50 Unbelievable Facts About Health, Diet and Exercise

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1Michael Phelps' Diet

In an interview in 2008, Olympic medalist swimmer Michael Phelps admitted that he consumed 10,000 calories a day, while in training. It is approximately five times the normal caloric intake for the average adult male. His diet was not limited to 2 pounds of pasta a day, 3 chocolate chip pancakes, one 5-egg omelet, 3 fried egg sandwiches, lots of energy drinks & coffee.


2. Ray Lewis grew up using a deck of cards to do pushups and sit-ups. If he drew a 7 he would do 7. An ace was 25 and a Joker 50. He would go through the whole deck. In the NFL, he would do it 3 times for each exercise. Also, the reason he wore 52 was because of the number of cards in the deck.


3. 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP) is a potent weight loss drug that raises body temperature to burn more calories. It burns fat at an extremely fast rate of 0.5 to 1 pound a day. It was used by Russian soldiers in World War 2 to very effectively survive extreme cold. It was prescribed to 100,000 people in the 1930s in the US and then discontinued after two people used 10x the recommended dose and cooked themselves to death.


4. Mike Tyson’s training regimen included waking up at 4 am, jogging 5-miles. Then he would do 2000 sit-ups, 500 pushups, 500 dips, 500 shrugs and about 30 minutes of neck bridges daily. He would then go back to sleep and get up at 10 a.m. to have a heavy breakfast.


5. Usain Bolt ate 100 chicken nuggets a day (about 4700 calories worth of nuggets) while he was at the Beijing Olympics and won 3 gold medals in world record times. He stuck with McNuggets since his body was already familiar with them, and didn't want to risk getting sick from the local cuisine.


6Dwayne Johnson's Diet

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, in order to maintain his legendary physique, eats more than 5,000 calories a day. The calories, spread over seven meals, include roughly 2.3 pounds of cod, a fish particularly rich in protein. The rest is eggs, steak, chicken, vegetables and potatoes — all told, about 10 pounds of food per day. The above picture shows his prep meal for a day fully loaded with calories and protein.


7. For every pound of weight that someone loses, 80% of it is breathed out of the body in the form of Carbon dioxide. So the body literally exhales the majority of its weight loss. The other 20% is broken down into water.


8. Since 1980 about 40% of the top honors in men’s long-distance international athletics have gone to Kenyans from a single tribe, the Kalenjin. A number of theories explaining the unusual athletic prowess among people from this tribe have been proposed: from having a high-starch diet, the altitude they live in, having thin ankles and calves, running to school every day to a culture that teaches pain endurance.


9. Former NASA scientist Ray Cronise managed to lose 27 pounds in six weeks by chilling his body to a thinner physique. Human body temperature remains constant and it takes a lot of energy to keep it that way. So he took cool showers, wore light clothing, slept without sheets, and took 3-mile “shiver walks” in 30-degree weather wearing a T-shirt, shorts, gloves, and earmuffs.


10. Hafþór Júlíus "Thor" Björnsson, the man who plays ‘The Mountain’ on ‘Game of Thrones’ eats an insane 8-meal a day 10,000-calorie daily diet. He once even joked that one-third of his job was just eating. He has to wake up in the middle of the night to have a full meal. Otherwise, his body starts eating its stores already.


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11Brain's Caloric Intake

Your brain burns 20% of your daily calories, despite only being 2% of your body mass. This is partly because of the blood-brain barrier. It's basically a filter that keeps the big nasty molecules like viruses out, while only letting the tiny ones pass through the cracks. Unfortunately, this also applies to helpful molecules. So while other cells might be able to metabolize carbohydrates or lipids, glucose is pretty much the only energy source that’s small enough to get through the blood-brain barrier, so the brain gobbles it up.


12. In the 1960s, the sugar industry paid three Harvard scientists $50,000 to say that heart disease was most likely caused by saturated fat. After their report was published in JAMA, diets concentrating on low fat gained the endorsement of many health authorities. Decades of this misinformation campaign shaped improper nutritional advice and caused the rise of heart disease in America. When WHO wanted to add a limit sugar to no more than 10% of a healthy diet, America threatened to pull out their funding if they didn't raise it to at least 25%.


13. Doping cyclists in the early 90s at the Tour De France used too much EPOs. EPO earned the reputation as a dangerous drug when large numbers of Dutch riders died in their sleep. Many riders slept with heart-rate monitors on, using alarms to wake them if their pulse dropped below a certain number of beats per minute. They would then exercise to raise the heart-rate before returning to sleep.


14. Tobey Maguire was a vegetarian when Spider-Man 1 was being shot. So when he had to bulk up for the scenes when he turned into a web crawler, they had to stop shooting. Maguire then spent six months taking martial arts, weight training, and an intensive gymnastics program to look buff and be able to match the athleticism of Spider-Man. He got most of his proteins from tofu and nuts.


15. Giving regular blood donations can burn 650 calories each time leading to weight loss and it also reduces your risk of both heart disease and cancer. But it should not be thought of as a weight loss plan by any means.


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16Convenience Store Diet

In 2010, Mark Haub, a professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University lost 27 pounds off of a “Convenience Store” diet of Twinkies, Doritos, and sugary cereals in order to prove that weight loss relied on caloric intake, not nutrition.


17. Spending an average of 27 minutes each day practicing mindfulness meditation increases gray-matter density in the hippocampus, known to be important for learning and memory, and in structures associated with self-awareness, compassion, and introspection over an 8-week period.


18. The first-ever recorded weight-loss surgery was performed on D. Sancho, king of Leon, Spain during the 10th century. His morbid obesity made him lose the throne so his grandmother escorted him to Cordoba where a doctor sewed his lips shut. His food then only came from a straw. He lost half his weight and reclaimed the throne.


19. Boxer Evander Holyfield was so badly dehydrated during his first title fight that he lost 15 pounds and was immediately hospitalized after winning. He required over two gallons of intravenous saline to restore the 15 pounds he’d lost in the ring, plus another 10 for good measure.


20. Fidgeting (such as tapping your feet or drumming your fingers) can burn up to 350 calories a day and is a common trait in lean/skinny individuals.


21American Diet

An average American consumes more than 3,600 calories daily. That’s a 24% increase from 1961 when the average was just 2,880 calories. Vegetable oil consumption too has skyrocketed from 276 calories daily in 1961 to 689 today. Americans are consuming far more calories each day than is recommended (daily intake should be around 2,000 calories for women and 2,500 for men).


22. Okinawans in Japan are believed to be the only people in the world to have a tradition of a self-imposed habit of calorie restriction. They believe in eating until they are 80% full. Okinawa has the world's highest proportion of centenarians at approximately 50 per 100,000 people.


23. Having sex is a moderate exercise. While having sex, men burn 4 calories per minute and women burn 3 calories per minute. While jogging, men burn 9 calories per minute and women burn 7 calories per minute. 98% of test volunteers say that sex is more fun than jogging.


24. It is thought that Henry VIII suffered from malnutrition. Even though he ate about 5,000 calories a day, the menu was dominated by meat and bread, and since vegetables were considered “peasant food” they weren’t used very much. These patterns were noticed even in ancient Greece. It was observed that wealthier families were less healthy than poorer families. Since meat was an expensive ingredient, rich people would often eat it. Poorer families would rely on vegetables, whole grains, and some fish and were significantly healthier.


25. Richard Sandrak AKA “Little Hercules” is a boy who was able to bench press 180lbs (82 kg) by the age of six. He was given a strict diet and workout regime for the first decade of his life. He’s said to have never eaten any candy before his controlling and abusive father was sent to jail.

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