Sam Bauman: Nothing beats exercise and a healthy diet



No additional news about the FDA-approved over-the-counter diet pill Alli, which is a weaker version of Xenical, but the original report noted that exercise and a good diet still were needed to lose weight.

For all the diet fads on the market, almost all include a requirement for exercise and a healthy diet. A healthy diet is usually defined as one which includes plenty of greens, fish and reduced red meat and a reduction in fats — the Mediterranean one for short.

I’ve often noted that I am lucky to live in an apartment that offers free an exercise room and hot tub. The exercise room offers a treadmill, stationary bike and two stair steppers.

So how do you know if you need to lose weight? Weighing yourself is only the first step. Second is finding your body mass index.

BMI isn’t perfect. It doesn’t take into account how your fat is distributed in our body. Body shape fat is described as “apple” or “pear” shape. Apple is when fat is stored around the waist; pear where fat is stored in the hips, thighs and buttocks.

Belly (visceral) fat is linked to many diseases — cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and metabolic syndrome, which combines many factors that contribute to heart disease and strokes. Smokers tend to weight less than nonsmokers but tend to have fat around the belly. Alcohol tends to add fats around the waist.

An easy way to measure your waist it to use a flexible tape measure. Stand and measure your waist just above the hipbone with the tape snug. For women the measure of 35 inches or above is unhealthy; for men it’s 40 inches or above that’s bad.

Before we get into diet and exercise, let’s look at some foods we normally consume. Candy bars (2 ounces) have 271 calories and require walking 48 minutes. A medium size apple has 72 calories, need 13 minutes walking; ice cream (1 cup) has 274 calories and again 48 minutes walking. A glazed donut, medium, comes in at 239 calories, and 42 minutes to walk it off. But a cup of strawberries has 53 calories and requires just 9 minutes on the walking path.

I’ll get into exercise next week.

Loud an clear

Now I can truly hear you, thanks to Dr. Weeks of Carson City.

After writing my hearing complaints about new VA hearing aids, many trips to the Reno VA to have the painful left ear aid fixed, I switched. Dr. Weeks of Carson City gave up on the original $6,000 set left ear mold and created a new mold for the left ear, which was a problem from day one.

The old right mold (the plastic peanut-shaped thing that goes into the ear canal and is attached by wireless to the control device that tucks behind the ear) always worked, not well, but it didn’t hurt.

The left ear mold hurt from the first insertion, despite tinkering by the VA technician. Four tries there before I gave up and talked to Dr. Weeks.

He worked on the left mold, trying to reshape it to the canal, but after several tries he gave up on the original mold and made a new one himself. Took a couple of weeks but last week he removed the original left ear mold and attached the new one.

Suddenly, I could hear as I haven’t for many years, much better than when I first lost hearing flying about North Africa as a reporter.

Dr. Weeks spent an hour setting sound levels and testing everything. There was a modest fee involved, but I would have paid an astronomical one for the new world I was enjoying.

Now I could play with my Streamer, a device which hangs from a cord around my neck. It funnels sound from my iPhone, my TV and land line phone directly to my hearing aids.

I owe Dr. Weeks and the VA for my new world of sound. I had just about given up on enjoying jazz and the classics. Now I flip an LP on the turntable and back and smile.

Sam Bauman writes about senior issues for the Nevada Appeal. Check out his blog at


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