Continuous steady state exercise for at least 60 minutes is the best way to burn fat and boost your metabolism, otherwise you’re only burning carbs. Studies have proven this.

High intensity intervals are the best way to burn fat and boost your metabolism, plus you train your body to store carbs as glycogen in the muscle. Studies have proven this.

Eat protein after exercise to restore, build muscle, and lean out. Don’t eat anything after working out if you want to lose weight. Eat carbs after working out to keep your metabolism high. Drink whey protein after working out to improve speed. Take L-Arginine. Don’t take L-Arginine. Drink coconut water. Eat a banana to avoid cramps. Don’t drink or eat for 60 minutes.

You didn’t wear shoes during that workout, did you?

Eat complex carbohydrates. Don’t eat any grains whatsoever. Increase your protein intake. Avoid animal products. Choose low-calorie options. Don’t think about calories. Reduce fat. Eat more fat. Do intermittent fasting. Never skip a meal. Lower your cholesterol by reducing saturated fats. Lower your cholesterol by reducing refined carbohydrates. Don’t eat after 6 PM. Eat a small meal every few hours. Use agave syrup instead of sugar. What the fuck is wrong with you, agave syrup is just as refined as high fructose corn syrup, and is that GLUTEN you’re eating?

Running is a wonderfully healthy natural activity that helps lower blood pressure and improves heart health, bone density, weight loss, and muscle strength. Running is a dangerously repetitive activity that suppresses the immune system, reduces flexibility, causes any number of injuries, and increases free radicals.

Paleo, vegetarian, gluten-free, soy-free, Zumba, CrossFit, low-carb, high-fat, low-fat, more fiber, less fiber, Vibrams, Shape Ups, 30 Day Shred, almond milk no SOY milk no rBST-FREE GRASS-FED ORGANIC DAIRY.

:::

The bad news is there’s no easy, one-size-fits all answer, no matter what the books tell us. The good news is that there’s really no way to do it wrong. The only requirement is to keep trying.

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
146 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Amy
Amy
11 years ago

Perfectly said, at the perfect time for me. Get outta my brain, Linda.

Halyn
Halyn
11 years ago

Word. I am so tired of the conventional wisdom whiplash when it comes to health and fitness.
1. Find what works for you.
2. Do it.
3. Repeat until it doesn’t work anymore, then see step one again.

Erica
11 years ago

Thank you. Exactly.

Amy
Amy
11 years ago

Ugh. Thank you.

dani
11 years ago

thanks. i was eating chocolate when i got this.

Pictou
Pictou
11 years ago

Funny to read that after a friend insisted that I get the 5 toes Vibrams to solve my extremely flat feet, torn tendon problem. “They’ll *teach* your feet to respond like they’re supposed to.”

Think I’ll stick with my sneakers and orthotics.

Keri
11 years ago

Exactly. Thank you. Amen. Hallelujah. Sing it, Sister! That’s what I’m talking about. Thank you.

KKF
KKF
11 years ago

To quote my neighbor – I totally less-than-three you right now.
So much.
Less-than-three times like, athousand.

Margaret
Margaret
11 years ago

Word.

And I think that more people would try and improve their health if the pathways weren’t so muddled with conflicting B.S. But you’re right; have to pick a path and stick with it.

Valerie
Valerie
11 years ago

I was finishing my second mt. dew and getting ready to map my 8 mile run for this Saturday when I got an email saying you had posted. I couldn’t have been more excited to read what you wrote. You are awesome. Thank you.

Lori
Lori
11 years ago

The late, great George Sheehan said: we are all an experiment of one.

Penne
11 years ago

You should write Nike commercials, sister.

Pete
Pete
11 years ago

Which is why I never read books and just do what works for me, which is eating crap and sitting in front of the computer. Now that the weather is getting better I’ll reduce the crap intake and start riding my bike.

Anne
11 years ago

I just sent a link to this to my friend Jenn with the following email. Especially note the P.S., because DUH.:

My friend Linda wrote and posted this today, and I wanted to share it with you. It’s something I totally need to be reminded of more often since there are always 10,000 studies and blogs and news stories telling me 10,000 different things about what is healthy this week, and what is going to kill me this week, and how I’m failing in 10,000 new ways.

(P.S. Linda is awesome, and if she didn’t live all the way in fucking Seattle I’d introduce the two of you, because you would LOVE each other.)

Laura M
Laura M
11 years ago

You should set this to the tune ‘We Didn’t Start The Fire’! :)

Katherine
Katherine
11 years ago

Amen.

You know, I got a very long, very passionate email from a Bodies reader a few weeks ago that was basically a 500 word article on how she resented all the Crossfit/Paleo content because it was all WRONG and that the only thing that worked was P90X, THE ONLY THING.

I still am not sure what to do with stuff like that, so I did the incredibly professional thing and just ignored it altogether.

She totally believed what she said too.

Georgia
11 years ago

Perfect post. You summed up all my anxieties about working out and dieting and how annoying it all it when put under a microscope, instead of doing it JUST CAUSE IT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD. First world problems, ya know?

Eric's Mommy
11 years ago

LOVED THIS!

Amanda
11 years ago

Wine. You forgot wine. What kind of health blog is this anyway?

You must drink it for your heart. Wine is full of sugar. Wine will get you drunk. Wine is full of healthy resveratol.

I’m drinking a glass right now!

Anonymous
Anonymous
11 years ago

…and then, we can step out our front door and get hit by a bus anyway.

Kristin C.
Kristin C.
11 years ago

THAT? Was awesome.

Navigating the Mothership

Amen. Wild applause! Genius post.

Especially since I’m a dietitian and I am astounded at how many terribly mixed messages we were taught and then in turn meant to teach others. I just don’t think exercise & diet are meant to be micromanaged, you know?

Chloe
Chloe
11 years ago

Holy shit I totally agree. “Do what works for you right now” is the approach I try to follow.

For instance, I injured my shoulder lifting weights a few months ago and have been only doing HIIT and squats and lunges, non weighted ab stuff since.

I am so bored of HIIT! I loved it for a while though because it was a kick ass workout in under 30 minutes. I’m ready to “phone it in” on a treadmill for an hour on a high slope at a brisk walk for a month. And listen to audiobooks. YES!

Angella
11 years ago

If I could like this 500 times, that wouldn’t be enough.

Josefina
11 years ago

Awesome. Really great post.

kb
kb
11 years ago

I’ve been a size 0 and a size 14. I’ve had Eating Disorders, for the past 4 years. I’m finally considered recovered now. What got me though all of the “disorders”. Not my one of those “plans” above. It’s learning to just relax and just be truly happy- take food and exercise out my “happiness factor”. I get love from my family and friends instead. Food is something I just eat to live and exercise is something I just do now when I want to- not because a program is telling me to. Funny- I’m in healthy shape now without even trying to be.

runbei
11 years ago

Great column. Yeah, it’s why all truly great, successful training systems have ALWAYS allowed plenty of room for individual differences – e.g., Arthur Lydiard, Bill Bowerman, etc., for running, Joel Fuhrman MD for diet, etc.

Birdwatchers have a saying: “When the bird and the book disagree – believe the bird.” True science is experience – real-world experience, not twiddling engine parts in the lab.

Anonymous
Anonymous
11 years ago

Thank you.

Laurie
Laurie
11 years ago

That was awesome! Funny and true – you’ve got mad writing skillz.

NancyJ
NancyJ
11 years ago

I second that as well as everything the previous commenters said! AUUUGGGGHHHHH I drive myself MAD trying to digest all the information that I’m bombarded with. Do This, No! Do That! I need to just DO SOMETHING

AmyF
11 years ago

Your article reminds me of standing in the checkout line looking at the typical women’s magazines. Every week there is a new diet or trick to lose weight. If it really worked, why would they have to put something different in there the next week. I also hate for my daughters to think that is what women should be focused on, so I stopped getting any women’s magazines. I remember my mom and her friends were always on diets and talking about being fat. A few weeks ago I saw a picture of my mom’s adult softball team (how many 41-year old women can say that) from the same period when she and her friends were always talking about diets. NONE of them were fat….well, maybe one or two. They were beautiful, even with their permed hair and their striped tube socks, and they were playing a friggin’ sport in their 30s, 40s & some in their 50s. That’s what the girls need to see.

AmyF…off my soapbox…sorry

Caitlin
11 years ago

Amen, sister.

Jessica McCanse
11 years ago

I really do love you!

-Jen
-Jen
11 years ago

Perfection.

Mrs.  Flinger
11 years ago

Get outta mah BRAINZ. I have a post with all the books I’ve read in the past six months listed which say every which way to do this and that.

The short version? I have to keep trying. :-)

Jen
Jen
11 years ago

Now that is just awesomesauce

Frannie
Frannie
11 years ago

Yes, you’ve got to love this information society. I am totally with you on this. I’ve been kinda arguing with my husband on this, or trying not to because I want to support him and it’s working for him. But sometimes it’s just too much.

Deanna
Deanna
11 years ago

Amen, Sistah!!
When they start cramming the food pyramid down my kids’ throat at school my eyes start to shoot fire. Why can no one seem to understand each *body* is physically different- inside and out. That means they each work a little differently and not everything is going to work for everyone. (personal rant: the food pyramid is just governmental mind control!)

Farrell
11 years ago

I hear you!

Sarah
Sarah
11 years ago

I freaking love you. HARD.

JMH
JMH
11 years ago

YES!!! I am going to print this out and hang it on the wall in my basement where I work out. I am turning 40 this week, and I have finally matured enough to realize that I am going to do what makes ME feel good and try to have fun with exercise. I have stopped reading a lot of blogs since all they did was jump from bandwagon to bandwagon and I got so tired of it. I am strong, I am healthy and now I will focus on being HAPPY too. Thanks again for posting this!!

Heather
11 years ago

All of that is so totally true and amazingly well written.

Except the Vibram part. Vibrams are G-D and AMAZING AND PERFECT AND THE ONLY RIGHT THING (for me).

Of course, I am one of the 8 people on the planet who prefers a treadmill to outside running … so I’m a little backwards.

TheGoriWife
11 years ago

You should sell this to Nike for one of those inspiring commercials with a voice over. I check the sedentary box and even I feel inspired!

Christina
11 years ago

I feel like there is a middle ground to health. I used to live by extremes when it came to fitness/health. Sort of a go hard or go home kind of philosophy but as time has passed I have found that those extremes were not any more healthy then doing nothing at all. Now I just work to eat well (fresh and unprocessed as possible), exercise as often as possible, sleep well, and lower your stress. I do not beat myself up for not always eating well or missing a workout like I would have in the past. If I do those things, I have significantly reduced the noise.

melissa
11 years ago

Thank you. For a minute wthere I thought you were serious, until I noticed it’s all contradictory, then I breathed a sigh of relief. I can’t even keep up with all the rules, but I know that running on my treadmill has toned my butt, legs, slimmed my tummy a bit and given me more energy than any other workout. I also love the time alone with myself (or with the iPad & Netflix) and I’m doing what works for me.

Trina
Trina
11 years ago

I think you just wrote the next Nike commercial. Perfect!

Jessi
11 years ago

Assholes and their mixed messages.

K
K
11 years ago

Have you read Charlotte Hilton Andersen’s The Great Fitness Experiment? She touches on many of these things.

Heather
11 years ago

You nailed it in this post! Noise, indeed.

Anne
Anne
11 years ago

Thanks for making me laugh so early on a Wednesday. Totally true–that’s why I tend to ignore most of the “noise,” eat pretty good stuff most of the time, splurge some of the time, and exercise to make myself feel happy. (For me, that’s ballet and walking).

I still have about 6 pounds of “baby weight” I’d like to lose (and…the “baby” is 21 months now, yikes!) but recently I’ve decided that, you know what? It’s ok. It’ll come off eventually, when my kids are slightly older and it’s easier for me to get out and exercise without them, and in the meantime, I’m giving myself a break. :-)

1 2 3