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Do not do this!

We come into contact with hudreds, well probably thousands of people who are active, athletic, slim and trim. Some are marathoners, some are ironmen/women, some are century-ride cyclists, others are long distance swimmers. In addition to their love of long distance sports, many of these high metablolism athletes also LOVE to eat. And, they believe that since their workouts are so grueling or time-consuming (maybe 1, 2, 3 hours/day or more), they can take pleasure in eating whatever they want, whenever they want it. Full slabs of ribs, french fries, pizzas with extra cheese--the flawed mentality goes something like this, "I work out a lot so I can eat whatever I want," or "I need Big Mac's and 4-egg omelets to maintain my weight."

These easy to accept eating patterns are actually VERY dangerous. The exercise may be enough to keep the pounds off, but for many the plaque continues to build along the artery walls. We know many triathletes, runners, swimmers, and cyclists, who thought that their avid exercise was enough to keep them healthy and fit. Some learned the hard way, after suffering a heart attack, that the toned body they saw in the mirror was not an accurate reflection of their internal well-being. Most are more fortunate by receiving an eye-opening lab test that shows their total cholesterol levels skyrocketing above 180 (the current recommended level for total cholesterol).

Don't get me wrong. I'm not advocating going cold turkey from Quesadillas and sour cream, or my favorite In N' Out red meat delights (although eliminating bacon and gyros, two foods in the American diet with some of the highest fat totals, would probably be a good decision). Just don't eat these high fat/big calorie meals more than once or twice per week. And, please, please, get an annual physical with a cholesterol test after turning 30. You take your bike in for an annual tune-up don't ya?

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