Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.

Mark's Daily Apple

2 Feb

Do Anti-Cellulite Shoes Work?

Several Apples have written in wondering about MBT and other supposed jiggle-reducing shoe brands, so in the interest of truth and avoidance of unattractive footwear, let’s set the record straight. Do anti-cellulite shoes work?

No, no, and no. Here’s a great article that debunks this ridiculous shoe trend. Not only are the numerous health and figure-fix claims about cellulite shoes total baloney, these kicks are expensive and super-ugly.

MBT, the main anti-cellulite shoe maker, even has an African myth of sorts to complete the marketing lure (check out Mark’s post on hoodia for another example of emotional bait).

These sneakers will make you wobble, feel dizzy, and possibly fall (so you can have a big bruise in addition to cellulite). What they will not do is cure cellulite.
MBT

Unfortunately, there’s just not really a “cure” for cellulite. It’s genetic, like bone density, skin tone and hair color. Of course, you can lift weights to build bones, fry in a tanning bed, and dye your hair, right? Ah, modern technology. There are things you can do to reduce the appearance of cellulite – but it will never go away with a magic cream or a funky pair of shoes.

If you’re really in angst come bikini season, these things can help:

– My personal theory: lay off the sugar, processed foods and trans fat, and make real fat your friend. Fat does not cause cellulite, but eating weird, unhealthy and processed foods does do weird things to our cells. I’m not saying sugar causes cellulite, but it certainly doesn’t help, either. Enough with the fat-free dairy, ladies (which just has sugar in place of fat). Sugar stores itself as fat and expands existing fat cells. Aha!

– The appearance of cellulite can be reduced if you have good, lean muscle tone and less flabby fat. So yes, you need to work out once in a while. Plenty of muscle tissue on that booty of yours will help “smooth” the external layer of skin and fat cells a little bit. Men don’t tend to have cellulite because they have more lean muscle mass, and their fat cells tend to be smaller and more flexible. So, reducing your overall body fat and increasing muscle mass will help in your quest to be as smooth as a baby’s behind.

Increase circulation. This is where those creams and gels come in. Most of them “work” by temporarily stimulating circulation to fat cells that go so long without seeing so much as a blood platelet, they wouldn’t know what to do if one stopped by. (Okay, my doctor friends are rolling their eyes right now, but you get the idea.) If you can increase your circulation – often a problem with women (cold feet, anyone?) – you can potentially help nourish and smooth those outer cells a bit more. But no amount of cardio is going to totally eliminate cellulite.

Two things to remember:

1) If you’re reasonably fit and healthy, just revel in that figure. Do what you can, and don’t stress the rest. Guys really don’t care as much as we think they do. Seriously, they don’t – men’s eyeballs are wired differently, and detail is not a strong suit (they have better depth perception, while women see certain colors and details better). Whew.

2) As Cindy Crawford once famously said, “Even I don’t look like Cindy Crawford in the morning.” There are very few photographs that are not airbrushed to perfection these days. Women on the covers of magazines are beautiful, yes, but perfect? Nope.

2 Feb

200 Calories, 200 Ways

What does 200 calories look like?

Thanks to the tofu-loving folks over at SoulVeggie for leading us to this great link.

broccoli 1
1 Feb

Juicy Picks

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

All the news, none of the partially-hydrogenated soybean oil!

1) Every name under the sun…

These guys have a great piece on shedding pounds by becoming aware of “liquid candy”. You’ll want to check it out – you’d be surprised at what can sabotage your weight-loss goals!

coke

2) All y’all can stop worrying about Nicole Richie

Because this is far more of a health problem. Disturbing. But with things like fried cheese balls being offered at major restaurant chains, are we really surprised?

doublebypass

3) Breaking girls’ hearts…sort of

Women’s heart health is rather overlooked, although the recent PR campaign to raise awareness has helped offset that somewhat. Women are at equal risk for heart disease, stroke and heart attacks – so take care of yourself, ladies! You can’t always trust a doctor to think about your heart, evidently.
Kind of a no-brainer, isn’t it? Plant some trees.

Hysteria? Nerves? Is this a joke? Doctors revert to 19th century views on women’s health.

heart

4) Another great plan from Uncle Sam

This time, on a potential flu epidemic. We hope it includes a color-coded bar alert. No, seriously, we do. We’re rooting for turquoise and magenta. (Dissenter: Elliott votes for taupe.)

crayons

Be sure to stop in tomorrow, when Mark will be posting his easy (almost brainless, really), healthy-yet-still-not-embarrassing-for-the-guys Superbowl food tips.

1 Feb

Hoodia: So Much More Than Latin for ‘Hoodie’

The claims about hoodia are about as accurate as that headline.

Don’t get hoodiawinked. Here’s the truth about this alleged weight-loss miracle cactus (Latin for…well, cactus).

Does Hoodia Work?

In a word, no. There’s no proof that hoodia works to help you lose weight – not even a little. Myths, legends, stories and anecdotes are convincing because they resonate with emotional desires (which is why any profitable scam manages to make money). Hoodia is no exception – this new fat-reduction fad product has no scientific evidence to support the claims. Do a little digging around, and you’ll learn that the hoodia being sold is not even the real thing anyway.

Hoodia is a cactus from South Africa. There are 20 types, but gordonii is the only one that actually quells hunger. Here’s the catch: this version of hoodia is endangered and therefore protected by law. It’s not allowed to be harvested and can only be exported to botanists for study.

Now, the chow-suppressing molecule in gordonii hoodia is called P57. Right now, a company called Phytofarm owns it, and you won’t be getting your hands on it anytime soon. Unilever and Pfizer both paid big sums to Phytopharm to toy with hoodia over the last three years, to no avail. Why? Because it doesn’t work for weight loss.

Hoodia products on the market are not real hoodia (and there have been a flurry of government cease-and-desist orders in attempts to stop this scam). Even real hoodia doesn’t work when it’s powdered, processed or the P57 molecule is extracted. You have to eat actual pieces of the plant. Moreover, hoodia does not burn fat – its function is to slow the metabolism, which often has the reverse desired effect. Your body thinks it’s starving, so it hangs on to fat stores even more aggressively.

hoodiacactus

Web it out:

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1 Feb

The Sisson Spoof

Jabba the Hut returns? Another Jurassic Park sequel? Or simply a science experiment gone very wrong?

cheeseball

None of the above. This festering ball of lard is just the Cheesecake Factory’s macaroni and cheese appetizer. I didn’t think you could find anything worse, nutritionally speaking, than a donut, which is literally deep-fried sugar and fat. I was wrong.

As if bleached flour smothered in liquid processed cheese “food” wasn’t destructive enough, now it’s breaded and fried. Oh – and served atop a creamy sauce. Score another one for the obesity epidemic.

The Cheesecake Factory doesn’t reveal calorie or nutrition information. According to them, they just change their menu items so darned often, they couldn’t possibly keep up with publishing information! Sure.

I’m continually stunned at the way businesses like Cheesequake blatantly insult and mock their customers with such disingenuous excuses – as if hiring an intern, giving the kid a calculator and asking said intern to make a website update is such a challenging innovation to adopt. (Reminds me of Paging Dr. Luddite.)

And I’m equally saddened by people’s willingness to be abused – if that’s not addictive dependency, what is?

Soon enough, food producers are going to have to accept the fact that lying to consumers is not a good long-term business strategy – because the world is changing, and consumers have two very important things:

1) Access to information like never before, if you don’t mind taking 5 seconds to look for it, and

2) Near-unlimited choice.

Also, it’s not a good idea to slowly kill off your customers. This will affect profits at some point.

© 2014 Mark's Daily Apple

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