The men's magazine suggested that in order to boost metabolism and shed fat, one should clean up the diet; include whole food sources, beans, healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil, fill most of your plate with veggies and protein and the other quarter with complex carbohydrates. Watch the sodium and drink plenty of water. Sounds like pretty good advice right?
This article also touched upon exercise when it came to boosting metabolism. They were big on HIIT training (such as this workout) and TABATA style workouts which increase your basal metabolic rate, thus help to increase metabolism. Keep steady state cardio to a minimal and lift heavy weights (this was just the gist of the article)
In summary the article suggested cutting out processed foods, sticking to WHOLE foods, using HIIT training as the main source of cardio and including regular weight lifting.
Then I turn open the pages of a women's fitness magazine. First of all the front cover is loaded with catchy phrases and words such as "lose 10lbs in 30 days" "Healthy Detox Diet, For Real!""Why You Aren't Losing Weight" "Get a Better Body In 2 Days!" There just seemed to be this overarching theme negative body image. I picture a young female picking up the magazine and thumbing through the pages, and not feeling so confident. Now, I completely understand that there are some great, well written articles in female fitness magazines, some solid workouts and recipes, however for the most part (at least from my experience) I have never picked up one of these magazines, read it front to back and felt empowered, strong and sexy. Most of the time I feel hungry, bored having lost 30 minutes of my time. (I am not including magazines such as Oxygen or Fitness RX in this category of 'womens fitness magazines, by the way)
In one article from one of these magazines, there was a written meal plan (which is silly off the bat to follow because it is not customized to your body type) but regardless, there was a meal plan for females who were looking to get slim and 'toned' What I noticed? The crazy use of processed foods. Fat free salad dressings, 'Skinny Cows' Lean Cuisine or Healthy Choice entrees and soups, 'fiber' brownies, 'low carb' wraps, fat free cheese, fruit cups, fat free Swiss Miss Hot chocolate, Fat Free cookies
If one were to look at this diet, it is extremely based on calorie restriction, not to mention most of the foods in the plan are processed, made with fillers and chemicals that our bodies do not know how to digest. I am not suggesting that one should NEVER eat these foods; heck I eat them sometimes! The point is that this whole diet for a seemingly active female was severely calorie restricted and all based on processed foods.
I found this list on FItnessMagazine.com in an article entitled "The Best Foods For Dieters" This list describes the "Best choices for snacks"
14. Sunshine Right Bites Cheez-Its
15. Quaker Rice Cakes White Cheddar
16. Baked! Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream
17. Muir Glen Organic Garlic Cilantro Salsa Medium
18. Fiber One Chewy Bars Oats and Chocolate
19. Dole Mixed Fruit in Light Syrup
I get agitated that there are articles like this that suggest eating a fiber One chewy bar is a fabulous choice and enough calories for a snack for a (I think they are promoting) active females. I want to shout aloud and pass the word around to eat real foods. This is what our bodies recognize and these are the foods that help our bodies to stay happy, healthy and lean.
Some better snack choices for fat loss and energy
1. Piece of fruit and 20 almonds, cup of plain Greek Yogurt
2. 4 oz sweet potato, 3 oz chicken breast, any veggie of choice with some olive oil
3. 1/2 C oatmeal cooked in water with 1/2 banana, 1/2 T nut butter and 2 hard boiled eggs
4. 1 slice ezekial bread toasted with 3oz turkey breast, mustard, apple and 10 almonds
5. Can of 3oz tuna mixed with 1/3 avocado, salsa topped on Whole Wheat Pita or Whole Grain Bread
For on the go! 6. Homemade protein bar (1/2 C oats, 1/2 T nut butter, 1 scoop whey protein, 1/2 T honey, water to make a paste...mix and freeze...grab and go!)
Want even more ideas? Click here
With all of this said, I have to say that I do like some of the articles written in the female fitness magazines, as well as I do not like all articles written in men's fitness magazines. I am not trashing them completely. Like I mentioned before, some of the recipes and beauty advice is great and even some of the workouts are decent. I read them here and there to stay in the 'know' about what most likely some of my female clients are reading about. It is a great way to see the newest trends in the female fitness world and I like to stay on top of these things so if a female client of my refers back to something she read in this months issue of "SHAPE" I can relate to her and express my opinion. There are also usually some decent articles about stretching and flexibility in the female mag's that I do enjoy for the most part. I just sometimes wish there was a magazine out there that combined some of the aspects of men's fitness and some of the aspects of women's fitness magazines into one.
To be honest, I much prefer reading blogs of fitness professionals that have incredible knowledge and stay up to date themselves. I learn more surfing the web for 30 minutes for free than spending $4.99 on a magazine I will most likely donate to my gym.
Some of my favorites to read up on!
Girls Gone Strong
Marianne from MyOhMy
Jen Comas Keck from Beauty Lies In Strength
Functional Movement Systems
When it does come down to magazines, I stick to Oxygen Magazine. It promotes strong, healthy women who raise the bar, kick a$$ in the weight room and know the importance of fueling for workouts. It is a great magazine for both newbies and veterans keeping workouts fresh and easy to follow each month. The recipes are based on whole, unprocessed foods and usually DELICIOUS. (One of my recipes was even featured!) I also love Oxygen magazine because besides nutrition and fitness, the magazines preaches about health in the most well rounded of ways; mental and spiritual in addition to the physical. There is always a health section that ranges in topics from ways to stay positive, other ways to exercise your mind, enjoying life and staying happy. Staying Happy is CRUCIAL to good health. Sure, some articles here and there in Oxygen are silly and a have a bit of 'fluff' to them, but for the most part, they are well written, well backed up and very user friendly.
These are just my thoughts! I am not 'hating' on those who enjoy magazines like FITNESS or SHAPE. I am just sharing some thoughts of mine that I have noticed.
Do you have any favorite magazines or prefer reading men's versus women's magazines?