Sitting is Deadly and What you Can do About it

You wake early to exercise, or somehow squeeze an exercise routine into a busy day, and you are feeling pretty good about yourself. At the end of the day, you are happy that exercise is off of your “to do” list. But, what if I told you that it doesn’t matter how much you exercise if you sit the rest of the day? Sitting, it turns out, can be deadly – even if you spend part of the day being active.

Who would have imagined that sitting for long periods of time would cause such ill health? Researchers are now taking seriously the thought that sitting all day may be as bad for you as smoking – even if you exercise.

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Are You Predator or Prey?

This may seem like an odd question to consider, but are you predator or prey?

To answer this question, I want you to take a moment and think about an animal that is a predator (most people pick lions, tigers, wolfs, cheetahs, or sharks). Once you have a picture of the predator in your mind, I then I want you to think about an animal that is prey (once again, most people pick cows, buffalo, antelope, deer or smaller game like chickens or rabbits).

When you think about these two different classes of animals, you can see that they are clearly different. As you picture these animals in your mind, here is what you might have noticed:

The predators have eyes in the front of their heads. Most animals that hunt have eyes in the front of their heads (think about your tigers, sharks and lions). But even animals like monkeys, apes, and rats have eyes in the front of their head because they have to search out their food.

Prey, on the other hand, have eyes on the sides of their heads (deer, chickens, rabbits…). Animals that are prey have to look out for attacks and need a fuller view of the world than those that are hunting. Most prey don’t have to look too far for their food, they graze on what is below their feet (grasses).

Most predators are skinny because they eat fat and protein.

Most prey are fat because they eat carbohydrates (grasses).

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How Much Protein?

I get this question all the time, “how much protein should I be eating?”

While most of us think it is hard to get enough protein, the opposite is actually true. In our modern day world, it is easy to get enough protein. This protein myth is a hard one to get over and one that is deeply embedded in our culture.

If you look at recommendations from various health organizations, here is what you get:

The world health organization suggests that most people need somewhere between 30-45 grams of protein a day.
The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests a little bit more (somewhere around 45-55 grams of protein a day).

While I’m not in the habit of agreeing with national and international health organizations, this time I’m on their side. We need far less protein than we think we need.

Both of those recommendations are in stark contrast to what Americans actually eat; we eat around 90 to 200 grams of protein every day. What is crazy is that even though most people eat double the amount of protein that is recommended, they still run out to the health food store and look for protein powders to increase their protein intake.

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