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The Top Ten Nutrition & Fitness Articles of 2011

Written by Tom Nikkola - Director of Nutrition & Weight Management

With the year almost over, we took a look back at this past year’s articles and picked out ten worth reviewing. People are exposed to a lot of misinformation when it comes to diet and exercise. We’ll do our best in the coming year to help you weed through the noise and pick out the things that can really impact your health, performance and ability manage your weight for the long-run. For now, you can take a look back at the past year and check out some of the favorites.

1. My Food Pyramid, My Plate, My Weight Problem

After almost three decades of using the food pyramid, the USDA put together a new icon representing their dietary recommendations. Not much changed in the recommendations themselves. They still shun fat (though not quite as much). We took a look at the pros and cons of the new My Plate icon and discussed what you should know about the dietary guidelines. Read the full article, My Food Pyramid, My Plate, My Weight Problem.

2. Dairy Confused

Non-fat, low-fat, full-fat, organic, grass-fed...There are a ton of options for dairy, and much of what is popular is not necessarily healthy. In addition, not everyone should even be consuming this protein-rich food. Rather than taking an extreme stance on one side or the other of this polarized topic, we just shared some facts to consider. You can jump in on the comments where the points of view were a bit more…emotional. Read the full article, Dairy Confused

3. Diabetes: Not to be underestimated

For many people, diabetes is not a concern for them until the doctor says “You have diabetes.” However, you don’t become diabetic overnight. It is a result of years of dietary and lifestyle choices, and there are many signs that precede a diagnosis of full-blown diabetes. Even if you’re healthy on the outside, it’s worth reading and considering the contents in this article. Read the full article, Diabetes: Not to be underestimated.

4. Mythbusting: Fat

Will the idea of eating a low-fat diet ever go away? The premise that fat is some kind of dietary evil has been popular for decades with little science to back it up. However, packaged foods and advertising would have you believe eating a low-fat diet is healthy. In this article, we took a look at some of the myths surrounding dietary fat including the myths that saturated fat raises heart disease, that vegetables oils are healthy and that dietary fat can make you fat. Read the full article, Mythbusting: Fat.

5. Live Longer and Leaner: Does fasting work?

Fasting has become a hot topic in recent years. Rather than filling up ever 2-3 hours with food, there has been growing support for the idea of eating less often. The benefits of fasting include possible life extension as well as easier weight management. This article took a look into some of the possible benefits surrounding fasting and why it might be good to go a day or two each week with a 24-hour period between meals or another variation of intermittent fasting. Read the full article, Live Longer and Leaner: Does fasting work?

6. Sweet Poison

Sugar may very well be one of the most common addictions in the American diet. With the average person eating 150 pounds of the stuff each year, it’s taking a toll on our health. How much is too much? What exactly does this “natural” ingredient in our foods do to use? We took a look at some of the objections people have to cutting it out of their diet, some of the very real effects of eating too much, and included a very popular video from Dr. Robert Lustig that has been a hit on YouTube. Read the full article, Sweet Poison.

7. What kind of stressed are you?

Stress is a natural part of living. We’ve faced stress since the beginning of the human race, but the type of stress we face today doesn’t seem to go away. Some people face mental and physical stressors throughout most of each day. Some can handle it and some can’t. Over time, stress can change the way our body’s are supposed to function throughout the day, leading to sleepless nights, exhausting days, food cravings and frustration. Fortunately, you can identify how your body is being affected through a simple test and take action to improve your body’s response to stress. Read the full article, What kind of stressed are you?

8. Why “eat less, move more” doesn’t always work

Does the most common recommendation for weight management work? Not as often as you’d think. In this article we took a look at a lot of other factors that affect your ability to manage weight. You’ll understand why cutting back on calories and exercising more doesn’t produce the weight loss results so many people expect. If that’s you, you’ll understand what else you can do to improve your success rate at losing weight and keeping it off for good. Read the full article, Why "eat less, move more" doesn't always work.

9. 7 Ineffective Habits of Weight Training

It’s one thing to learn what you should be doing when it comes to strength training. It’s quite another to catch yourself in some bad habits that might be offsetting the benefits of strength training. Check out these seven bad habits and get them changed so you can get the most out of your weight training program. Read the full article, 7 Ineffective Habis of Weight Training.

10. Weighing in: Are Barefoot Shoes Better?

Do you think you need a well-cushioned sole or extra arch support in your shoes? A growing movement would say that’s not the case. Barefoot shoes or minimalist shoes are designed to make your feet work the way they were originally intended. It’s quite a different story from the shoes marketed to tone up your glutes, give you extra spring in your step and “protect your arches.” Before you buy a new pair of shoes, check out this article and then do some shopping-around. Read the full article, Weighing in: Are Barefoot Shoes Better?

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