Shortcut To Size: Phase 3, Week 12, Day 84

Active rest for the body, more knowledge for the mind. Follow the doctor's orders for best results!

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Doctor's Orders: Learn Label Lingo

Congratulations! If you're here, you've crushed Shortcut to Size. You're bigger, stronger, and ready for more. Because everybody has to eat, I thought I'd leave you with a tip about shopping for food. Watch for deceptive practices (sometimes "low-fat" and "low-sugar" don't mean what you think they do) by reading the fine print closely. Know the differences between the types of carbohydrates listed on panels, and keep in mind that not every calorie is created equal. Do the math. Pay attention to the number of servings per package, as well as the breakdown of macronutrients, and how the nutritional information adds up. Get the label lingo down!

Be wary of the following terms on food packages:

Hydrogenated: If you see the word hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated followed by any kind of oil or fat, there is trans fat in that product. Even if the nutrition label lists 0 grams of trans fat, as long as the amount is less than 0.5 grams per serving, the company can list 0 grams on the label, even if it only has 0.499999 grams.

Maltodextrin: This complex carb is actually very fast digesting. It's basically a bunch of dextrose molecules bound together. It gets taken up by the body about as fast as pure dextrose! That's great for after workouts, but if you are buying something with maltodextrin that claims to be low in sugar or zero sugar, you might as well be eating sugar! This food is not a good choice, unless eaten after a workout.

Multigrain: Many people grab multigrain products thinking that they're whole grain and therefore slow-digesting. Wrong. Multigrain does not imply whole-grain. It just means there is more than one type of grain. So it could have processed white flour as the main ingredient along with any other grain they decide to throw in there—which usually ends up being corn.

High fructose corn syrup: Do I even need to explain this one? I will, just in case the corn refiner association's despicable ads had you wondering. It's true that regular sugar is about 50 percent fructose, and HFCS is about 55 percent. Not much difference, right? Wrong! Fructose is the problem, as I have explained elsewhere. So increasing it even slightly is a bad idea. Another problem with HFCS is the fact that the chemical processing steps they use sometimes leach mercury into the HFCS. One study reported that 50 percent of foods that contained HFCS were contaminated with mercury. Bad news!

Active Rest

Remember that every rest day should be an active rest day. Rest days are for recovery; they're not an excuse to be lazy. Get out and hit 15-30 minutes of HIIT cardio today, or perform 30-60 minutes of your favorite activity: hiking, biking, walking, playing a sport, etc.

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