“50 Ways To Burn More Calories” is the biggest, boldest headline on this month’s Allure magazine (the one with a spacey Megan Fox on the cover where she says that she can’t stand looking at herself and the thing she loves most is to be alone so she often spaces out to block out crowds – good thing she chose Hollywood as her lifelong career then!) The list of 50 tips mostly includes non-stunners like “get more sleep” “walk more” “watch less TV” and “eat whole foods.” Salmon and brown rice, the cure-all for everything! Thankfully they also include some downright idiotic suggestions for your entertainment: “Wear stillettos – they work your calves!” (and give you bunions and shorted tendons!), “Pop a pill – glutamate supps burn an extra 20 calories!” (20 calories?! You probably burn that just by wrestling off the child-proof cap) and my personal fave “Avoid eating any kind of fat within two hours of a workout – or your body will burn the fat in your protein bar instead of the fat on your butt!” (This cannot possibly be true).
Strangely, the number one way to get thin didn’t even get an honorable mention in Allure’s Top 50. It doesn’t get a lot of press but there is one way to get thin that has a proven and impressive track record in both real life and the research. It’s not a pill or a powder. As much as MeMe Roth would like you to believe it’s not willpower. Much to my dismay it’s not exercise either. Want to know the number one way to a flat belly?
What, you were expecting something to do with calories in/calories out? It has been shown time and time again that income is the single strongest predictor of body weight. A Seattle study from two years ago showed that 22% of people making less that $15,000 a year are obese (defined as having a BMI over 29) compared with just 15% of those making $50,000 or more a year. If you crack six digits your chance of being obese drops to under 10%. A new Seattle study (being from Seattle I can attest to the plethora of research scientists out there!) extrapolates on why this might be. You may think that it’s your dedication to local food or your passion for exercise or even your obsession with Nicole Richie that keeps you thin – and undoubtedly they do – but it takes money to do those kinds of healthy activities.
MSN reports that lower-end grocery stores have ten times the number of obese patrons as more expensive markets. In the already-svelte Seattle (the city has an obesity rate of just 2o%), 40% of Albertson’s shoppers were obese compared with less than 4% of Whole Foods shoppers.
“It’s not a matter of availability, lead researcher Adam Drewnowski of the University of Washington said. All of the stores in his study stocked a wide range of nutritious food, including plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Instead, he contends it’s because healthy, low-calorie foods cost more money and take more effort to prepare than processed, high-calorie foods. In a separate study two years ago, Drewnowski estimated that a calorie-dense diet cost $3.52 a day compared with $36.32 a day for a low-calorie diet.”
$36.32 a DAY?! I eat a very healthy diet and my budget for my family is $3-5 per person per day. Sure there are ways to be healthy on a budget but learning those tricks often takes education and time… both of which require money.
Fortunately people are starting to catch on to the great poverty divide in the obesity wars. The government recently passed “the Healthy Food Financing Initiative, to spend $400 million starting next year to bring supermarkets to low-income areas.” In addition, General Mills – who in the past has gotten a bad rap for sugary cereals but is also the purveyor of Green Giant frozen veggies – has started a get-healthy initiative called Eat Better America. You can sign up on their site to win $1500 plus a variety of other prizes. You can also follow them on Twitter and friend them on Facebook. To help you finance your healthy eats, General Mills would like to give one of you a $25 gift card. To enter, just leave me a comment below telling me your best eating healthy on a budget tip!
Anyone else read that Allure article and want to smack them for writing “Eat less sugar” as if it’s actual news and then making it the top headline?” What kind of grocery store do you shop at? Does the rich = thin connection surprise you? How do you eat healthy on a budget?