--From the archives, in the old email format--
The StrongFast Planet Newsletter (StrongFast Fitness)
The official newsletter of StrongFast Fitness
and Earthlings everywhere.
July 24, 2012
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In this issue...

  • What's New at StrongFast?
  • Feature Article: Putting the Kibosh on Calorie Counting
  • Fitness Found Online
  • Recipe: Cavemanalicious Meatballs

What's New at StrongFast?

box jump box support
Our super-sturdy, custom-built boxes continue to get a lot of use for all sorts of activities. I'm thinking of adding a new exercise: Box Carries.

The Saturday morning B52-Z Metabolic Resistance Training wraps up this week. It's been a big hit, so expect to see it returning not only on Saturday mornings but also weeknights. Stay tuned for details!

Meanwhile, this Saturday's class (7/28/12) is open to all for just $15! Members can join here while everyone else can join through blitzometer.com here. (You'll need to register with blitzometer.com first, but that's easy.) Space is limited!

And we have three StrongFast birthdays this month, so Happy Birthday! And you really are not getting older, you're getting better!
"I quit smoking cigarettes about a year ago. I gained 18 pounds. So, now I have to wear a lot of black so no one knows what a big hunk of pig I turned into. No matter what I do, I cannot lose this 18 pounds. It's really starting to kick my ass. I mean I have tried everything short of diet and exercise."

-Gene Pompa

Feature Article

Putting the Kibosh on Calorie Counting

food scale and calculator Ah, pity the poor maligned calorie. Rarely in history has a unit of energy been so vilified and misunderstood. You never hear people saying bad things about joules. Heck, famous authors have been named after them. Remember Joules Verne?

So what is a calorie anyway, and why the bad rap?

In physics, a calorie is the amount of energy needed to heat one gram of water one degree Celsius (about 4.2 joules). The “dietary calorie” (or “large” or “food” calorie) is 1000 times that amount, or the amount of energy needed to heat one kilogram of water one degree Celsius. (Technically, the calorie is written with the lowercase “c” while the dietary Calorie is written with the uppercase “C.” Totally clear, right? Anyway, from here on, I’ll be referring to dietary calories every time I write “calories,” whether I capitalize the first “c” or not.) On food labels from some metric system countries, calories are listed as “kcals.” That wacky metric system!

I’m reminded of the food label for Slim Fast™ meal replacement shakes where after listing the calories it adds, “(Energy)”. Yes, they apparently want people to believe that its calories are somehow special. Of course, it may unintentionally lead some people to buy ice cream instead to get even more “energy.” But I digress a little.

Anyway, calories are indeed a measure of energy, and without enough of them we starve. So, yay calories! Even the couch potato burns calories all day as the body performs basic functions like pumping blood, digesting food, regulating temperature, and thinking about getting off the darn couch. This minimum caloric requirement is your “basal metabolic rate” (or BMR) and in a typical five-foot five-inch, 140 pound, 30-year old female is estimated to be about 1400 calories per day. (You can find BMR calculators online, like this one: http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator . ) Daily activity adds to that, of course. The Harris-Benedict equation attempts to estimate caloric needs based on the BMR and activity level from sedentary to extremely active. A calorie-counting dieter tries to consume fewer calories than this in the hope that the body will then start burning off its stored fat.

slim girl It sounds like a reasonable plan, and it will actually work, but it is fraught with peril and disappointment. Calorie counting is not just a huge pain in the butt, it’s also unsustainable. No one is going to keep it up, day in and day out, for the rest of their lives. And besides, there’s a lot more to the fat-loss story than just calories in and calories out. So what else is going on? Hey, this is a newsletter, not a novel. But stick around and you can be sure there will be more on the subject.

Meanwhile, don’t fall prey to the calorie obsession. For starters, eat good foods (you know what they are!) and let the (potato) chips fall far, far away. If you’re really keen on counting, get a pedometer and start counting your daily steps. (10,000 is a good goal.) And of course, don’t think that consuming more calories means you’ll have more energy, even if the nutrition label says so. But if it lists joules ... oh never mind.

Be seeing you.


Fitness Found Online

More evidence that barefoot running is the way to go. Personally, I still wear minimalist shoes (Vibrams or my super-awesome Mizuno racing flats which are sadly no longer available), but same idea. It just makes running easier. If you haven't already, try it! But start slow!
high heel shoe
And staying with the "feet" theme, a look back at a report on the consequences of wearing high heels. (I had someone special in mind when linking this one. You know who you are!) Bottom line: try to cut back (hey, if I did, you can too) and keep stretching those calf muscles!

Recipe: Cavemanalicious Meatballs

Very beefy. I make them larger than recommended so that one is a meal. And I use the coconut oil suggested as an alternative. (It's so tasty!)

These are great to make and freeze for quick emergency meals. If you have a microwave, of course. (Yes, I'm looking at you, sir!)
meatballs Cavemanalicious Meatballs
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