#371 (8/25/2009) EAT YOUR WAY TO GREAT ABS!

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You can only hold your stomach in for so many years.

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Eat Your Way to Great Abs

By Ben Kallen

A few weeks ago, we gave you tips on building great-looking abs (refer to "5 Ways to Speed Up Your Six-Pack" in the Related Articles section below). Now we're going to focus on the other half of the equation: your diet. When it comes to creating incredible abs, even the most effective workout programs can only bring you so far. That's because you can't get a flat, hard midsection without losing body fat. Here's how to eat your way to great abs.

Woman With Flat Abs in Front of Apples

No matter how much effort you put into creating a six-pack, no one's going to see it if it's covered by a layer of flab. (The good news? While it's impossible to "spot-reduce," abdominal fat is often the first to go when you start losing weight.)

If you're following the dietary guidelines of a Beachbody® fitness program, you'll automatically be eating the right foods to lose fat as you get in shape. But the following seven principles can give you an extra edge, and will help ensure that the effort you're putting into your abs will bring you the results you want.

  1. Whey Protein PowderGet plenty of protein. Eating enough lean protein promotes fat loss and muscle gain, the two most important elements for developing great abs. It also helps keep you from getting hungry while you're eating right. You don't have to gobble down 12-ounce steaks—just eat a normal portion of lean meat, fish, low-fat dairy, or vegetarian protein with every meal, and make sure your snacks contain some protein, too. If you still have a hard time getting enough in your diet, a daily shake made with Whey Protein Powder can be a perfect addition.

    By the way, protein is especially important in the morning, when a lot of people don't get as much as they should. A protein-rich breakfast will help keep your blood sugar steady for hours, preventing the dips that can lead to cravings later in the day. (Try some low-fat chicken sausage, or an omelet with one whole egg and three egg whites, along with fruit or whole-grain toast.)

  2. Reconsider your carbs. Despite the popularity of low-carbohydrate diets, the average American meal is still too high in sugar and fast-burning starches to bring body fat down to ab-baring levels. It's time to say goodbye to sweetened soda, ditch the Doritos®, and save the cake for your birthday. If your fitness plan calls for a sports drink before a long cardio workout, or a carb-and-protein recovery drink after resistance training, that's fine. But the rest of the time, stick with foods that are on the low end of the glycemic index (refer to GlycemicIndex.com for more information)—these foods burn more slowly, so they won't spike your blood sugar and insulin levels.
  3. GrapefruitHave fun with fiber. Something about the word "fiber" just doesn't sound appetizing. But high-fiber foods can actually be quite delicious: fresh berries and other fruits, salads loaded with colorful produce, your favorite steamed vegetables or vegetable soup, stews or chili made with beans, chewy whole-grain breads and cereals . . . You get the picture. (These foods just happen to be loaded with nutrients as well.) High-fiber foods keep you fuller with fewer calories, and they help keep your digestive system working at its best—a double-whammy for getting rid of belly bulge.
  4. Enjoy some yogurt. Probiotics, the healthful bacteria found in yogurt and other fermented foods, have been proven to help reduce belly fat. In a recent study in Finland, new mothers who took probiotic supplements averaged smaller waist circumferences—and lower body fat in general—than those who didn't take probiotic supplements. And while the topic is still controversial, studies have found that eating lots of calcium-rich dairy foods like yogurt may increase overall weight loss.
  5. Don't forget to eat. Tempted to lower your daily calorie count by skipping meals? Don't. Going hungry can raise your levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol, which research has found can increase belly fat even in otherwise thin women. And eating too infrequently can lower your metabolism and energy levels, while increasing the chance that you'll get too hungry and decide to chuck your meal plan entirely. If you're eating the right foods, regular meals and snacks will keep your body fueled while you're working toward that strong core.
  6. Drink more fluids. Hydration is important when you're on a fitness plan, but drinking plenty of water has particular benefits for your midsection. It helps keep your stomach full, so you don't overeat, and it helps flush out excess sodium to prevent belly bloating. (Eating more potassium-rich foods, such as tomatoes and bananas, will also help in this area.)

    Plain ol' H20 can't be beat, but you can also switch it up with flavored waters, iced tea, and anything else you like to drink that isn't full of sweeteners. How much do you need? The old rule of 8 glasses a day is a good start, but everyone is different: drink more if you're exercising or it's hot out, and drink less if you're running to the bathroom every 5 minutes.

  7. Empty Glass. . . With two exceptions. It's time to cut down on those mood-altering substances, coffee and alcohol. Too much caffeine raises your cortisol levels and can impair your sleep, which can lower the production of fitness-promoting hormones. Meanwhile, the proverbial "beer belly" isn't just the result of extra calories—alcohol actually makes it more difficult for your body to metabolize carbs and fat. Booze also stimulates your appetite and lowers your inhibitions, which can lead to bingeing. The best road to flat abs is no alcohol at all, but if you really like a drink now and then, just have one at a time (and no more than a few a week), and stay away from higher-calorie beers and sugary mixed drinks.

If you add these rules to your fitness plan, you're sure to see faster improvements in your midsection. Of course, there's an added bonus to eating this way: it'll keep you healthier, too. That may not be as big an inducement as great abs, but we're throwing it in for free.

Related Articles
"5 Ways to Speed Up Your Six-Pack"
"The 5 Best Fats to Get Lean"
"The Best and Worst Cocktails"

Got something to say? Chat with the writers and other readers this coming Monday, August 31st, at 8:00 PM ET, 5:00 PM PT, in the Beachbody Chatroom!

Ben KallenIf you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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Does Exercise Matter for Weight Loss?

By Steve Edwards

I'm sure by now many of you have seen the recent cover of TIME magazine stating that exercise doesn't matter for weight loss. As you might imagine, we at Beachbody are a little incredulous at this premise. After all, we have reports from thousands of individuals who've used exercise to dramatically change their bodies. Could we be the ones who are mistaken? Could all of those transformations have happened from dietary change alone? Today, let's take an analytical look at how we lose weight.

Weight Loss Confusion

This article is going to deviate from our usual approach. As a person who has spent most of his life altering human physiques, I'm going to deconstruct the TIME article from top to bottom and try to make some sense out of what seems like a very unlikely premise. Let's begin with the tagline:

" . . . because exercise makes us hungry or because we want to reward ourselves, many people eat more—and eat more junk food, like doughnuts—after going to the gym."

Man Eating JunkCould it be true? After all, exercise not only makes you want to eat more, but it requires that your body consume more calories to recover from a breakdown of body tissue. What's unclear at this point is where the "junk food, like doughnuts" came from. My experience with Beachbody customers (and others over the last 25 years) is exactly the opposite; exercise actually leads to better eating habits because a body in tune with its needs craves healthier foods. But this is the tag line of an article that's going to circulate worldwide. Certainly, the author is about to present some compelling evidence for his argument. John Cloud proceeds to inform us:

"One of the most widely accepted, commonly repeated assumptions in our culture is that if you exercise, you will lose weight. But I exercise all the time, and since I ended that relationship and cut most of those desserts, my weight has returned to the same 163 lb. it has been most of my adult life."

His personal example of how exercise has not helped him lose weight seems to have left him rather bitter. "I have exercised like this—obsessively, a bit grimly—for years," he states. "But recently I began to wonder: Why am I doing this?" To me, it revived memories of Gina Kolata's best-selling drivel from last year blaming the obesity epidemic on our genes, where her entire argument was based around her brother training for a marathon and losing only 3 pounds. But certainly, the cover story of TIME wasn't going to be based on one man's personal weight loss odyssey.

If only Cloud and Kolata were members of the Message Boards, we could have told them how to break plateaus using a simple periodizational approach. Of course, this may have hurt their bank accounts, but at least they'd be less disenfranchised with the fitness industry, as well as a lot healthier.

But I digress. Next, Cloud states:

"Still, as one major study—the Minnesota Heart Survey—found, more of us at least say we exercise regularly. The survey ran from 1980, when only 47% of respondents said they engaged in regular exercise, to 2000, when the figure had grown to 57%."

Overweight BoyAt least he used "at least say," because other studies don't back this up. In fact, numerous studies published this decade show that children exercise somewhere between 20 percent and 25 percent less than they did in the 1970s, while only eating approximately 3 percent more calories. Statistics tell us that childhood obesity rates are over 30 percent nationwide, and over 40 percent in some demographics. Obese children are 99 percent more likely to wind up as obese adults than non-obese children. In fact, we don't need statistics to tell us this at all. We just need to be observant. The absence of children playing in the streets, the empty bike racks at schools, the prevalence of video games, and the increase in things to watch on TV should make it easy to draw this conclusion sans further input. Using this background, Cloud gets down to the nitty-gritty:

'"In general, for weight loss, exercise is pretty useless,' says Eric Ravussin, chair in diabetes and metabolism at Louisiana State University and a prominent exercise researcher."

This seems like a pretty bold statement. The physiological response by the body to exercise is to increase its metabolism. All other things being equal, this leads to weight loss, and there is no scientific evidence to refute it. The only scenario when it would not help is one where an individual consumed more calories than they burned off. But not only would they have to exceed the actual caloric burn of the exercise, they'd have to eat beyond the additional physiological changes the body makes to recover from exercise. And while it feels as though we're getting to the point of the article, caloric consumption in Cloud's view is always only weighed against calories burned during exercise. Furthermore, this premise dismisses the findings of at least three long-term studies done between 1997 and 2008 that show exercise is extremely important for maintaining a goal weight after weight loss.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Cloud goes on to tell us:

"Today doctors encourage even their oldest patients to exercise, which is sound advice for many reasons: People who regularly exercise are at significantly lower risk for all manner of diseases—those of the heart in particular. They less often develop cancer, diabetes and many other illnesses."

So he's advocating exercise, apparently, just not for weight loss. Odd, when two of the diseases listed above are directly related to obesity. Regardless, this dubious setup allows Cloud to drop his bomb, which is based on spotty science and conjecture:

"That causes us to eat more, which in turn can negate the weight-loss benefits we just accrued. Exercise, in other words, isn't necessarily helping us lose weight. It may even be making it harder."

For scientific evidence, Cloud uses a study out of Louisiana State University [LSU] that showed women on an exercise program didn't lose much more weight than a group who wasn't on an exercise program when their diets weren't monitored. Of course, the women on an exercise program still lost more weight; it just wasn't very significant. But without factoring in diet, it's hard to say what went on within this group. Surely, the dietary component of a weight loss program is important, but stating that exercise is making weight loss harder seems like a stretch, especially when citing a study where the group that exercised still lost more weight. This extrapolation was summed up well in Denis Faye's blog The Real Fitness Nerd:

"Claiming that exercise isn't effective because people use it as an excuse to otherwise misbehave is like claiming a medication isn't effective because patients don't follow the directions properly."

The conjecture continues, as Cloud continues mentioning cravings for various junk foods whenever the topic of exercise comes up. For example:

"In 2007 the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association issued new guidelines stating that 'to lose weight . . . 60 to 90 minutes of physical activity may be necessary.' That's 60 to 90 minutes on most days of the week, a level that not only is unrealistic for those of us trying to keep or find a job but also could easily produce, on the basis of Church's data, ravenous compensatory eating."

But physical activity is defined as any type of movement that increases your heart rate over time, so he's using the American College of Sports Medicine's guidelines for undefined exercise, making a jump to suggest this should happen at intensities that cause us to pig out, assuming those exist in the first place. This is in contrast to studies that show compensatory eating happens more regularly among sedentary groups. Regardless, it's virtually impossible to prove that moving our bodies more will make us "ravenous," especially when Cloud's still only referencing the LSU study.

His next leap of illogic jumps the shark:

"If you force yourself to jog for an hour, your self-regulatory capacity is proportionately enfeebled. Rather than lunching on a salad, you'll be more likely to opt for pizza."

PizzaCloud provides no rationale for this. Maybe he would opt for pizza, as we can only assume. But no evidence is presented as to why someone would do this other than a paper published in Psychological Bulletin in 2000 that claims self-control is like a muscle: it weakens each day after you use it. How he came to the conclusion that this would lead someone to eat pizza as a post-workout snack is anyone's guess because, unfortunately, he doesn't attempt to explain it. It's just his opinion.

Next, he attempts to make his point using some science:

"Yes, although the muscle-fat relationship is often misunderstood. According to calculations published in the journal Obesity Research by a Columbia University team in 2001, a pound of muscle burns approximately six calories a day in a resting body, compared with the two calories that a pound of fat burns. Which means that after you work out hard enough to convert, say, 10 lb. of fat to muscle—a major achievement—you would be able to eat only an extra 40 calories per day, about the amount in a teaspoon of butter, before beginning to gain weight. Good luck with that."

Cloud's flippant dismissal at the end of this paragraph could be taken as self-mockery because no one can convert fat to muscle. The physiological process does not exist. You can lose fat (atrophy) and gain muscle (hypertrophy), but you can't convert one type of body tissue into another. Furthermore, the Columbia research has not been proven conclusive. Brad Schoenfeld, in an in-depth review of the TIME article on his blog Workout 911, cites two studies showing far greater differences in metabolic properties.

"In a study done at Tufts University, Campbell and colleagues reported an increase in lean body weight of 3.1 pounds after 12 weeks of strength training increased resting metabolic rate by approximately 6.8%. This translated into an additional 105 calories burned per day. Do the math, and that equates to approximately 35 calories burned for each pound of added muscle. A study by Pratley and colleagues came to a similar conclusion on the topic. A similar four month strength training protocol resulted in a gain of 3.5 pounds of lean muscle. Metabolic rate showed a resulting 7.7% increase, correlating to a metabolic-heightening effect of muscle of approximately 34 calories."

Cloud does manage to quote a lot of credentialed people, but he does so in a way where he either uses their quotes out of context or he interprets them in a way that's just plain wrong. For example, let's use his analysis of why running could be worse for weight loss than "sitting on the sofa knitting."

"Some of us can will ourselves to overcome our basic psychology, but most of us won't be very successful. 'The most powerful determinant of your dietary intake is your energy expenditure,' says Steven Gortmaker, who heads Harvard's Prevention Research Center on Nutrition and Physical Activity. 'If you're more physically active, you're going to get hungry and eat more.'"

Woman Holding Dumbbell and VeggiesTrue, you will be hungry and might eat more. What he leaves out is that not only can you eat more, but at some point, you need to eat more to lose weight. At Beachbody, this is one of the most difficult principles we have to teach our customers. At the beginning of an exercise-induced weight loss program, we restrict calories. As a person's body composition changes, so does that person's need for caloric consumption. It's not uncommon for our customers to double the amount of food they need to eat to keep their weight loss moving once they get into good shape. This simple physiological fact renders Cloud's argument moot.

And not only do individual caloric needs change, but so do nutrient needs. In my experience, the need for more nutrient-dense foods seems to create cravings for healthier foods that are nutrient dense. And since these foods tend to be less calorically dense (because they are often plant based and contain fiber), the most common scenario among our customer base is that people become less hungry over time because they're eating foods which keep them full longer.

Cloud follows this with an about-face, making a point that if people moved more, they could exercise less. Ignoring the fact that all movement is considered some form of exercise, Cloud uses some studies that showed kids who got less recess time spent more personal time exercising, and thus stayed on par with their weight loss, than those who got more recess—not exactly a damnation of exercise.

Then he actually champions exercise with the following statement:

"In addition to enhancing heart health and helping prevent disease, exercise improves your mental health and cognitive ability. A study published in June in the journal Neurology found that older people who exercise at least once a week are 30% more likely to maintain cognitive function than those who exercise less. Another study, released by the University of Alberta a few weeks ago, found that people with chronic back pain who exercise four days a week have 36% less disability than those who exercise only two or three days a week."

This seems like a strong testament from an article that began as anti-exercise. He further drives home the need to exercise with the following paragraph:

"But there's some confusion about whether it is exercise—sweaty, exhausting, hunger-producing bursts of activity done exclusively to benefit our health—that leads to all these benefits or something far simpler: Regularly moving during our waking hours. We all need to move more—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says our leisure-time physical activity (including things like golfing, gardening and walking) has decreased since the late 1980s, right around the time the gym boom really exploded. But do we need to stress our bodies at the gym?"

Huh? Who defined exercise as the need to "stress our bodies at the gym"? Wasn't this the same guy who had just told me that I'd be better off knitting than going for a run? It seems like the entire point of the article was for Cloud to publish an excuse so he wouldn't have to go to the gym anymore. He then proceeds to ask himself this exact question.

"This explains why exercise could make you heavier—or at least why even my wretched four hours of exercise a week aren't eliminating all my fat. It's likely that I am more sedentary during my nonexercise hours than I would be if I didn't exercise with such Puritan fury. If I exercised less, I might feel like walking more instead of hopping into a cab; I might have enough energy to shop for food, cook and then clean instead of ordering a satisfyingly greasy burrito."

The funny thing is that over the course of the article he actually seems to have convinced himself that he should exercise, only differently. He simply became befuddled on the type of exercise that he should be doing to get rid of his belly. It's more like an article to promote periodizational exercise, even though he doesn't mention it. He admits his confusion:

"Actually, it's not clear that vigorous exercise like running carries more benefits than a moderately strenuous activity like walking while carrying groceries."

Here we would agree, as it is unclear, especially without defining the intensity of the run or the amount of weight in groceries being carried. Not to mention the duration or the way you structured your daily tasks. What's become clear to me, by this point, is that the author needs a personal trainer. But he doesn't need one who takes him through workouts; he needs one who would plan an effective program for him. Cloud sums it up:

"In short, it's what you eat, not how hard you try to work it off, that matters more in losing weight. You should exercise to improve your health, but be warned: fiery spurts of vigorous exercise could lead to weight gain."

Again, he has it wrong. He's admitted a need to eat better and to exercise; he simply doesn't understand the process. All his self-flagellation reminds me of the colloquial definition of insanity, "doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result." What this author really needs, if he wants to lose his belly, is a Beachbody program.

References: W. Campbell, M. Crim, V. Young, and W. Evans. "Increased energy requirements and changes in body composition with resistance training in older adults." American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 60: 167-175, 1994.; T.P. Ballard, C.L. Melby, H. Camus, M. Cianciulli, J. Pitts, S. Schmidt, and M.S. Hickey. "Effect of resistance exercise, with or without carbohydrate supplementation, on plasma ghrelin concentrations and postexercise hunger and food intake." Metabolism. 2009 Aug; 58 (8): 1191-9.; D.L. Ballor, et al. "Resistance weight training during caloric restriction enhances lean body weight maintenance." American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1988 Jan; 47 (1): 19-25.; R.W. Bryner, et al. "Effects of resistance vs. aerobic training combined with an 800 calorie liquid diet on lean body mass and resting metabolic rate." Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 1999 Apr; 18 (2): 115-21.; C.C. Curioni and P.M. Lourenco. "Long term weight loss after diet and exercise: a systematic review." International Journal of Obesity (Lond). 2005 Oct; 29 (10): 1168-74.; J.E. Donnelly, et al. "Muscle hypertrophy with large-scale weight loss and resistance training. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1993 Oct; 58 (4): 561-5.; D. Faye. "Time Magazine's Lame Excuse Not To Exercise." The Real Fitness Nerd. August 10, 2009. http://thefitnessnerd.blogspot.com/2009/08/time-magazines-lame-excuse-not-to.html.; G.R. Hunter, N.M. Byrne, B. Sirikul, J.R. Fern�ndez, P.A. Zuckerman, B.E. Darnell, and B.A. Gower. "Resistance training conserves fat-free mass and resting energy expenditure following weight loss." Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008 May; 16 (5): 1045-51.; N.A. King, M. Hopkins, P. Caudwell, R.J. Stubbs, and J.E. Blundell. "Individual variability following 12 weeks of supervised exercise: identification and characterization of compensation for exercise-induced weight loss." International Journal of Obesity (Lond). 2008 Jan; 32 (1): 177-84.; C. Martins, L.M. Morgan, S.R. Bloom, and M.D. Robertson. "Effects of exercise on gut peptides, energy intake and appetite." Journal of Endocrinology. 2007 May; 193 (2): 251-8.; W.C. Miller, D.M. Koceja, and E.J. Hamilton. "A meta-analysis of the past 25 years of weight loss research using diet, exercise or diet plus exercise intervention." International Journal of Obesity. 1997; 21: 941-947.; R. Pratley, B. Nicklas, M. Rubin, J. Miller, A. Smith, M. Smith, B. Hurley, and A. Goldberg. "Strength training increases resting metabolic rate and norepinephrine levels in healthy 50- to 65-year-old men." Journal of Applied Physiology. Jan; 76 (1): 133-7.; A.S. Ryan, R.E. Pratley, D. Elahi, and A.P. Goldberg. "Resistive training increases fat-free mass and maintains RMR despite weight loss in postmenopausal women." Journal of Applied Physiology. 1995 Sep; 79 (3): 818-23.; B. Schoenfeld. "Is Exercise Derailing Your Efforts to Lose Weight?" Workout 911. August 12, 2009. http://workout911.com/?p=347.; X. Wang, M.F. Lyles, T. You, M.J. Berry, W.J. Rejeski, and B.J. Nicklas. "Weight regain is related to decreases in physical activity during weight loss." Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2008 Oct; 40 (10): 1781-8.

Related Articles
"The 911 on Nutrient Timing: What and When You Should Eat"
"8 Fitness Myths"
"The Truth About Diabetes and Carbs"

Steve EdwardsGot something to say? Chat with the writers and other readers this coming Monday, August 31st, at 8:00 PM ET, 5:00 PM PT, in the Beachbody Chatroom!

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

Check out our Fitness Advisor's responses to your comments in Steve Edwards' Mailbag on the Message Boards. If you'd like to receive Steve Edwards' Mailbag by email, click here to subscribe to Steve's Health and Fitness Newsletter. And if you'd like to know more about Steve's views on fitness, nutrition, and outdoor sports, read his blog, The Straight Dope.

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Test Your Food Fight IQ!

By DeLane McDuffie

BreadfruitAs an 8-year-old kid, I tried to incite a food fight in school. My only setback was that I tried to start one on a Friday, the day when we were served "fun" food, like pizza and hot dogs. No one wanted to throw that food around. True, we all know about food fights in school, but how many of us know about actual large-scale food fights—real skirmishes, wars, and battles involving food, fists, and, sometimes, firearms. Match the conflict with its unique food or characteristic.

    1. California Water Wars - Chinatown. This conflict was the basis of the 1974 movie Chinatown. The city of Los Angeles took on the residents of the Owens Valley over rights to the abundance of water from the Sierra Nevada. Back then, L.A. was a growing city in a semi-desert region with a very limited water supply. So much water was taken from the Owens Valley that the once water-rich landscape started to look more and more like the Sahara. Obviously, this upset the local farmers, who decided to blow up part of L.A.'s aqueduct system in 1924. This debate continued for decades.
    2. Banana Massacre - Chiquita. The United Fruit Company was an international trading juggernaut during the last century. It traded pineapples, bananas, and other fruit in Latin America and the Caribbean, selling chiefly to Americans and Europeans. In 1928, the Columbian Army opened fire on a picket line of United Fruit workers. The number of casualties is still unclear. Some speculated that the United Fruit Company actually convinced the military to do it. Controversy ensued. Eventually, the United Fruit Company (now Chiquita) got back to business and competing with its chief rival, Standard Fruit Company (now Dole).
    3. The Grattan Massacre - Bovine. It all started with a wandering cow. Back in 1854 in the Nebraska Territory, near present-day Laramie, Wyoming, a cow strolled off a Mormon camp and found itself in Brulé Lakota (of the Great Sioux Nation) land. There were burgers for everyone that night. Once the actual owner figured out what happened to his cow, he made so much fuss that Second Lieutenant John Grattan was sent out to exact revenge on the cow "thieves." As the two parties were negotiating, the Lakota killed Grattan and his 30 troops after one of the soldiers shot Conquering Bear, the Lakota chief. Soon after, the U.S. retaliated by sending William S. Harney and 600 soldiers into Sioux land, killing nearly 100 Sioux in the Battle of Ash Hollow.
    4. The Cod Wars - Iceland vs. Great Britain. There were three of them, one in the 1950s and two more in the 1970s. Iceland, whose economy was mainly based on fishing, felt the need to expand its fishing borders in the North Atlantic. Great Britain challenged that notion. In the First and Second Cod Wars, a lot of fishing nets got cut and a lot of insults were thrown around; however, it was the Third Cod War during which tempers really flared. Both countries deployed scores of ships and vessels. From November 1975 to June 1976, shots were fired, vessels were rammed, and fish surely must have been frightened. Once Iceland threatened to close its NATO base, that's when NATO stepped in, made the two nations shake hands, and made everything better.
    5. Mutiny on the Bounty - Breadfruit. Lieutenant William Bligh, commander of the HMS Bounty, was on a mission in 1787. He had to sail down to Tahiti, snatch up some breadfruit, and swing on over to the West Indies, where the breadfruit would serve as 18th-century energy bars for the slaves. Bad weather conditions around Cape Horn derailed their Tahitian arrival for about 10 months. Once they got there, breadfruit was out of season, which caused Bligh and the boys to hang out in Tahiti for another 5 months, until harvest season. Soon, they realized that packing the huge amount of breadfruit plants onto the ship would be like packing a blue whale into a sleeping bag, which caused the living quarters to be more like living pennies for the crew, which caused shipmate Fletcher Christian and friends to stage a mutiny. Bligh eventually found his way back to England, and the mutineers were captured. Bligh did get another shot at delivering breadfruit to the West Indies. The biggest irony is that the slaves hated the taste of breadfruit and refused to eat them.

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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