By making the mistakes, correcting them over time, you will increase your chances of success.

Those few really great workouts you will experience more than compensate for all the dumb mistakes you make to get there.

4. Fear of Uncertainty

Are you somebody who likes things to make sense?  If so, join the crowd.

Regrettably, bodybuilding is not cut and dry.  It is part science and part individual experimentation. There are some concepts we’ve yet to understand like precisely how muscle is built.

World Bodybuilding Champion, Carlos DeJesus once told me a story about a particular bodybuilder he witnessed.  The guy came to the gym and would train his arms with lots of sets and repetitions.  He used moderate weight and never went to too heavy or too light.  When he would finish his workout he had a serious pump. His arms were very well shaped, developed and cut.  According to Carlos, the guy had big arms for his frame.  It worked for him.

Why? I don’t know.

What I do know is that great progress emerges from a swirl of disorder.  Building muscle is at best, Organized Chaos.  You should be comfortable with some mess and confusion but stick to the organized fundamentals.  If possible, become comfortable with things that work even when you don’t understand why.

If your method truly works for you based on your experience, you’ve got to be able to ignore the comments about what you are doing, cannot possibly work optimally or at all.

A close friend once told me that “you don’t need to know how electricity works to turn on a light.”

5. Lack of confidence

In my 20 years of bodybuilding, some level of uncertainty complements every workout. Self-doubt in small amounts is healthy.

To truly succeed, you’ve got to have confidence in your abilities to dig deep and give serious effort to your goals.  Many times I’ve wondered if I will be able to do the exercise with the weights and repetitions I’ve outlined for the workout.

I won’t lie and say there’s no self-doubt.  But I’m confident in my abilities to push myself and I know my body well enough to know when something is just a challenge opposed to just dangerous.

Much of this comes from experience, but confidence also comes from familiarity with the exercise, the setup and how your body works.  As a beginner this is a grey area but with a few years of training, you’ll know what you’re capable of and where your limitations lie.

Understand that some concepts seem crazy at first, that you may fail in the attempts the first time out but that failure is just part of learning and ultimately what you thought impossible will be easy.  When you grasp those concepts, you are well on your way to becoming more confident and adaptive in your pursuit of your goals.

Instead of dividing the concepts of building muscle (or burning fat) into the possible and impossible, split it into what you’ve tried and what you haven’t tried. There are a million pathways to success.

6. Opposition from Other People

Once you start to learn about fitness in general and your options expand, your ability to see what’s possible will grow.  Sadly, most people around you will not.  Don’t be surprised when they hint at you in various ways to conform, be happy with who you are and accept your situation.

I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with close family members who tell me every time they see me…”Why are you still working out like that?  You are big enough.  Those guys look so silly.  You don’t really want to look like them do you?”

Ignore them. The path to every victory is paved with predictions of failure. Once you make significant changes and you will make significant changes, all the naysayers will stop the noise and see you for what you are — a force to be reckoned with.

This is another place in life where you may make new friends and potentially distance yourself from others.

7. Being Overwhelmed by Information

In my younger years, I had a stack of bodybuilding magazines in my room and at least 4 different bodybuilding books.  The information was there for sure but I had a condition at the time called “paralysis by analysis.”

This is when you spend so much time thinking about a problem and stuffing your brain with so much information that you lose the ability to act. Think about this…

If information is to the brain what food is to the body, then just as you can overeat, you can overthink.

Every successful person I’ve ever met has the ability to know when to stop collecting information and start taking action. Many subscribe to the “ready – fire – aim” philosophy.  Acting on a good plan today is better than waiting for a perfect plan tomorrow.

8. Being Trapped by False Limits

Ask a scientist for a training program and you’ll get a solution based on case studies and the optimal process in response to exercise.  Ask a bodybuilder for a training program and you’ll get one that involves personal experience.  Ask a world champion natural bodybuilder for a training program and you’ll get one that worked for world class athletes.

Our reality is based on the perceptions of our experience.  The limitations we place on ourselves in everyday situations are self-imposed.  This is especially true when it comes to making serious progress at the gym.  They are false limits. When you force yourself to step outside your comfort zone and look past what you know and feel, that’s when you are open to taking a step past your current abilities.

Be open to anything. Step outside your comfort zone. What seems impossible today may seem surprisingly doable tomorrow.  Ever heard that building muscle and burning fat at the same time is impossible?

Did you recognize some of these problems in yourself?  No worries. Knowing what’s holding you back is the first step toward breaking thru a sticking point.

How about you? What mental, training or nutrition habit has been hardest on your progress? Let me know in the comments how you’ve handled it.

Marc David
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
www.nobullbodybuilding.com