JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Forget fads, get retro to fight flab

Date

Zoom in on this story. Explore all there is to know.

Q: What do you get when you cross a donut with a croissant? A: Fat.

Q: What do you get when you cross a donut with a croissant? A: Fat.

Years before Hunter S. Thompson died and Johnny Depp blast his ashes into the Colorado sky through a cannon, he penned a quote I love: "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."

OK, I doubt that between drug binges Hunter S. went pro with CrossFit or marathons. But in 2013, this quote is more applicable than ever in the health and fitness industry. Three things in the news lately make me worry that the future of health and fitness is looking bleak … and fat.

1. The cronut

I thought the hotdog-wrapped-in-pizza-crust was a new low, but chefs are taking it to the next level so that waistbands stretch even further around the globe. Meet the cronut.

When a croissant has sex with a donut, out comes a cronut. In New York City, Frenchman Dominique Ansel is the entrepreneurial pimp, er, chef, who takes three days to make 200 to 250 cronuts which sell out in an hour. Wall Street gluttony lives on, and even in Sydney, our famous Adriano Zumbo started making "zonuts".

Pastry chefs around the world are jumping on the craze … and to avoid trademark (yes, cronut is trademarked in numerous countries) infringement, they call them craynuts, doughssants, and doissants. How creative. Crap food has gone hybrid, and it's serious (even legal) business.

2. AquaSpinning

Yes, the weird have gone pro - and hybrid on their bike, as well. Popular in Europe and making its way into the US, AquaSpinning (riding a stationary bicycle in the water) is all the rage. You heard that right – it's a bike. In a pool. Didn't Bono already cover that when he sang "... like a fish needs a bicycle…"? Let's keep it simple with bikes on the road and swimming in the pool.

3. Belviq

If you eat too many cronuts, and your bike rusts in the pool, don't worry because this past week the US Food and Drug Administration has just approved the first weight loss drug in over 10 years – Belviq. The results? A 3.7 per cent weight decrease in a year. When I first read that, I thought: "Ummmmmm, is that it?"

According to their website: "Belviq is believed to decrease food consumption and promote satiety by selectively activating serotonin 2C receptors in the brain. Activation of these receptors may help a person eat less and feel full after eating smaller amounts of food. The exact mechanism of action is not known."

Belviq's warnings and adverse reaction list is too long and scary to note here. A global weight loss cure? I doubt it.

Hybrid pastries, hybrid exercise … and pills, pills, and more pills. I officially throw my arms up and worry about the future, especially when the answers all lie in the past, and are usually simple.

Whether you are a derivative-trading desk jockey or work on the assembly line, when things get complicated, a back-to-basics approach usually provides the answer. Here's two ways you can take your food and fitness retro and get the weight loss results you want:

1. Quinoa

Quinoa is a gluten-free grain and has been eaten for thousands of years in South America, and it's a must in any healthy diet. Why? Three reasons:

a) Amino acids are important for energy, muscle gain, and weight loss. Quinoa is a protein-rich food that contains the nine essential amino acids. For you protein drinkers out there, a meal of quinoa and steak (or salmon, chicken, pork, lamb) has more protein grams than you can ever suck through a straw;

b) You can replace unhealthy white rice (polished and stripped of its nutrients) with quinoa. It's tastier, and it's a healthier, nutrient dense option; and

c) Quinoa is full of fibre. Fibre is healthy. Fibre makes you poop. Enough said.

I don't care that marketers call it a superfood or supergrain. All I know is quinoa tastes superb, and it's great for my health. I'm late to the quinoa party, as all the green smoothie hippies have been on this stuff for years. Go on, you can bust my chops. But if today's column gets just a few readers off the white rice and protein drinks, then Boot Camp has done its job.

2. Running

Each morning, I leave my abode and head down to Sydney Harbour, and I'm amazed at how few runners (sometimes none) I see compared to warmer months. A chilly morning run elevates your metabolism for the day, increases your energy … and so much more. It will change your day, and maybe your life.

The simple message is this: running still works. Push-ups still work. Squats, sit-ups, lunges, pull-ups, and all the basic bodyweight movements … still work! Add some healthy food, and I guarantee they provide results far greater than 3.7 per cent with a splash of side-effects.

Quinoa and running: ancient, time-tested weight loss solutions. I'll brand my hybrid, antique solution 'Health-tique'. Get it? Watch out Monsieur Cronut. I'm coming for you.

When the going gets weird, the weird turn … Health-tique. Spread that quote if you like, and please spread some quinoa around your fleshy protein.

I won't send you cronut recipes, but if you fancy my Health-tique quinoa recipes that have changed my breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the good, drop me a note at citycavemanmj@gmail.com. You'll love it.

What's the one HEALTHY food you couldn't live without?

28 comments

  • salmon

    Commenter
    Mells
    Date and time
    June 19, 2013, 3:03PM
    • Just ride your bike to work. All set up for the day, warm, alert and exercised. Do it again on the way home and you'll be all set for a restful night's sleep.

      Bicycle: the intelligent solution to almost everything.

      Commenter
      Accent
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      June 19, 2013, 3:38PM
      • Bananas.

        Commenter
        RobW
        Date and time
        June 19, 2013, 3:38PM
        • I agree. Bananas are the intelligent answer to almost everything.

          Commenter
          micko
          Date and time
          June 19, 2013, 7:25PM
        • If bananas are the answer, must've been a strange question.

          Commenter
          Jimmi
          Location
          Perth
          Date and time
          June 20, 2013, 10:31AM
      • Quinoa has a fifth of the protein per gram of WPC or WPI, and a lower bioavailability. So does beef. Your standard 150g cooked steak + 100g serving of quinoa, you get 65g of protein. Same as three scoops of powder. So, uh, you actually can 'suck down' more protein grams than a steak and quinoa dinner.

        Because simple math.

        Why is every article you write so poor?

        Commenter
        alexbeare
        Date and time
        June 19, 2013, 3:58PM
        • Another supplement fanboi getting offended at the suggestion that they're a waste of time. Protein supplements don't have the same essential nutrients that real healthy food does. And most active people who aren't elite athletes or body builders will easily get their required protein from a healthy diet. So taking those expensive supplements will just be surplus protein to a persons requirement. Too much protein gets stored as fat, and this article is about burning fat not gaining mass

          Commenter
          Mick
          Location
          Melb
          Date and time
          June 19, 2013, 4:18PM
        • The body can only absorb a certain amount of protein at any one time, and the rest gets excreted, or turned into fat (if its excess calories to the body's needs - which a lot of them are, given that a protein shake can run into 400 calories).

          A trainer friend of mine used to say take the this supplement has 50g of protein in one serve claims to mean "20g of protein you can use, and some very expensive pee".

          And I'd certainly rather eat a steak and quinoa (even though I haven't tried quinoa), feel full and sated, than drink chalky tasting, manufctured protein.

          Commenter
          KatieA978
          Date and time
          June 19, 2013, 4:38PM
        • I'm not a 'supplement fanboi', I'm an 'articles should try and contain accurate information rather than patently incorrect statements that would have taken five seconds to research fanboy'. Nor am I 'offended', because I'm not the one who published a badly written, badly researched article.

          And you do realise the rest of your comment is irrelevant, right? No one is forcing you to take 'too much' protein, which can be done just as easily with whey or wagyu.

          Keep trying, though. You will get there eventually, lil guy.

          Commenter
          alexbeare
          Date and time
          June 19, 2013, 4:44PM
        • Katie, that's completely incorrect and it just shows that your friend - like most personal trainers - has zero clue about nutrition or biochemistry and spouts off incorrect third hand information they read in Muscle and Fitness.

          Feel free to take it from me, or from a guy with a PHD in those exact fields.
          http://spotmebro.com/layne-norton-phd-on-protein-how-much-and-how-often/

          'Many ‘experts’ or gym know-it-alls out there who will tell you to only consume “X” amount of protein at a meal because only “X” amount of protein can be absorbed by the body at a meal (I’m sure you’ve all heard this one before). Let this nonsense stop here and now. To begin with, this entire train of thought isn’t even on the correct track. Hell it didn’t even depart from the right train station! Assuming that you have a healthy digestive system, the absorption of the amino acids from a meal containing protein is very efficient and almost never a limiting factor.'

          Personally, I'd prefer a steak to a shake too. But that's not really the point.

          Commenter
          alexbeare
          Date and time
          June 19, 2013, 4:54PM

      More comments

      Comments are now closed
      Executive Style newsletter signup

      Executive Style newsletter signup The latest news delivered to your inbox twice-weekly.

      Sign up now