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The weight of your world: How proper eating can help you lose it

   Kareemglobe
(Kareem Abdul-Jabbar)

Certain things are inevitable.  Death and taxes, of course.  A famous athlete will indignantly deny using steroids, then get caught.  An A-list actor will go on all the talk shows and brag about how proud he is of his new movie—and it will suck.  Reality shows will multiply like randy rabbits.  A politician will be caught up in a sex scandal, and his wife will stand stoically beside him as he publicly confesses all.  Nothing can stop these things from happening.

Same goes for weight gain after 40.

Studies show that after men turn 40, even if you are a devout athlete working out every day, your waistline is fighting to expand.  After you turn 50, the fight turns into all-out war: muscles start to lose mass and the waistline starts demanding larger pants.  This expansion is usually due to increased abdominal fat, which is linked to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease.  For women, the waistline can predict cardiovascular disease and cancer.  A medical study released this week (and reported in the April 8th Los Angeles Times) concluded that women with waists 35 inches or greater had a 79% higher chance of premature death than women whose waists were 28 inches or less—even if the women were within the “normal” weight range.

The problem with relying just on exercise to combat this gain is it doesn’t work.  A study of nearly 5,000 runners between the ages of 18 and 50 showed that they gained weight at about the same rate no matter how many miles each person ran per week.  While adding 20  minutes on your treadmill time or another set to your weight-lifting routine may keep the muscles trim, for most people, the invading army of fat will continue to gain ground.

However, when you combine a nutritionally balanced diet with exercise, you have a much greater chance of sending fat on a hasty retreat.  That’s why I’m very serious about what I put into my body.  Also, I know that because most people’s heads come up to my waist, they’re staring right at my gut, so every extra inch looks even bigger to them.

OK, so let’s get you eating healthier.

What to Eat
    Remember, your best chance of defeating fat is by combining nutrition with exercise, so the combination of foods I’m recommending is for someone who works out regularly.  This will help fuel your workout and maintain weight control.

  • Carbohydrates.  You’ll need them.  Despite what trendy diets suggest, most athletes eat carbs.  But the trick is in picking the right ones.  Eat multi-grain breads, whole wheat pastas, basmati or brown rice, oatmeal, fruit (fresh, canned, or cooked), sweet potatoes, and new white potatoes.
  • Protein.  This helps your muscles grow.  Also, it fills you up so you’re less likely to overeat or hunt down a Twinkie soon after your meal.  If you’re exercising regularly, you’ll need to eat 1 to 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight.  For best results, you should have a protein-rich meal or snack within 90 minutes after your workout.  When selecting your protein source, the key is the keep it as low in fat as possible.  For meats, make sure it’s always a lean cut (and avoid gravies and sauces).  Almonds, peanuts, and cashews are a great source of protein.  So are yogurt, cottage cheese, salmon, chicken breasts, turkey, eggs, milk and tuna.
  • Healthy Fats.  We’ve been programmed to flinch at the word “fats,” but some fats are necessary for a nutritional diet.  The fats found in olive oil, avocado, salmon and nuts is good for you.  However, even though it has the word “healthy” in front of it, you still need to use them moderately.  They are high in calories, so you should limit your daily calorie intake from fats to 20%.

It’s Not Just About Weight Loss
    Don’t worry about losing weight right away.  First, focus on improving your diet, which will make your body stronger and give you more energy.  Then, if losing weight is part of your goal, shoot for a modest but doable one pound per week.  To lose one pound, you’ll have to exert 3,500 more calories than you take in.  This can be achieved by spending 500 more calories a day more than you consume.  The best way to accomplish this is through a combination of diet and exercise: eat 250 calories less each day, and burn off 250 calories more.

Take It Easy
    Don’t make too many radical changes at once.  That shock to your usual routine sets you up for failure.  This is about slowly changing habits.  Each week, replace something that you regularly eat that isn’t healthy with something that is.  The apple instead of the potato chips; the almonds instead of the donut.  The same advice holds for exercise.  Each week add one more set to your weight routine, one more minute to jumping rope or aerobics.

    Within a short time, you will be in control of your health.  As we get older, our bodies may conspire against us, but we didn’t get to this age without learning a few tricks along the way.  Your brain controls your body; don’t let it forget who’s boss.

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Comments

Kareem,
An important message presented in a clear straightforward mannor. Too many people refuse to live a healthy lifestyle becuase it seems out of reach. This blog demonstrates that with a little effort, individuals can make a siginificant positive impact on thier lives.

Looking good Cap!

Thanks for posting this blog. It's not what I expected. Who knew the NBA all time point leader is a renaissance man? 1700's sail makers, diet, books, Herbie Hancock... Impressive.

Athletes and coaches usually come across as unidimensional. Thanks for sharing with everyone a little about what you think inside and outside the realm of B-ball. I look forward to reading this entertaining blog.

Alan R

Thanks for posting this blog. It's not what I expected. Who knew the NBA all time point leader is a renaissance man? 1700's sail makers, diet, books, Herbie Hancock... Impressive.

Athletes and coaches usually come across as unidimensional. Thanks for sharing with everyone a little about what you think inside and outside the realm of B-ball. I look forward to reading this entertaining blog.

Alan R

Hi Mr. Abdul-Jabbar,

I would like to thank you for sharing your positive thoughts on life in general. It's not everyday that we get to share something with someone that is an athletic icon in sports. But more importantly using the doors of opportunity to reach and help others who may or may not get to meet you on a relational level. It has always been a dream of mine to meet someone like you, as a kid, you were my hero in basketball, now as an adult, you continue to be an inspiration in the many facets of life. It is wonderful to know that you care about so many people even though you have never met many of them. Keep doing what you are doing and please let Coach know that I wish him well and that he is in my prayers. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Clayton

I enjoyed this one personally, you wrote it at a perfect time as I'm trying to make this a turning point my life...thanks! & heres to being HEALTHY!!!

Very well said. I'd like to add that a glass of red wine never hurt anyone either

Hey Kareem,

I'm glad to hear you're doing well outside of the Lakers.

mike t.

Hi Kareem,
I'm italian and to us healthy food is almost a religion! Thank you very much for providing your point of view in this particular topic. As you know Italy is very famous for food culture. Please I would be interested to know from you how important is the mediterranean diet to keep your fitness. I come from the South Italy and we largely use pasta, olive oil, vegetables, fruits and fish in our daily diet and it's rare to meet someone who is really fat. So I totally share your point! Kareem keep doing what you are doing and thank you very much for all the vibes you gave me since the age of 12 when in Italy were broadcasted the NBA matches. I was and I still am a Laker's fan! Thank you again.

Mr. Jabar,
It was great to learn you had a blog, maybe advice from a lifetime hero can motivate me to lose weight. I'm a 56 year old male, as a child at 5, I contracted Polio. With something called Post Polio Syndrome, Doctors say polio victims should not over exert themselves since it could cause a relapse of the original polio episode. I do eat good fresh food and try to stay away from the fast foods. I've pretty much maintained my weight the last year. Any weight that I could lose would only help getting in and out of my wheelchair. Any suggestions?

Hello Mr Abdul Jabaar

Aïe aïe aïe... the line, " the waistline starts demanding larger pants" ....damn I'll have to do some effort ... !
thanks for the strait forward analysis and as a chiropractor I agree with you 100 %,.... the 250 Kcal less and more is a good way to visualise the situation and make it simple plus it can done ...we can do it :D

Thanks again from Switzerland !

Hello Mr Abdul-Jabbar

Sorry to have miss speled your name, can you please correct it in the previous post

Thank you

Kareem,

Just wanted to compliment you on your always informative blog. My daughter is an '06 UCLA grad, and I am a huge Bruin and Laker fan. I have a picture of you in my office from 1966 dunking (when it was still legal) on the Trojans.

I really appreciate this opportunity to hear whats on your mind and to keep up with you. You are truly an inspirational person, and a gifted author as well.

Much continued success to you.

Steve

Michael,

Kareem is working for the Lakers, coaching.

Frick, Kareem! You look great!

However, despite the fact that we need carbs, we need complex carbs, not simple ones. Big difference.

GO LAKERS!

Frick, Kareem! You look great!

However, despite the fact that we need carbs, we need complex carbs, not simple ones. Big difference.

GO LAKERS!

Thanks Cap:

I'm staring down 50 and need to loose 35lb's, I' ve alway's been a huge fan of yours. Its great to see that you've moved behind the laker bench to a well deserved prominent position. How's are the indian tribe kids doing that you worked with back in Arizona?

Freddie V.

Thanks Cap:

I'm staring down 50 and need to loose 35lb's, I' ve alway's been a huge fan of yours. Its great to see that you've moved behind the laker bench to a well deserved prominent position. How's are the indian tribe kids doing that you worked with back in Arizona?

Freddie V.

I'm just going to say it - DAYUMM, you've got a great body!!!

And I'm taking your advice - I've signed up for two intro classes in Pilates and yoga to see which one I can live with.

Thanks again for all you do!

Mr. Jabbar,

Thank you for the interesting and important blog on middle age men's health and weight.

Supporting your details:

After the age of 30 a man's bones decalcify at a rate of 1% annually.

A man 30 or older loses 1% muscle mass annually.

Meanwhile, the metabolism of a man 30 or older slows down at 1% annually.

So, a man at 30 years of age can work out the same and eat the same for the next ten years and... at the age of 40 he will be 10% weaker and carrying 10% more body fat.

Abraham

Hi, Kareem.

For protein sources, I would recommend staying away from animal protein and going with whole plants (broccoli has more protein packed in than beef). I have been working out for the past 20 years (I am 42 now), I only became leaner (from a 38" to a 33" waist) when I switched to a plant-based diet. Might not be for everyone, I know, just suggesting another option.

Bobby

>Also, I know that because most people’s heads come up to my waist, they’re staring right at my gut, so every extra inch looks even bigger to them.

Your comment brought to mind a story that my aunt told about her days at UCLA in the late 1960's. One evening at a party at someone's apartment, she heard a knock and opened the door. My aunt - who at 5'7" is not a short woman - found herself looking straight at a belt buckle. Without missing a beat, she said, "You must be Lew. Come in."

Happy Birthday, and many more to you.

Thanks kareem for the good info and the memories.

Thanks for all the good info, Kareem, but you made one big mistake. We don't need a gram of protein per pound of body weight - that's ridiculous. Check your facts on this one.

The USRDA for protein for males is 63 grams, and it's 50 grams for females.

The website 'ask the dietician' recommends less than 20% of daily calories to be protein, even for weightlifters (http://www.dietitian.com/protein.html). The dietician notes that athletes (specifically body builders) can maintain muscle equilibrium by eating more protein - one gram per kilogram of body weight. One kilogram equals 2.2 pounds. That's a huge difference from one gram of protein per pound of body weight, which would be incredibly unhealthy and dangerous.

Hello Kareem,
In addition to your obvious intelligence and multi-talents, you are a truly good and caring person -- at a time when such people are more critical to the ultimate success of our society than ever before. With Obama having a legitimate chance of actually making it into the White House and with so many other indications of astounding progress, this time (and people like you) may be America's last best hope. The "powers that be" (neocon zionists) will do everything in their considerable power to put a stop to all of this, and to maintain the control which they have so carefully, and ruthlessly, established over the past 50 years or more. With so much at stake (hundreds of billions of dollars per annum) these greedheads will stop at nothing. All Americans should be grateful for people like you, who have the potential to finally bring us all together in a noble and common cause (breaking the zionist chain which binds us all.) Not all Jews are zionists (see the many Jewish anti-zionist websites.) The neocon zionists (a tiny minority within a minority) thrive by utilizing divide-and-rule techniques, playing one group off against another (and, of course, by bribing traitorous career politicians, of both parties, who do their evil biding.) Now, in this pivotal year of 2008, they are beginning to look worried, and they are lashing out against Barack Obama, a man who (the zionists say) "cannot be trusted to defend Israel." We do live in interesting times.

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Captain Kareem

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is considered by many fans and sportswriters to be the greatest basketball player of all time. The 7-foot-2 Hall of Fame center, famous for his indefensible skyhook, dominated the NBA for 20 years, first with the Milwaukee Bucks then with the Los Angeles Lakers. Before that he was the star of the UCLA Bruins teams that won three consecutive NCAA championships. Kareem was the NBA's MVP six times, a 19-time all-star and set the NBA all-time records in nine categories. He is the NBA's all-time leading scorer with 38,387 points, a record that may never be broken.

Since retiring as a player in 1989, Kareem has balanced his love of basketball with his love of history. In 2002 he led a USBL team, the Oklahoma Storm, to a championship. Since 2005, he has been the special assistant coach for the Lakers, working with Andrew Bynum.

In 2008 he was chosen The Greatest Player in College Basketball History.

Kareem also remains intellectually active, authoring six bestselling history books intended to popularize the contributions of African-Americans to American culture and history. His books include "Black Profiles in Courage: A Legacy of African-American Achievement"; "Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII's Forgotten Heroes"; "A Season on the Reservation," which chronicles his time teaching basketball and history on an Apache Indian reservation in White River, Ariz.; and the current New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller, "On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance."

His audio adaptation, "On the Shoulders of Giants: My Audio & Musical Journey through the Harlem Renaissance," is a four-volume compilation read by Bob Costas, Avery Brooks, Jesse L. Martin, and Stanley Crouch, and features private and fascinating conversations with dozens of icons, including Coach John Wooden, Julius Erving, Charles Barkley, Samuel L. Jackson, Maya Angelou, Quincy Jones and Billy Crystal. He has also been written to L.A. Times, under the Sports section.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been appearing on various radio stations and TV shows, as well as the most relevant websites talking about his life and his new audio book, On the Shoulders of Giants.

All images are property of www.iconomy.com unless otherwise stated. All info copyrighted and owned by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is not replicated without permission.

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