Healthy Living: 45 Important Facts About Nutrition & Fitness

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1Usain Bolt's Nugget Diet

Usain Bolt's Nugget Diet

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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

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6Thor Björnsson's Diet

Thor Björnsson's Diet

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.

7. 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.

8. 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%.

9. 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.

10. 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.

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11Blood Donations

Blood Donations

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.

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. 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.

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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.

17. 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).

18. 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.

19. 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.

20. 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.

21Little Hercules

Little Hercules

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.

22. Exercise alone does not actually contribute much to weight loss. It helps you get fit, but simply eating better has a significantly bigger impact on weight loss, even without much exercise. As is rightly said by fitness geeks, “Abs are made in the kitchen. So get fit in the gym, lose weight in the kitchen.” It takes a 3500 calorie deficit to lose a pound. So to lose a pound per week, you need a 500 calorie a day deficit. That’s about 30-35 miles (about 50km) of running per week to lose a pound per week with no change in diet.

23. Cognitive decline is slower for people exercising regularly, and increased physical activity levels can slow down brain aging by 10 years. In fact, exercising makes you both more productive and happier for the day that you exercise. It affects your brain function and memory, and the positive effect lasts for the entire day.

24. Post-workout muscles aren't sore because of lactic acid buildup. That’s a myth propagated by a doctor who experimented on a severed frog. It’s actually a fuel made from glucose and burned by the muscles to maintain energy. The soreness actually comes from micro-tears that cause inflammation in the muscles.

25. Microwaving food does not diminish the nutrients. Actually, it's one of the most nutritionally sound methods in food preparation because the cooking times are shorter.

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