Ask Dr Fitness and the Fat Guy

Dr. Fitness and the Fat Guy are Dr. Adam Shafran and Lee Kantor, two guys in Atlanta who talk fitness online and over the air. We asked them to answer a few reader questions and invite you to send in your questions to tips @ crunchgear dot com with the subject line “FITNESS.” Include your geographical location. We’ll run these Q&A sessions regularly.

What burns more calories? Playing World of Warcraft or Farmville?
Bart, NYC

In the real world, soldiers and farmers burn around 450 calories per hour doing what they do (size, gender and age can also impact this number as well as what type of task is being performed). When it comes to gaming, obviously the calories burned will be much lower. For example, according to calorie estimates from the Mayo Clinic, you burn about twice the calories playing tennis, boxing and golf when you do it in the real world as compared to playing them virtually on the Wii. To answer your question, doing something awesome like playing WoW always burns more calories than doing something lame like playing Farmville.

There are no healthy snacks in the vending machine at my work? What should I do?
Sandra, Bridgeport, CT

Control your own destiny – bring your own snacks to work. Don’t rely on the man. Find a place to store your snacks like a common area refrigerator/freezer. Or, if you have to, bring your snacks in a small cooler. Frozen fruits like raspberries and peaches are great because they are loaded with antioxidants and have the texture of a sucking hard candy. Walnuts and almonds are loaded with protein which makes you feel full fast – but don’t go nuts and eat a lot because they have a lot of calories. Some other easy mid morning or mid day snacks are: peanut butter and jelly or apple butter on whole wheat; roasted veggies like carrots, red peppers and sweet potatoes and hummus on pita chips.

My boss insists we have meetings while walking around the block. Is it okay for me to smoke during these meetings?
NC17, North Carolina

Well that depends. I wouldn’t recommend smoking crack – because that’s hard to do while walking. Cigarettes are also a bad idea. Inhaling smoke into your lungs prevents oxygen from getting to your muscles which will cause you to will poop out pretty quick. Your co-workers will constantly have to slow down and wait for you and that gets embarrassing.

In order to lose weight, I have a 5 hour energy drink for breakfast and lunch and eat a normal healthy dinner. Is this okay?
COD, San Diego

Yeah – great idea – how about this – during the day only drink energy drinks and then right before you go to bed take a multi-vitamin. Don’t eat any real foods. There shouldn’t be any negative health consequences to that.
No, it is not okay to substitute energy drinks for food. The human body needs nutrition like protein and carbohydrates to fuel itself to do what it needs to do. Ideally, you should be eating the bulk of your calories during the times you are most active. A guest on our show told our listeners that you should eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.

If you were going to buy one fitness gadget, what would it be?
Carl, Toledo

If you are just starting to exercise then I’d get a heart rate monitor, which gives you immediate feedback as to how hard your body is working. But if you are a fitness freak like Dr Fitness, who is acutely aware of his heart rate at any given moment then that gadget would be an mp3 player with good sweat resistant headphones. If you are more like the Fat Guy who is not that quick on his feet and has an immense fear of dogs and mailmen that that gadget would be pepper spray.