Required Reading: Top 5 Health and Wellness Links of the Week (December 31, 2010)

Happy New Year’s Eve! Soon to be Happy New Year, of course. We’ll let you slide today if you’re out celebrating already (which would be impressive, given that it’s now 10am in New York), but this week’s links will make for some great reading over the holiday weekend. Lots of good info here to help you start the new year off on the right foot…

1. Is Pizza Healthy?

Here’s a topic that’s near and dear to many New Yorkers’ hearts, and it’s actually a very thoughtful article about how pizza may not be the worst thing in the world when it comes to fast food (you could certainly do much worse). The article offers a number of tips about how you can minimize the bad calories you’re taking in when you grab a slice – practical things like removing 30 fat calories just by blotting the grease off the surface of the cheese.

Check out other ways to make pizza more healthful over at That’s Fit…

2. The Benefits of Exercising Before Breakfast

A new study offers some compelling evidence as to why it’s better to exercise before you have breakfast. I’ve never quite believed this one, as I’ve always heard that working out on an empty stomach (or in a “fasted state”) causes your body to burn protein for energy (thereby hurting muscular development). But it turns out that your body burns fat more efficiently when you have fewer carbs in your system, and it actually makes your muscles healthier (I was way off…). So working out before breakfast is particularly helpful when your diet is high in fat, like it tends to be around the holidays.

Check out the full article over at The New York Times…

3. Nutrition labels on cuts of meat to debut in 2012

We’ve always wondered exactly what kind of calories we’re getting from all the different cuts of meat one finds at the grocery store. We get that it’s a lot of protein, but it can also be a lot of fat, right? So how much of each? Starting in 2012, you’ll no longer have to guess, but the numbers may shock you.

See what we mean over at USA Today…

4. How to Lose Holiday Weight Gain

We had to throw in one article about getting back in shape after a week or two of letting ourselves slide. But no gimmicks here…the folks over at LiveStrong.com tell it like it is.

Check out this practical 4-step plan for shedding holiday weight gain…

5. “Science sense” list trashes celebrity health tips

Our big takeaway: don’t listen to celebrities when they dish out health advice! Well, that’s not totally true…some of them know what they’re talking about when it comes to basic things like hitting the gym a few times a week, but if it sounds too good to be true (or just plain weird), it probably is.

Check out some crazy celebrity health tips and why they’re just not right over at Reuters…