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Fat-Free Truth

Two of America's best-selling fitness writers reveal the truth about diet, exercise, and weight loss

Real Answers to the Fitness and Weight-Loss Questions You Wonder About Most

About the Book

Does Atkins really work? Can Pilates actually give you "long, lean muscles — no bulk"? Can you really burn extra calories twenty-four hours a day, even as you sleep?!

Given this country's skyrocketing obesity rates (64 percent of Americans are classified as overweight or obese) and increasing demand for weight-loss plans and products, the market abounds with sneaky advertising tactics, misreported research, and conflicting advice. Every time you hear a claim about a new diet plan, metabolism-boosting pill, exercise device, or workout regimen, you have to wonder, "Is it true?" It pays to be skeptical and to find out the facts. That's where The Fat-Free Truth comes in.

In this authoritative, accessible, and entertaining new book, two of America's best-selling fitness writers, Liz Neporent and Suzanne Schlosberg (dubbed "the dynamic duo" by Fitness magazine), cut through the noise and get to the truth by providing 239 straight-shooting answers to America's most pressing fitness and weight-loss questions. Liz and Suzanne understand the excess of misconceptions and exaggerations floating around the media and the gym better than anyone.

For the past decade, Suzanne has written Shape's "Weight Loss Q&A," one of the most popular columns in the country's top fitness magazine. Liz fields weekly questions as the "Fit by Friday" columnist for iVillage, the leading Internet site for women's issues. Together they receive more than a thousand questions a month from people nationwide asking for explanations, clarifications, and guidance on sorting through the barrage of contradictory information. In The Fat-Free Truth, they examine the latest research and compile all the facts that readers need to know to confidently spend their time, effort, and money on strategies that really work.

Readers will learn:

• Despite all the hype, Pilates doesn't actually make your muscles longer and leaner.

• The calorie counter on the cardio machines at the gym can overestimate the calories you've burned by as much as 50 percent.

• Gastric-bypass surgery has more risks than many people realize, and only about 5 percent of those who have the procedure reach their ideal weight.

• That old dieter's myth is actually true: you do weigh more when your scale is on carpet than when you weigh yourself on tile.

• Contrary to common belief, pedaling backward on the elliptical trainer doesn't work your butt and hamstrings better than pedaling forward.

As we all gear up to make our annual New Year's resolutions to get in shape, the authors have resolved to give readers the one tool they need to make the most accurate, most informed decisions about their health for 2005 and the years beyond. That tool is The Fat-Free Truth.

More Facts from The Fat Free Truth

• The Atkins diet seems at first to be better for weight loss than low-fat diets, but after a year, dieters in both groups tend to gain most, if not all, of the weight back.

• No, the calories you eat after 6 p.m. won't turn to fat! There is no correlation between when you eat and how much you weigh.

• The crunch is actually not the best exercise for your abs. There are a lot of moves that are considerably more effective.

• The fat on your hips and thighs isn't harmful to your health — and may actually have some protective effects. It's belly fat that is linked to heart disease, diabetes, and other serious health problems.

• No, you won't burn an extra 50 to 100 calories a day for each pound of muscle you develop; in truth, it's more like 10 to 15 calories.

• There's no way to be sure that a weight-loss supplement is safe because supplement manufacturers aren't required by law to prove their safety before putting them on the market.

• Sumo wrestlers are a lot healthier than they appear.

• Don't discount the calories you get from beverages. Some coffee drinks contain more than half the calories you need in an entire day!

• Despite the way vitamins are marketed ("Super Energy Pack!" or "Alive Energy Formulas!"), vitamins cannot provide energy because they don't contain calories.

• The faster your heart rate slows down after exercise, the better shape your cardiovascular system is in. In fact, your recovery heart rate is a better way to gauge your fitness level than your resting heart rate.

• There is no reason to wear a weight belt when pumping iron. Research suggests that weight belts offer no benefit and can actually be quite hazardous for people with a history of heart disease or high blood pressure.

• Don't believe for one moment that Fast Abs, Ab Energizer, or any other electronic muscle stimulation (EMS) device will firm, shape, slim, or tone your midsection.

• Stretching will not reduce risk of injury.

• Most types of yoga generally don't burn enough calories to be a significant tool for weight loss.

About the Authors

Liz Neporent, M.A., is the "Fit by Friday" columnist for iVillage, the leading Internet site for women's issues, and the best-selling author of numerous books, including The Ultimate Body, Buns of Steel, and (with Suzanne Schlosberg) Fitness for Dummies and Weight Training for Dummies.

She holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and is certified by the American Council on Exercise, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the National Strength and Conditioning Association. She's also on the board of directors of the American Council on Exercise.

Liz is a regular health, fitness, and medical correspondent for the New York Daily News and a contributing editor at Prevention magazine. She also writes frequently for many other publications, including Fitness, Family Circle, Self, and Shape, and has appeared on national TV numerous times, including Today and The Early Show.

In addition to being a writer, Liz is a sought-after personal trainer and fitness consultant. When she's not busy spreading the word about health and fitness, she's out with her husband, Jay Shafran, running, rock climbing or hiking — or she's poring over the latest science journals. Her goal is to bring fun and effective information about getting in shape to as many people as possible.

Suzanne Schlosberg is a contributing editor at Shape, where she has written the magazine's "Weight Loss Q&A" column for ten years, and she is the best-selling author of a number of books, including The Ultimate Workout Log and Fitness for Travelers.

Suzanne's writing career began during her freshman year of college, when she was assigned to cover a preseason NBA game and found herself in a locker room interviewing a dozen tall, muscular, naked Boston Celtics. That assignment spawned not one but two careers for Suzanne, who today earns her living as both a humorist and a fitness writer.

Suzanne has just come off an extensive book tour for The Curse of the Singles Table, which chronicles her outrageous attempts to end a streak of "10001 nights without sex." She lives in Bend, Oregon, and is married to Paul Spencer, her Streakbreaker, whom she met on match.com. For more information on Suzanne, visit her Web site: www.suzanneschlosberg.com.

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