Marks Daily Apple
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Mark's Daily Apple

3 Jul

10 Great Alli Leaks, Oops, Links

So we’re beating a dead llama here, but it’s just flabbergasting that the newest weight-loss gimmick, alli, has made it so far. Maybe I’m just grumpy today. This pill is a) all but ineffective, b) dangerous, c) embarrassing, d) expensive, and e) a retread of an old drug nobody wanted. As you may well know, the blogosphere is having a lot of tawdry fun with this. Here are the best (and – relatively – cleanest) links.

10. Orwellian

Is this our world?

9. GSK Asks You: “Are You Losing It?”

GlaxoSmithKline wants to know if you are losing it. Hmm. This appears to be a case of psychological projection. Glaxo, call us. We know a great therapist.

8. The Gift That Keeps on Giving

After ruining your social life, thrashing your digestive tract, and depleting critical vitamins from your body, alli increases your risk of colon cancer. Just ‘cuz.

7. But, But…It Comes with a Shiny Book!

Would you really want this on your coffee table?

alli

6. “It’s Gonna Take Work on Your Part Too.”

Because our part doesn’t work.

5. In Case You Needed Convincing, the FDA Really Does Not Give a…

But, boy oh boy, you sure will. Do not eat any fat if you take alli (k. d. lang must be excited about GSK’s super-trendy capitalization choice). Avoiding fat is a smart way to get diabetes and depression, but at least you won’t have any trouble with regularity. The results of fat + alli = not pretty. Oh, and alli depletes vitamins from your body. So just like the sailors of yesteryear, you too can experience the joys of rickets. And we can all agree there’s nothing better than experiencing history first-hand.

4. Why Did They Have to Ruin Pizza Forever?

Thanks, Glaxo. Thanks a lot. “You’re probably curious about what alli does in your body.” Why would you draw a pizza comparison to your disgusting drug? What did pizza ever do to you? That’s just rude.

3. So You Want to Take Alli?

Terrific! You’ll just need to diet, exercise, get healthy, and then wait six months. You’ll (maybe) lose five whoppin’ pounds beyond what all that regular exercising and dieting would yield you after six months. People, those five whole pounds will only cost you $360 bucks, your health, and your dignity, so what’s not to love? Come on, you wanted a new wardrobe anyway.

2. When Your Drug Is a Bust…Slap a New Name on It!

Alli is just a lower dosage of xenical (generic orlistat). This weight loss drug bombed as an Rx – apparently people got sick of having to keep an extra pair of dark clothing on hand. Babies.

1. With Allis Like This, Who Needs Enemas?

The Bitter Pill Award goes to Alli, your partner in oily spotting. The incredible thing is that GSK is totally upfront about how terrible alli is…and they’re still selling it. What a world.

bitterpill

Graphic: Bitter Pill Awards TM

Further reading:

Here’s a tip: eat less

We need more fat, not less!

What to eat in a day

Simple, fast weight loss tips for all you busy bees

Eating healthy when you’re pinching pennies

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2 Jul

Trend: Diet Dishes

Dearest Apples, I have been shopping yet again. (I know you were getting worried. Like I’d forget to shop!)

Sara here, and I’m noticing a trend. First, one of our favorite blogs told us all about the Diet Plate, so you know I just had to check that out. Then, for the five seconds that I actually watched television last week, I saw these new chic portion-savvy dishes called Mesu, so you know I just had to check those out, too. It would appear that service wear designed with your waistline in mind is all over the place, from high end to low end. Of course no exploration of dishes would be complete without some delicious food, so naturally I have investigated for you. I know, selfless of me.

Here’s the Diet Plate:

dietplate

And here’s Mesu:

mesu

Comparison:

The Diet Plate is actually clinically proven (independently) to help you lose weight. How about that? This goes back to Mark’s ongoing point that although carbs – especially refined carbs – are unhealthy, it’s still calories that count for weight loss. While you’ll get a lot more mileage out of things like fat, protein and veggies, that doesn’t mean you can eat more calories than you need – what goes in must get burned off!

Mesu gets points for pretty. Mesu is very new and uber sleek, but in my opinion, just not that special. I really like the back story of the young woman who invented it (she was dieting for her wedding and was a bit of a struggling artist, from what I can tell, unless that’s just the marketing spin). And the various bowls and dishes are very appealing. But I don’t know that I’d want to buy a whole set of dishware just to lose weight – I prefer the efficiency and ease of a concept like the Diet Plate. But then, if your whole family is on a diet, or you just feel the need for some smart dishes, Mesu might be right for you.

What I like about this trend is the emphasis on the need to control portions. That really is the key to weight loss. You all know I pretty much live on avocados, cream and goat cheese, but I do watch the portion sizes. I also occasionally cheat and have a bite of pizza or a light beer, but I don’t go crazy about it. Like our guest blogger Claire said last Friday, one little “cheat” is not a reason to throw in the towel and pig out for the rest of the day. We think it is, but that’s just not the case. One little bite of something you really crave, now and then, is not going to ruin your health or make putting on your skinny jeans a depressing exercise indeed. I know some of us can’t stop once we start, and I am certainly no saint in that department! What helps me is to remember that I can always have that pizza anytime – we do live in the most convenient nation, foodwise, on the globe. For some reason, having this “availability mindset” does the trick, and I can just enjoy a bite or two without turning into Carb Monster.

Mark taught me another cool tip a while back: replace all those giant plates and pasta bowls with salad plates and fruit bowls. You’ll eat less without even thinking about it. If you want to splurge on some special diet dishes, I say go for it, but you can accomplish the same thing by simply switching out your regular plates with inexpensive 7″ disks (which you probably already have!).

Let me know what works for you! I’m stickin’ with my el cheapo Target salad plates and the tiny blue plate my friend made for me in pottery class. They work pretty well for me.

My previous shopping expedition: hitting the mat.

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2 Jul

This Is Your World, Baby

The texture solution is not: sell food that naturally has pleasing texture by virtue of its characteristics.

The texture solution is:

cargillpepp

Thoughts for food? I got a few thoughts, all right…

What We Need Is More Cowbell

What I Eat in a Day

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2 Jul

If You Have to Brag About Your ‘All White Meat Chicken’…

When did bare minimum standards of decency become selling points?

If you (you being a corporation richer than most countries) feel compelled to brag about your chicken nuggets being “all white meat”, I don’t envy your marketers. They’ve got quite the task set before them. Then again…do they? We seem to have lowered our standards.

When I see an ad like this (among many), trying to convince me that I should feed my kids chicken nuggets because they are actually made of real meat, I don’t feel inspired. I feel like grabbing my kids and keeping them as far away from a fast food restaurant as possible for the rest of their lives. “All” white meat? Oh, sure, now I’ll go for them. What were they before?!?

actualmcnuggs

I’m concerned that society’s standards for what is acceptable quality are slipping. Forget slope. This is an avalanche.

Juice makers actually brag about the product containing…juice.

Nuggets are proudly made of…meat.

Mac ‘n cheese is made with… real cheese.

All these products spend insane amounts of money just to tell you that their products are made of exactly what any rational person would expect them to be made of. This is the equivalent of good behavior for food manufacturers. Personally, I am unimpressed. “Oh, you mean you’re not lying to me? Wow! Go you!”

What would be lower than the bare minimum? Oh yeah, everything.

The irony, of course, is that dark meat is not even unhealthy (Sara recently asked: “What’s with the white meat superiority complex?“). It’s the deep frying and additives.

Mold: Why, it tastes just like chicken!

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29 Jun

Another Round of Stump Sisson Friday

All right, gang, you flooded my inbox this week. I can certainly think of worse problems to have, though. (People read the blog! A whole lot of people, as it turns out). I always answer as many emails as I can. If you don’t hear from me, it’s a good idea to talk about your health questions in the forum, so that if I don’t answer them, someone sure will – a very encouraging and interesting gang, as you’ll find.

This week, I got a whole slew of questions about my controversial case against cardio, my antipathy towards carbs, what food I eat in a day, and oddly, not one but several emails about spirulina.

A samplin’:

“Mark, is it true that spirulina is a good source of Omega-3’s? Is it better than fish oil?”

Sorry, but spirulina is a very poor source of Omega-3’s – a dose of fish oil has ten times the amount. I have a bit of a beef with spirulina supplements, because while it’s technically true that spirulina is a good vegetarian protein as well as containing beneficial fatty acids, the amounts are seriously microscopic. You’d literally have to consume spirulina breakfast, lunch, and dinner to get even a minimal amount of nutrients you can easily get from consuming just a few servings of wild salmon or even olive oil every week. This is something I see in general with a lot of supposed “miracle food” supplements. I won’t name names (for now) but potency means zip if the dose itself is puny. Look at grams per serving, always.

“Mark, how do I find out my nutritional type?”

Oh, boy. This is one that just persists and persists. I am not a fan of body-typing for diet or anything else, apples. Something you learn in Biology 101 is that we all share the same metabolic pathways – so we should all stay away from the same things – sugar, namely. It’s just that some of us are better at extracting and storing calories than others (see the Bees’ coverage of gut bugs). The problem is simple, but very common (like 65% of Americans share it!).

Stick around for more fun and insights daily.

Further reading:

Carbs Are Not the Devil

It’s the Calories, Not the Carbs

Here’s a Tip: Eat Plants

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