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OPINION

In Losing Fat, Ignore the Government

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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The top new years resolution every year is to lose weight. It’s why all the gyms scale their ad budgets for the end of December through February. Companies like Nutrisystem ramp up the pub this time of year too.

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In 2011, I actively lost weight. It’s not easy and requires the patience of Job. One thing I learned, pay no attention to the FDA standards if you want to lose weight. The government standards are riddled with lobbying. “Eating right” has nothing to do with the government, eating organically, eating locally or anything like that. It’s all about what you eat and how much of it you stuff into yourself.

This is actually a big issue for companies. Today in the Wall Street there was an article on how Harley Davidson has a work out facility for their employees to keep them in shape for work. ( Hey WSJ, your search function is horrible. I have to use a search engine to find your links. Maybe you ought to fix that in 2012.) As the population ages, it will be critical to figure out ways to keep older employees healthy.

There has been a lot of activity in the fitness start up space. It started years ago with the chip that Nike implanted in shoes so you could keep track of your runs. Newer start ups like Fitbit track all your daily movement. But I don’t think that’s enough. Just moving around and doing aerobic exercise won’t burn the calories you need to actually be fit.

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Personal training has been around awhile, and has become a mania in recent years. If you can afford it, you hire a personal trainer to put you through your paces. However, besides the cost, there can be a lot of barriers to having a personal trainer. This site, Inertrain, attempts to break down the barriers, and to make the whole fitness process a lot more efficient. Especially for people on the go. If you use it, let me know what you think about it.

The aforementioned Nutrisystem built a big business on cooking for people. But it’s expensive, and not really tailored to individual needs. If you want to go out and hire a dietician, it’s also expensive. But, thanks to an entrepreneur, they make the process cheaper and work for you. Retrofit is a new Chicago start up that attempts to change your life. It’s what you have to do if you want to lose weight.

Last year, I lost 10% of my weight. The way I did it was work out at CitywideSuperSlow in Chicago. I lifted weights there every week for 30 minutes a week. I did zero aerobic exercise, except for walking. I measured my portions, and kept track of my calorie intake using Lose It. I cut back on my drinking. My cholesterol dropped 35 points, no drugs. In 2012, I will probably lose another ten pounds and be done. At 215 pounds I’d be ten pounds heavier than when I graduated from college. At my height, going less than that makes me look emaciated-especially with no hair. I know more than a handful of people that did the same thing over the past couple of years. You can too.

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The internet turns vertical silos into horizontal flat distribution systems. When the technology is right, very cost effective and time effective outcomes make your life a lot simpler and easier. In 2012, I think we will see a lot of start ups try to disrupt traditional chains of distribution in ways that you might not have been able to imagine.

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