Social Question

LornaLove's avatar

Would you trust this 'Health' Club's tailor made regime?

Asked by LornaLove (9926points) November 29th, 2013

Today was my first day at the new gym I started. I am 51 and haven’t worked out for years. I was quite appalled to see this fully fitted health club’s eating area. Instead of smoothies, health shakes, gluten free breads, eggs, lean protein and such they serve: macaroni cheese with full fat cheese and pasta, jacket potatoes laden with fat. Regular sandwiches, panini and the only fruit in sight was orange juice. (Which was on the menu along with coffee and tea). The health bars were coated in chocolate and around 22% fat. Plus, they served booze? O.o

My workout consists of running uphill and then walking (on a cross trainer). I felt like I was going to faint. I really am super unfit. I feel pretty disgusted with the whole set up. What do you expect health club’s to serve up in their restaurant? How did you start your work-out after a long period of doing not much?

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27 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

That sounds disgusting. They should be selling life insurance policies on you for your next of kin.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

If you haven’t worked out in a long time, you’ll need to start S-L-O-W-L-Y. I’d begin by walking – not running – on a treadmill or cross trainer, combined with some time (maybe 10 minutes) on a stationary bicycle.

Are you female? If you plan to add upper-body free-weight training, you could even begin by doing the motions and repetitions without any weights; just empty hands. As odd as this might sound, you’ll feel some effects the next day. (Very soon, you’ll be ready to add light dumbbells.)

If you push too hard, your body will rebel, become extremely sore and stiff, and force you to spend several days recovering. That’s discouraging, and it can easily derail anyone’s devotion to a new exercise regimen.

As for the health club’s restaurant… If it serves indulging foods and alcohol, it’s most likely intended to be a spot for members to meet-and-greet. Yes, it sounds like a pick-up bar for the gorgeous guys and the young ladies who show up to exercise in full makeup and perfect hairstyles.

LornaLove's avatar

@SadieMartinPaul I agree, not that I am in the know. To me it sounds like 1.30 hours of cardio up hill and mix walk fast is far too much. I felt like I was going to have a heart attack after only 15 minutes. I think I will make my own regime. Half an hour walking then some rowing for full body strengthening and then maybe upper body weights (very low). I also want to do swimming.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@LornaLove I was trying to be tactful, not critical, but I do think that “running uphill” seems ill-advised for someone who’s just starting to get back into shape. If exercise makes you feel as if cardiac arrest is imminent, something’s wrong!

Because you just began today, you won’t feel any effects yet. If you pushed yourself too much, your body will scream at you tomorrow. Please don’t be frustrated. You’ll heal, and you’ll know that you need to start less aggressively.

josie's avatar


You call it a “Health Club” and they serve fat and pasta.

The government calls something “Health Care” when in fact what they are selling is “Sickness Care” , with a whole different set of principles that go into establishing the definition including how it affects people’s expectations. And those principles have nothing whatsoever to do with health.

Is there a relationship here?

snowberry's avatar

@josie Excellent point. And yes.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@josie Eating pasta will not make you fat. Neither will eating fatty foods. We gain weight when we take in more calories than we burn, and we lose weight when we burn more calories than we take in. The source of the calories is irrelevant. If you take in 500 calories worth of pasta, it’s no different than taking in 500 calories worth of fruit as far as weight gain or weight loss is concerned. There’s a difference in vitamin content, but that’s a different issue. Nor is it the gym’s responsibility what its members eat. If they want smoothies and lean proteins, they can ask for them.

As for the Affordable Care Act, surely you realize how silly it is to try and wedge your wedge issue in here. I get that this is Social, but do you really have nothing better to do than complain about topics that have nothing to do with the question? In any case, the term “health care” refers to all aspects of health. That means treating sickness as well as maintaining good health. The ACA covers both, which anyone who is familiar enough with the law to have any business commenting on it already knows.

Sorry for getting in the way of your propaganda machine.

josie's avatar

Gosh, thanks for setting me straight about calories, fat and the ACA.
I guess I just haven’t been keeping up.

CWOTUS's avatar

The health club may not run the food franchise themselves. They may have contracted with a food service provider who has sole determination of the food offerings.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@josie We both know you were already aware of everything I wrote. That’s why it’s so disappointing that you felt the need to write your original propaganda response.

downtide's avatar

Take a couple of bananas with you. They are a healthy source of quick energy. Eat one halfway through your workout and the other when you finish.

LornaLove's avatar

@josie ‘I’ certainly would not call it a Health Club. It calls itself that.

Unbroken's avatar

I would either complain about the food or switch gyms and tell them why.

Not that I am against carb loading. Or that I eat at my gym. But it sounds like you are unhappy. As regards to your regime, you got a trainer to tell you to walk and run? I certainly hope you didn’t have to pay extra for that. Crazy. Certainly make your own plan, you know you and what works and is interesting to you. Sounds like you’d be better off basing your work out on that then any advice you might get there.

Oh and for building muscle glutamine is great. Well amino acids they have gym formulas etc. But if you only take one that is the one to take.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@LornaLove By the way, its worth noting that there’s nothing especially healthy about gluten-free bread. Unless you have a gluten sensitivity, eliminating it from your diet provides no health benefits whatsoever and could even cause you problems.

LornaLove's avatar

@SavoirFaire Good point. I should have said for those that require it. Also to check if the bread is unbleached and does not have refined processed ingredients in it. Where I come from it is standard to offer all these options. As opposed to ‘bread’, plain and simple bread.

@Unbroken You’re right I am unhappy but lack of choice, plus signing up for a year, I better make the most of it. I just feel shocked is all. Let down too. I didn’t pay for that instructor no. It is a free service they offer.

Unbroken's avatar

I wonder if are within a trial cancellation window. If you lodge complaints and say you are disappointed with the service will they let you out of the contract or try to work with you within reason?

snowberry's avatar

@SavoirFaire What problems? I’ve been on a gluten free diet for 9 months now, and I’m healthier than I’ve been in a long time. Gluten is inflammatory. Lots of people other than celiacs can benefit from less inflammation. It’s possible to have an extremely healthy diet without gluten in it.

Those sound like alarmist words to me.

Unbroken's avatar

Snowberry being a celiac I agree with you in spirit. But savoirfaire does have a point.

Celiacs have to be careful to replace nutrients they may be missing when they take out gluten products. Also there are a lot of gluten free junk foods out there. While I am certain you are aware of this and compensate not everyone does. They just see gluten free and think health and gluten free are synonymous.

snowberry's avatar

@Unbroken Compensating for gluten free junk foods? What a concept! I never eat junk food anyway, so why compensate for it? LOLOL Well actually, come to think of it, Thanksgiving dinner was pretty darn close to junk food, and it tasted like it (ick). Are you saying that junk food has anything worth trying to replace in a diet? Isn’t that the meaning of junk food? Calories with no nutrition in it other than fat, salt, sugar, simple carbs, food colors, preservatives, and lots of other additives? Where is the benefit in that?

I have spent a small fortune getting healthy, and it’s simply not worth it to me to trash my body again for such a stupid reason as junk food. After a diet of pure foods, junk food tastes nasty anyway.

Unbroken's avatar

@snowberry I wasn’t clear. Compensating for nutrient losses due to fortified foods that contain gluten fiber b vitamins a few amino acids iron etc.

I didn’t know if you ate junk food or not but I agree. It tastes too sweet and chemically aftet having a pure diet.

I luck out on thanksgiving I guess because most of the women in my family are celiacs with food allergies. And we are all on a healthier whole foodish diet. Our pumpkin pie was crustless dairy free and we had a buckwheat flour for example. No need for ice cream or whipped topping. It was delish without it.

Sweet potatoes were not marshmallow coated they are sweet enough on their own a few raisens some steel cut oats nutmeg and cinnamon and they were a second a desert. Etc.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@snowberry All I said was that you don’t have to eat gluten-free to be healthy. How you can call this alarmist is beyond me. In any case, there are two problems associated with eating gluten-free for those who do not have a gluten sensitivity. Notice first, however, that I said “gluten sensitivity” and not “celiac disease.” This is because I am not under the impression that celiac disease is the only reason one might have to abstain from gluten. Your implication to the contrary, therefore, is baseless.

So what are the potential problems associated with eating a gluten-free diet? The first is the one already mentioned by @Unbroken: nutrient loss. Gluten is a natural protein that is part of many vegetarian diets, and it is frequently found in foods that are fortified with important vitamins that are not as abundant elsewhere. As such, many foods that are labeled as being gluten-free, while not junk foods of the sort we would normally recognize as such, are as good as junk food because of what has been taken out of them (gluten-free substitutes typically are not fortified).

The other problem is what substitute foods like gluten-free bread—that being the food item that sparked this part of the discussion, remember—replace gluten with in order to make up for its properties (gluten being important to the texture of bread, as well as the process of making it). Gluten-free substitutes tend to be higher in cholesterol and high-fructose corn syrup. Notice that this is related to the previous problem. Not only do many gluten-free substitute foods lack vitamin fortification, what they replace gluten with also contributes to seemingly healthy foods really being junk.

Finally, let’s talk about inflammation. I do not deny that gluten can cause inflammation. But so do many other things (including several other proteins and plant lectins). Moreover, many of the products that are used to replace gluten also promote inflammation (such as seed oils). The fact of the matter, however, is that digestion is never a tranquil process at the chemical level. It is impossible to eliminate everything that causes any amount of bodily distress because the body is not designed to be peaceful. Its equilibrium is dynamic in all states other than death. When considering a nutritional plan, then, the real concern is the overall level of these inflammatory agents. Health is a holistic affair.

SavoirFaire's avatar

By the way, here is an interesting read on why most people don’t need to go gluten-free.

snowberry's avatar

@SavoirFaire “Unless you have a gluten sensitivity, eliminating it from your diet provides no health benefits whatsoever and could even cause you problems.”
How can eliminating bread from your diet be unhealthy if you replace the nutrients in it with something better? I’ve done it and I’m far healthier than I was before. I suspect that the people promoting these sorts of sites might actually have a hidden agenda of some sort (maybe someone stands to lose money off of reduced wheat sales), or perhaps it’s just not well researched. They didn’t mention that rheumatologists are increasingly telling people to go off gluten, for example. “Gluten may be a culprit in arthritic diseases including fibromyalgia; avoid wheat, barley, rye, spelt, triticale, kamut and oats (although not a gluten grain it gets contaminated at the wheat mills).” In addition, inflammation has a role in every illness the human body can acquire, from diabetes to high blood pressure, to arthritis and everything else in between (see Monica Reinagel’s book- link below).

You are right about people going off gluten thinking that will resolve their inflammatory issues. If they want that, they need to follow an anti-inflammatory diet (which includes alternatives to gluten). And keep in mind that many medications, food additives, environmental toxins and illnesses cause increased inflammation as well, and one’s diet must be altered to fit individual needs (see the next link). By the way, here’s a study for you on how effective it can be:

I find it’s simpler to simply follow an alkaline diet, which in addition to being anti-inflammatory, resolves several other issues for me. In each diet, wheat is not the best choice, and yet each diet is nutritionally complete and is suitable for lifetime use.

The healthiest people I know follow one of these diets, and have for years.

snowberry's avatar

I just found this really great article. I know I just presented a wall of text above, and now I’ve got this long article, so I’m posting some of the highlights from it to save you trouble:

“But if you’re avoiding gluten for non-celiac gluten issues, it’s important to stick with whole foods that are naturally gluten free, like quinoa and vegetables.”

Our antibiotic addiction isn’t helping, and neither is our use of prescription and over the counter pain medication as well as the increase in quick rising breads and food additives such as preservatives. All of them contribute to gluten sensitivity, which explains the rise in gluten sensitive individuals.

Unless you really have Celiac disease, you don’t have to avoid gluten entirely.

“If you have any health problems you can’t resolve,” Dr. Agatston says, “it’s worth doing a month off gluten.” That’s because gluten can have so many, and such varied, impacts on your immune system. Dr. Agatston says he’s had patients with a huge variety of ailments—asthma, heartburn, psoriasis, neurological problems and even just general brain fog—find their issues resolve after they avoid gluten.”

SavoirFaire's avatar

In the news: Scientists who found gluten sensitivity evidence have now shown it doesn’t exist.

And by the way, @snowberry, you misread my response. I never said that removing bread from your diet could be unhealthy if you replace the nutrients in it with something better. I said that simply removing gluten from your life could cause problems if you don’t have a gluten sensitivity. Notice the key differences: (1) you talked about bread, whereas I was talking about gluten, and (2) I was talking about the people who just start avoiding certain foods due to a trend without regard for their dietary needs, whereas you talked about people who went about it in an intelligent way and made sure they were still getting their needs fulfilled (which is difficult, and often not done by people who fall for hype). Totally different, and so your response didn’t really undermine anything I said.

But no matter. I just popped back in to post the news article. Maybe in a few more years we’ll have yet another study showing that there are in fact some corner cases where non-celiac gluten sensitivity is real. But for now, the best scientific evidence tells us that it’s all in the putative sufferer’s head.

snowberry's avatar

Hmmmm, I have discovered that gluten causes my body to produce copious amounts of phlem. I am not on a strict gluten free diet (I don’t eat gluten free oatmeal for example), for there’s no reason for that, but since removing gluten from my diet, I don’t gag and cough anymore.

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