The Jack Sprat Low-Fat Diet

The Jack Sprat Low-Fat Diet: A 28-Day Heart-Healthy Plan You Can Follow the Rest of Your Life

Bryant A. Stamford
Becca Coffin
Copyright Date: 1995
Pages: 328
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt130j3sx
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    The Jack Sprat Low-Fat Diet
    Book Description:

    This exciting work by a nationally known fitness and health expert is a realistic and practical guide to a healthier and happier lifestyle. Dr. Bryant Stamford, author of the highly acclaimedFitness Without Exerciseand a syndicated health columnist, and co-author Becca Coffin, a registered nurse, show how making the right choices in diet can improve health and reduce fat while allowing people to enjoy a fuller and more varied diet than other weight-loss plans permit.

    Americans are obsessed with diets and dieting, and yet we grow fatter every year. Traditional diets offer only temporary weight loss through loss of water and muscle and do not address the real problems of dietary fat and poor eating habits. Fat is sinister, wreaking havoc on every system of the body. Eating fat results in fat people, but it also clogs the arteries, raises blood pressure, overloads the bowels, and causes diabetes. To avoid the dangers of dietary fat, we need to change our eating habits. Happily, we don't have to eat less; we just need to make smarter choices about what we eat.

    The Jack Sprat diet plan uses a guided day-by-day approach geared to gender, size, and physical activity level. Each of the four weeks in the plan starts with a complete grocery list, including daily menus that have been analyzed to show how many calories and grams of fat will be consumed. All menus have been analyzed also to assure fulfillment of RDA guidelines. Recipes are provided for all home-prepared items in the plan, and specially designed "On-Your-Own" tables help with substitutions in the daily menus. There are even sections for including fast foods and a system of "controlled cheating."

    To help ensure success, Stamford and Coffin provide not only day-by-day and meal-by-meal details ofwhatto eat but also insightful scientific background that explains why. These chapters include information on how much fat one should eat, how to make smart choices when choosing a menu, and the benefits of light exercise. The authors also present a wealth of more specific information on physiology and metabolism, hormones, antioxidants, and phytochemicals, as well as on frauds such as cellulite-reducing creams and diet pills.

    Stamford and Coffin do not offer miracles or magic, but they do provide sound advice and practical guides that will be invaluable to anyone interested in losing weight and making positive lifestyle changes.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-5789-4
    Subjects: Public Health

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Prologue: The Legacy of Jack Sprat
    (pp. vii-x)

    Sounds like a pretty good relationship—perfect compatibility. And it was. Jack loved his wife dearly, and their love thrived for many years, even though Mrs. Sprat grew in size while Jack stayed slender and handsome.

    Jack never said a word to his wife about her weight, not wanting to upset her. But he worried about her health, especially when Mrs. Sprat began to show signs that all was not right inside her body. She fatigued easily, breaking out in a deep sweat at the slightest exertion, and she complained of feeling out-of-sorts and of not being able to sleep...

  4. Introduction: Pocket Full of Miracles
    (pp. 1-6)

    Jack Sprat ate more food than his wives—a whole lot more. He and his wives worked side by side in the fields from dawn to dusk, but Jack remained slim while his wives became obese, and Jack stayed healthy and vital whereas his wives died prematurely.

    Is there a mystery here?

    Not really, not once you understand the modus operandi of dietary fat. Fat is sinister. Like an addictive narcotic, it pulls you in and captures your taste buds. It tastes heavenly on the way in, but once inside, it wreaks havoc on every system of the body. Eating...

  5. Part One Prepping for the Plan
    • 1 Dumping the Diet Mentality
      (pp. 9-13)

      The Jack Sprat plan is a first step toward permanent change. It is a means to an end, in other words, and not an end in itself. This fact alone makes it unique. When people enter into crash diets, they do so with the understanding that they will be on the diet for only a short while. The shortness allows them to endure, encourages them to continue in the face of extreme discomfort.

      The folly of this line of thinking is obvious. Abandon the changes you’ve made and the weight comes back. This is why the vast majority of diets...

    • 2 Fool’s Gold
      (pp. 14-19)

      “Crash diets are fool’s gold: they promise much but provide nothing.” This was Jack Sprat’s response to anyone who suggested his wife should go on a diet to lose weight. There was no way he was going to urge his wife to deny herself good things to eat, to endure itsy-bitsy servings, and to torture herself with never-ending temptations, only to lose a few pounds that came right back on.

      Jack was right. To be sure, you will lose weight on a diet, but most of the weight you lose won’t be fat. It will be muscle and water. If...

    • 3 Public Enemy #2
      (pp. 20-22)

      Cigarette smoking is the #1 health problem in America today. The good news is cigarette use is declining in almost all segments of the population. The exception is young females. It’s difficult to convince young women who believe “they’ve come a long way, baby” that they’re on a dead-end street.

      Unfortunately, consumption of dietary fat—public enemy #2—is not declining at the same rate as cigarette use. This means that in the not too distant future dietary fat will be #1. And when it is, we will find that the war against smoking, difficult as it has been, was...

    • 4 Calories Are Not the Problem
      (pp. 23-25)

      Four out often American adults currently weigh at least 20 percent more than is thought to be optimal for good health. That comes to roughly 2.5 billion pounds of excess body fat. And things are getting worse, not better. Our frames now carry an additional six pounds of body fat when compared with the 1980 model.

      Why has the American waistline been expanding at a rate faster than the national debt? Is it simply a matter of excess calories—eating too much too often?

      The answer may surprise you. The average American today does not consume more calories than in...

    • 5 Low-Fat Limbo
      (pp. 26-30)

      Jack Sprat is a strong supporter of the American Heart Association (AHA). But he doesn’t like its stand on dietary fat. He believes that a diet that contains 30 percent fat is not healthy, and he tried to make his case to anyone who would listen. But the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Surgeon General agreed with the AHA, outnumbering poor Jack. Case closed.

      Not quite. The state of knowledge concerning the health consequences of dietary fat supports Jack’s position and bolsters the argument for a much lower guideline than the AHA is prepared to back. Ironically, the AHA...

    • 6 All Fats Are Not Created Equal
      (pp. 31-34)

      There are three types of dietary fat: saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated. All are rich sources of energy, storing 9 calories per gram. Eat too much of any of these three types and you will become fat. But that’s where the similarities end.

      Saturated fat is a bad dude. It is used by your liver to produce the cholesterol that circulates in your bloodstream. In fact, 80-90 percent of the cholesterol in your blood was produced in your liver with the help of saturated fat. And it’s all the bad kind of cholesterol—LDL, the kind that clogs your arteries.

      Ironically,...

    • 7 Sleuth, Then Slash
      (pp. 35-39)

      In Jack Sprat’s heyday, everyone believed that starches made you fat and that meat and dairy products were healthy and kept you lean. In fact, Little Miss Muffet’s restaurant used to serve a diet plate that contained a large ground-beef patty plus a mound of rich cottage cheese. Bread and potatoes were forbidden, of course.

      These beliefs fed the mystery of why Jack stayed so lean while his wives became immense, because Jack ate at least a loaf of bread each day, plus stacks of potatoes.

      Miss Muffet’s so-called diet plate was a horrible blend of fatty foods that, if...

    • 8 80-20 and the Warthogs
      (pp. 40-42)

      Does going on the Jack Sprat plan mean you will never again experience the joys of cheesecake or fried chicken? Will holidays be a drag, watching others stuff themselves to their heart’s content with holiday goodies while you pick away at the celery and carrot sticks?

      Admittedly, holidays can be tough, and for that reason we recommend that you not try to start on the Jack Sprat plan during the Thanksgiving to New Year’s holiday season. The cravings and fond memories of sludge-filled family get-togethers will defeat you before you get out of the starting block. Wait until January 2....

    • 9 Smart Choices
      (pp. 43-45)

      Jack Sprat never needed to diet, and despite his voracious appetite and ability to outeat everyone in the county, he stayed slim and trim. He didn’t have to diet because the food he ate was so low in fat, and he loved it. Good for him. But what about the rest of us, scourged from birth with taste buds that crave fat every waking hour? Is there any hope?

      Of course there is, and that’s the beauty of the Jack Sprat plan. Just give it a shot for 28 days, and you will be hooked.

      To get you off on...

    • 10 Eat, Drink, and Be Active
      (pp. 46-49)

      In our workshops, we have found that people are eager for information about heart disease, stress, body fat, dietary fat, and how to eat smart. But when we mention the wordexercise, eyes glaze over and a hushed silence fills the room. You can read their minds. “Here comes another pep talk on the benefits of jogging. Rah! Rah! Rah! Listen to Nike and ‘Just Do It!’ ”

      The fitness movement has been around for twenty-five years, and most of us at one time or another have tried jogging, cycling, rowing, swimming laps, or cross-country skiing. And after trying it,...

    • 11 Beyond Afterburn
      (pp. 50-56)

      Jack Sprat and his wife ate their meals together and labored together in the fields. They were inseparable with only one exception, and that exception turned out to be important. It is the basis for the Jack Sprat Smart Exercise plan.

      Every day, after lunch and dinner, Jack would go for a walk. Not a long walk or a fast walk. Just a comfortable walk over the hills and dales, during which he enjoyed the scenery and chatted with passersby. Mrs. Sprat, on the other hand, always retired immediately for a nap. She was woozy, you see, from eating all...

  6. Part Two The Diet Plan
    • 12 Target Weight
      (pp. 59-67)

      To plug into the Jack Sprat plan, you first must determine the number of daily calories your body requires. Your number will be personalized as much as possible (without an excess of scientific manipulation and calculation) in terms of gender, size, age, physical activities, and goals. This approach differs from most other diets, which put everyone on the same plan and simply slash caloric intake to starvation levels. The starvation approach ensures rapid weight loss. But that’s precisely what you don’t want to happen because, as you are now aware, weight that is lost in a hurry is mostly muscle...

    • 13 Target Menus
      (pp. 68-74)

      We have prepared two 28-day target menus to help you reach your (desired) target weight and to improve your health profile. The menus contain 1,700 and 2,400 daily calories. We chose these two levels because 1,700 represents the upper end of a typical maintenance diet for women and 2,400 represents the upper end of a typical maintenance diet for men.

      Obviously, we don’t expect your target daily caloric intake to fall exactly on 1,700 or 2,400 calories. They are merely convenient reference points. We have constructed each daily menu so that it can be altered easily. And because each of...

    • 14 The Grocery List
      (pp. 75-79)

      Select the target level (1700 or 2400) that is right for you. Read over the menus to acquaint yourself with the foods you will eat that week. Then turn to the grocery list. This is a “real” grocery list: take it to the store and check off items as you go.

      While you shop, you might find it interesting to take note of how supermarkets are organized. Here’s the lowdown.

      1. Dairy products are placed in the least convenient corner of the building. This is because almost everyone who enters is going to buy milk, and it makes good business sense...

    • 15 The 28-Day Plan
      (pp. 80-174)

      You are now ready to get started. When you turn to the target tract you have selected, you will find 28 days of menus, divided into four weeks. Look over the first week, then study the accompanying grocery list that provides everything you need.

      At the end of the 28 days of menus, you will find four warthog alternative days from which you can choose when you have the need.

      For recipes you will use during the 28-day plan, turn to Resource 1. Plan recipes are numbered chronologically from 1 to 52. The numbers appear on the menusandin...

    • Resource 1: Jack Sprat Plan Recipes
      (pp. 175-206)
    • Resource 2: Substitution Tables
      (pp. 207-208)
    • Resource 3: Fast Food Choices
      (pp. 209-214)
    • Resource 4: More Smart Choices
      (pp. 215-218)
  7. Part Three On Your Own
    • Body Fat
      • Mini-Chapter 1 Survival of the Fattest
        (pp. 223-224)

        Only the strong survive. We all believe that, but is it true? Some experts believe that when it comes to humans, only the fat survive. Here’s why.

        In early evolutionary times, living was literally a feast or famine situation. If dad and his buddies were successful on the hunt, you feasted. If not, you had nothing to eat, and the famine lasted until the next successful kill. During times when food was scarce, people had to depend upon their own body’s natural source of energy to get them through. They depended upon their stores of body fat, and those with...

      • Mini-Chapter 2 How Do You Wear Your Fat?
        (pp. 225-227)

        When you stand naked in front of a full-length mirror, what do you see? If you are a typical adult American you see an excess of fat peeking at you from various parts of the body. The exact location of that excess fat is important for two reasons. First, it may determine the degree of health risk associated with carrying excess body fat. Second, the location may dictate how easily that fat will come off.

        When you wear a lot of fat around your waist, you take on the shape of an apple. This is called male pattern (also android,...

      • Mini-Chapter 3 Saddlebags and Love Handles
        (pp. 228-231)

        Fat that is deposited on the hips, thighs, and buttocks is zealously guarded by the female body. Fat in these areas is thought to have been deposited for a special purpose—providing life-saving nourishment for the newborn.

        In times when food was scarce and unpredictable, Mother Nature had to be certain there would be adequate sustenance for new babies. She chose Mom’s hips, thighs, and buttocks as storage sites, and she surrounded these areas with what at times seems like an impenetrable force field.

        It is not uncommon for women to go to great lengths in an attempt to lose...

      • Mini-Chapter 4 Cellulite
        (pp. 232-233)

        Cellulite. Say the word, and images of waffled thighs and rippled butts appear. Say the word, and drive women to tears, then to the drugstore in search of the latest lotions and potions. Billions have been spent in the vain attempt to rid ourselves of this fiend. Jack Sprat estimates that he could have been a very wealthy man if it wasn’t for all the money his wives squandered on gimmicks to rid themselves of dreaded cellulite.

        Why would the Creator curse us with such a mean-spirited and persistent foe?

        She didn’t. So-called cellulite is no different from other fat...

      • Mini-Chapter 5 Snakes and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails
        (pp. 234-235)

        Until puberty, little boys and girls are pretty similar in body composition. With puberty, the hormones take over, and girls add fat, boys add muscle. The “typical” young adult female body is about 20 to 25 percent fat, 37 percent muscle, 14 percent bone, and 25 percent organs.

        The proportions in a “typical” young adult male body are somewhat different, with 15 to 18 percent fat, 45 percent muscle, 15 percent bone, and 25 percent organs.

        In both sexes, “essential” fat is stored in the marrow of bones, throughout the central nervous system, and in the heart, lungs, liver, and...

      • Mini-Chapter 6 Pinch an Inch
        (pp. 236-237)

        Americans are too fat. We all know that. But just how fat are we?

        That’s harder to say than you might think. Stepping on a scale is helpful, but it can be confusing because your weight tells you very little about how fat you are. National Football League players who weigh well over 200 pounds, most of which is muscle, show how misleading judging fatness by weight can be. And most popular height/weight charts provide such wide ranges of acceptable weights that experts question their usefulness.

        So what’s the answer?

        Muscle is more dense than water, whereas fat is less...

      • Mini-Chapter 7 Don’t Sweat It
        (pp. 238-240)

        Since the Roman Empire, people have assumed that sitting in oppressive heat is good for you. There is not much evidence to support this notion, but health clubs and manufacturers of saunas and steam baths do all they can to keep the idea alive. They claim, for example, that profuse sweating provides a deep cleansing of the skin that is otherwise impossible to attain. They claim that the limp noodle feeling you get from an extended stay in the heat is the ultimate in relaxation. And, of course, because the pounds literally melt off, a stint in the heat is...

      • Mini-Chapter 8 Baby Fat
        (pp. 241-243)

        Body fat is stored in crescent-shaped cells called fat cells, which make up adipose tissue (a type of connective tissue). A hot time for fat cell development in the body is during the third trimester of pregnancy and the first two years of life. The more the mother eats and the fatter she becomes, the greater the number of fat cells developed in the fetus. And if the parents subscribe to the thinking that a fat baby is a healthy baby, millions more fat cells are added over and above the generous number that will be created naturally. This overabundance...

      • Mini-Chapter 9 Fat, Hormones, and Breast Cancer
        (pp. 244-246)

        Can a low-fat diet help prevent breast cancer? Many experts say no. Others say, emphatically, yes. The confusion stems partly from how low-fat a low-fat diet must be to have an impact.

        An oft-cited 1987 study showed that a 30 percent fat diet did not significantly lower the incidence of breast cancer. One interpretation is that this proves that a low-fat diet is of no benefit. A better explanation is that because a 30 percent fat diet is not a low-fat diet, you wouldn’t expect it to have much of an effect.

        Despite the fact that the American Cancer Society...

      • Mini-Chapter 10 Miracle Fat Pills
        (pp. 247-250)

        As long as obesity is a problem, there will be flimflam schemes to get rid of it. And with our society’s dependence on medications, there’s no doubt that new pills will continually be manufactured as “magic bullets” designed to make us slender and beautiful forevermore.

        The latest entrant into the “magic bullet” arena is a pill that allows 30 percent of the fat eaten to pass through the body undigested. This means that if you take in 100 grams of fat, only 70 will be digested, which has the effect of lowering the fat content of a 2,400-calorie diet from...

      • Mini-Chapter 11 Brown Fat versus White Fat
        (pp. 251-252)

        There are two types of fatty tissue found in the body. When you pinch an inch from your midriff or thigh, you are pinching so called white fat. This is overwhelmingly the most prevalent type of fat in the body, comprising about 99 percent. The remaining fat is called brown fat and is located in small amounts around the neck and on the back and chest.

        Brown fat differs from white fat because it has a high rate of metabolism, whereas white fat is practically metabolically inert. When brown fat “turns on,” it can burn an extraordinary number of calories...

    • Healthy Eating
      • Mini-Chapter 12 Counting Calories Can Be Misleading
        (pp. 255-256)

        Counting calories can be misleading, especially when it comes to judging the potential impact of a low-fat high-carbohydrate diet. This is because the body is very efficient at storing dietary fat as body fat and very inefficient at converting carbohydrate to body fat. Here’s an example.

        Let’s assume you take in 2,000 calories a day and that 40 percent of those calories are in the form of fat. This means that you are taking in 800 calories of fat per day. If you burned off half of those fat calories in your daily activities, that would leave you with 400...

      • Mini-Chapter 13 The Lowdown on Sugar
        (pp. 257-260)

        Up to this point most of our fury has been directed against dietary fat, and for good reason. Sugar can be destructive, too, but before we get into that, let’s clear up some confusion about what exactly sugar is.

        Simple carbohydrates are usually referred to as sugar. There are two types: monosaccharides and disaccharides. Among the monosaccharides are glucose (also called dextrose), fructose (fruit sugar), and galactose. Disaccharides contain combinations of two monosaccharides. Sucrose (table sugar), for example, contains glucose plus fructose, and lactose (milk sugar) is glucose plus galactose. You get the idea.

        Simple carbs can be bad guys...

      • Mini-Chapter 14 Protein
        (pp. 261-263)

        Americans have had a sustained love affair with protein. It’s the darling of the dietary world; it can do no wrong. When you were a kid, Mom and Dad might have let eating your veggies slide, but there’s no way you were going to skip out without eating your meat and drinking your milk. Why? Because they are the all-important protein foods, that’s why.

        Fortunately, as the luster has worn off meat and fatty dairy products and we see them for what they really are, so too has the luster begun to fade on protein. Protein is now being viewed...

      • Mini-Chapter 15 Fake Fat and Fake Sugar
        (pp. 264-265)

        We have finally realized that dietary fat is a bad hombre, and we’re doing something about it. To be sure, we haven’t made many healthful changes in our diet. That would be asking too much. But we have plunked down big dollars for “fake fat” items, providing, of course, that there is little if any sacrifice in taste. What are these fake fats?

        There are a number of fat replacement products on the market and certainly more to come. The current batch are made from egg proteins, milk, and a variety of carbohydrates that are heated, reduced to their basic...

      • Mini-Chapter 16 The Lost Fiber of Our Society
        (pp. 266-267)

        Fiber is the Rodney Dangerfield of the American diet. It gets no respect. But it should. Without adequate fiber our gastrointestinal (GI) tract suffers greatly. Fiber provides roughage that helps foodstuff move along, and smoother and quicker movement means fewer GI problems. Fiber also helps in the battle against obesity. It affords no calories and provides, because of its bulk, a feeling of fullness and satiety. Caloric absorption from other foods may decrease as well, possibly by as much as 3 percent (that’s 60 free calories in a 2,000-calorie per day diet).

        But Americans don’t take advantage of the gifts...

      • Mini-Chapter 17 Vegetarianism
        (pp. 268-270)

        The definition of a “vegetarian” has changed quite a bit in recent years. At one time, only people who avoided all foods of animal origin were considered vegetarians. Today, we call these folks vegans (vee-ghans). There are several other types of vegetarians, defined by what foods of animal origin they eat.

        Lacto-vegetarians eat dairy products. Ovo-vegetarians eat eggs. Lacto-ovo-vegetarians eat dairy products and eggs. Pesco-vegetarians eat fish, dairy products, and eggs. Semi-vegetarians eat dairy products, eggs, and a little fish and chicken. Some who include occasional red meat in their diet also consider themselves semi-vegetarians.

        The Jack Sprat diet could...

      • Mini-Chapter 18 Antioxidants
        (pp. 271-275)

        Supplements—to take or not to take? We spend billions of dollars each year on vitamins, minerals, and all sorts of supplements ranging from garlic to bee pollen. Some people buy them because their doctor recommended them; others operate on their own. To most of us, supplements represent a form of nutritional insurance. If we miss out on certain vitamins or trace minerals, pills will meet the need.

        Most of us believe at least some of the foolishness that is tied to the marketing of supplements. Most believe, for example, that extra vitamins provide more pep and energy. Unfortunately, some...

      • Mini-Chapter 19 New Food Labels
        (pp. 276-278)

        The food labels now required by the Food and Drug Administration are an improvement over the old, but they certainly are not nearly as useful as they could be, especially when it comes to helping consumers trim fat from their diet. The new labels still don’t, for example, tell you what percentage of calories are in the form of fat. As you can see on the “reduced fat” peanut butter label shown here, near the top you get total calories per serving and fat calories, but no percentage.

        To compute the percentage of fat, you have to divide the fat...

      • Mini-Chapter 20 If You Booze, You Won’t Lose
        (pp. 279-280)

        A drink here and there probably won’t hurt, but a couple of drinks a day can add up to lots of extra pounds. The reason is, although alcoholic beverages are fat-free, they are very high in calories with 7.1 calories per gram and 201 calories per ounce. At that rate, it’s easy for the total calories to mount up. Let’s take a look.

        Twelve ounces of light beer can have 80 to 130 calories, and 12 ounces of regular beer averages about 146 calories. A 3.5 ounce glass of wine can vary from 70 to 80 calories for dry wine...

      • Mini-Chapter 21 Salt
        (pp. 281-282)

        Americans eat way too much salt. Salt is so plentiful, in fact, that there is no RDA (recommended daily allowance), because there is no worry about a shortage of it in the diet.

        Salt is actually a compound of sodium and chloride, and it is the sodium content in salt that is worrisome. In fact, when we talk about salt, we are actually talking about the sodium in salt. To avoid confusion, you must understand that about 40 percent of salt is sodium. One teaspoon equals about 5 grams of salt, containing approximately 2 grams of sodium. The typical American...

      • Mini-Chapter 22 Does Dietary Cholesterol Matter?
        (pp. 283-285)

        The day we discovered that a high concentration of cholesterol in the blood causes heart attacks was the day dietary cholesterol became a pariah—something to be avoided at all costs. Food manufacturers began putting large red labels on their products proclaiming proudly, “NO CHOLESTEROL!” Mothers who care for the health of their families gobbled up the red-labeled products while cutting back on shrimp and eggs and everything else they could think of that contained hefty amounts of cholesterol.

        What did this flurry of activity accomplish? A major reduction in the nation’s blood cholesterol levels?

        Sorry, but the effect was...

      • Mini-Chapter 23 Phytochemicals
        (pp. 286-288)

        The latest rage in the world of nutrition is phytochemicals—from the Greekphyto,which means plant. These substances, which until recently were unknown, are believed to protect plants from harmful sunlight. They may do more dian that for humans, and some experts are suggesting they may be the best friend we’ve ever had, because they may block key steps in the development of malignant cancer cells. And you can bet that if any of the scientific claims about phytochemicals hold water through the rigorous testing that’s sure to come, you will soon see bottles of phytochemical pills shoving aside...

    • Exercise
      • Mini-Chapter 24 You Can’t Run Away from Your Diet
        (pp. 291-292)

        There are many wonderful things we can say about exercise. And at this point in our history, it’s likely that most Americans have heard them and can recite them by heart. The problem is that Americans know the benefits but refuse to participate. At present only about 8 percent of adults have said yes to regular, vigorous aerobic exercise. The rest have responded with an emphatic “no, thank you.”

        There are several reasons for the low response rate. First and foremost, the average American doesn’t want to train like an athlete, and that’s what vigorous aerobic exercise demands. Second, most...

      • Mini-Chapter 25 Don’t Put Yourself on the Spot
        (pp. 293-294)

        A variety of exercise gadgets promise to trim fat from the thighs or the waistline. You’ve seen the commercials on TV. All you have to do is purchase a scientifically designed gizmo for $39.95, place it between your knees, then squeeze your knees together fifty times each day. In no time, thigh fat will melt away. It’s magic.

        Attempting to rid fat from a particular area of the body (like the thighs) through specialized exercises is called spot reduction. The concept has been around a long time, and most people take for granted that it works. It doesn’t. You cannot...

      • Mini-Chapter 26 Fat-Burner Exercise
        (pp. 295-296)

        Fat-burning exercise is being promoted by health clubs and aerobics instructors. It’s an approach that is supposed to help the body burn more fat during exercise. Is there anything to this, or is it much ado about nothing?

        Like many of the principles we embrace in daily life, there is a small grain of truth attached to fat-burning exercise, but nothing more. Here’s the grain of truth.

        Dietary fat and carbohydrate are the two primary sources of fuel used by the body. Protein is used at times, but your body prefers to save protein for other duties. At rest, your...

      • Mini-Chapter 27 From Gardening to Volleyball
        (pp. 297-299)

        Most people are surprised to learn that when it comes to exercise they have many more alternatives than they thought. If your goal is to look good, feel good, and be healthy, you can accomplish this by taking walks, working in the garden, participating in light sporting activities, and performing chores such as cutting the grass.

        The key to effective exercise is to be physically active every day. Unless you need to prepare yourself for a difficult physical feat, like mountain hiking, you don’t need to train like an athlete and you don’t need to develop more than a moderate...

      • Mini-Chapter 28 24 Hours a Day
        (pp. 300-302)

        When you think of exercise as an aid to losing weight you probably think of aerobic exercise, and for good reason. Walking and other forms of aerobic exercise burn lots of calories each minute, and the more calories you burn each day the better your chances of losing body fat.

        Most people discount the value of resistance exercises such as weight training, because weight training burns far fewer calories than aerobic exercise. By its nature, weight training involves spurts of activity followed by lengthy rest periods. An hour of weight training may involve only 20 minutes of actual exercise and...

  8. References
    (pp. 303-311)
  9. Index
    (pp. 312-320)